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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Isaiah 2

 

 

Verse 1

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Ver. 1. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.] An august title or inscription, such as is not to be found in the whole book again, unless it be in the former chapter. There, alas! he had laboured in vain, and spent his strength for nought, and in vain. {as Isaiah 49:4} Howbeit, he will try again, as considering that he had lost many a worse labour; and although his report were not believed, [Isaiah 53:1] yet he would bestow one more sermon upon them, the short notes and general heads whereof we have in this and the two following chapters: I say, the general heads, for Calvin in his preface to this book telleth us, that it was the manner of the holy prophets to gather a compendious sum of what they had preached to the people, and the same to affix to the gates of the temple, that the prophecy might be the better viewed and learned of all, after which it was taken down by the priest, and put into the treasury of the temple, for the benefit of after ages.


Verse 2

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Ver. 2. And it shall come to pass, &c.] {See Trapp on "Micah 4:1"} where we shall find that that prophet hath the same words with this αυτολεξει. So hath Obadiah the same with Jeremiah, St Mark with St Matthew, St Jude with St Peter, the blessed Virgin in her Magnificat with holy Hannah in her Canticle, &c.


Verse 3

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Ver. 3. And many people shall go and say, &c.] {See Trapp on "Micah 4:2"} where we shall find that that prophet hath the same words with this αυτολεξει. So hath Obadiah the same with Jeremiah, St Mark with St Matthew, St Jude with St Peter, the blessed Virgin in her Magnificat with holy Hannah in her Canticle, &c.


Verse 4

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Ver. 4. And he shall judge among the nations, &c.] {See Trapp on "Micah 4:3"} where we shall find that that prophet hath the same words with this αυτολεξει. So hath Obadiah the same with Jeremiah, St Mark with St Matthew, St Jude with St Peter, the blessed Virgin in her Magnificat with holy Hannah in her Canticle, &c.


Verse 5

Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Ver. 5. O house of Jacob.] So Micah 2:7, "O thou that art called the house of Jacob, and the house of Israel." [Isaiah 5:7] Thou that art "called a Jew, and makest thy boast of God." [Romans 2:17] This Rupertus maketh to be the voice and advice of the converted and Christian Gentiles to the Jews; others, of our prophet to his perverse countrymen to join with the Gentiles, or rather to go before them as worthy guides in heavenly ways, and not to lie behind those whom they have so much slighted. (a)

Let us walk in the light of the Lord.] That is, in the law of the Lord (for Lex est Lux, Law is light, Proverbs 6:23) and not by the sparks of our own tinder boxes, [Isaiah 50:11] not by the rush candle of philosophical prescriptions. Let us "walk in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost." {as Acts 9:31}


Verse 6

Isaiah 2:6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and [are] soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Ver. 6. Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people.] Or, But thou hast, &c. By a sad apostrophe (a) to God, he sets forth the Jews’ dereliction and destruction irrecoverable, together with the causes of it, their impiety, cruelty, &c., but especially their contempt of Christ and his kingdom. Let us beware and be warned by their example. [Romans 11:7-10] To be forsaken of God is the greatest mischief. Lay hold upon him, therefore, with Mary Magdalene, and say, Nobiscum, Christe, maneto: Extingui lucem nec patiare tuam.

Because they be replenished from the East.] Or, They are fuller than the East - that is, more superstitious than the Syrians and Mesopotamians, Balaam’s countrymen. Ethnicismum illis improperat. Josephus (b) tells us, that a little before Christ came in the flesh, Herod had brought into Judea many superstitions of the Gentiles; and it appeareth by the first of Maccabees, that the Greeks had their schools at Jerusalem; and by the gospel, that the Pharisees held Pythagoras’s transanimation, and many other pagan traditions.

And are soothsayers like the Philistines.] These were west of Judea. [Isaiah 9:12] The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind. These were great soothsayers and sorcerers, and the Jews were tainted with that contagion, as sin is more catching than the plague. The vanity of this practice Cicero saw when he said, potest augur augurem {c} videre et non ridere?

And they please themselves (d) in the children of strangers.] They applaud and approve of their customs and commerces. Some think they are there taxed of paederasty, or sodomy, and that they boasted of it, as that odious Johannes a Casa did in print.


Verse 7

Isaiah 2:7 Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither [is there any] end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither [is there any] end of their chariots:

Ver. 7. Their land also is full of silver.] They had forsaken the fountain of living waters, and now they hew them out broken cisterns; they have made their gold their god, which is a more subtle kind of idolatry, [Colossians 3:5] dum sibi ipsis numen quoddam larariura constant. But though their houses were full of silver and gold, their hearts were not; for they were vexed with the curse of dissatisfaction. [Ecclesiastes 5:10]

Auri nempe fames parto fit maior ab auro. ” - Prudentius.

Neither is there any end of their treasures.] Josephus saith that there was a world of money found at Jerusalem when taken by the Romans; so there was at Constantinople when taken by the Turks; and therefore taken, because the inhabitants could not find in their hearts to part with it, though for their own defence.

Their land also is full of horses.] And their hearts of creature confidence, - trust in the arm of flesh; as Josephus testifieth that the Jews were this way very faulty about the time of the last devastation.


Verse 8

Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:

Ver. 8. Their land also is full of idols.] As Babylon, "a land of idols"; [Jeremiah 50:38] as Athens, "wholly given to idolatry"; [Acts 17:16] as China is said to have in it at this day a hundred thousand gods. And what shall we think of Popish idols? The word here rendered idols signifieth nihilitates, nothingness; for an idol is nothing in the world. [1 Corinthians 8:4]

They worship the work of their own hands.] Scelestum el immane facinus, dirum scelus et execrandum; effraenata et praeceps amentia. See Isaiah 44:15; Isaiah 44:18.


Verse 9

Isaiah 2:9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

Ver. 9. And the mean man boweth down.] There is a general conspiracy, and they are altogether become abominable. Lords and lowlies, kings and captives, all sorts were idolaters. Some render it, "Shall be brought down, and shall be humbled." God loveth to retaliate, to abate and abase man’s pride, by pulling down whatsoever height or strength they confide in.

Therefore forgive them not.] A pious prayer doubtless, proceeding from true zeal, which is an extreme heat of all the affections for God’s glory. Ut pius sit in Deum, durus sit in proximum, saith Oecolampadius. Like another Elias he maketh intercession to God against Israel, [Romans 11:2] whom he saw to be incorrigible, and their sin to be irremissible, their judgment unavoidable.


Verse 10

Isaiah 2:10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.

Ver. 10. Enter into the rock, and hide thee,] q.d., Do if thou canst; go where thou thinkest thou mayest be most secret and secure; but God’s hand will surely find thee and ferret thee out, as it did the five kings of Canaan, hid in the cave of Makkedah, [Joshua 10:16-17] and as it did the wretched Jews, who were by the Romans pulled out of their privies and other lurking holes to the slaughter, at the last destruction of Jerusalem. Hoc autem perpetuo invenies apud peccatores, saith Oecolampadius here. This is ever usual with sinful persons, to desire to flee from God, but he meeteth them at every turn, as he did Adam, Cain, Jonah, &c. The safest way is to flee from God’s anger to God’s grace. Bloodletting is a cure of bleeding, and a burn a cure against a burn; and running to God is the way to escape him, as to close and get in with him that would strike you, doth avoid the blow. (a)

For fear of the Lord, and for the glory.] Heb., From before the fear of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty; so the Chaldean and Roman for cesare (b) called. See 2 Thessalonians 1:10, which seemeth to be taken from this text.


Verse 11

Isaiah 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

Ver. 11. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled.] Ipsi antea tumidi et cervicosi Deum ultorem agnoscent. God shall bring down the haughty from their lofty tops where they have perched themselves, and shall take them a link lower, as they say; pride must have a fall, and no wonder; for whereas other sins flee from God, pride lets fly at him, and hence it is he is so utter an enemy to it.

And the Lord alone shall be exalted.] This the heathens also understood; and therefore the Romans would never receive the God of Israel, saith Augustine, (a) because they understood that he would be worshipped alone. Let the gods of the heathens be good fellows; the true God is a jealous God, and will not share his glory with another.

In that day.] Nempe statis quasi comitiis [Isaiah 2:17] at the set time. It implieth also, saith one, that God will keep his time to a day. We have a like saying ourselves, A day breaks no square; but it is not so with God. [Exodus 12:40-41] The firstborn were slain at midnight, because just then the four hundred or four hundred and thirty years of their sojourning in Egypt were expired. "In that night was Belshazzar slain," [Daniel 5:30] because then exactly the seventy years of their captivity were ended.


Verse 12

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Ver. 12. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud.] These he "knoweth afar off"; [Psalms 138:6] these he "resisteth" as it were in battle array; [James 4:6] these he "casteth down to the ground." [Psalms 147:6] One of the seven wise men of Greece said that God made it his business to humble the proud, and to lift up the lowly.


Verse 13

Isaiah 2:13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, [that are] high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,

Ver. 13. And upon all the cedars of Lebanon.] Which was to the north. Ab Aquilone nihil boni.

That are high and lifted up.] No man’s might or height, whether of state or of stature, can secure him in the day of God’s displeasure.

And upon all the oaks of Bashan.] Which was to the east, by which way the Chaldees were to come upon them.


Verse 14

Isaiah 2:14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills [that are] lifted up,

Ver. 14. And upon all the high mountains.] Optimates et dynastas designat. Hereby he meaneth the grandees and magnificoes, and all that are puffed up with an opinion of their own power or policy.


Verse 15

Isaiah 2:15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,

Ver. 15. And upon every high tower.] In these the Jews trusted, as sure help in time of distress, but all in vain.


Verse 16

Isaiah 2:16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

Ver. 16. And upon all the ships of Tarshish.] Or, Of the Mediterranean Sea, the ships whereof were of great bulk and burden, and perhaps were garnished and inlaid with curious pictures, called here pictures of desire:

Pictasque innare carinas. ” - Virg.


Verse 17

Isaiah 2:17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

Ver. 17. And the loftiness of man shall be.] This is oft inculcated, and all little enough to abate and abase the pride of people, and to "bring down every high thought that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and the obedience of Jesus Christ." [2 Corinthians 10:5] This holy fisherman, that he might catch souls, spreads his net, dilates his discourse, telling the proud person over and over what to trust to.


Verse 18

Isaiah 2:18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.

Ver. 18. And the idols he shall utterly abolish.] Their names shall be cut off out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered, [Zechariah 13:2] unless it be with shame and detestation. [Ezekiel 16:61 Psalms 16:4 Hosea 14:8 Isaiah 30:22]


Verse 19

Isaiah 2:19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Ver. 19. And they shall go into the holes.] See Isaiah 2:10.


Verse 20

Isaiah 2:20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made [each one] for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

Ver. 20. In that day a man shall cast his idols.] Though never so much worth either for weight or workmanship, for value or elegance; he shall pollute what before he had perfumed. [Isaiah 30:22]

To the moles and to the bats.] Caeci caeca caecis, having their eyes opened in that extreme danger; as the mole hath, they say, when the pangs of death are upon her. These, ashamed of their vain confidences, and hasting to hide themselves, shall cast their idols into bycorners, saying, [Isaiah 30:22] "Get you hence." Moles do all their mischief by working underground, so saith Epiphanius do heretics; but if once they be above ground, they are weak and contemptible creatures. Bats have wings as a bird, and teeth as a beast, being both and yet neither. Such are our vespertilian {bat-like} professors, time serving gospellers, who should do well to cast away either their wings or their teeth; and loathing this bat-like nature, be what they are, either birds or beasts.


Verse 21

Isaiah 2:21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Ver. 21. To go into the clefts of the rocks.] See Isaiah 2:10. Only here the double repetition of this dreadful judgment is very emphatic, and may serve to teach preachers to inculcate upon their hearers God’s severity against sinners, and to remind them much of those last things, death, judgment, hell. Utinam ubique de his dissereretur, saith Chrysostom, that excellent preacher. Oh that these things might resound from all pulpits!


Verse 22

Isaiah 2:22 Cease ye from man, whose breath [is] in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

Ver. 22. Cease ye from man.] Man or means, human helps and creature comforts; think not that these can secure you from an angry God, or moat you up against his fire. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his dust, in that very day his golden thoughts perish. [Psalms 146:3-4] {See Trapp on "Psalms 146:3"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 146:4"}

Whose breath is in his nostrils.] Every moment ready to puff out, as the Emperor Jovinian’s did; a good emperor, but he reigned only seven months, being stifled, as it is thought, with the smell of his bedchamber newly white-limed, wherein he had commanded a great fire to be made on a cold night. (a) Hence Jerome; - Jovinian, who succeeded Julian the apostate in the empire, whenas yet he had scarce tasted of the goodness of it, faetore prunarum suffocatus interiit, (b) died suffocated with the stench of hot burning coals, declaring to all men what a poor thing man is in his greatest power. The Cardinal of Lorrain was lighted to his lodging and to his long home both at once by a poisoned torch; Pope Adrian IV was choked by a fly getting into his windpipe, A.D. 1159. (c)

For wherein is he to be esteemed?] All his power without God is but weakness, all his wisdom folly, all his plenty poverty. What is man, saith a father, but soul and soil? (d) Breath and body; a puff of wind the one, a pile of dust the other - no solidity in either. Abstinete ergo vos ab ipso homine - nam quanti est? What reckoning is to be made of him?

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 2:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-2.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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