Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 51:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

These two things - desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword - That is, desolation by famine, and destruction by the sword, taking the terms alternately: of which form of construction see other examples. De S. Poesi, Hebrews Prael. xix., and Prelim. Dissert. p. 30. The Chaldee paraphrast, not rightly understanding this, has had recourse to the following expedient: "Two afflictions are come upon thee, and when four shall come upon thee, depredation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword" Five MSS. הרעב haraab, without the conjunction ו vau ; and so the Septuagint and Syriac.

By whom shall I comfort thee "Who shall comfort thee" - A MS., the Septuagint, Syriac, Chaldee, and Vulgate have it in the third person, ינחמך yenachamech, which is evidently right.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

These two things are come unto thee - Margin, ‹Happened.‘ That is, two sources of calamity have come upon thee; to wit, famine and the sword, producing desolation and destruction; or desolation by famine, and destruction by the sword (see Lowth on Hebrew Poetry, Lect. xix.) The idea here is, that far-spread destruction had occurred, caused by the two things, famine and the sword.

Who shall be sorry for thee? - That is, who shall be able so to pity thee as to furnish relief?

Desolation - By famine.

And destruction - Margin, as Hebrew, ‹Breaking.‘ refers to the calamities which would be inflicted by the sword. The land would be desolated, and famine would spread over it. This refers, doubtless, to the series of calamities that would come upon it in connection with the invasion of the Chaldeans.

By whom shall I comfort thee? - This intimates a desire on the part of Yahweh to give them consolation. But the idea is, that the land would be laid waste, and that they who would have been the natural comforters should be destroyed. There would be none left to whom a resort could be had for consolation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God calls upon his people to mind the things that belong to their everlasting peace. Jerusalem had provoked God, and was made to taste the bitter fruits. Those who should have been her comforters, were their own tormentors. They have no patience by which to keep possesion of their own souls, nor any confidence in God's promise, by which to keep possession of its comfort. Thou art drunken, not as formerly, with the intoxicating cup of Babylon's idolatries, but with the cup of affliction. Know, then, the cause of God's people may for a time seem as lost, but God will protect it, by convincing the conscience, or confounding the projects, of those that strive against it. The oppressors required souls to be subjected to them, that every man should believe and worship as they would have them. But all they could gain by violence was, that people were brought to outward hypocritical conformity, for consciences cannot be forced.