6:9-13 God sends Isaiah to foretell the ruin of his people. Many hear the sound of God's word, but do not feel the power of it. God sometimes, in righteous judgment, gives men up to blindness of mind, because they will not receive the truth in the love of it. But no humble inquirer after Christ, need to fear this awful doom, which is a spiritual judgment on those who will still hold fast their sins. Let every one pray for the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, that he may perceive how precious are the Divine mercies, by which alone we are secured against this dreadful danger. Yet the Lord would preserve a remnant, like the tenth, holy to him. And blessed be God, he still preserves his church; however professors or visible churches may be lopped off as unfruitful, the holy seed will shoot forth, from whom all the numerous branches of righteousness shall arise.
13. and it shall return, and … be eaten—Rather, "but it shall be again given over to be consumed": if even a tenth survive the first destruction, it shall be destroyed by a second (Isa 5:25; Eze 5:1-5, 12), [Maurer and Horsley]. In English Version, "return" refers to the poor remnant left in the land at the Babylonish captivity (2Ki 24:14; 25:12), which afterwards fled to Egypt in fear (2Ki 25:26), and subsequently returned thence along with others who had fled to Moab and Edom (Jer 40:11, 12), and suffered under further divine judgments.
tell—rather, "terebinth" or "turpentine tree" (Isa 1:29).
substance … when … cast … leaves—rather, "As a terebinth or oak in which, when they are cast down (not 'cast their leaves,' Job 14:7), the trunk or stock remains, so the holy seed (Ezr 9:2) shall be the stock of that land." The seeds of vitality still exist in both the land and the scattered people of Judea, waiting for the returning spring of God's favor (Ro 11:5, 23-29). According to Isaiah, not all Israel, but the elect remnant alone, is destined to salvation. God shows unchangeable severity towards sin, but covenant faithfulness in preserving a remnant, and to it Isaiah bequeaths the prophetic legacy of the second part of his book (the fortieth through sixty-sixth chapters).