Isaiah 37:23
Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? and against whom have you exalted your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
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(23) Whom hast thou reproached . . .—The manifold iteration of the question emphasises the force of the answer. The “Holy One of Israel,” at whom the scornful revellers had sneered (Isaiah 30:11), was now seen to be the one mighty deliverer.

37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19When hast thou reproached? - Not an idol. Not one who has no power to take vengeance, or to defend the city under his protection, but the living God.

Exalted thy voice - That is, by thy messenger. Thou hast spoken in a loud, confident tone; in the language of reproach and threatening.

And lifted up thine eyes on high - To lift up the eyes is an indication of haughtiness and pride. He had evinced arrogance in his manner, and he was yet to learn that it was against the living and true God.

23. Whom—not an idol. No text from Poole on this verse. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed?.... A creature like thyself? no, but a God, and not one like the gods of the nations, the idols of wood and stone, but the living God:

and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice? alluding to Rabshakeh's crying with a loud voice, Isaiah 36:13,

and lifted up thine eyes on high? as proud and haughty persons do, disdaining to look upon those they treat with contempt:

even against the Holy One of Israel; that is, Israel's God, and will protect him; "a Holy One", and of purer eyes than to behold with pleasure such a proud blaspheming creature, and cannot look upon him but with indignation; for against such he sets himself; these he resists, pulls down, and destroys.

Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted thy eyes on high? even against the {p} Holy One of Israel.

(p) Declaring by this that they who are enemies to God's Church fight against him whose quarrel his Church only maintains.

23. “What sort of being is He whom thou hast defied?” The first two sentences are rhetorical questions, and require no answer. The last sentence is to be read as an affirmation: Yea, thou hast lifted up thine eyes to the height against the Holy One of Israel. To “lift up the voice” means here to speak proudly, not as often to cry aloud (e.g. ch. Isaiah 13:2).Verse 23. - Even against the Holy One of Israel. A specially Isaiah phrase, employed by Isaiah twenty-eight times, and only five times in all the rest of Scripture. A strong proof, if any proof beyond the unmistakable Isaiah spirit of the entire prophecy were needed, of the genuineness of the present passage. This intimidating message, which declared the God of Israel to be utterly powerless, was conveyed by the messengers of Sennacherib in the form of a latter. "And Hizkiyahu took the letter out of the hand of the messengers, and read it (K. read them), and went up to the house of Jehovah; and Hizkiyahu spread it before Jehovah." Sephârı̄m (the sheets) is equivalent to the letter (not a letter in duplo), like literae (cf., grammata). ויּקראהוּ (changed by K. into m- ') is construed according to the singular idea. Thenius regards this spreading out of the letter as a naivetי; and Gesenius even goes so far as to speak of the praying machines of the Buddhists. But it was simply prayer without words - an act of prayer, which afterwards passed into vocal prayer. "And Hizkiyahu prayed to (K. before) Jehovah, saying (K. and said), Jehovah of hosts (K. omits tsebhâ'ōth), God of Israel, enthroned upon the cherubim, Thou, yea Thou alone, art God of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth. Incline Thine ear, Jehovah, and hear וּשׁמע, various reading in both texts וּשׁמע)! Open Thine eyes (K. with Yod of the plural), Jehovah, and see; and hear the (K. all the) words of Sennacherib, which he hath sent (K. with which he hath sent him, i.e., Rabshakeh) to despise the living God! Truly, O Jehovah, the kings of Asshur have laid waste all lands, and their land (K. the nations and their land), and have put (venâthōn, K. venâthenū) their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, only the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them. And now, Jehovah our God, help us (K. adds pray) out of his hand, and all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou Jehovah (K. Jehovah Elohim) art it alone." On כּרבים (no doubt the same word as γρυπές, though not fabulous beings like these, but a symbolical representation of heavenly beings), see my Genesis, p. 626; and on yōshēbh hakkerubhı̄m (enthroned on the cherubim), see at Psalm 18:11 and Psalm 80:2. הוּא in אתּה־הוּא is an emphatic repetition, that is to say a strengthening, of the subject, like Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 51:12; 2 Samuel 7:28; Jeremiah 49:12; Psalm 44:5; Nehemiah 9:6-7; Ezra 5:11 : tu ille (not tu es ille, Ges. 121, 2) equals tu, nullus alius. Such passages as Isaiah 41:4, where הוּא is the predicate, do not belong here. עין is not a singular (like עיני in Psalm 32:8, where the lxx have עיני), but a defective plural, as we should expect after pâqach. On the other hand, the reading shelâchō ("hath sent him"), which cannot refer to debhârı̄m (the words), but only to the person bringing the written message, is to be rejected. Moreover, Knobel cannot help giving up his preference for the reading venâthōn (compare Genesis 41:43; Ges. 131, 4a); just as, on the other hand, we cannot help regarding the reading ואת־ארצם את־כּל־הארצות as a mistake, when compared with the reading of the book of Kings. Abravanel explains the passage thus: "The Assyrians have devastated the lands, and their own land" (cf., Isaiah 14:20), of which we may find examples in the list of victories given above; compare also Beth-arbel in Hosea 10:14, if this is Irbil on the Tigris, from which Alexander's second battle in Persia, which was really fought at Gaugamela, derived its name. But how does this tally with the fact that they threw the gods of these lands - that is to say, of their own land also (for אלהיהם could not possibly refer to הארצות, to the exclusion of ארצם) - into the fire? If we read haggōyı̄m (the nations), we get rid both of the reference to their own land, which is certainly purposeless here, and also of the otherwise inevitable conclusion that they burned the gods of their own country. The reading הארצות appears to have arisen from the fact, that after the verb החריב the lands appeared to follow more naturally as the object, than the tribes themselves (compare, however, Isaiah 60:12). The train of thought is the following: The Assyrians have certainly destroyed nations and their gods, because these gods were nothing but the works of men: do Thou then help us, O Jehovah, that the world may see that Thou alone art it, viz., God ('Elōhı̄m, as K. adds, although, according to the accents, Jehovah Elohim are connected together, as in the books of Samuel and Chronicles, and very frequently in the mouth of David: see Symbolae in Psalmos, pp. 15, 16).
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