Isaiah 57

1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
3 “But you—come here, you children of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
4 Who are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars?
5 You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.
6 The idols among the smooth stones of the ravines are your portion; indeed, they are your lot. Yes, to them you have poured out drink offerings and offered grain offerings. In view of all this, should I relent?
7 You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices.
8 Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked with lust on their naked bodies.
9 You went to Molek[a] with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors[b] far away; you descended to the very realm of the dead!
10 You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.
11 “Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?
12 I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.
13 When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But whoever takes refuge in me will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.”

Comfort for the Contrite

14 And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
16 I will not accuse them forever, nor will I always be angry, for then they would faint away because of me— the very people I have created.
17 I was enraged by their sinful greed; I punished them, and hid my face in anger, yet they kept on in their willful ways.
18 I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
19 creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”
20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.
21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Isaiah 57 Commentary

Chapter 57

The blessed death of the righteous. (1,2) The abominable idolatries of the Jewish nation. (3-12) Promises to the humble and contrite. (13-21)

Verses 1-2 The righteous are delivered from the sting of death, not from the stroke of it. The careless world disregards this. Few lament it as a public loss, and very few notice it as a public warning. They are taken away in compassion, that they may not see the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted by it. The righteous man, when he dies, enters into peace and rest.

Verses 3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.

Verses 13-21 The idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing; but those who trust in God's grace, shall be brought to the joys of heaven. With the Lord there is neither beginning of days, nor end of life, nor change of time. His name is holy, and all must know him as a holy God. He will have tender regard to those who bring their mind to their condition, and dread his wrath. He will make his abode with those whose hearts he has thus humbled, in order to revive and comfort them. When troubles last long, even good men are tempted to entertain hard thoughts of God. Therefore He will not contend for ever, for he will not forsake the work of his own hands, nor defeat the purchase of his Son's blood. Covetousness is a sin that particularly lays men under the Divine displeasure. See the sinfulness of sin. See also that troubles cannot reform men unless God's grace work in them. Peace shall be published, perfect peace. It is the fruit of preaching lips, and praying lips. Christ came and preached peace to Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; to after-ages, who were afar off in time, as well as to those of that age. But the wicked would not be healed by God's grace, therefore would not be healed by his comforts. Their ungoverned lusts and passions made them like the troubled sea. Also the terrors of conscience disturbed their enjoyments. God hath said it, and all the world cannot unsay it, That there is no peace to those who allow themselves in any sin. If we are recovered from such an awful state, it is only by the grace of God. And the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that new heart, from whence comes grateful praise, the fruit of our lips, are his gift. Salvation, with all its fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his work, and to him belongs all the glory. There is no peace for the wicked man; but let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.

Cross References 62

  • 1. S Psalms 12:1; Ezekiel 21:3
  • 2. S Isaiah 42:25
  • 3. S 2 Kings 22:20
  • 4. Isaiah 26:7
  • 5. Daniel 12:13
  • 6. S Exodus 22:18; Malachi 3:5
  • 7. ver 7-8; Matthew 16:4; James 4:4
  • 8. Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20
  • 9. S Isaiah 1:2
  • 10. S Isaiah 1:29
  • 11. S Deuteronomy 12:2; 2 Kings 16:4
  • 12. S Leviticus 18:21; S Deuteronomy 18:10; Psalms 106:37-38; Ezekiel 16:20
  • 13. S 2 Kings 17:10; Jeremiah 3:9; Habakkuk 2:19
  • 14. Jeremiah 7:18; Jeremiah 19:13; Jeremiah 44:18
  • 15. Jeremiah 5:9,29; Jeremiah 9:9
  • 16. Jeremiah 3:6; Ezekiel 6:3; Ezekiel 16:16; Ezekiel 20:29
  • 17. Isaiah 65:7; Jeremiah 13:27; Ezekiel 6:13; Ezekiel 20:27-28
  • 18. Ezekiel 16:26; Ezekiel 23:7
  • 19. Ezekiel 16:15,36; Ezekiel 23:18
  • 20. S Leviticus 18:21; S 1 Kings 11:5
  • 21. S Song of Songs 4:10
  • 22. Ezekiel 23:16,40
  • 23. S Isaiah 8:19
  • 24. S Isaiah 47:13
  • 25. Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 18:12; Malachi 3:14
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 2:4
  • 27. S 2 Kings 1:15; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 7:2
  • 28. S Isaiah 17:10; Jeremiah 2:32; Jeremiah 3:21; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 18:15; Ezekiel 22:12
  • 29. S Isaiah 42:23
  • 30. S Esther 4:14; S Psalms 50:21; S Psalms 83:1
  • 31. Isaiah 29:15; Isaiah 58:1; Isaiah 59:6,12; Isaiah 65:7; Isaiah 66:18; Ezekiel 16:2; Mic 3:2-4,8
  • 32. Jeremiah 22:20; Jeremiah 30:15
  • 33. S Judges 10:14
  • 34. Isaiah 40:7,24
  • 35. S Psalms 118:8
  • 36. S Psalms 37:9
  • 37. Isaiah 2:2-3; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 65:9-11
  • 38. S Isaiah 11:16
  • 39. Isaiah 62:10; Jeremiah 18:15
  • 40. S Isaiah 52:13
  • 41. S Deuteronomy 33:27; S Psalms 90:2
  • 42. S Job 16:19
  • 43. Psalms 147:3
  • 44. Psalms 34:18; Psalms 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; Micah 6:8; Matthew 5:3
  • 45. S 2 Kings 22:19; S Job 5:18; S Matthew 23:12; Isaiah 61:1
  • 46. S Psalms 50:21; Isaiah 3:13-14
  • 47. S Psalms 85:5; Psalms 103:9; S Isaiah 54:9; Micah 7:18
  • 48. S Genesis 2:7; Zechariah 12:1
  • 49. S Isaiah 56:11; Jeremiah 8:10
  • 50. S Isaiah 1:15
  • 51. Isaiah 1:4; S Isaiah 30:15; S Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 66:3
  • 52. S Deuteronomy 32:39; S 2 Chronicles 7:14; S Isaiah 30:26
  • 53. S Psalms 48:14; S Isaiah 42:16; S Isaiah 48:17
  • 54. Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 61:1-3
  • 55. Isaiah 6:7; Isaiah 51:16; Isaiah 59:21; Hebrews 13:15
  • 56. S Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 26:3,12; Isaiah 32:17; S Luke 2:14; Ephesians 2:17
  • 57. Acts 2:39
  • 58. Job 18:5-21
  • 59. S Genesis 49:4; Ephesians 4:14; Jude 1:13
  • 60. Psalms 69:14
  • 61. S Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 59:8; Ezekiel 13:16
  • 62. S Isaiah 48:22

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains complaints of the stupidity and idolatry of the people, described in the latter part of the preceding chapter; and some promises of grace to the people of God. The stupidity of the former is observed, Isa 57:1 they not taking notice of the death of good men, nor of impending calamities they were taken from, whose happiness is described, Isa 57:2, then these idolatrous people are summoned before the Lord, Isa 57:3 and are charged with deriding the saints with idolatry and murder, Isa 57:4-6 and their idolatry is represented under the notion of adultery, attended with very aggravating circumstances, Isa 57:7-9 and yet these people still entertained presumptuous hopes of happiness, and boasted of, and trusted in, their righteousness and good works, which would be exposed, and be of no advantage to them, Isa 57:10-12, next follow promises of grace to the saints, that such that trusted in Christ should inherit the holy mountain, Isa 57:13 that the stumblingblock of his people should be removed, Isa 57:14, that he should dwell with the humble and contrite, Isa 57:15, and not be always wroth and contend with them, for a reason given, Isa 57:16 and that though he had smote them, and hid his face from them because of their sins, yet would heal them, lead them, and comfort them, and speak peace unto them, Isa 57:17-19 and the chapter is concluded with the character of the wicked, and an assurance that there is no peace for them, Isa 57:20,21.

Isaiah 57 Commentaries