They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Isaiah 45:16-17. They — The idolatrous Gentiles, as it is explained in the end of the verse, opposed to Israel in the beginning of the next verse, shall be ashamed, &c. — Hebrew, בושׁו וגם גכלמר כלם, They are ashamed, they are even confounded, all of them; that is, after the completion of this prophecy. They shall go — Hebrew, הלכו, they go, to confusion together, the makers of idols — Both the artificers, and the masters that set them on work, and consequently all their worshippers. “The reader cannot but observe the sudden transition from the solemn adoration of the secret and mysterious nature of God’s counsels in regard to his people, to the spirited denunciation of the confusion of idolaters, and the final destruction of idolatry; contrasted (Isaiah 45:17) with the salvation of Israel, not from temporal captivity, but the eternal salvation by the Messiah, strongly marked by the repetition and augmentation of the phrase, עד עולמי עד, usque ad secula eternitatis, to the ages of eternity.” — Bishop Lowth.Isaiah 1:29; Isaiah 20:5; Isaiah 30:5; Isaiah 43:17).
They shall go to confusion - They shall all retire in shame and disgrace. That is, when they have gone to supplicate their idols, they shall find them unable to render them any aid, and they shall retire with shame.They; the idolatrous Gentiles, as it is explained in the end of the verse, opposed to Israel in the beginning of the next verse.
Makers; either the artificers, or the chief masters that set them on work, and consequently all their worshippers; although the makers being most guilty, and the cause of the sins of others, might justly expect a higher degree of confusion.
they shall go to confusion together, that are makers of idols; the Targum is,
"worshippers of images;''
both may be designed: this refers to the first times of the Gospel, and its coming into the Gentile world, and its success there; when the oracles of the Heathens were struck dumb; idols and idol temples were forsaken; and Paganism was abolished in the Roman empire; and when the gods they served could not help them, but they fled to the rocks to hide them from the wrath of God and the Lamb, Revelation 6:15.They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16, 17. The prophet now speaks, presenting in sharp contrast the confusion of the idolaters (Isaiah 45:16) and the everlasting salvation enjoyed by Israel. The verbs should be rendered as presents.
They shall be ashamed &c.] Better: they are ashamed, yea confounded all of them; they are gone away in confusion (i. e. disgrace) etc. The perfect in Heb. depicts that which will have happened in that day.
The word for “idol” is used in the sense of “form” in Psalm 49:14 (R.V. marg.), only here of an idolatrous image.Verse 16. - They shall be ashamed... shall go to confusion; rather, ore ashamed... are gone to confusion - the "perfect of prophetic certainty." While the heathen that join themselves to Israel partake of their glory and salvation, such as abide by their idols are covered with shame and confusion. Isaiah 45:9-13), and increases more and more in the distinctness of its terms; but just as in Isaiah 29:15-21, it opens with a reproof of that pusillanimity (Isaiah 40:27; cf., Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 49:24; Isaiah 58:3), which goes so far to complain of the ways of Jehovah. "Woe to him that quarreleth with his Maker - a pot among the pots of earthenware? Can the clay indeed say to him that shapeth it, What makest thou? and thy work, He hath no hands? Woe to him that saith to his father, What begettest thou? and to the woman, What bringest thou forth?" The comparison drawn between a man as the work of God and the clay-work of a potter suggested itself all the more naturally, inasmuch as the same word yootseer was applied to God as Creator, and also to a potter (figulus). The word cheres signifies either a sherd, or fragment of earthenware (Isaiah 30:14), or an earthenware vessel (Jeremiah 19:1; Proverbs 26:23). In the passage before us, where the point of comparison is not the fragmentary condition, but the earthen character of the material ()'adâmâh), the latter is intended: the man, who complains of God, is nothing but a vessel of clay, and, more than that, a perishable vessel among many others of the very same kind.
(Note: The Septuagint reads shin for sin in both instances, and introduces here the very unsuitable thought already contained in Isaiah 28:24, "Shall the ploughman plough the land the whole day?")
The questions which follow are meant to show the folly of this complaining. Can it possibly occur to the clay to raise a complaint against him who has it in hand, that he has formed it in such and such a manner, or for such and such a purpose (compare Romans 9:20, "Why hast thou made me thus")? To the words "or thy work" we must supply num dicet (shall it say); pō‛al is a manufacture, as in Isaiah 1:31. The question is addressed to the maker, as those in Isaiah 7:25 are to the husbandman: Can the thing made by thee, O man, possibly say in a contemptuous tone, "He has no hands?" - a supposition the ridiculous absurdity of which condemns it at once; and yet it is a very suitable analogy to the conduct of the man who complains of God. In Isaiah 45:10 a woe is denounced upon those who resemble a man who should say to his own father, What children dost thou beget? or to a wife, What dost thou bring forth? (techı̄lı̄n an emphatic, and for the most part pausal, fut. parag., as in Ruth 2:8; Ruth 3:18). This would be the rudest and most revolting attack upon an inviolably tender and private relation; and yet Israel does this when it makes the hidden providential government of its God the object of expostulation.
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