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The prophet having now foretold the Babylonish captivity,(Isa 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
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, (Pr 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