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Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment - equity. John the Baptist preached similarly a return to righteousness, as needed to prepare men for Messiah's first coming (Luke 3:3; Luke 3:8-14). So it shall be, before the second coming (Malachi 4:4-6).
For my salvation is near to come - (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17); also as to the second coming (Isaiah 62:10-11; Luke 21:28; Luke 21:31; Romans 13:11-12; Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37).
And my righteousness to be revealed - answering to "salvation" in the parallel clause; therefore it means And my righteousness to be revealed - answering to "salvation" in the parallel clause; therefore it means righteousness which bringeth salvation (Isaiah 46:13; Romans 3:25-26).
Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Blessed (is) the man - Hebrew, 'enowsh (H582), 'a man in humble life,' in contradistinction to Hebrew, ish, 'one of high rank.' Even the humblest, as "the stranger" and "the eunuch" (Isaiah 56:4; Isaiah 56:6), are admissible to these privileges. (See Luke 12:43.)
The man (that) doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it - what follows: 'keeping the Sabbath,' etc. (Isaiah 58:13-14; Ezekiel 20:12). A proof that the Sabbath, in the spirit of its obligation, was to be binding under the Gospel (Isaiah 66:23). That Gospel times are referred to is plain from the blessing not being pronounced on the man who observed the sacrificial ritual of the Jewish law.
Layeth hold - image from one grasping firmly some precious object which he is afraid of having forcibly snatched from him. The "Sabbath" here includes all the ordinances of divine worship under the new Gospel law.
That keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil - the observance of the second table of the law; as the "Sabbath" referred to the first table. Together, they form the whole duty of man-the worship of God and a holy life.
Neither let the son of the stranger ... speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people. God welcomes all believers, without distinction of persons, under the new economy (Acts 10:34-35).
That hath joined himself to the Lord - (Numbers 18:4; Numbers 18:7.) 'Proselytes.'
Separated. Proselytes from the Gentiles were not admitted to the same privileges as native Israelites. This harrier between Jews and Gentiles was to be broken down (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Neither let the eunuch say - (Acts 8:27, etc.) Eunuchs were chamberlains over harems, or court ministers in general.
Behold, I am a dry tree - barren (cf. Luke 23:31). Eunuchs were not admissible into the congregation of Israel (Deuteronomy 23:1-3). Under the Gospel the eunuch and stranger should be released from religious and civil disabilities.
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that ... please me - that sacrifice their own pleasure to mine.
And take hold of my covenant - so "layeth hold" (note, Isaiah 56:2).
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Even unto them will I give in mine house - the temple, the emblem of the Church (1 Timothy 3:15). They shall no longer be confined, as proselytes were, to the outer court, but shall be admitted "into the Holiest" (Hebrews 10:19-20).
And a name better than of sons. Though the eunuch is barren of children (Isaiah 56:3), I will give him a more lasting name than that of being father of sons and daughters, which was regarded as a high honour among the Hebrews (John 1:12; John 10:3; 1 John 3:1; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12).
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him ... - (Jeremiah 50:5.) Conditions of admission to the privileges of adoption.
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Even them - (Ephesians 2:11-13.)
Will I bring to my holy mountain - Jerusalem, the seat of the Lord's throne in His coming Kingdom (Isaiah 2:2; Jeremiah 3:17).
Make them joyful - (Romans 5:11.)
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices - spiritual, of which the literal were types (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5).
(Shall be) accepted - (Ephesians 1:6.)
Upon mine altar (Hebrews 13:10) - spiritually, the cress of Christ, which sanctifies our sacrifices of prayer and praise.
An house of prayer for all people - or rather, peoples. No longer restricted to one favoured people (Malachi 1:11; John 4:21; John 4:23; 1 Timothy 2:8). To be fully realized at the second coming (Isaiah 2:2-4). No longer literal, but spiritual sacrifice, namely, "prayer," shall be offered (Psalms 141:2; Psalms 51:17; Matthew 21:13).
The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather (others) to him ... - Yahweh will not only restore the scattered outcasts of Israel (Isaiah 11:12; Psalms 147:2) to their own land, but, 'will gather others ('strangers') to him (Israel), besides those gathered' (margin, to his gathered - i:e., in addition to the Israelites collected from their dispersion) (John 10:16; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 2:19).
All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.
All ye beasts of the field - Gentile idolatrous nations hostile to the Jews, summoned by God to chastise them (Jeremiah 12:7-9; Jeremiah 50:17; Ezekiel 34:5): the Chaldeans, and subsequently the Romans. The mention of the "outcasts of Israel" (Isaiah 56:8) brings in view the outcasting, caused by the sins of their rulers (Isaiah 56:10-12).
Come to devour - namely, Israel.
His watchmen - Israel's spiritual leaders (Isaiah 62:6; Ezekiel 3:17).
(Are) blind - (Matthew 23:16.)
Sleeping, lying down - `dreamers, sluggards' (Lowth). Not merely sleeping inactive, but under visionary delusions. [So the Septuagint, enupnizomenoi. The Vulgate, 'videntes vana;' and the Arabic].
Loving to slumber - not merely slumbering involuntarily, but loving it.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
They (are) shepherds (that) cannot understand - unable to comprehend the wants of the people spiritually: so Isaiah 56:10, "cannot bark."
They all look to their own way - i:e., their own selfish interests: not the spiritual welfare of the people (Jeremiah 6:13; Ezekiel 22:27).
Every one for his gain, from his quarter - or, 'from the highest to the lowest.' (Lowth). So the Vulgate. "From his quarter" - i:e., free one end to the other of them, one and all (Genesis 19:4). Hebrew, miqaatseehuw (H7097) from his extremity.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
Come ye, (say they), I will fetch wine - language of the national teachers challenging one another to drink. Or, 'I will take (Hebrew, 'eqchaah (H3947)) wine' - i:e., another cup of wine (Isaiah 5:11).
Tomorrow shall be as this day - their self-indulgence was habitual and intentional: not merely they drink, but they mean to continue so.
Remarks: The 'keeping' of "the Sabbath from" all 'pollution' is here marked as a prominent feature of believing obedience to God. No nation or individual can maintain true piety who neglect this plain command, obligatory alike, though on somewhat different grounds, under the law and the Gospel. The spiritual temple, the Church, or house of God, is now "an house of prayer," open "for all people." As yet all nations do not belong to it. But hereafter when "the Lord God" hath gathered "the outcasts of Israel," He will also gather the other nations to Him. Meanwhile Israel has been for ages cast out as a prey to 'the beasts of the field,' the unbelieving world-powers-Babylon, Rome, and the Mohammedan oppressor. Such has been the sad result of the unfaithfulness and selfishness of her rulers. Let all in authority in church and state take warning from her history to shun those sins-indolence, covetousness, pleasure-seeking, and unfaithfulness to God-which brought upon her national ruin through the vengeance of God.
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 56". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17