View Isaiah 61 in the note window.
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, (Ps 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
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.