Isaiah 57:13
When you cry, let your companies deliver you; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that puts his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
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(13) Let thy companies . . .—The word is used contemptuously of the crowd of gods introduced by the confluent idolatry of Manasseh. (Comp. 2Chronicles 33:3-7.) The prophet taunts the worshipper with their impotence, “Let them save thee, if they can,” but that taunt is followed by a declaration that true help and strength will be given to all who trust in Jehovah.

57:13-21 The idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing; but those who trust in God's grace, shall be brought to the joys of heaven. With the Lord there is neither beginning of days, nor end of life, nor change of time. His name is holy, and all must know him as a holy God. He will have tender regard to those who bring their mind to their condition, and dread his wrath. He will make his abode with those whose hearts he has thus humbled, in order to revive and comfort them. When troubles last long, even good men are tempted to entertain hard thoughts of God. Therefore He will not contend for ever, for he will not forsake the work of his own hands, nor defeat the purchase of his Son's blood. Covetousness is a sin that particularly lays men under the Divine displeasure. See the sinfulness of sin. See also that troubles cannot reform men unless God's grace work in them. Peace shall be published, perfect peace. It is the fruit of preaching lips, and praying lips. Christ came and preached peace to Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; to after-ages, who were afar off in time, as well as to those of that age. But the wicked would not be healed by God's grace, therefore would not be healed by his comforts. Their ungoverned lusts and passions made them like the troubled sea. Also the terrors of conscience disturbed their enjoyments. God hath said it, and all the world cannot unsay it, That there is no peace to those who allow themselves in any sin. If we are recovered from such an awful state, it is only by the grace of God. And the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that new heart, from whence comes grateful praise, the fruit of our lips, are his gift. Salvation, with all its fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his work, and to him belongs all the glory. There is no peace for the wicked man; but let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.When thou criest - That is, when you are in trouble, and feel your need of help.

Let thy companies deliver thee - The word used here (קבוּץ qibûts) means, properly, "a gathering; a throng; a collection." Here it refers either to the throngs of the idols which they had collected. and on which they relied; or to the collection of foreigners which they had summoned to their assistance. The idea is, that if people trust to other objects for aid than the arm of God, they will be left in the day of trial to such assistance as they can render them.

But the wind shall carry - They shall be like the protection which the wind sweeps away. The Saviour expresses a similar sentiment in Matthew 7:26-27.

Vanity shall take them - Lowth and Noyes, 'A breath shall take them off.' The word הבל hebel, properly means a breath; and probably denotes here a gentle breeze, the slightest breath of air, denoting the entire instability of the objects on which they trusted, when they could be so easily swept off.

Shall possess the land - The assurances of the favor and friendship of God are usually expressed in this way (compare the notes at Isaiah 49:8). See Psalm 37:11; 'The meek shall inherit the earth.' Compare Psalm 69:35-36; Matthew 5:5.

And shall inherit my holy mountain - In Jerusalem. That is, they shall be admitted to elevated spiritual privileges and joys - as great as if they had possession of a portion of the mount on which the temple was built, and were permitted to dwell there.

13. When thou criest—In the time of thy trouble.

companies—namely, of idols, collected by thee from every quarter; or else, of foreigners, summoned to thy aid.

wind … carry … away—(Job 21:18; Mt 7:27).

vanity—rather, "a breath" [Lowth].

possess … land … inherit—that is, the literal land of Judea and Mount Zion; the believing remnant of Israel shall return and inherit the land. Secondarily, the heavenly inheritance, and the spiritual Zion (Isa 49:8; Ps 37:9, 11; 69:35, 36; Mt 5:5; Heb 12:22). "He that putteth his trust in Me," of whatever extraction, shall succeed to the spiritual patrimony of the apostate Jew [Horsley].

When thou criest, to wit, unto me for deliverance,

let thy companies deliver thee; expect it not from me, whom thou hast forsaken and despised, but from those foreign troops to whom thou hast sought and trusted for succour.

But the wind shall carry them all away; but they shall be so far from saving thee, that they shall not be able to deliver themselves, but shall be carried away suddenly and violently by the blast of mine anger.

Vanity; a vapour or puff of breath which quickly vanisheth away. It is the same thing in effect with the wind. Shall take them; or, take them away, as this verb signifies, Hosea 4:11, and elsewhere.

Shall inherit my holy mountain; shall enjoy my favour and presence in my temple. When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee,.... From distress and impending ruin, if they can; meaning not the allies and auxiliaries of the Jews, the Egyptians and Assyrians, they sent to for help, as Kimchi, and others; rather, as Jarchi, their idols and graven images they worshipped, angels and saints departed, the Papists pray unto; let them now, in the time of Rome's ruin, renew their addresses to them for help and deliverance, if they can give it: or, "thy gathered ones" (z); the kings of the earth the whore of Rome has gathered unto her to commit fornication with her: and who, by her emissaries, will be gathered together to the battle of the Lord God Almighty, and to make war with the Lamb, but will be overcome; as also her many religious societies and convents of Jesuits, friars, priests, &c.; these will stand afar off, and lament her in her distress; even the kings and merchants of the earth, ship masters, and all company in ships, but will not be able to relieve her, Revelation 18:9,

but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them; so far will they be from helping her in the time of her calamity, that the wind of God's power and wrath shall carry them away as chaff; a puff of his "breath", or the least breath of air (a), shall dissipate them, and bring them to nothing; they will be no more able to stand before him than the lightest thing that can be thought of can stand before a blustering wind or tempest. The phrase denotes an utter and easy destruction of the whole jurisdiction and hierarchy of the church of Rome:

but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain; such of God's people as will be in Babylon a little before its fall, and will be called out of it, who shall betake themselves to the Lord as their only refuge, and put their trust and confidence in him, rejecting all idolatry and superstitious worship, shall enjoy the communion of the true church of Christ, and partake of all the ordinances of it: it may be this may have also a particular respect unto the Jews, who will be called about this time; who, upon their believing in Christ, will return to their own land, and dwell in Jerusalem, God's holy mountain, as it used to be called. Hence it follows:

(z) "collectitii tui", Tigurine version; "congregati a te", Vatablus; "copiae tuae collectae", Vitringa. (a) "halitus" Cocceius; "aura" V. L. "aura levisima" Vitringa.

When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind {q} shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;

(q) Meaning, the Assyrians and others, whose help they looked for.

13. When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee] Cf. Jeremiah 2:28. The word for “companies” does not occur elsewhere; it means them which thou hast gathered (R.V.): thy rabble of idols (R.V. marg.) (see Micah 1:7).

vanity] R.V. a breath.

The second half of the verse forms a transition to the next section, which is a promise of salvation to the true Israel.Verse 13. - When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee. Then, when she thus cries, let her mixture of gods (ver. 8), if they can, deliver her; they will fail utterly to do so. The wind - or rather, a breath - shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them. The idol gods shall be shown to be wholly futile, unable to save, incapable of rendering any the slightest assistance. But he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land. If, however, at that dread hour, there be any among the people who are not idolaters, but "trust in Jehovah," the crisis shall turn to their advantage. They shall "possess the land," i.e. have the promised land for their inheritance (Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 37:11-29, etc.); and inherit Zion, God's holy mountain (see Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 27:13; 567, etc.). The prophet now proceeds with perfects, like שׁפכתּ and העלית (addressed to the national community generally, the congregation regarded as a woman). The description is mostly retrospective. "Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set up thy bed; thou also ascendedst thither to offer slain offerings. And behind the door and the post thou didst place thy reminder: for thou uncoveredst away from me, and ascendedst; thou madest thy bed broad, and didst stipulate for thyself what they had to do: thou lovedst their lying with thee; thou sawest their manhood." The lovers that she sought for herself are the gods of the heathen. Upon lofty mountains, where they are generally worshipped, did she set up her bed, and did all that was needed to win their favour. The zikkârōn, i.e., the declaration that Jehovah is the only God, which the Israelites were to write upon the posts of their houses, and upon the entrances (Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20), for a constant reminder, she had put behind the door and post, that she might not be reminded, to her shame, of her unfaithfulness. That this explanation, which most of the commentators adopt, is the true one, is proved by the expression מאתּי כּי which follows, and according to which זכרון is something inconvenient, which might and was intended to remind them of Jehovah. מאתּי, away, far from me, as in Jeremiah 3:1, and like מתּחתּי, which is still more frequently used. It is unnecessary to take gillı̄th with ערותך understood (Ezekiel 23:18) as equivalent to "thou makest thyself naked," or with reference to the clothes equals ἀνασύρεις. משׁכּב is the common object of all three verbs, even of ותּעלי (with double metheg), after Genesis 49:4. On ותּכרת for ותּכרתי (cf., Jeremiah 3:5), see Ewald, 191, b. The explanation "thou didst bind," or "thou didst choose (some) of them to thyself," is contrary to the general usage, according to which ל כּרת signifies spondere (2 Chronicles 7:18), and (עם כּרת pacisci (1 Samuel 22:8), in both cases with בּרית to be supplied, so that מן (בּרית) כּרת would mean stipulari ab aliquo, i.e., to obtain from a person a solemn promise, with all the force of a covenant. What she stipulated from them was, either the wages of adultery, or the satisfaction of her wanton lust. What follows agrees with this; for it is there distinctly stated, that the lovers to whom she offered herself gratified her lust abundantly: adamasti concutibum eorum (mishkâb, cubile, e.g., Proverbs 7:17, and concubitus, e.g., Ezra 23:17), manum conspexisit. The Targum and Jewish commentators adopt this explanation, loco quem delegisti, or (postquam) locum delegisti. This also is apparently the meaning of the accents, and most of the more modern commentators have adopted it, taking יד in the sense of place or side. But this yields only a very lame and unmeaning thought. Doederlein conjectured that יד was employed here in the sense of ἰθύφαλλος; and this is the explanation adopted by Hitzig, Ewald, and others. The Arabic furnishes several analogies to this obscene use of the word; and by the side of Ezekiel 16:26 and Ezekiel 23:20, where the same thing is affirmed in even plainer language, there is nothing to astonish in the passage before us. The meaning is, that after the church of Jehovah had turned away from its God to the world and its pleasures, it took more and more delight in the pleasures afforded it by idolatry, and indulged its tastes to the full.
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