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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Isaiah 11

 

 

Verses 1-9

III. ISRAEL’S REDEMPTION IN RELATION TO THE MESSIAH

Isaiah 11:1 to Isaiah 12:6

1. FROM THE APPARENTLY DRIED UP ROOT OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID SHALL GO FORTH A SPROUT THAT SHALL FOUND A KINGDOM OF MOST GLORIOUS PEACE

Isaiah 11:1-9

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the [FN1]stem of Jesse,

And a [FN2]Branch [FN3]shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and might,

The spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 [FN4]And shall make him of [FN5]quick understanding in the fear of the Lord:

And he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,

Neither [FN6]reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor,

And [FN7][FN8]reprove with equity for the meek of earth:

And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth,

And with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,

And faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,

And the [FN9]leopard shall lie down with the kid;

And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;

And a little child shall lead them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed;

Their young ones shall lie down together:

And the lion shall eat [FN10]straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,

And the weaned child shall put his hand on the [FN11]cockatrice’ den.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain:

For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,

As the waters cover the sea.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

On Isaiah 11:1. גֶּזַע occurs again only Isaiah 40:24; Job 14:8. The root גָּזַע is not found. The meaning is that of גָּדַע ( Isaiah 10:33). caedere “to cut down.” In the three places that it occurs גזע is “the hewn, cut up stem that still sticks in the ground.” Hence גזע ישׁי and not גזע דָּוִד.—חֹטֶר again only Proverbs 14:3, meaning: “rod, pliant twig.”—נֵצֶר, Isaiah 14:19; Isaiah 60:21; Daniel 11:7 (from נָצַר unused root, splendere, nitere), “a hardy, fresh young branch.”—משׁרשׁיו, though the accents are against it, must be connected with נצר. For what does it mean that the shoot right from the root on shall bear fruit? Is something unnatural and impossible said of this shoot? Or was not Christ a Tree when He bore fruit? The thought is rather that from the extinct trunk and shoot a sprout shall proceed that shall give evidence of adequate vital power, and grow up to be a fruit-bearing tree. Hence it is quite unjustifiable to impose upon the verb יפרה the meaning of יִפְרַח (Hitzig, Umbreit).

On Isaiah 11:3. It is natural to regard הריהו as antithesis of the objective communication of the Spirit spoken of, Isaiah 11:2. For first, הֵרִיחַ means “smell anything with pleasure” ( Leviticus 26:31; Amos 5:21). But if ביראת י׳ should be the object of הריחו, then it ceases to be predicate, and then the sentence is without predicate; or if it is construed as predicate, then the emphatic use of בְּ after verbs of sensation cannot be appealed to, because then בְּ no longer depends on the notion of smelling, but on a modification of the notion of being (happens in the fear of Jehovah, is directed to the fear of Jehovah), which must be supplied to accommodate the subject to the predicate. Second: What means the one sided emphasis of smelling? If smelling may be construed in the wider sense as inhaling and exhaling air through the nose, so that it coincides with breathing, that would suit. I construe it in this wider sense as do others (Clericus, Hendewerk, Ewald, Meier). [See Comment of J. A. Alexander, added, p162, top.] Then הריח is to be construed as direct causative Hiphil, in the sense of “to make רוּחַ,” as one says ‎‎‎‎‎‎חֶאְְזִין “to make ears” = to “hear,” הִלְשִׁין “to make a tongue,” züngeln, “to blaspheme.” רוּמַ then = “breath, life’s breath,” Genesis 6:17; Genesis 7:15; Genesis 7:22, etc. But still much depends on whether bodily or spiritual breath is meant. The context decides for the latter. For our הריחו ביראת י׳ stands in evident antithesis to רוח יראת י׳, Isaiah 11:2. The latter designates the objective communication of the Spirit, the former the subjective reception.—לְ secundum, comp. לְצֶדֶק Isaiah 32:1 : לָבֶטַח, etc.—הוכיח with לְ like Isaiah 2:4.

On Isa 11:4. מִישׁוֹר comp. Isa 40:4; Isa 42:16.

On Isaiah 11:5. Gesenius makes the remark here that the repetition of אֵזוֹר (instead of using once חגור) can give no surprise in Isaiah, because he often uses the same word in parallel clauses: Isaiah 14:4; Isaiah 15:1; Isaiah 15:8; Isaiah 16:7; Isaiah 17:12-13; Isaiah 19:7; Isaiah 31:8; Isaiah 32:17; Isaiah 42:19; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 54:13; Isaiah 55:4; Isaiah 55:13; Isaiah 59:10. But in saying this Gesenius, as Drechsler remarks, forgot that he denies Isaiah’s authorship of chaps40–66

On Isaiah 11:6. זְאֵב is found in Isaiah only here and Isaiah 65:25, that resembles this.—כֶּבֶשׂ is “the lamb;” comp. Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 5:17. נָמֵר = “the striped” is “the panther” ( Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 13:23). Isaiah has it only here.—נהג with בְּ like 1 Chronicles 13:7; comp. on נֹגֵשׂ בּוֹ Isaiah 9:3.

On Isaiah 11:7. אריה Isaiah 35:9.—תֶּבֶן again only Isaiah 65:25.

On Isaiah 11:8. שׁעשׁע Pilpel from שׁעע delimre, mulcere, comp. the pass. Isaiah 66:12.—חֻר Isaiah 42:22—פתן only here in Isaiah.—מְאוּרָת is ἅπ. λεγ. מָאוֹר is “light,” i.e., “an illuminating body” ( Genesis 1:16); מְאוּרָה would then be a “light opening,” and we might understand under that term both the entrance of the cave and the sparkling eye of the animal gleaming like a precious stone (so the Targ. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, etc.). But the parallelism with חֻר prompts the conjecture, that originally מְעוּרָה, which otherwise never occurs, = מְעָרָה “cave,” stood in the text (Gesenius). What is correct is hard to make out.—הָדָה doubtless kindred to יָדָה, immittere is ἅπ. λεγ.—The צִפְעוֹנִי ( Isaiah 59:5) is likely identical with צֶפַע ( Isaiah 14:29). The root צָפַע means halare, sibilare. Doubtless a very poisonous serpent is meant, perhaps the basilisk, which is said to have been called sibilus. Comp. Gesenius, Thes. p1182.

On Isaiah 11:9. That the beasts are subject of ירעו (comp. Isaiah 65:25) the context puts beyond doubt.—יָם is here manifestly the sea-bed, the bottom of the sea; (comp. Psalm 104:6). The prefix לְ before יָם is explained by the causative sense in which Piel is used here, as it is often.—כִּסָּה means “covering,” make covering, like הִצִּיל “provide rescue,” הוֹכִיחַ “provide justice,” הֶאֱרִיךְ “make length,” etc., and is accordingly, like the verbs named, construed with the dative. Song of Solomon, too, is כִּסָּה עַל “to make a cover, to spread as a cover over something” ( Numbers 16:33; Job 36:32; Habakkuk 2:14, where our text is reproduced.—[J. A. Alexander on verse3. “And his sense of smelling (i.e., his power of perception, with a seeming reference to the pleasure it affords him) shall be exercised in (or upon) the fear of Jehovah (as an attribute of others”). The only sense of הריחו confirmed by usage is to smell. This, as a figure, comprehends discernment or discrimination between false and true religion, and the act of taking pleasure as the sense does in a grateful odor. In ‎‎‎‎ביראת י׳ the בְּ is a connective which the verb הריח commonly takes after it, and adds no more to the meaning of the phrase than the English prepositions when we speak of smelling to or of a thing, instead of simply smelling it.”

Ibid. On Isaiah 11:9. “They shall not hurt nor destroy,” etc. The absence of the copulative shows that this is not so much a direct continuation of the previous description as a summary explanation of it. The true construction, therefore, is indefinite, and the verbs do not agree with the nouns (animals) of Isaiah 11:8.”]

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

1. The destruction of the proud, towering forest, which, meaning primarily Assyria, comprehends also the world-powers generally, is followed by a contrasted picture in the renewed flourishing of the house of David and of his kingdom. That house of David will be reduced to a stunted and inconsiderable root-stock, when the world-power shall be at the summit of its prosperity. But from this root-stock, that is regarded as dead, a sprout shall still go forth ( Isaiah 11:1). On it the Spirit of the Lord shall rest in the fulness of His manifold powers ( Isaiah 11:2). This sprout will take delight in the fear of Jehovah; He will practise justice not after the deceptive sight of the eyes ( Isaiah 11:3); on the contrary He will so do it that the poor and humble shall be helped, but the wicked not merely outwardly, but also inwardly subdued ( Isaiah 11:4). For He shall stand firm in righteousnesss and truth ( Isaiah 11:5). Thus His kingdom shall be one of peace in such a degree that even the impersonal creatures shall be filled with this spirit of peace ( Isaiah 11:6-7), 8. For even the wildest beasts shall be no more wild, and no longer do harm on Jehovah’s holy mountain. The whole shall be full of the liveliest and deepest knowledge of Jehovah, like the bottom of the sea is covered with water ( Isaiah 11:9).

2. And there shall come—his roots.

Isaiah 11:1. Without a hint as to the time when, the Prophet announced that a revirescence of David’s house shall be the correlative of destruction of the world-power that was compared to the forest of Lebanon. He says stock of Jesse, not stock of David, for he would intimate that David’s stock will be reduced to its rank previous to David, when it was only the stock of the obscure citizen of Bethlehem. This explanation seems to me more correct than the other that understands that by this term is intimated that the Messiah shall be the second David, for He is such not alongside of, but after and out of the first David. The Messiah is in fact the Son of David ( 2 Samuel 7). If this stock, dead and mutilated, only exists as a stump, (but we know when and how that happened,) then shall a slender twig emerge from His roots, thus out of that part concealed under ground and still fresh, a hardy shoot that shall not perish, but bear fruit, and therefore (as included in the statement) develop to a new tree.

He is called “branch” Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12. At the beginning of53. ( Isaiah 11:2) is found a representation of the Messiah closely resembling our verse: “and He raised Himself before Him like the tender plant and like the root out of dry ground.” Ezek. too, ( Ezekiel 17:22-24) speaks of the shoot of the cedar (יוֹנֵק) that the Lord will plant on the high mountain of Israel ( Isaiah 2) to show how He is able “to bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make flourish the dry tree.”

3. And the spirit—fear of the Lord

Isaiah 11:2. The Prophet immediately forsakes the figurative language. He speaks of the sprout as of a person. For on Him shall settle down ( Isaiah 7:2; Isaiah 7:19; Numbers 11:25; 2 Kings 2:15) the spirit of Jehovah. This is a generic designation. For in what follows a threefold species of this genus is named, each of which is represented in two modifications. The candlestick of the sanctuary has rightly been regarded as symbol of the spirit of Jehovah. The stem corresponds to what we have called the genus, the six branches to what we have called the species ( Exodus 25:31 sqq.; Isaiah 37:17 sqq.). The first species comprehends (חכמה and בינה) “wisdom and understanding.” It is not easy to determine wherein consists the difference between these. In not a few passages they are placed opposite to one another in the parallelism of the clauses: Proverbs 2:2 sqq.; Proverbs 4:5; Proverbs 4:7; Proverbs 9:10; Job 28:12; Job 28:20; Job 28:28; 2 Chronicles 2:12, etc. In all these passages is observed, first of all, a formal distinction, a certain distinction of rank. “Wisdom” is the great all-comprehending chief name of all right knowledge. As the notion wisdom rises to personality, in fact to the dignity of divine personality ( Proverbs 8:32 sqq.) the word becomes almost a proper name. “Understanding” (בינה with דַּעַת,תְּבוּנָה, etc.) takes up a subordinate position. It signifies always only an element, although a very essential one of “wisdom” (comp. Proverbs 8:14). Many find in חכמה the fundamental meaning of firmitas solida, of πυκνότης, though the word is rather allied to בֵּךְplaatum, and thus, as in sapientia, σοφίαsapor” “taste” (comp. טעם) is the fundamental notion. In any case חכמה “wisdom” has more a positive meaning, whereas בינה “understanding” (comp. בֵּין and the meaning of the root words in the dialects) carries more the negative notion of διάκρισις, the art of distinguishing between true and false, good and bad.—עצה and גבורה “counsel” and “might” ( Isaiah 36:5) are easily distinguished as proofs of practical wisdom in forming and executing good counsel. A third pair is (דַּעַת, stat. const. and(יִרְאַת יי) “knowledge and fear of the Lord:” for the first two pairs comprise those effects of the spirit that relate to the earthly life. The third pair appear to reach out beyond this earthly life. It names a knowledge and a fear whose object is Jehovah Himself. If the fear of God is named last here, whereas according to Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Psalm 111:10 it is the beginning of all Wisdom of Solomon, that has its reason herein, that what is the deepest foundation may at the same time be designated as the loftiest height, like the great mountains form the inmost nucleus and the highest summits of the earth’s body. The entire enumeration progresses therefore from the bottom upwards. Moreover the view of the seven spirits of God, that is found Revelation 1:4; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6, rests on our text. On the anointing of the Messiah with the Spirit of God, comp. Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18; John 3:34.

4. And shall make—his reins.

Isaiah 11:3-5. On הריחו see Text and Gram. He has not only received the spirit from without; He receives it also within Him, so that He continually breathes in this spiritual air of life—this alone and no other. He has received (objectively) the spirit in absolute fulness. There appears to me to lie in these words, too, an allusion to Genesis 2:7. There it is said that God breathed in men His spirit as the principle of life. But this principle of life performs its functions no matter in what element the man may find himself. Even in the godless it is constantly active. Yet how unsatisfying, how mournful is that breathing of the spirit in a sphere infected by sin. The Messiah lives wholly in “the fear of God.” He therefore breathes in an atmosphere homogeneous to Him. He therefore brings into use for mankind the right breathing by bringing them back into the pure element of spirit. He is the second Adam.

As king, the Messiah must display the divinity of His disposition pre-eminently in the perfectly adequate administration of justice. He will therefore never let His judgment depend on outward appearance, never on that which pleases the outward sense, but He will only suffer that to pass for right that is right. He will not, therefore, look on the person, but help the poor and lowly to their rights (comp. Isaiah 1:26 sqq.; Isaiah 3:13 sqq.). But the unjust He will punish. This is the meaning of Isaiah 11:4 b. For the earth (אֶרֶץ) that He smites with the rod of His mouth, ( Revelation 1:16) and that is put parallel with רָשָׁע “the wicked” can only be regarded as the territory of the world that is hostile to God. “The wicked” רָשָׁע is by the Chaldee, and since that by many expositors, construed not only as a collective = רשׁעים, but at the same time, (or even exclusively e.g.Delitzsch) in the sense of 2 Thessalonians 2:8, as designation of an eschatological person, in whom enmity against God shall reach its climax. The staff of His mouth is the word that goes forth out of His mouth, and the breath of His lips is the same. For His word is in fact what His lips (spiritually) breathe out. Thus He proves Himself to be the one that can destroy in the same way as He created. By His word were things made; by His word they pass away. Comp. Psalm 104:29. In this righteousness, however, consists His proper strength, and the guaranty for the eternal continuance of His kingdom. The powers of the world must pass away on account of unrighteousness ( Proverbs 14:34).

The girdle is the symbol of vigorous, unimpeded development of strength, because the ancients could run, wrestle, and work only when the girdle confined their wide garments (comp. Job 12:18; Job 38:3; Job 40:2; Jeremiah 1:17; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 1:13). Let the loins be girt with righteousness and truth, and the girded man stands strong and firm in righteousness and truth. He is strong by both. Therefore He does not further His cause by unrighteousness and lies, but by the contrary.

5. The wolf also——the sea.

Isaiah 11:6-9. The Prophet’s vision penetrates to the remotest time: he comprises the near and far in one look. The Assyria of the present, with its destruction in the near future, the Messiah in the inception of His appearance, and the latest fruits of His work of peace—all this he sees at once in a grand picture before him. When the Redeemer, as Prince of Peace ( Isaiah 9:5) shall have done away with all violence, and put justice on the throne, then will peace be in the earth, and that, not only among men, but also among beasts. The Prophet, it is true, does not explain how the beasts are to be made accessible to this peaceful disposition. But it seems to me certain that only stupendous changes in nature, violent revolutions, world-ruin and resurrection, thus the slaying of the old Adam, and the regeneration of nature can bring forth these effects, ( Revelation 20 sq.). “Behold I make all things new,” ( Revelation 21:5) says Hebrews, that sits upon the throne. But we see from passages like35; Isaiah 43:18 sqq, that Isaiah himself had a presentiment of this grand, and all-comprehending world-renewal. I do not mean by this to defend a literal fulfilment of the word which the church fathers rejected as Judaizing, but only themselves to fall into the opposite extreme of spiritualizing and allegorizing. (Jerome appeals to Ephesians 1:3). The point is to find the happy medium. That, however, is not found by saying that Isaiah meant what he said in a real sense, only he deceived himself, but by recognizing that Isaiah, as organ of the Spirit of God, beheld stupendous, spirit-corporeal reality, but paints this reality with human, earthly, even national and temporal colors. In short there will be “a new creation,” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17) and this new creation will be at the same time a restitution of that oldest creation, that original one of Paradise, but on a higher plane. But how in the picture of the Prophet, to draw the boundary between absolute and relative reality, i.e., whether to exclude only single traits as not literal, or whether to divest the whole of its local and temporal construction, is difficult to say. Yet I decide for the latter. For all the traits of the picture painted by Isaiah bear the stamp of the existing earthly corporality. But in this sphere the prophecy cannot be realized. We must suppose a new basis of spiritual, glorified corporality made for this fulfilment. On this basis then the Prophet’s word will, mutatis mutandis, certainly be fulfilled.

The young lion (כפיר Isaiah 5:29) will lie quietly between the calf and the fattened ox, hitherto his favorite food; and a small boy will suffice to keep this entire, extraordinary, mixed up herd. Cow and bear graze, and their young rest by one another, while the old male-lion will devour chopped straw. Poisonous serpents will change their nature; the sucking child will play at the hole (vid. Text. and Gram.) of the adder. The holy mountain of Jehovah (comp. on Isaiah 2:2 sqq.), will not indeed physically comprise the earth, but it will rule the earth, and so far the Prophet can say, there shall no more harm be done, nor destruction devised on the holy mountain. The whole earth, in fact, is only the slope of the mount of God. But the reason why there is no more harm, is that the whole earth (notice how in the second clause “earth” is substituted for “holy mountain”) will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. No doubt the Prophet means here, not merely a dead knowing, which even the devils have ( James 2:17); he means a living, experimental, practical knowledge of God, as is possible also to the impersonal creature. Therefore the whole earth, not merely Prayer of Manasseh, shall know God living, and thus on the holy mountain shall no harm or destruction be devised. By the glorious picture of that knowledge filling the earth like the water the bottom of the sea, the Prophet signifies that he conceives of all creatures as filled with this living knowledge of God.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On Isaiah 7:1. “Hierosolyma oppugnatur, etc. Jerusalem is assaulted but not conquered. The church is pressed but not oppressed.”—Foerster.

2. On Isaiah 7:2. “Quando ecclesia, etc. When the Church is assaulted and Christ crucified over again in His elect, Rezin and Pekah, Herod and Pilate are wont to form alliance and enter into friendly relations. There are, so to speak, the foxes of Samson, joined indeed by the tails, but their heads are disconnected.”—Foerster.—“He that believes flees not ( Isaiah 28:16). ‘The righteous is bold as a lion’ ( Proverbs 28:1). Hypocrites and those that trust in works (work-saints) have neither reason nor faith. Therefore they cannot by any means quiet their heart. In prosperity they are, indeed, overweening, but in adversity they fall away ( Jeremiah 17:9).” Cramer.

3. On Isaiah 7:9. (“If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”) “Insignis sententia, etc. A striking sentiment that may be adapted generally to all temptation, because all earnest endeavor after anything, as you know, beguiles us in temptation. But only faith in the word of promise makes us abide and makes sure whatever we would execute. He warns Ahaz, therefore, as if he said: I now promise you by the word, it shall be that those two kings shall not hurt you. Believe this word! For if you do not, whatever you afterwards devise will deceive you: because all confidence is vain which is not supported by the word of God.”—Luther.

4. On Isaiah 7:10-12. “Wicked Ahaz pretends to great sanctity in abstaining from asking a sign through fear of God. Thus hypocrites are most conscientious where there is no need for it: on the other hand, when they ought to be humble, they are the most insolent. But where God commands to be bold, one must be bold. For to be obedient to the word is not tempting God. That is rather tempting God when one proposes something without having the word for it. It Isaiah, indeed, the greatest virtue to rest only in the word, and desire nothing more. But where God would add something more than the word, then it must not be thought a virtue to reject it as superfluous. We must therefore exercise such a faith in the word of God that we will not despise the helps that are given in addition to it as aids to faith. For example the Lord offers us in the gospel all that is necessary to salvation. Why then Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Are they to be treated as superfluous? By no means. For if one believes the word he will at the same time exhibit an entire obedience toward God. We ought therefore to learn to join the sign with the word, for no man has the power to sever the two.

But do you ask: is it permitted to ask God for a sign? We have an example of this in Gideon. Answer: Although Gideon was not told of God to ask a sign, yet he did it by the impulse of the Holy Spirit, and not according to his own fancy. We must not therefore abuse his example, and must be content with the sign that is offered by the Lord. But there are extraordinary signs or miracles, like that of the text, and ordinary ones like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Yet both have the same object and use. For as Gideon was strengthened by that miraculous event, Song of Solomon, too, are we strengthened by Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, although no miracle appears before our eyes.” Heim and Hoffmann after Luther. Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, also asked the Lord to show him the right wife for Isaac by means of a sign of His own choosing, ( Genesis 24:14).

It ought to be said that this asking a sign (opening the Bible at a venture, or any other book) does not suit Christian perfection ( Hebrews 6:1). A Christian ought to be inwardly sensible of the divine will. He ought to content himself with the guarantees that God Himself offers. Only one must have open eyes and ears for them. This thing of demanding a sign, if it is not directly an effect of superstition ( Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; 1 Corinthians 1:22), is certainly childish, and, because it easily leads to superstitious abuses, it is dangerous.

5. On Isaiah 7:13. “Non caret, etc. That the Prophet calls God his God is not without a peculiar emphasis. In Zechariah 2:12 it is said, that whoever touches the servants of God touches the pupil of God’s eye. Whoever opposes teacher and preacher will have to deal with God in heaven or with the Lord who has put them into office.”—Foerster.

6. On Isaiah 7:14. “The name Immanuel is one of the most beautiful and richest in contents of all the Holy Scripture. ‘God with us’ comprises God’s entire plan of salvation with sinful humanity. In a narrower sense it means ‘God-man’ ( Matthew 1:23), and points to the personal union of divinity and humanity, in the double nature of the Son of God become man. Jesus Christ was a God-with-us, however, in this, that for about 33 years He dwelt among us sinners ( John 1:11; John 1:14). In a deeper and wider sense still He was such by the Immanuel’s work of the atonement ( 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 Timothy 2:3). He will also be such to every one that believes on Him by the work of regeneration and sanctification and the daily renewal of His holy and divine communion of the Spirit ( John 17:23; John 17:26; John 14:19-21; John 14:23). He is such now by His high-priestly and royal administration and government for His whole Church ( Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 7:25). He will be snch in the present time of the Church in a still more glorious fashion ( John 10:16). The entire and complete meaning of the name Immanuel, however, will only come to light in the new earth, and in the heavenly Jerusalem ( Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5).”—Wilh. Fried. Roos.

Isaiah 8:7. On Isaiah 8:5 sqq. “Like boastful swimmers despise small and quiet waters, and on the other hand, for the better display of their skill, boast of the great sea and master it, but often are lost in it,—thus, too, did the hypocrites that despised the small kingdom of Judah, and bragged much and great things of the power and splendor of the kingdom of Israel and of the Syrians; such hypocrites are still to be found now-a-days—such that bear in their eye the admiranda Romae, the splendor, riches, power, ceremonies and pomp of the Romish church, and thereupon ‘set their bushel by the bigger-heap.’ It is but the devil’s temptation over again: ‘I will give all this to thee.’ ”—Cramer.—“Fons Siloa,” etc. “The fountain of Siloam, near the temple, daily reminded the Jews that Christ was coming.”—Calvin on John 9:7.

8. On Isaiah 8:10. “When the great Superlatives sit in their council chambers and have determined everything, how it ought to be, and especially how they will extinguish the gospel, then God sends the angel Gabriel to them, who must look through the window and say: nothing will come of it.”—Luther.—“Christ, who is our Immanuel, is with us by His becoming Prayer of Manasseh, for us by His office of Mediator, in us by the work of His sanctification, by us by His personal, gracious presence.”—Cramer.

9. On Isaiah 8:14-15. Christ alone is set by God to be a stone by which we are raised up. That He Isaiah, however, an occasion of offence to many is because of their purpose, petulance and contempt ( 1 Peter 2:8). Therefore we ought to fear lest we take offence at Him. For whoever falls on this stone will shatter to pieces ( Matthew 21:44).” Cramer.

10. On Isaiah 8:16 sqq. He warns His disciples against heathenish superstition, and exhorts them to show respect themselves always to law and testimony. “They must not think that God must answer them by visions and signs, therefore He refers them to the written word, that they may not become altogether too spiritual, like those now-a-days who cry: spirit! spirit! … Christ says, Luke 16 : They have Moses and the prophets, and again John 5:39 : Search the Scriptures. So Paul says, 2 Timothy 3:16 : The Scripture is profitable for doctrine. So says Peter, 2 Peter 1:9 : We have a sure word of prophecy. It is the word that changes hearts and moves them. But revelations puff people up and make them insolent.” Heim and Hoffmann after Luther.

Chap9–11. On Isaiah 9:1 sqq. (2). “Postrema pars, etc. The latter part of chap8 was νομικὴ καὶ ἀπειλητική (legal and threatening) Song of Solomon, on the other hand, the first and best part of chap9 is εὐαγγελικὴ καὶ παραμυθητική, (evangelical and comforting). Thus must ever law and gospel, preaching wrath and grace, words of reproof and words of comfort, a voice of alarm and a voice of peace follow one another in the church.” Foerster.

12. On Isaiah 9:1 (2). Both in the Old Testament and New Testament Christ is often called light. Thus Isaiah calls Him “a light to the gentiles,” Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6. The same Prophet says: “Arise, shine (make thyself light), for thy light is come,” Isaiah 60:1. And again Isaiah 9:19 : “The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light.” In the New Testament it is principally John that makes use of this expression: “The life was the light of men,” John 1:4, “and the light shined in the darkness,” John 9:5. John was not that light, but bore testimony to the light, John 9:8. “That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John 9:9. And further: “And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,” John 3:19. “I am the light of the world,” ( John 8:12; John 9:5; comp. John 12:35).

13. On Isaiah 9:1 (2). The people that sit in darkness may be understood to comprise three grades. First, the inhabitants of Zebulon and Naphtali are called so ( Isaiah 8:23), for the Prophet’s gaze is fixed first on that region lying in the extreme end of Palestine, which was neighbor to the heathen and mixed with them, and on this account was held in low esteem by the dwellers in Judah. The night that spreads over Israel in general is darkest there. But all Israel partakes of this night, therefore all Israel, too, may be understood, as among the people sitting in darkness. Finally, no one can deny that this night extends over the borders of Israel to the whole human race. For far as men dwell extends the night which Christ, as light of the world, came to dispel, Luke 1:76 sqq.

14. On Isaiah 9:5 (6). Many lay stress on the notion “child,” inasmuch as they see in that the reason for the reign of peace spoken of afterwards. It is not said a Prayer of Manasseh, a king, a giant is given to us. But this is erroneous. For the child does not remain a child. He becomes a man: and the six names that are ascribed to Him and also the things predicted of His kingdom apply to Him, not as a child, but as a man. That His birth as a child is made prominent, has its reason in this, that thereby His relation to human kind should be designated as an organic one. He does not enter into humanity as a Prayer of Manasseh, i.e. as one whose origin was outside of it, but He was born from it, and especially from the race of David. He is Son of man and Son of David. He is a natural offshoot, but also the crowning bloom of both. Precisely because He was to be conceived, carried and born of a human mother, and indeed of a virgin, this prophecy belongs here as the completion and definition of the two prophetic pictures Isaiah 7:10 sqq.; Isaiah 8:1 sqq.—“He came down from heaven for the sake of us men, and for our bliss ( 1 Timothy 1:15; Luke 2:7). For our advantage: for He undertook not for the seed of angels, but for the seed of Abraham ( Hebrews 2:16). Not sold to us by God out of great love, but given ( Romans 5:15; John 3:16). Therefore every one ought to make an application of the word ‘to us’ to himself, and to learn to say: this child was given to me, conceived for me, born to me.”—Cramer.—“Cur oportuit, etc. Why did it become the Redeemer of human kind to be not merely man nor merely God, but God and man conjoined or θεάνθρωπον? Anselm replies briefly, indeed, but pithily: Deum qui posset, hominem, qui deberet.” Foerster.

15. On Isaiah 9:5 (6). “You must not suppose here that He is to be named and called according to His person, as one usually calls another by his name; but these are names that one must preach, praise and celebrate on account of His Acts, works and office.” Luther.

16. On Isaiah 9:6. “Verba pauca, etc. A few words, but to be esteemed great, not for their number but for their weight.” Augustine.Admirabilis in, etc. Wonderful in birth, counsellor in what He preaches, God in working, strong in suffering, father of the world to come in resurrection, Prince of peace in bliss perpetual.” Bernard of Clairvaux. In reference to “a child is born,” and “a son is given,” Joh. Cocceius remarks in his Heb. Lex. s. v. יֶלֶד: “respectu, etc., in respect to His human nature He is said to be born, and in respect to His divine nature and eternal generation not indeed born, but given, as, John 3:16, it reads God gave His only begotten Son.”

“In the application of this language all depends on the words is born to us, is given to us.” The angels are, in this matter, far from being as blessed as we are. They do not say: To us a Saviour is born this day, but; to you. As long as we do not regard Christ as ours, so long we shall have little joy in Him. But when we know Him as our Wisdom of Solomon, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, as a gift that our heavenly Father designed for us, we will appropriate Him to ourselves in humble faith, and take possession of all His redeeming effects that He has acquired. For giving and taking go together. The Son is given to us; we must in faith receive Him.” J. J. Rambach, Betracht. über das Ev. Esaj, Halle, 1724.

On Isaiah 9:6 (7). “The government is on His shoulders.” “It is further shown how Christ differs in this respect from worldly kings. They remove from themselves the burden of government and lay it on the shoulders of the privy counsellors. But He does not lay His dominion as a burden on any other; He needs no prime minister and vicegerent to help Him bear the burden of administration, but He bears all by the word of His power as He to whom all things are given of the Father. Therefore He says to the house of Jacob ( Isaiah 46:3 sq.): Hearken unto me ye who were laid on my shoulders from your mothers’ womb. I will carry you to old age. I will do it, I will lift, and carry and deliver,—on the contrary the heathen must bear and lift up their idols, ( Isaiah 46:1; Isaiah 46:7).”—Rambach. “In the first place we must keep in mind His first name: He is called Wonderful. This name affects all the following.” “All is wonderful that belongs to this king: wonderfully does He counsel and comfort; wonderfully He helps to acquire and conquer, and all this in suffering and want of strength. (Luther, Jen. germ. Tom. III. Fol. 184 b.). ” “He uses weakness as a means of subduing all things to Himself. A wretched reed, a crown of thorns and an infamous cross, are the weapons of this almighty God, by means of which He achieves such great things. In the second place, He was a hero and conqueror in that just by death, He robbed him of his might who had the power of death, i.e., the devil ( Hebrews 2:14); in that Hebrews, like Samson, buried His enemies with Himself, yea, became poison to death itself, and a plague to hell ( Hosea 13:14) and more gloriously resumed His life so freely laid down, which none of the greatest heroes can emulate.”—Rambach.

17. On Isaiah 9:18 (19) sqq. True friendship can never exist among the wicked. For every one loves only himself. Therefore they are enemies one of another; and they are in any case friends to each other, only as long as it concerns making war on a third party.

Isaiah 10-18. On Isaiah 10:4. (Comp. the same expression in chap10). God’s quiver is well filled. If one arrow does not attain His object, He takes another, and so on, until the rights of God, and justice have conquered.

19. On Isaiah 10:5-7. “God works through men in a threefold way. First, we all live, move and have our being in Him, in that all activity is an outflow of His power. Then, He uses the services of the wicked so that they mutually destroy each other, or He chastises His people by their hand. Of this sort the Prophet speaks here. In the third place, by governing His people by the Spirit of sanctification: and this takes place only in the elect.”—Heim and Hoffmann.

20. On Isaiah 10:5 sqq. “Ad hunc, etc. Such places are to be turned to uses of comfort. Although the objects of temptation vary and enemies differ, yet the effects are the same, and the same spirit works in the pious. We are therefore to learn not to regard the power of the enemy nor our own weakness, but to look steadily and simply into the word, that will assuredly establish our minds that they despair not, but expect help of God. For God will not subdue our enemies, either spiritual or corporal, by might and power, but by weakness, as says the text: my strength is made perfect in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9).—Luther.

21. On Isaiah 10:15. “Efficacia agendi penes Deum Esther, homines ministerium tantum praebent. Quare nunc sibilo suo se illos evocaturum minabatur (cap. Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 7:18); nunc instar sagenae sibi fore ad irretiendos, nunc mallei instar ad feriendos Israelitas. Sed praecipue tum declaravit, quod non sit otiosus in illis, dum Sennacherib securim vocat, quae ad secandum manu sua et destinata fuit et impacta. Non male alicubi Augustinus ita definit, quod ipsi peccant, eorum esse; quod peccando hoc vel illud agant, ex virtute Dei esse, tenebras prout visum est dividentis (De praedest Sanctt.).”—Calvin Inst. II:4, 4.

22. On Isaiah 10:20-27. “In time of need one ought to look back to the earlier great deliverances of the children of God, as to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, or later, from the hand of the Midianites. Israel shall again grow out of the yoke.”—Diedrich.

Isaiah 11-23. On Isaiah 11:4. “The staff of His mouth.” “Evidence that the kingdom of Christ will not be like an earthly kingdom, but consist in the power of the word and of the sacraments; not in leathern, golden or silver girdles, but in girdles of righteousness and faith.”—Cramer.

24. On Isaiah 11:10 sqq. If the Prophet honors the heathen in saying that they will come to Christ before Israel, he may be the more readily believed, when Isaiah 11:11 sqq, he gives the assurance that the return out of the first, the Egyptian exile, shall be succeeded by a return out of the second, the Assyrian exile, (taking this word in the wider sense of Isaiah). It is manifest that the return that took place under Zerubbabel and Ezra was only an imperfect beginning of that promised return. For according to our passage this second return can only take place after the Messiah has appeared. Farthermore, all Israelites that belong to “the remnant of Israel,” in whatever land they may dwell, shall take part in it. It will be, therefore, a universal, not a partial return. If now the Prophet paints this return too with the colors of the present ( Isaiah 11:13 sqq.), still that is no reason for questioning the reality of the matter. Israel will certainly not disappear, but arise to view in the church of the new covenant. But if the nation is to be known among the nations as a whole, though no more as a hostile contrast, but in fraternal harmony, why then shall not the land, too, assume a like position among the lands? But the nation can neither assume its place among nations, nor the land its place among lands, if they are not both united: the people Israel in the land of their fathers.

25. On Isaiah 11 “We may here recall briefly the older, Song of Solomon -called spiritual interpretation. Isaiah 11:1-5 were understood of Christ’s prophetic office that He exercised in the days of His flesh, then of the overthrow of the Roman Empire and of Antichrist, who was taken to be the Pope. But the most thorough-going of those old expositors must acknowledge, at Isaiah 11:4, that the Antichrist is not yet enough overthrown, and must be yet more overthrown. If such is the state of the case, then this interpretation is certainly false, for Isaiah 11:4 describes not a gradual judgment, but one accomplished at once. There have been many Antichrists, and among the Popes too, but the genuine Antichrist described 2 Thessalonians2, is yet to be expected, and also the fulfillment of Isaiah 11:4 of our chapter. Thereby is proved at the same time that the peaceful state of things in the brute world and the return of the Jews to their native land are still things of the future, for they must happen in that period when the Antichristian world, and its head shall be judged by Christ. But then, too, the dwelling together of tame and wild beasts is not the entrance of the heathen into the church, to which they were heretofore hostile, and the return of the Jews is not the conversion of a small part of Israel that took place at Pentecost and after. The miracles and signs too, contained in Isaiah 11:15-16 did not take place then. We see just here how one must do violence to the word if he will not take it as it stands. But if we take it as we have done, then the whole chapter belongs to the doctrine of hope (Hoffnungslehre) of the Scripture, and constitutes an important member of it. The Lord procures right and room for His church. He overthrows the world-kingdom, together with Antichrist. He makes of the remnant of Israel a congregation of believers filled with the Spirit, to whom He is near in an unusual way, and from it causes His knowledge to go out into all the world. He creates peace in the restless creatures, and shows us here in advance what more glorious things we may look for in the new earth. He presents to the world a church which, united in itself, unmolested by neighbors, stands under God’s mighty protection. All these facts are parts of a chain of hope that must be valuable and dear to our hearts. The light of this future illumines the obscurity of the present; the comfort of that day makes the heart fresh.” Weber, der Prophet Jesaja, 1875.

Chap12–26. On Isaiah 12:4 sq. “These will not be the works of the New Testament: sacrificing and slaying, and make pilgrimage to Jerusalem and to the Holy Sepulchre, but praising God and giving thanks, preaching and hearing, believing with the heart and confessing with the mouth. For to praise our God is good; such praise is pleasant and lovely” ( Psalm 147:1). Cramer.

27. On Chap12 “With these words conclude the prophetic discourses on Immanuel. Through what obscurity of history have we not had to go, until we came to the bright light of the kingdom of Christ! How Israel and the nations had to pass through the fire of judgment before the sun arises in Israel and the entire gentile world is illumined! It is the, same way that every Christian has to travel. In and through the fire we become blessed. Much must be burnt up in us, before we press to the full knowledge of God and of His Song of Solomon, before we become entirely one with Him, entirely glad and joyful in Him. Israel was brought up and is still brought up for glory, and we too. O that our end too were such a psalm of praise as this psalm!” Weber, Der Pr. Jes. 1875.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - stump.

FN#2 - shoot.

FN#3 - bear fruit.

FN#4 - And his breathing will be done in the fear of the Lord.

FN#5 - Heb. scent, or smell.

FN#6 - administer judgment.

FN#7 - Or, argue.

FN#8 - righten.

FN#9 - panther.

FN#10 - grass.

FN#11 - Or, adders.


Verses 10-16

2. THE RETURN OF ISRAEL TAKES PLACE ONLY WHEN THE MESSIAH HAS APPEARED AND THE HEATHEN HAVE GATHERED TO HIM

Isaiah 11:10-16

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,

Which shall stand for an ensign of the people;

To it shall the Gentiles seek:

And his rest shall be [FN12]glorious.

11 And it shall come to pass in that day,

That the Lord shall set his hand again the second time

To [FN13]recover the remnant of his people,

Which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt,

And from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam,

And from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,

And shall assemble the outcasts of Israel,

And gather together the dispersed of Judah

From the four [FN14] [FN15]corners of the earth.

13 The envy also [FN16]of Ephraim shall depart,

And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off:

Ephraim shall not envy Judah,

And Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders [FN17]of the Philistines toward the west;

They shall spoil [FN18]them of the east together:

[FN19]They shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab;

[FN20]And the children of Ammon [FN21]shall obey them.

15 And the Lord [FN22]shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea;

And [FN23]with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river,

And shall smite it [FN24]in the seven streams,

And make men go over [FN25]dry-shod.

16 And there-shall be an highway for the remnant of his people,

Which shall be left, from Assyria;

Like as it was to Israel

In the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

On Isaiah 11:10. דרשׁ אֵל comp. on Isaiah 8:19, but it has more emphasis than there.

On Isaiah 11:11. הוסיף יד is only found here. Many would connect יָדוֹ with what follows as accus. instr. But the position conflicts with that. Others supply לשְׁלֹחַ; but that is not something that may be left to be understood. It is better with Drechsler to take הוסיף יד as an expression equivalent to נָתַן יָד ( Exodus 7:4): manum addere corresponding to manum dare. If the latter means “to lay the hand on one,” then our expression means “repeatedly to lay hands on one.”

On Isaiah 11:12. נדחים and נפוצות, by this simple means the Prophet expresses the thought that the promised gathering shall extend to both sexes, men and women. ארבע כנפות is only found here in Isaiah. The words are taken from Deuteronomy 22:12, and are found beside Ezekiel 7:2.

On Isaiah 11:14 כָּתֵף .ועפו בכתף וגו׳ is without doubt here used in a double sense. Every shoulder-shaped elevation is called כתף. Thus we find כתף יס־כנרף Numbers 34:11; כתף היבוסי Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16; כ׳ הר־יערים ibid. Joshua 11:10. כ׳ יריחו Joshua 18:12; כ׳ לוזה Joshua 18:13. Song of Solomon, too, Joshua 15:11 speaks of a כֶּתֶף עֶקְרוֹן. Therefore the shoulder-like watershed of the coast of Philistia toward the sea may be called כתף. But from the verb עפו it is seen that the Prophet has in mind at the same time the figure of a bird of prey that flies on a man’s shoulder in order to belabor his head. But is כָּתֵף st. const. or absolutus. Delitzsch is of the opinion that, on account of the following פ in פלשׁתים, the stat. absol. is used in the sense of stat. constructus. It were possible that the Masorets might have punctuated in this way for the reason assigned, yet this kind of punctuation ought to occur oftener. But Delitzsch can only appeal to the accent not being drawn backwards in חָצֵֽב בּוֹ Isaiah 5:2, and הצֵֽב בּו Isaiah 10:15, where no st. constructus exists. I agree, therefore, with Drechsler who takes פלשׁתים to be in apposition with כתף: “they fly on to the shoulder, the (so named) Philistine land;” יָמָּֽה, however, refers to the whole, and is contrasted, not with an eastern כתף (כ׳ ידיחו Joshua 18:12), but with בני קדם.—יבזו comp. Isaiah 10:2.—מִשְׁלֹוחַ .משׂלוח יד. occurs again only Esther 9:19; Esther 9:22 in the sense of missio (donorum). On the other hand מִשְׁלַח יָד occurs five times in Deut. ( Deuteronomy 12:7; Deuteronomy 15:10; Deuteronomy 23:21; Deuteronomy 28:8; Deuteronomy 28:20) in the sense of “something coming under the hand,” which is said of food, business, etc. Here it is what the master, the conqueror, the oppressor lays his hand on in order to hold it down; Psalm 32:4; Psalm 38:3; Psalm 55:21; Psalm 106:26; Psalm 106:42; Psalm 138:7, etc. In this the abstract stands for the concrete as in משׁמעת, which means audientia (audience) both in the sense of confidential hearing, as a title of honor ( 1 Samuel 22:14; 2 Samuel 23:23) and in the sense of obedientia (= obedientes, subditi).

On Isaiah 11:15. החרים וגו. There exists no necessity for reading החריב. For, as Delitzsch remarks, החרים is only a strengthened גָעַר “to reproach,” Psalm 106:9; Nahum 1:4.—הניף ידו comp. on Isaiah 10:32.—עֲיָם is ἅπ.λεγ. Expositors differ about it very much. To me it seems best with Delitzsch to derive the word from חָמַם,חוּם = עוּם (from which חוּם niger, “the burned black,” Genesis 30:32 sqq.).

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The Prophet now declares the relation of the last, glorious return of Israel to the appearance of the Messiah. In Isaiah 11:10, he puts in front the fact that the heathen will inquire after the root of Jesse, and that in this respect the place where the Messiah rests shall partake of great glory. By this he intimates plainly that the heathen shall turn to the Messiah before Israel, and that therefore the promised return of Israel shall only be afterwards. Then he speaks of this return very fully. As underlying thought, he represents that, as the Lord after the Egyptian bondage would reject His people by a more extended captivity, so He would cause a second return out of this captivity. With this thought begins, and closes the section Isaiah 11:11-16. The remnant of the nation shall be gathered out of all lands ( Isaiah 11:11-12). The inward dissension between Ephraim, and Judah shall cease ( Isaiah 11:13). They shall unitedly conquer, and subjugate their enemies of the past, both East and West ( Isaiah 11:14). The Red sea shall be dried up, the Euphrates shall be divided into seven channels, so that both bodies of water that separated the holy land from the scenes of the first and second captivities may be easily crossed over, ( Isaiah 11:15). Thus from the second captivity there shall be prepared as glorious a road for the remnant, as there was for the nation to return out of the first bondage. (16).

2. And in that day—glorious.

Isaiah 11:10. We must conceive of the subject matter of this description and of Isaiah 11:11-16 as falling between the sections Isaiah 11:1-9. For doubtless the human world must be first penetrated by the peace of God. Only after that can peace extend to the inferior creatures (comp. Genesis 1:26 sqq.). But the Prophet has here combined the beginning and the end, because he thought he could characterize the Messianic dominion most clearly, by its consequences. In a similar way Jeremiah (3,4), proceeds from the description of the (שׁוּכ) return in the past to the description of the return in the far future, in order finally to join on after that the summons to return in the present. The Prophet’s naming the Messiah Himself “root of Jesse” after calling him, Isaiah 11:1, “a shoot out of the root of Jesse,” has a double reason. The first seems to me to be the mere formal one, viz.: that for brevity’s sake the Prophet would avoid repeating נֵצֶר מִן “a shoot from.” But he could justly omit this because the Messiah formed the most prominent ingredient of the root of Jesse. He was in this root like He was in the loins of Abraham ( Hebrews 7:10). But for Him, the root of Jesse had been a common root as any other. We have here therefore, not only a formal-rhetorical synecdoche, but also one justified in its substance. For the expression is in any case a synecdoche (comp. the so frequent synecdochical use of the word “seed”). As root he could not be a standard of the heathen. He could be so only as a trunk or stem that has grown out of the root. In this sense he is called “root of David,” Revelation 5:5; but with omission of the synecdoche, he is called “root and offspring of David,” Revelation 22:16. Paul cites our passage Romans 15:12 according to the LXX. The Messiah is a standard to the heathen so far as He will be an appearance that will be observable to all, and mightily draw the attention of all to Himself. On the subject matter comp. Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 66:18 sqq.; Haggai 2:7; Zechariah 2:15. The standard “stands” (comp. Isaiah 3:13) for it is fastened to an upright pole ( Numbers 21:8, where the pole itself is called נֵס. Comp. Isaiah 5:26). Bat it is not said who has planted the standard. It just stands there (comp. κεῖται, Luke 2:34). It sets itself by its own inward, divine power. שׁרשׁ “a root” stands first with emphasis. אליו “unto Him” resumes the subject. “Unto Him shall seek,” conveys the notion of longing desire. It is clear that by “nations” (גּוֹיִם) are meant the heathen. For though גּוֹי “nation,” in the singular, is used for Israel (comp. Isaiah 1:4), it is never so in the plural.

Israel did not receive the Lord when He came to His own ( John 1:11). It is the same thought that Paul expresses Romans 10:20, in words taken from Isaiah 65:1-2 (according to LXX.). “I was found of them, that sought me not; I was manifest (נִדְרַשְׁתִּי) unto them that asked not after me.” Paul ascribes to partial blindness the exceeding remarkable fact, that after the appearance of the Messiah the heathen entered into the kingdom of God before Israel, ( Romans 11:25)—מנוחה “a rest,” the place of rest where moving herds or caravans settle down, ( Isaiah 28:12; Isaiah 32:18; Isaiah 66:1, and Numbers 10:33). The place where the Messiah sits down to rest is identical with the place where He reveals the fulness of His might and glory, it is His body, the church ( Ephesians 1:23). Still at the present time the church is a gentile church, and yet it is a glory (כָּבוֹדabstr. pro concr.), i.e., a realization of the idea of glory, (comp. Psalm 45:14) even though only a preliminary and relative glory.

3. And it shall come to pass——of the earth.

Isaiah 11:11-12. The Prophet now turns to Israel. Israel must first be broken up, and its separate parts be scattered into all lands, if it is to accept Him that is promised to Israel for salvation. Only out of a state of banishment and dispersion, and only after the heathen have previously joined themselves to Him, does Israel know and lay hold on its Redeemer. But when it shall have known Him, then will the dispersion cease, then shall Israel be gathered and be brought back into its land. The first exile was the Egyptian. Wonderfully was Israel redeemed out of it. A second exile is in prospect. The Prophet assumes it. He has already announced it Isaiah 6:11 sqq.; Isaiah 10:5 sqq. What had already occurred at that time under Tiglath-Pileser ( 2 Kings 15:29) was as much only a faint beginning of the exile, as the return under Zerubbabel and Ezra, was only a faint beginning of the redemption. The Roman exile, which is but a part of the second exile, though the completion of it, must first have accomplished itself, before the second redemption can accomplish itself.

The Lord has acquired Israel (קְנוֹת), He let it cost Him something, He expended great care upon it, therefore the nation is His property (His סְגֻלָּה “peculiar treasure,” Exodus 19:5, etc.). קָנָה “purchased,” is found in this sense even in Exodus 15:16, the song of triumph of Moses, to which Isaiah seems here to allude.

The Prophet does not say בְּאשור, etc., “in Assyria,” but “from A,” etc., (vid. Exodus 10:5), for he would not so much intimate the locality where the banished are found, as rather designate a remnant, not yet quite exterminated by the nation in the midst of which they are found. He then names eight nations, Assyria in advance, for that is the world power that he sees immediately before him, and that represents all following powers, i.e., the world-power in general. Next he names Egypt, for this is not only to be the actual scene of future exile, but is also a prototype of such exile. Then follow two names that belong to Egypt, then three that belong to Assyria, finally a name belonging to a region more distant still.

Pathros (Egyptian Patherres, i.e., the southern Pather in distinction from other places sacred to Hathor, of this name, vid.Eber’s,Egypt. und die Bücher Mose’s, I. p115 sqq. On its relation to מִצְרַיִם comp. the remarks at Isaiah 19:1), is Upper-Egypt ( Jeremiah 44:15); “Cush” (Ethiopia) is a name “that acquired an extension from the south of India to the interior of Africa” (Pressel). Elam (Elymais Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 22:6) is southern Media; Shinar, southern Mesopotamia ( Genesis 10:10); on Hamath comp. on Isaiah 10:9; the islands of the sea are the western islands and coasts of the Mediterranean sea ( Isaiah 24:15; Isaiah 40:15; Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 41:5, etc.). When it is said that the Lord will raise a standard to the nations, it is not meant that this signal shall concern the heathen nations, for Isaiah 11:10 spoke of the calling of the Gentiles; but in the direction of these various abodes of the nations, the sign shall be given to the Israelites.

4. The envy also—land of Egypt.

Isaiah 11:13-16. It might be supposed that, having told of the gathering of the remnant, the Prophet would proceed at once to describe the return. But he does this only at Isaiah 11:15-16. First, the idea of gathering and Revelation -union brings up that of inward unity. He announces that the old enmity between Judah and Ephraim will cease, and that henceforth, both, strong from unity, shall conquer their outward foes. Are “the enemies of Judah” the Ephraimites (the Prophet would say, did the oppressors of Judah appear even among Ephraim, they would be exterminated) then the “envy of Ephraim,” is not the jealousy that Ephraim has, but that of which it is the object. But as the Prophet ascribes to Judah oppression in the second half, after referring to him in the first half as the one oppressed, so in the second half he ascribes envy to Ephraim, after having in the first part described him as the object of envy. There is therefore, an artistic crossing of notions. Israel, harmonious at last, shall at once be superior in strength to all its neighbors. It is very evident here, how the Prophet paints the remotest future with the colors of the present. Still in the period of the reign of peace (comp. too, Isaiah 2:4) he makes Israel take vengeance on his enemies, and subdue them quite in the fashion that, in the Prophet’s time, would be the heart’s desire of a true Theocrat.

The “tongue of the Egyptian sea,” is the Arabian gulf or Reed-gulf, יַם־סוּף ( Exodus 10:19, etc.). “Tongue” לָשׁוֹן of an arm of the sea, like Joshua 15:2; Joshua 15:5; Joshua 18:19. The Euphrates in the second return is to correspond to the Jordan which was so miraculously crossed in the journey out of Egypt (Josh.). The Lord shall wave His hand against it, as it were, adjuring it, and at the same time smite it with the breath of His mouth as with a glowing hot wind, that will dry it up, so that it will separate into seven shallow brooklets, which Israel may walk through in sandals. Thereby, a “fenced way,” (via munitaמְסִלָּה19:23; Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 62:10, etc., comp. Isaiah 7:3) will be prepared for the remnant of Israel out of the Assyrian exile, that will be as glorious as the מסלה on which Israel returned out of Egypt. As for “the remnant,” it must be understood with the same restriction explained Isaiah 10:21 sqq.

[J. A. Alexander, on Isaiah 11:13. A consideration of the history of the enmity of Ephraim against Judah, of the nature of the schism they wrought and maintained in Israel, “explains why the Prophet lays so much more stress upon the envy of Ephraim than upon the enmity of Judah, viz.: because the latter was only the indulgence of an unhallowed feeling, to which, in the other case was superadded open rebellion and apostacy from God. Hence, the first three members of the verse before us speak of Ephraim’s enmity to Judah, and only the fourth of Judah’s enmity to Ephraim; as if it occurred to the Prophet that, although it was Ephraim whose disposition needed chiefly to be changed, yet Judah also had a change to undergo, which is therefore intimated in the last clause, as a kind of after-thought. The envy of Ephraim against Judah shall depart—the enemies of Judah (in the kingdom of the ten tribes) shall be cut off—Ephraim shall no more envy Judah—yes, and Judah in its turn shall cease to vex Ephraim.

Ibid. On Isaiah 11:16. מסלה is a highway as explained by Junius (agger) and Hend. (causey), an artificial road formed by casting up the earth, (from סָלַל to raise) and thus distinguished from a path worn by the feet (דֶּרֶךְ or נְתִיבָה)].

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. On Isaiah 7:1. “Hierosolyma oppugnatur, etc. Jerusalem is assaulted but not conquered. The church is pressed but not oppressed.”—Foerster.

2. On Isaiah 7:2. “Quando ecclesia, etc. When the Church is assaulted and Christ crucified over again in His elect, Rezin and Pekah, Herod and Pilate are wont to form alliance and enter into friendly relations. There are, so to speak, the foxes of Samson, joined indeed by the tails, but their heads are disconnected.”—Foerster.—“He that believes flees not ( Isaiah 28:16). ‘The righteous is bold as a lion’ ( Proverbs 28:1). Hypocrites and those that trust in works (work-saints) have neither reason nor faith. Therefore they cannot by any means quiet their heart. In prosperity they are, indeed, overweening, but in adversity they fall away ( Jeremiah 17:9).” Cramer.

3. On Isaiah 7:9. (“If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”) “Insignis sententia, etc. A striking sentiment that may be adapted generally to all temptation, because all earnest endeavor after anything, as you know, beguiles us in temptation. But only faith in the word of promise makes us abide and makes sure whatever we would execute. He warns Ahaz, therefore, as if he said: I now promise you by the word, it shall be that those two kings shall not hurt you. Believe this word! For if you do not, whatever you afterwards devise will deceive you: because all confidence is vain which is not supported by the word of God.”—Luther.

4. On Isaiah 7:10-12. “Wicked Ahaz pretends to great sanctity in abstaining from asking a sign through fear of God. Thus hypocrites are most conscientious where there is no need for it: on the other hand, when they ought to be humble, they are the most insolent. But where God commands to be bold, one must be bold. For to be obedient to the word is not tempting God. That is rather tempting God when one proposes something without having the word for it. It Isaiah, indeed, the greatest virtue to rest only in the word, and desire nothing more. But where God would add something more than the word, then it must not be thought a virtue to reject it as superfluous. We must therefore exercise such a faith in the word of God that we will not despise the helps that are given in addition to it as aids to faith. For example the Lord offers us in the gospel all that is necessary to salvation. Why then Baptism and the Lord’s Supper? Are they to be treated as superfluous? By no means. For if one believes the word he will at the same time exhibit an entire obedience toward God. We ought therefore to learn to join the sign with the word, for no man has the power to sever the two.

But do you ask: is it permitted to ask God for a sign? We have an example of this in Gideon. Answer: Although Gideon was not told of God to ask a sign, yet he did it by the impulse of the Holy Spirit, and not according to his own fancy. We must not therefore abuse his example, and must be content with the sign that is offered by the Lord. But there are extraordinary signs or miracles, like that of the text, and ordinary ones like Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Yet both have the same object and use. For as Gideon was strengthened by that miraculous event, Song of Solomon, too, are we strengthened by Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, although no miracle appears before our eyes.” Heim and Hoffmann after Luther. Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, also asked the Lord to show him the right wife for Isaac by means of a sign of His own choosing, ( Genesis 24:14).

It ought to be said that this asking a sign (opening the Bible at a venture, or any other book) does not suit Christian perfection ( Hebrews 6:1). A Christian ought to be inwardly sensible of the divine will. He ought to content himself with the guarantees that God Himself offers. Only one must have open eyes and ears for them. This thing of demanding a sign, if it is not directly an effect of superstition ( Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; 1 Corinthians 1:22), is certainly childish, and, because it easily leads to superstitious abuses, it is dangerous.

5. On Isaiah 7:13. “Non caret, etc. That the Prophet calls God his God is not without a peculiar emphasis. In Zechariah 2:12 it is said, that whoever touches the servants of God touches the pupil of God’s eye. Whoever opposes teacher and preacher will have to deal with God in heaven or with the Lord who has put them into office.”—Foerster.

6. On Isaiah 7:14. “The name Immanuel is one of the most beautiful and richest in contents of all the Holy Scripture. ‘God with us’ comprises God’s entire plan of salvation with sinful humanity. In a narrower sense it means ‘God-man’ ( Matthew 1:23), and points to the personal union of divinity and humanity, in the double nature of the Son of God become man. Jesus Christ was a God-with-us, however, in this, that for about 33 years He dwelt among us sinners ( John 1:11; John 1:14). In a deeper and wider sense still He was such by the Immanuel’s work of the atonement ( 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 Timothy 2:3). He will also be such to every one that believes on Him by the work of regeneration and sanctification and the daily renewal of His holy and divine communion of the Spirit ( John 17:23; John 17:26; John 14:19-21; John 14:23). He is such now by His high-priestly and royal administration and government for His whole Church ( Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 7:25). He will be snch in the present time of the Church in a still more glorious fashion ( John 10:16). The entire and complete meaning of the name Immanuel, however, will only come to light in the new earth, and in the heavenly Jerusalem ( Revelation 21:3; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5).”—Wilh. Fried. Roos.

Isaiah 8:7. On Isaiah 8:5 sqq. “Like boastful swimmers despise small and quiet waters, and on the other hand, for the better display of their skill, boast of the great sea and master it, but often are lost in it,—thus, too, did the hypocrites that despised the small kingdom of Judah, and bragged much and great things of the power and splendor of the kingdom of Israel and of the Syrians; such hypocrites are still to be found now-a-days—such that bear in their eye the admiranda Romae, the splendor, riches, power, ceremonies and pomp of the Romish church, and thereupon ‘set their bushel by the bigger-heap.’ It is but the devil’s temptation over again: ‘I will give all this to thee.’ ”—Cramer.—“Fons Siloa,” etc. “The fountain of Siloam, near the temple, daily reminded the Jews that Christ was coming.”—Calvin on John 9:7.

8. On Isaiah 8:10. “When the great Superlatives sit in their council chambers and have determined everything, how it ought to be, and especially how they will extinguish the gospel, then God sends the angel Gabriel to them, who must look through the window and say: nothing will come of it.”—Luther.—“Christ, who is our Immanuel, is with us by His becoming Prayer of Manasseh, for us by His office of Mediator, in us by the work of His sanctification, by us by His personal, gracious presence.”—Cramer.

9. On Isaiah 8:14-15. Christ alone is set by God to be a stone by which we are raised up. That He Isaiah, however, an occasion of offence to many is because of their purpose, petulance and contempt ( 1 Peter 2:8). Therefore we ought to fear lest we take offence at Him. For whoever falls on this stone will shatter to pieces ( Matthew 21:44).” Cramer.

10. On Isaiah 8:16 sqq. He warns His disciples against heathenish superstition, and exhorts them to show respect themselves always to law and testimony. “They must not think that God must answer them by visions and signs, therefore He refers them to the written word, that they may not become altogether too spiritual, like those now-a-days who cry: spirit! spirit! … Christ says, Luke 16 : They have Moses and the prophets, and again John 5:39 : Search the Scriptures. So Paul says, 2 Timothy 3:16 : The Scripture is profitable for doctrine. So says Peter, 2 Peter 1:9 : We have a sure word of prophecy. It is the word that changes hearts and moves them. But revelations puff people up and make them insolent.” Heim and Hoffmann after Luther.

Chap9–11. On Isaiah 9:1 sqq. (2). “Postrema pars, etc. The latter part of chap8 was νομικὴ καὶ ἀπειλητική (legal and threatening) Song of Solomon, on the other hand, the first and best part of chap9 is εὐαγγελικὴ καὶ παραμυθητική, (evangelical and comforting). Thus must ever law and gospel, preaching wrath and grace, words of reproof and words of comfort, a voice of alarm and a voice of peace follow one another in the church.” Foerster.

12. On Isaiah 9:1 (2). Both in the Old Testament and New Testament Christ is often called light. Thus Isaiah calls Him “a light to the gentiles,” Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6. The same Prophet says: “Arise, shine (make thyself light), for thy light is come,” Isaiah 60:1. And again Isaiah 9:19 : “The Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light.” In the New Testament it is principally John that makes use of this expression: “The life was the light of men,” John 1:4, “and the light shined in the darkness,” John 9:5. John was not that light, but bore testimony to the light, John 9:8. “That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” John 9:9. And further: “And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,” John 3:19. “I am the light of the world,” ( John 8:12; John 9:5; comp. John 12:35).

13. On Isaiah 9:1 (2). The people that sit in darkness may be understood to comprise three grades. First, the inhabitants of Zebulon and Naphtali are called so ( Isaiah 8:23), for the Prophet’s gaze is fixed first on that region lying in the extreme end of Palestine, which was neighbor to the heathen and mixed with them, and on this account was held in low esteem by the dwellers in Judah. The night that spreads over Israel in general is darkest there. But all Israel partakes of this night, therefore all Israel, too, may be understood, as among the people sitting in darkness. Finally, no one can deny that this night extends over the borders of Israel to the whole human race. For far as men dwell extends the night which Christ, as light of the world, came to dispel, Luke 1:76 sqq.

14. On Isaiah 9:5 (6). Many lay stress on the notion “child,” inasmuch as they see in that the reason for the reign of peace spoken of afterwards. It is not said a Prayer of Manasseh, a king, a giant is given to us. But this is erroneous. For the child does not remain a child. He becomes a man: and the six names that are ascribed to Him and also the things predicted of His kingdom apply to Him, not as a child, but as a man. That His birth as a child is made prominent, has its reason in this, that thereby His relation to human kind should be designated as an organic one. He does not enter into humanity as a Prayer of Manasseh, i.e. as one whose origin was outside of it, but He was born from it, and especially from the race of David. He is Son of man and Son of David. He is a natural offshoot, but also the crowning bloom of both. Precisely because He was to be conceived, carried and born of a human mother, and indeed of a virgin, this prophecy belongs here as the completion and definition of the two prophetic pictures Isaiah 7:10 sqq.; Isaiah 8:1 sqq.—“He came down from heaven for the sake of us men, and for our bliss ( 1 Timothy 1:15; Luke 2:7). For our advantage: for He undertook not for the seed of angels, but for the seed of Abraham ( Hebrews 2:16). Not sold to us by God out of great love, but given ( Romans 5:15; John 3:16). Therefore every one ought to make an application of the word ‘to us’ to himself, and to learn to say: this child was given to me, conceived for me, born to me.”—Cramer.—“Cur oportuit, etc. Why did it become the Redeemer of human kind to be not merely man nor merely God, but God and man conjoined or θεάνθρωπον? Anselm replies briefly, indeed, but pithily: Deum qui posset, hominem, qui deberet.” Foerster.

15. On Isaiah 9:5 (6). “You must not suppose here that He is to be named and called according to His person, as one usually calls another by his name; but these are names that one must preach, praise and celebrate on account of His Acts, works and office.” Luther.

16. On Isaiah 9:6. “Verba pauca, etc. A few words, but to be esteemed great, not for their number but for their weight.” Augustine.Admirabilis in, etc. Wonderful in birth, counsellor in what He preaches, God in working, strong in suffering, father of the world to come in resurrection, Prince of peace in bliss perpetual.” Bernard of Clairvaux. In reference to “a child is born,” and “a son is given,” Joh. Cocceius remarks in his Heb. Lex. s. v. יֶלֶד: “respectu, etc., in respect to His human nature He is said to be born, and in respect to His divine nature and eternal generation not indeed born, but given, as, John 3:16, it reads God gave His only begotten Son.”

“In the application of this language all depends on the words is born to us, is given to us.” The angels are, in this matter, far from being as blessed as we are. They do not say: To us a Saviour is born this day, but; to you. As long as we do not regard Christ as ours, so long we shall have little joy in Him. But when we know Him as our Wisdom of Solomon, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, as a gift that our heavenly Father designed for us, we will appropriate Him to ourselves in humble faith, and take possession of all His redeeming effects that He has acquired. For giving and taking go together. The Son is given to us; we must in faith receive Him.” J. J. Rambach, Betracht. über das Ev. Esaj, Halle, 1724.

On Isaiah 9:6 (7). “The government is on His shoulders.” “It is further shown how Christ differs in this respect from worldly kings. They remove from themselves the burden of government and lay it on the shoulders of the privy counsellors. But He does not lay His dominion as a burden on any other; He needs no prime minister and vicegerent to help Him bear the burden of administration, but He bears all by the word of His power as He to whom all things are given of the Father. Therefore He says to the house of Jacob ( Isaiah 46:3 sq.): Hearken unto me ye who were laid on my shoulders from your mothers’ womb. I will carry you to old age. I will do it, I will lift, and carry and deliver,—on the contrary the heathen must bear and lift up their idols, ( Isaiah 46:1; Isaiah 46:7).”—Rambach. “In the first place we must keep in mind His first name: He is called Wonderful. This name affects all the following.” “All is wonderful that belongs to this king: wonderfully does He counsel and comfort; wonderfully He helps to acquire and conquer, and all this in suffering and want of strength. (Luther, Jen. germ. Tom. III. Fol. 184 b.). ” “He uses weakness as a means of subduing all things to Himself. A wretched reed, a crown of thorns and an infamous cross, are the weapons of this almighty God, by means of which He achieves such great things. In the second place, He was a hero and conqueror in that just by death, He robbed him of his might who had the power of death, i.e., the devil ( Hebrews 2:14); in that Hebrews, like Samson, buried His enemies with Himself, yea, became poison to death itself, and a plague to hell ( Hosea 13:14) and more gloriously resumed His life so freely laid down, which none of the greatest heroes can emulate.”—Rambach.

17. On Isaiah 9:18 (19) sqq. True friendship can never exist among the wicked. For every one loves only himself. Therefore they are enemies one of another; and they are in any case friends to each other, only as long as it concerns making war on a third party.

Isaiah 10-18. On Isaiah 10:4. (Comp. the same expression in chap10). God’s quiver is well filled. If one arrow does not attain His object, He takes another, and so on, until the rights of God, and justice have conquered.

19. On Isaiah 10:5-7. “God works through men in a threefold way. First, we all live, move and have our being in Him, in that all activity is an outflow of His power. Then, He uses the services of the wicked so that they mutually destroy each other, or He chastises His people by their hand. Of this sort the Prophet speaks here. In the third place, by governing His people by the Spirit of sanctification: and this takes place only in the elect.”—Heim and Hoffmann.

20. On Isaiah 10:5 sqq. “Ad hunc, etc. Such places are to be turned to uses of comfort. Although the objects of temptation vary and enemies differ, yet the effects are the same, and the same spirit works in the pious. We are therefore to learn not to regard the power of the enemy nor our own weakness, but to look steadily and simply into the word, that will assuredly establish our minds that they despair not, but expect help of God. For God will not subdue our enemies, either spiritual or corporal, by might and power, but by weakness, as says the text: my strength is made perfect in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12:9).—Luther.

21. On Isaiah 10:15. “Efficacia agendi penes Deum Esther, homines ministerium tantum praebent. Quare nunc sibilo suo se illos evocaturum minabatur (cap. Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 7:18); nunc instar sagenae sibi fore ad irretiendos, nunc mallei instar ad feriendos Israelitas. Sed praecipue tum declaravit, quod non sit otiosus in illis, dum Sennacherib securim vocat, quae ad secandum manu sua et destinata fuit et impacta. Non male alicubi Augustinus ita definit, quod ipsi peccant, eorum esse; quod peccando hoc vel illud agant, ex virtute Dei esse, tenebras prout visum est dividentis (De praedest Sanctt.).”—Calvin Inst. II:4, 4.

22. On Isaiah 10:20-27. “In time of need one ought to look back to the earlier great deliverances of the children of God, as to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, or later, from the hand of the Midianites. Israel shall again grow out of the yoke.”—Diedrich.

Isaiah 11-23. On Isaiah 11:4. “The staff of His mouth.” “Evidence that the kingdom of Christ will not be like an earthly kingdom, but consist in the power of the word and of the sacraments; not in leathern, golden or silver girdles, but in girdles of righteousness and faith.”—Cramer.

24. On Isaiah 11:10 sqq. If the Prophet honors the heathen in saying that they will come to Christ before Israel, he may be the more readily believed, when Isaiah 11:11 sqq, he gives the assurance that the return out of the first, the Egyptian exile, shall be succeeded by a return out of the second, the Assyrian exile, (taking this word in the wider sense of Isaiah). It is manifest that the return that took place under Zerubbabel and Ezra was only an imperfect beginning of that promised return. For according to our passage this second return can only take place after the Messiah has appeared. Farthermore, all Israelites that belong to “the remnant of Israel,” in whatever land they may dwell, shall take part in it. It will be, therefore, a universal, not a partial return. If now the Prophet paints this return too with the colors of the present ( Isaiah 11:13 sqq.), still that is no reason for questioning the reality of the matter. Israel will certainly not disappear, but arise to view in the church of the new covenant. But if the nation is to be known among the nations as a whole, though no more as a hostile contrast, but in fraternal harmony, why then shall not the land, too, assume a like position among the lands? But the nation can neither assume its place among nations, nor the land its place among lands, if they are not both united: the people Israel in the land of their fathers.

25. On Isaiah 11 “We may here recall briefly the older, Song of Solomon -called spiritual interpretation. Isaiah 11:1-5 were understood of Christ’s prophetic office that He exercised in the days of His flesh, then of the overthrow of the Roman Empire and of Antichrist, who was taken to be the Pope. But the most thorough-going of those old expositors must acknowledge, at Isaiah 11:4, that the Antichrist is not yet enough overthrown, and must be yet more overthrown. If such is the state of the case, then this interpretation is certainly false, for Isaiah 11:4 describes not a gradual judgment, but one accomplished at once. There have been many Antichrists, and among the Popes too, but the genuine Antichrist described 2 Thessalonians2, is yet to be expected, and also the fulfillment of Isaiah 11:4 of our chapter. Thereby is proved at the same time that the peaceful state of things in the brute world and the return of the Jews to their native land are still things of the future, for they must happen in that period when the Antichristian world, and its head shall be judged by Christ. But then, too, the dwelling together of tame and wild beasts is not the entrance of the heathen into the church, to which they were heretofore hostile, and the return of the Jews is not the conversion of a small part of Israel that took place at Pentecost and after. The miracles and signs too, contained in Isaiah 11:15-16 did not take place then. We see just here how one must do violence to the word if he will not take it as it stands. But if we take it as we have done, then the whole chapter belongs to the doctrine of hope (Hoffnungslehre) of the Scripture, and constitutes an important member of it. The Lord procures right and room for His church. He overthrows the world-kingdom, together with Antichrist. He makes of the remnant of Israel a congregation of believers filled with the Spirit, to whom He is near in an unusual way, and from it causes His knowledge to go out into all the world. He creates peace in the restless creatures, and shows us here in advance what more glorious things we may look for in the new earth. He presents to the world a church which, united in itself, unmolested by neighbors, stands under God’s mighty protection. All these facts are parts of a chain of hope that must be valuable and dear to our hearts. The light of this future illumines the obscurity of the present; the comfort of that day makes the heart fresh.” Weber, der Prophet Jesaja, 1875.

Chap12–26. On Isaiah 12:4 sq. “These will not be the works of the New Testament: sacrificing and slaying, and make pilgrimage to Jerusalem and to the Holy Sepulchre, but praising God and giving thanks, preaching and hearing, believing with the heart and confessing with the mouth. For to praise our God is good; such praise is pleasant and lovely” ( Psalm 147:1). Cramer.

27. On Chap12 “With these words conclude the prophetic discourses on Immanuel. Through what obscurity of history have we not had to go, until we came to the bright light of the kingdom of Christ! How Israel and the nations had to pass through the fire of judgment before the sun arises in Israel and the entire gentile world is illumined! It is the, same way that every Christian has to travel. In and through the fire we become blessed. Much must be burnt up in us, before we press to the full knowledge of God and of His Song of Solomon, before we become entirely one with Him, entirely glad and joyful in Him. Israel was brought up and is still brought up for glory, and we too. O that our end too were such a psalm of praise as this psalm!” Weber, Der Pr. Jes. 1875.

Footnotes:

FN#12 - Heb. glory.

FN#13 - acquire.

FN#14 - Heb. wings.

FN#15 - borders.

FN#16 - against.

FN#17 - viz, the Philistines, Seaward.

FN#18 - Heb. the children of the east.

FN#19 - Heb. Edom, and Moab shall be the laying on of their hand.

FN#20 - Heb. The children of Ammon their obedience.

FN#21 - their subjects.

FN#22 - banish.

FN#23 - with the glowing puff of his breath.

FN#24 - into seven brooklets.

FN#25 - Heb. in shoes.

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 11:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/isaiah-11.html. 1857-84.

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Friday, October 18th, 2019
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