Isaiah 17:7
At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
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17:1-11 Sin desolates cities. It is strange that great conquerors should take pride in being enemies to mankind; but it is better that flocks should lie down there, than that they should harbour any in open rebellion against God and holiness. The strong holds of Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes, will be brought to ruin. Those who are partakers in sin, are justly made partakers in ruin. The people had, by sins, made themselves ripe for ruin; and their glory was as quickly cut down and taken away by the enemy, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman. Mercy is reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant. But very few shall be marked to be saved. Only here and there one was left behind. But they shall be a remnant made holy. The few that are saved were awakened to return to God. They shall acknowledge his hand in all events; they shall give him the glory due to his name. To bring us to this, is the design of his providence, as he is our Maker; and the work of his grace, as he is the Holy One of Israel. They shall look off from their idols, the creatures of their own fancy. We have reason to account those afflictions happy, which part between us and our sins. The God of our salvation is the Rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and unmindfulness of him are at the bottom of all sin. The pleasant plants, and shoots from a foreign soil, are expressions for strange and idolatrous worship, and the vile practices connected therewith. Diligence would be used to promote the growth of these strange slips, but all in vain. See the evil and danger of sin, and its certain consequences.At that day shall a man look to his Maker - Instead of confiding in their strongly fortified places and armies, they shall look for aid and protection to the God that made them, and who alone can help them. National afflictions and judgments often have the effect to turn the eyes of even a wicked and rebellious people to God. They feel their danger; they are convinced of their guilt; they see that no one but God can protect them; and for a time they are willing, even by humiliation and fasting, to seek the divine protection.

His eyes shall have respect ... - He shall look up to, or regard.

The Holy One of Israel - The God of Israel; the true God. As the Syrians were allied with the kingdom of Samaria or Ephraim, they were, of course, acquainted with the true God, and in some sense acknowledged him. In these times of impending calamity, they would be led to seek him, and implore his aid and protection. There is no reason to believe, however, that they would turn permanently to him, or become his true worshippers.

At that day shall a man look to his Maker,.... The one only living and true God, who has made him, and not he himself, nor any other creature; that is, such as are left, as before described, the remnant, according to the election of grace; these shall look to God for help and assistance, for supply, support, and protection; and to Christ particularly, who is the Maker of all things, without whom was not any thing made that is made, for all spiritual blessings; for righteousness and strength, for peace and pardon, for food, and all comfortable supplies of grace, for life and salvation; who is set up to be looked unto for these things; to whom men are directed and encouraged to look for them, both by himself, and by his ministers, and to whom saints in all ages have looked and have not been disappointed; and to this sense the following words incline:

and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel; who in this prophecy is said to be the Redeemer, Isaiah 43:14 he is the Holy One that sprung from literal Israel; and is the sanctifier of mystical Israel; to which agrees the Targum,

"and his eyes shall hope for the Word of the Holy One of Israel:''

the Word by whom all things were made in the beginning, and who was made flesh and dwelt among men.

At that day shall a man look to his {k} Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

(k) He shows that God's corrections always bring fruit, and cause his to turn from their sins and to humble themselves to him.

The first turn: "Behold, Damascus must (be taken) away out of the number of the cities, and will be a heap of fallen ruins. The cities of Aroer are forsaken, they are given up to flocks, they lie there without any one scaring them away. And the fortress of Ephraim is abolished, and the kingdom of Damascus; and it happens to those that are left of Aram as to the glory of the sons of Israel, saith Jehovah of hosts." "Behold," etc.: hinnēh followed by a participle indicates here, as it does everywhere else, something very near at hand. Damascus is removed מעיר ( equals עיר מהיות, cf., 1 Kings 15:13), i.e., out of the sphere of existence as a city. It becomes מעי, a heap of ruins. The word is used intentionally instead of עי, to sound as much as possible like מעיר: a mutilated city, so to speak. It is just the same with Israel, which has made itself an appendage of Damascus. The "cities of Aroer" (gen. appos. Ges. 114, 3) represent the land to the east of the Jordan: there the judgment upon Israel (executed by Tiglath-pileser) first began. There were two Aroers: an old Amoritish city allotted to the tribe of Reuben, viz., "Aroer on the Arnon" (Deuteronomy 2:36; Deuteronomy 3:12, etc.); and an old Ammonitish one, allotted to the tribe of Gad, viz., "Aroer before Rabbah" (Rabbath, Ammon, Joshua 13:25). The ruins of the former are Arair, on the lofty northern bank of the Mugib; but the situation of the latter has not yet been determined with certainty (see Comm. on Joshua 13:25). The "cities of Aroer" are these two Aroers, and the rest of the cities similar to it on the east of the Jordan; just as "the Orions" in Isaiah 13:10 are Orion and other similar stars. We meet here again with a significant play upon the sound in the expression ‛ârē ‛Aro‛ēr (cities of Aroer): the name of Aroer was ominous, and what its name indicated would happen to the cities in its circuit. ערער means "to lay bare," to pull down (Jeremiah 51:58); and ערער, ערירי signifies a stark-naked condition, a state of desolation and solitude. After Isaiah 17:1 has threatened Damascus in particular, and Isaiah 17:2 has done the same to Israel, Isaiah 17:3 comprehends them both. Ephraim loses the fortified cities which once served it as defences, and Damascus loses its rank as a kingdom. Those that are left of Aram, who do not fall in the war, become like the proud citizens of the kingdom of Israel, i.e., they are carried away into captivity. All this was fulfilled under Tiglath-pileser. The accentuation connects ארם שׁאר (the remnant of Aram) with the first half of the verse; but the meaning remains the same, as the subject to יהיוּ is in any case the Aramaeans.
7. look to his Maker—instead of trusting in their fortresses—(Isa 17:3; Mic 7:7).As when the harvestman gathereth "As when one gathereth" - That is, the king of Assyria shall sweep away the whole body of the people, as the reaper strippeth off the whole crop of corn; and the remnant shall be no more in proportion than the scattered ears left to the gleaner. The valley of Rephaim near Jerusalem was celebrated for its plentiful harvest; it is here used poetically for any fruitful country. One MS., and one ancient edition, has באסף beesoph, "In gathering," instead of כאסף keesoph, "AS the gathering." 17:7 A man - Those few men that are left. Look - They shall sincerely respect, and trust, and worship God, and God only.
Isaiah 17:6
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