Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 16:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

When it is seen that Moab, etc. "When Moab shall see," etc. - For נראה nirah, a MS. reads ראה raah, and so the Syriac and Chaldee. "Perhaps נראה כי ki nirah is only a various reading of נלאה כי ki nilah ." Secker. A very probable conjecture.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

When it is seen - When it occurs; that is, when Moab actually “becomes” weary.

Is weary on the high place - The “high place” denotes the place of idolatrous worship, and here means the same as the temple of Chemosh or his sanctuary. Temples and altars were usually constructed on such places, and especially the temples of the pagan gods. Moab is represented here as looking to her gods for protection. Weary, exhausted, worn down with calamities, she is represented as fleeing from the desolate towns and cities, and taking refuge at the altar, and seeking assistance there. This, says Jerome, is the final misery. She is now forsaken of those aids to which she had always trusted, and on which she had relied. Her people slain; her towns destroyed; her strong places broken down; her once fertile fields languishing and desolate, she flees to the shrine of her god, and finds even her god unable to aid and defend her.

Shall come to his sanctuary - To his “principle” sanctuary; or to the temple of the principal god which they worshipped - the god “Chemosh” 1 Kings 11:7. This does not mean the temple at Jerusalem, though Kimchi so understands it; but the temple of the chief divinity of Moab. Jerome says that this temple was on mount Nebo.

Shall not prevail - That is, her prayer shall not be heard.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those who will not be counselled, cannot be helped. More souls are ruined by pride than by any other sin whatever. Also, the very proud are commonly very passionate. With lies many seek to gain the gratification of pride and passion, but they shall not compass proud and angry projects. Moab was famous for fields and vineyards; but they shall be laid waste by the invading army. God can soon turn laughter into mourning, and joy into heaviness. In God let us always rejoice with holy triumph; in earthly things let us always rejoice with holy trembling. The prophet looks with concern on the desolations of such a pleasant country; it causes inward grief. The false gods of Moab are unable to help; and the God of Israel, the only true God, can and will make good what he has spoken. Let Moab know her ruin is very near, and prepare. The most awful declarations of Divine wrath, discover the way of escape to those who take warning. There is no escape, but by submission to the Son of David, and devoting ourselves to him. And, at length, when the appointed time comes, all the glory, prosperity, and multitude of the wicked shall perish.