Isaiah 2:9

ESV So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them!
NIV So people will be brought low and everyone humbled-- do not forgive them.
NASB So the common person has been humbled And the person of importance has been brought low, But do not forgive them.
CSB So humanity is brought low, and each person is humbled. Do not forgive them!
NLT So now they will be humbled, and all will be brought low — do not forgive them.
KJV And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

What does Isaiah 2:9 mean?

God has stepped aside in His blessing and protection of Israel. This is a response to their own sins (Isaiah 2:6–8). Isaiah's list focuses especially on Israel's worship of foreign gods. They are also participating in pagan fortune-telling (Isaiah 2:6). The nation was very wealthy in the time of Isaiah's observation. The people may not yet realize it, but their destruction approaches because of their arrogant, foolish, sinful behavior.

Looking at the state of Israel in his generation, Isaiah says a shocking thing to the Lord: "Do not forgive them!" Isaiah feels the weight of Israel's sin and does not want it to go unpunished. He does not want his people to thrive amidst their rebellion against the Lord.

It's important to note that Isaiah's righteous indignation at the sin of his people is not the deciding factor in whether God will forgive or not. The Lord alone makes those decisions about forgiveness, judgment, and mercy based on His own justice and goodness. The Lord's inspiration of Scripture still allows for the writer's personality and feelings to be recorded (Psalm 10:1; 44:23).
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