1. The inscription.
The word--the revelation.
2. Same as
As Micah prophesied in Jotham's reign, and Isaiah in Uzziah's, Micah
rests on Isaiah, whom he confirms: not vice versa. HENGSTENBERG on slight grounds makes
last days--that is, Messiah's: especially the days yet to come, to which all prophecy hastens, when "the house of the God of Jacob," namely, at Jerusalem, shall be the center to which the converted nations shall flock together (Mt 13:32; Lu 2:31, 32; Ac 1:6, 7); where "the kingdom" of Israel is regarded as certain and the time alone uncertain (Ps 68:15, 16; 72:8, 11).
mountain of the Lord's house . . . in the top, &c.--the temple on Mount Moriah: type of the Gospel, beginning at Jerusalem, and, like an object set on the highest hill, made so conspicuous that all nations are attracted to it.
flow--as a broad stream (Isa 66:12).
3. If the curse foretold against Israel has been literally
fulfilled, so shall the promised blessing be literal. We Gentiles must
not, while giving them the curse, deny them their peculiar blessing by
spiritualizing it. The Holy Ghost shall be poured out for a general conversion then
Zec 8:21, 23;
from Jerusalem-- (Lu 24:47) an earnest of the future relations of Jerusalem to Christendom (Ro 11:12, 15).
6. Therefore--rather, "For": reasons why there is the more need of
the exhortation in
thou--transition to Jehovah: such rapid transitions are natural, when the mind is full of a subject.
replenished--rather, filled, namely, with the superstitions of the East, Syria, and Chaldea.
soothsayers--forbidden (De 18:10-14).
Philistines--southwest of Palestine: antithesis to "the east."
please themselves--rather, join hands with, that is, enter into alliances, matrimonial and national: forbidden (Ex 23:32; Ne 13:23, &c.).
7. gold--forbidden to be heaped together
(1Ki 10:21, 27).
horses . . . chariots--forbidden (De 17:16). But Solomon disobeyed (1Ki 20:26). Horses could be used effectively for war in the plains of Egypt; not so in the hilly Judea. God designed there should be as wide as possible a distinction between Israel and the Egyptians. He would have His people wholly dependent on Him, rather than on the ordinary means of warfare (Ps 20:7). Also horses were connected with idolatry (2Ki 23:11); hence His objection: so the transition to "idols" (Isa 2:8) is natural.
9. mean--in rank: not morally base: opposed to "the great man." The
former is in Hebrew, Adam, the latter, ish.
boweth--namely, to idols. All ranks were idolaters.
forgive . . . not--a threat expressed by an imperative. Isaiah so identifies himself with God's will, that he prays for that which he knows God purposes. So Re 18:6.
10. Poetical form of expressing that, such were their sins, they
would be obliged by God's judgments to seek a hiding-place from His
(Re 6:15, 16).
dust--equivalent to "caves of the earth," or dust (Isa 2:19).
for fear, &c.--literally, "from the face of the terror of the Lord."
12. Man has had many days: "the day of the Lord" shall come at last,
beginning with judgment, a never-ending day in which God shall be "all
every--not merely person, as English Version explains it, but every thing on which the nation prided itself.
13. cedars . . . oaks--image for haughty nobles and princes
Zec 11:1, 2;
Bashan--east of Jordan, north of the river Jabbok, famous for fine oaks, pasture, and cattle. Perhaps in "oaks" there is reference to their idolatry (Isa 1:29).
14. high . . . hills--referring to the "high places" on which sacrifices were unlawfully offered, even in Uzziah's (equivalent to Azariah) reign (2Ki 15:4). Also, places of strength, fastnesses in which they trusted, rather than in God; so
15. tower . . . wall--Towers were often made on the walls of
16. Tarshish--Tartessus in southwest Spain, at the mouth
of the Guadalquivir, near Gibraltar. It includes the adjoining region:
a Phœnician colony; hence its connection with Palestine and the
The name was also used in a wide sense for the farthest west, as
our West Indies
Ps 48:7; 72:10).
"Ships of Tarshish" became a phrase for richly laden and
far-voyaging vessels. The judgment shall be on all that minister
to man's luxury (compare
pictures--ordered to be destroyed (Nu 33:52). Still to be seen on the walls of Nineveh's palaces. It is remarkable that whereas all other ancient civilized nations, Egypt, Assyria, Greece, Rome, have left monuments in the fine arts, Judea, while rising immeasurably above them in the possession of "the living oracles," has left none of the former. The fine arts, as in modern Rome, were so often associated with polytheism, that God required His people in this, as in other respects, to be separate from the nations (De 4:15-18). But Vulgate translation is perhaps better, "All that is beautiful to the sight"; not only paintings, but all luxurious ornaments. One comprehensive word for all that goes before (compare Re 18:12, 14, 16).
17. Repeated from Isa 2:11, for emphatic confirmation.
18. idols--literally, "vain things," "nothings" (1Co 8:4). Fulfilled to the letter. Before the Babylonian captivity the Jews were most prone to idolatry; in no instance, ever since. For the future fulfilment, see Zec 13:2; Re 13:15; 19:20.
19. The fulfilment answers exactly to the threat
caves--abounding in Judea, a hilly country; hiding-places in times of alarm (1Sa 13:6).
shake . . . earth--and the heavens also (Heb 12:26). Figure for severe and universal judgments.