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Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
Israel converted is compared to a wife (Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 62:5) put away for unfaithfulness, but now forgiven and taken home again. The converted Gentiles are represented as a new progeny of the long-forsaken but now restored wife. The preeminence of the Hebrew Church as the mother Church of Christendom is the leading idea: the conversion of the Gentiles is mentioned only as part of her felicity (Horsley).
Sing - for joy (Zephaniah 3:14).
O barren - the Jewish Church, once forsaken by God, and therefore during that time destitute of spiritual O barren - the Jewish Church, once forsaken by God, and therefore during that time destitute of spiritual children (Isaiah 54:6).
Thou (that) didst not bear - during the Babylonian exile primarily. Secondarily, and chiefly, during Israel's present dispersion.
More (are) the children of the desolate - the Gentiles adopted by special grace into the original Church (Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 49:20-21).
Than the children of the married wife - than were her spiritual children, when Israel was still a married wife (under the law, before the Babylonian exile), before God put her away (Maurer). So Paul contrasts the "Jerusalem which is above ... the mother of us all," the universal Church of the New Testament, with the narrow Church of the Old Testament legal dispensation, quoting this very passage (Galatians 4:27). But the full accomplishment of it is yet future.
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
Enlarge the place of thy tent - (Isaiah 49:19-20; Jeremiah 31:31-36; Jeremiah 31:38-39.) Thy children shall be so many that thy borders must be extended to contain them.
Stretch forth the curtains - the cloth forming the covering of the tent.
Spare not - grudge not, but give abundantly the means for the enlargement of the Church (2 Corinthians 9:5-7).
Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes. The more the tent is enlarged by lengthening the cords by which the cloth covering is fastened to the ground, the more the stakes supporting the tent need to be strengthened; the Church is not merely to seek new converts, but to strengthen those she has in the faith. The image is appropriate, as the tabernacle was the symbol of the old Israelite Church (note, Isaiah 33:20).
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left - thou shalt burst forth with increase; thy offspring shall grow, answering to "thy seed" in the parallel clause. And thy seed - Israel and her children, as distinguished from "the Gentiles."
Shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited - namely, those of Israel (Isaiah 44:26).
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed - (Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 41:14.)
For thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth - Israel's unfaithfulness as wife of Yahweh almost from her earliest history.
And shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood - Israel's punishment in her consequent dismissal from God and barrenness of spiritual children in Babylon, and her present dispersion (Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 49:21; Jeremiah 3:24-25; Jeremiah 31:19; Hosea 2:2-5).
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
For thy Maker (is) thine husband; The Lord of hosts (is) his name - (Isaiah 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14.) That God was Israel's "Maker," both as individuals and as the theocratic kingdom, is the pledge of assurance that He will be her Redeemer (Isaiah 43:1-3). Hebrew, 'makers ... husbands,' plural for singular to denote excellency.
And thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth. Not until He manifests Himself as God of Israel shall He appear God of the whole earth (Psalms 102:13; Psalms 102:15-16; Zechariah 14:5; Zechariah 14:9).
For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
For the Lord hath called thee - i:e., recalled thee: the prophetic past for the future.
As a woman forsaken - that had been forsaken.
And a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God - or, 'when she was rejected:' (ki thimmaees) one who had been a wife of youth (Ezekiel 16:8; Ezekiel 16:22; Ezekiel 16:60; Jeremiah 2:2) at the time when (thou, or) she was rejected for infidelity (Maurer). 'A wife of youth, but afterward rejected' (Lowth).
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee - as compared with Israel's coming long prosperity (Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 60:10). So the spiritual Israel (Psalms 30:5; 2 Corinthians 4:17).
But with great mercies will I gather thee - to myself from thy dispersions.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
In a little wrath - or, 'In the overflowing of wrath:' as Proverbs 27:4, margin, 'Anger is an overflowing:' qetsep (H7110) is written here for shetep (H7858) there, for the sake of the play on similar sounds to qetsep (H7110), which follows here (Gesenius). The wrath, though but "for a moment," was overflowing while it lasted. So the Syriac, 'On account of great wrath.' But the Septuagint, Vulgate, Chaldaic, and Arabic support the English version. So Jerome. Sheemetz is of kindred sound and sense.
I hid my face - (Isaiah 8:17; Psalms 30:7.)
But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee. "Everlasting;" in contrast to "for a moment."
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For this (is as) the waters of Noah unto me - I am about to do the same in this instance as in Noah's flood. As I swore then that it should not return (Genesis 8:21; Genesis 9:11), and I kept that promise, so I swear now to my people, and will perform my promise, that there shall be no return of the deluge of my wrath upon them. Lowth, on the authority of the Vulgate, Chaldaic, and Syriac, reads (the same will I do now as) in the days of Noah. But the weight of manuscripts, and the Septuagint and Arabic read as the English version, and the very next clause, "for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah," etc., favours this.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee - (Isaiah 51:6; Psalms 89:33-34; Romans 11:29.)
Neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed - (2 Samuel 23:5.) The covenant whereby I have made thee at peace with me.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
O thou afflicted ... not comforted - by any one; none gave her help or comfort.
Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours - rather, lay ... in cement of vermilion' (Lowth). The Hebrew ( puwk (H6320)) for "fair colours" means stibium, the paint with which Eastern women painted their eyelids and eyelashes (2 Kings 9:30). The very cement shall be of the most beautiful colour (Revelation 21:18-21).
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
And I will make thy windows of agates - or thy battlements [Hebrew, shimshotayik (H8121). The Septuagint, epalxeis. So the Vulgate, Arabic, and the Rabbis]; literally, suns; applied to battlements from their radiated appearance.
Agates - kadkod: jasper. The Septuagint, Vulgate, Arabic, and Syriac, pearls. The Chaldaic, rubies (Maurer). If the English version be accepted (because through windows the light of the sun enters), the agate, or jasper, or ruby windows will refer to the frames of the windows, as those precious stones are not sufficiently transparent for windows to let the light shine through. Cocceius takes kadkod (H3539), 'crystal,' from kaadad, to glow.
All thy borders - rather, thy whole circuit, consisting of precious stones. The glory of the Church on earth shall be perfected when the Hebrew Church, according to the original design, shall be the metropolis of Christendom.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
All thy children (shall be) taught of the Lord. Quoted by the Saviour (John 6:45) to prove that in order to come to Him men must be 'drawn' by the Father. So Jeremiah 31:34; Micah 4:2; 1 Corinthians 2:10; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16; 1 John 2:20; 1 John 2:27.
Great (shall be) the peace of thy children - generally (Psalms 119:165). Specially referring to the peaceful prosperity which shall prevail under Messiah in the latter days (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 9:6).
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
In righteousness shalt thou be established - the characteristic of the reign of Messiah (Isaiah 11:4-5; Psalms 72:2; Psalms 72:4; Revelation 19:11).
Thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear - far from suffering oppression: 'for thou shalt have nothing to fear.'
Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
Behold, they shall surely gather together, (but), not by me - i:e., If it should happen that enemies "gather together" against thee (Psalms 2:2), they will not have been sent by me (cf. Hosea 8:4) as instruments of my wrath (nay, it will be with my disapproval); because
Whosoever shall gather together against thee - (Psalms 59:3.)
Shall fall for thy sake. The Chaldaic, 'shall fall in the midst of them'-rather, 'shall come over to thy side' [ `aalyik (H5921)] (Lowth). Hebrew, naaphal (H5307) - literally, 'fall to thee (Jeremiah 21:9; Jeremiah 39:9). So the Septuagint, Jerome, Vulgate, and Arabic. To be fully fulfilled to Jerusalem hereafter (Zechariah 14:16).
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
Behold, I have created the smith. The workmen that forms 'weapons against thee' (Isaiah 54:17) is wholly in my power, therefore thou needest not fear, having me on thy side.
That bringeth forth an instrument for his work - rather, 'by his labour' (Horsley). 'According to lª- the exigencies of his work' (Maurer).
And I have created the waster to destroy - (Isaiah 10:5-7; Isaiah 37:26-27; Isaiah 45:1-6). Desolating conquerors are meant, who use the 'instruments' framed by "the smith." The repetition of the "I" (Hebrew, 'anochiy (H595)) implies, however, something in the latter half of the verse contrasted with the former; understand it, therefore, thus: 'I have in my power both him who frames arms, and him who destroys them (arms)' (Rosenmuller).
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
Every tongue (that) shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn - image from a court of justice. Those who desire to "condemn" thee thou shalt "condemn" (Exodus 11:7; Joshua 10:21; Psalms 64:8; Romans 8:1; Romans 8:33).
Their righteousness (is) of me (Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 46:13) - (this is) their justification from me. Their enemies would "condemn" them, but I justify and vindicate them, and so they condemn their enemies.
Remarks: Yahweh will yet take to Himself again Israel, the wife long separated from Him because of her sin. So long as she is apart from Him she hath no spiritual "children;" but when she shall be restored, a new song of joy shall be put in her mouth, because of the numberless Gentiles who shall be her spiritual progeny in the Gospel Kingdom. She shall "break forth on the right hand and on the left;" and while 'lengthening her cords' by the acquisition of new converts, she shall be careful also to 'strengthen her stakes' by grounding firmly in the faith those who are already believers. Her past 'shame and reproach' she shall 'remember no more.' For her Maker shall then manifest Himself as her 'Husband and her Redeemer.' Then first, as the result of His manifestation as "the Holy One of Israel," 'He shall be called the God of the whole earth.'
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 54". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17