Isaiah 59

1 ADONAI's arm is not too short to save, nor is his ear too dull to hear.
2 Rather, it is your own crimes that separate you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he doesn't hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood and your fingers with crime; your lips speak lies, your tongues utter wicked things.
4 No one sues with just cause, no one pleads honestly in court, they trust in empty words and say worthless things; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 They hatch viper eggs and spin spiderwebs; whoever eats their eggs dies, and the crushed egg hatches a snake.
6 Their webs are useless as clothing, their deeds are useless for wearing; their deeds are deeds of wickedness, their hands produce violence.
7 Their feet run to evil, they rush to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness, their paths lead to havoc and ruin.
8 The way of shalom they do not know, their goings-about obey no law, they make devious paths for themselves; no one treading them will ever know shalom.
9 This is why justice is far from us, and righteousness doesn't catch up with us; we look for light, but see only darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind; like people without eyes we feel our way; we stumble at noonday as if it were dusk, we are in dark places like the dead.
11 We growl, all of us, like bears and moan pitifully like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our crimes multiply before you, our sins testify against us; for our crimes are present with us; and our sins, we know them well:
13 rebelling and denying ADONAI, turning away from following our God, talking about oppression and revolt, uttering lies which our hearts have conceived.
14 Thus justice is repelled, righteousness stands apart, at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public court, and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Honesty is lacking, he who leaves evil becomes a target. ADONAI saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no one, was amazed that no one interceded. Therefore his own arm brought him salvation, and his own righteousness sustained him.
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate, salvation as a helmet on his head; he clothed himself with garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in a mantle of zeal.
18 He repays according to their deeds - fury to his foes, reprisal to his enemies; to the coastlands he will repay their due;
19 in the west they will fear the name of ADONAI, and likewise, in the east, his glory. For he will come like a pent-up stream, impelled by the Spirit of ADONAI.
20 "Then a Redeemer will come to Tziyon, to those in Ya'akov who turn from rebellion." So says ADONAI.
21 "And as for me," says ADONAI, "this is my covenant with them: my Spirit, who rests on you, and my words which I put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth or from the mouth of your children, or from the mouth of your children's children, now or ever," says ADONAI.

Isaiah 59 Commentary

Chapter 59

Reproofs of sin and wickedness. (1-8) Confession of sin, and lamentation for the consequences. (9-15) Promises of deliverance. (16-21)

Verses 1-8 If our prayers are not answered, and the salvation we wait for is not wrought for us, it is not because God is weary of hearing prayer, but because we are weary of praying. See here sin in true colours, exceedingly sinful; and see sin in its consequences, exceedingly hurtful, separating from God, and so separating us, not only from all good, but to all evil. Yet numbers feed, to their own destruction, on infidel and wicked systems. Nor can their skill or craft, in devising schemes, as the spider weaves its web, deliver or save them. No schemes of self-wrought salvation shall avail those who despise the Redeemer's robe of righteousness. Every man who is destitute of the Spirit of Christ, runs swiftly to evil of some sort; but those regardless of Divine truth and justice, are strangers to peace.

Verses 9-15 If we shut our eyes against the light of Divine truth, it is just with God to hide from our eyes the things that belong to our peace. The sins of those who profess themselves God's people, are worse than the sins of others. And the sins of a nation bring public judgments, when not restrained by public justice. Men may murmur under calamities, but nothing will truly profit while they reject Christ and his gospel.

Verses 16-21 This passage is connected with the following chapters. It is generally thought to describe the coming of the Messiah, as the Avenger and Deliverer of his church. There was none to intercede with God to turn away his wrath; none to interpose for the support of justice and truth. Yet He engaged his own strength and righteousness for his people. God will make his justice upon the enemies of his church and people plainly appear. When the enemy threatens to bear down all without control, then the Spirit of the Lord shall stop him, put him to flight. He that has delivered, will still deliver. A far more glorious salvation is promised to be wrought out by the Messiah in the fulness of time, which all the prophets had in view. The Son of God shall come to us to be our Redeemer; the Spirit of God shall come to be our Sanctifier: thus the Comforter shall abide with the church for ever, ( John 14:16 ) . The word of Christ will always continue in the mouths of the faithful; and whatever is pretended to be the mind of the Spirit, must be tried by the Scriptures. We must lament the progress of infidelity and impiety. But the cause of the Redeemer shall gain a complete victory even on earth, and the believer will be more than conqueror when the Lord receives him to his glory in heaven.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 59

As the former chapter declares the hypocrisy and formality of professors of religion; this expresses the errors and heresies, immorality and profaneness, which shall prevail before the spiritual reign of Christ, or the latter day glory begins; which is so fully described in the next chapter. Reasons are given of God's withdrawing his presence from a professing people, which were not want of power and readiness in him, but their own sins and transgressions, Isa 59:1,2 which are enumerated, such as murder, rapine, lies Isa 59:3-8 for which the judgments of God were upon them, darkness, distress, and misery, of which they were sensible, Isa 59:9-11 and confess their sins and transgressions, Isa 59:12,13 and lament their wretched state and condition, which was displeasing to God, Isa 59:14,15 who is represented as appearing for their salvation; moved to it by their want of help, and the oppression of their enemies, in which he shows his power, justice, zeal, grace, and goodness, Isa 59:16-18 the consequence of which shall be the conversion and salvation of many, owing to the efficacy of the divine Spirit, and to the spiritual coming of the Redeemer, Isa 59:19,20, and the chapter is closed with a promise of the continuance of the Spirit of God, and the Gospel of Christ in his church, unto the end of the world, Isa 59:21.

Isaiah 59 Commentaries