Isaiah 46:8 MEANING

Isaiah 46:8
(8) Shew yourselves men.--As elsewhere, the prophet's challenge is couched in the language of irony. The worshippers of idols should at least have the courage of their convictions. A conjectural emendation gives the opposite meaning, Be ye deeply ashamed.

Verse 8. - Remember this, and show yourselves men; or, remember this, and stand firm. Isaiah is addressing those who waver between true religion and idolatry. Hitherto they have not fallen away, but they are in danger of so doing. Remember, he says to them, or "bear in mind constantly the impotence of the idols, and the power of Jehovah, and then stand firm - remain in your old faith - do not be drawn over to so foolish a thing as idolatry." O ye transgressors. It is to be a "transgressor" even to contemplate the turning from Jehovah to idolatry. Israel has been already "called a transgressor from the beginning" (Isaiah 48:8).

46:5-13 Here the folly of those who made idols, and then prayed to them, is exposed. How does the profuseness of idolaters shame the stubbornness of many who call themselves God's servants, but are for a religion which costs them nothing! The service of sin always costs a great deal. God puts it to them what senseless, helpless things idols are. Let, then, the Jews show themselves men, avoiding such abominations. Many Scripture prophecies, delivered long ago, are not yet fulfilled; but the fulfilling of some is an earnest that the rest will come to pass. Nothing can help more to make us easy, than to be assured that God will do all his pleasure. Even those who know not and mind not God's revealed will, are called and used to fulfil the counsels of his secret will. Heaven and earth shall pass away, sooner than one tittle of the word of God. Obstinate sinners are addressed. Such were far from acceptance, but they were summoned to hearken to the word of the Lord. The salvation of a sinner begins with a humble and contrite heart, that trembles at God's word, with godly sorrow working true repentance, and faith in his mercy, through the obedience unto death of our Divine Surety. Christ, as the Divine righteousness and salvation to his people, would come in the appointed time. His salvation abides in his church for all believers.Remember this,.... Or "these things", as the Syriac version, concerning the matter of which, and the manner in which idols are made; their impotency to move themselves, and their inability to help their votaries, and the difference between them and the true God:

and show yourselves men; and not brutes, as the makers and worshippers of images are, or show themselves as if they were; who unmanly themselves, and act contrary to the natural reason of mankind: or "be ye strong" (q); so the Targum and Jarchi; fortify yourselves against all temptations to idolatry, and against all the arguments and persuasions of idolaters; or "burn ye" (r) or "be ye inflamed", so Rabenu Hal and Joseph Kimchi; that is, blush and be ashamed at such sottishness and stupidity, as men when they are ashamed look as if their faces were inflamed; so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "be ye confounded" (s); or the sense is, be fervent in spirit, be fired (t) with zeal for God and his glory, and with indignation against such gross idolatry:

bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors; of the law of God, in this instance of idolatry; meaning either the Babylonians, or rather the Jews, who had been drawn in by them to idolatrous practices; calling upon them to return to their senses; to use and exercise their reason; to recollect and reconsider things, and observe and repent of the folly and wickedness they had been guilty of.

(q) "roborat vos", Pagninus, Tigurine version; so Ben Melech interprets the word. (r) Ardete, "comburite vos", some in Vatablus. (s) "Confundamini", V. L. "et erubescite", Calvin. (t) "Incendimini sive corripimini zelo", Vitringa.

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