No More Tears, No More Reproach (Smith)

 I’ve been enjoying Gary Smith’s Isaiah commentary in the “New American Commentary” series.  I haven’t read it all, but so far so good!  This morning when studying Isaiah 25 I was looking at verse 8, which says this: “…he [Yahweh] will swallow up death forever.The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.The Lord has spoken” (NIV).

Here’s Smith’s helpful commentary:

…When God rules over his kingdom, death will have no power over people in this new world.

As if that were not enough, God also promises the removal of all tears. This includes tears shed when people die, but certainly also tears of oppression, sickness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, rejection, military defeat, financial trouble, and other kinds of loss. All these experiences will be obsolete in God’s kingdom.

Finally, God’s removal of the reproach of “his people” (ʿammî 25:8b) should not be interpreted as a specific reference to removing Israel’s reproach of the exile, for at this point all people (ʿam, “people,” is used in 25:3, 6, 7, 8) in God’s kingdom are his people. When people are reproached they are objects of derision, mockery, shame, and humiliation by others. These evil actions will not be experienced any longer. If the enemies of God are defeated, there will no longer be people to give a reproach, and there will be no sinful people who will deserve to be reproached. This paragraph ends (25:8b) with the affirmation that God has declared that this is what will happen; thus, one can know that all these statements are true.

Gary Smith, Isaiah, (The New American Commentary), Isaiah 25:8.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

5 thoughts on “No More Tears, No More Reproach (Smith)”

  1. Dear Brother Shane,
    I have been following your blog with happy interest for some months! it is a joy to share in something sincere and Word-centred from a different perspective. I am a convert to Christianity and also a Roman Catholic cloistered nun!! I try to remember to pray for you daily – that you know the Lord’s love for you always.
    I was interested in your review of Isaiah in the NABC. May I trouble you for a suggestion? What up to date, Word-loving Bible commentaries would you recommend to a daily reader?
    By Word-loving I mean one that helps you know the Lord and is not out to disprove His truth or His divinity!
    With loving sisterly prayers
    Sister Maria
    Poor Clare Colettines
    Bulwell, Nottingham, UK


    1. Good to hear from you, and thanks for reading!

      Concering your question about commentaries: Are you looking for a modern, readable, devotional commentary that is true to the Word? I think that’s what you asked but I want to be sure before I give some recommendations. Good question!



        1. Two sets that come to mind right away are the Tyndale New Testament and Old Testament commentary series. They’re brief and biblical. I also like the “Bible Speaks Today” commentary series – they are also brief and biblical. Let me know if you need more info.


        2. May God reward you – that is PoorClareSpeak for thank you! Here in UK we are having a Year of the Word. One of the biggest joys of a life with God is to be able to read the Old Testament in the light of the New and the New as a fulfilment of the Old. Oddly enough, I got to meet your blog when I could not remember the correct Latin for Sortes Biblia, the form of Biblical Twitter on which Francis of Assisi built our order. With prayer and love..,


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