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Isaiah 59:3

Isaiah 59:3

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with
iniquity
From a general charge, the prophet proceeds to a particular enumeration of sins they were guilty of; and idolatry not being mentioned, as Jerom observes, shows that the prophecy belongs to other times than Isaiah's, when that sin greatly prevailed. He begins the account with the sin of shedding blood; the blood of innocents, as the Targum; designing either the sin of murder, now frequently committed in Christian nations; or wars between Christian princes, by means of which much blood is shed; or persecutions of Christian brethren, by casting them into prisons, which have issued in their death; and at least want of brotherly love, or, the hatred of brethren, which is called murder, ( 1 John 3:15 ) a prevailing sin in the present Sardian state; and which will not be removed till the spiritual reign or Philadelphian state takes place: and this sin is of a defiling nature; it "defiles" the "hands" or actions; and without love all works signify nothing, ( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ) : yea, even their "fingers" are said to be defiled "with iniquity"; meaning either their lesser actions; or rather those more curiously and nicely performed, and seemingly more agreeable to the divine will; and yet defiled with some sin or other, as hypocrisy, vain glory, or the like: or it may be this may design the same as putting forth the fingers, and smiting with the fist, ( Isaiah 58:4 Isaiah 58:9 ) , as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe; and so may have respect to some sort of persecution of their brethren for conscience sake, as there. Your lips have spoken lies:
or "falsehood" F17; that is, false doctrines, so called because contrary to the word of truth, and which deceive men: your tongue hath muttered perverseness:
that which is a perversion of the Gospel of Christ, and of the souls of men; what is contrary to the sacred Scriptures, the standard of faith and practice, and that premeditated, as the word F18 signifies; done with design, and on purpose: the abounding of errors and heresies in the present day, openly taught and divulged, to the ruin of souls, seems here to be pointed at. In the Talmud F19 these are explained of the several sorts of men in a court of judicature; the "hands" of the judges; the "fingers" of, the Scribes; the "lips" of advocates and solicitors; and the "tongue" of adversaries, or the contending parties.


FOOTNOTES:

F17 (rqv) "falsitatem", Montanus, Cocceius; "falsum", Junius & Tremeliius, Piscator.
F18 (hght) , (meleta) , Sept.; "meditabitur", Montanus; "meditatur", Piscator; "meditatam effert", Junius & Tremellius.
F19 T. Bab. Sabbat. fol. 139. 1.
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