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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Isaiah 6

 

 

Verse 1

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

I saw — In a vision.

The Lord — The Divine Majesty as he subsisteth in three persons.

His train — His royal and judicial robe; for he is represented as a judge.


Verse 2

Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

Stood — As ministers attending upon their Lord.

Seraphim — An order of holy angels, thus called from fire and burning, which this word properly signifies; to represent either their nature, which is bright and glorious, subtile, and pure; or their property, of fervent zeal for God's service and glory.

Covered — Out of profound reverence.


Verse 3

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

Cried — Singing in consort.

Holy — This is repeated thrice, to intimate the Trinity of persons united in the Divine essence.

Glory — Of the effects and demonstrations of his glorious holiness, as well as of his power, wisdom, and goodness.


Verse 4

And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

The posts — Together with the door itself. Such violent motions were commonly tokens of God's anger.

Smoak — Which elsewhere is a token of God's presence and acceptance, but here of his anger.


Verse 5

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

l am — I am a great sinner, as many other ways, so particularly by my lips. I am an unclean branch of an unclean tree; besides my own uncleanness, I have both by my omissions and commissions involved myself in the guilt of their sins.

Have seen — The sight of this glorious and holy God gives me cause to fear that he is come to judgment against me.


Verse 6

Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

Flew — By God's command.

A coal — Both a token and an instrument of purification.

The altar — Of burnt-offering.


Verse 7

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

Laid it — So as only to touch my lips, and not to burn them; which God could easily effect.

Lo — This is a sign that I have pardoned and purged the uncleanness of thy lips.


Verse 8

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Who — To deliver the following message. The change of the number, I and us, is very remarkable; and both being meant of one and the same Lord, do sufficiently intimate a plurality of persons in the Godhead.


Verse 9

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Perceive not — The Hebrew words are imperative; yet they are not to be taken as a command what the people ought to do, but only as a prediction what they would do. The sense is, because you have so long heard my words, and seen my works, to no purpose, and have hardened your hearts, and will not learn nor reform, I will punish you in your own kind, your sin shall be your punishment. I will still continue my word and works to you, but will withdraw my Spirit, so that you shall be as unable, as now you are unwilling, to understand.


Verse 10

Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Fat — Stupid and senseless. This making of their hearts fat, is here ascribed to the prophet, as it is ascribed to God in the repetition of this prophecy, John 12:40, because God inflicted this judgment upon them by the ministry of the prophet, partly by way of prediction, foretelling that this would be the effect of his preaching; and partly by withdrawing the light and help of his Spirit.

Heavy — Make them dull of hearing.

Lest — That they may not be able, as before they were not willing to see.

Convert — Turn to God.


Verse 11

Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

Lord — An abrupt speech, arising from the prophet's great passion and astonishment: how long shall this dreadful judgment last? Until - Until this land be totally destroyed, first by the Babylonians, and afterward by the Romans.


Verse 12

And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

Removed — Hath caused this people to be carried away captive into far countries.

A forsaking — 'Till houses and lands be generally forsaken of their owners.


Verse 13

But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

A tenth — A small remnant reserved, that number being put indefinitely.

Return — Out of the Babylonish captivity, into their own land.

Eaten — That remnant shall be devoured a second time, by the kings of Syria, and afterwards by the Romans.

Yet — Yet there shall be another remnant, not such an one as that which came out of Babylon, but an holy seed, who shall afterwards look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn over him.

When — Who when their leaves are cast in winter, have a substance within themselves, a vital principle, which preserves life in the root of the tree, and in due time sends it forth into all the branches.

The support — Of the land or people, which, were it not for the sake of these, should be finally rooted out.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 6:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-6.html. 1765.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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