Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 57:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance "Behind the door, and the door-posts, hast thou set up thy memorial" - That is, the image of their tutelary gods, or something dedicated to them; in direct opposition to the law of God, which commanded them to write upon the door-posts of their house, and upon their gates, the words of God's law; Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20. If they chose for them such a situation as more private, it was in defiance of a particular curse denounced in the law against the man who should make a graven or a molten image, and put it in a secret place; Deuteronomy 27:15. An ancient MS., with another, has אחר achar, without the conjunction ו vau, and.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behind the doors - In every part of their habitations - behind the doors and posts and beams of their houses, they had erected the memorials of idolatrous worship.

Hast thou set up thy remembrance - That is, they had filled their houses with the images of tutelary gods, or with something dedicated to them. The Greeks and Romans had their Lares and Penates - their household or domestic gods - the images of which were in every family. The same was true of the apostate Hebrews. They had filled their houses with the memorials of idol-worship, and there was no part of their dwellings in which such memorials were not to be found. When a people forget God, the memorials of their apostasy will be found in every part of their habitations. The shrines of idol-gods may not be there; the beautiful images of the Greek and Roman mythology, or the clumsy devices of less refined pagans, may not be there; but the furniture, the style of living, will reveal from ‹behind every door and the posts‘ of the house that God is forgotten, and that they are influenced by other principles than a regard to his name. The sofa, the carpet, the chandelier, the center-table, the instruments of music, the splendid mirror, may be of such workmanship as to show, as clearly as the image of a pagan god, that Yahweh is not honored in the dwelling, and that his law does not control the domestic arrangements. It may be added here that this custom of the Hebrews of placing the images of idols in their dwellings, was in direct violation of the law of Moses. They were expressly directed to write the laws of God on the posts of the house and on the gates Deuteronomy 6:9; Deuteronomy 11:20; and a curse was denounced against the man who made a graven or molten image and put it in a secret place Deuteronomy 27:15.

For thou hast discovered thyself - This language is taken from adulterous intercourse, and is designed to show the love which they had for idolatrous worship, and the extent of their unfaithfulness to God.

And made thee a covenant with them - Margin, ‹Hewed it for thyself larger than theirs. The true sense is, that they had made an agreement with idolaters, or had entered into a covenant with them.

Thou lovedst their bed - Margin, ‹Thou providest room.‘ Literally, ‹Thou lovest their bed; thou hast provided a place for it.‘ The word יד yâd rendered here ‹where,‘ means literally a hand; then a side, a place (see the notes at Isaiah 56:5). The passage means, that they had delighted in the temples, altars, groves, and sacrifices of idolatry, and had provided a place for them in their own land.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appear before him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened with judgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guilty of idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction. Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame our indifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sin is disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves to hell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to a religion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to do any evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone for crimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. This explains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. But those who set up anything instead of God, for their hope and confidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsake the only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasures of sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for the word of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God. Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 2, 180

Christ gives to all the invitation, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). If all will wear Christ's yoke, if all will learn in His school the lessons that He teaches, there will be sufficient means to establish gospel medical missionary work in many places. 2SM 180.1

Let none say, “I will engage in this work for a stipulated sum. If I do not receive this sum, I will not do the work.” Those who say this show that they are not wearing Christ's yoke; they are not learning His meekness and lowliness.... 2SM 180.2

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