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16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.
19 So shall they fear the namė of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. (I)
ARISE, shine; ARISE, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness
(1) Farther disclosures of iniquity; with encouragements to repentance, and hopes of pardon. While one part of the nation put on the mask of hypocrisy and pretended to be religious, another part ran into the opposite extreme, and became openly vicious and profane: their lips were polluted with falsehood, and their hands defiled with blood. What is said of their hatching the eggs of serpents seems to refer to the dangerous speculations in which they engaged, to promote their own interests, and the gratification of their ambition; and their manufacture of spiders' webs, to the flimsy excuses and pretences by which they thought to screen their crimes. While their schemes were hatching, their pernicious nature was perhaps generally unsus pected; but when disclosed they were found to conceal a fatal poison. So their webs were finely wrought; but could not conceal their wickedness and folly from meu
of penetration, much less from the omniscient eye of God.
Notwithstanding, however, the abounding of sin and folly, the Lord avows his readiness as well as ability to restore his chosen nation; and will do it in a manner worthy of himself: the mighty Redeemer shall come to Zion, and his own arm shall bring salvation.
Independent of a primary reference to the return from Babylon, the common subject of these latter chapters, the concluding verses may have a more remote allusion to the conversion of the Western Isles and the eastern Continent, and even possibly to the last great conflict upon earth. See Rev. xxii. 8-10.
In addition to the great importance of the truths contained in this chapter, Bp. Lowth observes, it" is remarkable for the beauty, strength and variety of the images with which it abounds;" and distinguished by the elegance of its composition.
Ver. 15. Maketh himself a prey-Lowth, "Exposeth himself to be plundered." It displeased him-Heb. Was evil in his eyes." Ver. 18. According to their deeds- Heb. "Recompences." Taking the text as it stands, (which we are always disposed to do when we can draw from it an intelligible meaning) we should render it, "According to the (law of) recompences, accordingly will he repay," or "recompense them;" i. e. as the heathen (Egypt, perhaps, more especially) had treat
ed Israel, so would the Lord recompense the heathen. Compare chap. lxv. 6, 7, Jer. xvii. 18; and especially xxv. 14.
Ver. 13. From the west probably Europe, and especially the British isles.The rising of the sun -the vast continent of India, China, &c. When the enemy.... like a flood-that is, with an overwhelming force.-The Lord shall lift up a standerd against him-that is, oppose him by almighty power.
The glorious state of the]
the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed by thy side.
5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together; and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.
7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with 'them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he bath glorified thee.
10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
[church in the latter days.
11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.
12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob.
17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.
CHAP. LX. Ver. 1. Arise, shine― Marg, “Be enlightened," or" thy light cometh." Zion can only shine in proportion as she is enlightened from above. The last verse of the preceding chapter, or, according to Dr. Boothroyd, the two last verses, should be connected with this chapter.
Ver. 5. Thou shalt see and flow together.-Here forty MSS and one Edition, for see read fear, with the addition only of a yod. Lowth. The present text, however, yields an excellent sense: "Thou shalt see thy children coming on every side, flowing together like an inundation, at first, perhaps, with alarm, but afterwards with joy, and enlargement of
19 The sun shall be no more thy
The glorious state of the]
light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20 Thy sun shall no more go down: neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. (K)
THE Spirit of the Lord GOD is
upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that
[church in the latter days.
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
their dispersions; when all the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ." (Rev. xi. 15.)
the glories of that perfect state of the church of God, which we are taught to (K) The glorious state of the Church in expect in the latter times; when the fulthe latter days. "The subject of this ness of the Gentiles shall come in, and the chapter (says Bp. Lowth) is the great in-Jews shall be converted and gathered from crease and flourishing state of the church of God, by the conversion and accession of the heathen nations; which is set forth in such ample terms, as plainly show, that the full completion of the prophecy is reserved for future times." So, at least, the above learned prelate, and other able commentators on the Prophecies, conceive. "This subject (continues his Lordship) is displayed in the most splendid colours, under a great variety of images highly poetical, designed to give a general idea of
We must be cautious, however, of a too minute and literal interpretation of the poetical images used by the prophets, and attend rather to their general scope and design; for it is certain they were never intended to be separately, minutely, or literally explained. Great and magnificent objects will seldom admit of minute criticism.
CHAP. LXI. Ver.3. Strangers (i. e. foreigners) shall feed your flocks, &c.-meaning, that those who had formerly made slaves of them, should now become their shepherds, and farming men.
Ver. 7. For your shame.... double. Compare Note on chap. xl. 2.
Ver. 10. Decketh himself - Heb. "As a priest;" alluding particularly to his mitre.
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ISAIAH. [church in the latter days.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Gop will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (L)
and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.
3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice p over thee.
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence.
7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8 The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies;
(L) Messiah announces his office, and the church rejoices in his work. The same subject is continued; and, to give it the greater solemnity, the Messiah is introduced describing his own character and office, and confirming the large promises made before. In consequence of this, ver. 10, the Jewish church is represented praising God for the honour done her, by her restoration to his favour, and by the accession of the Gentiles, which is beautifully described in a happy allusion to the rich pontifical dress of the Jewish highpriest. The acceptable year of the Lord, mentioned, ver. 2, certainly alludes to the
year of Jubilee among the Hebrews, which afforded a fine image of the Gospel dispensation. (See our Expos. of Lev. xxv. 1-22) And we can have no hesitation in applying the words to our Saviour, since he has claimed them for his own. (Luke iv. 18.)
The 10th verse of this chapter seems to allude to an ancient and instructive custom of covering accused or obnoxious persons with the mantle of the Emperor: so Julian covered a certain prefect" with the imperial mantle" to protect him. (See Orient. Lit. No. 946.) And thus it is that the Lord our Redeemer covers his people with his imperial robe of righteousness, and adorns them with the diadem of his merits. (See Rev. iv. 4.)
CHAP. LXII. Ver. 1. The righteousness thereof -Lowth," Until her righteousness break forth as a strong light, and her salvation as a blazing torch." Ver. 4. Hephzi-bah - that is, "My delight is in her."--Beulah, Married.
Ver. 5. As a young man marrieth a virgin-Sir J. Chardin says, in the East, youths marry only virgins, and widowers, widows. Orient. Cust. No. 274. So shall thy sons marry thee-i. e. obtain possession of thy land, as a husband claims possession of bis
The triumph of Messiah, and] CHAP. LXIII. '[deliverance of the church.
and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:
9 But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holi
10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him,
12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. (M)
HO is this that cometh from
Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine fat?
3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
7 I will mention the loving-kindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us; and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour,
9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his
(M) Promises of Judah's restoration.Isaiah opens this chapter with announcing his determination to persevere in prayer for Zion and Jerusalem, and expresses the utmost confidence in their being delivered from all their enemies. He calls also upon all the watchmen of Zion, her Priests and Levites, who kept watch day and night in the purlieus of the temple, and whom he calls the Lord's Remenbrancers," to unite with him in prayers for her prosperity. (See Psalm exxx. 6. exxxiv.) Then, after reciting the Lord's
oath and promise for their restoration, as if he had already seen them setting out from Babylon, he calls upon them to prepare the way, and lift up a standard to encourage their return. But the application of the concluding verses to our Saviour when on earth, by the Evangelists, plainly shows that these chapters had a farther reference than to any temporal salvation; and that all these temporal promises were typical of blessings spiritual and eternal'; and that Jerusalem restored on earth was typical of the "Jerusalem above, which is the Mother of us all." (See Matt. xxi, 5.; John xii. 15.; Gal. iv. 26.)
CHAP. LXIII. Ver. 1-6. Who is this? &c.-Bp. Lowth places these verses in dialogue form, thus: Ver. 1. Who, &c. the chorus. The last line, "I who · speak," &c. Messiah. Ver. 3. chorus. Ver, 4 to 6, Messiah.
Ver. 2. The wine-fat-Lowth, vat, as the word is
always now spelt, meaning, the vessel in which the grapes were trodden.
Ver. 4. The day of vengeance.— e ch. xxxiv, 8 Ver. 5. Mine own arm.-Compare ch. lix. 16. Ver. 9. In all their afflictions he was afflicted our version, but the word is used for externa