Isaiah 40:30
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
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(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.

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." This is followed by a series of predicates of God the Ruler of the universe. "He who giveth up rulers to annihilation; maketh judges of the earth like a desolation. They are hardly planted, hardly sown, their stem has hardly taken root in the earth, and He only blows upon them, and they dry up, and the storm carries them away like stubble." There is nothing so high and inaccessible in the world, that He cannot bring it to nothing, even in the midst of its most self-confident and threatening exaltation. Rōzenı̄m are solemn persons, σεμνοί, possessors of the greatest distinction and influence; shōphelı̄m, those who combine in themselves the highest judicial and administrative power. The former He gives up to annihilation; the latter He brings into a condition resembling the negative state of the tōhū out of which the world was produced, and to which it can be reduced again. We are reminded here of such descriptions as Job 12:17, Job 12:24. The suddenness of the catastrophe is depicted in Isaiah 40:24. אף בּל (which only occurs here), when followed by וגם in the apodosis (cf., 2 Kings 20:4), signifies that even this has not yet taken place when the other also occurs: hence vixdum plantati sunt, etc. The niphal נטּע and the pual זרע denote the hopeful commencement; the poelשׁרשׁ the hopeful continuation. A layer or seed excites the hope of blossom and fruit, more especially when it has taken root; but nothing more is needed than a breath of Jehovah, and it is all over with it (the verb nâshaph is used in this verse, where plants with stems are referred to; a verb with a softer labial, nâshabh, was employed above in connection with grass and flowers). A single withering breath lays them at rest; and by the power of Jehovah there rises a stormy wind, which carries them away like light dry stubble (נשׂא); compare, on the other hand, the verb used in Isaiah 40:15, viz., tūl equals nâtal, to lift up, to keep in the air).
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