Isaiah 54:11
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, Behold, I will set your stones in antimony, And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.

King James Bible
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

Darby Bible Translation
Thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, not comforted! Behold, I will set thy stones in antimony, and lay thy foundations with sapphires;

World English Bible
"You afflicted, tossed with storms, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in beautiful colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires.

Young's Literal Translation
O afflicted, storm-tossed, not comforted, Lo, I am laying with cement thy stones, And have founded thee with sapphires,

Isaiah 54:11 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

O thou afflicted - In the previous verses, Yahweh had merely promised protection, and had in general terms assured them of his favor. Here he shows that they should not only be defended, but that his church would rise with great beauty, and be ornamented like a most splendid palace or temple. This is to be regarded as addressed primarily to the exiles in Babylon near to the close of their seventy years' captivity. But nothing forbids us to apply it to the church in all similar circumstances when persecuted, and when she is like a ship rolling on the heaving billows of the ocean.

Tossed with tempest - Lowth, 'Beaten with the storm.' The idea is that of a ship that is driven by the tempest; or any object that is tossed about with a whirlwind (סערה so‛ărâh). See Jonah 1:11-13; Hosea 13:3; Hebrews 3:14. The figure is especially striking in an Oriental country. Tempests and whirlwinds there, are much more violent than they are with us, and nothing there can stand before them (see Harmer's Obs. vol. i. p. 92ff Ed. Loud. 1808).

And not comforted - They were far away from all the comforts which they had enjoyed in their own land, and they were apparently forsaken by God.

Behold, I will lay thy stones - It is not uncommon in the Scriptures to compare the prosperity of the church to a splendid temple or palace. In the book of Tobit (Tobit 13:16, 17) a description of Jerusalem occurs, which has all the appearance of having been copied from this, or at least shows that the writer had this passage in his eye. 'For Jerusalem shall be built up with sapphires, and emeralds, and precious stones; thy walls, and battlements, and towers, of pure gold. And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl, and carbuncle, and stones of Ophir.' And in the book of Revelation Rev 21:18-21, a similar description occurs of the New Jerusalem. Possibly John had his eye upon this passage in Isaiah, though he has greatly amplified the description. The passage here undoubtedly contains a figurative description of the future prosperity and glory of the church of God. Lowth remarks on it, justly, 'These seem to be general images to express beauty, magnificence, purity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the ideas of eastern nations; and to have never been intended to be strictly scrutinized or minutely and particularly explained, as if they had each of them some precise moral and spiritual meaning.' The phrase 'I will lay thy stones,' refers to the work of masonry in laying down the foundation of a building, or the stones of which a building is composed, in mortar or cement. Literally, 'I cause to lie down.' The word here used (רבץ râbâts) is usually appropriated to an animal that crouches or lies down.

With fair colors - This translation by no means conveys the idea of the original. The sense is not that the stones would have fair colors, but that the cement which would be used would be that which was commonly employed to make the most valued colors. The edifice which would be reared would be as costly and magnificent as if the very cement of the stones consisted of the most precious coloring matter; the purest vermilion. The word rendered here 'fair colors' (פוך pûk) denotes properly, seaweed, from which an alkaline paint was prepared; then paint itself, dye, fucus, and also that with which the Hebrew women tinged their eyelashes (stibium). This is composed of the powder of lead ore, and was drawn with a small wooden bodkin through the eyelids, and tinged the hair and the edges of the eyelids with a dark sooty color, and was esteemed to be a graceful ornament. This practice is of great antiquity.

It was practiced by Jezebel (see 2 Kings 9:30, where the same word is used as here); it was practiced among the Greeks and Romans (Xen. Cyr. i. 11); and it is still practiced in Africa (see Shaw's Travels, pp. 294, 295). The word used here is rendered 'paint,' or 'painted' 2 Kings 9:30; Jeremiah 22:14; and 'glistening stones' 1 Chronicles 29:2. It does not occur elsewhere. In the passage in Chronicles it may mean the carbuncle, as it is rendered here by the Septuagint, (ἄνθρακα anthraka); but it here denotes, doubtless, the valued paint or dye which was used as an ornament. The description here is that the very stones should be laid in cement of this description, and is of course equivalent to saying that it would be in the most costly and magnificent manner. It may be added, however, that it would not be the mere fact that the stibium would constitute the cement that the prophet seems to refer to, but probably he also means to intimate that this would contribute greatly to the beauty of the city. The cement in which bricks or stones is laid in a building is partly visible, and the beauty of the structure would be augmented by having that which was regarded as constituting the highest ornament used for cement.

And thy foundations with sapphires - The sapphire is a well-known gem distinguished for its beauty and splendor. In hardness it is inferior to the diamond only. Its colors are blue, red, violet, green, white, or limpid.

Isaiah 54:11 Parallel Commentaries

How to Make Use of Christ as the Life when the Soul is Dead as to Duty.
Sometimes the believer will be under such a distemper, as that he will be as unfit and unable for discharging of any commanded duty, as dead men, or one in a swoon, is to work or go a journey. And it were good to know how Christ should be made use of as the Life, to the end the diseased soul may be delivered from this. For this cause we shall consider those four things: 1. See what are the several steps and degrees of this distemper. 2. Consider whence it cometh, or what are the causes or occasions
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Early Battles
Six months of joyous service amongst the Welsh miners was cut short by a telegram announcing to the sisters the serious illness of Mrs. Lee. Taking the news to their Divisional Commander, they were instructed to Headquarters. It was found that the illness was due to shock. The income from investments of the little estate left by Mr. Lee had dwindled; it now had disappeared altogether. Captain Lucy faced the matter with her usual practical decision. 'Mother, darling, there are two ways out. Either
Minnie L. Carpenter—The Angel Adjutant of "Twice Born Men"

The Ascension of Messiah to Glory
Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. T he institutions of the Levitical law were a "shadow" or "sketch" of good things to come. They exhibited a faint and general outline
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

The Great Crisis in Popular Feeling - the Last Discourses in the Synagogue of Capernaum - Christ the Bread of Life - Will Ye Also Go
THE narrative now returns to those who, on the previous evening, had, after the miraculous meal, been sent away' to their homes. We remember, that this had been after an abortive attempt on their part to take Jesus by force and make Him their Messiah-King. We can understand that the effectual resistance of Jesus to their purpose not only weakened, but in great measure neutralised, the effect of the miracle which they had witnessed. In fact, we look upon this check as the first turning of the tide
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Revelation 21:19
The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;

Job 28:16
"It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx, or sapphire.

Song of Solomon 5:14
"His hands are rods of gold Set with beryl; His abdomen is carved ivory Inlaid with sapphires.

Isaiah 14:32
"How then will one answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, And the afflicted of His people will seek refuge in it."

Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

Isaiah 44:28
"It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' And of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.'"

Isaiah 51:18
There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, Nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.

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