Isaiah 40:22
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

King James Bible
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

Darby Bible Translation
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a gauze curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in;

World English Bible
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in;

Young's Literal Translation
He who is sitting on the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are as grasshoppers, He who is stretching out as a thin thing the heavens, And spreadeth them as a tent to dwell in.

Isaiah 40:22 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

It is he that sitteth - Margin, 'Him that sitteth,' that is, have you not known him? The Hebrew literally means 'the sitter, or he sitting on the circle of the each;' and it may be connected either with Isaiah 40:21, 'Have ye not known him sitting on the circle of the earth?' or with Isaiah 40:18, 'What likeness will ye compare to him that sitteth on the circle of the earth?' In either case the phrase is designed to show the majesty and glory of God. The word 'sitteth' refers to God as a sovereign or monarch, making the circle of the earth his throne.

The circle of the earth - Or rather, "above" (על ‛al) the circle of the earth. The word rendered 'circle' (חוּג chûg) denotes "a circle, sphere, or arch"; and is applied to the arch or vault of the heavens, in Proverbs 8:27; Job 22:14. The phrase 'circle,' or 'circuit of the earth,' here seems to be used in the same sense as the phrase orbis terrarum by the Latins; not as denoting a sphere, or not as implying that the earth was a globe, but that it was an extended plain surrounded by oceans and mighty waters. The globular form of the earth was then unknown; and the idea is, that God sat above this extended circuit, or circle; and that the vast earth was beneath his feet.

And the inhabitants thereof are like grasshoppers - Or rather, like locusts, for so the Hebrew word properly means. This is designed to show that the inhabitants of the earth, numerous and mighty as they are, are as nothing compared with God. The idea is that God is so exalted, that, as he looks down from that elevated station, all the inhabitants of the world appear to him as locusts - a busy, agirated, moving, impatient multitude, spread over the vast circle of the earth beneath him - as locusts spread in almost interminable bands over the plains in the East. What a striking illustration of the insignificance of man as he is viewed from the heavens! What an impressive description of the nothingness of his mighty plans, and of the vanity of his mightiest works!

That stretcheth out the heavens - Referring to the firmament above, as that which seems to be stretched out, or expanded over our heads. The heavens above are often thus compared to an expanse - either solid Genesis 1:7, or to a curtain, or tent (compare the note at Isaiah 34:4).

As a curtain - The word used here (דק doq) denotes properly fineness, thinness; and then a fine or thin cloth, or curtain. Here it means a thin canopy that is stretched over us. The same expression occurs in Psalm 104:2 (compare Job 9:8; Isaiah 44:24). Probably the reference here is to the veil, curtain, or awning which the Orientals are accustomed to draw over the court in their houses. Their houses are constructed with an open court in the center, with the rooms ranged round it. In that court or open square there are usually fountains, if the situation is so that they can be constructed; and they are cool and refreshing places for the family to sit in the heat of the summer. In hot or rainy weather, a curtain or awning is drawn over this area. According to the imago of the prophet here, the heavens are spread out over our heads as such an awning.

And spreadeth them out as a tent - As a tent that is made for a habitation. Perhaps the idea is, that the heavens are extended like a tent in order to furnish a dwelling-place for God. Thus the Chaldee renders it. If so, it proves that the universe, so vast, was suited up to be the dwelling-place of the High and Holy One, and is a most impressive representation of his immensity.

Isaiah 40:22 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Unfailing Stabs and Fainting Men
'...For that He is strong in power; not one faileth.... He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.'-- ISAIAH xl. 26 and 29. These two verses set forth two widely different operations of the divine power as exercised in two sadly different fields, the starry heavens and this weary world. They are interlocked, as it were, by the recurrence in the latter of the emphatic words of the former. The one verse says, 'He is strong in power'; the other, 'He giveth
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Secret of Immortal Youth
'Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.'--ISAIAH xl. 30, 31. I remember a sunset at sea, where the bosom of each wavelet that fronted the west was aglow with fiery gold, and the back of each turned eastward was cold green; so that, looking on the one hand all was glory, and on the other
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Prayer and Devotion
"Once as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly had been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God. As near as I can judge, this continued about an hour; and kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears and weeping aloud.. I felt an ardency of soul to be what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to love
Edward M. Bounds—The Essentials of Prayer

The God of all Comfort
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." Among all the names that reveal God, this, the "God of all comfort," seems to me one of the loveliest and the most absolutely comforting. The words all comfort admit of no limitation and no deductions; and one would suppose that,
Hannah Whitall Smith—The God of All Comfort

Cross References
Genesis 1:6
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

Numbers 13:33
"There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

Job 9:8
Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea;

Job 22:14
'Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the vault of heaven.'

Job 36:29
"Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, The thundering of His pavilion?

Psalm 18:11
He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

Psalm 19:4
Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun,

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