Matthew Henry's Commentary
Isaiah
Isaiah Introduction:
Isaiah prophesied in the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. He has been well called the evangelical prophet, on account of his numerous and full prophesies concerning the coming and character, the ministry and preaching, the sufferings and death of the Messiah, and the extent and continuance of his kingdom. Under the veil of the deliverance from Babylon, Isaiah points to a much greater deliverance, which was to be effected by the Messiah; and seldom does he mention the one, without alluding at the same time to the other; nay, he is often so much enraptured with the prospect of the more distant deliverance, as to lose sight of that which was nearer, and to dwell on the Messiah's person, office, character, and kingdom.

Chapter 1 Introduction:
The corruptions prevailing among the Jews. (1-9) Severe censures. (10-15) Exhortations to repentance. (16-20) The state of Judah is lamented; with gracious promises of the gospel times. (21-31)

Chapter 2 Introduction:
The conversion of the Gentiles, Description of the sinfulness of Israel. (1-9) The awful punishment of unbelievers. (10-22)

Chapter 3 Introduction:
The calamities about to come upon the land. (1-9) The wickedness of the people. (10-15) The distress of the proud, luxurious women of Zion. (16-26)

Chapter 4 Introduction:
The havoc occasioned by war. (1) The times of the Messiah. (2-6)

Chapter 5 Introduction:
The state and conduct of the Jewish nation. (1-7) The judgments which would come. (8-23) The executioners of these judgments. (24-30)

Chapter 6 Introduction:
The vision which Isaiah beheld in the temple. (1-8) The Lord declares the blindness to come upon the Jewish nation, and the destruction which would follow. (9-13)

Chapter 7 Introduction:
Ahaz threatened by Israel and Syria; and is assured their attack would be in vain. (1-9) God gives a sure sign by the promise of the long-expected Messiah. (10-16) The folly and sin of seeking relief from Assyria are reproved. (17-25)

Chapter 8 Introduction:
Exhortations and warnings. (1-8) Comfort for those who fear God. (9-16) Afflictions to idolaters. (17-22)

Chapter 9 Introduction:
The Son that should be born, and his kingdom. (1-7) The judgments to come upon Israel, and on the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. (8-21)

Chapter 10 Introduction:
Woes against proud oppressors. (1-4) The Assyrian but an instrument in the hand of God for the punishment of his people. (5-19) The deliverance from him. (20-34)

Chapter 11 Introduction:
The peaceful character of Christ's kingdom and subjects. (1-9) The conversion of the Gentiles and Jews. (10-16)

Chapter 12 Introduction:
This is a hymn of praise suited to the times of the Messiah. - The song of praise in this chapter is suitable for the return of the outcasts of Israel from their long captivity, but it is especially suitable to the case of a sinner, when he first finds peace and joy in believing; to that of a believer, when his peace is renewed after corrections for backslidings; and to that of the whole company of the redeemed, when they meet before the throne of God in heaven. The promise is sure, and the blessings contained in it are very rich; and the benefits enjoyed through Jesus Christ, call for the most enlarged thanksgivings. By Jesus Christ, the Root of Jesse, the Divine anger against mankind was turned away, for he is our Peace. Those to whom God is reconciled, he comforts. They are taught to triumph in God and their interest in him. I will trust him to prepare me for his salvation, and preserve me to it. I will trust him with all my concerns, not doubting but he will make all to work for good. Faith in God is a sovereign remedy against tormenting fears. Many Christians have God for their strength, who have him not for their song; they walk in darkness: but those who have God for their strength ought to make him their song; that is, give him the glory of it, and take to themselves the comfort of it. This salvation is from the love of God the Father, it comes to us through God the Son, it is applied by the new-creating power of God the Spirit. When this is seen by faith, the trembling sinner learns to hope in God, and is delivered from fear. The purifying and sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost often are denoted under the emblem of springing water. This work flows through the mediation of Christ, and is conveyed to our souls by means of God's ordinances. Blessed be God, we have wells of salvation opened on every side, and may draw from them the waters of life and consolation. In the second part of this gospel song, ver. |4-6|, believers encourage one another to praise God, and seek to draw others to join them in it. No difference of opinions about the times and seasons, and other such matters, ought to divide the hearts of Christians. Let it be our care that we may be placed amongst those to whom he will say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.

Chapter 13 Introduction:
The armies of God's wrath. (1-5) The conquest of Babylon. (6-18) Its final desolation. (19-22)

Chapter 14 Introduction:
The destruction of Babylon, and the death of its proud monarch. (1-23) Assurance of the destruction of Assyria. (24-27) The destruction of the Philistines. (28-32)

Chapter 15 Introduction:
The Divine judgments about to come upon the Moabites. - This prophecy coming to pass within three years, would confirm the prophet's mission, and the belief in all his other prophecies. Concerning Moab it is foretold, 1. That their chief cities should be surprised by the enemy. Great changes, and very dismal ones, may be made in a very little time. 2. The Moabites would have recourse to their idols for relief. Ungodly men, when in trouble, have no comforter. But they are seldom brought by their terrors to approach our forgiving God with true sorrow and believing prayer. 3. There should be the cries of grief through the land. It is poor relief to have many fellow-sufferers, fellow-mourners. 4. The courage of their soldiers should fail. God can easily deprive a nation of that on which it most depended for strength and defence. 5. These calamities should cause grief in the neighbouring parts. Though enemies to Israel, yet as our fellow-creatures, it should be grievous to see them in such distress. In ver. |6-9|, the prophet describes the woful lamentations heard through the country of Moab, when it became a prey to the Assyrian army. The country should be plundered. And famine is usually the sad effect of war. Those who are eager to get abundance of this world, and to lay up what they have gotten, little consider how soon it may be all taken from them. While we warn our enemies to escape from ruin, let us pray for them, that they may seek and find forgiveness of their sins.

Chapter 16 Introduction:
Moab is exhorted to yield obedience. (1-5) The pride and the judgments of Moab. (6-14)

Chapter 17 Introduction:
Syria and Israel threatened. (1-11) The woe of Israel's enemies. (12-14)

Chapter 18 Introduction:
God's care for his people; and the increase of the church. - This chapter is one of the most obscure in Scripture, though more of it probably was understood by those for whose use it was first intended, than by us now. Swift messengers are sent by water to a nation marked by Providence, and measured out, trodden under foot. God's people are trampled on; but whoever thinks to swallow them up, finds they are cast down, yet not deserted, not destroyed. All the dwellers on earth must watch the motions of the Divine Providence, and wait upon the directions of the Divine will. God gives assurance to his prophet, and by him to be given to his people. Zion is his rest for ever, and he will look after it. He will suit to their case the comforts and refreshments he provides for them; they will be acceptable, because seasonable. He will reckon with his and their enemies; and as God's people are protected at all seasons of the year, so their enemies are exposed at all seasons. A tribute of praise should be brought to God from all this. What is offered to God, must be offered in the way he has appointed; and we may expect him to meet us where he records his name. Thus shall the nations of the earth be convinced that Jehovah is the God, and Israel is his people, and shall unite in presenting spiritual sacrifices to his glory. Happy are those who take warning by his judgment on others, and hasten to join him and his people. Whatever land or people may be intended, we are here taught not to think that God takes no care of his church, and has no respect to the affairs of men, because he permits the wicked to triumph for a season. He has wise reasons for so doing, which we cannot now understand, but which will appear at the great day of his coming, when he will bring every work into judgment, and reward every man according to his works.

Chapter 19 Introduction:
Judgments upon Egypt. (1-17) Its deliverance, and the conversion of the people. (18-25)

Chapter 20 Introduction:
The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia. - Isaiah was a sign to the people by his unusual dress, when he walked abroad. He commonly wore sackcloth as a prophet, to show himself mortified to the world. He was to loose this from his loins; to wear no upper garments, and to go barefooted. This sign was to signify, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians should be led away captives by the king of Assyria, thus stripped. The world will often deem believers foolish, when singular in obedience to God. But the Lord will support his servants under the most trying effects of their obedience; and what they are called upon to suffer for his sake, commonly is light, compared with what numbers groan under from year to year from sin. Those who make any creature their expectation and glory, and so put it in the place of God, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of it. But disappointment in creature-confidences, instead of driving us to despair, should drive us to God, and our expectation shall not be in vain. The same lesson is in force now; and where shall we look for aid in the hour of necessity, but to the Lord our Righteousness?

Chapter 21 Introduction:
The taking of Babylon. (1-10) Of the Edomites. (11,12) Of the Arabs. (13-17)

Chapter 22 Introduction:
The siege and taking of Jerusalem. (1-7) The wicked conduct of its inhabitants. (8-14) The displacing of Shebna, and the promotion of Eliakim, applied to the Messiah. (15-25)

Chapter 23 Introduction:
The overthrow of Tyre. (1-14) It is established again. (15-18)

Chapter 24 Introduction:
The desolation of the land. (1-12) A few shall be preserved. (13-15) God's kingdom advanced by his judgments. (16-23)

Chapter 25 Introduction:
A song of praise. (1-5) A declaration of the gospel blessings. (6-8) The destruction of the enemies of Christ's church. (9-12)

Chapter 26 Introduction:
The Divine mercies encourage to confidence in God. (1-4) His judgments. (5-11) His people exhorted to wait upon Him. (12-19) Deliverance promised. (20,21)

Chapter 27 Introduction:
God's care over his people. (1-5) A promise of their recall to Divine favour. (6-13)

Chapter 28 Introduction:
The desolations of Samaria. (1-4) The prosperity of Judah; with reproofs for sinfulness and unbelief. (5-15) Christ is pointed out as the sure Foundation for all believers. (16-22) God's dealings with his people. (23-29)

Chapter 29 Introduction:
Judgements on Jerusalem and on its enemies. (1-8) The senselessness and hypocrisy of the Jews. (9-16) The conversion of the Gentiles, and future blessings for the Jews. (17-24)

Chapter 30 Introduction:
The Jews reproved for seeking aid from Egypt. (1-7) Judgements in consequence of their contempt of God's word. (8-18) God's mercies to his church. (19-26) The ruin of the Assyrian army, and of all God's enemies. (27-33)

Chapter 31 Introduction:
The sin and folly of seeking help from Egypt. (1-5) God's care for Jerusalem. (6-9)

Chapter 32 Introduction:
Times of peace and happiness. (1-8) An interval of trouble, yet comfort and blessings in the end. (9-20)

Chapter 33 Introduction:
God's judgments against the enemies of his church. (1-14) The happiness of his people. (15-24)

Chapter 34 Introduction:
God's vengeance against the enemies of his church. (1-8) Their desolation. (9-17)

Chapter 35 Introduction:
The flourishing state of Christ's kingdom. (1-4) The privileges of his people. (5-10)

Chapter 36 Introduction:
See |2Ki 18:17-37|, and the commentary thereon.

Chapter 37 Introduction:
This chapter is the same as |2Ki 19|.

Chapter 38 Introduction:
Hezekiah's sickness and recovery. (1-8) His thanksgiving. (9-22)

Chapter 39 Introduction:
This chapter is the same as |2Ki 20:12-19|.

Chapter 40 Introduction:
The preaching of the gospel, and glad tidings of the coming of Christ. (1-11) The almighty power of God. (12-17) The folly of idolatry. (18-26) Against unbelief. (27-31)

Chapter 41 Introduction:
God's care of his people. (1-9) they are encouraged not to fear. (10-20) The vanity and folly of idolatry. (21-29)

Chapter 42 Introduction:
The character and coming of Christ. (1-4) The blessings of his kingdom. (5-12) The prevalence of true religion. (13-17) Unbelief and blindness reproved. (18-25)

Chapter 43 Introduction:
God's unchangeable love for his people. (1-7) Apostates and idolaters addressed. (8-13) The deliverance from Babylon, and the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21) Admonition to repent of sin. (22-28)

Chapter 44 Introduction:
Here are promises of the influences of the Holy Spirit. (1-8) An exposure of the folly of idolatry. (9-20) Also the deliverance of God's people. (21-28)

Chapter 45 Introduction:
The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)

Chapter 46 Introduction:
The idols could not save themselves, but God saves his people. (1-4) The folly of worshipping idols. (5-13)

Chapter 47 Introduction:
God's judgments on Babylon. (1-6) Carelessness and confidence shall not prevent the evil. (7-15)

Chapter 48 Introduction:
The Jews reproved for their idolatry. (1-8) Yet deliverance is promised them. (9-15) Solemn warnings of judgment upon those who persisted in evil. (16-22)

Chapter 49 Introduction:
The unbelief and rejection of the Jews. (1-6) Gracious promise to the Gentiles. (7-12) God's love to the church. (13-17) Its increase. (18-23) And deliverance. (24-26)

Chapter 50 Introduction:
The rejection of the Jews. (1-3) The sufferings and exaltation of the Messiah. (4-9) Consolation to the believer, and warning to the unbeliever. (10,11)

Chapter 51 Introduction:
Exhortations to trust the Messiah. (1-3) The power of God, and the weakness of man. (4-8) Christ defends his people. (9-16) Their afflictions and deliverances. (17-23)

Chapter 52 Introduction:
The welcome news of Christ's kingdom. (1-12) The humiliation of the Messiah. (13-15)

Chapter 53 Introduction:
The person. (1-3) sufferings. (4-9) humiliation, and exaltation of Christ, are minutely described; with the blessings to mankind from his death. (10-12)

Chapter 54 Introduction:
The increase of the church by the conversion of the Jews and Gentiles. (1-5) Its certain deliverance. (6-10) Its triumphant state is described. (11-17)

Chapter 55 Introduction:
An invitation to receive freely the blessings of the Saviour. (1-5) Gracious offers of pardon and peace. (6-13)

Chapter 56 Introduction:
A charge to keep the Divine precepts. (1,2) Blessings promised. (3-8) Reproof to the careless watchmen, the teachers and rulers of the Jews. (9-12)

Chapter 57 Introduction:
The blessed death of the righteous. (1,2) The abominable idolatries of the Jewish nation. (3-12) Promises to the humble and contrite. (13-21)

Chapter 58 Introduction:
Hypocrisy reproved. (1,2) A counterfeit and a true fast, with promises to real godliness, and, (3-12) to the keeping the sabbath. (13,14)

Chapter 59 Introduction:
Reproofs of sin and wickedness. (1-8) Confession of sin, and lamentation for the consequences. (9-15) Promises of deliverance. (16-21)

Chapter 60 Introduction:
The glories of the church of God, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in. (1-8) and the Jews shall be converted and gathered from their dispersions. (9-14) and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. (15-22)

Chapter 61 Introduction:
The Messiah, his character and office. (1-3) His promises of the future blessedness of the church. (4-9) The church praises God for these mercies. (10,11)

Chapter 62 Introduction:
God's care of his church and people. (1-5) The office of ministers in preaching the gospel. (6-9) Every hinderance shall be removed from the way of salvation. (10-12)

Chapter 63 Introduction:
Christ's victory over his enemies. (1-6) His mercy toward his church. (7-14) The prayer of the church. (15-19)

Chapter 64 Introduction:
The church prays that God's power may be manifested. (1-5) A confession of sin, and afflictions bewailed. (6-12)

Chapter 65 Introduction:
The calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. (1-7) The Lord would preserve a remnant. (8-10) Judgments upon the wicked. (11-16) The future happy and flourishing state of the church. (17-25)

Chapter 66 Introduction:
God looks at the heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt. (1-4) The increase of the church, when Jew and Gentile shall be gathered to the Redeemer. (5-14) Every enemy of the church shall be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen. (15-24)



This Website is Copyright © 2005-2006 Biola University.
Biola does not hold the Copyright to any Biblical texts on this site.
Some Biblical texts on this site are in the Public Domain,
and others are Copyrighted by their Copyright holders.