Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? see, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They all shall wax old as a garment.—An echo of Job 13:28; Psalm 102:26; reproduced in Isaiah 51:6.Isaiah 50:7). In the Hebrew this is, 'The Lord Jehovah,' as it is in Isaiah 50:7 also, and these are among the places where our translators have improperly rendered the word יהוה yehovâh (Jehovah) by the word 'God.'
Who is he that shall condemn me? - If Yahweh is my advocate and friend, my cause must be right. Similar language is used by the apostle Paul: 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' Romans 8:31; and in Psalm 118:6 :
Jehovah is on my side; I will not fear:
What can man do unto me?
They all shall wax old - All my enemies shall pass away, as a garment is worn out and cast aside. The idea is, that the Messiah would survive all their attacks; his cause, his truth and his reputation would live, while all the power, the influence, the reputation of his adversaries, would vanish as a garment that is worn out and then thrown away. The same image respecting his enemies is used again in Isaiah 51:8.
The moth shall eat them up - The moth is a well known insect attached particularly to woolen clothes, and which soon consumes them (see the note at Job 4:19). In eastern countries, where wealth consisted much in changes of raiment, the depredations of the moth would be particularly to be feared, and hence, it is frequently referred to in the Bible. The sense here is, that the adversaries of the Messiah would be wholly destroyed.
as a garment—(Isa 51:6, 8; Ps 102:26). A leading constituent of wealth in the East is change of raiment, which is always liable to the inroads of the moth; hence the frequency of the image in Scripture.That shall condemn me; that dare attempt it, or can justly do it.
They all, mine accusers and enemies,
shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up: shall pine away in their iniquity, as God threatened, Leviticus 26:39; shall be cut off and consumed by a secret curse and judgment of God, which is compared to a
moth, Hosea 5:12, whilst I shall survive and flourish, and the pleasure of God shall prosper in my hands, as is said, Isaiah 53:10. Isaiah 50:7; see Gill on Isaiah 50:7; to show the certainty of it, the strength of his faith in it, and to discourage his enemies:
who is he that shall condemn me? make me out a wicked person (c), prove me guilty, and pass sentence upon me, when thus acquitted and justified by the Lord God? The Apostle Paul seems to have some reference to this passage in Romans 8:33,
lo, they all shall waste old as doth a garment; his enemies, those that accused him, the Scribes, Pharisees, and chief priests; and those that condemned him, the Jewish sanhedrim, and the Roman governor:
the moth shall eat them up; they shall be like a worn out or motheaten garment, that can never be used more. The phrases denote how secret, insensible, and irrecoverable, their ruin should be, both in their civil and church state, all being abolished and done away.Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. who is he that shall condemn me?] Comp. Romans 8:33 f.
wax old (better, be worn out) as a garment; the moth &c.] Common images of gradual but inevitable destruction (cf. ch. Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 51:8; Psalm 39:11; Psalm 102:26; Job 13:28 &c.).
Two striking parallels to the latter part of this discourse occur in the Book of Jeremiah. See ch. Jeremiah 17:17 f.; “Thou art my refuge in the day of evil. Let them be ashamed that persecute me, but let not me be ashamed … bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction”: and Jeremiah 20:7; Jeremiah 20:11 ff.: “I am become a laughingstock all the day, every one mocketh me.…” “But the Lord is with me as a mighty one and a terrible; therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be greatly ashamed” &c. Cf. also Jeremiah 22:6-21.Psalm 106:9; Psalm 104:7) can dry up the sea, and turn streams into a hard and barren soil, so that the fishes putrefy for want of water (Exodus 7:18, etc.), and die from thirst (thâmōth a voluntative used as an indicative, as in Isaiah 12:1, and very frequently in poetical composition); who can clothe the heavens in mourning, and make sackcloth their (dull, dark) covering (for the expression itself, compare Isaiah 37:1-2); who therefore, fiat applicatio, can annihilate the girdle of waters behind which Babylon fancies herself concealed (see Isaiah 42:15; Isaiah 44:27), and cover the empire, which is now enslaving and torturing Israel, with a sunless and starless night of destruction (Isaiah 13:10). It follows from all this, that He has come with a gospel of deliverance from sin and punishment; but Israel has given no answer, has not received this message of salvation with faith, since faith is assent to the word of God. And in whom did Jehovah come? Knobel and most of the commentators reply, "in His prophets." This answer is not wrong, but it does not suffice to show the connection between what follows and what goes before. For there it is one person who speaks; and who is that, but the servant of Jehovah, who is introduced in these prophecies with dramatic directness, as speaking in his own name? Jehovah has come to His people in His servant. We know who was the servant of Jehovah in the historical fulfilment. It was He whom even the New Testament Scriptures describe as τὸν παῖδα τοῦ κυρίου, especially in the Acts (Acts 3:13, Acts 3:26; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:30). It was not indeed during the Babylonian captivity that the servant of Jehovah appeared in Israel with the gospel of redemption; but, as we shall never be tired of repeating, this is the human element in these prophecies, that they regard the appearance of the "servant of Jehovah," the Saviour of Israel and the heathen, as connected with the captivity: the punishment of Israel terminating, according to the law of the perspective foreshortening of prophetic vision, with the termination of the captivity - a connection which we regard as one of the strongest confirmations of the composition of these addresses before the captivity, as well as of Isaiah's authorship. But this ἀνθρώπινον does not destroy the θεῖον in them, inasmuch as the time at which Jesus appeared was not only similar to that of the Babylonian captivity, but stood in a causal connection with it, since the Roman empire was the continuation of the Babylonian, and the moral state of the people under the iron arm of the Roman rule resembled that of the Babylonian exiles (Ezekiel 2:6-7). At the same time, whatever our opinion on this point may be, it is perfectly certain that it is to the servant of Jehovah, who was seen by the prophet in connection with the Babylonian captivity, that the words "wherefore did I come" refer.
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