Isaiah 40:30
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) Even the youths . . .—The second word implies a nearer approach to manhood than the first, the age when vigour is at its highest point.

40:27-31 The people of God are reproved for their unbelief and distrust of God. Let them remember they took the names Jacob and Israel, from one who found God faithful to him in all his straits. And they bore these names as a people in covenant with Him. Many foolish frets, and foolish fears, would vanish before inquiry into the causes. It is bad to have evil thoughts rise in our minds, but worse to turn them into evil words. What they had known, and had heard, was sufficient to silence all these fears and distrusts. Where God had begun the work of grace, he will perfect it. He will help those who, in humble dependence on him, help themselves. As the day, so shall the strength be. In the strength of Divine grace their souls shall ascend above the world. They shall run the way of God's commandments cheerfully. Let us watch against unbelief, pride, and self-confidence. If we go forth in our own strength, we shall faint, and utterly fall; but having our hearts and our hopes in heaven, we shall be carried above all difficulties, and be enabled to lay hold of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.Even the youths shall faint - The most vigorous young men, those in whom we expect manly strength, and who are best suited to endure hardy toil. They become weary by labor. Their powers are soon exhausted. The design here is, to contrast the most vigorous of the human race with God, and to show that while all their powers fail, the power of God is unexhausted and inexhaustible.

And the young men - The word used here denotes properly "those who are chosen or selected" (בחוּרים bachûriym, Greek ἐκλεκτοὶ eklektoi), and may be applied to those who were selected or chosen for any hazardous enterprise, or dangerous achievement in war; those who would be selected for vigor or activity. The meaning is, that the most chosen or select of the human family - the most vigorous and manly, must be worn down by fatigue, or paralyzed by sickness or death; but that the powers of God never grow weary, and that those who trust in him should never become faint.

30. young men—literally, "those selected"; men picked out on account of their youthful vigor for an enterprise. The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves, or without God’s help, or which do not wait upon God; which is easily understood from the opposition in the following verse.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,.... Such as are in the prime of their strength, and glory in it, yet through the hand of God upon them, by one disease or another, their strength is weakened in the way; or they meet with that which they are not equal to, and sink under, and are discouraged, and obliged to desist. Some think the Babylonians and Chaldeans are here meant, the enemies of Israel, and by whom they were carried captive. The Targum interprets this clause, as well as the following, of wicked and ungodly men; and so do Jarchi and Kimchi: it may be applied to the Heathen emperors, who persecuted the church of God, and were smitten by him, and found it too hard a work to extirpate Christianity out of the world, which they thought to have done; and also to all the antichristian states, who have given their power and strength to the beast:

and the young men shall utterly fail; or, "falling shall fall" (f); stumble and fall, die and perish; or, however, not be able to perform their enterprise.

(f) "corruendo corruent", Montanus; "labefacti cadent", Castalio.

{f} Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

(f) They who trust in their own virtue, and do not acknowledge that all comes from God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. Even the youths shall faint …] Better: And though youths faint and are weary and choice young men stumble (the protasis to Isaiah 40:31). Natural strength at its best is exhausted, but—

Verse 30. - Shall faint... shall fall; rather, should even the youths faint and be weary, and should the young men utterly fall, yet they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, etc. The two clauses of ver. 30 are "concessive." Isaiah 40:30Faith is all that is needed to ensure a participation in the strength (עצמה after the form חכמה), which He so richly bestows and so powerfully enhances. "And youths grow faint and weary, and young men suffer a fall. But they who wait for Jehovah gain fresh strength; lift up their wings like eagles; run, and are not weary; go forward, and do not faint." Even youths, even young men in the early bloom of their morning of life (bachūrı̄m, youths, from בּחר, related to בּכר, בּגר), succumb to the effects of the loss of sustenance or over-exertion (both futures are defective, the first letter being dropped), and any outward obstacle is sufficient to cause them to fall (נכשׁל with inf. abs. kal, which retains what has been stated for contemplation, according to Ges. 131, 3, Anm. 2). In Isaiah 40:30 the verb stands first, Isaiah 40:30 being like a concessive clause in relation to Isaiah 40:31. "Even though this may happen, it is different with those who wait for Jehovah," i.e., those who believe in Him; for the Old Testament applies to faith a number of synonyms denoting trust, hope, and longing, and thus describes it according to its inmost nature, as fiducia and as hope, directed to the manifestation and completion of that which is hoped for. The Vav cop. introduces the antithesis, as in Isaiah 40:8. החליף, to cause one to pursue, or new to take the place of the old (Lat. recentare). The expression וגו יעלוּ is supposed by early translators, after the Sept., Targ. Jer., and Saad., to refer to the moulting of the eagle and the growth of the new feathers, which we meet with in Psalm 103:5 (cf., Micah 1:16) as a figurative representation of the renewal of youth through grace. But Hitzig correctly observes that העלה is never met with as the causative of the kal used in Isaiah 5:6, and moreover that it would require נוצה instead of אבר. The proper rendering therefore is, "they cause their wings to rise, or lift their wings high, like the eagles" ('ēbher as in Psalm 55:7). Their course of life, which has Jehovah for its object, is as it were possessed of wings. They draw from Him strength upon strength (see Psalm 84:8); running does not tire them, nor do they become faint from going ever further and further.

The first address, consisting of three parts (Isaiah 40:1-11, Isaiah 40:12-26, Isaiah 40:27-31), is here brought to a close.

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