Free eBook: Getting Through the Storms in Life

Isaiah 65:4

4 who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;

Read Isaiah 65:4 Using Other Translations

Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat pig's flesh, and broth of tainted meat is in their vessels;
At night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead. They eat the flesh of pigs and make stews with other forbidden foods.

What does Isaiah 65:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 65:4

Which remain among the graves
In order to practise necromancy, to consult the dead, where they imagined demons and departed spirits haunted, and of whom they fancied they might get knowledge of future things: and lodge in the monuments:
whole nights for the same purposes. The Vulgate Latin version is, "that sleep in the temples of idols"; after the manner of the Heathens, who used to sleep there in order to obtain dreams, whereby they might be able to foretell things to come, as they did in the temple of Aesculapius; or, "in desolate places" F11, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; where they expected to meet with demons and noxious spirits, to give them knowledge of things to come. The Targum paraphrases both clauses thus,

``who dwell in houses built of the dust of graves, and lodge with the corpse of the children of men;''
so corpse, according to Jarchi, are expressed by this word, which signifies "kept", or "preserved" F12, as in ( Isaiah 49:6 ) , because they are put in a strait place, from whence they cannot get out; though some think idols are meant, called so by way of derision, because kept for fear of being stolen, or because they cannot keep themselves, nor their votaries: which eat swine's flesh;
forbidden by the law, ( Leviticus 11:7 ) : and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
or "pots": broth made of swine's flesh, and of other sorts of flesh which were unclean by the law. Our version follows the marginal F13 reading; as do the Targum, Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi; but the written text is, "a fragment" F14, or piece, or pieces, of abominable things; both may be retained in the sense of the passage; slices of flesh unclean, and so abominable by the law, were put into their pots and stewed, and made broth of, which they drank. Spencer F15 thinks the milk in which kids were boiled is meant, which the Zabians kept in vessels, and sprinkled on the trees in their gardens, to make them more fruitful; hence mention is made of idolatrous practices in gardens, in the preceding verse.

F11 "In desertis locis", Munster, Pagninus.
F12 (Myrwunb) "apud custodita", Junius & Tremellius; "custoditos", Piscator.
F13 (qrm) "jusculum".
F14 (qrp) "fragmentum".
F15 De Legibus Hebr. I. 2. c. 8. sect. 2. p. 275.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice