Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:2. The bad fruits of the present in the light of the glorious divine fruit of the last time. Isaiah 5:1–30
a. THE BAD FRUITS OF THE PRESENT SHOWN IN THE PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD
1 Now will I sing 1to my well-beloved
A song of my beloved touching his vineyard.
My well beloved hath a vineyard
In 2 3a very fruitful hill:
2 And he 4 5fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof,
And planted it with the choicest vine,
And built a tower in the midst of it,
And also 6made a winepress therein:
And he looked that it should bring forth grapes,
And it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O, inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah,
Judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard,
That I have not done in it?
Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes,
Brought it forth wild grapes?
5 And now go to; I will tell you
What I will do to my vineyard:
I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up;
And break down the wall thereof, and it shall be 7trodden down:
6 And I will lay it waste:
It shall not be pruned, nor digged;
But there shall come up briers and thorns:
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain upon it,
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah 8his pleasant plant:
And he looked for 9judgment, but behold 10oppression;
For righteousness, but behold a cry.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL
Isa 5:1. Attention has often been called to the artistic, rythmical structure of Isa 5:1: to אָשִׁירָה corresponds שִׁירַת; to לִידִידִי corresponds דּוֹדִי. The first clause of the verse concludes with לִכַדְמוֹ; the second begins with כֶּרֶם, and the third word is again לִידִידִי. קֶרֶן rhymes to קֶרֶם, and the last three words of the verse end with ֶן. Moreover the rythm continues into the 2d
Ver.; for the three verbs that begin it, resemble one another in formation and ending.
The verb שִׁיר joined with the noun שִׁיר occurs of joyful song in Isaiah in two other places, 26:1; 42:10. שִׁירָה always has the pronoun הַזּאֹת after it (Exod. 15:1; Num. 21:17; Deut. 31:19,21, 22,30; 32:44; 2 Sam. 22:1; Ps. 18:1); only in Isaiah, who beside here uses it 23:15, is it determined by only a noun following in the genitive. יָדִיד (the closely bound, beloved, friend) used by Isaiah only here. Comp. Deut. 33:12; Jer. 11:15; coll. 7:7; Ps. 60:7; 127:2 דּוֹד, kindred to יָדִיד, is originally an abstract noun = amor, caritas (comp. Song of S. 5:9) especially in the plural (love deeds, fondling, Song of S. 1:2; 4:4, etc.; Ezek. 16:8; Prov. 7:18, etc.). Then דּוֹד stands for the person beloved (compare the words Liebschaft, Bekanntschaft, acquaintance, מוֹדַעַת Ruth, 3:2) and signifies both the beloved generally (Song of S. 2:3, etc.), and a beloved and near relation (Lev. 10:4; 1 Sam. 10:16, etc.). That it here means the beloved generally appears from its connection with יָדִיד. This word, too, does not again occur in Isaiah. לְ indicates the object after verbis decendi: Gen. 20:13; Lev. 14:54; Ps. 3:3; 22:31; Isa. 27:2, etc.—קֶרֶן is used only here in the Old Testament of a horn shaped hill. In Ovid mountain spurs are called cornua terrœ. In Greek too κέρας is so used. Compare the German Schreckhorn, Wetterhorn, etc.—The expression בן־שׁמן occurs only here. Yet comp. גֵּיא שְׁמָנִים 28:1, and the kindred expressions used of the fruitfulness of the soil. שָׁמֵן (30:23; Ezek. 34:14), מִשְׁמַנִּים (Gen. 27:28, 39) אַשְׁמַנֵּים (Isa. 59:10).
Isa 5:2. עִזֵּק is ἅπ. λεγ., but its meaning is definitely derived from the dialects.—סִקֵּל in this sense only here and 62:10.—נָטַע with double accusative comp. Jer. 2:21; where, beside, the word is borrowed from our passage.—שׂרֵק only here and Jer. 2:21; Gen. 49:11, שׂרקה; Isa. 16:8, שְׂרוּקִּים: etymology doubtful, some taking the underlying idea, to be without seeds, others the shooting up, others purple color [Zech. 1:8]: comp. LEYRER in HERZOG’S R. Encycl. XVII. p. 612.
Isa 5:3. On “Jerusalem and Judah” comp. at 2:1. The expression ישֵׁב ירושׁלם occurs beside in Isa. 8:14; 22:21; Isa 10:24 ישֵׁב צִיּוֹן occurs. Except these only Zech. 12:7, 8,10, uses ישׁב י׳. The more usual expression is ישְׁבֵי י׳; 2 Kings 23:2, especially in Jer. (8:1; 11:2; 13:13, etc.), and in 2 Chron. (20:15; 21:11,13; 32:26, 33, etc.).
Isa 5:4. On לעשׂות GESENIUS § 132, Rem. 1.—מזוע קויתי וגו׳. Comp. 1. 2.
Isa 5:5. משׂוכה, which some of the MSS. write with Dag. forte, is = שׂךְ (Lam. 2:6) and מְסוּכָה (Mich. 7:4; Prov. 15:19). The word occurs only here in Isaiah. The meaning is: a hedge, a thorn hurdle, from שׂוּךְ sepire (Hos. 2:6 (8); Job 1:10). והיה לבער et erit ad depascendum, comp. 3:14; 4:4; 6:13. The expression לְבָעֵר occurs also with the meaning “ad comburendum;” 44:15, comp. 40:16; 50:11.—פָּרַץ in the sense “to tear down” only here. Beside this in 54:3, in the sense “to break out, extend oneself abroad.” גָדֵר may signify the low wall of a vineyard as well as the high wall of a city: comp. Jer. 49:3; Num. 22:24. In Isaiah the word does not again occur. Hedge and wall might be combined in such a way that the hedge surrounded the foot of the wall so as also to protect it. Yet perhaps the double enclosure is not to be pressed literally, but, may be construed rhetorically, since no actual vineyard is meant.—מִדְמָם conculcatio: 7:25; 10, 6; 28:18.—Giving up His vineyard, the Lord abandons it to desolation.
Isa 5:6. שִׁית בָּתָה appears to correspond to the expression עָשָה כָלָה often used, by Jer. especially, but which does not occur in Isaiah. בָּתָה is ἅπ. λεγ. According to its meaning and derivation it is one with בַּתָּה 7:19. The verb בָּתַת does not occur in Hebrew. Yet the meaning “abscindere” is established from the dialects. From that develops בַּת = the close-cut-off, exactly measured out, as the name of a fluid measure, (comp. Isa 5:10), and בָּתָה vastatio and בַּתָּה abscissum, prœruptum.—The vineyard abandoned to desolation will, of course, no more be pruned (זָמַר in this sense only here in Isa., otherwise 12:5) and no more digged (עדר in the sense of “to dig” only again 7:25). Consequently it springs up with thorns and thistles (the construction of עָלה with the accusative like 34:13; Prov. 24:31. The two words שָׁמִיר and שַׁיִת, excepting 32:13, are always joined together by Isa.: 7:23, 24, 25; 9:17; 10:17; 27:4. Both words, as one may see from the passages cited, signify combustible vegetation of the desert, although nothing as yet has been established concerning the etymology and meaning of either. But comp. DIETRICH, Abhandl. fur semit. Wortforschung, p. 73, and the Denkschrift der Erfurter Akademie von S. CASSEL, 1854, p. 74 sqq., cited by DELITZSCH.
Isa 5:7. נְטַע occurs again in Isa. 17:10, 11. Isaiah uses שַֽׁעֲשוּעִים only here.—מִשְׂפָּח occurs only here. The verb שָׂפַח occurs in Hebrew only in the Piel form שִׂפַּח 3:17. It is identical with ספח (Hab. 2:15) according to a frequent exchange of sound. Not only the Arabic saphacha proves that סָפַח means effundere, but also passages like Job 30:7; then the substantive סָפִיחַ that means effusio, inundatio (Job 14:19) and effusum, i.e., especially the grain that falls out (Lev. 25:5, 11). Of course then מִשְׂפָּח means first of all effusio. But for the sake of a play on words, an author may indulge in such an incomplete expression. The reader at once thinks of passages like 4:4; 1:15, and fills out the conception “sanguinis” of himself. The word צְעָקָח cry, is not repeated in Isaiah, he also chooses it for the sake of the play on words. For my own part I have allowed myself to waive a literal translation in favor of a likeness of sound and to use a word that at least corresponds to the proper intention of the Prophet.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
1. When we read the introduction of this piece it sounds like a lovely musical prelude. All sounds like singing. It is as if the Prophet tried every harmonious sound of speech in order to turn the hearts of his hearers to joy. But it happens to us as he says, Isa 5:7, it happened to God in reference to Israel. Instead of a joyful report we receive a mournful one; instead of happiness, a gloomy prospect of evil is presented. The piece therefore bears the character of bitter irony. This is especially in the beginning carried out even to minuteness. The Prophet makes as if he would sing a joyous song, a song of the vineyard, thus perhaps of wine, a drinking song! It shall be of the vineyard of a boon companion. And then the Prophet describes the situation. It is a good site. For there is no better than on a sunny knoll with a good, fat soil (Isa 5:1a). But the owner aided nature as much as possible by art (Isa 5:2a.). He had a right therefore to expect a good yield. His hopes were disappointed. Instead of good grapes the vines bore wild grapes (Isa 5:2). Thus far the Prophet speaks. From this point he lets the owner of the vine speak. One looked to hear of a real vineyard. But what sort of a vineyard is that whose owner accuses it and charges it with guilt! Now, therefore, when the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah are summoned to judge between the vineyard and its lord (Isa 5:3), in as much as he has faithfully done his best, yet instead of grapes has gathered only wild grapes (Isa 5:4), it is noticed at once that behind this is concealed something else than the story of a real, natural vineyard. And step by step this becomes plainer. For the lord of the vineyard declares that he will tear away hedge and wall, and give the vineyard up to be browsed upon and trampled down (Isa 5:5), yea, that he will make a ruin of it, he will no more hoe and prune it, but let it grow rank with thorns and thistles, and will forbid the heavens to rain on it (5:6). This last word lifts the mask entirely. It is now seen who is the owner and who the vineyard. And this is now (5:7) openly declared: Jehovah is the lord; Israel, summoned to judge between the lord and his vineyard, is itself the vineyard. The Lord had expected of Israel the fruits of righteousness, but only gathered the fruits of unrighteousness. What a contrast between this fruit of the land and that which, according to 4:2, the land shall one time bear!
2. I will sing—wild grapes. Isa 5:1 and 2. Everything in this passage tends to express the idea of disappointment, the contrast between incipient hope and the final, mournful event. Hence the joyous, one may say the lark-like trilling commencement. Every harvest is preceded by a season of hope. Israel too awakened such. How joyous this was, 5:1 portrays. One must not, therefore, be misled by the peculiar joyous tone of 5:1, to think that here begins an essentially new and independent piece. For this sound-coloring of Isa 5:1, is intentional, is art.
The address begins with אָשִׁירָה, I will sing. One, therefore, expects a שִׁיר, a jovial song: but a קינָה. (Am. 8:10), a lament follows. What a contrast, therefore, between the sixfold woe of Isa 5:8 sqq., and this joy bespeaking beginning! לִידִידִי seems, at first sight, to be an ordinary dative, and to say that the prophet would sing to his friend a song, thus likely a song of right hearty and enlivening contents. But לְכַדְמוֹ suggests that that may be an incorrect meaning: for this must mean “in regard to his vineyard.” Thus לְ must here be לְ of the object. Then it seems likely that in the preceding case it has the same force. This conjecture becomes a certainty when we read further “my friend (לידידי) had a vineyard.” From this it becomes plain: 1) that the friend in each case is the same, for the owner of the vineyard is called both דּוֹד and יָדִיד; 2) that we must translate לידידי in Isa 5:1 “of my friend,” for the song shall treat of the vineyard of his friend; 3) what the Prophet would sing is not a song of his own composing, but one that his friend has made of his vineyard, so that “I will sing” is qualified by the following, “a song of my friend,” &c.; 4) from the words “my friend had a vineyard,” &c, we know that the song of the friend does not yet begin. For to the end of Isa 5:2 we have still the words of the Prophet, by which, as it were, he preludes the song of the friend, in order to acquaint the hearer with the facts that the song presupposes. Thus the Prophet gives us one disappointment after the other. Though they are only of a formal kind, still they prepare us for the more earnest and material disappointments that follow.
We have already remarked that with “my friend had,” &c., the song of the friend by no means begins, as one would expect, and that what the Prophet himself says is by no means a song, but a very earnest presentation of gloomy facts. This is a further disappointment. That בְּן, as commentators remark, signifies the natural fruitfulness in opposition to what is artificial appears to me to lie less in the expression itself than in its relation to Isa 5:2. The usus loquendi in itself is well known: UMBREIT’S translation “on the prominence of a fat spot” is incorrect. For בּן־שׁמן in itself is not a “fat spot” but a real son, a man, whom the notion “oil” characterizes (comp. בְּנֵי יִצְהַרZech. 4:14). It can only become predicate of a place by connection with an idea of place. Such is קרן with which בן־שׁמן stands in apposition. If they were taken as standing in a genitive relation the meaning would be: horn of a man of oil, of one oiled, of an anointed man. However, to this naturally fruitful spot, the owner had done everything that the art of wine culture could suggest. He had hoed it, gathered out the stones, and planted it with a choice vine. But not only did the owner undertake such labor as was important for the flourishing of the vines themselves, but also such as were for the protection of the fruit and putting it to use. Such are the watch tower (vid. Matth. 21:33) and the wine press (יֶקֶב the lower wine-press trough, comp. 16:10, Num. 18:27, &c), both of them costly, &c.,—especially the latter, hence וְגַםand also—demanding hard labor, because the wine-press trough, as חָצֵב (10:15; 22:16; 51:1, 9) indicates, was hewn out of the rock. See HERZOG’SR. Encycl. VII., p. 508, Art. Wine-press, by LEYRER. But—disappointed hope! Instead of עֲנָבִים (in Isa. only here, and Isa 5:2 and 4) good grapes, the vineyard bore only בְּאֻשִׁיםsour grapes. This last word occurs only here and Isa 5:4. It comes from בָּאַשׁ “to be bad, stink,” and means the fruit of the wild vine, the labrusca. It has, therefore, happened to the choice vine according to the word of Jer. (2:21), which may be regarded as a commentary on our passage: “thou art turned into a degenerate plant of a strange vine.” The noble vine is degenerated and become wild, so that it produces wild grapes instead of grapes.—Comp. Job 31:40.
3. And now, O inhabitants—no rain upon it.
Isa 5:3-6. The song of the “friend” begins first at Isa 5:3. It is, however, no gladsome song, but a lament and a complaint. And the friend is not some good friend or boon companion of the Prophet, but the Lord Himself, which comes out clearly at the end of Isa 5:6. This one, now, summons the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah to judge between him and his vineyard.
Judge between me, etc.—Comp. 2:4; Exod. 18:16; Ezek. 34:17, 20, 22. The summons of Isa 5:3 to judge between the vineyard and its owner, must of itself awaken the thought that no actual, physical vineyard is meant here. For where is the owner that would ever think of laying a complaint against his vineyard? One sees from this, and other obvious traits of the description, that the subject here is not an ordinary vineyard and its owner; and 5:6 b. one is made aware that the owner is God Himself. For only He has the power to cause it to rain, and to shut up the rain. Notice, moreover, how Isa 5:1 and 2 the Prophet himself has spoken, although announcing a song of the friend, and only at Isa 5:3 the friend begins to speak, in that with “and now” he takes up the discourse of the Prophet and continues it. One may say: quite unnoticed the Prophet glides over into the part played by him whom properly he has to produce to view. And to the first “and now” corresponds a second in Isa 5:5, that introduced the judgment, so that the extraordinary judgment begins in precisely the same way that the extraordinary complaint does.
The Lord will command the clouds to let no rain fall on the vineyard. With these words the vail falls completely. It is plain now that the beginning of Isa 5:1 was irony. A fearful disappointment comes on those that had disappointed the Lord Himself, and, by the art of the Prophet, the reader, too, must share this disappointment, in that he is conducted from the charming pictures of Isa 5:1, to the dreadful ones that are now to follow.
For the vineyard—a cry.
Isa 5:7. Like the prophet Nathan, 2 Sam. 12:5, first provoked King David to a stern judgment of a wicked man by means of a fictitious story, and then exclaimed: “thou art the man,” so here Isaiah explains to the men of Jerusalem and Judah, after they had at least silently given their assent to the judgment on the bad vineyard: “The vineyard of Jehovah is the house of Israel.” But this statement is connected by כִּיfor, with what precedes, because a consequence of this fact was already indicated at the end of Isa 5:6. For this not letting it rain explains itself from the fact that the Lord Himself is the owner, and the vineyard is the house of Israel. For, though one must admit that Isa 5:7 refers to all that precedes, yet still that trait in Isa 5:1–6 which especially receives its light from the identity of the owner with Jehovah, is precisely that which we read in Isa 5:6b.
But why does the prophet vary from the designation “Judah and Jerusalem” hitherto employed by him? Why does he here make “house of Israel” and “men of Judah” parallel? CASPARI attempts in his Beiträgen, p. 164, an extended proof that here, as 4:2 and 1:2, Israel is Judah as Israel, and as Israel in Judah. But one naturally asks: why, if Isaiah meant only Judah, does he not name Judah exclusively? Why does he suddenly drop the designation used hitherto? But if with the name “house of Israel” he designates Judah (to be) as Israel, is it not therewith admitted that the conception Israel extends over Judah, and is not then this more comprehensive Israel in its totality, the vineyard of Jehovah? It is true that the figure of the vineyard is nowhere in older writings applied either to Judah or Israel. But the Lord calls Israel His people (3:12, &c), His flock (Ps. 95:7, &c), His peculiar treasure (Exod. 19:5; Deut. 6:6), His inheritance (Jer. 2:7; 16:18, &c), and all these expressions refer to Israel entire. Thus it cannot be contested that Israel in the narrower sense belongs also to the vineyard of Jehovah. If now, too, in general, as can not be denied, Judah and Jerusalem form the principal object of the discourse (2:1), yet the prophet may here and there cast a glance aside at the kingdom of Israel. Prophets of Jehovah can never forget that Israel, which hastens faster to the abyss of destruction than Judah, as Jer. expressly says: 31:20; comp. Isa. 11:11 sqq. I therefore share the view of VITRINGA, DRECHSLER, DELITZSCH, that “house of Israel” of course means all Israel. This view is not refuted but rather confirmed by the fact that the men of Judah are presently called “the plant of his pleasure.” For this expression that accords to Judah a certain precedence, suits better when “house of Israel” does not signify Judah over again, but the Israel of the Ten Tribes.
The Lord had planted with pleasure. But He was outrageously deceived in His just expectations. He had expected a “fruit of the earth” 4:2, that would do Him honor. But behold! instead of מִשְׁפָטmishpot, He gathers מִשְׂפָּחmispahh: instead of צְדָקָהtzedhaka, he gathers צְעָקָהtzeaka. The poet here choicely depicts by the word-likeness, which yet conceals a total difference of meaning, the deceptive appearance in the conduct of the Israelites, which at first looked like good vines and then developed a wild wine.
of my friend.
Heb. the horn of the son of oil.
a hill of fat soil.
Or, made a wall about it.
Heb. for a treading.
Heb. plant of his pleasure.
auf Gutthat und siehe da: Blutthat! Und auf Gerechtigkeit, und siehe da: Schlechtigkeit. [The commentator's license in translating with reference to the sound and sense combined may be imitated in English thus: He waited for equity, and lo, iniquity: For right and lo, riot.—TR.]
Heb. a scab.
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!b. THE BAD FRUITS AND THEIR EFFECTS MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED IN A SIXFOLD WOE–AT THE SAME TIME A TWOFOLD CONCLUSIONS OF THE WHOLE DISCOURSE
8 Woe unto them that join house to house,
That lay field to field,
Till there be no place,
That11 they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
9 12 In mine ears said the LORD of hosts,
13 Of a truth many houses shall be desolate,
Even great and fair, without inhabitant.
10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,
And the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.
11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink;
That continue until night, till wine14 inflame them!
12 15 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe,
16 And wine, are in their feasts:
But they regard not the work of the LORD,
Neither consider the operation of his hands.
13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity,17 because they have no knowledge:
And18 their honorable men are19 famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore hell hath enlarged 20herself,
And opened her mouth without measure:
And their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp,
And he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
15 And 21the mean man shall be brought down,
Andf the mighty man shall be humbled,
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment,
And22 23God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
17 Then shall the lambs feed 24after their manner,
And the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.
18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as it were with a cart rope:
19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work,
That we may see it:
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come,
That we may know it.
20 Woe unto them 25that call evil good, and good evil;
That put darkness for light, and light for darkness:
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent 26in their own sight!
22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine,
And men of strength to mingle strong drink:
23 Which justify the wicked for reward,
And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24 Therefore as 27the fire devoureth the stubble,
And the flame consumeth the 28chaff,
So their root shall be as rottenness,
Because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people,
And he hath stretched forth his hand against them,
And hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble,
And their carcasses were29 30torn in the midst of the streets.
But his hand is stretched out still,
26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far,
And will hiss unto them from the end of the earth:
And, behold, 31they shall come with speed swiftly:
27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them;
None shall slumber nor sleep;
Neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed,
Nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:
28 Whose arrows are sharp,
Their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint,
And their wheels like a whirlwind:
29 Their roaring shall be like a32 lion,
They shall 33roar like young lions:
Yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey,
And shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.
30 And in that day 34they shall roar against m them like the roaring of the sea:
And if one look unto the land, behold darkness and 35sorrow,
36 And the light is darkened37 in the heavens thereof.
TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL
Isa 5:8. נָגַע is often construed with בְּ: Gen. 26:11; 32:33; Lev. 11:36; 1 Ki. 19:5, 7, etc. Comp. especially Hos. 4:2. Hiphil הִגִּיעַ occurs beside only 6:7; 8:8; 25:12; 26:5; 30:4. קָרַב is generally not construed with בְּ. But when DRECHSLER says that this construction never occurs, it is asserting too much. For Ps. 91:10 it is said “No plague יִקְרַב בְּאָֽהֳלֶךָ.” Comp. Judges 19:13. In our passage the construction of the first clause has doubtless influenced that of the second. Hiph. הִקְרִיב only again 26:17.——אֶפֶם (defectus, non-existent) occurs oftener in the second part than in the first: 40:17; 41:12, 29; 44:6, 14, 22; 46:9, 52:4, 10; 54:15. In the first part it occurs again only 34:12.——The Hophal הוּשַׁבְתֶּם (44:26) indicates that their dwelling alone in the land was not a natural thing, but something contrived. Compare complaints of like import 3:14 sq.; Mich. 2:2; 3:2, sq.
Isa 5:9. In mine ears, etc. In 22:14 an address of Jehovah begins with the words “and it was revealed in mine ears.” etc. In our passage וְנִגְלָה “and, it was revealed” is omitted. It does not follow from this that this or some similar word has fallen out of the text. For the Prophet may very well have had in thought the bare notion of existence as predicate of his sentence; “In mine ears is Jehovah Sabaoth.” It must not however be construed in a pregnant sense: Jehovah keeps ever saying to me (liegt mir in den Ohren). For there is not a thought of any resistance on the part of the Prophet that had provoked a persistence on the Lord’s side. Neither may the expression mean: Jehovah whispers in my ear; as if the secrecy of the address were meant by it; for there exists no reason for such secrecy. But the Prophet will only say, that what follows he has clearly heard by the inward ear as the word of Jehovah. There lies thus in the expression a distinguishing of actual from merely imaginary hearing. Comp. Ps. 44:2; Job 28:22; 33:8.
The pointing of the word באזני as a pausel from appears to have for its object to separate it from what follows and to signify thereby that in this word alone is contained the predicate of the sentence.—לשׁמה again 13:9, comp. Deut. 28:37; Mich. 6:16.—מאין יושׁב comp. 6:11; Jer. 2:15; 4:7, etc.; Zeph. 2:5; 3:6.
Isa 5:11. A likeness of structure is to be noticed in the two halves of the verse. The verb. fin. in the phrase שֵׁכָר יִרְדּפוּ relates to the foregoing participle, not simply like יַקְרִיבוּ Isa 5:8, as the dominant form, but at the same time as assigning thepurpose; and so is it too with יַדְלִיקֵם—The Pi. of אָחֵר again in Isa. 46:13. נֶשֶׁף from נָשַׁף to breathe, to blow, the time of day when cooler air stirs, the morning and evening twilight: comp. 21:4; 59:10. The verb דָּלַק (comp. Ezek. 24:10) is found only here in Isaiah.
Isa 5:12. If משׁתיהם (sing. comp. GESENIUS, § 93, 9) were subject, it must follow וְהָיָה, for this position is constantly maintained, after a verb with Vav consec. But if it were predicate, it would say nothing; for what else would music and wine be but a feast. For that והיה would be superfluous. We construe הָיָה therefore, not as mere copula, but in the sense of being on hand; and there is on hand.——The combination of מעשׂה with יד in a manfold sense is quite current with Isa. 2:8; 17:8; 19:25; 29:23; 37:19; 60:21; 64:7; 65:22.
Isa 5:13. גָלָה in the sense of “making bare, i.e., clearing out the land” occurs in Isaiah only again 24:11, which passage generally resembles this one.—מְתֵי רָעָב has without reason been discredited, and instead some would read מְזֵי רעב according to Deut. 32:24, for מְתִים is wont to be used in a contemptuous sense, comp. 3:25.—צִחֶה (comp. GREEN’S Gram. § 187,1 b.) is adjectivum ad f. אִלֵּם ,נִבֵּן ,עִוֵּרִ etc., and only occurs here.
Isa 5:14. פָּעַר aperire, that always stands with פֶּה (Job 16:10; 29:23; Ps. 119:131) occurs in Isaiah only here. The same with לִבְלִי (comp. Job 38:41; 41:25). חֹק again only 24:5 .——The suffixes of the nouns are to be referred to the notion “Jerusalem,” although immediately before Isa 5:13, the masculine עַם is used. But it is plain that the Prophet in Isa 5:14 b., aims at a mimicry of sound. For this purpose he employs the clear a sound as often as possible. DELITZSCH calls attention to the omission to draw the tone back on the penult of the word ועלז, “so that one may hear the object that is falling down as it rolls and at last strikes bottom.” הָדָר comp. 2:10,19, 21; 35:2; 53:2.
Isa 5:15. The aorists ויגבה ,וישׁפל ,וישׁח are to be construed as Prœterita prophetica. Also תשׁפלנה, with the Vav preceding and separate, is, as DRECHSLER has remarked = וַתִּשְׁפַלְנָה.
Isa 5:17. רָעוּ is to be taken absolutely, without object. What is understood suggests itself from what precedes. The pronoun of the third person is, as object of the phrase, very often omitted; Gen. 2:19; 3:21; 6:19, 20, 21, etc. It is not necessary, with GESENIUS to take כדברם for כִּבְדָבְרָם: for רָעָה very often stands with the accusative of the place that is pastured: 30:23; Mich. 7:14; Jer. 6:3; 1:19, etc. As their pasture shall the sheep graze over the ruins of Jerusalem, in so far as the inhabited city becomes a sheep walk. When DELITZSCH thinks that no accusative object is to be supplied to רעו, but that the determination of the locality results from the context, it is seen that still there is a supplying of the object. One may as well supply the definite locality as object according to frequent usus loquendi, as imagine it from the context. The sense, in any case remains the same.—כֶּבֶשׂ found again only 1:11; 11:6, מִדְבָּר = דּבֶר the place whither flocks are driven, found again only Mich. 2:12. מֵחִים found beside only Ps. 65:6, 15. גָּרִים are not גֵּרִים the strangers that are constant dwellers in the land, but as participle from גוּר, those en passant. The LXX translate ἄρνες. They may have read perhaps גדים(גְּדָיִם). This word, moreover, SCHLEUSSNER, HITZIG, EWALD and others would restore. But we have shown above that an emphasis rests on the idea of a transitory stopping. גָּר in Isaiah again 11:6; 54:15. The plural חרבות occurs only here in the first part of Isaiah; but six times in the second part: 44:26; 49:19; 51:3; 52:9; 58:12; 61:4. The singular is found only 64:10.
Isa 5:18. I take משׁך in its usual meaning in which it often occurs with the accusative (in Isaiah again only 66:19, coll. 13:22; 18:2). חבלי חשׁוא are ropes of lies, for what binds them to sin, is the illusion that sin makes one happy. Hence every sin is a fraud (Heb. 3:13). The expression further calls to mind Jon. 2:9; Psalm 31:7; and also חַבְלֵי חַטָּאָה Prov. 5:22, and חַבְלֵי אָדָם Hos. 11:4. Regarding the use of שָׁוְא in Isaiah, comp. 1:13 (מנחת־שׁ׳). 30:28 (נָפַת שׁ׳), 59:4, (דַּבֶּר־שׁ׳). The word occurs only in these places in Isaiah. In כעבות the prefix בְּ is wanting according to the familiar rule; comp. GESENIUS. § 118, Rem. עֲבוֹת (from עָבַת to twist, the twisting, twisted work, rope) Isaiah uses only here. Comp. Hos. 11:4. עֲגָלָה, “a freight wagon.” found too 28:27, 28.
Isa 5:19. מהר and יחישׁ may be taken transitively and intransitively. I decide for the latter construction, 1) because מהר is used by Isaiah only intransitively (32:4; 49:17; 51:14; 59:7), יחישׁ, that occurs twice beside here (28:16; 60:22), is one of these times (28:16) used intransitively; 2) because in the parallel phrase ותקרב וגו׳ not Jehovah but עצת ק׳ is subject. The sense is any way in both instances the same. The forms יָחִישָׁה and תָּבֹאָה belong to the few instances of the voluntative ה appended to the third person, (comp. Ps. 20:4, and the more doubtful cases Lev. 21:5; Deut. 33:16; Job 11:17; 22:21; Ezek. 23:20; OLSHAUSEN, § 228 b. Anm. [GREEN, § 97, 7). Let it be noticed moreover that this He so stands in two pairs of verbs, that each time it is only appended to the last word. It seems that each time it should avail as well for the first word. Comp. 1:24 b.—עֵצָה is a current word with Isaiah that occurs thirteen times in the first part and five times in the second. On “the Holy One of Israel” see 1:4.
Isa 5:20. שׂוּם with לְ following in the sense “to make into something;” 13:9; 23:13; 25:2; 41:15; 42:15; 49:11, etc.
Isa 5:21. On נגד פניהם comp. Hos. 7:2; Lam. 3:35; the expression does not again occur in Isaiah. נבון part. 3:3; 29:14.
Isa 5:22. מסך in Isaiah again 19:14. מֶסֶךְ – מִמְסָךְ 65:11. Hiph. הִצְדִּיק found again 50:8; 53:11. עֵקְב. only here. שֹׁחַד again 1:23; 33:15; 45:13. Hiph. הֵסִיר frequent in the first part (1:16, 25; 3:1, 18; 5:5, 23; 10:13, etc), in the second part only in 58:9. The singular suffix in ממנו must be construed distributively. The righteousness of the righteous they let disappear from him, i.e., from the righteous man in question. Comp., at 2:8 and 1:23.
Isa 5:24. As regards the construction; כאכל is a predicate infinitive dependent on a preposition, which is followed immediately, not as usually by the subject, but by the object, because the order כאכל לשון אֵשׁ קַשׁ offends against euphony; also in 20:1, the object precedes, because it is a pronoun (אֹתוֹ). Commentators call attention to the multiplication of sibilants in the sentence. “One hears the crackling sparks, the sputtering flames” says DELITZSCH. חֲשַׁשׁ occurs only once again in the Old Testament, 33:11.—רָפָה is “to become lax, withered, weary, fall away” (especially of the hands 13:7). לֶהָבָה is accus. loci.——The suffixes in שׁרשׁם and פרחם refer back to those whom the preceding four woes concern. To these then their punishment is announced. מַק only occurs again 3:24. פֶּרַח (only 18:5 again) is the blossom. אָבָק dust, only occurs again 29:5.—The second clause of the verse calls to mind 1:4. They were therefore the opposite of “the branch of Jehovah” 4:2, and much rather comparable to the bad grape-vine, 5:1 sqq. אִמְרָה occurs again 28:23; 29:4; 32:9.
Isa 5:25. The expression חָרָה אַף does not occur again in Isaiah, and, excepting the part, Niph. 41:11; 45:24, no other form of the verb חרה occurs in Isaiah. Our expression, however, calls to mind, Num. 11:33, “And the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His. people, and the Loan smote the people,” as all those numerous places in the Pentateuch, especially Num. where the expression וַיִּחַרּ אַף י׳ “and the anger of the LORD kindled,” etc., occurs (Exod. 4:14; Num. 11:1, 10; 12:9, etc.)—ויט ידו is also a reminiscence of the Pentateuch from Exod. 8:2, 13; 10:22; 14:21, 27, where the expression is used of Aaron and Moses as they stretched out the hand to the performance of their miracles. In Isaiah, this expression is repeated in the same manner in 23:11; 31:3, coll. 14:26, 27.——רָגַז (Kal., in Isaiah 14:9; 32:10, 11; 28:21; 64:1), used of the trembling of the earth (Joel. 2:10) or of the foundation of the mountains (Ps. 18:8, coll. 2 Sam. 22:8). The expression that the carcass (נְבֵלָה occurs 26:19) shall be as the sweepings (סוּחָה from סָחָה Ezek. 26:4, everrere, detergere = סְחִי Lam. 3:45, “leavings, sweepings out;” α̈π.λεγ..), occurs only here. Elsewhere it is, that the נבלה shall be as dung in the field (Jer. 9:21), shall be cast as a prey (Deut. 28:26; Jer. 7:33; 16:4; 19:7, etc.), to the wild beasts. The reading חֻצּוֹח (the London Polyglot has חוּצוֹת) is both etymologically incorrect, and also in conflict with every other place in which the word occurs in Isaiah (10:6; 15:3; 24:11; 51:20.
Isa 5:26. מֵרָחוֹק does not belong to נָשָּׂא, but it has become an adjective conception and takes the place of an adjective, as may be seen from passages like Jer. 23:23; 31:10. The same is true of מִמֶּרְחָק that has the same meaning. The former word occurs in Isaiah twelve times; five times in the first and seven times in the second part (22:3, 11; 23:7; 25:1; 43:6; 49:1, 12; 57:9; 59:14; 60:4, 9). נֵס a signal set up on a high point; 11:12; 13:2; 18:3; 33:23; 62:10. Only in the last named passage does the verb הֵרִים occur. שָׁרַק “to hiss, whistle,” is taken from the practice of bee keepers, as may be seen in 7:18, where the same figure recurs. מקצה recurs 13:5; 13:10; 43:6, thus equally in both parts. In each place, 13:5 excepted, הארץ follows it. מְהֵרָה properly substantive—celeritas: recurs 58:8; combined with קַל according to Joel 4:4. קַל recurs, in Isa. 19:1; 30:16; 18:2. On the change of number in לֹו, comp., at Isa 5:23. The singular here apparently indicates that though the signal is given at various times and to different nations, still always, it shall be only one at a time, that they shall be summoned.
Isa 5:27. DRECHSLER justly calls attention to the perfect equilibrium in the structure of this Isa 5:27; in the first hemistich two clauses, each with two members of like arrangement; in the second hemistich two clauses, each with one member, the corresponding words in which rhyme together: שֹׁרוך–אזור ,נתק–כּתח עָיֵף .נעליו–חלציו recurs in Isaiah 28:12; 29:8; 32:2; 46:1. On כָּשַׁל see at 3:8. The Participle (Jer. 46:16; Ps. 105:37; 2 Chr. 28:15), occurs only here in Isaiah. נוּם recurs only 56:10, יָשֵׁן only here in Isaiah. Niph. נפתח 24:18; 35:5; 51:14.
Isa 5:28. צַר in the sense of “stone, flint” occurs only here and Isa 5:30, if this interpretation is allowable in the second case; it has then the same meaning as צֹר Ezek. 3:9; Exod. 4:25 and צוּר 2:10; 8:14, etc. Niph. נחשׁב like 2:22; 29:16,17; 40:15.
Isa 5:29. לָבִיא (again in Isa 30:6) is by most held to mean lioness. Comp. GESENIUS, Thes. p. 738 … On the construction of כַּלָּבִיא see at Isa 5:18.—ושׁאג is according to K’thibh וְשָׁאַג, according to K’ri יִשְׁאַג. The reading of K’ri is the correct one, for there is no reason for the perfect with the Vav consec., whereas the imperfect stands here, according to rule, to describe permanent qualities.—נָהַם only here in Isaiah, see Prov. 28:15; 19:12; 20:2). Of פָלַט the form found here is the only one used by Isaiah, and that only here. The formula ואיז מציל occurs again 42:22, and 43:13, in which latter place it sounds the same as the original passage Deut. 32:39.
Isa 5:30. The subject of ינהם, “he shall roar,” is the same that it has in the preceding verse. But we translate “it roars dull,” only to give prominence to the collective more than to the individual as indicated in כנהמת־ים “as the roaring of the sea.” The suffix, in עָלָיו can refer only to the one seized, i.e., Judah.—נהמה occurs only again Ps. 38:9.—DRECHSLER, has justly called attention “to the sound painting produced by accumulating the buzzing and rumbling sound of m, and n, too,” in the first hemistich of this verse. Both sounds are in יִנְהֹם; to this word כַּיּוֹם rhymes; in כְּנַֽהֲמַת־יָם we find m. and n. again, and the syllable am twice.—To this hemistich, which I may say has itself a low rumble, the second is opposed, which portrays the conquered by its many, i. e, and a sounds, thus by thinner sounds, that in a measure paint weakness.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
1. The meaning of this section is twofold. First of all it contains a specification of the sour grapes, and a corresponding announcement of punishment. In this matter the Prophet begins with a certain selection. For he does not censure all sins, but only the sins of the eminent, and eminent sins. Thus six evil fruits are enumerated, and what the Prophet has to say with reference to each begins with a woe. But a detailed announcement of punishment follows on each of the first two woes only, after the description of the sinful condition with which they are concerned. For the following woes there follows an announcement of punishment common to all from Isa 5:24 on. This difference observed by the Prophet in regard to the order of his topics is connected with the second meaning of the passage: that is to say it contains at the same time the twofold conclusion of the second portal, i.e. of the whole discourse from chap. 2–5. For the announcement of punishment after the second woe, which is in proportion long extended through five verses (5:13–17), manifestly contains a relative ending: the wicked city sinks into the lower world, and the grass grows over its grave. These are manifestly, I may say, final chords. But in as much as the Prophet, Isa 5:15 and 16, reiterates verbatim the fundamental thought of his first illumination of the present, he gives us to understand that he would have this first (relative) conclusion refer to the first half of his discourse (chap. 2 and 3). And as he handles the following twice-two woes differently from the first two, he intimates that they have another purpose. They are not interrupted in their sequence by announcements of punishment coming between, but these follow after as common to all, Precisely by this concentration the Prophet gains a highly effective conclusion of the whole discourse, but which at the same time undeniably refers to the second lamp (chap. 4 and 5), just as we have seen that the first (relative) conclusion refers to the first lamp. One recognizes this from the comparison of Isa 5:24, drawn from vegetation, especially from the notions “root” and “scion,” in which the reference’ back to the צֶמַחbranch, chap. 4, as also to the vineyard and its fruit cannot be mistaken.
Thus this most artistically composed, ending is at the same time an image of the whole discourse, whose unity, comprising chaps, 2–5, here becomes most evident. As the twofold division forms the ground-work of the whole discourse, so it does of this conclusion. And this twofold division appears in the conclusion in a double form: first the simple two for the first (relative) conclusion; then the potent, doubled two for the great principal conclusion. From this we know, at the same time, why there must be six woes, and not seven, as one inclines to expect.
The first woe concerns the rich and mighty, that swallow up the property of inferior people, so that at last they possess the land alone (Isa 5:8). These are threatened that their houses shall be destroyed (Isa 5:9), and their ground shall become so sterile that ten acres shall yield only a bucketful of must, and a bushel of seed a peck [i.e. 1–16 of a German bushel.—TR.] of fruits (Isa 5:10). The second woe pertains to high livers and gluttons, that begin early and leave off late (Isa 5:11), and who, amid the noise of music and the banquet, never come to regard Jehovah’s work (Isa 5:12). For this the people must wander into exile, and high rank and low rank shall perish of hunger and thirst (5:13), and be used only to be cast into the jaws of the insatiably greedy underworld (Isa 5:14). Then shall human pride be humbled (Isa 5:15), and the Lord, the righteous judge shall appear then as alone high in His righteousness and holiness (Isa 5:16), the waste places of the fallen grandees shall become the pastures of the flocks of alien tribes (Isa 5:17). The third woe is proclaimed against the insolent mockers that do evil with a very rage for it (Isa 5:18), and with blasphemous contempt, challenge the Lord, in whom they do not believe, to oppose His work to their own (Isa 5:19). The fourth woe strikes those who perversely call exactly that good which is bad, and that bad which is good (Isa 5:20). The fifth woe concerns the conceited that think they alone are wise (Isa 5:21). The sixth woe, finally, is proclaimed against the oppressors and unjust, who in order to live high, turn aside justice for a vile reward (Isa 5:22, 23). The threatening, that those who have despised the law of Jehovah, shall be destroyed root and branch, corresponds to the last four woes in common (Isa 5:24). For this the people shall be smitten and their dead bodies be cast into the streets like sweepings. But that is not enough even (Isa 5:25). Foreign nations shall be brought from a distance against Israel (26). They shall vigorously and zealously accomplish the work to which they are called (27–29). Then like the roaring surges of the sea the enemy shall break over Israel. Israel shall see nothing on the earth but dark night: instead of a protection against rain and storm (4:6), a dark storm-cloud shall envelop the earth that shall turn aside the vivifying and warming light (5:30).
This is the result of the contemplation that the Prophet sets forth in regard to the (relative) present. Sad and gloomy as this result is, the realization of that glorious future which he holds in prospect (4:2–6) is not thereby hindered: on the contrary it postulates and prepares the way for that future. The words “in that day” point away to that.
2. Woe unto them—yield an epha.
Isa 5:8-16. On הֹוי comp. remarks at 1:4. The Prophet first proclaims a woe against the rich and mighty, who with insatiable greed annex the houses and fields of their poor neighbors, so that these are crowded out of the land, and the country becomes the exclusive domain of these oppressors.
This accumulation of property violates both the statutes concerning the inheritance of real estate, and the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:10–13; 25 sqq.). What the Prophet has heard is this; not merely some, but many houses, i.e. the houses, all that there are of them (2:3), shall be desolated, and the great and beautiful ones shall be without dwellers. This desolation of the houses is ascribed to the sterility that comes on the land as a punishment from God. For the Pentateuch threatens the disobedience of Israel with this punishment, and that in not a few passages: Lev. 26:18–20; Deut. 11:17; 28:17 sq., 23 sq., 38 sqq. How great the barrenness shall be may be determined from the fact, that ten acres of vine land will only yield a bucket of wine, and a bushel of seed only the tenth part as much fruit.—צֶמֶד is a pair of beasts of burden bound by a yoke (Judg. 19:10; 1 Sam. 11:7; Isa. 21:7, 9), then a piece of ground as great as such a צמד could plow up in a day. If a vineyard is not plowed it might still be measured by the acre. How large a surface a צמד might be according to our measures, has never yet been made out. Comp. Unterss. über die Längen-Feld-und Wege Masse, insbesondere der Greich en und der luden von L. FENNER V. FENNEBERG,Berlin, 1859, p. 96.
בַּתa bath (comp. at בָּתָה Isa 5:6) is the principal measure for fluids, like the ephah for dry measure. Both are the tenth part of a homer or כּוֹר, cor. (Ezek. 45:11, 14), בת occurs only here in Isa. חֹמֶרhomer, (probably the burden of a חֲֹמר, an ass., whence Judg. 15:16; 1 Sam. 16:2חֲמוֹר stands directly for חֹמֶר) does not again occur in Isa. in this sense. Also אֵיפָה “an ephah” is only here in Isa. There is still great uncertainty regarding the relation of these measures to those used by us. If THENIUS (The ancient Hebrew long and hollow measures, Studien und Krit., 1846, Heft. 1 and 2) is correct, who sets the contents of the homer at 10143.9 Paris cubic inches, then this would about correspond to the burden an ass can bear.
3. Woe unto them that rise up early—shall strangers eat.
Isa 5:11-17. The second woe, the longest and most detailed, is directed against the high livers and gluttons. They rise early so as to go soon to drinking; they remain long sitting of evenings so as to inflame themselves with wine. “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is a noble, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkenness!” Eccl. 10:16, 17; Comp. 22:13; 56:12; Am. 6:3 sqq. The Romans called feasts that began before the usual time (i. e. in the ninth hour) tempestiva convivia., seasonable feasts (Cic. de Senect. 14, &c.). Ab octava hora bibere was accounted debauchery (Juven. 1, 49, comp. GESENIUS on our ver.). שֵׁכָר is the artificial wine, and יַיִן the natural. The first was prepared partly from dates, apples, pomegranates (Song of S. 8:2), honey, barley, (ζῦθος, οῖ̓νος κρίθινος, HER. 2, 77), partly by mixture (like our punch, hence מְֹסךְ שֵׁכָר to mingle drink 5:22); Comp. HERZOG’SR. Encycl. XVII. p. 615. In general comp. 24:9; 28:7; 29:9; 56:12.
The inflaming caused by wine is physical and psychical; (the former was by the ancients referred to the hepar and oculi, the liver and the eyes); comp. Prov. 23:29 sq.
But to a jovial banquet belongs music. There does not fail כִּנּוֹר (the harp, i. e. a stringed instrument, with strings resting free and plumb on the sounding board, comp. 16:11; 23:16; 24:8; 30:32), נֶבֶל (i.e., every stringed instrument, whose strings are stretched over a bag-shaped sounding board by means of a bridge, for נֶבֶל is properly the bag.—comp. 14:11; 22:24), תֹּף (the hand drum, the tambourine, 24:8; 30:32), and חָלִיל (the flute, literally bored out, hollow, 30:29). Comp. HERZOG’SR. Encycl. X. p. 126 sqq. If now it is added, “and wine” is their drink, it is to prevent one from thinking that Isa 5:12a indicates a different situation from that of Isa 5:11; rather the identity of both is expressly made prominent.
While nothing is wanting to the scene as regards worldly pleasure and joy, there is the most serious poverty in regard to spiritual life. In this respect they are as if blind and dead; the revelations of God that are written both in the book of nature and in history, they do not in any way regard. The greatest misery ever known to antiquity was destined to follow this luxury, and debauchery that wickedly forgot the one thing needful; the wandering into exile. One may see from Lam. 5, how distressingly it went with such a herd of humanity, driven away as they were like cattle. Because the nation had not regarded what would promote its peace, it must go out “unawares,” מבלי דעת. In this is signified both: without insight, and unawares. The word designates the subjective state that was portrayed Isa 5:12b, and at the same time the manner in which the objective divine judgment should break over them. מבלי דעה is only found here. But in Hos. 4:6, which comp. מִבְּלִי הַדַּעַת is found in a connection similar to this. Every where beside it reads בִּבְלִי ד׳ (Deut. 4:42; 19:4; Josh. 20:3; Job 36:12). מִך here is not causative, but negative = without. [LOWTH, BARNES and J. A. ALEXANDER retain the meaning of the Eng. Vers.: “for want of knowledge.”—TR.]
The honored, the nobility of the people (כָּבוֹדabstr. pro concr. comp. 4:5; 16:14; 17:3; 60:13; 66:12;) shall become starvelings, and the great crowd (הָמוֹןnoise, then what makes noise, the great crowd 17:12; 29:5–8,) shall pant with thirst. Many, like GESENIUS, would take הָמוֹן to mean the rich, because the word occurs in the sense of “riches, treasures” (60:5; Jer. 3:23). But the Prophet announces the judgment to the entire people (comp. עַמִּי in the beginning of the verse): according to which it is quite suitable for him to divide the totality into nobility and common people. When death has rich harvest on the earth, then the underworld must open its gates wide to receive the sacrifice. According to that then לָכֵןtherefore, Isa 5:14 stands to the לכן Isa 5:13, not in a co-ordinate but in a subordinate relation. A soul is ascribed to Sheol (the word is with few exceptions, e. g.Job 26:6, feminine). It is therefore personified. The notion “soul” is at the same time used in the meaning of “desire, greed,” a usage that is not infrequent in the O. Test., as is well known. Thus it is used, e. g., Deut. 23:25, “When thou comest into thy neighbor’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes כְּנַפְּשְׁךָ שָׂבְעֶֽךָ“ Comp. Prov. 23:2בַּעַל נֶפֶשׁ a greedy person; פלָבַים עַזּיֵ־נֶפֶשׁIsa. 56:11, dogs strong in greediness; comp. Ps. 27:12. The same expression as in our passage is found in Hab. 2:5. The insatiable nature of the underworld is declared also Prov. 27:20; 30:16.
Sheol (in Isa. again 14:9, 11, 15; 28:15, 18; 38:10, 18; 57:9), according to the O. Test. representation, is the resting-place of departed souls, corresponding to the Hades of the Greeks, which is conceived of as in the inward part of the earth (hence שְׁאִוֹל תַּחְתּיתthe lowest hell, Deut. 32:22; Ps. 86:13, coll.Ps. 88:7; Lam. 3:55; Isa. 44:23; Ezek. 26:20; 32:18, 24), because, naturally, the kingdom of death must be conceived of as in the opposite direction from the kingdom of life. When, therefore, God, the Lord of light, has His seat in light which envelops us from above, then must the kingdom of death be sought under us in the dark depths of the earth.
There are three views regarding the derivation of the word שְׁאוֹל: 1) the older, according to which the word should be derived from שָׁאַל, to demand. The underworld was called “the demanding, the summons,” in accordance with its insatiableness (comp. the passages cited above); and because it will only receive and never gives; 2) GESENIUS, and at the same time with him, though quite independently, BÖTTCHER, EWALD, MAURER (comp. Thesaur. p. 1348) maintain that שְׁאוֹל is softened from שְׁעוֹל. But שָׁעַל, which never occurs, must, according to שֹׁעַל the hollow hand, שׁוּעָל the excavator, inhabitant of caves, the fox, מִשְׁעוֹל (Num. 22:24) the hollow way, have the meaning of being hollow. Sheol would, then, be “the cavern.” 3) HUPFELD, ŒHLER, DELITZSCH, refer the word back to the root ,שׁל שׁול, which is the root of שָׁעַל itself, and has the meaning of “hanging down loose, sinking down,” so that Sheol would be “the sinking, going down deep.” The matter is still undetermined. If it is opposed to the first explanation that, according to it, a poetic epithet is made the chief name of the kingdom of the dead (comp. ŒHLER in HERZOG’SR. Encycl. XXI. p. 412); so, too, both the other views must make it comprehensible how an א comes to take the place of the middle radical.
All the glory of Jerusalem descends into the wide gaping throat of hell, הָמוֹן means the crowd here too (as in Isa 5:13), but as there is here no contrast with the honored ones as there, but only the notion of superabundance, of multitude, of tumult is added to that of glory, I allow myself with DRECHSLER to translate “riot and revel.” שָׁאוֹןstrepitus, noise, is used of the roar of water (17:12, 13), and of a multitude of men (13:4; 24:8; 25:5; 66:6). The three substantives designate everything that is splendid and makes a noise, be it person or thing. עָלֵז (ᾶπ. λεγ.), too, before which אֲשֶׁר is to be supplied, does not seem to exclude reference to things. For why should not the music and all that pertains to a banquet (Isa 5:12) be called jovial? Comp. Ps. 96:12.
In as much as the Prophet in Isa 5:15 and 16 partly repeats verbatim the fundamental thoughts of the first half of this discourse, that we have called the first prophetic lamp (comp. 2:9, 11, 17), he intimates that the two parts belong to one another. Those false eminences illumined by the first lamp, and the false fruits of which the second treats, lead to the same end: to the humiliation of the wickedly insolent men, and to the proof that the holy and just God is alone high. But why the Prophet just at this point casts back this connecting look, is explained in the fact that here we stand at a point of relative conclusion. This we recognize, as was shown above, partly from the contents of this second woe, which sounds like a finale, partly from the form, for the following woes have a very different structure from this first. But notice with what art the Prophet leads over to the theme of the first lamp, and thus unites the fundamental thought of both lamps. By the description of the destruction of the wicked multitude by hunger and thirst, he comes quite naturally on the idea of their sinking down into the underworld. Therewith he has touched the deepest point of antagonism which human enmity against God can attain. For it goes no deeper down than the jaws of Sheol. This mention of the deepest deep reminds him that therewith, what he had said above on the abasement of human pride, appears in a new light. That is to say it appears, by what is threatened in Isa 5:14, to be absolute. Precisely thereby the highness of the Lord appears in its fullest light. For He that is able to cast down into the lowest deep must for His own part necessarily be the highest. But He is so as the holy one that judges righteously. Now if the highness of God calls to mind the first lamp, His holiness calls to mind the second (comp. the sacred and sanctifying Branch of God, 4:2, 3). And thus the fundamental thoughts of the first and second lamp combine most beautifully.
The first half of Isa 5:15 is repeated verbatim from 2:9a. The second half of Isa 5:15 is, with some abbreviation, taken from 2:11 coll. Isa 5:17. מַשְׁפָּט is the judicial act (comp. 1:21); in so far as it is a realization of the idea of righteousness, God at the same time proves Himself to be holy (comp. Ezek. 20:41; 28:22, 25; 36:23; 38:16, 23). For holiness and righteousness belong together like lamps and burning (Isa 5:17). The Prophet concludes his mournful picture of the future in a highly poetic manner, in that on the site of the once glorious and joyous city, now sunk into the ground (Isa 5:11, 12), he presents a pasture in which wandering nomads are feeding their flocks. Comp. the quite similar pictures of future change of fortune, 7:21–25; 17:2; 32:13 sq.; Zeph. 2:14 sq. Commentators have justly pointed out that the present condition of Jerusalem and Palestine may be regarded as a part of the fulfilment of this prophecy. For the ancient city is as if sunk into the ground. A depth of rubbish covers the old streets and open places, and above them new ones are laid out in totally different directions. Only laborious excavations can give a correct picture of the topography of ancient Jerusalem. The land, however, is almost every where become pastures for nomadic Arabian tribes. And when, moreover, one reflects that a foreign people, of another faith and inimical to the Jews, has for a long time reigned in Palestine, it must be confessed that the present time corresponds very exactly to this announcement of the Prophet. Yet it must not be overlooked that the circumstances mentioned only touch the outward side of the fulfilment. It cannot be doubted that Isa 5:14 has been fulfilled also in a deeper, more inward, and, I may say, transcendental way. For what has become of the land we know. But had not the Prophet also a thought of the immortal souls of men?
The חרבות מחים are the ruins that once belonged to the fat and rich, and were then the opposite of mournful, waste wrecks, that is to say, places of splendor and prosperity. Strangers shall devour the products of these wastes, i. e. the grass growing there, that is use it for their cattle. By this is implied that the places shall lie unnoticed and without owners. Only stranger, nomadic shepherds, in passing along, will stop there with their flocks.
4. Woe unto them—may know it.
Isa 5:18, 19. The third woe is directed against audacious sinners who make unbelief in God’s punitive justice the foundation of their wicked doings. The fact that the Prophet represents these people as impiously bringing down the divine judgment on themselves, has caused many commentators to construe מָשַׁךְ in the sense of “attrahere, draw toward,” and עָוֹן in the sense of “guilt” (EWALD, UMBREIT), or “punishment of sin” (GESENIUS, KNOBEL, and others). But if the Prophet meant to say this, and to express that those had drawn on themselves by deeds what they had invoked by words, i. e. the judgments of God, he would certainly have employed expressions that would more exactly correspond to the notions מעשׁה י׳ and עצת קדושׁ י׳, thus words that mean directly “punishment, judgment, destruction, ruin.” I do not deny that under some circumstances the words עָוֹן and חטאה may be taken in a sense bordering very nearly on “guilt of sin, and punishment of sin” (comp. the passages cited by KNOBEL,Gen. 4:13; 19:15; Ps. 31:11; Zech. 14:19; Prov. 21:4; to which, also, I would add Isa. 27:9, where these words in the parallelism correspond to one another. See at the place). But, in the present instance, precisely the choice of these words proves to me that the Prophet did not think of the identity of the fruits of those doings with the display of the divine justice, but only of a causal relation between those doings and the divine justice. They sin away so boldly, precisely because they believe there is no danger of a day of vengeance. The idea of “boldly sinning away” the Prophet expresses in his vigorous style, in that he compares those wicked men to draught horses, that drag a heavy wagon by means of stout ropes. Like these beasts lay themselves to the traces with all their might in order to start the load, so these lay themselves out to sin with all their might. They pull with might and main, they surrender themselves to sin with a diligence and expenditure of power worthy of a better cause.
Isa 5:19. What chains them so fast to sin, and makes them so zealous in its service, is just that they do not believe in the divine announcement of a day of retribution. They express their unbelief in a contemptuous challenge to Jehovah to expedite His work, i. e. His work of judgment and punishment, to fulfil His purpose of retribution. They wish for an early coming of this manifestation of judgment. For they would like to experience it. They dare so much. They are not afraid of it, though it were true; but they do not believe it is true. With impious irony they even call Him, in whose display of justice they do not believe, by His title; the Holy One of Israel. They would have it understood thereby, that He is so called, it is true, but He is not this. Comp. 28:15; Jer. 5:12 sq.; 17:15; Ezek. 12:22.
5. Woe unto them—the righteous from him.
Isa 5:20-23. That Isa 5:20 does not speak merely of perversion of justice, as some would have it, appears from the generality of its expressions, and from Isa 5:23. This perversion of the world whereby exactly bad is good, and good bad, is Satanic. For if the devil became God, as he attempts to become (2 Thess. 2:4), it would happen thus. But evil has in the physical domain, its correlate in darkness and bitterness, as good has in light and sweetness. For what darkness and bitterness are for the body, such is evil for the spirit, and what light and sweetness are for the body, such is good for the spirit. Thus, Ps. 19:9, the commandment of the LORD is clear as light, and Isa 5:11, sweeter than honey and the honey comb. But bitter appears in many places as the symbol of evil: Num. 5:18 sq.; Deut. 32:32 sq.; Jer. 2:19; Acts 8:23; Heb. 12:15. That to the bad it is just bad that tastes good, we read Job 20:12; Prov. 5:3, 4.
Isa 5:21. The Prophet pronounces the fifth woe against the proud self-deification, to which divine wisdom counts for nothing, but its own for everything. Comp. Prov. 3:7; Jer. 8:8 sq.; 9:22 sq. The sixth woe, finally, Isa 5:22, 23, strikes the unjust and oppressors, who sell justice in order to obtain the means for enjoying a dissolute life. מסן שׁכר, mixing of drink, comp. on Isa 5:11. It is debatable whether the Hebrews were acquainted with wines prepared with spices. HITZIG, HENDEWERK, DELITZSCH, maintain that proof that they did is wanting, and take מסן שׁ׳ = temperare aqua, to mix with water, in which sense the later Jews use מָזַנ. According to BUXTORF, this word means: “miscuit, temperavit vinum affusa aqua” whence it is used directly for “infundere, to pour into.” Comp. מֶזֶנSong of Sol. 7:3. On the other hand GESENIUS (with whom under the word מזגHITZIG had agreed) see word מסך, WINER (R. W. s. v. Wein, DRECHSLER, KNOBEL, LEYRER (in R. Encyl. xvii. p. 616) maintain most decidedly that the Hebrews were acquainted with spiced wines. WINER and LEYER dispute even that the use of vinum aqua temperare among the Jews can be certainly proved. These scholars named cite Prov. 9:2, 5 in proof of the existence among the ancients of spiced wine (which is to be distinguished from that prepared from fruit, honey, barley), in which passage the מסך that is simultaneous with the killing, must point to another mixing, than that with water, which latter must be coincident with the pouring out. They further cite a passage in Mischna Maaser scheni 2, 1 (non condiunt oleum … sed condiunt vinum; si inciderit in id mel et condimenta, unde melius reddatur, illa in melius confectio fit juxta computum;) and also Plin. Hist. nat. 14:13, 14, 15 19 where he speaks of vinum aromatites, myrrhinum, absynthites, etc.; and further to the New Testament expressions οἴνος ἐσμυρμισμένοςMark 15:23, κεκερασμένον ἄκρατονRev. 14:10; and to a passage in DIOSCOR. 5, 64 sq. According to these evidences I do not see how it can be doubted that the Hebrews were acquainted with spiced wines.
6. Therefore as—stretched out still.
Isa 5:24, 25. On the fourfold woe of Isa 5:18–23, now follows the announcement of the punishment to be shared in common. It is joined on by לָכֵן like Isa 5:13. The people are compared to stubble and hay, who, according to 4:2, ought to be a flourishing divine branch. And quick as stubble is devoured by fire or hay disappears in the flames, shall their root decay and their bloom pass away like dust. Thus here too Israel is again represented as a plant, a figure that reminds us strongly of 4:2 sqq., consequently of the second prophetic lamp. Hay and stubble are very inflammable stuff. But those roots and blossoms, that ought, properly to be fresh and full of sap, shall fly away, dissolved as they are in dust and decay, as easily as hay and stubble are devoured by the flames.
The threatening of Isa 5:24, as appears from the suffixes, concerns immediately those against whom the preceding four woes were proclaimed. But as Isa 5:13, the banishment of the entire nation is represented as the consequence of the sins of those greedy and riotous men, so here it is shown how the waves of destruction shall roll on to the utmost periphery, and thus seize the whole people. I refer על־כן “therefore,” not merely to the second clause, but to the whole of Isa 5:24. Although all the verbal forms in 25a, point to the past, the things themselves that they declare fall in the future. This is evident from (Isa 5:24) the relation of the announcement of punishment to the sin, which is indicated as present (Isa 5:18 sqq.), and from the parallel between the threatenings of Isa 5:9 sq, and Isa 5:13 sq.—Comp. DRECHSLER,in loc.—But it were not impossible that Isaiah employs here the past forms, because facts of the past float before his mind, that were to be regarded, too, as proofs of the wrath portrayed in Isa 5:25, without, however, representing the entire fulfilment of the threatening. If, then, as to its chief import Isa 5:25 has respect to the future, and, in contrast with the blows to be expected from a distant people (Isa 5:26 sqq.), indicates the blows to be expected out of the midst of Judah herself, or from the immediate neighborhood, then there might be a reference in “the hills did tremble” to the earthquake in Uzziah’s time (Am. 1:1; Zech. 14:5), and in “their carcases,” etc., a reference to those 120,000 men of Judah, that Pekah, the king of Israel slew in one day; 2 Chr. 28:6. The formula, “for all this, his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still,” (9:11, 16, 20; 10:4), expresses the thought that something still greater is coming. Thus then this formula introduces the chief conclusion of the discourse which corresponds to that relative conclusion, Isa 5:13–17. For if foreign nations from a great distance are called to accomplish a judgment, it is to be expected in advance that this judgment shall be decisive, and of mighty consequence. In fact, too, it was ever nations from a distance that destroyed the respublica Israelitarum. Call to mind the Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans. And those that came the farthest, did the work of destruction the most effectually.
7. And He will lift up,—deliver it.
Isa 5:26-29. The whole description is general, and not special. That is, it is not a single, particular nation, but only the genus of foreign, distant nations in general that is described. The prophecy, therefore, finds its fulfilment in all the catastrophes that brought foreign powers against Israel, from the Assyrians to the Romans. Evidently Isaiah has in mind the fundamental prophecy Deut. 28:49 sqq., from which the expression גוֹיִם מֵרָחוֹק, “nations from afar,” is taken verbatim, and of which also the וְנָשָׂא, “and He shall lift up,” reminds one. It is remarkable that after the arrival of those Babylonian ambassadors, 2 Kings 20:14, Hezekiah should himself apply our passage, and so give testimony to its fulfilment, in that, when asked by the Prophet, whence these people came, he replied, “They are come from a far country (מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה), from Babylon.” The description that now follows in Isa 5:27–29, of the enemy that is summoned, is not of any individual enemy, in fact is not at all historical, but generic and ideal in character. For, in reality, there is no army, where no one grows tired nor stumbles, in which no one sleeps nor slumbers, etc. The Prophet would only express in poetic form, the greatest activity, unweariedness, and readiness for conflict. There is a similar description Jer. 5:15 sqq. Their eagerness for battle, and their zeal for the cause is so great that they neither slumber, nor sleep. The girdle (11:5; Jer. 13:11), that binds the garment about the hips (11:5; 32:11: coll. 3:22) does not get loose on anyone; no one breaks (33:20; 58:6, Pi.), the strings (only here in Isaiah, comp. Gen. 14:23), by which the sandals (11:15; 20:2) are fastened to the feet.
Isa 5:28. The equipment of the enemy, too, is admirable. The arrows are sharp; the bows are bent, (an ideal trait, for in reality bows could not be ever bent, that is, trod on with the foot, 21:15). The hoofs (only here in Isaiah), of the steeds are hard as stone. As the ancients did not understand shoeing horses, hard hoofs were an important requisite in a war horse, comp. Mich. 4:13, and χαλκόπους, κρατερῶνυξ. The impetuous, thundering roll of their wheels makes them resemble a tempest. The same figure recurs 66:15. Comp, beside 17:13; 21:1; 29:6.
The 29th verse finally describes the attack and victory of the enemy. The discourse which, to this point, has had almost a regular beat, and progressed, one might say, with a martial step, now becomes irregular and bounding. With mighty impetuosity that reveals itself in a battle cry that is compared to the roaring of a lion, the enemy attacks. It is strange that the Prophet expresses this thought doubly. But this doubled expression has apparently only a rhetorical aim. If we take into account the comparison of deep growling, we receive the impression that the Prophet would indicate that the enemy has at command every modulation of the lion’s voice. The moment the lion seizes his prey, he ceases to roar, and one hears only deep growling. The seized prey he saves for himself: i.e., he bears it away out of the tumult. כְּפִיר (recurs only 11:6), is the young lion no longer sucking but become independent of its dam. גּוּר is the sucking lion. The plural is used here, probably, on purpose to make prominent the numbers in contrast with לָבִיא.
8. And in that day—the heavens thereof.
Isa 5:30. The Prophet hastens to the conclusion. For this purpose he comprehends all that he has still to say in one figure drawn with a few, yet strong traits. It is also a proof of the great rhetorical art of the Prophet, that he does not name Judah. He rather allows to be guessed what was painful to him to say. For we need not refer the words only to what immediately precedes, as if it were declared that what is described Isa 5:30, happens on the same day as that of which Isa 5:29 speaks. For that is to be understood of course. But this “in that day” refers back to 2:11, 17, 20; 3:7, 18; 4:1 and to 4:2, so that hereby is intimated that this prophecy too, shall be fulfilled in the “last days.” And as 4:2 speaks of a day of great happiness, the passage previously named, however, of a day of dreadful judgment, so the Prophet refers back to both, meaning to intimate that when these final dreadful visitations of the last time shall have come upon Israel, then shall come the daybreak of salvation. I see therefore in this phrase “in that day” a fresh proof of the connection of chap. 5, with the preceding chapters 2, 4. Like surges of the sea, therefore, raging and roaring, shall the enemy fall on Judah in that day? DELITZSCH appropriately refers to Sierra-Leone because, “those that first landed there, mistook the noise of the surf breaking on the precipitous shore for the roar of lions.” The subject of ונבט (Niph. ἅπ. λεγ .), is evidently Judah. But the further meaning of these words presents great difficulties. I think two passages shed light on this one. The first is cited by all commentators, viz.:8:42. When we read there: “And He looks to the earth and behold trouble and darkness,” (צָרָה וַֽחֲשֵׁכָה) we are justified in taking חשׁז צר in our passage together; either צַר as adjective (compressed, thick darkness, חשֶׁךְ is masc.), or as apposition (VITRINGA, HENDEWERK), or as genitive (darkness of anguish). According to that we must separate, then, צַר from וָאוֹר, a union for which there is no other authority than the (for us not binding) Masoretic tradition, and then we must read וְאוֹר. For this reading, however, we have the support of another passage, which, so far as I know, has never hitherto been adduced by any expositor for the elucidation of our verse, viz.:Job 18:6. There we read חַשַׁךְ כְּאָֽהֳלוֹ “the light shall be dark in his tent.” That passage speaks of the wicked whose light goes out, and whose fire burns no longer, in whose tent, therefore, it is dark. Can then the coming together of these words אור חשׁן be accidental? I am the less inclined to believe this, as the thought, that the light itself becomes dark, and not the lighted room, is a very specific one. Something similar may be found 13:10; Ezek. 32:8; Joel 4:15.—עֲרִיפִים is ἃπ. λεγ. It is derived from ערף “to drop down,” which occurs only Deut. 32:2; 33:28. עֲרָפֶל appears to be kindred to it. As עֲרָפֶל originates from עָרָפ by the addition of the letter ל like כַּרְמֶל from כֶּרֶם and בַּרְזֶל from בָּרַז (CHALD.,fixit, transfixit) see GREEN § 193, 2 c, and as עֲרָפֶל very often joined to עָנָן (Deut. 4:11; 5:19; Joel 2:2; Zeph. 1:15; Ezek. 34:12) undoubtedly means the cloudy obscurity, the thick clouds, so עריפים can be nothing else than the rain clouds out of which the rain drops down.
This rain cloud is now regarded as the tent covering of the earth, or at least as belonging to it, like e. g., 40:22 it says: “that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in,” (comp. Job 36:29; Ps. 104:2 sqq.). The expression “in his tent” would not be suitable. For the light that illumines a tent, stands within under the tent cover. But the light that illumines the earth, is above and beyond the heavenly tent cover. If, then, it is to be dark on earth, the light must be hindered from penetrating down from above. Therefore I translate: “and the light becomes dark through its clouds.” The fem., suffix is therefore to be referred to אֶרֶץ, “earth.” It will not do to refer it to אור. as GESENIUS does, referring to Job 36:32 (Thes. p. 1072), because then it must read חָשְׁכָה. If one would, with HITZIG, make אוֹר dependent on נִבַּט,. then the expression is surprising. For the opposite of “earth” is not “the light,” but “the heaven.” The explanations “distress and light” (DELITZSCH), and “stone and gleam” (i. e., hail and lightning, DRECHSLER) seem to me to pay too little regard to the two parallel passages quoted. I would, moreover, call attention to the fact that in this אזר חשׁן there lies, too, a significant reference to the doings of the people who, according to Isa 5:20 “make darkness light and light darkness.” Because they do that, their light shall be darkened wholly and permanently. And at the same time we find here a remarkable antithesis to 4:5. 6. There God creates upon Mount Zion a cloud by day and flaming fire by night, for a shade by day against the heat, and for shelter against rain and storm. Here darkness of anguish shall cover the earth and the rain-clouds shall not only overwhelm the unprotected earth with their showers, but beside these keep back the light, therefore, in a sense, be a shelter before the light. Thus this chapter, which had apparently begun so joyously, ends in deepest night and gloom. One feels that the discourse of the Prophet has exhausted itself. We are at the end. Nothing can follow these mighty, and at the same time vain words but—silence. But the informed know well that the two prophetic lamps that are thrust out before (2:1–4 and 4:2–6) stretch out beyond this period of misfortune. When, then, Isa 5:30, it reads “in that day,” we know that this is a hint that refers back out of the midnight gloom of this conclusion to the comforting beginning 4:2. That very day, when the evil fruits of the vineyard sink away in night and horror, begins for the “Branch of Jehovah” the day of light, and of eternal glory.
Or, This is in mine ears, saith the Lord, etc.
Heb. If not.
Or, pursue them.
And have the harp, etc.
And wine as beverage.
Heb. their glory are, men of famine.
see at 2:9.
Or, the holy God.
Heb. the God the holy,
as if it were their pasture.
Heb. that say concerning evil, It is good, &c.
Heb. before their own face.
Heb. the tongue of fire.
Or, as dung.
he and him.
Or, When it is light, it shall be dark in the destructions thereof.
through its clouds.