God's Violent Providences
Isaiah 22:18
He will surely violently turn and toss you like a ball into a large country: there shall you die…

Margin Revised Version, "He will surely wind thee round and round like a ball and toss thee." Generally the figure is assumed to be that of a ball flung violently on a smooth, even plain, where it bounds on and on with nothing to stay its progress. But a gentleman was in the island of Mitylene during a great storm of wind in winter, and observed a peculiar plant, not unlike wormwood, which grows into a compact, globular form, with very stiff stalks and branches. In the winter the plant dies down to the ground, and in its dry and light condition is torn from its roots by the wind, and set bounding over the wide and unenclosed country. He reports having seen five or six of these balls coursing along at once. If such plants were found in the countries familiar to the prophet, they would furnish a vivid emblem of the man who is at the mercy of a higher power, and helpless either to choose his own course or to find rest. The point which is proposed for illustration is that there must be a variety of arrows in the Lord's quiver, and a needs-be sometimes for the severest and most searching dealings. God must sometimes display his sovereign power over men in a crushing and overwhelming way, in order to silence the tongue of pride, to prove that man can never get beyond God's reach, never raise Babel-towers that he cannot overwhelm. The mightiest forces of nature are God's instruments. And man's pride he will utterly abase. Compare the death of the lord who scorned the prophet's assurance of immediate deliverance (2 Kings 7:19, 20); Nebuchadnezzar's humiliation in the hour of his boasting (Daniel 4:29-33); and Herod's awful death (Acts 12:20-23), when he permitted men to offer him the honors due alone to God. Man's folly in trying God's power to smite and wound is finely satirized by Eliphaz the Temanite (Job 15:25, 26): "For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty. He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers." - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house.

WEB: He will surely wind you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a large country. There you will die, and there the chariots of your glory will be, you shame of your lord's house.

Captivity, and Yet Safety
Top of Page
Top of Page