Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Isaiah 65:5 – Holier than thou….

The audio for the rest of today’s reading is in my previous post.

But here is the text with a few verses in bold…but they speak for themselves these words of truth.

Psalm 132-134

132:1 Lord, remember David, and all his afflictions:

How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;

Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;

I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.

We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool.

Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.

Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy.

10 For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed.

11 The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

13 For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.

16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.

17 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.

18 His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.

133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

134:1 Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.

2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.

3 The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

Isaiah 65

1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,

Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.

8 Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.

9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

10 And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for my people that have sought me.

11 But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.

13 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.

15 And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:

16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

Gill’s comment on the “holier than thou” words is quite pointed.

Isaiah 65:5

Which say, stand by thyself, &c. According to Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, these are the unclean persons that did the above things; who say to the righteous, “draw near to thyself” (p); so the words are, go to thine own place, or to thine own company:

and come not near to me; keep off at a distance, as unworthy of such company:

for I am holier than thou; but this is the language of a self-righteous man, of a Pharisee that strictly observed the rituals of the law; and fitly describes such who lived in the times of Christ; and exactly agrees with the characters of such, who not only would have no dealings with the Samaritans, but washed themselves when they came from market, or any public place, lest they should be defiled with the common people of their own nation; and, even with religious persons, would not stand near them while praying; but despised them, if they had not arrived to that pitch of outward sanctity they had; see Joh 4:9, Luk 18:9. The phrase may be rendered, “do not touch me” (q); and the Pharisees would not suffer themselves to be touched by the common people, nor would they touch them. Maimonides (r) says,

“if the Pharisees touched but the garments of the common people, they were defiled all one as if they had touched a profluvious person, and were obliged to dip themselves all over;”

so that, when they walked in the streets, they used to walk on the sides of the way, that they might not be defiled by touching them (s). So Epiphanius (t) relates of the Samaritan Jews, that when they touch one of another nation, they dip themselves with their clothes in water; for they reckon it a defilement to touch anyone, or to touch any man of another religion; and of the Dositheans, who were another sect of the Samaritans the same writer observes (u), that they studiously avoid touching any, for they abhor every man. A certain Arabic geographer of note (w) makes mention of an island, called the island of the Samaritans, inhabited by some Samaritan Jews, as appears by their saying to any that apply to them, do not touch; and by this it is known that they are of the Jews who are called Samaritans; and this same arrogant superstition, as Scaliger observes (x), continues in that people to this day, as those relate who have conversed with them:

these are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day: very offensive to the divine Being, as smoke is to the eyes and nostrils; very abominable to him; and whose proud and vain conduct raised indignation in him, and kindled the fire of his anger, which was continually exercised on them; see Luk 16:15. The Targum is,

“their vengeance is in hell, where the fire burns all the day.”

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