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Isaiah 26:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city: he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground; he bringeth it [even] to the dust.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground; he bringeth it [even] to the dust.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, he layeth it low to the ground, he bringeth it even to the dust.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— For he hath brought down, the inhabitants of the height, the city exalted,—He layeth it low. Layeth it low, even to the ground, Levelleth it, even to the dust:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— For He bowed down the dwellers on high, A city set on high He maketh low, He maketh it low unto the earth, He causeth it to come unto the dust,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground, he shall pull it down even to the dust.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For hee bringeth downe them that dwell on high, the loftie citie he layeth it low; he layeth it low, euen to the ground, he bringeth it euen to the dust.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— who hast humbled and brought down them that dwell on high thou shalt cast down strong cities, and bring them to the ground.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground; he bringeth it [even] to the dust.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
he bringeth down 7817
{7817} Prime
A primitive root; to sink or depress (reflexively or causatively).
<8689> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2675
them that dwell 3427
{3427} Prime
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
on high; 4791
{4791} Prime
From H7311; altitude, that is, concretely (an elevated place), abstractly (elevation), fig (elation), or adverbial (aloft).
the lofty 7682
{7682} Prime
A primitive root; to be (causatively make) lofty, especially inaccessible; by implication safe, strong; used literally and figuratively.
<8737> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 793
city, 7151
{7151} Prime
From H7136 in the sense of flooring, that is, building; a city.
he layeth it low; 8213
{8213} Prime
A primitive root; to depress or sink (especially figuratively to humiliate, intransitively or transitively).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
he layeth it low, 8213
{8213} Prime
A primitive root; to depress or sink (especially figuratively to humiliate, intransitively or transitively).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
[even] to x5704
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
the ground; 776
{0776} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
he bringeth 5060
{5060} Prime
A primitive root; properly to touch, that is, lay the hand upon (for any purpose; euphemistically, to lie with a woman); by implication to reach (figuratively to arrive, acquire); violently, to strike (punish, defeat, destroy, etc.).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
it [even] to x5704
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
the dust. 6083
{6083} Prime
From H6080; dust (as powdered or gray); hence clay, earth, mud.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 26:5

_ _ lofty city — Babylon; representative of the stronghold of the foes of God’s people in all ages (Isaiah 25:2, Isaiah 25:12; Isaiah 13:14).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 26:5-11

_ _ Here the prophet further encourages us to trust in the Lord for ever, and to continue waiting on him; for,

_ _ I. He will make humble souls that trust in him to triumph over their proud enemies, Isaiah 26:5, Isaiah 26:6. Those that exalt themselves shall be abased: For he brings down those that dwell on high; and wherein they deal proudly he is, and will be, above them. Even the lofty city Babylon itself, or Nineveh, he lays it low, Isaiah 25:12. He can do it, be it ever so well fortified. He has often done it. He will do it, for he resists the proud. It is his glory to do it, for he proves himself to be God by looking on the proud and abasing them, Job 40:12. But, on the contrary, those that humble themselves shall be exalted; for the feet of the poor shall tread upon the lofty cities, Isaiah 26:6. He does not say, Great armies shall tread them down; but, When God will have it done, even the feet of the poor shall do it, Malachi 4:3. You shall tread down the wicked. Come, set your feet on the necks of these kings. See Psalms 147:6; Romans 16:20.

_ _ II. He takes cognizance of the way of his people and has delight in it (Isaiah 26:7): The way of the just is evenness (so it may be read): it is their endeavour and constant care to walk with God in an even steady course of obedience and holy conversation. My foot stands in an even place, goes in an even path, Psalms 26:12. And it is their happiness that God makes their way plain and easy before them: Thou, most upright, dost level (or make even) the path of the just, by preventing or removing those things that would be stumbling-blocks to them, so that nothing shall offend them, Psalms 119:165. God weighs it (so we read it); he considers it, and will give them grace sufficient for them, to help them over all the difficulties they may meet with in their way. Thus with the upright God will show himself upright.

_ _ III. It is our duty, and will be our comfort, to wait for God, and to keep up holy desires towards him in the darkest and most discouraging times, Isaiah 26:8, Isaiah 26:9. This has always been the practice of God's people, even when God has frowned upon them, 1. To keep up a constant dependence upon him: “In the way of thy judgments we have still waited for thee; when thou hast corrected us we have looked to no other hand than thine to relieve us,” as the servant looks only to the hand of his master, till he have mercy upon him, Psalms 123:2. We cannot appeal from God's justice but to his mercy. If God's judgments continue long, if it be a road of judgments (so the word signifies), yet we must not be weary but continue waiting. 2. To send up holy desires towards him. Our troubles, how pressing soever, must never put us out of conceit with our religion, nor turn us away from God; but still the desire of our soul must be to his name and to the remembrance of him; and in the night, the darkest longest night of affliction, with our souls must we desire him. (1.) Our great concern must be for God's name, and our earnest desire must be that his name may be glorified, whatever becomes of us and our names. This is that which we must wait for, and pray for. “Father, glorify thy name, and we are satisfied.” (2.) Our great comfort must be in the remembrance of that name, of all that whereby God has made himself known. The remembrance of God must be our great support and pleasure; and, though sometimes we be unmindful of him, yet still our desire must be towards the remembrance of him and we must take pains with our own hearts to have him always in mind. (3.) Our desires towards God must be inward, fervent, and sincere. With our soul we must desire him, with our soul we must pant after him (Psalms 42:1), and with our spirits within us, with the innermost thought and the closest application of mind, we must seek him. We make nothing of our religion, whatever our profession be, if we do not make heart-work of it. (4.) Even in the darkest night of affliction our desires must be towards God, as our sun and shield; for, however God is pleased to deal with us, we must never think the worse of him, nor cool in our love to him. (5.) If our desires be indeed towards God,. we must give evidence that they are so by seeking him, and seeking him early, as those that desire to find him, and dread the thoughts of missing him. Those that would seek God and find him must seek betimes, and seek him earnestly. Though we come ever so early, we shall find him ready to receive us.

_ _ IV. It is God's gracious design, in sending abroad his judgments, thereby to bring men to seek him and serve him: When thy judgments are upon the earth, laying all waste, then we have reason to expect that not only God's professing people, but even the inhabitants of the world, will learn righteousness, will have their mistakes rectified and their lives reformed, will be brought to acknowledge God's righteousness in punishing them, will repent of their own unrighteousness in offending God, and so be brought to walk in right paths. They will do this; that is, judgments are designed to bring them to this, they have a natural tendency to produce this effect, and, though many continue obstinate, yet some even of the inhabitants of the world will profit by this discipline, and will learn righteousness; surely they will; they are strangely stupid if they do not. Note, The intention of afflictions is to teach us righteousness; and blessed is the man whom God chastens, and thus teaches, Psalms 94:12. Discite justitiam, moniti, et non temnere divosLet this rebuke teach you to cultivate righteousness, and cease from despising the gods. — Virgil.

_ _ V. Those are wicked indeed that will not be wrought upon by the favourable methods God takes to subdue and reform them; and it is necessary that God should deal with them in a severe way by his judgments, which shall prevail to humble those that would not otherwise be humbled. Observe,

_ _ 1. How sinners walk contrary to God, and refuse to comply with the means used for their reformation and to answer the intentions of them, Isaiah 26:10. (1.) Favour is shown to them. They receive many mercies from God; he causes his sun to shine and his rain to fall upon them, nay, he prospers them, and into their hands he brings plentifully; they escape many of the strokes of God's judgments, which others less wicked than they have been cut off by; in some particular instances they seem to be remarkably favoured above their neighbours, and the design of all this is that they may be won upon to love and serve that God who thus favours them; and yet it is all in vain: They will not learn righteousness, will not be led to repentance by the goodness of God, and therefore it is requisite that God should send his judgments into the earth, to reckon with men for abused mercies. (2.) They live in a land of uprightness, where religion is professed and is in reputation, where the word of God is preached, and where they have many good examples set them, — in a land of evenness, where there are not so many stumbling-blocks as in other places, — in a land of correction, where vice and profaneness are discountenanced and punished; yet there they will deal unjustly, and go on frowardly in their evil ways. Those that do wickedly deal unjustly both with God and man, as well as with their own souls; and those that will not be reclaimed by the justice of the nation may expect the judgments of God upon them. Nor can those expect a place hereafter in the land of blessedness who now conform not to the laws and usages, nor improve the privileges and advantages, of the land of uprightness; and why do they not? It is because they will not behold the majesty of the Lord, will not believe, will not consider, what a God of terrible majesty he is whose laws and justice they persist in the contempt of. God's majesty appears in all the dispensations of his providence; but they regard it not, and therefore study not to answer the ends of those dispensations. Even when we receive of the mercy of the Lord we must still behold the majesty of the Lord and his goodness. (3.) God lifts up his hand to give them warning, that they may, by repentance and prayer, make their peace with him; but they take no notice of it, are not aware that God is angry with them, or coming forth against them: They will not see, and none so blind as those who will not see, who shut their eyes against the clearest conviction of guilt and wrath, who ascribe that to chance, or common fate, which is manifestly a divine rebuke, who regard not the threatening symptoms of their own ruin, but cry Peace to themselves, when the righteous God is waging war with them.

_ _ 2. How God will at length be too hard for them; for, when he judges, he will overcome: They will not see, but they shall see, shall be made to see, whether they will or no, that God is angry with them. Atheists, scorners, and the secure, will shortly feel what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the evil of sin, and particularly the sin of hating and persecuting the people of God; but they shall see, by the tokens of God's displeasure against them for it and the deliverances in which God will plead his people's cause, that what is done against them he takes as done against himself and will reckon for it accordingly. They shall see that they have done God's people a great deal of wrong, and therefore shall be ashamed of their enmity and envy towards them, and their ill usage of such as deserved better treatment. Note, Those that bear ill-will to God's people have reason to be ashamed of it, so absurd and unreasonable is it; and, sooner or later, they shall be ashamed of it, and the remembrance of it shall fill them with confusion. Some read it, They shall see and be confounded for the zeal of the people, by the zeal God will show for his people; when they shall be made to know how jealous God is for the honour and welfare of his people they shall be confounded to think that they might have been of that people and would not. Their doom therefore is that, since they slighted the happiness of God's friends, the fire of his enemies shall devour them, that is, the fire which is prepared for his enemies and with which they shall be devoured, the fire designed for the devil and his angels. Note, Those that are enemies to God's people, and envy them, God looks upon as his enemies, and will deal with them accordingly.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 26:5

On high — He speaks not so much of height of place, as of dignity and power, in which sense also he mentions the lofty city in the next clause. Lofty city — Which may be understood either of proud Babylon, or of all the strong and stately cities of God's enemies.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 26:5

For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; (e) the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, [even] to the ground; he bringeth it [even] to the dust.

(e) There is no power so high that it can hinder God, when he will deliver his.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts [shall be] upon every [one that is] proud and lofty, and upon every [one that is] lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
Isaiah 25:11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth [his hands] to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.
Job 40:11-13 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one [that is] proud, and abase him. ... Hide them in the dust together; [and] bind their faces in secret.

the lofty:

Isaiah 25:12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, [and] bring to the ground, [even] to the dust.
Isaiah 32:19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
Isaiah 47:1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: [there is] no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
Jeremiah 50:31-32 Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou] most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time [that] I will visit thee. ... And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
Jeremiah 51:25-26 Behold, I [am] against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain. ... And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 51:37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
Jeremiah 51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far [are] the words of Jeremiah.
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
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Jb 40:11. Is 2:12; 13:11; 14:13; 25:11, 12; 32:19; 47:1. Jr 50:31; 51:25, 37, 64. Rv 18:2.

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