Isaiah 3:14
The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for you have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
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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!With the ancients ... - With the old men, the counselors.

Ye have eaten up the vineyard - Hebrew 'Ye have burnt up' - that is, you have oonsumed or destroyed it. By the vineyard is represented the Jewish republic or people; Psalm 80:9-13; compare the notes at Isaiah 5:1-7. The princes and rulers had, by their exactions and oppressions, ruined the people, and destroyed the country.

The spoil of the poor - The "plunder" of the poor; or that which you have taken from the poor by exactions and oppressions. The word "spoil" commonly means the plunder or booty which is obtained in war.

14. ancients—Hence they are spoken of as "taken away" (Isa 3:1, 2).

vineyard—the Jewish theocracy (Isa 5:1-7; Ps 80:9-13).

eaten up—"burnt"; namely, by "oppressive exactions" (Isa 3:12). Type of the crowning guilt of the husbandmen in the days of Jesus Christ (Mt 21:34-41).

spoil … houses—(Mt 23:14).

The ancients; the princes or rulers, as it is explained in the next clause, who are oft called elders, because such were commonly and fitly chosen out of those who were ripe in years.

Eaten up; destroyed instead of preserving and dressing it, as you should have done.

The vineyard; the church and commonwealth of Israel, which is oft called God’s vineyard, as Psalm 80:8,14,15 Isa 5:1 Jeremiah 2:21, &c., and here the vineyard, by way of eminency; or, the vineyard which was committed to your care to keep.

The spoil of the poor; the goods which you have violently taken away from the poor. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof,.... Both civil and ecclesiastical; the princes, chief priests, and elders of the people, who set themselves and took counsel together against the Lord and his Christ; would not suffer the people to be gathered to him; sought his life, and at last took it away.

For ye have eaten up the vineyard, or burnt it (p); the house of Israel, and of Judah compared to a vineyard, in a following chapter; and so the Targum,

"ye have oppressed my people;''

these are the husbandmen our Lord speaks of, that beat the servants that were sent for the fruits of the vineyard, and at last killed the heir, Matthew 21:34.

The spoil of the poor is in your houses; the Pharisees devoured widows' houses, and filled their own, with the spoil of them, Matthew 23:14.

(p) "succendistis", Vatablus, Montanus.

The LORD will enter into judgment with the {l} elders of his people, and with their princes: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

(l) Meaning that the rulers and governors had destroyed his Church and not preserved it, according to their duty.

14. Those immediately arraigned are the “elders and princes,” the authorities responsible for the national welfare.

for ye have eaten up] Rather, And you—ye have eaten up. The indignant remonstrance of Jehovah commences at this point. The image of the vineyard is fully explained in ch. Isaiah 5:1-7. The point of the accusation here is that those who should have kept the vineyard from the intrusion of wild beasts have themselves devoured it.

the spoil … houses] the evidence of their sin.Verse 14. - The ancients... the princes. These were the chief oppressors. They delivered the judgments, and it was by them that justice was perverted. Jehovah therefore enters specially into judgment with them. For ye have eaten up; rather, So ye have eaten up. Jehovah is supposed to address the unjust judges. He reproaches them with having "eaten up," or rather "scorched up," his vineyard, i.e. Israel (comp. Isaiah 5:1-7), and taxes them with having still their ill-gotten gains in their houses. "So ye," he says, "have thus acted - ye whose duty it was to have acted so differently." The prophet then proceeds, in Isaiah 3:8-12, to describe this deep, tragical misery as a just retribution."For Jerusalem is ruined and Judah fallen; because their tongue and their doings (are) against Jehovah, to defy the eyes of His glory." Jerusalem as a city is feminine, according to the usual personification; Judah as a people is regarded as masculine.

(Note: As a rule, the name of a people (apart from the personification of the people as beth, a house) is only used as a feminine, when the name of the land stands for the nation itself (see Gesenius, Lehrbegr. p. 469).)

The two preterites Câs'lah and nâphal express the general fact, which occasioned such scenes of misery as the one just described. The second clause, beginning with "because" (Chi), is a substantive clause, and attributes the coming judgment not to future sin, but to sin already existing. "Again Jehovah:" אל is used to denote a hostile attitude, as in Isaiah 2:4; Genesis 4:8; Numbers 32:14; Joshua 10:6. The capital and the land are against Jehovah both in word and deed, "to defy the eyes of His glory" (lamroth ‛ēnē Chebodo). עני is equivalent to עיני; and lamroth is a syncopated hiphil, as in Isaiah 23:11, and like the niphal in Isaiah 1:12 : we find the same form of the same word in Psalm 78:17. The kal mârâh, which is also frequently construed with the accusative, signifies to thrust away in a refractory manner; the hiphil himrâh, to treat refractorily, literally to set one's self rigidly in opposition, obniti; mar, stringere, to draw tightly, with which unquestionably the meaning bitter as an astringent is connected, though it does not follow that mârâh, himrâh, and hemar (Exodus 23:21) can be rendered παραπικραίνειν, as they have been in the Septuagint, since the idea of opposing, resisting, fighting in opposition, is implied in all these roots, with distinct reference to the primary meaning. The Lamed is a shorter expression instead of למען, which is the term generally employed in such circumstances (Amos 2:7; Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 32:29). But what does the prophet mean by "the eyes of His glory?" Knobel's assertion, that Châbod is used here for the religious glory, i.e., the holiness of God, is a very strange one, since the Châbod of God is invariably the fiery, bright doxa which reveals Him as the Holy One. but his remark does not meet the question, inasmuch as it does not settle the point in dispute, whether the expression "the eyes of His glory" implies that the glory itself has eyes, or the glory is a quality of the eyes. The construction is certainly not a different one from "the arm of His glory" in Isaiah 52:10, so that it is to be taken as an attribute. But this suggests the further question, what does the prophet mean by the glory-eyes or glorious eyes of Jehovah? If we were to say the eyes of Jehovah are His knowledge of the world, it would be impossible to understand how they could be called holy, still less how they could be called glorious. This abstract explanation of the anthropomorphisms cannot be sustained. The state of the case is rather the following. The glory (Châbod) of God is that eternal and glorious morphē which His holy nature assumes, and which men must picture to themselves anthropomorphically, because they cannot imagine anything superior to the human form. In this glorious form Jehovah looks upon His people with eyes of glory. His pure but yet jealous love, His holy love which breaks out in wrath against all who meet it with hatred instead of with love, is reflected therein.

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