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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 54

 

 

Verses 1-17

LIV. Zion shall be Restored to her Place as Yahweh's Wife, Never again to be Rejected.—The poet pictures Zion as a barren wife, left desolate by her husband. Let her break into transports of joy, for Yahweh promises that her children shall yet be more than the children of a wife not deserted—so many that her tent must be enlarged. He bids her "stretch forth her tent-hangings" (so LXX), without stint lengthening the cords and strengthening the tent-pegs to support the larger tent. For Zion's inhabitants shall overflow south and north, overrunning other nations and peopling the deserted cities. Let Zion not blush for shame: the shame of her early days as Yahweh's bride—the Egyptian captivity—and her widowhood—the exile, when her husband, Yahweh, forsook her—shall be forgotten. For Yahweh has called her to Him, as a husband summons to his favour a wife neglected and dejected—the Heb. "forsaken and grieved" is an assonance. A wife of youth—that she should be utterly rejected! it cannot be (such seems to be the meaning) saith thy God. The underlying idea is that of a wife in a harem, neglected for other wives, to whom, as his first bride, the husband inevitably returns. The time of exile shall seem but a moment when Zion looks back from the standpoint of the exiles gathered in their mother city. In anger (delete "overflowing") He has turned from her, but with everlasting kindness He will compassionate her. His promise is like that He made in the days (mg.) of Noah, that never again should a deluge come, more steadfast than the "everlasting hills."

Isaiah 54:3. Heb. uses right and left where we use "south" and "north."

Isaiah 54:5. Probably a gloss.

Isaiah 54:11-17. The Glories of the New Jerusalem.—Yahweh pictures for the disconsolate Zion the beauties of the rebuilt city. He will set her bases (so read for "stones") in malachite (so emending "fair colours"), her foundations in sapphires. Her pinnacles shah be rubies, her gates carbuncles, her encircling wall of precious stones. All the builders of the state (Yahweh Himself rebuilds the city) shall be instructed by Yahweh; her prosperity and welfare shall be great and permanent. She shall be far from being oppressed, for there shall be nought for her to fear (Isaiah 54:15 is a gloss capable of many translations; the general idea is that Zion's enemies shall be conquered), because Yahweh hath made equally the smith who as a matter of craftsmanship (so render "for his work") forges weapons, and the destroying tyrant who uses them on his ravaging expeditions, and having created them to serve His purposes can control them. No weapon can be forged that shall hurt Zion: her enemy in the court of justice she shall prove to be in the wrong (Isaiah 54:17 b is a gloss. Read mg.).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 54:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/isaiah-54.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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