Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Isaiah 16

Verse 1


This chapter is a continuation of the burden of Moab. The prophet calls upon Moab, in her distresses, to be looking unto Him, who alone could save her, that should sit upon the throne of David, which is Christ; and in the neglect of this predicts her total ruin.

Verses 1-3

It appears, that in the days of David, Moab was under tribute to Israel, and paid gifts 2 Samuel 8:2 . And it should seem, that Moab had at the time of the Prophet's ministry, withdrawn her allegiance. Hence the Prophet admonisheth Moab to revive this payment. And as in the days of Mesha, king of Moab, this tribute was paid in lambs, the Prophet recommends Moab to do so now; 2 Kings 3:4 , But is there not a spiritual lesson, of a much higher nature, intended by the Prophet's direction to Moab? Israel was about to go into captivity, and Moab was under the heavy displeasure of the Lord: Now, said the prophet to Moab, offer up the lamb for an offering in sacrifice, with an eye to Christ. Seek pardon and peace through his blood; and in token of your sense of sin before God, be kind and affectionate to the Lord's people; hide the outcasts of the Lord's heritage, and look unto mount Zion: otherwise, Moab will be utterly spoiled, and scattered, and driven away, as a wandering bird.

Verses 4-5

These are beautiful verses, and full of gospel. The Lord recommends Moab to give shelter to Israel. They are outcasts, but still they are the Lord's. Is this Zion (said the nations, in Jerusalem's mourning) is this Zion, whom men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? Lamentations 2:15 . Now Moab is advised to take the Lord's outcasts in, and give them welcome in the day of their calamity. And the motives for doing so are added: In mercy shall the throne be established: that is, Jesus, the seed of David, will erect his throne in mercy, and the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, shall partake of the blessings which will issue from his throne. Therefore seek the favor of this almighty King, by being kind to the King's people. Reader! the same advice holds good in all ages, and among all nations. And who shall say, if the Lord inclines the heart of sinners to be kind to the Lord's distressed saints, might it not encourage an hope, that he who gives the grace of love to his people, will give the grace of faith and repentance towards himself?

Verses 6-12

If the Reader looks closely to what is here said concerning Moab, he will find it a suited representation of all the pride and ostentation of all the flourishing nations of the earth. The pride of Moab consisted in her wines and luxuries; her strong holds, and noble cities. And what is it now, even in the present hour, among all carnal men and nations? What is said of Calnah, and Hamath, and Gath, may be said of kingdoms and of individuals; they lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches; they eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; but they are not grieved for the afflictions of Joseph! They know not the Lord's Christ. Take away their carnal rejoicings, and they have nothing left to rejoice in. Amos 6:2-7 .

Verses 13-14

Here is the close of the history of Moab, and an awful history it is. The Lord's purpose, and the time of executing his purpose, are both determined: so hath it been in all ages, and so it is, and must be accomplished. What a solemn, but beautiful observation the apostle Peter makes upon this subject, in the close of one of his Epistles: he had been observing, with much pain of mind, how profane scoffers held in contempt the Lord's threatenings of sinners, and closeth up the observation with a word of consolation to the Lord's people: Beloved (saith he) be not ignorant of this one thing that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years; and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is long suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. And then the apostle adds a most striking scripture, and an earnest exhortation from it, to which I pray the Reader to refer, 2 Peter 3:10-14 .

Verse 14


READER! pause over this chapter, in the solemn contents of it, and then gather into one collected view, the history of Moab, in the scripture account of it, from beginning to end; and behold what a miserable life, the life of carnal men of every description and character is, in whatever point of view they are regarded. Moab is but a picture of men and things out of Christ, throughout the earth. The situation of Moab was indeed most lovely, in those rich plains of Jordan, by Jericho. But what are grapes and vineyards, or the fertility and riches of a kingdom, where the inhabitants know not the Lord? What is the whole Turkish empire, in all the luxuries the imagination can conceive, while under the curse of God in Mahometan darkness? Oh, Reader! think of the vast and immense privileges of the blessed gospel of the ever blessed God! It is not for the precious things brought forth by the sun, neither for the precious things put forth by the moon; but the good-will of him that dwelt in the bush! when once the soul is truly awakened to a sense of sin, and the apprehension of the wrath to come; when the short and perishing state of things around is properly seen, and as rightly valued; then nothing short of Christ can bring comfort and content to the heart. Reader! let us learn wisdom from the history and destruction of Moab, and send to Him, who is the ruler of our sinful land, our tribute, and seek in his sacrifice, pardon and forgiveness. Let us not only send to him, but come to him, the true Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world. He is upon the throne of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. Yea, he is the Lamb in the midst of the throne; and that throne is a throne of grace, as well as glory. He will hear, and answer prayer, for he is still the meek and lowly Saviour, who hath said, Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Oh! for grace to come boldly unto his throne, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in all time of need!

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 16". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.