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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Isaiah Chapter 16

Isaiah 16:1

isa 16:1

Send - The prophet continues his prophecy against Moab, and gives them counsel what to do, to prevent, if possible, the desolation. Make your peace with God, by sacrifice, for all your injuries done to him, and to his people. Sela - An eminent city of Moab, seated upon a rock. Unto the mount - Unto the temple upon mount Zion.

Isaiah 16:2

isa 16:2

Cast out - Which knows not whither to go. Arnon - Which was the border of the land of Moab, where they were, with design to flee out of their land, tho' they knew not whither.

Isaiah 16:3

isa 16:3

Take counsel - Consider seriously what course to take. Shadow - Or, as the shadow of the night, large and dark, as the shadow of the earth is in the night - season. Conceal and protect my people in the time of their distress. The out - casts - Those of my people who are driven out of their land. Wandereth - Unto their enemies.

Isaiah 16:4

isa 16:4

Mine out - casts - Whom tho' I have sorely chastened, yet I own for my people. At an end - Shall shortly be destroyed, and then thou wilt not lose the fruit of thy kindness. The present tense is put for the future.

Isaiah 16:5

isa 16:5

In mercy - By my mercy. I am now punishing their sins, yet I will deliver them for my own mercy's sake. The throne - The kingdom of Judah. He - Their king. In truth - That is, firmly and constantly; for truth is often put for the stability and certainty of a thing, as Ch2 32:1; Pro 11:18. Tabernacle - ln the house, or palace, which is called a tent, or tabernacle, with respect to the unsettledness of David's house, which now indeed was more like a tabernacle than a strong palace. Seeking - Searching out the truth of things with care and diligence. Hasting - Neither denying, nor yet delaying justice.

Isaiah 16:6

isa 16:6

We - The prophet having spoken to the Moabites, now turns his speech to God's people. The sense is, I do not expect that my counsels will have any good effect upon Moab; they will still carry themselves insolently and outrageously. His lies - His vain imaginations, and false and crafty counsels, shall not take effect.

Isaiah 16:7

isa 16:7

Moab - One Moabite shall howl or lament to or for another. Kirhareseth - An ancient and eminent city of Moab, which was preserved when their other cities were ruined, and therefore the destruction of it was more lamented. Stricken - Or, broken, overthrown or destroyed.

Isaiah 16:8

isa 16:8

The lords - The Assyrians or Chaldeans, the great rulers of the eastern nations. Plants - The choicest vines. Under which one particular he seems to understand, not only all other fruits and goods, but even their choicest people. They - The lords of the heathen are come as far as Jazer, which is the utmost border of Moab. Wandered - The Moabites fled for their lives, and wandered hither and thither in the wilderness of Moab. Branches - Her people, called plants before. Stretched - Driven from their own homes, and dispersed into several countries. The sea - Over the Dead - sea, which was the border of Moab. They were forced to flee out of their own country to save their lives.

Isaiah 16:9

isa 16:9

Sibmah - I will bewail Sibmah, as I did bewail Jazer, which was destroyed before Sibmah. Fallen - Those joyful shouts which were customary in the time of harvest and vintage, shall cease.

Isaiah 16:10

isa 16:10

Treaders - In those times they used to squeeze out the juice of their grapes by treading them with their feet.

Isaiah 16:11

isa 16:11

My bowels - Thro' compassion. In excessive grief, the bowels are sometimes rolled together, so as to make an audible noise.

Isaiah 16:12

isa 16:12

When - When it shall appear that all their other devotions are vain. His sanctuary - To the temple of his great god Chemosh. But - His god can neither hear nor help him.

Isaiah 16:13

isa 16:13

Since - Since the beginning of God's revelation to me concerning Moab, hitherto.

Isaiah 16:14

isa 16:14

The Lord - Hath made this farther discovery of his mind to me. Three years - This may well be understood of some great blow given to the Moabites, either by Sennacherib, or his son Esarhaddon, from which notwithstanding they recovered and flourished again 'till Nebuchadnezzar compleated their destruction. Hireling - Within three years precisely counted; for hirelings are very punctual in observing the time for which they are hired. The glory - Their strength, and wealth, and other things in which they glory, shall be made contemptible to those who formerly admired them. With - With the great numbers of their people, of which they boasted.

Next: Isaiah Chapter 17