Isaiah 50:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

King James Bible
Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus saith Jehovah: Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, through your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

World English Bible
Thus says Yahweh, "Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, with which I have put her away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were you sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away.

Young's Literal Translation
Thus said Jehovah: 'Where is this -- the bill of your mother's divorce, Whom I sent away? Or to which of My creditors have I sold you? Lo, for your iniquities ye have been sold, And for your transgressions Hath your mother been sent away.

Isaiah 50:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thus saith the Lord - To the Jews in Babylon, who were suffering under his hand, and who might be disposed to complain that God had dealt with them with as much caprice and cruelty as a man did with his wife, when he gave her a writing of divorce, and put her away without any just cause.

Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement? - God here speaks of himself as the husband of his people, as having married the church to himself, denoting the tender affection which he had for his people. This figure is frequently used in the Bible. Thus in Isaiah 62:5 : 'As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee;' 'For thy Maker is thy husband' Isaiah 54:5; 'Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you' Jeremiah 3:14. Thus in Revelation 21:9, the church is called 'the bride, the Lamb's wife.' Compare Ezekiel 16:See Lowth on Hebrew poetry, Lec. xxxi. The phrase, 'bill of divorcement.' refers to the writing or instrument which a husband was by law obliged to give a wife when he chose to put her away. This custom of divorce Moses found probably in existence among the Jews, and also in surrounding nations, and as it was difficult if not impossible at once to remove it, he permitted it on account of the hardness of the hearts of the Jews (Deuteronomy 24:1; compare Matthew 19:8).

It originated probably from the erroneous views which then prevailed of the nature of the marriage compact. It was extensively regarded as substantially like any other compact, in which the wife became a purchase from her father, and of course as she had been purchased, the husband claimed the right of dismissing her when he pleased. Moses nowhere defines the causes for which a man might put away his wife, but left these to be judged of by the people themselves. But he regulated the way in which it might be done. He ordained a law which was designed to operate as a material check on the hasty feelings, the caprice, and the passions of the husband. He designed that it should be with him, if exercised, not a matter of mere excited feeling, but that he should take time to deliberate upon it; and hence, he ordained that in all cases a formal instrument of writing should be executed releasing the wife from the marriage tie, and leaving her at liberty to pursue her own inclinations in regard to future marriages Deuteronomy 24:2.

It is evident that this would operate very materially in favor of the wife, and in checking and restraining the excited passions of the husband (see Jahn's Bib. Antiq. Section 160; Michaelis' Commentary on the Laws of Moses, vol. i. pp. 450-478; ii.-127-40. Ed. Lond. 1814, 8vo.) In the passage before us, God says that he had not rejected his people. He had not been governed by the caprice, sudden passion, or cruelty which husbands often evinced. There was a just cause why he had treated them as he had, and he did not regard them as the children of a divorced wife. The phrase, 'your mother,' Here is used to denote the ancestry from whom they were descended. They were not regarded as the children of a disgraced mother.

Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you - Among the Hebrews, a father had the right, by the law of Moses, if he was oppressed with debt, to sell his children Exodus 21:7; Nehemiah 5:5. In like manner, if a man had stolen anything, and had nothing to make restitution, he might be sold for the theft Exodus 22:3. If a man also was poor and unable to pay his debts, he might be sold Leviticus 25:39; 2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 18:25. On the subject of slavery among the Hebrews, and the Mosaic laws in regard to it, see Michaelis' Commentary on the Laws of Moses, vol. ii. pp. 155, following In this passage, God says that he had not been governed by any such motives in his dealings with his people. He had not dealt with them as a poor parent sometimes felt himself under a necessity of doing, when he sold his children, or as a creditor did when a man was not able to pay him. He had been governed by different motives, and he had punished them only on account of their transgressions.

Ye have sold yourselves - That is, you have gone into captivity only on account of your sins. It has been your own act, and you have thus become bondmen to a foreign power only by your own choice.

Is your mother put away - Retaining the figure respecting divorce. The nation has been rejected, and suffered to go into exile, only on account of its transgressions.

Isaiah 50:1 Parallel Commentaries

Dying Fires
'Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that gird yourselves about with firebrands: walk ye in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.'--ISAIAH l. 11. The scene brought before us in these words is that of a company of belated travellers in some desert, lighting a little fire that glimmers ineffectual in the darkness of the eerie waste. They huddle round its dying embers for a little warmth and company, and they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Servant's Inflexible Resolve
'For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face like a flint.'--ISAIAH l. 7. What a striking contrast between the tone of these words and of the preceding! There all is gentleness, docility, still communion, submission, patient endurance. Here all is energy and determination, resistance and martial vigour. It is like the contrast between a priest and a warrior. And that gentleness is the parent of this boldness. The same Will which is all submission
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Wilderness State
"Ye now have sorrow: But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22. 1. After God had wrought a great deliverance for Israel, by bringing them out of the house of bondage, they did not immediately enter into the land which he had promised to their fathers; but "wandered out of the way in the wilderness," and were variously tempted and distressed. In like manner, after God has delivered them that fear him from the bondage of sin and Satan;
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Humility is the Root of Charity, and Meekness the Fruit of Both. ...
Humility is the root of charity, and meekness the fruit of both. There is no solid and pure ground of love to others, except the rubbish of self-love be first cast out of the soul; and when that superfluity of naughtiness is cast out, then charity hath a solid and deep foundation: "The end of the command is charity out of a pure heart," 1 Tim. i. 5. It is only such a purified heart, cleansed from that poison and contagion of pride and self-estimation, that can send out such a sweet and wholesome
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Deuteronomy 24:1
"When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house,

Deuteronomy 24:3
and if the latter husband turns against her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife,

Deuteronomy 32:30
"How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had given them up?

2 Kings 4:1
Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves."

Nehemiah 5:5
"Now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers, our children like their children. Yet behold, we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters are forced into bondage already, and we are helpless because our fields and vineyards belong to others."

Isaiah 1:28
But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, And those who forsake the LORD will come to an end.

Isaiah 27:8
You contended with them by banishing them, by driving them away. With His fierce wind He has expelled them on the day of the east wind.

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