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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Isaiah 12

 

 

Verses 1-6

3. ISRAEL’S SONG OF PRAISE FOR THE WRATH AND GRACE OF HIS GOD

Isaiah 12:1-6

1 And in that day thou shalt say,

O Lord, I will praise thee:

[FN1]Though thou was angry with me, [FN2]thine anger is turned away,

And thou comfortedst me.

2 Behold, God is my salvation;

I will trust, and not be afraid:

For the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song;

He also is become my salvation.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation 4 And in that day shall ye say,

Praise the Lord,

[FN3]Call upon his name,

Declare his doings among the people,

Make mention that his name is exalted.

5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things:

This is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, thou [FN4]inhabitant of Zion:

For great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

On Isaiah 12:1. יָשֹׁב וגו. I do not think that this period can be construed paratactically; for then it must read וַתָּֽשָׁב וַתְּנַ‍‍‍‍ֽחֲמֵנִי.——Isaiah never uses אָנַף. This word is probably an allusion to 1 Kings 8:46, where Solomon in his prayer of dedication says: “If they sin against thee, and thou be angry with them, וְאָנַפתָּ בָם.” Comp. Psalm 60:3.

On Isaiah 12:2. ישׁועתי is very frequent both in Isa. ( Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 33:2; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 51:8; Isaiah 56:1, etc.), and in the Psalm ( Psalm 62:2; Psalm 88:2; Psalm 89:27, etc. It occurs three times in our chapter, Isaiah 12:2, bis, and Isaiah 12:3.—אבטח and אפהר form a paronomasia.——לא אפחד recalls Psalm 27:1 (יי׳ מָעוֹז־חַיַּי מִמִּי אֶפְחַד). The entire second clause of Isaiah 12:2 is borrowed from the triumphal song of Moses, of which we were reminded before by קְנוֹת Isaiah 11:1. Comp. Psalm 118:14. Only it may be noticed that in our passage, as if to excel the original (Delitzsch), the two divine names יה יחוה stand in the form of a climax ascendens.——יהָּ is an abbreviation of יהוה peculiar to poetry. It occurs first Exodus 15:2; Exodus 17:16. Beside the text, it occurs Isaiah 26:4, as here joined with יהוה and Isaiah 38:11, where יה is put double. Beside these instances the word is found only in the Psalm and in Song of Solomon 8:6.——זִמְרָת abbreviated instead of זמרתי would not be Hebrew. The suffix in עזי applies also to זמרת; both appear thereby as one notion. Comp. Ewald, § 339 b.

On Isa 12:3. שׂשׂון Isa 22:13; Isa 35:10; Isa 51:3; Isa 51:11; Isa 61:1.—מעינות Isa 41:18.

On Isaiah 12:4. The words הודו to עלילתיו occur word for word, Psalm 105:1; 1 Chronicles 16:8.—נשׂגב שׁמו. Comp. Psalm 148:13 : כִּי נִשְׂגָּב שְׁמוֹ לְבֵדּוֹ which words appear to have arisen from a combination of our passage and Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 2:17.

On Isaiah 12:5. זמרו, too, is an expression borrowed from the poetry of the Pss. where alone it occurs sometimes with לְ sometimes as here with the accus.; Psalm 47:7; Psalm 68:5; Psalm 68:33. גאות is an expression of Isaiah; comp. Isaiah 9:17.——K’thibh מְיֻדַּעַת, K’ri מוּדַעַת. The Pual participle is found only in the plural with suffixes, meaning: “acquaintance,” amicus ( Psalm 55:14; 88:9, 19; 31:12; Job 19:14; 2 Kings 10:11). As our chapter evinces so much borrowing from the language of the Psalm, I prefer K’thibh. In respect, to sense, there is no difference. תְּהִי is a verb easily supplied after מידעת. The feminine may refer to גאות or be construed neuter, and so more generally. The latter is perhaps the better.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

1. The Prophet concludes his grand prophecy against Assyria with a short doxology. It has two subdivisions, both of which begin with the words: “and thou shalt ( Isaiah 12:4 : ye shall) say in that day.” Both are joined by a brief prophetic middle term ( Isaiah 12:3). The first comprises six, the second seven members. In the first part Israel speaks in the singular (corresponding to “thou wilt say”), “I will thank the Lord,” etc. ( Isaiah 12:1). After this expression of a proper sentiment, and, as it were, in response to the hope expressed in Isaiah 12:2, the promise of Isaiah 12:3 is given. After this interpretation comes the second summons, expressed in the plural. Corresponding to this Israel speaks in the plural, manifesting not merely its subjective disposition, but summoning to a general participation in it. Hence follow only imperatives, seven members, in elevated strain. And this little passage, so full of sentiment and art, according to Ewald, cannot be Isaiah’s genuine writing! Fortunately he is quite alone in the opinion.

2. And in that day——my salvation.

Isaiah 12:1-2. “In that day” points to the future—when all that has been foretold shall have been fulfilled (comp. Isaiah 11:10-11). Then shall Israel say “I will praise thee” (אודך יי׳) that is an original expression of David’s, and thereafter of frequent occurrence in the Psalm; 2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:50; 30:13; Psalm 35:18; 43:4; 52:11, etc. But the first thing for which Israel is to return thanks is that the Lord was angry with him—that He has punished him.—[See on the construction Text. and Gram. J. A. Alexander remarks here: “The apparent incongruity of thanking God because He was angry is removed by considering that the subject of the thanksgiving is the whole complex idea expressed in the remainder of the verse, of which God’s being angry is only one element. It was not simply because God was angry that the people praise Him, but because He was angry and His anger ceased. The same mode of expression is used by Paul in Greek, when he says ( Romans 5:17): “But God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have from the heart obeyed,” etc. The particle but seems to be necessary to rendering our text into English.—Tr.] The holy anger of God is but a manifestation of His love, and he is as much to be thanked for His anger as for His love.

When, too, the turning of this wrath takes place, Israel may pray for the lasting continuance of favor and grace. That the Masorets also construed as we do (vid Text. and Gram.) appears from the Athnach.

3. Therefore ye shall——of salvation.

Isaiah 12:3. These words appear to be a response to the expression of believing trust that we find in Isaiah 12:2. That Isaiah, richly and endlessly ye shall partake of salvation. At the Feast of the Tabernacles water was drawn from the fountain of Siloam for a drink-offering. From the priest that so brought it with solemnity into the temple, another took it, and, while doing Song of Solomon, used the words of our text. Comp. in a Bib. Dict. art. Feast of Tabernacles. [This ceremony originated at a period long after Isaiah’s time.—Tr.]

4. And in that day——midst of thee.

Isaiah 12:4-6. The second stage of the song. “Ye shall draw” leads the Prophet to proceed in the plural number. Excepting the change of number the words are the same as Isaiah 12:1. Thus, too, the verbs of the following two verses are in the plural. Notice, at the same time, that they are imperatives. From this it is seen that Israel no longer makes a subjective confession like Isaiah 12:1, but demands a participation in his faith: Jehovah shall be proclaimed to all the world.

The last ver. (6) is distinguished from the foregoing by the verbs being no longer in the plural, but “the returned” of Israel are addressed in the singular. This, too, doubtless, is no accident. In Isaiah 12:4-5 the word goes out to the wide world: all nations must be taught; the majestic deeds of Jehovah must be made known to the whole earth. It seems to me that the Prophet would wish not to conclude with this look into the measureless expanse, but would rather fix his eyes, to conclude, on the beloved form of the inhabitant [fem. Germ. Bürgerin] of Zion (the expression only here in Isaiah).

All honor and all salvation of Zion rest in this, that it has the Lord in the midst of it as its living and personal shield and fountain of life.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - That.

FN#2 - let thine anger, etc.

FN#3 - Or, Proclaim his name.

FN#4 - Heb. inhabitress.

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.

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 12:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/isaiah-12.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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