57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away a from the evil [to come].
(a) From the plague that is at hand, and also because God will punish the wicked. 57:2 b He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, [each one] walking [in] his uprightness.
(b) The soul of the righteous will be in joy, and their body will rest in the grave to the time of the resurrection, because they walked before the Lord. 57:3 But draw near here, ye c sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the harlot.
(c) He threatens the wicked hypocrites, who under the pretence of the name of Gods people, derided Gods word and his promises: boasting openly that they were the children of Abraham, but because they were not faithful and obedient as Abraham was, he calls them bastards and the children of sorcerers, who forsook God, and fled to wicked means for comfort. 57:5 Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the d children in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks?
57:6 Among the smooth [stones] e of the stream [is] thy portion; they, they [are] thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in f these?
(d) Read ( Leviticus 18:21 ; 2 Kings 23:10 ).
(e) Meaning every place was polluted with their idolatry: or every fair stone they found they made into an idol. 57:7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy g bed: even there thou wentest up to offer sacrifice.
(f) In the sacrifices which you offering before these idols thought you served God.
(g) That is, your altars in an open place, like an impudent harlot, that cares not for the sight of her husband. 57:8 Behind the h doors also and the door posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast uncovered [thyself to another] than me, and hast gone up; thou hast i enlarged thy bed, and made thee [a covenant] with them; thou didst love their bed where thou sawest [it].
57:9 And thou wentest k to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase [thyself even] to hell.
(h) Instead of setting up the word of God in the open places on the posts and doors to have it in remembrance, ( Deuteronomy 6:9 Deuteronomy 27:1 ) you have set up signs and marks of your idolatry in every place.
(i) That is, increased your idolatry more and more.
(k) You sought the favour of the Assyrians by gifts and presents to help you against the Egyptians and when they failed you sought the Babylonians, and more and more tormented yourself. 57:10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; [yet] saidst thou not, l There is no hope: thou m hast found the life of thy hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.
(l) Although you saw all your labours to be in vain, yet would you never acknowledge your fault and leave off. 57:11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast n lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid [it] to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of o old, and thou fearest me not?
(m) He derides their unprofitable diligence, who thought to have made all sure, and yet were deceived.
(n) Broken promises with me. 57:12 I will declare thy righteousness, p and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.
(o) Meaning, that the wicked abuse Gods leniency, and grow to further wickedness.
(p) That is, your naughtiness, idolatry and impiety which the wicked call Gods service: thus he derides their obstinacy. 57:13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind q shall carry them all away; vanity shall take [them]: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain;
(q) Meaning, the Assyrians and others, whose help they looked for. 57:14 r And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people.
(r) God will say to Darius and Cyrus. 57:16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always angry: s for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls [which] I have made.
(s) I will not use my power against frail man, whose life is but a blast. 57:17 For the t iniquity of his covetousness I was angry, and smote him: I hid myself, and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
(t) That is, for the vices and faults of the people, which is here meant by covetousness. 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will u heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
(u) Though they were obstinate, yet I did not withdraw my mercy from them. 57:19 I create the x fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to [him that is] y far off, and to [him that is] near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
(x) That is, I frame the speech and words of my messengers who will bring peace. 57:20 But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it z cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
(y) As well to him that is in captivity as to him that remains at home.
(z) Their evil conscience always torments them and therefore they can never have rest, ( Isaiah 48:22 ).