« AnteriorContinuar »
salvation, as a garment, and righteousness, as a robe; as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adornU eth [herself] with her jewels. For as the earth bringeti forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Gon will cause righteousness ar.d praise to spring forth before all the nations ; as seeds and plants in a garden seem to lie dead in winter, but in the spring rtn-ive and grow, so God will make his gosficl sfiread, and the Jemiih church remarkable through the world.
Chap. LXII. Encouraged by the promises in the foregoing chapter, the firofihct, in the name of all God's ficofile, declares,
1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem'; sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp [that] bumeth; until its deliverance and righteousness become illustrious in the
2 eyes of all the world. And God answers, the gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory : and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name ; some say, the christian name ; but it rather refers to a.
3 new and better state. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God; thou shalt be precious and honourable to him, and bis perfection,
4 shall be displayed and glorified in thee. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken ; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate : but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, the object of my
, delight, and thy land Beulah, the nedded matron: for the Lord
5 delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.• For [as] a young man marrieth a virgin, [so] shall thy sons marry thee: and [as] the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, [so] shall thy God rejoice over thee; thou shalt live in harmony and love, and be no more separated.^
C I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which] shall never hold their peace day nor night; ministers shall take pains to promote in their people a devout spirit: ve that make mention of the Lord, or, ye that are the Lord's remembrancers,
7 keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earlh.J
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; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink
9 thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: But they that have gathered it shall cat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.||
• The Jewish church is here rrpn senrrd as married lo the Lord, and. Top its unbelief, divo-ced ; wit hereafter ir shall be taken is to favour again, and.hallbe as much <Mlghttri with i-eluntinir lo its own country and living in it, as a bridegroom is with hU bride
t It was cusromn v in the e»,t for voaths th.-t were revcr m»rrl-d rlw.,y, ro niarrri:r.
gins. and widoweis, however soung, to marry willows. See 7/.ir<n r's OJie:c:N.-Bi. in ioc.
f The prophet here rpi-aks of God after the imnner of men. a, overcome by unportum:r. || This nrtst rercr w .orsethint; frt'ne, ; for it is n.it applicable to rhc stite of the Jew, in any i i t period. Tbirc is prob th!y a reference to Dr.it. xii.
The firofihe!, Jirmly believing ¡heir general restoration, (/¡caks of
IO it as now doing: Go through, go through the gates ; prepare
ye the way of the people , cast up, cast up the highway; gather
out the stones; remove alt-obstacles, give them all assistance; lift
up a standard for the people, to call them together amidst their dis
I I /lersion. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the
world, Say ye to the daughters of Zion, liehold, thy salvation
cometh; behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before
him; embrace the Messiah, in чиЛьяе service г/он shall jimt créât
12 advantage. And they shall call them, The holy people, The
redeemed of the I.он D : and thon shall be called, Sought out,
A city not forsaken; a /icojilc taken inio covenant again, and never
more to be cast out,
1. T TOW welcome to our souls should Christ be, who came _L_L on so gracious an errand. How wretched was the sute of mankind before he came! Slaves of sin, captives of Satan, prisoners of death. But he proclaims liberty, communicates peace and comfort, and lends to everlasting joy. How venerable is the charailer of Christ, so richly anointed \vith the Spirit for this purpose! and how well has he executed his oilice! Let us rejoice that he hath done it; welcome him into our hearts, and seek comfort bnd salvation through him. Remember that the great end of his mission and ministration, and all the comforts which lie bestows oa his people, is, that they may be righteous; trees of righteousness, bringing forth the fruit of it abundantly , ornaments to the church, and serviceable to all about them.
2. How profane and impious is it to devote to works of charity and piety what is dishonestly procured, т. 8. Too much of this has been practised among Christians. Many hospitals have been built and endowed, with the fruits of rapine ¡.ml the spoils of the poor. God loves judgment in governors; and between man and man, in liieir commerce, dealings, and conversation ; but he hates injustice and oppression ; and those who think to atone for their dishonesty by such acts of charily, will find themselves miserably deceived, for ihr vnritf/itfrjux iiliall not enter the kingdom r:f(jad.
3. How much is it the duty of all God's people to be constant and earnest intercessors with him for the prosperity of the church, and the advancement of religion ! In how lively and encouraging a manner is this duly urged upon us! We are not lo hold our peace, Hot to rest, not to keep silence, nor give God rest; all whit h implies great fervency and perseverance in prayer. It is not enough that the watchmen pray ; but all God's people, all vlio make mention of his name, must also pray ; otherwise they arc not his people, for they want love both to God and man. He allows and encouiages us to be importunate with him. It is very desirable tho> there were more of this devout, fervent spirit among us. The dtc;iy of it is one of the clearest proofs of national degeneracy, and one of the strongest symptoms of national i uin. Whatever others do therefore, let us continue in prayer, and watch thereunto with a/I persci/erance.
The prophet having described the prosperity of (he Jems in thr /alter day, firocfcds to describe the day of vengeance on l/icir спетая, which he had just mentioned. (Нес ch. Ixi. 2.) They are called JKdomitea, because these mere the ancient enemies of God's fieri/lie; and the beginning of the chapter is parallel to several /tannages in the Réveillions which refer to this event. There, as in Ezekicl, their enemies are called Gog and Magog; these shall attack them afler their settlement, but be destroyed by the immediate hand of heaven. The prophet uses a dramatic form, or dialogue.
^^ ['*•! l'"s ^а1 cometn fr°m Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah,* this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength, ni t h an air of •majesty, and not like one fatigued or wounded? The heroic warrior is represented as answering, I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save; /, the Mesnah, mho am faithful l o all my promit isa. Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, sprinkled it-iih blood, and thy garments like him that treacleth in the wine fat? said, Surely thcy [are] my people, children [that] will not lie; they arc the children of my servants in covenant with me, and will not be false and treacherous ; so he was their Saviour ; he acted as
3 The Messiah answers, I have trodden the wine press alone ; and of the people [there was] none with me :f for I will trcud them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury, as easily and effectually as graftea are crushed in a wine Jiret*; and their blood
shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain nl! my
4 raiment. For the day of vengeance [is] in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed, the time when they shall be redeemed, is
5 come. 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
6 me; that is, my :eal and concern for my Jteojdc. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in jny fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. The church then breaks out into grateful acknowledgments of former
favours, as an encouragement to hope for what it promixrd.
7 1 will mention the loving kindnesses of the Ьонл, [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
8 according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses. For he
* A chief tcity; though, as E.lcm signifies red, and Eozmh vintage, these nay be general expressions tor conquered enemies.
t The whole of this verse intimates, that ihr final ruin of th« enemies of ti* converted Jews shall not be owing to human means or power, but to the immediate hand of Cod.
9 if they had been faithful. In all their affliction he was afflicted, he was tenderly affected, and sympathized with them, and the angel of his presence, that is, Christ, whom they temfited in the wilderness, saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them ;•
10 and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and vexed his holy Spirit, which directed Moses and the elders of Israel; therefore he was turned to be their enemy.
11 [and] he fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying,] Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea, with the shepherd, or shepherds, of his flock, that is, Moses and Aaron? where [is] he that put
12 his holy Spirit within him ?t That led [them] by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them,
13 to make himself an everlasting name? That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, [that] they should not stumble I as a horse runs safely and swiftly in a plain ofien
14 country: As a beast goeth down into the valley to feed where he finds abundance, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people into Canaan, to make thyself a glorious name. Then follows a firayer suited to the present case of the Jews, in their dispersion, which is continued to the end of the next chapter.
15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where [is] thy zeal, thy great compassion, and thy strength, the sounding, or multitude, of thy bowels, and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?
16 are they quite gone? Doubtless thou [art] our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not; though they are dead and gone, and can afford us no relief, or, if they could, would net, because we have been so wicked; yet thou, Olohd, [art] our father, our redeemer; thy name [is] from
17 everlasting; O deliver us for the sake of thy name. O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways? [and] hardened our heart from thy fear ? why hast thou suffered us to do it, and done those things in the course of thy providence, from which thou knewest our perverse heart would take occasion to defiart from thee? Return to us in mercy, for thy servants' sake, the
)8 tribes of thine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have possessed [it] but a little while: our adversaries have trodden
19 down thy sanctuary4 We are [thine :] thou never bearest rule over thtm ; they were not called by thy name; we are
• Bp l.ov. th translates the passage thus : It nvai tnf an rnxey nnr an anrel of hit presence ttut sa'etd t!n in ; thruuth Lis I fee and his indulgence he himtelf r^d cwd thtm.
t By an elegant fiV.ire God is represented as recollecting their former importance. as an argummt to show them Favour, though undeserving.
t This Isaiah foresaw, and therefore prepared this prayer frir the rerple ; and this is the rise with the holy land; it was destroyed by the Rom.us, is possessed by :hr Turks, auid thus trodden under foot of the Gentiles.
thy covenant people, and they are not; or rather, rue have long been as these over whom thou did.it not rule, who have not been called by thy name: which sense agrees well with the present condition of the Jews.
1. TTOW glorious is the character of Christ, as here described.
XI What a great and majestic Saviour! He speaks in righteousness; his commands are all righteous, and he is faithful to his promises. He is able to save his people in the greatest extremity, and to overcome their most numerous and mighty enemies. How safely then may we trust in him! How secure are the interests of the church, and those of every particular believer, in such mighty and gracious hands!
2. Let us learn carefully to remember, and seriously to mention, the loving kindness of the Lord. What a variety of strong expressions does the prophet, in the name of the church, use to describe i;! Let it teach us to remember his goodness to us, to our families, to our country, and to the church of God. This will show us the baseness and guilt of our own ingratitude and rebellion, and thus lead us to repentance; and it will encourage our hope in him, notwithstanding our guilt and unworthiness.
3. From the covenant relation between God and his people, he may reasonably expect faithfulness from them, and they salvation from him. His people are childrtn that will not lie; their character is, that they do not dissemble in their covenant transactions, but are sincere and honest; they mean what they say, and perform what they promise. If they do not this, whatever they may think of themselves, they are not God's children ; but children of the devil, T.).1;o was a liar from the beginning. If we are faithful, he will be our Saviour; will deliver us from sin and hell, and conduct us to immortal glory. But if we rebel, and vex his holy Spirit, that strives with us, he will turn to be our enemy, and will fight against us; we shall lose our best friend, and fall into the hands of the most formidable enemy.
4. We may from this chapter draw many noble arguments and encouragements in prayer, especially in time of trouble. We mnv observe God's tender regard to his people: he is efflicted in thr,r affliction; like a tender parent sympathizing with a sick child; his bowels yearn over his suffering servants. He is so good that he makes his former mercies an argument to bestow further favours; which men would rather consider as an argument against doing it. Let us tliink of our covenant relation to him; and plead these things in prayer: let fatherless children especially, remember, that though their parents are ignorant of them, and acknowledge them nor, yet God is their father, and his name is everlasting. Let them seriously address him under that title; and in him the fatherless will find mercy.