Isaiah 3:8
For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
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(8) For Jerusalem is ruined . . .—The outward evils of the kingdom are traced to their true source. Men have provoked, in the prophet’s bold anthropomorphic language, “the eyes of His glory,” the manifestation of His being as All-knowing, Almighty, All-holy.

3:1-9 God was about to deprive Judah of every stay and support. The city and the land were to be made desolate, because their words and works had been rebellious against the Lord; even at his holy temple. If men do not stay themselves upon God, he will soon remove all other supports, and then they must sink. Christ is the Bread of life and the Water of life; if he be our Stay, we shall find that is a good part not to be taken away, Joh 6:27. Here note, 1. That the condition of sinners is exceedingly woful. 2. It is the soul that is damaged by sin. 3. Whatever evil befals sinners, be sure that they bring it on themselves.For Jerusalem ... - The prophet proceeds to show the cause of this state of things. 'These are the words of the prophet, and not of him who was chosen leader.' - "Jerome."

Is ruined - It would be so ruined, and the prospect of preserving it would be so completely taken away, that no one could be induced to undertake to defend and protect it.

Judah - The kingdom of Judah, of which Jerusalem was the capital; Note Isaiah 1:1.

Is fallen - Hebrew, "falls;" that is, is about to fall - as a tower or a tree falls to ruin. If the "capital" fell and was ruined, the kingdom would also fall as a matter of course.

Because their tongue ... - This is the "reason" why Judah was ruined. By word and deed - that is, in every way they opposed God. The "tongue" here represents their "language," their manner of speaking. It was proud, haughty, rebellious, perhaps blasphemous.

To provoke - To irritate; to offend.

The eyes of his glory - This is a Hebrew expression to denote "his glorious eyes." The eye quickly expresses anger or indignation. We perceive these passions in the flashing of the eye sooner than in any other part of the countenance. Hence, to "provoke the eyes," is an expression signifying simply to excite to anger, or to excite him to punish them. Lowth proposes to render this 'to provoke the cloud of his glory' - referring to the Shekinah or cloud that rested over the ark in the temple. By a slight variation of the Hebrew text, reading ענן ‛ânân instead of עני ‛ēnēy, it may be so read, and the Syriac so translates it: but the change in the Hebrew text does not seem to be authorized.

8. Reason given by the prophet, why all shrink from the government.

eyes of his glory—to provoke His "glorious" Majesty before His "eyes" (compare Isa 49:5; Hab 1:13). The Syriac and Lowth, by a slight change of the Hebrew, translate, "the cloud of His glory," the Shekinah.

Of his glorious majesty, whom they ought to reverence and adore. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, This is a reason given why the government of them is refused; they were fallen into such a ruinous condition, that there was no probability of recovering them. And the reason of this their fall and ruin is,

because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord; against the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they reproached and vilified as an impostor, a blasphemer, and a seditious person; and whom they spit upon, buffeted, scourged, and crucified:

to provoke the eyes of his glory; whose glory, as seen by some in the days of his humiliation, was as the glory of the only begotten of the Father; and, upon his ascension, he was crowned with glory and honour: and as his eyes saw, as well as his ears heard, all their blasphemy and wickedness; so they refusing to have him to reign over them, he was provoked to come in his kingdom with power, and cause his wrath to fall upon them to the uttermost, in the destruction of their country, city, and temple.

For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
8. Jerusalem is ruined] A reference to the “ruin,” Isaiah 3:6.

their tongue and their doings] In word and deed they defy Jehovah and provoke the eyes of His glory. Cf. Habakkuk 1:13, “of too pure eyes to behold evil.”

8, 9. The ruin so vividly depicted is to the prophet’s mind as certain as if it had been already accomplished, because the moral condition of the country, and especially of its present rulers, is one that Jehovah cannot tolerate. The perfects in Isaiah 3:8 are those of prophetic certainty.Verses 8-26. - THE CAUSE OF THE JUDGMENT SHOWN TO BE THE SINS OF JERUSALEM.

1. The sins of the men. (Vers. 8-15). These are declared to be partly sins of speech, but mainly sins of act (ver. 8). Of sins of speech the only one specified is the open and shameless declaration of their wickedness (ver. 9). Under the head of sins of act are enumerated

(1) childishness and effeminacy;

(2) irreligion and leading people away from God (ver. 12);

(3) oppression of the poor and afflicted (vers. 14, 15).

The enumeration of the sins is mixed with exhortation and comment in such a way as to give rise to the conjecture that we have here, not the original prophecy as the author penned it, but a later "summary" of several prophetical discourses, which summary itself is "a little fragmentary" (Cheyne). Verse 8. - Jerusalem is ruined; or, has come to ruin - the "perfect of prophetic certainty" (Cheyne) - (comp. Amos 5:2, "The virgin of Israel is fallen"). Their tongue and their doings. Sins of the tongue are denounced in the Old Testament as well as in the New, though not, perhaps, so frequently (see Exodus 20:7; Exodus 21:17; Exodus 22:28; Exodus 23:1, 2; Psalm 31:18; Psalm 94:4, etc.). To provoke the eyes of his glory. This is an unusual metaphor. God's glory seems here to be identified with himself, as being of his very essence; and thus "provoking the eyes of his glory" is simply provoking him to look on them with anger. "Hero and man of war, judge and prophet, and soothsayer and elder; captains of fifty, and the highly distinguished, and counsellors, and masters in art, and those skilled in muttering." As the state had grown into a military state under Uzziah-Jotham, the prophet commences in both vv. with military officers, viz., the gibbor, i.e., commanders whose bravery had been already tried; the "man of war" (ish imlchâmâh), i.e., private soldiers who had been equipped and well trained (see Ezekiel 39:20); and the "captain of fifty" (sar Chamisshim), leaders of the smallest divisions of the army, consisting of only fifty men (pentekontarchos, 2 Kings 1:9, etc.). The prominent members of the state are all mixed up together; "the judge" (shophet), i.e., the officers appointed by the government to administer justice; "the elder" (zâkēn), i.e., the heads of families and the senators appointed by the town corporations; the "counsellor" (yōetz), those nearest to the king; the "highly distinguished" (nesu panim), lit., those whose personal appearance (panim) was accepted, i.e., welcome and regarded with honour (Saad.: wa'gı̄h, from wa'gh, the face of appearance), that is to say, persons of influence, not only on account of their office, but also on account of wealth, age, goodness, etc.; "masters in art" (Chacam Charâshim: lxx σοφὸς ἀρχιτέκτων ), or, as Jerome has very well rendered it, in artibus mechanicis exercitatus easque callide tractans (persons well versed in mechanical arts, and carrying them out with skill). In the Chaldean captivities skilled artisans are particularly mentioned as having been carried away (2 Kings 24:14.; Jeremiah 24:1; Jeremiah 29:2); so that there can be no doubt whatever that Charâshim (from Cheresh) is to be understood as signifying mechanical and not magical arts, as Gesenius, Hitzig, and Meier suppose, and therefore that Chacam Charâshim does not mean "wizards," as Ewald renders it (Chărâshim is a different word from Chârâshim, fabri, from Chârâsh, although in 1 Chronicles 4:14, cf., Nehemiah 11:35, the word is regularly pointed חרשׁים even in this personal sense). Moreover, the rendering "wizards" produces tautology, inasmuch as masters of the black art are cited as nebon lachash, "skilled in muttering." Lachash is the whispering or muttering of magical formulas; it is related both radically and in meaning to nachash, enchantment (Arabic nachs, misfortune); it is derived from lachash, sibilare, to hiss (a kindred word to nâchash; hence nâchâsh, a serpent). Beside this, the masters of the black art are also represented as kosem, which, in accordance with the radical idea of making fast, swearing, conjuring, denoted a soothsayer following heathen superstitions, as distinguished from the nabi, of false Jehovah prophet (we find this as early as Deuteronomy 18:10, Deuteronomy 18:14).

(Note: According to the primary meaning of the whole thema, which is one of hardness, rigidity, firmness, aksama (hi. of kâsam) signifies, strictly speaking, to make sure, i.e., to swear, either by swearing to the truth and certainty of a thing, or by making a person swear that he will do or not do a certain thing, by laying as it were a kasam upon him. The kal, on the other hand (kasama), gets its meaning to divide from the turn given to the radical idea in the substantive kism, which signifies, according to the original lexicographers, something fixed ( equals nası̄b), definite, i.e., a definite portion. There is just the same association of ideas in ‛azama as in aksama, namely, literally to be firm or make firm, i.e., to direct one's will firmly towards an object or place; also to direct one's will firmly towards a person, to adjure him to do a thing or not to do it; sometimes with a softer meaning, to urge or invite a person to anything, at other times to recite conjuring formulas (‛azâim.)

These came next to bread and water, and were in a higher grade the props of the state. They are mixed together in this manner without regular order, because the powerful and splendid state was really a quodlibet of things Jewish and heathen; and when the wrath of Jehovah broke out, the godless glory would soon become a mass of confusion.

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