Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Take our poll

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Isaiah 16:1

Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Sela;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lamb, the;   Moabites;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Sela;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Moab;   Propitiation;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Lamb, Lamb of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lamb;   Petra;   Sela;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahaziah;   David;   Dibon;   Jehoram;   Lamb;   Mesha;   Moab;   Sela;   Uzziah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Petra;   Sela;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Moab, Moabites;   Rock;   Sela;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Sela, Selah ;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - names of our lord;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ammon ammonites children of ammon;   Handicraft;   Moab;   Sela;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahazi'ah;   Se'la,;  
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Arnon;   Ruler;   Sela;   Trade;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Petra;   Taxation;  

Clarke's Commentary

Verse Isaiah 16:1. Send ye the lamb, c. - "I will send forth the son, &c."] Both the reading and meaning of this verse are still more doubtful than those of the preceding. The Septuagint and Syriac read אשלח eshlach, I will send, in the first person singular, future tense: the Vulgate and Talmud Babylon, read שלח shelach, send, singular imperative: some read שלחו shilchu, send ye forth, or shalechu, they send forth. The Syriac, for כר car, a lamb, reads בר bar, a son, which is confirmed by five MSS. of Kennicott and De Rossi. The two first verses describe the distress of Moab on the Assyrian invasion in which even the son of the prince of the country is represented as forced to flee for his life through the desert, that he may escape to Judea and the young women are driven forth like young birds cast out of the nest, and endeavouring to wade through the fords of the river Arnon. Perhaps there is not so much difficulty in this verse as appears at first view. "Send the lamb to the ruler of the land," may receive light from 2 Kings 3:4-5: "And Mesha, king of Moab, was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs with their wool, and one hundred thousand rams: but when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled against Israel." Now the prophet exhorts them to begin paying the tribute as formerly, that their punishment might be averted or mitigated.

Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​acc/​isaiah-16.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Devastation in Moab (15:1-16:14)

The place names mentioned in these two chapters indicate that the attack on Moab comes from the north, most likely from Assyria. The attack is swift and ruthless, and towns fall in a night. Wherever a person looks, there is mourning (15:1-4). Even Isaiah weeps as he sees the people fleeing pitifully, rushing along the streets, across the streams and over the fields that have been damaged by the invading armies. They take with them whatever precious possessions they can carry (5-7). There has already been plenty of bloodshed, but Isaiah sees that more is to come (8-9).
In desperation Moab’s leaders send an urgent request to Jerusalem, asking the Judean leaders to allow Moab’s fleeing and scattered refugees to enter Judah. With their request they send a gift of lambs as an expression of appreciation for the help they hope to receive (16:1-4a). The messengers from Moab try to win the Judeans’ favour by declaring their confidence in Judah’s future. They express the hope that Judah will conquer all enemies, and that the dynasty of David will continue to prosper till it achieves fully its ideals of faithfulness, love, righteousness and justice (4b-5).
However, the Judean rulers, remembering the Moabites’ insults in the past, do not trust them. They refuse to help, no matter how much the Moabites weep and wail (6-7). Nevertheless, Isaiah feels pity for them as he sees their country ruined and their vineyards destroyed in the devastation of war (8-11). Moab’s hour of judgment has come, and all the Moabites’ prayers to their gods will not save them (12-14).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bbc/​isaiah-16.html. 2005.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

THE BURDEN OF MOAB (continued)

"Send ye the lambs for the ruler of the land from Selah to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be that, as wandering birds, as a scattered nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be at the fords of the Arnon. Give counsel, execute justice; make thy shade as the night in the midst of noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not the fugitive. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee; as for Moab, be thou a covert to him from the face of the destroyer. For the extortioner is brought to naught, destruction ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And a throne shall be established in lovingkindness; and one shall sit thereon in truth, in the tent of David, judging, and seeking justice, and swift to do righteousness."

This 16th chapter was divided as follows by Hailey: (1) Moab's hope (Isaiah 16:1-5); (2) Moab's rejection of this hope (Isaiah 16:6-12); (3) the appointed time for the execution of God's judgment upon Moab (Isaiah 16: 13,14).[11]

As regards these first five verses, there is much uncertainty and disagreement. Who is speaking to whom? Why should Moab send tribute through the capital of Edom, Petra, where it appears that Moab had taken refuge? Rather than explore all of these questions and the various proposed answers, we shall follow the lead of Jamieson, Barnes, Leupold, Delitzsch, and Rawlinson and accept the view that the prophet Isaiah is advising the Moabites to send gifts or tribute of lambs to Jerusalem, thus aligning themselves with the "remnant" who will trust in the ultimate coming of the Messiah, the righteous king who would role in the tent of David, that is, upon the throne of David.

The basic idea of this whole paragraph is that the only hope for Moab (or for anyone else) is the establishment of the kingdom of heaven in Christ. Isaiah's exhortations for Israel to show compassion and support for Moab in their manifold sorrow, that is, not to betray them, but to hide them, and counsel them, have overtones of the Messianic kingdom.

Note the tragic picture of the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon, where they appear as confused and helpless as a nest of baby birds, scattered and destroyed by a predator. What a pitiful contrast with the hundreds of "the daughters of Moab" who participated in the shameful orgy of Numbers 25! For every shameful and licentious orgy that human beings ever participated in, there must always be a counterpart to it somewhere in their subsequent history by the fords of some spiritual Arnon!

Note also that God referred to these pitiful refuges from destruction as "mine outcasts," thus pinpointing God's unchanging love of all men. Here is the germ of John 3:16; here is the equivalent of God's revelation to Paul concerning the corrupt city of Corinth that God had "much people" in that city (Acts 18:10).

"Selah ..." mentioned in Isaiah 16:1 is the Semitic rendition of the Greek [@Petra], meaning, rocky ledge, as in Matthew 16:18, where the word describes the mighty ledge-rock upon which Jesus promised to build his church; and this seems to say that Moab had taken refuge in that rocky fortress which was the capital of Edom.

Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bcc/​isaiah-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Send ye the lamb - Lowth renders this, ‘I will send forth the son from the ruler of the land;’ meaning, as he supposes, that under the Assyrian invasion, even the young prince of Moab would be obliged to flee for his life through the desert, that he might escape to Judea; and “that” thus God says that “he” would send him. The only authority for this, however, is, that the Septuagint reads the word ‘send’ in the future tense (ἀποστελῶ apostelō) instead of the imperative; and that the Syraic reads בר bar instead of כר kar, “a lamb.” But assuredly this is too slight an authority for making an alteration in the Hebrew text. This is one of the many instances in which Lowth has ventured to suggest a change in the text of Isaiah without sufficient authority. The Septuagint reads this: ‘I will send reptiles (ἐρπετὰ herpeta) upon the land. Is not the mountain of the daughter of Zion a desolate rock?’ The Chaldee renders it, ‘Bear ye tribute to the Messiah, the anointed of Israel, who is powerful over you who were in the desert, to Mount Zion.’ And this, understanding by the Messiah the anointed king of Israel, is probably the true rendering.

The word ‘lamb’ (כר kar) denotes, properly, a pasture lamb, a fat lamb, and is usually applied to the lamb which was slain in sacrifice. Here it probably means a lamb, or “lambs” collectively, as a tribute, or acknowledgment of subjection to Judah. Lambs were used in the daily sacrifice in the temple, and in the other sacrifices of the Jews. Large numbers of them would, therefore, be needed, and it is not improbable that the “tribute” of the nations subject to them was often required to be paid in animals for burnt-offering. Perhaps there might have been this additional reason for that - that the sending of such animals would be a sort of incidental acknowledgment of the truth of the Jewish religion, and an offering to the God of the Hebrews. At all events, the word here seems to be one that designates “tribute;” and the counsel of the prophet is, that they should send their “tribute” to the Jews.

To the ruler of the land - To the king of Judah. This is proved by the addition at the close of the verse, ‘unto the mount of the daughter o Zion.’ It is evident from 2 Samuel 8:2, that David subdued the Moabites, and laid them under tribute, so that the ‘Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.’ That “lambs” were the specific kind of tribute which the Moabites were to render to the Jews as a token of their subjection, is clearly proved in 2 Kings 3:4 : ‘And Mesha, king of Moab, was a sheep-master, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.’ This was in the time of Ahab. But the Moabites after his death revolted from them, and rebelled 2 Kings 4:5. It is probable that as this tribute was laid by “David” before the separation of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, and as the kings of Judah claimed to be the true successors of David and Solomon, they demanded that the tribute should be rendered to “them,” and not to the kings of Israel, and this is the claim which Isaiah enforces in the passage before us. The command of the prophet is to regain the lost favor of Israel by the payment of the tribute that was due. The territory of Moab was in early times, and is still, rich in flocks of sheep. Seetzen made his journey with some inhabitants of Hebron and Jerusalem who had purchased sheep in that region. Lambs and sheep were often demanded in tribute. The Persians received fifty thousand sheep as a tribute annually from the Cappadocians, and one hundred thousand from the Medes (Strabo, ii. 362).

From Sela in the wilderness - The word ‘Sela’ (סלע sela') means “a rock;” and by it here there can be no doubt that there is intended the city of that name which was the capital of “Arabia Petrea.” The city was situated within the bounds of Arabia or Idumea, but was probably at this time in the possession of the Moabites. It was, therefore, the remotest part of their territory, and the sense may be, ‘Send tribute even from the remotest pat of your land;’ or it may be, that the region around that city was particularly favorable to pasturage, and for keeping flocks. To this place they had fled with their flocks on the invasion from the north (see the note at Isaiah 15:7). Vitringa says that that desert around Petra was regarded as a vast common, on which the Moabites and Arabians promiscuously fed their flocks. The situation of the city of Sela, or (πέτρα petra) Petra, meaning the same as Sela, a rock, was for a long time unknown, but it has lately been discovered.

It lies about a journey of a day and a ball southeast of the southern extremity of the Dead Sea. It derived its name from the fact that it was situated in a vast hollow in a rocky mountain, and consisted almost entirely of dwellings hewn out of the rock. It was the capital of the Edomites 2 Kings 19:7; but might have been at this time in the possession of the Moabites. Strabo describes it as the capital of the Nabatheans, and as situated in a vale well watered, but encompassed by insurmountable rocks (xvi. 4), at a distance of three or four days’ journey from Jericho. Diodorus (19, 55) mentions it as a place of trade, with caves for dwellings, and strongly fortified by nature. Pliny, in the first century, says, ‘The Nabatheans inhabit the city called Petra, in a valley less than two (Roman) miles in amplitude, surrounded by inaccessible mountains, with a stream flowing through it’ (“Nat. Hist.” vi. 28).

Adrian, the successor of Trajan, granted important privileges to that city, which led the inhabitants to give his name to it upon coins. Several of these are still extant. In the fourth century, Petra is several times mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome, and in the fifth and sixth centuries appears as the metropolitan see of the Third Palestine (see the article “Petra” in Reland’s “Palestine”). From that time, Petra disappeared from the pages of history, and the metropolitan see was transferred to Rabbah. In what way Petra was destroyed is unknown. Whether it was by the Mahometan conquerors, or whether by the incursions of the hordes of the desert, it is impossible now to ascertain. All Arabian writers of that period are silent as to Petra. The name became changed to that which it bears at present - Wady Musa, and it was not until the travels of Seetzen, in 1807, that it attracted the attention of the world. During his excursion from Hebron to the hill Madurah, his Arab guide described the place, exclaiming, ‘Ah! how I weep when I behold the ruins of Wady Musa.’ Seetzen did not visit it, but Burckhardt passed a short time there, and described it. Since his time it has been repeatedly visited (see Robinson’s “Bib. Researches,” vol. ii. pp. 573-580).

This city was formerly celebrated as a place of great commercial importance, from its central position and its being so securely defended. Dr. Vincent (in his “Commerce of the Ancients,” vol. xi. p. 263, quoted in Laborde’s “Journey to Arabia Petrea,” p. 17) describes Petra as the capital of Edom or Sin, the Idumea or Arabia Petrea of the Greeks, the Nabatea considered both by geographers, historians, and poets, as the source of all the precious commodities of the East. The caravans in all ages, from Minea in the interior of Arabia, and from Gerka on the gulf of Persia, from Hadramont on the ocean, and some even from Sabea in Yemen, appear to have pointed to Petra as a common center; and from Petra the trade seems to have branched out into every direction - to Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, through Arsinoe, Gaza, Tyre, Jerusalem, Damascus, and a variety of intermediate roads that all terminated on the Mediterranean. Strabo relates, that the merchandise of India and Arabia was transported on camels from Leuke Kome to Petra, and thence, to Rhinocolura and other places (xvi. 4, 18, 23, 24).

Under the Romans the trade was still more prosperous. The country was rendered more accessible, and the passage of merchants facilitated by military ways, and by the establishment of military posts to keep in check the predatory hordes of the neighboring deserts. One great road, of which traces still remain, went from Petra to Damascus; another went off from this road west of the Dead Sea to Jerusalem, Askelon, and other parts of the Mediterranean (Laborde, p. 213; Burckhardt, 374, 419). At a period subsequent to the Christian era there always reigned at Petra, according to Strabo, a king of the royal lineage, with whom a prince was associated in the government (Strabo, p. 779). The very situation of this city, once so celebrated, as has been remarked above, was long unknown. Burckhardt, under the assumed name of Sheikh Ibrahim, in the year 1811, made an attempt to reach Petra under the pretext that he had made a vow to sacrifice a goat in honor of Aaron on the summit of Mount Hor near to Petra. He was permitted to enter the city, and to remain there a short time, and to “look” upon the wonders of that remarkable place, but was permitted to make no notes or drawings on the spot.

His object was supposed to be to obtain treasures, which the Arabs believe to have been deposited there in great abundance, as all who visit the ruins of ancient cities and towns in that region are regarded as having come there solely for that purpose. If assured that they have no such design, and if the Arabs are reminded that they have no means to remove them, it is replied ‘that, although they may not remove them in their presence, yet when they return to their own land, they will have the power of “commanding” the treasures to be conveyed to them, and it will be done by magic.’ (Burckhardt’s “Travels in Syria,” pp. 428, 429.)

Burckhardt’s description of this city, as it is brief, may be here given “verbatim:” ‘Two long days’ journey northeast from Akaba (a town at the extremity of the Elanitic branch of the Red Sea, near the site of the ancient Ezion-geber), is a brook called Wady Musa, and a valley of the same name. This place is very remarkable for its antiquities, and the remains of an ancient city, which I take to be Petra, the capital of Arabia Petrea, a place which, so far as I know, no European traveler has ever explored. In the red sandstone of which the vale consists, there are found more than two hundred and fifty sepulchres, which are entirely hewn out of the rock, generally with architectural ornaments in the Grecian style. There is found there a mausoleum in the form of a temple (obviously the same which Legh and Laborde call the temple of victory) on a colossal scale, which is likewise hewn out of the rock, with all its apartments, portico, peristylum, etc. It is an extremely fine monument of Grecian architecture, and in a fine state of preservation. In the same place there are yet other mausoleums with obelisks, apparently in the Egyptian style; a whole amphitheater hewn out of the solid rock, and the remains of a palace and many temples.’

Mr. Bankes, in company of Mr. Legh, and Captains Irby and Mangles, have the merit of being the first persons who, as Europeans, succeeded to any extent in making researches in Petra. Captains Irby and Mangles spent two days among its temples, tombs, and ruins, and have furnished a description of what they saw. But the most full and satisfactory investigation which has been made of these ruins, was made by M. de Laborde, who visited the city in 1829, and was permitted to remain there eight days, and to examine it at leisure. An account of his journey, with splendid plates, was published in Paris in 1830, and a translation in London 1836. To this interesting account the reader must be referred. It can only be remarked here, that Petra, or Sela, was a city entirely encompassed with lofty rocks, except in a single place, where was a deep ravine between the rocks which constituted the principal entrance.

On the east and west it was enclosed with lofty rocks, of from three to five hundred feet in height; on the north and south the ascent was gradual from the city to the adjacent hills. The ordinary entrance was through a deep ravine, which has been, until lately, supposed to have been the only way of access to the city. This ravine approaches it from the east, and is about a mile in length. In the narrowest part it is twelve feet in width, and the rocks are on each side about three hundred feet in height. On the northern side, there are tombs excavated in the rocks nearly the entire distance. The stream which watered Petra runs along in the bottom of the ravine, going through the city, and descending through a ravine to the west (see Robinson’s “Bib. Researches,” vol. ii. 514, 538.) The city is wholly uninhabited, except when the wandering Arab makes use of an excavated tomb or palace in which to pass the night, or a caravan pauses there.

The rock which encompasses it is a soft freestone. The tombs, with which almost the entire city was encompassed, are cut in the solid rock, and are adorned in the various modes of Grecian and Egyptian architecture. The surface of the solid rock was first made smooth, and then a plan of the tomb or temple was drawn on the smoothed surface, and the workmen began at the top and cut the various pillars, entablatures, and capitals. The tomb was then excavated from the rock, and was usually entered by a single door. Burckhardt counted two hundred and fifty of these tombs, and Laborde has described minutely a large number of them. For a description of these splendid monuments, the reader must be referred to the work of Laborde, pp. 152-193. Lend. Ed.

That this is the Sela referred to here there can be no doubt; and the discovery of this place is only one of the instances out of many, in which the researches of oriental travelers contribute to throw light on the geography of the Scriptures, or otherwise illustrate them. For a description of this city, see Stephen’s “Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petrea, and the Holy land,” vol. ii. ch. iv. p. 65ff; the work of Laborde referred to above; and Robinson’s “Bib. Researches,” vol. ii. pp. 573-580, 653-659.

To the mount of the daughter of Zion - To Mount Zion; that is, to Jerusalem (note, Isaiah 1:8). The meaning of this verse, therefore, is, ‘Pay the accustomed tribute to the Jews. Continue to seek their protection, and acknowledge your subjection to them, and you shall be safe. They will yield you protection, and these threatened judgments will not come upon you. But refuse, or withhold this, and you will be overthrown.’

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​isaiah-16.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Send ye a lamb. Here the Prophet scoffs at the Moabites for not acknowledging God at the proper time, but recklessly waiting for the stroke of his hand, till they were completely destroyed. It is, therefore, a condemnation of late repentance, when men cannot be brought to obedience by any warnings, and continue in obstinate opposition to God. Where the disease is incurable, an exhortation of this kind is appropriate; and this ought to be carefully observed, for both Jews and Christians misinterpret this passage.

Jerome explains it as referring to Christ, because he drew his birth from the Moabites, (Ruth 1:4; Matthew 1:5,) from whom Ruth was descended; and that opinion has been adopted by almost all Christians; as if the Prophet had said, “O Lord, though a judgment so severe as this awaits the Moabites, still thou wilt not utterly destroy them; for they will send thee a Lamb, the ruler of the world.” But that interpretation, being destitute of plausibility, need not be refuted.

On the other hand, the Jews think that these words were spoken because, while the Jews were in a depressed condition, the Moabites ceased to pay the tribute which they owed them, but that, after having prophesied about the restoration of the kingdom of Judah, Isaiah likewise added an exhortation to remind them to acknowledge their king. They even go so far as to say that it serves the purpose of a royal edict, taking them to task for their disloyalty, “Send the tribute which you owe.” But we nowhere read that the Moabites were subjects or tributaries to the Jews, and there is no probability in the conjecture. Nor does the passage which they quote (2 Kings 3:5) give them any support; for that passage relates to the king of Israel, and expressly mentions Ahab and Samaria, who cherished, as we are aware, the utmost hatred against the Jews.

I therefore adhere to the interpretation which I first noticed, as the true and natural interpretation; for the design of the Prophet is to condemn the Moabites for not having repented in due season, and to tell them that they will now in vain do what they might easily have done formerly, and with great advantage to themselves. We ought, therefore, to view it as spoken ironically, (εἰρωνικῶς,) Send; as if he had said that there is no hope of pardon, that they will send in vain. When the wicked are warned, they indolently disregard all exhortation; when they are punished, they gaze around them with distressful looks, seeking assistance in every direction, and trying every method of relief, but unsuccessfully, for they gain no advantage. Isaiah, therefore, reproaches them for obstinacy and rebellion, and shows that there will be no time for repentance, when they meet with the destruction which they deserve.

To the ruler of the world. The opinion of the Jews, that this denotes Hezekiah, is at variance with all reason; for ארץ (eretz) does not here denote a particular country, but rather the whole world, of which he speaks in general terms. The appellation Ruler must therefore be viewed as referring to God himself. By a lamb, he means what was to be offered in sacrifice; for even the Gentiles acknowledged that they worshipped God when they offered sacrifices.

From the rock (249) of the desert. He gives the name of the rock of the desert to the city, which is supposed to have been the chief city of the Moabites; (250) though it is possible that he intended to include the whole of the country, and thus a part will be taken for the whole.

To the mountain of the daughter of Zion; that is, to God’s authorized temple, in which sacrifices were offered according to the injunction of the Law. (Deuteronomy 12:5; 2 Chronicles 7:12.) This is a remarkable passage against obstinate men, who set aside all instruction, and fearlessly despise God, till they are visited by his judgments.

(249) From Sela, (or, Petra.) — Eng. Ver.

FT241 “Petra, Rock, also called Sela, (Isaiah 16:1,) and Joktheel, (2 Kings 14:7.) The capital of Idumea, and one of the most remarkable cities of the ancient world. For more than a thousand years this city remained unknown and unvisited, till Burckhardt discovered it in 1812. It was afterwards visited, with some difficulty, by Messrs. Legh, Banks, Captains Irby and Mangles, as well as by M. Linant and M. Laborde.” Those who have not access to the details of those enterprizing researches, or who wish to see it ably stated and argued, that “the present condition of Petra furnishes a remarkable fulfillment of Scripture prophecy,” will do well to read the article Petra in Dr. Eadie’s Biblical Cyclopaedia, from which the above extracts are taken; an article which draws largely both from the narratives of travelers and from the inspired writers, and compresses within moderate limits a large amount of information. — Ed

FT242 As a wandering bird. — Eng. Ver.

FT243 Take (Heb. Bring) counsel. — Eng. Ver.

FT244 “Make a shadow for thee at noon, to throw darkness over thee, as in the night, that by means of it thou mayest be concealed from the face of thy enemies.” — Jarchi

FT245 For the extortioner (Heb. wringer) is at an end. — Eng. Ver.

FT246 Until the extortioner כי (ki) answers here to the Latin adverb, usquedum . — Tayl. Concord. quoted by Stock.

FT247 And in mercy shall the throne be established, (or, prepared.) — Eng. Ver.

FT248 His wrath. — Eng. Ver. In the author’s version of this chapter, the rendering is, his insolence; but in his margin he puts indignation. Lowth and Stock make it his anger. — Ed

FT249 The rendering of the Septuagint is, οὐχ οὕτως ἡ μαντεία σου,οὐχ οὕτως Not so thy divination, not so. — Ed

FT250 לא כן (lo ken,) non rectum , the frivolous predictions of his diviners, on which no wise man would place dependence. — Rosenmuller

FT251 Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab. — Eng. Ver.

FT252 Shall ye mourn, (or, mutter,) surely they are stricken — Eng. Ver. Moan even ye who yourselves are smitten. — Stock

FT253 For the fields of Heshbon languish. — Eng. Ver.

FT254 “It ought to be known that Heshbon was a place of fields, and Sibmah was a place of vineyards. If you object, that all these cities were on the other side of Jordan, and at what time therefore did they fall under the hand (or power) of the Moabites? we reply. When Sennacherib carried the Reubenites and Gadites into captivity, the Moabites, who were their neighbors, came and dwelt in those cities.” — Jarchi

FT255 The lords of the heathen have trodden down the principal plants thereof. — Eng. Ver.

FT256 They are come even unto Jazer. — Eng. Ver.

FT257The lake of Jazer, as Jeremiah explains it, Jeremiah 48:32. The plantations of this vine spread onward to the banks, and seemed to overhang the whole breadth of the lake.” — Rosenmuller

FT258 For the shouting for thy summer-fruits and for thy harvest is fallen. (Or, the alarm is fallen upon thy summer-fruits and upon thy harvest. — Eng. Ver.

FT259 Jam canit extremos effoetus vinitor antes. — Virg. Georg. 2:417.

FT260 But he shall not prevail. — Eng. Ver.


(250) Bogus footnote

Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​cal/​isaiah-16.html. 1840-57.

Smith's Bible Commentary

Let's turn to Isaiah chapter 16 as we continue our study through the prophecy of Isaiah.

Now, in these next few chapters that we are covering here in Isaiah, behind the scenes Assyria is arising as a strong powerful military force. Assyria with its capital city of Nineveh is becoming extremely powerful and beginning to develop a tremendous army that will soon be on a campaign of subjugating the world. And so the prophet Isaiah begins to address himself to some of the various countries roundabout-to Moab, to Syria, to Ephraim, and all because these nations, Egypt, Ethiopia, are to be in conflict and in battle with the Assyrians. And so behind these next chapters you have to see the clouds of war rising from Assyria as they are going to soon begin their sweep down into this area of the world. And Isaiah is addressing now the nations concerning the destruction that is sure to come during this Assyrian invasion.

And the first nation that he addresses himself to is the nation of Moab, which is the present-day Jordan. It lies on the east of the Jordan River from Mount Gilead actually on south to Mount Seir.

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela ( Isaiah 16:1 )

Now Sela is the word rock and from it the word petra and the city of Petra which happens to be in the area of Moab.

to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness ( Isaiah 16:1-5 ).

And then he begins his lament over Moab because of their great pride. Now, as we mentioned earlier as we were studying the prophecies of Isaiah, there's a unique characteristic in... well, it isn't unique because it is in many of the prophets, where they will be talking about a situation that is close at hand, but there seems to be a dual fulfillment of the prophecy and it reaches on out to another era and it spans into another time. And so, there is often what we call the near fulfillment and the far fulfillment of this prophecy.

Now many Bible scholars in the far fulfillment of this prophecy, as God is commanding Moab to "meet the wandering bird that is cast out of the nest, at the fords of Arnon and to hide the outcast and betray not him that wanders. And let the outcast dwell with thee, Moab," there are many Bible scholars who see this in its fulfillment as yet to come when in the midst of the seven-year period that God has yet to reckon to the nation Israel. For in Daniel the ninth chapter, the angel said unto Daniel, "There are seventy sevens determined upon the nation Israel, to finish the transgressions, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy One" ( Daniel 9:24 ).

No one understands from the time the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens and the walls will be built again in troublous times. But the Messiah will be cut off without receiving the kingdom. And the people will end up by being dispersed. Now Daniel said, "The prince of the people that shall come will make a covenant with Israel for the seventieth week." Or for this last week, this last period of seven years, but in the midst of the seven years, he will break the covenant and set up an abomination which causes desolation.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and they said, "Lord, what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?" And Jesus began to tell them the signs that they should watch for, the things that would be transpiring in the earth which would be a warning to them that they were approaching the end of the age. And as Jesus is talking to them about the various signs, He does speak to them, talking again to the Jews, "When you see the abomination of desolation, that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then flee to the wilderness. And if you happen to be on the roof of your house, don't even bother grabbing a coat as you're going through. Just get out of there as quickly as you can. And if you are out in the field working, don't even return to your house, but get down to the wilderness just as quickly as possible."

So the Lord is warning them that the sign of the abomination of desolation. Now He said, "He that has wisdom understand." Because He said, "There is going to be a time of Great Tribulation such as the world has never seen before or will ever see again." Now, we are told in the book of Revelation, chapter 12, that John saw these various characters, or these various symbolisms. He saw a woman clothed with the moon and the stars. Twelve stars and the moon. And she was travailing, ready to bring forth a child. And he saw this great dragon that was seeking to devour the child as soon as it was born. And he speaks of how the woman brought forth the child which was caught on up into heaven to his throne. And so the dragon sought to make war against the remnant of the woman's seed, but God gave to her the wings of an eagle to bear her to the wilderness place where she is to be nourished for three-and-a-half years.

From a prophetic standpoint, what this is all talking about is that God has one more seven-year cycle to fulfill in the history of the nation of Israel. The sixty-nine seven-year cycles were fulfilled from the time of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of Jesus Christ. The sixty-nine seven-year cycles were fulfilled actually to the day. For in March 14, 445 B.C. Artaxerxes gave the commandment to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and 173,880 days later, 483 years on the Babylonian calendar, 360 days in the year, Jesus on April the sixth, 32 A.D. made His triumphant entry in Jerusalem. Fulfilled right on the letter.

But the angel said," There are seventy sevens." Now Jesus in being cut off, the Messiah will be cut off. Jesus was cut off. But in being cut off, in His being cut off, He made, through His death upon the cross, He made reconciliation for iniquity. He made an end of our sins. But He did not set up the everlasting kingdom, nor was the most holy place anointed, nor were the prophecies all fulfilled. So a part of those prophecies are yet remaining and they will take place at the end of the seventieth seven-year cycle. So there is one missing seven-year cycle that Jesus, when He was talking with His disciples, declared that it was a yet future thing.

When the church is taken out of the earth, it will then immediately give rise to the antichrist. Sometime after the church is removed, I believe that it will pretty much coincide with the removal of the church, for "that which hinders shall hinder until it is taken out of the way" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:7 ); and then shall that "man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3 ) who comes forth with all kinds of lies and deceit and guile. In Revelation chapter 4 you see the church taken up into heaven. "I saw a door open in heaven: and the first voice was as of a trumpet saying, 'Come up hither, and I will show things which will be after' [the church thing]. And immediately I was caught away by the Spirit into heaven; and there I saw the throne of God and the emerald type of rainbow about the throne of God. The twenty-four lesser thrones of the elders and the cherubim as they were worshipping God and the elders as they join in the worship, falling on their faces and casting their crowns on the glassy sea" ( Revelation 4:1-4 , Revelation 4:10 ). Declaring the worthiness of God to receive the praise and the worship.

And then in chapter 5 he saw the scroll with seven seals in the right hand of Him that was sitting upon the throne. Heard the angel say, "Who's worthy to take the scroll and loose the seal? The title deed to the earth. Who's worthy to take this title deed? To reclaim the earth. The day of redemption has come. Who is worthy?" And John began to sob because no man was worthy in heaven, in earth, under the sea to take the scroll or even to look thereon. And the elders said, "Don't weep, John. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to take the scroll, and loose the seal." And John saw. Turned and he saw Him as a lamb that had been slaughtered. And he saw Him as He stepped forth and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne. And immediately the twenty-four elders took little golden bowls that were full of incense odors, the prayers of the saints. Offer them before God. And they sang a new song, saying, "Thou art worthy to take the scroll, and loose the seal thereof: for Thou was slain and You have redeemed us by Your blood out of all of the nations, tribe, kindred, tongues and people. And You have made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign with You upon the earth" ( Revelation 5:9-10 ).

The song of the redeemed church in heaven. Only the redeemed church can sing that song. That is not the song of Israel; it's out of all of the families of the people on the earth. That is not the song of angels; it's only the song of the redeemed church. "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us by Thy blood." Angels can't sing that song, but they can sing the chorus, and so they join in. A hundred million strong plus millions and millions as they sing, "Worthy is the Lamb to receive glory and power and might and dominion and glories and thrones," and so forth. But we sing the verse.

And so we get into chapter 6. "And he opened the first seal and the angel said, 'Come.' And I saw, and a white horse with his rider came forth conquering and to conquer" ( Revelation 6:1-2 ). The antichrist, the revelation of the antichrist, it immediately follows the glorious acclamation of the worthiness of Christ to take the scroll and loose the seals. So the introduction of the antichrist upon the earth. And one of the first orders of business of the antichrist as he is putting together the earth once again that has been ravaged by war when Russia invades the Middle East. So now he's starting to put the pieces together because Russia has been soundly and thoroughly defeated in her invasion of the Middle East. He starts to put the pieces together again and the first thing he does is make a covenant with the nation of Israel.

Now the Bible doesn't say that the covenant includes the rebuilding of the temple, but that is my own personal feeling and opinion, and it's very strong. That this covenant that he makes with the nation Israel includes their giving to them the privilege of the rebuilding of their temple. And when they rebuild their temple, they will not build it on the site of the Mosque of Omar, or that which is commonly called the Mosque of Omar, which in reality is the Dome of the Rock Mosque.

I believe that they'll leave the Dome of the Rock Mosque intact. I believe that they will build a wall on the north side of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. And in that large area of some fifteen acres or so they will make provision for the Jews to build their temple, which many of their scientists now believe is above the site of Solomon's temple. Just last June one of the archaeologists and scientists in Israel came out with a very interesting article that was published in the Jerusalem Post in which he declared and gave his findings for believing that the temple of Solomon actually was north of the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Which if they can prove and all, which they are seeking to do, it will be a tremendous kind of a boon for those Jews that are wanting to rebuild their temple, because it means they can build it without having a holy war. All the Moslems of the world marching against them. It would be very easy just to put a wall and there is a verse in Ezekiel that talks about putting a wall along to separate. And in the eleventh chapter of the book of Revelation where the Lord gave unto John a ruler and said, "Now go measure the new temple and the court." He said, "Don't measure the outer court because it's been given to the heathens." And the Dome of the Rock Mosque stands in what would have been the outer court of Solomon's temple if Solomon's temple was there on the north side.

So he'll make a covenant with the nation Israel. But in the midst of the seven-year period, after three-and-a-half years, he will come to Jerusalem and according to what Paul tells us in Second Thessalonians, and Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24:1-51 , and Daniel spoke about in chapter 9, he will stand in the rebuilt temple and declare himself to be God. And he will demand that they worship him as God. Now according to the scriptures, according to Jesus, this is the sign for the Jews to flee out of Jerusalem. Get out of there as quickly as you can, because the antichrist, the man of sin, is going to now demand that the Jews worship him as God. And though they had initially hailed him as the Messiah, at this point they're going to realize that they were mistaken and deceived by this man. And Jesus said, "Get out of there as quickly as you can. Don't bother taking anything with you."

And according to Revelation, God will give to them wings of an eagle to bear them to a wilderness place where they will be nourished for three-and-a-half years. And the antichrist will send out an army after them, but the earth will open up and swallow his army. And so we begin to see the prophetic scene take place. Now where are they going to the wilderness and where will they be fleeing? Here's where this prophecy of Isaiah begins to unfold.

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Petra to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; betray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts [God says, "mine outcasts"] dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covering to them from the face of the spoiler [or from the antichrist]: for the extortioner [the antichrist] is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, and the oppressors are consumed out of the land. [And what will happen?] And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he [that is, Jesus] shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hastening righteousness ( Isaiah 16:1-5 ).

Now one further note should be made about this before we move on. And that is, the day that the antichrist comes, or the man of sin, the son of perdition, the beast, one of the many names that the scripture gives to him, the spoiler, the extortioner, the day that he comes and stands in the rebuilt temple and declares that he is God in the midst of the seven-year period, the day that that takes place, it will be from that day 1,290 days until Jesus comes again with His church to set up His kingdom upon the earth. So we're moving down towards this final sequence of events. We are reading constantly of Russia's threat to move into the Middle East because of her own oil needs. And that will be the event that will more or less trigger this final sequence of events. For as Russia moves in, God will soundly defeat Russia. It will give rise to the ten nations of Europe out of which will arise this man of sin who will make a covenant with the nation of Israel for seven years. But in the midst of the seven-year period, he'll break the covenant by coming into the temple declaring that he is God, demanding that he is worshipped as God, stopping the daily sacrifices and prayers. And 1,290 days later, Jesus coming again with the church to establish God's kingdom upon the earth.

So at this point the Jews are to flee to the wilderness. God is telling Moab, "Open up your arms. Receive them. Cover them. Keep them safe from the extortioner and from the spoiler and all. And hide them. Don't betray them until this time of indignation is over passed." Time of great tribulation. And of course, until the King comes to sit upon the throne of David and to establish it in righteousness.

Now he turns to Moab at the immediate condition. Moab has been filled with pride.

he is very proud: filled with haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath ( Isaiah 16:6 ):

Now notice: pride, very proud. Haughtiness, pride, these words in the Hebrew are all a little different, but they come from the same base or root word. It is like using the word boast, boastfulness, boasting, and the boaster, and so forth. It's the same root word in the Hebrew as it speaks of the great pride of Moab.

Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken ( Isaiah 16:7 ).

And so it tells about how that this tremendous... the vineyard for which Moab was famous were going to be trampled under the soldiers that were to come. They would no longer be trampling... the people would no longer be trampling the grapes in the winepresses. Now there was a cry that the people used to sort of as they would stomp the grapes in the winepresses they would cry, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" With every, you know, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" as they were stepping down the grapes and crushing them. And so the prophet is saying this cry Haddad! will no longer be heard in the winepresses, but it will be heard by the marching of the soldiers that are trampling down the vineyards. They will be coming marching to the, "Haddad! Haddad! Haddad! Haddad!" and it will be a not a sign of, not a shout of rejoicing, but a sound of the conquering armies of the Assyrians who shall destroy the marvelous vineyards of Moab.

And in verses Isaiah 16:13 , and Isaiah 16:14 he declares that this judgment against Moab will actually come within a three-year span of time. And within three years, Assyria conquered over Moab. And as the result, Moab will become, though she was very proud and all, she'll become very small and feeble. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​isaiah-16.html. 2014.

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Moab would plead for shelter from her enemy. Her leaders would send a lamb as a tribute from their hiding place in some wilderness stronghold (possibly Sela in Edom) to the king of Judah requesting help. The Moabite refugees would be as frightened as birds while they hovered on their border. They would seek refuge in Judah. Young believed this refers to a spiritual conversion of the Moabites, but this may be reading too much into these cries for deliverance. [Note: Young, 1:463.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​isaiah-16.html. 2012.

Gann's Commentary on the Bible

Send a ram Moab, in distress, sends a gift to Judah along with a request for asylum. Referring to Judah as the “ruler of the land” acknowledges the Moabites’ past status as subjects of Israel. See 2 Kgs 3:4–8.

from Sela -- Either Moab is regarded as having taken refuge in Edom, and is therefore bidden to send her tribute from the Edomite capital, Sela (equivalent to “Petra”), or “Sela,” here is not a proper name, but a collective used to designate the rocky parts of Moab, to which she had betaken herself (as in Jer. 48:28).

the mountain of daughter Zion Jerusalem. See note on Isa 1:8.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​gbc/​isaiah-16.html. 2021.

Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land,.... Or tribute, as the Targum rightly interprets it. The Moabites, being conquered by David, paid tribute to him, 2 Samuel 8:2 and when the kingdom was divided in Rehoboam's time, the tribute was paid to the kings of Israel, which continued till the times of Ahab, when the Moabites rebelled, and refused to pay it, 2 Kings 3:4 and this tribute, as appears from the passage now referred to, was paid in lambs and rams; which now they are bid to pay to the king of Judah, David's lawful heir and successor in his kingdom; who is supposed to be meant by the ruler of the land, that is, of the land of Judah, whose reigning king at this time was Hezekiah; but rather by "the ruler of the land" is meant the king of Moab, for the words may be rendered, more agreeably to the language and the accents, "send ye the lamb" (or lambs, the singular for the plural), "O ruler of the land" t; though others, "send ye the lamb of the ruler of the land" u; that is either, O king of Moab send the tribute that is due; or ye people of the land send the tribute which your ruler owes to the king of Judah; so Jarchi understands it of the king of Moab: some indeed expound the ruler of the land of God himself, who is the Governor of the world; and take the sense to be, that the Moabites are bid to send a lamb, or lambs, for sacrifice, to the God of the whole earth, in order to appease him, and atone for their sins; which is said either seriously, as some think, this being to answer a good purpose, or ironically, as other's, it being now too late; but the sense given is the best: in the Talmud w it is applied to Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of the land, who came to the mount of the daughter of Zion, by the way of rocks and mountains. The Targum applies it to the Messiah, paraphrasing it thus,

"they shall be bringing tributes to the Christ of Israel, who is strong over them.''

Jerom interprets it of Christ, the Lamb of God, the ruler of the world, or who was to be sacrificed to the ruler of the world; who descended from Ruth, the Moabitess, who he supposes is meant by the rock of the wilderness, as he renders the next clause:

from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount the daughter of Zion: according to Kimchi, and others, Sela was the chief city of the kingdom of Moab. The word signifies a rock; it is the same with Petra x, the chief city of Arabia, and from whence Arabia Petraea had its name. Some take it to be Selah, the chief city of Edom, afterwards called Joktheel, 2 Kings 14:7 it was a frontier city, and lay upon the borders of Moab and Edom to the south; as the wilderness of Jordan was on the border of Moab to the north, and is thought to be here meant; or, according to Vitringa, the plains of Jericho, the same with the wilderness of Judea, where John the Baptist came preaching; which lay in the way from Sela or Petra, the chief city in Moab, unto Jerusalem. Strabo y says of Petra, the metropolis of the Nabataeans, that it lies in a plain, surrounded with rocks and precipices, and within it fountains and gardens, and without it a large country, for the most part desert, especially towards Judea, and from hence it is a journey of three or four days to Jericho; and so the sense is, send the lambs, or the tribute, from Sela or Petra, the chief city of Moab; send them, I say, to the wilderness of Judea, or by the way of that, even to Mount Zion or Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea, and the seat of the king of it.

t שלחו כר מושל ארץ "mittite agnum, dominator terrae", Montanus; so Luther; which is approved by Reinbeck de Accent. Heb. p. 395. u "Mittite agnum dominatoris terrae", Pagninus, Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. w T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 96. 2. & Gloss. in ib. x Joseph. Antiqu. l. 4. c. 4. sect. 7. Ptolem. Geogr. l. 5. c. 17. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. y Geograph. l. 16. p. 536. Ed. Casaub.

Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​isaiah-16.html. 1999.

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Exhortations to Moab. B. C. 725.

      1 Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.   2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.   3 Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.   4 Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.   5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.

      God has made it to appear that he delights not in the ruin of sinners by telling them what they may do to prevent the ruin; so he does here to Moab.

      I. He advises them to be just to the house of David, and to pay the tribute they had formerly covenanted to pay to the kings of his line (Isaiah 16:1; Isaiah 16:1): Send you the lamb to the ruler of the land. David made the Moabites tributaries to him, 2 Samuel 8:2. They became his servants, and brought gifts. Afterwards they paid their tribute to the kings of Israel (2 Kings 3:4), and paid it in lambs. Now the prophet requires them to pay it to Hezekiah. Let it be raised and levied from all parts of the country, from Selah, a frontier city of Moab on the one side, to the wilderness, a boundary of the kingdom on the other side: and let it be sent, where it should be sent, to the mount of the daughter of Zion, the city of David. Some take it as an advice to send a lamb for a sacrifice to God, the ruler of the earth (so it may be read), the Lord of the whole earth, ruler of all lands, the land of Moab as well as the land of Israel, "Send it to the temple built on Mount Zion." And some think it is in this sense spoken ironically, upbraiding the Moabites with their folly in delaying to repent and make their peace with God. "Now you would be glad to send a lamb to Mount Zion, to make the God of Israel your friend; but it is too late: the decree has gone forth, the consumption is determined, and the daughters of Moab shall be cast out as a wandering bird," Isaiah 16:2; Isaiah 16:2. I rather take it as good advice seriously given, like that of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar when he was reading him his doom, Daniel 4:27. Break off thy sins by righteousness, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. And it is applicable to the great gospel duty of submission to Christ, as the ruler of the land, and our ruler: "Send him the lamb, the best you have, yourselves a living sacrifice. When you come to God, the great ruler, come in the name of the Lamb, the Lamb of God. For else it shall be" (so we may read it) "that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be. If you will not pay your quit-rent, your just tribute to the king of Judah, you shall be turned out of your houses: The daughters of Moab (the country villages, or the women of your country) shall flutter about the fords of Arnon, attempting that way to make their escape to some other land, like a wandering bird thrown out of the nest half-fledged." Those that will not submit to Christ, nor be gathered under the shadow of his wings, shall be as a bird that wanders from her nest, that shall either be snatched up by the next bird of prey or shall wander endlessly in continual frights. Those that will not yield to the fear of God shall be made to yield to the fear of every thing else.

      II. He advises them to be kind to the seed of Israel (Isaiah 16:3; Isaiah 16:3): "Take counsel, call a convention, and consult among yourselves what is fit to be done in the present critical juncture; and you will find it your best way to execute judgment, to reverse all the unrighteous decrees you have made, by which you have put hardships upon the people of God, and, in token of your repentance for them, study now how to oblige them, and this shall be accepted of God more than all burnt-offering and sacrifice."

      1. The prophet foresaw some storm coming upon the people of God, perhaps the good people of the ten tribes, or of the two and a half on the other side Jordan, whose country joined to that of Moab, and who, by the merciful providence of God, escaped the fury of the Assyrian army, had their lives given them for a prey, and were reserved for better times, but were put to the utmost extremity to shift for their own safety. The danger and trouble they were in were like the scorching heat at noon; the face of the spoiler was very fierce upon them and the oppressor and extortioner were ready to swallow them up after stripping them of what they had.

      2. He bespeaks a shelter for them in the land of Moab, when their own land was made too hot for them. This judgment they must execute; thus wisely must they do for themselves, and thus kindly must they deal with the people of God. If they would themselves continue in their habitations, let them now open their doors to the distressed dispersed members of God's church, and be to them like a cool shade to those that bear the burden and heat of the day. Let them not discover those that absconded among them, nor deliver them up to the pursuers that made search for them: "Betray not him that wandereth, nor deliver him up" (as the Edomites did, Obadiah 1:13; Obadiah 1:14), "but hide the outcasts." This was that good work by which Rahab's faith was justified, and proved to be sincere, Hebrews 11:31. "Nay, do not only hide them for a time, but, if there be occasion, let them be naturalized: Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Moab (Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 16:4); find a lodging for them and be thou a covert to them. Let them be taken under the protection of the government, though they are but poor, and likely to be a charge to thee." Note, (1.) It is often the lot even of those who are Israelites indeed to be outcasts, driven out of house and harbour by persecution or war, Hebrews 11:37. (2.) God owns them when men reject and disown them. They are outcasts, but they are my outcasts. The Lord knows those that are his wherever he finds them, even where no one else knows them. (3.) God will find a rest and shelter for his outcasts; for, though they are persecuted, they are not forsaken. He will himself be their dwelling-place if they have no other, and in him they shall be at home. (4.) God can, when he pleases, raise up friends for his people even among Moabites, when they can find none in all the land of Israel that can and dare shelter them. The earth often helps the woman, Revelation 12:16. (5.) Those that expect to find favour when they are in trouble themselves must show favour to those that are in trouble; and what service is done to God's outcasts shall no doubt be recompensed one way or other.

      3. He assures them of the mercy God had in store for his people. (1.) That they should not long need their kindness, or be troublesome to them: For the extortioner is almost at an end already, and the spoiler ceases. God's people shall not be long outcasts; they shall have tribulation ten days (Revelation 2:10), and that is all. The spoiler would never cease spoiling if he might have his will; but God has him in a chain. Hitherto he shall go, but no further. (2.) That they should, ere long, be in a capacity to return their kindness (Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 16:5): "Though the throne of the ten tribes be sunk and overturned, yet the throne of David shall be established in mercy, by the mercy they receive from God and the mercy they show to others; and by the same methods may your throne be established if you please." It would engage great men to be kind to the people of God if they would but observe, as they easily might, how often such conduct brings the blessing of God upon kingdoms and families. "Make Hezekiah your friend, for you will find it your interest to do so upon the account both of the grace of God in him and the presence of God with him. He shall sit upon the throne in truth, and then he does indeed sit in honour and sit firmly. Then he shall sit judging, and will then be a protector to those that have been a shelter to the people of God." And see in him the character of a good magistrate. [1.] He shall seek judgment; that is, he shall seek occasions of doing right to those that are wronged, and shall punish the injurious even before they are complained of: or he shall diligently search into every cause brought before him, that he may find where the right lies. [2.] He shall hasten righteousness, and not delay to do justice, nor keep those long waiting that make application to him for the redress of their grievances. Though he seeks judgment, and deliberates upon it, yet he does not, under pretence of deliberation, stay the progress of the streams of justice. Let the Moabites take example by this, and then assure themselves that their state shall be established.

Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Isaiah 16:1". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​isaiah-16.html. 1706.
adsFree icon
Ads FreeProfile