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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Isaiah 65

 

 

Verse 1

Isaiah 65:1 I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.

Ver. 1. I am sought of them that asked not for me.] I am sought - that is, I am found, (a) {as Ecclesiastes 3:6} or, I am sought to by those that asked not of me - viz., by the Gentiles, who knew me not, inquired not of me. See Romans 10:20-21, where the apostle, than whom we cannot have a better interpreter, expoundeth this verse of the calling of the Gentiles, and the next verse, of the rejection of the Jews. And herein "Esaias was very bold," saith St Paul; so bold, say Origen and others, that for this cause, among others, he was sawn asunder by his unworthy countrymen. See on Isaiah 1:10.

I am found of them that sought me not.] The first act of our conversion then, the infusion of the sap, is of God; our will prevents it not, but follows it. See 2 Corinthians 3:5, Romans 8:7, John 6:44, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Deuteronomy 29:3-4, Psalms 36:10. Note this against the patrons of nature, freewill men, Papists especially, who not only ascribe the beginning of salvation to themselves, in co-working with God in their first conversion, but also the end and the accomplishment of it, by works of condignity, meritorious of eternal life.

I said, Behold me, behold me.] We are not easily aroused out of that dead lethargy into which sin and Satan hath cast us; hence this "Lo I, lo I." And here we have both God’s answer to the Church’s prayer, [Isaiah 64:12] and the scope of the whole book, as Oecolampadius observeth, set down in the perclose - viz., the coming in of the Gentiles, and the casting off of the Jews for their many and mighty sins. [Amos 5:12]


Verse 2

Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts;

Ver. 2. I have spread out my hands.] As preachers use to do, [Proverbs 1:24 Acts 26:1] or as those that invite and beckon others to themselves with the hand. See Matthew 11:28.

Unto a rebellious people.] Whose destruction therefore is of themselves, since they will not be ruled, reclaimed.

After their own thoughts.] Which were evil, only evil, continually so. A toad may as easily spit a cordial, as a natural man think a good thought.


Verse 3

Isaiah 65:3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

Ver. 3. A people that provoketh me to my face.] As it were for the nonce, in despite and defiance of me. Siquis me in faciem depalmaret, vix indignius essera laturus: I could almost as well bear a blow on the face.

And burneth incense upon altars of brick.] (a) Erected on the house tops. [2 Kings 23:12 Zephaniah 1:5] They should have offered on the golden altar only. [Exodus 30:3-5]


Verse 4

Isaiah 65:4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable [things is in] their vessels;

Ver. 4. Which remain among the graves.] Which use necromancy and consult with devils - as Saul did, and died for it - contrary to Deuteronomy 18:11. See Isaiah 8:19, Mark 5:5. {See Trapp on "Isaiah 8:19"} {See Trapp on "Mark 5:5"} This they had learned from the heathens, with whom it was common, as Tertullian teacheth.

And lodge in the monuments.] As believing that there they should dream dreams divinatory, or have revelations in the night. By such ill arts as these, Timotheus Herulus made himself bishop of Alexandria, A.D. 467; and Boniface VIII duped Celestine V of the Popedom, A.D. 1295. Some (a) render it, that lodge with the kept ones, i.e., with their idols, which they were fain to keep, for fear they should be stolen.

That eat swine’s flesh.] Which was flatly forbidden; [Leviticus 11:7] and which those martyrs in the Maccabees would rather die than do. But these belly gods, who, like swine, had their souls only to keep their bodies from putrifying, securely violated this plain law - gratifying their lusts, and making their gut their god.

And broth of abominable things is in their vessels.] They had animos in patinis, catinis, calicibus, &c. Therein they kept the broth of their swine’s flesh, (b) which they offered, and in offering eat of. But what saith one from this text? Men must not only abhor the devil’s beef, but his broth too; all occasions, appearances.


Verse 5

Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

Ver. 5. Which say, Stand by thyself; come not near to me.] These Jews were all manner of naughts, and therefore worthily rejected by God; necromancers, idolaters, epicures, gross hypocrites, as here their words, full of pride and contempt of others, show them to be. Such were the Pharisees with their sanctior sum quam tu [Luke 7:39] the monks and mass priests among the Papists, and the Brownists with their broad leaves of formal profession among us. From Matthew 18:19, because Christ promiseth not doing for them that ask, except they agree on earth, Brownists peremptorily conclude that they ought not to pray with them that do not consent with them in their opinions; nor will they pray with their own wives and children, though never so pious, if they do not meet in the same centre of conceits. (a)

These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day,] i.e., A continual offence to me, as smoke is to the nose and eyes, [Proverbs 10:26] and shall be perpetually tormented by me in the hottest fire of hell; whereof hypocrites are the freeholders, and other sinners are but tenants as it were to them, while they are said to have their portion with the devil and hypocrites. Some think he hinteth at their smoking and sacrificing in their gardens and groves. [Isaiah 65:3]


Verse 6

Isaiah 65:6 Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,

Ver. 6. Behold, it is written before me.] Heb., Before my face, as your sins were committed to my face, [Isaiah 65:3] which, therefore, I shall surely remember and punish.

But will recompense, even recompense.] Certo, cite, penitus, - surely, severely, suddenly; you may write upon it.


Verse 7

Isaiah 65:7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.

Ver. 7. Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together.] Your "vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers," [1 Peter 1:18] whom you have striven to out sin. [Genesis 15:16 Matthew 23:32; Matthew 23:35-36; Matthew 27:25 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16]

And blasphemed me upon the hills.] Or, Reproached or dishonoured me. Displeasing service is double dishonour, because men dishonour God in that wherein they pretend (or presume at least) to please him. Such are all Popish will-worshippers; neither will it help them to plead the example of their forefathers, for here that of the prophet Ezekiel [Ezekiel 20:18] should take place, "Walk ye not in the ways of your fathers."

Therefore will I measure into their bosom.] Or, Lap; very largely. See Psalms 79:12, Luke 6:38. I will pay them home, for the new and the old together.


Verse 8

Isaiah 65:8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and [one] saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing [is] in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.

Ver. 8. Thus saith the Lord.] This he saith in effect, I will not destroy the righteous with the wicked, but still reserve a "seed," a remnant; and this he setteth forth by a fine and fit comparison; even as the husbandman, if he find any wine in the cluster, that is, any life or sap in the vine, cutteth it not down utterly.

So will I do for my servants’ sake.] Few though they be, even as one cluster of grapes upon a vine, yet because they are botri mustei, clusters full of new and sweet wine, full of the juice of piety, they shall be preserved.


Verse 9

Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

Ver. 9. And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob.] The good husband keeps some of his corn for seed; which, though it be not much, yet it will come to much.

And mine elect shall inherit it,] i.e., Reinhabit the land, a type of the last conversion of the Jews to Christ. [Romans 11:25-26]


Verse 10

Isaiah 65:10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

Ver. 10. And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks.] The fieldlings shall be folds, and I will feed them daily and daintily [Psalms 23:1] with my graces and blessings. Sharon is a very sweet and fruitful quarter, reaching from Caesarea of Palestine to Joppa; Achor is also a very rich vale near Jericho northward, [Joshua 3:16] their first footing in the promised land. By both these they are assured that they shall want for nothing, and least of all for the Word of God, the food of their souls,


Verse 11

Isaiah 65:11 But ye [are] they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

Ver. 11. But ye are they that forsake the Lord.] Or, As for you, that have forsaken the Lord to observe lying vanities, and so are miserable by your own election, [John 12:8] you shall be yet more miserable at the great day of judgment especially, of which some take this following part of the chapter to be meant and intended. Then these improbi et reprobi shall be sure to smoke for it; then they shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; yea, the judge himself shall show them a manifest difference. [Isaiah 65:13-16]

That forget my holy mountain,] i.e., My temple and pure worship, which ye slight and neglect, q.d., There is no new wine in your cluster, but rather gall and deadly poison; therefore it shall be otherwise with you.

That prepare a table for that troop.] As the Israelites feasted before the Lord; [Deuteronomy 16:14-15] so in an apish imitation did the heathens before their idols; [ 9:27 Ezekiel 18:6-7 1 Corinthians 8:10] and of them these superstitious Jews had learned to do the like, in the days of Ahaz and Manasseh, who degenerated into his grandfather Ahaz, as if there had been no intervention of a Hezekiah.

For that troop.] So the prophet speaketh, as pointing to their idols, whereof they had great store. Gad (here used) and Menni (rendered number here likewise), some interpret fortune and fate; others, Jupiter and Mercury. The Septuagint, for "to that number," hath "to the devil." Oecolampadius thinks the prophet alludeth to the Pythagorean numbers, and especially to the number of four ( τετρακτος), which they superstitiously observed. Others say, the Jews symbolised with the heathens in drinking to their idols by number. To such an idol they would drink so many cups, and that was called a drink offering to that number. Hence Antiphanes in Athenaeus (a) saith,

Adusque tria pocula venerandos esse deos.


Verse 12

Isaiah 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose [that] wherein I delighted not.

Ver. 12. Therefore I will number you to the sword.] Est elegans paronomasia: I will give you up to the sword by number and tale, to the end that none of you may escape. God usually retaliateth, and proportioneth number to number. So, choice to choice; [Isaiah 66:3-4] jealousy to jealousy, provocation to provocation; [Deuteronomy 32:21] device to device; [Micah 2:1; Micah 2:3] frowardness to frowardness. [Psalms 18:26]

And ye shall all bow down to the slaughter.] As you used to bow down to your idols.

Because when I called, ye did not answer.] See on Proverbs 1:24.

But did evil before mine eyes.] Did evil things as you could; [Jeremiah 3:5] with both hands earnestly. [Micah 7:3]


Verse 13

Isaiah 65:13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

Ver. 13. Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry.] Lepidas antitheses ponit. You have spent your meat and drink upon idols; therefore ye shall fast another while, yea, you shall feed upon the fierce wrath of God in hell, and drink deep of that cup of his that hath eternity to the bottom.

But ye shall be ashamed.] Your hopes and hearts failing you together, ye shall pine away in your iniquities. [Ezekiel 24:23]


Verse 14

Isaiah 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

Ver. 14. Behold, my servants shall sing.] "In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare," or a cord to strangle his joys with; "but the righteous doth sing and rejoice." [Proverbs 29:6] {See Trapp on "Proverbs 29:6"}

And shall howl.] When ye come to hell especially, where is wailing, and yelling, and gnashing of teeth.


Verse 15

Isaiah 65:15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:

Ver. 15. And ye shall leave your name for a curse.] So that when mine elect shall denounce my curse against any one, they shall say, God make thee such another as was such a cursed wretch. See Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:22; Jeremiah 44:8;, Zechariah 8:13, {See Trapp on "Zechariah 8:13"} Iadaeus sim si fallo, say the Turks at this day; As hard-hearted and unhappy as a Jew, say we.

And call his servants by another name.] Jews inwardly, Israelites indeed, Christians, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. [1 Peter 2:9] The wicked, when they die, go out in a snuff, leave a stench behind them, as they say the devil doth when he goeth out of a room; but when the saints depart, they leave a sweet smell behind them, as those lamps do that are fed with aromatical oil. Yea, it is more than probable that in the next world we shall look upon Bradford and such with thoughts of extraordinary love and sweetness through all eternity, as Bonner and such with execration and everlasting detestation.


Verse 16

Isaiah 65:16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

Ver. 16. That he who blesseth himself in the earth, &c.] Or, That blesseth, either himself or any other.

Shall bless himself in the God of truth.] Heb. Shall bless in the God of Amen - that is, say some, in Christ, who is "Amen, the faithful and true witness," [Revelation 3:14] in whom all the promises are, Yea, and Amen, [2 Corinthians 1:20] and who was wont often to say, Amen, amen. Others render it thus, Benedicat sibi per Deum firmi, shall bless himself by the God of the firm or faithful people, founded and rooted in God, so as that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against them."

Shall swear by the God of truth.] Or, By the God of the firm and faithful people, as before.

Because the former troubles are forgotten.] Remembered no otherwise than "as waters that are past." See Zechariah 10:6. {See Trapp on "Zechariah 10:6"}


Verse 17

Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Ver. 17. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.] I am making of a new world - that is, gospel times, called a "new creation," [2 Corinthians 5:17] and "the world to come"; [Hebrews 2:5] heaven beforehand. [Matthew 3:2] The consummation hereof we are to expect at the last day, [2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:5] when the "former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind," because the Lord, who made heaven and earth, shall "bless his people out of Zion" [Psalms 134:3]


Verse 18

Isaiah 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever [in that] which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

Ver. 18. But be glad and rejoice for ever.] What can ye be less than everlastingly merry when you consider your gospel privileges, which are such as may well swallow up all discontents, and make you "more than conquerors," and that is triumphers?

For, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing.] Creo talem Ierusalem ut sit ei nomen tripudium, et populus eius vocetur gaudium. (a) Hence it appeareth that these things are not to be taken according to the letter, but of "Jerusalem which is above, that mother of us all."


Verse 19

Isaiah 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

Ver. 19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem.] Well may Jerusalem then rejoice in God, who as in all her afflictions he is afflicted, so he taketh pleasure in the prosperity of his people.

And the voice of weeping.] See Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:12, Revelation 21:4.


Verse 20

Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner [being] an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Ver. 20. There shall be no more thence an infant of days.] This verse, as some others, had been easy, had not commentators made it so knotty. There shall be no more thence - that is, from Jerusalem [Isaiah 65:19] - an infant of days, or a child for days; viz., that shall so die by an untimely death, for longevity is the blessing here promised.

Nor an old man that hath not filled his days.] That hath not lived his utmost, satur dierum, as Abraham.

For the child shall die an hundred years old,] i.e., He that is now a child, shall live till he be so many years old. Note this against those that otherwise understand the words, and have therehence fished out many frivolous crotchets too long here to be related.

But the sinner, being an hundred years old, (a) shall be accursed.] And the more accursed because so long lived, and yet dieth in his sin, going down to the grave with his bones full of the sins of his youth. See Ecclesiastes 8:12-13. {See Trapp on "Ecclesiastes 8:12"} {See Trapp on "Ecclesiastes 8:13"}


Verse 21

Isaiah 65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

Ver. 21. And they shall build houses and inhabit them.] The contrary whereunto is threatened against the wicked. [Deuteronomy 28:30-68] God’s people are freed from the curse of the law, from the hurt, if not from the smart of afflictions.


Verse 22

Isaiah 65:22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

Ver. 22. They shall not build, and another inhabit.] They shall not provide for posterity alone, but live a long while to take benefit of their own labours.

For as the days of a tree are the days of my people,] i.e., Robusti atque diuturni; they shall be hearty, healthy, and long lasting, [Psalms 52:9; Psalms 92:13] even as if they had eaten of that tree of life in paradise.


Verse 23

Isaiah 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they [are] the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

Ver. 23. They shall not labour in vain.] As wicked men shall. {Leviticus 26:14-20 Deuteronomy 28:15-68 Haggai 1:6; {See Trapp on "Haggai 1:6"}

Nor bring forth for trouble.] Bring forth children to the murderer, [Hosea 9:13] to the great grief and trouble of their poor parents.


Verse 24

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

Ver. 24. And it shall come to pass, that before they call I will answer.] Mirabilis certe promissio, a wonderful promise, verily, saith Scultetus. The prayers of the saints do sooner pierce from their hearts to heaven, than they can find way from their hearts to their mouths. So David found it; [Psalms 32:5] and Daniel; [Daniel 10:12] and that prodigal. [Luke 15:18; Luke 15:20] Our Saviour, who came out of the bosom of the Father, gives two reasons (1.) "The Father himself loveth you," [John 16:27] and love is liberal; (2.) "The Father knoweth before ye ask, that ye have need of all these things." [Matthew 6:32]

And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.] Thus he heard those praying Israelites at the meet at Mizpeh, [1 Samuel 7:6] David, [Psalms 6:8-9] Daniel, [Daniel 9:21] Cornelius, [Acts 10:3] and his company; [Acts 10:44] Luther, when he came leaping out of his study, where he had been praying, with Vicimus! vicimus! in his mouth; the day is ours, we shall carry the cause.


Verse 25

Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust [shall be] the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

Ver. 25. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together.] Heb., As one. (a) See Isaiah 11:6. There shall be a holy harmony of hearts, and all good agreement among Christ’s subjects, when they come to heaven especially.

And dust shall be the serpent’s meat.] He shall be held in to his first condemnation. [Genesis 3:14] The devil also, that old serpent, shall be limited to the heel of the saints; the head he shall not touch; he shall be tied up to his own meat - viz., that unquenchable fire prepared for him and his angels from the beginning.

They shall not hurt, &c.] See on Isaiah 11:9.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-65.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, August 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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