a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

The Covenant Extended to All Who Obey


Thus says the L ord:

Maintain justice, and do what is right,

for soon my salvation will come,

and my deliverance be revealed.



Happy is the mortal who does this,

the one who holds it fast,

who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,

and refrains from doing any evil.



Do not let the foreigner joined to the L ord say,

“The L ord will surely separate me from his people”;

and do not let the eunuch say,

“I am just a dry tree.”


For thus says the L ord:

To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,

who choose the things that please me

and hold fast my covenant,


I will give, in my house and within my walls,

a monument and a name

better than sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name

that shall not be cut off.



And the foreigners who join themselves to the L ord,

to minister to him, to love the name of the L ord,

and to be his servants,

all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,

and hold fast my covenant—


these I will bring to my holy mountain,

and make them joyful in my house of prayer;

their burnt offerings and their sacrifices

will be accepted on my altar;

for my house shall be called a house of prayer

for all peoples.


Thus says the Lord G od,

who gathers the outcasts of Israel,

I will gather others to them

besides those already gathered.


The Corruption of Israel’s Rulers


All you wild animals,

all you wild animals in the forest, come to devour!


Israel’s sentinels are blind,

they are all without knowledge;

they are all silent dogs

that cannot bark;

dreaming, lying down,

loving to slumber.


The dogs have a mighty appetite;

they never have enough.

The shepherds also have no understanding;

they have all turned to their own way,

to their own gain, one and all.


“Come,” they say, “let us get wine;

let us fill ourselves with strong drink.

And tomorrow will be like today,

great beyond measure.”


10. Her watchmen are blind. He now assigns the reason why the people must be destroyed. It is because they are governed by wicked princes and pastors; not that he wishes to throw the blame on them alone, and thinks that the people are innocent, but because this was the beginning of the evil. We are not exempted from blame, if we follow blind guides, but, on the contrary, are justly punished for our transgressions; for the Lord takes away good guides from those whom he intends to punish for their ingratitude.

By the word “Watchmen” 100100     “The prophets are called ‘Watchmen,’ (Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; 33:2, 6, 7; Isaiah 52:8) because it is their duty to see far, and to look out, and carefully to observe the evils, and the causes of the evils which may be pernicious to the people. The metaphor is drawn from guards or military sentinels, who, being placed on the watch-towers of fortified cities, carefully attend to everything that may bring mischief on the city.” ­ Rosenmuller. he means not only the prophets, to whom was committed the office of teaching, but likewise judges, princes, and kings, who ought to have governed everything in a proper manner. He includes both kinds of government, that of princes, and that of the ministers of the word, whom the Lord has placed, as the two eyes in the body, to govern the Church. Consequently, if they are wicked or unfaithful, there cannot arise a more destructive plague to a commonwealth.

All are ignorant. First, he reproaches them with want of knowledge; for, as it is the chief excellence of a good shepherd to know his duty, that he may judge what is profitable and what is pernicious to the flock, and to watch laboriously, and to stand, as it were, on a watch­tower, that he may promote their safety in every respect, so nothing is more inconsistent with that office than ignorance and blindness. No man, therefore, will be a good shepherd, unless he understands the right method of governing the people. And hence we see what we ought to think of the idols of our time, who haughtily and insolently boast of the name of shepherds or pastors; for they are untaught and ignorant beasts.

All are dumb dogs. By calling them, secondly, “dumb dogs,” he charges them with slothfulness and indifference; for, since it is the duty of a good shepherd to be industrious and careful, when he calls them slothful and indifferent, he shows that they had nothing about them that ought to belong to a shepherd. Thus, when we are deprived of good shepherds, and when lazy or even savage beasts come in their room, let us acknowledge God’s wrath, and let us know that destruction is not far off; for the Prophet threatens and foretells the ruin of the people, when shepherds are “dumb.”

Hence also it follows, that God appoints them to discharge the office of “dogs,” that is, to keep watch, to drive away robbers and thieves, and not to permit them to enter into the fold. And if dogs are so faithful guardians and so warmly attached to their masters, that they continually watch for their safety, and do not cease to drive away, by barking, those from whom danger is apprehended, shepherds, when they give themselves up to sloth and drowsiness, ought to be ashamed of being surpassed by a brute beast.

VIEWNAME is study