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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 25

In the vision already introduced Isaiah is transported to the end of days, and commemorates in song what he has prophetically seen. But he sings not in his own name merely, but in the name also of a delivered people.

Verses 1-2

1, 2. He sings in words familiar to him from Psalms 118:28; Psalms 77:15; Psalms 72:12, etc.; also, from Exodus 15:11.

For Sufficient occasion is it that Babylon (as the vision gives it) is destroyed.

Palace of strangers Either a place of traffickers from all regions, or of its own people alienated from Israel’s God, or both.

Verse 3

3. Strong people… terrible nations People outside of Babylon, even wild, idolatrous tribes, seeing such divine judgments on that great city, and recognising Israel’s God as the avenger, shall fear Him.

Verse 4

4. For Another reason for a song of triumph is, that God came down to the low estate of his own suffering people. Of this, also, shall the nations take note. The people of God in captivity are the poor and the needy. The figures of heat and the storm are used to indicate persecutions which God’s people suffered.

Blast of the terrible ones These words express the violence of the persecutions from Chaldea’s tyrants.

Verse 5

5. Noise of strangers The roar of a battle engagement. The “strangers” are the hostile ones, probably Chaldeans, the same as the “terrible ones.” The branch, etc., should read the song (strange, it was rendered “branch”) of the terrible ones their triumphal song of the battle. The parallelism here is peculiarly inverted and difficult. We may properly read it thus: “As heat with natural stillness comes down into a dry place, so shalt thou, Jehovah, bring down, or make more quiet, the battle roar; as heat is lessened by an overshadowing cloud, so wilt thou lessen the boasting song of victory.”

Verse 6

6. Will destroy… the face of the covering The fulness of the Messianic times will remove the veil that rests on the Gentiles, hitherto living in darkness. Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 42:6-7; Luke 1:78-79; Acts 26:17-18.

Verse 8

8. Swallow up death Death, here, comprehends the various ills of this life, or sin and its consequences. These become, under gospel influences, of the smallest account in comparison with the glory that is, and is to be, revealed.

In victory This means glory, brightness, and the like, in the original; and it is to be eternal, as most versions render the word a brightness that never ends.

Will wipe away tears Exegetical of the phrase preceding. (Note the comment thereon.)

Rebuke of his people Not rebuke deserved, but reproach undeserved, which the world casts on God’s people. In the fulness of gospel times the tables shall be turned. To the saints of the Most High all that can possibly be contained in the idea of death shall be utterly done away.

Verse 9

9. Lo, this is our God All the ransomed from all the earth use this language.

We have waited for him Revelation has dawned slowly, but it comes in this prediction to its perfect and eternal clearness. The truth comes out that He alone can and will save, and everlasting rejoicing ensues thereat. This foreseen joy is that of the whole redeemed Church.

Verse 10

10. In this mountain Zion, symbol again of God’s located presence and power, namely, his Church.

Hand… rest The term “hand” is usually employed as an emblem of active power; it is here used as the pledge of the Church’s security from hostility without a protection, and that hostility to Zion the Jews more readily and keenly apprehended when it was expressed in connexion with a “household” name of an ever bitter enemy to the Jews. Usually that name was Edom or Moab. Here it is Moab. Moab’s hostility is to have the fate of the refuse, dirt, and filth of each Palestinian town removal to the dunghill, which to this day is everywhere in the villages a conspicuous object.

Verses 11-12

11, 12. He shall spread forth his hands The subject “he” is supposed by some to be Moab; by those especially who take במו , b’mo, Isaiah 25:10, (a poetic preposition,)as the incorrect reading for נמי , (in water.) I prefer to think the subject here is Jehovah. His hands are put forth as the swimmer puts out his hands both ways, and he sweeps Moab on the right and left and lays him sprawling. So the Chaldee Targum, also the Septuagint and the Vulgate. The figure is that of the complete prostration of the enemy. Moab, as seen from the hills of Judea, looks like a very high wall abutting on the Dead Sea and capped by a broad plateau beyond. And it is as if Jehovah extended his hands to level this wall to the lowest ground below, thus to accomplish its irrecoverable desolation. So shall all enemies of Zion go the way of the lost Moab. So shall all arrogance taking on the likeness of a fortress, and pride, that of a towering wall, be leveled forever.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.