Isaiah 6

1 In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face. With two he covered his feet. With two he flew. 3 One called to another, and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Armies! The whole earth is full of his glory!” 4 The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Armies!” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” 8 I heard the Lord’s voice, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people, ‘You hear indeed, but don’t understand; and you see indeed, but don’t perceive.’ 10 Make the heart of this people fat. Make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” He answered, “Until cities are waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land becomes utterly waste, 12 And the LORD has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many within the land. 13 If there is a tenth left in it, that also will in turn be consumed: as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remains when they are felled; so the holy seed is its stock.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-8

In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, John 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ’s glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God’s temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God’s temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means “burners;” they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God’s commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ’s satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.

Verses 9-13

God sends Isaiah to foretell the ruin of his people. Many hear the sound of God’s word, but do not feel the power of it. God sometimes, in righteous judgment, gives men up to blindness of mind, because they will not receive the truth in the love of it. But no humble inquirer after Christ, need to fear this awful doom, which is a spiritual judgment on those who will still hold fast their sins. Let every one pray for the enlightening of the Holy Spirit, that he may perceive how precious are the Divine mercies, by which alone we are secured against this dreadful danger. Yet the Lord would preserve a remnant, like the tenth, holy to him. And blessed be God, he still preserves his church; however professors or visible churches may be lopped off as unfruitful, the holy seed will shoot forth, from whom all the numerous branches of righteousness shall arise.

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