Isaiah 42:22 MEANING

Isaiah 42:22
(22) But this is a people robbed and spoiled . . .--It is hard to say whether the prophet contemplates the state of the exiles in Babylon, or sees far off yet another exile, consequent on a second and more fatal falling off from the true ideal.

None delivereth . . . none saith, Restore.--The tone of despondency seems to come in strangely after the glorious promise of deliverance. On the whole, therefore, the second view seems the more probable; and, so taken, the verse finds its best commentary in Romans 9-11, which is permeated through and through with the thoughts of 2 Isaiah. The "holes" are, primarily, rock-caves, used, not as places of refuge (Isaiah 2:19), but as dungeons.

Verse 22. - But this is a people, etc.; i.e. yet, notwithstanding all that has been done for it, see the condition into which this people has brought itself. For their sins, here they are in Babylonia, robbed and spoiled - i.e., suffering oppression and wrong - snared in holes, or taken in their enemies' pits (Psalm 119:85), and, some of them, hid in prison-houses (see 2 Kings 25:27), expiating by their punishments the long series of their offences.

42:18-25 Observe the call given to this people, and the character given of them. Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but carelessness. The Lord is well-pleased in the making known his own righteousness. For their sins they were spoiled of all their possessions. This fully came to pass in the destruction of the Jewish nation. There is no resisting, nor escaping God's anger. See the mischief sin makes; it provokes God to anger. And those not humbled by lesser judgments, must expect greater. Alas! how many professed Christians are blind as the benighted heathen! While the Lord is well-pleased in saving sinners through the righteousness of Christ he will also glorify his justice, by punishing all proud despisers. Seeing God has poured out his wrath on his once-favoured people, because of their sins, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should be found to come short of it.But this is a people robbed and spoiled,.... The Jewish people, who shut their eyes against the clear light of the Gospel, and turned a deaf ear to Christ, and to his ministers, rejected him, and persecuted them; these were robbed and plundered by the Roman soldiers of all their riches and treasures, when the city of Jerusalem was taken:

they are all of them snared in holes; such of them as escaped and hid themselves in holes, and caverns, and dens of the earth, were laid in wait for and taken, and dragged out, as beasts are taken in a pit, and with a snare. Josephus (b) says, some the Romans killed, some they carried captive, some they searched out lurking in holes underground, and, breaking up the ground, took them out and slew them:

and they are hid in prison houses; being taken by their enemies out of their holes, they were put in prisons, some of them, and there lay confined, out of which they could not deliver themselves:

and they are for a prey, and none delivereth; when they were taken by the Chaldeans, and became a prey to them, in a few years they had a deliverer, Cyrus, but now they have none:

for a spoil, and none saith, restore; there is none to be an advocate for them; no one that asks for their restoration; for almost seventeen hundred years (a) they have been in this condition, and yet none of the kings and princes of the earth have issued a proclamation for their return to their own land, as Cyrus did; and no one moves for it, either from among themselves or others.

(a) Written about 1730 A. D. The Jews in 1948 once again became a nation. Editor. (b) De Bello Jud. l. 7, c. 9. sect. 4.

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