Isaiah 51:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, Who have said to you, 'Lie down that we may walk over you.' You have even made your back like the ground And like the street for those who walk over it."

King James Bible
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

Darby Bible Translation
and I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; who have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over; and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street to them that went over.

World English Bible
and I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to your soul, 'Bow down, that we may walk over you;' and you have laid your back as the ground, and as the street, to those who walk over."

Young's Literal Translation
And I have put it into the hand of those afflicting thee, Who have said to thy soul, Bow down, and we pass over, And thou makest as the earth thy body, And as the street to those passing by!'

Isaiah 51:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee - The nations that have made war upon thee, and that have reduced thee to bondage, particularly the Babylonians. The calamities which the Jews had suffered, God would transfer to their foes.

Which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over - This is a striking description of the pride of eastern conquerors. It was not uncommon for conquerors actually to put their feet on the necks of conquered kings, and tread them in the dust. Thus in Joshua 10:24, 'Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war that went with them, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings.' So David says, 'Thou has given me the necks of mine enemies' Psalm 18:40. 'The emperor Valerianus being through treachery taken prisoner by Sapor king of Persia, was treated by him as the basest and most abject slave, for the Persian monarch commanded the unhappy Roman to bow himself down and offer him his back, on which he set his foot in order to mount his chariot, or his horse, whenever he had occasion.' (Lactantius, as quoted by Lowth) Mr. Lane (Modern Egyptians, vol. i. p. 199) describes an annual ceremony which may serve to illustrate this passage: 'A considerable number of Durweeshes, says he (I am sure there were not less than sixty, but I could not count their number), laid themselves down upon the ground, side by side, as close as possible to each other, having their backs upward, having their legs extended, and their arms placed together beneath their foreheads.

When the Sheikh approached, his horse hesitated several minutes to step upon the back of the first prostrate man; but being pulled and urged on behind, he at length stepped upon them: and then without apparent fear, ambled with a high pace over them all, led by two persons, who ran over the prostrate men, one sometimes treading on the feet, and the other on the heads. Not one of the men thus trampled on by the horse seemed to be hurt; but each the moment that the animal had passed over him, jumped up and followed the Sheikh. Each of them received two treads from the horse, one from one of his fore-legs, and a second from a hind-leg.' It seems probable that this is a relic of an ancient usage alluded to in the Bible, in which captives were made to lie down on the ground, and the conqueror rode insultingly over them.

Thou hast laid thy body as the ground - That is, you were utterly humbled and prostrated (compare Psalm 66:11-12). From all this, however, the promise is, that they should be rescued and delivered. The account of their deliverance is contained in the following chapter Isaiah 52:1-12; and the assurance of rescue is there made more cheering and glorious by directing the eye forward to the coming of the Messiah Isaiah 52:13-15; Isaiah 53:1-12, and to the glorious results which would follow from his advent (Isaiah 54:1). These chapters are all connected, and they should be read continuously. Material injury is done to the sense by the manner in which the division is made, if indeed any division should have been made at all.

Isaiah 51:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Awakening of Zion
'Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.'--ISAIAH li. 9. 'Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion.'--ISAIAH lii. 1. Both these verses are, I think, to be regarded as spoken by one voice, that of the Servant of the Lord. His majestic figure, wrapped in a light veil of obscurity, fills the eye in all these later prophecies of Isaiah. It is sometimes clothed with divine power, sometimes girded with the towel of human weakness, sometimes
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"Sing, O Heavens; and be Joyful, O Earth; for the Lord Hath Comforted his People. " -- Isaiah 49:13.
"For the Lord shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." -- Isaiah 51:3. "Sing, O Heavens; and be joyful, O Earth; for the Lord hath comforted his people." -- Isaiah 49:13. A living, loving, lasting word, My listening ear believing heard, While bending down in prayer; Like a sweet breeze that none can stay, It passed
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

The Work of Jesus Christ as an Advocate,
CLEARLY EXPLAINED, AND LARGELY IMPROVED, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL BELIEVERS. 1 John 2:1--"And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." By JOHN BUNYAN, Author of "The Pilgrim's Progress." London: Printed for Dorman Newman, at the King's Arms, in the Poultry, 1689. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of the most interesting of Bunyan's treatises, to edit which required the Bible at my right hand, and a law dictionary on my left. It was very frequently republished;
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Privilege of Prayer
Through nature and revelation, through His providence, and by the influence of His Spirit, God speaks to us. But these are not enough; we need also to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have spiritual life and energy, we must have actual intercourse with our heavenly Father. Our minds may be drawn out toward Him; we may meditate upon His works, His mercies, His blessings; but this is not, in the fullest sense, communing with Him. In order to commune with God, we must have something to say to
Ellen Gould White—Steps to Christ

Cross References
Joshua 10:24
When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they came near and put their feet on their necks.

Psalm 66:12
You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

Isaiah 49:26
"I will feed your oppressors with their own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Jeremiah 25:15
For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, says to me, "Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it.

Jeremiah 25:26
and all the kings of the north, near and far, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the earth which are upon the face of the ground, and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

Obadiah 1:16
"Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow And become as if they had never existed.

Micah 7:10
Then my enemy will see, And shame will cover her who said to me, "Where is the LORD your God?" My eyes will look on her; At that time she will be trampled down Like mire of the streets.

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