Isaiah 5:16
But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
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(16) Shall be sanctified.—Men had not recognised the holiness of Jehovah, and therefore He must manifest that holiness (in that sense “be sanctified”) in acts of righteous severity. The “Holy One of Israel” was, we must remember, the name, of all Divine names, in which Israel most delighted, the ever-recurring burden of all the prophet’s utterances.

5:8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it.And the mean man ... the mighty man - The expressions here mean that "all" ranks would be subdued and punished; see the note at Isaiah 2:9.

The eyes of the lofty ... - see Isaiah 2:11, note; Isaiah 2:17, note.

Shall be exalted in judgment - In his justice; he shall so manifest his justice as to be exalted in the view of tbe people.

Shall be sanctified - Shall be "regarded" as holy. He shall so manifest his righteousness in his dealings, that it shall be seen and felt that he is a holy God.

16. God shall be "exalted" in man's view, because of His manifestation of His "justice" in punishing the guilty.

sanctified—regarded as holy by reason of His "righteous" dealings.

Shall be exalted in judgment, by the execution of this just judgment upon his incorrigible enemies.

Shall be sanctified, shall appear to be a holy God,

in righteousness; by his righteous judgments.

But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,.... By the "Lord of hosts" is meant Christ, the Lord of the armies, and of the inhabitants of the earth, of angels, and of men; who, though in our nature, in his state of humiliation, was brought very low, yet is now highly exalted; and which exaltation of his is seen and known, as it is here foretold it should be, by his judgments inflicted on the Jewish nation, for their contempt and rejection of him; see Psalm 9:16 so Kimchi interprets judgment of the judgment which the Lord would inflict on the ungodly of Israel: thus Christ's exaltation is seen in their humiliation, and his kingdom and power in their destruction:

and God that is holy; Christ is truly and properly God, God over all, blessed for ever; and he is holy, both as God and man; as God he is essentially and perfectly holy; and, as man, without sin original or actual; he is the Holy One of God, and the Holy One of Israel; and of him it is said, he

shall be sanctified in righteousness, or be declared to be holy; by the obedience and righteousness of his life, wrought out for his people, whereby he becomes their sanctification and righteousness; and by his justice, in punishing his and his people's enemies. Were all this to be understood of Jehovah the Father, it might very well be interpreted, as it is by Cocceius, of his being exalted and honoured by the condemnation of sin in the flesh of Christ; and of his being "glorified", as the Arabic version renders it, by the obedience and righteousness of his son, whereby his justice is satisfied, and his law magnified, and made honourable; and by the faith of his people, laying hold on that righteousness, and receiving it to the glory of God; in all which the purity, holiness, and justice of God appears.

But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
16. God that is holy …] the Holy God sanctifies Himself through righteousness. God “sanctifies Himself,” i.e. compels the recognition of His divinity, by the righteous judgments in which He reveals His true nature as the Holy One of Israel (cf. Isaiah 29:23).

Verse 16. - God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness; rather, the holy God shows himself holy by righteousness; i.e. by executing this righteous judgment on Jerusalem the holy God shows his holiness. Isaiah 5:16The prophet now repeats a thought which formed one of the refrains of the second prophetic address (Isaiah 2:9, Isaiah 2:11, cf., Isaiah 2:17). It acquires here a still deeper sense, from the context in which it stands. "Then are mean men bowed down, and lords humbled, and the eyes of lofty men are humbled. And Jehovah of hosts shows Himself exalted in judgment, and God the Holy One sanctifies Himself in righteousness." That which had exalted itself from earth to heaven, would be cast down earthwards into hell. The consecutive futures depict the coming events, which are here represented as historically present, as the direct sequel of what is also represented as present in Isaiah 5:14 : Hades opens, and then both low and lofty in Jerusalem sink down, and the soaring eyes now wander about in horrible depths. God, who is both exalted and holy in Himself, demanded that as the exalted One He should be exalted, and that as the Holy One He should be sanctified. But Jerusalem had not done that; He would therefore prove Himself the exalted One by the execution of justice, and sanctify Himself (nikdash is to be rendered as a reflective verb, according to Ezekiel 36:23; Ezekiel 38:23) by the manifestation of righteousness, in consequence of which the people of Jerusalem would have to give Him glory against their will, as forming part of "the things under the earth" (Philippians 2:10). Jerusalem has been swallowed up twice in this manner by Hades; once in the Chaldean war, and again in the Roman. But the invisible background of these outward events was the fact, that it had already fallen under the power of hell. And now, even in a more literal sense, ancient Jerusalem, like the company of Korah (Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33), has gone underground. Just as Babylon and Nineveh, the ruins of which are dug out of the inexhaustible mine of their far-stretching foundation and soil, have sunk beneath the ground; so do men walk about in modern Jerusalem over the ancient Jerusalem, which lies buried beneath; and many an enigma of topography will remain an enigma until ancient Jerusalem has been dug out of the earth again.
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