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The prophet is soaring high in this chapter, and looking far into the blessed things to be brought to pass in gospel times. Under the reign of Christ's kingdom, he foretelleth the glorious events of it!
In some of our old Bibles, the reading is rendered more strong, by defining the person to whom this refers. Behold the king. What king? Surely him whom Jehovah himself saith, he hath set upon his holy hill of Zion, Psalms 2:6 . And the same copies read, and that man? What man? Surely he that is to reign in righteousness when the man that is God's fellow, Zechariah 13:7 . We sadly enervate scripture, when we mix up human things with divine. Some have supposed that this scripture is a prophecy concerning the reign of the good king; but how then could this be a prophecy, when it was delivered at the very time of Hezekiah's reign? Was it needful to tell the people by prophecy, of the goodness of a reign, when they were enjoying it? Moreover, those who fancy it hath the smallest allusion to Hezekiah, should show the fulfillment of it. So far was the reign of Hezekiah from being a fence and a security to the people, that the poor man himself was thrown into a terrible fright when the enemy came up to invade his land, Isaiah 37:1 . And add to all these considerations, it must he confessed, that after all that can he said of the worth and goodness of Hezekiah, never could such things be said of him, nor indeed of any one among the fallen sons of men, as are here said of that king, whose reign was to be in righteousness. I hope I shall be forsaken if I err, but I cannot but conclude, that all the blessed events which are here spoken of, are wholly to be looked for under him, and his auspicious reign of grace in the hearts of his people, whose name is the Lord Our Righteousness; Jeremiah 23:5-6 ; Zechariah 9:9 ; Psalms 45:1-6 . And if we wholly set aside all thoughts of Hezekiah, and view Jesus, then we shall enter by faith, and under the leadings and teachings of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to glorify the Lord Jesus, into a sweet enjoyment of what is said in this precious chapter. Then we shall see that this righteous King, this holy Man, is reigning indeed now, in the present hour, and his reign of grace is come. In his spiritual kingdom, he is a refuge against all the wind of spiritual temptations, persecutions, afflictions, and the like. And he is no less a fountain of waters, and streams from Lebanon, in the consolations of his Holy Spirit amidst all the dry and thirsty frames of his redeemed. Song of Solomon 4:15 ; Psalms 46:4 ; John 7:37-39 .
It would enlarge this Commentary to an extent indeed, were I to analyze the several verses here brought together, and say the half of what might be said in the paraphrase upon them. But all the blessed effects here spoken of, may be well supposed to result from the Redeemer's kingdom in the hearts of his people, when:
Jesus reigns and rules there, the Lord over every passion. Reader! what I would particularly desire you to do while reading these verses, is the same conduct as I pray for grace to observe in my own instance, I mean, to ask and inquire whether our eyes be no longer dim; if our ears be hearkening; and if, with heart and tongue, we are blessing him who reigneth in righteousness? For if we truly belong to his kingdom, then hath he opened our eyes, and unstopped our ears, and formed both our hearts and tongues to speak to his praise. See what the prophet said was to mark the era of his reign, Isaiah 35:4-6 ; then turn to the gospel in proof of it, Matthew 11:5 ; and then once more look within, and mark well if there be a suitable correspondence there!
I include the whole of these blessed verses under one reading, for the sake of shortness. How very gracious is this call to all careless and inconsiderate persons; and how strikingly doth the Prophet set forth the awful judgments which must fall upon those, that slight the invitation to mercy; while, at the same time, he sets forth the security and happiness of those that accept it. Reader! the Lord grant, if consistent with his mind and will, that you and I may be among the number of those, the Prophet pronounceth blessed, from sitting round those rich waters of grace, beside which the great Shepherd of Israel feeds his sheep?
HAIL! thou King of righteousness! whom Jehovah hath set for his own King in Zion! Let my soul trace thee, and feast on thy glories, while I behold thee on thine holy hill! Truly, Lord, by thine own right, as one with the Father and the Holy Ghost, thou art Jehovah, Lord of all! But let me view thee in that softened and endeared light, as Christ the Mediator, King of Kings and Lord of lords. For here, Lord, I behold thee as possessing all power, in heaven and on earth. And in the special government of thy spiritual kingdom, let me behold the righteousness, judgment, and peaceableness of it. Almighty Sovereign of thy people, do thou take to thyself thy great power, and reign and rule in the hearts of all thy subjects. Surely, Lord, it belongs to thee, for the kingdom is thine, by gift, and by purchase; by conquest, and by surrender, to order, arrange, appoint, and regulate all the administration of it. And surely it is no less thy sole prerogative, to bring down all thine enemies under thy feet. To thee it belongs to pardon the penitent; to be bountiful to the needy, to comfort the distressed, and to hold forth the sceptre of mercy to the guilty. Yea, Lord, all grace is thine in thy kingdom here; and the glory will be thine, in thy kingdom forever. Oh! Lord Jesus! be thou all, and more than all, that this sweet scripture represents thee; an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Let thy people, as thou hast said, dwell in peaceable habitations: yea, Lord, let them dwell in thee, and then the work of thy righteousness will be peace, and the effect of thy righteousness will be quietness and assurance forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 32". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the <>Sixth Sunday after Easter