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Isaiah 9:21

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Manasseh, Ephraim - This verse is a continuation of the statement in regard to the extent and fearfulness of the faction. Those who were hitherto most tenderly and intimately allied to each other, would now be engaged in furious strife. Manasseh and Ephraim were the two sons of Joseph Genesis 46:20, and their names are used as expressive of tender union and friendship; compare Genesis 48:20. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were near each other, and they always were allied together. The expression here denotes that they who had hitherto been joined in tender alliance, would be rent into contending factions, thirsting for each other‘s blood.

And they together - They would be united in opposing Judah while they were devouring each other, as it is not an uncommon thing for those who are opposed to each other to unite in hostility to a common foe; compare Luke 23:12. This is an image that heightens the description of the anarchy - introducing implacable animosity against another tribe, while they were contending among themselves. That such anarchies and factions existed, is apparent from all the history of the kingdom of Israel; compare 2 Kings 15:10 ff; 2 Kings 15:30. In this last passage, the death of Pekah is describer as having occurred in a conspiracy formed by Hoshea.

For all this … - see Isaiah 9:12, note Isaiah 5:25. This closes the third strophe or part of the prophecy under consideration. The fourth and last strophe occurs in Isaiah 10:1-4.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this point be not gained by lesser judgments, greater may be expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason to be afraid of those that speak well of us, when we do ill. Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall be in trouble, and see no way out; and when men's ways displease the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at war with them. God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed on near relations who were as their own flesh. The people turn not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for when God judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest sinner shall either bend or break.
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