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ISAIAH CHAPTER 25
God glorious in his judgments on Babel, Isaiah 25:1-5, and his people’s salvation, Isaiah 25:6-12.
The prophet reflecting upon those great and glorious prophecies which he had delivered concerning the destruction of his enemies, and the protection and deliverance of his people, and the sending of the Messiah, and the establishment of his own kingdom in spite of all opposition, interrupteth the course of his prophecies, and breaketh forth into a solemn celebration of all these wonderful works.
Thy counsels of old are faithfuless and truth; thy counsels, from which all thy works proceed, and which thou hast from time to time revealed to thy prophets and people, which were
of old, being conceived from all eternity, and long since made known by thy threatenings and promises, are true and firm, and therefore shall certainly be accomplished,
A city; which is put collectively for cities. He speaks of the cities of
strangers, as the following clause explains it, or of enemies of God, and of his people. And under the name cities he comprehends their countries and kingdoms, of which cities are an eminent and commonly the strongest part.
A palace of strangers; the royal cities, in which were the palaces of strangers, i.e. of the kings of strange people, or of the Gentiles.
It shall never be built; their cities and palaces have been or shall be utterly and irrecoverably destroyed.
Thy stoutest enemies observing thy wonderful works, in saving thy people, and in destroying others of thine and their adversaries, shall be either converted, or at least convinced, and forced to acknowledge thy power, and shall tremble before thee.
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, & c.; for thou hast defended thy poor and helpless people against the fiercest assaults of their enemies.
When the blast of the terrible one is as a storm against the wall; or, for (as this particle commonly signifies; or rather, therefore, as it is frequently used, because thou art their defender)
the blast of the terrible, or strong, or violent one, was like a storm (of hail, or rain, or wind) against a wall, which makes a great and terrible noise, but without any effect, for the wall stands firm in spite of it. It is probable the prophet in these words had a special respect to that miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the rage and attempt of Sennacherib; although the words be general, and include other deliverances of a like nature.
The noise; the tumultuous noise, as the word properly signifies, which he called their blast in the foregoing verse; by which he means their rage and furious attempts, which are commonly managed with much noise and clamour.
Of strangers; of those strange and heathen nations that fought against God’s people.
Even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; with as much ease as thou dost in the course of thy common providence allay the heat of a dry season and place, either by the shadow of thy clouds, or by the rain which falleth from black and shadowy clouds.
The branch; the arm or power, as a branch is the arm of a tree. Or, the prince or commanders; for the word branch is sometimes put for a person of eminent place and power, as Psalms 80:15; Isaiah 4:2; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12. But others render the word, the song, as it is used, Song of Solomon 2:12, their jovial and triumphant song.
In this mountain; in Mount Zion, to wit, in God’s church, which is very frequently meant by the names of Zion and Jerusalem, both in the Old and in the New Testament.
Make unto all people, both Jews and Gentiles, who shall then be admitted to the participation of the same privileges and ordinances,
a feast of fat things; a feast made up of the most exquisite and delicate provisions; which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in and to his church.
Of wines on the lees; which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and afterwards drawn off from the lees, and so refined, as it is explained in the next clause.
The face of the covering; which is put either,
1. For the covering of the face, by an hypallage, as silver of shekels is put for shekels of silver, Leviticus 5:15; or,
2. For the covering or
veil, as the next clause expounds it; the word face being oft superfluously used in the Hebrew language, as Genesis 1:2,Genesis 1:29, and elsewhere. The veil; the veil of ignorance of God, and of the true religion, which then was upon the Gentiles, and now is upon the Jews, 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, which, like a veil, covers men’s eyes, and keeps them from discerning between things that differ. It may be also an allusion either to the veil which was put upon Moses’s face, Exodus 34:33,Exodus 34:34, or to the veil of the sanctuary, by which the persons without it were kept from the sight of the ark. This is a manifest prophecy concerning the illumination and conversion of the Gentiles.
He, the Lord, expressed both in the foregoing and following words, even the Messiah, who is God and man, will swallow up death; shall by his death destroy the power of death, as is said, Hebrews 2:14; take away the sting of the first death, and prevent the second death, and give eternal life to the world, even to all that believe in him.
In victory, Heb. unto victory, i.e. so as to overcome it perfectly; which complete victory Christ hath already purchased for, and will in due time actually confer upon, his people.
Will wipe away tears; will take away from his people all sufferings and sorrows, and all the causes of them; which is begun here, and perfected in heaven.
The rebuke of his people; the reproach and contempt which was daily cast upon his faithful people by the ungodly world, and, among others, by the apostate and unbelieving Jews, who accounted the Christians to be the scum and offscouring of all things.
From off all the earth; or, from off all this land, i.e. from all the church and people of God, wheresoever they shall be, from all their faces, as was said in the foregoing clause.
The Lord hath spoken it; therefore doubt not of it, though it seem incredible to you.
It shall be said by God’s people, in way of triumph and reply to their enemies,
Lo, this is our God: your gods are senseless and impotent idols; but our God is omnipotent, and hath done these great and glorious works, which fill the world with admiration. We may well boast of him, for there is no God like to him. Possibly it may be an intimation that God should take flesh, and become visibly present amongst men.
We have waited for him; our Messiah or Saviour, long since promised, and for whom we have waited a long time, now at last is come into the world, bringing salvation with him.
Shall the hand of the Lord rest; the powerful and gracious presence of God (which is oft signified in Scripture by God’s hand) shall have its constant and settled abode; it shall not move from place to place, as it did with the tabernacle; nor shall it depart from it, as it did from Jerusalem; but shall continue in his church even to the end of the world, Matthew 28:20.
Moab; the Moabites, which having been constant and implacable enemies to Israel, are synecdochically put for all the enemies of God’s church, as the Edomites upon the same account are, Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1.
Under him; under his feet, as appears by the following similitude.
Even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill; as easily and as effectually as the straw, which being left upon the ground, and mixed with the dung which lies there, is trampled upon by the feet of men and beasts.
1. Moab, who being plunged into a sea of troubles, shall endeavour to swim out of it, but to no purpose; or rather,
2. The Lord, who is designed by this very pronoun he, both in the latter clause of this verse, and in the following verse; whose power they shall be no more able to resist, than the waters can resist a man that swims, who with great facility divides them hither and thither.
Shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them; or, stretch forth his hands to the utmost, to smite and destroy them.
As he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands, which he doth to the uttermost.
With the spoils of their hands; with all that wealth which they have gained by rapine, and spoiling of God’s people, and others. But the words are otherwise rendered by others, with or by (as this Hebrew particle is used, Esther 9:25) the arms of his hands; which he may mention, because the strength of a man, and of his hands, consisteth in his arms; whence also the arm in Scripture is oft put for strength: or, by the motion or stroke of his hands, as all the ancient translators do in effect render it. And this seems to agree best with the metaphor here borrowed from one that swimmeth, which is performed in that manner.
The fortress of the high fort of thy walls; all thy walled cities and fortifications, to which thou trustest.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 25". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13