Isaiah 26:13
O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
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(13) Other lords beside thee have had do minion over us . . .—The “other lords” are the conquerors and oppressors by whom Israel had been enslaved; possibly also, the false gods with whom those conquerors identified themselves.

By thee only will we make mention of thy name.—Better, Through Thee alone we celebrate Thy Name. The power to praise God with hymns of thanksgiving (Psalm 45:17) had been restored to Israel, not by man’s strength, but through His interposition on behalf of His people.

Isaiah 26:13-14. O Lord our God, &c. — The people of God, having already obtained their deliverance in part, with the overthrow and destruction of their enemies, proceed to unfold and express their hope, that God would perfect all his good works for them. Other lords besides thee — Who art our only King, Lawgiver, and Judge; and besides those governors who have been appointed over us by thee, and have ruled us in subordination to thee; even foreign and heathen lords, such as the Philistines formerly, and lately the Assyrians, and afterward (as the prophet foresaw would come to pass) the Babylonians, have had dominion, over us — Have exercised a tyrannical power over us. The reader will observe, the song begun, Isaiah 26:1, is continued, and Isaiah is foretelling what the language of the church would be after her deliverance. By thee only — By thy favour and help, by which alone we have been rescued from the tyranny of our enemies, and not by our merits or strength; will we make mention of thy name —

Celebrate thy praise, and trust in thee for the future. Bishop Lowth renders the clause, Thee only, and thy name, henceforth will we celebrate. They are dead, &c., they shall not rise — Those tyrants are destroyed, they shall never live or rise again to molest us. He probably refers to the miraculous destruction of Sennacherib’s army before Jerusalem, and to the overthrow of the Babylonian empire. Therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, &c. — That they might be thus effectually destroyed thou didst undertake the work; and thou hast perfectly accomplished it, and abolished the monuments or memorials of their greatness and glory. The prophet speaks of what he foresaw, with certainty, would be done, as though it were effected already.

26:12-19 Every creature, every business, any way serviceable to our comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us which seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin and Satan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to be set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions. Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comes now like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church. His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all the deliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew or rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would raise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.Other lords beside thee have had dominion - The allusion here is to the kings of Babylon who had subdued and oppressed them, and who in their long captivity had held them in subjection to their laws.

But by thee only will we make mention of thy name - This may be better rendered, 'but only thee, thy name will we henceforward commemorate.' The words 'by thee,' and 'thy name,' are put in apposition, and denote the same thing. The word 'make mention' (נזכיר nazekiyr) means literally to cause to be remembered; to commemorate; to celebrate. The idea is, that during their long captivity they had been subject to the dominion of other lords than Yahweh; but now that they were restored to their own land, they would acknowledge only Yahweh as their Lord, and would henceforward celebrate only his name.

13. other lords—temporal; heathen kings (2Ch 12:8; 28:5, 6), Nebuchadnezzar, &c. Spiritual also, idols and lusts (Ro 6:16-18).

by thee only—It is due to Thee alone, that we again worship Thee as our Lord [Maurer]. "(We are) Thine only, we will celebrate Thy name" [Horsley]. The sanctifying effect of affliction (Ps 71:16; 119:67, 71).

Other lords beside thee; others besides thee, who art our only Judge, and King, and Lawgiver, Isaiah 33:22, and besides those governors who have been set up by thee, and have ruled us for thee, and in subordination to thee, even foreign and heathenish lords, such as the Philistines, and lately the Assyrians.

Have had dominion over us; have exercised a tyrannical power over us.

By thee only; by thy favour and help, by which alone (and not by our strength or merits) we have been rescued from their tyranny.

Will we make mention of thy name; we will celebrate thy praise, and trust in thee for the future. Thou only hast given us both ability and occasion to magnify thy name, whereas without thy succour we had gone into the place of silence, where there is no remembrance of thee, as is said, Psalm 6:5.

O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us,.... Sin and Satan have the dominion over the Lord's people, in a state of unregeneracy; before the good work of grace is wrought in them, every lust is a lord, and is served and obeyed: and Satan is the god of this world by usurpation, and leads men captive at his will. Some think that the idols the Jews had served and worshipped, called "Baalim" or lords, are meant, and that this is a confession of their sin; but that word is not here used. The Targum interprets it of the Jewish governors ruling over them, without the Lord; rather the Assyrians and Babylonians are designed; but it is best of all to understand it of persecuting tyrants, of antichristian kings and states that have exercised a tyrannical power over the people of God:

but by thee only will we make mention of thy name; that is, by thy strength, and through grace received from thee, we will be only subject to thee, our King and Lawgiver, and obey thy commands, serve and worship thee, knowing that it is right to obey God rather than man; or through the influence of thy grace, and by the assistance of thy Spirit, we will celebrate thy name, give thee thanks for our deliverance from the servitude, bondage, and oppression of other lords.

O LORD our God, other {m} lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

(m) The Babylonians, who have not governed according to your word.

13. other lords besides thee] That the reference is to foreign despotisms, and not as some have thought to false gods, may be regarded as certain. The rule of the heathen over the people of God was an invasion of Jehovah’s sovereignty, it was inconsistent with the ideal of the Theocracy, and hindered the perfect realisation of the Divine will in the national life.

by thee only … name] The sense appears to be: “it is through thy help alone that we can now celebrate thy name.” The construction is not very clear.

13, 14. The long heathen domination is now a thing of the past; the oppressors have gone to the realm of shades, and shall trouble the world no more.

Verse 13. - Other lords. The saved had not always been faithful to Jehovah. Some, no doubt, had actually been idolaters, as many of the early Christians (1 Corinthians 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, etc.). Others had given their hearts for a time to other vanities, and turned away from God. Now, in the new Jerusalem, they confess their short comings, and acknowledge that only through God's mercy - by thee - are they in the condition to celebrate his Name. Isaiah 26:13The situation still remains essentially the same as in Isaiah 26:11-13 : "Jehovah, Thy hand has been exalted, but they did not see: they will see the zeal for a people, being put to shame; yea, fire will devour Thine adversaries. Jehovah, Thou wilt establish peace for us: for Thou hast accomplished all our work for us. Jehovah our God, lords besides Thee had enslaved us; but through Thee we praise Thy name." Here are three forms of address beginning with Jehovah, and rising in the third to "Jehovah our God." The standpoint of the first is the time before the judgment; the standpoint of the other two is in the midst of the redemption that has been effected through judgment. Hence what the prophet states in Isaiah 26:11 will be a general truth, which has now received its most splendid confirmation through the overthrow of the empire. The complaint of the prophet here is the same as in Isaiah 53:1. We may also compare Exodus 14:8, not Psalm 10:5; (rūm does not mean to remain beyond and unrecognised, but to prove one's self to be high.) The hand of Jehovah had already shown itself to be highly exalted (râmâh, 3 pr.), by manifesting itself in the history of the nations, by sheltering His congregation, and preparing the way for its exaltation in the midst of its humiliation; but as they had no eye for this hand, they would be made to feel it upon themselves as the avenger of His nation. The "zeal for a people," when reduced from this ideal expression into a concrete one, is the zeal of Jehovah of hosts (Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 37:32) for His own nation (as in Isaiah 49:8). Kin'ath ‛âm (zeal for a people) is the object to yechezū (they shall see); v'yēbōshū (and be put to shame) being a parenthetical interpolation, which does not interfere with this connection. "Thou wilt establish peace" (tishpōt shâlom, Isaiah 26:12) expresses the certain hope of a future and imperturbable state of peace (pones, stabilies); and this hope is founded upon the fact, that all which the church has hitherto accomplished (ma‛aseh, the acting out of its calling, as in Psalm 90:17, see at Isaiah 5:12) has not been its own work, but the work of Jehovah for it. And the deliverance just obtained from the yoke of the imperial power is the work of Jehovah also. The meaning of the complaint, "other lords beside Thee had enslaved us," is just the same as that in Isaiah 63:18; but there the standpoint is in the midst of the thing complained of, whereas here it is beyond it. Jehovah is Israel's King. He seemed indeed to have lost His rule, since the masters of the world had done as they liked with Israel. But it was very different now, and it was only through Jehovah ("through Thee") that Israel could now once more gratefully celebrate Jehovah's name.
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