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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 29

Verses 1-24

This chapter and the three which follow and complete the section, evidently belong to the very eve of Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah in701 b.c.

1-8. Jerusalem is besieged and at the last extremity, but the enemy shall be suddenly discomfited.

9-24. Judah’s infatuation at this crisis, contrasted with the very different and teachable spirit that shall mark its future.

1. RV ’Ho Ariel.’ Ariel is a symbolic name for Jerusalem, meaning either (1) lion of God, i.e. hero (2 Samuel 23:20), the lion being the symbol of Judah; or (2) altar-hearth of God.

Dwelt] RV ’encamped.’ Add ye, etc.] The meaning is that when the new year succeeds that which is now running its course, and the cycle of feasts has been completed, Jehovah will bring distress upon Jerusalem. Let them, etc.] RV ’let the feasts come round.’

2. And it shall.. Ariel] RM ’Yet it shall be,’etc. In spite of all, the name shall not be falsified. Jehovah will protect His sanctuary as indicated in Isaiah 29:6-8.

4. Out of the dust] so deep will be her humiliation. Thy voice, etc.] cp. Isaiah 8:1-9.

5-8. As in other prophecies of the same period, Isaiah foretells sudden and overwhelming disaster for the enemy (Isaiah 37:36).

5. Strangers] RV ’foes.’

7. Multitude.. nations] The Assyrian army was recruited from many nations. Munition] RV ’strong hold.’

9f. Here the prophet sets out the sins which brought upon Judah the punishment of invasion. Stay.. cry] RM ’Be ye amazed and wonder; blind yourselves and be blind.’

10. Hath closed, etc.] RV ’hath closed your eyes, the prophets; and your heads, the seers, hath he covered.’ Even the prophets, who ought to be the nation’s watchmen (cp. Isaiah 21:8), share the general infatuation.

13. The service of Jehovah is merely formal. Their fear, etc.] RM ’their fear of me is a commandment of men, learned by rote.’

14. Marvellous] because Jehovah acts contrary to expectation against His people (Isaiah 28:21).

15. The politicians who sought alliance with Egypt endeavoured to conceal their project.

16. Surely, your turning, etc.] RM ’ Oyour perversity! Shall the potter be counted as clay? ’The potter stands for Jehovah, whom the politicians of Judah ignored in their schemes.

17. The future change in the aspect of affairs is expressed under the figure of physical transformation.

18. Reversal of Isaiah 29:10-12.

20. Terrible one] the foe without. The scorner] within (Isaiah 28:14).

21. For a word] RV ’in a cause’: i.e. a case brought for judgment.

Reproveth] pleadeth; the reference is to the corrupt rulers who attempt to silenee those that plead for justice. The gate] the place of judgment.

23. There are alternative interpretations: (1) when the nation sees fresh generations growing up under the divine favour, it will serve God more perfectly; (2) when his children see the work of My hands, etc.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 29". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.