Isaiah 54:9
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
(9) This is as the waters of Noah.—Interesting (1) as showing the writer’s knowledge of the book of Genesis (see Isaiah 51:2); (2) as one of the few references to the Deluge, outside that book, in the Old Testament. Strictly speaking, Genesis 9:11 speaks of a “covenant,” not an “oath,” but it would be idle to find a difficulty in the use of words which, as referring to a Divine act, are almost or altogether interchangeable. It is obvious that the words have found their fulfilment not in any earthly city but in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Isaiah 54:9-10. For this is as the waters of Noah — This covenant of grace and peace made with thee shall be as certain and perpetual as that which I made with Noah, that there should never be another flood of waters to drown the world. So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee — Namely, so as I have been, or so as to forsake thee utterly. For the mountains shall depart, &c. — The mountains and hills shall sooner depart from their places than my kindness shall depart from thee. Nay, the time will come when all the mountains shall depart, and all the hills be removed, and even the whole earth, and all the works that are therein, shall be burned up, but then the covenant of peace between God and his church shall continue in the everlasting happiness of all the true and spiritual members of it. God will not cast off the Christian Church, as he cast off the Church of the Jews; the new covenant being established upon better and surer promises than the old; see Hebrews 8:6-7. Saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee — Who acts thus toward thee, not for thy merits, but through his own grace and mercy.

54:6-10 As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting. We are neither to despond under afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men. Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and election sure.For this is as the waters of Noah unto me - As it was in the time of the flood of waters, so shall it be now. 'I then solemnly promised that the waters should not again drown the earth, and I have kept that promise. I now promise with equal solemnity that I will bestow perpetual favor on my true people, and will shed upon them eternal and unchanging blessings.' 'The waters of Noah,' here mean evidently the flood that came upon the world in his time, and from which he and his family were saved. Lowth, on the authority of one manuscript and of the Vulgate, Syriac, Symmachus, and Theodotion, reads this, 'In the days of Noah? But the authority is not sufficient to change the Hebrew text, and the sense is as clear as if it were changed.

As I have sworn - Genesis 8:21-22. God appeals to this not only because the oath and promise had been made, but because it had been kept.

That I would not be wroth - The idea seems here to be that no calamities should spread over the whole church, and sweep it away, as the waters swept over the world in the time of Noah, or as desolation swept over Jerusalem and the whole land of Canaan in the time of the exile at Babylon. There would be indeed persecutions and calamities, but the church would be safe amidst all these trials. The period would never arrive when God would forsake the church, and when he would leave it to perish. One has only to recollect how God has guarded the church, even during the most dangerous periods, to see how remarkably this has been fulfilled. His covenant has been as sure as that which was made with Noah, and it will be as secure and firm to the end of time.

9. I am about to do the same in this instance as in Noah's flood. As I swore then that it should not return (Ge 8:21; 9:11), and I kept that promise, so I swear now to My people, and will perform My promise, that there shall be no return of the deluge of My wrath upon them. Lowth, on insufficient authority, reads (the same will I do now as), "in the days of Noah." This is as the waters of Noah unto me; this covenant of grace and peace made with thee shall be as certain and perpetual as that which I made with Noah, that there should never be another flood of waters to drown the world; of which see Genesis 9:11.

Would not be wroth with thee, to wit, so as I have been, or so as to forsake thee utterly.

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me,.... Some copies, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, read these two words, , as one, thus, "as the days of Noah"; and this is followed by the Targum, Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions; both readings may be kept, and joined in one, and the sense be, "for this is as the waters that were in the days of Noah unto me"; so Kimchi and Menachem join them. The meaning is, that God's dispensation towards his people, at the time the prophecy refers to, is like that of his to Noah and his family; and the love he bears to them is like that which he bore to him; and the covenant he has made with them is as that he made with him:

for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; he gave his word for it, which is as firm as his oath; he made a covenant with Noah, and confirmed it by a rainbow, that the waters should no more go over the earth as they had, and that the world should be no more destroyed by a flood, Genesis 9:9,

so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee; for though the Lord's people are by nature children of wrath, as others, he has not appointed them to it, nor will he suffer it to fall upon them, but saves them from it through the righteousness of Christ, who has borne it for them; and though he rebukes by his Spirit, by his word and ministers, and by his providences, yet not in wrath, but in love; and of this he has given the strongest assurances; he has not only said it, but swore to it in covenant, Psalm 89:3. The Jews (r) refer this prophecy to the times of the Messiah.

(r) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.

For this is as the {i} waters of Noah to me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more overflow the earth; so have I sworn that I will not be angry with thee, nor rebuke thee.

(i) As sure as the promise that I made to Noah, that the waters would no longer overflow the earth.

9, 10. The permanence of the new covenant relation is illustrated first by the promise made to Noah, of which the rainbow is the perpetual token, and then by the steadfastness of the unchanging hills.

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me] Or, according to the reading of several MSS. and the ancient versions (though not the LXX.), As the days of Noah is this (i.e. the present juncture) to me (see R.V. marg.). The difference of reading is very slight, consisting merely in the conjunction of two words which the received text separates (כימי for כי מי). The second alternative is better.

for as I have sworn &c.] as I have sworn &c. (omitting “for”). Comp. Genesis 8:21 f., Isaiah 9:11-17. The absence of any mention of an oath in the narrative is immaterial.

Verse 9. - This is as the waters of Noah unto me. The existing calamity - Israel submerged in the flood of Babylonian captivity-is as it were a repetition of the calamity of the Deluge in God's eyes. Its object is to purify his Church, as the object of the Flood was to purify the world. A righteous household survived in the one case; a righteous remnant would go forth in the other. And as God bound himself in Noah's time not to repeat the calamity of the Deluge, so now he binds himself not again to submerge his Church in a captivity like the Babylonian. It has been said that the promise was not kept, since the Jewish Church was, in A.D. , carried captive by the Romans. But the prophet views the Jewish Church as continued in the Christian, into which all its better and more spiritual members passed at the first preaching of the gospel; and the promise here made is thus parallel to that of our Lord, "Upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Much as the Christian Church has suffered from the world, it has never been in like cases with the Jewish Church in Babylon, and, as God is faithful, never will be reduced to such extremity. As I have sworn; i.e. "pledged myself." It does not appear from Genesis 8:20-22 or Genesis 9:8-17 that God actually bound himself by oath. So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. That is to say, not to the same extent, not so as to visit her with the same punishment. Isaiah 54:9The ground of this "everlasting kindness" is given in Isaiah 54:9 : "For it is now as at the waters of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should not overflow the earth any more; so have I sworn not to be wroth with thee, and not to threaten thee." The commencement of this v. has been a fluctuating one from the earliest times. The Sept. reading is ממּי; that of the Targ., S., Jerome, Syriac, and Saad., כּימי; and even the Codd. read sometimes כּי־מי, sometimes כּימי (compare Matthew 24:37, ὥσπερ αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ Νῶε οὕτως κ.τ.λ - a passage which appears to derive its shape from the one before us, with the reading כימי, and which is expounded in Luke 17:26). If we read כימי, the word זאת must refer to the present, as the turning-point between wrath and mercy; but if we read כי־מי, זאת denotes the pouring out of wrath in connection with the captivity. Both readings are admissible; and as even the Septuagint, with its ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος (from the water), gives an indirect support to the reading כּימי as one word, this may probably merit the preference, as the one best sustained. אשׁר is ubi, quum, as in Numbers 20:13; Psalm 95:9, etc., although it might also be taken as the correlate of the kēn which follows, as in Jeremiah 33:22 (cf., Isaiah 48:8); and in accordance with the accents, we prefer the former. The present turning-point resembles, in Jehovah's esteem, the days of Noah - those days in which He swore that a flood should not any more come upon the earth (min as in Isaiah 5:6 and many other passages): for so does He now confirm with an oath His fixed purpose that no such judgment of wrath as that which has just been endured shall ever fall upon Jerusalem again (גּער denotes threatening with a judicial word, which passes at once into effect, as in Isaiah 51:20). Hendewerk has the following quibbling remark here: "What the comparison with the flood is worth, we may gather from the alter history, which shows how soon the new Jerusalem and the renovated state succumbed to the judicial wrath of God again." To this we reply: (1.) That the prophecy refers to the converted Israel of the last days, whose Jerusalem will never be destroyed again. These last days appear to the prophet, according to the general character of all prophecy, as though linked on to the close of the captivity. For throughout all prophecy, along with the far-sightedness imparted by the Spirit, there was also a short-sightedness which the Spirit did not remove; that is to say, the directly divine element of insight into the future was associated with a human element of hope, which was nevertheless also indirectly divine, inasmuch as it subserved the divine plan of salvation; and this hope brought, as it were, the far distant future into the closest proximity with the troubled present. If, the, we keep this in mind, we shall see that it was quite in order for the prophet to behold the final future on the very edge of the present, and not to see the long and undulating way between. (2.) The Israel which has been plunged by the Romans into the present exile of a thousand years is that part of the nation (Romans 11:25), which has thrust away the eternal mercy and the unchangeable covenant of peace; but this rejection has simply postponed, and not prevented, the full realization of the salvation promised to Israel as a people. The covenant still exists, primarily indeed as an offer on the part of Jehovah, so that it rests with Israel whether it shall continued one-sided or not; but all that is wanted on the part of Israel is faith, to enable it to exchange the shifting soil of its present exile for the rocky foundation of that covenant of peace which has encircled the ages since the captivity (see Haggai 2:9), as the covenant with Noah encircled those after the flood with the covenant sign of the rainbow in the cloud.
Isaiah 54:9 Interlinear
Isaiah 54:9 Parallel Texts

Isaiah 54:9 NIV
Isaiah 54:9 NLT
Isaiah 54:9 ESV
Isaiah 54:9 NASB
Isaiah 54:9 KJV

Isaiah 54:9 Bible Apps
Isaiah 54:9 Parallel
Isaiah 54:9 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 54:9 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 54:9 French Bible
Isaiah 54:9 German Bible

Bible Hub

Isaiah 54:8
Top of Page
Top of Page