Isaiah 65:15
And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:
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(15) Ye shall leave your name for a curse . . .—The phrase has parallels in Numbers 5:21; Zechariah 8:13; Jeremiah 29:22, the thought in each case being that the person named is under so heavy a penalty from the wrath of Jehovah that he becomes a representative instance of what that wrath can accomplish, and because the old name, say of Jacob or of Judah, has been thus identified with evil. He will call His chosen ones, the true Israel, as by another name, which shall be for blessing, and not for cursing. (Comp. Isaiah 62:2, Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12.)

65:11-16 Here the different states of the godly and wicked, of the Jews who believed, and of those who persisted in unbelief, are set against one another. They prepared a table for that troop of deities which the heathen worship, and poured out drink-offerings to that countless number. Their worshippers spared no cost to honour them, which should shame the worshippers of the true God. See the malignity of sin; it is doing by choice what we know will displease God. In every age and nation, the Lord leaves those who persist in doing evil, and despise the call of the gospel. God's servants shall have the bread of life, and shall want nothing good for them. But those who forsake the Lord, shall be ashamed of vain confidence in their own righteousness, and the hopes they built thereon. Wordly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world's goods; but God's servants bless themselves in him. He is their strength and portion. They shall honour him as the God of truth. And it was promised that in him should all the families of the earth be blessed. They shall think themselves happy in having him for their God, who made them forget their troubles.And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen - To my people; to those whom I have selected to be my friends. The word rendered here 'curse' (שׁבועה shebû‛âh) means properly "an oath," or "a swearing"; and then "an imprecation" or "a curse" (see Numbers 5:21; Daniel 9:11). The sense here seems to be, that their punishment would be so great that it would become the subject of imprecation when others wished to bind themselves in the most solemn manner by an oath. The pious, who wished to confirm a promise or a covenant in the most solemn manner, would say, 'If we do not perform the promise, then let us experience the same punishment at the hand of God which they have done' (compare Jeremiah 29:22). Or it may mean, that their name would be used proverbially, like that of Sodom, as a signal example of wickedness and of the abhorrence of God.

And call his servants by another name - So disgraceful and dishonorable shall be that name, that Yahweh will apply another name to his people. Is there not an allusion here to the designed change of the name by which the people of God are known? Has it not been by the special providence of God that his true people are now known by another appellation? Is there any name on earth now that is more the subject of reproach and execration than all the appellations by which his ancient people were known? The name Jew - what ideas does it convey to all the nations of the earth? It is connected with reproach; a name regarded as belonging to a people accursed by God; a name more universally detested than any other known among people. And was it not because this name would be thus dishonored, reproached, and despised, that another was given to the true people of God - the name CHRISTIAN - an honored name - denoting true attachment to the Messiah?

15. curse—The name of "Jew" has been for long a formula of execration (compare Jer 29:22); if one wishes to curse another, he can utter nothing worse than this, "God make thee what the Jew is!" Contrast the formula (Ge 48:20) [Maurer].

my chosen—the elect Church, gathered from Jews and Gentiles, called by "another name," Christians (Ac 11:26). However (see on [873]Isa 65:13), as "My chosen," or "elect," in Isa 65:9, refers to the "seed of Jacob," the believing Jews, hereafter about to possess their land (Isa 65:19, 22), are ultimately meant by "My chosen," as contrasted with the unbelieving Jews ("ye"). These elect Jews shall be called by "another," or a new name, that is, shall no longer be "forsaken" of God for unbelief, but shall be His "delight" and "married" to Him (Isa 62:2, 4).

thee—unbelieving Israel. Isaiah here speaks of God, whereas in the preceding sentences God Himself spake. This change of persons marks without design how completely the prophet realized God with him and in him, so that he passes, without formally announcing it, from God's words to his own, and vice versa, both alike being from God.

Your name shall rot, as Proverbs 10:7, or only be used when men would curse others, saying, Let them be made like such persons. As the names of Leah and Rachel, Ruth 4:11, and others of God’s servants, were used in blessing; so your names shall only be used in cursing; or when men will curse themselves, they shall use your names as examples of the eminent wrath of God upon sinners. For you shall not perish by an ordinary hand, but by the hand of the

Lord God; and as is the God, so is his justice, so is his strength; yea, God himself shall look upon your name as accursed, and not suffer his people to be called by it; they shall not be called Jews, but Christians, Acts 11:26, the children of God, John 1:12. So detestable a sin is idolatry, that God will not suffer himself to be called by a name given to idols, how proper soever it be to express his perfection, Hosea 2:16,17; nor yet suffer his own people to be called by a name by which idolaters are known.

And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen,.... Execrable and abominable to them, as the name of a Jew is to this day, and in all places; for their unbelief and impenitence, for their perfidy and insincerity, for their tricking and covetousness, and other crimes they are addicted to; see Jeremiah 24:9,

for the Lord God shall slay them; by the sword of the Romans, and by his judgments, which continue upon them; the Targum says, with the second death; and so Jarchi interprets it of eternal death, which is the just wages of sin:

and call his servants by another name; a new name, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions; the name of the people of God, the Gentiles formerly were not called by; but now all that believe in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, are his people; the name of the sons of God, a name better than that of sons and daughters of the greatest potentate; the name which the mouth of the Lord calls, "Hephzibah" and "Beulah", being delighted in by the Lord, and married to him; or rather the name of Christians, first given to the disciples of Christ at Antioch, and ever since continued, Acts 11:26.

And ye shall leave your name for a curse to my {s} chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by {t} another name:

(s) Meaning, that he would call the Gentiles, who would abhor even the very name of the Jews for their infidelities sake.

(t) Than by the name of the Jews.

15. Their names shall be used in a formula of imprecation. Comp. in illustration Jeremiah 29:22 : “And from them shall be taken a curse for all the captivity of Judah … saying, ‘Jehovah make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire!’.” Have we such a formula quoted in the clause following, “and the Lord Jehovah shall slay thee”? It is objected (1) that the formula would be incomplete, the essential words—“like so-and-so”—being omitted; (2) the “and” is unaccounted for, while to remove it would leave a perf. with a precative sense, a usage which is very doubtful in Hebr. (Driver, Tenses, § 20). On the other hand, the use of 2nd pers. sing. rather favours the view that the words are meant as a specimen of the curse.

and call his servants by another name] The LXX. (Cod. Vat.), with slight modifications of the text, reads: “And on my servants shall be called a new name” (τοῖς δὲ δουλεύουσί μοι κληθήσεται ὄνομα καινόν). The καινόν is no doubt a slip; but the change of “his” to “my” is an obvious improvement, and may safely be adopted. The promise must not be taken too literally, nor too closely connected with the preceding threat. It is hardly conceivable that the prophet contemplates the abrogation of the name “Israel,” because it has been degraded by unworthy Israelites (Cheyne, Comm.). This would be implied only if the name “Israel” were that which is to remain for a curse, which is again a too violent interpretation. The “other name” is contrasted, not with that which both parties had borne in common, but with names such as “Forsaken,” which describe the present condition of the true believers. Cf. ch. Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 62:4; Isaiah 62:12.

Verse 15. - Ye shall leave your name for a curse (comp. Jeremiah 29:22). In their formulas of imprecation the Jews were in the habit of saying, "The Lord make thee like" this or that person, or this or that class of persons. The name of the exiles should be used in this manner. Unto my chosen (see the comment on ver. 9). The Lord God shall slay thee (see the comment on ver. 12). Some, however, take the words as part of the formula of imprecation. And call his servants by another name (compare what is said of "new name" in Isaiah 62:2). Isaiah 65:15On the ground of the sin thus referred to again, the proclamation of punishment is renewed, and the different fates awaiting the servants of Jehovah and those by whom He is despised are here announced in five distinct theses and antitheses. "Therefore thus saith the Lord, Jehovah: Behold my servants will eat, but ye will hunger; behold my servants will drink, but ye will thirst; behold my servants will rejoice, but ye will be put to shame; behold my servants will exult for delight of heart, but ye will cry for anguish of heart, and ye will lament for brokenness of spirit. And ye will leave your name for a curse to my chosen ones, and the Lord, Jehovah, will slay thee; but His servants He will call by another name, to that whoever blesseth himself in the land will bless himself by the God of truthfulness, and whoever sweareth in the land will swear by the God of truthfulness, because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they have vanished from mine eyes." The name Adonai is connected with the name Jehovah for the purpose of affirming that the God of salvation and judgment has the power to carry His promises and threats into execution. Starving, confounded by the salvation they had rejected (תּבשׁוּ as in Isaiah 66:5), crying and wailing (תּילילוּ, fut. hiph. as in Isaiah 15:2, with a double preformative; Ges. 70, 2 Anm.) for sorrow of heart and crushing of spirit (shebher, rendered very well by the lxx συντριβή, as in Isaiah 61:1, συντετριμμένους ), the rebellious ones are left behind in the land of captivity, whilst the servants of Jehovah enjoy the richest blessings from God in the land of promise (Isaiah 62:8-9). The former, perishing in the land of captivity, leave their name to the latter as shebhū‛âh, i.e., to serve as a formula by which to swear, or rather to execrate or curse (Numbers 5:21), so that men will say, "Jehovah slay thee, as He slew them." This, at any rate, is the meaning of the threat; but the words וגו והמיתך cannot contain the actual formula, not even if we drop the Vav, as Knobel proposes, and change לבחירי into לבחיריו; for, in the first place, although in the doxologies a Hebrew was in the habit of saying "berūkh shemō" (bless his name) instead of yehı̄ shemō bârukh (his name be blessed), he never went so far as the Arab with his Allâh tabâr, but said rather יתברך. Still less could he make use of the perfect (indicative) in such sentences as "may he slay thee," instead of the future (voluntative) ימיתך, unless the perfect shared the optative force of the previous future by virtue of the consecutio temporum. And secondly, the indispensable כּהם or כּאלּה would be wanting (see Jeremiah 29:22, cf., Genesis 48:20). We may therefore assume, that the prophet has before his mind the words of this imprecatory formula, though he does not really express them, and that he deduces from it the continuation of the threat. And this explains his passing from the plural to the singular. Their name will become an execration; but Jehovah will call His servants by another name (cf., Isaiah 62:2), so that henceforth it will be the God of the faithfully fulfilled promise whose name men take into their mouth when they either desire a blessing or wish to give assurance of the truth (hithbâr be, to bless one's self with any one, or with the name of any one; Ewald, 133, Anm. 1). No other name of any god is now heard in the land, except this gloriously attested name; for the former troubles, which included the mixed condition of Israel in exile and the persecution of the worshippers of Jehovah by the despisers of Jehovah, are now forgotten, so that they no longer disturb the enjoyment of the present, and are eve hidden from the eyes of God, so that all thought of ever renewing them is utterly remote from His mind. This is the connection between Isaiah 65:16 and Isaiah 65:13-15. אשׁר does not mean eo quod here, as in Genesis 31:49 for example, but ita ut, as in Genesis 13:16. What follows is the result of the separation accomplished and the promise fulfilled. For the same reason God is called Elohē'âmēn, "the God of Amen," i.e., the God who turns what He promises into Yea and Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). The epithet derived from the confirmatory Amen, which is thus applied to Jehovah, is similar to the expression in Revelation 3:14, where Jesus is called "the Amen, the faithful and true witness." The explanatory kı̄ (for) is emphatically repeated in וכי, as in Genesis 33:11 and 1 Samuel 19:4 (compare Job 38:20). The inhabitants of the land stand in a close and undisturbed relation to the God who has proved Himself to be true to His promises; for all the former evils that followed from the sin have entirely passed away.
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