Isaiah 40:7

7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.

Isaiah 40:7 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 40:7

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth
And so does man, and all his glory and goodliness: because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
alluding to some impetuous and blasting wind blowing upon herbs and flowers, to the withering and fading of them; see ( Psalms 103:15 Psalms 103:16 ) , legal ordinances ceased upon the pouring forth of the Spirit. The external excellencies of men, or their outward advantages, perish at the breath of God, at the blast of his nostrils, when taken away by death; and at conversion the Spirit of the Lord blows a blast upon all the goodliness of man; the operations of the Spirit are compared to wind, ( John 3:8 ) , which, like that, are free, and, as he pleases, are invisible and imperceptible, land powerful and efficacious, and these cause a withering in men's goodness; the Spirit of God shows that their holiness is not true holiness; that their righteousness has only the appearance of one before men; and their religion and godliness a mere form; and their good works, "splendida peccata", shining sins; that those are insufficient to justify and save, and bring to heaven; upon which they fade away and die in their esteem, who now reckon them but loss and dung, ( Philippians 3:6-8 ) : "surely the people is grass"; the people of the Jews, with all their external advantages; yea, all people, with all the excellencies of human nature, or considered in their best estate, possessed of all that is reckoned good and great, being but mere natural men. The Targum restrains this to the ungodly, as it does the former verse, rendering it,

``as grass the wicked among the people are esteemed;''
as it does the former, thus,
``the wicked are as grass, and their strength as the stubble of the field.''
So Kimchi interprets them of the nations that come with Gog and Magog; and Jarchi of the princes of the kingdoms; but very wrongly, since it is true of all flesh, or of all mankind.

Isaiah 40:7 In-Context

5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
6 The voice said, "Cry out!" And he said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."
9 O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.