16. Literally, "Behold Me as Him who has laid"; namely, in My divine counsel ( Revelation 13:8 ); none save I could lay it ( Isaiah 63:5 ).
stone--Jesus Christ; Hezekiah [MAURER], or the temple [EWALD], do not realize the full significancy of the language; but only in type point to Him, in whom the prophecy receives its exhaustive accomplishment; whether Isaiah understood its fulness or not ( 1 Peter 1:11 1 Peter 1:12 ), the Holy Ghost plainly contemplated its fulfilment in Christ alone; so in Isaiah 32:1 ; compare Genesis 49:24 , Psalms 118:22 , Matthew 21:42 , Romans 10:11 , Ephesians 2:20 .
tried--both by the devil ( Luke 4:1-13 ) and by men ( Luke 20:1-38 ), and even by God ( Matthew 27:46 ); a stone of tested solidity to bear the vast superstructure of man's redemption. The tested righteousness of Christ gives its peculiar merit to His vicarious sacrifice. The connection with the context is; though a "scourge" shall visit Judea ( Isaiah 28:15 ), yet God's gracious purpose as to the elect remnant, and His kingdom of which "Zion" shall be the center, shall not fail, because its rests on Messiah ( Matthew 7:24 Matthew 7:25 , 2 Timothy 2:19 ).
precious--literally "of preciousness," so in the Greek, ( 1 Peter 2:7 ). He is preciousness.
corner-stone--( 1 Kings 5:17 , 7:9 , Job 38:6 ); the stone laid at the corner where two walls meet and connecting them; often costly.
make haste--flee in hasty alarm; but the Septuagint has "be ashamed"; so Romans 9:33 , and 1 Peter 2:6 , "be confounded," substantially the same idea; he who rests on Him shall not have the shame of disappointment, nor flee in sudden panic (see Isaiah 30:15 , 32:17 ).
17. line--the measuring-line of the plummet. HORSLEY translates, "I will appoint judgment for the rule, and justice for the plummet." As the corner-stone stands most perpendicular and exactly proportioned, so Jehovah, while holding out grace to believers in the Foundation-stone, will judge the scoffers ( Isaiah 28:15 ) according to the exact justice of the law (compare James 2:13 ).
hail--divine judgment ( Isaiah 30:30 , 32:19 ).
18. disannulled--obliterated, as letters traced on a waxen tablet are obliterated by passing the stylus over it.
trodden down--passing from the metaphor in "scourge" to the thing meant, the army which treads down its enemies.
19. From the time, &c.--rather, "As often as it comes over (that is, passes through), it shall overtake you" [HORSLEY]; like a flood returning from time to time, frequent hostile invasions shall assail Judah, after the deportation of the ten tribes.
vexation . . . understand . . . report--rather, "It shall be a terror even to hear the mere report of it" [MAURER], ( 1 Samuel 3:11 ). But G. V. SMITH, "Hard treatment (HORSLEY, 'dispersion') only shall make you to understand instruction"; they scorned at the simple way in which the prophet offered it ( Isaiah 28:9 ); therefore, they must be taught by the severe teachings of adversity.
20. Proverbial, for they shall find all their sources of confidence fail them; all shall be hopeless perplexity in their affairs.
21. Perazim--In the valley of Rephaim ( 2 Samuel 5:18 2 Samuel 5:20 , 1 Chronicles 14:11 ), there Jehovah, by David, broke forth as waters do, and made a breach among the Philistines, David's enemies, as Perazim means, expressing a sudden and complete overthrow.
Gibeon--( 1 Chronicles 14:16 , 2 Samuel 5:25 , Margin); not Joshua's victory ( Joshua 10:10 ).
strange--as being against His own people; judgment is not what God delights in; it is, though necessary, yet strange to Him ( Lamentations 3:33 ).
work--punishing the guilty ( Isaiah 10:12 ).
22. mockers--a sin which they had committed ( Isaiah 28:9 Isaiah 28:10 ).
bands--their Assyrian bondage ( Isaiah 10:27 ); Judah was then tributary to Assyria; or, "lest your punishment be made still more severe" ( Isaiah 24:22 ).
consumption--destruction ( Isaiah 10:22 Isaiah 10:23 , Daniel 9:27 ).
23. Calling attention to the following illustration from husbandry ( Psalms 49:1 Psalms 49:2 ). As the husbandman does his different kinds of work, each in its right time and due proportion, so God adapts His measures to the varying exigencies of the several cases: now mercy, now judgments; now punishing sooner, now later (an answer to the scoff that His judgments, being put off so long, would never come at all, Isaiah 5:19 ); His object being not to destroy His people any more than the farmer's object in threshing is to destroy his crop; this vindicates God's "strange work" ( Isaiah 28:21 ) in punishing His people. Compare the same image, Jeremiah 24:6 , Hosea 2:23 , Matthew 3:12 .
24. all day--emphatic; he is not always ploughing: he also "sows," and that, too, in accordance with sure rules ( Isaiah 28:25 ).
doth he open--supply "always." Is he always harrowing?
25. face--the "surface" of the ground: "made plain," or level, by harrowing.
fitches--rather, "dill," or "fennel"; Nigella romana, with black seed, easily beaten out, used as a condiment and medicine in the East. So the Septuagint, "cummin" was used in the same way.
cast in . . . principal wheat--rather, plant the wheat in rows (for wheat was thought to yield the largest crop, by being planted sparingly [PLINY, Natural History, 18.21]); [MAURER]; "sow the wheat regularly" [HORSLEY]. But GESENIUS, like English Version, "fat," or "principal," that is, excellent wheat.
appointed barley--rather, "barley in its appointed place" [MAURER].
in their place--rather, "in its (the field's) border" [MAURER].
26. to discretion--in the due rules of husbandry; God first taught it to man ( Genesis 3:23 ).
27. The husbandman uses the same discretion in threshing. The dill ("fitches") and cummin, leguminous and tender grains, are beaten out, not as wheat, &c., with the heavy corn-drag ("threshing instrument"), but with "a staff"; heavy instruments would crush and injure the seed.
cart wheel--two iron wheels armed with iron teeth, like a saw, joined together by a wooden axle. The "corn-drag" was made of three or four wooden cylinders, armed with iron teeth or flint stones fixed underneath, and joined like a sledge. Both instruments cut the straw for fodder as well as separated the corn.
staff--used also where they had but a small quantity of corn; the flail ( Ruth 2:17 ).
28. Bread corn--corn of which bread is made.
bruised--threshed with the corn-drag (as contrasted with dill and cummin, "beaten with the staff"), or, "trodden out" by the hoofs of cattle driven over it on the threshing-floor [G. V. SMITH], ( Deuteronomy 25:4 , Micah 4:13 ).
because--rather, "but" [HORSLEY]; though the corn is threshed with the heavy instrument, yet he will not always be thus threshing it.
break it--"drive over it (continually) the wheel" [MAURER].
horsemen--rather, "horses"; used to tread out corn.
29. This also--The skill wherewith the husbandman duly adjusts his modes of threshing is given by God, as well as the skill ( Isaiah 28:26 ) wherewith he tills and sows ( Isaiah 28:24 Isaiah 28:25 ). Therefore He must also be able to adapt His modes of treatment to the several moral needs of His creatures. His object in sending tribulation (derived from the Latin tribulum, a "threshing instrument," Luke 22:31 , Romans 5:3 ) is to sever the moral chaff from the wheat, not to crush utterly; "His judgments are usually in the line of our offenses; by the nature of the judgments we may usually ascertain the nature of the sin" [BARNES].