Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX
Chapter XXX
Chapter XXXI
Chapter XXXII
Chapter XXXIII
Chapter XXXIV
Chapter XXXV
Chapter XXXVI
Chapter XXXVII
Chapter XXXIX
Chapter XL
Chapter XLI
Chapter XLII
Chapter XLIII
Chapter XLIV
Chapter XLV
Chapter XLVI
Chapter XLVII
Chapter XLVIII
Chapter XLIX
Chapter L
Chapter LI
Chapter LII
Chapter LIII
Chapter LIV
Chapter LV
Chapter LVI
Chapter LVII
Chapter LVIII
Chapter LIX
Chapter LX
Chapter LXI
Chapter LXII
Chapter LXIII
Chapter LXIV
Chapter LXV
Chapter LXVI

The holy prophets, whose writings are contained in the sacred scripture, are sixteen. Of these Isaiah, is first in place, and, as may seem probable, in time also. But undoubtedly he was cotemporary with Hosea. Compare Isa 1:1, with Hos 1:1. The Jews tell us that he was of the blood royal of Judah. But undoubtedly he was the prince of all the prophets, whether we consider the great extent and variety of his prophecies, the excellency and sublimity of those mysteries which were revealed to him and by him, the majesty and elegancy of his style, or the incomparable liveliness and power of his sermons. He so evidently and fully describes the person, and offices, and sufferings, and kingdom of Christ, that some of the ancients called him the fifth Evangelist. And it is observed, that there are more quotations in the New Testament taken out of Isaiah, than out of all the other prophets.

Chapter I

Judah's sins, ver. 1 - 4. Her judgments, ver. 5 - 9. Her worship is rejected, ver. 10 - 15. Exhortations to repentance, promises of grace and mercy, threatenings of sore judgments, and complaints by reason of their backsliding, ver. 16 - 31

1 Vision - Or, the visions; the word being here collectively used: the sense is, this is the book of the visions or prophecies. As prophets were called Seers, 1Sam 9:9, so prophecies are called visions, because they were as clearly and certainly represented to the prophets minds, as bodily objects are to mens eyes. Saw - Foresaw and foretold. But he speaks, after the manner of the prophets, of things to come, as if they were either past or present. Judah - Principally, but not exclusively. For he prophecies also concerning Egypt and Babylon, and divers other countries; yet with respect to Judah. The days - ln the time of their reign. Whence it may be gathered, that Isaiah exercised his prophetical office above fifty years altogether.
2 Hear - He directs his speech to those senseless creatures, that he might awaken the Israelites, whom he hereby proclaims to be so dull and stupid that they were past hearing, and therefore calls in the whole creation of God to bear witness against them. The Lord - This is his plea against them, of the equity whereof he is willing that all the creatures should be judges.
3 Know - Me their owner and master. Knowing is here taken practically, as it is usually in scripture, and includes reverence and obedience.
4 A seed - The children of wicked parents, whose guilt they inherit, and whose evil example they follow. Corrupters - Heb. that corrupt themselves, or others by their counsel and example. Backward - Instead of proceeding forward and growing in grace.
5 Head - The very head and heart of the body politick, from whence the plague is derived to all the other members.
7 In your presence - Which your eye shall see to torment you, when there is no power in your hands to deliver you. As - Heb. as the overthrow of strangers, that is, which strangers bring upon a land which is not likely to continue in their hands, and therefore they spare no persons, and spoil and destroy all things, which is not usually done in wars between persons of the same, or of a neighbouring nation.
8 Is left - Is left solitary, all the neighbouring villages and country round about it being laid waste.
10 Of Sodom - So called for their resemblance of them in wickedness. The law - The message which I am now to deliver to you from God, your great lawgiver.
11 To me - Who am a spirit, and therefore cannot be satisfied with such carnal oblations, but expect to have your hearts and lives, as well as your bodies and sacrifices, presented unto me. Blood - He mentions the fat and blood, because these were in a peculiar manner reserved for God, to intimate that even the best of their sacrifices were rejected by him.
12 To appear - Upon the three solemn feasts, or upon other occasions. Who required - The thing I commanded, was not only, nor chiefly, that you should offer external sacrifices, but that you should do it with true repentance, with faith in my promises, and sincere resolutions of devoting yourselves to my service.
13 The solemn meeting - The most solemn day of each of the three feasts, which was the last day.
15 Blood - You are guilty of murder, and oppression.
16 Wash - Cleanse your hearts and hands.
17 Learn - Begin to live soberly, righteously, and godly. Judgment - Shew your religion to God, by practising justice to men. Judge - Defend and deliver them.
19 If - If you are fully resolved to obey all my commands. Shall eat - Together with pardon, you shall receive temporal and worldly blessings.
21 The city - Jerusalem, which in the reign of former kings was faithful to God. An harlot - Is filled with idolatry. Murderers - Under that one gross kind, he comprehends all sorts of unrighteous men and practices.
23 Rebellious - Against me their sovereign Lord. Companions of thieves - Partly by giving them connivance and countenance, and partly by practising the same violence, and cruelty, and injustice that thieves used to do. Gifts - That is, bribes given to pervert justice.
25 And purge - I will purge out of thee, those wicked men that are incorrigible, and for those of you that are curable, I will by my word, and by the furnace of affliction, purge out all that corruption that yet remains in you.
26 Thy counsellors - Thy princes shall hearken to wise and faithful counsellors. Called faithful - Thou shalt be such.
27 Redeemed - Shall be delivered from all their enemies and calamities. With - Or, by judgment, that is, by God's righteous judgment, purging out those wicked and incorrigible Jews, and destroying their unmerciful enemies. Converts - Heb. her returners, those of them who shall come out of captivity into their own land. Righteousness - Or, by righteousness, either by my faithfulness, in keeping my promise, or by my goodness.
29 The oaks - Which, after the manner of the Heathen, you have consecrated to idolatrous uses. Gardens - In which, as well is in the groves, they committed idolatry.
31 The strong - Your idols, which you think to be strong and able to defend you. As tow - Shall be as suddenly and easily, consumed by my judgments, as tow is by fire. The maker - Of the idol, who can neither save himself nor his workmanship.

Chapter II

A prophecy of Christ's kingdom, and the calling of the Gentiles, ver. 1 - 5. And rejection of the Jews for their idolatry and pride, ver. 6 - 9. The great majesty and power of God, and his terrors on the wicked; with an exhortation to fear God, and not to trust in man, ver. 10 - 22.

1 The word - Or, the matter or thing, as this Hebrew word commonly signifies; the prophecy or vision.
2 In the last days - In the times of the Messiah. For Christ's institutions were to continue to the end of the world. The mountain - The temple of the Lord which is upon mount Moriah; which yet is not to be understood literally of that material temple, but mystically of the church of God; as appears from the flowing of all nations to it, which was not to that temple, nor indeed was fulfilled 'till that temple was destroyed. Exalted - Shall be placed and settled in a most conspicuous and glorious manner, being advanced above all other churches and kingdoms.
3 The law - The new law, the doctrine of the gospel, which is frequently called a law, because it hath the nature and power of a law, obliging us no less to the belief and practice of it, than the old law did.
4 He - Christ shall set up his authority among all nations, not only giving laws to them, but doing what no other can do, convincing their consciences, changing their hearts, and ordering their lives. Rebuke - By his word and Spirit, convincing the world of sin; and by his judgments upon his implacable enemies, which obstruct the propagation of the gospel.
5 The light - Take heed that you do not reject that light which is so clear that even the blind Gentiles will discern it.
6 Therefore - For the following reasons. Thou - Wilt certainly forsake and reject. Thy people - The body of that nation. Because - Their land is full of the idolatrous manners of the eastern nations, the Syrians and Chaldeans. Philistines - Who were infamous for those practices. They please - They delight in their company, and conversation, making leagues, and friendships, and marriages with them.
7 Treasures - They have heaped up riches, and still are greedily pursuing after more.
9 The great man - Men of all ranks fall down and worship idols.
10 Enter - Such calamities are coming upon you, that you will be ready to hide yourselves in rocks and caves of the earth, for fear of the glorious and terrible judgments of God.
12 The day - The time of God's taking vengeance upon sinners.
13 The cedars - The cedars and oaks on the mountains shall be either thrown down by furious winds or earthquakes, or torn in pieces by thunder and lightning; and the stately houses built with cedars and oaks, shall be destroyed.
14 Hills - To which men used to betake themselves in times of danger.
15 Wall - To which you trusted for your defence.
16 Tarshish - The ships of the sea, as that word is used, Psal 48:7, whereby you fetched riches from the remote parts of the world.
19 They - The idolatrous Israelites.
20 Shall cast - Into the meanest and darkest places, in which moles and bats have their abode.
22 Cease ye - Never admire or place your trust in man. Breath - Whose breath is quickly stopped and taken away. Wherein - What excellency is in him, considered in himself, and without dependence on God?

Chapter III

Great confusion on both people and rulers for their sin and impudence in it, ver. 1 - 9. Peace to the righteous, and misery to the wicked, ver. 10, 11. The oppression and covetousness of the rulers, ver. 12 - 15. The pride of women, and its judgments, ver. 16 - 26.

2 The judge - The civil magistrates. The ancient - Whose wisdom was increased by long experience.
5 Oppressed - By thy command or permission of such childish rulers.
6 Thou hast - We are utterly undone, and have neither food nor raiment; but thou hast something left to support the dignity which we offer to thee. Under thine hand - To heal it.
7 An healer - A repairer of the ruins of the state.
9 The shew - Their pride, and wantonness, and impiety m manifestly shews itself in their very looks. They declare - They act it publickly, casting off all fear of God and reverence to men. Rewarded - Procured a fit recompense for their wickedness, even utter ruin.
10 Say ye - O ye priests and Levites, that God will be their safeguard and portion.
12 Women - Weak and effeminate rulers. They - Thy rulers civil and ecclesiastical.
13 Standeth - He will shortly and certainly stand up as a judge, to enquire into the cause, and to give sentence. To judge - To defend and deliver them.
14 Ancients - The princes or rulers; such were commonly chosen out of those who were in ripe years. Eaten - Destroyed instead of preserving the church and commonwealth of Israel. Spoil - The goods which you have violently taken away from the poor.
16 The daughters - The women; (hitherto he reproved the men). A tinkling - By some ornaments which they wore upon their shoes.
17 Secret paths - By giving her into the power of those enemies that shall strip her of all her raiment.
18 Cauls - It is agreed by all, that this and several words that follow, were ornaments used in those times. And it is of no concern, exactly to understand the nature and differences of them. The moon - There were in ancient times, and at this day there are some ornaments worn, which carry a manifest resemblance to the moon or half moon.
20 Tablets - He seems to mean boxes of perfumes.
21 Nose - jewels - Which were fastened to the head, and hung down upon the forehead to the beginning of the nose.
22 Pins - Of silver or gold, either used to curl the hair, or fastened and worn in the hair.
23 Glasses - The looking - glasses, as we call them, tho' in truth they were not made of glass, but of bright and burnished brass.
24 Girdle - Which were fine and costly, and useful to gird their garments about them. A rent - Torn and tattered garments. Burning - By the heat of the sun, to which they are now commonly exposed, from which they used formerly to guard themselves with the utmost care.
26 Gates - The gates of Zion or Jerusalem, which, by a figure, are said to lament, to imply the great desolation of the place; that there would be no people to go out and come in by the gates, as they used to do. Shall sit - Like a mournful woman bewailing the loss of her husband and children.

Chapter IV

In the extremity of evils, Christ's glorious kingdom should appear to those who are left alive, ver. 1, 2. They shall be holy, ver. 3. Purged, ver. 4. A glory and a defence upon them, ver. 5. A sanctuary from evils, ver. 6.

1 In that day - In that calamitous time. Seven - Many. A certain number for an uncertain. One man - Because few men shall survive that dreadful stroke. Only - Own us for thy wives. Our reproach - Virginity was esteemed a reproach; children, the usual fruit of marriage, being both an honour to their parents, and a blessing of God, especially to that people, from some of whose loins the Messiah was to spring.
2 In that day - About that time: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of Zion, by those dreadful judgments now described. The branch - The Messiah. The earth - The land which for the sins of the people was made barren, upon their return to Christ shall recover its fertility. Under this one mercy he includes all temporal blessings, together with spiritual and eternal. For them - That shall survive all the forementioned calamities.
3 Holy - Shall be really holy. Jerusalem - Of the people living in or belonging to Jerusalem.
4 When - This shall be accomplished when God hath throughly cleansed the Jewish nation from their sins. The blood - The blood - guiltiness, and especially that of killing the Lord of life. Burning - This is opposed to the former legal way of purification, which was by water. The Holy Spirit of old accompanied the preaching of the gospel, and did this work in part, and will do it fully. This spirit may well be called a spirit of judgment, because it executes judgment in the church, and in the consciences of men, separating the precious from the vile, convincing men of sin, and righteousness, and judgment. And the same spirit may be fitly called the spirit of burning, because he doth burn up and consume the dross which is in the church, and in the hearts of men, and inflames the souls of believers with love to God, and zeal for his glory.
5 Create - Will in a marvellous manner produce, as it were by a new creation. A cloud - A pillar of cloud and fire, like that wherewith he directed the Israelites, when they came out of Egypt: whereby he implies, that God would be their protector, and their glory. The glory - Upon all that church and people, which God will make so glorious; upon all holy assemblies of sincere Christians.
6 And there - Or, he, the Lord, shall be a tabernacle, to defend them from the heat of the sun, and other injuries of the weather.

Chapter V

Israel, God's vineyard, his mercies, and their faithfulness, should be laid waste, ver. 1 - 7. Judgments upon covetousness, ver. 8 - 10. Upon drunkards, and the lascivious, ver. 11, 12. The great misery of the Jews, ver. 13 - 17. Judgments on impiety, scoffers at God's threatnings, those who corrupt the notions of good and ill, strong - drinkers, and unjust judges, ver. 18 - 23. God's anger, and the Chaldeans army against them, ver. 24 - 30.

1 Now - I will record it to he a witness for God, and against you, as Moses did his song, Deut 31:19 32:1. To - To the Lord of the vineyard. Of my beloved - Not devised by me, but inspired by God. Vineyard - His church. Hill - Hills being places most commodious for vines.
2 He gathered - He removed all hindrances, and gave them all the means of fruitfulness. A tower - For the residence of the keepers.
6 Nor digged - Vine - dressers use to dig up and open the earth about the roots of the vines. The meaning is, I will remove my ministers, who used great care and diligence to make you fruitful. Thorns - I will give you up to your own lusts. No rain - I will deprive you of all my blessings.
7 Pleasant - In whom God formerly delighted. A cry - From the oppressed, crying to men for help, and to God for vengeance.
8 Alone - That they alone may be the lords and owners, and all others only their tenants and servants.
9 In mine ears - I heard God speak what I am about to utter.
10 One bath - Of wine. The bath contained about eight gallons. Thus an acre did not yield one gallon. An ephah - Which was of the same quantity with the bath, only the bath was the measure of liquid things, the ephah of dry things; and a ephah was the tenth part of an homer. So instead of the increase which that fruitful land commonly yielded, they should loose nine parts of their seed.
12 The harp - They give up themselves wholly to luxury. The work - What God hath lately done, and is yet doing, and about to do among them; his grievous judgments, partly inflicted, and partly threatened, which required another course of life.
13 No knowledge - No serious consideration of God's works, and of their own duty and danger. Honourable men - Who thought themselves quite out of the reach of famine.
14 And he - That spends all his days in mirth and jollity.
15 The mighty - All of them, both high and low, shall be brought to destruction.
16 Exalted - By the execution of this just judgment. Sanctified - Shall appear to be an holy God, by his righteous judgments.
17 Then - When God shall have finished that work of judgment. The lambs - The poor and harmless people, who shall be left in the land when the rich are carried into captivity. Manner - Or, by their fold, as this word is manifestly used, Mic 2:12, the only place of scripture, except this, in which this word is found. Waste places - The lands left by their owners. Fat ones - Of the rich and great men. Strangers - The poor Israelites, who were left to be vine - dressers and husbandmen, 2Kings 25:12, who are called strangers, because they were so, in reference to that hand, not being the proper owners of it.
18 That draw - That are not only drawn to sin by the allurements of the world; but are active and illustrious in drawing sin to themselves. Cords - Or, with cords of lying, as the last word frequently signifies, with vain and deceitful arguments and pretences, whereby sinners generally draw themselves to sin. A rope - With all their might, as beasts commonly do that draw carts with ropes.
19 Let him - God, in whose name thou and other prophets are always threatening us. This was the plain language of their actions; they lived as if they were of this opinion. The Holy One - They scornfully repeated the title usually given by the prophets to God.
20 To them - That take away the difference between good and evil; that justify wicked men and things, and condemn piety, or righteous persons.
22 To mingle - To drink: the antecedent being put for the consequent: for they mingled it in order to drinking.
23 Take away - Pronounce sentence against him.
24 Rottenness - They shall be like a tree which not only withers in its branches, but dies and rots at the roots, therefore is past recovery. Dust - Shall be resolved into dust, and yield no fruit.
26 An ensign - To call them together for his service. From far - To the Chaldeans; for even Babylon is called a far country, chap.39:3. And he saith nations, because the Chaldean army was made up of several nations. Will hiss - Or, will whistle unto, or for them: will gather them together by his word. as shepherds gather their sheep. He intimates how easily and speedily God can do this work. From the ends - Which is not to be understood strictly, but with a latitude, from very remote places.
27 Nor sleep - They shall all be watchful and diligent to take all opportunities of executing my judgments. Nor latchet - I will take all impediments out of their way.
28 Bent - Who are every way furnished and ready for my work, waiting only for my command. Flint - Because they shall not be broken or battered by the length or stonyness and ruggedness of the way. Whirlwind - For the swiftness of their march, and for the force and violence of their chariots in battle.
29 Roar - Which signifies both their cruelty, and their eagerness to devour the prey.
30 Sorrow - Darkness; that is, sorrow; the latter word explains the former. The heavens - When they look up to the heavens, as men in distress usually do, they see no light there.

Chapter VI

The glory of the Lord, ver. 1 - 4. Isaiah is terrified, ver. 5. Is confirmed for his message, ver. 6 - 8. The people's obstinacy unto desolation, ver. 9 - 12. A remnant shall be saved, ver. 13.

1 I saw - In a vision. The Lord - The Divine Majesty as he subsisteth in three persons. His train - His royal and judicial robe; for he is represented as a judge.
2 Stood - As ministers attending upon their Lord. Seraphim - An order of holy angels, thus called from fire and burning, which this word properly signifies; to represent either their nature, which is bright and glorious, subtile, and pure; or their property, of fervent zeal for God's service and glory. Covered - Out of profound reverence.
3 Cried - Singing in consort. Holy - This is repeated thrice, to intimate the Trinity of persons united in the Divine essence. Glory - Of the effects and demonstrations of his glorious holiness, as well as of his power, wisdom, and goodness.
4 The posts - Together with the door itself. Such violent motions were commonly tokens of God's anger. Smoak - Which elsewhere is a token of God's presence and acceptance, but here of his anger.
5 l am - I am a great sinner, as many other ways, so particularly by my lips. I am an unclean branch of an unclean tree; besides my own uncleanness, I have both by my omissions and commissions involved myself in the guilt of their sins. Have seen - The sight of this glorious and holy God gives me cause to fear that he is come to judgment against me.
6 Flew - By God's command. A coal - Both a token and an instrument of purification. The altar - Of burnt - offering.
7 Laid it - So as only to touch my lips, and not to burn them; which God could easily effect. Lo - This is a sign that I have pardoned and purged the uncleanness of thy lips.
8 Who - To deliver the following message. The change of the number, I and us, is very remarkable; and both being meant of one and the same Lord, do sufficiently intimate a plurality of persons in the Godhead.
9 Perceive not - The Hebrew words are imperative; yet they are not to be taken as a command what the people ought to do, but only as a prediction what they would do. The sense is, because you have so long heard my words, and seen my works, to no purpose, and have hardened your hearts, and will not learn nor reform, I will punish you in your own kind, your sin shall be your punishment. I will still continue my word and works to you, but will withdraw my Spirit, so that you shall be as unable, as now you are unwilling, to understand.
10 Fat - Stupid and senseless. This making of their hearts fat, is here ascribed to the prophet, as it is ascribed to God in the repetition of this prophecy, John 12:40, because God inflicted this judgment upon them by the ministry of the prophet, partly by way of prediction, foretelling that this would be the effect of his preaching; and partly by withdrawing the light and help of his Spirit. Heavy - Make them dull of hearing. Lest - That they may not be able, as before they were not willing to see. Convert - Turn to God.
11 Lord - An abrupt speech, arising from the prophet's great passion and astonishment: how long shall this dreadful judgment last? Until - Until this land be totally destroyed, first by the Babylonians, and afterward by the Romans.
12 Removed - Hath caused this people to be carried away captive into far countries. A forsaking - 'Till houses and lands be generally forsaken of their owners.
13 A tenth - A small remnant reserved, that number being put indefinitely. Return - Out of the Babylonish captivity, into their own land. Eaten - That remnant shall be devoured a second time, by the kings of Syria, and afterwards by the Romans. Yet - Yet there shall be another remnant, not such an one as that which came out of Babylon, but an holy seed, who shall afterwards look upon him whom they have pierced, and mourn over him. When - Who when their leaves are cast in winter, have a substance within themselves, a vital principle, which preserves life in the root of the tree, and in due time sends it forth into all the branches. The support - Of the land or people, which, were it not for the sake of these, should be finally rooted out.

Chapter VII

Ahaz afraid of Rezin and Pekah, is comforted by Isaiah, ver. 1 - 9. Refusing to chuse a sign, Christ is promised for one, ver. 10 - 16. His judgment should come by Assyria, ver. 17 - 25.

1 Ahaz - A most wicked king: yet no prophecies are more comfortable than those which were delivered in his time; God so ordering it for the encouragement of the faithful that lived under his impious reign.
2 David - Ahaz, and his relations. He calls them the house of David, to intimate that the following comfortable message was sent to Ahaz, not for his own sake, but for the sake of his worthy progenitor David. Ephraim - The kingdom of the ten tribes, commonly called Ephraim, because that was the most numerous of all. Moved - With fear, arising from a consciousness of their own guilt, and their enemies strength.
3 Thy son - Whose very name carried in it a sign and pledge of the promised deliverance, signifying, The remnant shall return. Fuller's field - Whither he probably went to take care about the waters which thence were brought into the city, to secure them to himself, or keep them from the enemy, as Hezekiah afterward did, 2Chron 32:3,4.
4 Be quiet - Settle thy mind by the belief of that joyful message which I am now to deliver thee from the Lord. Fire - brands - They are not whole fire - brands, but small pieces or ends of them, taken out of the fire, in which there is more smoak than fire. They have more of shew and terror, than of strength. Pekah, king of Israel, he calls only the son of Remaliah, to intimate, that he was unworthy the name of king, as having got that title by usurpation, and the murder of his master, 2Kings 15:25.
6 Let us - Break their power and kingdom and subdue it to ourselves.
7 It - Their evil counsel.
8 Damascus - Damascus shall still continue the capital of the kingdom of Syria; and therefore Jerusalem shall not become a part of Rezin's dominion: but he shall keep within his own bounds, and be king of Damascus only.
9 Samaria - Samaria shall continue to be the chief city if the kingdom of Israel, and Pekah shall not conquer Jerusalem. If - If you do not believe this, but seek to the Assyrians for succour, ye shall be consumed thereby.
12 I will not - By asking a sign, as if I questioned the truth of his word: but this was deep hypocrisy.
13 David - He reproves them all, because they were the king's counsellors. Is it a small thing - Is it not wickedness enough. My God - To vex God's prophets and people, with your oppressions and horrid impieties. And by your ingratitude and unbelief, and disobedience of his commands.
14 Therefore - Because you despise me, and the sign which I now offer to you, God of his own free grace will send you a more honourable messenger, and give you a nobler sign. A sign - Of your deliverance. But how was this birth, which was not to happen 'till many ages after, a sign of their deliverance from present danger? This promised birth supposed the preservation of that city, and nation and tribe, in and of which the Messiah was to be born; and therefore there was no cause to fear that ruin which their enemies now threatened. Immanuel - God with us; God dwelling among us, in our nature, John 1:14. God and man meeting in one person, and being a mediator between God and men. For the design of these words is not so much to relate the name by which Christ should commonly he called, as to describe his nature and office.
15 Butter - The common food of children in that country. He - The virgin's son. Know - To discern between things good and evil.
16 Yea - Not only this land shall be preserved until the virgin's son shall be born, but thine enemies land shall be sorely scourged, and these two kings destroyed within a very little time. This child - Shear - Jashub, whom in all probability the prophet pointed at, and who was brought hither by God's special command, ver.3. for this very use. The land - The lands of Syria and Israel. Forsaken - So far shall Pekah and Rezin be from conquering thy land, that they shall lose their own lands, and their lives too; which they did within two years after this time, being both slain by the king of Assyria.
17 Shall bring - But altho' God will deliver you at this time, yet he will requite all your wickedness. Thee - For part of this Assyrian storm fell in Ahaz's reign. And - Upon thy sons and successors, the kings of Judah. Days - Calamities. Departed - When ten tribes revolted from thy father's house. The king - Who may well be called their plague or calamity, as he is called the rod of God's anger, chap.10:5.
18 The fly - The flies. So he calls these enemies, to imply their great numbers. In - In their extremity, where they go out into the sea. Rivers - Of the river Nile, which may be called rivers, either for its greatness, or because towards the end of it, it is divided into seven streams. When the Chaldeans had in good measure subdued the Egyptians, it is probable great numbers of the Egyptian soldiers listed themselves in the Chaldean army, and with them invaded the land of Judah. The bee - The Assyrian army, compared to bees, as for their numerous forces and orderly march, so for their fierce attempts and mischievous effects. Assyria - In the empire of Assyria, or Babylon; for these two were united into one empire, and therefore in scripture are promiscuously called sometimes by one title, and sometimes by the other.
19 Valleys - Such as they found fruitful, but made desolate. Rocks - To which possibly the Israelites fled for refuge. Bushes - Which he mentions because flies and bees use frequently to rest there; and to intimate, that no place should escape their fury.
20 Shave - Utterly spoil, as shaving takes away the hair. Hired - By Ahaz, who did hire them, 2Kings 16:7,8. And so the prophet notes the just judgment of God, in scourging them with a rod of their own making. By - By the successive kings of the Assyrian empire, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and especially by Nebuchadnezzar. The head - By these metaphorical expressions he signifies the total destruction of their state, from head to foot, from the highest to the lowest.
21 Sheep - They who formerly used to keep great herds of cattle, and many flocks of sheep, shall esteem it a happiness if they can keep but one cow and two sheep.
22 Abundance - Because they shall have large pastures, by reason of the great scarcity of cattle. Butter - Which the poorer sort had formerly used to sell, to procure them cheaper food for themselves: but now the land should be so destitute of people, that there were none to whom they could sell them.
23 Of silver - Each of the thousand vineyards might have been sold or let for a thousand shekels, which was the yearly rent of some excellent vineyards.
24 With arrows - Either to hunt, or to defend themselves from wild beasts, which commonly abide in desolate grounds.
25 Digged - That used to be digged and dressed for the planting of vines, or other choice fruit - trees. The fear - That they might be freed from briars and thorns. Cattle - All sorts of cattle may enter, and feed there, the fences being broken down, and the owners slain, or carried into captivity.

Chapter VIII

Syria and Israel should be subdued by Assyria, ver. 1 - 4. Judah also should be afflicted, ver. 5 - 8. God's judgments irresistible, and to be feared, ver. 9 - 13. The Lord is a sanctuary to the godly, a stone of stumbling to the wicked, ver. 14, 15. The prophecy sure, God to be waited on, necromancers not to be consulted, but the prophecy, their misery, ver. 16 - 22.

1 A roll - Or, a great volume, because the prophecy to be written in it was large, and God would have it written in large and legible characters. Pen - With such a pen as writers use. Concerning - Concerning that thing which is signified by the name of the child, which is here mentioned by way of anticipation.
3 Prophetess - To his own wife, so called, because the wife of a prophet.
4 To cry - To speak and to know his parents; which is within the space of two years. And his agrees with the other prophecy, chap.7:16. Before the child shall know to refuse the evil and chuse the good, which requires a longer time than to distinguish his parents, and suits well to Shear - Jashub, who, being born some years before, was capable of that farther degree of knowledge, as soon as this was capable of the lower degree. Before - In his presence, and by himself and his forces.
6 This people - The people of Israel, of whom he last spake, who rejoiced not only in their own king, but also in the assistance of so powerful an ally as Rezin. Shiloah - That small brook which ran by Jerusalem. Hereby he understands the munitions and strength of the Jews, which their enemies derided.
7 The river - Of Euphrates, called the river, for its eminent greatness; whereby he understands the Assyrian forces. Glory - His numerous and puissant army. He - This great river shall overflow its own proper channels. That is, this great monarch shall enlarge his dominions, and add the lands of Syria and Israel to them.
8 Reach - So that they shall be in great danger of being desired. He persists in the metaphor of a river swelling so high as to reach to a man's neck, and be ready to overwhelm him. Such was the danger of Judah's land, when Sennacherib took all the fenced cities of Judah, 2Kings 18:13, and sent his army against Jerusalem. Wings - Of his forces, or of the wings of his army, as they still are called. My land - Of the land of Judah, so called because the Messiah, who is called Immanuel, should be born there. And this is added emphatically for the consolation of God's people, to assure them, that notwithstanding this dreadful scourge, yet God would make a difference between Israel and Judah, and whereas Israel should not be a people, Judah should be restored, for the sake of the Messiah, to be the place of his birth and ministry.
9 Ye people - Syrians and Israelites. All ye - Whosoever you be, who conspire against Immanuel's land. Gird - Prepare yourselves for war. Broken - This is repeated for the greater assurance of the thing, and the comfort of God's people.
11 Spake - With a vehement and more than ordinary inspiration. In the way - Of the generality of the people of Judah; whose eminent danger and calamity he foretells.
12 Say not - Thou Isaiah, and my children, do not consent to this confederacy with the king of Assyria. Their fear - That thing which they fear, that, if they do not call in the Assyrian succours, they shall be destroyed by those two potent kings.
13 Sanctify - Give him the glory of his power, and goodness, and faithfulness, by trusting to his promises. Let him - Let God, and not the kings of Syria and Israel be the object of your fear.
14 Sanctuary - A sure refuge to all that truly fear him, and rely upon him. A stone - An occasion of sin and ruin, at whom they will take offence and stumble, so as to fall and be broken. To both - To the two kingdoms, that of the ten tribes, and that of the two tribes. Jerusalem - Which are distinctly mentioned, as a wonderful thing, because Jerusalem was the seat of the temple, and of God's solemn worship, where all the means of knowledge and grace were in greatest plenty, where the thrones of civil and ecclesiastical judicature were established, where the most wise and learned doctors had their constant abode. And that such a place and people should reject Immanuel when he should appear, was so strange an occurrence, that the prediction of it was highly necessary, lest otherwise, when it came to pass, it should shake the faith of all who did believe on him; whereas now the accomplishment hereof was a notable confirmation of their faith.
15 Many - Not all; for there shall be a remnant, as was foretold, chap.4:2 6:13. Stumble - At that stone or rock, mentioned, ver.8:14. This was accomplished at the coming of the Messiah, whom the Jews rejected to their own destruction.
16 The testimony - By the testimony and the law or doctrine, he understands one and the same thing, as he doth also, ver.20, the word of God, and especially that which is the main scope thereof, the doctrine of the Messiah, which, though now professed by all the Israelites, shall be disowned by the generality of them, when the Messiah shall come. Bind up and seal are to be understood prophetically, declare and prophesy, that it shall be bound up and sealed. Moreover, bind up and seal, design the same thing. Security and secrecy, signifying, that it should certainly be fulfilled, yet withal kept secret from the unbelieving Jews. By the disciples he means those who were taught of God.
17 Yet - Yet, notwithstanding this dreadful prophecy concerning the rejection of Israel. Wait - I will cast my care upon him, and expect the accomplishment of his promise, in sending the Messiah, and in conferring upon me and all believing Israelites all his mercies and blessings. Hideth - That now withdraws his favour and blessings, from the people of Israel.
18 Behold - These words are literally spoken by Isaiah concerning himself, but mystically concerning Christ; and therefore they are fitly ascribed to Christ, Heb 2:13. The children - His spiritual children, whom he had either begotten or brought up by his ministry. Wonders - Are a gazing flock, for our folly in believing God's promises. From the Lord - Which comes to pass by the wise providence of God. Zion - Where the temple now was, and where the Messiah was to set up his kingdom.
19 And when they - The Israelites, who are fallen from God, into superstition and idolatry. You - My children, whom the prophet arms against the common temptation. Mutter - That speak with a low voice, as these two words signify, which they affected to do, speaking rather inwardly in their bellies, than audibly with their mouths. Should not - This answer the prophet puts into their mouths, doth not every nation, in cases of difficulty, seek to their gods? Much more should we do so, that have the only true God for our God. For the living - That is, for living men to enquire of the living God, is proper and reasonable; but it is highly absurd for them to forsake him, and to seek dead idols, either to the images, or to the spirits of dead men, which are supposed to speak in them.
20 To the law - Let this dispute between you and them be determined by God's word, which is here and in many other places called the law, to signify their obligation to believe and obey it; and the testimony, because it is a witness between God and man, of God's will, and of man's duty. They - Your antagonists. No light - This proceeds from the darkness of their minds, they are blind, and cannot see.
21 It - Their own land. Hungry - Sorely distressed, and destitute of food, and all necessaries. Their king - Either because he doth not relieve them; or because by his foolish counsels, he brought them into these miseries. God - Their idol, to whom they trusted, and whom they now find unable to help them. Look - To heaven for help.
22 Earth - Finding no help from heaven, they turn their eyes downward, looking hither and thither for comfort.

Chapter IX

Joy in the midst of affliction, ver. 1 - 5. The birth, person, office, and kingdom of Christ, ver. 6, 7. Judgments for their pride, ver. 8 - 12. For their impenitency and hypocrisy, ver. 13 - 21.

1 Nevertheless - The calamity of this land and its inhabitants shall be great, yet not such as that which was brought upon it by the king of Assyria, who at first indeed dealt more gently with them, but afterwards rooted them out. He - God. Zebulun - These parts are particularly mentioned, because this storm fell most heavily upon them; but under them the other parts of the land are understood. Afterward - By Shalmaneser, who took Samaria, and carried Israel into captivity, 2Kings 17:5,6. Of which calamity, though yet to come, he speaks as if it were past, as the manner of the prophet is. The sea - In that part of the land which borders upon the sea, the lake Genesareth, upon which the portions of Zebulun and Naphtali bordered. Galilee - Or, Galilee of the Gentiles, namely, the upper Galilee, so called because it bordered upon the Gentiles.
2 The people - Israel and Judah. Darkness - The expression is general and so may well comprehend both calamity and ignorance, idolatry and profaneness, in which those parts were eminently involved. Have seen - Shall see at the coming of the Messiah.
3 Thou hast - Thou hast made good thy promise to Abraham concerning the multiplication of his seed, by gathering in the Gentiles to the Jews. Before thee - In thy presence, and in the place of thy worship.
4 The yoke - His burdensome yoke. The staff - The staff or staves by which he was forced to carry burdens upon his shoulders. The rod - Wherewith he beat him. Oppressor - Of all his oppressors, but especially of sin and the devil. As - When God destroyed the Midianites in so admirable a manner by three hundred men.
5 Noise - With the triumphant exclamations of the conqueror, and the bitter lamentations of the conquered, and the different cries of the same persons, sometimes conquering, and sometimes conquered. Blood - With great difficulty and slaughter. But - But this victory which God's people shall have over all their enemies, shall be more terrible to their adversaries, whom God will utterly consume, as it were by fire.
6 For - Having spoken of the glorious light, and joy, and victory of God's people, he now proceeds to shew the ground of it. Us - Unto us Jews, of whom Christ was born, and to whom he was primarily sent. A child - The Messiah by the consent of interpreters, not only Christian, but Jewish: for so the ancient Hebrew doctors understood the place, and particularly the Chaldee paraphrast; although the latter Jews, out of opposition to Christ, wrest it to Hezekiah. Which extravagant conceit, as it hath no foundation in this or any other text of scripture, so it is fully confuted by the following titles, which are such as cannot without blasphemy and nonsense be ascribed to Hezekiah, nor indeed to any mere mortal man, as we shall see. Is born - Or, shall be born, as the prophets generally speak. The government - Of God's people, to whom he is given. Shoulders - Upon him, or in his hands. He mentions shoulders, because great burdens are commonly laid upon men's shoulders. His name - This is not to be taken for a description of his name, but of his glorious nature and qualities. Wonderful counsellor - And so Christ is, because he hath been the counsellor of his church in all ages, and the author and giver of all those excellent counsels delivered not only by the apostles, but also by the prophets, and hath gathered and enlarged, and preserved his church, by admirable counsels and methods of his providence, and, in a word, hath in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Col 2:3. Mighty God - This title can agree to no man but Christ, who was God as well as man, to whom the title of God or Jehovah is given, both in the Old and New Testament. And it is a true observation, that this Hebrew word El is never used in the singular number, of any creature, but only of the almighty God. The father - The father of eternity. Who, though as man he was then unborn, yet was and is from everlasting to everlasting.
7 No end - His peaceable and happy government shall be extended to all the ends of the earth. The throne - Which was promised to David, and to his seed for ever. For ever - From the beginning of it to all eternity. The zeal - This great work shall be brought to pass by almighty God, out of that fervent affection which he hath to his own glory, to the honour of his son, and to his people.
8 The Lord - The prophet, having inserted some consolatory passages for God's faithful people, returns to his former comminution against the rebellious Israelites. And - Heb. it fell, that is, it shall fall, in the prophetical style. It shall certainly be accomplished.
9 Know - They shall know whether my word be true or false. Even - The people of the ten tribes, and particularly Ephraim, the proudest of them all. Samaria - The strongest place, and the seat of the king and court.
10 Stones - We have received some damage; but, we doubt not we shall quickly repair it with advantage.
11 Therefore - To chastise your pride, and defeat your hopes. Set up - The Assyrians, who, presently after this prophecy, prevailed against him, 2Kings 16:7. He mentions Rezin, because he was confederate with Ephraim. Join - So that they shall invade him from several quarters. His - Not Rezin's, but Ephraim.
12 Syrians - For though Rezin, king of Syria was destroyed, yet the body of the nation survived, and submitted themselves to the king of Assyria, and upon his command invaded Israel afterwards. Before - Heb. on the east: for Syria stood eastward from Israel. Behind - On the western side of the land of Israel. Devour - Like wild beasts.
13 Him - To God.
14 Head - High and low. Branch - The goodly branches of tall trees, the mighty and noble. Rush - The bulrush, the weakest and meanest persons. One day - All together, one as well as another.
15 The prophet - Whose destruction he mentions, not as if it were a punishment to them to be deprived of such persons, but partly to shew the extent of the calamity, that it should reach all sorts of persons; and partly to beat down their vain presumptions of peace and prosperity, by shewing that those false prophets, which had fed their vain hopes, should perish, and their false prophecies with them. Tail - The basest part of the whole people.
16 The leaders - Their false prophets. Cause - By false doctrines and evil counsels and persuasions. Destroyed - Shall certainly perish.
17 No joy - Shall not rejoice over them to do them good. Fatherless - Who are the special objects of his care and pity, and much less upon others. Every one - Not precisely; for there were seven thousand elect persons among them, when they seemed to Elijah to be universally corrupt, but the body of the people. Hypocrite - For though they professed to worship God, yet indeed they had forsaken him. Folly - Wickedness.
18 Burneth - Shall burn you, as it follows, shall devour. Thorns - The low and mean persons; for these are opposed to the thickets of the forest, in the next clause. Forest - In the wood, where the trees are tall, and stand thick, having their bows entangled together, which makes them more ready both to catch and to spread the fire. Smoak - Sending up smoak like a vast furnace.
21 Manasseh - Though more near and dear to one another than any other tribe, being both sons of Joseph.

Chapter X

The woe of unjust oppressors, ver. 1 - 4. Of Assyria for their pride and ambition, his folly in it, ver. 5 - 19. A remnant of Israel shall be saved, and that speedily, ver. 20 - 27. Sennacherib marching toward Jerusalem, ver. 28 - 31. His judgment, ver. 32 - 34.

1 Woe - Unto those magistrates who make unjust laws, and give unjust sentences. Grievousness - Grievous things, such unjust decrees as cause grief and vexation to their subjects.
2 Judgment - From obtaining a just sentence.
3 From far - From the Assyrians. This he adds, because the Israelites, having weakened the Jews and being in amity with the Assyrians their next neighbours, were secure. Leave - To be kept safe for your use. Glory - Your wealth.
4 Without me - Without my favour and help, which you have forfeited. Shall bow down - Notwithstanding all your succours.
5 O Assyrian - This is God's invitation to him to take the charge, and set upon the work. The rod - The instrument of mine anger, wherewith I shall chastise my people. Anger - Mine anger against my people puts the weapons of war into their hand.
6 Send him - By my providence, giving him both occasion and inclination to this expedition.
7 Howbeit - He doth not design the execution of my will, but only to enlarge his own empire. Which is seasonably added, to justify God in his judgments threatened to the Assyrian. To cut off - To sacrifice multitudes of people to his own ambition and covetousness.
8 Kings - Equal for power and wealth, and glory, to the kings of other nations.
9 Is not - Have not I conquered one place as well as another, the stronger as well as the weaker? Samaria - Or, shall not Samaria be as Damascus? Shall I not take that, as I have done this city?
10 The kingdoms - Which worshipped their own idols, and vainly imagined that they could protect them from my power. He calls the gods of the nations, not excepting Jerusalem, idols, by way of contempt, because none of them could deliver their people out of his hands, and because he judged them to be but petty gods, far inferior to the sun, which was the god of the Assyrians.
12 Wherefore - Because of this impudent blasphemy. His work - Of chastising his people so long as he sees fit. Looks - His insolent words and carriage.
13 Removed - I have invaded their lands, and added them to my own dominions, Prov 22:28. Put down - Deprived of their former glory and power.
14 Eggs - Which the dam left in her nest. Gathered - All the riches of the earth. An hyperbole not unusual in the mouths of such persons. Peeped - As birds do, which, when they see the robbing of their nest, express their grief and anger, by hovering about them, and by mournful cries.
15 The ax - How absurd is it, for thee, who art but an instrument in God's hand, to blaspheme thy Lord and master, who has as great power over thee, as a man hath over the ax wherewith he heweth?
16 The Lord - The sovereign Lord of thine and all other armies, shall strip him and all his princes, of their wealth, and might, and glory; and destroy his numerous army, as the fire doth those combustible things which are cast into it.
17 The light - That God who is and will be a comfortable light to his people. A fire - To the Assyrians. Thorns - His vast army, which is no more able to resist God, than dry thorns and briars are to oppose the fire.
18 The glory - Of his great army, which may not unfitly be compared to a forest, for the numbers of men, who stood as thick as trees do in a forest. Field - Of his soldiers, who stood as thick as ears of corn in a fruitful field. Soul and body - Totally, both inwardly and outwardly. They shall be - Like that of an army when their standard - bearer is slain or flees away, which strikes a panic into the whole army.
19 The rest - The remainder of that mighty host.
20 And such - Such Jews as shall be preserved from that sweeping Assyrian scourge. Stay - Shall no more trust to the Assyrians for help.
22 A remnant - Or, a remnant only. The consumption - The destruction of Israel was already decreed by the fixed counsel of God, and therefore must needs be executed, and like a deluge overflow them. Righteousness - With justice, and yet with clemency, inasmuch as he has spared a considerable remnant of them, when he might have destroyed them utterly.
23 In the midst - In all the parts of the land, not excepting Jerusalem, which was to be preserved in the Assyrian invasion.
24 Therefore - This is an inference, not from the words immediately foregoing, but from the whole prophecy. Seeing the Assyrian shall be destroyed. Smite - He shall afflict, but not destroy thee. Egypt - As the Egyptians formerly did.
25 Indignation - Mine anger towards the Assyrian. Cease - As anger commonly does when vengeance is fully executed.
26 Stir up - Shall send a destroying angel. Midian - Whom God slew suddenly and unexpectedly, in the night. Oreb - Upon which one of their chief princes was slain, and nigh unto which the Midianites were destroyed. The sea - To divide it, and make way for thy deliverance, and for the destruction of the Egyptians.
27 Burden - The burden of the Assyrian. The anointing - Possibly this may be understood of David, who is often mentioned in scripture by the name of God's anointed; and for whose sake, God gave many deliverances to the succeeding kings and ages, as is expressly affirmed, 1Kings 11:32,34. God declares that he would give this very deliverance from the Assyrian, for David's sake, 2Kings 19:34 20:6. But the Messiah is principally intended, of whom David was but a type; and who was in a particular manner anointed above his fellows, as is said, Psal 45:7. For he is the foundation of all the promises, 2Cor 1:20, and of all the deliverances and mercies granted to God's people in all ages.
28 He - Here the prophet returns to the Assyrian invasion; which he describes, after the manner of the prophets, as a thing present, and sets down the several stages by which he marched towards Jerusalem. He, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, is come, in his way to Jerusalem. Laid up - Leaving such things there as were less necessary, that so he might march with more expedition.
29 Fled - The people fled to Jerusalem for fear of the Assyrian.
30 Daughter - Jerusalem was the mother city, and lesser towns are commonly called her daughters.
32 Shake - By way of comminution.
33 The bough - The top - bough, Sennacherib, with a most terrible stroke.
34 Iron - Or, as with iron, as the trees of the forest are cut down with instruments of iron. Lebanon - Or, his Lebanon, the Assyrian army, which being before compared to a forest, and being called his Carmel in the Hebrew text, ver.18, may very fitly upon the same ground, be called his Lebanon here.

Chapter XI

Christ, a branch cut of the root of Jesse, endued with the spirit of the Lord, should set up a kingdom by the preaching of his word, ver. 1 - 5. The members of his church should live in peace and unity, ver. 6 - 9. And be victorious over their enemies: and to him should the Gentiles seek, ver. 10 - 16.

1 And - And having said that the Assyrian yoke should be destroyed because of the anointing, he now explains who that anointed person was. The stem - Or, stump: for the word signifies properly a trunk cut off from the root. By which he clearly implies, that the Messiah should be born of the royal house of David, at that time when it was in a most forlorn condition, like a tree cut down, and whereof nothing is left but a stump or root under ground. Of Jesse - He doth not say of David, but of Jesse, who was a private and mean person, to intimate, that at the time of Christ's birth the royal family should be reduced to its primitive obscurity.
2 Wisdom - It is not needful, exactly to distinguish these two gifts; it is sufficient that they are necessary qualifications for a governor, and a teacher, and it is evident they signify perfect knowledge of all things necessary for his own and peoples good, and a sound judgment, to distinguish between things that differ. Counsel - Of prudence, to give good counsel; and of might and courage, to execute it. Knowledge - Of the perfect knowledge of the whole will and counsel of God, as also of all secret things, yea of the hearts of men. Fear - A fear of reverence, a care to please him, and lothness to offend him.
3 In the fear - He shall not judge rashly and partially, but considerately and justly, as the fear of God obliges all judges to do. Judge - Of persons or causes. After the sight - According to outward appearance, as men do, because they cannot search mens hearts. Reprove - Condemn or pass sentence against a person. His ears - By uncertain rumours or suggestions.
4 Judge - Defend and deliver them. Reprove - Or condemn their malicious enemies. Thy rod - With his word, which is his scepter, and the rod of his power, Psal 110:2, which is sharper than a sword, Heb 4:12, by the preaching whereof he subdued the world to himself, and will destroy his enemies, 2Thes 2:8. This he adds farther, to declare the nature of Christ's kingdom, that it is not of this world.
5 The girdle - It shall adorn him, and be the glory of his government, as a girdle was used for an ornament, Isa 3:24, and as an ensign of power, Job 12:18, and it shall constantly cleave to him in all his administrations, as a girdle cleaveth to a man's loins.
6 The wolf - The creatures shall be restored to that state of innocency in which they were before the fall of man. Men of fierce, and cruel dispositions, shall be so transformed by the grace of Christ, that they shall become gentle, and tractable. A child - They will submit their rebellious wills to the conduct of the meanest persons that speak to them in Christ's name.
7 Feed - Together, without any danger or fear. Straw - The grass of the earth, as they did at first, and shall not devour other living creatures.
9 My holy mountain - In Zion, in my church. The sea - The channel of the sea.
10 A root - A branch growing upon the root. Ensign - Shall grow up into a great tree, shall become an eminent ensign. The people - Which not only the Jews, but all nations, may discern, and to which they shall resort. Rest - His resting - place, his temple or church, the place of his presence and abode. Glorious - Shall be filled with greater glory than the Jewish tabernacle and temple were; only this glory shall be spiritual, consisting in the plentiful effusions of the gifts, and graces, of the Holy Spirit.
11 The second - The first time, to which this word second relates, seems to be the deliverance out of Babylon: and then this second deliverance must be in the days of the Messiah. To recover - From all places far and near, into which either the ten tribes or the two tribes were carried captives. Pathros was a province in Egypt.
12 Nations - All nations, Jews and Gentiles. Out - casts - That were driven out of their own land, into foreign parts. Israel - Of the ten tribes.
13 Ephraim - Of the ten tribes, frequently called by the name of Ephraim. Of enemies they shall be made friends. The adversaries - Not the body of Ephraim, for they are supposed to be reconciled, and they shall not be cut off, but live in love with Judah, as we see by the next clause; but those few of them who continue in their enmity together with all the rest of their adversaries.
14 Fly - It is a metaphor from birds and beasts of prey. Spoil - They shall subdue them, which is to be understood of the spiritual victory which the Messiah shall obtain by his apostles and ministers over all nations.
15 Destroy - Shall not only divide it, as of old, but dry it up, that it may be an high - way. The sea - The Red Sea, which may well be called the Egyptian sea, both because it borders upon Egypt, and because the Egyptians were drowned in it, which is called a tongue in the Hebrew text, Jos 15:2,5, as having some resemblance with a tongue: for which reason the name of tongue hath been given by geographers to promontories of land which shoot forth into the sea, as this sea did shoot out of the main ocean into the land. Rivers - Nile. Seven streams - For which it is famous in all authors.
16 As it was - As there was another high - way from Egypt. All impediments shall be removed, and a way made for the return of God's Israel from all parts of the world. He mentions Assyria, because thither the ten tribes were carried, whose case seemed to be most desperate.

Chapter XII

A thanksgiving of the faithful for their redemption, ver. 1 - 6.

1 In that day - When this great work of the reduction of Israel, and conversion of the Gentiles is fulfilled.
2 God - My salvation hath not been brought to pass by man, but by the almighty power of God.
3 With joy - Your thirsty souls shall be filled with Divine graces and comforts, which you may draw from God, in the use of gospel - ordinances.

Chapter XIII

God's armies, ver. 1 - 5. The destruction of Babylon by the Persians and Medes, their great distress, anguish, and utter desolation, ver. 6 - 22.

1 The burden - This title is commonly given to sad prophecies, which indeed are grievous burdens to them on whom they are laid. Babylon - Of the city and empire of Babylon by Cyrus.
2 A banner - To gather soldiers together. Mountain - Whence it may be discerned at a considerable distance. Withal he seems to intimate, that their enemies should come from the mountainous country of Media. Them - To the Medes. Shake - Beckon to them with your hand, that they may come to this service, that they may go and fight against Babylon, and take it, and so enter in to the palaces of the king, and his princes.
3 Sanctified ones - The Medes and Persians, so called, because they were set apart by God, for this holy work of executing his just vengeance. Mighty ones - Those whom I have made mighty for this work. Highness - Or, as others render it, in my glory, in the doing of that work which tends to the advancement of my glory. Tho' the Medes had no regard to God, but only to their own ends.
4 Nations - The Medes and Persians and other nations, which served under them in this war.
5 Thy come - From the ends of the earth under heaven, which is not to be understood strictly. The weapons - The Medes and Persians, who were but a rod in God's hand, and the instruments of his anger. Land - Of Babylon.
7 Amazed - To see so impregnable a city as Babylon, so easily and unexpectedly taken. Flames - Heb. faces of flame, inflamed with rage and torment.
9 Behold - Divers words are heaped together, to signify the extremity of his anger.
10 Constellations - Which consist of many stars, and therefore give a greater sight. Darkened - All things shall look darkly and dismally; men shall have no comfort or hope. Going forth - As soon as he rises. As soon as they have any appearance or hope of amendment, they shall be instantly disappointed.
11 The world - The Babylonish empire, which is called the world, as the Roman empire afterwards was, because it was extended to a great part of the world.
12 More precious - The city and nation shall be so depopulated.
13 Therefore - A poetical and prophetical description of great horrors and confusions, as if heaven and earth were about to meet together.
14 It - Babylon. A roe - Fearful in itself, especially when it is pursued by the hunter. A sheep - In a most forlorn condition. Every man - Those soldiers of other nations, whom she had hired to assist her.
15 Found - In Babylon, at the taking of it.
17 Medes - Under whom he comprehends the Persians. Not delight - Which is to be understood comparatively. They shall more eagerly pursue the destruction of the people, than the getting of spoil.
18 Bows - Under which are comprehended, other weapons of war. Dash - Or, shalt pierce the young men through, as the Chaldee, renders it.
19 Glory - Which once was the most noble of all the kingdoms. Beauty - The beautiful seat of the Chaldean monarchy shall be totally and irrecoverably destroyed.
20 Inhabited - After the destruction threatened shall be fully accomplished. Arabian - Who dwelt in tents, and wandered from place to place, where they could find pasture.
21 Satyrs - The learned agree, that these are frightful and solitary creatures.
22 Prolonged - Beyond the time appointed by God.

Chapter XIV

Israel shall be delivered from the Babylonish captivity, their triumph over Babylon, ver. 1 - 13. God's purpose against Assyria, ver. 14 - 27. Palestina threatened, ver. 28 - 32.

1 Chuse - Will renew his choice of them; for he had rejected them.
2 Rule - Which they literally did, after their return into their own land. But this was more eminently verified in a spiritual sense, in the days of the gospel.
4 Golden city - As they used to call themselves; which therefore he expresses here in a word of their own language.
6 Anger - With rigour and not with clemency. None - Neither the Babylonians themselves, nor their confederates.
7 The earth - The subjects of that vast empire, who groaned under their cruel bondage.
8 The trees - Which were felled for the service of her pride and luxury, but now are suffered to stand.
9 Thrones - From their graves, which he seems to call their thrones by way of irony: the only thrones now left to them. Thrones both paved and covered with worms, instead of their former thrones, adorned with gold and precious stones.
11 Thy pomp - All thy glory is buried with thee. Viols - All thy musical instruments, which were much used in Babylon, and were doubtless used in Belshazzar's solemn feasts, Dan 5:1, at which time the city was taken; to which possibly the prophet here alludes. The worm - Instead of those stately carpets upon which thou didst frequently tread.
12 Fallen - From the height of thy glory. Lucifer - Which properly is a bright star, that ushers in the morning; but is here metaphorically taken for the mighty king of Babylon. Son - The title of son is given in scripture not only to a person or thing begotten or produced by another, but also to any thing which is related, to it, in which sense we read of the son of a night, Jonah 4:10, a son of perdition, John 17:12, and, which is more agreeable, to the present case, the sons of Arcturus, Job 38:32.
13 I - I will advance myself above the state of a weak man. Above - Above all other kings and potentates; or, above the most eminent persons of God's church. North - This is added as a more exact description of the place of the temple; it stood upon mount Moriah, which was northward from the hill of Zion strictly so called.
14 Like - In the uncontrolableness of my power, and the universal extent of my dominion.
17 Cried not - Whereby he signifies both his irresistible power, and his continued cruelty.
18 All - That is, other things most commonly do. Lie - Are buried in their own sepulchres, having stately monuments erected to their memory.
19 Cast out - Or, cast from thy grave or burying - place. Which very probably happened to Belshazzar, when his people had neither opportunity nor heart to bestow an honourable interment upon him, and the conquerors would not suffer them to do it. Like - Like a rotten twig of a tree, which he that prunes the trees, casts away. Raiment - Which, being mangled, and besmeared with mire, and blood, was cast away with contempt. Go down - Who being slain, are cast into some pit. He saith, to the stones of the pit, because when dead bodies are cast in thither, men use to throw an heap of stones upon them. Trodden - Neglected, like such a carcase. And this might literally happen to Belshazzar's dead body.
20 Joined - Not buried as they are. Slain - Thou hast exercised great tyranny and cruelty, not only to thine enemies, but even to thine own subjects. The seed - Such as Belshazzar was, being descended from that Nebuchadnezzar who had made such horrid slaughters and devastations in the world, merely to gratify his own insatiable lusts, and who had been so impious towards God and his temple, and so bloody towards his church and people. Renowned - Or, shall not be renowned for ever: although I have long borne with thee and thy family.
21 Children - Cut off all the branches of the royal family. Rise - Not recover their former power.
22 Remnant - The remembrance of those that are dead, and the persons of those who yet survive.
23 Bittern - A great water fowl, which delights in solitary places, as also in watery grounds. Such as those were about Babylon. Pools - The ground about Babylon was of itself very moist, because of the great river Euphrates, running by it, which was kept from overflowing the country with charge and labour; this being neglected, when the city was destroyed, it was easily turned into pools of water.
24 Saying - This verse does not only concern Babylon's destruction, but also the overthrow of Sennacherib and the Assyrian host, which was a pledge of the destruction of the city and empire of Babylon.
25 My land - In Judea, which is my land in a peculiar manner. Mountains - In my mountainous country, for such Judea was, especially about Jerusalem.
26 The earth - Upon this vast empire, now in the hands of the Assyrians, and shortly to come into the hands of the Babylonians. The hand - The providence of God executing his purpose.
28 This burden - This following burdensome prophecy concerning the Philistines, who in Ahaz's time, made an inroad into Judah, and took divers of their cities.
29 Of him - Most understand this of Uzziah, who did then much mischief, 2Chron 26:3,6. But he was dead thirty - two years before this time, and therefore their joy for his death was long since past. Others understand it of Ahaz: but he was so far from smiting them, that he was smitten by them. We may understand this of the royal race of Judah, who had been a terrible scourge to them, whose rod might be said to be broken, because that scepter was come into the hands of slothful princes. A serpent - From the root of David shall come Hezekiah, who, like a serpent, shall sting thee to death, as he did, 2Kings 18:8.
30 The poor - The people of the Jews, who are brought to extreme poverty. The title of first - born is given to persons or things which are most eminent in their kinds, as to the people of Israel, Exod 4:22, to David, Psal 89:27 Job 18:13, and here to persons eminently poor. Feed - Shall have plenty of provisions. Kill - I will utterly destroy thee both root and branch.
31 Gate - The gate is put for the city. City - City is here put collectively for their cities. The north - From Chaldea. A smoak - A grievous judgment and calamity. Times - When God's appointed time shall come, not one of all that numerous army shall desert his colours, or lag behind the rest.
32 What - What shall a Jew say to the people of other nations, who shall enquire concerning the state of Zion, when not only the Philistines, but even the Jews themselves, shall fall by the hands of the same enemy? That - They shall give them this answer, That although Zion at present be in a very distressed condition, yet she stands upon a firm foundation, and God who first founded her, will restore her, and his poor despised people shall resort to her, as to a strong refuge.

Chapter XV

The Destruction of Moab, ver. 1 - 9.

1 The burden - A prophecy of the destruction of the Moabites, the inveterate enemies of the Jews, begun by the Assyrian, and finished by the Babylonian emperors. In a night - Suddenly and unexpectedly. Ar - The chief city of Moab. Kir - Another eminent city of Moab.
2 Bajith - Which signifies an house. It is supposed to be some eminent house or temple of their idols. Dibon - Another city of Moab. To weep - To offer their supplications with tears to their idols for help. Medeba - Two considerable cities, anciently belonging to the Moabites. Beard - The hair of their heads and beards was shaved, as was usual in great mournings.
3 On the tops - Which were made flat, to which men used to go up, to cry to God in heaven, or to men for help.
4 Heshbon - Two other Moabitish cities. Jahaz - Another city in the utmost borders of Moab. Soldiers - Who use to be the most courageous.
5 Moab - Tho' they are a most vile nation. Zoar - Zoar was a town bordering upon Moab. Of destruction - Such a cry as men send forth when they are just falling into the pit of destruction.
6 Waters - Watery grounds being very fruitful, are commonly most inhabited; but now they also, much more the dry and barren grounds, shall be desolate and without inhabitant.
7 They - Their enemies. Brook - Possibly he means some such river which ran into Euphrates, and so gave them opportunity of carrying their spoils by water unto Babylon.
8 The cry - Their cry fills all the parts of the country.
9 More - More than hath been already mentioned. Lions - God shall send lions to find out those that escape the fury of men.

Chapter XVI

The Moabites exhorted to entertain kindly the banished Jews, ver. 1 - 5. They are threatened for their pride and arrogance, ver. 6 - 8. The prophet bewaileth them, ver. 9 - 11. Their judgment, ver. 12 - 14.

1 Send - The prophet continues his prophecy against Moab, and gives them counsel what to do, to prevent, if possible, the desolation. Make your peace with God, by sacrifice, for all your injuries done to him, and to his people. Sela - An eminent city of Moab, seated upon a rock. Unto the mount - Unto the temple upon mount Zion.
2 Cast out - Which knows not whither to go. Arnon - Which was the border of the land of Moab, where they were, with design to flee out of their land, tho' they knew not whither.
3 Take counsel - Consider seriously what course to take. Shadow - Or, as the shadow of the night, large and dark, as the shadow of the earth is in the night - season. Conceal and protect my people in the time of their distress. The out - casts - Those of my people who are driven out of their land. Wandereth - Unto their enemies.
4 Mine out - casts - Whom tho' I have sorely chastened, yet I own for my people. At an end - Shall shortly be destroyed, and then thou wilt not lose the fruit of thy kindness. The present tense is put for the future.
5 In mercy - By my mercy. I am now punishing their sins, yet I will deliver them for my own mercy's sake. The throne - The kingdom of Judah. He - Their king. In truth - That is, firmly and constantly; for truth is often put for the stability and certainty of a thing, as 2Chron 32:1 Prov 11:18. Tabernacle - ln the house, or palace, which is called a tent, or tabernacle, with respect to the unsettledness of David's house, which now indeed was more like a tabernacle than a strong palace. Seeking - Searching out the truth of things with care and diligence. Hasting - Neither denying, nor yet delaying justice.
6 We - The prophet having spoken to the Moabites, now turns his speech to God's people. The sense is, I do not expect that my counsels will have any good effect upon Moab; they will still carry themselves insolently and outrageously. His lies - His vain imaginations, and false and crafty counsels, shall not take effect.
7 Moab - One Moabite shall howl or lament to or for another. Kirhareseth - An ancient and eminent city of Moab, which was preserved when their other cities were ruined, and therefore the destruction of it was more lamented. Stricken - Or, broken, overthrown or destroyed.
8 The lords - The Assyrians or Chaldeans, the great rulers of the eastern nations. Plants - The choicest vines. Under which one particular he seems to understand, not only all other fruits and goods, but even their choicest people. They - The lords of the heathen are come as far as Jazer, which is the utmost border of Moab. Wandered - The Moabites fled for their lives, and wandered hither and thither in the wilderness of Moab. Branches - Her people, called plants before. Stretched - Driven from their own homes, and dispersed into several countries. The sea - Over the Dead - sea, which was the border of Moab. They were forced to flee out of their own country to save their lives.
9 Sibmah - I will bewail Sibmah, as I did bewail Jazer, which was destroyed before Sibmah. Fallen - Those joyful shouts which were customary in the time of harvest and vintage, shall cease.
10 Treaders - In those times they used to squeeze out the juice of their grapes by treading them with their feet.
11 My bowels - Thro' compassion. In excessive grief, the bowels are sometimes rolled together, so as to make an audible noise.
12 When - When it shall appear that all their other devotions are vain. His sanctuary - To the temple of his great god Chemosh. But - His god can neither hear nor help him.
13 Since - Since the beginning of God's revelation to me concerning Moab, hitherto.
14 The Lord - Hath made this farther discovery of his mind to me. Three years - This may well be understood of some great blow given to the Moabites, either by Sennacherib, or his son Esarhaddon, from which notwithstanding they recovered and flourished again 'till Nebuchadnezzar compleated their destruction. Hireling - Within three years precisely counted; for hirelings are very punctual in observing the time for which they are hired. The glory - Their strength, and wealth, and other things in which they glory, shall be made contemptible to those who formerly admired them. With - With the great numbers of their people, of which they boasted.

Chapter XVII

Damascus, Samaria, Israel, and their cities, to be ruined by the Assyrians, ver. 1 - 5. A remnant shall consider and repent, ver. 6 - 8. The rest plagued for their impiety, ver. 9 - 11. The woe of Israel's enemies, ver. 12 - 14.

1 Damascus - Both of that city and kingdom. A heap - This was fulfilled by Tiglath - pilneser, 2Kings 16:9, although afterwards it was re - edified.
2 Aroer - Of that part of Syria, called Aroer, from a great city of that name. These cities were possessed by the Reubenites and Gadites, whom Tiglath - pilneser carried into captivity, 1Chron 5:26. These he mentions here, as he doth Ephraim in the next verse, because they were confederate with Syria against Judah. Afraid - Because the land shall be desolate, and destitute of men who might disturb them.
3 The fortress - All their fortresses; the singular number being put for the plural. Remnant - The remainders of Damascus and Syria shall be an headless body, a people without a king. Of Israel - Syria shall have as much glory as Israel; that is, neither of them shall have any at all.
5 Gathereth - Taking care, as far as may be, that all may be gathered in, and nothing left. So shall the whole body of the ten tribes be carried away captive, some few gleanings only being left. Rephaim - A very fruitful place near Jerusalem.
6 Yet - Some few Israelites were left after their captivity, who joined themselves to Judah, and were carried captive to Babylon with them, from whence also they returned with them.
7 A man - Those few men that are left. Look - They shall sincerely respect, and trust, and worship God, and God only.
8 Not look - Not trust to them, or to worship offered to idols upon them. The work - Their own inventions. Groves - Which were devised by men, as fit places for the worship of their gods. Images - Worshipped in their groves.
9 In - The day of Jacob's trouble, of which he spake ver.4. Uppermost branch - Which he that prunes the tree neglects, because he esteems it useless and inconsiderable. Left - Which they (the Canaanites) left or forsook because of (or for fear of) the children of Israel. And this was a fit example, to awaken the Israelites to a serious belief of this threatening, because God had inflicted the same judgment upon the Canaanites, for the same sins of which they were guilty.
10 Thou - O Israel. The rock - That God who was thy only sure defence. Plants - Excellent flowers and fruit - trees. Strange - Fetched from far countries, and therefore highly esteemed.
11 In the day - Thou shalt from day to day, beginning early in the morning, use all diligence that what thou hast planted may thrive. But - When this grievous calamity shall come, all your harvest shall be but one heap.
12 Woe - This is a new prophecy, added for the comfort of God's people. Many - Combined together against Judah. Seas - Who invade my land and people with great force, as the sea does when it enters into the land by a breach.
14 Behold - At even there is great terror among God's people, for fear of their enemies; and before the morning comes, their enemies are cut off.

Chapter XVIII

God in defence of his church and punishing her enemies, will destroy the Ethiopians, ver. 1 - 6. An access thereby shall be to the church, ver. 7.

1 The lord - Either Ethiopia beyond Egypt; or of Egypt. Wings - The title of wings is given, in scripture, to divers things which have some kind of resemblance to wings, as to the battlements of an house or temple, to an army, and to the sails of a ship, as this word is here commonly understood. And shadowing with wings is nothing else but overspread or filled with them. Which title may be given either to Ethiopia or Egypt, in regard of the great numbers either of their armies, or of their ships or vessels sailing upon the sea or rivers. Besides - Situated on both sides of the Nile. Rivers - Called rivers, in the plural number, either for its greatness, or for the many rivulets that run into it, or for the various streams into which it is divided.
2 Sendeth - That at this time are sending ambassadors, to strengthen themselves with alliances. Bulrushes - Both the Egyptians and Ethiopians, used boats of rushes or reeds, which were more convenient for them than those of wood, because they were both cheaper and swifter, and lighter for carriage from place to place. These seem to be the words of the prophet, who having pronounced a woe against the land hitherto described, here continues his speech, and gives a commission from God to these messengers, to go to this nation scattered, &c. Then he calls to all nations to be witnesses of the message sent, ver.3, and then the message follows in the succeeding verses. Messengers - Whom I have appointed for this work, and tell them what I am about to do with them. Scattered - Not by banishment but in their habitations. Which agrees well to the Ethiopians, for the manner of their habitation, which is more scattered than that of other people. Peeled - Having their hair plucked off. This is metaphorically used in scripture, for some great calamity, whereby men are stripped of all their comforts. And this title may be given to them prophetically, to signify their approaching destruction. Terrible - Such were the Egyptians, and Ethiopians, as appears both from sacred and profane histories. Meted - Meted out as it were with lines to destruction. Trodden - By Divine sentence, and to be trodden down by their enemies. The rivers - Which may be understood of the Assyrians or Babylonians breaking in upon them like a river, and destroying their land and people.
3 When - When God shall gather together the nations, as it were by the lifting up of an ensign, or by the sound of a trumpet, to execute his judgments upon this people.
4 Rest - I will not bestir myself, to help this people. God is said in scripture to rest, or sit still, when he doth not work on the behalf of a person or people. Dwelling - place - In heaven, the place where God dwells. Harvest - The sense is, that God would look upon them with as uncomfortable an influence as the sun with a clear heat upon the herbs, which are scorched and killed by it; and as a cloud of the dew, which brings dew or rain, in the heat of harvest, when it is unwelcome and hurtful.
5 For - Before they receive the end of their hopes. When - When the bud or flower is turned into a grape, which gives hopes of good vintage. He - The Lord. The branches - Instead of gathering the grapes, shall cut down the tree, and throw it into the fire.
6 Thy - The branches being cut down and thrown upon the ground, with the unripe grapes upon them. Left - They shall lie upon the earth, so that either birds or beasts may shelter themselves with them, or feed on them, both summer and winter.
7 In that time - At or after that time, when the judgment shall be compleatly executed. A people - The people of whom I am speaking shall present themselves, and their sacrifices, to the true God.

Chapter XIX

The confusion of Egypt, their intestine dissention, their idols deceive them, cruel lords over them, waters fail them, their trade dead, their princes and counselors made foolish, their terror before the Lord, ver. 1 - 17. The calling of Egypt to the church, ver. 18 - 22. The covenant of Egypt, Assyria and Israel, ver. 23 - 25.

1 Rideth - As a general in the head of his army. A swift cloud - This phrase shews that the judgment should come speedily, unexpectedly, and unavoidably. Shall be moved - So far shall they be from helping the Egyptians, that they shall tremble for themselves.
2 I will set - Egypt was now one kingdom, but not many years after this time it was divided into twelve kingdoms, between whom there were many and cruel wars.
3 The spirit - Their courage.
4 A fierce king - Psammetichus, who being at first one of those twelve kings, waged war with the rest, and subdued them, and conquered all the land of Egypt and ruled it with rigour.
5 The waters - Which may be understood either,
  1. Metaphorically, of the taking away of their dominion or commerce, &c. or rather,
  2. Properly, as may be gathered from the following words. For as the river Nile, when it had a full stream, and free course, did pour forth a vast quantity of waters by its seven famous mouths into the sea, so when that was dried up, which is expressed in the next clause, those waters did truly and properly fail from the sea.
So there is no need of understanding by sea either the river Nile, or the great lake of Maeris, which, after the manner of the Hebrews, might be so called. The river - Nile: upon whose fulness and overflow both the safety and the wealth of the land depended; and therefore this was a very terrible judgment. Dried up - Not totally, but in a very great measure.
6 Rivers - The rivers (those rivulets by which the waters of Nile were distributed into several parts of the land) shall be turned far away, as they must needs be, when the river which fed them was dried up. Brooks - The several branches of the river Nile, which were a great defence to Egypt. Reeds - Which were useful to them for making their boats. Whither - As they commonly do for want of water.
7 Paper - reeds - These by a needle, or other fit instrument, were divided into thin and broad leaves, which being dried and fitted, were used at that time for writing; and consequently was a very good commodity. By brooks - And much more what was sown in more dry and unfruitful places.
8 Mourn - Because they could catch no fish; which was a great loss to the people, whose common diet this was.
9 They - That make fine linen, which was one of their best commodities.
10 Thereof - Of Egypt, or of the Egyptians. They shall lose their hopes; for the fishes in them shall die for want of water.
11 Zoan - The chief city, in which the king and court frequently resided. How - Why do you put such foolish words into Pharaoh's mouth? I am the son - Wisdom is heredity and natural to me.
13 Noph - Another chief city, and one of the kings seats, called also Moph, and by latter authors, Memphis. The stay - Their chief counsellors. Tribes - Of the provinces, which he calls by a title borrowed from the Hebrews, in whose language he spake and wrote this prophecy.
14 Mingled - Or, hath poured out or given them to drink. To err - In all their designs and undertakings. Staggereth - When he is so drunk, that he reels to and fro, and vomits up his drink.
15 Head, &c. - All people, both high and low, shall be at their wits end.
16 Women - Feeble and fearful. Because - Because they shall perceive that they do not fight with men only, but with the Lord of hosts, who now lifts up his hand against them, as he did against their forefathers.
17 A terror - Because of their manifold injuries against Judah, for which they now apprehend God is calling them to account. Determined - Because God is now about to execute his appointed judgments. It - Against Egypt.
18 In that day - After that time. In the times of the gospel. Five - A considerable number of their chief cities: a certain number being put for an uncertain. Speak - Profess the Jewish religion, agree with them in the same mind; which is fitly signified by speaking the same language. Swear - This implies the dedication, and yielding up of a person or thing to the Lord, by a solemn vow, or covenant. One - Not one of the five, but another city, the sixth city. As divers cities shall be converted and saved, so some other cities shall continue in their impenitency, and be destroyed.
19 An altar - The altar is put for the worship of God, as it is in many places both of the Old and New Testament. And nothing is more common in the prophets than to speak of gospel - worship in the phrases of the law. Pillar - A monument of the true religion. Here also he alludes to the ancient custom of erecting pillars to God. The border - As before, in the midst of it. The meaning is, There shall be evidences of their piety in all places.
20 It - The altar or pillar last mentioned. A witness - To testify that they own the Lord for their God. Cry - Being sorely distressed, they shall turn unto the true God. A great one - A great or mighty Saviour, even Christ.
21 Shall sacrifice - Shall worship God spiritually; which yet is signified by typical phrases.
22 Smite - God will afflict them and by those afflictions will convert and save them.
23 Assyria - They who were implacable enemies one to another, and both to the church of God, shall now be reconciled and united together in the service of God, and love to his church. Serve - The Lord.
24 The third - The third party, in that sacred league, whereby all of them oblige themselves to serve God. Egypt - These are named, because they were the most obstinate enemies to God's church, but they are here put for all the Gentiles. A blessing - This is peculiar to Israel, who is not only a third party, but is the most eminent of the three, as being the fountain, by which the blessing is conveyed to the other two; because Christ was to be born of them, and the gospel - church and ordinances were first established among them, and from them derived to the Gentiles. The land - Or, of those lands, Egypt and Assyria, between which Israel lay.
25 Whom - That is, which people, Israel, Egypt, and Assyria; of whom he speaks as of one people, because they are all united into one church. My people - This title, and those which follow, that were peculiar to the people of Israel, shall now be given to these and all other nations.

Chapter XX

The captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia represented, to take off the Jews from seeking to them for help, ver. 1 - 6

1 Sargon - Sennacherib, who, before he came to Jerusalem, came up against and took all the walled cities of Judah, of which Ashdod might be reckoned one, as being in the tribe of Judah.
2 Sackcloth - Which he wore in token of his grief for the calamities that were already come upon Israel, and were coming upon Judah. Naked - Not wholly naked, but without his upper garment, as slaves and prisoners used to do, whose posture he was to represent. Bare - foot - After the manner of mourners and captives.
3 Three years - Not constantly, but when he went abroad among the people, to whom this was appointed for a sign. A sign - When this judgment should come, namely, three years after this prophecy.
4 Uncovered - Having their garments cut off by the middle.
5 They - All that shall trust to them. But under this general expression the Israelites, seem to be principally intended.
6 Of the country - Of this land, in which the prophet was, and to whose inhabitants, these words were uttered. Such - So vain is our hope placed upon such a people as are unable to deliver themselves.

Chapter XXI

The prophet's fear and trouble at his vision of Babylon's ruin, the Medes and Persians, ver. 1 - 4. He mocketh Babel, ver. 5 - 9. Edom scorning the prophet is called to repentance, ver. 11, 12. The time of Arab's calamity set, ver. 13 - 17.

1 The plain - Of Babylon, which lay in a very plain country. And the title of the sea might well be given to the waters of Babylon, because of the great plenty and multitude of them. South - In those parts which lay southward from Judea, where there were many and great deserts. Pass through - As meeting with no opposition. It - The burden or judgment. Desert - From Media and Persia; a great desert lay between them and Chaldea. A terrible land - From the Medes, a warlike and formidable people.
2 A vision - A vision or prophecy, containing dreadful calamities which were to fall upon Babylon. The spoiler - The Medes and Persians used treachery as well as force against Babylon. Elam - Persia, so called, because Elam was an eminent province of Persia, bordering upon the Medes. Besiege - Namely, Babylon, ver.9. The sighing - The sighing and groaning of God's people, and other nations under the oppressions of that cruel empire.
3 My loins - Which he mentions with respect to the following similitude of child - bearing. Pangs - Sharp and grievous pains.
4 The night - In which I used to have sweet repose. He seems to have had this vision in a night. But withal this signified that horror and destruction, which should befal the Babylonians in a night of feasting and jollity. He - God, who shewed him that vision.
5 Prepare - Furnish it with meats and drinks. The prophet foretells what the Babylonians would be doing when their enemies were at their doors. Watch - To give us notice of any approaching danger, that in the meantime we may more securely indulge ourselves. Princes - Of Babylon: arise from the table and run to your arms. Shield - Prepare yourselves and your arms for the approaching battle. The shield is put for all their weapons of offence and defence. They used to anoint their shields with oil, to preserve and polish them, and to make them slippery.
6 Go set - This was now done only in a vision, but it signified what should be done really afterwards.
7 A chariot - Hereby he signifies the variety and abundance of warlike provisions which the Medes and Persians should have for their expedition, and particularly of chariots, whereof some were for the carriage of necessary things, and others for the battle.
8 A lion - The watchmen cried out, I see also a lion marching before the horsemen and chariots: which they suppose to represent Cyrus or Darius marching in the head of their armies. My lord - The watchman speaks to the prophet, who had set him in this station. Whole nights - According to thy command I have stood, and do yet stand continually, both day and night, upon my watch - tower.
9 Men - Not fitted with goods, but provided with men to fight. He - The prophet, who here gives an explication of the vision. He - God, by the hands of Cyrus.
10 Threshing - Threshing is put for the corn threshed; and the corn threshed for people sorely afflicted. This is probably spoken of Babylon. The corn - Which I will cause to be threshed upon the floor. You - Unto you my people; for all the prophecies, even concerning other nations, were published to them, and for their use and comfort.
11 Dumah - Of Edom or Idumea. He - The people of Dumah, one of them in the name and by the appointment of the rest. Me - To the watchman: the prophet delivers his prophecy in the form of a dialogue between the people and the watchman. Seir - Out of Edom, which is frequently called Seir. Watchman - The watchman of Edom, whom they had set as people use to do in times of great danger. Night - The people are supposed to come to him very early in the morning, to enquire what had happened in the night; which shews a state of great perplexity and fear. Night - The repetition of the words, shew the greatness of their solicitude.
12 The night - The night is past without any mischief, and the light of the morning is approaching; but tho' the morning is coming, it will be gone, and the night will return, and your fears with it. Come - If you will enquire, enquire: I perceive your danger is not past, and there will be occasion for farther enquiries. Therefore return, come - Come to me the next morning, and so from morning to morning.
13 Forest - Not as you used to do, in the houses or tents of the Arabians: whereby he implies, that that populous country should be a wilderness. Companies - In those parts travellers then did, and still do, go together in companies. Dedanim - These were merchants, who used to trade with Tyre, and their way lay thro' Arabia.
14 Tema - A part of Arabia. Fled - Whereby he implies, that those other Arabians, against whom this prophecy is principally directed, should be reduced to great scarcity, and forced to flee for their lives, from a bloody enemy.
16 A year - From the time of this prophecy: an exact year. Glory - Their power, and riches, and all things wherein they used to glory. This was executed by the Assyrians.

Chapter XXII

The anguish of Judah, the prophet much grieved, ver. 1 - 5. By the Persians, Medes, and Assyrians, ver. 6, 7. He reproves their human wisdom, ver. 8 - 11. And profane joy, ver. 12, 13. Which God would certainly punish, ver. 14. Shebnah's deprivation for his pride, ver. 15 - 19. Eliakim put in his place, his glory, ver. 20 - 25.

1 The valley - Of Judah; and especially of Jerusalem, called a valley, because great part of it flood in a valley; and the valley of vision, because of the many and clear visions or revelations of God's mind, in that place. House - tops - As they used to do in times of great consternation, that they might look, to and cry to heaven for help.
2 Noises - Of joyful shouts. Tumultuous - Through revelling and jollity. Battle - But either by famine or pestilence in the siege, or in their flight.
3 Rulers - Zedekiah and his chief commanders, whose flight he foretells. Found - That remain there with Zedekiah in the siege; for those who had fled to the Chaldeans saved their lives and liberties. Bound - In fetters, Jer 52:11. Fled - Who fled from Jerusalem, but were pursued and overtaken by their enemies, and bound, as others had been.
4 Look away - Take off your eyes and thoughts from me, and leave me alone.
5 Treading down - In which my people are trodden under foot by their enemies. By the Lord - Not only men, but God himself fought against them. Walls - Of the strong cities of Judah. Mountains - With such loud and dismal outcries as should reach to the neighbouring mountains.
6 Elam - The Persians, who now, and for a long time after, were subject to the Assyrian and Chaldean emperors. Quiver - Being expert bowmen. Horsemen - As some fought on foot, so others fought from chariots and horses. Kir - The Medes, so called from Kir, an eminent city and region of Media. Uncovered - Prepared it and themselves for the battle.
7 Valleys - Valleys were the most proper places for the use of chariots. Gate - To assist the footmen while they made their assault, and to prevent those who endeavoured to escape.
8 He - The enemy. Covering - He took those fenced cities, which were a covering or safe - guard both to the people of Judah, and to Jerusalem. The armour - Thy trust was placed in the arm of flesh. The forest - More fully called the house of the forest of Lebanon, 1Kings 7:2, not because it was built in Lebanon, for it was in Jerusalem; but because it was built of the trees of Lebanon.
9 Seen - That is, observed in order to the reparation of them. The waters - That you might both deprive the enemy of water, and supply the city with it.
10 Numbered - That they might exactly know their own strength. The houses - Which stood upon or without the walls, and so gave their enemies advantage, and hindered the fortifying the city.
11 Thereof - Of Jerusalem, expressed in the foregoing verse. Him - God, who made it a city, and the place of his special presence and worship. Long ago - Which may be added to aggravate their sin, in distrusting that God, who had now for a long time given proof of his care and kindness in defending this city.
12 Call - By his providence, and by his precepts requiring these things in such times. Baldness - By plucking or shaving off the hair of their heads, as was usual in great sorrows.
13 Let us, &c. - A most perverse and desperate conclusion.
14 'Till ye die - You shall feel the sad effects of this, as long as you live.
16 What - What right hast thou to this place and office? Whom - What kindred or relations? For the Jews say, he was a stranger by birth; which is the more probable, because his pedigree is not mentioned in any of those places of scripture where he is named. On high - In an high and eminent place. An habitation - He erected a stately house to live in, and a stately sepulchre to receive him when he died. And these two are fitly joined together, because their sepulchres were commonly built in or near their houses. A rock - A fit place both for strength and state.
17 Will carry - Will cause thee to be carried into captivity by a strong hand. Cover - This may be an allusion to the ancient custom of covering the faces of condemned persons.
18 Thy chariots - Thy glorious chariots where thou didst ride in great state at Jerusalem, shall be turned into shame to thyself, and to thy master.
19 He - The Lord; such sudden changes of persons being very usual in these writings.
20 Call - By my powerful providence.
21 Girdle - There was a peculiar sort of robe and girdle which was the badge of his office. A father - He shall govern them with fatherly care and affection.
22 The key - The government, the power of opening and shutting, of letting men into it, or putting them out of it, whereof a key is a fit emblem. Shoulder - He mentions the shoulder rather than the hand, in which keys are commonly carried, from some ceremony then in use, of carrying a key upon the shoulder of the officer of state.
23 Fasten - I will establish the power in his hands. Sure place - In the strong walls, or solid timber, in the house. He shall be - By his prudent and righteous government he shall procure great glory, to all that have any relation to him.
24 The glory - Of his own kindred and family, who shall all depend upon him, and receive glory from him; of the house of David, which is called his father's house, because he was of the blood - royal. The offspring - Great and small, the children and grand - children of his father's house, the meanest of them shall receive a lustre from their relation to him. All vessels - All sorts of vessels, great or small, mean or precious, may be hanged upon him, without any fear of falling.
25 The nail - Shebna, who seemed to be so. The burden - All those wicked officers that were advanced and supported by his power.

Chapter XXIII

The destruction of Tyre, from God, for their pride, ver. 1 - 14. The time of her rising again, ver. 15 - 17. And conversion to God, ver. 18.

1 Of Tyre - The prophecy of the heavy calamity and destruction of Tyre. Tyre was, according to this prophecy, destroyed; first by Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards by Alexander the great. And tho' this prophecy seemed directly to respect the former destruction, yet it seems to have some reference to the latter also; only it is intimated, that after seventy years, Tyre should recover some former power and glory, before her second and final destruction. Howl - To which howling and lamenting is ascribed by a known figure. No house - So effectually wasted, that there is not an house left in it, nor any merchants or others that go into it, for traffick. Chittim - He mentions the land of Chittim, because this was an eminent place for shipping and trading, and therefore doubtless had great dealings with Tyre. It may here be put for all other countries which traded with her. It is not necessary to determine what Chittim is; it is sufficient to know, that it was a seafaring place in the Midland Sea.
2 Be still - Heb. be silent, boast no more of thy wealth and power. The isle - Of Tyre, which was an island, 'till Alexander joined it to the continent. The title of islands is often given by the Hebrews to places bordering upon the sea. That pass - That are a sea - faring people. Replenished - With manners, and commodities.
4 Zidon - Zidon was a great city near Tyre, strongly united to her by commerce and league, and called by some the mother of Tyre, which they say, was built and first inhabited by a colony of the Sidonians. The sea - That part of the sea in which Tyre was, and from which ships and men were sent into all countries. The strength - Tyre might be called the strength of the sea, because it defendeth that part of the sea from piracies and injuries. I travel not - I, who was so fruitful, that I sent forth colonies into other countries (of which Carthage was one), am now barren and desolate.
5 Waters - By the sea, which is very fitly called the great waters, understand, cometh, or is brought to her. The seed - The corn of Egypt, wherewith Egypt abounded. Sihor is the same as the Nile. The harvest - The plentiful harvest of corn which comes from the inundation of the Nile; emphatically called the river. The revenue - Is as plentifully enjoyed by her, as if it grew in her own territories. A mart - A place to which all nations resort for traffick.
7 Antiquity - Being built before Joshua's time, Joshua 19:29. Her feet - Whereas before, like a delicate lady, she would not set her foot to the ground, but used to be carried in stately chariots. To sojourn - To seek for new habitations.
8 Who - This is the word of God, and not of man. The crowning city - Which was a royal city, and carried away the crown from all other cities. Princes - Equal to princes for wealth, and power, and reputation.
9 The Lord - This is the Lord's own doing. To stain - God's design is by this example to abase the pride of all the potentates of the earth.
10 Pass through - Tarry no longer in thy own territories, but flee through them, into other countries, for safety and relief. As a river - Swiftly, lest you be prevented. Tarshish - O Tyre, which might well be called daughter of Tarshish, that is, of the sea, as that word is used, ver.1, and elsewhere, because it was an island, and therefore as it were, born of the sea, and nourished and brought up by it.
11 He - The Lord. Shook - Heb. he made the kingdoms to tremble; the neighbouring and confederate kingdoms, who might justly quake at her fall, for the dreadfulness and unexpectedness of the thing; and because Tyre was a bulwark, and a refuge to them. A commandment - Hath put this design into the hearts of her enemies, and given them courage to attempt, and strength to execute it.
12 Virgin - So he calls her, because she had hitherto never borne the yoke of a conquering enemy. Zidon - Tyre may be called the daughter of Zidon, because she was first built and possessed by a colony of the Zidonians. No rest - Thither thine enemies shall pursue thee, and there shall they overtake the.
13 Behold - Thou Tyrians, cast your eyes upon the Chaldeans or Babylonians; who tho' now flourishing, grow far more glorious and potent, even the glory of kingdoms, yet shall certainly be brought to utter ruin. This people - The Chaldeans at first were not a people, not formed into any commonwealth or kingdom, 'till Nimrod, the head and founder of the Assyrian monarchy, built Babel, Gen 10:9,10, now the head of the Chaldean monarchy; which he built for those people, who then lived in tents, and were dispersed here and there in waste places. He - The Lord. To ruin - Will infallibly bring that great empire to ruin. He speaks of a future thing as if it were already past.
14 Your strength - The city of Tyre, where you found safety and wealth.
15 Forgotten - Neglected and forsaken. Seventy years - During the time of the Jewish captivity in Babylon. Tyre was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, Jer 27:3,8 Ezek 26:7, a little after the taking of Jerusalem and was restored by the favour of the Persian monarchs after the return of the Jews. One king - One royal race of Nebuchadnezzar, including his son, and his son's son, in whom his family and kingdom were to expire. Sing - She shall by degrees return to her former traffick, whereby she shall easily entice the merchants of the world to trade with her, as harlots use to entice men by lascivious songs.
16 Go about - As harlots use to do. Thou harlot - So he calls Tyre, because she enticed the merchants to deal with her by various artifices, and even by dishonest practices, and because of the great and general uncleanness which was committed in it.
17 Visit - In mercy. Her hire - The Hebrew word properly signifies, the hire of an harlot. Fornication - Shall trade promiscuously with people of all nations, as harlots entertain all comers.
18 Holiness - This is a prophecy concerning the conversion of the Tyrians to the true religion. Laid up - Either out of covetousness, or for their pride and luxury, as they formerly did; but now they shall freely lay it out upon pious and charitable uses. Shall be - For the support and encouragement of the ministers of holy things, who shall teach the good knowledge of the Lord. Although this does not exclude, but rather imply their liberality in contributing to the necessities of all Christians.

Chapter XXIV

Judgments on Judah for their defilements and transgression, ver. 1 - 12. A remnant shall praise God, ver. 13 - 15. God, by his judgments on his people and their enemies, will advance his kingdom, ver. 16 - 23.

1 The land - Of Canaan. Waste - He will shortly make it waste, first by the Assyrians, and then by the Chaldeans. Turneth - Brings it into great disorder and confusion.
2 It shall be - The approaching calamity shall be universal, without any distinction of persons or ranks; the priests themselves having been partakers of the peoples sins, shall also partake with them in their plagues. The seller - The purchaser of lands shall have no more left than he that hath sold all his patrimony; and all persons shall be made equal in beggary and slavery.
4 The world - The land of Judea. The majesty - Not only common people, but the high and lofty ones.
5 Defiled - By the wickedness of its people. The laws - The laws of God. Ordinance - God's ordinances concerning his worship and service; the singular being put for the plural. Covenant - The covenant made between God and Abraham, and all his posterity, which was everlasting, both on God's part, who, upon the conditions therein expressed, engaged himself to be a God to them and to their seed forever; and on Israel's part, who were obliged thereby to constant and perpetual obedience thro' all generations.
6 The curse - The curse of God threatened to transgressors. Burned - Are consumed by the wrath of God, which is commonly compared to fire.
7 Mourneth - Because there are none to drink it. Grief is ascribed to senseless creatures by a figure usual in all authors. Languisheth - Because there are no people left to dress it, or gather its grapes. The merry - hearted - That made their hearts merry with wine.
8 Tabrets - Which they used in their feasts. The noise - The word properly signifies a confused clamour, such as drunken men make.
9 Bitter - Because of the fears and miseries wherewith it is mixed.
10 The city - Jerusalem, and other cities; for the singular word may be here taken collectively. A city of confusion or disorder, breaking all the laws and orders which God had established among them. Shut up - Because the inhabitants are either dead, or gone into captivity.
11 A crying - Such was their gross sensuality and sottishness, that instead of crying for their sins, they did only howl for their corn, and wine, and oil, Hosea 7:14.
13 When - When this judgment shall be executed, there shall be left a remnant; as there are some few olives or grapes left after the vintage is over.
14 They - The remnant shall sing for the glorious power and goodness of God, manifested in their deliverance. The sea - From the isles of the sea; from those parts beyond the sea into which, they were carried captive.
15 In distress - When you are in the furnace of affliction. In the isles - In remote countries, beyond the sea, which in scripture are commonly called isles.
16 From - From all the parts of the earth in which the Jews are or shall be. Songs - Of joy and praise. Glory - Or, glory be to the righteous. The Lord, the righteous one. But - In the midst of these joyful tidings, I discern something which gives me cause of lamentation. My leanness - I faint and pine away for grief, for the following reason. Treacherously - The Jews, who have been frequently guilty of great perfidiousness towards God, are now acting the same part. Even the Hebrew doctors expound this place of the perfidiousness of some Jews in the times of the Messiah. And it is not strange that so sad a sight made the prophet cry out, My leanness, &c. He repeats it to shew the horridness of the crime.
17 The snare - Great and various judgments, some actually inflicted, and others justly feared.
18 Fleeth - Upon the report of some terrible evil. The foundations - Both heaven and earth conspire against him. He alludes to the deluge of waters which God poured down from heaven, and to the earthquakes which he often causes below.
19 The earth - This is repeated again, to shew the dreadfulness and, certainty of these judgments, and to awaken the stupid Israelites.
20 A tent - Which is easily and commonly carried from place to place.
22 Gathered - By God's special providence, in order to their punishment. And thus the unbelieving Jews were generally gathered together at Jerusalem, to their solemn feast, when Titus came and besieged, and destroyed them. Shut up - As malefactors, which are taken in several places, are usually brought to one common prison. After - After the apostate Jews shall have been shut up in unbelief, and in great tribulations for many ages together, they shall be convinced of their sin in crucifying the Messiah, and brought home to God and Christ by true repentance.
23 The sun - All earthly powers and glories shall be obscured with the far greater splendor of Christ, the king of kings, at whose feet even the kings of the earth shall fall down and worship. The Lord - The Messiah, who, tho' man, yet is also God, and the Lord of hosts. Shall reign - Shall come in the flesh, and set up his kingdom, first in Jerusalem, and afterward in all other nations. Before - Before his ministers, who are in some sort the courtiers of the King of Glory. But the ancients are here put for the whole church, in whose name and for whose service they act.

Chapter XXV

God glorious in his judgments on Babel, ver. 1 - 5. and his people's salvation, ver. 6 - 12.

1 O Lord - The prophet reflecting upon those great and glorious prophecies which he had delivered, interrupts the course of his prophecies, and breaks forth into a solemn celebration of God's wonderful works. Thy counsels - From which all thy works proceed, and which thou hast from time to time revealed to thy prophets and people, which were of old, being conceived from all eternity, are true and firm, and shall certainly be accomplished.
2 A city - Which is put for cities: or of enemies of God and his people. And under the name cities he comprehends their countries and kingdoms. Strangers - The royal cities, in which were the palaces of strangers, of Gentiles. No city - Their cities and palaces have been or shall be utterly and irrecoverably destroyed.
3 Shall fear - Thy stoutest enemies observing thy wonderful works, shall be converted, or at least forced to tremble before thee.
4 For - For thou hast defended thy poor and helpless people. As a storm - Makes a great noise, but without any effect.
5 The noise - The tumultuous noise, as the word properly signifies; the rage and furious attempts of those Heathen nations that fought against God's people. As the heat - With as much ease as thou dost allay the heat of a dry place, by the shadow of thy clouds, or by the rain which falls from black and shadowy clouds. The branch - The arm or power, as a branch is the arm of a tree.
6 And - In mount Zion, in God's church. All people - Both Jews and Gentiles. A feast - A feast made up of the most delicate provisions, which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in his church. Of wines - Which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and are afterwards drawn off, and refined.
7 The face - The covering of the face. The veil - The ignorance of God, and of the true religion, which then was upon the Gentiles, and now is upon the Jews.
8 He - Christ will by his death destroy the power of death, take away the sting of the first death, and prevent the second. In victory - Heb. unto victory; so as to overcome it perfectly; which complete victory Christ hath already purchased for, and will in due time actually confer upon his people. Rebuke - The reproach and contempt cast upon his faithful people by the ungodly world.
9 Our God - Our Messiah, long since promised, and for whom we have waited long, is come into the world, bringing salvation with him.
10 Rest - The powerful and gracious presence, of God shall have its constant and settled abode. Moab - The Moabites are put for all the enemies of God's church.
11 He - The Lord, whose power they shall be no more able to resist, than the waters can resist a man that swims. Spread - To smite and destroy them. The spoils - With all their wealth which they have gained by rapine, and spoiling of God's people.
12 And - All thy fortifications, in which thou trustest.

Chapter XXVI

A song of praise and confidence in God, for the blessings of righteousness, judgments on their enemies, and favour to his people: their chastisement, repentance, and hope, ver. 1 - 21.

1 In that day - When God shall do such glorious works, as are described in the foregoing chapter. Sung - In the church of God. A city - Jerusalem, or the church, which is often compared to a city. For walls - God's immediate and saving protection shall be to his church instead of walls.
2 The gates - Of the city, mentioned ver.1. The nation - The whole body of righteous men, whether Jews or Gentiles. For he seems to speak here, as he apparently did in the foregoing chapter, of the times of the gospel. Keepeth truth - Which is sincere in the true religion.
4 For ever - In all times and conditions.
5 On high - He speaks not so much of height of place, as of dignity and power, in which sense also he mentions the lofty city in the next clause. Lofty city - Which may be understood either of proud Babylon, or of all the strong and stately cities of God's enemies.
6 The needy - God will bring it under the feet of his poor, and weak, and despised people.
7 Thou - O God, who art upright in all thy ways, and therefore a lover of uprightness, and of all upright men, dost weigh (examine) the path of the just, the course of his actions, and, which is implied, dost approve of them, and therefore direct them to an happy issue.
9 In the night - When others are sleeping, my thoughts and desires are working towards God. Early - Betimes in the morning. For - And good reason it is that we should thus desire and seek thee in the way of thy judgments, because this is the very design of thy judgments, that men should thereby be awakened to learn and return to their duty; and this is a common effect, that those who have been careless in prosperity, are made wiser and better by afflictions.
10 Will not learn - This is the carriage of thy people; but the course of wicked men is directly contrary in all conditions: for if thou dost spare them, they will not accept of that gracious invitation to repentance. In the land - Even in God's church, and among his people, where righteousness is taught and practised. Will not behold - Tho' God gives such plain discoveries of his majesty and glory, not only in his word, but also in works, and especially in this glorious work of his patience and mercy to wicked men, yet they will not acknowledge it.
11 Will not see - And they are guilty of the same obstinate blindness when thou dost smite and punish them, which is commonly signified by lifting up the hand. They shall see - They shall know that by sad experience, which they would not learn by easier ways. These - Such fire or wrath as thou usest to pour forth upon thine implacable enemies.
12 Our works - All the good works done by us, are the effects of thy grace.
13 Other lords - Others besides thee, and besides those governors who have been set up by thee, even foreign and heathen lords. By thee - By thy favour and help. Will we - Celebrate thy praise.
14 Rise - Those tyrants are destroyed; they shall never live or rise again to molest us.
15 The nation - This nation seems to be the people of Israel. Removed - Thou hast removed thy people out of their own land, and suffered them to be carried captive to the ends of the earth.
16 They - Thy people. Visited - Come into thy presence, with their prayers and supplications.
17 Like - Such was our anguish and danger.
18 We - We have had the torment of a woman in child - bearing, but not the comfort of a living child, for we have brought forth nothing but wind; all our labours and hopes were unsuccessful. The world - The Assyrians, or our other enemies.
19 Thy - The prophet here turns his speech to God's people, and gives them a cordial in their distress. Thy dead men are not like those, ver.14, for they shall not live; but thine shall live. You shall be delivered from all your fears and dangers. My dead body - As I myself, who am one of these dead men, shall live again; you shall be delivered together with me. Awake - Out of your sleep, even the sleep of death, you that are dead and buried in the dust. Thy dew - The favour and blessing of God upon thee. The dew - Which makes them grow and flourish.
20 Shut thy doors - Withdraw thyself from the world, and pour out thy prayers to God in thy closet. Indignation - The dreadful effects of God's anger, mentioned in the following verse.
21 Cometh - Cometh down from heaven. To punish - All the enemies of God, and of his people. Her slain - The innocent blood which hath been spilled upon the earth shall be brought to light, and severely revenged upon the murderers.

Chapter XXVII

God's care over his vineyard, ver. 1 - 6. His chastisements on them, ver. 7 - 9. His severe judgments against them, ver. 10, 11. Their return, ver. 12, 13.

1 Leviathan - By this leviathan, serpent and dragon (for all signify the same thing) be understands some powerful enemy or enemies of God, and of his church or people, which may well be called by these names, partly for their great might, and partly for the great terror and destruction which they cause upon the earth. The piercing - Which by its sting pierces deeply into mens bodies. Crooked serpent - Winding and turning itself with great variety and dexterity. Whereby he seems to signify the craftiness and activity of this enemy, whose strength makes it more formidable.
2 In that day - When this enemy shall be destroyed. A vineyard - My church and people, of red wine, of the choicest and best wine, which in those parts was red.
3 I keep it - I will protect my church from all her enemies, and supply her with all necessary provisions.
5 Or - Or if at any time fury seem to be in me against my people. Let him - My people. Take hold - Which he may by humble prayer not only restrain from doing him hurt, but engage to do him good.
6 Take root - To be firmly settled in their possessions. Fruit - Their posterity shall seek habitations in other countries, and replenish them with people. But this seems to be understood of the spiritual seed of Jacob.
7 Hath he - He hath not dealt so severely with his people, as he hath dealt with their enemies, whom he hath utterly destroyed. Of them - Of those who were slain by God on the behalf of Israel.
8 In measure - With moderation. When - When the vine shooteth forth its luxuriant branches, he cuts them off, but so as not to destroy the vine. Contend - God is said to contend with men, when he executes his judgments upon them, Amos 7:4. Stayeth - He mitigates the severity of the judgment. In the day - In the time when he sends forth his east - wind; which he mentions because that wind in those parts was most violent and most hurtful.
9 By this - By this manner of God's dealing with them. When - Which sin of Jacob's shall be purged, when he shall truly repent of all his sins, and especially of his idolatry. Altar - Their idolatrous altars. Possibly he may say the altar, with respect to that particular altar, which Ahaz had set upon the place of God's own altar; and this prophecy might be delivered in Ahaz's time, while that altar stood. Chalk - stones - When he shall break all those goodly altars in pieces. Not stand - Shall be thrown down with contempt.
10 Yet - Yet before this glorious promise be fulfilled, a dreadful and desolating judgment shall come. The city - Jerusalem and the rest of the defenced cities in the land. The habitation - The most inhabited and populous places. The calf - This is put for all sorts of cattle, which may securely feed there, because there shall be no men left to disturb them.
11 Broken - That there may be no hopes of their recovery. Women - He mentions women, because the men would be destroyed. Not understanding - They know not the things which concerns their peace, but they blindly and wilfully go on in sin. Therefore - Thus he overthrows their conceit that God would never destroy the work of his own hands.
12 Beat out - It is a metaphor from grain which was beaten out with a rod or staff, and then carefully gathered and laid up. From - From Euphrates to the Nile, which were the two borders of the land of promise. All the Israelites who are left in the land. One by one - Which signifies, God's exact care of them.
13 Trumpet - God shall summon them altogether by sound of trumpet, by an eminent call of his providence. He alludes to the custom of calling the Israelites together with trumpets.

Chapter XXVIII

The drunkenness of Ephraim bringeth destruction on them, a remnant shall be honourable, ver. 1 - 8. Their unteachableness, 9 - 13. Their mock at God's threatening, ver. 14, 15. Christ a sure foundation to believers, ver. 16. And destruction to the mockers, who are exhorted to amend, ver. 17 - 22. God's providence, its work and seasons towards the church, under the figure of a husbandman, 23 - 29.

1 Pride - That proud and insolent kingdom. Drunkards - Having many and excellent vines among them, they were much exposed to this sin. Ephraim - Of the kingdom of the ten tribes. Who are - Who have their common abode. The head - Samaria, might well be called the head, as being seated upon a mountain, and the head of the kingdom, and the head of the fat valleys, because it was encompassed with many fat and rich valleys.
2 A strong one - The king of Assyria. Shall cast down - The crown of pride. The hand - By the hand of God, which shall strengthen him in this work.
3 Trodden - The expression is emphatical; the crown which was upon their own heads, shall be trodden under the feet of others; and they, whose drunkenness made them fall to the ground, shall be trodden down there.
4 He eateth - Which, as soon as a man sees he plucks it off, and devours it, as soon as he can get it into his hand. And so shall it be with Ephraim's glory, which his enemies shall devour greedily.
5 In that day - When the kingdom of Israel shall be destroyed. A diadem - God shall give eminent glory and beauty, to the kingdom of Judah.
6 To them - Who not only drive their enemies from their land, but pursue them into their own lands, and besiege them in their own cities.
7 But - Judah is guilty of the same sins with Israel, therefore they also must expect the same calamities; of which he speaks afterward. The prophet - The teachers, who should have been patterns of sobriety to the people. They err - The prophets miscarry in their sacred employment. Stumble - The priests mistake in pronouncing the sentence of the law, which was their duty.
9 He - God. Them - Who is there among this people that are willing to be taught the knowledge of God? A minister may as soon teach an infant as these men.
10 For - They must be taught like little children, because of their great dullness. Line - One line of the book after another, as children are taught to read.
11 Another tongue - By people of a strange language, whom he shall bring among them, seeing they will not hear him speaking, by his prophets, in their own language.
12 This - This doctrine. The rest - The only way, in which you will find rest.
13 Here a little - As this method has been used and was altogether necessary for them; so it still is, and for the future shall be. As they were children in understanding, they shall still continue to be such; they shall be ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth. That - This will be the event, or consequence of their sin: they will fall backward, which is the worst, and most dangerous way of falling; and so be broken to pieces.
15 Said - In your hearts. We - We are as safe from death, and hell, or the grave, as if they had entered into covenant with us. The scourge - The judgment of God. Through - The land. For - We shall secure ourselves by lying and dissimulation.
16 Therefore - Because your refuges are so vain, and deceitful; therefore I will direct you to a surer refuge, which God hath laid in Zion. But if you despise that refuge; then know, that I will lay judgment to the line, &c. I lay - I have promised it, and will, in the fulness of time, perform it. In Zion - In my church. A foundation - Upon which I will build my church. A stone - The Messiah. Tried - Which I have tried, and approved as every way sufficient. Corner - stone - Uniting the several parts of the building together. Sure - Upon whom you may securely rest. Believeth - This promise. Shall not - Hastily catch at any way of escaping danger, but shall patiently wait upon God in his way, 'till he deliver him.
17 Plummet - I will execute just judgment, as it were by a line and plummet annexed to it; that is, with exactness and care: I will severely punish, and utterly destroy all who reject that stone. For the line and plummet, or the plumb - line, was not only used in erecting buildings, but also in pulling them down; those parts of the building being thus marked out, which were to be demolished.
19 Pass over - It shall not only come to you, but it shall abide upon you; and when it hath passed over you, it shall return again to you, morning after morning; and shall follow you day and night, without giving you the least respite. The report - So dreadful shall the judgment be, that it shall strike you with horror, when you only hear the rumour of it.
20 For - For those lying refuges, to which you trust, will not be able to give you that protection, which you expect from them; no more than a man can stretch himself upon a bed that is too short for him.
21 Perazim - Where he fought against the Philistines, 2Sam 5:20. Gibeon - Where he fought against the Canaanites, Josh 10:10, &c. and afterwards against the Philistines, 1Chron 14:16. Strange work - For this work of bringing total destruction upon Israel, was contrary to the benignity of his own nature, and to the usual way of dealing with his people.
22 Lest - Lest thereby you make the judgments of God sure and unavoidable. For - God hath assured me, that he will utterly destroy the people of Israel.
24 Doth - The plowman doth not spend all his time in plowing the ground; but he has several times for several works. And so God has his times and seasons for several works, and his providence is various at several times, and towards several people. Therefore those scoffing Israelites were guilty of great folly, in flattering themselves, because of God's long patience towards them; for God will certainly take a time to thresh, and break them with his judgments, as at present he plowed and harrowed them, and so prepared them for it by his threatenings. Open - Understand, all day. Break - Which they used to do with a kind of harrow.
25 Made plain - By breaking the clods. The wheat - The best which he chuses for seed. Barley - That proportion of barley which he appointed. Place - Heb. in his border; each seed in a several place.
27 A threshing instrument - This then was made like a sledge shod with iron, which was drawn by men or beasts, over the sheafs of corn, to bruise them, and tear the grain out of them. A wheel - A lower wheel than a cart wheel, but of the same form, upon which possibly the threshing instrument was drawn.
28 Bruised - With a threshing instrument. Break it - Understand, forever. Horses - This was another way of threshing out the corn, by driving horses, or other cattle, over the sheaves to tread it.
29 This also - This part of the husbandman's discretion. These words contain the application of the similitude. The husbandman manages his affairs with common discretion; but God governs the world, and his church, with wonderful wisdom: he is great and marvellous, both in the contrivance of things, and in the execution of them.

Chapter XXIX

The temple and city of Jerusalem destroyed, ver. 1 - 6. Her enemies insatiable, ver. 7, 8 Their senselessness, ver. 9 - 12. And deep hypocrisy, ver. 13 - 17. These scorner and oppressor being cut off, the rest shall be converted, ver. 18 - 24.

1 The city - The royal city, and seat of David and his posterity. Set them - Go on in killing sacrifices from time to time, one year after another, whereby you think to appease me, but all shall be in vain.
4 And thou - Thou who now speakest so loftily, shall be humbled, and with a low voice, beg the favour of thine enemies. As one - Who, that they might possess the people with a kind of reverence and horror, used to deliver their answers with a low voice, from some cave under the ground.
5 Strangers - Whom thou hast hired to assist thee, as indeed they did, when the Chaldeans came against them. Terrible ones - Thy great commanders, and stout soldiers. It - This destruction of thy strangers, and terrible ones shall come to pass.
6 Thou - Thou, O Jerusalem. Fire - With dreadful judgments, which are frequently expressed by these metaphors.
8 His soul - His appetite or desire is unsatisfied. So - No less unsatisfied and insatiable; they shall be always thirsting after more of your blood.
9 Wonder - At the stupidity of this people. Cry - Cry out again and again through astonishment. They stagger - With giddiness or stupidity, which makes them like drunken men, insensible of their danger.
10 Dead sleep - Hardness of heart, and insensibleness of your danger. Seers - Your magistrates and ministers. Covered - With the veil of ignorance and stupidity.
12 Of all - Of all, your prophets. As a book - In which no man can read, while it is sealed up, as books then sometimes were, being made in the form of rolls. Delivered - Unsealed and opened.
13 Draw near - Namely, in acts of worship. With lips - With outward devotions. But - They do not pay me that love, and fear, and obedience, which I require. And - They worship me not in such a manner, as I have prescribed, but according to mens inventions, preferring the devices and traditions of their false prophets, before my institutions.
14 Hid - Shall disappear and vanish.
15 Seek deep - A metaphor from men, who use to dig deep into the earth, that they may hide any thing there. To hide - Vainly imagining, that they can deceive, not only men, but God, by their external professions. Who - Neither God nor man can discover us.
16 Surely - All your subtle devices, by which you turn yourselves into all shapes. As clay - It is no more to me, than the clay is to the potter, who can alter and dispose it as he sees fit.
17 As a forest - The forest of Lebanon, which was a barren mountain, shall by God's providence, become a fruitful and populous place; and these places which are now fruitful and populous, shall then become as barren and desolate, as that forest. This is a prophecy of the rejection of the Jews, and of the calling of the Gentiles.
18 Shall see - Being, by God's grace, brought out of gross, ignorance and wickedness, unto a clear and saving knowledge of the truth.
19 Meek - The humble and meek believers. Poor - Mean and despicable people, such as the Gentiles were in the opinion of the Jews, and such as the greatest part of the first Christians were.
20 That watch - That early and diligently apply themselves to the practice of wickedness.
21 That make a man - That condemn a man, as if he was a great criminal. For him - For God's faithful prophets and ministers. The gate - There the people used to assemble, both upon civil and sacred accounts, and there prophets used to deliver their prophecies. Turn - From his right. The just - The faithful ministers of God. Nought - Not for any great advantage, but for a trifle.
22 Redeemed - From manifold dangers, and especially from idolatry. Jacob - The Israelites or posterity of Jacob, who had great cause to be ashamed, for their continued infidelity, shall at last be brought back to the God of their fathers, and to their Messiah. Pale - Through fear of their enemies.
23 He seeth - When the believing seed of Jacob shall see those children, whom they have begotten to God, by the gospel, even the Gentiles. The work - The children, not of the flesh, but of the promise, whom I, by my almighty grace, have regenerated. In the midst - Incorporated with the Jews, into one and the same body. Shall sanctify - They shall glorify God, with them and for them.
24 That erred - Those Gentiles who erred from God's truth. Murmured - They that murmured at God's faithful teachers, shall now receive God's truth in the love of it.

Chapter XXX

The prophet threatens the people for their confidence in Egypt, ver. 1 - 7. And contempt of God's word, ver. 8 - 11. Wherefore they shall be destroyed, ver. 12 - 17. God's mercies towards the church, ver. 18 - 26. God's wrath and the peoples joy in the destruction of Assyria, ver. 27 - 33.

1 The rebellious - The Jews. Take counsel - That consult together. Cover - That seek protection. But not - Not such as by my spirit, speaking in my word, I have required them to do. That they may add - That unto all their sins, they may add distrust of my power and mercy, and put confidence in an arm of flesh.
2 Asked - Either by the priests or prophets.
4 His princes - The princes of Judah. Hanes - An eminent city of Egypt.
5 They - Both the messengers, and they who sent them.
6 The burden - The treasures, which were carried upon asses or camels, into Egypt, which lay southward from Judea. The land of trouble - Egypt, so called prophetically. From whence - This may be understood properly, but withal, seems to design the craft and cruelty of that people. They - The Jews. Their riches - To procure their assistance. Bunches - Upon the backs.
7 To her - To Jerusalem or Judah. Sit still - It is safer and better for them to sit quietly at home, seeking to me for help.
8 Write - This warning. Before - In their presence. Note it - So this was to be written twice over, once in a table, to be hanged up in some public place, that all present might read it; and again, in a book, that it might be kept for the use of posterity. The time to come - As a witness for me and against them.
11 Cause, &c. - Do not trouble us with harsh messages from God.
12 And trust - In the wealth which you have gotten by oppression, and in your perverse course of sending to Egypt for help.
13 This iniquity - Of trusting to Egypt, shall be like a wall which is high, but swelling forth in some parts, which, upon the least accident, falls down suddenly.
14 He - God.
15 In returning - To God. Quietness - In sitting still, and quieting your minds. Confidence - Placed upon me, and my promises.
17 'Till - 'Till you be destroyed, and but a few of you left.
18 Wait - Patiently expect your repentance. Exalted - He will work gloriously. Judgment - Or mercy. That wait - In his way, with faith and patience.
19 Shall dwell - After a set time, they shall return to Jerusalem, and have a fixed abode. This was in part accomplished upon their return from Babylon; but more fully in the times of the gospel, when many of them were, and the whole body of them shall be brought into Christ's church.
21 Shall hear - Thou shalt hear the voice of God's word and spirit. Behind thee - A metaphor borrowed from shepherds, who use to follow their sheep, and recall them when they go out of the way.
22 Defile - To shew your contempt of it. Covering - The leaves or plates wherewith their images were frequently covered. Ornament - It was a costly and glorious robe.
23 Bread - Which shall be the fruit of thy own land and labour: and excellent for quality, which is called, fat, Deut 32:14, and abundant for quantity.
24 Clean provender - There should be such plenty of corn, that the very beasts, instead of straw, should eat corn; and that not in the ear, or with the straw, but the pure grain.
25 Hill - Which is commonly dry and barren. In the day - When God shall destroy the enemies of his people. The towers - The mighty potentates, who fought against God's people.
26 Sevenfold - As if the light of seven days were combined together in one. Healeth - When God shall effectually cure the wounds of his people, making Israel and Judah to be one, and making Jew and Gentile to be one fold under one shepherd.
27 Behold - Here he gives them an earnest of those greater mercies in times to come, by assuring them of the approaching destruction of the Assyrian forces. The name - The Lord himself. From far - From a remote place: even from heaven. Heavy - He will inflict heavy judgments upon them. Indignation - He hath pronounced a severe sentence against them, and will give command for the execution of it.
28 His breath - God's anger. A stream - Coming from him as vehemently, as a mighty torrent of waters. To sift - To shake and scatter, as it were with a sieve. The nations - The Assyrian army, which was made up of several nations. With - Not with an ordinary sieve, which casteth away the chaff only, but with a sieve, which should shake them so long and so vehemently, as to cast away altogether. A bridle - God will over - rule them by his powerful providence. To err - Whereas other bridles guide into the right way, this shall turn them out of the way, by giving them up to their own foolish counsels, which shall bring them to certain ruin.
29 A song - You shall have songs of praise. The night - He seems to have a particular respect to the solemnity of the passover, in which they spent some considerable part of the night in rejoicing, and singing psalms before the Lord. As when - Like the joy of one that is going up to the solemn feasts with musick.
30 His voice - His thunder, metaphorically taken for some terrible judgment. The lightning - Upon the Assyrian. With - With great wrath; which is signified by heaping so many words of the same signification together.
32 The rod - Heb. the founded rod, the judgment of God, called a founded rod, because it was firmly established, by God's immutable purpose. Him - Upon the Assyrian. With harps - Their destruction shall be celebrated by God's people, with joy and musick, and songs of praise. Of shaking - Or, shaking of the hand, of which kind of shaking this Hebrew word is constantly used. God will fight against them, and destroy them by his own hand. With it - With the army of the Assyrians.
33 Tophet - This was a place near Jerusalem, in which the idolatrous Israelites used to offer up their children to Moloch. It may be put, for any place of torment; and particularly it is put for hell. For the king - For the king of Assyria. Fire - He alludes to the ancient custom, of burning sacrifices, and particularly of burning children to Moloch. The breath - The immediate hand of God, or his word of anger. Brimstone - He seems to allude to that shower of fire and brimstone, Gen 19:24.

Chapter XXXI

The folly and punishment of trusting in Egypt, ver. 1 - 3. God will fight for Jerusalem, ver 4, 5. If they will turn unto him, ver. 6, 7. The fall of Assyria, ver. 8, 9.

1 Horses - For Egypt had many and choice horses.
2 He is safe - You think you are safe, in engaging the Egyptians; but God is not inferior to them in wisdom or strength, and therefore you have done foolishly, in preferring them before him, who will execute his judgments upon you, notwithstanding all the Egyptians can do. The help - The helpers, as it is explained in the next verse.
3 Flesh - Weak and frail.
4 For - Although you have done evil in sending to Egypt for help, yet the Lord himself will, of his own grace, give you that help which you do not deserve.
5 As birds - Which come from above, and so cannot be kept off; which fly swiftly, and engage resolutely, when their young ones are in danger. Passing over - The destroying angel shall pass over Jerusalem.
8 The sword - Not of any man, but of an angel. Discomfited - Heb. shall melt away, a great part of them being destroyed by the angel; and the hearts of the rest melting for fear.
9 He - Sennacherib shall flee away, from Jerusalem, to his strong city of Nineveh. The ensign - Of the Lord's ensign, which he hath lifted up against them. Whose fire - Who is, and will appear to be in Zion, like a fire to defend his people, and to consume their enemies.

Chapter XXXII

Christ's kingdom and its blessings, ver. 1 - 8. Careless women, shall be troubled, ver. 9 - 11. And the land laid waste, ver. 12 - 14. Until a restoration, ver. 16 - 20.

1 Behold - This seems to be a distinct prophecy from the former, and delivered before that which is related in the former chapters. The prophecies are not always set down in that order, in which the prophets delivered them. The foregoing prophecy was delivered, not in the time of Ahaz for he sent to the Assyrian, not the Egyptian, for help; it was Hezekiah, who rebelled against the king of Assyria, and was too prone to trust upon the staff of Egypt. But this seems to have been delivered in the time of Ahaz. A king - Hezekiah, a type of Christ, and Christ typified by him.
2 A man - Each of his princes. A hiding place - Unto the people under their government. The wind - From the rage and violence of evil men. As rivers - No less refreshing. As the shadow - In a dry and scorched country, which is called weary, because it makes travellers weary; as death is called pale in other authors, because it makes mens faces pale.
3 The eyes - The people, they shall not shut their eyes and ears against the good counsels and examples of their religious king and rulers, as they have done formerly: both princes and people shall be reformed.
4 The rash - Who were hasty in judging of things; which is an argument of ignorance and folly. The tongue - That used to speak of the things of God, darkly, and doubtfully; which though it was in part fulfilled in Hezekiah, yet was truly and fully accomplished only by Christ, who wrought this wonderful change in an innumerable company both of Jews and Gentiles.
5 The vile - Base and worthless men. Liberal - Shall no longer be reputed honourable, because of their high and honourable places, but wickedness shall be discovered where ever it is, and virtue manifested and rewarded. The churl - The sordid and covetous man; but under this one vice, all vices are understood, as under the opposite virtue of bountifulness; all virtues are comprehended.
6 Villainy - Men shall no longer be miscalled; for every one will discover what he is by his words and actions. Will work - He will, from time to time, be advising wickedness, that he may execute it when he hath opportunity. To practise - To do bad things, tho' with a pretence of religion and justice. To utter - To pass unjust sentence, directly contrary to the command of God. Cause the drink - Whereby they take away the bread and the drink of the poor.
7 Lying words - With false and unrighteous decrees. Even - When their cause is just and good.
9 Ye - That indulge yourselves in idleness and luxury. Careless - Who are insensible of your sin and danger.
10 The vintage shall fail - During the time of the Assyrian invasion. The gathering - Of the other fruits of the earth.
11 Strip - Put off your ornaments.
12 The teats - For the pleasant and fruitful fields, which like teats yielded you plentiful and excellent nourishment.
13 Yea - Upon that ground, where now your houses stand, in which you take your fill of mirth and pleasure.
14 Forsaken - Of God, and given up into their enemies hands. A joy - Desolate places, in which wild asses delight to be.
15 Until - Until the time come, in which God will pour, or, as the Hebrew word properly signifies, reveal, evidently and plentifully pour out his spirit from heaven upon his people, which was fully accomplished in the days of the Messiah. The fruitful field - God's people who were desolate, shall be revived and flourish, and their flourishing enemies shall be brought to destruction.
16 Judgment - Just judgment. Righteousness - Justice shall be executed in all the parts of the land.
17 The work - The effect of this shall be prosperity. Quietness - Tranquility, both of mind and outward estate. Assurance - Of God's mercy, and the fulfilling of his promises.
19 It shall hail - As my blessings shall be poured down upon my people, who, from a wilderness, are turned into a fruitful field, so my judgments (which are signified by hail, chap.28:2,17, and elsewhere) shall fall upon them, who were a fruitful field, but are turned into a forest, upon the unbelieving and rebellious Jews. The city - Jerusalem, which, though now it was the seat of God's worship and people, yet he foresaw, would be the great enemy of the Messiah. Low - Heb. shall be humbled with humiliation: shall be greatly humbled, or brought very low.
20 Blessed - As the barren forest shall be destroyed, so the fruitful field shall be improved, and bring forth much fruit; which is signified by a declaration of the blessedness of them that sow in it. Waters - In all moist grounds, which are like to yield good fruit. But this also is to be understood of the times of the gospel, and of the great and happy success of the ministers of it. The ox - Which they employed in plowing and sowing the ground.

Chapter XXXIII

The destruction of the enemies of the church, who are derided, ver. 1 - 13. Which terrifies the sinners in Zion, ver. 14. The safety and privileges of the godly, ver. 23, 24.

1 To thee - Sennacherib, who wasted the land of Judah.
2 O Lord - The prophet contemplating the judgment which was now coming upon God's people, directs his prayer to God for them. Their arm - Our arm or strength. The change of persons is frequent in prophetical writings. Every morning - When we offer the morning sacrifice, and call upon thee: which yet is not meant exclusively, as if he did not desire God's help at other times; but comprehensively, the morning being put for the whole day. The sense is, help us speedily and continually.
3 The noise - Which the angel shall make in destroying the army. The people - Those of the army, who escaped that stroke. The nations - The people of divers nations, which made up this army.
4 Your spoil - That treasure which you have raked together, by spoiling divers people. Gathered - By the Jews at Jerusalem, when you flee away. Like the caterpillar - As caterpillars gather and devour the fruits of the earth. As locusts - As locusts, especially when they are armed by commission from God, come with great force, and run hither and thither.
5 Exalted - By the destruction of so potent an army; and by the defence of this people.
6 Thy times - He turns his speech to Hezekiah. Thy throne shall be established upon the sure foundations of wisdom and justice. And strength - Thy strong salvation. The fear - Thy chief treasure is in promoting the fear and worship of God.
7 Behold - That the mercy promised might be duly magnified, he makes a lively representation of their great danger and distress. The ambassadors - Whom he shall send to beg peace of the Assyrian. Shall weep - Because they cannot obtain their desires.
8 The covenant - Sennacherib broke his faith, given to Hezekiah, of departing for a sum of money, 2Kings 18:14,17. Cities - The defenced cities of Judah, which he contemned, and easily took.
9 Mourneth - Being desolate and neglected. Hewn - By the Assyrians. Bashan - Two places eminent for fertility, are spoiled of their fruits.
11 Stubble - Instead of solid corn. Your great hopes and designs, shall be utterly disappointed. Your breath - Your rage against my people shall bring ruin upon yourselves.
12 The people - Shall be burnt as easily and effectually as chalk is burned to lime.
14 The sinners - This is spoken of the Jews. The prophet having foretold the deliverance of God's people, and the destruction of their enemies, gives a lively representation of the unbelieving condition, in which the Jews were, before their deliverance came. Who - How shall we be able to endure, or avoid the wrath of that God, who is a consuming fire; who is now about to destroy us utterly by the Assyrians, and will afterwards burn us with unquenchable fire?
15 He - Who is just in all his dealings. From hearing - Who will not hearken to any counsels, tending to shed innocent blood. From seeing - That abhors the very sight of sin committed by others, and guards his eyes from beholding occasions of sin.
16 On high - Out of the reach of danger. His waters - God will furnish him with all necessaries.
17 The king - First Hezekiah, and then Christ, triumphing over all enemies, and ruling his own people with righteousness. Very far - Thou shalt not be shut up in Jerusalem, but shalt have free liberty to go abroad with honour and safety.
18 Thine heart - This is a thankful acknowledgment of deliverance from their former terrors and miseries. Where - These words they spoke in the time of their distress. The scribe, whom we call muster - master, was to make and keep a list of the soldiers, and to call them together as occasion required: the receiver, received and laid out the money for the charges of the war; and he that counted the towers, surveyed all the parts of the city, and considered what towers or fortifications were to be made or repaired. And unto these several officers the people resorted, with great distraction and confusion.
19 A fierce - That fierce and warlike people, whom thou hast seen with terror, near the walls of Jerusalem, thou shalt see no more. A people - A foreign nation, whose language is unknown to thee.
20 Look upon - Contemplate Zion's glorious and peculiar privileges. Solemnities - This was the chief part of Zion's glory, that God was solemnly worshipped, and the solemn assemblies and feasts kept in her. Quiet - This was but imperfectly fulfilled in the literal Zion; but clearly and fully in the mystical Zion, the church of God, in the times of the gospel.
21 There - In and about Zion. Rivers - Tho' we have nothing but a small and contemptible brook to defend us; yet God will be as sure a defence to us, as if we were surrounded with great rivers. No galley - No ships of the enemies shall be able to come into this river to annoy them.
22 Is judge - To plead our cause against our enemies. Lawgiver - Our chief governor, to whom it belongs, to give laws, and to defend his people.
23 Tacklings - He directs his speech to the Assyrians; and having designed their army under the notion of a gallant ship, ver.21, he here represents their undone condition, by the metaphor of a ship, tossed in a tempestuous sea, having her cables broke, and all her tacklings loose, so that she could have no benefit of her masts and sails; and therefore is quickly swallowed up. The lame - They shall leave so many spoils behind them, that there shall be enough left for the lame, who come last to the spoil.
24 The inhabitant - Of Jerusalem. Sick - Shall have no cause to complain of any sickness or calamity. Forgiven - They shall not only receive from me a glorious temporal deliverance; but, which is infinitely better, the pardon of all their sins, and all those spiritual and everlasting blessings, which attend upon that mercy.

Chapter XXXIV

God's fury and wrath against his church's enemies, ver. 1 - 10. Their land utterly desolate, ver. 11 - 15. The certainly hereof, and duration, ver. 16, 17.

2 All nations - Not only upon the Assyrians, but on all enemies of my people.
3 Cast out - Into the fields.
4 Dissolved - The sun, moon, and stars. So great shall be the confusion and consternation of mankind, as if all the frame of the creation were broken into pieces. It is usual for prophetic writers, both in the Old and New Testament, to represent great and general calamities, in such words and phrases, as properly agree to the day of judgment; as on the contrary, the glorious deliverances of God's people, in such expressions, as properly agree to the resurrection from the dead.
5 Bathed - In the blood of these people. Heaven - Where God dwells; in which this is said to be done, because it was there decreed and appointed. Idumea - Upon the Edomites, who, tho' they were nearly related to the Israelites, yet were their implacable enemies. But these are named for all the enemies of God's church, of whom they were an eminent type. The people - Whom I have cursed, and devoted to utter destruction, as the word properly signifies.
6 The sword - The metaphor is taken from a great glutton, who is almost insatiable. Rams - By lambs, and goats, and rams, he means people of all ranks and conditions, high and low, rich and poor. Bozrah - A chief city of Edom, and a type of those cities which should be most opposite to God's people.
7 The unicorns - It is confessed, this was a beast of great strength and fierceness; and it is used in this place to signify their princes and potentates, who shall be humbled and cast down. Them - With the lambs, and goats, and rams. Fatness - With the fat of the slain sacrifices, mingled with it.
8 For - This is the time which God hath fixed, to avenge the cause of his persecuted people.
9 The land - Idumea shall be dealt with, as Sodom and Gomorrah were.
10 For ever - It shall remain as a spectacle of God's vengeance to all succeeding ages.
11 Dwell - It shall be entirely possessed by those creatures which delight in deserts and waste places. Stretch - He shall use the line, or the stone or plummet joined to it, not to build them, but to mark them out to destruction, as workmen commonly use them to mark what they are to pull down.
12 None - They shall not find any willing to undertake the government. Nothing - Shall have no courage or strength left in them.
16 Seek - When this judgment is executed, if you pursue this prophecy, you will find, that all things exactly come to pass, as I have told you. His - My spirit, (such sudden changes of persons being frequent here) hath brought all these creatures together, as he formerly brought the creatures to Adam, and to Noah, by an instinct which he put into them.
17 Divided - He hath divided the land to them, as it were by lot and line, as Canaan was divided among the Israelites.

Chapter XXXV

The joyful flourishing of Christ's kingdom, ver. 1, 2. The weak he strengthens and comforts, ver. 3, 4. His miracles, ver. 5, 6. The prosperity and peace of his people, ver. 7 - 10.

1 The solitary place - Emmanuel's land, or the seat of God's church and people, which formerly was despised like a wilderness, and which the rage of their enemies had brought to desolation, shall flourish exceedingly.
2 The excellency - The wilderness shall be as pleasant and fruitful as Lebanon, and Carmel, and Sharon. They - The inhabitants of the wilderness aforesaid. The glory - The glorious discoveries of God's power and goodness.
3 Strengthen - Ye ministers of God, comfort and encourage God's people, who are now ready to faint.
4 Your God - Tho' he seems to be departed, he will come to you, and abide with you. He will shortly come in the flesh, to execute vengeance upon the enemies of God.
5 Then - The poor Gentiles, who before were blind and deaf, shall now have the eyes and ears of their minds opened to see God's works, and to hear and receive his word.
7 Streams - The most dry and barren places shall be made moist and fruitful; which is principally meant of the plentiful effusion of God's grace upon such persons and nations, as had been wholly destitute of it. Rushes - Those dry and parched deserts, in which dragons have their abode, shall yield abundance of grass, and reeds, and rushes, which grow only in moist ground.
8 A way - The high - way and the way are not to be taken for two different ways, but for one and the same way, even a causey, which is raised ground, and a way. Holiness - The people (walking in it) shall be all righteous. For those - But this way shall be appropriated to those persons above - mentioned; the weak, and blind, and lame, whom God will lead and save. Though fools - The way shall be so plain and strait, that even the most foolish travellers cannot easily mistake it.

Chapter XXXVI

Sennacherib invades Judah, ver. 1. He sends Rabshakeh, who by his blasphemous persuasions tempts Hezekiah to despair, and the people to revolt, ver. 2 - 22. The history related here, and in the three following chapters, is, almost in the same words contained 2Kings 18, 19, 20. It is inserted here, to explain and confirm some of the foregoing predictions. It may seem to have first been written by this prophet, and from him taken into the book of Kings, to compleat that history.

Chapter XXXVII

Hezekiah mourns and sends to Isaiah to pray for them, ver. 1 - 5. He comforts them, ver. 6, 7. Sennacherib called away against the king of Ethiopia, sends a blasphemous letter to Hezekiah, ver. 8 - 13. His prayer, ver. 14 - 20. Isaiah's prophecy, ver. 21 - 35. An angel slays the Assyrians, ver. 36. Sennacherib is slain at Nineveh by his own sons, ver. 37, 38.


Hezekiah in his sickness receives from Isaiah a message of death, ver. 1. By prayer, ver. 2, 3. hath his life lengthened; the sun goeth backward for a sign thereof, ver. 4 - 8. His song of praise to God, ver. 9 - 20.

13 I reckon - When I could not rest all the night even 'till morning, my thoughts were presaging that God would instantly break me to pieces, and the like thoughts followed me from morning 'till evening.
16 By these - By thy promises, and thy performance of them; therefore it is not strange, that one word of God hath brought me back from the jaws of death.
18 Praise - The dead are not capable of glorifying thy name among men upon earth. They cannot expect nor receive the accomplishment of thy promised goodness in the land of the living.
20 Was ready - Was a present help.

Chapter XXXIX

The king of Babylon sends ambassadors with letters and a present to Hezekiah, who shews them his treasures, ver, 1, 2, Isaiah foretells the Babylonish captivity, ver. 4 - 7. His resignation, ver. 8.

Chapter XL

The prophet having now foretold the Babylonish captivity, chap.39:6,7, does here arm his people against it by the consideration of their certain deliverance out of it, and their blessed condition after it, as in other things so especially in the coming of the Messiah, and the great and glorious privileges conferred upon God's church and people in his days. The preaching of the gospel by John the baptist and the apostles, ver. 1 - 11. The power and wisdom of God in governing the world, ver. 12 - 17. The folly of idolatry, ver. 18 - 26. God knows the state of his people, and both can and will protect them, ver. 27 - 31.

1 Ye - Ye prophets and ministers.
2 Warfare - The time of her captivity, and misery. Double - Not twice as much as her sins deserved, but abundantly enough to answer God's design in this chastisement, which was to humble and reform them, and to warn others by their example.
3 The voice - An abrupt speech. Methinks I hear a voice. Wilderness - This immediately relates to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and smoothing their passage from thence to Judea, which lay through a great wilderness; but principally to their redemption by the Messiah, whose coming was ushered in by the cry of John the baptist, in the wilderness. Prepare ye the way - You to whom this work belongs. He alludes to the custom of princes who send pioneers before them to prepare the way through which they are to pass. The meaning is, God shall by his spirit so dispose mens hearts, and by his providence so order the affairs of the world, as to make way for the accomplishment of his promise. This was eminently fulfilled, when Christ, who was, and is God, blessed for ever, came into the world in a visible manner.
6 Cry - God speaks unto his ministers. He - The prophet. All flesh - The prophet having foretold glorious things, confirms the certainty of them, by representing the vast difference between the nature, and word, and work of men and of God. All that men are or have, yea, their highest accomplishments, are but like the grass of the field, weak and vanishing, soon nipt and brought to nothing; but God's word is like himself, immutable and irresistible: and therefore as the mouth of the Lord, and not of man, hath spoken these things, so doubt not but they shall be fulfilled.
9 Zion - Zion or Jerusalem is the publisher, and the cities of Judah the hearers. Get up - That thy voice may be better heard. Afraid - Lest thou shouldest be found a false prophet. Say - To all my people in the several places of their abode. Behold - Take notice of this wonderful work, and glorious appearance of your God.
10 His arm - He shall need no succours, for his own power shall be sufficient to govern his people, and to destroy his adversaries. His reward - He comes furnished with recompences as well of blessings for his friends, as of vengeance for his enemies. His work - He carries on his work effectually: for that is said in scripture to be before a man which is in his power.
12 Who hath - Who can do this but God? And this discourse of God's infinite power and wisdom, is added to give them the greater assurance, that God was able to do the wonderful things, he had promised.
13 Who - Who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world.
15 Are counted - By him, and in comparison of him. The dust - Which accidentally cleaves to the balance, but makes no alteration in the weight. The isles - Those numerous and vast countries, to which they went from Judea by sea, which are commonly called isles.
16 Lebanon - If men were to offer a sacrifice agreeable to his infinite excellency, the whole forest of Lebanon could not afford either a sufficient number of beasts to be sacrificed: or, a sufficient quantity of wood to consume the sacrifice.
18 To whom - This is a proper inference from the foregoing discourse of God's infinite greatness; from whence he takes occasion to shew both the folly of those that make mean and visible representations of God, and the utter inability of men or idols to give any opposition to God.
19 Melteth - He melts metal into a mould, which afterwards is graven or carved to make it more exact.
20 He - That can hardly procure money to buy a sacrifice. Chuseth - He is so mad upon his idols, that he will find money to procure the choicest materials, and the best artist to make his idol. An image - Which after all this cost, cannot stir one step out of its place to give you any help.
21 Known - God to be the only true God, the maker and governor of the world.
22 Sitteth - Far above this round earth, even in the highest heavens; from whence he looketh down upon the earth, where men appear to him like grasshoppers. As here we have the circle of the earth, so elsewhere we read of the circle of heaven, Job 22:14, and of the circle of the deep, or sea, Prov 8:27, because the form of the heaven, and earth and sea is circular. Spreadeth - For the benefit of the earth and of mankind, that all parts might partake of its comfortable influences.
24 Sown - They shall take no root, for planting and sowing are in order to taking root. They shall not continue and flourish, as they have vainly imagined, but shall be rooted up and perish.
26 Bringeth - That at first brought them out of nothing, and from day to day brings them forth, making them to rise and set in their appointed times. Faileth - Either to appear when he calls them; or to do the work to which he sends them.
27 What - Why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power and wisdom, and goodness, there are such evident demonstrations. Is hid - He takes no notice of my prayers and tears, and sufferings, but suffers mine enemies to abuse me at their pleasure. This complaint is uttered in the name of the people, being prophetically supposed to be in captivity. Judgment - My cause. God has neglected to plead my cause, and to give judgment for me against mine enemies.
30 The youths - The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves.
31 Wait - That rely upon him. Renew - Shall grow stronger and stronger.

Chapter XLI

God called Cyrus, and was with him, the nations idolatrous, ver. 1 - 8. Israel encouraged by promises of safety and deliverance, ver. 9 - 20. The vanity of idols, ver. 21 - 24. Redemption by Christ, ver. 25 - 29.

1 Keep silence - Attend diligently to my plea. Islands - By islands he means countries remote from Judea, inhabited by the idolatrous Gentiles. Renew - Strengthen themselves to maintain their cause against me; let them unite all their strength together. Near - Unto me that we may stand together, and plead our cause, and I will give them free liberty to say what they can on their own behalf.
2 Who - Was it not my work alone? Raised - Into being and power, stirring up his spirit, and strengthening him to the work. The man - Cyrus. The east - Persia was directly eastward, both from Judea and from Babylon. He was raised up by God in an eminent manner. And although these things were yet to come; yet the prophet speaks of them as if they were already past. And by this instance he pleads his cause against the Gentiles; because this was an evident proof of God's almighty power, and of the vanity of idols, which eminently appeared in the destruction of the Babylonians, who were a people mad upon their idols. Called him - To march after him, and under God's banner against Babylon.
3 Pursued - Went on in the pursuit with ease and safety. Even - Through unknown paths.
4 Calling - Them out of nothing, giving them breath and being: disposing and employing them as he sees fit. From the beginning - All persons and generations of mankind from the beginning of the world. I - Who was before all things even from eternity, and shall be unto eternity.
5 The isles - Even remote countries. Saw - Discerned the mighty work of God in delivering his people, and overthrowing their enemies. Feared - Lest they should be involved in the same calamity. Came - They gathered themselves together.
7 Fastened it - To the wall or pillar.
9 Thou - Thou Israel, whom I took to myself, and brought hither in the loins of thy father Abraham, from a remote country. Called thee - From the midst of many great persons among whom he lived in Chaldea. Chosen - I have chosen thee and thy seed through all generations.
11 Confounded - Because the mischief which they contrived against thee shall fall upon themselves.
13 Will hold - Will enable thee to vanquish all thine enemies.
14 Thou worm - Who art weak in thyself, and trodden under foot by thy proud enemies.
15 An instrument - Such as were usual in those times and places. The mountains - The great and lofty potentates of the world.
16 Fan - When thou hast beaten them as small as chaff. In the Holy One - For to him, thou shalt ascribe thy victory.
18 In high places - Upon the mountains where by the course of nature there are no rivers. The dry land - Their people who are like a dry and barren wilderness. I will abundantly water with my blessings.
19 The box tree - Trees which are both useful and pleasant to the eye, and giving a good shadow to the traveller. But what particular trees these Hebrew words signify, is not certainly known.
22 Them - The idols. Former things - Such things as should shortly come to pass. The latter end - Whether the events answer to their predictions.
23 Do good - Protect your worshippers whom I intend to destroy, and destroy my people whom I intend to save. That - That I and my people may be astonished, and forced to acknowledge your godhead.
24 Your work - Your operations are like your beings: there is no reality in your beings, nor efficacy in your actions.
25 Raised - Cyrus, might be said to come from the north, because he was a Mede by his mother, as he was a Persian by his father; or because a great part of his army was gathered out of Media, which was northward, in reference to Judea, and because Darius the Mede was joined with him in this expedition. Proclaim - This Cyrus did in express, emphatical terms, Ezra 1:1,2. As on mortar - Treading them down, as easily as a man treads down mortar.
26 Who - Which of your idols could foretel such things as these from the beginning of the world unto this day? Before - time - Before the things come to pass. Righteous - His cause is good: he is a God indeed. Heareth - Because you are dumb and cannot speak.
27 The first - I who am the first, do and will foretel to my people things to come. Them - I also represent future things as if they were present. By them he means things which are to come. One - Messengers, who shall foretel the good tidings of their deliverance from captivity.
28 For - I looked to see if I could find any man that could foretel future events. No man - Not any, of the idols; for the word man is sometimes used by the Hebrews of brute creatures, and even of lifeless things. No counsellor - Though these idols were often consulted, yet none of them were able to give any solid and certain advice concerning future things.
29 Behold - This is the conclusion of the dispute, but under these he comprehends all images whatsoever. Wind - Empty and unsatisfying things. Confusion - Confused and useless things, like that rude heap in the beginning of God's creation, of which this very word is used, Gen 1:2.

Chapter XLII

The person and office of Christ appointed by the Father, ver. 1 - 9. A new song to God for his gospel, among the Gentiles, ver. 10 - 16. The idolatry of the Heathen, and obstinacy of the Jews, ver. 17 - 25.

1 Behold - The prophet having given one eminent instance of God's certain fore - knowledge, in the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus, now adds another more eminent example of it, by foretelling the coming of the Messiah. This place therefore is expressly interpreted of Christ, Matt 12:18, &c. And to him, and to him only, all the particulars following, truly and evidently belong. Whom - Whom I will enable to do and suffer all those things which belong to his office. Elect - Chosen by me to this great work. Delighteth - Both for himself and for all his people, being fully satisfied with that sacrifice, which he shall offer up to me. Bring forth - Shall publish or shew, as this word is translated, Matt 12:18. Judgment - The law, and will, and counsel of God, concerning man's salvation. Gentiles - Not only to the Jews, but to the Heathen nations.
2 Cry - In a way of contention, or ostentation. Lift - His voice. Heard - As contentious and vain - glorious persons frequently do.
3 Break - Christ will not deal rigorously with those that come to him, but he will use all gentleness, cherishing the smallest beginnings of grace, comforting and healing wounded consciences. Quench - That wick of a candle which is almost extinct, he will not quench, but revive and kindle it again. Judgment - The law of God, or the doctrine of the gospel, which he will bring forth, unto, with, or according to truth, that is, truly and faithfully.
4 'Till - 'Till he has established his law or doctrine, among the nations of the earth. Isles - The countries remote from Judea, shall gladly receive his doctrine.
5 He - This description of God's infinite power, is seasonably added, to give them assurance of the certain accomplishment of his promises.
6 Called thee - To declare my righteousness, or faithfulness. With - hold - Will give thee counsel and strength for the work. Give thee - To be the mediator in whom my covenant of grace is confirmed with mankind. The people - Of all people, not only of Jews but Gentiles. A light - To enlighten them with true and saving knowledge.
8 The Lord - Heb. Jehovah: who have all being in and of myself, and give being to all my creatures. The everlasting, and unchangeable, and omnipotent God, who therefore both can, and will fulfil all my promises.
9 I tell you - That when they come to pass, you may know that I am God, and that this is my work.
10 Sing - Upon this new and great occasion, the salvation of the world by Christ. From the end - All nations from one end of the earth to another. Ye - You that go by sea carry these glad tidings from Judea, where Christ was born, and lived, and died, and published the gospel, unto the remotest parts of the earth.
11 The wilderness - Those parts of the world which are now desolate and forsaken of God, and barren of all good fruits. Kedar - The Arabians: who were an Heathen and barbarous people, and are put for all nations. Mountains - Who are commonly more savage and ignorant than others.
12 The islands - In the remotest parts of the world, as well as in Arabia, which was near to them.
13 Go forth - To battle. Stir up - He shall stir up his strength, and anger against the obstinate enemies of his Son and gospel. Roar - As a lion doth upon his prey, and as soldiers do when they begin the battle.
14 Long - I have for many ages suffered the devil and his servants, to prevail in the world, but now I will bring forth and accomplish that glorious work which I have long conceived in my mind; yea, I will suddenly destroy the incorrigible enemies of my truth.
15 Hills - My most lofty and flourishing enemies. Dry up - I will remove all impediments out of the way.
16 The blind - The Gentiles. By a way - By the way of truth, which hitherto has been hidden from them, yea, I will take away all hindrances; I will direct then in the right way; I will enlighten their dark minds, and rectify their perverse wills and affections, until I have brought theirs to the end of their journey.
18 Hear - O you, whosoever you are, who resist this clear light.
19 My servant - The Jews, who will not receive their, Messiah. Messenger - My messengers, the singular number being put for the plural, namely the priests and other teachers whom I have appointed to instruct my people. The Lord's servant - As the most eminent teachers and rulers of the Jews, who were called and obliged to be the Lord's servants, in a special manner.
20 Heareth not - Thou dost not seriously consider the plain word, and the wonderful works of God.
21 Well pleased - Altho' God might justly destroy thee suddenly, yet he will patiently wait for thy repentance, that he may be gracious; and that not for thy sake, but for the glory of his own faithfulness, in fulfilling that covenant, which he made with thy pious progenitors. Magnify - He will maintain the honour of his law, and therefore is not forward to destroy you, who profess the true religion, lest his law should upon that occasion be exposed to contempt.
22 But - But not withstanding this respect which God hath to his people, he hath severely scourged you for your sins. Hid - They have been taken in snares made by their own hands, and by God's just judgment cast into dungeons and prisons. None - None afforded them help.
25 Fury - Most grievous judgments. Yet - They were secure and stupid under God's judgments.

Chapter XLIII

Promises to protect and enlarge the church, ver. 1 - 5. God appeals to them as witnesses of his power and knowledge, ver. 6 - 13. He foretells the destruction of Babylon, and a new deliverance of his people, ver. 14 - 21. whose sins, ver. 22 - 24. against God's mercies render them inexcusable, ver. 25 - 28.

1 But - Notwithstanding thy gross insensibleness, I will deal mercifully with thee. Created - That made thee his people, and that in so miraculous a manner as if he had created thee a second time. Redeemed - From the Egyptians. Called thee - By the name of God's people, which was as proper and peculiar to them, as the name of Israel.
3 I gave Egypt - This was fulfilled when the king of Assyria, Esar - haddon, who designed to revenge his father's disgrace, upon the Jews, was diverted and directed by God to employ his forces against Egypt, and Ethiopia, and Seba. Seba - The Sabaeans were confederate with the Ethiopians.
4 Since - From the time that I chose thee for my people, I have had an affection for thee. Men - As I gave up the Egyptians, so I am ready to give up others to save thee, as occasion requires.
7 For my glory - And therefore I will glorify my power and goodness, and faithfulness in delivering them. Formed - I have not only created them out of nothing, but I have also formed and made them my peculiar people.
8 Bring - O ye idolatrous Gentiles, bring forth your false gods, which have eyes but see not, and ears but hear not.
9 Assembled - To plead the cause of their idols with me. This - This wonderful work of mine in bringing my people out of captivity. Former things - Such things as shall happen long before the return from the captivity, which yet your blind idols cannot foresee. Witnesses - Who can testify the truth of any such predictions of theirs, that they may be owned for true gods; or if they can produce no evidence of any such thing, let them confess, that what I say is truth, that I only am the true God.
10 Ye - You my people are able to witness for me, that I have given you plain demonstrations of my certain knowledge of future events. My servant - Cyrus who is an eminent instance and proof of God's foreknowledge: or, the Messiah, who is the most eminent witness in this cause. Understand - That I am the true God. Nor after me - The gods of the Heathens neither had a being before me nor shall continue after me: whereas the Lord is God from everlasting to everlasting; but these pretenders are but of yesterday. And withal he calls them formed gods, in a way of contempt, and to shew the ridiculousness of their pretence.
12 I - I first foretold your deliverance, and then effected it. When - And this I did when you did not worship any idols.
13 Yea - Before all time; from all eternity, I am God.
14 Sent - I have sent Cyrus against Babylon, to this very end, that he might deliver you out of captivity. Chaldeans - The common people of Chaldea, who make fearful outcries, as they flee away from the Persians in ships.
17 The chariot - Pharaoh and his chariots and horses, and army. Lay down - In the bottom of the sea. They never rose again to molest the Israelites. Quenched - As the wick of a candle when it is put into the water, is extinguished.
18 Remember not - Tho' your former deliverance out of Egypt was glorious: yet in comparison of that inestimable mercy of sending the Messiah, all your former deliverances are scarce worthy of your remembrance and consideration.
19 A new thing - Such a work as was never yet done in the world. Now - The scripture often speaks of things at a great distance of time, as if they were now at hand; to make us sensible of the inconsiderableness of time, and all temporal things, in comparison of God, and eternal things; upon which account it is said, that a thousand years are in God's sight but as one day.
20 The beast - Shall have cause, if they had abilities, to praise me for their share in this mercy. Dragons - Which live in dry and barren deserts.
22 For - God called to the Gentiles to be his people, because the Jews forsook him. Weary - Thou hast not esteemed my service to be a privilege, but a burden and bondage.
23 Honoured - Either thou didst neglect sacrificing to me; or didst perform it merely out of custom or didst dishonour me, and pollute thy sacrifices by thy wicked life. Although - Altho' God had not laid such heavy burdens upon them, nor required such costly offerings, as might give them cause to be weary, nor such as idolaters did freely perform in the service of their idols.
24 Sweet cane - This was used in the making of that precious ointment, Exod 30:34, and for the incense, Exod 30:7. Thou hast been niggardly in my service, when thou hast, spared for no cost in the service of thine idols. Nor filled me - Thou hast not multiplied thy thank - offerings and free - will offerings, tho' I have given thee sufficient occasion to do so. But - Thou hast made me to bear the load and burden of thy sins.
25 I - I whom thou hast thus provoked. Mine own sake - Not for thy merits, but my own mere goodness.
26 Put me - I remember nothing by which thou hast deserved my favour.
27 Thy father - This may be put for their forefathers; and so he tells them, that as they were sinners, so also were their progenitors, yea even the best of them. Teachers - Thy priests and prophets; who were their intercessors with God: and if these were transgressors, the people had no reason to fancy themselves innocent.
28 Therefore - I have exposed them to contempt and destruction. Princes - The highest and best of your priests. Curse - To utter destruction, to which persons or things accursed were devoted.

Chapter XLIV

A farther promise of spiritual blessings, ver. 1 - 6. The vanity of idols, and folly of idol - makers, and worshippers, ver. 7 - 20. An exhortation to praise God, ver. 21 - 23. our Redeemer and maker, ver. 24. for his wisdom, ver. 25. truth, ver. 26. power, ver. 27. and goodness, ver. 28.

2 Formed thee - From the time that I first took thee to be my people, I have been forming and fashioning thee. Jesurun - Another name of Jacob or Israel, given to him, Deut 32:15.
3 Water - Upon him that is destitute of it.
5 Israel - The blessing of God upon the Jews shall be so remarkable, that the Gentiles shall join them, and accept the Lord for their God.
7 Who - Which of all the Heathen gods. Declare - Shall by his powerful word cause it to be, and by his fore - knowledge declare that it shall be. Set in order - Orderly relate all future events in the same manner as they shall happen. Since - Since I first made man upon earth. The things - Such things as are near at hand, and such as are to come hereafter.
8 Ye - Thee, O Israel, whom he bids not to fear. Told thee - Even from the first ages of the world. Declared - Have published it to the world in my sacred records. Witnesses - Both of my predictions, and of the exact agreeableness of events to them.
9 Delectable things - Their idols, in which they take so much pleasure. They - They that make them, are witnesses against themselves, and against their idols, because they know they are the work of their own hands. See not - Have neither sense nor understanding, therefore they have just cause to be ashamed of their folly, in worshipping such senseless things.
11 Men - They are of mankind, and therefore cannot possibly make a god. Together - Tho' all combine together, they shall be filled with fear and confusion, when God shall plead his cause against them.
12 Faint - This is mentioned as an evidence of great zeal and industry in carrying on this work; so that they forget or neglect to eat and drink.
13 According to - In the same comely shape and proportions which are in a living man. House - In the dwelling - house of him that made it.
14 Oak - Which afford the best and most durable timber. Strengtheneth - He plants, and with care and diligence improves those trees, that he or his posterity may thence have materials for their images, and those things which belong to them.
15 Fallen down - Having related the practices of idolaters, he now discovers the folly of them, that he makes his fire and his god of the same materials, distinguished only by the art of man.
17 He eateth - He dresses flesh for his eating. Seen - I have felt the warmth of it.
18 Not known - This shews that they have not the understanding of a man. For he - God. Not as if God did make men wicked; he only permits them so to be, and orders, and over - rules their wickedness to his own glorious ends.
20 Ashes - An unprofitable and pernicious food, and no less unsatisfying and mischievous is the worship of idols. Deceived heart - A mind corrupted and deceived by deep prejudice, gross error, and especially by his own lusts. Turned - From the way of truth. Deliver - From the snares and dangers of idolatry. Is there not - What is this idol which I set at my right - hand, as the true God is said in scripture to be at the right - hand of his people; which I highly honour, for the most honourable place was on the right - hand; to which I look for relief and assistance, which God in scripture is said to afford to his people, by being at and holding their right - hand. What, I say, is this idol? Is it not a lie, which tho' it pretends to be a god, yet, in truth is nothing but vanity and falsehood?
21 These - These things, the deep ignorance and stupidity of idolaters. Forgotten - I will not forget nor forsake thee; therefore thou shalt have no need of idols.
22 As a cloud - So that there is no remnant of it left.
23 Sing - By such invitations to the senseless creatures, he signifies the transcendent greatness of this mercy, sufficient to make even the stones, if it were possible, to break forth into God's praises.
25 Liars - Of the magicians, and astrologers, who were numerous, and greatly esteemed in Babylon, and who had foretold the long continuance and prosperity of the Chaldean empire. Mad - With grief for the disappointment of their predictions, and their disgrace which followed it. Turneth - Stopping their way, and blasting their designs.
27 That saith - That with a word can dry up the sea and rivers, and remove all impediments.
28 Cyrus - Whom God here mentions by his proper name, two hundred years before he was born, that this might be an undeniable evidence of the exactness of God's fore - knowledge, and a convincing argument to conclude this dispute between God and idols. Shepherd - Then will I set up to be the shepherd of my people, to rescue them from wolves or tyrants, to gather them together, to rule them gently, and to provide comfortably for them.

Chapter XLV

Cyrus's work and strength foretold, ver. 1 - 4. God hath all power, ver. 5 - 12. Will assist Cyrus, ver. 13, 14. The mystery of providence, ver. 15. Idols and their worshippers shall be destroyed, and God alone exalted, ver. 16 - 21. The Gentiles come in to Christ, ver. 22, 23.

1 His anointed - His king, whom God has designed, and separated, and fitted, in all respects, for this work. Loose - I will take away their girdle, which was about their loins; their power and authority, whereof that was an ensign. Gates - The great and magnificent gates of their cities and palaces, which shall be opened to him as conqueror.
2 Go - To remove all obstructions, to destroy all them that oppose thee, and carry thee through the greatest difficulties.
3 The treasures - Such as have been long kept in dark and secret places.
4 I have - I knew, and called thee by thy name, when thou didst neither know nor think of me; nay, when thou hadst no being.
5 I girded - I made thee strong and active, and disposed thee for these great and warlike enterprizes.
6 That - That all nations may know it by my foretelling these things so long before, and by the wonderful success that I shall give thee, and by my over - ruling thine heart and counsels, to the deliverance of my people.
7 Light - All mens comforts and calamities come from thy hand.
8 Drop - The righteous and gracious acts of God for his people, shall be so many, as if God rained showers of righteousness out of heaven. Open - Open itself to bring forth those fruits which may be expected from such showers. Them - The heavens and the earth conspiring together. Together - Together with salvation. It - This great work of salvation and righteousness; whereof, tho' Cyrus is the instrument, I am the author.
9 Woe - As God here makes many glorious promises to Cyrus, so he pronounces a curse upon them, who should endeavour to hinder him. Contend - Contend, if you please, with your fellow creatures, but not with your creator. Or - He turns his speech to the potter.
11 Thus saith - Will you not allow me that liberty which yourselves take, of disposing of my own children and works, as I see fit?
13 Him - Cyrus. In righteousness - Most justly, to punish the wicked Babylonians, to plead the cause of the oppressed ones, to manifest my righteousness, and truth, and goodness.
14 The labour - The wealth gotten by their labour. Thee - Jerusalem shall not only be rebuilt, but the wealth and glory of other countries shall be brought to it again. This was in part verified in Jerusalem; but it was much more fully accomplished in the church of the gospel, in the accession of the Gentiles to that church which began in Jerusalem, and from thence spread itself into all the parts of the world. Come over - They shall be taken captive by thee, and willingly submit themselves to thee.
15 Verily - These are the words of the prophet, on contemplation of the various dispensations of God towards his church, and in the world. Hidest - Thy counsels are deep and incomprehensible, thy ways are past finding out.
19 In secret - The Heathen idols deliver oracles in obscure cells and caverns: but I have delivered my oracles to Israel publickly and plainly. In vain - Serve and worship me for nought. As I appointed them work, so from time to time I have given them abundant recompence. Right - I require nothing of my people which is not highly just and good.
20 Draw near - To hear what I have said, and am now about to say. Of the nations - The remnant of the Gentiles, who survive the many destructions, which I am bringing upon the Heathen nations.
21 Take counsel - To maintain the cause of their idols. This - This great work, Babylon's destruction, and the redemption of God's people.
23 In righteousness - It is what I will faithfully perform. Return - Without effect. It is a metaphor from ambassadors, who sometimes return to their princes without any success in their business. Every tongue - Not only the Jews, but all nations.
24 In the Lord - By or from God alone, or the Messiah, who is the true Jehovah as well as man. Righteousness - To justify me from all things which I could not be justified by the law of Moses. Strength - Support and assistance to bear all my burdens, overcome all my enemies, and perform all my duties. Men - The Gentiles shall come to Christ. Ashamed - But all his implacable enemies shall be brought to shame.
25 All - All Israelites indeed, whether Jews or Gentiles.

Chapter XLVI

The ruin of Babylon and her idols, ver. 1 - 2. God's love and faithfulness to the Jews. ver. 3 - 4. Idols not to be compared with God, ver. 5 - 8. for power, knowledge, and sure salvation, ver. 9 - 13.

1 Bel - The chief idol of the Babylonians, called by profane historians Jupiter Belus. Boweth - As the Babylonians used to bow down to him to worship, so now he bows down to the victorious Persians. Nebo - Another of the famous idols, which used to deliver oracles. Their idols - Were taken and broken, and the materials of them, gold, silver, and brass, were carried upon beasts into Persia. Your carriages - O ye Persians, to whom he turns his speech.
2 They - The Babylonians. Together - The Babylonians and their idols together, neither could help the other. Deliver - The Babylonians could not deliver their idols.
3 Carried - Whom I have nourished, ever since you were a people, and came out of Egypt; and that as tenderly, as parents bring up their own children.
7 Remove - He can stir neither hand nor foot to help his people.
8 Bring it - Think of this again and again, ye who have been guilty of this foolish sin.
10 Declaring - Foretelling from the beginning of the world, future events which should happen in succeeding ages, even to the end of the world.
11 A bird - Cyrus, called a bird for his swiftness, and ravenous for his fierceness, and victoriousness over his enemies.
13 I bring - Tho' you are unrighteous, I will shew myself a righteous and faithful God, making good my promise of delivering you out of Babylon after seventy years. It - My work of saving you from the Babylonish captivity. Will place - I will bring my people to Zion, and save them from all their enemies. My glory - In whom I will once again glory as my people.

Chapter XLVII

God's judgments upon Babylon and Chaldea, for their cruelty towards God's people, ver. 1 - 6. Their pride and other sins, ver. 7 - 10. Their enchantments shall not deliver them, ver. 11 - 15.

1 Down - From thy throne. Virgin - So, called, because she was tender and delicate. No throne - For thee. The empire is taken from thee, and translated to the Persians. Called - Be so.
2 Millstones - Thou shalt be brought to the basest slavery, which grinding at the mill was esteemed. For this work was not performed by horses, as now it is, but by the labour of slaves and captives. Grind - Grind bread - corn into meal for thy master's use. Uncover - Take off the ornaments wherewith such women as were of good quality, used to cover and dress their heads. These are predictions of what they should be forced to do or suffer. Thigh - Gird up thy garments close and short about thee, that thou mayest be fit for travelling on foot, and for passing over those rivers, through which thou wilt be constrained to wade, in the way to the land of thy captivity.
3 Uncovered - Either for want of raiment to cover it; or rather, by thine enemies in way of scorn and contumely. As a man - With moderation and gentleness, as those men who have not quite put off humanity use to do.
5 Silent - Thro' grief and shame, as mourners use to do. The lady - The chief and glory of all kingdoms.
6 Polluted - I cast them away as an unclean thing. Into thine hand - To punish them. No mercy - Thou hast exceeded the bounds of thy commission. The ancient - Who besides their common calamity were afflicted with the miseries of old age, and therefore did require both pity and reverence.
7 These things - Thy cruel usages of my people, and the heavy judgments which thou hadst reason to expect for them. Nor remember - Thou didst not consider what might and was likely to befal thee afterward.
8 I am - Independent, and self - sufficient. None - Which is not either subject to me, or far inferior to me in power and glory. Shall not sit - I shall never want either a king or people to defend me.
9 Perfection - In the highest degree.
10 Trusted - Confidently expecting to preserve thyself by these and other wicked arts. None seeth - My counsels are so deeply laid. Perverted - Hath misled thee into the way of perdition. None seeth - Which is repeated, to denote their intolerable self - confidence.
11 Therefore - This agrees with the history. Babylon being surprized by Cyrus, when they were in deep security.
12 Stand - Persist in these practices. Laboured - From the beginning of thy kingdom. For the Chaldeans in all ages were famous for the practice of these arts.
13 Wearied - Thou hast spent thy time and strength in going from one to another, and all to no purpose.
15 Thus - Such comfortless and helpless creatures. They - Merchants who came from several countries to trade with Babylon. And the verse may be thus rendered; Thus (vain and unprofitable) shall they (thy sorcerers) with whom thou hast laboured be unto thee: (So here is only a transposition of words, than which nothing is more usual in scripture. Then follows another matter:) also thy merchants, or they with whom thou hast traded from thy youth, shall wander every one to his own quarter.

Chapter XLVIII

God reproves their hypocrisy and obstinacy by his prophecies, ver. 1 - 8. He spares them for his name's sake, and that they may learn to know him aright, ver. 9 - 11. God's powerful salvation a motive to obedience, ver. 12 - 17. God laments their backwardness, ver. 18, 19. Deliverance out of Babylon, ver. 20, 21. No peace to the wicked, ver. 22.

1 Called - Who are Israelites in name, but not in truth. Are come - From the lineage of your progenitor, Judah, as waters flow from a fountain. Swear - Who profess the true religion; (one act of religion being put for all) and call themselves by his name.
2 Though - They glory that they are citizens of Jerusalem, a city sanctified by God, to be the place of his true worship, and gracious presence. And stay - Not by a true faith, but a vain confidence.
4 I knew - Therefore I gave thee clearer demonstrations of my nature and providence, because I knew thou wast an unbelieving nation. Thy neck - Will not bow down to receive my yoke. Thy brow - Thou wast impudent.
6 See - As thou hast heard all these things, from time to time, seriously consider them. Declare - I call you to witness: must you not be forced to acknowledge the truth of what I say? Shewed - And I have now given thee new predictions of secret things, such as 'till this time were wholly unknown to thee, concerning thy deliverance out of Babylon by Cyrus.
7 Created - Revealed to thee by me; brought to light, as things are by creation. Not - Heb. not from thence, not from these ancient times when other things were revealed to thee. Or - Heb. and (or, or, as this particle is frequently used) before this day. This day answers to now in the first clause: and seems to be added as an exposition of it. Before this time in which God hath revealed them to thee by my ministry. I knew - Either by thine own sagacity: or by the help of thine idols.
8 Yea - The same thing is repeated, because this was so illustrious a proof of the infinite power and providence of God. Thine ear - Thou didst not hear, I did not reveal these things unto thee: for so this phrase of opening the ear is understood, 1Sam 9:15. I knew - I knew all these cautions were necessary to cure thine infidelity. Called - Justly, thou wast indeed such.
9 For my sake - I will spare thee, and deliver thee out of captivity, not for thy sake, but merely for my own sake, and for the vindication of my name, that I may be praised for my power, faithfulness, and goodness.
10 Behold - Although I will not cut thee off, yet I will put thee into the furnace. Silver - Which is kept in the furnace so long 'till all the dross be purged away, I will not deal so rigorously with thee; for then I should wholly consume thee. I will chuse - God had in a manner rejected Israel, and therefore it was necessary he should chuse and try this people a second time.
11 It - This great work of delivering my people out of Babylon. Name - If I should not deliver my people, my name would be profaned and blasphemed. Glory - I will not give any colour to idolaters, to ascribe the divine nature and properties, to idols, as they would do if I did not rescue my people out of their hands in spite of their idols.
12 O Israel - Whom I have called out of the world to be my peculiar people.
13 Stand up - They are still continually in readiness to execute my commands.
14 Which - Which of the gods whom any of you serve. Him - Cyrus.
16 In secret - l have openly revealed my mind to you. The beginning - Either from the first time that I began to prophecy until this time: or from the beginning of my taking you to be my people, and of revealing my mind unto you. From the time - From the time that I first spoke of it, I am or was there, to effect what I had foretold. The Lord - God by his Spirit. Me - The prophet Isaiah; who was a type of Christ, and so this may have a respect to him also.
17 Teacheth - Who from time to time have made known to thee, all necessary doctrines; which, if observed by thee, would have been infinitely profitable to thee, both for this life and that to come. So that it is not my fault, but thine own, if thou dost not profit. Leadeth - Who acquainteth thee with thy duty in all the concerns of thy life; so that thou canst not pretend ignorance.
18 As the waves - Infinite and continual.
20 Singing - With joy and songs of praise. Declare - Publish God's wonderful works.
21 They thirsted not - They shall not thirst. He speaks of things to come, as if they were already past.
22 No peace - God having foretold that peace which he would give to his servant Jacob, adds an explication; and declares, that wicked men should not enjoy the benefit of this mercy.

Chapter XLIX

Christ, being sent to the Jews complains of them, ver. 1 - 4. He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises, ver. 5 - 12. God's love to his church perpetual, ver. 13 - 17. The ample restoration of the church, and its enlargement, ver. 18 - 23. Its powerful deliverance out of captivity, ver. 24 - 26.

1 Listen - God turns his speech to the Gentiles, and invites them to hearken to those counsels and doctrines which the Jews would reject. Me - Unto Christ: Isaiah speaks these words in the name of Christ.
2 A sword - As he made me the great teacher of his church, so he made my word, quick and powerful, and sharper than any two - edged sword. Hath he hid - He will protect me from all mine enemies. Made me - Like an arrow, whose point is bright and polished; which therefore pierceth deeper.
3 O Israel - As the name of David is sometimes given to his successors, so here the name of Israel may not unfitly be given to Christ, not only because he descended from his loins; but also because he was the true and the great Israel, who, in a more eminent manner, prevailed with God, as that name signifies, of whom Jacob, who was first called Israel, was but a type.
4 Then said I - Lord, thou sayest thou wilt be glorified by my ministry; but I find it otherwise. In vain - Without any considerable fruit of my word and works among the Israelites. My judgment - My right, the reward which by his promise, and my purchase, is my right.
5 To bring - To convert the apostate Israelites to God. Not gathered - Not brought home to God by my ministry. Yet - God will not despise me for the unsuccessfulness of my labours, but will honour and glorify me. My strength - To support and strengthen me under this and all other discouragements.
6 He - The Lord. It is - This is but a small favour. The tribes - That remnant of them which shall survive all their calamities. My salvation - The great instrument and author of that eternal salvation which I will give to the Gentiles.
7 His Holy One - The Holy One of Israel. To him - To Christ, to whom, in the days of his flesh, this description fully agrees: for men, both Jews and Gentiles among whom he lived, did despise him from their hearts; and the nation, of which he was a member, abhorred both his person and his doctrine; and he was so far from being a temporal monarch, that he came in the form of a servant, and was a servant of rulers, professing subjection and paying tribute unto Caesar. Kings - Though for a time thou shalt be despised, yet after a while thou shalt be advanced to such glory, that kings shall look upon thee with reverence. Arise - From their seats to worship thee. Faithful - Because God shall make good his promises to thee. Chuse thee - And although thou shalt be rejected by thine own people, yet God will manifest to the world, that thou, and thou only, art the person whom he hath chosen to be the Redeemer of mankind.
8 The Lord - God the Father unto Christ. Heard thee - Though not so as to deliver thee from death; yet so as to crown thee with glory and honour. For a covenant - To be the Mediator and surety of that covenant, which is made between me and them. To establish - To establish truth and righteousness upon earth, and subdue those lusts and passions, which are the great disturbers of human society. Desolate heritages - That desolate places may be repaired and repossessed. That Christ may possess the Heathen, who were in a spiritual sense in a most desolate condition.
9 Prisoners - To the Gentiles who are fast bound by the cords of their sins, and taken captive by the devil at his will. Go forth - Come forth to the light, receive divine illumination. In high places - They shall have abundant provision in all places, yea even in those which commonly are unfruitful, such are both common roads and high grounds.
11 A way - I will remove all hindrances, and prepare the way for them, by levelling high grounds, and raising low grounds.
12 These - My people shall be gathered from the most remote parts of the earth. He speaks here, and in many other places, of the conversion of the Gentiles, with allusion to that work of gathering, and bringing back the Jews from all parts where they were dispersed, into their own land. Sinim - Either of the Sinites as they are called, Gen 10:17, who dwelt about the wilderness. Or of Sin, a famous city of Egypt, which may be put for all Egypt, and that for all southern parts.
14 But - This is an objection. How can these things be true, when the condition of God's church is now so desperate?
16 Graven - He alludes to the common practice of men who put signs upon their hands or fingers of such things as they would remember.
18 These - Gentiles. Thy church shall not only be restored, but vastly enlarged and adorned by the accession of the Gentiles.
19 Thy waste places - Thy own land, whereof divers parts lie waste for want of people to possess them. Land of destruction - Which before was desolate and destroyed.
20 The children - Those Gentiles which shall be begotten by thee, when thou shalt be deprived of thine own natural children, when the generality of the Jews cut themselves off from God.
21 Who - Whence have I this numberless issue? Seeing - Seeing I was in a manner left childless. Desolate - Without an husband, being forsaken by God, who formerly owned himself for my husband.
22 Behold - I will call them to me. Set my standard - As generals do to gather their forces together. Thy sons - Those who shall be thine by adoption, that shall own God for their father, and Jerusalem for their mother. Carried - With great care and tenderness, as nurses carry young infants. Carried - As sick or infirm persons used to be carried.
23 Lick the dust - They shall highly reverence and honour thee. These expressions are borrowed from the practice of the eastern people, who bowed so low as to touch the ground. Ashamed - Their expectations shall not be disappointed.
24 Shall the prey - Here is a double impediment to their deliverance, the power of the enemy who kept them in bondage, and the justice of God which pleads against their deliverance.
25 For I - I the almighty God will undertake this work.

Chapter L

The dereliction of the Jews is not of Christ; for he hath power to save, ver. 1 - 4. And was obedient in that work, and God is present with him, ver. 5 - 9. An exhortation not to trust in ourselves, but in God, ver. 10, 11.

1 Thus saith the Lord - The scope of this and the next chapter, is to vindicate God's justice and to convince the Jews that they were the causes of their own calamities. Behold - You can blame none but yourselves and your own sins, for all your captivities and miseries.
2 Wherefore - The general accusation delivered in the last words he now proves by particular instances. When - When I, first by my prophets, came to call them to repentance. No man - That complied with my call. To answer - To come at my call. Is my hand - What is the reason of this contempt? Is it because you think I am either unwilling or unable to save you? A wilderness - As dry and fit for travelling as a wilderness.
3 I clothe - When it is necessary to save my people, I cover them with thick and dark clouds black as sackcloth, Rev 6:12.
4 Given me - This and the following passages may be in some sort understood of the prophet Isaiah, but they are far more evidently and eminently verified in Christ, and indeed seem to be meant directly of him. The tongue - All ability of speaking plainly, and convincingly, and persuasively. Weary - Burdened with the sense of his, deplorable condition. Wakeneth - Me, from time to time, and continually. To hear - He by his Divine power assists me to the practice of all his commands and my duties, with all attention and diligence.
6 I gave - I patiently yielded up myself to those who smote me.
8 Justifieth - God will clear up my righteousness, and shew by many and mighty signs and wonders, that I lived and died his faithful servant. Let him come - l am conscious of mine own innocency, and I know that God will give sentence for me.
9 They - Mine accusers and enemies. The moth - Shall be cut off and consumed by a secret curse.
10 The voice - Of Christ, who is called God's servant, by way of eminency and to intimate that though he was God, yet he would take upon himself the form of a servant. In darkness - Not in sin, but in misery, that lives in a disconsolate and calamitous condition. No light - No comfort. Trust - Let him fix his faith and hope in the mercy, and faithfulness, of the Lord, declared in his word, and in his interest in God, who by the mediation of this servant is reconciled to him and made his God.
11 All ye - You that reject the light which God hath set up, and seek for comfort and safety, by your own inventions. Walk - Use your utmost endeavours to get comfort from these devices. This - This shall be the fruit of all, you shall receive nothing but vexation and misery.

Chapter LI

Abraham, our pattern to trust in Christ, in his promises, and righteous salvation: this is constant, but men are transitory, ver. 1 - 8. A prayer of the Godly in affliction, ver. 9 - 11. The Lord's answer, ver. 12 - 17. He bewails Jerusalem, ver. 18 - 20. The bitter cup taken from her, and given to her enemies, ver. 21 - 23.

1 Look - Consider the state of Abraham and Sarah, from whom all of you sprang.
2 Him alone - To follow me to an unknown land: him only of all his kindred. Increased - Into a vast multitude, when his condition was desperate in the eye of reason. And therefore God can as easily raise his church when they are in the most forlorn condition.
3 Therefore - For the sake of Abraham, and of that covenant which I made with him. Garden - Flourishing as the garden of Eden.
4 My people - Ye Jews, whom I chose to be my peculiar people. A law - A new law, even the doctrine of the gospel. Judgment - Judgment is here the same thing with law, the word of God, or the evangelical doctrine, of which he saith that he will make it to rest, that is settle and establish it. The people - People of all nations.
5 My righteousness - My salvation, the redemption of all my people, Jews and Gentiles, which is the effect of his righteousness, his justice, faithfulness, or mercy. Is gone - Shall shortly go forth. Judge - Shall subdue the Gentiles to my authority, and rule them by my word and spirit. Isles - The remote countries shall expect this salvation from me, and from me only.
6 The heavens - The heavens and earth shall pass away, in regard of their present state, and properties, and use, as smoak is said to vanish, tho' the substance of it be not destroyed.
7 Know - That love and practise it.
8 Like wool - Like a woollen garment, which is sooner corrupted by moths or such creatures, than linen.
9 Put on - Put forth thy strength. Rahab - Egypt, from its pride or strength. The dragon - Pharaoh so called, Psa 74:13.
11 Therefore - This verse contains an answer to the prophet's prayer. I did these great things, and I will do the like again. Joy - Like a crown of glory.
13 Where is the fury - Is it not all gone? He speaks of the thing as if it were already done, because it should certainly and suddenly be done.
16 I have - These words are spoken by God to his church and people, to whom he speaks both in the foregoing and following verses. For God's word is frequently said to be put into the mouths, not only of the prophets, but of the people also. Covered - Have protected thee by my almighty power, that I may bring thee to that perfect and blessed estate which is reserved for the days of the Messiah, which in scripture phrase is called a making of new heavens, and a new earth, chap.65:17.
17 Awake - Heb. Rouse up thyself: come out of that forlorn condition in which thou hast so long been. Stand up - Upon thy feet, O thou who hast been thrown to the ground. Drunk - Who hast been sorely afflicted. The cup - Which strikes him that drinks it with deadly horror. And wrung - Drunk every drop of it.
18 None to guide - When thou wast drunk with this cup, and not able to go.
19 These things - Those which follow, which tho' expressed in four words, may fitly be reduced to two things, the desolation or devastation of the land, and the destruction of the people by famine and sword. So famine and sword are not named as new evils, but only as the particular ways of bringing the destruction. By whom - I cannot find any man who is able to comfort and relieve thee.
20 Fainted - They are so far from being able to comfort thee, that they themselves faint away. They lie - Dead by famine or the sword. As a bull - Those of them who are not slain are struggling for life.
21 Not with wine - But with the cup of God's fury.
22 That pleadeth - Who, tho' he has fought against thee, is now reconciled to thee, and will maintain thy cause against all thine adversaries.
23 Go over - That we may trample upon thee.

Chapter LII

The church redeemed and called upon to rejoice therein, ver. 1 - 6. The universal preaching of the gospel glorious, ver. 7 - 10. A call to free ourselves from bondage, ver. 11, 12. Christ's kingdom shall be exalted, ver. 13 - 15.

1 Awake - This is a prediction and promise what she should do, that she should awake or arise out of her low estate, and be strong and courageous. Beautiful garments - Thy sorrows shall be ended, and thou shalt be advanced into a glorious condition. O Zion - O my church. Come - Either to molest thee, or defile thee. The uncircumcised - Heathens or infidels. Unclean - Nor any others, who are unholy.
2 The dust - In which thou hast sat as a mourner. The bands - The yoke of thy captivity shall be taken off from thee.
3 Sold yourselves - By your sins, without any valuable consideration paid by them either to you, or to your Lord and owner. Without money - Without paying any ransom.
4 Egypt - Where they had protection and sustenance, and therefore owed subjection to the king of Egypt. And yet when he oppressed them, I punished him severely, and delivered them out of his hands. The Assyrian - The king of Babylon, who is called the king of Assyria, 2Kings 23:29, as also the Persian emperor is called, Ezra 6:22, because it was one and the same empire which was possessed, first by the Assyrians, then by the Babylonians, and afterwards by the Persians. Without cause - Without any such ground or colour, by mere force invading their land, and carrying them away into captivity.
5 What have I - Why do I sit still here, and not go to Babylon to punish the Babylonians, and to deliver my people? For nought - Without any provocation, or pretence of right. Howl - By their unmerciful usage. Blasphemed - The Babylonians blasphemed me as if I wanted either power or good will to save my people out of their hands.
6 Shall know - They shall experience my power and goodness in fighting for them. In that day - When I shall redeem my people: which work was begun by the return of the Jews from Babylon, and perfected by the coming of the Messiah. Behold - That all these promises are the words of the omnipotent, unchangeable God.
7 The mountains - Of Judea, to which these glad tidings were brought, and from which they were spread abroad into other countries. Of him - Or, of them; the singular number being put for the plural. Returneth - In the days of the Messiah, God did discover and exercise his dominion over the world far more eminently than ever he had done from the beginning of the world until that time.
8 Thy watchmen - Thy ministers, who descry the approach of this heavenly king. Lift up thy voice - To give notice to all people of these glad tidings; and by way of exultation, to sing forth the praises of God for this glorious day. Eye - Distinctly and familiarly, their eyes beholding the eyes of this king of glory. They shall be eye and ear - witnesses of the words and works of Christ, and therefore their testimony shall be more certain and valuable. Bring again - When God shall complete the work of bringing his church out of captivity.
11 Depart - Out of Babylon. Touch - Carry not along with you any of their superstitions or idolatries. Ye - And especially your priests and Levites, who minister in holy things, and carry the holy vessels of the temple, keep yourselves from all pollution.
12 Not by flight - But securely, and in triumph, being conducted by your great captain the Lord of hosts. Rereward - So that none shall be able either to oppose you in your march, or to fall upon you in the rear.
13 Behold - This is the beginning of a new prophecy, which is continued from hence to the end of the next chapter. My servant - That it is Christ who is here spoken of, is so evident, that the Chaldee paraphrast, and other ancient, and some later Hebrew doctors, understand it directly of him, and that divers Jews have been convinced and converted to the Christian faith, by the evidence of this prophecy. Prosper - This is fitly put in the first place to prevent those scandals which otherwise might arise from the succeeding passages, which describe his state of humiliation. Very high - Here are three words signifying the same thing to express the height and glory of his exaltation.
14 Astonished - At his humiliation. Thee - At thee, O my servant. His form - Christ, in respect of his birth, breeding, and manner of life, was most obscure and contemptible. His countenance also was so marred with frequent watchings, and fastings, and troubles, that he was thought to be near fifty years old when he was but about thirty, John 8:57, and was farther spoiled with buffetings, and crowning with thorns, and other cruel and despiteful usages.
15 So - His exaltation shall be answerable to his humiliation. Sprinkle - With his word or doctrine; which being often compared to rain or water, may be said to be sprinkled, as it is said to be dropped, Deut 32:2 Ezek 20:46. Kings - Shall be silent before him out of profound humility, reverence, and admiration of his wisdom. For - They shall hear from his mouth many excellent doctrines, which will be new and strange to them. And particularly that comfortable doctrine of the salvation of the Gentiles, which was not only new to them, but strange and incredible to the Jews themselves.

Chapter LIII

The incredulity of the Jews; the death of Christ, and the blessed effects thereof, ver. 1 - 10. His exaltation and glory, ver. 11, 12.

1 Who - Who, not only of the Gentiles, but even of the Jews, will believe the truth of what I say? And this premonition was highly necessary, both to caution the Jews that they should not stumble at this stone, and to instruct the Gentiles that they should not be seduced with their example. The arm - The Messiah, called the arm or power of God, because the almighty power of God was seated in him. Revealed - Inwardly and with power.
2 As a root - And the reason why the Jews will generally reject their Messiah, is, because he shall not come into the world with secular pomp, but he shall grow up, (or spring up, out of the ground) before him, (before the unbelieving Jews, of whom he spake ver.1, and that in the singular number, as here, who were witnesses of his mean original; and therefore despised him) as a tender plant (small and inconsiderable) and as a root, or branch, grows out of a dry, barren ground. No form - His bodily presence shall be mean and contemptible. No beauty - This the prophet speaks in the person of the unbelieving Jews. We - Our people, the Jewish nation.
3 We hid - We scorned to look upon him.
4 Yet - Our people believed that he was thus punished by the just judgment of God.
5 Wounded - Which word comprehends all his pains and punishments. For our iniquities - For the guilt of their sins, which he had voluntarily taken upon himself, and for the expiation of their sins, which was hereby purchased. The chastisement - Those punishments by which our peace, our reconciliation to God, was to be purchased, were laid upon him by God's justice with his own consent. Healed - By his sufferings we are saved from our sins.
6 We - All mankind. Astray - From God. Have turned - In general, to the way of sin, which may well be called a man's own way, because sin is natural to us, inherent in us, born with us; and in particular, to those several paths, which several men chuse, according to their different opinions, and circumstances. Hath laid - Heb. hath made to meet, as all the rivers meet in the sea. The iniquity - Not properly, for he knew no sin; but the punishment of iniquity, as that word is frequently used. That which was due for all the sins of all mankind, which must needs be so heavy a load, that if he had not been God as well as man, he must have sunk under the burden.
7 He opened not - He neither murmured against God, nor reviled men.
8 Taken away - Out of this life. By distress and judgment - By oppression and violence. and a pretence of justice. His generation - His posterity. For his death shall not be unfruitful; when he is raised from the dead, he shall have a spiritual seed, a numberless multitude of those who shall believe in him. Cut off - By a violent death. And this may be added as a reason of the blessing of a numerous posterity conferred upon him, because he was willing to be cut off for the transgression of his people.
9 With the wicked - This was a farther degree of humiliation. He saith, he made his grave, because this was Christ's own act, and he willingly yielded up himself to death and burial. And that which follows, with the wicked, does not denote the sameness of place, as if he should be buried in the same grave with other malefactors, but the sameness of condition.
10 He - God was the principal cause of all his sufferings, tho' mens sins were the deserving cause. When - When thou, O God, shalt have made, thy son a sacrifice, by giving him up to death for the atonement of mens sins. His soul is here put for his life, or for himself. Shall see - He shall have a numerous issue of believers reconciled by God, and saved by his death. Prolong - He shall live and reign with God for ever. The pleasure - God's gracious decree for the salvation of mankind shall be effectually carried on by his ministry and mediation.
11 Shall see - He shall enjoy. The travel - The blessed fruit of all his labours, and sufferings. Satisfied - He shall esteem his own and his father's glory, and the salvation of his people, an abundant recompence. By his knowledge - By the knowledge of him. Justify - Acquit them from the guilt of their sins, and all the dreadful consequences thereof. And Christ is said to justify sinners meritoriously, because he purchases and procures it for us. Many - An innumerable company of all nations. For - For he shall satisfy the justice of God, by bearing the punishment due to their sins.
12 I - God the father. A portion - Which is very commodiously supplied out of the next clause. With the strong - God will give him happy success in his glorious undertaking: he shall conquer all his enemies, and set up his universal and everlasting kingdom in the world. Because - Because he willingly laid down his life. Transgressors - He prayed upon earth for all sinners, and particularly for those that crucified him, and in heaven he still intercedes for them, by a legal demand of those good things which he purchased; by the sacrifice of himself, which, though past, he continually represents to his father, as if it were present.

Chapter LIV

The blessings and fulness of the gospel - church, ver. 1 - 4. The Gentiles becoming Christ's spouse, to whom his love is everlasting, ver. 5 - 10. Her glories, ver. 11, 12. The gifts of the Holy Ghost, ver. 13. Her sure preservation, ver. 14 - 17

1 Sing - The prophet having largely discoursed of the sufferings of Christ, and of the blessed fruits thereof, and here foreseeing that glorious state of the church, he breaks forth into this song of triumph. And as the foregoing chapter literally speaks of Christ, so doth this of the church of Christ. This church, consisting at first of the Jews, and afterwards of the Gentiles, had been barren, 'till the coming of Christ. The desolate - The church of the Gentiles, which in the times of the Old Testament was desolate, does now bring forth to God a more numerous posterity than that of the Jews.
2 Enlarge - That it may be capable of the Gentiles, who shall flock to thee in great numbers. Strengthen - That they may be able to support that great weight which the tents thus enlarged, shall be upon them.
3 For - Thou shalt bring forth a multitude of children; for this word is commonly used of any extraordinary propagation of living creatures. On the left - On every side, in all the parts of the world. Thy seed - Thy spiritual seed, the church of the New Testament, which is accounted Abraham's seed, or children.
4 Ashamed - For the barrenness and widowhood, which once was the matter of thy grief and shame. Forget - Thou shalt not be upbraided with thy former barrenness in thy youthful state.
5 Thy maker - Will own thee for his spouse. The Lord - Who hath the sovereign command of all men and creatures, and therefore can subdue the Gentiles to thee, and can make thee to increase and multiply in so prodigious a measure, even in thine old age, notwithstanding thy barrenness in the days of thy youth, of which he speaks in the foregoing verse. The God - The God and father of all nations, whereas formerly he was called only the God of Israel.
6 Called thee - To return to him. As forsaken - When thou wast like a woman forsaken. And grieved - For the loss of her husband's favour. Of youth - As affectionately as an husband recalls his wife which he married in his youth.
7 For a moment - In comparison of God's everlasting kindness. Gather thee - From all the places where thou art dispersed, from all parts of the world.
8 With everlasting kindness - With kindness to thee and thy seed through all succeeding generations.
9 This - This covenant of grace and peace made with thee shall be as certain and perpetual as that which I made with Noah, that there should never be another flood to drown the world. Wrath - So as to forsake thee utterly.
10 The mountains - Shall sooner depart from their places than any kindness shall depart from thee. The covenant - That covenant whereby I have made peace and friendship with thee, and have promised to thee all manner of happiness. God will not cast off his Christian church, as he cast off the church of the Jews, the New covenant is established upon better and surer promises than the Old. The Lord - Who doth this not for thine own merits, but merely for his own grace and mercy.
11 O thou - Who hast been, in a most afflicted and comfortless condition. With sapphires - I will make thee exceeding beautiful and glorious, by a plentiful effusion of excellent gifts, and graces.
12 Agates - The proper signification of the Hebrew names of precious stones is unknown to the Jews themselves. It may suffice us to know that this was some very clear and transparent, and precious stone. Thy borders - The utmost parts or walls.
13 Taught - Not only outwardly by his word, but inwardly by his spirit. The peace -
  1. Inward peace arising from the clear discoveries of God's love and reconciliation to us, and wrought by the spirit of adoption, which is more abundantly given to believers under the gospel, than under the law.
  2. Outward peace, safety, and happiness.
14 Established - Thine affairs shall be managed with righteousness, which is the glory of any society. Oppression - Either by thine own governors, or by foreign powers.
15 Behold - It is true some will combine and make an attempt against thee. But - Without any such commission from me, as Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar had.
16 The smith - Both the smith that makes warlike instruments, and the soldier that uses them, are my creatures, and totally at my command, and therefore they cannot hurt you without my leave. The waster - To destroy only whom and when I please.
17 Condemn - And I will deliver thee not only from the fury of war, but also from the strife of tongues. This - This blessed condition, is the portion allotted them by me. Righteousness - The reward of their righteousness. Of me - I give it, and I will continue it to them.

Chapter LV

An invitation to seek for spiritual blessings from Christ, whom the Father sends, ver. 1 - 5. To come to him speedily and by repentance, ver. 6, 7. His grace infinite, ver. 8, 9. His word powerful, ver. 10, 11. The joy of believers, ver. 12, 13.

1 Thirsteth - For the grace of God and the blessings of the gospel. This thirst implies a vehement, and active, and restless desire after it. No money - Those who are most worthless and wicked, if they do but thirst may be welcome. Buy - Procure or receive that which is freely offered. Wine and milk - All gospel - blessings; in particular, that peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, which are better than wine, and that love of God which nourishes the soul, as milk does the body.
2 Money - All your time, and strength, and cost. Not bread - For those things which can never nourish or satisfy you, such as worldly goods, or pleasures. Eat ye - That which is truly and solidly, and everlastingly good. In fatness - In this pleasant food of gospel - enjoyments.
3 An everlasting covenant - That everlasting covenant of grace and peace which I made with Abraham, and his seed. Of David - Even that covenant which was made first with Abraham, and then with David, concerning those glorious and sure blessings which God hath promised to his people, one and the chief of which was giving Christ to die for their sins. David here seems to be put for the son of David.
4 Behold - I have appointed, and will in due time actually give. Him - The David last mentioned, even Christ. A witness - To declare the will of God concerning the duty and salvation of men, to bear witness to truth, to confirm God's promises, and, among others, those which respect the calling of the Gentiles: to be a witness of both parties of that covenant made between God and men. The people - To all people.
5 Thou - Thou, O Messiah. Call - To the knowledge of thyself. Knewest not - With that special knowledge which implies approbation. Because - Because the Lord shall by many tokens, manifest himself to be thy God, and thee to be his son and faithful servant. Glorify thee - By confirming thy word with illustrious signs and miracles, and particularly by thy resurrection, and glorious ascension.
6 Seek - Labour to get the knowledge of God's will, and to obtain his grace and favour. While - In this day of grace, while he offers mercy and reconciliation. Near - Ready and desirous to receive you to mercy.
7 Return - By sincere repentance, and faith.
8 For - If any man injure you, especially if he do it greatly and frequently, you are slow and backward to forgive him. But I am ready to forgive all penitents, how many, and great, and numberless soever their sins be.
10 The snow - Which in its season contributes to the fruitfulness of the earth. Returneth not - Without effect. And bread - That it may bring forth store of bread - corn, both for mens present supplies, and for seed for the next year.
11 My word - My promises, concerning the pardon of the greatest sinners. Void - Without success.
12 Therefore - Ye shall be released from your bondage. Peace - Safely and triumphantly. Clap - There shall be a general rejoicing, so that even the senseless creatures shall seem to rejoice with you.
13 Instead - Whereas your land was filled with thorns and briars, as was foretold, they shall be rooted out, and it shall be planted with fir - trees and myrtle - trees, and such other trees, as are useful either for fruit or for delight. The church shall be delivered from pernicious things, and replenished with all divine graces and blessings. It - This wonderful change shall bring much honour to God. A sign - For a monument, of God's infinite power, and faithfulness, and love to his people to all succeeding generations.

Chapter LVI

The blessedness of the Godly without any respect of persons, ver. 1 - 8. Blind watchmen shall be destroyed, ver. 9 - 12.

1 My salvation - That eminent salvation by the Messiah, and in which, without this you shall have no share. Is near - So the scripture often speaks of things which are at a great distance, as if they were present or at hand, Hab 2:3 James 5:8,9 Rev 22:20. My righteousness - The same thing which he called salvation.
2 The man - Every man not only Jews but Gentiles, as it is explained in the following verses. The sabbath - The sabbath seems to be put here, as sacrifice is elsewhere, for the whole worship of God.
3 The stranger - The stranger, the Gentile, who by birth is a stranger to God, that hath turned from dumb idols to the living God. The eunuch - Who is here joined with the stranger, because he was forbidden to enter into the congregation of the Lord, Deut 23:1. Under these two instances he understands all those, who either by birth, or by any ceremonial pollution, were excluded from church privileges, and so he throws open the door to all true believers. A dry tree - A fruitless tree, accursed by God with the curse of barrenness.
4 Take hold - That stedfastly keep the conditions of my covenant.
5 In mine house - In my temple. Better - A far greater blessing and honour than that of having posterity, even my favour, and my spirit, and eternal felicity.
7 Mountain - To my house, which stood upon mount Zion. Joyful - By accepting their services, and comforting their hearts with the sense of my love. Accepted - They shall have as free access to mine house and altar, as the Jews themselves, and their services shall be as acceptable to me. Evangelical worship is here described under such expressions as agreed to the worship of God which then was in use.
8 The Lord - Who will gather to himself, and bring into their own land, those that are cast out of their own land. Yet - I will make a far more comprehensive gathering of the Gentiles.
9 Come - This is a prediction of Israel's destruction by their cruel enemies. The prophet having largely discoursed concerning the Messiah, and his kingdom, and having encouraged the Gentiles with God's gracious promises made to them, now proceeds to terrify the unbelieving Jews, and to shew that as the Gentiles would believe, and be saved, so they would reject their Messiah, and be destroyed.
10 His - Israel's. Watchmen - Priests and teachers; he mentions only the teachers, because ignorance was most shameful in them, but hereby he supposes the gross ignorance of the people. Bark - They are also slothful and negligent in instructing the people, and do not faithfully reprove them for their sins.
11 They look - They regard neither God's glory, nor the peoples good, but only the satisfaction of their own base desires. Quarter - In their several stations.
12 Say they - Unto their brethren, fellow - priests, or other jolly companions. Fill ourselves - We will drink not only to delight, but even to drunkenness, as the word signifies, which shews their dreadful security and contempt of God, and their abandoning of all care of their own or peoples souls.

Chapter LVII

The blessed death of the righteous, not duly lamented by the Jews, who also commit idolatry, and trust in man: they are threatened, ver. 1 - 12. Evangelical promises to the penitent, ver. 13 - 19. No peace to the wicked, ver. 20, 21.

1 The righteous - Just and holy men. No man - Few or none. Layeth it to heart - Is duly affected with this sad sign of God's displeasure.
2 He - This just and merciful man shall enter into a state of rest, where he shall be out of the reach of the approaching miseries. They - just men. Here is a sudden change of the number, which is very frequent in the prophets. Beds - In their graves, which are not unfitly called their beds, as their death is commonly called sleep in scripture.
3 Hither - To God's tribunal, to receive your sentence. Sons - Not by propagation, but by imitation. And the whore - Not the genuine children of Abraham, their dispositions were far more suitable to a bastardly brood, than to Abraham's seed.
4 Against whom - Consider whom it is that you mock and scoff, when you deride God's prophets. A seed - A generation of liars, whose practices contradict your professions, who deal deceitfully both with God and men.
5 Enflaming - Lusting after them, and mad upon them. Slaying - In way of sacrifice to their idols. Valleys - He seems to allude to the valley of Hinnom in which these cruelties were practised. Clifts - Which they chuse either for shade, or for those dark vaults, in rocks, which were convenient for idolatrous uses.
6 Portion - Thou hast chosen for thy portion those idols, which were worshipped by the sides of brooks or rivers where such smooth stones commonly lie. They - Thou hast forsaken me and chosen idols. Offered - For the devil is God's ape, and idolaters used the same rites and offerings in the worship of idols which God had prescribed in his own. Comfort - Should I be pleased with such a people and such actions?
7 Mountain - In high places, which were much used for religious worship, both by Israelites and by Heathens. Thy bed - Thine altar, in which thou didst commit spiritual whoredom with idols.
8 The posts - Behind the posts of the doors of thine house: where the Heathens placed their tutelar gods to whose protection they committed their houses, that so they might have their eyes and minds upon them, whensoever they went out or came in. Set up - Those monuments which thou didst set up there as remembrances of those idol - gods whom they represented. Discovered - Thou hast uncovered thy nakedness; to others beside me thine husband. Gone up - Into the adulterous bed. Enlarged - That it might receive many adulterers together. Thou hast multiplied thine idols and altars. A covenant - Thou hast covenanted to serve them.
9 The King - The king of Assyria, called the king by way of eminency, to whom the Israelites in the days of Isaiah were very prone to trust, and send presents. And so the prophet passes from their idolatry to another sin, even their confidence in Heathen princes. Increase - Didst send great quantities. Far off - Into Assyria, which was far from Judea. Debase - Thou wast willing to submit to the basest terms to procure their aid.
10 Wearied - Thou hast not eased, but tired thyself with thy tedious journey. Yet - And yet thou didst not perceive that thy labour was lost. Hast found - Thou hast sometimes found success in these ways. Not grieved - Therefore thou didst not repent of thy sin herein.
11 Feared - And who are they, the fear of whom drives thee to these wicked courses? Lied - That thou hast dealt thus perfidiously with me. Not remembered - Hast thou forgotten all those great things which I have done for thee. Held my peace - Have not I forbore to punish thee from time to time, that by this goodness I might oblige thee to love me. And thou - Or, therefore thou dost not fear or regard me. Thou abusest my long - suffering.
13 But - But they shall be carried away suddenly and violently by the blast of mine anger. Vanity - A vapour which quickly vanishes away. Inherit - Shall enjoy my favour and presence in my temple.
14 And he - God will raise up a man who shall say with authority and efficacy. Cast up - Make causeways, where it is needful, for their safe and easy passage, and remove all things which may hinder them in their return.
16 For - I will not proceed to the utmost severity with sinful men.
17 Covetousness - Of which sin the Jews were eminently guilty. But this comprehends all those sins for which God contended with them. He went - Yet he was not reformed, but trespassed more and more.
18 Mourners - To those who are humbled under God's hand, that mourn in Zion for their own and others sins.
19 I create - I will by my almighty power produce. Peace - That peace which is not wrought by mens hands, but only by God's lips or word. The doubling of the word signifies the certainty and abundance this peace. Far off - To the Gentiles who are far from God, as well as to the Jews, who are called a people near unto God, Psal 148:14.
20 Cast up - Their minds are restless, being perpetually hurried with their own lusts and passions, and with guilt, and the dread of the divine vengeance.
21 No peace - Though they may have a great share of prosperity, yet they have no share in this inward, and spiritual, and everlasting peace.

Chapter LVIII

The hypocrisy of the Jews, in their fasts, ver. 1 - 5. A true fast described, ver. 6, 7. Promises to Godliness, ver. 8 - 12. To the keeping of the sabbath, ver. 13, 14.

2 Yet - They cover all their wickedness with a profession of religion. Delight - There are many men who take some pleasure in knowing God's will and word, and yet do not conform their lives to it. As - As if they were a righteous people. Forsook - As if they were not guilty of any apostacy from God, or disobedience to God's precepts. Ask - As if they resolved to observe them. In approaching - In coming to my temple to hear my word, and to offer sacrifices.
3 Afflicted - Defrauded our appetites with fasting, of which this phrase is used, Levit 16:29. Ye find - Either you indulge yourselves in sensuality, as they did, Isa 22:13. But this does not agree with that afflicting of their souls which they now professed, and which God acknowledges; or you pursue and satisfy your own desires: though you abstain from bodily food, you do not mortify your sinful inclinations. Exact - Your money, got by your labour, and lent to others, either for their need or your own advantage, which you require either with usury, or at least with rigour, when either the general law of charity, or God's particular law, commanded the release, or at least the forbearance of them.
4 Behold - Your fasting days, wherein you ought in a special manner to implore the mercy of God, and to shew compassion to men, you employ in injuring or quarrelling with your brethren, your servants or debtors, or in contriving mischief against them. Heard - In strife and debate. By way of ostentation.
5 Chosen - Approve of, accept, or delight in, by a metonymy, because we delight in what we freely chuse. For a day - This may be understood, either for a man to take a certain time to afflict his soul in, and that either from even to even, Lev 23:32, or from morning to evening, or for a little time. Wilt thou call - Canst thou suppose it to be so? A fast - It being such an one as has nothing in it, but the dumb signs of a fast, nothing of deep humiliation appearing in it, or, real reformation proceeding from it. Acceptable day - A day that God will approve of.
6 The bands - The cruel obligations of usury and oppression.
7 Cast out - And thereby become wanderers, having no abiding place. To thy house - That thou be hospitable, and make thy house a shelter to them that have none of their own left. Hide not - That seek no occasion to excuse thyself. Thy own flesh - Some confine this to our own kindred; but we can look on no man, but there we contemplate our own flesh, and therefore it is barbarous, not only to tear, but not to love and succour him. Therefore feed him as thou wouldest feed thyself, or be fed; shelter him as thou wouldest shelter thyself, or be sheltered; clothe him as thou wouldest clothe thyself, or be clothed; if in any of these respects thou wert in his circumstances.
8 Thy light - Happiness and prosperity. Break forth - It shall not only appear, but break forth, dart itself forth, notwithstanding all difficulties, as the sun breaks, and pierces through a cloud. Thy health - Another metaphor to express the same thing. Righteousness - The reward of thy righteousness. Before thee - As the morning - star goes before the sun. The glory - His glorious power and providence. Thy rereward - Thus the angel of his presence secured the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.
9 Answer - He will give an effectual demonstration, that he hears thee. Here l am - A phrase that notes a person to be ready at hand to help. Take away - From among you. The yoke - All those pressures and grievances before mentioned. Putting forth - Done by way of scoff, or disdainful insulting. Vanity - Any kind of evil words.
10 Draw out - Or, open, as when we open a store, to satisfy the wants of the needy. Thy soul - Thy affection, thy pity and compassion. Thy darkness - In the very darkness of the affliction itself thou shalt have comfort.
11 Guide thee - Like a shepherd. And he adds continually to shew that his conduct and blessing shall not be momentary, or of a short continuance, but all along as it was to Israel in the wilderness. Satisfy - Thou shalt have plenty, when others are in scarcity. Make fat - This may be spoken in opposition to the sad effects of famine, whereby the flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen, and the bones that were not seen, stick out. A garden - If thou relieve the poor, thou shalt never be poor, but as a well - watered garden, always flourishing. Fail not - Heb. deceive not, a metaphor which farther notes also the continuance of this flourishing state, which will not be like a land - flood, or brooks, that will soon be dried up with drought. Thou shalt be fed with a spring of blessing, that will never fail.
12 They shall be of thee - Thy posterity. Waste places - Cities which have lain long waste; that shall continue for many generations to come. The breach - Breach is put for breaches, which was made by God's judgment breaking in upon them in suffering the walls of their towns and cities to be demolished. Paths - Those paths that led from city to city, which being now laid desolate, and uninhabited, were grown over with grass, and weeds. To dwell in - These accommodations being recovered, their ancient cities might be fit to be re - inhabited.
13 If - If thou take no unnecessary journeys, or do any servile works on the sabbath - day. A delight - Performing the duties of it with chearfulness, delighting in the ordinances of it. Holy - Dedicated to God, consecrated to his service.
14 In the Lord - In his goodness and faithfulness to thee, and in the assurance of his love and favour. To ride - Thou shalt be above the reach of danger. Feed thee - Thou shalt enjoy the good of the land of Canaan, which God promised as an heritage to Jacob, and his seed, Gen 35:12.

Chapter LIX

Sin separates between God and us, ver. 1, 2. Murder, theft, falsehood, injustice, cruelty, ver. 3 - 8. Calamity for sin, ver. 9 - 15. Salvation only of God, ver. 16 - 19. The covenant of the redeemer, ver. 20, 21

3 Perverseness - Perverse words are such as are contrary to God's word. Words every way contrary to God's will.
4 None - None seek to redress these wrongs, and violences; they commit all rapines, and frauds with impunity. Bring forth - These two words of conceiving, and bringing forth, denote their whole contrivance, and perfecting their wickedness.
5 Cockatrice eggs - One kind put for any venomous creature, a proverbial speech signifying by these eggs mischievous designs, and by hatching them, their putting them in practice. Web - Another proverbial speech whereby is taught, both how by their plots they weave nets, lay snares industriously with great pains and artifice. And also how their designs will come to nothing, as the spider's web is soon swept away.
6 Webs - Their contrivances shall not be able to cover or defend them.
7 Wasting - They meditate on little or nothing else. Paths - In what way or work soever they are engaged, it all tends to ruin and destruction.
8 The way of peace - They live in continual contentions, and discords. Judgment - No justice, equity, faith, or integrity.
9 Justice - Judgment, and so justice is here taken for deliverance. God doth not defend our right, nor revenge our wrong, because of these outrages, and acts of violence, injustice, and oppression.
10 As dead men - He compares their captivity to men dead without hope of recovery.
11 Mourn - Their oppressing governors made the wicked roar like bears, and the good mourn like doves.
12 Transgressions - The word here signifies sins of an high nature, such as wherein there is much of man's will against light: rebellious sins. Multiplied - They admit of no excuse; for they are acted before thee, and multiplied against thee, whereby thou art justly provoked to deny us all help. Testify - As so many witnesses produced proves our guilt. Are with us - Are still unforgiven. We know - We are convinced of them.
13 Lying - Transgressing here, and lying, seem to be one and the same thing, inasmuch as in their transgressing the law of God, they broke their solemn engagement to God upon mount Sinai. Departing - Turning from God to idols. Speaking - As it were, talking of little else one among another, but how to oppress their neighbours, and apostatize from God. Uttering - That is, first contriving in their heart false accusations, false worship to the dishonour of God; laying the contrivances and uttering them. From the heart - And when they dealt with men in ways of fraud, it was from the heart, but when they spake with God it was but from the lip.
14 Judgment - He speaks here of the sentences in courts of judicature. Truth - Truth is cast to the ground, and justice trampled under foot, even in publick. Equity - No such thing will be admitted in their courts.
15 Faileth - All things are amiss, neither judgment or justice, or truth, is to be found among us. A prey - Or, as some render it, is accounted mad, is laughed at. Josephus tells us, that immediately before the destruction of Jerusalem, it was matter of scorn to be religions. The translators reach the meaning of the word by prey: the wicked, like wild beasts, endeavouring to devour such as are not as bad as themselves: where wickedness rules, innocency is oppressed.
16 No man - To appear in the behalf of equity. His arm - He would do his work without help from any other. Righteousness - His justice; seeing there could be no justice found among them, he would avenge the innocent himself.
17 For - God, resolving to appear as a man of war, puts on his arms; he calls righteousness his breast - plate, to shew the justness of his cause, as also his faithfulness in making good his promises. Vengeance - Or garments made of vengeance: as God is said to put on the former for their sakes, whom he would preserve, so he puts on these for their sakes, whom he will destroy, namely, his peoples enemies. Zeal - For his own honour, and for his own people. The sum of all these expressions is, to describe both the cause and effect together; the cause was righteousness and zeal in God, the effect, salvation to his people, and vengeance on his enemies.
18 Deeds - Heb. recompences or deserts. That is, he will recompence his adversaries with those effects of his fury that they have deserved. Islands - To those remoter nations under the king of Babylon, that thought themselves secure.
19 Fear - Worship the Lord. The west - The western part of the world. His glory - The glorious God. The rising of the sun - The eastern parts. When - At what time soever the devil, or his instruments shall make violent irruptions upon the church. A standard - God shall make known himself to take their part and defend them, by his spirit alone.
20 The Redeemer - Christ, of whom the apostle expounds it, Rom 11:26, the prophets usually concluding their promises of temporal deliverances with the promises of spiritual, especially such, of which the temporal were evident types.
21 My covenant - What I have promised, to them that turn from their iniquity. My words - Which thou hast uttered by virtue of my spirit. Of thy seed - A promise of the perpetual presence of his word and spirit with the prophets, apostles, and teachers of the church to all ages.

Chapter LX

The glory and blessing of the new church after a short affliction, ver. 1 - 22.

1 Arise - A word of encouragement accommodated to the Jewish, or Hebrew style, wherein, as by lying down, is described a servile and calamitous condition, chap.47:1, so by rising, and standing up, a recovery out of it, into a free, and prosperous one, as may be seen frequently; Rouze up, intimating her deliverance to be at hand. Here under a type, of Jerusalem's restoration, is displayed the flourishing state of the Gentile - church, under the Messiah. Thy light - Thy flourishing and prosperous state.
2 The darkness - All kinds of errors. The Lord - Christ. Shall be seen - Shall be conspicuous; as the Lord's arising, to the darkness covering the earth, so the glory being seen, answers to that gross darkness.
3 The Gentiles - A plain prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles.
5 See - With delight the multitudes of thy children running to thee. Flow - They shall flock together to behold such an amazing sight. Fear - Or stand amazed. Enlarged - Both with joy, and love. The abundance - The islands of the sea, the nations, shall turn to thee in religion, and affection. The forces - Or wealth.
6 The multitude - The treasure, that is brought upon camels. By these, and such like figurative expressions in several verses of this chapter is implied the coming in of all nations to Christ, and therefore they are brought in as presenting the chief commodities of their respective countries. Dromedaries - A smaller sort of camel. Ephah - The Midianites, and Ephahites dwelt beyond Arabia. Sheba - A country in Arabia Felix, whose queen it was, that came to visit Solomon, and her bringing gifts might be a type of this, Solomon being a type of Christ. Gold - The principal commodities with which this country abounded, by which we are to understand whatever is precious.
7 Kedar - Arabia Petrea. Acceptance - They shall not now, as heretofore, be rejected. The house - The temple, or my house: God shall become glorious by the multitude of sacrifices, that shall be offered, and accepted here. This is a type of how glorious his New Testament worship shall be.
8 A cloud - These metaphors import the number as well as speed, of those that should be begotten by the apostles doctrine.
9 Ships - To convey them to me. Tarshish - Those that traffick by sea. In naming this he implies all that had commerce with other nations. From far - From the remotest parts. Glorified - He will make thee honourable in the eyes of the world, especially in setting up the ministry of the gospel in the midst of thee.
10 Minister - Shall administer all necessaries to thee. I had mercy - As I afflicted thee in my anger, so out of my compassion I will abundantly bless thee.
11 Therefore - For that purpose; by reason of the conflux of people, that shall be continually flocking thither.
12 Serve - That will not submit to Christ's scepter.
13 The glory - The box, the fir, the pine, and the cedar, on account whereof Lebanon was so famous; kings and great ones, the glory of the world, and also persons of a lower rank, shall be the materials, and members of Christ's church. To beautify - This is the reason and end why the glory of Lebanon is to be brought hither; by these trees understand the beauty, and nobility of the church. Sanctuary - The temple wherein was the sanctuary. The place of my feet - The ark, so called, because, supposing God after the manner of men, to sit between the wings of the cherubim, his feet would rest upon the ark. All this is made good in the gospel - church.
14 The sons - Either their posterity, or themselves, for it is the manner of the Hebrews so to speak. Bending - Humbling themselves, as penitents. Call thee - They shall acknowledge her to be so.
15 Forsaken - Both of God and of her inhabitants. No man went - Thy streets were left desolate.
16 Shalt suck - That the church shall draw, or receive the wealth of nations, and the riches, and power of kings, and whatever is most excellent, and that it shall come freely, and affectionately, as milk flows from the breast of the mother.
17 For brass - An allusion to the days of Solomon, when gold was as brass. Peace - Loving, meek, and peaceable. Righteousness - Most righteous. Such even thy tax - gatherers shall be.
18 Salvation - They shall be safe, and able to defend thee; thou shalt be as safe, as salvation itself can make thee. Thy gates - Within and upon thy gates and walls, thou shalt sing praises. All this will be fulfilled during the thousand years wherein Christ shall reign upon earth.
19 The sun - These shall not be esteemed in comparison of the spiritual light of the church; but here laid down for the churches comfort as the former was for her safety, so that God will not only be a shield, but a sun. The Lord - Christ shall scatter all darkness and ignorance, and this light shall not wax, and wane, and suffer eclipses, and settings, as the sun and moon do, but shall be constant, without shadow of change. The glory - Always ministering matter of glorying in him.
21 The branch - Thy people being of my planting, the work of my hands.
22 In time - In due time, the time that I have appointed.

Chapter LXI

Christ and his blessed office, ver. 1 - 3. The church's repair and increase, ver. 4 - 6. And joy, ver. 7 - 11.

1 Upon me - Though the prophet may speak of himself, yet it is principally to be understood of Christ. Anointed - Set me apart, both capacitating him with gifts, and commissioning him with authority; and yet more, as it is applied to Christ, a power to make all effectual, from whence he hath also the name of Messiah among the Hebrews, and of Christ among the Greeks; nay, Christ alone among the prophets hath obtained this name, Psal 45:7. The prophet describes first, who Christ is, and then what are his offices. Liberty - This appertains to Christ's kingly office, whereby he proclaims liberty from the dominion of sin, and from the fear of hell.
2 Vengeance - It being necessary, that where God will deliver his people, he should take vengeance on their enemies; principally on the enemies of his church, and the spiritual ones chiefly, Satan, sin, and death.
3 Ashes - By ashes understand whatever is proper for days of mourning, as by beauty whatever may become times of rejoicing. Oil of joy - He calls it oil of joy in allusion to those anointings they were wont to use in times of joy, gladness for heaviness; and it is called a garment in allusion to their festival ornaments, for they had garments appropriated to their conditions, some suitable to times of rejoicing, and some to times of mourning. Called - That they may be so. Trees - That they shall be firm, solid, and well rooted, being by faith engrafted into Christ, and bringing forth fruit suitable to the soil wherein they are planted.
5 Strangers - Gentiles, such as are not of the natural race of the Jews, but Gentile converts. Or, such as shall have no more than an outward profession. Stand - Ready to be at thy service. Flocks - The churches with the word of God. Plow - men - Shall manage the whole work of God's spiritual husbandry.
6 The priests - The whole body of them shall now be as near to God as the priests were formerly, and shall be a royal priesthood. This is most certainly true of all the faithful under the gospel.
7 Double - Honour. Portion - Of honour, that God will give them.
8 Love judgment - I will do them right, for I love justice in myself, and in them that practise it. Robbery - All things gotten by injustice, though it be for sacrifice. Direct - I will lead them so, that they shall do all things in sincerity. Everlasting covenant - Though you have broken covenant with me, yet I will renew my ancient covenant made with your fathers, confirmed with the blood of Christ, and it shall be everlasting, never to be abrogated.
9 Shall be - That is, eminently a promise of the increase of the church; such shall be their prosperity, and multiplying, that they shall be known abroad by their great increase; or else, the meaning is, the church shall have a seed of the Gentiles, whereas the church has been confined to one corner of the world, now it shall remain in one nation alone no more, but shall fill all the nations of the earth. Hath blessed - There shall be such visible characters of God's love to them, and of God's grace in them.
10 I will - This is spoken in the person of the church. Garments, &c. - With salvation as with a garment, and with righteousness as with a robe.
11 Righteousness - His great work of salvation shall break out and appear. Praise - As the natural product, and fruit of it.

Chapter LXII

A prayer of the watchmen for the church in confidence of God's gracious designs and promises to it, ver. 1 - 12.

1 Zion's sake - Zion and Jerusalem are both put for the church, Heb 12:22. My peace - These seem to be the words of the prophet strongly resolving, notwithstanding all difficulties, to solicit God for the church's happiness, and constantly excite to the belief of it by his preaching, though it were long before it came, for Isaiah lived near two hundred years before this was accomplished. Righteousness - With reference to the Babylonians, understand it of the righteousness of God, who hath promised his people deliverance, and he must be righteous, and so understand salvation before; or rather, the vindicating of his people's cause in the eyes of the nations by the ruin of the Babylonians; he will shew that his people have a righteous cause. Lamp - And to that purpose is set up where it may be seen continually, to signify how eminently conspicuous this prosperous estate of the church should be among the nations, and as it may particularly relate to revealing of Christ unto the world.
2 A new name - The church shall be more renowned than ever, both in respect of her condition, and so called Hephzi - bah, and of her relation, and so called Beulah, and this new name the Lord gives them accordingly, ver.4.
3 Crown of glory - An expression to set forth the dignity of her state. In the hand - Preserved and defended by God's hand. Royal diadem - The same thing with the former for substance. Or, the royal priesthood, whereof the apostle speaks, 1Pet 2:9.
4 Forsaken - As a woman forsaken by her husband. Thy land - The inhabitants of the land. Hephzi - bah - My delight is in her; a new name agreeing with her new condition. Beulah - Married; agreeing to her new relation. Married - Thou shalt see the increase of thy children again in the land, as the fruit of thy married condition, which by reason of thy being forsaken of thy husband, were in a manner wasted and decayed: and this refers to the great enlargement of the church in the gospel days.
6 Day nor night - There shall be a vigilant and industrious ministry. Ye - That is, are his servants. And here especially are meant his servants in ordinary, his remembrancers, such as put God in mind of his promise, and such as make the Lord to be remembered, putting his people in mind of him.
7 A praise - By sending the Messiah, and those labourers into his vineyard, whereby the church may be established, and settled on sure foundations, and so become a matter of praise to God. All the nations shall praise him for her.
9 But - Thou shalt not sow, and another reap, as formerly. Courts - In my courts: holiness being put for God himself.
10 Go through - It is doubled by way of emphasis. Go meet the Gentiles, whom God purposes to bring into the church. Prepare - Let them not have any obstructions in their way. Stones - That there be no stumbling - stone, or offence in their way. Standard - An allusion to soldiers, that set up their standard that the army may know where to repair from all quarters.
11 Zion - To Jerusalem, or the church. Thy salvation - Thy saviour. Reward - The reward due to the work.

Chapter LXIII

Christ's victory over his enemies, ver. 1 - 6. and mercy towards his church: in judgment remembering mercy, ver. 7 - 14. The church's prayer and complaint in faith, ver. 15 - 19.

1 Who - The church makes enquiry, and that with admiration, who it is that appears in such a habit or posture? Edom - Idumea, where Esau dwelt. It is put for all the enemies of the church. Bozrah - The capital city of Idumea. Here is also an allusion to the garments of this conqueror, Edom signifying red, and Bozrah a vintage. Glorious - Such as generals march before their armies in. Righteousness - Here Christ gives an answer, wherein he both asserts his fidelity, that he will faithfully perform what he hath promised, and that he will truly execute justice. Mighty - I have power to accomplish salvation.
3 Trodden - I have destroyed the enemies of my people, I have crushed them as grapes are crushed, this being an usual metaphor to describe the utter destruction of a people.
4 Of vengeance - To take vengeance on the enemies of my church.
5 None to help - Not that he needed it, but to see what men would do, in regard his people needed it; therefore the standing, or not standing by his people, is the same thing with standing, or not standing by him. Uphold - A metaphor, taken from a staff, that is an help to one that leans on it.
6 Drunk - They go as it were to and fro, not knowing what to do with themselves. Bring down - Whatever it is wherein their strength lies, he will bring to the very dust, to nothing.
7 Mention - Here begins a new matter, which contains the prophet's prayer, to the end of chap. 64, wherein he begins with mentioning the great kindnesses that God had shewn the Jews, and that emphatically, setting them forth with the greatest advantages.
8 He said - When he made a covenant with our fathers, and brought them out of Egypt. Not lie - That will keep my covenant. So he - Not Cyrus, Zerubbabel, or Nehemiah, but Christ himself.
9 The angel - The same that conducted them through the wilderness; the Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared to Moses in the bush. Saved them - From the house of bondage. Carried - He carried them in the arms of his power, and on the wings of his providence. And he is said to do it of old, To remember his ancient kindness for many generations past.
11 He remembered - This relates, either
  1. To the people, and then he is collectively taken, and so it looks like the language of the people in Babylon, and must be read, he shall remember. Or,
  2. It may look back to their condition in the wilderness, and thus they may properly say, Where is he? Or that God who delivered his people of old, to do the like for us now? There is a like phrase used by God, as it were recollecting himself, Where is he? Where am I with my former bowels, that moved me to help them of old?
His people - What great things he had done for them by Moses. The sea - Here God speaks of himself, as in the former clause, that divided the sea for them. Shepherds - Moses and Aaron. Holy spirit - Those abilities and gifts, wherewith God furnished Moses, as properly proceeding from the Spirit.
13 As an horse - With as much ease and tenderness, as an horse led by the bridle. Not stumble - That, tho' the sea were but newly divided, yet it was dried and smoothed by the wind, that God sent, as it were to prepare the way before them.
14 The valley - A laden beast goeth warily and gently down the hill. Rest - Led them easily, that they should not be over - travelled, or fall down, through weariness; thus Jeremiah expresses it, Jer 31:2, and thus God gave them rest from their enemies, drowning them in the sea, and in their safe conduct, that they could not annoy or disturb them, leading them 'till he found them a place for resting; the word for leading, and resting, being much of a like notion, Zech 10:6, pointing at their several rests by the way, Numb 10:33, or it may be read by way of interrogation, as all the foregoing words, and be the close of that enquiry, And where is the spirit, that caused then to rest? Or, he led them to Canaan the place of their rest.
15 Look - Now the prophet begins to expostulate with God, and to argue both from the goodness of his nature, and from the greatness of his works. God sees every where, and every thing, but he is said to look down from heaven, because there is his throne whereon he sits in majesty. Behold - Not barely see, but behold with regard, and respect thy poor people. Where - What is become of that love, which of old would not let thee suffer thy people to be wronged? Strength - That power of thine manifested in those great acts? The founding - This is spoken of God after the manner of men.
16 Abraham - He who was our father after the flesh, though he be dead, and so ignorant of our condition. Redeemer - This is urged as another argument for pity; because their Father was their Redeemer. From everlasting - Thou hast been our Redeemer of old.
17 Made us - Suffered us to err. Hardened - Suffered it to be hardened. Thy fear - The fear of thee. Servants sake - For our sakes, that little remnant that are thy servants. Inheritance - The land of Canaan, which God gave them as an inheritance.
18 People - The people set apart for his servants. A little while - Comparatively to the promise, which was for ever. Sanctuary - The temple.
19 Thine - We continue so; we are in covenant, which they never were; and thus it is an argument they use with God to look upon them. Never - Not in that manner thou didst over us. They - Neither owned thee, nor were owned by thee.

Chapter LXIV

The church's prayer continued, for the illustration of God's glory, ver. 1 - 5. With a confession of their sins, and complaint of their afflictions, ver. 6 - 12.

1 Rent - A metaphor taken from men, that when they would resolutely help one in distress, break and fling open doors and whatever may hinder. Flow down - That all impediments might be removed out of the way: possibly an allusion to God's coming down upon mount Sinai, in those terrible flames of fire.
2 Fire - Come with such zeal for thy people, that the solid mountains may be no more before thy breath, than metal that runs, or water that boils by the force of a vehement fire. Known - That thine enemies may know thy power, and that thy name may be dreaded among them.
3 Terrible things - This may relate to what he did among the Egyptians, tho' it be not recorded, and afterward in the wilderness. Looked not for - Such things as we could never expect. Mountains - Kings, princes, and potentates, may metaphorically be understood by these mountains.
4 Besides thee - This is to be applied to all the wonderful works, that God at all times wrought for his people: and thus they are a plea with God, that they might well expect such things from him now, that had done such wonderful things for their fathers. Waiteth - This may be taken with reference both to the state of grace and glory, those incomprehensible things that are exhibited through Christ in the mysteries of the gospel.
5 Meetest - As the father the prodigal. Worketh - That rejoices to work righteousness. Continuance - To those that work righteousness. Be saved - In so doing, in working righteousness.
6 Unclean - Formerly there were some that feared thee; but now we are all as one polluted mass, nothing of good left in us by reason of an universal degeneracy. And all - The very best of us all are no better than the uncleanest things. Taken - Carried away to Babylon, as leaves hurried away by a boisterous wind.
7 That calleth - That call upon thee as they ought. Take hold - Either to stay thee from departing from us, or to fetch thee back when departed.
8 Our father - Notwithstanding all this thou art our father both by creation, and by adoption, therefore pity us thy children.
9 Thy people - Thou hast no people in covenant but us, and wilt thou not leave thyself a people in the world?
11 Pleasant things - The king's palace, and the houses of the nobles, and other pieces of state and magnificence.
12 Wilt thou - Do none of these things move thee to take vengeance? Thy peace - Wilt thou be as one that regards not?

Chapter LXV

The calling of the Gentiles: the Jews for their incredulity, idolatry, and hypocrisy, rejected, ver. 1 - 7. A remnant shall be saved, ver. 8 - 10. Judgments on the wicked, and blessings on the Godly, ver. 11 - 16. The flourishing and peaceable state of the New Jerusalem, ver. 17 - 26.

1 I am, &c. - This in the primary sense of this text, is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, upon the rejection of the Jews; for their contempt and crucifying of Christ, cannot be doubted by any, who will not arrogate to themselves a greater ability to interpret the prophesies of the Old Testament, than St. Paul had, who, Rom 10:20, expressly so interprets it, and applies it, which shews the vanity of the Jews in their other interpretations of it. Sought - The word signifies properly a diligent enquiry in things relating to God. Asked not - That in times past made no enquiry after me; l am now found by them that formerly sought me not. I said - I invited whole nations by the preaching of my gospel to behold me, and that with importunity, doubling my words upon them, and this I did unto a nation not called by my name, with whom I was not in covenant.
2 I have spread - Applied to the Jews, Rom 10:21. I have stretched out my hands, I have used all means to reduce them, I have stretched out the hands of a passionate orator to persuade them, of a liberal benefactor to load them with my benefits; this I have done continually in the whole course of my providence with them.
3 To my face - With the utmost impudence, not taking notice of God's omnipresence, and omniscience. In gardens, &c. - Directly contrary to the divine rule.
4 Remain - They remained among the graves, there consulting with devils, who were thought to delight in such places; or to practice necromancy, all which were forbidden, Deut 18:11 Isa 8:19. Monuments - Some interpret it of idol temples, some of caves and dens, in which the Heathens used to worship their idols. Broth of abominable things - Of such flesh as was to the Jews unclean by the law.
5 Holier - Thus they esteemed themselves holier than others, though all their holiness lay in rituals, and those too, such as God never commanded. Of these God saith, These are a smoak in my nostrils, a fire that burneth all the day; that is, a continual provocation to me: as smoak is an offence to our noses.
6 Behold - They may think I take no notice of these things; but I will as certainly remember them, as princes or great men that record things in writing which they would not forget.
7 Together - Yea, and when I reckon with them, I will punish them, not only for their personal sins, but for the sins of their parents, which they have made their own, by imitation. Their former - I will not only punish the late sins that they have committed, but the former sins of this kind, which those that went before did commit, and they have continued in.
8 Thus, &c. - These word's may be conceived as a gracious answer from God to the prophet, pleading God's covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. To this God replies, that he intended no such severity. His threatening should be made good upon the generality of this people. Blessing - But yet, as in a vineyard, which is generally unfruitful, there may be some vine that brings forth fruit, and has the hopes of new wine in the cluster, and as to such, the gardener bids his servant destroy it not, for there is in them what speaks God's blessing. So - So (saith God) will I do for my servants sake, that I may not destroy them all, for the sake of my servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
9 Judah - God farther promises to bring out of Judah, an inheritor of his mountains which refers to the Jews return out of the captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem, to worship God in his temple, upon mount Zion. Mine elect - My chosen ones. The term signifies such as are dignified with some special favour. The whole nation of the Jews are called a chosen people.
10 A fold - Sharon was a place of great fruitfulness for pastures. It was become like a wilderness, God here promises that it should again be a place for the flocks.
11 Forget - To forget God's holy mountains, signifies not to regard the true worship of God. God calls Zion his holy mountain. That troop - The idols of the ten tribes, and of the Assyrians, were a troop, where as the God of Israel was one God. By preparing a table, here seems to be meant, the feasts they made upon their sacrifices in imitation of what the true God had commanded his people. Furnish - God had appointed drink offerings for his honour, but the people had paid their homage to idols. Number - The multitude of their idols.
12 To the sword - A great number of you shall perish by the sword; or possibly the term number may refer to all in the next phrase, so that none of them should escape. God saith he will number them, tell them out one by one to the sword. Bow down - As you have bowed down to idols. I called - By my prophets, you did not answer by doing the things which I enjoined. Chuse - You sinned deliberately chusing sinful courses, the things which I hated.
15 A curse - They shall use your names as examples, of the eminent wrath of God upon sinners. Another name - He will not suffer his own people to be called by a name by which idolaters are known.
16 God of truth - Because they shall see what God promised is fulfilled. Are hid - That is, they are at an end.
17 I create - I am about wholly to change the state not only of my people, but to bring a new face upon the world, which shall abide until a new heavens and earth appear, in which shall dwell nothing but righteousness. Not be remembered - That state of things shall be so glorious, that the former state of my people shall not be remembered.
18 You - The church, as well under the gospel, as under the law.
20 An infant - Those that were now children, shall die at a great age. But - Yet none of these things shall be of any advantage to wicked men, but if any of them shall live to be an hundred years old, yet they shall die accursed.
23 With them - Is blessed with them.
24 Before they call - God promised, chap.58:9, to answer them, when they called: here he promises to answer the words, as soon as they should be formed in their hearts before they could get them out of their lips. While - Yea, while they were speaking.
25 The wolf, &c. - God here promises to take off the fierceness of the spirits of his peoples enemies, so that they shall live quietly and peaceably together. And dust - God promises a time of tranquility to his church under the metaphor of serpents eating the dust, their proper meat, Gen 3:14, instead of flying upon men: it signifies such a time, when wicked men shall no more eat up the people of God.

Chapter LXVI

God is served with the spirit, and not by ceremonies, ver. 1 - 5. The wonderful birth and benefits of the gospel - church, ver. 6 - 14. Severe judgments against the wicked, ver. 15 - 17. The Gentiles shall be an holy church, ver. 18 - 23. The eternal punishment of the wicked, ver. 24.

1 The heaven - The highest heaven, is the place where I shew myself in my majesty. So Psal 11:4 Psal 103:19 Matt 5:34. Hence we are taught to pray; our father which art in heaven. And the earth is my footstool - Or a place wherein I set my feet, Matt 5:35. The house - Can there be an house built, that will contain me? My rest - Or where is the place wherein I can be said to rest in a proper sense?
2 Have been - They were not only made by God, but kept in being by him. Look - Yet God will look with a favourable eye to him that hath a broken and contrite spirit, whose heart is subdued to the will of God, and who is poor, and low in his own eyes. Trembleth - Who trembleth when he hears God's threatening words, and hears every revelation of his will with reverence.
3 He that, &c. - Solomon, Prov 15:8, gives a full commentary on the whole verse; The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. As if - From hence it is plain, that the prophet is not here reflecting upon idolatrous worship, but formal worship: upon those who in a formality worshipped the true God, and by acts which he had appointed. God by the prophet declares, that these mens services were no more acceptable to him than murder, idolatry, or the most horrid profanation of his name. Own ways - They live as they lust. Delight - They take pleasure in their sins.
4 Chuse - They have chosen to mock and delude me, I will chuse to suffer them to delude themselves; they have chosen to work wickedness, I will chuse the effect. Their fears - That is, the things which they feared. Did not hear - God accounts that those do not hear, who do not obey his will.
5 You - That truly fear God. Your brethren - By nation. Cast you out - That cast you out of their synagogues, cast you out of their city, and some of you out of the world. For my names sake - For my sake; for your adherence to my law. Glorified - Thinking they did God good service, John 16:2.
6 A voice - The expression of a prophetical extasy, as if he said, I hear a sad and affrighting noise; it comes not from the city only, but from the temple, wherein these formalists have so much gloried. There is a noise of soldiers slaying, and of the poor people shrieking or crying out. Of the Lord - A voice of the Lord, not in thunder, but that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Thus he seems to express the destruction of the Jews by the Roman armies, as a thing at that time doing.
7 Before - The whole verse is expressive of a great and sudden salvation, which God would work for his church, like the delivery of a woman, and that of a man - child, before her travail, and without pain. Doubtless it refers to the coming of Christ, and the sudden propagation of the gospel.
8 For - As soon as the voice of the gospel put the church of the Jews into her travail, in Christ's and the Apostles time, it presently brought forth.
9 Shall I - I, that in the ordinary course of my providence use to give a birth to women, to whom I have given a power to conceive, shall I not give a birth to my people, whom by my promises I have made to conceive such expectations? And shut - Nor shall Zion once only bring forth, but she shall go on, her womb shall not be shut, she shall every day bring forth more and more children, and my presence shall be with my church, to the end of the world.
11 Consolations - The gospel doctrine was their breasts of consolation. Her glory - Christ was the glory of the people of Israel, though he was also a light to the Gentiles.
12 Like a river - It is plain this prophecy relates to a farther conversion of the Jews than hath been yet seen. Ye - Ye Jews also. Her sides - The Gentiles were borne upon the sides of Jerusalem and dandled upon her knees, as first hearing from the Apostles (who were members of the Jewish church) the glad tidings of salvation.
13 As one whom, &c. - That is, in the most tender, and compassionate way.
14 Rejoice - The peace of the church and the propagation of the kingdom of Christ, is always the cause of an heart rejoicing to such as fear God, so that they flourish like an herb in the spring. The hand - The power, protection, and influence of God.
15 With fire - With terrible judgments, or with fire in a proper sense, understanding it of the fire with which enemies use to consume places brought under their power. Whirlwind - With a sudden sweeping judgment. Fury - That is, with fervour; for fury properly taken is not in God. Rebukes - They had contemned the rebukes of the law, now God will rebuke them with fire, and sword.
16 Plead - God at first pleads with sinners by words, but if he cannot so prevail, he will plead with them in a way by which he will overcome; by fire, pestilence and blood. All flesh - Thus he threatens to do with all the wicked Jews. The slain - Those whom God should cause to be slain.
17 Gardens - In which they worshipped idols. In the midst - Behind one of the trees, or one by one behind the trees. The abominations - All those beasts forbidden the Jews for meat. God will not only destroy gross idolaters, but all those who make no conscience of yielding obedience to the law of God in such things as seemed to them of a minute nature, and such as they easily might have obeyed.
18 Come - It shall come to pass that I will cast them off, and then l will gather all nations, &c. My glory - My oracles, my ordinances, which hitherto have been locked up in the church of the Jews, and been their glory, shall be published to the Gentiles.
19 A sign - By this may be understood Christ, Luke 2:34, or the ministry of the word attended with miracles, these were set up among the Jews first, then among the Gentiles. Afar off - To all the quarters of the world. They shall - This was eminently made good after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the believers among the Jews, as well as the apostles went about publishing the gospel to all people, which was declaring the Lord's glory.
20 Your brethren - Those who are the children of Abraham, not considered as the father of the Jewish nation only, but considered as the father of many nations, and as the father of the faithful, and so are your brethren, shall be brought out of all nations for an offering to the Lord. Holy mountain - And they shall be brought into the church, which began at Jerusalem. As - And they shall come with as much joy and gladness, with as much sincerity and holiness, as the Godly Jews do when they bring their offerings in clean vessels.
21 For priests - God will find among the converted Gentiles those who though they are not of the tribe of Levi, yet shall do the true work of priests and Levites.
22 The new heavens - The new state of the church to be raised up under the Messiah. Remain - As I intend that shall abide, so there shall be a daily succession of true believers for the upholding of it.
23 And, &c. - In the gospel - church there shall be as constant and settled a course of worship (though of another nature) as ever was in the Jewish church: Christians are not bound to keep the Jewish sabbaths or new - moons. But New Testament worship is expressed by Old Testament phrases. The Jews were only obliged to appear three times in a year at Jerusalem, but (saith the prophet) the gospel - church shall worship God from one sabbath to another.