BibliaTodo Commentaries


Benson Joseph
Isaiah 25

1. O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, even counsels of old, in faithfulness and truth.

2. For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.

3. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.

4. For thou hast been a strong hold to the poor, a strong hold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

5. As the heat in a dry place shalt thou bring down the noise of strangers; as the heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones shall be brought low.

6. And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

7. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.

8. He hath swallowed up death for ever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

9. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

10. For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dunghill.

11. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst thereof, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall lay low his pride together with the craft of his hands.

12. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls hath he brought down, laid low, and brought to the ground, even to the dust.

Isaiah 25

Isa 25:1. O Lord — O Jehovah, thou art my God — In covenant with me: my friend, my father, my portion. The prophet speaks in the name of the whole church, and of every true member of it. I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name — Expressions these flowing from a deep and grateful sense of the divine goodness. Those that have Jehovah for their God are in duty bound to praise him. For thou hast done wonderful things — In different ages and nations from the beginning hitherto, especially for thy own people, and against their enemies. Thy counsels of old — Hebrew, מרחק, properly, from afar, signifying not only counsels long before taken, but which had been long before declared and published by the prophets; are faithfulness and truth — That is, thy counsels, from which all thy works proceed, and which thou hast from time to time revealed to thy prophets and people, which were of old, being conceived from all eternity, are true and firm, and shall certainly be accomplished.

Isa 25:2. Thou hast made of a city a heap — Nineveh, Babylon, Ar of Moab, or any other strong city, or fortress, possessed by the enemies of the people of God. Vitringa has made it appear probable that Babylon is chiefly meant, “which was emphatically called the city; which was remarkably fortified, and which was inhabited by strangers, as the Assyrians and Babylonians are commonly called in prophetical language, and in the destruction of which the ancient believers rejoiced most especially, having therein a pledge and earnest of future deliverance, and particularly a type of the deliverance of the Christian Church from persecution, by the fall of spiritual Babylon.” See Rev 18:20; and Rev 19:1. A palace of strangers — A royal city, in which were the palaces of strangers, that is, of the kings of strange people, or of the Gentiles. Bishop Lowth on the authority of two MSS., instead of זרים, strangers, reads זדים, proud ones: which reading, he thinks, the LXX. countenance, as they render the word ασεβων, the ungodly. To be no city; it shall never be built — It has been, or shall be, utterly and irrecoverably destroyed.

Isa 25:3-4. Therefore shall the strong people fear thee — Thy stoutest enemies, observing thy wonderful works, shall be converted, or at least, convinced, and forced to tremble before thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor — Hast defended thy poor and helpless people against the fiercest assaults of their enemies. When — Or rather, for, or therefore, as the particle כי, generally signifies; the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm — Of hail, rain, or wind, which makes a great noise, but without any effect; against the wall — Which stands firm in spite of it. It is probable the prophet, in these words, had a special respect to the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the rage and attempt of Sennacherib; although the words be general, and include other deliverances of a like nature.

Isa 25:5. Thou shall bring down the wise of strangers — The tumultuous noise, as the word properly signifies; the rage and furious attempts of those heathen nations that fought against God’s people. As the heat in a dry place — With as much ease as thou dost allay the heat of a dry place, by the shadow of thy clouds, or by the rain which falls from black and shadowy clouds. Here again, as in Isa 25:2, instead of strangers, Bishop Lowth reads, the proud. The branch of the terrible ones — Their arm or power, as a branch is the arm of a tree; shall be brought low — Shall be humbled and broken.

Isa 25:6-7. And in this mountain — In mount Zion, namely, God’s church, very frequently meant by the names of Zion and Jerusalem, both in the Old and New Testaments; shall the Lord make unto all people — Both Jews and Gentiles, who shall then be admitted to a participation of the same privileges and ordinances; a feast of fat things — A feast made of the most delicate provisions: which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in his church. Of wines on the lees — Which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and are afterward drawn out and refined. He will destroy the face of the covering — The covering of the face, or the veil, as the next clause expounds it, namely, of ignorance of God, and of the true religion; cast over all people — Which then was upon the Gentiles and the Jews, 2Co 3:14-16. This is a manifest prophecy concerning the illumination and conversion of the Gentiles.

Isa 25:8. He — The Lord, expressed both in the foregoing and following words, even the Messiah, who is both God and man; will swallow up death — Shall, by his death, destroy the power of death, (Heb 2:14,) take away the sting of the first death, and prevent the second death, and give eternal life to all that truly believe in him. In victory — Hebrew, לנצח, unto victory, that is, so as to overcome it perfectly; which complete victory Christ hath already purchased for, and will, in due time, actually confer upon his people. And will wipe away tears — Will take away from his people all sufferings and sorrows, with all the causes of them, which deliverance is begun here and perfected in heaven. The rebuke of his people — The reproach and contempt cast upon his faithful people by the ungodly world; shall he take, &c. — From all the church and people of God, wheresoever they shall be. For the Lord hath spoken it — Therefore doubt it not, though it seem incredible to you.

Isa 25:9. And it shall be said in that day — By God’s people, in the way of triumph and reply to their enemies; Lo, this is our God — Your gods are senseless and impotent idols; but our God is omnipotent, and hath done these great and glorious works which fill the world with admiration. We may well boast of him, for there is no god like him. We have waited for him — To appear in flesh; have waited for the coming of our Messiah, or Saviour, long since promised, and have waited a long time; and now at last he is come into the world, bringing salvation with him.

Isa 25:10. For in this mountain — In the gospel church; (he alludes to mount Zion, which was a type of it;) shall the hand of the Lord rest — His powerful and gracious presence (which is often signified in Scripture by God’s hand) shall have its constant and settled abode: it shall not move from place to place, as it formerly did, with the tabernacle; nor shall it depart as it did from Jerusalem, but shall continue in his church, even to the end of the world, Mat 28:20. And Moab shall be trodden down under him. — Under his feet, as appears by the following similitude. The Moabites, having been constant and implacable enemies to Israel, are here put for all the enemies of God’s church, as the Edomites upon the same account are, chap. 34:6, and 63:1. Even as straw is trodden down — Even as easily and effectually as the straw, left upon the ground, is trampled upon by the feet of men and beasts.

Isa 25:11-12. And he — Either, 1st, Moab, who, being plunged into a sea of troubles, shall endeavour to swim out of it, but to no purpose; or, 2d, The Lord, (who is designed by this pronoun he, both in the latter clause of this verse, and in the following verse,) whose power they shall be no more able to resist than the waters can resist a man that swims, who, with great facility, divides them hither and thither. The former sense is adopted by Bishop Lowth, who says, “I cannot conceive that the stretching out the hands of a swimmer can be any illustration of the action of God stretching out his hands over Moab to destroy it.” The latter, however, is preferred by, most interpreters, as connecting best with the following clause. And they consider the comparison as implying, that God should extend his powerful hands on every side, to the utmost limits of Moab, to bring down his enemies, as a swimmer stretches out his hands to beat down with them the opposing waters.

Revised Version

Published in 1881; public domain.