Isaiah 34:12
They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.
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(12) They shall call the nobles thereof . . .—The monarchy of Edom seems to have been elective, its rulers being known, not as kings, but by the title which the English version renders by “dukes” (Genesis 36:15-43). It will be noticed that no chief in the list of dukes is the son of his predecessor. Isaiah fore tells as part of the utter collapse of Edom that there shall be neither electors nor any to elect.

34:9-17 Those who aim to ruin the church, can never do that, but will ruin themselves. What dismal changes sin can make! It turns a fruitful land into barrenness, a crowded city into a wilderness. Let us compare all we discover in the book of the Lord, with the dealings of providence around us, that we may be more diligent in seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the mouth of the Lord has commanded, his Spirit will perform. And let us observe how the evidences of the truth continually increase, as one prophecy after another is fulfilled, until these awful scenes bring in more happy days. As Israel was a figure of the Christian church, so the Edomites, their bitter enemies, represent the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. God's Jerusalem may be laid in ruins for a time, but the enemies of the church shall be desolate for ever.They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom - A more correct rendering of this would be, 'As to the nobles, they shall call them, but there shall be there no kingdom.' The idea is, that the kingdom would be desolate; there would be no people to rule. Or, there will be no nobles there who shall survive the destruction, and who can undertake the government of the state. The idea is taken from a government or constitution where the monarch is chosen from the ranks of the nobility. Idumea was formerly governed, as we have seen (see the Introduction to the chapter), by dukes or princes; and it is probable that when it became a monarchy it was a part of the constitution that the sovereign should be chosen from their ranks. The idea here is, that none would be left who could be called to the throne; or if any were left, they would be unwilling to undertake the government of a country where all was disorder and confusion.

And all her princes shall be nothing - Long since Idumea has ceased to be a kingdom, and there are neither nobles nor princes there, nor are there any remains of an organized and independent government.

12. Rather, "As to her nobles, there shall be none there who shall declare a kingdom," that is, a king [Maurer]; or else, "There shall be no one there whom they shall call to the kingdom" [Rosenmuller] (Isa 3:6, &c.). Idumea was at first governed by dukes (Ge 36:15); out of them the king wan chosen when the constitution became a monarchy. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there; they shall endeavour to heal their breaches, but in vain; the remnant of the people shall seek for any fit person, and offer the kingdom to him; but they shall not find any such who shall be willing to undertake the government.

Shall be nothing; either shall be lost and cut off, or shall have no courage or strength left in them. They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there,.... They shall call them to take upon them the kingdom and government, and there shall be none to do it, or that will care to do it; or rather there will be no kingdom to take unto them. The words may be rendered either, "as for the nobles thereof, not there a kingdom shall they be called" (p); or, "the nobles shall call"; or, "they shall call the nobles", and "there shall be no kingdom" (q); the kingdom of the beast, as it is called, Revelation 16:10 shall be no more; and though the cardinals, who are like to nobles, may call for it, and expect it, or be called to it, yet to no purpose; this kingdom will not only be full of darkness, but utterly destroyed:

and all her princes shall be nothing; shall come to nothing; the above mentioned cardinals, who are clothed and live like princes, these shall be no more; the same with the merchants of the earth, which like the merchants of Tyre are princes, Revelation 18:3.

(p) "nobiles ejus, et non ibi regnum vocabuntur", Forerius. (q) "Ingenuos ejus vocabunt, et non erit ibi regnum", Tigurine version.

{m} They shall call her nobles to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.

(m) Meaning, here will be neither order nor policy nor state of commonwealth.

12. They shall call the nobles … there] A very obscure sentence, probably through a defect in the text. The rendering of E.V. might be maintained if with Prof. Weir we suppose a transposition of words in the original; the inference being that the monarchy in Edom was elective (cf. Genesis 36:31 ff.). More likely, however, “her nobles” is the subject of a sentence the rest of which is now lost; and the following words are to be translated “and there is no kingdom there which they may proclaim.”Verse 12. - They shall call the nobles, etc.; rather, as for her nobles, there shall be none there for them to call to the kingdom. The nobles are termed horim, probably because the right of succession to the kingdom was vested in the descendants of the Horites, from whom the Edomites took their territory (Genesis 36:20, 29, 30). These having died out, there would be no one to appoint as king. If we bear this in mind, we shall not be surprised that the prophet gives the following reason for the passing away of the present heavens. "For my sword has become intoxicated in the heaven; behold, it comes down upon Edom, and upon the people of my ban to judgment. The sword of Jehovah fills itself with blood, is fattened with fat, with blood of lambs and he-goats, with kidney-fat of rams; for Jehovah has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. And buffaloes fall with them, and bullocks together with bulls; and their land become intoxicated with blood, and their dust fattened with fat." Just as in chapter 63 Jehovah is represented as a treader of the wine-press, and the nations as the grapes; so here He is represented as offering sacrifice, and the nations as the animals offered (zebhach: cf., Zephaniah 1:7; Jeremiah 46:10); Ezekiel 39:17.: all three passages founded upon this). Jehovah does not appear here in person as judge, as He does there, but His sword appears; just as in Genesis 3:24, the "sword which turned every way" is mentioned as an independent power standing by the side of the cherub. The sword is His executioner, which has no sooner drunk deeply of wrath in heaven, i.e., in the immediate sphere of the Deity (rivvethâh, an intensive form of the kal, like pittēăch, Isaiah 48:8; Ewald, 120, d), than it comes down in wild intoxication upon Edom, the people of the ban of Jehovah, i.e., the people upon whom He has laid the ban, and there, as His instrument of punishment, fills itself with blood, and fattens itself with fat. הדּשׁנה is the hothpaal equals התדּשׁנה, with the ת of the preformative syllable assimilated (compare הזּכּוּ in Isaiah 1:16, and אדּמּה in Isaiah 14:14). The penultimate has the tone, the nâh being treated as in the plural forms of the future. The dropping of the dagesh in the שׁ eht ni hse is connected with this. The reading מחלב, in Isaiah 34:6, is an error that has been handed down in modern copies (in opposition to both codices and ancient editions); for חלב (primary form, chilb) is the only form met with in the Old Testament. The lambs, he-goats, and rams, represent the Edomitish nation, which is compared to these smaller sacrificial animals. Edom and Bozrah are also placed side by side in Isaiah 63:1. The latter was one of the chief cities of the Edomites (Genesis 36:33; Amos 1:12; Jeremiah 49:13, Jeremiah 49:22) - not the Bozrah in Auranitis (Haurân), however, which is well known in church history, but Bozrah in the mountains of Edom, upon the same site as the village of Buzaire (i.e., Minor Bozrah), which is still surrounded by its ruins. In contrast with the three names of the smaller animals in Isaiah 34:6, the three names of oxen in Isaiah 34:7 represent the lords of Edom. They also will fall, smitten by the sword (yâredū: cf., Jeremiah 50:27; Jeremiah 51:40; also Jeremiah 48:15). The feast of the sword is so abundant, that even the earth and the dust of the land of Edom are satiated with blood and fat.
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