AN ADDRESS TO FAITHFUL
SUGGESTING TOPICS OF COMFORT
The address consists of three nearly equal stanzas, each commencing with a call,
Shim'u elai, “Hearken unto me,” or Haqshibu elai, “Attend to me.” The prophet
appears to be the speaker, and to address himself to the more faithful portion of
1 “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD:
look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye
are digged.” Ye that follow after righteousness; i.e. "ye that endeavor to lead
righteous lives" (compare v. 7). Ye that seek the Lord. And do not "seek after idols,"
the hole; i.e. look back at your past history, especially at the early beginnings
of it. Consider from what a slight and poor commencement - an aged man
and a barren woman (v. 2) - ye were raised up to be God's people, a numerous
nation, a multitude like the sand of the sea. How came this result about?
Was it not simply by the blessing of God?
2 “Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called
him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” I called him alone; or, I called him
when he was but one; i.e. before he had any children (compare Ezekiel 33:24,
"Abraham was one, and he inherited the land"). And blessed him (see Genesis 24:1, 35).
And increased him; i.e. "made him a father of many nations" (ibid. ch. 17:5). If God
could multiply the progeny of one man, much more could He make a flourishing nation
out of the exiles, who,
though but a "remnant" of the pro-Captivity
thousands in number (see Ezra 2:64).
3 “For the LORD shall
will make her wilderness like
joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”
the word used is has comforted; i.e. has so determined the matter in His counsels that
it may be considered as already accomplished. Her waste places... her wilderness...
her desert. Though Nebuchadnezzar "left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and
to maintain cultivation generally. Thus, much of
exiles, became a "wilderness" and a "desert" (see Ezekiel 36:34). Like
garden of the Lord. The Prophet Joel compares
"the garden of Eden" (Joel 2:3): and Ezekiel, like Isaiah, prophesies that it shall once
more become "like the garden of Eden," when the exiles have returned to it
With the last-named writer,
(compare ch. 35:10, and infra, v. 11). As music ceases out of the land in time
of affliction (ch. 24:8), so when a "time of refreshing from the Lord" arrives,
4 “Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall
proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.”
Hearken unto me; rather, attend to me - a stronger term than "hearken" - attend,
and hear of
a greater blessing than the restoration
fruitfulness. God, enthroned anew in
and His truth to the nations, will make His Law known to them, and allow them to
partake of His salvation. O my nation. Some manuscripts have "O ye nations."
But the reading is undoubtedly a wrong one. A law shall proceed from me.
The Christian "law" - the new covenant - is probably intended. This became,
by the preaching of the apostles, a light of the people, or rather, of the peoples.
5 “My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge
the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.”
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth. "One day is with the Lord as a
thousand years, and. a thousand years as one day" (II Peter 3:8). Isaiah always
speaks as if the Messianic kingdom was to supervene almost immediately on the
return of the exiles to
interval of from five hundred to six hundred years between the two events.
By God's "righteousness" here we must understand His righteous plans for the
redemption of His people through Christ, and for the punishment of those who
resist His will and remain impenitent. The salvation and the judgment are the two
parts of the "righteousness." The isles shall wait upon me (compare ch. 41:1, 5;
God's "arm" is His executive power - that might by which He effects His purposes.
The "isles" or "countries" that have been expecting the coming of a Deliverer will
have faith in His power to redeem and save them. Christianity was received with
6 “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the
heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a
garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation
shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” Lift up your eyes
to the heavens. Look to that which seems to you most stable and most certain to
endure - the vast firmament of the heavens, and the solid earth beneath it, of which
God "bears up the pillars" (Psalm 85:3). Both these, and man too, are in their
nature perishable, and will (or may) vanish away and cease to be. But God,
and His power to save, and His eternal law of right, can never pass away,
BUT MUST ENDURE FOR EVERMORE! Let
purposes of God with
respect to their own deliverance from
conversion of the Gentiles, stand firm, and THAT THEY WILL MOST CERTAINLY
BE ACCOMPLISHED! The heavens shall vanish away like smoke (compare Psalm
created in the last times, because "the first heaven and the first earth have passed
away." They that dwell therein shall die in like manner. Dr. Kay observes
that the Hebrew text does not say, "in like manner," but "as in like manner."
Man is not subject to the same law of perishableness as the external world,
but to a different law. External things simply "pass away" and ARE NO MORE!
Man disappears from the earth, but continues to exist SOMEWHERE? (Where?
The Bible tells us! It is:
· Heaven, or
WHICH SHALL IT BE?????? CY – 2020)
Man has, by God's gift, a life that is to be unceasing!
7 “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my
law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.”
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness. The highest grade of faithfulness
is here addressed - not those who "seek" (v. 1), but those who have found - who
"know righteousness," and have the "law" of God in their "hearts." Such persons
may still be liable to one weakness - they may "fear the reproach of men." The
prophet exhorts them to put aside this fear, remembering”
“the people in whose heart is my Law, fear ye not the reproach of men,
neither be ye afraid of their revilings” - The opinion formed of a man
by his contemporaries is frequently reversed by posterity!
It matters not what men think of us but what God thinks!
No one has been more reviled than Jesus Christ!
8 “For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them
like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from
generation to generation.” The moth shall eat them (compare ch. 50:9). If men
themselves never wholly pass away (see the comment on v. 6), yet it is otherwise
with their judgments. These perish absolutely, disappear, and are utterly forgotten.
AN APPEAL OF THE PROPHET TO GOD TO AROUSE HIMSELF,
A PROMISE OF
There has been
much doubt as to the utterer of this "splendid
the prophet, the angels, Jehovah, and God the Son pleading with God the Father,
have been suggested. To us it seems simplest and best to assign the passage to the
9 “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the
ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab,
). When God neglects the prayers and supplications of His people, He is
spoken of as "asleep," and needing to be awoke by a loud cry. The
anthropomorphism is obvious, and of course not to be taken literally
which thou hadst laid aside while thou wept asleep. Art thou not it that hath
cut Rahab? rather, was it not thou that didst cleave Rahab in pieces? Here, as in
Psalm 87:4 and 89:10, "Rahab" would seem to be a symbolical expression for
here and in Psalm 89:10, is the
destruction of Pharaoh's host in the
(see v. 10). And wounded the dragon. "The dragon" is another symbol of the
(compare Ezekiel 29:3,
"Pharaoh, King of
dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers"). Originally designating God's great
comes to be applied to the adversaries of the Almighty generally.
10 “Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that
hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?”
Art thou not it which hath dried the sea? rather, was it not thou that didst dry
up the sea? (compare Exodus 14:21-22). The
waters of the
those of "the great deep," because they are a portion of the circumambient ocean,
not a tideless land-locked basin,
that madest. The allusion is
to the single occasion of the passage of the
vs. 9-10 - Work as in the days of old!
At the end of time the Bible says that He will! Zecharaiah 14:3 –
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations,
as when He fought in the day of battle”
11 “Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto
and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” The redeemed of the Lord
(see the comment on ch. 35:10. where the same passage occurs with scarcely any
No more separation of loved ones, no more loss of friends, or parents, or
children, or wife, or brother or sister - AND THERE IS NO MORE SIN –
the sense of shame is gone, remorse, and regret are gone. So also labor and
sorrow, disappointment and delusion, hunger, thirst, weariness, cold, heat,
desire and passion – in its place A NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH
WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS! II Peter 3:13
AN ADDRESS OF GOD TO HIS CAPTIVE PEOPLE
There is no very clear connection between this passage and the preceding, to which it is
certainly not an answer. God comforts the captives under the oppression which they
guarantee that He will protect them in the future (vs. 15-16).
12 “I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be
afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass.”
I am He that comforteth you (compare v. 3, and the comment). Who art thou?
Art thou a poor, weak, powerless, unprotected people, which might well tremble at
the powerful Babylonians: or art thou not rather a people under the special protection
13 “And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and
laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because
of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of
the oppressor?” And forgettest the Lord thy Maker. It is not so much apostasy as want
of a lively and practical faith with which captive
not deny God – they left Him out of sight, neglected Him, forgot Him. That hath
feared continually... because of the fury of the oppressor. (On the sufferings
of the Israelites under their Babylonian oppressors, see the comment on ch. 42:22,
and again on ch. 47:6.) By the present passage it would appear that life itself was
not safe from their cruel fury, when their victims had exasperated them. Where is the
fury of the oppressor? All their violence and rage will come to naught, when they
in their turn become subject to the conquering Persians.
*(Should that not make a person to be in awe of God, or if not awe. fear?
CY – 2020)
Man is the creature of a day but God is “from everlasting to everlasting”-
Men will tremble before the wrath of men with little thought given to
the wrath of God? The Bible from cover to cover asks what ye will do in the
14 “The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die
in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.” The captive exile hasteneth that he
may be loosed; rather, he that is bent down hasteneth to be released; i.e. such of
the exiles as were cramped and bent by fetters, or by the stocks, would speedily,
on the fall of
so as to belong to the pit and to be cast into it, but would live and have a sufficiency
15 “But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared:
The LORD of hosts is His name.” But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the
sea; rather, for I, the Lord thy God, am He that divided the sea (compare v. 10).
The reference is once more to the great miracle wrought at the Exodus, when
16 “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow
of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth,
and say unto
Some commentators detach this verse altogether from the preceding passage, and
regard it as a fragment intruded here out of its proper place by some unaccountable
accident. From the close resemblance of the expressions used to those in ch. 49:2, they
consider that the person addressed must be "the Servant of Jehovah," and hence
conclude that the verse "originally stood in some other context" (Cheyne). It is,
however, quite possible to regard
recipient of God's words (see ch. 59:21), and was protected by God's hand from
destruction, and kept in existence until the happy time should come when God
would create a new heaven and a new earth (ch. 65:17)
people. This crowning promise well terminates the comforting address wherewith
Jehovah at this time saw fit to cheer and encourage His captive people.
AN ADDRESS OF THE PROPHET TO
The comfort afforded to
Her condition during the long period of the Captivity is deplored, and her
want of a champion to assert her cause and raise her out of the dust is
lamented (vs. 17-20). After this, an assurance is given her that the
miseries which she has suffered shall pass from her to her great enemy, by
whom the dregs .of the “cup of trembling” shall be drained, and the last
drop wrung out (vs. 21-23).
17 “Awake, awake, stand
LORD the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling,
and wrung them out. Awake, awake (compare v. 9 and ch. 52:1). Isaiah marks the
breaks in his prophecy, sometimes by a repetition of terminal clauses, which have the
Here we have thrice over "Awake, awake" - not, however, an exact repetition in the
Hebrew, but a near approach to it each summons forming the commencement of a new
paragraph or subsection. Which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury.
The cup of God's
fury was poured out on
Nebuchadnezzar, the temple, the royal palace, and the houses of the nobles burnt
used by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:15). The dregs of the cup; rather, perhaps, the goblet-cup
(Cheyne), or the
out-swollen cup. It is the fullness of the
punishment, not its character, which is pointed at.
18 “There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth;
neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought
up.” None to guide her. From the time that Johanan, the son of Kareah, and the other
"captains of the forces," quitted Judaea
and fled into
and Baruch (Jeremiah 43:5-7), there was no one left in the country with any authority
or any ability to direct affairs. The city, no doubt, suffered by this state of things,
becoming more ruined and more desolate than it would have been otherwise. Had
Johanan and the Jews under him remained in the land, God had promised to
"build them, and not pull them down;" to "plant them, and not pluck them up"
(Jeremiah 42:10). Thus
of the Babylonian conquest, but was partly due to the after-misconduct of the Jews left
in the country.
19 “These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation,
and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?”
These two things. What are the "two things," it is asked, since four are mentioned –
desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword? The right answer seems
to be that of Aben Ezra and Kimchi, that the two things are "desolation," or rather
"wasting" within, produced by "famine;" and "destruction" without, produced
by "the sword." Who shall be sorry for thee? rather, who will mourn with thee?
God alone feels compassion; but even He scarce knows how to comfort. By whom?
rather, how? (compare Amos 7:2, 5).
20 “Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull
in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.”
Thy sons have fainted, they lie; rather, thy sons fainted; they lay. The prophet
describes the siege and capture of
is the time of the Captivity. He depicts the inhabitants of
through famine, and so weak that they lie prostrate about the streets. As a wild
bull in a net; rather, like a gazelle in a net - panting, exhausted, incapable of
the hast resistance. They are full of the fury of the Lord; i.e. the fury of the Lord
has been fully poured out upon them.
21 “Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine.”
Drunken, but not with wine (compare ch. 29:9; and see above, v. 17, which shows
that the appearance of drunkenness had been produced by
cup of God's wrath).
22 “Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His
people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the
dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again.”
The Lord... that pleadeth the cause of His people (compare Jeremiah 50:34, which
contains an allusion to this passage). As His people have a relentless adversary,
who accuses them continually, and pleads against them (Revelation 12:10),
so it is needful that they should have an untiring advocate. God Himself is
this Advocate. (I John 2:1) The dregs of the cup (see the comment on v. 17, ad fin.).
23 “But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy
soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground,
and as the street, to them that went over.” I will put it into the hand of them
that afflict thee.
of the cup of which
which she had inflicted. Meanwhile,
"a time of refreshing." Bow down, that we may go over; i.e. "submit yourselves to the
uttermost, that we may put upon you the most extreme indignity." The metaphor
is drawn from the actual practice of conquerors, who made captive kings prostrate
themselves, and placed their feet upon their necks, or otherwise trampled upon
them (see Joshua 10:24; and compare 'Ancient hierarchies,' vol. 3:p. 7).
“God that pleadeth the cause of His people - As His people have a relentless
adversary, who accuses them continually, and pleads against them
(Revelation 12:10), so it is needful that they should have an untiring Advocate.
God the Father is the Judge of man, before whose tribunal all men must one day
appear. God the Son is the Advocate - 1 John 2:1) who pleads with the Father on
their behalf, intercedes for them (Hebrews 7:25), deprecates the Father’s wrath,
implores His mercy, entreats for and obtains their pardon. Satan, on the other
hand accuses (Revelation 12:10); but the Lord Jesus Christ defends. He
defends His own, and He overcomes by His own blood (Revelation
12:11), wherewith He has washed away their sins. He “justifieth”
(Romans 8:33), and then “who is he that condemneth?” Assuredly, NO ONE!
God’s mercy is “over all His works,” over man especially; in a peculiar manner
over such as love Him and trust in Him. He will not suffer them to be tried “above
that they are able” (I Corinthians 10:13) - He loves them, and watches over them, and
sympathizes with their sufferings, and counts their wrongs, and hears their groans
(Exodus 2:23), and “knows their sorrows” (ibid. ch. 3:7).
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