Behold, all they that were incensed against you shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with you shall perish.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Behold . . .—The choice of the Servant has, as its complement, the indignation of Jehovah against those who attack him, and this thought is emphasised by a four-fold iteration. “They that strive with thee, &c,” represents the Hebrew idiom, the men of thy conflict, which stands emphatically at the end of each clause.
Shall be ashamed and confounded - To be ashamed and confounded is often used as synonymous with being overcome and destroyed.Shall be ashamed and confounded, both because their hopes and designs shall be utterly disappointed, and because the mischief which they contrived against thee shall fall upon themselves.
Shall be as nothing; shall come to nothing, or perish, as the next clause explains it.
shall be ashamed and confounded; their idols not being able to help them, nor they to defend the worship of them: the same is said with respect to Christ, Isaiah 45:24,
they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish; or, "the men of thy strife" (o); all shall come to nothing, and utterly perish, as to their persons, substance, power, and dignity; as did the Roman emperors, the persecutors of God's people.Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11–13. Humanly speaking Israel has cause for fear, being surrounded by opponents; but they shall be put to utter confusion.
11f. incensed] lit. “inflamed,” as in ch. Isaiah 45:24; Song of Solomon 1:6. The precise form occurs only in these passages.
they that strive … them that contend … they that war] Lit. men of thy contention … strife … warfare; a climax which Delitzsch renders by adversarii, inimici, hostes. These expressions are emphatic and stand at the end of their respective clauses, and to each are attached two (logical) predicates; hence in Isaiah 41:11 we should read (as R.V. nearly): they shall be as nothing, and shall perish—the men etc.
thou shalt seek and not find them that &c.] Cf. ch. Isaiah 33:18.Verses 11, 12. - As Israel would grow strong through God's help, so her enemies would grow weak through God's disfavour. That enemies of all kinds may be seen to be included, the designation is four times varied - "they that are angry with thee;" "that are at strife with thee;" "that are in conflict with thee;" "that are at war with thee." The order is one of climax. Similarly, with each augmentation of the hostility there is an augmentation of the sentence of punishment - "shall be covered with shame;" "shall perish;" "shall not be found;" "shall become as nothingness." Isaiah 41:5 "Islands have seen it, and shuddered; the ends of the earth trembled; they have approached, and drawn near." We have here a description of the effects which the victorious course of Cyrus had begun to produce in the heathen world. The perfects denote the past, and the futures a simultaneous past; so that we have not to compare Isaiah 41:5 with Habakkuk 3:10 so much as with Psalm 77:17. The play upon the words וייראּוּ ... ראּוּ pairs together both seeing and fearing. The Cumaeans, when consulting the oracle, commenced thus: ἡμεῖς δὲ δειμαίνοντες τὴν Περσέων δύναμιν. The perfect with the aorist following in Isaiah 41:5 places the following picture upon the stage: They have approached and drawn near (from all directions) to meet the threatening danger; and how? Isaiah 41:6, Isaiah 41:7 "One helped his companion, and he said to his brother, Only firm! The caster put firmness into the melter, the hammer-smoother into the anvil-smiter, saying of the soldering, It is good; and made him firm with nails, that he should not shake." Him, viz., the idol. Everything is in confusion, from the terror that prevails; and the gods from which they expect deliverance are not made till now, the workmen stimulating one another to work. The chârâsh, who casts the image, encourages the tsōrēph, whose task it is to provide it with the plating of gold and silver chains (Isaiah 40:19), to work more bravely; and the man who smooths with the hammer (pattish, instrumentalis) does the same to the man who smites the anvil (הולם with seghol, whereas in other cases, e.g., Ezekiel 22:25, the tone generally gives way without any change in the vowel-pointing). The latter finds the soldering all right, by which the gold plates of the covering are fastened together, so as to give to the golden idol a massive appearance. He is the last into whose hands it comes; and nothing more is wanting, than that he should forge upon the anvil the nails with which it is fastened, to prevent it from falling. To such foolish, fruitless proceedings have the nations resorted when threatened with subjugation by Cyrus.
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