“When Jesus came down
From the mountain,
Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί.
Just like Moses went up the mountain and came down from the mountain, Jesus went up the mountain in chapter 5:1, now he came down from the mountain (Καταβάντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους). Matthew continued to use the phrase great crowds followed or accompanied him (ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί). A new phase in the life of Jesus was to begin. The time of mountain teaching had ended. It was time for action.
“They will pass through the land.
They will be greatly distressed.
They will be hungry.
When they are hungry,
They will be enraged.
They will curse their king.
They will curse their gods.
They will turn their faces upward.
Or they will look to the earth.
But they will see only distress.
They will see only darkness.
They will see only the gloom of anguish.
They will be thrust into thick darkness.”
Isaiah has some kind of dark night march. These soldiers were greatly distressed, as they passed through some unnamed land. They were hungry. Thus they were mad at their king and their gods. Whether they looked up or just around them on earth, they could only see distress, darkness, gloom, and anguish. They seemed to be in some kind of thick darkness.
“The wise man’s path of life leads upward.
Thus he may avoid Sheol below.
Yahweh tears down the house of the proud.
But he maintains the widow’s boundaries.”
The path of the wise man goes up, so that he does not go down to Sheol. This is the common conception that up is good and down is bad. Just like a house, the upstairs are better than the basements. Yahweh would tear down the house of the proud ones, but he would sustain the territory or boundaries of the widows.
“God looks down from heaven
He wants to see
If there are any who are wise,
Those who seek after God.”
Once again this verse is exactly the same as in Psalm 14. Here the name of Yahweh is not used, since this psalm refers to God, not Yahweh, who is perched in heaven, looking down at all the humans. It was common to believe that God was up there somewhere. He wanted to see if there were any wise ones who were seeking God on earth since the wise person was someone who was seeking God.