603-588 B.C.

Isaiah 57)

1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and kind men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the presence of the calamity. (i.e. the calamity refereed to in Jer. 22:10. See 2 Kings 22:16-20)

2 He (i.e. the righteous man) shall enter into peace: they (i.e. the men of grace) shall rest upon their couches, each one walking in his straight path.

57:3-13-. The Wicked.

C  e  3,4. Inquiry.
    f  5-10. Incrimination.
   e  11. Inquiry.
    f  12,13- Threatening.

3 But draw near to this place, all you sons of the sorceress (see 2:6 "soothsayers"), the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
4 Against whom do you all sport yourselves? against whom make you all a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are you all not offspring of transgression (i.e. inborn transgression), a false seed.
5 Inflaming yourselves with the sacred trees (i.e. the asherahs, from were "easter" comes from) under every green tree, slaying the offspring in the valleys under the clefts of the rocks? (see Lev. 18:21; to Molech [1 Kings 11:7. 2 Kings 17:16,17]; or to Baal [Jer.19:5. Ezek.16:20; 23:39. Hos.13:1])

6 Among the smooth stones of the stream (= the open places. Judah still in the land. None of the things mentioned in vv.5-7 found in Babylon) is your portion; they, they are your lot: even to them have you poured a drink offering, you have offered a meal offering (see Ex. 29:40,41, &c. Num. 15:1-10. Cp. 1 Kings 12:32,33). Should I receive comfort in these?
7 Upon a lofty and high mountain have you set your bed: even from that place you went up to offer sacrifice.
8 Behind the doors also and the posts have you set up your symbols: for you have discovered yourself to another than Me, and are gone up; you have enlarged your bed, and made a covenant with them; you loved their couch a hand you have seen(as beckoning).
9 And you went to the king (or, idol, as in 30:33. 1 Kings 11:7) with ointment, and did increase your perfumes, and did send thy messengers far off, and did debase yourself even to hell.
10 You are wearied in the greatness of your way; yet said you not, “There is no hope:” you have found by the length of your journeys] a hand to outh life; therefore you were not grieved.

11 And of whom have you been afraid or feared, that you have lied, and have not remembered Me, nor laid it to your heart? have not I held My peace even of old, and you fear Me not?

12 I will declare your righteousness, and your works; for they shall not profit you. (some codices read, "and your works, they will not profit you")
13 When you cry (in distress), let your companies (i.e. the paramours of v.8) deliver you; but the wind (ruach) shall carry them all away; vanity (put for vain men) shall take them:

but he that flees for refuge to Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My set apart mountain;
14 And shall say, “Make a highway, make a highway (see 7:3), prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of My People.”
15 For thus says the high and lifted up One (see 6:1 "exalted") inhabiting eternity, Whose name is Holy (= Set Apart, or Separate); “I dwell in the high and set apart place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit (ruach), to revive the spirit (ruach) of the humble, and to revive the heart (or, mind) of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit (ruach) should fail before Me, and the breathing things which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid Me (cp. 45:15; 59:2; 64:7), and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will [gently] lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners. (see 3:26)

19 I create the fruit of the lips; “Peace, peace (= perfect peace, or great prosperity) to him that is far off, and to him that is near,” says the Lord (The famous Codex Muyah, quoted in the Massrah, reads, "says Yehovah my Elohim); “and I will heal him.
20 But the lawless are like the sea when tossed, for it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21 There is no peace,” (cp. 48:22) says the Lord God, to the lawless.

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