Isaiah 26

1A song inciting to confidence in God, 5for his judgments upon the adversary, 12and favour to his people. 20An exhortation to wait God's coming to judgment.

1IN1 that day shall this song be sung 2in the land of Judah; We havea a 3strong city; salvation will 4God 5appoint for walls and 6bulwarks.

1 Namely, when the people shall be delivered out of the Babylonian captivity, and the children of God out of the hands of their enemies, both corporal, and especially spiritual.

2 That is, in the congregation of God, wherever the same shall be at the time; for, under the name of Judah is oftentimes meant the church of God.

a Psalm 46:5; 125:1; Prov. 18:10.

3 Thus the church is called, because she is strong and sure under God’s protection and continues so. Hebr. a city of strength, that is, a city of violence.

4 Hebr. he appointeth, namely, God.

5 The meaning is: The salvation, which God gives, is its wall and stability, whereon it may safely rely. He will preserve and keep it well thereby, so that even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, Mat. 16:18. Or thus: God, who is our salvation, or our Savior and Deliverer, will be the wall or Protector of this city, that is, of His church and congregation, therefore it shall be strong, yea, invincible.

6 Or, front walls, fortification, strongholds.

27Open ye the gates, that 8the righteous nation which keepeth 9the truth may enter in.

7 With these words the faithful exhort one another to accept those who present themselves to the communion or fellowship of saints. Compare Psalm 118:19, 20.

8 That is, the elect people of God, who are justified by faith in Christ, and keep all truth and faithfulness.

9 That is, which keeps steadfastly the faithfulness, which it has promised to God and men. Other, which keepeth or preserveth all faithfulness.

310Thou wilt keep him in 11perfect peace, whose mind is 12stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.*

10 O God.

11 Hebr. peace, peace, that is, all manner of peace, or durable, strong, continual peace; and understand by the word peace all manner of salvation and prosperity. See Gen. 37 on verse 14.

12 Or, thought, decree, namely, with Thee, O God. Other, That, (namely, the people) which is settled in thoughts, wilt thou keep in all manner of peace, for it trusted in thee, whereof the sense is: That people, which being once justified, verse 2, is not wavering or inconstant in mind. See James 1:6, 8.

*Some translate this third verse as such:Whose purpose standeth fast on thee, unto him wilt thou keep a steadfast peace, when he trusteth in thee.

414Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH 15is everlasting strength:

14 Here the faithful do again exhort one another.

15 Other, consisteth the rock of ages, that is, the everlasting rock. The meaning is: He, Who is indeed the everlasting God, He is an everlasting strong Rock unto all those who go to Him for refuge.

5¶For he bringeth down them that 16dwell on high; 17the lofty city, 18he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

16 Namely, the Babylonians, together with other mighty and powerful enemies of His church. Other, the high-seated ones. See Isa. 25:12.

17 Understand the city of Babel.

18 Of the repetition of one and the same word see Ezek. 21 on verse 9.

619The foot shall tread it down, even the feet 20of the poor, and the steps of the needy.

19 The sense is: Although believers are poor and contemptible in the eyes of the world, and are for a while grievously persecuted and oppressed by their enemies, yet at length they receive the victory by the power of God, and tread as with their feet upon their enemies.

20 Other, of him that is wasted away.

7The way of the just 21is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the 22just.

21 Hebr. are righteousnesses or uprightnesses, that is, only uprightness. Other, The path of the just is wholly even, O thou righteous one, thou weighest the path (that is, the way) of the just. Other, The way of the just are righteousnesses, he is righteous; thou shalt weigh the path of the just. Or, ponder thou the path of the just, that is, do Thou, O God, weigh whether the just be not wholly upright, and whether his way be not just and righteous.

22 That is, in a just balance.

8Yea, 23in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.

23 The sense is: Even now at this time when Thou dost visit us so sorely by the Babylonians, yet notwithstanding we do still wait upon Thee, and hope in Thy saving help, and we desire with all our hearts that Thy Name may be magnified and always be had in remembrance, to Thy praise and glory, both by us and others. The godly are not like unto the wicked, with whom the Lord has totally done away, when He smiteth them with His rod. See Psalm 44:17, 18, etc.

9With my soul have 24I desired 25thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek 26thee early: for when 27thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

24 That is, we, Thy people, and every one of us.

25 Namely, by prayer.

26 See Job 7 on verse 21.

27 That is, punishments or chastisements. The sense is: By the chastisements or punishments those who are gone astray are brought again into the right way, and learn to mind the commandments of God. See Psalm 119; 67, 71.

10Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: 28in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, 29and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.

28 Hebr. in the land of uprightnesses, that is, in the land where the Word of God is taught, which shows the right way to salvation. The meaning is: Although they are in the outward fellowship and communion of the church, yet notwithstanding they lead a wicked and ungodly life.

29 Other, therefore he shall not see the highness (or glory, or majesty) of the Lord.

11LORD, when thy hand 30is lifted up, 31they will not see: but 32they shall see, and be ashamed for their 33envy at the people; yea, 34the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.

30 That is, eventhough Thy great deeds and wonderful works be manifest and apparent to the eyes, they perceive it not.

31 Namely, Thine enemies, the wicked.

32 They shall be forced to see it, whether they will or no, namely, when, by Thy great judgments and to their own utter ruin and destruction, they shall find out how strong and mighty Thou art to punish Thine enemies.

33 Or, zeal. Hebr. for the zeal of the people. The meaning is: They shall be ashamed when they shall see the great zeal which Thou shalt show in delivering Thy people out of the hand of their enemies. Other, by the zeal of thy people (that is, by the zeal wherewith Thou art kindled over Thy people) also by the fire of thine enemies (that is, whereby Thou hatest Thine enemies) shalt thou consume them. According to which sense, two causes are here shown, which have moved God to punish the wicked (of whom is spoken in verse 10): first, the love which He bears unto His people, secondly, the fierce anger wherewith He is kindled against His enemies.

34 Of the word fire for the wrath and vengeance of God see Job 20 on verse 26; Job 22 on verse 20.

12¶LORD, thou wilt 35ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought 36all our works 37in us.

35 That is, confer, give.

36 Or, wrought all our affairs, that is, whatsoever was needful for us, either in soul or in body, Thou hast procured for us.

37 Or, for us, or, in us.

13O LORD our God, 38other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but 39by thee only will we make mention 40of thy name.

38 Namely, the Babylonians and other enemies of Thy church.

39 The sense is: That we remain alive unto this day, we have cause to praise Thee alone for it, and therefore are bound to bless and praise Thy Holy Name and to rely steadfastly upon Thee.

40 Or, to thy name.

14They are dead, they shall 41not live; they are 42deceased, 43they shall 44not rise: therefore hast thou 45visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.

41 That is, not become alive again, and consequently they shall not hinder us anymore from praising Thy Name. See Exodus 14; 15.

42 See the annotation Job 26 on verse 5.

43 Namely, those enemies, or others like unto them.

44 Namely, to live here upon the earth.

45 Namely, in Thine anger.

15Thou 46hast increased 47the nation, O LORD, 48thou hast increased the nation: thou art 49glorified: thou hadst removed it 50far unto all the ends of the earth.

46 Hebr. thou hadst added unto this people, that is, given them many blessings; or, as some, added many judgments to them; by which both God receives the honor unto Himself.

47 Namely, the Jews.

48 Of similar repetition of one word see on verse 5.

49 Namely, by the mercies shown unto this people. Other, thou wast grieved, namely, by the sins which they committed against Thee, therefore thou hast, etc. The Hebrew word signifies to glorify, it signifies also to grieve.

50 That is, repudiated, banished them out of the land, namely, for their sins.

16LORD, in trouble have 51they visited 52thee, they poured out 53a prayer 54when thy chastening was upon them.

51 Namely, Thy people, when Thou didst chastise them.

52 That is, they called upon Thee for help.

53 The Hebrew word lachas signifies properly a soft or low kind of muttering, which can hardly be heard, as 1 Sam. 1:13. The prophet will show hereby that in their distresses they sighed unto God and prayed in quietness, which is with God a cry, Exod. 14:15.

54 That is, when Thou didst chasten them.

17Like asb a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; 55so have we been 56in thy sight, O LORD.

b John 16:21.

55 Namely, in the Babylonian captivity.

56 That is, because of Thine anger. See the annotation at Gen. 32 on verse 20; Psalm 21 on verse 9.

1857We have been with child, 58we have been in pain, 59we have as it were brought forth wind; 60we have not wrought any 61deliverance 62in the earth; neither have 63the inhabitants of the world 64fallen.

57 That is, we were in great affliction and misery.

58 Namely, like a woman in travail.

59 That is, we have troubled ourselves in vain how we would get out of captivity and misery. To bring forth wind is as much to say as to labor in vain. Hebr. we brought forth as a wind.

60 That is, we were not able by our own strength to smite and subdue our enemies that had taken our land.

61 Or, safety, or, salvation.

62 Namely, the land of the Jews, our own country.

63 That is, the Babylonians, who had our land in their power, and yet many other kingdoms and countries.

64 Or, they fell not, that is, they perished not.

1965Thy dead men shall 66live, together with 67my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, 68ye that dwell in dust: for 69thy dew is 70as the dew of herbs, and 71the earth shall cast out the dead.

65 By these words the church in general and every believer in particular, do show the sure confidence which they have concerning the blessed resurrection of the dead unto the glory of eternal life, whereof the deliverance out of the Babylonian captivity was to be a type and figure, and therefore was confidently to be expected and looked for by the Jews. Compare Ezekiel 37.

66 That is, they shall be delivered and raised again by Thy power.

67 This every believing person speaks for oneself.

68 That is, ye that lie as it were in the graves.

69 That is, Thy favor, wherewith Thou shalt embrace us, shall make it so that we, who are Thy church or people, shall be comforted and refreshed as the dew refreshes the green herbs.

70 That is, as dew that falls upon greens; understand hereby the grass and all other herbs that grow out of the earth.

71 Other, after that thou shalt have cast the giants (that is, the mighty and terrible enemies of Thy people) down to the ground.

2072Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors 73about thee: hide thyself asc it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

72 Hitherto extends this song of praise of the people of God; from now on God the Lord does speak, or the prophet in the Name of God, exhorting the church to have yet a little patience, until the time of her deliverance is come.

73 Hebr. before thee, as 2 Kings 4:4.

c 2 Cor. 4:17.

21For, behold, the LORD cometh 74out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for 75their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose 76her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

74 That is, out of heaven, Micah 1:3; Rom. 1:18.

75 That is, the Lord shall from heaven avenge the blood of His people, which the enemies have shed.

76 See the annotations Gen. 4 on verse 10; Job 16 on verse 18.