Isa 56:1-12. The Preparation
Needed on the Part of Those Who Wish to Be Admitted to the Kingdom of
1. judgment—equity. John the Baptist
preached similarly a return to righteousness, as needed to prepare men
for Messiah's first coming (Lu 3:3, 8-14). So it shall be before the second
coming (Mal 4:4-6).
near to come—(Mt 3:2; 4:17), also as to the second coming
(Isa 62:10, 11; Lu 21:28, 31; Ro 13:11,
12; Heb 10:25).
righteousness—answering to "salvation"
in the parallel clause; therefore it means righteousness which
bringeth salvation (Isa 46:13; Ro 3:25, 26).
2. (Lu 12:43).
the man—Hebrew, enosh, "a man
in humble life," in contradistinction to Hebrew, ish, "one of
high rank." Even the humblest, as "the stranger" and "the eunuch"
56:4, 6), are admissible to
this … it—what follows: "keeping
the Sabbath," &c. (Isa 58:13, 14; Eze 20:12). A proof that the Sabbath, in the
spirit of its obligation, was to be binding under the Gospel
66:23). That gospel times are
referred to is plain, from the blessing not being pronounced on the man
who observed the sacrificial ritual of the Jewish law.
layeth hold—image from one grasping
firmly some precious object which he is afraid of having forcibly
snatched from him. The "Sabbath" here includes all the ordinances of
divine worship under the new gospel law.
keepeth … hand … from …
evil—The observance of the second table of the law; as the
"Sabbath" referred to the first table. Together, they form the whole
duty of man, the worship of God and a holy life.
3. God welcomes all believers, without
distinction of persons, under the new economy (Ac 10:34, 35).
joined … to … Lord—(Nu 18:4, 7). "Proselytes."
separated—Proselytes from the Gentiles
were not admitted to the same privileges as native Israelites. This
barrier between Jews and Gentiles was to be broken down (Eph 2:14-16).
eunuch—(Ac 8:27, &c.). Eunuchs were chamberlains
over harems, or court ministers in general.
dry tree—barren (compare Lu 23:31); not admissible into the congregation
of Israel (De 23:1-3).
Under the Gospel the eunuch and stranger should be released from
religious and civil disabilities.
4. please me—sacrifice their own
pleasure to mine.
take hold—so "layeth hold" (see on Isa 56:2).
5. in mine house—the temple, the emblem
of the Church (1Ti 3:15).
They shall no longer be confined as proselytes were, to the outer
court, but shall be admitted "into the holiest" (Heb 10:19, 20).
a place—literally, "a hand."
than of sons—Though the eunuch is
barren of children (Isa 56:3), I
will give him a more lasting name than that of being father of sons and
daughters (regarded as a high honor among the Hebrews) (Joh 1:12; 10:3; 1Jo 3:1; Re 2:17; 3:12).
6. join … Lord—(Jer 50:6). Conditions of admission to the
privileges of adoption.
7. Even them—(Eph 2:11-13).
to my holy mountain—Jerusalem, the
seat of the Lord's throne in His coming kingdom (Isa 2:2; Jer
burnt offerings …
sacrifices—spiritual, of which the literal were types (Ro 12:1; Heb 13:15; 1Pe 2:5).
altar—(Heb 13:10), spiritually, the Cross of Christ,
which sanctifies our sacrifices of prayer and praise.
house … for all people—or
rather, "peoples." No longer restricted to one favored people
(Mal 1:11; Joh 4:21, 23; 1Ti 2:8). To be fully realized at the second
coming (Isa 2:2-4).
No longer literal, but spiritual sacrifice, namely, "prayer" shall be
offered (Ps 141:2; 51:17; Mal 1:11; Mt 21:13).
8. Jehovah will not only restore the scattered
outcasts of Israel (Isa 11:12; Ps 147:2) to their own land, but "will gather
others ('strangers') to him (Israel), besides those gathered"
(Margin, "to his gathered"; that is, in addition to the
Israelites collected from their dispersion), (Joh
10:16; Eph 1:10; 2:19).
9. beasts—Gentile idolatrous nations
hostile to the Jews, summoned by God to chastise them (Jer
12:7-9; 50:17; Eze 34:5): the
Chaldeans and subsequently the Romans. The mention of the "outcasts of
Israel" (Isa 56:8)
brings in view the outcasting, caused by the sins of their rulers
to devour—namely, Israel.
10. His watchmen—Israel's spiritual
leaders (Isa 62:6; Eze 3:17).
dumb dogs—image from bad shepherds'
watchdogs, which fail to give notice, by barking, of the approach of
sleeping, lying down—rather,
"dreamers, sluggards" [Lowth]. Not
merely sleeping inactive, but under visionary
loving to slumber—not merely
slumbering involuntarily, but loving it.
11. greedy—literally, "strong" (that is,
insatiable) in appetite (Eze 34:2, 3; Mic 3:11).
cannot understand—unable to comprehend
the wants of the people, spiritually: so Isa 56:10, "cannot bark."
look to … own way—that is, their
own selfish interests; not to the spiritual welfare of the people
(Jer 6:13; Eze 22:27).
from his quarter—rather, "from the
highest to the lowest" [Lowth]. "From
his quarter"; that is, from one end to the other of them, one and
12. fetch wine—language of the national
teachers challenging one another to drink. Barnes translates, "I will take another cup" (Isa 5:11).
self-indulgence was habitual and intentional: not merely
they drink, but they mean to continue so.