Isaiah 6

Isaiah’s Commission

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
9 He said, “Go and tell this people: “ ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. [a]Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?” And he answered: “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the LORD has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

Images for Isaiah 6

Isaiah 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The vision which Isaiah beheld in the temple. (1-8) The Lord declares the blindness to come upon the Jewish nation, and the destruction which would follow. (9-13)

Verses 1-8 In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, ( John 12:41 ) , that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means "burners;" they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.

Verses 9-13 God sends Isaiah to foretell the ruin of his people. Many hear the sound of God's word, but do not feel the power of it. God sometimes, in righteous judgment, gives men up to blindness of mind, because they will not receive the truth in the love of it. But no humble inquirer after Christ, need to fear this awful doom, which is a spiritual judgment on those who will still hold fast their sins. Let every one pray for the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, that he may perceive how precious are the Divine mercies, by which alone we are secured against this dreadful danger. Yet the Lord would preserve a remnant, like the tenth, holy to him. And blessed be God, he still preserves his church; however professors or visible churches may be lopped off as unfruitful, the holy seed will shoot forth, from whom all the numerous branches of righteousness shall arise.

Cross References 45

  • 1. S 2 Chronicles 26:22,23
  • 2. S 2 Kings 15:7
  • 3. S Exodus 24:10; S Numbers 12:8; John 12:41
  • 4. S 1 Kings 22:19; S Psalms 9:4; S Psalms 123:1; S Revelation 4:2
  • 5. Isaiah 52:13; Isaiah 53:12
  • 6. Revelation 1:13
  • 7. Ezekiel 1:5; Ezekiel 10:15; Revelation 4:8
  • 8. Ezekiel 1:11
  • 9. S Exodus 15:11
  • 10. Psalms 89:8
  • 11. Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 54:5; Malachi 1:11
  • 12. S Exodus 16:7; Numbers 14:21; Psalms 72:19; Revelation 4:8
  • 13. S Exodus 19:18; S Exodus 40:34; Ezekiel 43:5; Ezekiel 44:4; Revelation 15:8
  • 14. S Isaiah 5:8
  • 15. S Numbers 17:12; S Deuteronomy 5:26
  • 16. Luke 5:8
  • 17. Exodus 6:12
  • 18. Isaiah 59:3; Jeremiah 9:3-8
  • 19. S Exodus 24:10
  • 20. Psalms 45:3; Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 32:1; Isaiah 33:17; Jeremiah 51:57
  • 21. S Job 42:5
  • 22. S Leviticus 10:1; Ezekiel 10:2
  • 23. Jeremiah 1:9; Daniel 10:16
  • 24. S Leviticus 26:41; Isaiah 45:25; Daniel 12:3; 1 John 1:7
  • 25. S Job 40:9; Acts 9:4
  • 26. Jeremiah 26:12,15
  • 27. S Genesis 1:26
  • 28. S Genesis 22:1; S Exodus 3:4
  • 29. Ezekiel 3:11; Amos 7:15; Matthew 28:19
  • 30. Jeremiah 5:21; S Matthew 13:15*; Luke 8:10*
  • 31. S Exodus 4:21; Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalms 119:70
  • 32. Isaiah 29:9; Isaiah 42:18-20; Isaiah 43:8; Isaiah 44:18
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 29:4; Ezekiel 12:2; Mark 8:18; Jeremiah 5:21
  • 34. S Deuteronomy 32:39; Matthew 13:13-15; Mark 4:12*; John 12:40*; Acts 28:26-27*
  • 35. Psalms 79:5
  • 36. S Leviticus 26:31; S Jeremiah 4:13
  • 37. S Leviticus 26:43; Isaiah 24:10
  • 38. Psalms 79:1; S Psalms 109:11; Jeremiah 35:17
  • 39. S Deuteronomy 28:64
  • 40. S Isaiah 5:5,9; Isaiah 60:15; Isaiah 62:4; Jeremiah 4:29; Jeremiah 30:17
  • 41. S Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 10:22
  • 42. S Isaiah 5:6
  • 43. S Job 14:8
  • 44. S Leviticus 27:30; S Deuteronomy 14:2
  • 45. S Job 14:7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew; Septuagint "‘You will be ever hearing, but never understanding;" / "you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’" / 10"This people’s heart has become calloused;" / "they hardly hear with their ears," / "and they have closed their eyes"

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a vision of the glory and majesty of Christ, the mission and commission of the prophet, and the destruction of the Jews. In the vision may be observed the time of it, and the object seen; who is described by the throne on which he sat, Isa 6:1 and by his ministers about him; and these, by their name, by their situation, by their wings and the use of them, and by their employment, Isa 6:2,3 and by the effects their crying to one another had upon the place where they were, Isa 6:4 and next follows the effect the whole vision had on the prophet, which threw him into great distress of mind; and the relief he had by one of the seraphim, and the manner of it, Isa 6:6,7 upon which a question being put, concerning sending some person, the prophet makes answer, expressing his readiness to go, Isa 6:8 when a commission is given him, and the message he is sent with is declared, Isa 6:9,10 whereupon he asks how long it would be the case of the Jews mentioned in the message he was sent with; and he is told it would continue until the utter destruction of them, Isa 6:11,12 and yet, for the comfort of him and other saints, it is intimated that there would be a remnant among them, according to the election of grace, Isa 6:13.

Isaiah 6 Commentaries

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