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voice; with the voice together shall they sing for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For ye shall not go out with
haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rere-ward.
13 Behold my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred, more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. (B)
(B) Zion roused from her stupor by the glad tidings of salvation.-In allusion, perhaps, to the image in the close of the preceding chapter, Jerusalem is represented as fallen asleep in the dust, and in that helpless state bound by her enemies. The Prophet, with all the ardour natural to one who had such joyful news to communicate, bids her Awake, arise, and put on her strength and beauty; and then he delivers the message he had in charge. Awakening from her stupefaction, Jerusalem sees the messenger of these good tidings on the eminence from which he espied the approaching deliverance. She expresses, in beautiful terms, her joy at the news, repeating with peculiar elegance the words of the cryer; "How beautiful," &c. The tidings immediately spread to others on the watch, who all join in the glad acclamation; and, in the ardour of their joy, call to the very ruins of Jerusalem to sing along with them, (ver. 9, 10.) The Prophet then, to complete the deliverance, bids them march, as it were, in triumph out of Babylon: "De
part ye," &c. We must always remember that the words of our Prophet extend generally beyond the deliverance from Babylon, which is but the type of a greater redemption. That this chapter relates in the highest sense to the Messiah, see Row. x. 15.
The last three verses introduce a fresh subject, which is continued throughout the following chapter, and should therefore have been connected with it. The Prophet here drops all inferior topics, and introduces a series of predictions relative to the character and sufferings of Messiah, the most interesting and extraordinary of any throughout the Old Testament. The reader is taken to the foot of the cross, and while he sees the Saviour hanging there, with the blood streaming from "his head, his hauds, his feet;" he is told that many nations shall be sprinkled with this bloodthat Kings (the highest rank of society) shall be struck with astonishment, and their subjects leap with surprise and joy, at the effects produced by the circulation of these extraordinary tidings through the world.
Ver. 11. Touch no unclean thing-this is, "Contract no ceremonial pollution, and especially keep yourselves from idols." See 1 John v.21.
Ver. 14. At thee.-The Syriac and Chaldee, with a few ancient MSS, read" at him." The difference in the Hebrew is but half a letter, and the sense is evidently clearer.
Yer. 15 So shall he sprinkle.-This word is dificult of interpretation. The original idea of the Heb. root seems to be, that of leaping, (or causing to leap) either with surprise or joy; so Schultens explains the cognate verb in Arabic, and from thence seems to be derived its secondary and more common meaning, to spurt out, as from a wound, from a brush or bunch of hyssop, by way of sprinkling. See Levit. vi. 27; 2 Kings ix. 33; Levit. xiv. 6,7, &c. See Parkhurst and Gesenius, in Nazah,
But taking the word in the former sense, "He shall cause many nations to leap with surprise and joy," (i. e. he shall surprise and rejoice many nations) the words may be applied to the effects produced by the propagation of the gospel, (which is no other than the report of his work and sufferings) among both Jews and Gentiles. This agrees with the following clause, Kings (not the kings) shall shut their mouths at him, or be silent with surprise and admiration in his presence; for they shall see such things as they never before heard or thought of. See Job xxix. 9, 10.
If this sprinkling be considered as of water, to an Asiatic it must yield pleasure as well as surprise: but we read, Heb. xii. 24, of the blood of sprinkling," which refers undoubtedly to its atoning efti cacy; and thus, metaphorically, bas he sprinkled many nations with his blood.
The rejection, sufferings,]
HO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him,
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
[and death of Messiah.
astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, be shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his 6 All we like sheep have gone knowledge shall my righteous servant
CHAP. LIII. Ver. 1. Who hath believed. - See John xii.38; Rom. x. 16. — Our report — Marg. "Doctrine."- The arm of the Lord- that is, his power; generally considered in its exertion for the salvation of his people. See chap. xl. 10.-li. 5, 9.
Ver. 2. For he-that is, Messinh, shall grow up before him, namely, Jehovah. Some ancient Jewish writers have thus explained it. See Scott's Answer to R. Crool, p. 284.
Ibid. A tender plant-is here, a sickly one, drooping for want of water. —A root out of a dry ground. -Compare ch. xi, 1.
Ver. 3. We hid as it were our faces from kimthat is, we, speaking in the person of the Jewish nation, gave him no countenance, but turned away from him, as disgusted with his mean appearance.
This seems to us the most natural interpretation; it cannot, however, be denied, that the LXX, Vul gate, and some MSS, read as our margin, and as Lowth has rendered it, "As one that hideth his face from us; that is, as a mourner, (2 Sam. xix. 4; Ps. Ixix. 7.) or a leper; and so some ancient versions and commentators understand it. See Levit. xiii. 45.
Ver. 4. He hath borne our griefs.-This he did in two ways; 1. by healing the diseases and infirmities of men, Matt. viii. 17; 2. and principally, by suffer. ing for our sins, as in the next verse. Compare 1 Peter ii. 24.
Ver. 5. The chastisement of our peace By which our peace was effected.' stripes-Heh." Bruises."
Ver. 6. Hath laid on him-Heb. "Hath made to meet on him," Lowth, "To light upon him."
Ver. 8. He was taken from prison and from judgment-Marg. "He was taken away by distress, &c. Rather, It was exacted, (i. e, the penalty of sin) and he was made answerable." Bps. Chandler and Lowth, Dr. Boothroyd, and Mr. Scott. Though
Christ was not literally in prison, he was in 'custody, from his surrender to his death.
Ibid. And who shall declare his generation?-The meaning of this term has been much disputed. Lowth renders it, "his manner of life," and refers to Kennicott, who cites the Mishna, and other Jewish authorities, to prove, that on trials among the Jews for capital offences, proclamation used to be made, that any person who knew any thing of the prisoner's innocence should come forward and declare it; but no such proclaization was made on the trial of Jesus, though he has been thought to refer to such a enstom, John xviii. 20, 21. So St. Paul, in like manner, Acts xxvi. 4. 5. Generation, means "History:" so when the Rajah of Tanjore spoke to Bp. Middleton of the History of England, he caled it "The Book of the Generations of the Kings of Eng land." Bonney's Life of Bp. M.-Was he stricken ? -"Smitten to death," LXX, Coptic, Origen, &c. See Low th.
Ver. 9. He made kis grave with the wicked, &c.Lowth, "And his gave was appointed with the wicked; but with the rich man was his tomb." Kennicott and Boothroyd, by the transposition of two words, render it, "He was placed with the wicked in his death; but with the rich man was his sepulchre." This answers literally to the history. Lect. Bp. Marsh, however, agrees with Lowth. xxi. p. 37.
Ver. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruiseLoth, "Crush him" (see Ps. Ixxii. 4. &c.) with allition. When thou shalt make his sont an of ter ny for sin-Marg. "When his soul shall make." Lov th, "If his soul shall make a propitiatory sacri. fice"
Ver. 11. Shall be satisfied-that is, with the fruit of his travail, with a numerons offspring, Grotius quotes an ancient Rabbin, who explains this of cou verts, or disciples, Compare Ps. ex. 3, and Notes
(C) The rejection, death, and sufferings of Messiah.This chapter opens with the question "Who hath believed our report, as implying, 1. That the report he was now making was not that of himself alone, but one in which other prophets coincided with him, as may be instanced in the writings of the Psalmist David, and others. (See Psalm xxii. 5-18; lxix. 20, 21, &c.) And, 2. That the report he was about to deliver, though thus confirmed by others, should be so little regarded by his countrymen, that they should unwittingly fuifil all his predictious in their treatment of this Messiah. We are then led back to contemplate the great person spoken of, as the servant of the Lord, in the close of the preceding chapter; of whom we have these seemingly inconsistent accounts, that "he shall be extolled and be very high;" yet that his visage should be "marred more than any other man's;" can only be reconciled, by admitting the divinity of his character and mission; and the infidelity of his countrymen in his rejection, persecution and murder.
It is stated of him that, as to his external form, he should grow up " as a plant out of a dry ground" (a scion from the root of David) having no splendour in his appearance, to distinguish him from other men : that in consequence, his nation, whose hearts were set upon a temporal Messiah, instead of believing in him, would execute him as an impostor. In this very fact, however, was offered to God the only acceptable sacrifice for human guilt; and he, while bleeding and dying by the hand of murder, made intercession for his murderers. His conduct under all this was meek and humble; he was "the Lamb of God taking "away the sins of the world."
Thus was he hurried from imprisonment to judgment, from judgment to execution, and by a mysterious providence, though he died with the vilest criminals, he was bu
ried in the tomb of a man rich and honourable. No tomb, however, could detain him: it is plainly intimated that he should rise again prolong his days-and that "the travail of his soul," that is, his unparalleled labour and sufferings should meet a rich reward. Though condemned as a sinner, he was just, and should justify many through their knowledge and faith in him, and finally triumph over all his and our enemies. (See Psalm Ixviii, 18. Ephes. iv. 8. Col. ii. 15.)
After reading this chapter, it seems difficult to conceive how, in prophetic language, our Redeemer's sufferings could have been more accurately described, or his atoning sacrifice more distinctly stated and yet alas! "Who hath believed the report? Thousands, indeed, both of Jews and Gentiles have believed it, and been saved thereby ; but the nation at large treated him as an impostor, and do so to the present day. The late Mr. Scott (in his answer to Rabbi Crool, p. 281.) mentions it as a current and uncontradicted report, that the Jews are forbidden by their Rabbis to read this important chapter. It is observable, that this Rabbi, (who calls himself "Teacher of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge,") in treating of the prophecies respecting Messiah, takes no notice of it. Still more singular does it seem, that the late Mr. Levi, in his two volumes of "Dissertations on the prophecies applicable to the Messiah," though he has considered the chapters both preceding aud following, has contrived to pass over the 53d, (and the close of the 52d, as connected with it,) in the most perfect silence. We say contrived; for it is remarkable that he has closed his 9th series of Isaiah's prophecies in the 1st vol. with Chap lii. 12; and begins his 2nd vol. with Chap. liv. as commencing the 10th series! This we are only able to account for on the principle that he dare not examine this most interesting chapter; certainly one of the most important in the prophetic writings.
By his knowledge- Bps. Chandler and Lowth, "By the knowledge of him;" Boothroyd, “Of himself."—— Shall my righteous servant — Boothroyd,
Shall my servant, the righteous (or just) one justify many." For he shall hear their iniquities— Lowth and Boothroyd, "The punishment of their iniquities."
Ver. 12. Therefore will I divide, &c.-Boothroyd, "Therefore will I give him, as a portion, the great, (Lowth," many") and the mighty he shall possess as a spoil." See Ps. ii. 8. -Ixviii. 48.
Ibid. Made intercession for the transgressors.— Luke xxiii. 34, 43.
SING, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel: The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
[called upon to rejoice.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
110 thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear;
EXPOSITION-Chap. LIII. Continued.
Long as we have dwelt upon this prophecy, we cannot close our Exposition without adverting to another circumstauce, as forming a happy contrast to this instance of Jewish obstinacy and infidelity. It is well known that the celebrated Earl of Rochester was one of the greatest wits and infidels of the 17th century. In his last illness, however, Mr. Parsons (the Chaplain of Lady R.) directed his attention to this chapter, and he thus speaks of the manner in which his mind was affected by it. "He said to me (relates Mr. Parsous)-that as he heard it read, he felt an inward force
upon him, that did so enlighten his mind and convince him, that he could resist it no longer; for the words had an authority which did shoot like rays or beams in his mind, so that he was not only convinced by the reasonings he had about it, which satisfied his understanding; but by a power which did so effectuaily constrain him, that he did ever after as firmly believe in his Saviour as if he had seen him in the clouds." (Burnett's Life of Rochester, quoted in Dr. Sharp's Second Argument for Christianity, p. 222-274.)
CHAP, LIV. Ver. 1. Rejoice, thou barren.— See Gal. iv. 27.
Ver. 5. Thu Maker-Heb, "Creators." See Note on Eccles. xii. 1.
Ver. 9. As the waters of Noah, &c.-Lowth, "The same will I do now, as in the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters," &c.
Ver. 11. I will lay thy stones with fair coloursLowth," In cement of vermillion.' Ver. 12. Windows of agates-Lowth, "Battlements of rubies."--Thy borders of pleasant stones -Lowth, "The circuit of thy walls of precious stones." Compare the apocryphal book of Tübit, chap, xiii. 16, 17.
and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (D)
HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto
[to receive mercy.
me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the
(D) The Jewish Church called to rejoice in her great accession of converts from the Gentiles.--"The Church of God under the Old Testament, confined within the narrow bounds of the Jewish nation, and still more so, in respect of the very small number of true believers, and which sometimes seems to be deserted by God her husband; is the barren woman, that did not bear, and was desolate she is exhorted to rejoice, and to express her joy in the strongest manner, on the reconciliation of her husband to her, and on the accession of the Gentiles to her
family." (Bp. Lowth.) This accession had before been strongly predicted: (Chap. xlix. 20, 21) and when she is here called upon (ver. 4) to forget the shame of her youth, and the reproach of her widowhood, we understand (with Abp. Secker) by the former, her slavery in Egypt, and by the latter her captivity in Babylon. When it is predicted that her walls shall be rebuilt with precious, instead of common stones, it must, at the least, imply an increase of beauty and glory unprecedented, and forming a type of heaven and the celestial paradise, (Comp. Rev. xxi. 18—21.)
Ver. 4. Given him- - unquestionably the Messiah. Compare chap. xlii. 6; also Acts xiii. 34.
Ver. 5. A nation that thou knowest not. This was repeatedly fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles, Ver. 7. The unrighteous man- Heb. " The man of iniquity."He will abundantly pardon-Heb. "Multiply to pardon."
Ver. 12. Break forth into singing. These are highly poetical images, to express a state attended with joy and exultation.