Isaiah 59:3
For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
(3) Your hands are defiled with blood.—The accusation of the “grand indictment” of Isaiah 1:15 is reproduced verbatim.

Isaiah 59:3. Your hands are defiled with blood — Here the prophet proceeds from a more general to a more particular charge against them. By blood, we are to understand, either murders and bloodshed, properly so called, or ways of injustice, extortion, oppression, and cruelties, whereby men are deprived of a livelihood: hence, hating our brother is called murder, 1 John 3:15, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem murderers, Isaiah 1:21. And your fingers with iniquity — This is added to aggravate their sin; as if he had said, Not only your hands, but your fingers are defiled, and not the least part of you is free from injustice. Your lips have spoken lies — Not only properly so called, but perjuries, slanders, and false accusations: you have not only offered violence to your neighbours by your hands, but circumvented them by your lips. Your tongue hath muttered perverseness — Perverse words, or such as were contrary to God’s word and will. When they could not, for shame, utter their malice against their neighbours aloud, nor dared to do it for fear of being convicted of falsehood, and put to confusion, they muttered it secretly.

59:1-8 If our prayers are not answered, and the salvation we wait for is not wrought for us, it is not because God is weary of hearing prayer, but because we are weary of praying. See here sin in true colours, exceedingly sinful; and see sin in its consequences, exceedingly hurtful, separating from God, and so separating us, not only from all good, but to all evil. Yet numbers feed, to their own destruction, on infidel and wicked systems. Nor can their skill or craft, in devising schemes, as the spider weaves its web, deliver or save them. No schemes of self-wrought salvation shall avail those who despise the Redeemer's robe of righteousness. Every man who is destitute of the Spirit of Christ, runs swiftly to evil of some sort; but those regardless of Divine truth and justice, are strangers to peace.For your hands are defiled with blood - The prophet proceeds here more particularly to specify the sins of which they were guilty; and in order to show the extent and depth of their depravity, he specifies the various members of the body - the hands, the fingers, the lips, the tongue, the feet as the agents by which people commit iniquity. See a similar argument on the subject of depravity in Romans 3:13-15, where a part of the description which the prophet here gives is quoted by Paul, and applied to the Jews in his own time. The phrase 'your hands are defiled with blood,' means with the blood of the innocent; that is, they were guilty of murder, oppression, and cruelty. See a similar statement in Isaiah 1:15, where the phrase 'your hands are full of blood' occurs. The word rendered here 'defiled' (גאל gā'al) means commonly to redeem, to ransom; then to avenge, or to demand and inflict punishment for bloodshed. In the sense of defiling it occurs only in the later Hebrew writers - perhaps used in this sense because those who were avengers became covered, that is, defiled with blood.

And your fingers with iniquity - The fingers in the Scriptures are represented as the agents by which any purpose is executed Isaiah 2:8, 'Which their own fingers have made' (compare Isaiah 17:8). Some have supposed that the phrase used here means the same as the preceding, that they were guilty of murder and cruelty. But it seems more probable that the idea suggested by Grotius is the true sense, that it means that they were guilty of rapine and theft. The fingers are the instruments by which theft - especially the lighter and more delicate kinds of theft - is executed. Thus we use the word 'light-fingered' to denote anyone who is dexterous in taking and conveying away anything, or anyone who is addicted to petty thefts.

Your lips have spoken lies - The nation is false, and no confidence can be reposed in the declarations which are made.

Your tongue hath muttered - On the word rendered 'muttered' (הגה hâgâh), see the notes at Isaiah 8:19. Probably there is included in the word here, the idea that they not only spoke evil, but that they did it with a complaining, discontented, or malicious spirit. It may also mean that they calumniated the government of God, and complained of his laws; or it may mean, as Grotius supposes, that they calumniated others - that is, that slander abounded among them.

Perverseness - Hebrew, עולה ‛avlâh - 'Evil ' - the word from which our word evil is derived.

3. (Isa 1:15; Ro 3:13-15).

hands … fingers—Not merely the "hands" perpetrate deeds of grosser enormity ("blood"), but the "fingers" commit more minute acts of "iniquity."

lips … tongue—The lips "speak" openly "lies," the tongue "mutters" malicious insinuations ("perverseness"; perverse misrepresentations of others) (Jer 6:28; 9:4).

Your hands are defiled with blood: here the prophet comes from a more general to a more particular charge against them; by blood we are to understand either murders and bloodshed properly so called; or ways of injustice, extortion, oppression, and cruelties, whereby men are deprived of a livelihood; hence hating our brother is called murder, 1Jo 3:15, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem called murderers. See how the prophet phraseth their oppression, Micah 3:1-3.

Your fingers: this is not added to protract the discourse, but to aggravate their sin: q.d. Not only your hands, but your fingers; you are not free from the least part of injustice.

Your lips have spoken lies; not only properly so called, but perjuries, and wronging’ your neighbours by slanders and false accusations; wherein he shows they did not only offer violence by the hand, but they had ways of circumventing with their lips.

Your tongue hath muttered: the verb doth properly signify to muse, or meditate; then the meaning is, that what they mutter, or utter with the tongue, they do it out of premeditated malice, from a perverse spirit; you may have a larger comment upon this Jeremiah 9:3-6.

Perverseness: perverse words are such as are contrary to God’s word, and it is put here in the abstract, to intimate that their words were every way contrary to God’s will.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity,.... From a general charge, the prophet proceeds to a particular enumeration of sins they were guilty of; and idolatry not being mentioned, as Jerom observes, shows that the prophecy belongs to other times than Isaiah's, when that sin greatly prevailed. He begins the account with the sin of shedding blood; the blood of innocents, as the Targum; designing either the sin of murder, now frequently committed in Christian nations; or wars between Christian princes, by means of which much blood is shed; or persecutions of Christian brethren, by casting them into prisons, which have issued in their death; and at least want of brotherly love, or, the hatred of brethren, which is called murder, 1 John 3:15 a prevailing sin in the present Sardian state; and which will not be removed till the spiritual reign or Philadelphian state takes place: and this sin is of a defiling nature; it "defiles" the "hands" or actions; and without love all works signify nothing, 1 Corinthians 13:1, yea, even their "fingers" are said to be defiled "with iniquity"; meaning either their lesser actions; or rather those more curiously and nicely performed, and seemingly more agreeable to the divine will; and yet defiled with some sin or other, as hypocrisy, vain glory, or the like: or it may be this may design the same as putting forth the fingers, and smiting with the fist, Isaiah 58:4, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; and so may have respect to some sort of persecution of their brethren for conscience sake, as there.

Your lips have spoken lies: or "falsehood" (q); that is, false doctrines, so called because contrary to the word of truth, and which deceive men:

your tongue hath muttered perverseness: that which is a perversion of the Gospel of Christ, and of the souls of men; what is contrary to the sacred Scriptures, the standard of faith and practice, and that premeditated, as the word (r) signifies; done with design, and on purpose: the abounding of errors and heresies in the present day, openly taught and divulged, to the ruin of souls, seems here to be pointed at. In the Talmud (s) these are explained of the several sorts of men in a court of judicature; the "hands" of the judges; the "fingers" of, the Scribes; the "lips" of advocates and solicitors; and the "tongue" of adversaries, or the contending parties.

(q) "falsitatem", Montanus, Cocceius; "falsum", Junius & Tremeliius, Piscator. (r) Sept.; "meditabitur", Montanus; "meditatur", Piscator; "meditatam effert", Junius & Tremellius. (s) T. Bab. Sabbat. fol. 139. 1.

For your hands are defiled with {a} blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath uttered perverseness.

(a) Read Isa 1:15.

3. your hands are defiled with blood] Cf. ch. Isaiah 1:15.

hath uttered] Better muttereth (as R.V.).

Verse 3. - Your hands are defiled with blood (comp. Isaiah 1:15, 21). (On the "innocent blood" shed by the Jews of the later Judaean kingdom, see 2 Kings 21:6, 16; 2 Kings 24:4; 2 Kings 25:25; 2 Chronicles 24:21; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 2 Chronicles 33:6; 2 Chronicles 36:16, etc.) It consisted in

(1) sacrifices of children to Moloch;

(2) persecution of prophets; and

(3) judicial murders, either actual (like that of Naboth, in Israel) or virtual, i.e. such perversion of justice as produced general poverty and misery, and tended to shorten men's lives (see the comment on Isaiah 1:15). Your lips have spoken lies (comp. Isaiah 32:7). The wicked oppressors "devised wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words." Isaiah 59:3The sins of Israel are sins in words and deeds. "For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips speak lies, your tongue murmurs wickedness." The verb גּאל, to spot (see Isaiah 63:3), is a later softening down of גּעל (e.g., 2 Samuel 1:21); and in the place of the niphal נגאל (Zephaniah 3:1), we have here, as in Lamentations 4:14, the double passive form נגאל, compounded of niphal and pual. The post-biblical nithpal, compounded of the niphal and the hithpael, is a mixed form of the same kind, though we also meet with it in a few biblical passages (Deuteronomy 21:8; Proverbs 27:15; Ezekiel 23:48). The verb hâgâh (lxx μελετᾶ) combines the two meanings of "thought" (meditation or reflection), and of a light low "expression," half inward half outward.
Isaiah 59:3 Interlinear
Isaiah 59:3 Parallel Texts

Isaiah 59:3 NIV
Isaiah 59:3 NLT
Isaiah 59:3 ESV
Isaiah 59:3 NASB
Isaiah 59:3 KJV

Isaiah 59:3 Bible Apps
Isaiah 59:3 Parallel
Isaiah 59:3 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 59:3 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 59:3 French Bible
Isaiah 59:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Isaiah 59:2
Top of Page
Top of Page