New American Standard Bible
"Give us advice, make a decision; Cast your shadow like night at high noon; Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
King James Bible
Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.
Darby Bible Translation
Bring in counsel, execute justice; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of noonday; hide the outcasts, discover not the fugitive.
World English Bible
Give counsel! Execute justice! Make your shade like the night in the midst of the noonday! Hide the outcasts! Don't betray the fugitive!
Young's Literal Translation
Bring ye in counsel, do judgment, Make as night thy shadow in the midst of noon, Hide outcasts, the wanderer reveal not.
Isaiah 16:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Take counsel - Hebrew, 'Bring counsel;' or cause it to come (הבאו hâbı̂'ı̂û, or as it is in the keri הביאי). The Vulgate, renders this in the singular number, and so is the keri, and so many manuscripts J. D. Michaelis, Lowth, Etchhorn, Gesenius, and Noyes, regard Isaiah 16:3-5 as a supplicatory address of the fugitive Moabites to the Jews to take them under their protection, and as imploring a blessing on the Jewish people if they would do it; and Isaiah 16:6 as the negative answer of the Jews, or as a refusal to protect them on account of their pride. But most commentators regard it as addressed to the Moabites by the prophet, or by the Jews, calling upon the Moabites to afford such protection to the Jews who might be driven from their homes as to secure their favor, and confirm the alliance between them; and Isaiah 16:6 as an intimation of the prophet, that the pride of Moab is such that there is no reason to suppose the advice will be followed. It makes no difference in the sense here, whether the verb 'give counsel' be in the singular or the plural number.
If singular, it may be understood as addressed to "Moab" itself; if plural, to the "inhabitants" of Moab. Vitringa supposes that this an additional advice given to the Moabites by the prophet, or by a chorus of the Jews, to exercise the offices of kindness and humanity toward the Jews, that thus they might avoid the calamities which were impending. The "first" counsel was Isaiah 16:1, to pay the proper tribute to the Jewish nation; "this" is Isaiah 16:3-5 to show to those Jews who might be driven from their land kindness and protection, and thus preserve the friendship of the Jewish nation. This is, probably, the correct interpretation, as if he had said, 'ake counsel; seek advice in your circumstances; be not hasty, rash, impetuous, unwise; do not cast off the friendship of the Jews; do not deal unkindly with those who may seek a refuge in your land, and thus provoke the nation to enmity; but let your land be an asylum, and thus conciliate and secure the friendship of the Jewish nation, and thus mercy shall be reciprocated and shown to you by him who shall occupy the throne of David' Isaiah 16:5. The "design" is, to induce the Moabites to show kindness to the fugitive Jews who might seek a refuge there, that thus, in turn, the Jews might show them kindness. But the prophet foresaw Isaiah 16:6 that Moab was so proud that he would neither pay the accustomed tribute to the Jews, nor afford them protection; and, therefore, the judgment is threatened against them which is finally to overthrow them.
Execute judgment - That is, do that which is equitable and right; which you would desire to be done in like circumstances.
Make thy shadow - A "shadow or shade," is often in the Scriptures an emblem of protection from the burning heat of the sun, and thence, of these burning, consuming judgments, which are represented by the intense heat of the sun (note, Isaiah 4:6; compare Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 32:2; Lamentations 4:20).
As the night - That is, a deep, dense shade, such as the night is, compared with the intense heat of noon. This idea was one that was very striking in the East. Nothing, to travelers crossing the burning deserts, could be more refreshing than the shade of a far-projecting rock, or of a grove, or of the night. Thus Isaiah counsels the Moabites to be to the Jews - to furnish protection to them which may be like the grateful shade furnished to the traveler by the rock in the desert. The figure used here is common in the East. Thus it is said in praise of a nobleman: 'Like the sun, he warmed in the cold; and when Sirius shone, then was he coolness and shade.' In the "Sunna" it is said: 'Seven classes of people will the Lord overshadow with his shade, when no shade will be like his; the upright Imam, the youth,' etc.
Hide the outcasts - The outcasts of Judah - those of the Jews who may be driven away from their own homes, and who may seek protection in your land. Moab is often represented as a place of refuge to the outcast Hebrews (see the Analysis to Isaiah 15:1-9.)
Bewray not him that wandereth - Reveal not (תגלי tegalı̂y), do not show them to their pursuer; that is, give them concealment and protection.
1 Kings 18:4
for when Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water.)
For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.
Each will be like a refuge from the wind And a shelter from the storm, Like streams of water in a dry country, Like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.
"Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
"Do not stand at the fork of the road To cut down their fugitives; And do not imprison their survivors In the day of their distress.
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