They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he makes it a god: they fall down, yes, they worship.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:21; Proverbs 28:7. Here the idea is, that they spared no expense; they poured out gold as if it were vile and worthless, in order to make an idol. The design of this verse is, to show the superstition of those who were idolaters; and, particularly, how much they were willing to devote in order to maintain idol-worship.
Out of the bag - They pour their gold out of the bag, or purse, where they have kept it; that is, they lavish it freely.
And weigh silver in the balance - Perhaps the idea is here, that they used silver so lavishly that they did not wait to count it, but weighed it as they would the grosser metals. The word used here and translated 'balance' (קנה qâneh), means properly "cane, reed, calamus"; then a measuring reed or rod Ezekiel 40:3, Ezekiel 40:5; then a rod, or beam of a balance, or scales (Greek ζυγὸς zugos).
And hire a goldsmith - (See the notes at Isaiah 40:19-20).
And he maketh it a god - The goldsmith manufactures the gold and the silver into an image. The object of the prophet is to deride the custom of offering divine homage to a god formed in this manner (see the notes at Isaiah 44:9-19).Maketh it a god; let us suppose, a god made with the greatest cost and art. Daniel 3:1 see an instance of profuseness this way in the Israelites themselves, Exodus 32:2.
And weigh silver in the balance; or "with a reed" (o). Others, though idolaters, yet less devoted to idolatry, and more tenacious of their money, make silver do for a god, and weigh it out to the workman, that it be made of such a weight, and no more, and that they might not be cheated of their silver; or they weighed it to pay the workman for his workmanship. Money formerly was not coined and stamped, so not numbered by pieces, but weighed.
And hire a goldsmith, and he maketh it a god; a "finer" or "founder", with whom they agree for such a sum of money, and he, of the gold or silver that is put into his hands, makes a god: he casts and moulds it into such a form or shape that is agreed upon, and this is called a god; though nothing but a piece of gold or silver fashioned by art and man's device, and the work of his hands:
they fall down, yea, they worship; the god they made; both the artificer, and he that employed him, fall down upon their knees, or their faces, and pay divine worship add adoration to the idol; though the one knew it was made of his own gold or silver, and the other knew it to be the workmanship of his hands. Worshipping is more than falling down, as Ben Melech observes, and therefore it is said, yea, they worship.They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. They lavish gold &c.] Better as an exclamation of contempt: They that pour gold etc. The gold and silver are the material out of which the images (or at least their plating) are to be made by the goldsmith (Isaiah 40:19) who is hired for the work. The word for balance is qâneh (reed), never elsewhere used in this sense. It probably denotes the beam of the balance.
they fall down] The same word (ṣâgad) in Isaiah 44:15; Isaiah 44:17; Isaiah 44:19.
6, 7. Contemptuous description of idolatry in general. Comp. especially with ch. Isaiah 44:9-20.Isaiah 45:24 "Only in Jehovah, do men say of me, is fulness of righteousness and strength; they come to Him, and all that were incensed against Him are put to shame." The parenthetical insertion of אמר לי ל, with reference to, as in Isaiah 41:7; Isaiah 44:26, Isaiah 44:28) is the same as in Psalm 119:57. אך has a restrictive sense here, which springs out of the affirmative (cf., Psalm 39:7; Psalm 73:1), just as, in the case of raq, the affirmative grows out of the primary restrictive sense. The "righteousness" is abounding (superabundant) righteousness (Romans 5:15.). עז is the strength of sanctification, and of the conquest of the world. The subject to יבוא (which is not to be changed, according to the Masora, into the more natural יבאּוּ, as it is by the lxx, Syr., and Vulg.) is, whoever has seen what man has in Jehovah, and made confession of this; such a man does not rest till he has altogether come over to Jehovah, whereas all His enemies are put to shame. They separate themselves irretrievably from the men who serve Him, the restoration of whom is His direct will, and the goal of the history of salvation. Isaiah 45:25 "In Jehovah all the seed of Israel shall become righteous, and shall glory." Ruetschi has very properly observed on this verse, that the reference is to the Israel of God out of all the human race, i.e., the church of the believers in Israel expanded by the addition of the heathen; which church is now righteous, i.e., reconciled and renewed by Jehovah, and glories in Him, because by grace it is what it is.
This brings the sixth prophecy to a close. Its five strophes commence with "Thus saith the Lord;" at the same time, the fifth strophe has two "woes" (hoi) before this, as the ground upon which it rests.
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