Contributor: Mohur Hemp


I was reading Matthew Henery’s commentary on Isaiah chapter 29 Verses 17-24 Section 5. shown below, and it seemed extremely apropos of what is happening in the USA currently. I wonder if what the prophet Isaiah predicted then will repeat itself. I read that history repeats itself.


5. The persecutors, that were vexatious, shall be quieted, and so those they were troublesome to shall be quiet from the fear of them. To complete the repose of God’s people, not only the terrible one from abroad shall be brought to nought, but the scorners at home too shall be consumed and cut off by Hezekiah’s reformation.

Those are a happy people, and likely to be so, who, when God gives them victory and success against their terrible enemies abroad, take care to suppress vice, and profaneness, and the spirit of persecution, those more dangerous enemies at home. Or, They shall be consumed and cut off by the judgments of God, shall be singled out to be made examples of. Or, They shall insensibly waste away, being put to confusion by the fulfilling of those predictions which they had made a jest of. Observe what had been the wickedness of these scorners, for which they should be cut off. They had been persecutors of God’s people and prophets, probably of the prophet Isaiah particularly, and therefore he complains thus feelingly of them and of their subtle malice. Some as informers and persecutors, others as judges, did all they could to take away his life, or at least his liberty. And this is very applicable to the chief priests and Pharisees, who persecuted Christ and his apostles, and for that sin they and their nation of scorners were cut off and consumed. (1.) They ridiculed the prophets and the serious professors of religion; they despised them, and did their utmost to bring them into contempt; they were scorners, and sat in the seat of the scornful. (2.) They lay in wait for an occasion against them. By their spies they watch for iniquity, to see if they can lay hold of any thing that is said or done that may be called an iniquity. Or they themselves watch for an opportunity to do mischief, as Judas did to betray our Lord Jesus. (3.) They took advantage against them for the least slip of the tongue; and, if a thing were ever so little said amiss, it served them to ground an indictment upon. They made a man, though he were ever so wise and good a man, though he were a man of God, an offender for a word, a word mischosen or misplaced, when they could not but know that it was well meant, Isa. 29:21. They cavilled at every word that the prophets spoke to them by way of admonition, though ever so innocently spoken, and without any design to affront them. They put the worst construction upon what was said, and made it criminal by strained innuendoes. Those who consider how apt we all are to speak unadvisedly, and to mistake what we hear, will think it very unjust and unfair to make a man an offender for a word. (4.) They did all they could to bring those into trouble that dealt faithfully with them and told them of their faults. Those that reprove in the gates, reprovers by office, that were bound by the duty of their place, as prophets, as judges, and magistrates, to show people their transgressions, they hated these, and laid snares for them, as the Pharisees’ emissaries, who were sent to watch our Saviour that they might entangle him in his talk (Matt. 22:15), that they might have something to lay to his charge which might render him odious to the people or obnoxious to the government. So persecuted they the prophets; and it is next to impossible for the most cautious to place their words so warily as to escape such snares. See how base wicked people are, who bear ill-will to those who, out of good-will to them, seek to save their souls from death; and see what need reprovers have both of courage to do their duty and of prudence to avoid the snare. (5.) They pervert judgment, and will never let an honest man carry an honest cause: They turn aside the just for a thing of nought; they condemn him, or give the cause against him, upon no evidence, no colour or pretence whatsoever. They run a man down, and misrepresent him, by all the little arts and tricks they can devise, as they did our Saviour. We must not think it strange if we see the best of men thus treated; the disciple is not greater than his Master. But wait awhile, and God will not only bring forth their righteousness, but cut off and consume these scorners.