Isa 54:1-17. The Fruit of
Messiah's Sufferings, and of Israel's Final Penitence at Her Past
Unbelief (Isa 53:6):
Her Joyful Restoration and Enlargement by
Jehovah, Whose Wrath Was Momentary, but
His Kindness Everlasting.
Israel converted is compared to a wife (Isa 54:5; Isa
62:5) put away for
unfaithfulness, but now forgiven and taken home again. The converted
Gentiles are represented as a new progeny of the long-forsaken but now
restored wife. The pre-eminence of the Hebrew Church as the mother
Church of Christendom is the leading idea; the conversion of the
Gentiles is mentioned only as part of her felicity [Horsley].
1. Sing—for joy (Zep 3:14).
barren—the Jewish Church once forsaken
by God, and therefore during that time destitute of spiritual children
didst not bear—during the Babylonian
exile primarily. Secondarily, and chiefly, during Israel's present
the children—the Gentiles adopted by
special grace into the original Church (Isa 54:3; Isa 49:20, 21).
than … married wife—than were
her spiritual children, when Israel was still a married wife (under the
law, before the Babylonian exile), before God put her away [Maurer]. So Paul contrasts the universal
Church of the New Testament with the Church of the Old Testament legal
dispensation, quoting this very passage (Ga 4:27). But the full accomplishment of it is
2. (Isa 49:19, 20; Jer
31:31-36, 38, 39). Thy
children shall be so many that thy borders must be extended to contain
curtains—the cloth forming the
covering of the tent.
spare not—give abundantly the means
for the enlargement of the Church (2Co 9:5-7).
cords … stakes—The more the tent
is enlarged by lengthening the cords by which the cloth covering is
fastened to the ground, the more the stakes supporting the tent need to
be strengthened; the Church is not merely to seek new converts, but to
strengthen those she has in the faith. The image is appropriate, as the
tabernacle was the symbol of the old Israelitish Church (see on Isa 33:20).
3. break forth—rather, "burst forth"
with increase; thy offspring shall grow, answering to "thy seed" in the
thy seed—Israel and her children, as
distinguished from "the Gentiles."
desolate cities—of Israel (Isa 44:26).
4. (Isa 41:10, 14).
shame of thy youth—Israel's
unfaithfulness as wife of Jehovah, almost from her
reproach of widowhood—Israel's
punishment in her consequent dismissal from God and barrenness of
spiritual children in Babylon and her present dispersion (Isa 54:1; Isa 49:21; Jer 3:24, 25; 31:19; Ho
5. (Isa 62:5; Jer 3:14). That God was Israel's "Maker," both as
individuals and as the theocratic kingdom, is the pledge of assurance
that He will be her Redeemer (Isa 43:1-3). Hebrew, "makers …
husbands"; plural for singular, to denote
of Israel … whole earth—Not
until He manifests Himself as God of Israel shall He appear as
God of the whole earth (Ps 102:13, 15, 16; Zec
6. called—that is, recalled: the
prophetic past for the future.
forsaken—that had been
when thou—or, "when she was
rejected"; one who had been a wife of youth (Eze 16:8,
22, 60; Jer 2:2) at the time
when (thou, or) she was rejected for infidelity [Maurer]. "A wife of youth but afterwards
7. small moment—as compared with
Israel's coming long prosperity (Isa 26:20; 60:10). So the spiritual Israel (Ps 30:5; 2Co
gather thee—to Myself from thy
8. In a little wrath—rather, "In the
overflowing of wrath"; as Pr 27:4,
Margin, [Gesenius]. The wrath,
though but "for a moment," was overflowing while it lasted.
hid … face—(Isa 8:17; Ps
everlasting—in contrast to "for a
9. I am about to do the same in this instance
as in Noah's flood. As I swore then that it should not return (Ge 8:21;
9:11), and I kept that
promise, so I swear now to My people, and will perform My promise, that
there shall be no return of the deluge of My wrath upon them. Lowth, on insufficient authority, reads (the
same will I do now as), "in the days of Noah."
10. (Isa 51:6; Ps 89:33,
34; Ro 11:29).
covenant of my peace—(2Sa 23:5). The covenant whereby I have made thee
at peace with Me.
11. not comforted—by anyone; none gave
her help or comfort.
lay … with fair colours—rather,
"lay … in cement of vermilion" [Lowth]. The Hebrew for "fair colors" means
stibium, the paint with which Eastern women painted their
eyelids and eyelashes (2Ki 9:30).
The very cement shall be of the most beautiful color (Re 21:18-21).
12. windows—rather, "battlements";
literally, "suns"; applied to battlements from their radiated
gems"; the carbuncle when held to the sun becomes like a burning
all thy borders—rather, "thy whole
circuit," consisting of precious stones. The glory of the Church
on earth, when the Hebrew Church, according to the original design,
shall be the metropolis of Christendom.
13. Quoted by the Saviour (Joh 6:45), to prove that in order to come to Him,
men must be "drawn" by the Father. So Jer 31:34; Mic 4:2; 1Co 2:10; Heb 8:10; 10:16; 1Jo
great … peace—generally (Ps 119:165). Specially referring to the
peaceful prosperity which shall prevail under Messiah in the
latter days (Isa 2:4, 9:6).
14. righteousness—the characteristic of
the reign of Messiah (Isa 11:4, 5; Ps 72:2, 4; Re
far from oppression, &c.—far from
suffering oppression; "for thou shall have nothing to fear."
15. gather together, &c.—that is, If
it should happen that enemies "gather together" against thee (Ps 2:2), they will not have been sent
by Me (compare Ho 8:4) as
instruments of My wrath (nay, it will be with My disapproval);
for "whosoever shall gather together," &c. (Ps 59:3).
fall for thy sake—rather, "shall come
over to thy side" [Lowth]. Literally,
"fall to thee" (Jer 21:9; 39:9). To be fully fulfilled to
Jerusalem hereafter (Zec 14:16).
16. The workman that forms "weapons against
54:17) is wholly in My power,
therefore thou needest not fear, having Me on thy side.
for his work—rather, "by his labor
[Horsley]. "According to the exigencies
of his work" [Maurer].
waster to destroy—(Isa
10:5-7; 37:26, 27; 45:1-6).
Desolating conquerors who use the "instruments" framed by "the smith."
The repetition of the "I" implies, however, something in the latter
half of the verse contrasted with the former understand it, therefore,
thus: "I have in My power both him who frames arms and him who destroys
them (arms)" [Rosenmuller].
17. tongue … condemn—image from a
court of justice. Those who desire to "condemn" thee thou shalt
"condemn" (Ex 11:7; Jos 10:21; Ps 64:8; Ro 8:1, 33).
righteousness … of me—(Isa 45:24;
46:13). Rather, "(this is)
their justification from Me." Their enemies would "condemn" them, but I
justify and vindicate them, and so they condemn their enemies.