Isaiah 6:11
(11) Lord, how long?--The prophet asks the question which is ever on the lips of those who are brought face to face with the problems of the world, with the great mystery of evil, sin permitted to work out fresh evil as its punishment, and yet remaining evil. How long shall all this last? So a later prophet, towards the close of the seventy years of exile, cried once again, "How long?" (Daniel 8:13). So the cry, "How long, O Lord, dost thou not judge?" came from the souls beneath the altar (Revelation 6:10).

Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant.--The words answer the immediate question of the prophet within its horizon. They suggest an answer to all analogous questions. Stroke after stroke must come, judgment after judgment, till the sin has been adequately punished; but the darkness of the prospect, terrible as it is, does not exclude the glimmer of an eternal hope for the far-off future.

Verse 11. - Then said I, Lord, how long? Either, "How long am I to continue this preaching?" or, "How long is this blindness and callousness of the people to continue?" Isaiah assumes that he has not heard as yet God's final purpose; that there is some merciful intention kept in reserve, which is to take effect after the close of the period of judgment. The cities... the houses; rather, cities... houses. An entire desolation of the whole land, and extermination of its inhabitants, is not prophesied, and never took place. Nebuchadnezzar "left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen" (2 Kings 25:12; Jeremiah 39:10). Even when the great mass of these persons went into Egypt and perished there (Jeremiah 44:11-27), a certain number escaped and returned to Palestine (Jeremiah 44:14, 28). The land; rather, the ground, the soil.

6:9-13 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.Then said I, Lord, how long?.... That is, how long will this blindness, hardness, stupidity, and impenitence, remain with this people, or they be under such a sore judgment of God upon them:

and he answered, until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate; until there is not an inhabitant in the cities of Judea, nor in Jerusalem, the metropolis of the land, nor a single man in any house in them; which denotes the utter desolation of the land and city; and can refer to no other than to the desolation thereof by the Romans; and till that time the blindness which happened to them continued; the things which belonged to their peace were hid from their eyes till their city was destroyed, and not one stone left upon another, Luke 19:42 till that time, and even to this day, the veil of blindness, ignorance, and and penitence, is on their hearts, and will remain until they are converted to the Lord, in the latter day; see Romans 11:25, 2 Corinthians 3:14.

Isaiah 6:10
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