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Verse 27. For it is written. This passage is found in Isa 44:1. For an exposition of its meaning as it occurs there, see my Notes on Isaiah. The object of the apostle in introducing it here seems to be to prove that the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, would partake of the privileges connected with the heavenly Jerusalem. He had in the previous verse spoken of the Jerusalem from above as the common mother of ALL true Christians, whether by birth Jews or Gentiles. This might be disputed or doubted by the Jews; and he therefore adduces this proof from the Old Testament. Or if it was not doubted, still the quotation was pertinent, and would illustrate the sentiment which he had just uttered. The mention of Jerusalem as a mother seems to have suggested this text. Isaiah had spoken of Jerusalem as a female that had been long desolate and childless, now rejoicing by a large accession from the Gentile world, and increased in numbers like a female who should have more children than one who had been long married. To this Paul appropriately refers when he says that the whole church, Jews and Gentiles, were the children of the heavenly Jerusalem, represented here as a rejoicing mother. He has not quoted literally from the Hebrew, but he has used the Septuagint version, and has retained the sense. The sense is, that the accession from the Gentile world would be far more numerous than the Jewish people had ever been—a prophecy that has been already fulfilled.

Rejoice thou barren that bearest not. As a woman who has had no children would rejoice. This represents probably the heathen world, as having been apparently forsaken and abandoned, and with whom there had been none of the true children of God.

Break forth and cry. Or, "break forth and exclaim;" i.e., break out into loud and glad exclamations at the remarkable accession. The cry here referred to was to be a joyful cry or shout; the language of exultation. So the Hebrew word in Isa 44:1,



For the desolate. She who was desolate and apparently forsaken. It literally refers to a woman who had seemed to be desolate and forsaken, who was unmarried. In Isaiah it may refer to Jerusalem, long forsaken and desolate, or as some suppose to the Gentile world. See Barnes "Isa 44:1".


Than she which hath an husband. Perhaps referring to the Jewish people as in covenant with God, and often spoken of as married to him, Isa 62:4,6; 44:5.


{b} "it is written" Isa 44:1

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