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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Isaiah 62

 

 

Verse 1

ISAIAH CHAPTER 62

A prayer of the watchmen for the church in confidence of God’s gracious designs and promises to it.

For Zion’s sake, viz. the church’s sake; Zion and Jerusalem being both put for the church, Hebrews 12:22.

Will I not hold my peace: these seem to be the words of the prophet, strongly resolving, notwithstanding all difficulties, to solicit God for the church’s happiness, and constantly excite to the belief of it by his preaching, though it were long ere it came, for Isaiah lived near two hundred years before this was accomplished; but his prophecy lived, and the tenor of it was continued by other prophets, whom the Lord stirred up to be still establishing his people till this salvation was wrought: his meaning might be, as long as he lived he would never hold his peace; or he might include himself among those who should be then alive, as Paul doth among the other saints, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, we which are alive. Thus may we also include God speaking these words, as some would have it, viz. by the mouth of Isaiah, and other of his holy prophets, that never held their peace, till they saw this blessed state of the church appear.

Until the righteousness: with reference to the Babylonians, understand it of the righteousness of God, who hath promised his people deliverance, and he must be righteous, and so understand salvation before; or rather the vindicating of his people’s cause in the eyes of the nations by the ruin of the Babylonians; he will show that his people have a righteous cause: or with reference to the church, till Christ, who is her righteousness, shall appear and be manifested in the gospel.

Go forth as brightness; clearing up their miserable and dark estate, which the church might be supposed to be in before Christ’s coming, with much joy and happiness.

As a lamp that burneth; and to that purpose is set up where it may be seen continually, to signify how eminently conspicuous this prosperous estate of the church should be among the nations, and as it may particularly relate to revealing of Christ unto the world.


Verse 2

Thy righteousness: see what is said in the foregoing verse: some read, thy Just One, viz. Jesus Christ. Kings, those that were wont to scorn thee, shall now’ be taken with the admiration of thy glory.

Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name; not the seed of Abraham, or the children of Israel, but of God; that whereas they were by nature the children of wrath, now by grace they shall be the children of God. Or, another name, as it is said of tongues. Compare Mark 16:17, with Acts 2:4. Or, a name, the honour whereof shall make them famous, as Genesis 11:4; they shall be called Christians. Or, the church shall be more renowned than ever, both in respect of her condition, and so called Hephzi-bah; and of her relation, and so called Beulah; and this new name the Lord gives them accordingly, Isaiah 62:4.


Verse 3

A crown of glory; an expression to set forth the dignity of her state.

In the hand of the Lord, i.e. either as placed upon thee by God’s hand, that he will dispose of or dispense to thee; a usual form of speech in Scripture, as Haggai 1:1, by the hand of Haggai: so Malachi 1:1. Or, in the hand of God; he shall so manage thine honourable estate, that thou shalt be a crown, a credit, and honour to him; and so the word crown may be used for any kind of ornament, or matter of honour. Or, preserved and defended by God’s hand; a phrase that expresseth it to be out of all danger, as to put a man’s life in his hands is to expose it to dangers, Jude 12:3 1 Samuel 19:5 28:21.

A royal diadem; the same thing with the former for substance. Or, the royal priesthood, whereof the apostle speaks, 1 Peter 2:9.


Verse 4

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; as a woman forsaken by her husband, contemptible, and of low esteem.

Neither shall thy land, i.e. the inhabitants of the land, a metonymy of the subject,

any more be termed Desolate; though it be now almost void of inhabitants, it shall be impeopled again.

Thou shalt be called, i.e. be, as you have frequently had such instances.

Hephzi-bah; My delight is in her; a new name, agreeing with her new condition.

Beulah;

Married, agreeing to her new relation; she shall be as one well married, to the great improvement of her state, Jeremiah 3:14 Hosea 2:18-20.

Thy land shall be married; thou shalt see the increase of thy children again in thy land, as the fruit of thy married condition, which by reason of thy being forsaken of thy husband were in a manner wasted and decayed; and this refers to the great enlargement of the church in the gospel days. Or rather, shall be possessed, as the word baal properly signifies; and so it answers to desolate, Thou shalt be no more desolate, but possessed; and this helps to solve a difficulty in the next verse, which otherwise may seem an impropriety, that the sons would marry the mother.


Verse 5

As a young man marrieth a virgin: this is delivered as a demonstration of what was said in the close of the 4th verse; and it is said young and virgin to note their suitableness; not old and young, but such as may delight each in other, signifying that mutual content that would be in all parties; thus it was at the first preaching of the gospel, Acts 2:41-47.

So shall thy sons marry thee. Whereas it is improbable that the Spirit of God should carry on so sacred a prophecy by a similitude so abhorrent to nature, the son should marry the mother, the scruple is easily satisfied by taking the word in its right signification, to possess, as in the foregoing verse, reading it thus, As a young man marrieth or possesseth a virgin, so shall thy land be inhabited or possessed by thy sons; they shall dwell with thee as a man dwells with his wife; and thus the LXX. And it is said sons, to distinguish them from strangers, by whom she should not any longer be inhabited, but by her own natives; and expressed by marrying, to signify not only their unity of affection in the evenness of their living, but of faith in their common profession, called the common faith, Titus 1:4, according to which Paul calls Titus his son.

As the bridegroom rejoiceth, taketh delight in her; so shall thy God, viz. Christ, God and man, in thee: see Isaiah 62:4. Christ is often called a bridegroom, and his church a bride, 2 Corinthians 11:2 Revelation 21:2,9.


Verse 6

Watchmen; understand by these, either,

1. Angels, as they are called, Daniel 4:13,23. Or

2. Magistrates: see Isaiah 56:10, or rather,

3. Ministers. When once the church shall be restored again, God will undertake for its safety and protection, partly by magistracy, and partly by ministry, whom he here by a metaphorical allegory calls watchmen; but the next words seem principally to intimate spiritual watchmen, thy spiritual safety, Hebrews 13:17, and said to be upon the walls, as being thence able to espy dangers at the greater distance, Song of Solomon 1:7.

Which shall never hold their peace day nor night; there shall be a most vigilant and industrious ministry, their constancy being intimated by day and night, either in praying, or teaching, Or warning, this being their office.

That make mention, i.e. are his servants. To make mention of one is, according to the Hebrew phrase, to be servant to him of whom we make mention, Isaiah 26:13. And here especially are meant his servants in ordinary, his remembrancers; either such as put God in mind of his promise, like such officers that great men have about them on purpose to mind them of the public affairs; or such as make the Lord to be remembered, putting his people in mind of him.

Keep not silence: this seems to be the charge that he gives to his watchmen, that they never prove remiss or negligent.


Verse 7

Give him no rest; the same with the foregoing verse, and very acceptable to God, Luke 11:8-10.

Till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth, by sending the Messiah and those labourers into his vineyard, whereby the church may be established and settled on sure foundations, and so become matter of praise to God. All the nations may praise him for her, Psalms 67:3,4. Or, that she may be praised, and become renowned and famous in the eyes of the world: see Isaiah 40:9 61:9,11.


Verse 8

This and the next verse are much to the same purpose, wherein the prophet, to encourage them to their industrious endeavours, tells them that the Lord had

sworn to see to the prosperity of Jerusalem; and he names the

hand, to signify his faithfulness, as the giving of our hand notes our fidelity; and arm, to signify his power,

the arm of his strength, i.e. his strong arm: these being eminently to be engaged and put forth for his people, he swears by them.

Surely I will no more give; or, If I give; a usual aposiopesis; an abrupt form of swearing, implying something of an imprecation, as great as can be expressed: q.d. Never account me faithful or almighty, if I accomplish not this.

The sons of the stranger: see Isaiah 61:5.

Shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: the meaning is, That meat, and drink, and all necessaries that thou hast laboured for, the Babylonians took away from thee; but now it shall be so no more, he will not give thee up to the will of thine enemies.


Verse 9

They that have gathered it, i.e. the wine mentioned in the former verse, that have brought it from their several vineyards, and laid it in their cellars, every one shall eat the fruit of his own labours; thou shalt not sow, and another reap, as formerly.

And praise the Lord; they themselves shall praise him, viz. for his bounty and goodness; and others also that shall be partakers with them; God will be bountiful, and they shall be thankful. In the courts of my holiness; as I have commanded, Deuteronomy 14:23;

in my courts; holiness being put for God himself by a metonymy of the adjunct; alluding to those anniversary feasts and thank-offerings that were to be eaten in those places about the temple, and perhaps in special to that part which was appropriated to the priests, implying herein that they should be all priests; and, for aught I know, here may be an allusion to the great gospel feast, or thank-offering in the Lord’s supper, these promises being not only applicable to, but do point at, the soul protections and the soul provisions of the church of Christ.


Verse 10

Go through, go through the gates; it is doubled by way of emphasis: q.d. Make haste to your own land; as if Cyrus should say, Get you out of captivity as soon as you will, Isaiah 48:20. Or it may intimate an invitation issued out from them at Jerusalem to those that were scattered about in the captivity; therein possibly typifying the going of Christ’s disciples into the various parts of the world, to bring those that were scattered up and down into the church. Or, Go meet the Gentiles, whom God purposeth to bring into the church, that by pure doctrine and your holy lives they may be the sooner won. Prepare ye the way; let them not have any obstructions in their way: he seems to call upon others to prepare the way for them; thus John was sent to prepare the way for Christ, as was prophesied, Isa 40 3; accordingly it is ordered to be

cast up: see Isaiah 57:14. Gather out the stones, that there be no stumbling-stone or offence in their way; or, q.d. Go to and fro, and remove every scandal that they may boggle at, Romans 14:13. The former notes the certainty of their deliverance, harbingers sent before; this the speed of it, no impediment.

Lift up a standard; an allusion to soldiers, that usually set up their standard, that the army may know whither to repair from all quarters; see Isaiah 49:22; and lifting of it up is, that it may be more visible; see Isaiah 11:10-12; and this is Christ held forth in the preaching of the gospel.

For the people; or, over the people.


Verse 11

The Lord hath proclaimed: this may be understood of Cyrus’s proclamation, being thereunto directed by God: see 2 Chronicles 36:22, &c.

To the daughter of Zion, i.e. to Jerusalem, or the church: the sum of which proclamation is in the, following words.

Thy salvation cometh; either,

1. The time of it is come, Isaiah 56:1 60:1. Or rather,

2. The person that effects it, thy Saviour, by a metonymy of the efficient, Luke 2:30.

His work, i.e. the reward due to the work, the same thing with the former: See Poole "Isaiah 40:10". Or, his work is ready cut out for him which he is to do. Or, he will industriously set himself about the work that is before him, John 4:34; and he is said to bring it with him, viz. the reward that he will give to his true worshippers; or, he brings eternal salvation with him, or the reward of redemption, which is the subject of the next chapter.


Verse 12

They shall call them, The holy people; or, they shall be called, or they shall be, a peculiar, separate people, Isaiah 4:3.

Sought out; or, one found that was lost: see Ezekiel 34:16. Or, sought out, or for, or one in great esteem, one that the Gentiles should seek to join themselves withal, so as to be one church with her. That reproach should be wiped off from her, that this is Zion whom no man seeketh after, Jeremiah 30:17. Or, cared. for, viz. by God, whom he hath out of infinite love gathered to himself.

A city not forsaken: see Isaiah 62:4. The meaning is, that thus they shall esteem the gospel church; she shall be accosted With such salutations as these are,

the holy people, the

redeemed of the Lord, & c.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 62:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-62.html. 1685.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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