CHAPTER 1 | Verses 3 - 6

Verse 3: “The ox knew his owner, and the donkey the trough of his master; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider.”

Knew: This is also written in the past tense, alluding to the fact that the ox knows completely and utterly what the owner expects of him.

The donkey the trough of his master: Both the donkey and the ox know who they belong to. They recognize the authority of their owner over them.

Know…consider: Although God is Israel’s master and owner, they do not care to know Him and nor do they pay attention to (consider) Him. Isaiah begins this prophecy by letting the people know that God is not important to them – they do not know, and are not studying,
God’s Word; they are not paying any attention to God.

Verse 4: “Woe, O sinful nation, a people heavy in iniquity. They are offspring of evildoers; they are children that are corrupt. They have left the Lord and have spoken blasphemously against the Holy One of Israel. They have turned backward.”

Woe: This is a word that speaks about how bad something is going to be. God is not pleased with the people and therefore there are going to be consequences to their actions.

Heavy in iniquity: They have violated the Word of God in a very serious manner.

They have left the Lord: God did not abandon Israel. Through their choice of sin, iniquity and transgression they left Him.

Blasphemously: They have spoken incorrectly. They have spoken in an improper way to the Lord.

Turned backward: They have moved away from God. Instead of going toward Him they have turned their backs on Him and are walking in the opposite direction, the wrong direction.

Verse 5: “On account of what have they been bruised? More and more have you turned aside. The head is sick, and the heart is diseased.”

On account of what have they been bruised (struck)?: God is asking them a question. He wants to know if they know the reason why they are experiencing punishment.

More and more have you turned aside: They are being punished because they have rebelled against the Lord God.

The head is sick, and the heart is diseased: This is an example of parallelism. Head….heart.

Sick…diseased. Throughout this prophecy there is poetic parallelism…heavens…earth/land, ox…donkey etc. The head (and heart – Proverbs 23:7) is synonymous with thinking, a thought process. Israel is thinking incorrectly (in a diseased way) and as a result they are
making poor decisions. Their thought process was not pleasing to God.

Verse 6: “From the sole of your feet unto your head there is no soundness. There are wounds and bruises and being struck, and there is trouble. They have not been closed or bound up or anointed with ointment.”

There is no soundness: This is a Hebrew idiom for pain or suffering. From top to toe, they are in pain. There is not a single part of them that is well, but every member of their body is affected. Many scholars speak here of Israel’s spiritual condition being likened to a disease or a sickness.

There is trouble: Things are not in their correct order. Not been closed or bound up: Israel’s (spiritual) wounds are infected. Nothing has been done to extract the pus from their wounds to get rid of the infection. The wounds have not been tended to, wrapped up, but they have been left open to fester.

Anointed with ointment: Isaiah is saying that Israel is wounded. Her wounds have been infected, but nothing is being done to bring health or healing to the children of Israel.


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