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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 46:2

 

 

They stooped over, they have bowed down together; They could not rescue the burden, But have themselves gone into captivity.

Adam Clarke Commentary

They could not deliver the burden "They could not deliver their own charge" - That is, their worshippers, who ought to have been borne by them. See the two next verses. The Chaldee and Syriac Versions render it in effect to the same purpose, those that bear them, meaning their worshippers; but how they can render משא massa in an active sense, I do not understand.

For לא lo, not, ולא velo, and they could not, is the reading of twenty-four of Kennicott's, sixteen of De Rossi's, and two of my own MSS. The added ו vau gives more elegance to the passage.

But themselves "Even they themselves" - For ונפשם venaphsham, an ancient MS. has נפשם כי ki naphsham, with more force.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-46.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They stoop - Bel, and Nebo, and all the Babylonian gods (see Isaiah 46:1).

They could not deliver the burden - The word ‹burden‘ here, probably means the load of metal, wood, and stone, of which the idols were composed. The gods whom the Babylonians worshipped had not even power to protect the images which were made to represent them, and which had now become a heavy burden to the animals and wains which were carrying them away. They could not rescue them from the hands of the conqueror; and how unable were they, therefore, to defend those who put their trust in them. The Vulgate renders this, ‹They could not deliver him that bare them.‘ The Septuagint, ‹You are carrying them like a burden bound on the weary, faint, and hungry; who are all without strength, and unable to escape from battle; and as for them, they are carried away captives!‘

But themselves - Margin, as Hebrew, ‹Their soul.‘ The sense is, that the gods thus worshipped, so far from being able to defend those who worshipped them, had themselves become captive, and were borne to a distant land.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-46.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They stoop, they bow together,.... Either the beasts under their burdens, or other idols besides those mentioned; or rather the Babylonians themselves, who were obliged to submit to the conquerors:

they could not deliver the burdens; the idols could not save themselves from being laid as burdens upon the beasts, any more than they could save their worshippers: so the Targum understands this and the preceding clause of them;

"they are cut off, and cut to pieces together, they could not deliver those that carried them;'

or else the Babylonians are designed, who could not save their gods from being used in this shameful manner:

but themselves are gone into captivity, or "their souls"F13ונפשם "et animae eorum", V. L. Munster, Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius. ; what were as dear to them as their own souls, their idols; to whom also souls may be ascribed by way of derision, being inanimate as well as irrational; and it is not unusual for idols to be said to be carried captive; hence those words of Tertullian, "manent et simulachra caplira": or rather the Babylonians, who went into captivity themselves, and so could not save their idols: thus they who had led captive the Jews are led captive themselves; and thus it will be with mystical Babylon, Revelation 13:10.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-46.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

c They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but d themselves have gone into captivity.

(c) The beasts that carried the idols fell down under their burden.

(d) He derides the idols, who had neither soul nor sense.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-46.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

deliver — from the enemies‘ hands.

burden — their images laid on the beasts (Isaiah 46:1).

themselves — the gods, here also distinguished from their images.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

They β€” The Babylonians.

Together β€” The Babylonians and their idols together, neither could help the other.

Deliver β€” The Babylonians could not deliver their idols.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-46.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.They could not withdraw themselves from the burden. He ridicules the vanity of such gods as these, which have neither strength nor motion, and cannot defend or support themselves, and, in a word, who need the aid of beasts of burden to carry them. There is, therefore, an implied contrast between idols and the true God, who has no need of anything whatever. I interpret these words as applied to beasts, but the Prophet heightens the disgrace by saying that they were a heavy burden to the beasts themselves which would willingly have cast them off, and consequently that the false gods, besides being of no use to their worshippers, also wearied out the beasts.

And their soul hath gone into captivity. This is a Hebrew mode of expression, by which he ridicules those gods which have neither “soul” nor understanding. He speaks ironically, therefore, against useless and dumb idols, when he says that they shall be carried into captivity along with their soul. But we must see if these things cannot be retorted on the true God, whose ark, by which he gave testimony of his presence, was taken by the Philistines; for in this way it appeared as if the Lord were a captive. (1 Samuel 4:11.) This objection may be easily answered; for, although the Lord intended that the ark should be a testimony of his presence, yet he forbade the Jews to fix their whole and exclusive attention upon it, but commanded them to raise their eyes to heaven, and there to seek and adore God. He wished to be always worshipped in a spiritual manner, (John 4:24,) and the ark was not adored instead of God, but was a symbol, by which the people were led upwards, as by the hand, to God. The Gentiles, on the other hand, fixed their attention on their idols, and attributed to them divine power.

It might even have been said that the Philistines were at length punished for their wickedness, and acknowledged that they had to deal with the true God. (1 Samuel 5:6.) But that would not have been a sufficient answer, because the Lord sometimes permitted his ark to be treated with derision, as is evident from other passages of the history. The true solution therefore is, that the Lord, though he holds intercourse with us by symbols and sacraments, yet wishes to be sought in heaven. To this must be added, that he had openly declared, by memorable predictions, that he was not dragged as a captive by conquerors, but that of his own accord he exposed his sanctuary to the sport of enemies, in order to punish the sins of his people. Nor could the Jews, when the Temple had been thrown down and bumt, and when the holy vessels were carried to Babylon, doubt that the same God whom they had worshipped was the author of this punishment, since he had so frequently threatened by his prophets what then happened.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-46.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 46:2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

Ver. 2. They stoop.] The Babylonians, together with their idols; ridiculous gods, that could be thus plundered, carried captives, borne on the backs of asses.

But themselves are gone into captivity.] Heb., And their soul went into captivity; that is, their idols, that were dear unto them as their very souls.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-46.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

They; either,

1. The idols, of whom these words are used, Isaiah 46:1. Or,

2. The Babylonians, who are sufficiently implied in that expression, their idols, Isaiah 46:1.

They bow down together; either,

1. One as well as another; or,

2. The Babylonians and their idols together, neither could help the other.

They could not deliver the burden; either,

1. The idols could not deliver themselves, who were now a burden to the beasts, and carried away by them; or,

2. The Babylonians could not deliver their idols, which he now had called burdens. And this sense seems most probable from the following clause, which clearly speaks of the same persons or things; but themselves, &c., Heb. their souls; for although the soul is here put for the person, as it commonly is, yet that title is never given to any idol or lifeless thing, but only to such creatures as have or had souls within their bodies. So the meaning of this and the foregoing verse is this, that neither the Babylonians nor their idols could either save themselves or one another, but both are bowed down and gone into captivity together.


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-46.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

They. Literally, "their soul." (Haydock) --- The pagans must have supposed they had one. (Calmet) --- Captivity. "There are as many triumphs over the gods as over men." (Tertullian) --- The former shared the fate of their adorers. Their statues were plundered.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-46.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

they. Aram, and Syriac, with five early printed editions, read "and they". But some codices, with two early printed editions, omit "and".

themselves = their soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-46.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

They could not deliver - from the enemies' hands.

Burden - their images laid on the beasts (Isaiah 46:1). The gods who were supposed to dwell in the images, were not able to deliver them from the Persian spoilers.

But themselves are gone into captivity - the gods, here also distinguished from their images.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) They could not deliver the burden.β€”The deities are, for the moment, distinguished from their images. They are powerless to rescue them. So far as they have a soul or being at all, that very being is carried away captive.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-46.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
they could
36:18,19; 37:12,19; 44:17; 45:20
but
Judges 18:17,18,24; 2 Samuel 5:21; Jeremiah 43:12,13; 48:7
themselves are
Heb. their soul is.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 46:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-46.html.

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