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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  TWENTY  NINE
Isaiah 56:9 - 57:21


Isaiah 56:9 – 58:14
The Call To Israel's Enemies

  Isa 56:9 Call to devour
 
Isa 56:10-57:21 Contrasted characters
Isa 58:2-14 Contrasted conduct
  Isa 58:1 Call to cry aloud
     

Isaiah 56:9-57:21
Ninth Prophecy
Neglect of Duty by the Leaders of Israel; and Errors of the People

Isaiah 56:10-57:21 Contrasted Characters
Isa 56:10-12 The Wicked
Isa 57:1 The Righteous
Isa 57:2 Peace
Isa 57:3-13- The Wicked
Isa 57:-13-18 The Righteous
Isa 57:19-21 Peace

Isaiah 56:9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(9)  All you wild beasts, come and devour, all you beasts of the forest!

All ye beasts of the field, come, devour, all ye beasts of the forest.

All the kings of the peoples which gather together to oppress thee, O Jerusalem, shall be cast down in thy midst; they shall be food for the beasts of the field, the beasts of the forest shall be sated with them.

From the NKJV
(9)  All you beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts in the forest.

Revelations 19:17
Then I saw a single angel stationed in the sun's light, and with a mighty voice he shouted to all the birds that fly across the sky, Come, gather yourselves together for the great supper of God, [Ezek 39:4,17-20.]     (AMP)

Ezekiel 39:4
You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.     (NKJV)

This evidently commences a new subject,  and refers to some invasion of the land of Judea.
In the previous chapter,  the prophet had comforted the people by the assurance of the coming of the Messiah,  and by the fact that they should be enlarged by the accession of the Gentiles.  He proceeds here to a more disagreeable part of the subject.  The design is,  to reprove particularly the sins of the rulers of the people,  and to assure them that such conduct would incur the vengeance of heaven.
The sins reproved are indolence and inattention to duty (Isaiah 56:10-12);  a spirit of self-indulgence and of slumber,  avarice and selfishness,  and luxury and intemperance.
The vengeance here referred to,

Lowth supposes to be the invasion of the land by the Chaldeans, and perhaps by the Romans.
Grotius supposes that it refers to the Egyptians, and to bands of robbers from the Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites.
Vitringa strangely enough refers it to the barbarous nations which broke in upon the Christian church to lay it waste and destroy it during the decline of the Roman empire, particularly the Huns, Saracens, Turks, Turcomans, Tartars, etc.
But the connection seems to demand that it should be understood of some events,  not far distant from the time of the prophet,  which would be a proper punishment of the crimes then existing.
According to this interpretation,  the reference here is to the invasion of the land by the Chaldeans.
They would come as wild beasts,  to spread terror and devastation before them.  And so great were the national crimes,  that the prophet calls on them to come and devour all before them.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(9)  All you wild animals, (Every wild animal 1Q1sa (b). MT.) come and devour – even all you wild animals. (Every wild animal 1Q1sa (b). MT.)
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 56:10 & 11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10)  The watchmen are blind, all of them, they perceive nothing. They are all dumb dogs that cannot back; they lie sprawling, they love to drowse.

See how they are all blinded: they have not known; they are dumb dogs that will not bark; dreaming of rest, loving to slumber.

Their watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; slumbering, lying down, loving to sleep.

(11)  Moreover, the dogs are greedy; they never know satiety. As for the shepherds, they know not what it is to give heed. Everyone has turned his own way, every last one seeks his own advantage.

Yea, they are insatiable dogs, that know not what it is to be filled, and they are wicked, having no understanding: all have followed their own ways, each according to his own will.

Yea, the dogs are greedy, they know not satiety, and these do evil, they know not understanding; they have all wondered off each on his own way, each one to prey on the wealth of Israel.

From the NKJV
(10)  His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark;  sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.    (11)    Yes, they are greedy dogs which never have enough.  And they are shepherds who cannot understand;  they all look to their own way, every one for his own gain, from his own territory.

The prophet now proceeds with tspw (tsopaayw (OT: 6822)) - watchmen.

The "watchmen" are the prophets.  The prophet is like a watchman (tsoopheh) stationed upon his watch- tower,  whose duty it is,  when he sees the sword come upon the land,  to blow the shoophâr,  and warn the people (Ezek 33:1-9).

Ezekiel 33:1-9
Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
"Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them:
'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand.'
So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.  When I say to the wicked,
'O wicked man, you shall surely die!'
and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.  Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul."         (NKJV)

But just as Jeremiah speaks of bad prophets among the captives (Jer 29),  and the book of Ezekiel is full of reproaches at the existing neglect of the office of watchman and shepherd;  so does the prophet here complain that the watchmen of the nation are blind,  in direct opposition to both their title and their calling;  they are all without either knowledge or the capacity for knowledge.

Their soul lives and moves in the lowest parts of their nature;  it is nothing but selfish avarice,  self-indulgent greediness,  violent restlessness of passion,  that revolves perpetually around itself.  With the words  "and they are shepherds,"  the range of the prophet's vision is extended to the leaders of the nation generally;  for when the prophet adds as an exclamation,  "And such are shepherds!"  he applies the glaring contrast between calling and conduct to the holders of both offices,  that of teacher and that of ruler alike.

For,  apart from the accents,  it would be quite at variance with the general use of the personal pronoun hmh (OT:1992) - they - , to apply it to any other persons than those just described (viz., in any such sense as this: "And those, who ought to be shepherds, do not know").
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Greedy dogs - Strong of appetite. Literally, 'Strong of soul' `azeey nephesh.
Jerome renders it, Canes impudentissimi.  So the Septuagint, kunesanaideisteepsuchee - `Dogs impudent in soul.'  They were greedy and insatiable in that which the soul or the appetite demands.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they dream, lie down, love to sleep.   (11)   The dogs have a voracious appetite, they can never have enough. And as for them, they are the Shepherds who lack understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, each and every one.

Isaiah 56:12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  “Come, I’ll get some wine; let us swill liquor. And tomorrow will be just the same, or even much grander!”

Not in the LXX

They say, Come and let us carouse with wine, and get drunk with old wine; and out feast of tomorrow shall be better than that of today, exceeding great.

From the NKJV
(12)  "Come," one says, "I will bring wine, and we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink; tomorrow will be as today, and much more abundant."
Wine Hebrew yayin from the Hebrew root word yayan
 
To ferment,  used of every sort of wine.  The word occurs 142 times,  and includes fermented wine of all kinds.
Intoxicating drink Hebrew shekar strong drink  (from shakarto get drunk)
 
A very intoxicating drink made from barley, honey, or dates.

An office-bearer of the kind described is now introduced per mimesin as speaking.   He gives a banquet,  and promises the guests that the revelry shall be as great tomorrow as today,  or rather much more glorious.

Their self-indulgence was habitual and intentional: not merely they drink, but they mean to continue so.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)  Come, they say, let us fetch wine, and let us fill ourselves with strong drink! And tomorrow will be like today or even much better.



ISRAEL'S  FUTILE  IDOLATRY

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Isaiah 57:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  The righteous man perishes, and no one considers; pious men are taken away, and no one gives thought that because of evil the righteous was taken away.

See how the just man has perished, and no one lays it to heart: and righteous men are taken away, and no one considers: for the righteous has been removed out of the way of injustice.

The righteous die, and there is no man that layeth my fear to heart; and the men who practice mercy perish;  and they do not consider that the righteous perish from before the evil that is about to come.

(2)  Yet he shall come to peace, he shall have rest on his couch who walked straightforward.

His burial shall be in peace: he has been removed out of the way.

They shall go in peace; they shall rest upon their beds that observe his law.

From the NKJV
(1)  The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.    (2)    He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

While watchmen and shepherds,  prophets and rulers,  without troubling themselves about the flock which they have to watch and feed,  are thus indulging their own selfish desires,  and living in debauchery,  the righteous man is saved by early death from the judgment,  which cannot fail to come with such corruption as this.

The righteous perishes
Barnes says: This refers, as I suppose, to the time of Manasseh.
Grotius says: It refers to king Josiah.
Vitringa says: It refers to martyrs in general.

The pious part of the nation was taken away by violent death,  and that the nation was not affected by it.  Such was the guilt of Manasseh;  so violent was the persecution which he excited against the just,  that it is said of him that he 'shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another' (2 Kings 22:16).

With "the righteous" the prophet introduces,  in glaring contrast to this luxurious living on the part of the leading men of the nation,  the standing figure used to denote the fate of its best men.  With this prevailing demoralization and worldliness,  the righteous succumbs to the violence of both external and internal sufferings. 'aabad (OT:6) perishes,  he dies before his time;  from the midst of the men of his generation he is carried away from this world,  and no one lays it to heart,  viz.,  the divine accusation and threat involved in this early death.

While no one considers
No one is aroused by it, or is concerned about it.  People saw the righteous die without concern.
If the pious die by persecution and others are not aroused,  it shows that they acquiesce in it,  and no desire that God's people should be preserved.   The wicked hate the secret rebuke which is furnished by a holy life,  and they often feel a secret exultation when such people die.

In verse 2 it is intimated that the righteous man and the pious do not lose the blessings of this salvation because they lose this life:  for whereas,  according to the prophet's watchword,  there is no peace to the wicked,  it is true,  on the other hand,  of the departing righteous man,  that  "he enters into peace.
"They rest upon their beds,"  viz.,  the bottom of the grave,  which has become their mishkâbh (Job 17:13 (If I wait for the grave as my house, if I make my bed in the darkness)).

The grave, when compared with the restlessness of this life,  is therefore "peace."  He who has died in faith rests in God,  to whom he has committed himself and entrusted his future.  We have here the glimmering light of the New Testament consolation,  that the death of the righteous is better than life in this world,  because it is the entrance into peace.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Clarke offers:
The righteous perishes
There is an emphasis here which seems intended to point out a particular person.
I feel inclined to follow the grammatical meaning of the word "perish," pereo.
So the Vulgate,  justus periit,  from per, BY or THROUGH, and eo, to GO.
In his death the righteous man may be said to have passed through life, and to have passed by men, i.e.,  gone or passed before them into the eternal world.
A similar mode of speech is used by our Saxon ancestors to express death:  "he went out of sight"; and "he went away"; and "to fare forth, to die."

There are very few places in Isaiah where Jesus Christ is not intended;  and I am inclined to think that He is intended here - THAT Just One.
And perhaps Stephen had this place in view, when he thus charged the Jews, "You denied ton hagion kai dikaion, the HOLY and the JUST."  (Acts 3:14
)

Merciful men
If the first refers to Christ,  this may well refer to the apostles,  and to others of the primitive Christians,  who were taken away,  some by death and martyrdom,  and others by a providential escape from the city that they knew was devoted to destruction.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  And the righteous person perishes, but no one takes it to heart; devout people are taken away, while none understands that the righteous are taken away from calamity.   (2)   And he enters into peace, and they will rest on his couches, each one walking in her up rightness.

Isaiah 57:3-13-  The Wicked  
Isa 57:3, 4 Inquiry
Isa. 57:5-10 Crimination
Isa 57:11 Inquiry
Isa. 57:12,13- Threatening

Isaiah 57:3 & 4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  But as for you, come closer, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of an adulterer and a harlot!

But draw ye near hither, ye lawless children, the seed of adulterers and the harlot.

But as for you, draw near hither ye people of a generation whose deeds are evil, who’s planting was from a holy planting, but they are adulterers and fornicators.

(4)  With whom do you act so familiarly? At whom do you open your mouth and stick out your tongue? Why, you are children of iniquity, offspring of treachery.

Wherein have ye been rioting? And against whom have ye opened your mouth, and against whom have ye loosed your tongue? Are you not children of perdition? A lawless seed?

Against whom do ye sport yourselves, and before whom will ye open your mouth, and multiply arrogant speech? Are ye not children of rebellion, a lying seed,

From the NKJV
(3)  "But come here, you sons of the sorceress, you offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!    (4)    Whom do you ridicule? Against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, offspring of falsehood,

The reproachful language of the prophet is now directed against the mass of the nation,  who have occasioned the  "evil"  from which the righteous is swept away,  i.e.,  the generation that is hostile to the servants of Jehovah,  and by whom those sins of idolatry are still so shamelessly carried on,  which first led to the captivity.

They are to draw nearer to the place where God is speaking through His prophet,  to have themselves painted,  and to hear their sentence.  Just as elsewhere the moral character of a man is frequently indicated by the mention of his father (2 Kings 6:32 "Do you see how this son of a murderer..."),  or his mother (1 Sam 20:30  "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!" ),  so here the generation of the captivity,  so far as it continued to practice the idolatry by which its ancestors had brought upon themselves the Chaldean catastrophe.

Sons of the sorceress - (possibly the maker of clouds or storm, Isa 2:6,  one who made heathen and superstitious customs her means of livelihood,  viz.,  the community as it existed before the captivity,  which really deserved no better name,

on account of the crying contradiction between its calling and its conduct;
and secondly,  with regard to both the male and female members of the community.
A better rendering than this would be,  "Seed of an adulterer, and one who commits adultery yourself,"  in consequence of this descent from an adulterer.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Hebrews were much addicted to this,  and particularly in the time of Manasseh (2 Kings 21:6):

'Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.'
So much were they devoted to this in his time,  that they might be called,  by way of eminence,  'the sons of the sorceress;'  as if a sorceress had been their mother,  and they had grown up to walk in her steps,  and to imitate her example.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Who do you ridicule?
The prophet now asks,  "Over whom do ye find your pleasure?"
hitª`aneeg is used here,  and denotes the feeling which finds pleasure in the sufferings of another.
The objects of this malicious contemptuous pleasure are the servants of Jehovah;  and the question,  as in Isa 37:23,  is one of amazement at their impudence,  since the men over whom they make merry are really deserving of esteem,  whereas they themselves are the refuse of Israel.

The Interlinear translates it:   "Against whom do ye sport yourselves?"
(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

They made a sport or mockery of God, and of the institutions of religion.  The prophet asks, with deep indignation and emotion, against whom they did this.

Were they aware of the majesty and glory of that Being whom they thus derided?
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Children of transgression...falsehood
Are ye not a brook of apostasy,  seed of lying?
As apostasy and lying,  when regarded as parents,  can only produce something resembling them;  the character of those from whom they are descended is here imputed to the men themselves,  even more clearly than before.  The genitives of origin are also genitives of attribute. .
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Seed of falsehood = false seed.

Not merely children of transgressors,  and a seed of false parents,

but the seed of transgression and falsehood itself,
utterly unfaithful to God.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  But as for you – come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!   (4)    Whom are you mocking? And against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of lies,

Isaiah 57:5 & 6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(5)  You who inflame yourselves among the Terebinths, under every verdant tree; who slaughter children in the wades, among the clefts of the rocks.

Who call upon idols under the leafy trees, slaying your children in the valleys among the rocks?

Who serve idols under every leafy tree, and sacrifice children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks?

(6)  With such are your share and portion, they, they are your allotment; to them you have poured out libations, presented offerings. Should I relent in the face of this?

That is thy portion, this is thy lot: and to them hast thou poured forth drink-offerings, and to these hast thou offered meat-offerings. Shall I not therefore be angry for these things?

Among the smooth rocks of the valley is thy portion; yea, there they are thy lot; even to them hast thou poured forth drink offerings, thou hast offered oblations. Shall my Memra be appeased for these things?

From the NKJV
(5)  Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?    (6)    Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion; they, they, are your lot! Even to them you have poured a drink offering, you have offered a grain offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

Inflaming yourselves - the Hebrew word chaamam is,  "to become warm; to be inflamed, or to burn as with lust."

With idols...every green tree - With the sacred trees: i.e. the Asherahs.
Originally a tree,  symbolical of the  “tree of life,”  it was an object of reverence and veneration.
Then came the perversion of the earlier idea which simply honored the origin of life;   and it was corrupted and debased into the organ of procreation,  which was symbolized by the form and shape given to the ‘Asherah (a wooden image, or a pillar representing Ashtoreth, a sensual Canaanitish goddess, probably usually set up in a grove).

2 Kings 17:10
They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree.
(NKJV)

These symbols,  in turn,  became the incentive to all forms of impurity which were part of its libidinous worship,  with the swarms of  “devotees”  involved in its obscene orgies.  The principal factor in this form of Canaanite idolatry is that it was not a primitive conception of a religious rite,  but the corruption of an earlier idea which began with honoring the origin of life.

The people of the captivity are addressed,  and the idolatry handed down to them from their ancestors depicted.  The prophet looks back from the standpoint of the captivity, and takes his colors from the time in which he himself lived,  possibly from the commencement of Manasseh's reign,  when the heathenism that had for a long time been suppressed burst forth again in all its force,  and the measure of iniquity became full.

The Terebinths are introduced here, exactly as in Isa 1:29, as an object of idolatrous lust: "who inflame themselves with the Terebinths;"    denotes the object with which the lust is excited and inflamed.  The Terebinth ('eelâh) held the chief place in tree-worship (hence 'lnm, lit., oak-trees, together with 'lm, is the name of one of the Phoenician gods.

The expression, "under every green tree,"  is simply a permutative of the words  "with the Terebinths"  in the sense of  "with the Terebinths, yea, under every green tree"  (a standing expression from Deut 12:2 downwards) - one tree being regarded as the abode and favorite of this deity,  and another of that,  and all alluring you to your carnal worship.

From the tree-worship with its orgies,  which was so widely spread in antiquity generally,  the prophet passes to the leading Canaanitish abomination,  viz.,  human sacrifices,  which had been adopted by the Israelites.  Judging from the locality named,  "under the clefts of the rocks,"  the reference is not to the slaying of children sacrificed to Moloch in the valley of Hinnom,  but to those offered to Baal upon his bâmooth or high places (Jer 19:5).

Jeremiah 19:5
They have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.     (NKJV)

Smooth stones
In the Arabic also,  achlaq (equivalent to châlâq,  smooth,  which forms here a play upon the word with cheeleq (OT: 2506),  châlâq)  is a favorite word for stones and rocks.
chalªqeey-nachal,  however,  are stones which the stream in the valley has washed smooth with time,  and rounded into a pleasing shape.  The mode of the worship,  the pouring out of libations.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Herodotus (3:8) speaks of seven stones which the Arabs anointed, calling upon the god Orotal.
Suidas (s.v. Eheu's a'rees) states that the idol of Ares in Petra was a black square stone;  and the black stone of the Ka'aba was,  according to a very inconvenient tradition for the Mohammedans,  an idol of Saturn (zuhal).

Stone-worship of this kind had been practiced by the Israelites before the captivity,  and their heathenish practices had been transmitted to the exiles in Babylon.  The meaning of the question,  Shall I comfort myself concerning such things?,  Shall I be contented with them ('enaacheem (OT: 5162) niphal, not hithpael)? - is,  that it was impossible that descendants who so resembled their fathers should remain unpunished.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Jews were extremely addicted to the practice of many superstitious and idolatrous rites,  which the prophet here inveighs against with great vehemence.  Of the worship of rude stones consecrated,  there are many testimonials of the ancients.

They were called Baituloi and Baitulia probably from the stone which Jacob erected at Beth-el, pouring oil upon the top of it.  This practice was very common in different ages and places.
Arnobius (lib. i.)  gives an account of his own practice in this respect before he became a Christian:   "When I have met with a smooth stone,  smeared with oil,  supposing a spiritual power to be connected with it,  I worshipped it,  paid my addresses to it,  and requested blessings."
Clemens Alex. (Strom. lib. vii.)  speaks of a worshipper of every smooth stone in a proverbial way, to denote one given up to superstition.
Theophrastus has marked this as one strong feature in the character of the superstitious man:  "Passing by the anointed stones in the streets,  he takes out his phial of oil,  and pours it on them;  and having fallen on his knees,  and made his adorations, he departs."
Kimchi says:  "When they found a beautiful polished stone in a brook or river,  they paid divine adoration to it."
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(5)  You who burn with lust among the oaks, under every spreading tree, who slaughter your children in the ravines, under the clefts of the rocks?    (6)    Among the smooth stones of the ravines is your portion. There they go as (They yes they, are 4Q1sa (i). MT.) your lot; to them you have poured out drink offerings, you have brought grain offerings. Am I to be appeased for these things?

Isaiah 57:7 & 8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(7)  On a high and lofty hill you have set your couch; there, too, you have gone up to perform sacrifices.

On a lofty and high mountain, there is thy bed, and thither thou carried up thy meal-offerings:

Upon a high and lofty mountain hast thou set thy dwelling-place: yea, thither did thou go up to offer sacrifice.

(8)  Behind the door and doorpost you have directed your thoughts; abandoning Me, you have gone up on the couch you made so wide. You have made a covenant with them, you have loved bedding with them; you have chosen lust.

and behind the posts of thy door thou did place thy memorials. Did you think that if thou should depart from me, thou would gain? Thou hast loved those that lay with thee;

A behind the door and the post hast thou set the memorial of thy idol: thou became as a woman who was beloved of her husband, but went astray after strangers; thou did enlarge thy dwelling, and made a covenant with them; thou did love their bed, thou did choose a place.

From the NKJV
(7)  On a lofty and high mountain you have set your bed; even there you went up to offer sacrifice.    (8)    Also behind the doors and their posts you have set up your remembrance;  for you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me, and have gone up to them; you have enlarged your bed and made a covenant with them; you have loved their bed, where you saw their nudity.

The prophet now proceeds with perfects, like shaapakªtª (OT: 8210) and he`eliyt (OT: 5927) (addressed to the national community generally,  the congregation regarded as a woman).  The description is mostly retrospective.

The lovers that she sought for herself are the gods of the heathen.  Upon lofty mountains,  where they are generally worshipped,  did she set up her bed,  and did all that was needed to win their favor.

The zikkâroon,  i.e.,  the declaration that Jehovah is the only God,  which the Israelites were to write upon the posts of their houses,  and upon the entrances (Deut 6:9),  for a constant reminder,  she had put behind the door and post,  that she might not be reminded,  to her shame,  of her unfaithfulness.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NKJV)

What she stipulated from them was either the wages of adultery,  or the satisfaction of her wanton lust.
What follows agrees with this;  for it is there distinctly stated,  that the lovers to whom she offered herself gratified her lust abundantly.  The meaning is that after the church of Jehovah had turned away from its God to the world and its pleasures,  it took more and more delight in the pleasures afforded it by idolatry,  and indulged its tastes to the full.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

They had filled their houses with the images of tutelary gods,  or with something dedicated to them.

The Greeks and Romans had their Lares and Penates - their household or domestic gods - the images of which were in every family.
The same was true of the apostate Hebrews.  They had filled their houses with the memorials of idol-worship, and there was no part of their dwellings in which such memorials were not to be found.
When a people forget God, the memorials of their apostasy will be found in every part of their habitations.
The shrines of idol-gods may not be there;  the beautiful images of the Greek and Roman mythology,  or the clumsy devices of less refined pagans,  may not be there;
but the furniture,  the style of living,  will reveal from  'behind every door and the posts'  of the house that God is forgotten,  and that they are influenced by other principles than a regard to his name.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(7)  You have made your bed on a high and lofty mountain, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.    (8)    Behind the doors and the doorposts you have set up your pagan sign; for in deserting me you have uncovered your bed, you have climbed up into it and have opened it wide, and you have made a pact for yourself with them; you have loved their bed, you have looked on their private parts.

Isaiah 57:9 & 10
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(9)  You have approached with oil, you have provided many perfumes. And you have sent your envoys afar, even down to the netherworld.

And thou hast multiplied thy whoredom with them, and thou hast increased the number of them that are far from thee, and hast sent ambassadors beyond thy borders, and hast been debased even to hell.

When thou did observe the law, thou did prosper in thy kingdom, and when thou did multiply good works, thy armies were increased, and thou did send thy envoys far off, and did abase the mighty ones of the peoples even unto Sheol.

(10)  Though wearied by much travel, you never said, “I give up!” You found gratification for your lust, and so you never cared.

Thou hast wearied thyself with thy many ways; yet thou said not, I will cease to strengthen myself: for thou hast done these things; therefore thou hast not supplicated me.

Thou wast wearied with the length of thy way; yet thou did not think of returning: thou did multiply great riches; therefore thou did not plan to return.

From the NKJV
(9)   You went to the king with ointment, and increased your perfumes; you sent your messengers far off, and even descended to Sheol.    (10)    You are wearied in the length of your way; yet you did not say, 'There is no hope.'  You have found the life of your hand; therefore you were not grieved.

In the closest reciprocal connection with this God-forgetting,  adulterous craving for the favor of heathen gods stood their coquetting with the heathen power of the world.

The first thing to be noticed here,  is one that has been overlooked by nearly all the modern commentators,  viz.,  that we have here a historical retrospect before us.
And secondly, a single glance at v. 11 is sufficient to show that the words refer to a servile coquetry from the fear of man,  and therefore to a wicked craving for the favor of man;  so that  "the king,"  is not Baal,  or any heathen god whatever (according to Isa 8:21),  but the Asiatic ruler of the world.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Ahaz sent messengers,  as we read in 2 Kings 16:7 ff.,  to Tiglath-pileser,  the king of Assyria,  to say to Him,  "I am your servant and your son."    And Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the house of Jehovah,  and in the treasures of the palace,  and sent a bribe to the king of Assyria.
And again, at verses 10 ff.,  Ahaz went to Damascus to meet the king of Assyria,  and there he saw an altar,  and sent a model of it to Jerusalem,  and had one like it put in the place of the altar of burnt-offering.

Such acts as these are here described in the figure of Israel traveling with oil to the king,  and taking a quantity of choice spices with it to gain his favor,  and also sending messengers,  and not only bowing itself to the earth,  but even stooping to Hades,  that is to say,  standing as it were on its head in its excessive servility,  for the purpose of obtaining allies.

It seems most natural to take bashemen (OT:8081) - ointment - as equivalent to bsmn mªshuwchaah: you went in oil (dripping with pomade),  and didst apply to thyself many spices;  but Beth after verbs of going signifies to go with anything,  to take it with one and bring it,  so that the oil and spices are thought of here as presents,  which she took with her as sensual stimulants,  with a view to the amorous pleasures she was seeking.

Descended to Sheol - hishªpiyl (OT: 8213) - signifies to go deep down  - the meaning here is,  to bow very low,  or to degrade one's self.

They had sunk to the deepest possible debasement.  In forsaking Yahweh;  in seeking foreign alliances;  in their anxiety to secure their aid when Yahweh was abundantly able and willing to protect them,  they had sunk to the lowest degradation of character and condition.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

By "the length of your way,"  all the great sacrifices are intended which it cost her to purchase the favor of the heathen ruler.  Although they were a great trouble to her,  yet she did not say now'aash (OT: 2976), "there is no hope."

Found the life of your hand = a hand to mouth life.

Thus, without noticing the sighs and groans forced from her by the excessive toil and fatigue,  but stirring herself up again and again,  she pursued the plan of strengthening her alliances with the heathen.  Ezekiel's picture of Aholah and Aholibah is like a commentary on vv. 3-10 (see Ezek 23).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(9)  You went to Molech with olive oil and increased your perfumes; you sent your ambassadors far away; you sent them down to Sheol itself!    (10)    You grew weary with your many wanderings, but you would not say, “It is useless.” You found new strength for your desire, and so you felt no regret.

Isaiah 57:11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(11)  Whom do you dread and fear, that you tell lies?  But you gave no thought to Me, you paid no heed. It is because I have stood idly by so long that you have no fear of Me.

Through dread of whom hast thou feared, and lied against me, and hast not remembered, nor considered me, nor regarded me, yea, though when I see thee I pass thee by, yet thou hast not feared me.

And because of whom wast thou troubled, and before whom did thou fear, that thou hast spoken so many lies, and hast not remembered my service, nor set my fear to heart? Have I not given thee a respite from of old, if thou would return to my law, and before me thou hast not returned?

From the NKJV
(11)  And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?

From fear of man,  Israel,  and still more Judah,  had given up the fear of Jehovah.

It was of men - only mortal men,  with no real power (Isa 51:12) - that Israel was so needlessly afraid,  that it resorted to lies and treachery to Jehovah:

purchasing the favor of man
out of the fear of man,
and throwing itself into the arms of false tutelar deities,  it banished Jehovah its true shelter out of its memory,  and did not take it to heart,  viz.,  the sinfulness of such infidelity,  and the eventful consequences by which it was punished (compare Isa 47:7 and 42:25).

With verse 11b the reproaches are addressed to the present.
The treachery of Israel had been severely punished in the catastrophe of which the captivity was the result,  but without effecting any improvement.  The great mass of the people were as forgetful of God as ever,  and would not be led to repentance by the long-suffering of God,  which had hitherto spared them from other well-merited punishments.
A comparison with Isa 42:14 will show that the prophecy returns here to its ordinary style.

The prophet applies the term 'oolâm - of old - to the captivity,  which had already lasted a long time - a time of divine silence:  the silence of His help so far as the servants of Jehovah were concerned,  but the silence of His wrath as to the great mass of the people.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(11)  Whom did you dread and you feared me, that you lied and you did not remember me and did not lay to heart these things? Have I not kept silent for a long time, and so that you do not fear me?

Isaiah 57:12 & 13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  I hereby pronounce judgment upon your deeds: Your assorted [idols] shall not avail you,

And I will declare thy righteousness, and thy sins, which shall not profit thee.

I have declared unto thee good deeds that should be accounted acts of righteousness for thee: but thou hast multiplied unto thee evil deeds which shall not profit thee.

(13)  shall not save you when you cry out. They shall all be borne off by the wind, snatched away by a breeze. But those who trust in Me shall inherit the land and possess My sacred mount.

When thou cry out, let them deliver thee in thine affliction: for all these the wind shall take, and the tempest shall carry them away: but they that cleave to me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain.

Cry aloud now, and see if thy lying deeds wherein thou wast busying thyself from thy youth will deliver thee; but the wind will carry away all of them, they shall become nothingness: but he that trusts in my Memra shall possess the land, and inherit my holy mountain.

From the NKJV
(12)  I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they will not profit you.   (13)    When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, a breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain.

But this silence would not last for ever.
The simple reference is to what Israel in its blindness regarded as righteousness;  whereas,  if it had known itself,  it would have seen that it was the most glaring opposite.  This lying-righteousness of Israel would be brought to a judicial exposure by Jehovah.

When Jehovah begins thus to speak and act,  the impotence of the false gods which His people have made for themselves will soon be exposed;  and  "as for thy works,  they will do thee no good"  (ch. 44:9-10).  But the term is really applied to the heaps of different idols,  with which Israel had furnished itself even in its captivity.  It was in vain for them to turn to these pantheons of theirs;  a single ruach  (wind)  would carry them all away,  a hebhel  (breath)  would sweep them off,  for they themselves were nothing but hebhel and ruach (Isa 41:29).

The contrast lies between

the idols which cannot save
and
Jehovah who not only saves those who trust in Him
but sends them prosperity according to His promises.
With the promise,  "Whoso trusts in me will inherit the land,"  this prophecy reaches the thought with which the previous prophecy (Isa 51:7-8) closed; and possibly what is here affirmed.

When Jehovah gathers His faithful ones from the dispersion,  and gathers others to them (from among the heathen),  then will the plunder which the faithless have gathered together be all scattered to the winds.  And while the latter stand forsaken by their powerless works,  the former will be established in the peaceful inheritance of the Promised Land.

The first half of the prophecy closes here.

It is full of reproach,  and closes with a brief word of promise,  which is merely the obverse of the threat.
The second half follows an opposite course.
Jehovah will redeem His people, provided it has been truly humbled by the sufferings appointed, for He has seen into what errors it has fallen since He has withdrawn His mercy from it.
The whole closes here with words of threatening,  which are the obverse of the promise. Verse 13 b forms the transition from the first half to the second.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)  I will denounce your righteousness (your justice 4Q1sa (d)) and your works,  for your contingents [of idols] will not benefit you.   (13)    When you cry out, let your contingents deliver you! The wind will carry them all off, and a mere breath will take them all away. But whoever takes refuge in me will possess the land, and inherit my holy mountain.



HEALING  FOR   THE  BACKSLIDER

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Isaiah 57:14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(14)  [The Lord] says: Build up, build up a highway! Clear a road! Remove all obstacles from the road of My people!

And they shall say, Clear the ways before him, and take up the stumbling-blocks out of the way of my people.

And he shall say, Teach ye, and exhort, turn the heart of the people to the right way, remove the stumbling-block of the wicked from the way of the congregation of my people.

From the NKJV
(14)  And one shall say,  "Heap it up! Heap it up!  Prepare the way, take the stumbling block out of the way of My people."

The promise is now followed by an appeal to make ready the way which the redeemed people have to take.
This is the very same appeal which occurs once in all three books of these prophecies:

Isa 40:3,4 Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth.
Isa 57:14 Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.
Isa 62:10 Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!

Remove the obstacles; level the hills; take up any obstruction out of the way.  This cry was often heard before the coming of a distinguished prince or conqueror in the East.  Joseph Wolff stated,  in a lecture in Philadelphia (Sept. 18, 1837),  that,  on entering Jerusalem from the west,  in the direction of Gaza,  the road,  for a considerable distance from Jerusalem,  was so full of stones that it was impracticable to ride,  and those who were entering the city were obliged to dismount.
When the Pasha (Ibrahim, son of Mehemet Ali) approached Jerusalem,  it was customary for a considerable number of laborers to go before him,  and remove the stones from the way.  This was done amidst a constant cry,  'Cast up, cast up the way; remove the stones, remove the stones.'  And on a placard,  or standard,  it was written,  'the Pasha is coming;'  and everywhere the cry was heard,  'the Pasha is coming, the Pasha is coming; cast up the way, remove the stones.'
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  And one has said,  “Build up; build up the road, Prepare the highway! Remove every obstacle from my people’s way.”

Isaiah 57:15
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(15)  For thus said He who high aloft forever dwells, whose name is holy: I dwell on high, in holiness; yet with the contrite and the lowly in spirit – reviving the hearts of the contrite.

Thus saith the Most High, who dwells on high for ever, Holy in the holies, is his name, the Most High resting in the holies, and giving patience to the faint-hearted, and giving life to the broken-hearted:

For thus saith the high and lofty One who dwells in the heavens, whose name is holy; he dwells in the height and holy is his Shekinah; he hath commanded to deliver the contrite in heart and humble in spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to sustain the heart of the contrite.

From the NKJV
(15)  For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:  "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

The primary ground for this voice being heard at all is,  that the Holy One is also the Merciful One,  and

not only has a manifestation of glory on high,
but also a manifestation of grace below.
He inflicts punishment in His wrath; but to those who suffer themselves to be urged thereby to repentance and the desire for salvation;  He is most inwardly and most effectually near with His grace.
For the heaven of heavens is not too great for Him,
and a human heart is not too small for Him to dwell in.
And He who dwells upon cherubim, and among the praises of seraphim,
does not scorn to dwell among the sighs of a poor human soul.
He is also called qâdoosh (holy),  as one who is absolutely pure and good,  separated from all the uncleanness and imperfection by which creatures are characterized.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(15)  For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name if Holy: he will dwell (I dwell MT) in the height and in the holy place, ([inhabit] the high and holy [place] 4Q1sa (d). MT.) and also with the one who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 57:16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(16)  For I will not always contend, I will not be angry forever: Nay, I who make spirits flag, also create the breath of life.

I will not take vengeance on you for ever, neither will I be always angry with you: for my Spirit shall go forth from me, and I have created all breath.

For not for ever will I thus exact vengeance, neither will my anger remain indefinitely: for I am about to restore the spirits of the dead and the souls which I have made.

From the NKJV
(16)  For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.

The compassion,  by virtue of which God has His abode and His work of grace in the spirit and heart of the penitent,  is founded in that free anticipating love which called man and his self-conscious spirit-soul into being at the first.

The prophet,  who refers to the flood in other passages also (e.g., Isa 54:9),  had probably in his mind the promise given after the flood,  according to which God would not make the existing and inherited moral depravity an occasion for utterly destroying the human race.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Here is,
1. A gracious promise
It is not promised that he will never be angry with his people,
for their sins are displeasing to him.
It is not promised that he will never contend with them,
for they must expect the rod.
But he will not contend for ever,  nor be always wroth.
As he is not soon angry, so he is not long angry..
2. A very compassionate consideration
First God is the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9  (Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?).
Secondly Though the Lord is for the body,  yet he concerns himself chiefly for the souls of his people,  that the spirit do not fail.
Thirdly When troubles last long, the spirit even of good men is apt to fail.  They are tempted to entertain hard thoughts of God,  to think it in vain to serve him;  they are ready to put comfort away from them,  and to despair of relief,  and then the spirit fails.
Fourthly It is in consideration of this that God will not contend for ever;  for he will not forsake the work of his own hands nor defeat the purchase of his Son's blood.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(16)  For I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry; for then the spirit would grow faint before me – the souls that I have created.

Isaiah 57:17 & 18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(17)  For their sinful greed I was angry; I struck them and turned away in My wrath. Though stubborn, they follow the way of their hearts,

On account of sin for a little while I grieved him, and smote him, and turned away my face from him; and he was grieved, and he went on sorrowful in his ways.

For the iniquities of their riches which they acquired by violence was mine anger upon them, and I smote them; I removed my Shekinah from them, and hurled them away; I dispersed their exiles, because they went astray after the imagination of their heart.

(18)  I note how they fare and will heal them: I will guide them and mete out solace to them, and to the mourners among them.

I have seen his ways, and healed him, and comforted him, and given him true comfort;

The way of their repentance is revealed before me, and I will forgive them, and have compassion upon them, and restore consolations to them and to those that mourn over them.

From the NKJV
(17)  For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him;  I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.   (18)    I have seen his ways, and will heal him;  I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.

This general law of His action is most especially the law of His conduct towards Israel,  in which such grievous effects of its well-deserved punishment are apparent,  and effects so different from those intended,  that the compassion of God feels impelled to put an end to the punishment for the good of all that are susceptible of salvation.

But Jehovah had not seen these wanderings without pity.  The futures which follow are promising,  not by virtue of any syntactic necessity,  but by virtue of an inward necessity.  He will heal His wounded and languishing people,  and lead in the right way those that are going astray,  and afford them consolation as a recompense for their long sufferings.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

His covetousness
The word rendered here 'covetousness' (betsa`)  means "plunder, rapine, prey";  then unjust gains,  or lucre from bribes (Isaiah 33:15);  or by any other means.
Here the sense is,  that one of the prevailing sins of the Jewish people which drew upon them the divine vengeance,  was avarice,  or the love of gain.  Probably this was especially manifest in the readiness with which those who dispensed justice received bribes.  See also Jeremiah 6:13: 'For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness.'
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(17)  At his wicked covetousness I was angry and I struck him, and I hid my face and was angry – but he kept turning back in his willful ways.   (18)    I have seen his ways,  But I will heal him (and I will guide him MT. him, and I will exhort him LXX.) and restore to him comfort to him and to those who mourn for him, when I create the fruit of the lips.

Note: You may find different words used in the Tanakh Scriptures by the Jewish scholars than what I have used in my notes, quoting from the Septuagint or Targum translations. I have two different copies of the Septuagint from different authors, one by Charles Thomson 1774-1789 The Falcon’s wing Press Indian hills Colorado dated 1954 and the one that I have chosen by Samuel Bagster 1794 found at Harper and Brothers Publishers of New York.

Both are good but I chose the one over the other. You have seen in these studies two different books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, I am glad that I found this second one for our study. Even the Hebrew scholars had to choose sometimes one translation over another to bring out the best meaning of the Scriptures. I wanted to try to not confuse you as to the meaning of the Scriptures.
(Paul the Learner)

Isaiah 57:19-21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(19)  Heartening, comforting words: It shall be well, well with the far and the near – said the Lord – and I will heal them.

Peace upon peace to them that are far off, and to them that are nigh: and the Lord has said, I will heal them.

He that created the speech of the lips in the mouth of every man saith, Peace shall be wrought for the righteous who have kept my law from of old, and peace shall be wrought for the repentant, who have returned to my law recently, saith the Lord, and I will forgive them.

(20)  But the wicked are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, whose waters toss up mire and mud.

But the unrighteous shall be tossed as troubled waves, and shall not be able to rest.

But the wicked are as a troubled sea which seeketh to rest and cannot, and its waters stir up mire and dirt.

(21)  There is no safety – said my God – for the wicked.

There is no joy to the ungodly, said God.

There is no peace, saith my God, for the wicked.

From the NKJV
(19)  "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," says the LORD,  "And I will heal him."    (20)    But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.     (21)     "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

Peace, peace - Figure of Speech is Epizeuxis,  for great emphasis  =  perfect peace (as in Isaiah 26:3),  or great prosperity.
Says the Lord. The Hebrew is = says Jehovah.
The famous Codex Mugah, quoted in the Massorah reads  “saith Jehovah my God.”

"Jehovah saith shâloom, shâloom," i.e.,  lasting and perfect peace,  "be the portion of those of my people who are scattered far and near" (Isa 43:5-7; 49:12; compare the application to heathen and Jews in Eph 2:17).

And I will heal him - the nation, which, although scattered, is like one person in the sight of God.
But the wicked - who persist in the alienation from God inherited from the fathers,  are incapable of the peace which God brings to His people: they are like the sea in its tossed and stormy state.

As this cannot rest,  and as its waters cast out slime and mud,  so has their natural state become one of perpetual disturbance,  leading to the uninterrupted production of unclean and ungodly thoughts,  words,  and works.  Thus,  then,  there is no peace for them,  saith my God.
With these words the prophet seals the second book of his prophecies.  The  "wicked"  referred to are not the heathen outside Israel,  but the heathen,  i.e.,  those estranged from God,  within Israel itself.

The transition form the first to the second half of this closing prophecy is formed by wª'aamar [to say]
(OT: 559) in Isa 57:14.
In the second half we find the accustomed style of our prophet;  but in Isa 56:9-57:11a the style is so thoroughly different, that Ewald maintains that the prophet has here inserted in his book a fragment from some earlier writer of the time of Manasseh. But we regard this as very improbable.

It is not required by what is stated concerning the prophets and shepherds,  for the book of Ezekiel clearly shows that the prophets and shepherds of the captivity were thus debased.
Still less does what is stated concerning the early death of the righteous require it;  for the fundamental idea of the suffering servant of Jehovah,  which is peculiar to the second book,  is shadowed forth therein.
Nor by what is affirmed as to the idolatrous conduct of the people; for in the very centre (v. 4) the great mass of the people are reproached for their contemptuous treatment of the servants of Jehovah.
Nor does the language itself force us to any such conjecture,  for ch. 53 also differs from the style met with elsewhere;  and yet it must be written by the author of the whole,  since its grandest idea finds its fullest expression there.  At the same time,  we may assume that the prophet described the idolatry of the people under the influences of earlier models.  If he had been a prophet of the captives after the time of Isaiah,  he would have rested his prophecies on Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
For just as Isa 51:18 ff. has the ring of the Lamentations of Jeremiah,  so does Isa 57:3 ff. resemble in many respects the earlier reproaches of Jeremiah (compare Jer 5:7-9,29; 9:8, with the expression, "Should I rest satisfied with this?");  also Isa 2:25 (nw'sh (OT:582)), 2:20; 3:6,13 ("upon lofty mountains and under green trees");  also the night scene in Ezek 23.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Says my God
The Hebrew word here is Elohim.  Some codices (translations) read “Jehovah”.
Other codices read “my God,” or “Jehovah God

'Eeyn shaalowm 'aamar 'Elohay laarªshaa`iym
There is no peace saith my God to the wicked.
(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft)

This has reference to verse 19.  The perseveringly wicked and impenitent are excluded from all share in that peace above mentioned,  that reconcilement and pardon which is promised to the penitent only.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(19)  Peace ( peace 1Q1sa (b). MT. LXX.) to the one who is far away and near, says the Lord, and I will heal him.    (20)    But the wicked are tossed like the sea; for it is not able to keep still, and its waters toss up mire and mud.    (21)    But there is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.



LESSON  29  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 56:9 - 57:21  -  from the Amplified Version

56:9       ALL YOU  beasts of the field, come to devour, all you beasts (hostile nations) in the forest.
(10)  [Israel's] watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, they love to slumber.
(11)  Yes, the dogs are greedy; they never have enough. And such are the shepherds who cannot understand; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his own gain, from every quarter [one and all].
(12)  Come, say they, We will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink! And tomorrow shall be as this day, a day great beyond measure.

57:1       THE RIGHTEOUS man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; and merciful and devout men are taken away, with no one considering that the uncompromisingly upright and godly person is taken away from the calamity and evil to come [even through wickedness].
(2)    He [in death] enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walks straight and in his uprightness.
(3)    But come close, you sons of a sorceress [nursed in witchcraft and superstition], you offspring of an adulterer and a harlot.
(4)    Against whom do you make sport and take your delight? Against whom do you open wide your mouth and put out your tongue? Are you not yourselves the children of transgression, the offspring of deceit —
(5)    You who burn with lust [inflaming yourselves with idols] among the oaks, under every green tree, you who slay the children [in sacrifice] in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks?
(6)    Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they [the idols] are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have offered a cereal offering. Should I be quiet in spite of all these things [and leave them unpunished — bearing them with patience]?
(7)    Upon a lofty and high mountain you have openly and shamelessly set your [idolatrous and adulterous] bed; even there you went up to offer sacrifice [in spiritual unfaithfulness to your divine Husband].
(8)    Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your [idol] symbol [as a substitute for the Scripture text God ordered]. Deserting Me, you have uncovered and ascended and enlarged your bed; and you have made a [fresh] bargain for yourself with [the adulterers], and you loved their bed, where you saw [a beckoning hand or a passion-inflaming image]. [Deuteronomy 6:5,6,9; 11:18,20.]
(9)    And you went to the king [of foreign lands with gifts] or to Molech [the god] with oil and increased your perfumes and ointments; you sent your messengers far off and debased yourself even to Sheol (Hades) [symbol of an abysmal depth of degradation].
(10)  You were wearied with the length of your way [in trying to find rest and satisfaction in alliances apart from the true God], yet you did not say, There is no result or profit. You found quickened strength; therefore you were not faint or heartsick [or penitent].
(11)  Of whom have you been so afraid and in dread that you lied and were treacherous and did not [seriously] remember Me, did not even give Me a thought? Have I not been silent, even for a long time, and so you do not fear Me?
(12)  I will expose your [pretended] righteousness and your doings, but they will not help you.
(13)  When you cry out, let your [rabble] collection of idols deliver you! But the wind shall take them all, a breath shall carry them away. But he who takes refuge in Me shall possess the land [Judea] and shall inherit My holy mountain [Zion, also the heavenly inheritance and the spiritual Zion]. [Psalms 37:9,11; 69:35,36; Isaiah 49:8; Matthew 5:5; Hebrews 12:22.]
(14)  And the word of One shall go forth, Cast up, cast up, prepare the way! Take up the stumbling block out of the way [of the spiritual return] of My people.
(15)  For thus says the high and lofty One — He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin]. [Matthew 5:3.]
(16)  For I will not contend forever, neither will I be angry always, for [if I did stay angry] the spirit [of man] would faint and be consumed before Me, and [My purpose in] creating the souls of men would be frustrated.
(17)  Because of the iniquity of his [Judah's] covetousness and unjust gain I was angry and smote him. I hid my face and was angry, and he went on turning away and backsliding in the way of his [own willful] heart.
(18)  I have seen his [willful] ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him also and will recompense him and restore comfort to him and to those who mourn for him. [Isaiah 61:1,2; 66:10.]
(19)  Peace, peace, to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near! says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise]. [Acts 2:39; Ephesians 2:13-17,18; Hebrews 13:15.]
(20)  But the wicked are like the troubled sea, for it cannot rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt.
(21)  There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked


(End of  Lesson 29)


  

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