on Isaiah 2 :7
Their land is also full of horses "And his land is filled with horses" - This was in direct contradiction to God's command in the law: "But he (the king) shall not multiply horses to himself; nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold," Deuteronomy 17:16, Deuteronomy 17:17. Uzziah seems to have followed the example of Solomon, see 1 Kings 10:26-29, who first transgressed in these particulars; he recovered the port of Elath on the Red Sea, and with it that commerce which in Solomon's days had "made silver and gold as plenteous at Jerusalem as stones," 2 Chronicles 1:15. He had an army of 307,500 men, in which, as we may infer from the testimony of Isaiah, the chariots and horse made a considerable part. "The law above mentioned was to be a standing trial of prince and people, whether they had trust and confidence in God their deliverer." See Bp. Sherlock's Discourses on Prophecy. Dissert. iv., where he has excellently explained the reason and effect of the law, and the influence which the observance or neglect of it had on the affairs of the Israelites.
on Isaiah 2 :7
Their land also is full of silver and gold - This "gold" was brought chiefly from Ophir. Solomon imported vast quantities of silver and gold from foreign places; 2 Chronicles 8:18; 2 Chronicles 9:10; 1 Chronicles 29:4; compare Job 28:16; 1 Kings 10:21, 1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 9:20. 'And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones.' 'It was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.' From these expressions we see the force of the language of Isaiah - 'their land is full,' etc. This accumulation of silver and gold was expressly forbidden by the law of Moses; Deuteronomy 17:17 : 'Neither shall he (the king of Israel) greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.' The reason of this prohibition was, that it tended to produce luxury, effeminacy, profligacy, the neglect of religion, and vice. It is on this account that it is brought by the prophet as an "accusation" against them that their land was thus filled.
Treasures - Wealth of all kinds; but chiefly silver, gold, precious stones, garments, etc.; compare the note at Matthew 6:19.
Their land also is full of horses - This was also forbidden in the law of Moses; Deuteronomy 17:16 : 'But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses.' This law, however, was grossly violated by Solomon; 1 Kings 10:26 : 'And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen; he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.' It is not quite clear "why" the use of horses was forbidden to the Jews. Perhaps several reasons might have concurred:
(1) Egypt was distinguished for producing fine horses, and the Egyptians used them much in war Deuteronomy 17:16; and one design of God was to make the Jews distinguished in all respects from the Egyptians, and to keep them from commerce with them.
(2) Horses were chiefly used "in war," and the tendency of keeping them would be to produce the love of war and conquest.
(3) The tendency of keeping them would be to lead them to put "trust" in them rather than in God for protection. This is hinted at in Psalm 20:7 : 'Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of Yahweh our God.'
(4) "Horses" were regarded as consecrated "to the sun;" see "Univ. Hist. Anc. P.," vol. x., 177. Ed. 1780. They were sacrificed in various nations to the sun, their swiftness being supposed to render them an appropriate offering to that luminary. There is no evidence, however, that they were used for sacrifice among the Hebrews. They were probably employed to draw the chariots in the solemn processions in the worship of the sun. The ancient Persians, who were sun-worshippers, dedicated white horses and chariots to the sun, and it is supposed that other nations derived the practice from them. The sun was supposed to be drawn daily in a chariot by four wondrous coursers, and the fate of Phaeton, who undertook to guide that chariot and to control those coursers, is known to all. The use of horses, therefore, among the Hebrews in the time of Ahaz, when Isaiah 54ed, was connected with idolatry, and it was mainly on this account that the prophet rebuked their use with so much severity; 2 Kings 23:11. It may be added, that in a country like Judea, abounding in hills and mountains, cavalry could not be well employed even in war. On the plains of Egypt it could be employed to advantage; or in predatory excursions, as among the Arabs, horses could be used with great success and effect, and Egypt and Arabia therefore abounded with them. Indeed, these may be regarded as the native countries of the horse. As it was the design of God to separate, as much as possible, the Jews from the surrounding nations, the use of horses was forbidden.
Chariots - "Chariots" were chiefly used in war, though they were sometimes used for pleasure. Of those intended for war there were two kinds; one for the generals and princes to ride in, the other to break the enemy's ranks. These last were commonly armed with hooks or scythes. They were much used by the ancients; Joshua 11:4; Judges 1:19. The Philistines, in their war against Saul, had 30,000 chariots, and 6000 horsemen; 1 Samuel 13:5. There is no evidence, however, that the Jews used chariots for war. Solomon had many of them 1 Kings 10:26, but they do not appear to have been used in any military expedition, but to have been kept for display and pleasure. Judea was a mountainous country, and chariots would have been of little or no use in war.
on Isaiah 2 :7
2:7 Treasures - They have heaped up riches, and still are greedily pursuing after more.