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Peace and Security through Obedience


In days to come

the mountain of the L ord’s house

shall be established as the highest of the mountains,

and shall be raised up above the hills.

Peoples shall stream to it,


and many nations shall come and say:

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the L ord,

to the house of the God of Jacob;

that he may teach us his ways

and that we may walk in his paths.”

For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,

and the word of the L ord from Jerusalem.


He shall judge between many peoples,

and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;

they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks;

nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

neither shall they learn war any more;


but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,

and no one shall make them afraid;

for the mouth of the L ord of hosts has spoken.



For all the peoples walk,

each in the name of its god,

but we will walk in the name of the L ord our God

forever and ever.


Restoration Promised after Exile


In that day, says the L ord,

I will assemble the lame

and gather those who have been driven away,

and those whom I have afflicted.


The lame I will make the remnant,

and those who were cast off, a strong nation;

and the L ord will reign over them in Mount Zion

now and forevermore.



And you, O tower of the flock,

hill of daughter Zion,

to you it shall come,

the former dominion shall come,

the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.



Now why do you cry aloud?

Is there no king in you?

Has your counselor perished,

that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor?


Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion,

like a woman in labor;

for now you shall go forth from the city

and camp in the open country;

you shall go to Babylon.

There you shall be rescued,

there the L ord will redeem you

from the hands of your enemies.



Now many nations

are assembled against you,

saying, “Let her be profaned,

and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”


But they do not know

the thoughts of the L ord;

they do not understand his plan,

that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.


Arise and thresh,

O daughter Zion,

for I will make your horn iron

and your hoofs bronze;

you shall beat in pieces many peoples,

and shall devote their gain to the L ord,

their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.


Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion; for I have made thy horn 136136     Horn, in Scripture, means often elevation, dignity, power, strength. It means evidently in the last here. Zion was made strong to thrash the nations, and supplied with strong hoofs to tread on them. The Paraphrase of Rabbi Jonathan is to the purpose, Fortes sicut ferrum, et robusti sicut aes — “Strong as iron, and robust as brass.” And that this is the meaning is proved by what follows, Thou shalt beat in pieces, or beat small, or thrash out, strong nations.Ed. iron, and thy hoofs brass. The Prophet here confirms what he had previously said: and he exhorts the daughter of Zion to arise; for it was necessary for her to have been cast down, so as to lie prostrate on the ground. God did not indeed restore at once his Church, but afflicted her for a time, so that she differed nothing from a dead man. As then a dead body lies on the ground without any feeling, so also did the Church of God lie prostrate. This is the reason why the Prophet now says, Arise, daughter of Zion; as though God, by his voice, roused the dead. We hence see, that the word קומי, kumi, is emphatical; for the Prophet reminds us, that there is no reason for the faithful wholly to despair, when they find themselves thus cast down, for their restoration is in the hand and power of God, as it is the peculiar office of God to raise the dead. And this same truth ought to be applied for our us, whenever we are so cast down, that no strength, no vigor, remains in us. How then can we rise again? By the power of God, who by his voice alone can restore us to life, which seemed to be wholly extinct.

He afterwards subjoins, Thresh, for I have made thy horn iron, and thy hoofs brass. A mode of thrashing, we know, was in use among the Jews the same with that in Italy and at this day in French Provence. We here thrash the corn with flails; but there by treading. The Prophet speaks here of this custom, and compares the Church of God to oxen; as though he said “The Jews shall be like oxen with iron horns and brazen hoofs that they may lay prostrate under them the whole strength of the nations. However much then the nations may now excel, I will subject them under the feet of my people, as if sheaves were thrashed by them.”

He then adds, 137137     It is not often that Calvin passes over a sentence without noticing it, but he does so here; and it is this, and thou shalt tear in pieces strong nations. The verb is הדקות, thou shalt beat small, or thrash out; see Isaiah 28:28; perhaps the latter sense is most suitable to the passage. The meaning is, that a complete subjugation will take place. To thrash and to thrash out, is to conquer and to bring thoroughly under subjection. — Ed. And thou shalt separate or consecrate their wealth to Jehovah, and their substance 138138     The Hebrew word for this is חיל, and for “wealth” בצע. The latter means gain, spoil, or what is often unjustly got, or what is scraped together and constitutes the wealth of the covetous; חיל is properly substance, including possessions of all kinds, land, cattle, etc. בצע serves to include money, silver and gold; and חיל, everything else which makes up wealth.
   The verb, “consecrate,” is in Hebrew in the first person, as it is in our version. There is no different reading; but the Septuagint and the earlier versions put it in the second person, to correspond with the previous verb, “Thou shalt beat in pieces.” There will be no difference in the sense, if we render it according to the Hiphil form, in which it is found, — “I will cause thee to consecrate.” Jerome, Theodoret, Marckius, Dathius, Newcome, and Henderson, adopt the second person. — This construction renders the passage no doubt more uniform. — Ed.
to the Lord of the whole earth Here the Prophet specifies the end for which God had purposed to subject the heathen nations to his chosen people, — that he might be glorified. This is the meaning. But they have refined too much in allegories, who have thought that this prophecy ought to be confined to the time of Christ: for the Prophet no doubt meant to extend consolation to the whole kingdom of Christ, from the beginning to the end. Others, not more correctly, say, that this is to be referred to the Babylonian captivity because then Daniel and some others thrashed the people, when heathen kings were induced through their teaching to restore the temple, and also to offer some worship to the God of Israel. But on this point they are both mistaken, because they take the word thrashing in a different sense from the Prophet; for it commonly means that heathen nations are to be subjected to the Church of God: and this takes place, whenever God stretches forth his hand to the faithful, and suffers not the ungodly to exercise their cruelty as they wish; yea, when he makes them humbly to supplicate the faithful. This often happens in the world, as it is written of Christ, ‘thy enemies shall lick the earth,’ (Psalm 72:9.) But this prophecy shall not be fulfilled until the last coming of Christ. We indeed begin to tread on our enemies whenever God by his power destroys them, or at least causes them to tremble and to be cast down, as we find that they dread whenever any change takes place; and then they blandly profess that they desire to serve God. So at this day it has happened both in France and in Italy. How many hypocrites, for the sake of an earthly advantage, have submitted themselves to God? and how many such England produced when the Gospel flourished there? All the courtiers, and others who were unwilling to incur the displeasure of the king, professed themselves to be the very best lovers of religion. (optimos pietatis cultores, — the best observers of piety) But yet this is ever the case,

‘Aliens have been false to thee,’ (Psalm 18:44.)

We hence see what the prophet means when he speaks of thrashing: he intimates, that the Lord would often cause that the enemies of the Church should be bruised, though no one crushed them: but, as I have said, we must look forward to the last day, if we wish to see the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.

He afterwards adds, Thou shalt consecrate their wealth to Jehovah, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth The Prophet shows here, that the dominion is not to be hoped for by the children of God, that they may abound in worldly pleasures, and appropriate every thing to themselves and also abuse their power, as ungodly men are wont to do; but that all is to be applied to the worship and the glory of God. For what purpose, then does God design his Church to become eminent? That he himself may alone shine forth, and that the faithful may rightly enjoy their honor, and not become thereby proud. There is, therefore nothing more alien to the power of the Church than pride, or cruelty, or avarice. This, then that is said ought to be carefully observed, their wealth thou shalt consecrate to Jehovah He had spoken before of power, “Thou shalt bind strong people, thou shalt thrash them, and thou shalt tread them under thy feet;” but lest the faithful should turn all this to a purpose the Lord had not designed, a most suitable correction is immediately added, and that is, that this power shall not be exercised according to the will of men, but according to the will of God: Thou shalt then consecrate, etc.; and he uses the word חרם, cherem, which means to make a thing an anathema or an offering; 139139     The word is very emphatic; it means to devote a thing to a purpose forever, so as to be unchangeably settled. חרם, says Parkhurst, “is anything separated absolutely from its common condition and devoted to Jehovah, so as to be incapable of redemption. See Leviticus 27:21, 28, 29. As a verb in Hiph. To separate or devote thus to Jehovah. Leviticus 27:28, 29; Micah 4:12.” It is therefore a sacrilege to take merely to our own use what ought to be, or what we have, thus consecrated to the Lord. — Ed. as though he said “God will raise his Church that it may rule over its enemies; but let the faithful at the same time take heed, that they rule not tyrannically; for God designs ever to reign alone: therefore the whole excellency, the whole dignity, the whole power of the Church ought to be applied for this end, — that all things may become subject to God, and every thing among the nations may be altogether sacred to him so that the worship of God may flourish among the conquerors, as well as among the conquered.” We now perceive the Prophet’s object in speaking of consecrating the wealth of the nations. Now follows —

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