Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 26:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

My dead body "My deceased" - All the ancient Versions render it in the plural; they read נבלותי niblothai, my dead bodies. The Syriac and Chaldee read נבלותיהם niblotheyhem, their dead bodies. No MS. yet found confirms this reading.

The dew of herbs "The dew of the dawn" - Lucis, according to the Vulgate; so also the Syriac and Chaldee.

The deliverance of the people of God from a state of the lowest depression is explained by images plainly taken from the resurrection of the dead. In the same manner the Prophet Ezekiel represents the restoration of the Jewish nation from a state of utter dissolution by the restoring of the dry bones to life, exhibited to him in a vision, chap. 37, which is directly thus applied and explained, Ezekiel 37:11-13. And this deliverance is expressed with a manifest opposition to what is here said above, Ezekiel 37:14, of the great lords and tyrants, under whom they had groaned: -

"They are dead, they shall not live;

They are deceased tyrants, they shall not rise:"

that they should be destroyed utterly, and should never be restored to their former power and glory. It appears from hence, that the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was at that time a popular and common doctrine; for an image which is assumed in order to express or represent any thing in the way of allegory or metaphor, whether poetical or prophetical, must be an image commonly known and understood; otherwise it will not answer the purpose for which it is assumed. - L.

Kimchi refers these words to the days of the Messiah, and says, "Then many of the saints shall rise from the dead. "And quotes Daniel 12:2. Do not these words speak of the resurrection of our blessed Lord; and of that resurrection of the bodies of men, which shall be the consequence of his body being raised from the dead?

Thy dead men shall live, - with my dead body shall they arise - This seems very express.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thy dead men shall live - Very various interpretations have been given of this verse, which may be seen at length by comparing Vitringa, Rosenmuller, Gesenius, and Poole‘s Synopsis. In Isaiah 26:14, the chorus is represented as saying of the dead men and tyrants of Babylon that had oppressed the captive Jews, that they should not rise, and should no more oppress the people of God. In contradistinction from this fate of their enemies, the choir is here introduced as addressing Yahweh (compare Isaiah 26:16), and saying ‹thy dead shall live;‘ that is, thy people shall live again shall be restored to to vigor, and strength, and enjoyment. They had been dead; that is, civilly dead in Babylon; they were cut off from their privileges, torn away from their homes, made captives in a foreign land. Their king had been dethroned; their temple demolished; their princes, priests, and people made captive; their name blotted from the list of nations; and to all intents and purposes, as a people, they were deceased. This figure is one that is common, by which the loss of privileges and enjoyments, and especially of civil rights, is represented as death. So we speak now of a man‘s being dead in law; dead to his country; spiritually dead; dead in sins. I do not understand this, therefore, as referring primarily to the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead; but to the captives in Babylon, who were civilly dead, and cut off by their oppressors from their rights and enjoyments as a nation.

Shall live - Shall be restored to their country. and be reinstated in all their rights and immunities as a people among the nations of the earth. This restoration shall be as striking as would be the resurrection of the dead front their graves. Though, therefore, this does not refer primarily to the resurrection of the dead, yet the illustration is drawn from that doctrine, and implies that that doctrine was one with which they were familiar. An image which is employed for the sake of illustration must be one that is familiar to the mind, and the reference here to this doctrine is a demonstration that the doctrine of the resurrection was well known.

Together with my dead body shall they arise - The words ‹together with‘ are not in the original. The words rendered ‹my dead body‘ (נבלתי nebēlâthiy ) literally means, ‹my dead body,‘ and may be applied to a man, or to a beast Leviticus 5:2; Leviticus 7:24. It is also applied to the dead in general; to the deceased; to carcasses, or dead bodies (see Leviticus 11:11; Psalm 79:2; Jeremiah 7:33; Jeremiah 9:22; Jeremiah 16:18; Jeremiah 26:23; Jeremiah 34:20). It may, therefore, be rendered, ‹My deceased, my dead;‘ and will thus be parallel with the phrase ‹thy dead men,‘ and is used with reference to the same species of resurrection. It is not the language of the prophet Isaiah, as if he referred to his own body when it should be dead, but it is the language of the choir that sings and speaks in the name of the Jewish people. “That people” is thus introduced as saying “my” dead, that is, “our” dead, shall rise. Not only in the address to Yahweh is this sentiment uttered when it is said ‹thy dead shall rise,‘ but when the attention is turned to themselves as a people, they say ‹our dead shall rise;‘ those that pertain to our nation shall rise from the dust, and be restored to their own privileges and land.

Awake and sing - In view of the cheering and consolatory fact just stated that the dead shall rise, the chorus calls on the people to awake and rejoice. This is an address made directly to the dejected and oppressed people, as if the choir were with them.

Ye that dwell in dust - To sit in dust, or to dwell in the dust, is emblematic of a state of dejection, want, oppression, or poverty Psalm 44:25; Psalm 119:25; Isaiah 25:12; Isaiah 26:5; Isaiah 47:1. Here it is supposed to be addressed to the captives in Babylon, as oppressed, enslaved, dejected. The “language” is derived from the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, and proves that that doctrine was understood and believed; the sense is, that those wire were thus dejected and humbled should be restored to their former elevated privileges.

For thy dew - This is evidently an address to Yahweh. “His” dew is that which he sends down from heaven, and which is under his direction and control. Dew is the emblem of that which refreshes and vivifies. In countries where it rains but seldom, as it does in the East, the copious dews at night supply in some sense the want of rain. “Thence dew” is used in Scripture as an emblem of the graces and influences of the Spirit of God by which his people are cheered and comforted, as the parched earth and the withered herbs are refreshed by the copious dews at night. Thus in Hosea 14:5:

I will be as the dew unto Israel;

He shall grow as the lily,

And cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

The prophet here speaks of the captivity in Babylon. Their state is represented as a state of death - illustrated by the parched earth, and the decayed and withered herbs. But his grace and favor would visit them, and they would be revived.

As the dew of herbs - As the dew that falls on herbs. This phrase has, however, been rendered very variously. The Vulgate renders it, ‹Thy dew is as the dew of light.‘ The Septuagint: ‹Thy dew shall be healing ( ἴαμα iama ) unto them.‘ The Chaldee, ‹Thy dew shall be the dew of light.‘ But the most correct and consistent translation is undoubtedly that which renders the word אורת 'ôroth herbs or vegetables (compare 2 Kings 9:19).

And the earth shall cast out the dead - This is language which is derived from the doctrine of the resurrection of the body; and shows also that that doctrine was understood by the Hebrews in the time of Isaiah. The sense is, that as the earth shall cast forth its dead in the resurrection, so the people of God in Babylon should be restored to life, and to their former privileges in their own land.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Every creature, every business, any way serviceable to our comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us which seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin and Satan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to be set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions. Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comes now like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church. His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all the deliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew or rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would raise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW), 1143

12-14 (see EGW on Ezekiel 28:13-15). Satan's Rebellion of Long Standing—The records of some are similar to that of the exalted angel who was given a position next to Jesus Christ in the heavenly courts. Lucifer was enshrouded with glory as the covering cherub. Yet this angel whom God had created, and entrusted with power, became desirous of being as God. He gained the sympathy of some of his associates by suggesting thoughts of criticism regarding the government of God. This evil seed was scattered in a most seducing manner; and after it had sprung up and taken root in the minds of many, he gathered the ideas that he himself had first implanted in the minds of others, and brought them before the highest order of angels as the thoughts of other minds against the government of God. Thus, by ingenious methods of his own devising, Lucifer introduced rebellion in heaven. 4BC 1143.1

God desired that a change take place, and that the work of Satan be brought out in its genuine aspect. But the exalted angel standing next to Christ was opposed to the Son of God. The underworking was so subtle that it could not be made to appear before the heavenly host as the thing that it really was; and so there was war in heaven, and Satan was expelled with all who would not stand on the side of loyalty to God's government. The Lord God stood forth as Supreme Ruler. 4BC 1143.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 60

Soon our eyes were drawn to the east, for a small black cloud had appeared, about half as large as a man's hand, which we all knew was the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence we all gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, and became lighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud. The bottom appeared like fire; a rainbow was over the cloud, while around it were ten thousand angels, singing a most lovely song; and upon it sat the Son of man. His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders, and upon His head were many crowns. His feet had the appearance of fire; in His right hand was a sharp sickle, in His left a silver trumpet. His eyes were as a flame of fire, which searched His children through and through. 1T 60.1

Then all faces gathered paleness, and those that God had rejected gathered blackness. Then we all cried out: “Who shall be able to stand? Is my robe spotless?” The angels ceased to sing, and there was a time of awful silence, when Jesus spoke: “Those who have clean hands and pure hearts shall be able to stand; My grace is sufficient for you.” At this, our faces lighted up, and joy filled every heart. And the angels struck a note higher and sang again, while the cloud drew still nearer the earth. Then Jesus’ silver trumpet sounded, as He descended on the cloud, wrapped in flames of fire. He gazed on the graves of the sleeping saints, then raised His eyes and hands to heaven, and cried: “Awake! Awake! Awake! ye that sleep in the dust, and arise.” Then there was a mighty earthquake. The graves opened, and the dead came up clothed with immortality. The 144,000 shouted, “Alleluia!” as they recognized their friends who had been torn from them by death, and in the same moment we were changed, and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. 1T 60.2

We all entered the cloud together, and were seven days ascending to the sea of glass, when Jesus brought the crowns, and with His own right hand placed them on our heads. He gave us harps of gold and palms of victory. Here on the sea of glass the 144,000 stood in a perfect square. Some had very bright crowns, others not so bright. Some crowns appeared heavy with stars, while others had but few. All were perfectly satisfied with their crowns. And they were all clothed with a glorious white mantle from their shoulders to their feet. Angels were all about us as we marched over the sea of glass to the gate of the city. Jesus raised His mighty, glorious arm, laid hold of the pearly gate, swung it back on its glittering hinges, and said to us: “You have washed your robes in My blood, stood stiffly for My truth, enter in.” We all marched in and felt we had a perfect right there. 1T 60.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 786

As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been co-laborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne testimony to the truth. Now they were to be witnesses for Him who had raised them from the dead. DA 786.1

During His ministry, Jesus had raised the dead to life. He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler's daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came forth from the grave at Christ's resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan; I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the first fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, nevermore to see death or experience sorrow. DA 786.2

These went into the city, and appeared unto many, declaring, Christ has risen from the dead, and we be risen with Him. Thus was immortalized the sacred truth of the resurrection. The risen saints bore witness to the truth of the words, “Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise.” Their resurrection was an illustration of the fulfillment of the prophecy, “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isaiah 26:19. DA 786.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 300

The coming of Christ to usher in the reign of righteousness has inspired the most sublime and impassioned utterances of the sacred writers. The poets and prophets of the Bible have dwelt upon it in words glowing with celestial fire. The psalmist sang of the power and majesty of Israel's King: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence.... He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people.” Psalm 50:2-4. “Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ... before the Lord: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” Psalm 96:11-13. GC 300.1

Said the prophet Isaiah: “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 26:19; 25:8, 9. GC 300.2

And Habakkuk, rapt in holy vision, beheld His appearing. “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.” “He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hill did bow: His ways are everlasting.” “Thou didst ride upon Thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation.” “The mountains saw Thee, and they trembled: ... the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear.” “Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed.” Habakkuk 3:3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13. GC 300.3

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