Isaiah 1:31
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire."

King James Bible
And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.

Darby Bible Translation
And the strong shall be for tow, and his work a spark; and they shall both burn together, and there shall be none to quench [them].

World English Bible
The strong will be like tinder, and his work like a spark. They will both burn together, and no one will quench them."

Young's Literal Translation
And the strong hath been for tow, And his work for a spark, And burned have both of them together, And there is none quenching!

Isaiah 1:31 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Whose leaf "Whose leaves" - Twenty-six of Kennicott's, twenty-four of De Rossi's, one ancient, of my own, and seven editions, read אליה aleyha, in its full and regular form. This is worth remarking, as it accounts for a great number of anomalies of the like kind, which want only the same authority to rectify them.

As a garden that hath no water "A garden wherein is no water" - In the hotter parts of the Eastern countries, a constant supply of water is so absolutely necessary for the cultivation and even for the preservation and existence of a garden, that should it want water but for a few days, every thing in it would be burnt up with the heat, and totally destroyed. There is therefore no garden whatever in those countries but what has such a certain supply, either from some neighboring river, or from a reservoir of water collected from springs, or filled with rain water in the proper season, in sufficient quantity to afford ample provision for the rest of the year.

Moses, having described the habitation of man newly created as a garden planted with every tree pleasant to the sight and good for food, adds, as a circumstance necessary to complete the idea of a garden, that it was well supplied with water, "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden;" Genesis 2:10 : see also Genesis 13:10.

That the reader may have a clear notion of this matter, it will be necessary to give some account of the management of their gardens in this respect.

"Damascus," says Maundrell, p. 122, "is encompassed with gardens, extending no less, recording to common estimation, than thirty miles round; which makes it look like a city in a vast wood. The gardens are thick set with fruit trees of all kinds, kept fresh and verdant by the waters of the Barrady, (the Chrysorrhoas of the ancients), which supply both the gardens and city in great abundance. This river, as soon as it issues out from between the cleft of the mountain before mentioned into the plain, is immediately divided into three streams; of which the middlemost and biggest runs directly to Damascus, and is distributed to all the cisterns and fountains of the city. The other two (which I take to be the work of art) are drawn round, one to the right hand, and the other to the left, on the borders of the gardens, into which they are let as they pass, by little currents, and so dispersed all over the vast wood, insomuch that there is not a garden but has a fine quick stream running through it. The Barrady is almost wholly drunk up by the city and gardens. What small part of it escapes is united, as I was informed, in one channel again on the southeast side of the city; and, after about three or four hours' course finally loses itself in a bog there, without ever arriving at the sea." This was likewise the case in former times, as Strabo, lib. xvi., Pliny, lib. 5:18, testify; who say, "that this river was expended in canals, and drunk up by watering the place."

"The best sight," says the same Maundrell, p. 39, "that the palace of the emir of Beroot, anciently Berytus, affords, and the worthiest to be remembered, is the orange garden. It contains a large quadrangular plat of ground, divided into sixteen lesser squares, four in a row, with walks between them. The walks are shaded with orange trees of a large spreading size. Every one of these sixteen lesser squares in the garden was bordered with stone; and in the stone work were troughs, very artificially contrived, for conveying the water all over the garden; there being little outlets cut at every tree for the stream as it passed by to flow out and water it." The royal gardens at Ispahan are watered just in the same manner, according to Kempfer's description, Amoen. Exot., p. 193.

This gives us a clear idea of the פלגי מים palgey mayim, mentioned in the first Psalm, and other places of Scripture, "the divisions of waiters," the waters distributed in artificial canals; for so the phrase properly signifies. The prophet Jeremith, chap. 17:8, has imitated, and elegantly amplified, the passage of the psalmist above referred to: -

"He shall be like a tree planted by the water side,

And which sendeth forth her roots to the aqueduct.

She shall not fear, when the heat cometh;

But her leaf shall be green;

And in the year of drought she shall not be anxious,

Neither shall she cease from bearing fruit."

From this image the son of Sirach, Ecclesiasticus 24:30, 31, has most beautifully illustrated the influence and the increase of religious wisdom in a well prepared heart.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the strong

Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the middle of hell with them that help him: they are gone down...

as tow

Isaiah 27:4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.

Isaiah 43:17 Which brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct...

Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire...

Judges 15:14 And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him...

Revelation 6:14-17 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places...

the maker of it. or, his work
and they

Isaiah 34:9,10 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone...

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look on the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die...

Ezekiel 20:47,48 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in you...

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly...

Matthew 3:10 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down...

Mark 9:43-49 And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell...

Revelation 14:10,11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation...

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him...

Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are...

Library
Useless Sacrifice
Preached at Southsea for the Mission of the Good Shepherd. October 1871. Isaiah i. 11-17. "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: . . . When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

What Sin Does to Men
'Ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. 31. And the strong shall be as tow, and His work as a spark; and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.'--ISAIAH i. 30-31. The original reference of these words is to the threatened retribution for national idolatry, of which 'oaks' and 'gardens' were both seats. The nation was, as it were, dried up and made inflammable; the idol was as the 'spark' or the occasion for destruction. But a wider application,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Greater Prophets.
1. We have already seen (Chap. 15, Nos. 11 and 12) that from Moses to Samuel the appearances of prophets were infrequent; that with Samuel and the prophetical school established by him there began a new era, in which the prophets were recognized as a distinct order of men in the Theocracy; and that the age of written prophecy did not begin till about the reign of Uzziah, some three centuries after Samuel. The Jewish division of the latter prophets--prophets in the more restricted sense of the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

Synagogues in the City; and Schools.
"R. Phinehas, in the name of R. Hoshaia, saith, There were four hundred and sixty synagogues in Jerusalem: every one of which had a house of the book, and a house of doctrine," "A house of the book for the Scripture," that is, where the Scripture might be read: "and a house of doctrine for traditions," that is, the Beth Midrash, where traditions might be taught. These things are recited elsewhere, and there the number ariseth to four hundred and eighty. "R. Phinehas, in the name of R. Hoshaia, saith,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Cross References
Matthew 3:12
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Mark 9:43
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.

Isaiah 4:4
The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire.

Isaiah 5:24
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 9:19
By the wrath of the LORD Almighty the land will be scorched and the people will be fuel for the fire; they will not spare one another.

Isaiah 24:6
Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.

Isaiah 26:11
LORD, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.

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