Isaiah 57:6
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Among the smooth stones of the ravine Is your portion, they are your lot; Even to them you have poured out a drink offering, You have made a grain offering. Shall I relent concerning these things?

King James Bible
Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

Darby Bible Translation
Among the smooth stones of the torrent is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured out a drink-offering, thou hast offered an oblation. Shall I be comforted myself as to these things?

World English Bible
Among the smooth [stones] of the valley is your portion; they, they are your lot; you have even poured a drink offering to them. You have offered an offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?

Young's Literal Translation
Among the smooth things of a brook is thy portion, They -- they are thy lot, Also to them thou hast poured out an oblation, Thou hast caused a present to ascend, For these things am I comforted?

Isaiah 57:6 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Among the smooth stones of the streams - In the original here, there is a paronomasia, which cannot be fully retained in our English version. There has been also considerable diversity of opinion in regard to the sense of the passage, from the ambiguity of the words in the original. Jerome (the Vulgate) renders it, In partibus torrentis pars tua - 'Thy portion is in the parts of the torrent.' The Septuagint translates it 'This is thy portion; this is thy lot. The word rendered in our version, 'smooth stones' (חלק chēleq), means properly smoothness, hence, barrenness or bare place; and supposes that the idea is, their lot was in the bare places of the valley, that is, in the open (not wooded) places where they worshipped idols - an interpretation not very consistent with the fact that groves were commonly selected as the place where they worshipped idols. It seems to me, therefore, that the idea of smoothness here, whether of the valley or of the stones, is not the idea intended. Indeed, in no place, it is believed, does the word mean 'smooth stones;' and it is difficult to conceive what was the exact idea which our translators intended to convey, or why they supposed that such worship was celebrated among the smooth or much-worn stones of the running stream. The true idea can probably be obtained by reverting to the primitive sense of the word as derived from the verb. The verb חלק châlaq means:

1. To smooth.

2. To divide, to distribute, to appropriate - as the dividing of spoil, etc.

Hence, the noun also means dividing, or portion, as that which is divided - whether an inheritance, or whether the dividings of spoil after battle. Retaining this idea, the literal sense, as I conceive, would be this in which also something of the paronomasia will be retained: 'Among the dividings of the valley is thy dividing,' that is, thy portion In the places where the valley divides, is thy lot. Thy lot is there instead of the place which God appointed. There you worship; there you pour out your libations to the false gods; and there you must partake of the protection and favor which the gods whom you worship can give. You have chosen that as your inheritance, and by the results of that you must abide.

Of the stream - The word rendered here 'stream' (נחל nachal), means either a stream, or a rivulet of water Numbers 34:5; Joshua 15:4-47; or it means a valley with a brook or torrent; a low place with water. Here it means evidently the latter - as it cannot be supposed they would worship in a stream, though they undoubtedly worshipped in a vale or low place where there was occasionally a rivulet of water. This entire description is strikingly applicable to the valley of Jehoshaphat - a low vale, broken by chasms and by projecting and overhanging rocks, and along the center of which flowed a small brook, much swelled occasionally by the waters that fell from the adjacent hills. At some seasons of the year, however, the valley was entirely dry. The idea here is, that they had chosen their portion in the dividings of that valley instead of the adjacent hills on which the worship of God was celebrated. That valley became afterward the emblem of punishment: and may it not be implied in this passage that they were to inherit whatever would descend on that valley; that is, that they were to participate in the punishment which would be the just expression of the divine displeasure?

Even to them hast thou poured out - That is, to these idols erected in the valleys.

A drink-offering - A libation, or drink-offering was usually poured out in the worship of pagan gods Jeremiah 7:18. It was common also in the worship of the true God (see Genesis 35:14). Among the Hebrews it consisted of wine and oil Exodus 29:40; Numbers 15:5-7; Leviticus 23:13.

Thou hast offered a meat-offering - On the word used here (מנחה minchāh) see the notes at Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 43:23. The word 'meat' formerly denoted in the English language food in general, and was not confined as it is now to animal food. Hence, the word 'meat-offering' is so often used in the Scriptures when a sacrifice is intended which was not a bloody sacrifice. The mincha was in fact an offering of meal, fine flour, etc., mingled with oil Leviticus 14:10; Numbers 7:13, and was distinguished expressly from the bloody sacrifice. The word 'meal-offering' would much more appropriately express the sense of the original than 'meat-offering.' This was a common offering made to idols as well as to the true God, and was designed as an expression of thankfulness.

Should I receive comfort in these? - It is implied that God could not behold them but with displeasure, and that for them he would punish them. The Vulgate and the Septuagint express it well as: 'On account of these things shall I not be enraged?'

Isaiah 57:6 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Loftiness of God
ISAIAH lvii. 15. For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. This is a grand text; one of the grandest in the whole Old Testament; one of those the nearest to the spirit of the New. It is full of Gospel--of good news: but it is not the whole Gospel. It does not tell us the whole character
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

The Comforts Belonging to Mourners
Having already presented to your view the dark side of the text, I shall now show you the light side, They shall be comforted'. Where observe: 1 Mourning goes before comfort as the lancing of a wound precedes the cure. The Antinomian talks of comfort, but cries down mourning for sin. He is like a foolish patient who, having a pill prescribed him, licks the sugar but throws away the pill. The libertine is all for joy and comfort. He licks the sugar but throws away the bitter pill of repentance. If
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

I Will Pray with the Spirit and with the Understanding Also-
OR, A DISCOURSE TOUCHING PRAYER; WHEREIN IS BRIEFLY DISCOVERED, 1. WHAT PRAYER IS. 2. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT. 3. WHAT IT IS TO PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT AND WITH THE UNDERSTANDING ALSO. WRITTEN IN PRISON, 1662. PUBLISHED, 1663. "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought:--the Spirit--helpeth our infirmities" (Rom 8:26). ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. There is no subject of more solemn importance to human happiness than prayer. It is the only medium of intercourse with heaven. "It is
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Coming Revival
"Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?"--PS. lxxxv. 6. "O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years."--HAB. iii. 2. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me: Thy right hand shall save me."--PS. cxxxviii. 7. "I dwell with him that is of a humble and contrite heart, to revive the heart of the contrite ones."--ISA. lvii. 15. "Come, and let us return to the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us. He will revive us."--HOS. vi. 1, 2. The Coming
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Cross References
Jeremiah 3:9
"Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.

Jeremiah 5:9
"Shall I not punish these people," declares the LORD, "And on a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?

Jeremiah 5:29
Shall I not punish these people?' declares the LORD, 'On a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?'

Jeremiah 7:18
"The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods in order to spite Me.

Jeremiah 9:9
"Shall I not punish them for these things?" declares the LORD. "On a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?

Habakkuk 2:19
"Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, 'Awake!' To a mute stone, 'Arise!' And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it.

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Appeased Ascend Brook Caused Cereal Comfort Comforted Drink Drink-Offering Grain Heritage Idols Lot Meal Meal-Offering Meat Meat-Offering Oblation Offered Offering Overlooked Pacify Portion Possible Poured Present Ravine Ravines Receive Relent Smooth Stones Stream Torrent Valley
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