Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 1:1Vision - Or, the visions; the word being here collectively used: the sense is, this is the book of the visions or prophecies. As prophets were called Seers, Sa1 9:9, so prophecies are called visions, because they were as clearly and certainly represented to the prophets minds, as bodily objects are to mens eyes. Saw - Foresaw and foretold. But he speaks, after the manner of the prophets, of things to come, as if they were either past or present. Judah - Principally, but not exclusively. For he prophecies also concerning Egypt and Babylon, and divers other countries; yet with respect to Judah. The days - ln the time of their reign. Whence it may be gathered, that Isaiah exercised his prophetical office above fifty years altogether.
isa 1:2Hear - He directs his speech to those senseless creatures, that he might awaken the Israelites, whom he hereby proclaims to be so dull and stupid that they were past hearing, and therefore calls in the whole creation of God to bear witness against them. The Lord - This is his plea against them, of the equity whereof he is willing that all the creatures should be judges.
isa 1:3Know - Me their owner and master. Knowing is here taken practically, as it is usually in scripture, and includes reverence and obedience.
isa 1:4A seed - The children of wicked parents, whose guilt they inherit, and whose evil example they follow. Corrupters - Heb. that corrupt themselves, or others by their counsel and example. Backward - Instead of proceeding forward and growing in grace.
isa 1:5Head - The very head and heart of the body politick, from whence the plague is derived to all the other members.
isa 1:7In your presence - Which your eye shall see to torment you, when there is no power in your hands to deliver you. As - Heb. as the overthrow of strangers, that is, which strangers bring upon a land which is not likely to continue in their hands, and therefore they spare no persons, and spoil and destroy all things, which is not usually done in wars between persons of the same, or of a neighbouring nation.
isa 1:8Is left - Is left solitary, all the neighbouring villages and country round about it being laid waste.
isa 1:10Of Sodom - So called for their resemblance of them in wickedness. The law - The message which I am now to deliver to you from God, your great lawgiver.
isa 1:11To me - Who am a spirit, and therefore cannot be satisfied with such carnal oblations, but expect to have your hearts and lives, as well as your bodies and sacrifices, presented unto me. Blood - He mentions the fat and blood, because these were in a peculiar manner reserved for God, to intimate that even the best of their sacrifices were rejected by him.
isa 1:12To appear - Upon the three solemn feasts, or upon other occasions. Who required - The thing I commanded, was not only, nor chiefly, that you should offer external sacrifices, but that you should do it with true repentance, with faith in my promises, and sincere resolutions of devoting yourselves to my service.
isa 1:13The solemn meeting - The most solemn day of each of the three feasts, which was the last day.
isa 1:15Blood - You are guilty of murder, and oppression.
isa 1:16Wash - Cleanse your hearts and hands.
isa 1:17Learn - Begin to live soberly, righteously, and godly. Judgment - Shew your religion to God, by practising justice to men. Judge - Defend and deliver them.
isa 1:19If - If you are fully resolved to obey all my commands. Shall eat - Together with pardon, you shall receive temporal and worldly blessings.
isa 1:21The city - Jerusalem, which in the reign of former kings was faithful to God. An harlot - Is filled with idolatry. Murderers - Under that one gross kind, he comprehends all sorts of unrighteous men and practices.
isa 1:23Rebellious - Against me their sovereign Lord. Companions of thieves - Partly by giving them connivance and countenance, and partly by practising the same violence, and cruelty, and injustice that thieves used to do. Gifts - That is, bribes given to pervert justice.
isa 1:25And purge - I will purge out of thee, those wicked men that are incorrigible, and for those of you that are curable, I will by my word, and by the furnace of affliction, purge out all that corruption that yet remains in you.
isa 1:26Thy counsellors - Thy princes shall hearken to wise and faithful counsellors. Called faithful - Thou shalt be such.
isa 1:27Redeemed - Shall be delivered from all their enemies and calamities. With - Or, by judgment, that is, by God's righteous judgment, purging out those wicked and incorrigible Jews, and destroying their unmerciful enemies. Converts - Heb. her returners, those of them who shall come out of captivity into their own land. Righteousness - Or, by righteousness, either by my faithfulness, in keeping my promise, or by my goodness.
isa 1:29The oaks - Which, after the manner of the Heathen, you have consecrated to idolatrous uses. Gardens - In which, as well is in the groves, they committed idolatry.
isa 1:31The strong - Your idols, which you think to be strong and able to defend you. As tow - Shall be as suddenly and easily, consumed by my judgments, as tow is by fire. The maker - Of the idol, who can neither save himself nor his workmanship.