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Isaiah 16:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Send ye the lambs for the ruler of the land from Selah to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Send the [tribute] lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Send the lamb of the ruler of the land from the rock to the wilderness,—unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Send ye the lamb due to the ruler of the land, From Sela towards the desert,—Unto the mount of the daughter of Zion;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Send ye a lamb [to] the ruler of the land, From Selah in the wilderness, Unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Send forth, O Lord, the lamb, the ruler of the earth, from Petra of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Sion.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Send ye the lambe to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wildernesse, vnto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I will send as it were reptiles on the land: is [not] the mount of the daughter of Zion{gr.Sion} a desolate rock?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Tziyyon.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Send 7971
{7971} Prime
A primitive root; to send away, for, or out (in a great variety of applications).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
ye the lamb 3733
{3733} Prime
From H3769 in the sense of plumpness; a ram (as full grown and fat), including a battering ram (as butting); hence a meadow (as for sheep); also a pad or camel's saddle (as puffed out).
to the ruler 4910
{4910} Prime
A primitive root; to rule.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
of the land 776
{0776} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
from Sela` סֶלַע 5554
{5554} Prime
The same as H5553; Sela, the rock city of Idumaea.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
to the wilderness, 4057
{4057} Prime
From H1696 in the sense of driving; a pasture (that is, open field, whither cattle are driven); by implication a desert; also speech (including its organs).
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the mount 2022
{2022} Prime
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of the daughter 1323
{1323} Prime
From H1129 (as feminine of H1121); a daughter (used in the same wide sense as other terms of relationship, literally and figuratively).
of Xiyyn צִיּוֹן. 6726
{6726} Prime
The same (regular) as H6725; Tsijon (as a permanent capital), a mountain of Jerusalem.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 16:1

_ _ Isaiah 16:1-14. Continuation of the prophecy as to Moab.

_ _ lamb — advice of the prophet to the Moabites who had fled southwards to Idumea, to send to the king of Judah the tribute of lambs, which they had formerly paid to Israel, but which they had given up (2 Kings 3:4, 2 Kings 3:5). David probably imposed this tribute before the severance of Judah and Israel (2 Samuel 8:2). Therefore Moab is recommended to gain the favor and protection of Judah, by paying it to the Jewish king. Type of the need of submitting to Messiah (Psalms 2:10-12; Romans 12:1).

_ _ from Sela to — rather, “from Petra through (literally, ‘towards’) the wilderness” [Maurer]. “Sela” means “a rock,” Petra in Greek; the capital of Idumea and Arabia-Petraea; the dwellings are mostly hewn out of the rock. The country around was a vast common (“wilderness”) or open pasturage, to which the Moabites had fled on the invasion from the west (Isaiah 15:7).

_ _ ruler of the land — namely, of Idumea, that is, the king of Judah; Amaziah had become master of Idumea and Sela (2 Kings 14:7).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 16:1-5

_ _ God has made it to appear that he delights not in the ruin of sinners by telling them what they may do to prevent the ruin; so he does here to Moab.

_ _ I. He advises them to be just to the house of David, and to pay the tribute they had formerly covenanted to pay to the kings of his line (Isaiah 16:1): Send you the lamb to the ruler of the land. David made the Moabites tributaries to him, 2 Samuel 8:2. They became his servants, and brought gifts. Afterwards they paid their tribute to the kings of Israel (2 Kings 3:4), and paid it in lambs. Now the prophet requires them to pay it to Hezekiah. Let it be raised and levied from all parts of the country, from Selah, a frontier city of Moab on the one side, to the wilderness, a boundary of the kingdom on the other side: and let it be sent, where it should be sent, to the mount of the daughter of Zion, the city of David. Some take it as an advice to send a lamb for a sacrifice to God, the ruler of the earth (so it may be read), the Lord of the whole earth, ruler of all lands, the land of Moab as well as the land of Israel, “Send it to the temple built on Mount Zion.” And some think it is in this sense spoken ironically, upbraiding the Moabites with their folly in delaying to repent and make their peace with God. “Now you would be glad to send a lamb to Mount Zion, to make the God of Israel your friend; but it is too late: the decree has gone forth, the consumption is determined, and the daughters of Moab shall be cast out as a wandering bird,Isaiah 16:2. I rather take it as good advice seriously given, like that of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar when he was reading him his doom, Daniel 4:27. Break off thy sins by righteousness, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity. And it is applicable to the great gospel duty of submission to Christ, as the ruler of the land, and our ruler: “Send him the lamb, the best you have, yourselves a living sacrifice. When you come to God, the great ruler, come in the name of the Lamb, the Lamb of God. For else it shall be” (so we may read it) “that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be. If you will not pay your quit-rent, your just tribute to the king of Judah, you shall be turned out of your houses: The daughters of Moab (the country villages, or the women of your country) shall flutter about the fords of Arnon, attempting that way to make their escape to some other land, like a wandering bird thrown out of the nest half-fledged.” Those that will not submit to Christ, nor be gathered under the shadow of his wings, shall be as a bird that wanders from her nest, that shall either be snatched up by the next bird of prey or shall wander endlessly in continual frights. Those that will not yield to the fear of God shall be made to yield to the fear of every thing else.

_ _ II. He advises them to be kind to the seed of Israel (Isaiah 16:3): “Take counsel, call a convention, and consult among yourselves what is fit to be done in the present critical juncture; and you will find it your best way to execute judgment, to reverse all the unrighteous decrees you have made, by which you have put hardships upon the people of God, and, in token of your repentance for them, study now how to oblige them, and this shall be accepted of God more than all burnt-offering and sacrifice.”

_ _ 1. The prophet foresaw some storm coming upon the people of God, perhaps the good people of the ten tribes, or of the two and a half on the other side Jordan, whose country joined to that of Moab, and who, by the merciful providence of God, escaped the fury of the Assyrian army, had their lives given them for a prey, and were reserved for better times, but were put to the utmost extremity to shift for their own safety. The danger and trouble they were in were like the scorching heat at noon; the face of the spoiler was very fierce upon them and the oppressor and extortioner were ready to swallow them up after stripping them of what they had.

_ _ 2. He bespeaks a shelter for them in the land of Moab, when their own land was made too hot for them. This judgment they must execute; thus wisely must they do for themselves, and thus kindly must they deal with the people of God. If they would themselves continue in their habitations, let them now open their doors to the distressed dispersed members of God's church, and be to them like a cool shade to those that bear the burden and heat of the day. Let them not discover those that absconded among them, nor deliver them up to the pursuers that made search for them: “Betray not him that wandereth, nor deliver him up” (as the Edomites did, Obadiah 1:13, Obadiah 1:14), “but hide the outcasts.” This was that good work by which Rahab's faith was justified, and proved to be sincere, Hebrews 11:31. “Nay, do not only hide them for a time, but, if there be occasion, let them be naturalized: Let my outcasts dwell with thee, Moab (Isaiah 16:4); find a lodging for them and be thou a covert to them. Let them be taken under the protection of the government, though they are but poor, and likely to be a charge to thee.” Note, (1.) It is often the lot even of those who are Israelites indeed to be outcasts, driven out of house and harbour by persecution or war, Hebrews 11:37. (2.) God owns them when men reject and disown them. They are outcasts, but they are my outcasts. The Lord knows those that are his wherever he finds them, even where no one else knows them. (3.) God will find a rest and shelter for his outcasts; for, though they are persecuted, they are not forsaken. He will himself be their dwelling-place if they have no other, and in him they shall be at home. (4.) God can, when he pleases, raise up friends for his people even among Moabites, when they can find none in all the land of Israel that can and dare shelter them. The earth often helps the woman, Revelation 12:16. (5.) Those that expect to find favour when they are in trouble themselves must show favour to those that are in trouble; and what service is done to God's outcasts shall no doubt be recompensed one way or other.

_ _ 3. He assures them of the mercy God had in store for his people. (1.) That they should not long need their kindness, or be troublesome to them: For the extortioner is almost at an end already, and the spoiler ceases. God's people shall not be long outcasts; they shall have tribulation ten days (Revelation 2:10), and that is all. The spoiler would never cease spoiling if he might have his will; but God has him in a chain. Hitherto he shall go, but no further. (2.) That they should, ere long, be in a capacity to return their kindness (Isaiah 16:5): “Though the throne of the ten tribes be sunk and overturned, yet the throne of David shall be established in mercy, by the mercy they receive from God and the mercy they show to others; and by the same methods may your throne be established if you please.” It would engage great men to be kind to the people of God if they would but observe, as they easily might, how often such conduct brings the blessing of God upon kingdoms and families. “Make Hezekiah your friend, for you will find it your interest to do so upon the account both of the grace of God in him and the presence of God with him. He shall sit upon the throne in truth, and then he does indeed sit in honour and sit firmly. Then he shall sit judging, and will then be a protector to those that have been a shelter to the people of God.” And see in him the character of a good magistrate. [1.] He shall seek judgment; that is, he shall seek occasions of doing right to those that are wronged, and shall punish the injurious even before they are complained of: or he shall diligently search into every cause brought before him, that he may find where the right lies. [2.] He shall hasten righteousness, and not delay to do justice, nor keep those long waiting that make application to him for the redress of their grievances. Though he seeks judgment, and deliberates upon it, yet he does not, under pretence of deliberation, stay the progress of the streams of justice. Let the Moabites take example by this, and then assure themselves that their state shall be established.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 16:1

Send — The prophet continues his prophecy against Moab, and gives them counsel what to do, to prevent, if possible, the desolation. Make your peace with God, by sacrifice, for all your injuries done to him, and to his people. Sela — An eminent city of Moab, seated upon a rock. Unto the mount — Unto the temple upon mount Zion.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 16:1

Send (a) ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.

(a) That is, offer a sacrifice, by which he derides their long delay, who would not repent when the Lord called them, showing them that it is now too late seeing the vengeance of God is on them.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the lamb:

2 Samuel 8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And [so] the Moabites became David's servants, [and] brought gifts.
2 Kings 3:4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.
Ezra 7:17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which [is] in Jerusalem.


2 Kings 14:7 He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day.

or, Petra, Heb. a rock

the mount:

Isaiah 10:32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand [against] the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
Micah 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
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2S 8:2. 2K 3:4; 14:7. Ezr 7:17. Is 10:32. Mi 4:8.

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