Isaiah 57:8-13

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.”

Isaiah 57:8-13 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 57

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 57:8-13 In-Context

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 with olive oil and increased your perfumes. You sent your ambassadors 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.”
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.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Ezekiel 16:26; Ezekiel 23:7
  • 2. Ezekiel 16:15,36; Ezekiel 23:18
  • 3. S Leviticus 18:21; S 1 Kings 11:5
  • 4. S Song of Songs 4:10
  • 5. Ezekiel 23:16,40
  • 6. S Isaiah 8:19
  • 7. S Isaiah 47:13
  • 8. Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 18:12; Malachi 3:14
  • 9. S 1 Samuel 2:4
  • 10. S 2 Kings 1:15; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 7:2
  • 11. S Isaiah 17:10; Jeremiah 2:32; Jeremiah 3:21; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 18:15; Ezekiel 22:12
  • 12. S Isaiah 42:23
  • 13. S Esther 4:14; S Psalms 50:21; S Psalms 83:1
  • 14. Isaiah 29:15; Isaiah 58:1; Isaiah 59:6,12; Isaiah 65:7; Isaiah 66:18; Ezekiel 16:2; Mic 3:2-4,8
  • 15. Jeremiah 22:20; Jeremiah 30:15
  • 16. S Judges 10:14
  • 17. Isaiah 40:7,24
  • 18. S Psalms 118:8
  • 19. S Psalms 37:9
  • 20. Isaiah 2:2-3; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 65:9-11

Footnotes 2

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