Isaiah 65:6
Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
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(6) It is written before me . . .—The thought is that of the great register, the book of God’s remembrance, in which men’s deeds, good and evil, are ever being recorded. (Comp. Jeremiah 17:1; Psalm 56:8; Daniel 12:1; Malachi 3:16.)

But will recompense . . .—Literally, without recompensing, or, except I recompense. Men took the long-suffering of God as if it indicated forgetfulness (Romans 2:4; 2Peter 3:9). They are told that He will at last requite the impenitent “into their very bosom,” their inmost self, for all the evil they have done.

65:1-7 The Gentiles came to seek God, and find him, because they were first sought and found of him. Often he meets some thoughtless trifler or profligate opposer, and says to him, Behold me; and a speedy change takes place. All the gospel day, Christ waited to be gracious. The Jews were bidden, but would not come. It is not without cause they are rejected of God. They would do what most pleased them. They grieved, they vexed the Holy Spirit. They forsook God's temple, and sacrificed in groves. They cared not for the distinction between clean and unclean meats, before it was taken away by the gospel. Perhaps this is put for all forbidden pleasures, and all that is thought to be gotten by sin, that abominable thing which the Lord hates. Christ denounced many woes against the pride and hypocrisy of the Jews. The proof against them is plain. And let us watch against pride and self-preference, remembering that every sin, and the most secret thoughts of man's heart, are known and will be judged by God.Behold, it is written before me - That is, the crimes of which they had been guilty, or the sentence which would be consequent thereon. The allusion is to the custom of having the decrees of kings recorded in a volume or on a table, and kept in their presence, so that they might be seen and not forgotten. An allusion to this custom of opening the books containing a record of this kind on trials, occurs in Daniel 7:10, 'The judgment was set, and the books were opened.' So also Revelation 20:12, 'And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.' So here. An impartial record had been made, and God would recompense them according to their deeds.

I will not keep silence - Nothing shall compel me to desist from declaring a sentence which shall be just and right.

But will recompense, even recompense - That is, I will certainly requite them. The word is repeated in accordance with the usual manner in Hebrew to denote emphasis.

Into their bosom - (See Psalm 79:12; Jeremiah 32:18; Luke 6:38). The word bosom, here refers to a custom among the Orientals of making the bosom or front of their garments large and loose, so that articles could be carried in them, answering the purpose of our pockets (compare Exodus 4:6-7; Proverbs 6:27). The sense here is, that God would abundantly punish them for their sins.

6. written before me—"it is decreed by Me," namely, what follows (Job 13:26), [Maurer]; or, their guilt is recorded before Me (compare Da 7:10; Re 20:12; Mal 3:16).

into … bosom—(Ps 79:12; Jer 32:18; Lu 6:38). The Orientals used the loose fold of the garment falling on "the bosom" or lap, as a receptacle for carrying things. The sense thus is: I will repay their sin so abundantly that the hand will not be able to receive it; it will need the spacious fold on the bosom to contain it [Rosenmuller]. Rather it is, "I will repay it to the very person from whom it has emanated." Compare "God did render the evil of the men of Shechem upon their heads" (Jud 9:57; Ps 7:16) [Gesenius].

They may think that I take no notice of these things, or if I take any notice, I will forget them, or at least not enter into judgment with them for them; but I as certainly know and will remember them, as princes or great men that record things in writing which they would not forget. And they shall know that I know and take notice of and will remember them; for

I will not keep silence; I will not long neglect the punishment of them, though for a while I have delayed it, like a man who bites in his wrath, for some wise reasons which are known unto himself best, Psalm 50:21.

Will recompense into their bosom; my punishment of them shall be severe and certain, but yet it shall be just, but a giving them what is their own, as they are obnoxious to my justice, Deu 7:10 Jeremiah 32:18; like the payment of an ox for an ox, Exodus 21:36 (where the same word is used); they have been froward against me and I will show myself froward against them, Psalm 18:26. Behold, it is written before me,.... This account of their sins; it was in his sight and constant remembrance, and punishment for them was determined by him, written in the book of his decrees:

I will not keep silence; but threaten with destruction, and not only threaten, but execute; plead against them really, as well as verbally, with sore judgments:

but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom; full and just recompence of punishment for all their transgressions, as it follows. The Targum is,

"I will recompense to them the vengeance of their sins, and deliver their bodies to the second death.''

Behold, it is {k} written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,

(k) So that the remembrance of it cannot be forgotten.

6, 7. Sentence is now pronounced on the reprobates, who by their persistent idolatries have served themselves heirs to the guilt of their fathers.

it is written before me] The sins mentioned above stand recorded in the heavenly books, calling constantly for punishment (cf. Jeremiah 17:1). Another interpretation, according to which the subject of the sentence is the Divine decree of judgement, is less acceptable, because the following words can hardly be taken as the contents of such a decree.

I will not keep silence until I have recompensed] For the construction cf. Genesis 32:26; Leviticus 22:6, &c.

even recompense &c.] and I will recompense into their bosom,—a new sentence, as is shown by the Hebr. pointing of the verb as consec. perf. Cf. Jeremiah 32:18; Psalm 79:12.Verse 6. - It is written before me. The misconduct of his people is "written" in God's book, which lies open "before him," so that their sin is ever in his sight (comp. Psalm 56:8; Malachi 3:16; Revelation 20:12). I will not keep silence (comp. Psalm 1:3). "Keeping silence" is a metaphor for complete inaction. But will recompense, etc.; rather, until I have recompensed, yea, recompensed [them] into their bosoms (comp. Luke 6:38). Gifts were given and received into the fold of the beged, or cloak, which depended in front of the bosom. The re-erection of the ruins of the promised land requires the zeal of every one, and this state of ruin must not continue. It calls out the love and faithfulness of Jehovah. "The cities of Thy holiness have become a pasture-ground; Zion has become a pasture-ground, Jerusalem a desert. The house of our holiness and of our adorning, where our fathers praised Thee, is given up to the fire, and everything that was our delight given up to devastation. Wilt Thou restrain Thyself in spite of this, O Jehovah, be silent, and leave us to suffer the utmost?" Jerusalem by itself could not possibly be called "cities" (‛ârē), say with reference to the upper and lower cities (Vitringa). It is merely mentioned by name as the most prominent of the many cities which were all "holy cities," inasmuch as the whole of Canaan was the land of Jehovah (Isaiah 14:25), and His holy territory (Psalm 78:54). The word midbâr (pasture-land, heath, different from tsiyyâh, the pastureless desert, Isaiah 35:1) is repeated, for the purpose of showing that the same fate had fallen upon Zion-Jerusalem as upon the rest of the cities of the land. The climax of the terrible calamity was the fact, that the temple had also fallen a prey to the burning of the fire (compare for the fact, Jeremiah 52:13). The people call it "house of our holiness and of our glory." Jehovah's qōdesh and tiph'ereth have, as it were, transplanted heaven to earth in the temple (compare Isaiah 63:15 with Isaiah 60:7); and this earthly dwelling-place of God is Israel's possession, and therefore Israel's qōdesh and tiph'ereth. The relative clause describes what sublime historical reminiscences are attached to the temple: אשׁר is equivalent to שׁם אשׁר, as in Genesis 39:20; Numbers 20:13 (compare Psalm 84:4), Deuteronomy 8:15, etc. הללּך has chateph-pathach, into which, as a rule, the vocal sheva under the first of two similar letters is changed. Machămaddēnū (our delights) may possibly include favourite places, ornamental buildings, and pleasure grounds; but the parallel leads us rather to think primarily of things associated with the worship of God, in which the people found a holy delight. כל, contrary to the usual custom, is here followed by the singular of the predicate, as in Proverbs 16:2; Ezekiel 31:15 (cf., Genesis 9:29). Will Jehovah still put restraint upon Himself, and cause His merciful love to keep silence, על־זאת, with such a state of things as this, or notwithstanding this state of things (Job 10:7)? On התאפּק, see Isaiah 63:15; Isaiah 42:14. The suffering would indeed increase עד־מאד (to the utmost), if it caused the destruction of Israel, or should not be followed at last by Israel's restoration. Jehovah's compassion cannot any longer thus forcibly restrain itself; it must break forth, like Joseph's tears in the recognition scene (Genesis 45:1).
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