The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 1

Isa 1:1

See Lesson, Prophet, the.

ISAIAH: Sig "Yah has saved". Little is known of his personal life and background: he may have been from a priestly family (Isa 6:1), and he seems to have been on familiar terms with the royalty (Isa 8:1).

Isa 1:2

HEAVENS... EARTH: God, His angels, and the nation of Israel: Jer 2:12; 6:19; 22:29; Eze 36:4,6; Mic 1:2; 6:2.

THEY HAVE REBELLED AGAINST ME: Israel the rebellious "son": Deu 21:18.

Isa 1:3

Animals that "obey" God: the migrating birds (Jer 8:7), the animals brought to the ark (Gen 6:20; 7:9), and Balaam's ass (Num 22). See LB 412,413.

Consider application of v to Isa 2:7: the animals in the "barn" recognizing their "Lord" in the manger, while -- outside -- the nation of Israel did not understand!

MY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND: Israel is to be blinded: Isa 6:9,10; 44:18; Mat 13:13).

Isa 1:4

LOADED WITH GUILT: Their sins were a "burden" (cp Psa 38:4), which only their God could bear away (Exo 34:7).

A BROOD OF EVILDOERS: Seed of the serpent: Mat 3:7; 12:34; 23:33; cp Gen 3:15.

Isa 1:5

YOUR WHOLE HEAD IS INJURED, YOUR WHOLE HEART AFFLICTED: And continuing into v 6, a graphic description of leprosy: Job 2:7; Isa 38:9; 53:4-6; Psa 38:3,7; 41:3. Note judgments on Jehoram (2Ch 21:18) and Uzziah (2Ch 26:20). Later, the leprosy of Hezekiah esp (Isa 38; 53) would mirror the sin of his nation.

Isa 1:6

See v 5n.

Isa 1:7

Vv 7,8: The Assyrian invasion.

Isa 1:8

A SHELTER IN A VINEYARD: Proverbial sym of isolation (cp Isa 3:26). A booth in the midst of a field, where, during the harvest, the farmer guards his crops from marauding beasts -- or thieves.

A CITY UNDER SIEGE: Jerusalem, by Sennacherib.

Isa 1:9

LORD ALMIGHTY: Lit, "Lord of hosts" (tzvaoth), or armies. Prob sig the angels (cp 1Ki 22:19; Jos 5:14), who protected Jerusalem from Sennacherib (Isa 37:36)... and delivered Lot and family from Sodom (Gen 19).

Isa 1:10

Vv 10-20: Obedience and mercy equated with sacrifice: 1Sa 15:22; Psa 50:7-14; Hos 6:6 (Mat 9:13; 12:7). The LM was not bad (Isa 58:13,14; Rom 7:12), unless "observed" by hypocrites (see 1Sa 15:22; Jer 6:20; Hos 6:6).

SODOM... GOMORRAH: The sins of Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and idleness: Eze 16:49.

Isa 1:11

"The people of God are come to a sorry pass when they have a mind to give more attention to the forms of their religion than its inner meaning. The multitude of sacrifices had ceased to be rejoiced in as a medium by which God's merciful forgiveness was received. Instead, they had become a kind of bribe to the Almighty as a way of bespeaking His favour and help in emergency" (WIsa 95).

I HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH...: "I have had my fill"; "I am stuffed with..." (NET).

Isa 1:12

COME TO APPEAR BEFORE ME: At the solemn feasts: Exo 34:23; Psa 42:3; 84:7.

THE TRAMPLING OF MY COURTS: That is, a constant stream of sacrifices, sacrifices by the herd, but essentially to no avail! Cp Amo 5:21-24; Mic 6:7,8.

Isa 1:13

INCENSE: A figure of prayer (Psa 141:2,3; Rev 5:8: 8:3,4), but not in this case!

CONVOCATIONS: Annual assemblies (Lev 23).

Isa 1:15

WHEN YOU SPREAD OUT YOUR HANDS IN PRAYER: Like the Pharisee in the Temple: Luk 18:11-13. Warnings against wrong use of prayer: Pro 27:14; 28:9.

Isa 1:16

Vv 16,17: The only explicitly positive exhortation in all this ch.

WASH AND MAKE YOURSELVES CLEAN: Addressed to a spiritually leprous nation (Isa 1:5,6). How to cleanse? By application of the word of God (Joh 15:3; Psa 119:9; Eph 5:26).

Isa 1:17

The putting away of the negatives must be deliberately followed by the careful and painstaking application to learning good ways! // Jam 1:27.

Isa 1:18

COME NOW, LET US REASON TOGETHER: "The idea of God and men remonstrating and arguing with each other is truly remarkable, but not unique. Abraham spent long persuasion beating down God's price for Sodom (Gen 18:23-32). At the burning bush Moses stuck his toes in against a redeeming return to Egypt, but was overborne (Exo 4:1-17). Job demanded the opportunity to argue his case with the Almighty (Job 23:3-7), but when he got it he crumpled up before the heavenly majesty. More than once Isa offered on God's behalf a court case between the Almighty and the people He was at loggerheads with (eg, Isa 43:9,10,26)" (WIsa 97).

REASON TOGETHER: Not, however, like equals. This is much more of a divine ultimatum.

THOUGH YOUR SINS ARE LIKE SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE WHITE AS SNOW: Cp Rev 7:9,14: white garments washed in the blood of the Lamb.

SCARLET: As princes' robes: 2Sa 1:24.

Isa 1:20

IF YOU RESIST AND REBEL: As in Exo 16:28; Psa 78:10; 81:11; Deu 1:26.

FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN: Isaiah's constantly repeated emphasis (Isa 34:16; 40:5; 45:23; 48:3; 58:4); therefore it is a word of truth and power.

Isa 1:21

HARLOT: Spiritually unfaithful to her "husband": Jer 5:1-4; Jam 4:4; Rev 2:20; 17:1. Related to idolatry: ie, Num 25:1,2.

Isa 1:22

Adultery, in v 21, and ADULTERATION in v 22! See Mat 5:18.

Isa 1:23

// Mic 2:2; 3:11; 7:3.

THE WIDOW'S CASE DOES NOT COME BEFORE THEM: See Jesus' parable in Luk 18:1-8.

Isa 1:25

I WILL THOROUGHLY PURGE AWAY YOUR DROSS: "God is ready and waiting to deliver us from our follies and fantasies and baby toys -- as soon as we are sincerely ready to let them go. But while professing to want to grow up and be free of them, we cling so pitifully to them like the teddy bears of our childhood (which they are). We cannot do it ourselves, but God can and will -- swiftly and surgically, as soon as we ask and really mean it. It is a bit of a shock, like extracting an aching tooth without anesthetic, but the relief is wonderful and immediate. But we must have the intense desire, springing from a total love of God and -- from the love -- an anxious, ardent zeal to approach Him closer and closer, and serve Him more and more. We must come to see all our toys as handicaps and hindrances to total joy in His service. Do we love Him enough?" (GVG).

Isa 1:29

SACRED OAKS IN WHICH YOU HAVE DELIGHTED: A revival of the ancient Canaanite sex-worship under a more respectably Israelite disguise. "A reenacting of Adam and Eve in their garden nakedness (LXX uses the word "paradise"). There, under a tree of life, these perverts gave themselves to enjoyment, and called it Paradise Restored" (WIsa 100).

THE GARDENS YOU HAVE CHOSEN: The old Amorite practices (Deu 16:21; 2Ki 16:4; Isa 57:5; 65:3; 66:17; Amo 2:7) of sacred fornication.

Isa 1:31

TINDER: Quickest and easiest to burn.

HIS WORK A SPARK: The sins of Israel would be the "spark" to set off the conflagration!

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