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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 16



Verses 1-14

1. RV 'Send ye the lambs for the ruler of the land from Sela which is toward the wilderness,' etc. Mesha, king of Moab, had rendered to Israel tribute of lambs and rams (2 Kings 3:4). The prophet here bids the Moabites send tribute to Judah and thus secure protection by renewing their allegiance to God's people; or perhaps in this v. the Moabite chiefs are pictured as exhorting one another to this step. From Sela] in Edom, where the fugitive Moabites have taken refuge.

2. Timid and not knowing which way to take, the people are gathered at the Arnon preparatory to migrating.

3. An appeal from the Moabites to Zion that she will interpose and shelter the fugitives. Take counsel] 'bringcounsel,'i.e. give us advice. Execute judgment] 'make a decision,' by interposing between us and our oppressors.

4. The appeal to Zion continued. Read, 'Let mine outcasts dwell with thee (Zion); as for Moab, be thou (Judah) a covert,' etc. The reason follows why safety may be sought at Zion—because of the peace to be enjoyed there under the rule of the Messianic king (Isaiah 16:5), the establishment of whose kingdom is, in the prophet's view, to follow upon the destruction of the Assyrians.

5. Hasting righteousness] RV 'swift to do righteousness': cp. Isaiah 11:4, Isaiah 11:5.

6. The pride] which prevented Moab from accepting conditions: the same national failing is alluded to Isaiah 25:11 (cp. Zephaniah 2:8). But his lies, etc.] RV 'his boastings are nought.'

7. Foundations] RV 'raisin-cakes': cp. Hosea 3:1. The trade in these would cease through the desolation of the vineyards.

Kirhareseth] named in 2 Kings 3:25 as a strong fortress.

8. The lords, etc.] RM 'her choice plants did break down the lords of nations,' alluding to the strength of the wine of Sibmah.

Principal] RV 'choice.' Are come.. through.. are stretched out, they are gone over] RV 'reached.. into.. were spread abroad, they passed.' The words describe the area over which the cultivation of the vine extended in Moab, but which is now desolate; or perhaps the language used in this v. may be used figuratively to express the wide extent of Moabite influence: cp. Psalms 80:8, etc.

9. With the weeping of Jazer] i.e. with sorrow as genuine as that of the Moabites themselves. For the shouting, etc.] RV 'for upon thy summer fruits and upon thy harvest the battle shout is fallen.'

11. My bowels] regarded as the seat of the emotions (Jeremiah 31:20). The speaker is probably Jehovah, as in Isaiah 16:10 (Isaiah 63:15).

12. RV 'And it shall come to pass, when Moab presenteth himself, when he wearieth himself upon the high place, and shall come to his sanctuary to pray, that he shall not prevail.' The allusion is to the worship of the national deity, Chemosh.

13. Since that time] RV 'in time past.' The expression may denote a previous time in the speaker's life (2 Samuel 15:34), or a more distant past (Isaiah 44:8).

14. The years of an hireling] i.e. definitely reckoned, with no grace allowed. Feeble] RV 'of no account.'


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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