God's heavy judgment upon Jerusalem, 1-6. The insatiableness of her enemies, 7, 8. The senselessness, 9-12, and deep hypocrisy of the Jews, 13-16. A promise of sanctification to the godly, 17-24.
1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! Add year to year. Let them kill sacrifices.
2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow, and it shall be to me as Ariel.
3 And I will encamp against you all around, and I will lay siege against you with siege-works and raise forts against you.
4 And you shall be brought down and shall speak out of the ground. Your speech shall be low out of the dust. Your voice shall be, as of one who has a familiar spirit, out of the ground. And your speech shall whisper out of the dust.
5 Moreover, the multitude of your strangers shall be like small dust and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passes away. It shall even be at an instant, suddenly.
6 You shall be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder, with earthquake, with great noise, with storm and tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire.
7 And the multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her fortress, and who distress her, shall be as a dream of a night-vision.
8 It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he eats, but he awakes and his soul is empty, or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks, but he awakes, and behold, he is faint and his soul has appetite. Thus the multitude of all the nations shall be who fight against mount Zion.
9 Stay yourselves, and wonder. Cry out, and cry. They are drunken, but not with wine. They stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the LORD has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep and has closed your eyes. The prophets and your rulers, the seers he has covered.
11 And the vision of all has become to you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is learned, saying, "Read this, I pray you," and he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed." 12 And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, "Read this, I pray you," and he says, "I am not learned."
13 Therefore, the Lord said, "Because this people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men,
14 Therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even an astonishing work and a wonder. For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid."
15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark and they say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?"
16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay. For shall the work say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing framed say of him who framed it, "He had no understanding"?
17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
18 And in that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
19 The meek shall also increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the terrible one is brought to nothing and the scoffer is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off,
21 Who make a man an offender for a word, lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nothing.
22 Therefore, thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now become pale.
23 But when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
24 Those who also erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and those who murmured shall learn doctrine."
Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 29[➚]
[v.10] - Quoted in Romans 11:8.
[v.13] - Quoted in Matthew 15:8-9; Mark 7:6-7.
[v.14] - Quoted in 1st Corinthians 1:19.
[v.18] - Reference, Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22.