Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Their feet run to evil.—Note the parallelisms, entirely after the manner of Isaiah, with Proverbs 1:16; Proverbs 16:17. So the four words “paths,” “goings,” “ways,” and “paths” (another word in the Hebrew) are all from the same book.Isaiah 59:7-8. Their feet run to evil — This seems to be taken from Proverbs 1:16; where see the note. He had spoken of their hands, fingers, lips, tongues, &c., before, and now he speaks of their feet, to show that they were wholly set upon mischief. Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity — Their minds and hearts are wholly set upon committing wickedness, and doing injuries: they not only do evil, but do it deliberately. Wasting and destruction are in their paths — In what way or work soever they are engaged, it all tends to ruin and destruction. It is a metaphor taken from an overspreading torrent, or sweeping plague, or from beasts of prey, that tear and devour whatever comes in their way. The way of peace they know not — They live in continual contentions and discords, and break in pieces the very bonds of society. And there is no judgment — No justice, equity, faith, or integrity, which are the foundation of judgment; in their goings — In their conduct or actions. They have made them crooked paths — They have turned aside from the way of God’s commandments, which are a plain and straight way, into the crooked and winding paths of craft, subtlety, and selfishness. Whosoever goeth therein shall know no peace — Shall experience none. Whosoever shall do as they do, and be turbulent and perverse as they are, will have as little peace within, or happiness without, as they have.Isaiah 59:3-6. he had remarked that depravity had extended to their hands, their fingers, their lips, and their tongue; he here states that their feet also were employed in doing evil. Instead of treading the paths of righteousness, and hastening to execute purposes of mercy and justice, they were employed in journeyings to execute plans of iniquity. The words 'run,' and 'make haste,' are designed to intimate the intensity of their purpose to do wrong. They did not walk slowly; they did not even take time to deliberate; but such was their desire of wrong-doing, that they hastened to execute their plans of evil. People usually walk slowly and with a great deal of deliberation when any good is to be done; they walk rapidly, or they run with haste and alacrity when evil is to be accomplished. This passage is quoted by the apostle Paul Romans 3:15, and is applied to the Jews of his own time as proof of the depraved character of the entire nation.
They make haste to shed innocent blood - No one can doubt that this was the character of the nation in the time of Manasseh (see the Introduction, Section 3). It is not improbable that the prophet refers to the bloody and cruel reign of this prince. That it was also the character of the nation when Isaiah began to prophesy is apparent from Isaiah 1:15-21.
Their thoughts - That is, their plans and purposes are evil. It is not merely that evil is done, but they intended that it should be done. They had no plan for doing good; and they were constantly laying plans for evil.
Wasting - That is, violence, oppression, destruction. It means that the government was oppressive and tyrannical; and that it was the general character of the nation that they were regardless of the interests of truth and righteousness.
And destruction - Margin, 'Breaking.' The word commonly means breaking or breach; then a breaking down, or destruction, as of a kingdom Lamentations 2:11; Lamentations 3:47; or of individuals Isaiah 1:28. Here it means that they broke down or trampled on the rights of others.
Are in their paths - Instead of marking their ways by deeds of benevolence and justice, they could be tracked by cruelty and blood. The path of the wicked through the earth can be seen usually by the desolations which they make. The path of conquerors can be traced by desolated fields, and smouldering ruins, and forsaken dwelling-places, and flowing blood; and the course of all the wicked can be traced by the desolations which they make in their way.
run … haste—(Ro 3:15). Contrast David's "running and hasting" in the ways of God (Ps 119:32, 60).
thoughts—not merely their acts, but their whole thoughts.Their feet run to evil: this seems to be taken from Proverbs 1:16. See Poole "Proverbs 1:16". He had spoken of their hands, lips, and heart, &c. before, and now of their feet, to show that they were wholly set upon mischief.
Their thoughts, i.e. their heart and mind, is set upon doing wrong and injury; they not only do evil, but do it deliberately. You have the wicked described by this kind of working of their thoughts, Psalm 64:6; they meditate on little or nothing else.
Wasting and destruction are in their paths; a metaphor put for the behaviours and carriages of men; in what way or work soever they are engaged, it all tends to ruin and destruction. A metaphor taken from an overspreading torrent, or sweeping plague, or beasts of prey, that tear and devour whatsoever comes in their way. Proverbs 1:16 and are quoted with the following by the Apostle Paul, Romans 3:15 to prove the general corruption of mankind:
and they make haste to shed innocent blood: in wars abroad or at home, in quarrels and riots, or through the heat of persecution; which if it does not directly touch men's lives, yet issues in the death of many that fall under the power of it; and which persecutors are very eager and hasty in the prosecution of. The phrase fitly describes their temper and conduct:
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity: their thoughts are continually devising things vain and sinful in themselves, unprofitable to them, and pernicious to others: their thoughts, words, and actions being evil; their tongue, lips, hands, and feet being employed in sin, show their general depravity:
wasting and destruction are in their paths: they waste and destroy all they meet with in their ways, their fellow creatures and their substance; and the ways they walk in lead to ruin and destruction, which will be their portion for evermore.Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity (or evil)] corresponding to their deeds, Isaiah 59:6.
wasting and destruction] as ch. Isaiah 51:19, Isaiah 60:18; an alliteration in the Hebr.
in their paths] Lit. in their highways, cf. Proverbs 16:17.
7, 8. Cf. Proverbs 1:16; Romans 3:15-17.Verse 7. - Their feet run to evil. It is, however, only too true that they have a power to work evil. They cannot construct, their devices fall through, their "spinning" is to no purpose; but they can, in a rough and blind way, do enormous mischief. "Their feet run to evil" - rush to it at full speed - brook no delay, but hurry on into act. It is an easy thing to shed innocent blood; and those who are conscious of constructive impotence are very apt to seek compensation by doing destructive work, which at least shows that they have a power of some kind. Hence "Reigns of Terror" when revolutions are at the last gasp. The strong expressions with respect to shedding innocent blood, used here and in 2 Kings 21:16 and 2 Kings 24:4, seem to imply something like a massacre of the more godly Israelites by the ungodly in Manasseh's time. Wasting and destruction (compare the "destruction and misery" of Romans 3:16, which is a quotation of the present passage). Isaiah 50:2), or that He has not been aware of their desire for it, but that their iniquities (עונתיכם with the second syllable defective) have become dividers (מבדּלים, defective), have grown into a party-wall between them and their God, and their sins (cf., Jeremiah 5:25) have hidden pânı̄m from them. As the "hand" (yâd) in Isaiah 28:2 is the absolute hand; so here the "face" pânı̄m) is that face which sees everything, which is everywhere present, whether uncovered or concealed; which diffuses light when it unveils itself, and leaves darkness when it is veiled; the sight of which is blessedness, and not to see which is damnation. This absolute countenance is never to be seen in this life without a veil; but the rejection and abuse of grace make this veil a perfectly impenetrable covering. And Israel had forfeited in this way the light and sight of this countenance of God, and had raised a party-wall between itself and Him, and that משּׁמוע, so that He did not hear, i.e., so that their prayer did not reach Him (Lamentations 3:44) or bring down an answer from Him.
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