Isaiah 59:16

16 He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.

Read Isaiah 59:16 Using Other Translations

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.
He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.

What does Isaiah 59:16 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 59:16

And he saw that there was no man
Whose works are good, as the Targum adds; no good man, or faithful and righteous one, that had any regard to truth and justice; that was an advocate for truth, and opposed error, and set on foot a reformation; or was concerned for any of these things, and mourned over the general corruption; not that it must be thought there was not one individual person, but very few, comparatively none; since mention is made before of some that departed from evil, and made themselves a prey: and wondered that there was no intercessor;
to stand up, and pray for them, as the Targum; so it seems a spirit of prayer and supplication will be greatly wanting in the times of latter day darkness, and before latter day glory breaks out: or, "that there was no interposer" F8; none to appear on the side of truth and justice, and on the behalf of those that become a prey to others. "Wonder" is here ascribed to God by an anthropopathy, after the manner of men, as being a marvellous and surprising thing, and almost incredible, that none could be found in so good a cause, and taking the part of injured truth and righteousness; and it expresses the general corruption and defect of religion in those times; and shows that it is not for the goodness of men, or their merits, that the Lord will do what is next said he did: therefore his arm brought salvation to him;
either to himself, and which redounded to his own honour and glory; or to his people, those that became a prey to their enemies; these he rescued out of their hands, and by his own arm of power saved them; or he himself alone wrought out salvation for them, and delivered them from the insults, reproach, and persecution of men, under whatsoever name; so when antichrist, and antichristianism in every form, shall be destroyed, salvation will be ascribed to God alone, ( Revelation 19:1 ) : and his righteousness, it sustained him;
his righteousness, in taking vengeance on his and his people's enemies; and his faithfulness, in the performance of his promises, will support him in, and carry him through, his work, though attended with difficulties that may seem insuperable to men: this may be understood of Christ, as well as what follows. The Jews F9 interpret this of the Messiah, who should come in an age in which are none but wicked men, as is here said.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 (eygpm Nya) "nullum interventorem", Junius & Tremellius.
F9 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1.
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