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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Isaiah 1

Verse 1

1:1 The {a} vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw {b} concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of {c} Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, [and] Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

(a) That is, a revelation or prophecy, which was one of the two means by which God declared himself to his servants in old times, as in Numbers 12:6 and therefore the prophets were called seers, 1 Samuel 9:9 .

(b) Isaiah was chiefly sent to Judah and Jerusalem, but not only: for in this book are prophecies concerning other nations also.

(c) Called also Azariah, 2 Kings 15:1 of these kings read 2 Kings 14:1 to 2 Kings 21:1, 2 Chronicles 25:1 to 2 Chronicles 33:1 .

Verse 2

1:2 Hear, O {d} heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up {e} children, and they have rebelled against me.

(d) Because men were obstinate and insensible, he calls to the dumb creatures, who were more prompt to obey God’s word, as in De 32:1 .

(e) He declares his great mercy toward the Jews as he chose them above all other nations to be his people and children as in De 10:15 .

Verse 3

1:3 The {f} ox knoweth his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib: [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

(f) The most dull and brute beasts acknowledge their duty more toward their masters, than my people do toward me, of whom they have received benefits without comparison.

Verse 4

1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a {g} seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the {h} Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

(g) They were not only wicked as were their fathers, but utterly corrupt and by their evil example infected others.

(h) That is, him that sanctifies Israel.

Verse 5

1:5 Why should ye be {i} stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole {k} head is sick, and the whole heart faint.

(i) What good is it to seek to mend you by punishment, seeing that the more I correct you, the more you rebel?

(k) By naming the chief parts of the body, he signifies that there was no part of the whole body of the Jews free from his rods.

Verse 6

1:6 From the {l} sole of the foot even to the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, {m} neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

(l) Every part of the body, the least as well as the chiefest was plagued.

(m) Their plagues were so grievous that they were incurable, and yet they would not repent.

Verse 7

1:7 Your country [is] desolate, your cities [are] burned with fire: your land, foreigners devour it in your presence, and [it is] desolate, as overthrown by {n} foreigners.

(n) Meaning, of them who dwell far off, who because they look for no advantage of that which remains destroy all before them.

Verse 8

1:8 And the daughter of {o} Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

(o) That is, Jerusalem.

Verse 9

1:9 Except the LORD of hosts {p} had left to us a very small remnant, we should have been {q} as Sodom, we should have been like Gomorrah.

(p) Because he will always have a Church to call on his Name.

(q) That is, all destroyed.

Verse 10

1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye {r} rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

(r) You who for your vices deserved to be destroyed, as they of Sodom, save that God from his mercy reserved a little number, La 3:22 .

Verse 11

1:11 To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices to me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I {s} delight not in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of male goats.

(s) Although God commanded these sacrifices for a time, as aids and exercises of their faith, yet because the people did not have faith or repentance, God detests them, Psalms 50:13, Jeremiah 6:20, Amos 5:22, Micah 6:7 .

Verse 13

1:13 {t} Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

(t) Without faith and repentance.

Verse 14

1:14 Your {u} new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble to me; I am weary of bearing [them].

(u) Your sacrifices offered in the new moons and feasts: he condemns by this hypocrites who think to please God with ceremonies and they themselves are void of faith and mercy.

Verse 15

1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full {x} of blood.

(x) He shows that where men are given to evil, deceit, cruelty and extortion, which is meant by blood, there God will show his anger and not accept them though they seem holy, as in Isaiah 59:3 .

Verse 16

1:16 {y} Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;

(y) By this outward washing, he means the spiritual: exhorting the Jews to repent and amend their lives.

Verse 17

1:17 Learn to {z} do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

(z) This kind of reasoning by the second table, the scriptures use in many places against the hypocrites who pretend holiness and religion in word, but when charity and love for their brethren should appear they declare that they have neither faith nor religion.

Verse 18

1:18 Come now, {a} and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be {b} white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

(a) To know if I accuse you without cause.

(b) Lest sinners should pretend any rigour on God’s part, he only wills them to be pure in heart, and he will forgive all their sins, no matter how many or great.

Verse 19

1:19 If ye {c} are willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

(c) He shows that whatever adversity man endures, it ought to be attributed to his own incredulity and disobedience.

Verse 21

1:21 How is the {d} faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now {e} murderers.

(d) That is, Jerusalem, which had promised happiness to me, as a wife to her husband.

(e) Given to covetousness and extortion, which he signified before by blood, Isaiah 1:15 .

Verse 22

1:22 Thy {f} silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

(f) Whatever was pure in you before, is now corrupt, though you have an outward show.

Verse 23

1:23 Thy princes [are] rebellious, and companions of {g} thieves: every one loveth bribes, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come to them.

(g) That is, they maintain the wicked and the extortioners: and not only do not punish them, but are themselves such.

Verse 24

1:24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the {h} mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will {i} rid myself of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies:

(h) When God will show himself merciful to his Church, he calls himself the Holy one of Israel, but when he has to do with his enemies, he is called Mighty, as against whom no power is able to resist.

(i) I will take vengeance of my adversaries the Jews and so satisfy my desire by punishing them.

Verse 25

1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and thoroughly purge away thy dross, {k} and take away all thy tin:

(k) Lest the faithful among them should be overcome with his threatening he adds this consolation.

Verse 26

1:26 {l} And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

(l) It is once the work of God to purify the heart of man, which he does because of his promise, made concerning the salvation of his Church.

Verse 27

1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with {m} judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

(m) By justice is meant God’s faithful promise, which is the reason for the deliverance of his Church.

Verse 28

1:28 And the {n} destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners [shall be] together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

(n) The wicked will not be partakers of God’s promise, Psalms 92:9 .

Verse 29

1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the {o} oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.

(o) That is, the trees and pleasant places where you commit idolatry which was forbidden De 16:22 .

Verse 31

1:31 And the strong shall be as a {p} wick, and its maker as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench [them].

(p) The false god’s in which you put your confidence will be consumed as easily as a piece of wick.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/isaiah-1.html. 1599-1645.