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Blessings in Store for God’s People

51

Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,

you that seek the Lord.

Look to the rock from which you were hewn,

and to the quarry from which you were dug.

2

Look to Abraham your father

and to Sarah who bore you;

for he was but one when I called him,

but I blessed him and made him many.

3

For the Lord will comfort Zion;

he will comfort all her waste places,

and will make her wilderness like Eden,

her desert like the garden of the Lord;

joy and gladness will be found in her,

thanksgiving and the voice of song.

 

4

Listen to me, my people,

and give heed to me, my nation;

for a teaching will go out from me,

and my justice for a light to the peoples.

5

I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,

my salvation has gone out

and my arms will rule the peoples;

the coastlands wait for me,

and for my arm they hope.

6

Lift up your eyes to the heavens,

and look at the earth beneath;

for the heavens will vanish like smoke,

the earth will wear out like a garment,

and those who live on it will die like gnats;

but my salvation will be forever,

and my deliverance will never be ended.

 


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Isa 51:1-23. Encouragement to the Faithful Remnant of Israel to Trust in God for Deliverance, Both from Their Long Babylonian Exile, and from Their Present Dispersion.

1. me—the God of your fathers.

ye … follow after righteousness—the godly portion of the nation; Isa 51:7 shows this (Pr 15:9; 1Ti 6:11). "Ye follow righteousness," seek it therefore from Me, who "bring it near," and that a righteousness "not about to be abolished" (Isa 51:6, 7); look to Abraham, your father (Isa 51:2), as a sample of how righteousness before Me is to be obtained; I, the same God who blessed him, will bless you at last (Isa 51:3); therefore trust in Me, and fear not man's opposition (Isa 51:7, 8, 12, 13). The mistake of the Jews, heretofore, has been, not in that they "followed after righteousness," but in that they followed it "by the works of the law," instead of "by faith," as Abraham did (Ro 9:31, 32; 10:3, 4; 4:2-5).

hole of … pit—The idea is not, as it is often quoted, the inculcation of humility, by reminding men of the fallen state from which they have been taken, but that as Abraham, the quarry, as it were (compare Isa 48:1), whence their nation was hewn, had been called out of a strange land to the inheritance of Canaan, and blessed by God, the same God is able to deliver and restore them also (compare Mt 3:9).

2. alone—translate, "I called him when he was but one" (Eze 33:24). The argument is: the same God who had so blessed "one" individual, as to become a mighty nation (Ge 12:1; 22:7), can also increase and bless the small remnant of Israel, both that left in the Babylonish captivity, and that left in the present and latter days (Zec 14:2); "the residue" (Isa 13:8, 9).

3. For—See for the argument, see on Isa 51:2.

the garden of the Lord—restoration of the primeval paradise (Ge 2:8; Eze 28:13; Re 2:7).

melodyHebrew, "psalm." God's praises shall again be heard.

4. my people—the Jews. This reading is better than that of Gesenius: "O peoples … nations," namely, the Gentiles. The Jews are called on to hear and rejoice in the extension of the true religion to the nations; for, at the first preaching of the Gospel, as in the final age to come, it was from Jerusalem that the gospel law was, and is, to go forth (Isa 2:3).

law … judgment—the gospel dispensation and institutions (Isa 42:1, "judgment").

make … to rest—establish firmly; found.

light, &c.—(Isa 42:6).

5. righteousness … near—that is, faithful fulfilment of the promised deliverance, answering to "salvation" in the parallel clause (Isa 46:13; 56:1; Ro 10:8, 9). Ye follow after "righteousness"; seek it therefore, from Me, and you will not have far to go for it (Isa 51:1).

arms—put for Himself; I by My might.

judge—(Isa 2:3, 4; Ps 98:9).

isles, &c.—(Isa 60:9).

arm—(Ro 1:16), "the power of God unto (the Gentiles as well as the Jews) salvation."

6. (Isa 40:6, 8; Ps 102:26; Heb 1:11, 12).

vanish away—literally, "shall be torn asunder," as a garment [Maurer]; which accords with the context.

in like manner—But Gesenius, "Like a gnat"; like the smallest and vilest insect. Jerome translates, as English Version, and infers that "in like manner" as man, the heavens (that is, the sky) and earth are not to be annihilated, but changed for the better (Isa 65:17).

righteousness—My faithfully fulfilled promise (see on Isa 51:5).




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