(1) Thus saith the Lord.—Isaiah 56:1-8 form a distinct section, and obviously had an historical starting. point. It has been said (Cheyne, following many other critics) that “the writer of this section presupposes the circumstances of a period long subsequent to the reign of Hessekiah.” It will be seen in the following notes that I cannot altogether accept that statement, and find circumstances in the closing years of Isaiah’s life which may well have given occasion to his teaching here. It obviously does not stand in any close connection with the preceding chapter.
Keep ye judgment—i.e., the righteousness of the law. The general exhortation is specialised in the next verse.
Sleeping.—The prophet, with a scornful irony, substitutes hozîm (“dreamers”) for khozîm (“seers”). The “lying down” contrasts their indolent and easy life with the vigil and the fast of a true prophet.
From his quarter—i.e., in modern phrase, from his own sphere of influence.