Isaiah 57:7 Commentaries: "Upon a high and lofty mountain You have made your bed. You also went up there to offer sacrifice.
Isaiah 57:7
On a lofty and high mountain have you set your bed: even thither went you up to offer sacrifice.
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(7) Set thy bed . . .—Idolatry being as adultery, the “bed” follows naturally as representing the locality of the idol-worship. Comp. Ezekiel 16:31; Ezekiel 23:17.

Isaiah 57:7-8. Upon a lofty and high mountain — In high places, which were much used for religious worship, both by the Israelites and heathen: hast thou set thy bed — Thine altar, as appears from the sacrifice mentioned in the next clause, where thou didst commit spiritual whoredom with idols. Behind the doors also and the posts — Behind the posts of the doors of thy house; hast thou set up thy remembrance — That is, the images of their tutelary gods, or some monuments or tokens, placed there as memorials of them, in direct opposition to the law of God, which commanded them to write upon the door-posts of their houses, and upon their gates, the words of his law, Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20. If they chose for them such a situation as more private, it was in defiance of a particular curse denounced in the law against the man who should make a graven or a molten image, and put it in a secret place, Deuteronomy 27:15. For thou hast discovered thyself, &c. — “The prophet describes their idolatry under the metaphor of a woman’s being false to her husband’s bed, Isaiah 57:3. So he tells them that they had committed spiritual adultery, when they went up to the high places to sacrifice, Isaiah 57:7. That they had multiplied their idolatries, as an unchaste woman does her lovers; that they had broken their covenant with God, whom they had acknowledged to be their lord and husband, and made a new contract with idols to serve them.” — Lowth. Thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it — No sooner didst thou see the heathen idols, but thou wast enamoured with them, and didst fall down and worship them, like a lewd woman, who is inflamed with lust toward almost every man she sees.57:3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.Upon a lofty and high mountain - The design of this verse and the following, is, to show the extent, the prevalence, the publicity, and the grossness of their idolatry. The language is that which would appropriately express adulterous intercourse, and is designed to show the abhorrence in which God held their conduct. The language is easy to be understood, and it would not be proper to go into an extended explanation of the phrases used. It is common in the Scriptures to compare idolatry among the people of God, with unfaithfulness to the marriage vow. The declaration that they had placed their bed on a high mountain, means, that in the rites of idolatrous worship, there was no concealment. It was public and shameless. 7. Upon … high mountain … bed—image from adultery, open and shameless (Eze 23:7); the "bed" answers to the idolatrous altar, the scene of their spiritual unfaithfulness to their divine husband (Eze 16:16, 25; 23:41). Upon a lofty and high mountain, in high places, which were much used for religious worship, both by Israelites and by heathens,

hast thou set thy bed; thine altar, as appears from the sacrifice here following, in which thou didst commit spiritual whoredom with idols. Compare Ezekiel 23:17,41. Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed,.... Temples and altars, which are usually built on high places, where they commit spiritual adultery; that is, idolatry, in imitation of the Heathens, who had their temples and altars on high places; and the idolatry of the church of Rome, in this context, is all along expressed in language agreeable to the Heathen idolatry, and in allusion to it. Some think this phrase denotes impudence in their idolatrous worship; for not content to worship under trees, in valleys, and under clifts of rocks, and such dark places; now, as not blushing at, or being ashamed of their actions, erect their altars in the most public places. Perhaps some reference may be had to the city of Rome itself, built on seven mountains, the seat of antichrist, and where the principal bed for idolatry is set up. The Targum is,

"on a high and lofty mountain thou hast the place of the house of thy dwelling;''

which agrees very well with the great city, the seat of the beast.

Even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice; the sacrifice of the mass, to do which the idolaters go to their high places, their temples, and to their high altars, and especially in the great city.

Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy {g} bed: even there thou wentest up to offer sacrifice.

(g) That is, your altars in an open place, like an impudent harlot, that cares not for the sight of her husband.

7. As in the valleys, so on the hill-tops, the people had sacrificed to strange gods. Cf. Hosea 4:13; Jeremiah 2:20; Ezekiel 6:13.

hast thou set thy bed] The image is suggested by the frequent comparison of idolatry (in Israel) to adultery. Cf. Hosea 4:12; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:2; Ezekiel 16:25.Verse 7. - Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed. Instead of reserving thy marriage-bed for me, Jehovah (Isaiah 54:5), thou hast set it up on those "high places," with which the hill-tops of Judaea are everywhere crowned (see 1 Kings 14:23; 1 Kings 16:4; 2 Chronicles 33:17; Ezekiel 15:16, etc.). Almost every hill-top is still, in a sense, held sacred in Palestine (Conder, in 'Quarterly Statement of Palest. Explor. Fund,' 1875, p. 39). Even thither wentest thou up, etc. (On the persistency of the Jews in maintaining the high-place worship, see 1 Kings 14:23; 1 Kings 15:14; 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3; 2 Kings 14:4; 2 Kings 15:4; 2 Kings 21:3, etc.) The best kings failed in their attempts to put it down Whilst watchmen and shepherds, prophets and rulers, without troubling themselves about the flock which they have to watch and feed, are thus indulging their own selfish desires, and living in debauchery, the righteous man is saved by early death from the judgment, which cannot fail to come with such corruption as this. "The righteous perisheth, and no man taketh it to heart; and pious men are swept away, without any one considering that the righteous is swept away from misfortune. He entereth into peace: they rest upon their beds, whoever has walked straight before him." With "the righteous" the prophet introduces, in glaring contrast to this luxurious living on the part of the leading men of the nation, the standing figure used to denote the fate of its best men. With this prevailing demoralization and worldliness, the righteous succumbs to the violence of both external and internal sufferings. אבד, he dies before his time (Ecclesiastes 7:15); from the midst of the men of his generation he is carried away from this world (Psalm 12:2; Micah 7:2), and no one lays it to heart, viz., the divine accusation and threat involved in this early death. Men of piety (chesed, the love of God and man) are swept away, without there being any one to understand or consider that (kı̄ unfolds the object to be considered and laid to heart, viz., what is involved in this carrying away when regarded as a providential event) the righteous is swept away "from the evil," i.e., that he may be saved from the approaching punishment (compare 2 Kings 22:20). For the prevailing corruption calls for punishment from God; and what is first of all to be expected is severe judgment, through which the coming salvation will force its way. In Isaiah 57:2 it is intimated that the righteous man and the pious do not lose the blessings of this salvation because they lose this life: for whereas, according to the prophet's watchword, there is no peace to the wicked, it is true, on the other hand, of the departing righteous man, that "he enters into peace" (shâlōm, acc. loci s. status; Ges. 118, 1); "they rest upon their beds," viz., the bottom of the grave, which has become their mishkâb (Job 17:13; Job 21:26), "however has walked in that which lay straight before him," i.e., the one straight plain path which he had set before him (נכחו acc. obj. as in Isaiah 33:15; Isaiah 50:10, Ewald, 172, b, from נכח, that which lies straight before a person; whereas נכח with נכח נכחו, signifying probably fixedness, steadiness of look, related to Arab. nkḥ, to pierce, נכה, percutere, is used as a preposition: compare Proverbs 4:25, לנכח, straight or exactly before him). The grave, when compared with the restlessness of this life, is therefore "peace." He who has died in faith rests in God, to whom he has committed himself and entrusted his future. We have here the glimmering light of the New Testament consolation, that the death of the righteous is better than life in this world, because it is the entrance into peace.
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