Isaiah 6:4
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
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(4) The posts of the door.—Better, the foundations of the threshold. The words seem to point to the prophet’s position as in front of the Holy of holies.

The house was filled with smoke.—The vision had its prototype in “the smoke as of a furnace” on Sinai (Exodus 19:18), in the glory-cloud of 1Kings 8:10, and possibly in its lurid fire-lit darkness represented the wrath of Jehovah, as the clear brightness of the throne did His love. So in Revelation 15:8, the “smoke from the glory of God” precedes the outpouring of the seven vials of wrath’. The parallelism of the clouds of incense-smoke as the symbol of adoring prayer (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:4) suggests an alternative interpretation as possible; but in that case mention would probably have been made of the censers from which it rose. The incense-clouds of the Temple may in either case have been the starting-point of the mystic vision.

Isaiah 6:4. And the posts of the door moved — Together with the door itself. Such violent motions were commonly tokens of God’s anger. And here, it seems, this concussion of the temple was intended to signify God’s displeasure against his people for their sins, and to be a token of its destruction, by the Babylonians first, and afterward by the Romans; and the house was filled with smoke — Which elsewhere is a token of God’s presence and acceptance, but here, of his anger; and may be considered likewise as an emblem of the darkness and blindness of that generation of Jews, accustomed to worship in that temple, as also of that future generation of the same people, who should worship there in the days of the Messiah, before its second destruction by the Romans.6:1-8 In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.And the posts of the door - Margin, 'Thresholds.' There is some difficulty in the Hebrew here, but the meaning of the expression is sufficiently apparent. It means that there was a tremour, or concussion, as if by awe, or by the sound attending the cry. It is evidently a poetic expression.

The house - The temple.

Was filled with smoke - There is here, doubtless, a reference to "the cloud" that is so often mentioned in the Old Testament as the visible symbol of the Divinity; see the note at Isaiah 4:5. A similar appearance is recorded when Solomon dedicated the temple; 1 Kings 8:10; 2 Chronicles 5:13; Ezekiel 10:4.

4. posts of … door—rather, foundations of the thresholds.


smoke—the Shekinah cloud (1Ki 8:10; Eze 10:4).

The posts of the door, together with the door itself, as if the door was to be removed, and the temple thereby to be exposed to the view and rapine of profane persons. Such violent motions were commonly tokens of God’s anger.

Him that cried, to wit, the angel, which cried; Isaiah 4:3.

Filled with smoke; which elsewhere is a token of God’s presence and acceptance, as Exodus 40:34 1 Kings 8:10, but here of his anger, as Psalm 18:8, and elsewhere. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried,.... That is, the posts of the door of the temple, as the Targum adds, where this vision was seen, as represented to the prophet. Some think this respects the earthquake in Uzziah's time, mentioned in Zechariah 14:5 and which they suppose was at the time he attempted to offer incense, and was smitten with leprosy; but, as Kimchi observes, this moving of the door posts was only in the vision of prophecy, and not in reality; this shaking therefore may denote either the shaking and removing of the temple service and worship, at the death of Christ, and through the preaching of the Gospel; or rather the shaking of the consciences of men by the word, which made them cry out, what shall we do to be saved?

And the house was filled with smoke; this was a token either of the burning of the temple, or of the anger of God against the Jews, Psalm 18:8 or of their superstition and will worship, the cause of it, Revelation 9:1 or of the judicial blindness and darkness they were given up unto, Isaiah 6:9 or rather of the presence of God in his church, and with his ministers, Exodus 40:3 the allusion may be to the cloud of incense that covered the mercy seat, on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16:13 the passage is cited on this account in the Talmud (n).

(n) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 53. 1.

And the posts of the door {k} moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

(k) Which was to confirm the prophet, that it was not the voice of man: and by the smoke was signified the blindness that would come on the Jews.

4. the posts of the door moved] the foundations of the thresholds shook (R.V.).

was filled (began to fill) with smoke] The smoke symbolises the “dark side of Jehovah’s self-manifestation” (Revelation 15:8), the reaction of His holy nature against sin. It answers to the rising consciousness of alienation and impurity in the prophet’s mind, expressed in the next verse.Verse 4. - The posts of the door moved; rather, the bases of the thresholds shook (compare Revised Version). The shout of the seraphs shook the very foundations on which the thresholds of the gates of heaven rested - a testimony to the energy with which it was uttered. At the voice of him that cried; i.e. "at the voice of each and all." The house was filled with smoke. "Smoke" is sometimes the mere sign of the presence of God, as in Isaiah 4:5; but more often it indicates his presence in anger or judgment (see Exodus 19:18; Exodus 20:18; Revelation 15:8). Here there had been no smoke at first, and we must suppose it, therefore, a sign of the anger which finds vent in ver. 9-12. The prophet then proceeds to describe their weapons and war-chariots. "He whose arrows are sharpened, and all his bows strung; the hoofs of his horses are counted like flint, and his wheels like the whirlwind." In the prophet's view they are coming nearer and nearer. For he sees that they have brought the sharpened arrows in their quivers (Isaiah 22:6); and the fact that all their bows are already trodden (namely, as their length was equal to a man's height, by treading upon the string with the left foot, as we may learn from Arrian's Indica), proves that they are near to the goal. The correct reading in Jablonsky (according to Kimchi's Lex. cf., Michlal yofi) is קשּׁתתיו with dagesh dirimens, as in Psalm 37:15 (Ges. 20, 2, b). As the custom of shoeing horses was not practised in ancient times, firm hoofs (ὃπλαι καρτεραί, according to Xenophon's Hippikos) were one of the most important points in a good horse. And the horses of the enemy that was now drawing near to Judah had hoofs that would be found like flint (tzar, only used here, equivalent to the Arabic zirr). Homer designates such horses Chalkopodes, brazen-footed. And the two wheels of the war-chariots, to which they were harnessed, turned with such velocity, and overthrew everything before them with such violence, that it seemed not merely as if a whirlwind drove them forward, but as if they were the whirlwind itself (Isaiah 66:15; Jeremiah 4:13). Nahum compares them to lightning (Isaiah 2:5). Thus far the prophet's description has moved on, as if by forced marches, in clauses of from two to four words each. It now changes into a heavy, stealthy pace, and then in a few clauses springs like a wild beast upon its prey.
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