Isaiah 59:8-9

8 The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; 1no one who treads on them knows peace.
9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; 2we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

Isaiah 59:8-9 Meaning and Commentary

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 59:8-9 In-Context

6 Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways.
8 The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
9 Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
11 We all growl like bears; we moan and moan like doves; we hope for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 48:22; Isaiah 57:21
  • 2. [ver. 11; Isaiah 60:2]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.