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[242] Isa. vii. 17. “The Lord shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah, even the king of Assyria.” This seems not to be spoken of the king of Israel mentioned in the foregoing verse, but of Ahaz the king of Judah, to whom the prophet was then speaking. It could not be meant of Pekah, the king of Israel, because it speaks of bringing the king of Assyria in his father’s house, but the family of Pekah was not cut off by the king of Assyria, but by Hoshea the son of Elah, who conspired against him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead. 2 Kings xv. 30. God by the prophet had offered great encouragement to Ahaz under his present distress and fear of Pekah and Rezin, and gave him a glorious sign, which he would not give heed to, as appears by ver. 12. His confidence was not in God for help, but in the king of Assyria, whom he had hired by the treasures of both church and state, and by basely promising to be his servant. 2 Kings xvi. 7, 8. Seeing he would not believe God’s promises, nor take encouragement from his signs, therefore he should not be established; and though God would do great things for his people by the Immanuel, that should be born in his family, yet he should have no benefit of it; and though it was true as the prophet had told him, that he should not be hurt by the kingdom of Syria, and kingdom of Ephraim, that was now plotting his ruin; yet seeing he would not believe, he should not be the better for it, for there should come a greater calamity upon him, than ever the kingdom of Judah suffered from the kingdom of Israel, and indeed greater than ever they suffered since the kingdoms were divided from them, and became unfriendly to them; and that from the king of Assyria himself, whom he trusted so much in for help, against the kingdom of Israel. The calamity came upon him in his life-time in a measure, as it is said in this verse [upon thee;] for when the king of Assyria came up he distressed him, and strengthened him not; 2 Chron. xxviii. 20, 21.; and afterwards it came upon his father’s house, and on his people.

[293] Isa. viii. 7, 8. “Now, therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks; and he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow, and go over.” The river Euphrates was the ancient boundary that God had set to the possession of the children of Israel, and to the dominion of their princes. This is from time to time mentioned as their eastern limits in the book of Moses, and over all on this side the river. The kings of Judah and Israel had formerly reigned, and their territories were overrun by the people that dwelt about that river: it is well represented as though the river Euphrates, their ancient boundary, broke its banks, and not only encroached upon them to the straitening their limits, but even overflowed all their possessions. They have no more their own by God’s grant, than is left them on this side the river Euphrates; and therefore, when those waters came to overflow all, they have none left. See Note on Isa. xxviii. 17.

[243] Isa. ix. 9, 10,. &c. “And all the people shall know, even Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say in their pride and stoutness of heart, the bricks are hewn down, but we will build with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” They disregarded those awful and repeated judgments God had lately exercised upon them, whereby he had already greatly diminished their numbers and their wealth, and the extent of their dominions, when Pul, the king of Assyria, came up against the land, and took a thousand talents out of the land, as 2 Kings xv. 19. and 758when afterwards Tiglath-pileser, in the days of Pekah, he that was now king, came and destroyed so great a part of the land beyond Jordan, and in the northern parts, as 2 Kings xv. 29. and 1 Chron. v. 26. They were insensible and unhumbled under these awful rebukes of heaven, as ver. 13. “For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them.” But when the hand of heaven was so evidently against them to diminish them, yet they were full of contrivances, and big with expectations of conquests, and enlarging their dominions, as appears in Pekah’s conspiring with Rezin, king of Syria, to go and conquer the kingdom of Judah, of which in the two foregoing chapters. Thus even in the midst of God’s awful judgments they were full of haughty, ambitious designs, and big with expectations of aggrandizing them, and making themselves bigger than they were before; though they had lost their western and northern countries, yet they hoped to obtain the kingdom of Judah that should more than make up their loss, and so said, Though the bricks are fallen down, we will build with hewn stone, &c.

[246] Isa. x. 26. “And the Lord of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him, according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock Oreb.” The prophet is speaking here of the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, and of himself afterwards. There was a remarkable agreement between this destruction of his army, and that of the vast army of the Midianites, which was without the children of Israel’s striking a blow. Judg. vii. 20., &c. And as Oreb, one of their princes, was taken afterwards, and slain after the battle was over, as he was returning to his own land; so Sennacherib, after he had fled, was slain in the temple of his god, Nisroch. Isa. xxxvii. 38. So was that prayer against the enemies of the church, Psal. lxxxiii. 11. “Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb,” now fulfilled in Sennacherib.

[503] Isa. xi. 10. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious;” or as the original is, “His rest shall be glory.” There is an evident allusion in these words to the things which came to pass pertaining to the affair of God’s redeeming the children of Israel out of Egypt, and leading them through the wilderness, and bringing them into Canaan. This is very manifest by the words immediately following, and by all the succeeding context to the end of the chapter. This is a prophecy of a second work, a greater work of salvation, wherein not only the Jews, but the Gentiles, and all nations, shall partake. When God redeemed his people out of Egypt to lead them to Canaan, which was God’s rest, they were gathered together under ensigns, they were the standards or ensigns of the four quarters of the army. That of Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan, and then the ensign for the whole army placed in the middle of the congregation, was the tabernacle and ark where was Moses, the captain and leader of the whole host, with his rod which was used from time to time as the banner or ensign of the congregation, as it was especially at the time when it was held up over Israel while they were fighting with Amalek, and obtained a signal victory under that ensign, on which occasion Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah-Nissi, The. Lord my Banner, or Ensign, (the word is the same in the original as here in this place, in Isaiah,) and both the rod and altar were types of Christ, who is Jehovah, who then was the ensign of his church, and would more especially and gloriously be exhibited as such in the days of the gospel, as is here foretold in Isaiah; and then it was a rod that was held up as an ensign of the people; so here, in this 11th of Isaiah., Christ is spoken of as a rod, as in the first verse; And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” so in this 10th verse,. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign;” i. e. plainly, a rod or plant from a root of Jesse (though something further may be aimed at in using the phrase, Root of Jesse).

As the rod of Moses was occasionally used as an ensign of the people, so more constantly the tabernacle and ark. These were placed in the midst of the congregation, and the whole was to pitch in exact order round about it, at due distance from it, all having equal respect to it. And the ark is represented as going before the people in their marches; Numb. x. 33.; because that, however it was in the middle of the army, yet they had respect to it as their guide, their banner, that all whose motions they were to attend; and when they went through the Jordan into Canaan, their rest, the ark was remarkably made use of as the ensign of the people; it was to be carried before them at such a distance that it might be well seen by all the leaders of the people, and they were to take heed to its motions, with the greatest care and exactness, and to follow where that went. Josh. iii. 3, 4.

But more especially was the pillar of cloud and fire, the ensign of that congregation in their marches from Egypt to Canaan, their rest. A banner or ensign was lifted up on high that it might be seen by the whole company. The ark and tabernacle could not be seen by the whole congregation, but the pillar of cloud and fire which abode on the tabernacle, and departed not from it, were lifted up to open sight, and displayed to the view of every individual person. That was the banner the people were listed under, that they were always to cleave to most strictly, and diligently to observe, stedfastly to follow, and never to depart from, and were to be directed by it in every step they took. When that moved, they were to move; when that rested, they must rest: see Numb. ix. 15., to the end. This pillar of cloud and fire was the special symbol of Christ’s presence, and in that standing as an ensign, Christ stood as an ensign of the people. And it is moreover manifest that that pillar of cloud and fire was a remarkable type of Christ incarnate, or the Son of God in the human nature, concerning whom it is here prophesied that he should stand as an ensign of the people.

When it is said, ”his rest shall be glory,” there is doubtless an allusion to Canaan, the promised rest to which the ark and pillar of cloud and fire led the children of Israel, and the thing ultimately intended is heaven. It is said, Numb. x. 33. that the ark of the covenant of the Lord (over which was the pillar of cloud, as in the following verse) went before the people to search out a resting-place for them. That was the use of these ensigns under which that people were gathered together. They were to lead them to their rest. The rest spoken of in the text under consideration, is called Christ’s rest, which is agreeable to the style used concerning the rest to which God was leading the congregation in the wilderness; Psal. xcv. 11. “To whom he sware in his wrath that they should never enter into my rest.

Here the rest to which Jesus Christ, God man, should bring the Gentiles, as well as Jews, after his incarnation, is spoken of as another rest, a different rest from that which God brought the Jews to of old, agreeably to the observation of the apostle, Heb. iv. 8, 9, 10. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day: there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God from his.” Here it is remarkable, that take these words of the apostle with the foregoing context, he seems to signify that what is called God’s rest, or Christ’s rest, in the promises of the Old Testament, is so called, not only because it was a rest of God’s providing and promising, but because it was his, personally. So here the rest which remains for the people of God, which Christ gives his people, is spoken of as Christ’s own rest and happiness that he has entered into: and so the land of Canaan of old was represented as God’s own dwelling-place, his inheritance, &c. his mountain in the field, &c. And therefore, when God brought the people out of Egypt to Canaan, he is represented as having brought them to himself. But especially was that particular part of Canaan which God chose to place his name there, represented as God’s or Christ’s rest, namely, Jerusalem, mount Zion, and the temple. Psal. cxxxii. 8. “Arise, O Lord, into thy rest, thou and the ark of thy strength.” Ver. 13, 14. “The Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.” 1 Chron. xxviii. 2. “It was in my heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord.” The temple that Solomon built 759was the rest of the ark, and the rest of the cloud of glory that abode over the ark; which had before that wandered long in the wilderness, and had walked in a tent and in a tabernacle, 2 Sam. vii. 6. But when the temple was built in the place which God chose, then the glory of the Lord had rest, and took up its settled abode there as the place it delighted in; and mount Zion and the temple are in Scripture often represented as the dwelling-place and quiet and delightful abode which they long after, and never can be at rest until they come to dwell in, and which shall be their settled dwelling-place. How often does the psalmist, speaking not only in his own name, but the name of the church, express his longings and pantings after God’s courts, his amiable tabernacles, his altars, &c. and desire to make this place his rest, as the swallow and sparrow their nest! And how often do the prophets foretell a future redemption of God’s people, and their coming from places of captivity and bondage, and from under the hand of their enemies, to dwell in mount Zion, and in God’s holy mountain! &c.

But yet sometimes the prophets speak of no temple built by men as God’s true rest, but represent heaven as God’s true rest. Isa. lxvi. 1. “Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; where is the house that ye build unto me, and where is the place of my rest?” And chap. lvii. 15. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place,” &c.

The rest of that Root of Jesse, that should stand for an ensign, is said to be glory; so the land of Canaan, Zion, and the temple are said to be the rest of him, who, as an ensign to the people, is represented in the pillar of cloud and fire. The land of Canaan is called the glory of all lands, Ezek. xx. 5, 16. and the glorious land, Dan. xi. 16. and the glorious holy mountain; ver. 45. mount Zion is said to be beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth; and in another place, to be the perfection of beauty. So concerning the temple, it is spoken of as exceedingly magnificent of fame and of glory throughout all lands, 1 Chron. xxii. 5. So in Psal. xxix. 2. as the words might have been (and probably better) translated, it is said, “Worship the Lord in his glorious sanctuary.” Psal. xcvi. 6. “Honour and majesty are before him, strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” Jer. xvii. 12. “A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.” The temple was truly glorious in Solomon’s time, when the people first began fully to enjoy the promised rest in Canaan; David having fully subdued the inhabitants of the land and their enemies round about; and then indeed the land was happy and glorious.

All these things show plainly that here is an allusion to God’s salvation of Israel of old, when they were brought out of Egypt, and led through the wilderness to Canaan under Christ as their ensign, manifested by these types and symbols of his presence, Moses’s rod, the tabernacle, the ark, and especially the cloud of glory above them; and that the Rod of Jesse here spoken of is that person there exhibited in these types and symbols. And they also manifestly show that the Messiah was to work out another redemption far greater than that of Egypt, of both Jews and Gentiles, and gather them both into one great congregation, and lead them to another and far more glorious rest than that of Canaan, Jerusalem, and the temple, even in their greatest glory in Solomon’s time; and a rest which should be his own land, and his own dwelling-place, and temple, where his people should partake with him in his rest, happiness, and glory. And so that, as the apostle says, there remaineth a rest to the people of God, besides that which Joshua brought Israel into; and that heaven is that rest. Some description is given of the comfort and happiness of the rest to which this Ensign guides God’s people, in No. 504. on Eph. ii. 7.

[175] Isa. xiii. 20, 21, 22. “It shall never be inhabited. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces.” Vide chap. xxxiv. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Babylon represents the whole church or congregation of the wicked; by her being to be destroyed, never to be built or inhabited again, is represented the eternal destruction of the congregation of the wicked; by those doleful creatures here mentioned, as possessing of Babylon, are represented devils which the church of the wicked shall be left to the possession of for ever. Babylon, after its destruction, full of these creatures, represents the church of the wicked in its state of punishment; therefore the apostle John, when speaking of the destruction of mystical Babylon, and alluding to this that is said of old Babylon, says expressly, “She is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Rev. xviii. 2.

[87] Isa. xxv. 11. “And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim;” which was the posture in which Christ was crucified in.

[218] Isa. xxx. 27., to the end, and xxxi. 9. Mr. Bedford supposes (Scripture Chronology, p. 671.) that what is here said respects the time when Rabshakeh came against Jerusalem, and God did so wonderfully appear for the defence of the city, and miraculously slew such a multitude of their enemies in one night. Chap. xxx. 28. It is said that his breath as an overflowing stream should reach to the midst of the neck, i. e. should reduce them to the utmost extremity. “This is very agreeable to the manner in which Dr. Prideaux very probably supposes that Rabshakeh’s army was destroyed, viz. by God’s bringing on them a hot pestilential wind; vide Connect, p. 34, 35.; and where it is said here that there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err, this is agreeable to what is said concerning Rabshakeh and his army, chap. xxxvii. 29. It is here said, verse 29. that they should have a song, as in the night, when an holy assembly is kept, and gladness of heart; as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel: and God wrought this great deliverance by slaying Sennacherib’s army in the night, as before he had done in Egypt, by slaying the first-born in the night, and thereby gave occasion to keep the night of the passover with joy, in a joyful manner, and with songs of praise, which probably was the holy solemnity that the prophet had a special respect to, as Bedford supposes what is said in the 30th verse, together with the 32d, of battles, of shaking, renders it probable that there was an earthquake accompanying that judgment, and also thunder, and lightning, and hail, as was common when God miraculously fought against the enemies of his people, as it was when he fought against Pharaoh and the Egyptians at the Red sea. Ps. lxxvii. at the latter end. “So God fought against the Amorites in Joshua’s time, not only with hail, but thunder and lightning.” Hab. iii. 11. So God seems to have fought against Sisera and his host. (See Notes on Judges v. 20.) So God fought against the Philistines in Samuel’s time. So God seems to have fought sometimes for David, against his enemies, and particularly at Baal-Perazim. Vide Note on Psalm xviii. 7., &c. So Hannah prophesied that God would appear against the enemies of his people. 1 Sam. ii. 10.Thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, is God’s artillery, that he was wont to make use of when he appeared in battle. Job xxxviii. 22, 23. “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow; or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” It is probable that the greater part of them might be slain by such a sudden and extraordinary pestilence while asleep; and God might pursue the rest that awoke and escaped the pestilence with a tempest of thunder, lightning, and hail, until the greater part of them were destroyed. And what is said, ver. 32. seems to be much better translated in the margin, viz. “In every passing of the rod founded which the Lord shall cause to rest upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps;” this translation is word for word, as it is in the original, meaning the rod of God’s anger on the Assyrian. In the foregoing verse with this, it is foretold that the Assyrian, that beat down others with his rod, should be beaten down in his turn with God’s rod; and thus to speak of the wrath of God’s anger is agreeable to the phraseology of Scripture: particularly, to call a judgmentthat God had appointed, a rod that God had founded or established, and to express his subjecting them to the judgment, by God’s causing the rod to rest upon them, and to call the smiting with the rod at each stripe, the passings of the rod. 760We read of these passings of the rod, chap. xxviii. 18, 19. And when it is said it shall be with tabrets and harps, the meaning is, that when God’s people shall behold the punishment which he shall bring upon them, it shall cause joy and songs in them, agreeable to verse 29. They shall, as it were, lift up the voice of music and joy, at every time, as they hear the voice or sound of God’s avenging rod on their enemies, which is agreeable to what is said with respect to this very judgment on Kabshakeh’s army, chap. xxxvii. 22. And what is said, ver. 33. seems well to agree with the place where this great destruction was, viz. Tophet, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, which was near Jerusalem, on the south side, whither Rabshakeh came from Lachish, Libnah, and Cush, and where he encamped before he could form the siege of the place, as Bedford observes.

The time when they were thus threatened by Sennacherib and Rabshakeh, was a time when they relied on Egypt for help, as appears by the words of Rabshakeh, chap. xxxvi. 6-9. which agrees with the beginning of 31st chap.; and what is said in the 4th, 5th, and 8th verses. of that chapter, exceedingly agrees with the way in which God did by himself, immediately, without making use of the sword of man, defend and fight for Jerusalem, and what is said in the 9th verse, of the Assyrian’s passing over to his strong hold for fear, agrees with what is said, chap. xxxvii. 7, 29, 34, 37.

[378] Isa. xxxi. 9. “Saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem:” i. e. There he has his throne of judgment, where he sits to judge the nations of the world, to try men as in a refiner’s fire, to prove the righteous and justify them, and to consume the wicked. God in judging is represented in Scripture as doing the part of a refiner of metals. Mal. ii. 2, 3. “But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth; for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap, and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” The place where the refiner fines metals, is where he has his furnace; and so the place whence God judges the nations of the world, and executes judgment and justice on the earth, is where he has established his throne, which is in Zion. There God is represented as having his throne, and from thence all his judgments that are executed in the earth are represented as proceeding. So in the 1st chap. of Amos, God’s judgments upon Syria, and upon the Philistines, Tyrus and Edom, and upon the Amorites, are represented as proceeding from God in Zion, and from Jerusalem, as ver. 2. “The Lord will roar from Zion and utter his voice from Jerusalem;” together with what follows in that chapter. So God is represented as judging all nations from thence in the last chapter of Joel, as ver. 16, 17. “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake.” “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain.” And ver. 21. “For the Lord dwelleth in Zion;” together with the rest of the chapter. So it is said, Ps. lxxvi. 2, 3. “In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Zion. There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.” So God is represented as judging the nations of the world out of Zion. Ps. 1. at the beginning. “The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth, from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” So Isa. ii. 3, 4. “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people.” So here God is represented as judging the Assyrians from mount Zion. He that sits in Zion as a refiner, is represented as bringing their young valiant men to the furnace there, and melting them in the fire, as in the foregoing verse, his young men shall be for melting, as it is in the Hebrew. So in the 33rd chap. he is represented as destroying the enemies of Israel, as one that dwelleth on high, and fills Zion with judgment and righteousness. And as God’s judgments on his enemies are represented as coming out of Zion, so is the salvation of his people, as Psal. xiv. 7. liii. 6. xx. 2. cx. 2. cxxviii. 5. cxxxiv. 3. The Assyrians that besieged Jerusalem are represented as consumed by fire. Chap. ix. 5. “Every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood, but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.”

[213] “As rivers of water in a dry place, and as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” There is an allusion here to the deserts of Arabia, which was an exceeding hot and dry place, one might travel many days going, and see no sign of a river, brook, or spring, nothing but a dry and parched wilderness, so that travellers there were ready to be consumed with thirst, as the children of Israel were when they were in this wilderness, when they were faint because there was no water. Now when a man finds Jesus Christ, he is like a man that has been travelling in these deserts, until he is ready to perish with thirst, and at last finds a river of cool and clear water, it is exceeding refreshing. Christ was one actually typified by a river of water that was miraculously caused to flow in the dry deserts of Arabia, for the refreshing and satisfying God’s people when they were almost consumed with thirst, even by that stream of water out of the rock, for as the apostle says, that rock was Christ. This stream of water issued out of the rock that was in Horeb, which word signifies a dry place. This was a river in a dry place. Psal. cv. 41. He opened the rock and the waters gushed out, they ran in the dry places like a river. This is called a land of great drought. Hosea xiii. 5. See also Deut. viii. 15. Christ is as a river of water, because there is such a fulness in him for the satisfaction of the needy, thirsty soul, and enough not only for one, but for all the multitude of God’s people, as the stream out of the rock was sufficient for the whole congregation, which was doubtless more than two million souls and their cattle.

And when Christ is said to be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, the allusion is still to the deserts of Arabia. It is not said as the shadow of a tree, because in those vast deserts there are no trees; nothing for shade to protect travellers, but here and there a great rock. Christ is to the weary soul as the cool shadow of a great rock, or a steep rocky mountain, in the scorched deserts of Arabia.

[261] Isa. xxxii. 2. “And a man shall be an hiding-place,” &c. Here Christ is compared to three things that correspond with several things in the congregation in the wilderness, that were typical of Christ.

First. Christ is called “An hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest,” which corresponds with the tabernacle. Tabernacles are made to shelter travellers in a strange land, where they have no abiding place from the injuries of the weather; and a tabernacle is also a hiding-place; the secret of God’s tabernacle is especially spoken of as such. Psal. xxvii. 5. “In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle;” and so in other places, there cited in the margin, and in the 4th chap. of Isaiah at the end. Christ is expressly compared to a tabernacle in both these respects, viz. as a shelter, and as a hiding-place, or refuge.

Secondly. Christ is compared to a river of water in a dry place, which answers to those rivers of water out of a rock, in that land of great drought. Vide No. 213. And,

Thirdly. Christ is compared to the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, which answers to the pillar of cloud, which shaded the children of Israel in that parched wilderness, to which Christ is compared, chap. iv. 5. Psal. cxxi. 5. Isa. xxv. 4, 5. And though it was not the shade of a rock, yet it was a rock that refreshed them otherwise, viz. with its cooling, refreshing waters.

[214] Isa. xxxiii. 17. “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.” This verse speaks of two different sorts of people that dwell in Zion, viz. 1. The true citizens of Zion, described here in the two preceding verses, much as the true citizens of Zion are described in the 15th Psalm., and Psal. xxiv. 4, 5.; and, 2. Sinners in Zion, spoken of in the 14th verse. Of 761the former it is said, “Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty, i. e. those that are spoken of in the immediately foregoing words. They shall see the land that is very far off, i. e. they that were spoken of before. There is an evident antithesis in the words: as they are opposite kinds of persons that are spoken of, so they are opposite things that are predicated of them. The one should “see the land that is very far off,” i. e should be led away captive thither; as it was threatened to the children of Israel if they were not obedient, that they should be driven out of their own land, and carried captive into a very far country. Deut. xxviii. 49. “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth;” and 64th verse,. “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth, even unto the other; and this is a judgment often threatened by the prophets to the wicked Israelites, and is threatened by this prophet in particular. Isa. v. 26. xiii. 5. “They came from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.” But the other should “see the King in his beauty;” this is here spoken of as the opposite to a being carried away into a far country. The literal and next meaning seems to be this, that while the sinners in Zion are cast out of Zion, and out of their own land to the ends of the earth, and made slaves to a foreign prince, thou shalt dwell peaceably and quietly in the land of Israel, and in Zion, (the true citizens of Zion shall abide in Zion, Psal. xv. 1.) under the peaceable and happy government of thine own prince, the King of Zion, the King that sits in the throne of David, who had his palace in Zion. Thou shalt see the King that reigns in Zion in his beauty, reigning and governing his people in great glory and prosperity, and thou shalt enjoy the blessing of his prosperous and glorious reign. Beauty is often put for glory and prosperity, as chap. xxviii. 1. and Ezek. xxvii. 3, 4, 11. and chap. xxviii. 12, 17. as ver. 20. of this context, Thou shalt see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, i. e. thou shalt enjoy the blessings of its safe and quiet state, as Psal. cxxviii. 5, 6. Thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem and thou shalt see peace upon Israel. The blessing here promised to the righteous in Israel, seems to be the same with that which the queen of Sheba observed in Solomon’s servants. 2 Chron. ix. 7. “Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants which stand continually before thee.”

But although what the prophet here alludes to in the punishment threatened to the sinners in Zion, be the captivity into Babylon, and what he alludes to in the reward promised to the righteous, be the dwelling under the safe, and quiet, and prosperous government of their own king that sat on the throne of David, which was in Zion; yet the things chiefly meant, are spiritual things that are typified by these temporal things, for there never was literally any such distinction made between the wicked and righteous Israelites, as is here spoken of; for when the Jews were carried away into Babylon, there was no king left reigning in Zion in peace and prosperity, but it was a time of universal calamity throughout the whole land. Therefore, by being carried captive into a land very far off, seems to be intended chiefly the eternal rejection and banishment of hypocrites, who though they for the present dwell in Zion in God’s church amongst his people, yet the time will come when they shall be removed at the utmost distance from it, and shall be sent into eternal banishment; and by the King that is here spoken of, that the true citizens of Zion shall see in his beauty, is meant Jesus Christ, even David their King, as he is called, Jer. xxx. 9. and Hos. iii. 5. The King spoken of in the beginning of the foregoing chapter, and every where throughout this book. They shall behold him in his beauty, and shall enjoy the blessings of his kingdom of grace here; and hereafter shall for ever dwell in his presence, and see his face, and rejoice in his kingdom of glory.

[317] Isa. xl. 1, 2. “Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God; speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” God often executes very severe judgments on his visible church for their sins, and though her punishment be never double to her deserts, or more than her deserts, yet she oftentimes suffers double in two respects.

1. Double to the sufferings which their sins, their violations of duties of the second table of the law, have brought on others, in which sense the false church is commanded to be punished. Rev. xviii. 6. “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.”

2. Double to all the pleasure or benefit, the wealth or worldly advancement, which she hath obtained or aimed at by her sins, as in the place in Revelations, it follows in the next verse., How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliriously, so much torment and sorrow give her.” By double, is not meant precisely twice so much, but vastly more. Thus God does not only punish Babylon, or the false church, but his own visible church, when they corrupt themselves, and make themselves in a great measure a false church, like as Jerusalem and Israel of old did. God punished them with great severity; he punished them doubly. Jer. xvi. 18. “I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have defiled my land.” God caused all the idolatrous nations to drink the wine cup of his fury, and especially Sheshack, or Babylon, but he in the first place gave it to Jerusalem. Jer. xxv. God takes notice of the great severity with which he had punished Jerusalem; for this is manifestly the language of compassion. A father, while in wrath he is correcting his child, makes light of its sufferings; but when his heart begins to relent, and bowels of compassion to yearn, his sufferings begin to look great in his eyes. God is often represented as thus exercising the bowels of a merciful father towards his people after severe correction. See Judg. x. 6. Jer. xxxi. 20. Isa. xv. 16. Nahum ix. 32.

[485] Isa. xl. 15. “He taketh up the isles as a very little thing.” A very fine remark, and a solid correction of the common translation, is here made by that learned, sagacious, and devout expositor, Vitringa. He observes that the common translation is neither answerable to the import of the original, nor consonant to the structure of the discourse. The prophet had no intention to inform mankind what the Almighty could do with regard to the islands, if he pleased to exert his power, but his design was to show how insignificant. or rather what mere nothings, they are in his esteem, and before his majesty. The islands, says he, though so spacious as to afford room for the erection of kingdoms and the abode of nations, though so strong as to withstand for many thousands of years the raging and reiterated assaults of the whole watery world, are yet before the adored Jehovah small as the minutest grain, which the eye can scarce discern, light as the feathered mote, which the least breath hurries away like a tempest, SltS1 pT3 D”S, Insulæ sunt, ut levi quid, quod avolat. “The deep-rooted islands are as the volatile atom, which, by the gentlest undulations of the air, is wafted to and fro in perpetual agitations.” Hervey’s Meditations, vol. 2. p. 130.

[437] Isa. xli. 18, 19, 20. “I will make the wilderness pools of water I will plant in the wilderness the cedar That ye may see, and know, and consider, and understand together that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” God will cause waters to flow in the dry desert, and turn the barren wilderness into a pleasant garden, and bring forth these glorious things in such places that were most likely and most distant from any thing of this nature, and where was the least of any previous disposition, preparation, or foundation for any thing of this, that his hand might be the more visible, and his power and efficacy the more apparent and undeniable; as of old, when God furnished a table in the wilderness, and brought forth water out of the flinty rock. Therefore here it is said, ”The Holy One of Israel hath created it. To create, as the word is in Scripture, is either to make out of nothing, or, which is equivalent, to make out of that which has in itself no natural fitness, disposition, or proportion, or foundation for such an effect.

[438] Isa. xli. 22. “Let them bring forth and show us what shall happen: let them show us former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.” See alsoverse 4. and verses 23, 26. chap. xlii. 9. xliii. 9, 10, 11, 12. xliv. 6, 7, 8. xlv. 21, 22. xlvi. 9, 10. xlviii. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16.

By former things in these passages of the prophet, is meant former predictions of future events, or former and ancient dispensations, or works that pointed at things future, either by representing and typifying them, or by preparing for them, and ordering things with an evident respect to future events; or more briefly, by former things is meant such words or works as so pointed at things future, as to show plainly that they, whose words or works they were, had the foreknowledge and ordination of those future events. It is evident that by former things are meant former signs of future events, by what is said here in chap. xli. 22. “Let them show us former things, what they be, that we may consider them what they be, and know the latter end of them;” i. e. let them bring forth their ancient predictions or dispensations pointing at future events, that we may consider them, and compare them with the event, and see how they prove in the latter end, see how they come out in the event of things. This is confirmed by ver. 26. “Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and before time, that we may say, He is righteous?” i. e. that we may acknowledge that his cause is good, and that he is to be justified in his pretences; for here God is calling of them to come near together with him to judgment, that it may be tried who can best make out their pretences to divinity and claims of divine honours: see ver. 1. and 21. This is further manifest by chap. xlii. 9. “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” And xliii. 9, 10. “Let all nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled, who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses;” i. e. let them bring forth their witnesses, that such and such things they foretold, or by some dispensation of theirs showed their foreknowledge of such and such events; and that the events exactly agreed with the prediction. Producing witnesses, that they may be justified, is a form of speech still alluding to a coming together in judgment. See also ver. 10, 11, 12. and chap. xliv. 6, 7, 8. xlv. 21, 22. xlvi. 9, 10. xlviii. 3, 4,. &c.

[331] Isa. xli. 25. “I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come; from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name; and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.” Probably some respect may be here had to Cyrus, who came from the north-east, being sent by the king of Media to destroy Babylon; and so this place seems parallel with chap. xliv. 28. xlv. 1 and 13. But yet the Holy Ghost seems principally to have an eye here to some other prince, an antitype of Cyrus, that shall come from the north-east to destroy the spiritual Babylon, or antiChristian church, which shall be raised up at the time when that glory shall be accomplished for the church that is here prophesied of in this chapter, and the foregoing and following chapters. The chief of them that are called the kings of the east, that are represented as coming to destroy the spiritual Babylon on the drying up of the river Euphrates, in Rev. xvi. 12. as Cyrus and other princes of the east had their way prepared to destroy the literal Babylon on the drying up of the literal river Euphrates, and probably the emperor of Muscovy. This better agrees with the context, which evidently speaks of the glorious times of the church of God, and it better agrees with the words themselves, that speak of the person that shall be raised up as one that shall call on God’s name, which was not fully accomplished in Cyrus, though he showed great respect to the true God; yet never properly became a worshipper of the true God, but lived and died an idolater: and it better agrees with the following words, which speak of the glory of God in foretelling this thing so long aforehand.

The princes that the emperors of Muscovy shall probably come upon as mortar, are those two great princes that the devil has set up in opposition to Christ, viz. the emperor of the Turks and the pope. The emperor of the Turks first, so drying up the river Euphrates; and then the pope, when his way is thus prepared. The princes of these very countries, whose former princes overthrew the literal Babylon, will be joined with the princes of Muscovy, as they have of late been in war with the Turks.

[79] Isa. xlii. 3. “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.” The thing most directly intended in this verse seems to be the perseverance of the Christian church, and of particular saints; the church shall not be extinct, though it shall be greatly oppressed and persecuted, and shall be as a bruised reed, but it shall not be wholly broken; when once the fire is kindled it shall never be quenched; but though it do but just smoke at first, afterwards it shall flame out; it shall be as a grain of mustard-seed that by degrees shall become a great tree, or as the little leaven that was hidden in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened, or as the stone out of the mountain. Though the church sometimes be so oppressed that it is hardly visible, we can hardly see whether there be any fire or no, but only the smoke; yet it shall never be wholly destroyed. The same may be applied to particular saints, for he that has begun a good work in them shall carry it on to the day of Christ.

[479] Isa. xlii. 8. “I am the Lord Jehovah, that is my name, and my glory I will not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” Concerning this text, these things may be remarked confirming the divinity of Christ.

1. The name Jehovah is a peculiar name of the true God. See also Psalm lxxxiii. 18. “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.”

2. That the name Jehovah here spoken of, is often undeniably given to Christ, as is not denied by Arians themselves. It is given in this very book; see chap. vi. 1,. &c. compared with John xii. 41.

3. God says expressly concerning Christ, who is called the Angel of the Lord, ”My Name is in him,” and therefore he requires the children of Israel to obey his voice.

4. He is often called ”the Name of God.

5. The glory of the Lord was given to him; so that glory with which the angel of the Lord was wont to appear, was in a peculiar manner called the glory of the Lord.

6. He is himself often called the glory of the Lord. The apostle expressly says, he is “the brightness of God’s glory.”

[255] Isa. li. 9. “Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon.” The word Rahab here is not the same with Rahab the harlot in Joshua: that is Rachab with n; this is with n. The word signifies pride, probably so called from the exceeding pride that the Egyptians manifested in the time here spoken, viz. when God cut or broke that land, and wounded the dragon; the task-masters of the Israelites and Pharaoh the dragon, here spoken of, manifested an exceeding haughtiness of spirit, in so standing it out with God, who appeared in such awful judgments against them. On this account Egypt is the more fit type of the antiChristian church, that is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt; and Pharaoh the dragon, here spoken of, the fitter type of the great red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and the pope his image.

[108] Isa. lii. 7. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings!’’ Jerusalem was compassed round with mountains, and therefore he that brought tidings to Zion must come over the mountains, and as he was coming over might therefore be seen in the city. The like expression is in Nahum i. 15.

[78] Isa. liii. 1, 2. “To whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? for he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,” &c. That He that the prophet speaks of, as it is most natural to understand, is the arm of the Lord, spoken of in the first verse, and in the two foregoing chapters, as in the 5th and 9th verses of the 51st chap. and in the 10th verse of the 52d,. who is the same as his servant spoken of in the three last verses of that chapter. Hereby two things are evident:

1. That He that is the subject of this chapter, is no mere man, as the Jews suppose: this is evident by the 9th and 10th verses of the 51st chapter.; and,

2. By the same verse it is evident that it was Christ, the second person of the Trinity, that went before Israel when 763they came out of Egypt. God calls his son his arm, as Jacob calls his son his right hand. Genesis xxxv. 18.

[15] Isa. liii. 12. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong.” Intending at least partly that Christ’s portion should be the most perfect and glorious kingdom of the earth, the most wise, opulent, and learned nations of the world. Ps. xlv. 12. “And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift, even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour.” Isa. lx. 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.” Ps. lxxii. 10. “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.”

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