1:1 The a vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw b concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of c Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
The Argument - God, according to his promise in (Deuteronomy
18:15) that he would never leave his Church destitute of a prophet, has
from time to time accomplished the same: whose office was not only to declare
to the people the things to come, of which they had a special revelation, but
also to interpret and declare the law, and to apply particularly the doctrine
contained briefly in it, for the use and profit of those to whom they thought
it chiefly to belong, and as the time and state of things required.
Principally in the declaration of the law, they had respect to three things
which were the ground of their doctrine: first, to the doctrine contained
briefly in the two tables: secondly to the promises and threatenings of the
law: and thirdly to the covenant of grace and reconciliation grounded on our
Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the end of the law. To which they neither added
nor diminished, but faithfully expounded the sense and meaning of it. As God
gave them understanding of things, they applied the promises particularly for
the comfort of the Church and the members of it, and also denounced the
menaces against the enemies of the same: not for any care or regard to the
enemies, but to assure the Church of their safeguard by the destruction of
their enemies. Concerning the doctrine of reconciliation, they have more
clearly entreated it than Moses, and set forth more lively Jesus Christ, in
whom this covenant of reconciliation was made. In all these things Isaiah
surpassed all the prophets, and was diligent to set out the same, with
vehement admonitions, reprehensions, and consolations: ever applying the
doctrine as he saw that the disease of the people required. He declares also
many notable prophecies which he had received from God, concerning the promise
of the Messiah, his office and kingdom, the favour of God toward his Church,
the calling of the Gentiles and their union with the Jews. Which are principal
points contained in this book, and a gathering of his sermons that he
preached. Which after certain days that they had stood upon the temple door
(for the manner of the prophets was to post the sum of their doctrine for
certain days, that the people might the better mark it as in (Isaiah
2:2)) the priests took it down and reserved it among their registers. By
God's providence these books were preserved as a monument to the Church
forever. Concerning his person and time he was of the king's stock (for Amos
his father was brother to Azariah king of Judah, as the best writers agree)
and prophesied more than 64 years, from the time of Uzziah to the reign of
Manasseh who was his son-in-law (as the Hebrews write) and by whom he was put
to death. In reading of the prophets, this one thing among others is to be
observed, that they speak of things to come as though they were now past
because of the certainty of it, and that they could not but come to pass,
because God had ordained them in his secret counsel and so revealed them to
(a) That is, a revelation or prophecy, which was
one of the two means by which God declared himself to his servants in old
times, as in (Numbers
12:6) and therefore the prophets were called seers, (1 Samuel
(b) Isaiah was chiefly sent to Judah and
Jerusalem, but not only: for in this book are prophecies concerning other
(c) Called also Azariah, (2 Kings
15:1) of these kings read (2 Kings
14:1-21:1; 2 Chronicles
1:2 Hear, O d
heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and
brought up e children, and they have
rebelled against me.
(d) Because men were obstinate and insensible, he
calls to the dumb creatures, who were more prompt to obey God's word, as in
(e) He declares his great mercy toward the Jews
as he chose them above all other nations to be his people and children as in (Deuteronomy
1:3 The f ox
knoweth his owner, and the donkey his master's crib: [but] Israel doth not
know, my people doth not consider.
(f) The most dull and brute beasts acknowledge
their duty more toward their masters, than my people do toward me, of whom
they have received benefits without comparison.
1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity,
a g seed of evildoers, children that are
corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the h
Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.
(g) They were not only wicked as were their
fathers, but utterly corrupt and by their evil example infected others.
(h) That is, him that sanctifies Israel.
1:5 Why should ye be i
stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole k
head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
(i) What good is it to seek to mend you by
punishment, seeing that the more I correct you, the more you rebel?
(k) By naming the chief parts of the body, he
signifies that there was no part of the whole body of the Jews free from his
1:6 From the l
sole of the foot even to the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds,
and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, m
neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
(l) Every part of the body, the least as well as
the chiefest was plagued.
(m) Their plagues were so grievous that they were
incurable, and yet they would not repent.
1:7 Your country [is] desolate, your cities [are]
burned with fire: your land, foreigners devour it in your presence, and [it is]
desolate, as overthrown by n foreigners.
(n) Meaning, of them who dwell far off, who
because they look for no advantage of that which remains destroy all before
1:8 And the daughter of o
Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a
(o) That is, Jerusalem.
1:9 Except the LORD of hosts p
had left to us a very small remnant, we should have been q
as Sodom, we should have been like Gomorrah.
(p) Because he will always have a Church to call
on his Name.
(q) That is, all destroyed.
1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye r
rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
(r) You who for your vices deserved to be
destroyed, as they of Sodom, save that God from his mercy reserved a little
1:11 To what purpose [is] the multitude of your
sacrifices to me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and
the fat of fed beasts; and I s delight
not in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of male goats.
(s) Although God commanded these sacrifices for a
time, as aids and exercises of their faith, yet because the people did not
have faith or repentance, God detests them, (Psalms
Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and
sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure; [it is] iniquity, even the
(t) Without faith and repentance.
1:14 Your u
new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble to me; I
am weary of bearing [them].
(u) Your sacrifices offered in the new moons and
feasts: he condemns by this hypocrites who think to please God with ceremonies
and they themselves are void of faith and mercy.
1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will
hide my eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your
hands are full x of blood.
(x) He shows that where men are given to evil,
deceit, cruelty and extortion, which is meant by blood, there God will show
his anger and not accept them though they seem holy, as in (Isaiah
1:16 y Wash
ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes;
cease to do evil;
(y) By this outward washing, he means the
spiritual: exhorting the Jews to repent and amend their lives.
1:17 Learn to z
do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for
(z) This kind of reasoning by the second table,
the scriptures use in many places against the hypocrites who pretend holiness
and religion in word, but when charity and love for their brethren should
appear they declare that they have neither faith nor religion.
1:18 Come now, a
and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins are as scarlet,
they shall be b white as snow; though
they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
(a) To know if I accuse you without cause.
(b) Lest sinners should pretend any rigour on
God's part, he only wills them to be pure in heart, and he will forgive all
their sins, no matter how many or great.
1:19 If ye c
are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
(c) He shows that whatever adversity man endures,
it ought to be attributed to his own incredulity and disobedience.
1:21 How is the d
faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in
it; but now e murderers.
(d) That is, Jerusalem, which had promised
happiness to me, as a wife to her husband.
(e) Given to covetousness and extortion, which he
signified before by blood, (Isaiah
1:22 Thy f
silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
(f) Whatever was pure in you before, is now
corrupt, though you have an outward show.
1:23 Thy princes [are] rebellious, and companions
of g thieves: every one loveth bribes,
and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the
cause of the widow come to them.
(g) That is, they maintain the wicked and the
extortioners: and not only do not punish them, but are themselves such.
1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts,
the h mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will i
rid myself of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies:
(h) When God will show himself merciful to his
Church, he calls himself the Holy one of Israel, but when he has to do with
his enemies, he is called Mighty, as against whom no power is able to resist.
(i) I will take vengeance of my adversaries the
Jews and so satisfy my desire by punishing them.
1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and
thoroughly purge away thy dross, k and
take away all thy tin:
(k) Lest the faithful among them should be
overcome with his threatening he adds this consolation.
1:26 l And
I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the
beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the
(l) It is once the work of God to purify the
heart of man, which he does because of his promise, made concerning the
salvation of his Church.
1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with m
judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
(m) By justice is meant God's faithful promise,
which is the reason for the deliverance of his Church.
1:28 And the n
destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners [shall be] together, and
they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
(n) The wicked will not be partakers of God's
1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the o
oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye
(o) That is, the trees and pleasant places where
you commit idolatry which was forbidden (Deuteronomy
1:31 And the strong shall be
as a p wick, and its maker as a spark,
and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench [them].
(p) The false god's in which you put your
confidence will be consumed as easily as a piece of wick.