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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 29

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-24

Chapter 29

Chapter 29, the woe unto Jerusalem. Ariel means the lion of God. It is one of the names for Jerusalem.

Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, [the lion of God] the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill the sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee ( Isaiah 29:1-3 ).

Talking about the coming Assyrian invasion.

For thou shalt be brought down, and thou shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust ( Isaiah 29:4 ),

And so forth.

Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away. Thou will be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with a storm and a tempest, and the flame of the devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreams, and he dreams that he is eating; and then he wakes up, and his soul is still empty: or as when a thirsty man is dreaming, and he dreams that he's getting a drink of water; but he wakes up, and his soul still is faint, and he has appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured upon them the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered ( Isaiah 29:5-10 ).

And so the lethargy, the spiritual blindness that has overcome the people. Here they are living in the shadow of the coming judgment but blind to the fact, even as is much the case today. The world is living really under the shadow of this great judgment of God. And yet they seem to be so blind to it. For God said,

the people [verse Isaiah 29:13 ] are drawing to me with their mouth, and with their lips they are honoring me, but their heart is far from me, and the fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and the works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He hath no understanding? ( Isaiah 29:13-16 )

Here Isaiah shows again in this figure of the potter and the clay how that it is so ridiculous for man, the clay, to say to the potter, "He didn't make me. I evolved." To say of God, "Well, God doesn't have any understanding." That's ridiculous. How can you look at the human body and say that God doesn't have any understanding? The intricate system of the human body, the bloodstream, and just take that alone, the heart and the bloodstream. And how can you say that God has no understanding? The nervous system and its functions, the brain and the messages that it codes and sends and so forth and decodes. And how can you say that God has no understanding or that God didn't make me? And yet here we listen to these little bits of intellectual clay boasting against God, against the Creator. Exalting themselves and their own intellectual prowess. How stupidly ridiculous!

At the end of the chapter here he talks about God's going to crack the claypots.

Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? And in that day shall the deaf ( Isaiah 29:17-18 )

And now again God's glorious day that is coming, the day when the deaf will

hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD ( Isaiah 29:18-19 ),

"For the meek shall inherit the earth" ( Psalms 37:11 ).

and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one has been brought to nothing, the scorner has been consumed, and all that watch for iniquity have been cut off: That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gates, and turn aside the just for a thing of nothing. Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine ( Isaiah 29:19-24 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 29". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-29.html. 2014.
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