New American Standard Bible
Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow.
King James Bible
He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.
Darby Bible Translation
When he heweth him down cedars, he taketh also a holm-oak and a terebinth he chooseth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth a pine, and the rain maketh it grow.
World English Bible
He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak, and strengthens for himself one among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir tree, and the rain nourishes it.
Young's Literal Translation
Cutting down to himself cedars, He taketh also a cypress, and an oak, And he strengtheneth it for himself Among the trees of a forest, He hath planted an ash, and the shower doth nourish it.
Isaiah 44:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He heweth him down cedars - In the previous verses, the prophet had described the formation of an axe with which the work was to be done Isaiah 44:12, and the laying out, and carving of the idol Isaiah 44:13. In this verse he proceeds to describe the material of which the idol was made, and the different purposes Isaiah 44:15-17 to which that material was applied. The object is to show the amazing stupidity of those who should worship a god made of the same material from which they made a fire to warm themselves, or to cook their food. For a description of cedars, see the notes at Isaiah 9:10.
And taketh - Takes to himself; that is, makes use of.
The cypress - (תרזה tı̂rzâh). This word occurs nowhere else in the Bible. It is probably derived from a root (תרז târaz) signifying to be hard, or firm. Hence, it probably means some species of wood that derived its name from its hardness or firmness. Jerome translates it, Ilex (a species of oak) - 'the holm-oak.' It was an evergreen. This species of evergreen, Gesenius says, was abundant in Palestine.
And the oak - The oak was commonly used for this purpose on account of its hardness and durability.
Which he strengtheneth for himself - Margin, 'Taketh courage.' The word אמץ 'ı̂mmēts means properly "to strenthen," to make strong, to repair, to replace, to harden. Rosenmuller and Gesenius suppose that it means here to choose, that is, to set fast, or appoint; and they appeal to Psalm 80:15, Psalm 80:17, 'thou madest strong for thyself.' Kimchi supposes that it means, that he gave himself with the utmost diligence and care to select the best kinds of wood for the purpose. Vitringa, that he was intent on his work, and did not leave the place, but refreshed himself with food in the woods without returning home, in order that be might accomplish his design. Others interpret it to mean that he girded himself with strength, and made use of his most intense efforts in felling the trees of the forest. Lowth renders it, 'Layeth in good store of the trees of the forest.' It may mean that he gave himself with great diligence to the work; or may it not mean that he planted such trees, and took great pains in watering and cultivating them for this purpose?
He planteth an ash - (ארן 'oren). The Septuagint renders it, Πίτυν Pitun - 'Pine.' Jerome also renders it, Pinum. Gesenius supposes the name was given from the fact that the tree had a tall and slender top, which, when it vibrated, gave forth a tremulous, creaking sound (from רנן rânan). This derivation is, however, somewhat fanciful. Most interpreters regard it as the ash - a well-known tree. In idolatrous countries, where it is common to have idols in almost every family, the business of idol-making is a very important manufacture. Of course, large quantities of wood would be needed; and it would be an object to procure that which was most pure, or as we say, 'clear stuff,' and which would work easily, and to advantage. It became important, therefore, to cultivate that wood, as we do for shipbuilding, or for cabinet-work, and doubtless groves were planted for this purpose.
And the rain doth nourish it - These circumstances are mentioned to show the folly of worshipping a god that was formed in this manner. Perhaps also the prophet means to intimate that though the man planted the tree, yet that be could not make it grow. He was dependent on the rains of heaven; and even in making an idol-god he was indebted to the providential care of the true God. Men, even in their schemes of wickedness, are dependent on God. Even in forming and executing plans to oppose and resist him, they can do nothing without his aid. He preserves them, feeds them, clothes them; and the instruments which they use against him are those which he has nurtured. On the rain of heaven; on the sunbeam and the dew; on the teeming earth, and on the elements which he has made, and which he controls, they are dependent; and they can do nothing in their wicked plans without abusing the bounties of his Providence, and the expressions of his tender mercy.
LibraryJacob --Israel --Jeshurun
'Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen.... Fear not, O Jacob, My servant; and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. --ISAIAH xliv. 1, 2. You observe that there are here three different names applied to the Jewish nation. Two of them, namely Jacob and Israel, were borne by their great ancestor, and by him transmitted to his descendants. The third was never borne by him, and is applied to the people only here and in the Book of Deuteronomy. The occurrence of all three here …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
To the Afflicted, Tossed with Tempests and not Comforted. Isa 44:5-11
Hiram, the Inspired Artificer
A Few Sighs from Hell;
He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter.
Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house.
Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it.
Jump to PreviousAsh Cedars Chooses Chooseth Cut Cuts Cypress Fir Fir-Tree Forest Gives Grow Growth Heweth Holm-Oak Lets Maketh Nourish Nourishes Oak Perhaps Pine Planted Planteth Plants Rain Strengtheneth Strengthens Strong Terebinth Tree Trees Wood
Jump to NextAsh Cedars Chooses Chooseth Cut Cuts Cypress Fir Fir-Tree Forest Gives Grow Growth Heweth Holm-Oak Lets Maketh Nourish Nourishes Oak Perhaps Pine Planted Planteth Plants Rain Strengtheneth Strengthens Strong Terebinth Tree Trees Wood
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