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Isaiah 2:19

    Isaiah 2:19 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he rises to shake terribly the earth.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the terror of Jehovah, and from the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake mightily the earth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And men will go into cracks of the rocks, and into holes of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and before the glory of his power, when he comes out of his place, shaking the earth with his strength.

    Webster's Revision

    And men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the terror of Jehovah, and from the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake mightily the earth.

    World English Bible

    Men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the terror of Yahweh, and from the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake the earth mightily.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And men shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into the holes of the earth, from before the terror of the LORD, and from the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake mightily the earth.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 2:19

    Into the holes of the rocks "Into caverns of rocks" - The country of Judea being mountainous and rocky, is full of caverns, as appears from the history of David's persecution under Saul. At En-gedi, in particular, there was a cave so large that David with six hundred men hid themselves in the sides of it; and Saul entered the mouth of the cave without perceiving that any one was there, 1 Samuel 24. Josephus, Antiq., lib. xiv., c. 15, and Bell. Jud., lib. 1, c. 16, tells us of a numerous gang of banditti, who, having infested the country, and being pursued by Herod with his army retired into certain caverns almost inaccessible, near Arbela in Galilee, where they were with great difficulty subdued. Some of these were natural, others artificial. "Beyond Damascus," says Strabo, lib. xvi., "are two mountains called Trachones, from which the country has the name of Trachonitis; and from hence towards Arabia and Iturea, are certain rugged mountains, in which there are deep caverns, one of which will hold four thousand men." Tavernier, Voyage de Perse, part ii., chap. 4, speaks of a grot, between Aleppo and Bir, that would hold near three thousand horse. "Three hours distant from Sidon, about a mile from the sea, there runs along a high rocky mountain, in the sides of which are hewn a multitude of grots, all very little differing from each other. They have entrances about two feet square: on the inside you find in most or all of them a room of about four yards square. There are of these subterraneous caverns two hundred in number. It may, with probability at least, be concluded that these places were contrived for the use of the living, and not of the dead. Strabo describes the habitations of the Troglodytae to have been somewhat of this kind." - Maundrell, p. 118. The Horites, who dwelt in Mount Seir, were Troglodytae, as their name הרים horim, imports. But those mentioned by Strabo were on each side of the Arabian gulf. Mohammed (Koran, chap. 15 xxvi.) speaks of a tribe of Arabians, the tribe of Thamud, "who hewed houses out of the mountains, to secure themselves." Thus, "because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves and strong holds," Judges 6:2. To these they betook themselves for refuge in times of distress and hostile invasion: "When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, for the people were distressed, then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits," 1 Samuel 13:6, and see Jeremiah 41:9. Therefore "to enter into the rock, to go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth," was to them a very proper and familiar image to express terror and consternation. The prophet Hosea, Hosea 10:8, hath carried the same image farther, and added great strength and spirit to it:

    "They shall say to the mountains, Cover us;

    And to the hills, Fall on us;"

    which image, together with these of Isaiah, is adopted by the sublime author of the Revelation, Revelation 6:15, Revelation 6:16, who frequently borrows his imagery from our prophet. - L.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 2:19

    And they shall go - That is, the worshippers of idols.

    Into the holes of the rocks - Judea was a mountainous country, and the mountains abounded with caves that offered a safe retreat for those who were in danger. Many of those caverns were very spacious. At En-gedi, in particular, a cave is mentioned where David with six hundred men hid himself from Saul in the "sides" of it; 1 Samuel 24. Sometimes caves or dens were artificially constructed for refuge or defense in danger; Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6. Thus, 'because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.' Judges 6:2. To these they fled in times of hostile invasion. 'When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait (for the people were distressed), then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits;' 1 Samuel 13:6; compare Jeremiah 41:9. Mahomet speaks of a tribe of Arabians, the tribe of Thamud, who 'hewed houses out of the mountains to secure themselves;' Koran, ch. xv. and xxvi. Grots or rooms hewed out of rocks for various purposes are often mentioned by travelers in Oriental regions: see Maundrell, p. 118, and Burckhardt's "Travels in Syria," and particularly Laborde's "Journey to Arabia Petrea." Such caves are often mentioned by Josephus as affording places of refuge for banditti and robbers; "Ant.," B. xiv. ch. 15, and "Jewish Wars," B. i. ch. 16. To enter into the caves and dens, therefore, as places of refuge, was a very natural image to denote consternation. The meaning here is, that the worshippers of idols should be so alarmed as to seek for a place of security and refuge; compare Isaiah 2:10.

    When he ariseth - This is an expression often used in the Scriptures to denote the commencement of doing anything. It is here derived, perhaps, from the image of one who has been in repose - as of a lion or warrior, rousing up suddenly, and putting forth mighty efforts.

    To shake terribly the earth - An image denoting the presence of God, for judgment or punishment. One of the magnificent images which the sacred writers often use to denote the presence of the Lord is, that the earth shakes and trembles; the mountains bow and are convulsed; 2 Samuel 22:8 : 'Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved, because he was wroth;' See also Isaiah 2:9-16; Judges 5:4; Habakkuk 3:6-10 : 'The mountains saw thee and trembled;' Hebrews 12:26 : 'Whose voice then shook the earth.' The image here denotes that he would come forth in such wrath that the very earth should tremble, as if alarmed his presence. The mind cannot conceive more sublime images than are thus used by the sacred writers.

    Wesley's Notes on Isaiah 2:19

    2:19 They - The idolatrous Israelites.