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Full text of "Isaiah of Jerusalem in the authorised English version, with an introd., corrections, and notes"

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ajV introduction, corrections, and notes 







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S^?*S/ry OF TOVO^. 


Printed by R. & R. Clakk, Edinburgh. 


The time approaches for the revised version of 
the Old Testament to make its appearance. Be- 
fore it comes, let us say to ourselves and say to 
the revisers that the principal books of the Old 
Testament are things to be deeply enjoyed, and 
which have been deeply enjoyed hitherto. It is 
not enough to translate them accurately ; they 
must be translated so as also to be deeply enjoyed, 
and to exercise the power of beauty and of senti- 
ment which they have exercised upon us hitherto. 
Correct information by itself, as Butler profoundly 
says, is " really the least part " of education ; just 
as religion, he adds, " does not consist in the 
knowledge and belief even of fundamental truths." 
No ; education and religion, says Butler, consist 
mainly in our being brought by them " to a certain 
temper and behaviour." Now, if we are to be 
brought to a temper and behaviour, our affections 
must be engaged ; and a force of beauty or of 
sentiment is requisite for engaging them. 

Correct rendering is very often conspicuously 
absent from our authorised version of the Old 
Testament ; far more often and far more con- 
spicuously, indeed, than from our authorised 



version of the New. Correct information as to the 
meaning, therefore, far oftencr fails us in reading 
or hearing tlie Old Testament ; and the need for 
revision is great. But what a power is in the words 
as they stand, imperfectly as we may often compre- 
hend them, impossible as it may often be to attach 
a clear meaning to them! It can be said for them, 
at any rate, that they connect themselves with 
truths which have a surpassing grandeur and worth 
for us, and that they lend themselves to the con- 
nexion with a splendour of march and sound worthy 
of the great objects with which we connect them. 
Take, for instance, the two short lessons from Isaiah 
which we hear in church on Christmas Day. Hardly 
any one can feel that he understands them clearly 
as he hears them read ; indeed, as they now are, the}- 
cannot be understood clearly. But they connect 
themselves strikingly and powerfully with the 
great event \Ahich the festival of Christmas com- 
memorates, and they have a magnificent glow 
and movement. " For every battle of the warrior is 
with confused noise and garments rolled in blood ; 
but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire." 
No one of us understands clearly what this means, 
and indeed a clear meaning is not to be got out of 
the w^ords, which are a mistranslation. Yet they 
delight the ear, and they move us. Professor 
Robertson Smith brings an amended translation : 
" For the greaves of the warrior that stampeth 
in the fray, and the garments rolled in blood, 
shall be cast into the fire as fuel for the flame." 
Yes, we understand ; but the charm of the thine 
is rudely shaken. I\lr. Cheyne brings us a transla- 


tion more close and correct still : " For every boot 
of him that trampleth noisily, and the cloak rolled 
in blood, are for burning, the fuel of fire." The 
charm, has altogether vanished, if we receive these 
words to supersede the old words ; the charm has 
vanished, never to return. 

Mr. Cheyne and Professor Robertson Smith 
read their Isaiah in the original Hebrew, and in 
the Hebrew they enjoy him. Their translation of 
him, like their notes and commentaries on him, are 
designed to give correct and exact information as 
to his meaning. But such correct information is in 
the present case, as Butler has told us, " really the 
least part" of the matter ; the main thing is the 
effect of a wonderful work of poetry and prophecy 
upon the soul and spirit. And this they them- 
selves, as I have said, get by reading it in the 
Hebrew. But the mass of English readers, who 
know no Hebrew, how are they to get as fully as 
possible, for their soul and spirit, the effect of this 
wonderful work ? Granted that they get some of 
it even from the present imperfect translation in our 
Bibles ; but we must allow that they do not and 
cannot get it at all fully. Such translation as that 
of which I have quoted specimens above will not 
give it them more fully. It will give them more 
correct knowledge of Isaiah's meaning ; but his 
effect upon their soul and spirit it will even impair, 
and render less than it is now. What is to be 
done ? Can nothing be done to give it to them 
more fully ? 

Such is the question which, with the revised 
version of the New Testament in my'^hands, and 


the revised version of the Old Testament in pro- 
spect, I keep asking myself about Isaiah. Taking- 
him merely as poetry and literature, — which is not, 
I will readily add, to take him in his entirety, — I 
consider the question ver}' important. I rate the 
value of the operation of poetry and literature upon 
men's minds extremely high ; and from no poetry 
and literature, not even from our own Shakespeare 
and Milton, great as they are and our own as they 
are, have I, for my own part, received so much delight 
and stimulus as from Homer and Isaiah. To 
know, in addition to one's native literature, a great 
poetry and literature not of home growth, is an in- 
fluence of the highest value ; it very greatly widens 
one's range. The Bible has thus been an influence 
of the highest value for the nations of Christendom. 
And the effect of Hebrew poetry can be preserved 
and transferred in a foreign language, as the effect 
of other great poetry cannot. The effect of 
Homer, the effect of Dante, is and must be in 
great measure lost in a translation, because their 
poetry is a poetry of metre, or of rhyme, or both ; 
and the effect of these is not really transferable. 
A man may make a good English poem with the 
matter and thoughts of Homer or Dante, may 
even try to reproduce their metre, or to reproduce 
their rhyme ; but the metre and rhyme will be in 
truth his own, and the effect will be his, not the 
effect of Homer or Dante. Isaiah's, on the other 
hand, is a poetry, as is well known, of parallelism ; 
it depends not on metre and rhyme, but on a 
balance of thought, conveyed by a corresponding 
balance of sentence ; and the effect of this can be 


transferred to another language, Hebrew poetry 
has in addition the effect of assonance and other 
effects which cannot perhaps be transferred ; but 
its main effect, its effect of parallehsm of thought 
and sentence, can. I ask myself, therefore, this 
question : How can the effect of this best of a 
great poetry and literature,, an effect of the highest 
worth and power, an effect which can in a great 
degree be preserved in translation, and which our 
old version does preserve, but renders imperfectly 
— how, to the mass of English people, who do 
not know Hebrew, may the effect of Isaiah be so 
rendered and conveyed as that they may feel it 
most fully ? 


First and foremost in importance, for the 
attainment of such an end, is this rule : — that the 
old version is not to be departed from without 
necessity. It comes from a great flowering-time 
of our literature, and has created deep and power- 
ful sentiments ; it is still the prime agent on which 
we have to rely for the attainment of our prime 
object, that Isaiah may be enjoyed fully. Increase 
of knowledge enables us to see mistakes in the old 
version and to correct them ; but only mistakes, 
real mistakes, should be corrected, and they should 
be corrected gently. I once said that I would 
forbear to alter the old version of Isaiah where it 
made sense, whether the sense made was that of 
the original or not. I went too far ; where the 
sense given by the old version is another sense 
from that of the original, alteration is required. 


But we should use a large and liberal spirit in 
judging what constitutes a departure from the 
sense of the original. If the general sense is 
preserved, we should be satisfied. We should not 
regard ourselves as called to a trial of skill in 
which he succeeds best who renders the oriirinal 
most literally and exactly. At least, if we choose 
to engage in a trial of skill of such a kind, we 
should say to ourselves that all we can hope to 
produce in this way is what may be called aids to 
the study of Isaiah, — capable of being of great use, 
perhaps, to students, but the mass of mankind 
are not students, and the mass of mankind 
want something quite different. To meet the 
wants of the mass of mankind, our trial of skill 
must be, to succeed in altering as little as possible 
and yet altering enough, and in altering enough 
and yet leaving the reader with the impression 
that we have not altered at all, or hardly at all. 
Only thus can our revised version, under the 
actual conditions of the case, have charm ; and it 
is essential that it should have charm. 

The first chapter of Isaiah really and strictly 
requires, for our purpose as thus laid down, three 
changes and three changes only. In verse 17, 
relieve the oppressed, should be correct the oppressor ; 
in verse 25, thy tin, should be thine alloy ; and in 
verse 31, for the maker of it, we should read his 
work. Two or three other very slight changes 
besides may be desirable, in order to bring out the 
effect better ; but these are the only changes which 
can be called indispensable. To re-write the chapter, 
if the reader we have in view is the great public, 


not the sifting and curious student, is fatal. If the 
authorised version had succeeded in giving the 
chapters which follow as happily as in giving the 
first chapter, the task of a reviser would be easy 
indeed. But this high standard of success is not 
maintained ; and consequently, in the chapters which 
follow there is much more need of change than in 
the first chapter. Still our rule should always be 
to alter as little as possible. What can be gained, 
or rather what is not lost, by changing, " But Ahaz 
said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord," 
into, " But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will 
I put Jehovah to the test"? Here no change was 
needed at all. Where change is needed, our ideal 
should be a case such as one which is presented in the 
sixteenth verse of the thirtieth chapter, where the 
change of a letter^ is all that is required to effect a 
needful improvement, and to effect it admirably. 

Undoubtedly the use of JehovaJi or JaJive, 
instead of TJie Lord, is inadmissible in a version 
intended, not to be scanned by students, but to 
be enjoyed by the mass of readers. Jehovah and 
Jahve have a mythological sound, and to substitute 
them for The Lord disturbs powerful sentiments 
long and deeply established already. The Eternal 
is in itself a better equivalent than The Lord for 
Jehovah; it is adopted in one of the French 
versions. And in many of the familiar texts 
which a man has present to his mind and habitu- 
ally dwells upon, he will do well to adopt it ; he 
will find that it gives to the text a fuller and 
deeper significance. But there are combinations 

' Fly iotflee. 


to which it lIucs not lend itself without some 
difficulty, and to which The Lord lends itself better; 
and at any rate, to banish this accustomed reading, 
and to substitute for it everywhere The Eternal, 
would be too radical a change. There would be 
more loss to the sentiment, from the disturbing 
shock caused to it by so great a change, than gain 
from the more adequate rendering. 

The old translators of Isaiah, with the notion 
that a prophet is, above everything, a man \\\\o 
makes supernatural predictions, lean always to the 
employment of the future tense ; they use it ex- 
cessively. But it is unnecessary and pedantic to 
change always, in order to mark that a prophet is 
not, above everything, a man who makes super- 
natural predictions, their future tenses into presents. 
The balance of the rhythm is often deranged and 
injured by the correction, without any compensating 
advantage. For, in truth, the present, the past, 
and the future, are all of them natural and legiti- 
mate tenses of prophecy. Sometimes the prophet 
may be said to intend them all, to use them all ; 
and often one of them will serve to render him as 
well as another. " Therefore my people are gone 
into captivity, because they have no knowledge : 
and their honourable men are famished, and their 
multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell 
hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth 
without measure : and their glor}-, and their mul- 
titude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall 
descend into it." ^ Here preterites, presents, and 
futures are mingled together ; but the general 
^ Isaiah, v, 13, 14. 


sense is adequately given, and nothing is gained 
by endangering the rhythm of these fine verses 
through turning all the tenses into presents. But 
sometimes the futures of the old version hinder our 
adequately seizing the sense, and then they are to 
be altered. " Behold, their valiant ones shall cry 
without : the ambassadors of peace shall weep 
bitterly." ^ The magnates of Judah have been 
sent to Lachish to make Hezekiah's submission 
to Sennacherib ; the ambassadors are returned 
and are at the gate of the capital, bringing with 
shame and consternation the tidings that the 
Assyrian, after accepting their submission and 
presents, insists further on the surrender of Jeru- 
salem. " Behold, Judah's valiant ones cry without : 
the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly." The 
prophet is not predicting ; he sees and hears the 
envoys weeping at the city gate. In a case of 
this kind the future tense impairs the effect, and 
must be altered. 


The first requisite, then, if we are to feel and 
enjoy the book of Isaiah aright, is to amend the 
authorised translation without destroying its effect. 
And the second requisite is to understand the 
situation with which the book deals, the facts to 
which it makes reference, the expressions which 
it employs ; — to do this, and to do it without losing 
oneself in details. All sorts of questions solicit 
the regard of the student of Isaiah : questions of 
language, questions of interpretation, questions of 

^ Isaiah, xxxiii, 7. 


criticism, questions of history. The student has 
the Assyrian inscriptions offering themselves to 
him on one side, and the great controversy as to 
the arrangement of the book of Isaiah offering 
itself to him on the other. Now, all kinds of 
knowledge are interesting, some kinds of know- 
ledge are fascinating ; and the book of Isaiah 
invites us towards kinds of knowledge which are 
peculiarly fascinating. But there is the same 
danger here which there is in the apparatus of 
philological study which accompanies and guards 
for us, in our boyhood, the entrance upon Greek. 
There is the danger of our losing ourselves in pre- 
liminaries, and of our being brought, by the pursuit 
of an impossible perfection, to miss our main 
design. Perfection is the ideal, thoroughness in 
preparation is most precious. But there is the 
danger, also, of forgetting how short man's time 
is, how easily he is diverted and distracted from 
his real aim, how easily tired. How many boys 
learning Greek never get beyond that philological 
vestibule in which we are kept so assiduousl}', 
never arrive at Greek literature at all ! The adult 
student of Isaiah is exposed to the risk of a like 
misfortune. The apparatus to Isaiah is so immense, 
that the student who has to handle it is in danger 
of not living long enough to come ever to enjoy 
the performance of Isaiah himself. 

Four names stand out from among the names 
of Isaiah's commentators. They are all of them 
the names of Germans. Mr. Cheyne is the first 
Englishman who has given us a commentary on 
Isaiah of like seriousness and sound knowledge 


with theirs, and he would himself be the foremost 
to profess his obligations to them. The four 
Germans are Vitringa, Gesenius, Ewald, Delitzsch ; 
and of these four, again, two stand out most pro- 
minently, — Ewald and Delitzsch. Both are in- 
valuable ; to both we owe all gratitude. Ewald 
kindles and inspires us most, Delitzsch instructs 
us most. But at what a length he instructs us, 
and with what discursiveness ! Life being so 
short as it is, and the human mind so shallow a 
vessel, can it be well to make us read a closely- 
printed page of imperial octavo about the different 
kinds of wounds and their treatment, in connexion 
with the " wounds and bruises and putrefying 
sores " ^ spoken of by Isaiah ? Can it be neces- 
sary, in connexion with Isaiah's phrase, " though 
your sins be as scarlet," - to give us another like 
page on the mystical character of red and white 
to this sort of effect : " Blood is the colour of fire 
and therefore of life ; blood is red, because life is 
a fire-process ? " 

No, it is not necessary ; and we must be care- 
ful not to let ourselves be lost in excursions of 
this kind. Still, it is very requisite to understand 
the situation with which the book of Isaiah deals, 
the facts to which it makes reference, the expres- 
sions which it employs. For instance, the mystic 
names of Isaiah's sons, Shear-jasJutb and Ilaher- 
shalal-hash-baz, are of the very highest significance. 
One of them, the name of Shcar-jashub, governs 
the whole book. Yet not one in twenty among 
ordinary readers or hearers of Isaiah knows what 

^ Isaiah, i, 6. ^ Ibid., i, i8. 


they mean. However, the chief drawback to our 
right enjoyment of Isaiah is our ignorance of that 
whole situation of things which the book supposes, 
rather than our ignorance of the meaning of par- 
ticular expressions. Verses and passages from 
Isaiah are far more generally known, and far more 
present to the minds of most of us, than passages 
from the Greek and Latin classics. But they stand 
isolated in our minds, without our having any firm 
grasp of the facts to which they refer, or any clear 
view of the situation of things which they suppose. 
Cultivated people have in general a much clearer 
and more connected notion of the important 
moments and situations in Greek and Roman 
history, — of the Persian war, the rise of Athens, 
the Peloponnesian war, the Sicilian expedition, the 
Roman Republic, the Punic wars, Caesar and the 
Empire, — than they have of the historical moment 
and situation with which Isaiah had to deal. But 
we cannot appreciate Isaiah unless we have before 
our minds this moment and situation. 

Its history is well given in Professor Robertson 
Smith's recent work on the Prophets ; but our pur- 
pose requires a narrative which will go into two or 
three pages, not a narrative spreading itself through 
a series of chapters. Let us try here to sketch 
the situation. There is some uncertainty in the 
chronology ; the old received dates of the Jewish 
kings have in some cases to be corrected from data 
furnished by the Assyrian inscriptions. But, at any 
rate, the period with which we have to deal is the 
last half of the eighth century before Christ. From 
750 to 700 B.C. is the period of Isaiah's activity. 


The chief countries concerned are Judah, Israel, 
Assyria, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia. Babylon for 
most of this period is as yet, though again and 
again rising in revolt, a vassal kingdom of Assyria. 
The great personages of the history are four suc- 
cessive kings of Assyria, — Tiglath-pileser, Shal- 
maneser, Sargon, and Sennacherib ; two successive 
kings of Judah, — Ahaz and Hezekiah ; the king 
of Syria, Rezin ; Pekah, king of Israel ; the king 
of Egypt, whom Isaiah calls by the general 
dynastic name of Pharaoh only ; and the king 
of Ethiopia. The main events of our fifty years' 
period are the conquest of Samaria, the capital 
of the kingdom of Israel, by the Assyrians in 721 
B.C., and the failure of Sennacherib to possess 
himself of Jerusalem in 701. 

Of the final scope of Isaiah's ideas, so far as 
we can apprehend it, and of the character and 
grandeur of his prophetic deliverances, I do not 
here speak. Here I only deal with his prophecy 
so far as our presentment of the historical situation 
requires. Isaiah's centre of action was Jerusalem. 
He was of noble, by some accounts of even royal 
birth. To his native country of Judah the long 
reign of Uzziah, the grandfather of Ahaz, had 
been a time of great power, wealth, and prosperity. 
The rival kingdom of Israel, under the reign of 
the second Jeroboam in part contemporary with 
the reign of Uzziah, had likewise been conquering, 
rich, and prosperous. Never since the death of 
Solomon, and the separation of the ten tribes from 
Judah, had the two kingdoms enjoyed so much 
prosperity. But when Isaiah began his career. 


the tide of the northern kingdom's prosperity had 
long since turned. The king of Israel was now 
the subordinate ally of the king of Syria ; and 
the two kings, fearing extinction by their great mili- 
tary neighbour on the north, Assyria, which was 
pressing hard upon them, desired to unite Syria, 
Palestine, and Egypt in resistance to Assyria's 
progress, and for this purpose to force the king of 
Judah into an alliance with them. At the end of 
Uzziah's reign the design was already formed. It 
was maturing during the reign of his son Jotham. 
And about the year 732 B.C., soon after the acces- 
sion of Jotham's son, Ahaz, the kings of Syria and 
Israel appeared with an army in Judah, resolved 
to bend Ahaz to their will. 

The outward and seeming prosperity of Judah 
had continued until the death of Jotham. On this 
outward prosperity the eyes of Isaiah in his early 
manhood rested ; but it exercised no illusion upon 
him, he discerned its unsoundness. He saw his 
country with " an upper class materialised," — an 
upper class full of cupidity, hardness, insolence, 
dissoluteness. He saw the lower class, the bulk 
of the people, to be better, indeed, and more free 
from vice than the upper class ; he saw it attached 
in its way to the old religion, but understanding 
it ill, turning it into a superstition and a routine, 
admitting gross accretions and admixtures to it ; 
— a lower class, in short, fatally impaired by bad 
example and want of leading. Butler's profound 
words, so true for at any rate the old societies of 
the world, cannot but here rise to the mind : — 
" The behaviour of the lower rank of mankind has 


very little in it original or of home growth ; very 
little which may not be traced up to the influence 
of others, and less which is not capable of being 
changed by that influence. This being their con- 
dition, consider now what influence, as well as 
power, their superiors must, from the nature of 
the case, have over them. And experience shows 
that they do direct and change the course of the 
world as they please. Not only the civil welfare 
but the morals and religion of their fellow-creatures 
greatly depend upon them." 

In his first deliverances,-^ soon after the year 
740, Isaiah denounced as unsound the still exist- 
ing outward prosperity of Judah, his country. 
Ahaz came to the throne ; and the young king, and 
the governing class surrounding him, now began 
freely to introduce from the neighbouring nations 
worships and rites, many of which had for their 
vicious adopters the attraction of being also dis- 
solute or cruel orgies. Then fell the blow of 
invasion. The kings of Syria and Israel overran 
the country of Judah ; and, amid the consternation 
pervading Jerusalem, the famous meeting of Isaiah 
with Ahaz took place " at the end of the conduit of 
the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller's field."- 

Three names, which are to be found in the 
chapter relating Isaiah's interview with Ahaz and 
in the chapter immediately following it, sum up 
for us the judgment of Isaiah upon this emer- 
gency, and indeed upon the whole troublous future 
discovering itself to his thoughts. These three 
names are Immanuel, Shear-jasJuib, MaJicr-shalal- 

^ Isaiah, ii-v. ^ JH^,^ vii, 3. 


Jiash-baz. Immanucl means, as everybody knows, 
" God with us." Shcar-jashub and Maher-shalal- 
hash-baz arc the names of Isaiah's two sons. The 
meaning of Shear-jashub is given in a subsequent 
chapter : " Tlie remnant shall return." Return, 
not in the physical sense, but in the moral, — be 
converted, come to God. The third name, Maher- 
shalal-hash-baz, means, " Spoil speedeth, prey 

Spoil spccdetJi, prey hasteth. The kingdoms 
which the chosen people has made for itself, their 
world which now is, with its prosperities, idolatries, 
governing classes, oppression, luxury, pleasures, 
drunkards, careless women, systems of policy, strong 
alliances, shall pass away ; nothing can save it. 
Strokes of statesmanship, fluctuations of fortune, 
cannot change the inevitable final result. The pre- 
sent invasion by Rezin and Pekah is nought. The 
kings of Syria and Israel will disappear; their plans 
will be frustrated, their power destroyed. But no 
real triumph is thus won, no continuance secured, 
for Judah as it is, for Judah's king and governing 
classes as they are. Assyria, the great and colossal 
power, the representative and wielder of " the 
kingdoms of this world " now, as Babylon and 
Rome became their representatives afterwards, — 
Assyria is behind. Swiftly and irresistibly this 
agent of the Eternal is moving on, to ruin and 
overwhelm Judah and Judah's allies. " He shall 
pass through Judah ; he shall overflow and go 
over."^ Spoil speedeth, prey hasteth. 

And, nevertheless, God is with us. In this 
^ Isaiah, viii, 8. 


Jerusalem, in this city of David, in this sanctuary 
of the old religion, God has been known, righteous- 
ness loved, the root of the matter reached, as they 
never have been in the world outside. The great 
world outside has nothing so indispensable to 
mankind, no germ so precious to mankind, as the 
" valley of vision " has. Therefore " he that be- 
lieveth shall not take flight ;" there is laid by the 
Eternal " in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried 
stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation."^ 
God is with tis. 

But it is the remnant shall return ; the remnant, 
and the remnant only. Our old world must pass 
away, says Isaiah to his countrymen ; God is 
with us for the making of a new world, but how 
few of us may take part in that making ! Only 
a remnant! a remnant sifted and purged by sharp 
trial, and then sifted and purged afresh ! " Even 
if yet there shall be a tenth, it shall return and 
shall be burned ; but as a terebinth tree, and as 
an oak, whose substance is in them when they are 
cut down, so the stock of that burned tenth shall 
be a holy seed."^ Against this seed the kingdoms 
of the world, the hosts of self-seeking and un- 
righteous power, shall not finally prevail; they shall 
fail in their attacks upon it, they shall founder. 
It shall see a king of its own, who shall reign 
not as Ahaz, but "shall reign in righteousness;" 
it shall see a governing class, not like the ministers 
and nobles of the court of Ahaz, but of whom " a 
man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind 
and a covert from the tempest;" where "the vile 

1 Isaiah, xxviii, 16. ^ /(J/^/.^ vi, 13. 



person shall no more be called noble, nor. the 
worker of mischief said to be worth}-." It shall 
see the lower people with a religion no longer 
blind and gross ; " the tongue of the stammerers 
shall be ready to speak plainly."^ Amidst such 
a society it " shall see the king in his beauty, shall 
behold the land spreading very far forth." - The 
remnant shall return. 

The final scope of these ideas of Isaiah, and 
what is really their significance and their greatness, 
I do not, as I have said, attempt to discuss here. 
But they give us, just as they stand, the clue to 
his whole book and to all his prophecy. Let us 
pursue our summary of the historical situation with 
their aid. They will enable us to make very brief 
what remains to be said. 

Ahaz heard, but was not convinced. He had 
a more short and easy way than Isaiah's. He 
put himself into the hands of the king of Assyria. 
In 731 B.C. Tiglath-pilescr, after chastising the 
kingdom of Israel, crushed the kingdom of Syria, 
and received the homage of Ahaz at Damascus. 
Shalmaneser,Tiglath-pileser's successor, determined 
to make an end of the subjected but ever restless 
kingdom of Israel, and formed the siege of 
Samaria, which was taken by his successor Sargon 
in 721. Three years before this destruction of 
the northern kingdom, Hezekiah had succeeded 
his father Ahaz upon the throne of Jerusalem. 
Hezekiah was a man of piety ; but the governing 
class remained as they were before, and controlled 
the policy of their country. Judah was tributary to 

^ Isaiah, xxxii, i, 2, 5, 4. 2 Ji,jj_^ xxxiii, 17. 


Assyria, and owed to Assyria its deliverance from a 
great danger. But the deliverer and his designs were 
extremely dangerous, and made Judah apprehen- 
sive of being swallowed up presently, when its turn 
came. The neighbouring countries, — Phoenicia on 
the north, Moab, Ammon, and the Arabian nations 
on the east, Philistia on the west, Egypt and 
Ethiopia on the south, — shared Judah's apprehen- 
sions. There were risings, and they were sternly 
quelled ; Judah, however, remained tranquil. But 
the scheme of an anti-Assyrian alliance was 
gradually becoming popular. Egypt was the 
great pillar of hope. By its size, wealth, resources, 
pretensions, and fame, Egypt seemed a possible 
rival to Assyria. Time went on. Sargon was 
murdered in 705 ; Sennacherib succeeded him. 
Then on all sides there was an explosion of revolts 
against the Assyrian rule. The first years of 
Sennacherib's reign were spent by him in quelling 
a formidable rising of Merodach Baladan, king of 
Babylon. The court and ministers of Hezekiah 
seized this opportunity for detaching their master 
from Assyria, for joining in the movement of the 
insurgent states of Palestine and its borders, and 
for allying themselves with Egypt. 

All this time Isaiah never changed his view 
of the situation. The risings were vain, the 
Egyptian alliance could not profit. Of his three 
great notes he kept reiterating the sternest one, 
and insisting upon it : Spoil speedcth, prey hasteth. 
He repeated it to Moab and Arabia, to Tyre and 
Philistia, to Egypt and Ethiopia. The great 
stream of Assyrian conquest will assuredly sub- 


merge you, he said, and you cannot escape from 
it — But of what avail, then, could Egypt and 
Ethiopia be to help Judah ? 

Nay, and the stream must overflow Judah also. 
In the year 701, Sennacherib, victorious in Baby- 
lonia, marched upon Palestine. Eor Judah also was 
now the note true : Spoil speedetli, prey Jiasteth. 
But for Judah Isaiah had those two other notes 
besides, constantly alternating with the darker 
one ; the notes of God zvitJi ns and of The 
remnant shall retn-rn. Higher still those notes 
rose when the invader appeared in Jud.nea, con- 
fident, overbearing, unscrupulous, perfidious, and 
demanded the surrender of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, 
so Isaiah prophesied, the invader should never 
enter ; a disaster should befall him, he should 
return in discomfiture to his own land. 

Sennacherib's enterprise against Jerusalem pre- 
sently failed. His own account of the failure is 
not the same as the Jewish account : any more 
than the account of the battle of Albuera in 
Napier's history is the same as the account of it 
in the Victoh'es et Conqnetes de VArniee Francaisc. 
But from the Assyrian account itself it is suffici- 
ently manifest that the enterprise failed, and that 
Sennacherib returned to his own land unsuccessful. 

It was a great triumph for Isaiah. And 
undoubtedly it gave him for the moment a com- 
manding influence, and contributed not a little 
to the final accomplishment of religious reforms 
which were dear to his heart. Shall we ask 
whether it enabled him to behold a king reigning 
in righteousness, and a governing class like the 


shadow of a great rock in a weary land ? Shall 
we ask whether he even expected it to enable 
him to do this ? No ; we will not now pursue 
further his own conceptions as to the fulfilment 
of his own prophecies, — prophecies " impatient," 
as Davison says, " for the larger scope," We 
will not interrogate him as to his own view, as 
years rolled on with him, of his splendid promises 
of Immanuel and of the Remnant. He had put 
his Immanuel too soon by seven centuries. Too 
soon by far more than seven centuries had he put 
his reign of the saints, for it is not come about 
even yet. Men, as has been truly said, " are im- 
patient, and for anticipating things ;" even great 
prophets are " for anticipating things." But with 
inspired faith and sure insight Isaiah foresaw 
Immanuel and the reign of saints ; he foresaw 
and foretold them ; he established the ideal of 
them for ever. The movement and upshot of 
history has, in part, brought his immortal prophecy 
true already, and will unfold its accomplishment 
more and more. We do well to love the exalted 
belief that in nothing will the prophecy of this sub- 
lime seer finally fail, in nothing will it come short. 
At present, however, I do but give a summary of 
the historical situation which ought to be ever pre- 
sent to our minds in reading Isaiah. I will conclude 
the summary by saying that he lived on into the 
reign of Hezekiah's son Manasseh, and that he is 
said to have been put to death by Manasseh. One 
tradition attributes his death to offence given to 
the fanaticism of a narrow religiosity by his large 
and free language. Whether his death was caused 


by the hatred of a religious party, or by the hatred 
of that governing class which in former reigns he 
had so unsparingly assailed, we shall never know. 
A Puritan terror, an aristocratical terror, a Jacobin 
terror, — a great soul may easily become an object 
of fear and hatred to each and all of them. By 
any one of them he may easily perish. In one or 
the other of them, probably, Isaiah sank. 

The events and personages of the historical 
situation of which I have thus given the rapid 
summary should be as familiar to us, if we are 
ever rightly to enjoy Isaiah, as the events and 
personages of those passages of history with 
which we arc most conversant. 


The third requisite for a full enjoyment of 
Isaiah is to have the book so arranged that we 
can read his prophecies in their right order and 
in their right connexion. It is demonstrable that 
the book is not so arranged now ; and although 
in re-arranging it there is danger of being fantastic 
and rash, and many critics have succumbed to this 
danger, yet some re-arrangement is absolutely neces- 
sary, and, if made with sobriety, fairness, modera- 
tion, and caution, must be of signal benefit. 

Whoever has once acquainted himself with 
the history of the times during which Isaiah 
lived, must be struck with the close connexion 
in which his first thirty-nine chapters mostly 
stand with that history. They are called forth 
by it and turn upon it. The prophet announces 
judgments and blessings to come, he delineates 


an ideal future ; but the positive history with 
which he deals is the history passing before his 
eyes, — the names, actors, and events are those of 
that history. He does not profess to exhibit the 
positive history of future centuries. 

In the twenty -seven chapters which conclude 
the Book of Isaiah, and in certain chapters 
occurring amongst the first thirty-nine, this course 
of proceeding is changed. The names, actors, 
and events, are no longer contemporary with the 
prophet, like Ahaz, Hezekiah, the Assyrian inva- 
sion ; or else ideal creations like Immanuel. No, 
they are actual names and events of a time more 
than one hundred and fifty years after Isaiah's 
death, — Cyrus, the Medes and Persians, the fall 
of Babylon. Instead of insight profound indeed 
and most admirable, but still natural, we have 
supernatural prediction. 

People say : As a fact, supernatural predictions 
are not made, names of future actors in human 
affairs, details of future events, are not foreknown. 
And the conviction of this has led a great and 
ever-growing majority of serious critics to conclude 
that in our present Book of Isaiah the deliverances 
of two distinct prophets have got joined together ; 
— the deliverances of one prophet whose centre 
was Jerusalem, and who had before his eyes the 
events of the year 700 B.C. and of the half 
century preceding it, and of another prophet 
whose centre was Babylon, and who had before 
his eyes the events of a time one hundred and 
fifty years later. These critics have been led in 
the same way to attribute prophecies in the Book 


of Daniel, which were supposed to come from 
a Daniel livini^ at the time of the Babylonian 
Captivity, to a much later prophet. As a matter 
of fact, supernatural predictions are not, it is said, 
made. But the point on which I, for my part, de- 
sire to insist, is a different one. I do not now urge 
that supernatural predictions arc not, in fact, made, 
and that therefore we must separate the latter part of 
our Book of Isaiah from the earlier. What I urge is 
rather this : by separating the two prophets now 
joined together in our Book of Isaiah, and by 
letting each prophet deal with his own proper time, 
we enable ourselves to feel the Book not less deeply 
and fully, but more ; we increase our enjoyment of it. 
It is characteristic of the prophet whom we 
call Isaiah of Jerusalem to deal with the history 
passing before his eyes, and to show his insight 
by seizing that history's tendency and sure issue. 
His regards are on Jerusalem in the latter half of 
the eighth century before Christ ; as the regards 
of the prophet \\\\o follows him, in the last twenty- 
seven chapters of our Book of Isaiah, are on 
Babylon about a hundred and sixty years later. 
The younger prophet has several differences dis- 
tinguishing him from the older. The younger 
prophet has more copiousness, pathos, and unction 
than his predecessor ; he has less fire, energy, 
and concentration. He is much more general ; 
and he engages in outpourings, for which the stress 
of matter and of exposition allows his predecessor 
hardly any room. These are in themselves reasons 
for separating the two prophets and for reading 
each by himself. But a reason far more decisive 


is supplied by the incomparably greater effective- 
ness which each will be found to acquire when 
read in connexion with his own time. So incom- 
parably greater does the effectiveness of the elder 
prophet, in especial, become, when he is so read, 
that the reader who imagined himself to know 
Isaiah previously will be astonished and charmed ; 
he will feel that he now really knows him for the 
first time, so new will be his sense of this great 
prophet's beauty and power. 

In the last twenty-seven chapters of the Book 
of Isaiah we are in another world from the world 
of the first part. The centre, as I have already 
said, is Babylon, not Jerusalem ; the posture of 
events, the state of the world, is quite different. 
Above all, the prophet's ideal helper, saviour, and 
restorer, is different. With the original Isaiah, he 
is a prince of the house of David, a rod out of the 
stem of Jesse, a Branch of the Eternal beautiful and 
glorious; smiting the earth with the rod of his mouth, 
and with the breath of his lips slaying the wicked. 
With the prophet of the last twenty-seven chapters 
he is the Servant whom man despiseth, whom the 
people abhorreth, the servant of tyrants; who strives 
not, nor cries, nor causes his voice to be heard in 
the street. The ideal has been transformed. 

Now, to my mind it seems a more impressive 
thing, as it is certainly a more natural thing, that 
the later ideal should have developed itself, with 
the change of time and circumstances, out of the 
former, and should have come from a later prophet, 
than that both ideals should have proceeded from 
one and the same prophet. However, it may be 


contended, pursuant to the old fashion of explain- 
ing these things, that Isaiah in a preternatural 
way foresaw the state of the world a hundred and 
fifty years after his own death, and himself trans- 
formed his Messianic ideal accordingly. Religious 
people, for the most part, are agreed to say that 
they are edified by a belief of this sort ; for my 
part, I am simply bewildered by it. But still, on 
this supposition, the later matter is at least kept 
separate from the earlier, the two are not jumbled 
up together. At the end of the thirty-ninth 
chapter there is a pause, and then (though without 
one of those prefaces which the original Isaiah 
is accustomed in a transition of this kind to em- 
ploy) the Babylonian Isaiah begins. The march 
of the work, as regards order, is at least artistically 
natural, if wc admit this supposition. But who 
can suppose that a writer of Isaiah's genius, 
whether he had supernatural prevision or not, 
would ever have so perverted the march of his 
work, have so spoiled it artistically, as to thrust 
in suddenly, without any connexion at all, the 
thirteenth chapter and the chief part of the chapter 
following, about Babylon and the death of Bel- 
shazzar, in the midst of chapters relating entirely 
to Assyria and to a history nearly two hundred 
years before Belshazzar's ; and then again abruptly 
to return, towards the end of the fourteenth chapter, 
to Assyria and the history of the eighth century 
before Christ ? The supernatural itself is less 
bewildering than a supposition like this, and to 
read Isaiah in so perverse an arrangement greatly 
impairs one's enjoyment of him. 


But how, then, did the two or more prophets 
get joined together ? To understand this, we 
must keep in mind that the Book of Isaiah did 
not assume its present shape until the time of 
Ezra, two hundred and fifty years after the date 
of the original Isaiah, and nearly a hundred years 
after the fall of Babylon. Ezra edited the sacred 
books ; and even critics like Delitzsch, who claim 
unity of authorship for the whole Book of Isaiah, 
admit that there were interpolations in the books 
edited by Ezra. Now, in our Book of Isaiah 
itself there is one interpolation so remarkable, 
that Delitzsch singles it out and enlarges upon it. 
At the beginning of the thirty-sixth chapter it is 
said that " in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah 
Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all 
the defenced cities of Judah." But we know that 
Sennacherib's invasion took place in the year 
701 B.C., and that this year was not the fourteenth 
year of Hezekiah but the twenty-third or twenty- 
fourth. In the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth 
chapters comes the account of Hezekiah's sickness 
and of Merodach Baladan's embassy to him to 
congratulate him on his getting well. Now, the 
fourteenth year of Hezekiah is quite right as the 
year of Hezekiah's sickness, for his reign was 
twenty-nine years long, and he reigned fifteen 
years after his sickness. It is also quite admissible 
as the year of the embassy of Merodach Baladan, 
who at that time was in revolt against Sargon 
and in special need of Hezekiah's friendship. 
Therefore, while certainly the narrative in the 
thirty-sixth chapter, as this narrative stood origi- 


nally, cannot have begun with assigning for its 
events the date of the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, 
the narrative in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth 
chapters may perfectly well have begun in that 
manner, for this narrative relates events earlier by 
ten or twelve years than the events of the other. 
But Ilezekiah's sickness and Merodach Baladan's 
embassy were required by the arranger in Ezra's 
time to stand last, in order to form the transition 
to the Babylonian prophecies of the last part 
of the Book. The narratives, therefore, were 
transposed, and the date was transferred to the 
beginning of that narrative which now stood 
first, although for that narrative it is clearly 
inadmissible. Delitzsch himself receives this ex- 
planation of the erroneous date as necessarx- ; and 
it is evidence of an arra^io-e7ucn I of contents actually 
taking place, at the first authoritative editing of the 
Book of Isaiah, — an arrangement more or less 
plausible, but erroneous. 

Plausible it was, at a time when no man 
doubted but that a prophet was, above all, one 
who utters supernatural predictions, and when the 
rules of due sequence and ordinance for a work 
of genius might indeed move the maker of it 
himself, but were certainly not likcl}- to trouble 
his arrangers, Isaiah had left his sublime de- 
liverances to fructify in the minds of his disciples. 
One disciple, separated by three or four generations 
from the master, but living constantly with his 
prophecies and nourished upon his spirit, produced 
at the crisis of Babylon's fall a prophec}' of Israel's 
restoration as immortal as Isaiah's own. This 


disciple named not himself. Whether he intended 
his work to become joined with Isaiah's, and to 
pass among men with the authority of that great 
name, we cannot know. But his contemporaries 
joined the disciple's work with the master's, and 
by Ezra's time the conjunction was established. 

It was a conjunction which that age might 
readily make. The younger prophet, as I have 
before said, is without some of the qualities of the 
elder ; he is more given to generalities and to out- 
pouring. Above all, by his time it had become 
evident that the prince of the house of David, 
the royal and victorious Immanuel, whose birth 
Isaiah announced to be imminent, whose child- 
hood should witness the chastisement of Ephraim, 
whose youth the visitation of Judah, but who in 
his manhood should reign in righteousness over a 
restored and far-spreading kingdom of the chosen 
people, — that this Immanuel's date was put too 
soon, and that the characters assigned to him 
required, I will not say some change, but some 
addition. Isaiah himself, however, had given the 
sign and uttered the word on which, for this 
addition, the insight of his successor seized. " The 
jneek" Isaiah in his picture of the ideal future 
had said, " shall increase their joy in the Eternal, 
and the/^<?r among men shall rejoice in the Holy 
One of Israel."^ The word was here given. Pos- 
sessing himself of it, the disciple of Immanuel's 
prophet fixed the new ideal of the Servant, de- 
spised and rejected of men, but anointed and 
sent "to preach good tidings unto the meek."^ 

1 Isaiah, xxix, 19. " Ibid., Ixi, i. 


This stricken Sci-\'ant's work is the condition of the 
victorious Imnianucl's reign, and must precede it. 

The Jewish nation could not receive the trans- 
formed ideal. Jesus, Christianity, the destruction of 
Judaism, were necessary to its triumph. Neverthe- 
less the unknown prophet of the Babylonian Cap- 
tivity had announced it ; and there it henceforth 
stood, set up for ever. Mansiieti possidcbunt terrain. 

The Jewish nation, I say, could not receive the 
new ideal. Yet it could not but be profoundly 
stirred and transported by this ideal's unknown 
promulgator, although without truly comprehend- 
ing him. It could not but feel the spirit and 
power of Isaiah in his disciple. There was the same 
irresistible eloquence, the same elate emotion, the 
same puissance of faith and joy. Isaiah was his 
inspirer among the prophets, his parent source, his 
only equal. The conjunction of the disciple with 
the master easily followed. 

Besides this great prophecy of Israel's restoration 
after the fall of Babylon, other shorter prophecies 
of a similar date were in circulation. Whether 
they proceed from the same author as the great 
prophecy which fills the last twenty-seven chapters 
of the Book of Isaiah, cannot be determined with 
certainty. What is certain is, that even those 
which do not manifestly give their own date, yet 
lend themselves to the circumstances of the younger 
prophet's time better than to those of his prede- 
cessor's time ; that they do not suit, but mar, the 
plan of composition which appears to govern the 
original Isaiah's Book ; and that they have, besides, 
those characters of generality and of outpouring 


which mark, as has been already said, the disciple 
rather than the original Isaiah. We shall find 
that their effect is felt best if we read them as 
subsidiary to the great prophecy which ends the 
Book, and as, like that prophecy, the work of a 
prophet formed upon Isaiah, but living amid other 
events, and a century and a half later ; — a prophet 
whose centre was Babylon, and who may most 
fitly be called Isaiah of Babylon, as the original 
Isaiah, whose centre was Jerusalem, may be called 
Isaiah of Jerusalem. 

The shorter and isolated prophecies had, like 
the great prophecy of Israel's restoration which 
now ends our Book of Isaiah, the Isaian elo- 
quence, the Isaian spirit and power. They, too, 
associated themselves in men's minds and affec- 
tions with the original Isaiah's work, and the 
arrangers in Ezra's time finally incorporated them 
with it. But as these arrangers placed the great 
Babylonian prophecy at the end, where Merodach 
Baladan's embassy afforded a natural transition to 
it, so they placed the isolated prophecies in the 
connexion which they thought most natural for 
them. One division of the original Isaiah's pro- 
phecies consisted of Burdens, or oracular sentences 
of doom, pronounced against different nations. 
Among these burdens was placed the isolated 
prophecy having for its title The Burden of 
Babylon and celebrating the death of Belshazzar.^ 
Another division of prophecies consisted of Woes 
pronounced upon a number of nations ; and here 

1 Isaiah, xiii-xiv, 23. Chapter xxi, I-I2 is of lil<.e date, and its 
present place is due to the same cause. 


were inserted those other single prophecies of the 
Babylonian epoch for which insertion was desired, 
and which seemed to find here their own rubric 
and their most suitable place. 

Some change of arrangement, then, we find forced 
upon us by regard to possibility, to probability, to 
the genius and art of the author with whom we 
have to deal. We have to detach from Isaiah of 
Jerusalem the great prophecy of restoration which 
fills the last twenty-seven chapters. We have to 
disengage from him, and to read in connexion 
with the restoration prophecy, several shorter single 
prophecies which are intermingled with Isaiah's 
prophecies in the first thirty-nine chapters. To 
these shorter prophecies we may give names from 
their subject-matter. Taken in the order in w^hich 
they now stand in our Bibles, these prophecies are 
as follows : — The King of Babylon (xiii-xiv, 23) ; 
The First Vision of Babylon's Fall (xxi, i-io) ; 
Early Days of Return (xxiv-xxvii) ; Edoin and 
Israel (xxxiv, xxxv). Read where they at present 
stand, these prophecies interrupt the natural and 
impressive march of Isaiah's work, throw the 
attentive reader out, confuse and obstruct our 
understanding and our enjoyment. Removing 
them from the j^lace where they now stand, and 
reading them in another connexion, we are 
enabled to enjoy much more these prophecies 
themselves, and to enjoy much more, also, the 
original Isaiah thus disengaged from them. 

Re-arrangement to this extent may be called 
necessary. One's first impulse naturally is to re- 
ceive a book as it comes to us, and from all un- 


settlement of it one is averse. But we have to 
get over this natural conservatism in the present 
case, because so much more embarrassment to our 
understanding is created, so much more check given 
to our full enjoyment of Isaiah, by rejecting all 
re-arrangement than by accepting it. Mr. Cheyne, 
who was formerly inclined to follow Ewald in all 
his temerities, but who in his recent edition of 
Isaiah shows a moderation which, like his learning, 
deserves cordial acknowledgment, — Mr. Cheyne 
seems now disposed to leave The King of Babylon 
and TJie First Vision in the connexion where in 
our Bibles they stand. He still sees that prophets 
do not supernaturally mention names and incidents 
posterior to their own time. He knows that if 
Isaiah of Jerusalem wrote The King of Babylon 
and TJie First Vision, then the subject of these 
prophecies cannot be Belshazzar and the tak- 
ing of Babylon by Cyrus. He is disposed to 
think, however, that the prophecies may possibly 
relate to the rising, in Sargon's time, of Merodach 
Baladan against Assyria, and that they may be 
left, therefore, to stand with the contemporary 
prophecies of Isaiah. But a greater shock is 
given to our sense of probability and possi- 
bility, our enjoyment is more spoiled, by having 
to dissociate the exhortation to Elam and Media 
from the Medo-Persian troops of Cyrus and to 
.think it fortuitous, b}^ having to dissociate the 
splendid " proverb against the king of Babylon " 
from the epoch-making death of Belshazzar, and 
to connect it with some unknown incident of an 
obscure struggle, than by taking the two prophecies 



away from Isaiah and attributing them to a 
younger prophet. So, too, with Edom and Israel 
and with Early Days of Return. Some disturb- 
ance and shock is given to our feehngs by meddHng 
with the traditional arrangement, and by removing 
these prophecies from the place where they stand 
now. But nevertheless much more is gained than 
lost by doing it. They suit the history of the 
sixth century before Christ so much better than 
that of the eighth, they are so much less effective 
where they stand now than in connexion with 
Babylon's fall and the conquests of Cyrus, their 
very generality, which makes it not impossible to 
assign them to the eighth century, is so alien to 
the method of the original Isaiah, — that the balance 
of effect, the balance of satisfaction, the balance of 
enjoyment, is decisively in favour of removing them. 
But tradition ought to go for something, and 
we should respect it where wc can. If, in order 
to enjoy fully a great work, it is necessary, on the 
one hand, to have our sense of order and possi- 
bility satisfied, so also is it necessary for our 
enjoyment, on the other hand, that we should 
read our text with some sense of security. We 
are so constituted by nature that our enjoyment 
of a text greatly depends upon our having such a 
sense of security. This law of our nature Ewald 
totally disregards. No one can read Ewald's 
Isaiah with a sense of security. Ewald was a 
man of genius. He deeply felt Isaiah's grandeur 
himself, and he admirably helps us to feel it deeply 
too. But he was violent and arbitrary. He freely 
alters the text, striking things out when they do not 


suit him, and inserting things of his own where he 
thinks they will be an improvement. Above all, 
he re-arranges the Book of Isaiah from one end 
to the other, and literally turns it, as the saying 
is, inside out. He is supremely confident in his 
own perception and judgment. He will tell you 
how many different prophets we hear speaking in 
the Burden of Moab, how many they are, and of 
what date each of them is, and exactly where each 
of them leaves off and the other begins. Like 
other critics of his school, like the professors of 
the so-called higher criticism generally, after pro- 
ducing reasonings which do really prove that a 
thing might have been so and so, he then jumps 
straight to the conclusion that they prove that 
so and so it must have been. Often and often one 
feels Ewald to be brilliant, ingenious, impassioned, 
profound, but not in the least convincing ; and 
one reads his Isaiah with a disturbed and uneasy 
sense of its being a fantastic Isaiah ; one reads it 
without security. This is, as I have already said, 
a great drawback upon one's pleasure. It is a 
drawback to which the solid English reader is 
specially sensible ; and the solid English reader, I 
think, is right. But whether he is right or not, 
the drawback is strongly felt. Lowth's rashness 
in emendation has prevented his great services in 
the promotion of a better understanding of Isaiah 
from being widely useful. Lowth was a bishop 
of the Church of England, a Hebraist, and a man 
of fine taste and accomplishments. He had the 
qualifications and the authority requisite for pro- 
pagating in England a truer understanding of 


Isaiah, but one cannot say tliat he has done it. 
He failed to do it because of the hberties he 
allowed himself to take with his author. Lovers 
of their Bible desire, in reading their Isaiah, to 
read him with a sense of security. 

All meddling with the letter itselr of the text 
is, in my opinion, undesirable. The case is one 
where the feeling that liberty is taken with the 
text does more damage than any amendment of 
the text can do good. There has been suggested 
a brilliant emendation for a passage in the 
twenty-third chapter : to read, at the thirteenth 
verse, " Behold the land of the Canaanites" instead 
of " Behold the land of the C/ialdeaJis." I would 
resist the temptation of making it. A tolerable 
sense can be got out of the reading Chaldeans, and 
when once we begin to change the text for the 
sake of bettering, as we think, the sense, where 
are we to stop ? Again, in an important passage 
of the seventh chapter, the text, as it stands, has 
something embarrassing. " For the head of Syria 
is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin ; 
and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim 
be broken, that it be not a people ; and the head 
of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria 
is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely 
ye shall not be established."^ Ewald urges that 
the words " And within threescore and five years 
shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people," 
arc superfluous, and that afterwards one expects 
the words, " But the head of Judah is Jerusalem, 
and the head of Jerusalem is Jehovah ;" and he 

^ Isaiah, vii, 8, 9. 


boldly omits the former sentence and inserts the 
latter. Other editors who do not follow the 
example of his boldness so far as to insert the 
new words of Ewald's own invention, yet go so 
far with him as to strike out the words which he 
condemns as superfluous. But it is better, I think, 
to get out of the existing text what meaning can 
be got out of it, than to create the sense of inse- 
curity which comes when the reader perceives the 
text to be treated with licence. 

The same respect for existing facts, the same 
dread of the fantastic, which should govern us in 
dealing with the actual text of the prophecies of 
Isaiah, should govern us, also, in dealing with 
their re-arrangement. Some re-arrangement there 
must be ; — this, I think, has been proved and must 
be admitted. The balance of enjoyment in read- 
ing these prophecies, even the balance of security 
in reading them, is in favour of it. But the 
existing fact goes, after all, for something. The 
Book of Isaiah comes to us in an arrangement 
which it has had ever since Ezra's time. Probably 
the Book must before Ezra's time have already 
had its present arrangement in great part, since 
that is the most natural reason which we can 
suppose for Ezra's adopting it. Portions engaged 
with the names and events of a history long pos- 
terior to that history, with which Isaiah was engaged, 
we are compelled to think an appendage to the 
original Book, or insertions in it. But that which 
remains, when these portions are removed, is the 
original Book of Isaiah. At all events, it is safest 
for us now to treat it as such. We do well, when 


\vc pass to the body of prophecies concerned with 
the very history with which Isaiah was engaged, to 
take the text as it stands, the arrangement as it 
stands, the history as its stands. Some critics sup- 
pose an invasion of Judaea by Sargon of which liis- 
tory tells us nothing ; others transfer the opening 
chapter to the middle of the Book, because the 
history with which the second and following chap- 
ters deal seems anterior to the history implied in 
the first chapter. Sargon may have invaded Judaea ; 
the first chapter may have originally stood in the 
middle of the Book. But it is not necessary to our 
adequate understanding of the Book to admit either 
conjecture, while to adapt the Book to such conjec- 
tures is fatal to all secure enjoyment of it. We make 
it something fantastic, and it loses power over us. 

Until we come to the thirty-sixth chapter, at 
any rate, there is no difficulty in receiving the 
arrangement of the original Isaiah's prophecies 
mainly as it now stands. It is evident that they 
were uttered at different times. But we shall read 
them most naturally and witli most satisfaction, if 
wc conceive them to have been collected in their pre- 
sent arrangement by Isaiah himself in his old age, 
and at the moment when his influence was highest, 
shortly after the discomfiture of Sennacherib. 

The Book falls into several groups or divi- 
sions, — divisions quite independent, of course, 
of the actual distribution into chapters, which 
comes to us not from Jewish antiquity at all, 
but from the Catholic Middle Age. The first 
chapter, however, is one of the real divisions into 
which the Book falls. It is a Prelude, an intro- 


ductoiy piece opening the way and striking the 
tone for all which follows, and establishing the 
point of view from which Isaiah, about the }-car 
700 B.C., wished the series of his prophecies to be 
read and the history of the preceding half century 
to be regarded. Then comes a division to which 
we may give for title one of the headings here 
employed by our Bibles : Calamities coining upon 
Judah. This prophecy (occupying chapters ii-v 
in our Bibles) belongs to the time of Jotham and 
of Isaiah's early career, when Jewish society was 
to outward view still prosperous. What follows 
next, the Vision, is exactly the sixth chapter in 
our version, as the Prelude is exactly the first. 
The Vision dates from a yet earlier time than the 
prophecy in Jotham's reign, and marks the outset of 
Isaiah's public career, his call to deal with the state 
of things declared in the prophecy preceding. After 
the Vision comes a group of prophecies to which 
we may most fitly give the great name of Ininiannel. 
Occupying chapters vii-xii in our Bibles, they 
date from the reign of Ahaz and from the invasion 
of Judah by the kings of Syria and Israel ; they 
set forth Isaiah's view of this crisis, and of the 
future to follow it. After Ininianucl comes a 
division of prophecies best designated by Isaiah's 
own term, the Burdens ; — a series of oracular sen- 
tences of doom upon the nations engaged in making 
the history which the prophet had before his eyes. 
Here, as has been already said, the Burden of 
Babylon was in Ezra's time inserted. The original 
Burdens of our Isaiah begin with the twenty-fourth 
verse of the fourteenth chapter, and with a sentence 
of doom upon Assyria. They extend through 


the nine chapters which in our Bibles follow, but 
an insertion has to be disengaged from them : the 
Burden of tJic Desert of the Sea, or first vision of 
the fall of Babylon, in chapter xxi.^ Between 
the Burdens and the succeeding division of i^ro- 
phecies, the Woes, comes an insertion" conceived in 
the spirit of these divisions, but with far greater 
generalit)', and pointing, so far as amidst this 
generality we can at all make out clearly the 
times and events indicated, to a later era, — the era 
of Cyrus. The Woes (this title again, like that of 
the Burdens, is supplied by a dominating phrase 
of Isaiah's own using) — the Woes, of which the 
purport is sufficiently explained by the name, 
extend from the beginning of our twenty-eighth 
chapter to the end of our thirty-third. They are 
followed by another insertion,'^ of like character 
with the insertion which introduces them, and 
which should, like that, be separated from them. 
This insertion occupies two chapters, the thirty- 
fourth and thirty-fifth. 

For the division which follows, the natural title 
is SennacJierib, since that personage is the main 
subject of it. This division contains one of 
Isaiah's noblest prophecies, which, together with 
the history accompanying it, is repeated in the 
Book of Kings with but slight variation. I have 
already noticed the demonstrable error of date 
which occurs at the outset. Undoubtedly Isaiah 
never assigned Sennacherib's invasion of Judah to 
the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah. We have 
seen how this error was probably caused, and that 

^ Verses i-io. '^ Named by me Early Days of Return. 

^ Named by me Edom and Israel. 


it shows later arrangers to have been busy with 
this part of the book. Shall we, with Ewald and 
others, retain of this division only Isaiah's famous 
prophecy in answer to the threatenings of Senna- 
cherib, and put aside the rest altogether ? We 
know, indeed, from the Book of Chronicles that 
Isaiah wrote history, and the historical style of 
the division in question is worthy of him. On 
the other hand, it is difficult to conceive so great 
a master of effect concluding such a whole as that 
which he had formed out of the combined series 
of prophecies hitherto enumerated, with a mixed 
division such as Seimacherib. It is difficult ; and 
moreover, in order to admit it, we must further 
suppose that Isaiah finally arranged his Book of 
prophecies, not about 700 B.C., w^ien he was 
seventy years old, but after the death of Senna- 
cherib in 680 B.C., when Isaiah was ninety. For 
the murder of Sennacherib by his sons is mentioned 
in the thirty-seventh chapter. To suppose all this 
is to suppose things by no means likely ; and their 
improbability, joined to the error in date at the 
outset, may well make us regard with suspicion 
Isaiah's authorship of this division as a whole. 
Still it is not absolutely impossible that this part 
too should be his ; that at ninety years of age he 
should have arranged his prophecies with this 
Sennacherib to conclude them, and that the error 
of date at the beginning, together wath a trans- 
position of the matters recorded, should afterwards 
have crept in. There Sennacherib now stands in 
the Book of Isaiah, and it is not absolutely 
impossible that Isaiah should have himself put it 
there. At any rate we have no more fitting place 


to which wc may move it. It belongs to his time, 
it deals with the men and events of his age and 
not with those of the age of Babylon's fall. It is 
best to accept it provisionally where it stands, and 
to let it conclude the Book of the original Isaiah. 
With the fortieth chapter we pass to another age 
and world from his, and to prophecies which will 
not be attributed to him b)- an}- one who has been 
enabled to understand rightly the original Isaiah 
and his line of prophecy. 

Thus, then, I have attempted to answer as 
clearly and fairly as I could my own question : 
How may we best enjoy Isaiah ? Let me end by 
summing up the results reached. 

First, we must respect, not in profession only, 
Ijut in deed and in truth, the wording and rhythm 
of the old version. Such change as the change 
of, " Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, 
the mighty One of Israel," ^ into " Therefore this 
is the utterance of the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, 
the Hero of Israel," is not to be thought of In 
passages of this kind, indeed, the old version needs 
no change at all. Often it needs change, but no 
great change. " Before the child shall know to 
refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that 
thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings."- 
This is intelligible, but it departs too far from the 
original. It deserves, however, no such total sub- 
version as that which Mr. Cheyne inflicts : " Before 
the boy shall know how to reject the evil and 
choose the good, deserted shall the land become, 

^ Isaiah, i, 24. ^ Ibid., vii, 16. 


at the two kings whereof thou art horribly afraid." 
Sometimes the old version is not even intelh'gible. 
" Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered 
and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning 
hitherto ; a nation meted out and trodden down, 
whose land the rivers have spoiled." ^ Or again, 
in a more celebrated passage : " Nevertheless the 
dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, 
when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of 
Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward 
did more grievously afflict her by the way of the 
sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations." ^ 
Passages like these miss at present the right sense 
of the original entirely, and they must be recon- 
structed so far as to enable them to give it. But 
even this reconstruction may be effected without 
loss of the present fine rhythm and fine diction of 
these passages, and must be so effected, if Isaiah 
is to be enjoyed. 

Secondly, we must know the historical situation 
which Isaiah had before him to deal with, and we 
must keep it present to our minds. By so doing 
we shall much increase our enjoyment of this 
greatest of the prophets. 

And our sense of that situation, and of Isaiah's 
own powerful and characteristic line of prophecy, 
will be greatly enhanced if, thirdly, we separate 
from the Book of Isaiah one large work now 
appended to it, and several short works now mixed 
up with it ; and if we then, disregarding the 
division into chapters, read what remains as one 
combined whole, made up of seven successive pieces, 

^ Isaiah, xviii, 2. - Ibid., ix, I. 


as follows : Prelude, Calamities fo7' J udah, Vision, 
IiHDiainiel, The Burdens, The Woes, Sennaeherib. 

To publish their Isaiah with this arrangement 
is not possible for the company of revisers, how- 
ever successful may be their translation of him. 
And therefore I have thought that the present 
volume might be useful. It may be objected that 
to correct the translation of Isaiah a skilled Hebraist 
is required, and that I am not a skilled Hebraist. 
Certainly I am not. Ikit the meaning of Isaiah 
has so long been the object of the most minute and 
attentive investigation by skilled Hebraists, that 
what is required for a work like the present is not 
so much that its author should himself be a great 
Hebraist capable of making fresh discoveries of 
his own ; it is rather that he should be Hebraist 
enough, and at the same time critic enough, to 
follow intelligently the researches of great Heb- 
raists, and to judge and choose among the results 
reached by them. This, to the best of my power, 
I have done. I have also sought to exhibit Isaiah 
in that arrangement which seems desirable, and 
with the historical elucidations which I consider 
indispensable. The reader will find that the in- 
terpretation finally adopted for any passage is, if 
necessary, explained, but is not compared with 
other rival interpretations, — is not discussed or 
defended. The reason is, that my paramount 
object here is to get Isaiah enjoyed ; and the 
right way to get a great author enjoyed is to 
raise not as much discussion as possible over his 
meaning, but as little as possible. 



1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he 
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days 
of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of 

2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth ! for 
the Lord hath spoken : — " I have nourislied and 
brought up children, and they have rebelled 
against me. 

3 " The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his 
master's crib : but Israel doth not know, my 
people doth not consider." 

4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, 
a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters : 
they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked 
the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone 
away backward. 

5 Why should ye be stricken any more ? ye will 
revolt more and more : the whole head is sick, 
and the whole heart faint. 

6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head 


there is no soundness in it ; but wounds, and 
bruises, and putrefying sores : they have not been 
pressed, neither bound up, neither moUificd with 

7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned 
with fire : your land, strangers devour it in }'our 
presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown b\' 

8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage 
in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, 
as a besieged city. 

9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a 
very small remnant, w^e should have been as 
Sodom, and we should have been like unto Go- 

10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of 
Sodom ! give ear unto the law of our God, ye 
people of Gomorrah ! 

11 To what purpose is the multitude of your 
sacrifices unto me ? saith the LORD : I am full of 
the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed 
beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, 
or of lambs, or of he goats. 

12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath 
required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 

13 Bring no more vain oblations ; incense is an 
abomination unto me ; the new moons and sab- 
baths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away 
with ; it is iniquit)^, even the solemn meeting. 

14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts 
my soul hateth : they are a trouble unto me ; I 
am weary to bear them. 

I, 15. PRELUDE. 47 

15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will 
hide mine eyes from you : yea, when ye make 
many prayers, I will not hear : your hands are 
full of blood. 

16 Wash you, make you clean ; put away the 
evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; cease 
to do evil ; 

17 Learn to do well ; seek judgment, correct the 
oppressor, judge the fatherless, plead for the 

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith 
the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they 
shall be as white as snow ; though they be red 
like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the 
good of the land : 

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured 
with the sword : for the mouth of the LORD hath 
spoken it. 

21 How is the faithful city become an harlot ! it 
was full of judgment ; righteousness lodged in it ; 
but now murderers. 

22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed 
with water : 

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of 
thieves : every one loveth gifts, and followeth after 
rewards : they judge not the fatherless, neither 
doth the cause of the widow come unto them. 

24 Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, 
the mighty One of Israel : — " Ah, I will ease me 
of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine 
enemies : 


25 " And T will turn my hand upon thee, and 
purely purge away thy dross, and take away all 
thine alloy : 

26 "And I will restore thy judges as at the first, 
and thy counscllcrs as at the beginning : afterward 
thou shalt be called. The city of righteousness, 
the faithful city." 

27 Zion shall be redeemed through judgment, 
and her converts through righteousness. 

28 And the destruction of the transgressors and 
of the sinners shall be together, and they that 
forsake the LoRD shall be consumed. 

29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which 
ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for 
the gardens that ye have chosen. 

30 For )'e shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, 
and as a garden that hath no water. 

31 And the strong shall be as tow, and his work 
as a spark, and they shall both burn together, 
and none shall quench them. 




1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw con- 
cerning- Judah and Jerusalem. 

2 " And it shall come to pass in the last days, 
that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be 
established in the top of the mountains, and shall 
be exalted above the hills ; and all nations shall 
flow unto it. 

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

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


5 O HOUSE of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk 
in the light of the LoRD ! 

6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the 
house of Jacob, because they be replenished from 
the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, 
and they please themselves in the children of 


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

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

9 And the mean man bowcth down, and the 
great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive 
them not ! 

10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the 
dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of 
his majesty ! 

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

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be 
upon every thing that is proud and lofty, and 
upon every thing that is lifted up ; and it shall 
be brought low : 

13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are 
high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of 

14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon 
all the hills that are lifted up, 

15 And upon every high tower, and upon every 
fenced wall, 

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

17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, 
and the haughtiness of men shall be made low : 
and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that da}\ 


18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish. 

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

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

21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into 
the crevices of the crags, for fear of the LORD, and 
for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to 
shake terribly the earth. 

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

1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth 
take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the 
stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and 
the whole stay of water, 

2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the 
judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the 

3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, 
and the counseller, and the cunning artificer, and 
the master of the spell. 

4 And I will give children to be their princes, 
and babes shall rule over them. 

5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one 
by another, and every one by his neighbour : the 
child shall behave himself proudly against the 
ancient, and the base against the honourable. 

6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of 
the house of his father, saying. Thou hast clothing. 


be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy 
hand : 

7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not 
be an healer ; for in my house is neither bread 
nor clothing : make me not a ruler of the people. 

8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen : 
because their tongue and their doings are against 
the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 

9 The shew of their countenance doth witness 
against them ; and they declare their sin as Sodom, 
they hide it not. Woe unto their soul ! for they 
have rewarded evil unto themselves. 

10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well 
with him : for they shall eat the fruit of their 

11 Woe unto the wicked ! it shall be ill with him : 
for the reward of his hands shall be given him. 

12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, 
and women rule over them. O my people, they 
which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the 
way of thy paths. 

13 The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth 
to judge the people, 

14 The Lord will enter Into judgment with the 
ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: 
for ye have eaten up the vine}'ard ; the spoil of 
the poor is in your houses. 

15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to 
pieces, and grind the faces of the poor ? saith the 
Lord God of hosts. 

16 Moreover the Lord saith : — 

Because the daughters of Zion are haught}', 


and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton 
eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making 
a tinkling with their feet : 

17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the 
crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and 
the Lord will discover their secret parts. 

iS In that day the Lord will take away the 
bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their 
feet, and their headbands, and their round tires 
like the moon, 

19 The earrings, and the bracelets, and the muf- 

20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, 
and the girdles, and the scent -bottles, and the 

21 The rings, and nose-jewels, 

22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the 
mantles, and the wimples, and the pockets, 

23 The looking-glasses, and the fine linen, and 
the hoods, and the vails. 

24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet 
smell there shall be stink ; and instead of a girdle 
a rent ; and instead of well set hair baldness ; and 
instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth ; and 
branding instead of beauty. 

25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty 
in the war, 

26 And her gates shall lament and mourn ; and 
she being desolate shall sit upon the ground, 

I And in that day seven women shall take hold 
of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, 
and wear our own apparel : only let us be called 
by thy name, to take away our reproach ! 


2 In that day shall the Branch of the LORD be 
beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land 
shall be excellent and comely for them that are 
escaped of Israel. 

3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left 
in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall 
be called holy, even every one that is written 
among the living in Jerusalem ; 

4 When the Lord shall have washed away the 
filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged 
the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by 
the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 

5 And the Lord will create upon every dwelling 
place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a 
cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a 
flaming fire by night : for upon all the glory shall 
be a defence. 

6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow 
in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of 
refuge, and for a covert from storm and from 

1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of 
my beloved touching his vineyard. ]\Iy wellbe- 
loved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill : 

2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones 
thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and 
built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a 
winepress therein : and he looked that it should 
bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild 

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men 


of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my 

4 What could have been done more to my vine- 
yard, that I liave not done in it ? wherefore, when 
I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought 
it forth wild grapes ? 

5 And now go to ; I will tell you what I will do 
to my vineyard : I will take away the hedge 
thereof, and it shall be eaten up ; and break 
down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden 
down : 

6 And I will lay it waste : it shall not be pruned, 
nor digged ; but there shall come up briers and 
thorns : I will also command the clouds that they 
rain no rain upon it. 

7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the 
house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant 
plant : and he looked for judgment, but behold 
oppression ; for righteousness, but behold a cr}-. 

8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that 
lay field to field, till there be no place, that they 
may be placed alone in the midst of the earth ! 

9 In mine ears saith the Lord of hosts, Of a 
truth many houses shall be desolate, even great 
and fair, without inhabitant. 

10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, 
and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. 

11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morn- 
ing, that they m.ay follow strong drink ; that con- 
tinue until night, till wine inflame them ! 

12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and 
pipe, and wine, are in their feasts : but they regard 


not the work of the LoRD, neither consider the 
operation of his hands. 

,^ Therefore my people are gone into captivity, 
because they have no knowledge : and their hon- 
ourable men are famished, and their multitude 
dried up with thirst. 

14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and 
opened her mouth without measure : and their 
glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and 
he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 

iq And the mean man shall be brought down, and 
the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes 
of the lofty shall be humbled : 

16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in 
judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified 
in righteousness. 

17 Then shall the ^ambs feed after their manner, 
and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers 

iS Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords 
of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope : 

ig That say. Let him make speed, and hasten his 
work, that we may see it : and let the counsel of 
the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that 
wc may know it ! 

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good 
evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for 
darkness ; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for 
bitter ! 

21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own e}'es, 
and prudent in their own sight ! 

22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, 
and men of strength to mingle strong drink : 


23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take 
away the righteousness of the righteous from him ! 

24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and 
the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall 
be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as 
dust : because they have cast away the law of the 
Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy 
One of Israel. 

25 Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled 
against his people, and he hath stretched forth his 
hand against them, and hath smitten them : and 
the hills do tremble, and their carcases are as dung 
in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger 
is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. 

26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations 
from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of 
the earth : and, behold, they shall come with 
speed swiftly. 

27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them ; 
none shall slumber nor sleep ; neither shall the 
girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of 
their shoes be broken : 

28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows 
bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, 
and their wheels like a whirlwind : 

29 Their roaring shall be like a Hon, they shall 
roar like young lions : yea, they shall roar, and 
lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, 
and none shall deliver it. 

30 And in that day there shall be roaring over it 
like the roaring of the sea : and if one look unto 
the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the 
light is darkened in the heavens thereof. 



1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the 
Lord sitting upon a throne, high and hfted up, 

2 and his train filled the temple. Above it stood 
the seraphims : each one had six wings ; with 
twain he covered his face, and with twain he 

3 covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And 
one cried unto another, and said : — 

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts : the 
whole earth is full of his glory. 

4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice 
of him that cried, and the house was filled with 
smoke. Then said I : — 

5 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. 

6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, 
having a live coal in his hand, which he had 

7 taken with the tongs from off the altar : and he 
laid it upon my mouth, and said : — 

Lo, this hath touched thy lips ; and thine ini- 
quity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? 

VI, 9- VISION. 59 

9 Then said I, Here am I ; send me. And he 
said : — 

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

10 Make the heart of this people gross, 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 

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he ans- 
wered : — 

Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, 
and the houses without man, and the land be 
utterly desolate, 

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

13 Even if yet in it shall be a tenth, it shall return, 
and shall be consumed : but as a terebinth tree, 
and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when 
they are cut down, so the substance thereof shall 
be a holy seed. 




1 And it came to pass in the da}-s of Ahaz the son 
of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that 
Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of 
Remahah, king of Israel, went up toward Jeru- 
salem to war against it, but could not prevail 

2 against it. And it was told the house of David, 
saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And 
his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, 
as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 

3 Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now 
to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shear-jashub ^ thy son, at 
the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the 

4 highway of the fuller's field ; and say unto him: — 

Take heed, and be quiet ; fear not, neither be 
fainthearted for the two tails of these smokins[- 
firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, 
and of the son of Remaliah. 

5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Rema- 
liah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 

6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and 
let us make a breach therein for us, and set a 
king in the midst of it, e\cn the son of Tabeal — 

7 Thus said the Lord GOD : It shall not stand, 
neither shall it come to pass. 

8 Eor the head of Syria is Damascus, and the 
head of Damascus is Rezin ; and within three- 

^ " The remnant shall return."' 


score and five years shall Ephraim be broken, 
that it be not a people, 
9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the 
head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will 
not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 

10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, 

11 saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God ; 
ask it either in the depth or in the height above. 

12 But Ahaz said: I will not ask, neither will I tempt 

13 the Lord. And he said : — 

Hear ye now, O house of David ; Is it a small 
thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my 
God also ? 

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a 
sign ; Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear 
a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 

15 Milk-curd and honey shall he eat, when he shall 
know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 

16 For before the child shall know to refuse the 
evil, and choose the good, the land shall be 
forsaken, whose two kings make thee afraid. 

17 The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon 
thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that 
have not come, from the day that Ephraim 
departed from Judah ; even the king of Assyria. 

18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the 
Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the utter- 
most part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee 
that is in the land of Assyria. 

19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them 
in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the 
rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. 


20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a 
rasor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the 
river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the 
hair of the legs : and it shall also consume the 

21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a 
man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep ; 

22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance 
of milk that they shall give he shall cat curds : 
for milk-curd and honey shall every one cat that 
is left in the land. 

23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that 
every place shall be, where there were a thousand 
vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for 
briers and thorns. 

24 With arrows and with bows shall men come 
thither ; because all the land shall become briers 
and thorns. 

25 And on all hills that are digged with the 
mattock, thou shalt not come thither for fear of 
briers and thorns : but it shall be for the sending 
forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle. 

8 I Moreover the Lord said unto me. Take thee 
a great tablet, and write in it with pen of the 
people concerning Spoil -speedeth- prey -hasteth.^ 

2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, 
Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jcber- 

3 cchiah. And I went unto the prophetess ; and 
she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the 
Lord to me : — 

Call his name " Spoil-spccdcth-prcy-hasteth." 

I I\Iaher-shalal-hash-baz. 


4 For before the child shall have knowledge to 
cry, My father, and my mother ! the riches of 
Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken 
away before the king of Assyria. 

5 The Lord spake also unto me again, saying : — 

6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters 
of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rczin and 
Remaliah's son ; 

7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up 
upon them the waters of the river, strong and 
many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory : 
and he shall come up over all his channels, and 
go over all his banks. 

8 And he shall pass through Judah ; he shall 
overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the 
neck ; and the stretching out of his wings shall 
fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel ! 

9 Associate yourselves, O ye peoples, and ye 
shall be broken in pieces ; and give ear, all of ye 
of far countries : gird yourselves, and ye shall be 
broken in pieces ; gird yourselves, and ye shall be 
broken in pieces ! 

10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to 
nought ; speak the word, and it shall not stand : 
for "God-is-with-us!"^ 

11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong 
hand, and instructed me that I should not walk 
in the way of this people, saying : — 

12 " Say ye not, A confederacy ! wheresoever this 

^ Immanuel. 

64 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. viii, 13. 

people shall say, A confederacy ! neither fear ye 
their fear, nor be afraid. 

13 " Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself ; and let 
him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 

14 "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a 
stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to 
both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare 
to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 

15 " And many among them shall stumble, and 
fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 

" Bind up the testimony, seal the law among 

16 my disciples !" — 

17 And T will wait upon the Lord, that hideth 
his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look 
for him. 

18 Behold, I, and the children whom the LORD hath 
given me, are for signs and for tokens in Israel from 
the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion ! 

19 And when they shall say unto you. Seek unto 
them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards 
that chir]), and that mutter — should not a people 
seek unto their God ? for the living should they 
seek unto the dead ? 

20 " To the law and to the testimony !" — if they 
speak not according to this word, it is because for 
them there is no light of dawn. 

21 And they shall pass along, hardly bestead and 
hungry : and it shall come to pass, that when 
they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, 
and curse their king and their God ; and shall 
look upward, 

22 And sliall look unto the earth ; and behold 


trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish ! and 
they shall be driven to darkness. 

1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not remain 
unto that which was vexed : as aforetime did 
come shame unto the land of Zebulun and the land 
of Naphtali, so afterward cometh honour ; to the 
way of the sea, beyond Jordan, the border of the 

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen 
a great light : they that dwell in the land of the 
shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 

3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast 
increased the joy : they joy before thee according 
to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when 
they divide the spoil. 

4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, 
and the staff of his shoulder, the staff of his 
oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 

5 For all the trampling of the warrior with con- 
fused noise, and the war-cloak rolled in blood — 
they shall be for burning and fuel of fire. 

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is 
given : and the government shall be upon his 
shoulder : and his name shall be called Wonderful 
Counseller, IMighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince 
of Peace. 

7 Of the increase of his government and peace 
there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, 
and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to estab- 
lish it with judgment and with righteousness from 
henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD 
of hosts will perform this. 



8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath 
lighted upon Israel. 

9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim 
and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in their 
pride and stoutness of heart : 

10 " The bricks are fallen down, but we will build 
with hewn stones : the sycomores are cut down, 
but we will change them into cedars '' — 

11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the over- 
throwers of Rezin against them, and join their 
enemies together ; 

12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind ; 
and they shall devour Lsracl with open mouth. 
For all this his anger is not turned away, but his 
hand is stretched out still. 

13 For the people turncth not unto him that 
smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of 

14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Lsrael 
head and tail, palm -branch and rush, in one 

\^ The ancient and honourable, he is the head ; 
and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to 
err ; and they that are led of them are destroyed. 

17 Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their 
young men, neither shall have mercy on their father- 
less and widows : for every one is an hypocrite and 
an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For 
all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand 
is stretched out still. 

18 For wickedness burnetii as the fire : it shall 

IX, 19- IM MANUEL. 67 

devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in 
the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up 
like the lifting up of smoke, 

19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the 
land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel 
of the fire : no man shall spare his brother. 

20 And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be 
hungry ; and he shall eat on the left hand, and 
they shall not be satisfied : they shall eat every 
man the flesh of his own arm : 

21 Manasseh, Ephraim ; and E]3hraim, Manasseh: 
and they together shall be against Judah. For all 
this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is 
stretched out still. 

10 I Woe unto them that decree unrighteous 
decrees, and that write grievousness which they 
have prescribed ; 

2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and 
to take away the right from the poor of my 
people, that widows may be their prey, and that 
they may rob the fatherless ! 

3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, 
and in the desolation which shall come from far ? 
to whom will ye flee for help ? and where will ye 
leave your glory ? 

4 Without me they shall bow down among the 
prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For 
all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand 
is stretched out still. 

5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the 
staff in mine hand for mine indignation ! 

6 I send him against an hypocritical nation, and 


against the pu»)[jlc of my wrath do I give him a 

charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, 

and to tread them down Hke the mire of the 

7 Ilowbcit he meancth not so, neither doth his 

heart think so ; but it is in his heart to destroy 

and cut off nations not a few. 
S For he saith : " Are not my princes altogether 

kings ? 
9 " Is not Calno as Carchemish ? is not Hamath 

as Arpad ? is not Samaria as Damascus ? 

" As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the 

iJols — and whose graven images did excel them 

of Jerusalem and of Samaria — 

" Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and 

her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?" 

Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the 

Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount 

Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of 

the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the 

glory of his high looks. 

13 For he saith : " By the strength of my hand I 
have done it, and by my wisdom ; for I am 
prudent : and I have removed the bounds of the 
people, and have robbed their treasures, and I 
have put down the inhabitants like a valiant 
man : 

14 " And my hand hath found as a nest the riches 
of the people : and as one gathereth eggs that are 
left, have I gathered all the earth ; and there was 
none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, 
or chirped." 

15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that 


1 1 


X, 1 6. IMMANUEL. 69 

heweth therewith ? or shall the saw magnify itself 
asrainst him that shaketh it? as if the rod did 
shake itself against them that lift it, or as if the 
staff did lift that which is no wood ! 

16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send 
among his fat ones Jeanness ; and under his glory 
he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 

17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and 
his Holy One for a flame : and it shall burn and 
devour his thorns and his briers in one day ; 

iS And shall consume the glory of his forest, and 
of his fruitful field, both soul and body : and they 
shall be as when a sick man fainteth. 

19 And the remainder of the trees of his forest 
shall be few, that a child may write them. 

20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the 
remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the 
house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon 
him that smote them ; but shall stay upon the 
Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. 

21 "The-remnant-shall-return,"^ even the rem- 
nant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. 

22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of 
the sea, only a remnant of them shall return: a con- 
sumption is decreed, flooding in with righteousness. 

23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a 
consumption, even determined, in the midst of all 
the earth. 

24 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts : 
O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid 
of the Assyrian, when he shall smite thee with a 

1 Shear-jashub. 


rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after 
the manner of Eg)'pt. 

25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation 
shall cease, and mine anger shall be for their 

26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge 
for him according to the slaughter of Midian at 
the rock of Orcb: and as his rod was upon the sea, 
so shall he lift it up after the manner of Eg}'pt. 

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his 
burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, 
and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall 
break because of the fatness. 

2S He is come to Aiath, he is passed to jMigron ! 
at IMichmash he hath laid up his carriages : 

29 They are gone ov^er the passage : they have 
taken up their lodging at Gcba; Ramah is afraid; 
Gibeah of Saul is fled. 

30 Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim : cause 
it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth ! 

31 Madmenah is removed ; the inhabitants of 
Gebim gather their stuff to flee. 

32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day : he 
shall shake his hand against the mount of the 
daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. 

33 Behold ! the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop 
the bough with terror : and the high ones of 
stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty 
shall be humbled. 

34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest 
with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty 


11 I And there shall come forth a rod out of the 
stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his 
roots : 

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon 
him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the 
spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge 
and of the fear of the LORD ; 

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in 
the fear of the LORD : and he shall not judge 
after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after 
the hearing of his ears : 

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, 
and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: 
and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his 
mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay 
the wicked. 

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his 
loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. 

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and 
the leopard shall lie down with the kid ; and the 
calf and the young lion and the fatling together ; 
and a little child shall lead them. 

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed ; their 
young ones shall lie down together : and the lion 
shall eat straw like the ox. 

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole 
of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his 
hand on the cockatrice' den. 

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my 
holy mountain : for the earth shall be full of the 
knowledge of the LoRD, as the waters cover the 


10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, 
which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; to 
it shall the Gentiles seek : and his rest shall be 

11 And it shall come to pass in that da}-, that 
the Lord shall set his hand again the second time 
to recover the remnant of his people, which shall 
be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from 
Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elani, and 
from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the 
islands of the sea. 

12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, 
and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and 
gather together the dispersed of Judah from the 
four corners of the earth. 

13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and 
the adverse ones of Judah shall be cut off : Ephraim 
shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex 

14 Rut they shall fly upon the shoulders of the 
Philistines toward the west ; they shall spoil them 
of the east together : they shall lay their hand 
upon Edom and Moab ; and the children of 
Amnion shall obey them. 

15 And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue 
of the Egyptian sea ; and with his mighty wind 
shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall 
smite it into seven streams, and make men go over 
dry shod. 

16 And there shall be an highway for the rem- 
nant of his people, which shall be left, from 
Assyria ; like as it was to Lsrael in the day that 
he came up out of the land of Egypt. 


12 I And in that day thou shalt say : O LORD, I 
will praise thee ! though thou wast angry with 
me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfort- 
est me. 

2 Behold, God is my salvation ; I will trust, and 
not be afraid : for the LORD JEHOVAH is my 
strength and my song ; he also is become my 

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of 
the wells of salvation. 

4 And in that day shall ye say : Praise the 
Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings 
among the peoples, make mention that his name 
is exalted. 

5 Sing unto the LORD ; for he hath done ex- 
cellent things : this is known in all the earth. 

6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion ! 
for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst 
of thee. 



(xiv, 24-xxiii.) 

14 24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying : Surely as 
I have thought, so it shall come to pass ; and as 
I have purposed, so shall it stand : 

25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, 
and upon my mountains tread him under foot : 
then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his 
burden depart from off their shoulders. 

26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the 
whole earth : and this is the hand that is stretched 
out upon all the nations. 

27 For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and 
who shall disannul it ? and his hand is stretched 
out, and who shall turn it back? 

28 In the year that King Ahaz died was this 
burden : — 

29 Give not thyself wholly to joy, Philistia, 
because the rod of him that smote thee is broken ! 
for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a 
cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying 

30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and 
the needy shall lie down in safety : and I will 
kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy 

31 Howl, O gate ; cry, O city ; Philistia, thou art 
wholly dissolved ! for there comcth from the 


north a smoke, and none is away from his fellow 
in his ranks. 
32 What shall one then answer the messengers of 
the nations ? — That the LORD hath founded Zion, 
and it is a refuge unto the poor of his people. 

15 I The burden of Moab : — 

Because in a night Ar of Moab is laid waste, 
and brought to silence ! because in a night Kir 
of Moab is laid waste and brought to silence ! 

2 He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the 
high places, to weep ! Moab shall howl upon 
Nebo, and upon Medeba : on all their heads shall 
be baldness, and every beard cut off. 

3 In their streets they shall gird themselves with 
sackcloth : on the tops of their houses, and in 
their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abun- 

4 And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh : their 
voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz : therefore 
the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out ; his life 
shall be grievous unto him. 

5 My heart doth cry out for Moab ! his fugitives 
shall flee unto Zoar, the heifer of three years old : 
for by the mounting up of Luhith, with weeping 
shall they go it up ; for in the way of Horonaim 
they shall raise up a cry of destruction. 

6 For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate : 
for the grass is withered away, the herb faileth, 
there is no green thing. 

7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, 
and that which they have laid up, shall they carry 
away over the brook of the willows. 


8 For the cry is gone round about the borders 
of I\Ioab ; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and 
the howHng thereof unto Beer-ehm. 

9 I'^or the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood : 
for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him 
that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of 
the land. 

16 I Send yc 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 hini that wan- 

4 " Let Moab's outcasts dwell with thee ! 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 there shall sit upon it in truth, in the taber- 
nacle of David, one judging, and seeking judg- 
ment, and hasting righteousness." 

6 — We have heard of the pride of Moab ; he 
is very proud : even of his haughtiness, and his 
pride, and his wrath : but his lies shall not be so. 

7 Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every 
one shall howl : for the foundations of Kir-hare- 
seth shall ye mourn ; surely they are stricken. 

8 For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the 
vine of Sibmah : the lords of the heathen have 


broken down the principal plants thereof, that 
came even unto Jazer, that wandered through the 
wilderness : her branches were stretched out, they 
were gone over the sea. 

9 Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of 
Jazer the vine of Sibmah : I will water thee with 
my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh ! for the shout- 
ing for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is 

10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of 
the plentiful field ; and in the vineyards there 
shall be no singing, neither shall there be shout- 
ing : the treaders shall tread out no wine in their 
presses ; I have made their vintage shouting to 

IT Wherefore my bowels do sound like an harp 
for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kir-haresh. 

12 And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that 
Moab wearieth himself on the high place, and 
cometh to his sanctuary to pray, he shall not 

13 This is the word that the LORD hath spoken 

14 concerning Moab in the former time. But now 
the Lord hath spoken, saying : — 

Within three years, as the years of an hireling, 
and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with 
all that great multitude ; and the remnant shall 
be very small and feeble. 

17 I The burden of Damascus : — 

Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a 
city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. 


2 The cities of Arocr are forsaken : they shall 
be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall 
make them afraid. 

3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, 
and the kingdom from Damascus ; and the 
remnant of Syria shall be as the glory of the 
children of Israel, saith the Lord of hosts. 

4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the 
glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness 
of his flesh shall wax lean. 

5 And it shall be as when the harvestman 
gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his 
arm ; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in 
the valley of Rephaim. 

6 Yet gleanings shall be left in it, as at the 
shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in 
the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in 
the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the 
Lord God of Israel. 

7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, 
and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One 
of Israel. 

8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work 
of his hands ; neither shall respect that which his 
fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. 

9 In that day shall his strong cities be as the 
ruins in the thickets and in the heights, which 
they left because of the children of Israel : and 
there shall be desolation. 

10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy 
salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock 
of thy strength, therefore thou hast planted a 
pleasant planting, and hast set it with strange slips; 


11 In the day thou madest thy plant to grow, 
and in the morning thou madest thy seed to 
flourish : but the harvest shall be a heap for the 
day of wounding and of desperate sorrow, 

12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which 
make a noise like the noise of the seas ; and to 
the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like 
the rushing of mighty waters ! 

13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of 
many waters : but God shall rebuke them, and 
they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the 
chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like 
a rolling thing before the whirlwind. 

14 And behold at eveningtide trouble ; and before 
the morning he is not ! This is the portion of 
them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob 

18 I Woe for the land buzzing with wings, which 
is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia ; 

2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in 
vessels of bulrushes upon the waters ! Go, ye 
swift messengers, to the nation long-shanked and 
smooth, to the people terrible from their beginning 
hitherto ; the nation of great might and victorious, 
whose land the rivers divide. 

3 i\ll ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers 
on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign 
on the mountains ! and when he bloweth a 
trumpet, hear ye ! 

4 For so the LORD said unto me : I will take my 
rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like 

8o ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xviii, 5. 

a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew 
in the heat of harvest. 

5 For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, 
and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he 
shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, 
and take awa}' and cut down the branches. 

6 They shall be left together unto the fowls of 
the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth : 
and the fowl shall summer upon them, and all 
the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them. 

7 In that time shall the present be brought unto 
the Lord of hosts of a people long-shanked and 
smooth, and from a people terrible from their 
beginning hitherto ; a nation of great might and 
victorious, whose land the rivers divide, to the 
place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the 
mount Zion. 

19 1 The burden of Eg}'pt : — 

Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, 
and shall come into Egypt : and the idols of 
Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the 
heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. 
\ And I will set the Egyptians against the 
Egyptians ; and they shall fight every one against 
his brother, and every one against his neighbour : 
city against cit)-, and kingdom against kingdom. 

3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst 
thereof ; and I will destroy the counsel thereof : 
and they shall seek to the idols, and to the 
charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, 
and to the wizards. 

4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the 


hand of a cruel lord ; and a fierce king shall rule 
over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, 

5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and 
the river shall be wasted and dried up. 

6 The river-streams shall become stinking, the 
channels of Egypt shall be emptied and dried up: 
the reeds and flags shall wither. 

7 The meadow -flats by the stream, by the 
mouths of the stream, and every seed-field by the 
stream, shall wither, be driven away, and be no 

8 The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that 
cast angle into the stream shall lament, and they 
that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. 

9 Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they 
that weave cotton, shall be confounded. 

10 And the foundations of the land shall be 
broken ; all that labour for hire shall be troubled 
at heart. 

11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the 
counsel of the wise counsellers of Pharaoh is 
become brutish ! how say ye unto Pharaoh, " I 
am the son of the wise, the son of ancient 
kings " ? 

12 Where are they? where are thy wise men? 
and let them tell thee now, and let them know 
what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon 

13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the 
princes of Noph are deceived ; they have also 
seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the 
tribes thereof. 

14 The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in 



the midst thereof: and the}' have caused Kg)-pt 
to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man 
staggereth in his vomit. 

15 Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, 
which the head with the tail, the palm-branch with 
the rush, may do. 

16 In that day shall Egypt be like unto women : 
and it shall be afraid and fear because of the 
shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which 
he shakcth over it. 

17 And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto 
Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof 
shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel 
of the Lord of hosts, which he hath determined 
against Egypt. 

18 In that day shall five cities in the land of 
Eg)-pt speak the language of Canaan, and swear 
to the Lord of hosts ; one shall be called " The 
city of destruction of idols." 

19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD 
in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at 

' the border thereof to the LORD. 

20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness 
unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt : for 
they shall cry unto the LORD because of the 
oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and 
a great one, and he shall deliver them. 

21 And the Lord shall be known to Egj-pt, and 
the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, 
and shall do sacrifice and oblation ; yea, they shall 
vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. 

22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt : he slial! 
smite and heal it : and they shall return even 


to the Lord, and he shall be intreated of them, 
and shall heal them. 

23 In that day shall there be a highway out of 
Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come 
into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and 
the Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians. 

24 In that day shall Israel be the third with 
Eg}'pt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the 
midst of the earth, 

25 Wherewith the LORD of hosts shall bless, 
saying : Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria 
the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. 

20 I In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod 
(when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him — the 

2 same fought against Ashdod, and took it), at the 
same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of 
Amoz, saying : — 

Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, 
and put off thy shoe from thy foot. 

And he did so, walkuig naked and barefoot. 

3 And the LORD said : — 

Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked 
and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder 
upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia ; 

4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the 
Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, 
young and old, naked and barefoot, even with 
their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. 

5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethi- 
opia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory, 

6 And the inhabitant of this coast shall say in 


that day: Behold, so farcth it with our hope, whither 
wc fled for help to be delivered from the king of 
Assyria ; and how shall we escape ? 

21 II The burden of Dumah : — 

One callcth to me out of Scir : Watchman, 
what of the night ? Watchman, what of the 
night ? 

12 The watchman said : The morning comcth, and 
also the night ; if ye will inquire, inquire ye : 
return, come ! 

13 The burden upon Arabia : — 

In the desert in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye 
travelling companies of Dedanim ! 

14 The inhabitants of the land of Tema brought 
water to him that was thirsty, they prevented 
with their bread him that fled. 

15 For they fled from the swords, from the drawn 
sword, and from the bent bow, and from the 
grievousness of war. 

16 For thus hath the Lord said unto me : Within 
a year, according to the years of an hireling, and 
all the glory of Kedar shall fail ; 

17 And the residue of the number of archers, the 
mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be 
diminished : for the Lord God of Israel hath 
spoken it. 

22 I The burden of the valley of vision : — 

What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly 
gone up to the housetops ? 
2 Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city. 


a joyous city ! thy slain men are not slain with 
the sword, nor dead in battle. 

3 All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound 
— and no bow-shot ! all that are found in thee 
are bound together, while that they hasted to flee 

4 Therefore said I : Look away from me ; I will 
weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because 
of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. 

5 For it is a day of trouble, and of treading 
down, and of perplexity, by the Lord GOD of 
hosts in the valley of vision, of breaking down the 
walls, and of crying to the mountains. 

6 And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of 
men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the 

7 And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest 
valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen 
shall set themselves in array at the gate. 

8 And he withdraweth the covering of Judah, 
and thou hast looked in that day to the armour 
of the House of the Forest ; 

9 Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of 
David, that they are many : and ye gathered 
together the waters of the lower pool ; 

10 And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, 
and the houses have ye broken down to fortify 
the wall ; 

11 Ye make also a ditch between the two walls 
for the water of the old pool ; — but ye have not 
looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect 
unto him that fashioned it long ago. 

12 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts 

86 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxil, 13. 

call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, 
and to girding with sackcloth : 

13 And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, 
and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine ; 
let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die ! 

14 And it was revealed in mine cars by the LORD 
of hosts : Surely this iniquity shall not be purged 
from you till yc die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. 

15 Thus saith the Lord Gou of hosts : — 

Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto 
Shebna, w'hich is over the house, and say : 

16 What hast thou here ? and whom hast thou 
here ? that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre 
here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on 
high, and that graveth an habitation for himself 
in a rock ? 

17 ]3ehold, the LORD will carry thee away with a 
mighty captivity, and will surely grasp thee. 

18 He will surely violently turn thee and toss thee 
like a ball into a large country : there shalt thou 

■ die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be, 
thou shame of thy lord's house ! 

19 And I will drive thcc from thy station, and 
from thy state shall he pull thee down. 

20 And it shall come to pass in that da}-, that I 
will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah : 

21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and 
strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit 
thy government into his hand : and he shall be a 
father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the 
house of Judah. 

22 And the key of the house of David will I lay 


upon his shoulder ; so he shall open, and none 
shall shut ; and he shall shut, and none shall 

23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place ; 
and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's 

24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory 
of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, 
all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of 
cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. 

25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the 
nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, 
and be cut down, and fall ; and the burden that 
was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath 
spoken it. 

23 I The burden of Tyre : — 

Howl, ye ships of Tarshish ! for it is laid 
w^aste, so that there is no house, no entering 
in : from the land of Chittim it is revealed to 

2 Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle ! thou whom 
the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, 
have replenished. 

3 And by great waters the seed of Nile, the 
harvest of the river, was her revenue ; and she 
was a mart of nations. 

4 Be thou ashamed, O Zidon ! for the sea hath 
spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying : I 
travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I 
nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins. 

5 When that the report cometh unto Egypt, then 
shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. 

88 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxiil, 6. 

6 Pass ye over to Tarshish ; howl, j-e inhabitants 
of the isle ! 

7 Is this your jo}'ous city, whose antiquity is of 
ancient days ? whose feet did carry her afar off to 
sojourn ? 

S Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, 
the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, 
whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth ? 

9 The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain 
the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt 
all the honourable of the earth. 

10 Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter 
of Tarshish : there is no more band ! 

11 He stretched out his hand over the sea, he 
shook the kingdoms : the LORD hath given a 
commandment against Canaan, to destroy the 
strongholds thereof. 

12 And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O 
thou humbled virgin, daughter of Zidon ! arise, 
pass over to Chittim ; there also shalt thou have 
no rest. 

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! this people 
is not, the Assyrian hath made it to be for beasts 
that dwell in the wilderness : they did set up the 
towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; 
and he brought it to ruin. 

14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish ! for your strength 
is laid waste. 

15 And it shall come to j^ass in that day, that 
T}-rc shall be forgotten seventy }'ears, according to 
the days of one king ; after the end of seventy 
years shall Tyre sing as an harlot : — 


16 " Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot 
that hast been forgotten ; make sweet melody, sing 
many songs, that thou mayest be remembered !" 

17 And it shall come to pass after the end of 
seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and 
she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit for- 
nication with all the kingdoms of the world upon 
the face of the earth. 

18 And her merchandise and her hire shall be 
holiness to the LORD : it shall not be treasured 
nor laid up ; for her merchandise shall be for 
them that dwell before the LORD, to eat suffi- 
ciently, and for seemly clothing. 

90 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxviii, i. 



28 I \\'0E to the crown of pride of the drunkards 
of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading 
flower, which is on the head of the fat valleys of 
them that are overcome with wine ! 

2 ]khold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong 
one, which, as a tempest of hail and a destroying 
storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, 
shall cast down to the earth with the strong 

3 The crown of pride of the drunkards of 
Ephraim shall be trodden under feet. 

4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head 
of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as 
the hasty fruit before the summer ; which when 
he that lookcth upon it seeth, while it is yet in his 
hand he eateth it up. 

5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a 
crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto 
the residue of his people, 

6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that 
sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that 
turn back the battle at the gate. 

7 But these, also, have erred through wine, and 
through strong drink are out of the way ; the 
priest and the prophet have erred through strong 
drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out 


of the way through strong drink ; they err in 
vision, they stumble in judgment. 

8 For all tables arc full of vomit and filthiness, 
so that there is no place clean. 

9 " Whom will he teach knowledge ? and whom 
will he make to understand doctrine ? them that 
are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the 
breasts ? 

10 " For precept must be upon precept, precept 
upon precept; line upon line, line upon line ; here 
a little, and there a little." 

11 Yea, with stammering lips and another tongue 
will he speak to this people ! 

12 To whom he said : This is the rest wherewith 
ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the 
refreshing ; yet they would not hear. 

13 But the word of the LoRD was unto them 
precept upon precept, precept upon precept ; line 
upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a 
little ; that they might go, and fall backward, and 
be broken, and snared, and taken. 

14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye 
scornful men, that rule this people which is in 
Jerusalem ! 

15 Because ye have said. We have made a cove- 
nant with death, and with hell are we at agreement ; 
when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, 
it shall not come unto us : for we have made lies 
our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid 
ourselves : 

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD : Behold, I 
lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone. 

92 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM, xxvili, 17. 

a precious corner stone, a sure foundation : he that 
believeth shall not take flight. 

17 Judgment also will I lay for a line, and 
righteousness for a plummet : and the hail shall 
sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall 
overflow the hiding place. 

iS And your covenant with death shall be dis- 
annulled, and }-our agreement with hell shall not 
stand ; when the overflowing scourge shall pass 
through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. 

19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take 
you : for morning by morning shall it pass over, 
by day and by night : and it shall be a vexation 
only to understand the report. 

20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can 
stretch himself on it : and the covering narrower 
than that he can wrap himself in it. 

21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount 
Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of 
Gibeon ; that he may do his work, his strange 
work ; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 

22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your 
bands be made strong : for I have heard from the 
Lord God of hosts a consumption, even deter- 
mined upon the whole earth. 

23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice ; hearken, 
and hear my speech ! 

24 Is the plowman plowing alway to sow ? is he 
opening and breaking the clods of his ground ? 

25 When he hath made plain the face thereof, 
doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter 
the cummin, and cast in wheat in rows, and the 


barley in its appointed place and the rie on the 
border thereof. 

26 For his God doth instruct him to discretion, 
and doth teach him. 

27 For the fitches are not threshed with a thresh- 
ing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned 
about upon the cummin ; but the fitches are beaten 
out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. 

28 Bread corn is threshed ; howbeit he will not 
ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel 
of his cart, nor bruise it with his horses. 

29 This also cometh forth from the LORD of 
hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent 
in working-. 


29 I Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David 
dwelt ! Add ye year to year ; let them kill the 
sacrifices ; 

2 Then I will distress Ariel, and there shall be 
heaviness and sorrow — and then it shall be unto 
me as Ariel. 

3 For I~will camp against thee round about, and 
will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I 
will raise forts against thee. 

4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt 
speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be 
low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of 
a ghost, out of the ground, and thy speech shall 
whisper out of the dust. 

5 And then the multitude of thine enemies shall 
be made like small dust, and the multitude of the 
terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away : 
yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. 


6 Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts 
with thunder, and with earthquake, and great 
noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of 
devouring fire. 

7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight 
against Ariel, even all that fight against her and 
her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a 
dream of a night vision. 

8 It shall even be as when an hungry man 
dreameth, and, behold, he eateth ; but he awaketh, 
and his soul is empty ! or as when a thirsty man 
dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh ; but he awaketh, 
and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appe- 
tite ! so shall the multitude of all the nations be, 
that fight against mount Zion. 

9 Stand ye still, and wonder ! blind ye your 
eyes, and grow blind ! They are drunken, but 
not with wine ; they stagger, but not with strong 

10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the 
spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes, 
the prophets ; and your rulers, the seers, hath he 

11 And the vision of all this is become unto you 
as the words of a book that is sealed, which men 
deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I 
pray thee : and he saith, I cannot ; for it is sealed : 

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not 
learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee : and he 
saith, I am not learned. 

13 h^or thus hath the Lord said : Forasmuch as 
this people draw near me with their mouth, and 

XXIX, 14. THE WOES. 95 

with their lips do honour me, but have removed 
their heart far from me, and their fear toward mc 
is taught by the precept of men ; 

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a 
marvellous work among this people, even a mar- 
vellous work and a wonder ; for the wisdom of 
their wise men shall perish, and the understanding 
of their prudent men shall disappear. 

15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their 
counsel from the LORD, and their works are in 
the dark, and they say, Who seeth us ? and who 
knoweth us ? 

16 Surely ye are perverse ! is the potter like as 
the clay, for the work to say of him that made 
it, He made me not ? or for the thing framed 
to say of him that framed it, He had no under- 
standing ? 

17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon 
shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruit- 
ful field shall be esteemed as a forest ? 

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words 
of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see 
out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the 
Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in 
the Holy One of Israel. 

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and 
the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for 
iniquity are cut off: 

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and 
lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, 
and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. 

96 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxix, 22. 

22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed 
Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob : Jacob 
shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face 
now wax pale. 

23 But when he and his children see the work 
of mine hands in the midst of him, they shall 
sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of 
Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. 

24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to 
understanding, and they that murmured shall 
learn doctrine. 

30 I Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, 
that take counsel, but not of me ; and that weave 
a confederacy, but not by my spirit, that they 
may add sin to sin : 

2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have 
not asked at my mouth ; to strengthen themselves 
in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the 
shadow of Egypt ! 

3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be 
your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt 
your confusion. 

4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassa- 
dors came to Hanes. 

5 They were all ashamed of a people that could 
not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a 
shame, and also a reproach. 

6 The burden of the beasts of the south: — 
" Through the land of trouble and anguish, from 

whence come the young and old lion, the viper 
and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches 

XXX, 7. THE WOES. 97 

upon the shoulders of young asses, and their 
treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people 
that shall not profit them. 

7 " For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to 
no purpose ; therefore have T cried concerning 
this : Proud Rahab is Shabeth sit-still !" 

8 Now go, write it before them in a tablet, and 
note it in a book, that it may be for the time to 
come for ever and ever. 

9 For this is a rebellious people, lying children, 
children that will not hear the law of the LORD : 

10 Which say to the seers, See not ! and to the 
prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak 
unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits, 

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the 
path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from 
before us ! 

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel : 
Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppres- 
sion and perverseness, and stay thereon ; 

13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a 
breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, 
whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant. 

14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the 
potters' vessel that is broken in pieces ; he shall 
not spare : so that there shall not be found in the 
bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, 
or to take water withal out of the pit. 

£5 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One 
of Israel : In returning and rest shall ye be saved ; 
in quietness and in confidence shall be your 
strength : and ye would not. 

16 But ye said. No ; for we will fly upon horses ; 



therefore shall ye flee : and, We will ride upon the 
swift ; therefore shall they that pursue }-ou be 

17 One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one ; 
at the rebuke of five shall ye flee : till ye be left 
as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as 
an ensign on an hill. 

18 And therefore will the Lord wait before he 
be gracious unto you, and therefore will he delay 
before he have mercy upon you : for the Lord is 
a God of judgment : blessed are all they that 
wait for him ! 

19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jeru- 
salem : thou shalt weep no more ! he will be very 
gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry ; when 
he shall hear it, he will answer thee. 

20 And though the Lord give you the bread of 
adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not 

• thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, 
but thine eyes shall see thy teachers : 

21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, 
saying, " This is the way, walk ye in it," when ye 
turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. 

22 Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven 
images of silver, and the ornament of th\- molten 
images of gold : thou shalt cast them away as a 
defiled cloth ; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee 

23 Then shall he give rain for thy seed, that thou 
sowest the ground withal ; and bread of the 
increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and 

XXX, 24. THE WOES. 99 

plenteous : in that day shall thy cattle feed in 
large pastures. 

24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that 
ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which 
hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the 

25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, 
and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of 
waters in the day of the great slaughter, when 
the towers fall. 

26 Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as 
the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall 
be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the 
day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his 
people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. 

27 Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from 
far, burning with his anger, and the burden there- 
of is heavy : his lips are full of indignation, and 
his tongue as a devouring fire, 

28 And his breath as an overflowing stream reach- 
ing to the midst of the neck, to winnow the nations 
with the fan of destruction : and there shall be a 
bridle in the jaws of the peoples causing them to err. 

29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night when the 
holy solemnity is kept ; and gladness of heart, as 
when one goeth with a pipe to come into the moun- 
tain of the Lord, to the mighty One of Israel. 

30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to 
be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his 
arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with 
the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and 
tempest, and hailstones. 

loo ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxx, 31. 

31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the 
Assyrian be beaten down, when the LORD shall 
smite with a rod. 

32 And every stroke of the staff of judgment, 
which the LORD shall lay upon him, it shall be 
with tabrets and harps : and in battles of his 
brandished arm will he fight against him. 

33 For Tophet is ordained of old ; yea, for the 
king it is prepared ; he hath made it deep and 
large : the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the 
breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, 
doth kindle it. 

31 I Woe to them that go down to Egypt for 
help ; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, 
because they are many ; and in horsemen, be- 
cause they are very strong ; but they look not 
unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the 
Lord ! 

2 Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and 
will not call back his words : but will arise against 
the house of the evildoers, and against the help of 
them that work iniquity. 

3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God ; 
and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the 
Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that 
helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall 
down, and they all shall fail together, 

4 For thus hath tlic Lord spoken unto mc : Like 
as the lion and the young lion growling over his 
prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth 
aeainst him, he will not be afraid of their voice, 
nor abase himself for the noise of them : so shall 

XXXI, 5- THE WOES. loi 

the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount 
Zion, and for the hill thereof 

5 As birds flying round, so will the LORD of 
hosts defend Jerusalem ; defending also he will 
deliver it ; and passing over he will preserve it. 

6 Turn ye unto him from whom the children of 
Israel have deeply revolted ! 

7 For in that day every man shall cast away his 
idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your 
own hands have made unto you for a sin. 

8 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, 
not of a mighty man ; and the sword, not of a 
mean man, shall devour him : but he shall flee 
from the sword, and his young men shall be for 

9 And his rock, it shall pass away for fear, and 
his princes shall flee from their ensign, saith the 
Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in 

32 I Behold, the king shall reign in righteousness, 
and princes shall rule in judgment ; 

2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from 
the wind, and a covert from the tempest ; as 
rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a 
great rock in a weary land, 

3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be 
dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. 

4 The heart also of the rash shall understand 
knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers 
shall be ready to speak plainly. 

5 The vile person shall be no more called noble, 
nor the worker of mischief said to be worthy. 


6 For the vile person doth speak villainy, and 
his heart doth work iniquity, to practise h}'pocrisy, 
and to utter error against the LORD, to make 
empty the soul of the hungry, and he doth cause 
the drink of the thirsty to fail. 

7 The instruments also of the worker of mischief 
are evil : he deviseth wicked devices to destroy 
the poor with lying words, even when the needy 
speaketh right. 

8 But the noble deviseth noble things ; and 
staunch to noble things shall he stand. 

9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease ; hear my 
voice, ye careless daughters ; give ear unto my 
speech ! 

10 A year and a day, and ye shall be troubled, ye 
careless women ! for the vintage shall fail, the 
gathering shall not come. 

11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease ; be 
troubled, ye careless ones : strip you, and make 
you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins ! 

12 They shall beat the breast for the pleasant 
fields, for the fruitful vine. 

13 Upon the land of my people shall come up 
thorns and briers ; yea, upon all the houses of 
joy in the joyous city : 

14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken ; the 
uproar of the city shall be desolate ; the hill and 
tower shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild 
asses, a pasture of flocks ; 

15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on 
high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and 
the fruitful field be counted for a forest 

XXXII, 1 6. THE WOES. 103 

16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, 
and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 

17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace ; 
and the effect of righteousness quietness and 
assurance for ever. 

18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable 
habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet 
resting places. 

' 19 And it shall hail, and the forest shall be 
brought down ; and the city shall be low, in a low 
20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that 
send abroad the feet of the ox and the ass ! 

33 I Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not 
spoiled ; and dealest injuriously, and they dealt 
not injuriously with thee ! when thou shalt cease 
to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled ; and when thou 
shalt make an end to deal injuriously, they shall 
deal injuriously with thee. 

2 O Lord, be gracious unto us ; we have waited 
for thee ! be thou their arm every morning, our 
salvation also in the time of trouble ! 

3 At the noise of the tumult the peoples fled ; 
at the lifting up of thyself the nations were 

4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the 
gathering of the caterpillar : as the running to 
and fro of locusts shall men run upon them. 

5 The Lord is exalted ; for he dwelleth on 
high : he hath filled Zion with judgment and 

6 And the stability of thy times shall be wisdom. 

104 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxxiii, 7. 

and knowledge, and strength of salvation : the 
fear of the LORD is their treasure. 

7 Behold, their valiant ones cry without : the 
ambassadors of peace weep bitterl}^ 

S The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man 
ceaseth : he hath broken the covenant, he hath 
despised the cities, he regardeth no man. 

9 The land mourneth and languisheth : Lebanon 
is ashamed and hewn down : Sharon is like a 
wilderness ; and Bashan and Carmel shake off 
their leaves. 

10 Now will I rise, saith the Lord ; now will I 
be exalted ; now will I lift up myself 

11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth 
stubble : your breath, as fire, shall devour you. 

12 And the peoples shall be as the burnings of 
lime : as thorns cut up shall they be burned in 
the fire. 

13 Hear, ye that arc far off, what I have done ! 
and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might ! 

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid ; fcarfulness 
hath surprised the hypocrites. " Who among us 
shall dwell with the devouring fire ? who among- 
us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?" 

15 Me that walketh righteously, and speaketh 
uprightly ; he that despiseth the gain of oppres- 
sions, that averteth his hands from holdin<T of 
bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of 
blood, and shutteth his e}-es from seeing evil — 

16 He shall dwell on high : his place of defence 
shall be the munitions of rocks : bread shall be 
given him ; his waters shall be sure. 

XXXIII, 17. THE WOES. 105 

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty : 

they shall behold the land spreading very far 

iS Thine heart shall meditate the terror. Where 

is the assessor ? where is the weigher ? where is 

he that counted the towers ? 

19 Thou seest no more the fierce people, the 
people of a dark speech that thou canst not 
perceive, of a stammering tongue that thou canst 
not understand. 

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities ! 
thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, 
a tabernacle that shall not be taken down ; not 
one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, 
neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. 

21 But there the glorious LORD wall dwell with 
us : a place of broad rivers and streams, wherein 
shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant 
ship pass thereby. 

22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our 
lawgiver, the LORD is our king ; he will save us. 

23 Thy tacklings are loosed ; they hold not firm 
their mast, they keep not spread the sail ! — but 
then is the prey of a great spoil divided ; the 
lame take the prey. 

24 And the inhabitant shall not say, " I am sick ! " 
the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven 
their iniquity. 

io6 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM. xxxvi, i. 



36 I Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of 
king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria 
came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, 

2 and took them. And the king of Assyria sent 
Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king 
Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by 
the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of 

3 the fuller's field. Then came forth unto him 
Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, 
and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the 

4 recorder. And Rabshakeh said unto them : Say 
ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, 
the king of Assyria, What confidence is this 

5 wherein thou trustest ? I say, sayest thou (but 
they are but vain words), I have counsel and 
strength for war : now on whom dost thou trust, 

6 that thou rebellest against me ? Lo, thou trustest 
in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon 
if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce 
it : so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust 

7 in him. But if thou say to me, Wc trust in the 
Lord our God : is it not he, whose high places 
and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and 
said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship 

8 before this altar ? Now therefore strike a bargain, 
I pray thee, with my master the king of Assyria, 
and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou 


9 be able on thy part to set riders upon them. How 
then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain 
of the least of my master's servants, and put thy 
trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen ? 

10 And am I now come up without the LORD against 
this land to destroy it ? the LORD said unto me, 
Go up against this land, and destroy it. 

11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto 
Rabshakeh : Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants 
in the Syrian language, for we understand it ; 
and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the 

12 ears of the people that are on the wall. But 
Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy 
master and to thee to speak these words ? hath he 
not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, 
that they may eat their own dung, and drink their 
own piss with you ? 

13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud 
voice in the Jews' language, and said : Hear ye 
the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 

14 Thus saith the king. Let not Hezekiah deceive 
you : for he shall not be able to deliver you. 

15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, 
saying, the LORD will surely deliver us ; this city 
shall not be delivered into the hand of the king 

16 of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah ; for thus 
saith the king of Assyria : Make an agreement with 
me by a present, and come out to me ; and eat 
ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig 
tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his 

17 own cistern ; until I come and take you away to 
a land hke your own land, a land of corn and 

18 wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware 

io8 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM, xxxvi, 19. 

lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD 
will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the 
nations delivered his land out of the hand of the 

19 king of Assyria ? Where are the gods of Hamath 
and Arphad ? where are the gods of Sepharvaim ? 
and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 

20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, 
that have delivered their land out of my hand, 
that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of 
my hand ? 

21 But they held their peace, and answered him 
not a word : for the king's commandment was, 
saying, Answer him not. 

22 Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that 
was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, 
and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to 
Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him 

37 I the words of Rabshakeh. And it came to pass, 
when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his 
clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and 

2 went into the house of the LoRD. And he sent 
Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna 
the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered 
with sackcloth, unto Lsaiah the prophet the son of 

3 Amoz. And they said unto him : Thus saith 
Hezekiah, This da}' is a day of trouble, and of 
rebuke, and of blasphemy ; for the children are 
come to the birth, and there is not strength to 

4 bring forth. It may be the LORD thy God will 
hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of 
Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living 
God, and will reprove the words which the LORD 
th}- God hath heard ; wherefore lift up th\- pra}cr 


5 for the remnant that is left. So the servants of 

6 king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said 
unto them : Thus shall ye say unto your master, 
Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words 
that thou hast heard, ^^'herewith the servants of 

7 the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Be- 
hold, I will send a breath upon him, and he shall 
hear a rumour, and return to his own land ; and 
I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own 

8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of 
Assyria warring against Libnah : for he had heard 

9 that he was departed from Lachish. And he heard 
say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is 
come forth to make war with thee. And when he 
heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying : 

10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, 
saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, 
deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given 

11 into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, 
thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have 
done to all lands by destroying them utterly ; and 

12 shalt thou be delivered ? Have the gods of the 
nations delivered them which my fathers have 
destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and 
the children of Eden which are in Telassar ? 

13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of 
Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, 
Hena, and Ivah ? 

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the 
hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah 
went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread 

15 it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto 

no ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM, xxxvii, i6. 

i6 the Lord, saying : O LORD of hosts, God of Lsrael, 
that dwellcst between the chcrubims, thou art the 
God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the 

17 earth : thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline 
thine ear, O LORD, and hear ; open thine eyes, O 
Lord, and see : and hear all the words of Sen- 
nacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living 

18 God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria 
have laid waste all the nations, and their countries, 

19 and have cast their gods into the fire : for they 
were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood 
and stone : therefore they have destroyed them. 

20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from 
his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may 
know that thou art the Lord, even thou only. 

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Heze- 
kiah, saying : Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, 
Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Senna- 

22 cherib king of Assyria, this is the word which 
the Lord hath spoken concerning him : — 

The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised 
thee, and laughed thee to scorn ; the daughter of 
Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. 

23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed ? 
and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, 
and lifted up thine eyes on high ? even against the 
Holy One of Israel. 

24 V>y thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, 
and hast said : " By the multitude of my chariots 
am I come up to the height of the mountains, to 
the sides of Lebanon ; and I will cut down the 
tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: 


and I will enter into the height of his border, and 
into his garden-grove of pleasure. 
2$ " I have digged, and drunk water ; and with 
the sole of my feet have I dried up all the arms 
of rivers of Egypt." 

26 Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done 
it .-" and of ancient times, that I have formed it ? 
now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest 
be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous 

27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, 
they were dismayed and confounded : they were 
as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as 
the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted 
before it be grown up. 

28 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and 
thy coming in, and thy rage against me. 

29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, 
is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my 
hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and 
I will turn thee back by the way by which thou 

30 And this shall be a sign unto thee : Ye shall 
eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the 
second year that which springeth the same: and in 
the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vine- 
yards, and eat the fruit thereof ! 

31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house 
of Judah shall again take root downward, and 
bear fruit upward : 

32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a rem- 

112 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM, xxxvii, 33. 

nant, and they that escape out of mount Zion : 
the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. 

33 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the 
king of Assyria : He shall not come into this city, 
nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with 
shields, nor cast a bank against it. 

34 By the way that he came, by the same shall 
he return, and shall not come into this city, saith 
the Lord. 

35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine 
own sake, and for my servant David's sake. 

36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and 
smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and 
fourscore and five thousand : and when they arose 
early in the morning, behold, they were all dead 

37 corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, 
and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 

3S And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in 
the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech 
and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword ; 
and they escaped into the land of Armenia : and 
Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead. 
38 I In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. 
And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came 
unto him, and said unto him : Thus saith the LORD, 
Set thine house in order ! for thou shalt die, and 

2 not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward 

3 the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, and said : 
Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, how I 
have walked before thee in trutli and with a perfect 
heart, and have done that which is good in thy 

4 sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the 


5 word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying : Go, and say- 
to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of 
David thy father : I have heard thy prayer, I have 
seen thy tears ; behold, I vvill add unto thy days 

6 fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this 
city out of the hand of the king of Assyria : and 

7 I vvill defend this city. And this shall be a sign 
unto thee from the Lord, that the LORD will do 

8 this thing that he hath spoken ; behold, I will 
bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is 
gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees 
backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by 
which degrees it was gone down. 

9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when 
he had been sick, and was recovered of his sick- 

10 I SAID : In the smoothness of my days I shall 
go to the gates of the grave ; I am deprived of 
the residue of my years. 

11 I said : I shall not see the LORD, even the 
Lord, in the land of the living ; I shall behold 
man no more with the inhabitants of the world. 

[2 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me 
as a shepherd's tent ; I have cut off, as a weaver, 
my life, as a weaver cutteth off the thread ; from 
day even to night wilt thou make an end of me. 

3 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will 
he break all my bones : from day even to night 
wilt thou make an end of me. 

4 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter : 
I did mourn as a dove : mine eyes fail with 


114 ISAIAH OF JERUSALEM, xxxviii, 15. 

looking upward : O Lord, I am oppressed ; under- 
take for me ! 

15 W'hat shall I say? he hath both promised 
unto me, and himself hath done it : I shall go 
softly all my years in the contrition of my soul. 

16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all 
these things is the life of my spirit ! so wilt thou 
recover me, and make me to live. 

17 Behold, for my peace I had this great bitter- 
ness ! thou hast in love to my soul delivered it 
from the pit of corruption : thou hast cast all my 
sins behind thy back. 

18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can- 
not celebrate thee : they that go down into the 
pit cannot hope for thy truth. 

19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as 
I do this day : the father to the children shall 
make known thy truth ! 

20 The Lord was ready to save me : therefore 
we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments 
all the days of our life in the house of the LORD. 

21 (For Isaiah had said : Let them take a lump 
of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and 

22 he shall recover. Hezekiah also had said. What 
is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the 
LORD ?) 

39 I At that time Merodach - baladan, the son of 
Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a 
present to Hezekiah : for he had heard that he 
2 had been sick, and was recovered. And Hezekiah 
was glad of them, and shewed them the house of 
his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and 


the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the 
house of his armour, and all that was found in 
his treasures : there was nothing in his house, 
nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed 
them not. 

3 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king 
Hezekiah, and said unto him. What said these 
men ? and from whence came they unto thee ? 
And Hezekiah said. They are come from a far 

4 country unto me, even from Babylon. Then said 
he. What have they seen in thine house ? And 
Hezekiah answered. All that is in mine house 
have they seen : there is nothing among my 

5 treasures that I have not shewed them. Then 
said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the 

6 Lord of hosts : Behold, the days come, that all 
that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers 
have laid up in store until this day, shall be 
carried to Babylon : nothing shall be left, saith 

7 the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from 
thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take 
away ; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace 

8 of the king of Babylon. Then said Hezekiah to 
Isaiah: Good is the word of the LORD which thou 

. hast spoken. He said moreover : Yea, there shall 
be peace and truth in my days ! 



(Chapter 1.) 

We are to conceive of this prophecy as an introductory 
piece, or overture, opening the way and striking the tone 
for all that follows, and establishing the point of view 
from which Isaiah, about the year 700 b.c, wished the 
series of his prophecies to be read and the history of 
the preceding half-century to be regarded. The chosen 
people had known during this time both prosperity and 
adversity, but by neither had it been instructed. 

The historical sketch given in the Introduction (pp. 
12-21) should be read with attention. 

2. The Lord. — In the text, as in our Bibles generally, 
this word Lord, when it stands, as here, for Jehovah, or 
the Eternal, is printed in capitals; when it stands (as 
in verse 24 of this chapter, for instance) simply for the 
Hebrew word meaning lord, then it has only its first 
letter a capital one. In the notes it will not be necessary 
to observe this distinction. 

3. Doth not know. — To whom he belongs. 

4. Your country is desolate. — Both in the war with 
Syria and Israel this had been seen, and it was now 
seen again in the invasion of Sennacherib. 

8. Lodge in a garden of cucumbers. — Dr. Kitto says : — 
"Cucumbers, melons, and similar products are seldom 
(in the Holy Land) protected by enclosures, but culti- 
vated in large open fields, quite exposed to the depre- 

Ii8 NOTES. 1,9. 

dations of men or beasts. To prevent this, a slight 
artificial mount is raised, if required, and on this is 
constructed a frail hut or booth, such as is used in the 
vineyard also, just sufficient for one person, who, in this 
confined solitude, remains constantly watching the 
ripening crop. Very often has our travelling party 
paused on arriving at such melon -grounds to bargain 
with the watchman for a supply of his refreshing fruit ; 
and on such occasions — often seeing no object around 
to a great distance in the plain but this one man and his 
solitary shed — we have been most forcibly reminded of 
the peculiar appropriateness of the image of desolation 
suggested by the prophet." 

9. A very small remnajit. — " We came within a very 
little of perishing entirely," is all that the prophet here 
means. Remnant is not used in the sense in which it is 
used in "the remnant shall return" (x, 21). 

12. To tread my courts. — To crowd trampling into 
God's courts, to attend his services, is not what he 

27. Zion shall be redeemed. — A sifting judgment, and 
the establishment of righteousness, shall redeem Zion. 

29. TJie oaks. — The evergreen oaks of the idolatrous 
groves and gardens. 

(Ch.vpters 2-5.) 

This prophecy, following the Prelude, and forming 
the real beginning to the Book of Isaiah, belongs to the 
time of Jotham and of Isaiah's early career, when Judah 
was, to outward view, still prosperous. ^Ve may place 
its date about the year 740 r..c. 

2. And it shall come to pass, etc. — The prophecy 
opens with three verses (2-4) which wc find nearly in the 
same words in Micah also (iv, 1-3). In each case the 

11, 5- NOTES. 119 

words are probably a quotation from an older prophet. 
They fix the ideal for Zion and its people : after exhibit- 
ing the ideal, Isaiah proceeds to show how far his 
countrymen depart from it. 

5. O house of Jacob. — A call from the prophet to his 
own people. 

6. T/iou hast. — The Eternal is addressed. 

ib. The east. — Uzziah had recovered for Judah the 
port at the head of the Gulf of Akaba on the Red Sea, 
Elath (II Kings, xiv, 22). In his reign and that of his 
son Jotham trade from this port on the south-east 
brought into Judah wealth, but also foreign manners and 
idolatries. In the reign of Ahaz and afterwards there 
was a like importation from the north-east, from Syria 
and Assyria, 

ib. Soothsayers. — The practice of magic was adopted 
from the Philistines, whom Uzziah conquered; Judah 
grew familiarised with foreigners, and fond of them and 
their usages, and came to rely on the same sources of 
strength as they. 

9. And the mean man., etc. — Men of all conditions, 
small and great, betook themselves to idolatry, so as to pro- 
voke the coming of a day of the Eternal, a day of judgment. 

13. Upon all the cedars. — The day of judgment is 
presented as bringing to nothing all the greatness of 
nature, and all the greatness and art of man. 

16. Ships of Tarshish. — From the port of Elath 
Jewish fleets, in Uzziah's time, traded with Tartessus at 
the mouth of the Guadalquivir. 

ib. Pleasant pictures. — All sorts of objects of art 
pleasant to the eye are included. 

3. 3. TJie master of the spell. — More literally the 
fnaster of muttering., one skilled in magical arts and in- 

4. Children to be their princes. — Jotham's son Ahaz 
and the insolent young nobles surrounding him are 
here indicated. 

I20 NOTES. 111,6. 

6. IV/icn a man shall take, etc. — In the miserable 
anarchy prevailing, no man is willing to assume headship 
and responsibility. 

8, Jerusalem is ruined. — Compare Micah, iii, 12 — 
" Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall be- 
come heaps." Jeremiah tells us (xxvi, 18,19) that after 
this prophecy of Micah the king and people of Judah 
" did fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord 
repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against 
them." But in the later years of Hezekiah, when his min- 
isters and people were seeking the Egyptian alliance, and 
the amendment of Judah had proved transitory, the threat- 
ening pronouncement reappears. See Isaiah, xxxii, 14. 

12. Women rule oi'er them. — The youthful, sensual, 
and foolish Ahaz was under the influence of the harem. 

24. Bratiding. — Inflicted on the captive by the 

4. I. And in that day seven wojfien, etc. — Zion shall 
be so desolate of men that its proud daughters, instead 
of being wooed, shall compete in wooing, for the sake of 
the mere protection of his name, any surviving man that 
they can find. 

2. The Branch. — See xi, i, and xxxii, i. After the 
purging judgment the saved remnant of Israel shall live 
under a righteous king, " the fruit of the land," its choice 
and blessed product. 

5. A cloud and smoke, etc. — A reminiscence of the 
protection formerly given to Israel by the pillar of cloud and 
pillar of fire in the wilderness, after the escape from Egypt. 

5. I. N^otc loill I sing to my icellbeloved. — " I " is the 
projihct, " my wellbeloved " is the Eternal, to whom the 
prophet sings a parabolic song, supposed to proceed from 
the Eternal himself, touching his vineyard, — his chosen 
land and people. 

10. Bath, homer, ephah. — Hebrew measures. A 
bath is from seven to eight gallons. Ten acres, therefore. 

V, 17. NOTES. 121 

of vineyard were to yield but seven and a half gallons of 
wine. An ephah is the tenth part of a homer ; the pro- 
duce, therefore, was to be but a tenth of the grain sown. 

17. TJie lambs feed after their manner. — Where once 
was Jerusalem, the flocks of strangers shall graze at will, 
of strangers who succeed to the possessions of the once- 
powerful native lords. 

18. Draw iniquity, etc. — Sinners contemptuous and 
incredulous of divine judgment are represented as in 
their folly dragging eagerly along their iniquity and their 
sin, to their ruin. 

26. The nations from far. — Assyria and others, 
executors of God's judgments. 

30. Over it. — Over the invaders' prey, Judah. 

(Chapter 6.) 

1. In the year that king Uzziah died. — This year of 
Isaiah's vision and consecration was probably the year 
740 B.C. Jotham, on account of the leprosy of his 
father Uzziah, acted as regent for some years before 
Uzziah's death. 

ib. His train filed the temple. — The train means the 
flowing skirts of God's robes; the temfle means the 
heavenly temple, not the temple at Jerusalem. 

2. Above it stood the serafhims. — The seraphims are 
conceived floating above the train of God. How they 
are to be imagined is to be gathered from this verse. 
The word seraph seems to have generally had the mean- 
ing of a fiery flying dragon. 

13. So the substance thereof shall be a holy seed. — As 
life remains in the stump of trees which have been cut 
down, and as new shoots spring from it, so from the 
stock of the burned and purged tenth of the chosen 
people shall come a living growth. 

122 NOTES. VII, 2. 


(Chapters 7-12.) 

For history sec the Introduction. The date of the in- 
vasion of Judah by the kings of Syria and Israel, and of 
Isaiah's meeting with Ahaz, who had succeeded his father 
Jotham on the throne of Judah, was probably about 732 


2. Ephraim. — Of the ten tribes which formed the 
northern kingdom, the kingdom of Israel, Ephraim was 
the chief, and it was also the seat of the capital, Samaria. 
Its name is therefore often used to designate the whole 
northern kingdom. 

3. Shear-jashub. — The first appearance of this mystic 
name, The i-emnant shall return. For its importance see 
the Preface. 

6. The son of Tabcal. — Tabeal was probably a Syrian 
prince, and his son was a favourite of the two kings, 
Rezin and Pekah. 

8. And withiji threescore and five years, etc. — Many 
critics are for omitting this second part of the verse as a 
later interpolation. Whether we omit it or retain it the 
passage is not so clearly self- explaining as might be 
wished. As it stands it seems to mean : — Judah's 
enemies are but a poor ]\iir ; one of them, Ephraim, will 
go to pieces within about half a century ; the other is of 
like kind. 

ir. Either in the depth. — Either from the under- 
world or from the world of air. 

12. Behold the 7'iri^in, etc. — Immanuel is addressed 
in the next chapter (verse 8) as a prince of Judah. 
"The virgin," therefore, is to be married to one of the 
house of David, and is within a year's time to bear a 
prince of Judah. The prince meant cannot be Hezekiah, 
for Hezekiah was at the time of this prophecy nearly 
grown up. 

15. Milk -curd a fid honey. — See below, 21-25. By 

VII, i6. NOTES. 123 

the time the virgin's child, the young prince of Judah, 
comes to years of discretion, warfare shall have made 
his country desolate, agriculture shall be abandoned in 
Judah, men shall subsist on the produce of their wander- 
ing herds and on wild honey. 

16. Before the child. — Much before the child comes 
to years of discretion, at a time quite near, a time only 
a year or two hence (see viii, 4), Syria and Israel shall 
be conquered by the king of Assyria. 

17. The Lord shall bring upon thee. — The prophet 
returns to Judah. Syria and Israel shall be conquered ; 
but the chastisement of Judah also shall follow later. 

tb. Ephraini departed from Judah. — The separation 
of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel in Rehoboam's 
time is meant. 

18. The fly, etc. — The lowlands of Egypt, up to the 
head of the streams of the Delta, were the haunt of flies, as 
the mountain-lands of Assyria were the haunt of wild bees. 

20. Shall the Lord shave with a rasor that is Im-ed. 
— The Eternal shall bring his instrument, the king of 
Assyria, from beyond the river Euphrates, to inflict upon 
Judah conquest, servitude, and dishonour. The shaving 
of the head, body, and beard marks the loss of manhood. 

2\. A man shall nourish, etc. — See note on verse 15. 
After the conquest, the desolated land shall be used by 
its inhabitants merely for pasture and for hunting, not for 
agriculture as at present. 

23. Silverlings. — The silverling, or silver shekel, was 
worth about 2s. 3d. 

8. I. With pen of the people. — In large plain hand- 
writing, which he who runs may read. 

4. Before the child shall have knowledge to cry. — 
Within a year or two, before the child presently to be born 
can speak plain. See the Introduction. In fact, by 
730 B.C., two years from the time when Isaiah spoke, 
Tiglathpileser had crushed the kingdom of Syria and 
chastised the kingdom of Israel. 

124 NOTES. VIII, 6. 

6. T/ic ivatcrs of Shiloah. — The spring and pool of 
Shiloah or Siloah, in the valley on the south-east side of 
Jerusalem, is taken to represent the source of refresh- 
ment and life in the Lord's Zion. The prophecy is 
against both Judah and Israel ("both the houses of 
Israel," verse 14), but verses 6 and 7 apply particularly 
to Israel, ruled by Remaliah's son, Pekah, and in alliance 
with Rezin, king of Syria. In verse 8 the ])ro]jhet 
passes to Judah. 

9. Associate yourselves, O ye peoples. — The power of 
Assyria, figured by the river Euphrates, shall overflow 
Israel and Judah ; but the triumph of the heathen over 
the kingdom of the Eternal and his Immanuel shall not 

1 2. Say ye not, A confederacy. — Do not share in the 
panics of your nation about alliances formed against it. 

14. A sanctuary. — A sanctuary to the prophet himself, 
to the '■'remnant^' of the Jewish nation, to the disciples 
(see verse 16) of the Eternal. The Eternal speaks. 

1 8. Behold, I a7id the child^-en. — The prophet speaks. 
The children are Shear -jashub, "The remnant shall 
return," and Maher-shalal-hash-baz, "Spoil speedeth, 
prey hasteth." See the Preface. 

19. That chirp and that mutter. — The low indistinct 
voice of the dead whom the wizards profess to raise, and 
for whom they speak, is meant. 

ib. Unto the dead. — The spirits of the dead which 
tlic necromancers profess to evoke. 

9. I. That lohich teas vexed. — The northern border 
of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan was 
most exposed to the invasions of Syria and Assyria, the 
great Gentile kingdoms to the north and north-east, and 
was naturally the first part of Palestine to suffer. See 
II Kings, XV, 29. Tiglath-pilescr invaded Naphtali and 
Zebulun (answering to what was afterwards Upper and 
Lower Galilee), and, to the cast of the Jordan, he in- 
vaded the lialf tribe of Manasseh, with Gad and Reuben, 

IX, I. NOTES. 125 

and deported the inhabitants of all of them to Assyria. 
The affliction which began here, and afterwards spread 
farther, shall not, the prophet says, be permanent. 

tb. The Ik.' ay of the sea. — The sea is commonly taken 
to mean the Sea of Galilee ; but more probably it is 
the Mediterranean, with which Zebulun was in contact at 
Carmel. Zebulun is spoken of in Genesis (xlix, 13) as a 
maritime tribe: — "Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of 
the sea, and he shall be for an haven of ships ; and his 
border shall be unto Zidon." 

4. The staff of his shoulder. — The disciplining staff 
or rod laid by his oppressor upon Israel's neck, 
shoulders, and back. 

ib. As in the day of Afidian. — In Immanuel's reign 
God's people shall be delivered from their conquerors 
and oppressors, as Gideon delivered them from the 
Arabian tribes of the Midianites. See Judges, vii, viii. 

6. His name. — The "name" given to Immanuel 
consists of eight appellations, in four pairs. 

8. A word into Jacob. — The word is to the whole 
people of both Judah and Israel ; but what follows next 
applies specially to Israel or Ephraim. Judah comes in 
at verse 21. 

10. The bricks are fallen down. — Instead of repenting, 
Ephraim proposes to restore and augment his worldly 
strength by the use of stronger materials. 

11. TJu overthrowers of Rezin. — The Assyrians who 
had crushed Rezin of Syria. 

14. Palm-branch and rush. — The handsome palm- 
branch is opposed to the valueless rush as the head to 
the tail, the honourable to the ignoble. 

18. It shall devour the briers afid thorns. — Judgment 
shall fall first upon individuals (the briers and thorns), 
then upon the mass of the nation (the thickets of the 

10. 6. O Assyrian. — So far as to the judgment upon 
God's people. But the instrument of this judgment, 

126 NOTES. X, 9. 

Assyria, far from regarding itself as God's instrument 
against Israel and Judah, is proud and self-sufficient, and 
shall in its turn be brought low. 

g. Is not Cabw as Caniie/ntslt, etc. — These are vassal 
territories of the king of Assyria. Calno, afterwards 
Ctesiphon, is on the Tigris, Carchemish (Circesium) on 
the Eui)hrates, Arpad in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, 
Hamath (Epiphania) on the Orontes. The king of 
Assyria ranks the God of Israel with the gods of these 
vassal territories, who have failed to save them. 

15. As if the rod, etc. — As it is the living arm wielding 
the staff, axe, or saw, and not the instrument itself, which 
really does the work, so it is the Eternal wielding his 
instrument Assyria, and not Assyria itself, that is to be 

2 1. The-re7mta7it-shaU-return. — This is the translation 
of Shear-jashub, the symbolical name of Isaiah's son. 
However numerous be the people of Israel and Judah, 
only a remnant of them shall be saved, and shall found 
the felicity of the future. 

26. Midiaii at the 7-ock of Oreb. — See Judges, vii, 25. 
Assyria shall fall before God's people, as ]\Iidian and 
Egypt formerly did. 

27. The yoke shall break. — The remnant, God's true 
people, shall be so strong and stout that Assyria's yoke 
on their neck shall be burst asunder by their stoutness. 

28. He is cojne to Aiath, etc. — The conquering march 
of the Assyrians through Judah, from the north south- 
wards to Jerusalem, is described. Nob, the last-named 
place on the conquerors' march, is within sight of 
Jerusalem itself. 

34. He shall cut down. — "He" is the Eternal. The 
thickets are the rank and file of the king of Assyria's 
army ; Lebanon, with its grand cedars, represents his 
mighty men. 

11. I. A rod out of the stem of Jesse. — The Immanuel 
of chapters vii and i.\. 

XI, 3- NOTES. 127 

3. S/iall not judge, etc. — Shall not decide and censure 
hastily and passionately. 

I o. His rest. — The seat and firmly-established throne 
of Inimanuel. 

11. To recover the remnant of his ;pcople. — The de- 
portation by Tiglath-pileser of the tribes on the northern 
frontier of Palestine has been mentioned in the note to 
ix, I. Between that time and the year 700 B.C. the 
whole population of the northern kingdom had been 
deported, after the fall of Samaria 

ib. From Fathros, etc. — Pathros is Upper Egypt; Cush 
is Ethiopia; Elam is Susistan, east of the Tigris; Shinar is 
on the Euphrates, and formed part of Babylonia; Hamath 
(already mentioned in x, 9) is Epiphania on the Orontes. 

ib. The islands of the sea. — The coasts and islands of 
the Mediterranean. 

15. The tongue of the Egyptian sea. — The tongue or 
inlet of sea running up between Egypt and Arabia, the 
Gulf of Suez. 

ib. The river. — Euphrates. By cutting channels to 
carry off its waters men shall be able to cross it dryshod. 

12. 4. A?nong the peoples. — The blessed reign of 
Immanuel has carried the knowledge of the Eternal 
among all nations. 

(Chapters 14, 24-23.) 

In the last half of the eighth century before Christ 
Palestine and the neighbouring countries repeatedly felt 
the arm of Assyria, and such visitations caused Isaiah to 
utter his burdens, or oracular sentences of doom, upon 
the countries visited. These, as they now stand, we 
may suppose him to have collected and republished at 
the end of the century, with new touches thrown in, and 

128 NOTES. XIV, 29. 

with a sentence upon the conquering Assyria itself for 

14. 29. T/ie rod of 111 m that smote thee. — Uzziah had 
been victorious over the Philistines (II Chron., xxvi, 6), 
but in the reign of his grandson Ahaz they in their turn 
invaded Judah and occupied some of its towns (II Chron., 
xxviii, 18). The power of Judah, "of him that smote 
them," had been brought low by the alliance against 
Ahaz of the kings of Syria and Israel. The prophet 
warns the Philistines not to be over-elated at Judah's 
weakness, for they shall feel the hand of a more formid- 
able conqueror, Assyria. In fact, Tiglath-pileser at the 
end of the reign of Ahaz chastised, we are told, the 
Philistines and received their submission. Subsequently 
revolting, they were again invaded and chastised by 
Tiglath-pileser's successors, Sargon and Sennacherib. 

31. O gate. — The gates of the Philistian fortresses 
were famous for their strength. 

ib. TJiere comcth from the north. — The well-disciplined 
army of Assyria is meant. 

32. What shall one then anstver. — This is one of the 
touches probably added during Sennacherib's invasion, 
when the other Palestinian nations were in communica- 
tion with Judah as to means of resisting the common foe. 

15. I. The burden of Moab. — Tiglath-pileser chastised 
the Moabites and received their submission ; and again, 
after they had revolted on Sennacherib's accession, the 
king of Moab submitted himself to Sennacherib. The 
places named in the burden are places belonging to the 
Moabites ; Ar of Moab (Areopolis) and Kir of Moab 
(Kir-hareseth) are their two chief towns. 

5. 7'he heifer. — The strong fortress of Zoar, on a hill 
near the Dead Sea, is compared to a heifer of three years 
old, full of strength and not yet tamed to the plough. 

7. The brook of the 7c>illozos. — A brook on the southern 
border of Moab, forming the boundary between Moab 
and Edom. 

XV, 9- NOTES. 129 

9. Diinon. — Diiiion is the Dibon of verse 2, a place 
about an hour's journey off the river Arnon. The b is 
changed into m to get the signification of " blood." 

16. I. Said ye the lamb, etc. — The fugitives of Moab 
have fled as far as Sela (Petra) in Edom. They are 
bidden by the prophet to send their tribute of lambs 
from thence through the wilderness to Jerusalem, to the 
king there, their proper ruler. The Moabites had for- 
merly been subject to David. 

2. The daughters of Moab. — The frightened and 
uncertain fugitives shall be at the fords of Arnon, the 
river of Moab, like birds cast out of the nest. 

3. Take counsel, etc. — This verse and the two verses 
following are the appeal which the tribute -bringing 
envoys of Moab make to the strong and just ruler of 

6. We have heard, etc. — This is the prophet's answer 
in the name of Judah. 

ib. His lies shall not be so. — Things shall not go as 
he falsely vaunts they will. 

8. The vine of Sibmah, etc. — The vineyards and wine 
of Sibmah in Moab were famous. The cultivation of 
the excellent vine of Moab extended northward and 
westward to Heshbon and the Dead Sea. The conqueror 
brings it all to an end, whereat the prophet is moved 
with pity. 

12. The high place. — The high place and sanctuary 
of Chemosh the god of Moab. 

13. This is the word, etc. — The foregoing prophecy 
may be supposed to have been uttered when Moab was 
overrun by the armies of Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser, 
or Sargon. At the end of the century, after the rising 
of Moab against Sennacherib, the prophet republishes 
his former utterance with a prediction of new and 
speedy ruin added. 

14. The years of an hireling. — Strictly counted, as a 
hireling counts the time which he has to serve. 



17. 1. T/ie Imrden of Damascus. — This prophecy 
belongs to the time of Tiglath-pileser and his chastise- 
ment of Syria and Israel. 

2. The ciiies of Arocr. — There were two Aroers in 
the territory of the tribes of Israel on the east of Jordan. 
As Aroer means laid bare, the name is a symbol of the 
desolation of the whole country. 

5. Rephaim. — A plain abounding in corn to the 
south-west of Jerusalem. Of Israel, as of Judah, there 
shall be a remnant saved, a remnant like the few ears of 
corn which escape the reaper, like the few olives which 
escape the gatherer. 

9. As the ruins in the thickets and in the heii:;hts. — 
The cities of Israel shall be as the ruins of the Canaanitish 
cities left in the thickets and in the heights after the 
conquest of Canaan by the Israelites. 

10. Strange slips. — The idolatry of Israel is expressed 
under the figure of a planting or garden set with " strange 
slips" of divinities adopted from their heathen neighbours. 

1 2. Woe to the multitude, etc. — The kingdoms of this 
world, which now serve as God's instrument for the 
punishment of his people, shall finally perish themselves. 

18. I. JVoe for the lajid buzzing with wittgs, etc. — 
Compare "the fly that is in the uttermost part of the 
rivers of Egypt," vii, 18. The numberless flies of the 
rivers of the interior of Africa are meant. The " rivers 
of Ethiopia" are the Blue and White Nile; the "land" 
is the country between them and to the south of them, 
the Meroe of the Greeks, Nubia and Abyssinia The 
king of Etliiopia, Shabak, had dispossessed the Eg}'ptian 
king and had retained a preponderance, which in the 
last quarter of the eighth century B.C. enabled him and 
his successor to govern the policy of Egypt and of the 
princes of the Delta. In the year 720 Shabak, having 
joined in the movement against Assyria, was defeated by 
Sargon at Raphia in Southern Palestine. His successor 
was defeated in the same region by Sennacherib nineteen 

XVIII, 2. NOTES. 131 

years later. The prophecy is probably to be assigned 
to this later period. Assyria is too strong for the 
Ethiopians, for whom the prophet has clearly a kind- 
ness ; but the Eternal in his own time Avill bring Assyria 
to ruin, and will receive the worship of Ethiopia. 

2. Vessels of bulrushes. — Boats made of papyrus, 
used by the dwellers on the Nile. 

ib. Go, ye swift messengers. — The prophet sends a 
message to all the widespread, great, and warlike Ethiopian 
people, to the effect that the Eternal is preparing a cure 
for the present distress. 

ib. A nation long- shanked and smooth. — Herodotus 
calls the Ethiopians " the tallest and finest of men," and 
mentions also their smooth and shining skin, due, it was 
said, to the water of a certain spring (Herod., iii., 20, 23). 

ib. The rivers. — The Blue and White Nile. 

4. Like a clear heat. — The Eternal lets Assyria ripen 
until the hour of its ruin comes. 

7. In that time. — See the end of note to verse i. 

19. I. Tlie burden of Egypt. — Egypt at this time, as 
has been mentioned, felt the pressure of Ethiopia, the suze- 
rain of the Aveak princes of the Delta. These princes 
shared in the defeats of Raphia in 720, and of Altaku, 
or Eltekeh, in 701. It was a time of confusion and help- 
lessness for Egypt, in spite of its antiquity, civilisation, 
and pretensions ; and the Jewish reliance upon Egyptian 
power, in the struggle with Assyria, was perfectly vain. 

4. A cruel lord. — The king of Ethiopia. The 
estabUshment of the first king of the Ethiopian dynasty 
had been attended with cruel treatment of the dispos- 
sessed king of Egypt. 

ib. The waters shall fail. — The political confusion in 
Egypt brought about anarchy, stoppage, and social 

II. Zoan. — Zoan is Tanis, a chief city of Lower 
Egypt, near the Pelusian mouth of the Nile ; Noph 
(verse 13) is Memphis. 

132 NOTES. XIX, 15. 

1 5. The head with the tail, etc. — Images for the upper 
and lower classes. 

18. In that day. — For Egypt the final solution shall 
be, as for Ethiopia, conversion to Israel's God, the 
Eternal, and peace in that conversion, 

23. Shall worship. — The Egyptians together with 
the Assyrians shall worship the Eternal. 

20. I. Tartan came unto Ashdod. — Tartan is a 
military title, like generalissimo. Ashdod, the strong 
city of the Philistines, was taken by Sargon's general 
about 711 B.C. The reduction and occupation by the 
Assyrians of the Palestinian fortresses was preliminary to 
the conquest of Egypt, Isaiah foretells that conquest, 
which was accomplished, however, not by Sargon, but 
by Esar-haddon, the son of Sennacherib. 

6, Of this coast. — Of Palestine, The court of 
Jerusalem and the people of Judah rely upon Egypt 
and Ethiopia for aid against Assyria, and Egypt and 
Ethiopia are themselves Assyria's prey. 

21. II. The burden of Dumah. — Edom or Idumsea 
is probably called Dumah, silence, by a play of words to 
express the desolation coming upon the land. Seir is 
the well-known mountain of Edom. We hear of the 
Edomites being subdued both by Tiglath-pileser and 
by Sennacherib. 

1 2. The watchman. — The watchman is the prophet 
in Jerusalem, answering the appeal of Edom. He sees 
but a troubled future for Edom, day breaking for it to 
be followed again by darkness and night ; only one 
counsel he can give : Return, come I be converted to the 
God of Israel ! 

13, The burden upon Arabia. — Tiglath-pileser sub- 
dued the Arab tribes ; Sargon also subdued the nomads 
of "remote Arabia which had never before given tribute 
to Assyria." Herodotus speaks of Sennacherib as " king 
of the Arabians and Assyrians." This prophecy shows 

XXI, 1 6. NOTES. 133 

us the Arab caravans unable to travel securely for fear 
of the soldiery of the invaders. The Dedanim, Tema, 
and Kedar are tribes and places of Arabia. 

16. The years of an hireling, — See note on xvi, 14. 

22. I. The valley of vision. — The valley of vision is 
Jerusalem, where the prophet's house stood in the lower 
town between Mount Moriah and Mount Zion. The 
Assyrian is in Palestine, Jerusalem is in danger. The 
defences and cisterns of the city are being hurriedly 
repaired ; but there is no amendment of life, no serious- 
ness, and no force. Jerusalem is in gaiety and revel ; 
the citizens go up upon their flat roofs for pleasure 
parties, or in curiosity about the approaching soldiery of 
the invader. 

3. All thy rulers. — As if it had already happened, 
the prophet sees the disaster sure to befall such a nation 
and government as those of Judah in conflict with such 
an enemy as Assyria. The prophecy belongs probably 
to the time of the projected alliance with Egypt, either 
in Sargon's reign or at the accession of Sennacherib. 

5. Crying to the mountains. — Cries of despair ascend- 
ing to the hills which stood about Jerusalem, and echoed 
back from them. 

6. Elani . . . J^ir. — Contingents of the Assyrian 
army, troops from Elam or Susistan, a part of Persia, 
and from the banks of the river Cyrus in Armenia. 

8. He Ulithdraiucth. — "He" is the Eternal, who with- 
draws the covering or curtain from Jerusalem and lets it 
be seen in its weakness. 

ib. The House of the Forest. — The arsenal. See I 
Kings, vii, 2. It was built by Solomon, and having " four 
rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars," 
was thence called " the house of the forest of Lebanon." 

15. This treasuj-er. — The treasurer of the Jewish 
king w^as his chief minister, a high steward, or mayor of 
the palace. 

16. What hast thou here? — The unpopular Shebna 

134 NOTES. XXII, 19. 

was an alien, with no right in Jerusalem, and no family 
stock there. 

19. S/iaU he pull thee down. — " He " is the Eternal. 

20. / 7i'ill call my servant Eliakini. — A little later 
(xxxvi, 3) we find Eliakim in the post of mayor of the 
palace, and Shebna in that of scribe or secretary. 

24. They shall hang upon him. — All his connexions, 
small and great, shall prosper through his rise. 

23. I. The burden of Tyj-e. — Shalmancscr besieged 
Tyre, with what final result is not known. In the rising 
of the Phoenician cities after Sennacherib's accession 
Isaiah saw fresh calamity for Tyre. 

ib. Ye ships of Tarshish. — Tarshish, or Tartessus, is 
the mining country outside the vStraits of Gibraltar, at 
the mouth of the Guadalquivir, with whicli Phoenicia 

ib. From the land of Chittim. — The Tarshish fleet is 
supposed to have reached Chittim, or Cyprus, on its 
voyage home, and there to learn the fall of Tyre. 

3. The harvest of the river. — The Tyrian traders went 
to Egypt for grain. 

4. Zidon. — Zidon, the other great Phoenician city, 
shares with Tyre the shame of loss of trade and decline. 

5. Egypt. — Egypt, of which Tyre was so good a 
customer, shall grieve at Tyre's fall. 

6. The isle. — Tyre was built on an island. The 
Phoenicians are bidden to betake themselves to Tarshish, 
now that they have lost Tyre. 

10. Pass through thy land as a river. — '\\'ith Tyre's 
fall the band of subjection is loosed for the colonies and 
countries dependent on Tyre ; they are free. 

1 1. He stretched out, etc. — " He " is the Eternal ; 
Canaan, in the latter part of the verse, is Phoenicia. 

13. Behold the lafid of the Chaldeans. — The Phoe- 
nicians are told to mark the fate of Babylonia, which in 
704 B.C. had risen against v'^cnnacherib, and had just 
been subdued by him and heavily punished. The 

XXIII, 15. NOTES. 135 

prophecy probably dates from Sennacherib's invasion of 
Palestine in 701 B.C., after his victory over Merodach- 
baladan, king of Babylon. 

15. Seventy yeaj's, according to the days of one king. — 
A long uneventful period of subjugation is foretold for 
Tyre ; then she shall recover her trade and wealth, but 
shall bestow them on the Eternal's service. By tJie days 
of one icing is meant the uniform course of life under 
one ruler and policy ; by seventy years, as by tiireescore 
and five years (vii, 8) is meant a certain considerable 
term of years. 

1 7. Her iiire. — The trade of Tyre is signified by this 
figure of hire and fornication. 


(Chapters 28-33.) 

The Burdens are concerned with foreign nations 
mainly ; in the Woes, the prophet comes nearer home, 
dealing with the history of the chosen people from the 
fall of Samaria in 721 B.C. down to Sennacherib's 
invasion in 701 B.C. The prophecy which comes first 
belongs clearly to the beginning of this period. The 
prophecies which follow cannot be assigned with cer- 
tainty to any particular year. It is sometimes urged 
that they must belong to the early years of the period ; 
because they prophesy disaster to Jerusalem, while, at 
the end of the period, it is Sennacherib's disaster, not 
Jerusalem's, which Isaiah is prophesying. But, on the 
one hand, the ruin of the sinful Jerusalem was always an 
article of faith with Isaiah, although the insolent and 
unrighteous heathen invader may provoke chastisement. 
On the other hand, the tone of emotion in these chapters 
is such that they may better be referred to the agonising 
crisis which followed Sennacherib's accession in 705 
than to any earlier time. 


28, I. T/ie croion of pride. — The vine -clad hill of 
Samaria, the cajjital of Ephraim. The rich and beauti- 
ful vegetation crowning this hill is figured as being at the 
same time a crown to the heads of the revelling and 
riotous nobles of Ephraim. 

7. But t/tesc, also. — Not the nobles, priests, and 
prophets of Ephraim only, of the northern kingdom, but 
those of Judah likewise. 

9. Whom will he teach. — The words of the drunken 
nobles of Judah to Isaiah. The repetitions in the next 
verse are probably meant to reproduce the speech of 
drunken men. 

II. With stanwiering lips. — AVith speech hard to 
catch and indistinctly understood like that of these 
drunkards, even with the speech of the iVssyrian invader. 
The Assyrians spoke a Semitic dialect imperfectly com- 
prehended by the Hebrews. 

15. We have made a covenant unth death. — The 
alliance with Egypt, which the nobles and court of 
Jerusalem were secretly preparing as the means of 
deliverance from Assyria, is probably here meant. The 
" overflowing scourge " is Assyria. 

21. As in mount Peraziin, etc. — Two defeats which 
David inflicted on the Philistines. See I Chron., xiv, 

ib. His strange work. — The strangeness is in God's 
now working the defeat of his own chosen people. 

23. Give ye ear, etc. — The prophet concludes with a 
parable, illustrating God's ways with his people from the 
simple operations of the tiller of the ground. As the 
tiller of the ground is not always i)loughing and breaking 
'it open, so God is not always afflicting and jmnishing, 
but only long enough to prepare his people's hearts to 
receive the seed of righteousness. 

25. The fitches. — "Fitches" is only an old form of 
the word "vetches." 

27. The fitches are not threshed. — As the husbandman 
has divers modes of treatment, some harder, others 

XXIX, I. NOTES. 137 

gentler, for the different objects of his care, so has God 
for his people. 

29. I. Afiel. — Ariel, meaning "the Lion of God," is 
Jerusalem, the unconquered fortress-city of David. 

zb. Add ye year to year. — Let the year go round 
with its feasts and sacrifices ; then shall come a visita- 
tion from the Eternal upon Jerusalem ; but afterwards 
it shall be his own Jerusalem again. The date of this 
prophecy is between 705 and 701 B.C., during the 
revolts and agitations which followed the accession of 
Sennacherib, and while the court party at Jerusalem 
were secretly planning their alliance with Egypt. 

9. Sta?id ye still and wonder. — Spoken to the poli- 
ticians and people of Judah, misled by their prophets 
and failing to comprehend their situation. The failure 
is in the learned and unlearned alike. 

15. Woe unto them. — The secret planners of the 
Egyptian alliance. 

1 6. Is the potter like as the clay. — Do these profound 
politicians suppose that they and their policy shape the 
course of things, not the Eternal ? 

17. Lehano7i shall be turned. — A little while, and the 
Eternal shall change all that state of things which now 
is, and which seems permanent ; the forest (Lebanon) 
shall become field, and the field forest ; in the deaf and 
blind (the ignorant common people) shall be awakened 
knowledge of the Eternal and joy in him. 

20. The terrible one. — The oppressive magnates, the 
court and politicians, of Jerusalem, shall pass away. 
23. /;/ the midst of him. — By " him " is meant Jacob. 

30. 2. Pharaoh. — A general name for each successive 
ruler of Egypt, like Caesar for the ruler of Rome. The 
princes of the Delta were Pharaohs. But the over-lord 
or suzerain of Egypt was now the Ethiopian Shabatok, 
the son of the Shabak who was defeated by Sargon at 
Raphia in 720 B.C. 

138 NOTES. XXX, 4. 

4. Zoan . . . Ilanes. — Cities of Lower and Middle 
Egypt, and residences of princes. Zoan is Tanis, Hanes 
is Anusis afterwards Heracleopolis. (See xix. 11.) 

5. They were all ashamed. — The princes and ambas- 
sadors of Judah can get nothing by their journey to 
Egypt but shame and disappointment ; Egypt is of no 

6. The burden of the beasts of the south. — Now 
follows, in this and the next verse, an oracular sentence 
on the vanity of the embassy to Egypt. The beasts of 
the south are the animals of interior Africa. 

7. Proud Rahab. — Rahab, meaning /r/^i?, is a Biblical 
name for Egypt ; but Rahab, or Egypt the proud, is 
really, says the prophet, Shabeth, the sitting-still, the 

8. Now go, etc. — The prophet is commanded to 
write, and keep for a testimony against his countrymen, 
this oracle concerning the folly of their recourse to Egypt. 

16. We will fly upon horses. — We will have horses 
and chariots and the famous Egyptian cavalry. 

18. Therefore will the Lord luait. — The day of mercy 
cannot arrive until the actual things have passed away, 
and the people is purged to a "remnant." 

25. The day of the great slaughter. — Compare ii, 12- 
1 5. The day of the Lord will destroy all in which the 
rulers of Judah, as it now is, place their trust. "The 
towers fall," but streams of water spring forth in the 
hills for the righteous to whom belongs the new world. 

29. The holy solemnity. — The Passover. 

33. Tophet. — The place of abomination in the valley 
of Hinnom, where men burned their children in sacrifice 
to Moloch. The Moloch-pile, says the prophet, is ready 
for the melech (king) of Assyria. 

31. 4. Like as the lion. — Not Egypt shall save 
Judah, but the Eternal. 

8. Not of a mighty man., etc. — A sword, not of man 
at all, but of God. 

XXXI, 9- NOTES. 139 

9. His 1-ock. — The "rock" of the Assyrian is his 
king, Sennacherib, who shall take to flight. 

32. I. The Jdug. — God's judgment accomplished, 
the " remnant " established, the Assyrian put to flight, 
Immanuel, the saviour king of chapters ix and xi, shall 
begin his reign with princes and ministers of his own 

- 2. A /nan. — King and princes shall be the people's 
protectors instead of being its oppressors. 

3. T/ie eyes of the/n that see., etc. — The mental and 
spiritual deficiencies of the people shall be cured. 

g. Rise up, ye women. — Compare the prophet's like 
strain some forty years earlier, iii, 16. 

14. The hill and tower. — Ophel, the fortified south- 
eastern slope of Mount Moriah, with the watch-tower 

15. The fruitful fiehi he counted for a foj'est. — In the 
new time the splendour of righteousness shall be such 
that what now passes for fruitful field (morally) shall 
then seem but forest and wilderness. 

19. And it shall hail, and the forest shall be brought 
lozv. — In the time of judgment, which must precede 
the reign of Immanuel, the now powerful kingdom of this 
world, Assyria (described under figure of the " forest," 
X, 34), shall be brought down by the hail-storm of God's 

ib. And the city shall he low. — The same storm shall 
lay low the "city" also, the actual sinful Jerusalem that 
rejects God's word. 

20. Blessed are ye., etc. — Blessed is "the remnant," 
which after that time of destruction shall have the land 
at its free disposal for either tiUing or pasture. 

33. In this prophecy we are clearly in 701 B.C., at 
the moment when the Assyrian invader is encamped in 
Judah, ravaging its lands, taking its towns one after the 
other, threatening Jerusalem. We have seen the deal- 


ings of Hezekiah and his court with Egypt. They had 
also taken part in the rising of Palestine against Sen- 
nacherib, so far as to receive from the revolted Ekronites 
their king, Padi, who had remained faithful to Assyria, 
and to imprison liim at Jerusalem. When Sennacherib 
formed the siege of Lachish in Judah, Hezekiah, 
alarmed, sent ambassadors to make his submission (II 
Kings, xviii, 14-16). Sennacherib received his sub- 
mission and presents ; but immediately afterwards, 
unwilling apparently to leave so strong a place as Jeru- 
salem in the hands of a faithless tributary, he sent a 
division of his army thither to demand its surrender. 
Indignation at the invader's violence and perfidy, con- 
fidence in the future of Zion notwithstanding the doomed 
sinners whom the actual Zion contains, are now the 
foremost thoughts with Isaiah. See Introduction, p. 20. 

1. Woe to t/tee, etc. — The prophet addresses the 
Assyrian invader. 

2. T/ieir arm. — Judah's. 

4. Your spoil. — The Assyrians are addressed. In 
the preceding verse "thyself" is of course the Eternal. 

6. Thy times. — Judah is addressed. 

7. llieir valiant ones. — These are the magnates of 
Judah sent as ambassadors to Sennacherib at Lachish, 
and who have discovered that the surrender of Jerusalem 
will be required as well as their presents and tribute. 

8. The higJncays lie 7oastc. — Owing to the presence 
of the Assyrian host in the country. 

il>. He hath broken the cove7iant. — Sennacherib, after 
accepting Hezekiah's submission, had then demanded, 
further, the surrender of Jerusalem. 

II. Ye shall, etc. — The Assyrians are addressed. 

13. Ye that are near. — The prophet now addresses 
his own countrymen. 

17. Shall behold the land spreading. — Shall see the 
borders of the kingdom extended as in the time of 
David and Solomon. 

1 8. The terror. — Of the Assyrian conquests. 

XXXIII, 1 8. NOTES. 141 

ib. Where is the assessor, etc. — AVhere is now the 
foreigner who assessed the tribute, and weighed it when 
paid, and who counted the tOAvers of our fortresses in 
order to besiege them? 

19. Of a dark speech. — See note on xxviii, 11. 

21. A place of broad rivers. — No earthly waters, but 
the river of the peace of God. Compare Isaiah Ixvi, 

23. Thy tacklings are loosed. — Judah is addressed. 
After a moment of alarm and danger, Judah shall see 
the Assyrians in retreat and shall despoil them. 

(Chapters 36-39.) 
See the introductory note to the last chapter. 

36. I. Now it came to pass, etc. — See Introduction, 
p. 27 and p. 40, for the reasons for thinking that the 
words, " Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of 
king Hezekiah," ought to stand not here but at the 
beginning of chap, xxxviii. The present chapter should 
begin : " Now Sennacherib, etc." We are in this chapter 
not at the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign, but at 
the twenty-fourth. 

2. Rabshakeh. — This, like Tartan in xx, i, is not 
the man's own name but a title. Rabshakeh means 
" chief officer." 

3. Eliakivi . . . Shebtia. — See xxii, 15-25, and notes. 

7. Whose high places. — Hezekiah had put down the 
idolatrous worship throughout his kingdom (II Kings 
xviii, 4) ; and the Assyrian treats this as an outrage 
upon the God of the land. 

ib. Before this altar. — Before the altar in Jerusalem 

8. / will give thee. — A sarcasm on the weakness of 


Judah. Even if you give them horses, they have not 
soldiers to put upon them. 

11. T/w Syrian language. — Hezekiah's ministers beg 
Rabshakeh to speak Aramaic, not Hebrew, that the 
common people may not understand them. 

zi: That tlicy may cat, etc. — \\\\o have to undergo 
siege and its extremities of famine for your pleasure. 

17. Until I come, etc. — According to the Assyrian 
system, the inhabitants of Judah were to be finally de- 
ported as those of Israel had been. 

1 9. Hamath and Arphad. — See note on x, 9. 

ib. Scpliarvaim. — Sippara, or the sun-city, in ]\Iesopo- 
tamia, on the Euphrates. 

37. 8. Libnah. — Like Lachish, one of the cities of 
Judah. Sennacherib probably moved from Lachish 
hither in order to meet the army of Tirhakah. 

9. Tirhakah. — Sennacherib defeated the army of 
Egypt and Ethiopia at Altaku, in the south of Palestine. 
But it is doubtful how far his victory was complete ; at 
all events it did not enable him to effect the concjuest 
of Eg}'pt. Tirhakah, or Taharka, did not come to the 
throne until 692 B.C., so that he is probably here called 
"king of Ethiopia," as commanding for Shabatok, his 
predecessor, the son of Shabak. 

12. Gozan and Haran, etc. — Territories and places 
of Mesopotamia conquered by Shalmaneser. The 
"children of Eden" are the Bit-Adini, or tribe of 
Adini ; Telassar, or Asshur's Hill, is probably a new 
name given to their place of dwelling by the concjueror. 

13. Hena and Irak. — These places cannot be iden- 
tified, but were probably in Mesopotamia. 

24. To the sides of Lebanon. — Lebanon stands for 
Israel, the northern kingdom. After felling and destroy- 
ing there, the Assyrian invader will now pass on to the 
hill of Zion at the farther end of Palestine, and to the 
royal palace of the kings of Judah. 

25. / have digged, etc. — The Assyrian king's march 

XXXVII, 30. NOTES. 143 

against Egypt is in the prophet's mind. He makes the 
king boast of providing water for his army in crossing 
the desert, and of turning the streams which defended 
the Eg)-ptian towns. 

Zo. A sign unto thee. — Judah and its king are 
addressed. For two years the invader's presence in the 
country shall prevent regular cultivation ; then the land 
shall be rid of him, and the tiller of the ground shall 
resume his occupation. 

36. Then the angel, etc. — See Introduction, p. 20. 
See also Herodotus, ii, 141, for a different account of 
this disaster to Sennacherib's army. According to 
Herodotus, the disaster took place at Pelusium, on the 
border of Eg)'pt, and was due to a plague of field mice 
devouring the bow-strings, leathern shield-straps, etc., of 
the Assyrians. 

38. His sons smote him. — As Sennacherib's death 
and Esar-haddon's accession did not occur till 680 B.C. 
this verse is probably a later addition. But see Intro- 
duction, p. 41. 

38. This chapter relates events which happened in 
711 B.C., and should probably, as has been already said, 
commence thus : " Now it came to pass in the four- 
teenth year of king Hezekiah, that in those days was 
Hezekiah sick unto death." 

10. In the smoothness. — In the midst of the even- 
flowing, natural course of my days. 

16. By these things men live. — By these divine 
promises and their fulfilment 

22. What is the sign. — See verse 7. 

39. I. Merodach-baladan. — In 711 B.C. this vassal king 
was preparing to revolt against Sargon, and would there- 
fore gladly seize the opportunity of communicating with 
Hezekiah in view of his alliance. In 709 the revolt 
was crushed, and the stronghold of the Bit-Yakin, the 
children or tribe of Yakin, in Southern Babylonia, into 

144 NOTES. XXXIX, 6. 

wliich Merodach-baladan had thrown himself, was 
taken and destroyed. But Merodach-baladan escaped, 
and in 704 we find him in revolt against Sennacherib, 
and again defeated. " I victoriously entered his palace 
at Babylon," says Sennacherib in an inscription, " and 
opened his treasures." Merodach-baladan survived, 
however, to revolt yet once more against Sennacherib on 
the Assyrian king's return from Palestine, and to be 
once more defeated. 

6. Shall be carried to Babylon. — Nebuchadnezzar's 
conquest and Judah's captivity did not come until 588 
B.C., one hundred and twenty years later. The capital 
of the great king in 711 was Nineveh. But Babylon 
was in Sargon's time a royal residence of the king of 
Assyria, and the most famous city in his dominions; when 
therefore the vassal king of Babylon visited Hezekiah, 
Isaiah might naturally use Babylon, Merodach-baladan's 
capital, for the representative city of the great power 
threatening Judah's existence. 


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CHURCH OF ENGLAND. New and Cheaper Edition. i8mo,. 

IS. 6d. 

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MACLEAR (Dr. G. ¥.)— continued. 

Public Schools, to supply a suitable manual of instruction in the chief 
doctrines of our Church, and a useful help in the preparation of Can- 
didates for Conftrniation." The Literaiy Churchman says, '^ It is indeed 
the work of a scholar and divine, and as such, though extremely simple, it 
is also extremely instructive. There are fro clergy who would not find 
it useful in preparing Candidates for Confirmation ; and tlure are not a 
feiu who would fijid it useful to thejnselves as well." 

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, with Scripture Proofs for 
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MACLEAR (Dr. G, ^ .)— continued. 

CHARIST. iSeiiig the Boyle Lectures for 1879—80. Delivered 
in the Chapel Royal, Whitehall. Crown 8vo. 6j. 
^^ There is much that is striking in this volume. . . . This valuable book 
of Dr. Maclear^s enters very carefully into Christ's prophecies of His o'wn 
suffering and death. . . . All this Dr. Ma clear puts in a very clear and 
forcible 'May.'''' — Spectator. 

Macmillan. — Works by the Rev; Hugh Macmillan, LL.D., 
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iion of Scripture possessed by Augustine. III. Augustine^s Principles 
and Canons of Interpretation. IV. Augustine' s Allegorical Interpretation 
of Scripture. l^. Illustrations of Augustine's Skill as an Interp>-eta' 0/ 
Scripture. VI. Augustine on jfohn the Baptist and on St. Stephen. 
VII. Aiigustine on the Epistle to the Romans. VIII. Miscellaneous 
Examples of Augustin^s Interpretation of So-ipture. The latter half of 
the work consists of Augustine's Exposition of the Sei-mon on the Mount, 
not however a mere series of quotations from Augitstine, but a connected 
account of his sentiments on the various passages of that Sermon, inter- 
spersed with criticisms by Archbishop Trench. 

SHIPWRECKS OF FAITH. Three Sermons preached 
before the University of Cambridge in May, 1867. Fcap. Svo. zs. 6d. 


TRENCH (Archbishop) -<-i?«/y««,f(/. 

These Seniious are especially addressed to yoiiu^ men. The subjects 
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forth as beacon-lii^hts, "to warn us off from perilous 7-eefs and quick-' 
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easily be ours.^' The'^ohn Bull says — ^^ they are, like all he wntes, af- 
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SERMONS Preached for the most part in Ireland. 8vo. 
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This volume consists of Thirty-two Sermons, the greater part of zohich 
7vere preached in Ireland ; the sidijects are as follozo : — yacob, a Prince 
7oith God and with ]\Ien — Agrippa — The IVovian that was a Sinner — 
Secret Faiilts — The Seven Worse Spirits — Freedom in the Truth — yoseph 
and his Brethren — Bearing one another''s Biirdeiis — Christ's Challenge to 
the llu'rld — 77/1? Loz'e of Money — The Salt of the Earth — The Armoiir of 
God — Light in the Lord — Theyailer of Philippi — The Thorn in the Flesh 
— Isaiah's Vision — Selfishness — Abraham interceding for Sodom — ?'<?/;/ 
Tlioughts — Pontius Pilate — The Brazen Serpent — The Death and Bnriai 
of Moses — A Word from the Cross — The Church's Worship in the 
Beauty of Holiness — Every Good Gift from Above — On the Ileaiing of 
Prayer — The Kingdom 7vhich cometh not with Observation — Pressing 
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Being the Substance of Lectures delivered in Queen's Colkge, 
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Contents : — The Middle Ages Beginning — The Conversion of Eng- 
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This volume consists of Sixteen Sermons, eight being on ' The Fitness 
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of Heathendom. ' 

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MANITY. Eight Lectures delivered in the Temple Church. 
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VAUGHAN (Dr. C. l-)— continued. 

FOES OF FArril. Sermons preached before the Uni- 
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MILIES. 5 vols. Globe 8vo. \s. 6d. With Comments, 3^. 6d. each. 
First Series. Genesis to Deuteronomy. 
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YONGE (Charlotte lA.)— continued. 

Third Series. The Kings find Prophets, 

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In the follirmn^ four forms : — 
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The large acceptance which has been given to " The Book of Praise" 
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Sir 7\.'. Pahner proceeded in the preparation of this booh. 

The arrangement adopted is the following : — 
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Part II. compnses Hymns arranged according to the subjects of the 
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Part III. Hymns for natural and sacred seasons. 

There are 320 Hymns in all.