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Isaiah's attention is first engaged by the continental res toration of the ten tribes, which, though second in point of time to the restoration of Judah, will most probably be first in point of numbers and consequence. While he beholds the nations bringing back his brethren of the house of Ephraim on camels and on dromedaries, the scene changes, and a fresh vision is suddenly presented to his imagination. A multitude, the converted of Judah, appear to come like doves, rapidly flying upon the wings of the wind; and these, though last introduced into the present prediction, will nevertheless be restored, as we may collect from other prophecies, before the remnant of the ten tribes. From the far distant isles of the west, the maritime regions of Europe, the prophet beholds the ships of Tarshish, the navy of that power which at the period of the accomplishment of the prophecy may be considered as the modern Tyre, securely bringing over the waves of the ocean the converts of Judah as an offering to the name of the Lord their God.
Having thus foretold, that the whole house of Israel shall surely be restored, at two different seasons, by land and by sea; and having declared, that the then prevailing maritime power shall be among the first to undertake the restoration of the converted members of the house of Judah Isaiah triumphantly enlarges on the future glories of his people and the sacred happiness of the millennium, intermingling however with his song of victory an allusion to the overthrow of Antichrist and the utter extinction of his abominable tyranny.
The restoration and conversion of Judah-The triumph of Christ over the mystic Edom.
Isaiah lxii. 1†. For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the
* The restoration of the unconverted of Judah is not here noticed. There is reason to believe that it will nearly, if not altogether, synchronize with the restoration of the converted of Judah, and that it will be effected by land through the instrumentality of the Antichristian faction, previous to the subsequent restoration also by land of the remains of the ten tribes.
Chap. Ixii.] "The former promises of restoring the Jewish Church and
righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. 2. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. 3. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. 4. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called My-delight-isin-her; and thy land, The-married-one; for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. 5. For, as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall they, that build thee up, marry thee*; and, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. 6. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall not hold their peace day nor night: ye, that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence: 7. And give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine for which thou hast laboured: 9. But they, that have gathered it, shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they, that have brought it together, shall drink it in the courts of my holiness. 10. Go through, go through the gates: prepare
nation are again confirmed by a solemn oath of God's (ver. 8.); which to me is an evident proof, that this prophecy relates to a scene of affairs that is still future." Mr. Lowth in loc.
* So shall they, that build thee up, marry thee.] I prefer this translation to that of our English version. That the Hebrew church should be married to her sons, seems to convey an idea neither very intelligible, nor elsewhere warranted in Scripture. Jeremiah represents the Lord as calling unto the backsliding sons of Israel, and as being married to them (Jerem. iii. 14.); but I know not that the church is ever said to be married to her own sons. In addition to this remark it may be observed, that the well known antithesis of the He brew poetry requires the first half of the verse to answer to the second: the persons therefore, that marry the church of Israel, must answer to her God that rejoiceth over her. Such being the case, I apprehend that the builders up of Zion are the Lord God almighty, the Holy and Undivided Trinity. It is superfluous to remind the Hebrew student of the frequency of this plural phraseo-. logy: but for the satisfaction of the English reader it may not be amiss to remark, that, what he has been accustomed to see translated, Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth (Eccles. xii. 1.), stands in the original, Remember thy Creators. These Creators, the all-powerful Elohim of Israel, are they, who will build up the walls of Zion, and be the husband of his people Israel. See Bp. Lowth in loc. and compare his note on Isaiah xlix. 17.
ye the way of the people *: cast up, cast up the highway: gather from the stones: lift up a banner for the nations. 11. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world †, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy Saviour cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 12. And they shall call them Theholy-people, The-redeemed-of-the-Lord; and thou shalt be called Sought-out, A-city-not-forsaken.
Ixiii. 1. ISAIAH. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?
MESSIAH. I that speak in righteousness, mighty to
2. ISAIAH. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? 3. MESSIAH. I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me: and I have trodden them down in mine anger, and I have trampled them in my fury; and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment. 4. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my.
* Prepare ye the way of the people.] "The prophet, relying upon God's oath (ver. 8.), speaks of the general restoration of the Jews, as if it were actually a doing; and exhorts those nations, through whose territories they were to pass in their return homeward, to go out of their cities and repair the roads, raising causeways in the lower grounds, and levelling the rough and stony places. By this figure the prophet signifies a removal of all obstacles which might hinder their return." Mr. Lowth in loc.
The Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world.] "He hath caused the great trumpet to sound as a signal to gather the dispersed Jews together (see note on Chap. xxvii. 13.;) or he hath sent preachers of the Gospel to all parts of the world, in order to the conversion of the Jews." Mr. Lowth in lcc.
Behold, thy Saviour cometh.] Such I conceive to be the proper translation of the passage, not thy salvation cometh the whole context shews, that a person, not a thing, is spoken of. Accordingly it is so rendered by the LXX, the Vulgate, the Chaldee Paraphrase, the Syriac, and the Arabic. See Bp. Lowth in loc. Compare the whole of this verse with Isaiah xl. 10.
$ Chap. lxiii.]"Now the prophet comes to describe the day of vengeance. The beginning of the chapter is by way of dialogue between the prophet and Christ, where the latter is described as returning in triumph from the slaughter of his enemies, which seems to be much the same scene which was represented chap. xxxiv. See likewise Joel iii. 12, 13, 14." Mr. Lowth in loc.
¶ Edom-Bozrah.] "The prophet seems to take a hint from some remarkable calamity that befell the Edomites, to describe some more general judgment, that should be inflicted upon the enemies of God's Church and truth." Mr. Lowth in loc.
redeemed is come.
5. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6. And I trod * down the people in mine anger, and made them drunk in my fury, and I brought down their strength to the earth.
7. ISAIAH. I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them, according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses-17. O Lord, why hast thou made us † to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Bring back, for thy servants sake, the tribes of thine inheritance ‡. 18. It is little, that they have taken possession of thy holy mountain; that our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. 19. We have been from old time as those whom thou didst not bear rule over; who have not been called by thy name §.
In this most august prophecy, Isaiah, having fully predicted the restoration of Israel, introduces the Lord as proclaiming to the daughter of Zion the advent of her Saviour.
Suddenly, and almost ere the proclamation has been made, a new and awful vision bursts upon his sight. He
* Itrod.] "Both the LXX and the Vulgar Latin translate this and the following sentences of this verse in the præterperfect tense, which agrees better with the context, where Christ is described as having his garments already stained with blood!" Mr. Lowth in loc.
† Why hast thou made us 2] "The words might better have been render. ed, why hast thou suffered us? for the form, called Hiphil in Hebrew, often denotes only permission, and is rendered elsewhere to that sense by our translators." Mr Lowth in loc.
Bring back, for thy servants sake, the tribes of thine inheritance."]
is, Turn their captivity for the sake of thy
beholds the Messiah returning from the conquest of his enemies, from the overthrow of Antichrist. His garments are stained with the blood of the symbolical vintage; for the day of vengeance is in his heart, the year of his redeemed is come. Struck with astonishment, the prophet inquires who this mighty conqueror can be. The Lord answers, It is I that speak in righteousness, I that am mighty to save. Yet more astonished at this declaration, Isaiah again asks, Why then art thou red in thine apparel? If thy office be salvation, why do I behold thee sprinkled with blood, and wet with slaughter, so that thou art like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? Christ replies, The blood, which thou beholdest, is the blood of my irreclaimable enemies; the blood of those, who have dared to assault thy people even in the midst of their heaven-appointed restoration. Elate with short-lived success, exulting in having planted their tabernacles between the seas in the glorious holy mountain, flushed with the pride of uncontrolled victory, Antichrist and his associates have at length madly rushed upon their fate, and tempted the Most High to bring upon them swift destruction. Alone I trod the wine-press; for this hath been no mortal warfare. When ruin stared my people in the face, when their foes had overflowed and passed over, when they had entered into the glorious land, when many countries had been overthrown, when all human aid was vain: then did I, the Lord, stand forth, and arise in my fury. There was none to help, there was none to uphold. Therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; in mine own strength I trod down the people. I made them drunk in my fury: they came to their end, and there was none to help them.
Thus divinely instructed in the nature of the terrific vision, the prophet humbly gives thanks unto the Lord for his goodness, and acknowledges his eternal justice and truth. Though the adversaries have for a time trodden down his sanctuary, yet God was never their God. But the tribes of Israel are still the Lord's, although they have long been removed from the land of their inheritance, and have been scattered among the nations.
That this vision of the Messiah relates to the last days, and to his second advent, is, I think, manifest both from