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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 50:1

 

 

Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thus saith the Lord - This chapter has been understood of the prophet himself; but it certainly speaks more clearly about Jesus of Nazareth than of Isaiah, the son of Amos.

Where is the bill "Where is this bill" - Husbands, through moroseness or levity of temper, often sent bills of divorcement to their wives on slight occasions, as they were permitted to do by the law of Moses, Deuteronomy 24:1. And fathers, being oppressed with debt, often sold their children, which they might do for a time, till the year of release, Exodus 21:7. That this was frequently practiced, appears from many passages of Scripture, and that the persons and the liberty of the children were answerable for the debts of the father. The widow, 2 Kings 4:1, complains "that the creditor is come to take unto him her two sons to be bondmen." And in the parable, Matthew 18:25; : "The lord, forasmuch as his servant had not to pay, commands him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made." Sir John Chardin's MS. note on this place of Isaiah is as follows: En Orient on paye ses dettes avec ses esclaves, car ils sont des principaux meubles; et en plusieurs lieux on les paye aussi de ses enfans. "In the east they pay their debts by giving up their slaves, for these are their chief property of a disposable kind; and in many places they give their children to their creditors." But this, saith God, cannot be my case, I am not governed by any such motives, neither am I urged by any such necessity. Your captivity therefore and your afflictions are to be imputed to yourselves, and to your own folly and wickedness.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-50.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thus saith the Lord - To the Jews in Babylon, who were suffering under his hand, and who might be disposed to complain that God had dealt with them with as much caprice and cruelty as a man did with his wife, when he gave her a writing of divorce, and put her away without any just cause.

Where is the bill of your mother‘s divorcement? - God here speaks of himself as the husband of his people, as having married the church to himself, denoting the tender affection which he had for his people. This figure is frequently used in the Bible. Thus in Isaiah 62:5: ‹As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee;‘ ‹For thy Maker is thy husband‘ Isaiah 54:5; ‹Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you‘ Jeremiah 3:14. Thus in Revelation 21:9, the church is called ‹the bride, the Lamb‘s wife.‘ Compare Deuteronomy 24:1; compare Matthew 19:8).

It originated probably from the erroneous views which then prevailed of the nature of the marriage compact. It was extensively regarded as substantially like any other compact, in which the wife became a purchase from her father, and of course as she had been purchased, the husband claimed the right of dismissing her when he pleased. Moses nowhere defines the causes for which a man might put away his wife, but left these to be judged of by the people themselves. But he regulated the way in which it might be done. He ordained a law which was designed to operate as a material check on the hasty feelings, the caprice, and the passions of the husband. He designed that it should be with him, if exercised, not a matter of mere excited feeling, but that he should take time to deliberate upon it; and hence, he ordained that in all cases a formal instrument of writing should be executed releasing the wife from the marriage tie, and leaving her at liberty to pursue her own inclinations in regard to future marriages Deuteronomy 24:2.

It is evident that this would operate very materially in favor of the wife, and in checking and restraining the excited passions of the husband (see Jahn‘s Bib. Antiq. Section 160; Michaelis‘ Commentary on the Laws of Moses, vol. i. pp. 450-478; ii. 127-40. Ed. Lond. 1814,8vo.) In the passage before us, God says that he had not rejected his people. He had not been governed by the caprice, sudden passion, or cruelty which husbands often evinced. There was a just cause why he had treated them as he had, and he did not regard them as the children of a divorced wife. The phrase, ‹your mother,‘ Here is used to denote the ancestry from whom they were descended. They were not regarded as the children of a disgraced mother.

Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you - Among the Hebrews, a father had the right, by the law of Moses, if he was oppressed with debt, to sell his children Exodus 21:7; Nehemiah 5:5. In like manner, if a man had stolen anything, and had nothing to make restitution, he might be sold for the theft Exodus 22:3. If a man also was poor and unable to pay his debts, he might be sold Leviticus 25:39; 2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 18:25. On the subject of slavery among the Hebrews, and the Mosaic laws in regard to it, see Michaelis‘ Commentary on the Laws of Moses, vol. ii. pp. 155, following In this passage, God says that he had not been governed by any such motives in his dealings with his people. He had not dealt with them as a poor parent sometimes felt himself under a necessity of doing, when he sold his children, or as a creditor did when a man was not able to pay him. He had been governed by different motives, and he had punished them only on account of their transgressions.

Ye have sold yourselves - That is, you have gone into captivity only on account of your sins. It has been your own act, and you have thus become bondmen to a foreign power only by your own choice.

Is your mother put away - Retaining the figure respecting divorce. The nation has been rejected, and suffered to go into exile, only on account of its transgressions.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-50.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

This remarkable chapter contains the beginning of what is called "The Third Servant Song," although the word "servant" does not appear in it. Isaiah 42:1-4; Isaiah 49:1-6; and Isaiah 52:13-53:12, are reckoned as the three, along with what is written here. "The first two songs emphasized the Servant's mission; the third one, however, treats of his obedience, and of his steadfast endurance under persecution. Because of the song's description of the growing hostility toward the Servant, North entitled it: `The Gethsemane of the Servant.'"[1]

Some, of course, dispute the fact that the chapter is principally a reference to Our Saviour's patience under shameful persecutions and trials; but Barnes has listed the following reasons why the passage could not possibly refer to anyone else except Jesus Christ:

"(1) The words of Isaiah 50:6 cannot be applied to anyone else except Christ. (2) The Messianic meaning of the chapter has almost unanimously been upheld throughout the centuries by the Christian Church. (3) All that is here said of humiliation, submission, patience, and trust in God applies eminently to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to no other one. (4) The closing part which promises terrible vengeance upon his foes cannot be applied to anyone except our Lord. (5) In Luke 18:31,32, our Lord specifically mentioned prophecies recorded in this chapter, flatly declaring that `all these things shall be accomplished unto the Son of man.'"[2]

The reason listed by Barnes as the fifth in the above list is alone sufficient to justify the conclusion that this chapter is Messianic.

The chapter naturally divides into two parts, Isaiah 49:1-3 and Isaiah 49:4-11.

Isaiah 50:1-3

"Thus saith Jehovah, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, wherewith I have put her away? of which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were ye sold, and for transgressions was your mother put away. Wherefore, when I came was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering."

It is acutely distressing to this student that many respected commentators use this passage to declare that God never divorced the Southern Israel, namely Judah, whereas the passage teaches the opposite. Of course, God divorced Israel, as absolutely proved by the prophet Hosea in his symbolical marriage with adulterous Gomer. Read my exposition of Hosea in Vol. 2 of my series on the minor prophets; and there is utterly no way to restrict the application of the divorce that put away Gomer to the Northern Israel alone. Yes, Hosea mentioned God's triple betrothal to Jezreel, but that referred to the New Israel of the Church of God, and not to the old adulterous nation of Israel.

We are glad indeed that Kelley discerned the truth on this passage. See footnote 3.

"Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement ...?" (Isaiah 50:1). "This does not mean, however, that no divorce occurred. Israel was indeed sent away (Malachi 2:16)."[3] By the same token, the passage does not mean that Israel was not sold; what is meant by both of these metaphors is that "The bill of Israel's divorcement showed that Israel's shameful wickedness was the reason behind it, and not some capricious action on the part of God; and that Israel was indeed sold for iniquities! They sold themselves! The first part of Isaiah 50:1 is the equivalent of God's merely asking Israel to "look at the record!" Note what the latter half of Isaiah 50:1 emphatically states as fact:

"Behold, for your iniquities were ye sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away (divorced)."

The plain thrust of this passage is, as stated by Jamieson, "God is saying, It was not from any caprice of mine, but through your own fault that your mother was put away, and that you were sold."[4]

Of course, in the case of Gomer in Hosea, her husband did indeed buy her back from a life of adultery and slavery. He brought her back home indeed, but not as a wife. See Hosea 3:3.

We agree with Cheyne that these first three verses appear to be another echo of the question raised in the previous chapter (Isaiah 49:14), in which the people were critical of God Himself and inclined to blame the Lord with their troubles. "This looks like a second reply on God's part to that complaint."[5]

"Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? ..." (Isaiah 50:2). "The Messiah is the speaker here and in the following verses; he complains of the inattention and unbelief of the Jewish people."[6] Cheyne believed that, "`When I came' can be a reference only to Jehovah,"[7] because of the power claimed by the speaker in the same verse; but we believe that the problem is solved in the truth that Christ the Messiah is indeed God come in the flesh. Therefore, we have here a prophecy of the Incarnation, that indeed being the only occasion when God "came" to men in the person of his Son; and this, of course, is an implied prophecy of the Virgin Birth as well, that being the only means by which God could indeed have become a man. The Incarnation and the Virgin Birth are interdependent twin wonders, neither of them being possible without the other. No unbeliever has ever suggested that God could have entered our earth life as a man by any other device whatever except by the Virgin Birth. That is the reason, apparently, for God's mentioning both together in Isaiah 7:14: "Behold THE VIRGIN shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us)."

The wonders God mentioned in Isaiah 50:2,3 may suggest some of the great wonders performed in the Exodus; but evidently far greater powers are in view here. In Revelation 6:12 reveals that on the occasion of the final judgment the sun will become black as sackcloth. "The Egyptian plague of darkness (Exodus 10:21,22) is not adequate to the expressions used here. God means to assert his power to have all nature in total darkness if he so chooses, a power necessarily belonging to him who said, `Let there be light; and there was light.'"[8]

The concluding eight verses of the chapter are often referred to as, "A soliloquy of the Servant of Jehovah,"[9] the Messiah. We shall look at these verses one at a time.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-50.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thus saith the Lord,.... Here begins a new discourse or prophecy, and therefore thus prefaced, and is continued in the following chapter:

where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? these words are directed to the Jews, who stood in the same relation to the Jewish church, or synagogue, as children to a mother; and so the Targum interprets "your mother" by "your congregation", or synagogue; who were rejected from being a church and people; had a "loammi" written upon them, which became very manifest when their city and temple were destroyed by the Romans; and this is signified by a divorce, alluding to the law of divorce among the Jews, Deuteronomy 24:1, when a man put away his wife, he gave her a bill of divorce, assigning the causes of his putting her away. Now, the Lord, either as denying that he had put away their mother, the Jewish church, she having departed from him herself, and therefore challenges them to produce any such bill; a bill of divorce being always put into the woman's hands, and so capable of being produced by her; or if there was such an one, see Jeremiah 3:8, he requires it might be looked into, and seen whether the fault was his, or the cause in themselves, which latter would appear:

or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? referring to a practice used, that when men were in debt, and could not pay their debts, they sold their children for the payment of them; see Exodus 21:7, but this could not be the case here; the Lord has no creditors, not any to whom he is indebted, nor could any advantage possibly accrue to him by the sale of them; it is true they were sold to the Romans, or delivered into their hands, which, though a loss to them, was no gain to him; nor was it he that sold them, but they themselves; he was not the cause of it, but their own sins, as follows:

behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves; or, "are sold"F23נמכר־תאם επραθητε, Sept. "venditi estis", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Cocceias, Vitringa. ; they were sold for them, or delivered up into the hands of their enemies on account of them; they had sold themselves to work wickedness, and therefore it was but just that they should be sold, and become slaves:

and for your transgressions is your mother put away; and they her children along with her, out of their own land, and from being the church and people of God.


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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 50:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-50.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the a bill of your mother's divorcement, b whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] c to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

(a) Meaning, that he has not forsaken her, but through her own opportunity as in (Hosea 2:2).

(b) Who would declare that I have cut her off: meaning, that they could show no one.

(c) Signifying, that he sold them not for any debt or poverty, but that they sold themselves to sins to buy their own lusts and pleasures.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-50.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 50:1-11. The judgments on Israel were provoked by their crimes, yet they are not finally cast off by God.

Where … mothers divorcement — Zion is “the mother”; the Jews are the children; and God the Husband and Father (Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14). Gesenius thinks that God means by the question to deny that He had given “a bill of divorcement” to her, as was often done on slight pretexts by a husband (Deuteronomy 24:1), or that He had “sold” His and her “children,” as a poor parent sometimes did (Exodus 21:7; 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5) under pressure of his “creditors”; that it was they who sold themselves through their own sins. Maurer explains, “Show the bill of your mother‘s divorcement, whom … ; produce the creditors to whom ye have been sold; so it will be seen that it was not from any caprice of Mine, but through your own fault, your mother has been put away, and you sold” (Isaiah 52:3). Horsley best explains (as the antithesis between “I” and “yourselves” shows, though Lowth translates, “Ye are sold”) I have never given your mother a regular bill of divorcement; I have merely “put her away” for a time, and can, therefore, by right as her husband still take her back on her submission; I have not made you, the children, over to any “creditor” to satisfy a debt; I therefore still have the right of a father over you, and can take you back on repentance, though as rebellious children you have sold yourselves to sin and its penalty (1 Kings 21:25).

bill … whom — rather, “the bill with which I have put her away” [Maurer].


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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 50:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-50.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The words are no longer addressed to Zion, but to her children. “Thus saith Jehovah, Where is your mother's bill of divorce, with which I put her away? Or where is one of my creditors, to whom I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities are ye sold, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” It was not He who had broken off the relation in which He stood to Zion; for the mother of Israel, whom Jehovah had betrothed to Himself, had no bill of divorce to show, with which Jehovah had put her away and thus renounced for ever the possibility of receiving her again (according to Deuteronomy 24:1-4), provided she should in the meantime have married another. Moreover, He had not yielded to outward constraint, and therefore given her up to a foreign power; for where was there on of His creditors (there is not any one) to whom He would have been obliged to relinquish His sons, because unable to pay His debts, and in this way to discharge them? - a harsh demand, which was frequently made by unfelling creditors of insolvent debtors (Exodus 21:7; 2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 18:25). On nōsheh , a creditor, see at Isaiah 24:2. Their present condition was indeed that of being sold and put away; but this was not the effect of despotic caprice, or the result of compulsion on the part of Jehovah. It was Israel itself that had broken off the relation in which it stood to Jehovah; they had been sold through their own faults, and “for your transgressions is your mother put away.” Instead of וּבפשׁעיה we have וּבפשׁעיכם . This may be because the church, although on the one hand standing higher and being older than her children (i.e., her members at any particular time), is yet, on the other hand, orally affected by those to whom she has given birth, who have been trained by her, and recognised by her as her own.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-50.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Thus saith the Lord — The scope of this and the next chapter, is to vindicate God's justice and to convince the Jews that they were the causes of their own calamities.

Behold — You can blame none but yourselves and your own sins, for all your captivities and miseries.


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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 50:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-50.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Where is that bill of divorcement? There are various interpretations of this passage, but very few of the commentators have understood the Prophet’s meaning. In order to have a general understanding of it, we must observe that union by which the Lord everywhere testifies that his people are bound to him; that is, that he occupies the place of a husband, and that we occupy the place of a wife. It is a spiritual marriage, which has been consecrated by his eternal doctrine and sealed by the blood of Christ. In the same manner, therefore, as he takes us under his protection as a early beloved wife, on condition that we preserve our fidelity to him by chastity; so when we have been false to him, he rejects us; and then he is said to issue a lawful divorce against us, as when a husband banished from his house an adulterous wife.

Thus, when the Jews were oppressed by calamities so many and so great, that it was easy to conclude that God had rejected and divorced them, the cause of the divorce came to be the subject of inquiry. Now, as men are usually eloquent in apologizing for themselves, and endeavor to throw back the blame on God, the Jews also complained at that time about their condition, as if the Lord had done wrong in divorcing them; because they were far from thinking that the promises had been made void, and the covenant annulled, by their crimes. They even laid the blame on their ancestors, as if they were punished for the sins of others. Hence those taunts and complaints which Ezekiel relates.

“Our fathers ate a sour grape, and our teeth are set on edge.” (Ezekiel 18:2.)

Speeches of this kind being universally current among them, the Lord demands that they shall produce the “bill of divorcement,” by means of which they may prove that they are free from blame and have been rejected without cause.

Now, a “bill of divorcement” was granted to wives who were unjustly divorced; for by it the husband was constrained to testify that his wife had lived chastely and honorably, so that it was evident that there was no other ground for the divorce than that she did not please the husband. Thus the woman was at liberty to go away, and the blame rested solely on the husband, to whose sullenness and bad temper was ascribed the cause of the divorce. (Deuteronomy 24:1.) This law of divorcement, as Ezekiel shews, (Matthew 19:8,) was given by Moses on account of the hard-heartedness of that nation. By a highly appropriate metaphor, therefore, the Lord shews that he is not the author of the divorce, but that the people went away by their own fault, and followed their lusts, so that they had utterly broken the bond of marriage. This is the reason why he asks where is “that bill” of which they boasted; for there is emphasis in the demonstrative pronoun, זה (zeh), that, by which he intended to expose their idle excuses; as if he had said, that they throw off the accusation, and lay blame on God, as if they had been provided with a defense, whereas they had violated the bond of marriage, and could produce nothing to make the divorce lawful.

Or who is the creditor to whom I sold you? By another metaphor he demonstrates the same thing. When a man was overwhelmed by debt, so that he could not satisfy his creditors, he was compelled to give his children in payment. The Lord therefore asks, “Has he been constrained to do this? Has he sold them, or given them in payment to another creditor? Is he like spendthrifts or bad managers, who allow themselves to be overwhelmed by debt?” As if he had said, “You cannot bring this reproach against me; and therefore it is evident that, on account of your transgressions, you have been sold and reduced to slavery.”

Lo, for your iniquities ye have been sold. Thus the Lord defends his majesty from all slanders, and refutes them by this second clause, in which he declares that it is by their own fault that the Jews have been divorced and “sold.” The same mode of expression is employed by Paul, when he says that we are “sold under sin,” (Romans 7:14,) but in a different sense; in the same manner as the Hebrew writers are wont to speak of abandoned men, whose wickedness is desperate. But here the Prophet intended merely to charge the Jews with guilt, because, by their own transgressions, they had brought upon themselves all the evils that they endured.

If it be asked, “Did the Lord divorce his heritage? Did he make void the covenant?” Certainly not; but the Lord is said to “divorce,” as he is elsewhere said to profane, his heritage, (Psalms 89:39; Ezekiel 24:21,) because no other conclusion can be drawn from present appearances; for, when he did not bestow upon them his wonted favor, it was a kind of divorce or rejection. In a word, we ought to attend to these two contrasts, that the wife is divorced, either by the husband’s fault, or because she is unchaste and adulterous; and likewise that children are sold, either for their father’s poverty or by their own fault. And thus the course of argument in this passage will be manifest.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-50.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

redeemer

Heb. goel, Redemp. (Kinsman type). (See Scofield "Isaiah 59:20").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Isaiah 50:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/isaiah-50.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where [is] the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors [is it] to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Ver. 1. Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement.] Heb., Abscission. This bill was called by the Greeks ‘ Aποστασιον: but none such could here be produced or proven as given by God to the Jewish state; but that the disloyalty was theirs, and their dereliction on their part. God had neither rejected them though innocent, (as some husbands did their wives out of a peevish and selfish humour), nor sold them though obedient, as some fathers did their children, for payment of their debts; for he is neither debtor to any nor non-solvent. [Romans 11:35-36]

Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves.] O duram servitutem! O miseram necessitatem! "You have sold yourselves," as Ahab did, to work wickedness, [1 Kings 21:20] and therefore I have justly sold and abandoned you into the hands of your enemies. [ 2:13-14; 3:7-8 Psalms 44:11-12]

Is your mother,] i.e., The synagogue, whereunto the Jews do yet still adhere as to their mother; and the Lord did then acknowledge himself to be her husband, but now he hath worthily cast her off.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-50.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

Notwithstanding certain parts, here and there, in this Chapter, which may, at the first glance, appear to have an historical allusion to Babylon and the captivity: yet the great and evident point in the whole hath reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. His person, offices, and character, are strongly marked.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-50.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

ISAIAH CHAPTER 50

The dereliction of the Jews is not of Christ; for he hath power to save, Isaiah 50:1-4; and was obedient in that work; and God is present with him, Isaiah 50:5-9. An exhortation not to trust in ourselves, but in God, Isaiah 50:10,11.

Thus saith the Lord: this is another sermon begun here, and continued in the next chapter. The main scope of it is to vindicate God’s justice, and to convince the Jews that they were the causes of all their calamities which they imputed to God.

Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? God had formerly espoused’ the Israelites to himself in a kind of matrimonial covenant, but seemed to cast them off when he sent them to Babylon, and did wholly reject them afterward from being his people, and took the Gentiles into their stead; which great and wonderful change was foretold in the Old Testament, as hath been already observed, and we shall see again, and accomplished in the New. And because God foresaw that those strange dispensations would provoke the Jews to murmur and quarrel with God for, casting them off without sufficient cause, as indeed they were always prone to accuse God, and to vindicate themselves, he bids them produce their bill of divorce; for those husbands which put away their wives merely out of levity or passion were obliged to give their wives a bill of divorce, which vindicated the wife’s innocency, and declared that the husband’s will and pleasure was the cause of the divorce; of which see the notes on Deuteronomy 24:1 Matthew 19:3.

Which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? have I any creditors to whom I was obliged or willing to sell you for the payment of my debt? Produce then the bill of sale to witness against me. Parents might, and in some cases were forced to sell their children to their creditors; of which see on Exodus 21:7, and 2 Kings 4:1.

For your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, & c.; you can blame none but yourselves and your own sins for all your captivities and miseries.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-50.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Thus saith the Lord — As in reply to Zion’s complaint, and in justification of himself.

Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? — In effect, the words are: “Your mother, or Zion, to whom I am married, and claim still an indissoluble marriage bond, has no such bill of divorcement, except as she has herself made it by departure from me. Consequently, her children are not chattels to be sold into bondage. Earthly fathers do this, but I never. The children of Zion may break away from me and sell themselves, but I am faithful to my covenants — my part of the bond — for ever. You are doers of these evils; your mother has put herself away.”


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-50.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord continued to speak through His prophet. He addressed again Zion"s charge that God had forsaken and forgotten His people ( Isaiah 49:14). He had not issued Israel a certificate of divorce (cf. Deuteronomy 24:1-4); He had not stopped desiring to have her for Himself (cf. Isaiah 49:14-18; Judges 2:14; Judges 3:8; Judges 4:2; Judges 10:7). [Note: See Joe M. Sprinkle, "Old Testament Perspectives on Divorce and Remarriage," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society40:4 (December1997):541 , and Richard D. Patterson, "Metaphors of Marriage as Expressions of Divine-Human Relations," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society51:4 (December2008):689-702.] Neither had He sold the Israelites to one of His creditors, since He had none; no one had forced Him to send them into captivity (cf. Isaiah 49:22-26). No, He had temporarily sold the Israelites into captivity because of their own sins (as had been the case with Samaria, cf. Jeremiah 3:8).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-50.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 50:1. Thus saith the Lord — God having, by his prophet, in the last three verses of the preceding chapter, comforted his people with an assurance of their deliverance from the tyrannical power of their enemies, here vindicates his justice in suffering them to be exposed thereto, showing that they were the causes of their own calamities. Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement? — God had espoused the Jewish Church, the mother of the individuals of that people, to himself, in a kind of matrimonial covenant, frequently mentioned or alluded to by the prophets; but he seemed to divorce or cast them off when he sent them to Babylon, and afterward did wholly reject the generality of that nation from being his people, and took the Gentiles in their stead; which great and wonderful change was foretold in the Old Testament, (as has been already often observed, and will be again,) and was accomplished in the New. And because God foresaw that this strange dispensation would provoke the Jews to murmur and quarrel with him for casting them off without sufficient cause, as indeed they were always prone to accuse him, and vindicate themselves, he bids them produce their bill of divorce. For those husbands who put away their wives out of levity or passion were obliged to give them a bill of divorce, which vindicated the wives’ innocence, and declared that the husband’s will and pleasure was the cause of their dismission. Now, says God, produce your bill of divorce, to show that I have put you away of my own mere will, and on a slight occasion, and that you did not first forsake me and go after other gods, and by that spiritual adultery violate the marriage covenant into which I had taken you. Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you — Have I any creditors to whom I was obliged or willing to sell you for the payment of a debt? Parents, oppressed with debt, often sold their children, which, according to the law of Moses, they might do, till the year of release, Exodus 21:7. See also 2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 18:25. But neither of these cases, says God, can be mine; I am not governed by any such motives, nor am I urged by any such necessity. Behold, for your iniquities have you sold yourselves — Your captivity and your afflictions are to be imputed to yourselves, and to your own folly and wickedness.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-50.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Away. Such a one could not be received again, if she had taken another husband, Deuteronomy xxiv. 3. Some explain this of the captives. But God restored them to favour. It seems rather to relate to the reprobation (Calmet) of the synagogue, which will never again become the true Church, (Haydock) though many of Israel will be converted, Romans xi. 25. --- Sold you, as a father might do, Exodus xxi. 1., and Matthew xviii. 15. St. Ambrose (Tob.[Tobias?] viii.) inveighs against such cruel parents, as the Christian religion had not then entirely repressed this inhumanity. (Calmet) --- God rejected the synagogue, not out of hard-heartedness or want, but because of her sins. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-50.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Thus. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "For thus". the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Where . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.

the bill = this bill.

divorcement. Found only here, and in Jeremiah 3:8 outside the Pentateuch. See Deuteronomy 24:1, Deuteronomy 24:3. See App-92.

whom: or, wherewith.

put away. . . sold. Note the Introversion of these words in this verse.

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

sold . . . put away. Note the Introversion.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-50.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.

Where ... mother's divorcement. Zion is 'the mother;' the Jews are the children; and God the Husband and Father (Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14). Gesenius thinks God, means by the question, to deny that He had given 'a bill of divorcement' to her, as was often done on slight pretexts by a husband (Deuteronomy 24:1), or that He had "sold" His and her 'children,' as a poor parent sometimes did (Exodus 21:7; 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5) under pressure of his "creditors;" that it was they who sold themselves through their own sins. Maurer, not so well, explains, 'Show the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom, etc.; produce the creditors to whom ye have been sold: so it will be seen that it was not from any caprice of mine, but through your own fault your mother has been put away and you sold' (Isaiah 52:3). She antithesis between "I have sold you" and 'for (i:e., by reason of) your own iniquities ye have sold yourselves,' or (Hebrew, nimkartem (Hebrew #4376)) 'ye are sold,' shows the sense is, 'I have never given your mother a regular bill of divorcement, I have merely 'put her away' for a time, and can therefore, by my right as her husband still, take her back on her submission. I have not made you, the children, over to any creditor to satisfy a debt: I therefore still have the right of a father over you, and can take you back on repentance, though as rebellious children you have sold yourselves to sin and its penalty' (1 Kings 21:25).

The bill of your mother's divorcement, whom - rather, 'the bill with which I have put her away' (Maurer). So the Septuagint, Vulgate, Chaldaic, Arabic, and Syriac.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-50.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

L.

(1) Where is the bill . . .?—The thought seems suggested by Isaiah 49:14, but expands in a different direction. Both questions imply a negative answer. Jehovah had not formally repudiated the wife (Judah) whom he had chosen (Deuteronomy 24:1) as he had done her sister Israel (Jeremiah 3:8;·Hosea 2:2). He had no creditors among the nations who could claim her children. On the law of debt which supplies the image, comp. Exodus 21:7; 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5. The divorce, the sale, were her acts and not His.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-50.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
the bill
Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Jeremiah 3:1,8; Hosea 2:2-4; Mark 10:4-12
or which
Exodus 21:7; Leviticus 25:39; Deuteronomy 32:30; 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5; Esther 7:4; Psalms 44:12; Matthew 18:25
Behold
Husbands often sent bills of divorcement to their wives on slight occasions; and fathers, oppressed with debt, sold their children till the year of release. But this, saith God, cannot be my case: I am not governed by any such motives, nor am I urged by any such necessity. Your captivity and afflictions are the fruits of your own folly and wickedness.
for your iniquities
52:3; 59:1,2; 1 Kings 21:25; 2 Kings 17:17; Jeremiah 3:8; 4:18

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 50:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-50.html.

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