Isaiah 47:14 MEANING

Isaiah 47:14
(14) There shall not be a coal to warm at.--Better, it shall not be . . . The destroying flame shall be altogether other than the fire on the hearth, at which a man can sit and warm himself.

Verse 14. - Behold, they shall be as stubble (comp. Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 41:2). A favourite metaphor with Isaiah for extreme weakness and incapacity of resistance. In Isaiah 5:24 it is connected, as here, with fire. No doubt in Palestine, as elsewhere, an accidental fire from time to time caught hold of a stubble-field, and speedily reduced it to a mass of blackened ashes. The threat here is that God's wrath shall similarly sweep over Babylon. They shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. Mr. Cheyne translates, with much spirit, "They cannot rescue their soul from the clutch of the flame." Like those who are caught in the midst of a fire in a prairie or jungle, they have no escape - the flame is on all sides - and they cannot but perish. There shall not be a coal to warm at; rather, it is not a charcoal-fire to warm one's self at. A return to the sarcastic tone of vers. 12, 13. The conflagration which spreads around is something more than a fire to warm one's self at - it is an awful widespread devastation.

47:7-15 Let us beware of acting and speaking as Babylon did; of trusting in tyranny and oppression; of boasting as to our abilities, relying on ourselves, and ascribing success to our own prudence and wisdom; lest we partake of her plagues. Those in the height of prosperity, are apt to fancy themselves out of the reach of adversity. It is also common for sinners to think they shall be safe, because they think to be secret in wicked ways. But their security shall be their ruin. Let us draw from such passages as the foregoing, those lessons of humility and trust in God which they convey. If we believe the word of God, we may know how it will be with the righteous and the wicked to all eternity. We may learn how to escape the wrath to come, to glorify God, to have peace through life, hope in death, and everlasting happiness. Let us then stand aloof from all delusions.Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them,.... That is, these astrologers and diviners shall be like stubble; weak as that, as the Targum; they shall be no more able to stand before the fire of divine wrath, or before the judgments of God, by the hands of the Medes and Persians, than stubble can stand before a consuming fire:

they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; from those dreadful calamities that shall come upon them like flames of fire; and if they cannot deliver themselves by their art and skill, how should they deliver others?

there shall not be a coal to warm, nor fire to sit before it; stubble, when burnt, leaves no coals to warm a man with; and though it gives a blaze for a short time, while burning, it is quickly out, and gives no light nor heat for a man to sit by, so that there is little or no profit by it; which signifies that there were no hope, or help, or comfort, to be expected from those sorts of persons.

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