Isaiah - 23:9

9 Yahweh of Armies has planned it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.

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Explanation and meaning of Isaiah 23:9.

Differing Translations

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The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
The Lord of hosts hath designed it, to pull down the pride of all glory, and bring to disgrace all the glorious ones of the earth.
Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it, to profane the pride of all glory, to bring to nought all the honourable of the earth.
Jehovah of Hosts hath counselled it, To pollute the excellency of all beauty, To make light all the honoured of earth.
It was the purpose of the Lord of armies to put pride to shame, to make sport of the glory of those who are honoured in the earth.
The LORD of hosts hath devised it, To pollute the pride of all glory, To bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile all the pride of glory, to shame all the honored of the earth.
The Lord of hosts has planned this, so that he may tear down the arrogance of all glory, and may bring disgrace to all the illustrious of the earth.
Iehova exercituum ita decrevit ad profanandam superbiam omnium magnificorum, ut vilipendat omnes gloriosos terræ.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

To profane the pride, or, to profane the loftiness; for it may be read either way, because loftiness leads to pride, and where loftiness or a high spirit is found, there seldom is humility. But it will be better to read it Pride, which alone provokes the vengeance of God, when men, under pretense of their excellence, vaunt themselves above measure. To "profane" and to "despise" mean the same thing; for those who are high in rank imagine that they are separated from others, and consider themselves to have something indescribably lofty belonging to them, as if they ought not to mingle with the crowd of human beings. But God strips them of their rank, degrades them, and treats them as vile and worthless. From this passage let us learn, that we ought to contemplate the providence of God in such a manner as to ascribe to his almighty power the praise which it deserves for righteous government. Although the rectitude by which God regulates his judgments is not always apparent or made visible to us, still it is never lawful to separate his wisdom and justice from his power. But as the Scriptures very frequently state and clearly explain the reason why God does this or that, we ought carefully to examine the cause of his works. That invention which the Schoolmen have introduced, about the absolute power of God, is shocking blasphemy. It is all one as if they said that God is a tyrant who resolves to do what he pleases, not by justice, but through caprice. Their schools are full of such blasphemies, and are not unlike the heathens, who said that God sports with human affairs. But in the school of Christ we are taught that the justice of God shines brightly in his works, of whatever kind they are, "that every mouth may be stopped," (Romans 3:19,) and that glory may be ascribed to him alone. The Prophet therefore assigns the causes of so great an overthrow, that we may not think that God acts without a reason; for the inhabitants of Tyre were proud, ambitious, lewd, and licentious. These vices follow in the train of wealth and abundance, and commonly abound in mercantile cities. For this reason he shews that God is provoked on account of these vices, that all who are left may be taught by this example to pay greater attention to their own interests, and not to abuse the gifts of God for parade and luxury. Such is the benefit which we ought to draw from it, for we must not imagine that it is a bare history which is related to us. But a question arises, Does God hate the exalted rank of princes and lords? For he raises on high princes, senators, nobles, and all classes of magistrates and rulers; and how then can he hate them? I reply, the high station occupied by princes is not in itself hateful to God, but only on account of the vice which is accidental to it, that when they have been highly exalted, they despise others, and do not think that they are men. Thus, pride is almost always an attendant of high station, and therefore God hates it; and, in a word, he must rebuke that haughtiness of which he declares that he is an enemy.

The Lord of hosts hath purposed it - (see the note at Isaiah 1:9). It is not by human counsel that it has been done. Whoever is the instrument, yet the overthrow of wicked, proud, and vicious cities and nations is to be traced to the God who rules in the empires and kingdoms of the earth (see the notes at Isaiah 10:5-7).
To stain, the pride of all glory - Margin, 'Pollute.' The Hebrew word (חלל chalēl) means properly to bore, or pierce through; to open, make common Leviticus 19:29; then to profane, defile, pollute, as, e. g., the sanctuary Leviticus 19:8; Leviticus 21:9, the Sabbath Exodus 31:14, the name of God Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 19:12. Here it means that the destruction of Tyre would show that God could easily level it all with the dust. The destruction of Tyre would show this in reference to all human glory, because:
(1) it was one of the most ancient cities;
(2) it was one of the most magnificent;
(3) it was one: of the most strong, secure, and inaccessible;
(4) it was the one of most commercial importante, most distinguished in the view of nations; and
(5) its example would be the most striking and impressive.
God often selects the most distinguished and important cities and people to make them examples to others, and to show the ease with which he can bring all down to the earth.
To bring into contempt - To bring their plans and purposes into contempt, and to show how unimportant and how foolish are their schemes in the sight of a holy God.

The Lord of hosts hath purposed it,.... To destroy Tyre; who is wonderful in counsel, capable of forming a wise scheme, and able to put it in execution; being the Lord of armies in heaven and in earth: and his end in it was,
to stain the pride of all glory; Tyre being proud of its riches, the extent of its commerce, and the multitude of its inhabitants, God was resolved, who sets himself against the proud, to abase them; to pollute the glorious things they were proud of; to deal with them as with polluted things; to trample upon them:
and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth: or, "to make light all the heavy ones of the earth" (d); all such, who are top heavy with riches and honour, God can, and sometimes does, make as light as feathers, which the wind carries away, and they fall into contempt and disgrace with their fellow creatures; and the Lord's thus dealing with Tyre was not merely on their account, to stain their pride and glory, and disgrace their honourable ones; but for the sake of others also, that the great ones of the earth might see and learn, by this instance of Tyre, how displeasing to the Lord is the sin of pride; what a poor, vain, and perishing thing, worldly honour and glory is; and what poor, weak, feeble creatures, the princes and potentates of the earth are, when the Lord takes them in hand.
(d) .

Whoever be the instruments in overthrowing haughty sinners, God, who has all hosts at His command, is the First Cause (Isaiah 10:5-7).
stain--rather, "to profane"; as in Exodus 31:14, the Sabbath, and other objects of religious reverence; so here, "the pride of all glory" may refer to the Tyrian temple of Hercules, the oldest in the world, according to ARRIAN (Isaiah 2:16); the prophet of the true God would naturally single out for notice the idol of Tyre [G. V. SMITH]. It may, however, be a general proposition; the destruction of Tyre will exhibit to all how God mars the luster of whatever is haughty (Isaiah 2:11).

The Lord - This is the Lord's own doing. To stain - God's design is by this example to abase the pride of all the potentates of the earth.

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