Isaiah 5:25 MEANING

Isaiah 5:25
(25) The hills did tremble.--We again trace the influence of the earthquake which was still fresh in the memories of men. (See Note on Isaiah 2:10.)

Their carcases were torn.--Better, were as sweepings, or, as refuse. The words may point either to pestilence, or war, or famine. The stress laid on scarcity in Isaiah 5:10 makes it probable that the last was prominent in the prophet's mind.

For all this his anger is not turned away.--The same formula meets us in Isaiah 9:12; Isaiah 9:21; Isaiah 10:4; Isaiah 14:27, with a solemn knell-like iteration. It bids the people remember after each woe that this is not all. They do not as yet see the end of the chastisement through which God is leading them. "For all this" may mean (1) because of all the sins, or (2) notwithstanding all the punishment already inflicted. (Comp. Leviticus 26:18; Leviticus 26:23.)

Verses 25-30. - THE NATURE OF THE COMING JUDGMENT EXPLAINED. Hints have been already given that the judgment which is to fall on the nation is a foreign war, or a series of foreign wars (see Isaiah 3:25; Isaiah 5:13). But now for the first time a terrible invasion, in which many nations will participate, is clearly announced. At first the imagery is obscure (ver. 25), but it soon grows more distinct. "Nations" are summoned to the attack; a vast army comes, and comes" with speed swiftly" (ver. 26); then their array is described (vers. 27, 28); and finally their ravin is compared to that of lions, and their success in catching and carrying off their prey is prophesied (ver. 29). In the last verse of the chapter the prophet falls back into vaguer imagery, comparing the roar of the invaders to the roaring of the sea, and the desolated land to one seen under the gloom of a preternatural darkness (ver. 30). Verse 25. - The threats of this verse are all vague and general, for there is no reason to suppose that the phrase," the hills did tremble, "refers to an actual earthquake. That there was an earthquake in the reign of Uzziah is, indeed, clear from Amos 1:1; but it was probably a thing of the past when Isaiah wrote this chapter, and he is spiking of the future. A "trembling of the hills" is, in prophetic language, a commotion among the chief men of the land. He hath stretched forth his hand. Again the "perfect of prophetic certitude." Their carcasses were torn; rather, were as refuse (comp. Lamentations 3:45). There would be many slain, and lying unburied, in the streets of Jerusalem. For all this, etc. (comp. Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21, and Isaiah 10:4, where the same words are used as a refrain). The words imply that God's judgment upon Judah will not be a single stroke, but a continuous smiting, covering some considerable space of time.

5:24-30 Let not any expect to live easily who live wickedly. Sin weakens the strength, the root of a people; it defaces the beauty, the blossoms of a people. When God's word is despised, and his law cast away, what can men expect but that God should utterly abandon them? When God comes forth in wrath, the hills tremble, fear seizes even great men. When God designs the ruin of a provoking people, he can find instruments to be employed in it, as he sent for the Chaldeans, and afterwards the Romans, to destroy the Jews. Those who would not hear the voice of God speaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemies roaring against them. Let the distressed look which way they will, all appears dismal. If God frowns upon us, how can any creature smile? Let us diligently seek the well-grounded assurance, that when all earthly helps and comforts shall fail, God himself will be the strength of our hearts, and our portion for ever.Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people,.... His professing people; which character, as it aggravated their sin in rejecting and despising the word of the Lord, so it increased his anger and indignation against them:

and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them; which some understand of past judgments and afflictions upon them, under Joash, Amaziah, and Ahaz; and others of future ones, under Shalmaneser and Nebuchadnezzar:

and the hills did tremble; which Jarchi interprets of their kings and princes; or it may be only a figurative expression, setting forth the awfulness of the dispensation:

and their carcasses were torn in the midst of the streets. The Targum renders it, "were as dung"; so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; being slain there, and lying unburied, were trampled upon, and trodden down like "clay", as the Syriac version; or like the mire of the streets.

For all this his anger is not turned away; this being abundantly less than their sins deserved; which shows how great were their sins, and how much the Lord was provoked to anger by them:

but his hand is stretched out still; to inflict yet sorer judgments. The Targum is

"by all this they turn not from their sins, that his fury may turn from them; but their rebellion grows stronger, and his stroke is again to take vengeance on them;''

which expresses their impenitence and hardness of heart, under the judgments of God, which caused him to take more severe methods with them.

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