Isaiah 29:6
You shall be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
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(6) Thou shalt be visited . . .—Better, She (i.e., Jerusalem). The words may be figurative, but they may also be literal. Some terrific storm, acting as an “angel of the Lord” (Isaiah 37:36; Psalm 104:4), should burst at once upon Jerusalem and the hosts that were encamped against her, bringing to her safety, but to them destruction. As in the next verse, the “multitude of all nations” of the great host of Assyria should be as “a dream, a vision of the night.”

29:1-8 Ariel may signify the altar of burnt-offerings. Let Jerusalem know that outward religious services will not make men free from judgements. Hypocrites never can please God, nor make their peace with him. God had often and long, by a host of angels, encamped round about Jerusalem for protection and deliverance; but now he fought against it. Proud looks and proud language shall be brought down by humbling providences. The destruction of Jerusalem's enemies is foretold. The army of Sennacherib went as a dream; and thus the multitudes, that through successive ages fight against God's altar and worship, shall fall. Speedily will sinners awake from their soothing dreams in the pains of hell.Thou shalt be visited - This is an address to the mighty army of the Assyrian. Such transitions are not uncommon in the writings of Isaiah. His eye seems to have been directed in vision to the hosts of Sennacherib, and to their sudden dispersion and destruction Isaiah 29:5, and by a sudden, but not unnatural transition, he turns and addresses the army itself, with the assurance that it should be punished (compare Isaiah 30:30).

With thunder ... - The army of the Assyrian was cut off by an angel sent forth from God Isaiah 37:36. It is "possible" that all the agents here referred to may have been employed in the destruction of the Assyrian host, though they are not particularly specified in the history. But it is not absolutely. necessary to understand this verse in this manner. The image of thunder, earthquakes, and lightning, is an impressive representation of sudden and awful judgment in any manner. The sense is, that they should be suddenly destroyed by the direct visitation of God (see Isaiah 9:5; Isaiah 26:11).

And the flame of devouring fire - Lightning, that seems to "devour," or that suddenly consumes.

6. Thou—the Assyrian army.

thunder, &c.—not literally, in the case of the Assyrians (Isa 37:36); but figuratively for an awful judgment (Isa 30:30; 28:17). The ulterior fulfilment, in the case of the Jews' foes in the last days, may be more literal (see as to "earthquake," Zec 14:4).

Thou, O Ariel or Jerusalem, of or to whom this whole context manifestly speaks, shalt be visited with dreadful judgments, which are frequently expressed in the prophets by these and such-like metaphors. Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise,.... That is, not the multitude of strangers and terrible ones, unless they could be understood of the wicked among the Jews; but thou Ariel, or Jerusalem, shalt be punished by the Lord of hosts; for this visitation or punishment was from him, for their sins and iniquities; the Romans were only the instruments he made use of, and the executioners of his vengeance; which was attended with thunder in the heavens, a shaking of the earth, and a great noise or voice heard in the temple, saying, let us depart hence; at which time comets were seen in the heavens, and chariots and armed men in the air, and one of the gates of the temple opened of itself (r): it is added,

with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire; with which the temple was burnt by the Roman army, when it came in like a storm and tempest, and carried all before it.

(r) Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 5. sect. 5.

Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
6. See ch. Isaiah 30:27-33. The last words of Isaiah 29:5 should be read as part of this sentence. And suddenly, full suddenly, she shall be visited, &c. The word for “visit” is ambiguous, being freely used both of punishment and mercy, but the passive appears never to be employed in a good sense except here.Verse 6. - Thou shalt be visited; literally, shall there be a visitation. On whom the visitation will fall is not expressed; but the context shows that it is on the enemies of Judah. The terrible nature of the visitation is signified by an enumeration of the most fearful of God's judgments - "thunder, earthquake, great noise, whirlwind, tern-pest, and a flame of devouring fire." All the expressions are probably metaphorical. Again, the labour of the husbandman is just as manifold after the reaping has been done. "For the black poppy is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cummin; but black poppy is knocked out with a stick, and cummin with a staff. Is bread corn crushed? No; he does not go on threshing it for ever, and drive the wheel of his cart and his horses over it: he does not crush it. This also, it goeth forth from Jehovah of hosts: He gives wonderful intelligence, high understanding." Ki (for) introduces another proof that the husbandman is instructed by God, from what he still further does. He does not use the threshing machine (chârūts, syn. mōrag, Ar. naureg, nōreg), or the threshing cart (agâlâh: see Winer's Real-Wrterbuch, art. Dreschen), which would entirely destroy the more tender kinds of fruit, but knocks them out with a staff (baculo excutit: see at Isaiah 27:12). The sentence lechem yūdâq is to be accentuated as an interrogative: Is bread corn crushed? Oh no, he does not crush it. This would be the case if he were to cause the wheel (i.e., the wheels, gilgal, constr. to galgal) of the threshing cart with the horses harnessed in front to rattle over it with all their might (hâmam, to set in noisy violent motion). Lechem, like the Greek sitos, is corn from which bread is made (Isaiah 30:23; Psalm 104:14). אדושׁ is metaplastic (as if from אדשׁ) for דושׁ (see Ewald, 312, b). Instead of וּפרשׁיו, the pointing ought to be וּפרשׁיו (from פרשׁ with kametz before the tone equals Arab. faras, as distinguished from פרשׁ with a fixed kametz, equivalent to farras, a rider): "his horses," here the threshing horses, which were preferred to asses and oxen.Even in this treatment of the fruit when reaped, there is an evidence of the wonderful intelligence (הפלא), as written הפלא) and exalted understanding (on תּוּשׁהיה, from ושׁי, see at Job 26:3) imparted by God. The expression is one of such grandeur, that we perceive at once that the prophet has in his mind the wisdom of God in a higher sphere. The wise, divinely inspired course adopted by the husbandman in the treatment of the field and fruit, is a type of the wise course adopted by the divine Teacher Himself in the treatment of His nation. Israel is Jehovah's field. The punishments and chastisements of Jehovah are the ploughshare and harrow, with which He forcibly breaks up, turns over, and furrows this field. But this does not last for ever. When the field has been thus loosened, smoothed, and rendered fertile once more, the painful process of ploughing is followed by a beneficent sowing and planting in a multiform and wisely ordered fulness of grace. Again, Israel is Jehovah's child of the threshing-floor (see Isaiah 21:10). He threshes it; but He does not thresh it only: He also knocks; and when He threshes, He does not continue threshing for ever, i.e., as Caspari has well explained it, "He does not punish all the members of the nation with the same severity; and those whom He punishes with greater severity than others He does not punish incessantly, but as soon as His end is attained, and the husks of sin are separated from those that have been punished, and the punishment ceases, and only the worst in the nation, who are nothing but husks, and the husks on the nation itself, are swept away by the punishments" (compare Isaiah 1:25; Isaiah 29:20-21). This is the solemn lesson and affectionate consolation hidden behind the veil of the parable. Jehovah punishes, but it is in order that He may be able to bless. He sifts, but He does not destroy. He does not thresh His own people, but He knocks them; and even when He threshes, they may console themselves in the face of the approaching period of judgment, that they are never crushed or injured.
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