Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient to his law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Who gave Jacob for a spoil . . .?—The sufferers, whether in the nearer or more distant exile, are reminded that they have brought their sufferings upon themselves, and that it is Jehovah who sends them in the wrath which, as aiming at their restoration, is but another aspect of His love.
Jacob … Israel … we—change from the third to the first person; Isaiah first speaking to them as a prophet, distinct from them; then identifying himself with them, and acknowledging His share in the nation's sins (compare Jos 5:1).Jeremiah 7:4, &c., and elsewhere; for as God hath punished you formerly, doubt not but if you continue to sin, he will proceed in punishing you more and more for your sins.
did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? he did, but not without cause; he was justly provoked to it by the sins of the Jews, which were the meritorious and procuring causes of it; yet the Roman army could not have taken their city and plundered it had it not been the will of God, who for their sins, delivered it up to them; even Titus, the Heathen emperor, himself saw the hand of God in it, and acknowledged it;
"God favouring us (says he (c)) we have made war; it is God that drew the Jews out of those fortresses; for what could human hands and machines do against such towers?''
for they would not walk in his ways; in Christ, the way, the truth, and the life; nor in the ways of his commandments; or in the ordinances of the Gospel; all which they rejected:
neither were they obedient unto his law; or "doctrine" (d); the doctrine of the Gospel, particularly the doctrine of justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ; they went about to establish their own righteousness, and did not submit to his; and also every other doctrine respecting the person, office, and grace of Christ, whom they disbelieved, and refused to receive.Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24, 25. The enigma of Israel’s history is that Jehovah its God has given it over to its enemies,—a truth which the nation as a whole has never yet laid to heart.
for a spoil] A better reading (which is probably that intended by the consonantal text) is to the spoiler. (Cf. ch. Isaiah 10:13.)
did not the Lord] The whole of this answer is regarded by Duhm and Cheyne as spurious. Its removal gets rid of an awkward alternation of persons, and enables us to read Isaiah 42:25 as a continuation of the question in the first part of Isaiah 42:24. But Duhm goes too far when he objects to the substance of the answer, on the ground that so explicit a confession of sin is improbable before ch. Isaiah 43:1 ff. The two last clauses are to be translated as relatives, and in whose ways they would not walk (so R.V.), and whose law they would not obey.Verse 24. - Jacob... Israel (comp. Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 41:8, 14; Isaiah 43:1, etc.), He against whom we have sinned. The prophet identifies himself with his people in loving sympathy, just as Daniel does in Daniel 9:5-15, and Ezra in Ezra 9:6-15, of their respective books (comp. also Isaiah 59:9-13). Isaiah 42:16, "I will bring the blind by a way." It is the blind whom Jehovah will lead into the light of liberty, the blind who bring upon themselves not only His compassion, but also His displeasure; for it is their own fault that they do not see. And to them is addressed the summons, to free themselves from the ban which is resting upon them. "Ye deaf, hear; and ye blind, look up, that ye may see." הסהרשׁהים and העורים (this is the proper pointing, according to the codd. and the Masora)
are vocatives. The relation in which הבּיט and ראה stand to one another is that of design and accomplishment (Isaiah 63:15; Job 35:5; 2 Kings 3:14, etc.); and they are used interchangeably with עיניו פּקח and ראה (e.g., 2 Kings 19:16), which also stand in the same relation of design and result.
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