Isaiah 29:21

21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.

Isaiah 29:21 in Other Translations

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
21 who by a word make a man out to be an offender, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.
21 Those who convict the innocent by their false testimony will disappear. A similar fate awaits those who use trickery to pervert justice and who tell lies to destroy the innocent.
21 Gone the people who corrupted the courts, gone the people who cheated the poor, gone the people who victimized the innocent.
21 those who, with [their] speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing, who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice.

Isaiah 29:21 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 29:21

That make a man an offender for a word
Inadvertently spoken, unwarily dropped, without any bad design or ill meaning; or for a word misplaced or misconstrued; or for preaching and professing the word of God, the Gospel of salvation, and adhering to it; which is the true character of the persecutors of good men in all ages: some render the words, "who make a man sin by a word" F5; by their words and doctrines; and so apply it to the false prophets, as Jarchi does; and very well agrees with the Pharisees in Christ's time, who made men to sin, to transgress the word of God, by their traditions. The Targum is,

``who condemn the sons of men by their words;''
or for them; particularly for their words of reproof, for which they make them offenders, or pronounce them guilty, as follows: and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate;
either for just judges, who sat in the gate of the city, and faithfully reproved and punished men for their sins; or for such that had boldness and courage enough to reprove wicked men openly, and before all, for their wickedness, the gate being a public place, where people pass and repass; and such that sin openly should be reproved openly; and particularly the true prophets of the Lord may be referred to, who sometimes were sent to publish their messages, which were frequently reproofs of the people, in the gates of the city; but, above all, Christ seems to be respected, who in the most public manner inveighed against the Scribes and Pharisees for their wickedness, on account of which they sought to entangle him in his talk, and to lay snares for his life; see ( Matthew 22:15 ) ( 23:1-39 ) : and turn aside the just for a thing of nought;
the Targum is,
``that falsely pervert the judgment of the innocent;''
that turn away their judgment, decline doing them justice, but condemn them on frivolous pretences, for just nothing at all, what is mere emptiness and vanity: Christ is eminently the "just" One, righteous in himself, and the author of righteousness to others; yet, on account of things for which there were no foundation, and contrary to all justice, he was proceeded against as a criminal.

F5 (rbdb Mda yayjxm) "qui verbie faciunt ut peccent homines", Castalio; "peccare facientes hominem in verbo", Pagninus, Montanus. And to the same sense the Septuagint, V. L. Syr. and Arab.

Isaiah 29:21 In-Context

19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.
22 Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Amos 5:10,15
  • 2. Proverbs 21:28
  • 3. S Isaiah 5:23; Isaiah 32:7; Habakkuk 1:4
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