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The Good News of Deliverance

61

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and release to the prisoners;

2

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

3

to provide for those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a garland instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.


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Isa 61:1-11. Messiah's Offices: Restoration of Israel.

Messiah announces His twofold commission to bring gospel mercy at His first coming, and judgments on unbelievers and comfort to Zion at His second coming (Isa 61:1-9); the language can be applied to Isaiah, comforting by his prophecies the exiles in Babylon, only in a subordinate sense.

1. is upon me; because … hath anointed me—quoted by Jesus as His credentials in preaching (Lu 4:18-21). The Spirit is upon Me in preaching, because Jehovah hath anointed Me from the womb (Lu 1:35), and at baptism, with the Spirit "without measure," and permanently "abiding" on Me (Isa 11:2; Joh 1:32; 3:34; Ps 45:7; with which compare 1Ki 1:39, 40; 19:16; Ex 29:7). "Anointed" as Messiah, Prophet, Priest, and King.

good tidings—as the word "gospel" means.

the meek—rather, "the poor," as Lu 4:18 has it; that is, those afflicted with calamity, poor in circumstances and in spirit (Mt 11:5).

proclaim liberty—(Joh 8:31-36). Language drawn from the deliverance of the Babylonian captives, to describe the deliverance from sin and death (Heb 2:15); also from the "liberty proclaimed" to all bond-servants in the year of jubilee (Isa 61:2; Le 25:10; Jer 34:8, 9).

opening of the prison—The Hebrew rather is, "the most complete opening," namely, of the eyes to them that are bound, that is, deliverance from prison, for captives are as it were blind in the darkness of prison (Isa 14:17; 35:5; 42:7) [Ewald]. So Lu 4:18 and the Septuagint interpret it; Lu 4:18, under inspiration, adds to this, for the fuller explanation of the single clause in the Hebrew, "to set at liberty them that are bruised"; thus expressing the double "opening" implied; namely, that of the eyes (Joh 9:39), and that of the prison (Ro 6:18; 7:24, 25; Heb 2:15). His miracles were acted parables.

2. acceptable year—the year of jubilee on which "liberty was proclaimed to the captives" (Isa 61:1; 2Co 6:2).

day of vengeance—The "acceptable time of grace" is a "year"; the time of "vengeance" but "a day" (so Isa 34:8; 63:4; Mal 4:1). Jesus (Lu 4:20, 21) "closed the book" before this clause; for the interval from His first to His second coming is "the acceptable year"; the day of vengeance" will not be till He comes again (2Th 1:7-9).

our God—The saints call Him "our God"; for He cometh to "avenge" them (Re 6:10; 19:2).

all that mourn—The "all" seems to include the spiritual Israelite mourners, as well as the literal, who are in Isa 61:3 called "them that mourn in Zion," and to whom Isa 57:18 refers.

3. To appoint … to give—The double verb, with the one and the same accusative, imparts glowing vehemence to the style.

beauty for ashes—There is a play on the sound and meaning of the Hebrew words, peer, epher, literally, "ornamental headdress" or tiara (Eze 24:17), worn in times of joy, instead of a headdress of "ashes," cast on the head in mourning (2Sa 13:19).

oil of joy—Perfumed ointment was poured on the guests at joyous feasts (Ps 23:5; 45:7, 8; Am 6:6). On occasions of grief its use was laid aside (2Sa 14:2).

garment of praise—bright-colored garments, indicative of thankfulness, instead of those that indicate despondency, as sackcloth (Joh 16:20).

trees of righteousnessHebrew, terebinth trees; symbolical of men strong in righteousness, instead of being, as heretofore, bowed down as a reed with sin and calamity (Isa 1:29, 30; 42:3; 1Ki 14:15; Ps 1:3; 92:12-14; Jer 17:8).

planting of … Lord—(See on Isa 60:21).

that he might be glorified—(Joh 15:8).




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