Isaiah 3:10
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
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Isaiah 3:10-11. Say ye to the righteous — O ye priests and Levites, in your sermons and exhortations to the people; that it shall be well with him — Even when it is ill with the wicked, and with the nation in general; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings — God will be their safeguard and portion in the common calamity; therefore let them not fear, but let them commit themselves, and their all, to his protection, and resign themselves up to his disposal. They shall either be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger, or shall have divine supports and comforts, which shall abound in proportion as trials and troubles abound. “This is an admirable sentence to support the souls of the pious, amidst all the calamities of this life. God will not forsake those who truly love and serve him. This, reason teaches us; this, the experience of all times confirms; and it is the constant and comfortable doctrine of the word of God. The event must and will be happy to the good man.” Wo unto the wicked, &c. — These heavy judgments are designed against them, and shall certainly find them out, though here they be mixed with the righteous. As happiness, either in this world or the next, is, by the divine determination, the certain consequence of righteousness, so the contrary is the certain consequence of wickedness.

3:10-15 The rule was certain; however there might be national prosperity or trouble, it would be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked. Blessed be God, there is abundant encouragement to the righteous to trust in him, and for sinners to repent and return to him. It was time for the Lord to show his might. He will call men to a strict account for all the wealth and power intrusted to and abused by them. If it is sinful to disregard the necessities of the poor, how odious and wicked a part do they act, who bring men into poverty, and then oppress them!Say ye to the righteous - The meaning of this verse and the following is sufficiently plain, though expositors have given some variety of interpretation. They declare a great principle of the divine administration similar to what is stated in Isaiah 1:19-20. Lowth reads it, 'Pronounce ye a blessing on the just; verily good (shall be to him).'

That it shall be well ... - The word rendered 'well,' means 'good.' The sense evidently is, that in the divine administration it shall be well to be righteous. The Septuagint has rendered this in a remarkable manner, connecting it with the previous verse: 'Wo unto their soul, for they take evil counsel among themselves, saying, 'Let us bind the righteous, for he is troublesome unto us:' therefore, they shall eat the fruit of their doings.'

They shall eat ... - That is, they shall receive the appropriate "reward" of their works, and that reward shall be happiness. As a farmer who sows his field and cultivates his farm, eats the fruit of his labor, so shall it be with the righteous. A similar expression is found in Proverbs 1:31 :

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way,

And be filled with their own devices.

Also Jeremiah 6:19 : 'I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thought;' compare Galatians 6:8.

10. The faithlessness of many is no proof that all are faithless. Though nothing but croaking of frogs is heard on the surface of the pool, we are not to infer there are no fish beneath [Bengel]. (See Isa 1:19, 20).

fruit of doings—(Pr 1:31) in a good sense (Ga 6:8; Re 22:14). Not salvation by works, but by fruit-bearing faith (Isa 45:24; Jer 23:6). Gesenius and Weiss translate, Declare as to the righteous that, &c. Maurer, "Say that the righteous is blessed."

Say ye: God hath said it, and doth now by me say it; and you, O ye priests and Levites, say it in your sermons to the people.

They shall eat the fruit of their doings; let not them fear, for God will be their safeguard and portion in the common calamity.

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him,.... The Lord always has some righteous ones, in the worst of times, whom he can and does distinguish, single out, and take care of; and it is his will that they should be comforted by his prophets and ministers, who seem to be the persons to whom these words are directed, lest they should be distressed with what is said unto, and what they see is coming upon, the world, or upon a nation in general: and it will be, and is well with such, when calamities are on a nation, in a time of famine, war, or pestilence, under any affliction whatever at death, and at judgment, and to all eternity; the Lord has the highest regard for them; Christ's righteousness, by which they are denominated righteous, secures them from wrath, and entitles them to glory; they are blessed now, and will be happy hereafter. So the Targum,

"say ye to the righteous, ye are blessed,''

pronounce them such as they are: some render it, "say to the righteous, that he do good" (i); exhort him, excite and encourage him, to it; such who have believed in Christ for righteousness ought to be careful to maintain good works: others, "say to the righteous", own him, speak well of him, "for it is good"; or say to him, "that he is good" (k), a happy man. The Septuagint and Arabic versions, very foreign from the text, and sense of it, render the words, "saying, let us bind the just man, for he is unprofitable to us"; as if they were the words of the wicked Jews, respecting Christ, the just One, so called sarcastically by them: and the reason of the righteous man's happiness follows:

for they shall eat the fruit of their doings: both of what Christ has done for them, as their Head and representative, by whose righteousness they are justified; and of what they have done themselves, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; which being done from a principle of grace, are rewarded with a reward of grace, and not of debt; such enjoy a peace of conscience now, which is the work and effect of righteousness, and shall receive the reward of the inheritance, which is not of the law, but by promise, and of faith, and so by grace.

(i) "quod bene agat", Vatablus. (k) "Dicite justum, quod bonus beatusque est", Cocceius.

{i} Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

(i) You that are godly be assured that God will defend you in the midst of these troubles.

10. Say ye to the righteous] R.V. “say ye of the righteous.” But with a slight change in the consonantal text we may read Happy is the righteous! for it is well [with him]. The Heb. would then present an exact parallel to the beginning of the next verse.

10, 11. The exclamation at the end of Isaiah 3:9 leads to a statement of the universal law of divine retribution. The verses are thought by some to be interpolated, and even Dillmann admits that they fit but loosely into the context.

Verse 10. - Say ye to the righteous. The mention of the fact that the men of Jerusalem have permanently injured their moral natures by sin, and thus "rewarded evil to themselves," leads the prophet to declare at this point, parenthetically, the general law, which extends alike to the evil and the good - that men receive in themselves the recompense of their deeds. The righteous raise their moral nature, become better, and, in becoming better, become happier. "It is well with them, for of the fruit of their doings they eat." The wicked deprave and corrupt themselves, lower their moral nature, become worse than they were, and, in becoming worse, become more miserable. "Woe unto them! with them it is ill; for the achievement of their hands is given them." Isaiah 3:10The prophet's meaning is evident enough. But inasmuch as it is the curse of sin to distort the knowledge of what is most obvious and self-evident, and even to take it entirely away, the prophet dwells still longer upon the fact that all sinning is self-destruction and self-murder, placing this general truth against its opposite in a palillogical Johannic way, and calling out to his contemporaries in Isaiah 3:10, Isaiah 3:11 : "Say of the righteous, that it is well with him; for they will enjoy the fruit of their doings. Woe to the wicked! it is ill; for what his hands have wrought will be done to him." We cannot adopt the rendering "Praise the righteous," proposed by Vitringa and other modern commentators; for although âmar is sometimes construed with the accusative of the object (Psalm 40:11; Psalm 145:6, Psalm 145:11), it never means to praise, but to declare (even in Psalm 40:11). We have here what was noticed from Genesis 1:4 onwards - namely, the obvious antiptsis or antiphonsis in the verbs ראה (cf., Isaiah 22:9; Exodus 2:2), ידע (1 Kings 5:17), and אמר (like λέγειν, John 9:9): dicite justum quod bonus equals dicite justum esse bonum (Ewald, 336, b). The object of sight, knowledge, or speech, is first of all mentioned in the most general manner; then follows the qualification, or more precise definition. טוב, and in Isaiah 3:11 רע (רע without the pause), might both of them be the third pers. pret. of the verbs, employed in a neuter sense: the former signifying, it is well, viz., with him (as in Deuteronomy 5:30; Jeremiah 22:15-16); the latter, it is bad (as in Psalm 106:32). But it is evident from Jeremiah 44:17 that הוּא טוב and הוּא רע may be used in the sense of καλῶς (κακῶς) ἔχει, and that the two expressions are here thought of in this way, so that there is no לו to be supplied in either case. The form of the first favours this; and in the second the accentuation fluctuates between אוי tiphchah לרשׁע munach, and the former with merka, the latter tiphchah. At the same time, the latter mode of accentuation, which is favourable to the personal rendering of רע, is supported by editions of some worth, such as Brescia 1494, Pesaro 1516, Venice 1515, 1521, and is justly preferred by Luzzatto and Br. The summary assertions, The righteous is well, the wicked ill, are both sustained by their eventual fate, in the light of which the previous misfortune of the righteous appears as good fortune, and the previous good fortune of the wicked as misfortune. With an allusion to this great difference in their eventual fate, the word "say," which belongs to both clauses, summons to an acknowledgment of the good fortune of the one and the misfortune of the other. O that Judah and Jerusalem would acknowledge their to their own salvation before it was too late! For the state of the poor nation was already miserable enough, and very near to destruction.
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