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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Isaiah 1



Verse 1

The vision of Isaiah. This is the title of the whole book.

he saw = he saw in vision. Hebrew. chaza, to gaze on, as in Isaiah 2:1; Isaiah 13:1. Not the same word as in Isaiah 6:1, Isaiah 6:6; Isaiah 21:6, Isaiah 21:7; but Jehovah was the speaker. Isaiah"s voice and pen, but Jehovah"s words (Isaiah 1:2).

concerning Judah and Jerusalem. This is the subject of the book. It is not concerning the or the: nor to other nations, except as they come in contact with "Judah and Jerusalem". Its theme is the salvation of the nation by Jehovah through judgment and grace, as being "life from the dead". (Romans 11:15). It is addressed to those who look for Messiah (Isaiah 8:17; Isaiah 45:22) and those who "wait for Him" (Isaiah 8:17; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:8; Isaiah 33:2.

Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:1-23649 BC).

Jotham (2 Chronicles 27:1-9.

Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:1-27).

and. The absence of conjunctions between these names, and the Hebrew accents attached to them, seem to indicate that some of them reigned for a time jointly. App-50.

Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:1

Verse 2

Hear, heavens. Figure of speech Apostrophe. App-6. Reference to Pentateuch (App-92). It commences like the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1. See notes, p. 283), and is the commentary on it. Note the connection of the two books, Isaiah the necessary sequel to Deuteronomy. This verse was put on the title-page of early English Bibles, claiming the right of all to hear what Jehovah hath spoken.

for. Note the reason given.

the Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

hath spoken: i.e., articulately. Not Isaiah. All modern criticism is based on the assumption that it is a human book: and that prediction is human impossibility (which we grant); and this ends in a denial of inspiration altogether. Against this God has placed 2 Peter 1:21.

spoken. Jehovah is the Eternal One: "Who was, and is, and is to come". Hence, His words are, like Himself, eternal; and prophecy relates to the then present as well as to the future; and may have a praeterist and a futurist interpretation, as well as a now present application to ourselves.

brought up. Compare Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 14:1; Deuteronomy 32:6, Deuteronomy 32:18, Deuteronomy 32:20.

children = sons.

rebelled. Hebrew. pash"a. App-44.

knoweth. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for all that that knowledge implies.

not know. Compare Jeremiah 8:7. All Israel"s trouble came from the truth of this indictment. Compare Luke The trouble will all be removed when Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 60:16 are fulfilled. Jeremiah 31:34. Jeremiah 11:9. Compare Jeremiah 9:23,

My People. Some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and My people".

Verse 4

Ah. Figure of speech Ecphonesis. Note the four exclamatory descriptions, and see note on "gone away", below.

sinful. Hebrew. chata. App-44.

sinful nation. Note the Figures of speech Apostrophe, Synonymia and Anabasis in verses: Isaiah 1:4, Isaiah 1:5. Contrast Exodus 19:6. Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 14:2, Deuteronomy 14:21.

laden = heavily burdened.

iniquity. Hebrew "avah. App-44.

of = consisting of. Genitive of Apposition. App-17.

corrupters. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 32:5).

forsaken. Apostasy in disposition. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:20; Deuteronomy 31:16). App-92. Occurs in the "former" portion here, Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 6:12; Isaiah 7:16; Isaiah 10:3 (leave), 14 (left); Isaiah 17:2, Isaiah 17:9; Isaiah 18:6 (left); Isaiah 27:10; Isaiah 32:14, and in the "latter" portion, Isaiah 41:17; Isaiah 49:14; Isaiah 54:6; Isaiah 55:7; Isaiah 58:2; Isaiah 60:15; Isaiah 62:4, Isaiah 62:12; Isaiah 65:11. App-79.

the Hebrew. Jehovah.(with "eth) = Jehovah Himself (App-4). Not the same as in verses: Isaiah 1:2, Isaiah 1:9, Isaiah 1:10, Isaiah 1:20.

provoked = despised, blasphemed. Reference to Pentateuch (App-92). An old Mosaic word (Numbers 14:11, Numbers 14:23; Numbers 16:30. Deuteronomy 31:20). Apostasy in words (see note above).

the Holy One of Israel. Occurs twenty-five times in Isaiah: twelve times in the "former" portion (Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 5:19, Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 10:20; Isaiah 12:6; Isaiah 17:7; Isaiah 29:19; Isaiah 30:11, Isaiah 30:12, Isaiah 30:15; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 37:23,:); and thirteen times in the "latter" portion (Isaiah 41:14, Isaiah 41:16, Isaiah 41:20; Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:14; Isaiah 45:11; Isaiah 47:4; Isaiah 48:17; Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 55:5; Isaiah 60:9, Isaiah 60:14). Outside Isaiah it is used by Himself once (2 Kings 19:22 first occurrence); three times in the Psalms (Isaiah 71:22; Isaiah 89:18).

gone away backward. Apostasy in act. See note on Isaiah 1:4, and notice the threefold apostasy in this verse.

Verse 5

Why. ? Figure of speech Erotesis App-6

Verse 6

wounds. Note the Figure of speech Synonymia Hebrew singular, as are the other two.

ointment = oil.

Verse 7

desolate. Occurs in "former" portion here, Isaiah 6:11; Isaiah 17:9; Isaiah 33:8; and in the "latter" portion, Isaiah 49:8, Isaiah 49:19; Isaiah 54:1, Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 61:4, Isaiah 61:4; Isaiah 62:4.

your cities. Some codices, with Syriac, read "and your cities".

land = soil.

strangers = foreigners, or apostates. Hebrew. zur. See note on Proverbs 5:3 (not the same word as in Isaiah 2:6).

Verse 8

cottage = a booth, made of reeds. Compare Job 27:18.

a lodge. A platform on four poles, sheltered by leaves or sacking. Left to the weather at the close of harvest.

Verse 9

Except, &c. The first passage in Isaiah quoted in N.T. (Romans 9:29).

very small. Hebrew. kim"at. See note on Proverbs 5:14.

as Sodom. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 19:1-29. Deuteronomy 29:23.) Compare Isaiah 3:9, for the reason.

Verse 10

rulers of: i.e. rulers who ruled as in Sodom.

the law. Reference to whole Pentateuch. Twelve times in Isaiah (Isaiah 1:10; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 8:16, Isaiah 8:20; Isaiah 24:5; Isaiah 30:9, &c.

people of: i.e. people who acted as the people in Gomorrah acted.

Verse 11

To what purpose, &c. Figure of speech Synathraesmos, in verses: Isaiah 1:11-15. Also Figure of speech Hypotyposis, for emphasis, in describing the hollowness of mere religious observances (as when Christ was on earth. Compare John 2:6, John 2:7 with Isaiah 14:16). Matthew 15:3-8.

saith the LORD. The Hebrew fut. of "amar (= y", omar), combined with a Divine title, is used thrice in the so-called "former "portion of Isaiah (Isaiah 1:11, Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 33:10), and six times in the "latter" portion (Isaiah 40:1, Isaiah 40:25; Isaiah 41:21, Isaiah 41:21; Isaiah 66:9). Elsewhere only in Psalms 12:6, while the past tense is frequently used (see App-92).

Verse 12

to appear, &c. Reference to Pentateuch. See note (Exodus 23:15).

tread = trample, and thus profane. Hebrew. ramas. Ezekiel 26:11; Ezekiel 34:18. Daniel 8:7, Daniel 8:10.

Verse 13

oblations. Hebrew. minchah = gift-offering. App-43.

is = itself [is].

assemblies = convocations. Hebrew. mikra". Reference to Pentateuch (App-92); out of twenty-three occurrences, twenty occur in Pentateuch. Occurs only here, Isaiah 4:5, and Nehemiah 8:8 (in a later sense "reading"), outside the Pentateuch. Not kahal. See note on Genesis 28:3; Genesis 49:6; and App-92.

I cannot away with. Hebrew. yakol = to be able. Here = "I am not able [to endure, or put up with]". The Figure of speech Ellipsis must be thus supplied.

iniquity = vanity. (Not the same word as Isaiah 1:4.) Hebrew. "aven. App-44.

iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Hebrew "iniquity and assembly". Figure of speech Hendiadys = your vain assembly.

Verse 14

My soul = I (very emph.) Hebrew. nephesh. App-13. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6.

Verse 15

And when = Even when.

spread forth your hands. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for "pray", in which hands are spread forth.

make many prayers = multiply your prayers.

blood. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), for the acts which shed the blood.

Verse 16

evil. Heb ra"a. App-44.

Verse 17

fatherless. widow. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), for all kinds of helpless and bereaved persons.

Verse 18

let us reason together = let us put the matter right, or settle the matter. It means the putting an end to all reasoning, rather than an invitation to commence reasoning.

sins. Hebrew. chata. App-44.

though. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "yea, though".

Verse 20

for the mouth of the LORD, &c. This sets the seal on this book as a whole, uniting all its parts. It Occurs in the "former" portion (Isaiah 1:20), and in the "latter" portion (Isaiah 40:5, and Isaiah 58:14). Compare Isaiah 21:17; Isaiah 22:25; Isaiah 24:3; Isaiah 25:8. See App-79.

Verse 21

is = [is it that she].

Verse 22

wine = liquor, or drink. Hebrew. saba". App-27.

Verse 23

Thy princes, &c. Figure of speech Hermeneia. Interpreting the Figures of speech Hypocatastasis in Isaiah 1:22.

princes are rebellious. Sarim sorerim, not a "pun", but the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6), for solemn emphasis. It may be Englished "thy rulers are unruly".

gifts = rewards, or bribes.

Verse 24

The Lord. Hebrew. Adon.


the mighty One of Israel. Peculiar to Isaiah. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 49:24). App-92. Compare Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16.

Verse 25

turn My hand : i.e. repeat the judgment (Isaiah 1:27)

thee: i.e. the city (verses: Isaiah 1:21, Isaiah 1:26, Isaiah 1:27).

purge = refine. Compare Isaiah 1:16; Isaiah 6:7

tin: i.e. alloy.

Verse 26

judges as a t the first. Reference to Pentateuch Exodus 18:16-26.

faithful. Compare Isaiah 1:21.

Verse 27

redeemed = delivered Hebrew. paddah.

her converts = they that return of her.

Verse 28

transgressors = rebels, App-44.

Verse 29

oaks: the trees resorted to for idolatrous worship (Isaiah 57:5; Isaiah 65:3; Isaiah 66:17. 2 Kings 16:4; 2 Kings 17:10. Ezekiel 6:13).

chosen. Hebrew. bachar. Occurs four times in the "former" portion (here, Isaiah 7:15, Isaiah 7:16; Isaiah 14:1, and sixteen times in the "latter" portion (Isaiah 40:20; Isaiah 41:8, Isaiah 41:9, Isaiah 41:24, Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:1, Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 48:10; Isaiah 49:7

;, Isaiah 56:4; Isaiah 58:5, Isaiah 58:6; Isaiah 65:12; Isaiah 66:3, Isaiah 66:4, Isaiah 66:4).

Verse 30

be = become.

leaf. Some codices (one in margin), with four early printed editions, Septuagint, Syr, and Vulgate, read "Leaves" (plural)

Verse 31

the strong. Hebrew. hason. Occurs only here, and Amos 2:9.

the maker of it = his work (whatever it be): i.e. the idols (doubtless the "asherahs.



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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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