View Isaiah 66 in the note window.
God is served with the spirit, and not by ceremonies, ver. 1 - 5.
The wonderful birth and benefits of the gospel - church, ver. 6 - 14.
Severe judgments against the wicked, ver. 15 - 17.
The Gentiles shall be an holy church, ver. 18 - 23.
The eternal punishment of the wicked, ver. 24.
1: The heaven - The highest heaven, is the place where I shew myself
in my majesty. So (Ps 11:4,103:19,Mt 5:34). Hence we are
taught to pray; our father which art in heaven. And the earth is my
footstool - Or a place wherein I set my feet, (Mt 5:35).
The house - Can there be an house built, that will contain me?
My rest - Or where is the place wherein I can be said to rest in a
2: Have been - They were not only made by God, but kept in being by
him. Look - Yet God will look with a favourable eye to him that hath a
broken and contrite spirit, whose heart is subdued to the will of God,
and who is poor, and low in his own eyes. Trembleth - Who trembleth
when he hears God's threatening words, and hears every revelation of
his will with reverence.
3: He that, &c. - Solomon, (Pr 15:8), gives a full
commentary on the whole verse; The sacrifice of the wicked is an
abomination to the Lord. As if - From hence it is plain, that the
prophet is not here reflecting upon idolatrous worship, but formal
worship: upon those who in a formality worshipped the true God, and
by acts which he had appointed. God by the prophet declares, that
these mens services were no more acceptable to him than murder, idolatry,
or the most horrid profanation of his name. Own ways - They live as
they lust. Delight - They take pleasure in their sins.
4: Chuse - They have chosen to mock and delude me, I will chuse
to suffer them to delude themselves; they have chosen to work wickedness,
I will chuse the effect. Their fears - That is, the things which they
feared. Did not hear - God accounts that those do not hear, who do not
obey his will.
5: You - That truly fear God. Your brethren - By nation.
Cast you out - That cast you out of their synagogues, cast you out of
their city, and some of you out of the world. For my names sake - For
my sake; for your adherence to my law. Glorified - Thinking they did
God good service, (Joh 16:2).
6: A voice - The expression of a prophetical extasy, as if he
said, I hear a sad and affrighting noise; it comes not from the city
only, but from the temple, wherein these formalists have so much
gloried. There is a noise of soldiers slaying, and of the poor people
shrieking or crying out. Of the Lord - A voice of the Lord, not in
thunder, but that rendereth recompence to his enemies. Thus he seems
to express the destruction of the Jews by the Roman armies, as a
thing at that time doing.
7: Before - The whole verse is expressive of a great and sudden
salvation, which God would work for his church, like the delivery of a
woman, and that of a man - child, before her travail, and without pain.
Doubtless it refers to the coming of Christ, and the sudden
propagation of the gospel.
8: For - As soon as the voice of the gospel put the church of the
Jews into her travail, in Christ's and the Apostles time, it
presently brought forth.
9: Shall I - I, that in the ordinary course of my providence use to
give a birth to women, to whom I have given a power to conceive, shall
I not give a birth to my people, whom by my promises I have made to
conceive such expectations? And shut - Nor shall Zion once only bring
forth, but she shall go on, her womb shall not be shut, she shall
every day bring forth more and more children, and my presence shall
be with my church, to the end of the world.
11: Consolations - The gospel doctrine was their breasts of
consolation. Her glory - Christ was the glory of the people of Israel,
though he was also a light to the Gentiles.
12: Like a river - It is plain this prophecy relates to a farther
conversion of the Jews than hath been yet seen. Ye - Ye Jews also.
Her sides - The Gentiles were borne upon the sides of Jerusalem and
dandled upon her knees, as first hearing from the Apostles (who were
members of the Jewish church) the glad tidings of salvation.
13: As one whom, &c. - That is, in the most tender, and compassionate
14: Rejoice - The peace of the church and the propagation of the
kingdom of Christ, is always the cause of an heart rejoicing to such
as fear God, so that they flourish like an herb in the spring.
The hand - The power, protection, and influence of God.
15: With fire - With terrible judgments, or with fire in a proper
sense, understanding it of the fire with which enemies use to consume
places brought under their power. Whirlwind - With a sudden sweeping
judgment. Fury - That is, with fervour; for fury properly taken is not
in God. Rebukes - They had contemned the rebukes of the law, now God
will rebuke them with fire, and sword.
16: Plead - God at first pleads with sinners by words, but if
he cannot so prevail, he will plead with them in a way by which he
will overcome; by fire, pestilence and blood. All flesh - Thus he
threatens to do with all the wicked Jews. The slain - Those whom
God should cause to be slain.
17: Gardens - In which they worshipped idols.
In the midst - Behind one of the trees, or one by one behind the trees.
The abominations - All those beasts forbidden the Jews for meat.
God will not only destroy gross idolaters, but all those who make
no conscience of yielding obedience to the law of God in such things
as seemed to them of a minute nature, and such as they easily might
18: Come - It shall come to pass that I will cast them off, and then
l will gather all nations, &c. My glory - My oracles, my ordinances,
which hitherto have been locked up in the church of the Jews, and
been their glory, shall be published to the Gentiles.
19: A sign - By this may be understood Christ, (Lu 2:34), or
the ministry of the word attended with miracles, these were set up
among the Jews first, then among the Gentiles. Afar off - To all
the quarters of the world. They shall - This was eminently made good
after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the believers among the
Jews, as well as the apostles went about publishing the gospel to
all people, which was declaring the Lord's glory.
20: Your brethren - Those who are the children of Abraham, not
considered as the father of the Jewish nation only, but considered as
the father of many nations, and as the father of the faithful, and so
are your brethren, shall be brought out of all nations for an offering
to the Lord. Holy mountain - And they shall be brought into the church,
which began at Jerusalem. As - And they shall come with as much joy
and gladness, with as much sincerity and holiness, as the Godly
Jews do when they bring their offerings in clean vessels.
21: For priests - God will find among the converted Gentiles those
who though they are not of the tribe of Levi, yet shall do the true work
of priests and Levites.
22: The new heavens - The new state of the church to be raised up
under the Messiah. Remain - As I intend that shall abide, so there
shall be a daily succession of true believers for the upholding of it.
23: And, &c. - In the gospel - church there shall be as constant and
settled a course of worship (though of another nature) as ever was in the
Jewish church: Christians are not bound to keep the Jewish sabbaths
or new - moons. But New Testament worship is expressed by Old Testament
phrases. The Jews were only obliged to appear three times in a year
at Jerusalem, but (saith the prophet) the gospel - church shall worship
God from one sabbath to another.