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(1) For Zion’s sake . . .—Opinions again differ as to the speaker. Is he the prophet, or the Servant of Jehovah, or Jehovah Himself ? On the whole, the second view seems to be most in harmony with what follows. The true Servant will carry on what in the language of later theology may be called his mediatorial intercessory work, that there may be no delay in the fulfilment of the glorious promises that have just been uttered.
As brightness.—Better, as the brightness of morning, the word being thus used in Isaiah 60:3, Proverbs 4:18.
As a lamp . . .—Better, as a burning torch.
(2) Thou shalt be called by a new name . . .—So in Jeremiah 33:16, the name of the restored city is to be “Jehovah our Righteousness.” The root-thought is that the altered state is to be embodied, as in the case of Abraham and Israel, in a new name. Here, however, the effect of the promise is heightened, as in Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12, by the absence of the new ‘name, as something which is to transcend all experience.
(3) A crown of glory . . .—The “crown” as distinctively kingly; the “diadem” implies a “tiara,” like the mitre of the High Priest (Exodus 28:4; Zechariah 3:5). The two “hands” are expressed by different words in the Hebrew, the second having the sense of the open palm of the hand. The “new crown,” i.e., the new glory accruing to Jehovah from the restoration of Jerusalem, is not worn on the head (thought of, we may believe, as already crowned from eternity), but held forth in the hand for the gaze of the adoring nations.
(4) Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken . . .—The change of name is here partially indicated, and probably finds its starting-point in the marriage of Hezekiah with Hephzi-bah (2 Kings 21:1), which, on the assumption of Isaiah’s authorship of these chapters, would be fresh in the prophet’s memory. It would be entirely after his manner to see in the bride’s name, as in those of his own sons, an omen of the future. The fact that the Hebrew word for Forsaken (Azubah) had been borne by a previous queen, the mother of Jehoshaphat (1 Kings 22:42), confirms the view here taken. “Hephzi-bah” means “my delight is in her;” and “Beulah,” “married.”
(5) So shall thy sons marry thee . . .—The image of the bride is presented under another aspect. The people of a country are, in their collective unity, as the bridegroom, and the country is as the bride. They are bound, as the husband is to the wife, to cherish and protect it, to be ready to live and die for it.
(6) I have set watchmen upon thy walls . . .—The “watchmen” have been differently interpreted as (1) angelic guardians and (2) prophets. Zechariah 1:12, and Daniel 10:16-21 may be alleged in favour of (1), but on the whole, (2) seems preferable. The prophets of the return from exile, Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, may be thought of as representative examples of such “watchmen,” as also are the prophets of the Christian Church, which takes partly, at least, the position of the new Jerusalem.
Ye that make mention . . .—Better, ye that are the remembrancers. They are to remind Jehovah of His promises day and night, that He may hasten their fulfilment, never resting till the future Jerusalem is in very deed “a praise in the earth.” (Comp. Zechariah 1:12.)
(8) The Lord hath sworn . . .—The principle of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 6:13) is recognised here. Jehovah can swear by nothing less than that which is the symbol of His own greatness, identified with Himself.
I will no more give thy corn . . .—The words throw us back upon the early history of Israel, subject at any time to the desolating attacks of Midianites (Judges 6:4; Judges 6:11), Assyrians (Isaiah 16:9), and Philistines (2 Chronicles 28:18). The new blessing stands in special contrast with the curse of Deuteronomy 28:33; Deuteronomy 28:51.
(9) In the courts of my holiness.—Better, of my sanctuary. The harvest and the vintage festivals are to be kept, as of old, without interruption, the master of the house, with his family and the Levites and the poor (Deuteronomy 14:22-27), eating of the first- fruits “before the Lord.”
(10) Go through . . .—Here, probably, we have the cry of the prophet himself (but, possibly, also that of the Servant of Jehovah) addressed to the heralds, who are to go forth and summon the exiles to return to the restored city. On the special phrases, see Notes on Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14.
Lift up a standard for the people.—Literally, peoples, the plural indicating that the prophet thinks of the Gentile nations as escorting Israel. It follows from this that the command itself is addressed, like the previous clauses, to the returning exiles.
(11) The Lord hath proclaimed . . .—A partial fulfilment of the words is found in the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-2); but they have also a wider range, and take in all the events by which history becomes as the voice of God, proclaiming His will.
The end of the world has been restricted by some commentators to the western regions of the Mediterranean, but without sufficient reason.
Behold, his reward is with him.—Repeated from Isaiah 40:10, where see Notes.
(12) The redeemed of the Lord.—Literally, ransomed, as in Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:10.
Sought out . . .—i.e., a city which men would seek after to honour, and promote its welfare. (Comp. the opposite, “Zion, which no man seeketh after,” in Jeremiah 30:17.)
A city not forsaken.—With special reference to the name “Azubah” in Isaiah 62:4. (Comp, the change of names in Hosea 2:1.)
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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 62". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany