Isaiah 44:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

King James Bible
He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Darby Bible Translation
He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

World English Bible
He feeds on ashes. A deceived heart has turned him aside; and he can't deliver his soul, nor say, "Isn't there a lie in my right hand?"

Young's Literal Translation
Feeding on ashes, the heart is deceived, It hath turned him aside, And he delivereth not his soul, nor saith: 'Is there not a lie in my right hand?'

Isaiah 44:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

He feedeth on ashes - There have been various interpretations of this. Jerome renders it, 'A part of it is ashes;' the Chaldee, 'Lo! half of the god is reduced to ashes;' the Septuagint, 'Know thou that their heart is ashes.' The word rendered here 'feedeth' (רעה ro‛eh) means properly "to feed, graze, pasture"; and then, figuratively, to delight, or take pleasure in any person or thing Proverbs 13:20; Proverbs 15:14; Proverbs 28:7; Proverbs 29:3. In Hosea 12:1, 'Ephraim feedeth on wind,' it means to strive after something vain or unprofitable; to seek that which will prove to be vain and unsatisfactory. So here it means, that in their idol-service they would not obtain that which they sought. It would be like a man who sought for food, and found it to be dust or ashes; and the service of an idol compared with what man needed, or compared with the true religion, would be like ashes compared with nutritious and wholesome diet. This graphic description of the effect of idolatry is just as true of the ways of sin, and of the pursuits of the world now. It is true of the frivolous and the fashionable; of those who seek happiness in riches and honors; of all those who make this world their portion, that they are feeding on ashes - they seek that which is vain, unsubstantial, unsatisfactory, and which will yet fill the soul itself with disgust and loathing.

A deceived heart hath turned him aside - This is the true source of the difficulty; this is the fountain of all idolatry and sin. The heart is first wrong, and then the understanding, and the whole conduct is turned aside from the path of truth and duty (compare Romans 1:28).

A lie in my right hand - The right hand is the instrument of action. A lie is a name often given to an idol as being false and delusive. The sense is, that that which they had been making, and on which they were depending, was deceitful and vain. The work of their right hand - the fruit of their skill and toil, was deceptive, and could not save them. The doctrine is, that that which sinners rely on to save their souls; that which has cost their highest efforts as a scheme to save them, is false and delusive. All schemes of religion of human origin are of this description: and all will be alike deceptive and ruinous to the soul.

Isaiah 44:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Jacob --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
To the afflicted, tossed with tempests and not comforted. Isa 44:5-11 Pensive, doubting, fearful heart, Hear what CHRIST the Savior says; Every word should joy impart, Change thy mourning into praise: Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee, May he help thee to believe! Then thou presently wilt see, Thou hast little cause to grieve. "Fear thou not, nor be ashamed, All thy sorrows soon shall end I who heav'n and earth have framed, Am thy husband and thy friend I the High and Holy One, Israel's GOD by
John Newton—Olney Hymns

Hiram, the Inspired Artificer
BY REV. W. J. TOWNSEND, D.D. The Temple of Solomon was the crown of art in the old world. There were temples on a larger scale, and of more massive construction, but the enormous masses of masonry of the oldest nations were not comparable with the artistic grace, the luxurious adornments, and the harmonious proportions of this glorious House of God. David had laid up money and material for the great work, but he was not permitted to carry it out. He was a man of war, and blood-stained hands were
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

A Few Sighs from Hell;
or, The Groans of the Damned Soul: or, An Exposition of those Words in the Sixteenth of Luke, Concerning the Rich Man and the Beggar WHEREIN IS DISCOVERED THE LAMENTABLE STATE OF THE DAMNED; THEIR CRIES, THEIR DESIRES IN THEIR DISTRESSES, WITH THE DETERMINATION OF GOD UPON THEM. A GOOD WARNING WORD TO SINNERS, BOTH OLD AND YOUNG, TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION BETIMES, AND TO SEEK, BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, TO AVOID, LEST THEY COME INTO THE SAME PLACE OF TORMENT. Also, a Brief Discourse touching the
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Romans 1:21
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Romans 1:22
Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Romans 1:25
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

2 Thessalonians 2:11
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,

2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Job 15:31
"Let him not trust in emptiness, deceiving himself; For emptiness will be his reward.

Psalm 102:9
For I have eaten ashes like bread And mingled my drink with weeping

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