vs. 1-8. — AN EXHORTATION TO OBSERVE THE LAW,
ESPECIALLY THE LAW OF THE SABBATH, COMBINED WITH
PROMISES. There was much of the Law which it was impossible to
observe during the Captivity. Sacrifice had ceased, the temple was
destroyed, almost all the ceremonial law must have been suspended; even
the command to do no work on the sabbath day cannot have been kept by
a nation of slaves, whose masters would certainly not have permitted them
to be idle one day in seven. Still, the spirit of the ordinance might be kept
by devoting the day, so far as was possible, to religious observance, as to
prayer and to meditation upon holy things. This is now enjoined on the
captive Jews, with the promise of a blessing — a blessing in which even the
most despised part of the nation, the proselytes and the eunuchs, might
A weekly prolonged meditation on holy things.
Do no work themselves, neither buying nor selling, making their devotions
longer, and keeping God in their thoughts throughout the day.
v. 1 – “my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed”
The nearer the time of deliverance approaches, the more faithful and exact
shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy
conversation and godliness” – II Peter 3:11 – Concerning the Sabbath –
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of
some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more as ye see the
day approaching” – Hebrews 10:25
God’s “salvation” and His “righteousness”
v. 2 - "blessed is the man that doeth this"
v. 4 - "and choose the things that please me, AND TAKE HOLD OF
MY COVENANT" – the Old Covenant was abrogated under the new – see
v. 5 – “unto them (eunuchs) will I give I give in mine house….a place and
a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an
everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” – What a promise!
v. 6 - "Also the sons of the stranger that.....taketh hold of my covenant"
(Gentiles) - All this will be a foretaste of their position in the
Christian Church, where there will be neither Jew nor Gentile,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, but a community where
all are brethren and all have equal privileges.
v. 7 - "my house of prayer.....mine house shall be
called an house of prayer for ALL PEOPLE"
In Solomon’s address to God at the dedication of the temple, its character,
as a house of prayer, is abundantly laid down (1 Kings 8:29-53). And no
doubt it was used for the purpose of prayer, as well as for the purpose of
sacrifice, from its first erection to its final destruction. But the purpose of
sacrifice so far predominated, in fact, over the other, that the expression,
“my house of prayer,” comes upon us in this place to some extent as a
surprise. The prophet seems to anticipate the time when the temple should be
emphatically a proseuch> (Place of Prayer) the legal sacrifices having received
their fulfillment (Isaiah 53:10), and being thenceforth superfluous and out of
place –“For all people”- rather, for all the peoples. All the ends of the earth
were to see the salvation of God (Psalm 98:3); “All nations were to fall down
before Him; all people to do Him service” (Psalm 72:11)
v. 8 – “The Lord God” - rather, the Lord Jehovah — Adonai Jehovah.
An unusual phrase – “Which gathereth together the outcasts of
Lord who has pledged Himself to bring back
43:5, 6). This same Lord now promises something further: “He will gather
others also to
emphasis and formality, this was probably, when delivered, a new revelation.
In the present arrangement of the prophecies, however, it announces no novelty.
The addition of Gentile members to the Israelite community has been declared
frequently (see Isaiah 44:5; 55:5,
A WARNING TO THE WICKED (ISAIH 56:9 thru 57:21).
vs. 9-12 - THE BLIND GUIDES OF
change of style marks the introduction of an entirely new prophecy. The
eye of the prophet, apparently, goes back from the period of the exile,
which he has been so long contemplating, to his own day, or at any rate to
pre-exile period, and rests upon
misled by their teachers (vs. 10-12), given to idolatry (Isaiah 57:3-9),
and offering themselves a ready prey to their enemies (Isaiah 56:9).
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v. 10 - His
watchmen are blind.
and teachers, the prophets (Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; Habakkuk 2:1).
At the time of which Isaiah speaks, they are “blind” (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5;
42:7, 16, 18, 19; 43:8), or without knowledge — like the
“blind guides” of the Gospel (Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39).
They have not the spiritual discernment which would enable them to lead
the people aright. Further, they are dumb dogs. Instead of acting as
faithful watch-dogs, who give warning of the approach of danger by their
barking, they remain apathetic, and utter no warning at all. It is as if they
passed their lives in sleep.
vs. 11-12 - Three defects of the prophets of the time, negligent of duty,
covetous and given to excess of wine.
Those who look to their own way and seek their own gain are WHOLLY
UNFIT to bear the message of God!
THEY ARE WORLDLY MINDED, NOT SPIRITUALLY MINDED –
they are greedy after gain or as the New Testament calls it “filthy