And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the middle of the land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the Lord have removed men far away.—The words point to the policy of deportation adopted by the Assyrian kings. From the first hour of Isaiah’s call the thought of an exile and a return from exile was the key-note of his teaching, and of that thought thus given in germ, his whole after-work was but a development, the horizon of his vision expanding and taking in the form of another empire than the Assyrian as the instrument of punishment.
And there be a great forsaking.—Better, great shall be the deserted space. (Comp. Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 7:22-23.) The words may have connected themselves in Isaiah’s thoughts with what he had heard before from the lips of Micah (Jeremiah 26:18; Micah 3:12).
forsaking—abandonment of dwellings by their inhabitants (Jer 4:29).Have removed men far away; have caused this people to be carried away captive into far countries.
And there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land; till houses and lands be generally forsaken of their owners, either because fled away from the sword into strange lands, or because they went into captivity.
and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land; not that there should be many left in the land, and multiply and increase in it; which is the sense of the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; but that the land should be greatly forsaken of men; there should be many places in the midst of the land destitute of them; and this should continue a long time, as Kimchi observes, which therefore cannot be understood of the Babylonish captivity, but of their present one.And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. and there be a great forsaking … land] Better, and great be the vacancy in the midst of the land. The word “vacancy” (deserted place) is used in Isaiah 17:9 : for the thought cf. ch. Isaiah 5:9, Isaiah 7:16 ff.Verse 12. - And the Lord have removed men far away. The Assyrian and Babylonian policy of deportation is pointed at. Pul had attacked the kingdom of Israel ten or twelve years before Uzziah's death, and had perhaps made the Assyrian policy known, though he had allowed himself to be bought off (2 Kings 15:19, 20). And there be a great forsaking; rather, and the desolation be great; i.e. till a great portion of Judah be depopulated. Jeremiah 1:9, where the prophet's mouth is touched by Jehovah's hand, and made eloquent in consequence), he assured him of the forgiveness of his sins, which coincided with the application of this sacramental sign. The Vav connects together what is affirmed by nâga‛ (hath touched) and sâr (a taker away) as being simultaneous; the zeh (this) points as a neuter to the red-hot coal. The future tecuppâr is a future consec., separated by Vav conversive for the purpose of bringing the subject into greater prominence; as it is practically impossible that the removal of guilt should be thought of as immediate and momentary, and the expiation as occurring gradually. The fact that the guilt was taken away was the very proof that the expiation was complete. Cipper, with the "sin" in the accusative, or governed by על, signifies to cover it up, extinguish, or destroy it (for the primary meaning, vid., Isaiah 28:18), so that it has no existence in relation to the penal justice of God. All sinful uncleanness was burned away from the prophet's mouth. The seraph, therefore, did here what his name denotes: he burned up or burned away (Comburit). He did this, however, not by virtue of his own fiery nature, but by means of the divine fire which he had taken from the heavenly altar. As the smoke which filled the house came from the altar, and arose in consequence of the adoration offered to the Lord by the seraphim, not only must the incense-offering upon the altar and this adoration be closely connected; but the fire, which revealed itself in the smoke and consumed the incense-offering, and which must necessarily have been divine because of its expiatory power, was an effect of the love of God with which He reciprocated the offerings of the seraphim. A fiery look from God, and that a fiery look of pure love as the seraphim were sinless, had kindled the sacrifice. Now, if the fact that a seraph absolved the seer by means of this fire of love is to be taken as an illustrative example of the historical calling of the seraphim, they were the vehicles and media of the fire of divine love, just as the cherubim in Ezekiel are vehicles and media of the fire of divine wrath. For just as, in the case before us, a seraph takes the fire of love from the altar; so there, in Ezekiel 10:6-7, a cherub takes the fire of wrath from the throne-chariot. Consequently the cherubim appear as the vehicles and media of the wrath which destroys sinners, or rather of the divine doxa, with its fiery side turned towards the world; and the seraphim as the vehicles and media of the love which destroys sin, or of the same divine doxa with its light side towards the world.
(Note: Seraphic love is the expression used in the language of the church to denote the ne plus ultra of holy love in the creature. The Syriac fathers regarded the burning coal as the symbol of the incarnate Son of God, who is often designated in poetry as the "live or burning coal" (Kemurto denuro): DMZ. 1860, pp. 679, 681.)
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