Bible Commentary

Isaiah 2

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Isaiah 2)

Verse 1

[1] The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

The word — Or, the matter or thing, as this Hebrew word commonly signifies; the prophecy or vision.

Verse 2

[2] And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

In the last days — In the times of the Messiah. For Christ's institutions were to continue to the end of the world.

The mountain — The temple of the Lord which is upon mount Moriah; which yet is not to be understood literally of that material temple, but mystically of the church of God; as appears from the flowing of all nations to it, which was not to that temple, nor indeed was fulfilled 'till that temple was destroyed.

Exalted — Shall be placed and settled in a most conspicuous and glorious manner, being advanced above all other churches and kingdoms.

Verse 3

[3] And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

The law — The new law, the doctrine of the gospel, which is frequently called a law, because it hath the nature and power of a law, obliging us no less to the belief and practice of it, than the old law did.

Verse 4

[4] And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

He — Christ shall set up his authority among all nations, not only giving laws to them, but doing what no other can do, convincing their consciences, changing their hearts, and ordering their lives.

Rebuke — By his word and Spirit, convincing the world of sin; and by his judgments upon his implacable enemies, which obstruct the propagation of the gospel.

Verse 5

[5] O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

The light — Take heed that you do not reject that light which is so clear that even the blind Gentiles will discern it.

Verse 6

[6] Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Therefore — For the following reasons.

Thou — Wilt certainly forsake and reject.

Thy people — The body of that nation.

Because — Their land is full of the idolatrous manners of the eastern nations, the Syrians and Chaldeans.

Philistines — Who were infamous for those practices.

They please — They delight in their company, and conversation, making leagues, and friendships, and marriages with them.

Verse 7

[7] Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots:

Treasures — They have heaped up riches, and still are greedily pursuing after more.

Verse 9

[9] And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

The great man — Men of all ranks fall down and worship idols.

Verse 10

[10] Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.

Enter — Such calamities are coming upon you, that you will be ready to hide yourselves in rocks and caves of the earth, for fear of the glorious and terrible judgments of God.

Verse 12

[12] For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

The day — The time of God's taking vengeance upon sinners.

Verse 13

[13] And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,

The cedars — The cedars and oaks on the mountains shall be either thrown down by furious winds or earthquakes, or torn in pieces by thunder and lightning; and the stately houses built with cedars and oaks, shall be destroyed.

Verse 14

[14] And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,

Hills — To which men used to betake themselves in times of danger.

Verse 15

[15] And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,

Wall — To which you trusted for your defence.

Verse 16

[16] And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

Tarshish — The ships of the sea, as that word is used, Psalms 48:7, whereby you fetched riches from the remote parts of the world.

Verse 19

[19] And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

They — The idolatrous Israelites.

Verse 20

[20] In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

Shall cast — Into the meanest and darkest places, in which moles and bats have their abode.

Verse 22

[22] Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?

Cease ye — Never admire or place your trust in man.

Breath — Whose breath is quickly stopped and taken away.

Wherein — What excellency is in him, considered in himself, and without dependence on God?

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