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

Isaiah Chapter 47

Isaiah 47:1

isa 47:1

Down - From thy throne. Virgin - So, called, because she was tender and delicate. No throne - For thee. The empire is taken from thee, and translated to the Persians. Called - Be so.

Isaiah 47:2

isa 47:2

Millstones - Thou shalt be brought to the basest slavery, which grinding at the mill was esteemed. For this work was not performed by horses, as now it is, but by the labour of slaves and captives. Grind - Grind bread - corn into meal for thy master's use. Uncover - Take off the ornaments wherewith such women as were of good quality, used to cover and dress their heads. These are predictions of what they should be forced to do or suffer. Thigh - Gird up thy garments close and short about thee, that thou mayest be fit for travelling on foot, and for passing over those rivers, through which thou wilt be constrained to wade, in the way to the land of thy captivity.

Isaiah 47:3

isa 47:3

Uncovered - Either for want of raiment to cover it; or rather, by thine enemies in way of scorn and contumely. As a man - With moderation and gentleness, as those men who have not quite put off humanity use to do.

Isaiah 47:5

isa 47:5

Silent - Thro' grief and shame, as mourners use to do. The lady - The chief and glory of all kingdoms.

Isaiah 47:6

isa 47:6

Polluted - I cast them away as an unclean thing. Into thine hand - To punish them. No mercy - Thou hast exceeded the bounds of thy commission. The ancient - Who besides their common calamity were afflicted with the miseries of old age, and therefore did require both pity and reverence.

Isaiah 47:7

isa 47:7

These things - Thy cruel usages of my people, and the heavy judgments which thou hadst reason to expect for them. Nor remember - Thou didst not consider what might and was likely to befal thee afterward.

Isaiah 47:8

isa 47:8

I am - Independent, and self - sufficient. None - Which is not either subject to me, or far inferior to me in power and glory. Shall not sit - I shall never want either a king or people to defend me.

Isaiah 47:9

isa 47:9

Perfection - In the highest degree.

Isaiah 47:10

isa 47:10

Trusted - Confidently expecting to preserve thyself by these and other wicked arts. None seeth - My counsels are so deeply laid. Perverted - Hath misled thee into the way of perdition. None seeth - Which is repeated, to denote their intolerable self - confidence.

Isaiah 47:11

isa 47:11

Therefore - This agrees with the history. Babylon being surprized by Cyrus, when they were in deep security.

Isaiah 47:12

isa 47:12

Stand - Persist in these practices. Laboured - From the beginning of thy kingdom. For the Chaldeans in all ages were famous for the practice of these arts.

Isaiah 47:13

isa 47:13

Wearied - Thou hast spent thy time and strength in going from one to another, and all to no purpose.

Isaiah 47:15

isa 47:15

Thus - Such comfortless and helpless creatures. They - Merchants who came from several countries to trade with Babylon. And the verse may be thus rendered; Thus (vain and unprofitable) shall they (thy sorcerers) with whom thou hast laboured be unto thee: (So here is only a transposition of words, than which nothing is more usual in scripture. Then follows another matter:) also thy merchants, or they with whom thou hast traded from thy youth, shall wander every one to his own quarter.

Next: Isaiah Chapter 48