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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 25:6

The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine.
New American Standard Version
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  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
  2. Coffman Commentaries on the Bible
  3. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
  4. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
  5. Calvin's Commentary on the Bible
  6. Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
  7. Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
  8. John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
  9. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  10. Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
  11. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
  12. Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
  13. F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary
  14. Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
  15. G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible
  16. John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
  17. Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
  18. Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
  19. Geneva Study Bible
  20. George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
  21. Ironside's Notes on Selected Books
  22. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
  23. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
  24. The People's Bible by Joseph Parker
  25. Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
  26. John Trapp Complete Commentary
  27. Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary
  28. Kingcomments on the Whole Bible
  29. The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann
  30. Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical
  31. Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture
  32. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible
  33. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible
  34. Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible
  35. Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible
  36. Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
  37. Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary
  38. Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
  39. Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
  40. Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
  41. The Biblical Illustrator
  42. The Biblical Illustrator
  43. The Biblical Illustrator
  44. Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible
  45. Expositor's Bible Commentary
  46. Expositor's Bible Commentary
  47. The Pulpit Commentaries
  48. Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
  49. Wesley's Explanatory Notes
  50. Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Fat;   Jesus, the Christ;   Lees;   Refining;   Salvation;   Wine;   Thompson Chain Reference - Feasts;   Food, Physical-Spiritual;   Food, Spiritual;   Lees;   Spiritual;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Wine;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lees;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Grapes;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Hospitality;   Lord's Supper, the;   Suffering;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Church;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lees;   Wine;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Lees;   Wine;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Fulfill;   Isaiah;   Lees;   Marrow;   Salvation;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Branch;   Isaiah, Book of;   Wine and Strong Drink;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lord's Supper (Ii);   Meals;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Fat;   Lees;   Prophets, the;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Marrow;   Mount;   Wine;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Lees;   Wine;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Banquets;   Lees,;   Wine;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fat;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Lion;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eschatology of the Old Testament (with Apocryphal and Apocalyptic Writings);   Intercession;   Isaiah;   Marrow;   Meals;   Refiner;   Wine;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Eschatology;   Immortality of the Soul;   Judgment, Divine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In this mountain - Zion, at Jerusalem. In his Church.

Shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast - Salvation by Jesus Christ. A feast is a proper and usual expression of joy in consequence of victory, or any other great success. The feast here spoken of is to be celebrated on Mount Sion; and all people, without distinction, are to be invited to it. This can be no other than the celebration of the establishment of Christ's kingdom, which is frequently represented in the Gospel under the image of a feast; "where many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven;" Matthew 8:11. See also Luke 14:16; Luke 24:29, Luke 24:30. This sense is fully confirmed by the concomitants of this feast expressed in the next verse, the removing of the veil from the face of the nations, and the abolition of death: the first of which is obviously and clearly explained of the preaching of the Gospel; and the second must mean the blessing of immortality procured for us by Christ, "who hath abolished death, and through death hath destroyed him that had the power of death."

Of wines on the lees "Of old wines" - Hebrews lees; that is, of wines kept long on the lees. The word used to express the lees in the original signifies the preservers; because they preserve the strength and flavor of the wine. "All recent wines, after the fermentation has ceased, ought to be kept on their lees for a certain time, which greatly contributes to increase their strength and flavor. Whenever this first fermentation has been deficient, they will retain a more rich and sweet taste than is natural to them in a recent true vinous state; and unless farther fermentation is promoted by their lying longer on their own lees, they will never attain their genuine strength and flavor, but run into repeated and ineffectual fermentations, and soon degenerate into a liquor of an acetous kind. All wines of a light and austere kind, by a fermentation too great, or too long continued, certainly degenerate into a weak sort of vinegar; while the stronger not only require, but will safely bear a stronger and often-repeated fermentation; and are more apt to degenerate from a defect than excess of fermentation into a vapid, ropy, and at length into a putrescent state." Sir Edward Barry, Observations on the Wines of the Ancients, p. 9, 10.

Thevenot observes particularly of the Shiras wine, that, after it is refined from the lees, it is apt to grow sour.

"Il a beaucoup de lie; c'est pourquoi il donne puissemment dans la teste; et pour le rendre plus traitable on le passe par un chausse d'hypocras; apres quoi il est fort clair, et moins fumeux. Ils mettent ce vin dans des grandes jarres de terres qui tiennent dix ou douze jusqu'a quatorze carabas: mais quand l'on a entame une jarre, il faut la vuider au plutost, et mettre le vin qu'on en tire dans des bouteilles ou carabas; car si l'on y manque en le laissant quelque tems apres que la jarre est entamee il se gate et s'aigrit." Voyages, Tom. 2 p. 245.

"It has much sediment, and therefore is intoxicating. In order to make it more mellow, they strain it through a hypocrates' sleeve, after which it is very clear and less heady. They lay up this wine in great earthen jars, which hold from ten to fourteen carabas: but when a jar is unstopped, it is necessary to empty it immediately, and put the wine into bottles, or carabas; for if it be left thus in the jar, it will spoil and become acid."

The caraba, or girba, is a goat's skin drawn off from the animal, having no apertures but those occasioned by the tail, the feet, and the neck. One opening is left, to pour in and draw off the liquor. This skin goes through a sort of tanning process, and is often beautifully ornamented, as is the case with one of these girbas now lying before me.

This clearly explains the very elegant comparison, or rather allegory, of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 48:11; where the reader will find a remarkable example of the mixture of the proper with the allegorical, not uncommon with the Hebrew poets: -

"Moab hath been at ease from his youth,

And he hath settled upon his lees;

Nor hath he been drawn off from vessel to vessel,

Neither hath he gone into captivity:

Wherefore his taste remaineth in him,

And his flavor is not changed."

Sir John Chardin's MS. note on this place of Jeremiah is as follows:

"On change ainsi le vin de coupe en coupe en Orient; et quand on en entame une, il faut la vuider en petites coupes ou bouteilles, sans quoy il s'aigrit."

"They change the wine from vessel to vessel in the east; and when they unstop a large one, it is necessary to empty it into small vessels, as otherwise it will grow sour."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-25.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"And in this mountain will Jehovah of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that covereth all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He hath swallowed up death forever; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it."

"In this mountain ..." (Isaiah 25:6). This refers back to Isaiah 24:23 and means mount Zion, that is, Jerusalem. Part of these verses refer to the literal, earthly Jerusalem, because there is where Jesus was crucified, and that was the occasion when he destroyed death by giving his life on the Cross. On the other hand, the feast of good things for the "peoples (not people) of "all" nations is prophesied as a blessing of the Messianic kingdom, the spiritual mount Zion, the heavenly New Jerusalem.

This is one of the grandest and most wonderful passages in all the Word of God, and except for one other reference (Hosea 13:14), the very first reference to the abolition of death in all the Bible.

The feast of good things for God's people is treated first. The mention of wine "on the lees, well refined" is of interest. "Leaving, wine on the lees heightened its flavor and made it stronger."[9] However, this also tended to cloud the wine with sediment; but the expression "well refined" showed that the Prophet was here promising the very best wine possible. We should not consider the heavenly feast in a literal, sensuous way at all. These delicious things are symbols of a whole family of enjoyments and delights which men cannot know until they get to heaven. There are echoes of Isaiah 2:2-4 here.

"The veil that is spread over all nations ..." (Isaiah 25:7) This is a Hebraism explaining what is meant by the "face of the covering that covereth all peoples," and explained even further by the following verse, "He hath swallowed up death forever." Scholars do not agree on what is meant by the destruction of the "veil," Hailey thinks that it was the veil mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16.[10] Dummelow stated that, "The face of the covering, etc. is put symbolically for the destruction of death,"[11] thus making `the face of the covering that covereth all peoples' and the `veil that is spread over all nations' parallel to each other and both of them meaning death itself. We believe that both of these scholars are correct. One cannot read this without being aware of the veil of the temple and the rending of it from the top to the bottom upon the occasion of Jesus' crucifixion.

THE VEIL

That veil of the temple was a symbol: (1) of Christ himself (Hebrews 10:19-22); (2) of death, as indicated by its location (symbolically) between the church (the sanctuary) and heaven (the Holy of Holies); (3) of equality among God's children, since it separated between the High Priest and the lesser priests; (4) of the veil of darkness that prevents unbelievers from understanding the Old Testament; and (5) of the law of Moses, being actually the pivotal instrument in that whole system. These are some of the symbolical connotations of the veil of the temple, the most significant fact about that veil being that it was "rent in twain." It is in that second condition of the veil, that is, after it was rent, that it symbolized Christ's entering in "through death" into that which is beyond the veil (Hebrews 6:19); it symbolized the opening of a new and living way for all men to be saved (Hebrews 10:20); it symbolized the destruction of death as stated by Isaiah in this very chapter; and it symbolized the opening up and clarification of countless passages in the Old Testament, which cannot ever be understood apart from their connection with Jesus Christ. Christ alone is indeed the "Key to the Scriptures." (See more complete discussion of all this in my New Testament Series, Vol. 10, pp. 172-174.)

Dummelow noted that Isaiah 25:8 reads, "He hath swallowed up death in victory." He further stated that this rendition is supported by a number of early Greek versions and by the apostle Paul's quotation of this place in 1 Corinthians 15:54."[12] Also, it is of great significance that in that very passage Paul also quoted Hosea 13:14, "O death where is thy victory; O death where is thy sting," that marvelous passage which precedes this one chronologically has been butchered and perverted by the translators of the so-called Good News Bible, to read as follows:

"Bring on your plagues, death!

Bring on your destruction, world of the dead!

I will no longer have pity on this people." (Hosea 13:14)

This is one of the most diabolical mistranslations of God's Word! It is no translation, but a contradictory change of the meaning, entitling this so-called Good News Bible to be entitled a corrupt Bible, no Bible at all, but a book that gives what scholars think God should have said, instead of what he actually said. Add to this the fact that the inspired apostle Paul's proper rendition of the passage in his quotation is also denied and contradicted at the same time!

Why? it may be asked did translators take such liberties with God's Word. The answer is that they did so upon the same premise that Satan used when he contradicted God's Word to Eve. Oh yes, they have a silly dictum, one of the crooked rules enforced in infidel seminaries, that the same prophet could not possibly have pronounced cursing and blessings in the same prophecy, and certainly not in the same paragraph. Thus, they affirmed that what the critics wrote is "more likely" to have been what Hosea thought than what is found in the sacred text!. Now, of course, that crooked rule would destroy the words of Christ himself who mentioned heaven and hell in the same line, and also the wide gate and broad way to destruction, along with the strait gate and the narrow way to life eternal in the very same verse. Christian people should be diligently aware of what evil men are trying to do to the word of God.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-25.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And in this mountain - In mount Zion, that is, in Jerusalem. The following verses undoubtedly refer to the times of the Messiah. Several of the expressions used here are quoted in the New Testament, showing that the reference is to the Messiah, and to the fact that his kingdom would commence in Jerusalem. and then extend to all people.

Shall the Lord of hosts - (See the note at Isaiah 1:9.)

Make unto all people - Provide for all people. He shall adapt the provisions of salvation not only to the Jews, but to people everywhere. This is one of the truths on which Isaiah loved to dwell, and which in fact constitutes one of the peculiarities of his prophecy. It is one of the chief glories of the gospel, that it is unto all people. See Isaiah 57:7; Daniel 5:19; Daniel 7:14; compare Luke 2:10: ‹I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people‘

A feast - A feast, or entertainment, was usually observed, as it is now, on occasion of a great victory, or any other signal success. It is, therefore, emblematic of an occasion of joy. Here it is used in the twofold sense of an occasion of joy, and of an abundance of provisions for the necessities of those who should be entertained. This feast was to be prepared on mount Zion - in the provision which would be made in Jerusalem by the Messiah for the spiritual needs of the whole world. The arrangements for salvation arc often represented under the image of an ample and rich entertainment (see Luke 14:16; Revelation 19:19; Matthew 13:11).

Of fat things - Of rich delicacies. Fat things and marrow are often used as synonymous with a sumptuous entertainment, and are made emblematic Of the abundant provisions of divine mercy (see Isaiah 55:2; Psalm 63:5; Psalm 36:8: ‹I shall be satisfied with the fatness of thy house. ‹)

A feast of wines on the lees - The word which is used here (שׁמרים shemâriym ) is derived from שׁמר shâmar to keep, preserve, retain, and is applied usually to the lees or dregs of wine, because they retain the strength and color of the wine which is left to stand on them. It is also in this place applied to wine which has been kept on the lees, and is therefore synonymous with old wine; or wine of a rich color and flavor. This fact, that the color and strength of wine are retained by its being suffered to remain without being poured from one vessel into another, is more fully expressed in Jeremiah 48:11:

Moab hath been at ease from his youth,

And he hath settled on his lees,

And hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel,

Neither hath he gone into captivity;

Therefore his taste remaineth in him,

And his scent is not changed.

Compare Zephaniah 1:12. It is well known that wines, unless retained for a considerable time on the lees, lose their flavor and strength, and are much less valuable (compare the notes at John 2:10; notes at John 1:11).

Of fat things full of marrow - Marrow is also an emblem of richness, or the delicacy of the entertainment Psalm 63:5.

Of wines on the lees well refined - The word rendered ‹well refined‘ (מזקקים mezuqqāqiym ) is usually applied to the purifying of metals in a furnace 1 Chronicles 28:18; 1 Chronicles 29:4; Job 28:1. When applied to wine, it denotes that which has been suffered to remain on the lees until it was entirely refined and purified by fermentation, and had become perfectly clear.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-25.html. 1870.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD of hosts. See note on 1 Samuel 1:3.

people = the peoples.

a feast. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia in this verse: a feast (Hebrew. mishteh) of fat things (Hebrew. shemanim), a feast of (Hebrew. mishteh) wines on the lees (Hebrew. shemarim); of fat things (Hebrew. shemanim)

full of marrow (Hebrew. memuhyim), of wines on the lees (Hebrew. shemarim). All these words are thus heaped together to impress us with the greatness of this feast.

wines on the lees. Hebrew. shemarim (App-27), see above = wines purified from the lees.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-25.html. 1909-1922.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

6.And the Lord of hosts shall make. This passage has received various interpretations. Some think that the Prophet threatens the Jews, and threatens them in such a manner as to invite various nations to a banquet. This mode of expression is also found in other passages, for the Lord is said to fatten the wicked for the day of slaughter. Those commentators think that, as if the Jews were exposed as a prey to the Gentiles on account of their impiety, the Gentiles are invited to a banquet; as if the Lord had said, “I have prepared a splendid entertainment for the Gentiles; the Romans shall plunder and prey on the Jews.” But, in my opinion, that view of the passage cannot be admitted, nor will it be necessary for me to give a long refutation of it, after having brought forward the true interpretation. Others explain it as if Isaiah were speaking of the wrath of God in this manner, “The Lord will prepare a banquet for all nations; he will give to them to drink the cup of his anger, that they may be drunken.”

But the Prophet had quite a different meaning, for he proceeds in making known the grace of God, which was to be revealed by the coming of Christ. He employs the same metaphor which is also used by David, when he describes the kingdom of Christ, and says, that

“the poor and the rich will sit down at this feast,
and will eat and be satisfied.” (
Psalms 22:26.)

By this metaphorical language he means, that no class of men will be excluded from partaking of this generous provision. Formerly it seemed as if the Lord nourished the Jews only, because they alone were adopted, and, as it were, invited to the feast provided for his family; but now he admits the Gentiles also, and extends his beneficence to all nations.

Will make for all nations a feast of fat things. This is an implied contrast when he says, to all nations, for formerly he was known to one nation only. (Psalms 76:1.) By “a feast of fat things” is meant a banquet consisting of animals that have been well fattened.

Of liquids purified. (141) Some render the Hebrew word שמרים, (shĕmārīm,) dregs, but inaccurately, for it means “old wines,” such as the French call, vins de garde , “wines that have been long kept,” and that are preferable to ordinary wines, especially in an eastern country, where they carry their age better. He calls them liquids which contain no dregs or sediment.

In short, it is sufficiently evident that he does not here threaten destruction against Gentiles or Jews, but that both are invited together to a very splendid banquet. This is still more evident from Christ’s own words, when he compares the kingdom of heaven to a marriage-feast which the King prepared for his Son, to which he invites all without exception, because those who were at first invited refused to come. (Matthew 22:2.) Nor have I any doubt that he speaks of the preaching of the gospel; and as it proceeded from Mount Zion, (Isaiah 2:3,) he says that the Gentiles will come to it to feast; for when God presents to the whole world spiritual food for feeding souls, the meaning was the same as if he had prepared a table for all. The Lord invites us at the present day, that he may fill and satisfy us with good things; he raises up faithful ministers to prepare for us that feast, and gives power and efficacy to his word, that we may be satisfied with it. (142)

In this mountain. As to the word mountain, though the servants of God do not now come out of the mountain to feed us, yet by this name we must understand the Church; for nowhere else can any one partake of this food. That feast is not set down in streets and highways, the table is not spread everywhere, and this banquet is not prepared in all places. In order that we may feast, we must come to the Church. That place was mentioned, because there alone God was worshipped, and revelations proceeded from it; as also the gospel came forth from it. When he says that this banquet will be rich and sumptuous, the design of this is to commend the doctrine of the gospel; for it is the spiritual food with which our souls are fed, and is so exquisitely delightful that we have no need of any other.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-25.html. 1840-57.

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible

  1. THE GREAT LIBERATION! (25)
    1. Eastern Mindset…not Western! (re: Victory!)
      1. Victory is often seen as the end of all that spoils on earth.
        1. Then comes the final celebration!
      2. Part of the biblical picture of triumph involves the downfall of all God’s enemies.
    2. Ch.25 & most 26 are a song that the godly remnant sings who made it through the Tribulation & inherit the kingdom.
      1. So Isaiah shifts from addressing the people to addressing God.
        1. Who He is & what He’s done!
    3. TRIUMPH OVER THE TERRIBLE! (1-5)
      1. (1) We ought to have a response of worship when we think on God’s greatness & faithfulness also!
      2. Note: “terrible” 3 x’s(or, “ruthless”)
        1. This sums up the world’s oppression in every age.
      3. (2) One day the ruthless enemy will fall.
        1. This “city” is Babylon, or any stronghold in opposition to God.
      4. (4) This is not a promise of immunity from trouble, but of ultimate safety, & this is promised for all.
        1. Tribulation is like a storm, but He is the Refuge!
        2. Tribulation is like a desert heat, but He is the cloud that blocks hot rays!(shade)
      5. (4b) A strength to the needy in distress - In their efforts to suppress circulation of Tyndale's first edition of an English New Testament, the English Catholic authorities wasted the equivalent of several thousand dollars trying to buy up and burn all the copies he had printed. They did this twice. The waste to them was that their funds, funneled secretly back to Tyndale, made it possible for him to print up even more copies of subsequent editions. (William Tyndale; Christian History, Issue 16.)
      6. (5) The enemy’s taunts will be silenced by God.
    4. THE DANCE OVER DEATH! (6-8)
      1. Feasting together in peace & prosperity.
        1. Rev.19:9 “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
      2. The Jews pictured the future kingdom as a great feast w/God the Most High.
        1. "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven." Mt.8:11 NIV
        2. Ps.23:5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.”
      3. (7,8) Note the “all’s”!
        1. Reminds us of Rev.7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,”
      4. (8a) The final victory of death itself is prefigured.
        1. 1 Cor.15:26 “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
        2. 1 Cor.15:54,55 “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."(Is.25:8) "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"’(Hos.13:14)
        3. Death which swallowed up, will now be swallowed up!
      5. (8b) “the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces”
        1. Rev.7:17; 21:4
          1. No more Death but Life forevermore!
          2. No more Sorrow but Joy!
          3. No more Crying but Laughter!
          4. No more Pain but Pleasure!
        2. John Venn, a British social reformer, once lamented that a drawback of entering heaven might be the lost opportunities to do good: "There will be no sick to visit, no naked to clothe, no afflicted to relieve, no weak to succor, no faint to encourage, nor corrupt to rebuke or reckless to reclaim." (William Wilberforce, Christian History, no. 53.)
          1. Q: What do you think about that statement?
            Q: How does it make you want to respond?
        3. “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”
        4. Never forget that the gospel is about one’s eternal destiny.
          1. Temporal concerns make fine bridges for conversations, but they are not the end-all.
          2. (i.e.) God’s got a wonderful plan for your life; Your lifewill be better w/Jesus; You’ll be free from the weight of your sins; etc.
    5. POUNCING PRIDE! (9-12)
      1. (9) This song anticipates the final victory of those who wait in positive expectation.
        1. It is song of hope, but in context of vs.10-12.
        2. Q: Can you join the Praise expressed here?
        3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (writing from prison to his fiancee Maria von Wedemeyer) wrote: “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened "from the outside," is not a bad picture of Advent(2nd coming).”
        4. (10) Moab – represents all who oppose God.
        5. (12) All the fortifications of the rebellious word will prove powerless against God. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary; pg.627)
    6. End: During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives.One day in 1789, the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Quelling a clamor for immediate adjournment, Davenport rose and said, "The Day of Judgement is either approaching or it is not. If it is not , there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought." (Henry Heintz, Troy, New York. Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 2.)
      1. Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful doing our duty till Christ returns.
      2. Instead of fearing the dark, we're to be lights as we watch and wait.
    7. Prayer: How will the things of earth will grow strangely dim?
      A: In the light of His Glory and Grace.
      1. [Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face]
      2. Lord, we seek your return because of our love not our escape!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/isaiah-25.html. 2017.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter25

But O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth ( Isaiah 25:1 ).

In other words, "God, I"m going to worship You and praise You. These are things that You"ve determined long ago, but they are faithful, they"re true." Jesus said, "I am faithful and true witness" ( Revelation 3:14 ). Jesus confirmed these things are going to come to pass. He that is faithful and true saith. And Jesus, saying much of these same things as Isaiah, declares Himself as the faithful and true witness declaring these very things. God said to Daniel, "Seal up the prophecy for it is sure." It shall surely happen. And so here is Isaiah praising God for His faithfulness. Here is Isaiah praising God for His name and for the wonderful things that He has counseled of old, that He shall bring to pass.

For thou hast made of a city a heap; of a defensed city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the awesome nations will fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall ( Isaiah 25:2-4 ).

God has been and is always a strength to the poor. He is a strength to the needy. He is a refuge from the storm. How many times have we sought and found refuge in Him from the storm. He is a shadow from the heat. He is praising the Lord for being the refuge and the shadow from the heat and the blast from the awesome ones.

Now this could very definitely be a reference to the things that will be taking place at the Great Tribulation and how that God will be the refuge to His children. "Come ye apart, my children, for a while, until the indignation be overpast" ( Isaiah 26:20 ). I cannot believe, I do not believe that the church will be here when this horrible devastation that Isaiah speaks about takes place upon the earth. I do not believe that. I am so deeply convicted of the fact that the Lord has better plans for me.

Jesus said, "Pray always, that you"ll be accounted worthy to escape all of these things that are coming to pass upon the earth, and to be standing before the Son of man" ( Luke 21:36 ). He will be a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat.

Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the awesome ones shall be brought low. And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all the faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it ( Isaiah 25:5-8 ).

Now if I just had read you that scripture and we weren"t going along in Isaiah and I said, "Where is this scripture found?" And "He will swallow up death in victory." You"ll say, isn"t that in Corinthians? 1 Corinthians 15:1-58? "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" ( 1 Corinthians 15:55 ) You see, Jesus has triumphed over death, hell and the grave. And in speaking of the resurrection of Jesus Christ which brings to us the hope of our resurrection, for Paul said:

Now is Christ raised from the dead, and it has become the firstfruits of those who rise from the dead. But some of you will say, How are the dead raised? and with what body will they come? Don"t you realize that when you plant a seed into the ground it doesn"t come forth into new life until it first of all dies? And then the body that comes out of the ground isn"t the body that you planted. Because all you planted was a bare grain, by chance, wheat or some other grain. And God gives to it a body as pleases Him. So is the resurrection from the dead. You are planted in weakness and you"re raised in power. You"re planted in corruption; you"re raised in incorruption. You"re sown in dishonor, you"re raised in glory. You"re planted as a natural body, you"re raised as a spiritual body. For there"s a natural body, there"s a spiritual body. And even as you"re born in the image of the earth and have been earthy, so shall you bear the image of the heaven. And of course, the glory of the celestial is one, the glory of the terrestrial is another" ( 1 Corinthians 15:20, 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 1 Corinthians 15:40 ).

And he goes on and speaks about these things and then he said, "But behold, I"m going to show you a mystery. We"re not going to all sleep, but we"re all going to have a metamorphosis, a change of body. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump of God shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" ( 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ).

And then shall be brought to pass this saying, "O death, where is thy string? O grave, where is thy victory?" For the sting of death was sin but it has been removed through Jesus Christ. Oh, thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. And so this glorious Easter proclamation. It all hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It has brought to us this glorious hope. And in that day, the death will no longer be victorious. It will be swallowed up. It was swallowed up in victory in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. "And the Lord will wipe away all tears."

Now if I read that to you, you"ll say, "That"s in Revelation, isn"t it?" Yeah, seventh chapter. "And God shall wipe away all tears." And then Revelation chapter22, again, "And God shall wipe away all tears." The glorious day of the kingdom. "And the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it." I like that. God spoke it. You know it"s going to be.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him ( Isaiah 25:9 ),

You"ve been waiting for the Lord? He will come. Surely He will come.

and he will save us: this is the LORD we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust ( Isaiah 25:9-12 ).

So the devastation of chapter24, the Great Tribulation, and then the glorious triumphs of the Kingdom Age in chapter25, and then God"s restoration of His work on Israel in chapter26. It"s unfortunate that they"ve made chapter distinctions because these things all flow together. And really we should go on and take chapter26, but we"re not going to until next Sunday night. But we hope that you can remember the sequence that we have here. The Great Tribulation, the beginning of the Kingdom Age, the Lord"s victory and glory, and then God"s glorious dealing with His people Israel. And it"s always exciting. God is faithful to His promises and as we get into chapter26 and all, we"ve got God"s glorious work in restoration of His people. As the prophets have all foretold when once again God begins to work in their midst.

Shall we stand.

I love the Bible, because you know that it"s true. You know that what God has said He has done. And if He has done what He said you know that He will also do what He said He is going to do. You can read it with such confidence, such assurance knowing that it shall indeed be. "Heaven and earth," Jesus said, "will pass away, but My Word will never pass away" ( Matthew 24:35 ). The sureness of the Word of God. And so you can read it and you can map out your life by the Word of God and always be on safe ground. God"s Word cannot fail. God"s Word will not fail. You can bank on it.

May the Lord be with you and may the Lord strengthen you through this week. And may the Word be as a fire burning within your heart as God ministers to you His truth. And may your life be purged through the Word, cleansed. And may you walk with the Lord in beautiful fellowship. And may God grant to you opportunities of witnessing and serving Him. In Jesus" name. "

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/isaiah-25.html. 2014.

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1. Thy counsels, etc.] RV 'even counsels of old' (i.e. formed of old) 'in faithfulness and truth.'

2. A city] viz. the one that oppressed God's people (Isaiah 24:10). Strangers] aliens from God's covenant people (Isaiah 1:7).

3. The hostile power is not utterly destroyed; its remnant acknowledges Jehovah.

4. Strength] RV 'stronghold.'

5. As the heat] i.e. as heat is assuaged by the shadow of a cloud. Branch] RV 'song'; viz. of triumph.

6. The temporal and spiritual blessings which the rule of Jehovah will bring to mankind. This mountain] i.e. Zion (Isaiah 2:1-2). Fat things] i.e. of flesh, offered in sacrifice. On the lees] left on the lees to heighten the flavour.

7. Covering] Covering the face was a token of mourning for the dead (2 Samuel 19:4); the taking away of the veil or covering is symbolically put for the destruction of death (Isaiah 25:8).

8. In victory] so some early Gk. versions and St. Paul in quoting this passage (1 Corinthians 15:54). Heb. text has 'for ever' (RV).

Will wipe, etc.] quoted Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4.

Rebuke] RV 'reproach.'

10. Hand] protecting hand. Under him] RV 'in his place,' where he stands. Moab is here mentioned as being a proud (Isaiah 16) and hostile power, a typical enemy. For the dunghill] RV 'in the waters of the dunghill.'

11. He shall spread] i.e. Moab, who vainly endeavours to save himself. He shall bring] i.e. Jehovah. Spoils] RV 'craft.'

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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/isaiah-25.html. 1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

All who enter the Millennium-everyone who does will be a believer-will stream to Mount Zion ( Isaiah 24:23) where Yahweh will provide a joyful banquet for them. Amillennialists typically take Zion as a figurative representation of the church. According to Young, the banquet signifies "the spiritual blessings that God brings to mankind through His kingdom." [Note: Young, 2:192.] Inaugural banquets were fairly customary when ancient Near Eastern kings were crowned (cf. 1 Samuel 11:15; 2 Samuel 6:18; 1 Kings 1:9; 1 Kings 1:19; 1 Kings 1:25; 1 Kings 8:62-65). The new king often bestowed favors on such occasions.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-25.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The coming great banquet25:6-8

Having delivered His people from the Tribulation and preserved them to enter His earthly kingdom, the Lord will invite them to rejoice with Him at a great banquet at the beginning of the Millennium (cf. Exodus 24:11).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-25.html. 2012.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) And in this mountain shall the Lord . . .—The mountain is, as in Isaiah 2:1, the hill of Zion, the true representative type of the city of God. True to what we may call the catholicity of his character, Isaiah looks forward to a time when the outlying heathen nations shall no longer be excluded from fellowship with Israel, but shall share in its sacrificial feasts even as at the banquet of the great King. In the Hebrew, as even in the English, the rhythm flows on like a strain of music appropriate to such a feast. The “wines on the lees” are those that have been allowed to ripen and clarify in the cask, and so, like the “fat things full of marrow,” represent the crowning luxuries of an Eastern banquet.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-25.html. 1905.

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

An Act of Faith

Isaiah 25:1

I. "O Lord, Thou art my God." This is not a prayer, but something higher—"an act of faith".

What do we mean by an act of faith? We mean an expression of faith in which the will has its part.

An act of faith should be the utterance of the whole nature, the will giving effect both to the conclusions of the reason and to the desires of the affections. An act of faith seems so simple; it is tremendous, for it involves the operation of the whole soul.

II. There is (1) the act of faith, "O Lord, Thou art my God". (2) Then its result, "I will exalt; Thee, I will praise Thy Name". (3) Then the reason for this, "For Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth".

1. The act of faith proceeds from personal religion; for having taken God as the Supreme Ruler of our life, the intellect loves to seek into the mysteries of His Being, revealed in Holy Scripture, and in the experiences of Divine Providence; the will strives to be obedient to His commandments and precepts, and the affections find their joy in reaching out to Him as the object of their love.

2. The result of this is expressed in the next two clauses, "I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy Name". And by "Name" we mean when we speak of God His character—what He is. Some may ask, "How can we exalt God?" We cannot exalt God in the sense of raising Him any higher than He Isaiah, but we can proclaim to others, by our words and in our lives, that we recognize Him to be the Most High. This is what is meant by exalting God.

3. The reason for this—"For Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth".

a. Thou hast wrought wonders in our lives, in the lives of the saints, in the Church of God.

b. "Thou hast wrought wonders; counsels of old." There was that counsel by which, before the world was made, God willed to become Incarnate in human nature, and to raise His creature, Prayer of Manasseh, to a nature Divine.

c. "In faithfulness and truth." All God"s wonders, all God"s counsels, have been in faithfulness and truth. The covenant He made with man He has kept, and therefore Isaiah was able to make his act of faith in God, his act of trust; for faith has both its objective and subjective side. It enables us first to believe that God Isaiah, then to learn from revelation what God Isaiah, and when we have learned this, to trust God with our whole soul.

—A. G. Mortimer, The Church"s Lessons for the Christian Year, part i. p29.

References.—XXV:1.—H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, Sunday Lessons for Daily Life, p25. J. Aspinall, Parish Sermons (2Series), p106. XXV:3, 4.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Prophets, p54. XXV:4.—S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Sermons, p221. XXV:6.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv. No846. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture— Isaiah, p90. XXV:6-8.—Ibid. p80. J. M. Neale, Sermons on the Prophets, vol. i. p66. J. C. Miller, Penny Pulpit, vol. xii. No720, p429. XXV:7.—T. T. Carter, Lent Lectures, 1860-66, p297. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture— Isaiah, p92.

Isaiah 25:8

Ruskin says, speaking of the death of Christ: "It was not the mere bodily death that He conquered—that death had no sting. It was this spiritual death which He conquered, so that at last it should be swallowed up—mark the word—not in life; but in victory. As the dead body shall be raised to life, so also the defeated soul to victory, if only it has been fighting on its Master"s side, has made no covenant with death; nor itself bowed its forehead for his seal. Blind from the prison-house, maimed from the battle, or mad from the tombs, their souls shall surely yet sit, astonished, at His feet Who giveth peace."

Waiting for God (Third Sunday in Advent)

Isaiah 25:9

I. What does Waiting Imply?—Advent is especially a time of waiting, and this waiting involves four things.

1. Faith. St. Paul speaks of Christians as those who are "waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ". They therefore believe in the promise of His coming.

2. Further, the posture of the Christian is one of desire. Israel of old longed for the manifestation of the Deliverer. "Thou that sittest between the cherubims, come and save us!" ( ). St. Paul speaks of loving Christ"s appearing; St. John cries, "Come, Lord Jesus!" The word which the Apostle uses describes the attitude as of one stretching out and longing for "the revelation" ( Romans 13:19).

3. Then patience is an ingredient in the waiting. "Be patient," says St. James, "therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord;" and he compares the patience to that of the husbandman, who has to wait for the slow processes of nature to see the end of his labours.

4. Preparation is involved in this waiting; nay, is one chief purpose of it.

II. Why Wait So Long?

1. The question was discussed in the Middle Ages. Why was the Incarnation so long delayed?

2. One reason for this delay of the Incarnation is drawn from the condition of man. He had to be humiliated by a sense of his sinfulness, in order that he might feel his need of a Deliverer. We see the same providence in individual sinners as in a microcosm. God allows the prodigal to pursue his downward course until he comes to his senses, and misery brings him to the turning-point.

3. All delays in the approaches of God are for the sake of Prayer of Manasseh, that he might prepare to receive Him.

The ministry of the Baptist is a visible setting forth of this need of preparation.

III. What Wait We For?—"Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him."

1. That there is a primary reference in the passage to wonderful interventions of God on behalf of His people, whether in contemporary or subsequent deliverances, Isaiah, of course, admitted. Commentators have, however, been puzzled as to what particular catastrophe or oppressing power the Prophet refers to in this chapter. Whatever may be the historic application, it cannot be more than a type of the full accomplishment of the prophecy in the Person of Christ He alone swallows up "death in victory," and wipes away "tears from off all faces".

2. The text is fulfilled by the Incarnation. "This is our God." It points to the mystery that our Lord is a Divine Person, and that therefore He can "save us". This stirs the hymn of joy: "We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation".

—W. H. Hutchings, Sermon-Sketches, p12.

Expectation (A Christmas Sermon)

Isaiah 25:9

I. The Hope of the Incarnation.—Christmas is a season of expectation. And then also it is a season of confidence. "He will save us." Not—He will save the heathen, the outcast, the hopeless; but He will save us. It is a personal confession. For it implies that we are dissatisfied with our lives as they are; that we are willing that they should be lifted out of the bondage of convention. The slavery of selfishness and greed, the deception thoughtlessly practised, the slander carelessly spoken. No one can mix much with his fellow-men without realizing that a new doubt is everywhere awaking in men"s minds. Is not Christianity an exhausted force. Is not its power over the world coming to an end? Here are vast social evils crying to heaven, and no salvation comes. Men live and work and die with no apparent consciousness of spiritual realities, and all our efforts break against the passive force of apathy. Can we, in face of all this, still hold to our belief that He who was born on that first Christmas morning is the Saviour of the world? If He is a Saviour, where is His salvation? We must face questions like these and they will lead us back to the cradle of Bethlehem. Like the wise men we grow bewildered in the streets of the city and we lose our star, but as we go towards Bethlehem, behold it goes before us again. We have found the lost cue, we are strong again, we can face the world"s challenge. We believe that in the Incarnation lies still the hope of the world. Yes, and our hope too. For when the simple truths of religion have become complicated by human glosses, and have lost touch with reality, or have grown harder and intolerant, we need to bring them again to Bethlehem and lay them at the cradle of a little Child. For He is the Saviour of Christianity as well as the Saviour of the World. Of our religious ideas, as well as of our personal character, it is true that except we be converted and become as little children we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

II. The Realization of God.—Christmas is a season of realization. "This is our God." The realization of God; God not far away in some heaven of music and rapture, but here by the cradle of little children, in the paths where footsore men tramp wearily, in houses of gladness or sorrow.

III. "The Prince of Peace."—We are asked to speak to the people of this country on the subject of international peace. But what can we say?

There can be no peace till the spirit of distrust and greed and selfish ambition ceases to dominate the policy of nations. The only real guarantee for peace is in the resolute and watchful action of all Christian men. In this too "He will save us" if we wait for Him. He will teach us that there are better battles to fight than the battles full of "confused noise and garments rolled in blood". His battle is against ignorance and vice, against the selfish heart and the grasping hand, against discord and hatred, and all the foul things that haunt the darkness.

References.—XXV:9.—A. Murray, Waiting on God, p89. T. F. Lockyer, The Inspirations of the Christian Life, p196. W. H. Hutchings, Sermon-Sketches, p12. H. P. Liddon, Advent in St. Paul"s, pp77, 306. E. Fowle, Plain Preaching to Poor People (1Series). XXVI.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xli. No2430; vol. xlvii. No2713. XXVI:1.—W. C. E. Newbolt, Counsels of Faith and Practice, p305. XXVI:1, 2.—J. Monro Gibson, A Strong City, p3; see also Christian World Pulpit, vol. liii. p151. A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture— Isaiah, p102; see also Paul"s Prayers, p234. XXVI:1-10.—A. Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture— Isaiah, p95. XXVI:1-14.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvi. No2669.

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/edt/isaiah-25.html. 1910.

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary

SORROW TURNED TO GLADNESS

Isaiah 25:1-12

Here is a song of thanksgiving at the fall of Babylon. When she fell, a sigh of relief passed over the whole world, and strong, terrible nations over which she had exerted her tyranny gratefully recognized the goodness and righteousness of Jehovah. We may anticipate, as we read these glowing words, what that song will be when the spirited Babylon is overthrown, Revelation 19:1-7.

Notice how God suits Himself to our need, whether for strength, or refuge, or shadow. Take from Him what you are needing most. As the cloud draws its veil over the burning sunshine to mitigate its heat, so does God interpose to reduce the sufferings of His own. The branch, that is, the exulting song of the terrible ones, their song of triumph, shall be hushed. From Isaiah 25:6 we learn that the hunger of man for God can only be satisfied in Jesus; and from Isaiah 25:7, that the dread of death and the hereafter, which has lain heavily on humanity as a pall shall be forever ended, when Jesus comes the second time unto salvation. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:54. God will not only wipe tears from our eyes but the fountains of tears shall be dried up, Revelation 21:4.

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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbm/isaiah-25.html. 1914.

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

CHAPTER 25

Israel’s Praise and the Blessings of the Kingdom

1. The praise of the delivered nation (Isaiah 25:1-5) 2. The blessing for all nations during the Kingdom (Isaiah 25:6-8) 3. Israel rejoicing after waiting (Isaiah 25:9) 4. Moab and Israel’s enemies judged (Isaiah 25:10-12)In the foreground of this chapter stands another hymn of praise, which redeemed Israel will sing in “that day.” Jehovah has done wonderful things for His people. Compare with Isaiah 12:5;Psalms 46:8-11, etc.

The blessings for all nations are described in Isaiah 25:6-8. The mountain is Zion Isaiah 4:5-6,Psalms 132:13-18). From there the streams of blessing will gush forth. Then “all the ends of the earth shall remember, and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee” Psalms 22:27. Darkness will be removed and all tears wiped away. All this does not relate to the eternal state, but to conditions on the earth.

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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/isaiah-25.html. 1913-1922.

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Immediately following this terrible description is a prophecy which, in the form of praise, declares the activity of Jehovah. The song first offers praise for judgment both in its procedure, as it destroys the false city, and in its results, as by such action God manifests Himself as the Succorer and Helper of the afflicted.

The result of this activity will be spreading the feast in the mountain of the Lord, and His illumination of all the nations, followed by the ending of sorrow and the wiping away of tears.

At last Jehovah's own afflicted people will break forth into a song of praise as they come to know Him; and their enemies, comprehensively spoken of as Moab, will finally be overcome and cast out.

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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcm/isaiah-25.html. 1857-84.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things,.... Which is to be understood, not of the ultimate glory of the saints in heaven; which is sometimes represented by a feast; and the participation of it, by sitting down with the saints at a table in the kingdom of God, and by drinking wine there, to which state the best things are reserved, Matthew 8:11, but rather of the Gospel dispensation, which lies in the ministration of the word and ordinances; and which are compared to a feast, which consists of the richest dainties, for the entertainment of the faith of God's people; and this is made by the Lord himself, who is sovereign Lord of all, the King of kings; who sits at table himself, and welcomes his guests, and is the sum and substance of the feast: and this is made in his "mountain"; the church, comparable to one for its visibility and immovableness; and for "all" his "people", Jews and Gentiles; for all that are made spiritually alive, and have a spiritual taste, and true faith in Christ, Matthew 22:4 particularly the Lord's supper itself is a feast, and a feast of love, comparable to wine; and which is better than wine, and in which wine, in a literal sense, is made use of; and in which the choicest and richest food is presented to faith; the flesh and blood of Christ, which are meat and drink indeed; here the saints are fed as with marrow and fatness, 1 Corinthians 5:7, Song of Solomon 1:2 but it seems rather to respect the marriage supper of the Lamb, in the latter day, when antichrist shall be destroyed, and Jews and Gentiles be converted, and shall join together in the participation of divine blessings, Revelation 19:1 or, best of all, the glories, joys, and pleasures of the New Jerusalem state; in which the saints shall drink of the water of life freely, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the nations, Revelation 21:6.

a feast of wines on the lees; that has been long kept on the lees, but now drawn off, and both strong and fine; of a banquet of wine, see Esther 7:2 this refers to the wine of the kingdom, Matthew 26:29,

of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined: this heap of words, and repetition of them, show the plenty of the provisions, and the richness and excellency of them; and "fat" being mentioned is a proof that the words must respect the times of the Messiah, since, under the law, fat was not to be eatenF5Fortunatus Scacchus, in Sacror. Elaeochr. Myrothec. l. 1. c. 40. col. 205. thinks, that as the prophet speaks of the deliverance of believers from present troubles, and of good things at the coming of the Messiah, the metaphors are taken from the customs of that age, in which feasts were not prepared without the best of ointments; nor in a royal feast were the flesh of any animals used but such as were well fed and kept, and which, according to the law were pure and clean; and agreeably he renders the whole verse thus:

"and the Lord of hosts will make to all people a feast of ointments; a feast of those (animals) that are kept; of ointments full of marrow (the richest and fattest) of those that are kept';

"pure" beasts, well kept and clean, according to the law of Moses. So Gussetius observes, that שמן signifies not fat, but oil; and שמרים not "lees" of wine, but bottles in which wine is "kept", Comment. Ebr. p. 868, 872. The Syriac version of the latter part of the text, though not according to the original, is remarkable;

"the feast, I say, of our heavenly and most mighty quickener, reserved and fat.'.

The interpreter seems to have in his view the great master of the feast, our Lord Jesus Christ. .

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-25.html. 1999.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Isaiah 25:6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

Isaiah 25:6 — "a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined" - Word Study on "lees" - Strong says the Hebrew word "lees" "shemer" ( שֶׁמֶר) (H 8105) literally means, "something preserved i.e. the settlings of wine, dregs, lees." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 5 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV, "lees 4, dregs 1." Webster defines "lees" as "that which settles at the bottom, as of a cask of liquor (esp. wine); sediment; dregs; -- used now only in the plural."

Comments- The phrase "wines on the lees" means that this wine has been stored and aged so that it is the best tasting of all wines. Note some modern translations.

BBE reads, "a feast of good things, a feast of wines long stored, of good things sweet to the taste, of wines long kept and tested."

God'sWord, "a feast with the best foods, a banquet with aged wines, with the best foods and the finest wines."

YLT reads, "a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined."

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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/isaiah-25.html. 2013.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Praise unto God - Isaiah 25:1 to Isaiah 27:13 contains a passage of praise unto God. It naturally follows a lengthy passage of judgments upon the nations of the earth; for it teaches us that divine chastisement and judgment is for our good, producing the fruit of righteousness. This passage of Scripture helps us to understand that God judged the world out of love in order to turn the nations back to Him so that He might be praised and worshipped upon the earth.

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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/isaiah-25.html. 2013.

Geneva Study Bible

And on this h mountain shall the LORD of hosts make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

(h) That is, in Zion, by which he means his Church, which would under Christ be assembled of the Jews and the Gentiles, and is here described under the figure of a costly banquet, as in (Matthew 22:2).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-25.html. 1599-1645.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Mountain of Sion, a figure of the Church, and of heaven. The Jews shall feast: yea, some of all nations shall partake of the blessed Eucharist, and obtain heaven. The expressions are too grand for a corruptible feast. (Calmet) --- Wine. Literally, "of vintage," (Haydock) on which occasion great rejoicings were made. (Hesiod, Hercul. 297.) --- Protestants, "of wines on the lees." (Haydock) --- In the East, the wines were very thick, Psalm lxxv. 9. (Calmet) --- On the rejection of the Jews, the Gentiles were converted. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-25.html. 1859.

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

EXPOSITORY NOTES ON

THE PROPHET ISAIAH

By

Harry A. Ironside, Litt.D.

Copyright @ 1952

edited for 3BSB by Baptist Bible Believer in the spirit of the Colportage ministry of a century ago

ISAIAH CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

EXULTANT SONG OF THE REMNANT

IT IS with growing interest and increasing joy that we move on now to contemplate the exultation of the remnant of Israel who will become the nucleus of the new nation after the powers of evil which have sought their complete destruction shall have been dealt with by the Lord Himself at His Second Advent. For this remnant "the time of the singing" (Song of Solomon 2:12) will at last have come. Down through the centuries the cries of misery and lamentation have been loud and long because they knew not the time of their visitation, but when at last they look upon Him whom they have pierced and recognize in the once-despised Galilean their own promised Messiah their hearts will well up with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord their GOD who henceforth will be their everlasting portion.

Let us consider the song, verse by verse.

"O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth" (verse 1).

They who had been so grievously misled in the past will then come to realize that the Lord's counsels of faithfulness and truth have remained unchanged in spite of the fact that when the Lord JESUS appeared to bring in the blessings so long awaited, they fulfilled their own Scriptures in rejecting Him and giving Him up to the death of the Cross. But GOD made that very Cross the great altar upon which the true propitiatory sacrifice was offered for the sins of the world.

Nor did He change His plan because they said, "We will not have this Man to reign over us." For the time being the One whom they refused to acknowledge as king was taken up to glory and seated, in fulfillment of Psalms 110:1, at GOD's right hand. During the long years of His personal absence from this earth, Israel has become the nation of the wandering foot, seeking rest and peace in vain because the Prince of Peace, who alone could give what their hearts yearned for, was to them a stranger. But in that coming day they will recognize and adore Him and so enter into fullness of joy.

"For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee" (verses 2, 3).

These verses clearly indicate the destruction of all God-defying Gentile power in the time of the end. The leaders of the Jews declared of old, "We have no king but Caesar." Unspeakably terrible have been their sufferings under the Caesars ever since, but at the end of the great tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble, all the powers that have oppressed them will be destroyed and they will be freed forever from Gentile tyranny and persecution.

"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall" (verse 4).

Doubtless this verse may be interpreted as applying to the entire period of Israel's scattering and distress for although the nation as such was rejected by GOD when they rejected His Son, nevertheless, during all this present age there has remained an election of grace; Jews who in their anguish and misery have turned to God and have found in the Holy Scriptures the revelation of His Son as their Messiah and Saviour. To these He has ever been a refuge and a comfort, even in the midst of trial and sorrow, enabling them to rejoice in His unfailing love.

"Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined" (verses 6, 6).

Coincident with the destruction of the Beast and the False Prophet, as we read in Revelation 19, will come the fulfillment of the prophetic Word in regard to the return of the Lord and the establishment of His throne upon Mount Zion. From thence shall the law go forth into all the world, and men everywhere among those who have been spared from the judgments of that awful day will be invited to revel in the riches of God's abundant grace. He will spread His table, not only for Israel but for the saved from among the Gentiles too, as indicated in Revelation 7. We certainly are not to take this sixth verse as referring to some literal feast, but to the spiritual refreshment which will be offered to all in that day.

"And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it" (verses 7, 8).

Ever since sin came into the world, men have been blinded to the eternal truths of God's Word. As we read in Ephesians 4, "having the understanding darkened, . . . through the ignorance that is in them." But when the LORD Himself appears in glory, this blindness will pass away, not only from the eyes of Israel who are now unable to understand their own Scriptures because of the veil that is upon their hearts, but from the eyes of the Gentiles as well."

The apostle quotes from verse 8 in opening up the truth of resurrection in I Corinthians 15. He shows that this passage will have its partial fulfillment at what we know as the Rapture, when the dead shall be raised and the living changed, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality. Then, indeed, will come to pass that of which Isaiah here speaks. For all the children of God, living and dead, at that time, death will be swallowed up in victory.

That there will be a further fulfillment at the end of the great tribulation is evident from Revelation 20:4-6, for the first resurrection will include not only the saints of this and past ages, but also those who will be put to death for refusing to worship the Beast and his image during the days of the great tribulation. Together these will constitute the heavenly company, while the spared of Israel and the nations will enter into the millennial kingdom here on the earth.

And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" (verse 9).

One can imagine something of the exultant joy of the remnant as they look upon the once-despised JESUS and see in Him the GOD of their fathers manifested in flesh. "Lo," they cry, "this is our God; we have waited for Him." Under His beneficent but righteous reign, their wanderings come to an end and they enter into possession of the land promised to Abraham and confirmed in the promise to David.

"For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill. And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust" (verses 10-12).

Moab, which we have already seen speaks of the pride of a false religious profession, will no longer be a menace to the peace of God's people. He will utterly destroy everything that would mar the joy of that day of blessing. This will be brought about, not by human effort, not by man's ingenuity, but by the Lord Himself, who will spread forth His hands in judgment upon those who refuse to bow to His will, and in grace upon those that put their trust in Him.

~ end of chapter 25 ~

http://www.baptistbiblebelievers.com/

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Bibliographical Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/isaiah-25.html. 1914.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

in this mountain — Zion: Messiah‘s kingdom was to begin, and is to have its central seat hereafter, at Jerusalem, as the common country of “all nations” (Isaiah 2:2, etc.).

all people — (Isaiah 56:7; Daniel 7:14; Luke 2:10).

feast — image of felicity (Psalm 22:26, Psalm 22:27; Matthew 8:11; Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9; compare Psalm 36:8; Psalm 87:1-7).

fat things — delicacies; the rich mercies of God in Christ (Isaiah 55:2; Jeremiah 31:14; Job 36:16).

wines on the lees — wine which has been long kept on the lees; that is, the oldest and most generous wine (Jeremiah 48:11).

marrow — the choicest dainties (Psalm 63:5).

well refined — cleared of all dregs.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-25.html. 1871-8.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

In this mountain - Zion. Messiah's kingdom was to begin, and is to have its central seat hereafter, at Jerusalem, as the common country of "all nations," (Isaiah 2:2, etc.)

Unto all people - (Isaiah 56:7; Daniel 7:14; Luke 2:10.)

A feast - image of felicity, (; Matthew 8:11; Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9 : of. Psalms 36:8; Psalms 87:1-7.)

Fat things - delicacies; the rich mercies of God in Christ (Isaiah 55:2; Jeremiah 31:14; Job 36:16).

Wines on the lees - wine which has been long kept on the lees; i:e., the oldest and most generous wine (Jeremiah 48:11). Compare John 2:10, in the spiritual sense, as applied to Jesus, "Thou hast kept the good wine until now;" and Matthew 26:29, "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom;" also Luke 22:29-30.

Marrow - the choicest dainties (Psalms 63:5).

Wines on the lees well refined - cleared of all dregs.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-25.html. 1871-8.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Calm After Storm

Isaiah 25

We can only understand the highest, sweetest meaning of this chapter in proportion as we enter into the spirit of the one which precedes it. That chapter we have read and studied. It is full of clouds, and darkness, and judgment. The Lord himself seems to have yielded to the spirit of contempt, and to have held in scorn even the work of his own fingers. The sarcasm of the Lord is intolerable. His laugh, who can stand? It is a laugh of judgment; it comes after certain moral experiments, and endeavours, and issues; it is not frivolity, it is a singular aspect of judgment, the only aspect which certain men in certain moods can understand; for they have withstood mercy, and compassion, and tears, and they have seen God himself in an attitude of supplication, in the posture of a suppliant and a beggar, and they have turned him from their heart-door. The only thing which he can now do is to laugh at their calamity, and mock when their fear cometh. We have walked through the dark valley of the preceding chapter, and now we come to a calm after a storm, to a sweet and beauteous Song of Solomon, to an eventide that carries the burden of its waning light easily, and that shines upon us with mellowest, most comforting sympathy. Who could claim such a God as a refuge? An hour or two ago he thundered in the heavens as Almightiness alone can thunder; nothing was sacred to him that defied him by its bulk and power and pride; he turned the earth upside down and laughed at its impotent endeavours at rectification. Who can flee to him, and call him by all these tender names—a strength, a refuge, a shadow, a sanctuary?

The very terribleness of God is a reason for putting our trust in him. Probably this view of the divine attributes has not always been sufficiently vivid to our spiritual consciousness. We have thought of God, and have become afraid; whereas when we hear him thundering, and see him scattering his arrows of lightning round about him, and behold him pouring contempt upon the mighty who have defied him, we should say, See! God is love. What does he strike? No little child, no patient woman, no broken heart, no face that is steeped in tears of contrition. On what does his fist fall? On arrogance, on haughtiness, on self-conceit, on self-completeness. He turns the proud away with an answer of scorn to their prayer of patronage. God is only terrible to evil. That is the reason why his terribleness should be an encouragement and an allurement to souls that know their sin and plead for pardon at the Cross.

In the fourth verse we find what we may term a completing view of the divine personality and government. Say whether there is aught in poetry that streams from a fountain with this fluency:—

"Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall" ( Isaiah 25:4).

Here we come upon language which the heart can understand, and which the heart responds to with personal gratitude. Sometimes the Scriptures leave us. They are like a great bird with infinite wings, flying away to the centres of light and the origin of glory, and we cannot follow them in their imperial infinite sweep; then they come down to us and flutter near our hearts, and speak or sing to us in words and tones we can comprehend. This verse is an instance in point. Every man who has had large experience of life can annotate this verse for himself; he needs no critic, no preacher, no orator, to help him into the innermost shrine and heart of this holy place. Each of us can repeat this verse as a part of his own biography: each can say, Thou hast been a strength to me when I was poor; I never knew my poverty when thou didst break the bread; we always thought it more than enough because the blessing so enlarged the morsel: thou hast been a strength to me in my need and in my distress; when my father and my mother forsook me thou didst take me up; thou didst turn my tears into jewellery, thou didst make my sorrows the beginnings of paeans and hymns of loud and perfect triumph: thou hast been a refuge from the storm; when men could not bear me, tolerate me, see anything in me to touch their complacency; when the roof was broken through by the weighty rain, and when the flood put out the last spark of fire, I never felt the cold because thou wast near me, and in the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delighted my soul. Thou hast been a shadow from the heat; I could always fly to thee at noontide, and rest in thine almightiness as a flock gathers itself around the great tree, and tarries for a while during the sultry noontide. So long as men can say this, with all the passion of earnestness, with all the vividness of personal consciousness, the Bible smiles at every attempt to overthrow its supremacy, and waits to take in the last wanderer from its hospitable shelter. Remember, therefore, when reading passages that are surcharged with judgment, verses that are all lightning, Scriptures that are hot as hell with God"s anger, that other Scriptures must be quoted if we would realise a completing view of God, as to his personality and government and purpose; and the last and uppermost verdict will be, "God is love." When God once begins to be gracious, turns away from judgment, and dawns upon the world"s consciousness like a new morning, who can tell what he will do? He gives with both hands; he withholds nothing; he not only causes the storm to cease, he proceeds to positive hospitality, goodness, beneficence; he comes down to us to search into our need in all its extent and urgency, and crowns the day with infinite satisfactions.

Now he will make a feast, and the table shall be spread upon the mountain where it can be well seen; it shall be a grand public feast, and the angels shall sound the banquet trumpet, and call the hungriest first to eat God"s bread. He will deign to take up Oriental figures in order to express the amplitude of his provision, and the lavishness of his proposal to feed and bless the race: The Lord of hosts will make a feast "unto all people" ( Isaiah 25:6). What a gospel word is that—"all people." He only singled out one people that he might get at the rest. He never elected any one to stop at. He began by constructing a nation that he might by-and-by make a peculiar nation of the whole earth, and speak of his earth-church to all the other stars: and might he not in speaking of it speak almost with the boast of divine love? The feast shall be a feast "of fat things,"—an expression fully understood by the Oriental mind. "A feast of wines on the lees,"—wines that had rested long and become clarified, and have developed their richest flavour. "Of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined,"—as if repetition were needed to assure those who are called to the banquet that God had left nothing undone. When did God ever perform half a miracle? When did God say, I can do no more—I must return and complete this when my strength is recruited? When he lights this little earth there is more light runs off the edges to light other worlds than the little earth itself could contain; the earth has not room enough to contain the sun"s hospitality of glory. Song of Solomon, throughout all the economy of providence, God"s measure is good—good measure, pressed down, heaped up, running over, any image that will express fulness, largeness, repletion, redundance. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. A poor Deity, indeed, if our little fluttering wing could climb to any pinnacle of his! Who can understand not only the power but the generosity and beneficence of God?

But how can those who are in the mountain banquet-house be happy while death is ravaging down below? The Lord says in reference to that, that he "will swallow up death in victory" ( Isaiah 25:8). We must not amend that expression—"swallow up." There is a sound in it which is equal to an annotation. We hear a splash in the infinite Atlantic, and the thing that is sunk has gone for ever. It was but a stone. Death is to be not mitigated, relieved, thrown into perspective which the mind can gaze upon without agony; it is to be swallowed up. Let it go! Death has no friends. Who names the ghastly monster with healthy pleasure? Who brings Death willingly to the feast? asks him to join the dance? begs him to tarry through the night, and weave stars of glory in the robe of gloom? Death has no friends. He is to be swallowed up, slain, forgotten. Yet in another aspect how gracious has death been in human history, What pain he has relieved; what injuries he has thrust into the silent tomb; what tumult and controversy he has ended. Men have found an altar at the tomb, a house of reconciliation in the graveyard, music for the heart in the toll and throb of the last knell. Even Death must have his tribute. He may not work willingly. He never saw himself. Let us be just. When Death is dead, will there be some other way into the upper city that is paved with gold, and calm with eternal Sabbath? Shall souls then ascend as did the Christ? Will chariots of fire then bear them to the city everlasting? Will angels then throng the house, and carry off the soul without wrench or pain, or need of heartbreak and farewell? How is it to be? for Death is dead, Death is swallowed up. Will some larger sleep enclose us in its soothing embrace, and woo us as with the voice of whispered love to the land of summer, the paradise of God? To our inquiries there is no reply in words. Yet may we not, even now, be so enabled to view death as to escape all its terrors? Even now death is abolished. With Christ in the house there is no death—there is but a hastening shadow, a flutter, a spasm, a vision, and then the infinite calm.

The prophet is here standing upon an equality with the apostle. The Apostle Paul uses the very same words, enlarges the same thought, with ineffable delight and thankfulness: Hebrews, too, sees the time when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in victory, and men shall almost mock death, and say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" It will be a noble avenging. Death has had long swing and rule and festival; he has eaten millions at a meal; what if the race should some day avenge itself upon the memory of death by noble Song of Solomon, not self-conceived but inspired by the very Christ who abolished death, and shall say tauntingly, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" produce your weapons—produce your triumphs! The avenging would not be unnatural or ignoble.

God has promised that a period shall be put to the reign of sorrow: "God will wipe away tears from off all faces" ( Isaiah 25:8). Can we not wipe away our own tears? Never. If any man dry his own tears he shall weep again; but if God dry our tears our eyes shall never lose their light. It all comes, therefore, to a consideration of this solemn question—Who shall put an end to this sorrow? Shall we try frivolity—shall we drown our sorrows; shall we banish our grief by pre-engaging our memory by things that die in their using? Or shall we say, Thou living God of all joy, thou only canst put an end to human woe: make my heart glad, and then my face will shine; take the guilt away from my conscience and my whole nature, and then my tears will cease to flow? This is interior work, this is a spiritual miracle, this belongs to the reign of God and the ministry of grace. We resign ourselves, not passively and murmuringly, but actively and thankfully, to God, that he may make us glad with his own joy. The Lord awaits our consent to the drying of our tears.

Then God reveals himself by the overflowing abundance of his goodness:—

"And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" ( Isaiah 25:9).

How is a king"s gift known? Surely by its royalty of fulness, by its having upon it no mark or stain of grudging or littleness. How is God known in the earth? By the very fulness of it; by the attention which has been paid to secret places, to little corners, to tiny things, to threadlets that only a microscope can see. He has finished, so far, this world as if he had never had another world on which to lavish his generous care. We know God by the superabundance of the festival. He never gives merely enough. Yet he never exercises his dominion in wantonness and prodigality, but always with that economy which waits upon the wisest generosity. If we sin against the light we insult the whole noontide. It is no little artificial light that flickers in the infinite darkness that we despise, but a whole firmament of glory. If we sin against Providence, it is against a full table that we rebel; and it is upon an abundant harvest that we pronounce our curse. The Lord leaves nothing half done, does nothing with a grudging hand, keeps back nothing for his own enrichment. Doth not the goodness of the Lord lead thee to repentance? What a noble companion would Goodness make for any man who longed to go home again! Goodness, beginning with the spring, passing into the summer, reddening and purpling with the hospitable autumn—yes, and not scorning the field of snow and the wind all frost, for even there God keeps sanctuary and the Most High his testimony. Sinners, therefore, with an infinite turpitude are they who force their way to their lowest nature, to their original type, to the hell that awaits unrighteousness, through goodness so vast, so delicate, so infinite.

Are we surprised to find such delineations of God in the Old Testament? All these visions might have come before us from some apostolic standpoint. Who has taught us to talk about the "Old" Testament and the "New," as if they were issued from different heavens, and signed by different deities? "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord"—one thought, one purpose, one love. The Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world: before there was any world to sin the sinning world was died for. Is this a mystery? only in words. Is this a contradiction? only in the letter. After long years of spiritual education the soul leaps up and says, Eureka! I have found it—I see it—I know the meaning now—thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift! When men turn their back upon the Old Testament they find no other. Even if they cling to the New Testament it is but half a book. The New Covenant can only be understood by those who are spiritually learned in the Old Covenant. The whole economy of God, in thought, in providence, in purpose, is one and indivisible. Then began the Christ of God at Moses, and the prophets, and the Psalm, and in all the Scriptures, to expound the things concerning himself. "Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me." "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures." The ancient day came to the passing moment, and they constituted one bright morning; and in the light of that dawn they began to understand what might be meant by heaven.

Prayer

Almighty God, the great storm is thine, the mighty wind, the all-shaking tempest: the clouds are the dust of thy feet: all nature is but the garment which thou hast put on for a moment. Our life is thy care, for thou didst form man in thine image and thy likeness that he might show forth thy praise. Thou dost use all ministries for the perfecting of our manhood, even calamities and losses and sore scourgings; these are processes by which thou dost bring us to fulness and assurance of sonship. They are hard to bear; we tremble under thy stroke; a cloud upon thy face destroys our heaven: yet we know not what we do when we murmur and complain. No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; but thou hast a purpose in it all, thou hast an afterwards, in which we shall see the vision perfectly, and understand the purpose, and call thy judgment Love. We will therefore put ourselves into thine hands, not of necessity, but consentingly, lovingly, wisely; for of this are we persuaded, that we are but of yesterday, and know nothing; we cannot tell what is best for us; we form our policies only to see them destroyed; we put up our plans, and behold they are thrown down by a strong wind. Better that thou shouldst rule, for all time, all space, lie naked to thine eye; thou seest all things at once; thou art Alpha and Omega: direct our lives, therefore, for us, and help us to cast all our care upon God, because he careth for us. We bless thee if we have come to this condition of soul: it is as the beginning of heaven, it brings sweet rest to the mind; we now take no thought for the morrow, so long as we hold on by God"s strength, and know that his will is best. But all this we have learned from thy Son Jesus Christ: he is our Teacher, we have been scholars in his school, and we have learned of him; he spoke to us of the Father, of the Father"s gentleness, and care, and love, and pity, and we listened to the music until it filled our souls, and we were enabled by thy strength to answer it with the gift of all our love. Henceforth we live not unto ourselves, but unto him who loved us, and bought us with his own blood. We would be Christ"s wholly, body, soul, and spirit; we would that his name were written upon every faculty of ours, and that Holiness unto the Lord were our one title, and the one seal by which we can be known. Let thy rough wind blow, yea, let thine east wind steal forth upon the earth, only give us to feel that above all the winds is the ruling power of love, is the eye of pity, is the purpose of wisdom; then in the storm we shall find a resting-place, and in the roughest wind we shall bow before a secret altar where God will meet us, and give us joy in the midst of suffering. We cast ourselves into thy hands. Blessed are they who rest there: we hear a voice concerning them which says, No man shall pluck them out of my Father"s hands. Amen.

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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/isaiah-25.html. 1885-95.

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 25:2. A defenced city a ruin. This city, in the next words, is called a palace of strangers; therefore it was a great city. In the critics we find nothing but conjectures, as Samaria—Ar of Moab—Nineveh—Babylon. Memphis, the capital of Egypt, was a palace of strangers, ambassadors, &c.; but we have no certainty of its ruin, till the time of Nebuchadnezzar. It was destroyed by a blast of the terrible ones: Isaiah 25:4. There can scarcely be a doubt remaining, but the city alluded to was Nineveh, which the Babylonian army captured and rebuilt; for those cities stood many contests. See Isaiah 26:5. Nineveh was finally taken by the united armies of Babylon and Media, in the twenty ninth year of king Josiah. After this final overthrow, Nineveh was never rebuilt, The Turkish city of Mosul is on the opposite side of the river Tigris. See on Nahum.

Isaiah 25:5. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers. From this we learn that the city was not as yet destroyed; and that it was a gentile city, a city of strangers, which perfectly coincides with Nineveh.

Isaiah 25:6. In this mountain shall the Lord make a feast to all people. While the prophet is speaking of visitations on the wicked, and intervals of joy in Jerusalem, he does not forget to glance, and constantly to glance, on the superior glory of Zion in the latter day. Josiah’s feast was for the Jews, but the Lord’s feast is for all people of the gentile world. What can that be but the gospel feast, for the poor Jews in the streets and lanes of the city, and for the poor gentiles in the highways and hedges. Wisdom keeps open house for hungry souls; and “yet there is room.”

Isaiah 25:7. He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering, which veiled the holy of holies from vulgar eyes. And what is this veil but the darkness of the gentile world, the gross darkness which covers the people. The Lord by the gospel promises to open their blind eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light. To remove the wall of partition, and give them full access to the holy place in Christ Jesus, and a perfect knowledge of all the mysteries of the great salvation. What is this but a translation out of darkness into marvellous light. It is the light of life opened; the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 25:8. He will swallow up death in victory, by a glorious resurrection from the dead, and by reversing the afflicted state of the church, in all the glory of the latter day. The serpent does not masticate his prey, but swallows it whole. In like manner, by the glorious resurrection of the dead, we shall be swallowed up of immortality and eternal joy. Then the church shall sing the advent of her Lord. Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him. He is come; he will save us with an everlasting salvation.

REFLECTIONS.

Here follows a song of praise for the judgments of God on the impious Assyrians, and for his gracious care in preserving his more faithful people. This song follows the preseding chapter; but I see no reason which criticism has assigned of sufficient weight, why it might not follow the destruction of Sennacherib’s army. It opens with an intimate approach to JEHOVAH. “Oh Lord, thou art my God;” for adversity, which consumes the wicked, drives the church into closer union with the arm of vengeance and protecting love.

It praises him for his judgments, and for his distinguishing mercy. He had made Samaria a heap of ruins, while Jerusalem was miraculously saved, and shone with smiles of brighter joy for having been under a cloud for a few months. God was their refuge from the storm, and a shadow from the heat. The blast of the Assyrians, here called the terrible or formidable ones, and strangers, which came with battering-rams against the wall, God laid low.

After God’s angel had slain the proud blasphemers, who according to the preseding chapter had made men very few, Israel made a feast of fat things and wine in the mountain or temple of the Lord, and to all the people of neighbouring nations who came up to learn the wonders of the Lord. Truly they had cause to do so, for the special marks of God’s protecting love were worthy of the covenant he had made with his people on Sinai. Oh what a feast of joy! One hundred and eighty five thousand of the enemy slain in one night! The survivors of the slaughtered nations would now see the murderers of the earth laid low, and the terrible ones stripped of all their terrors. Surely the nations would now know that there was no God like the God of Israel; and surely Israel would now no more suffer an idol to exist in Jerusalem. But ah, like our vain hearts, they soon forgat, and went astray. The destruction of the Assyrians would very much tend to confirm the credit of the holy prophets; for according to Isaiah, the Lord destroyed the veil and gloomy covering then upon all nations; and the Assyrians, who were as death walking in triumph, were swallowed up in victory. The tears therefore were wiped from all faces.

In this most signal deliverance God gave his church a pledge of what he will ever do in the destruction of her foes. Hence this passage, though it literally belongs to the preservation of Jerusalem, while Moab and Samaria her enemies were not perceived; yet it has justly been applied to the future vengeance everywhere denounced on the unbelieving world. Then shall the church rejoice in the fulness of joy, and sing, Lo this is our God; we have waited for him. He will save us, and we will be glad in his salvation. Thus St. Paul has taught us to improve it, by saying, Death is swallowed up in victory. Hence the good and the fragrance of all God’s former gifts are lasting in excellence throughout every age of the church.

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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/isaiah-25.html. 1835.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 25:6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

Ver. 6. And in this mountain,] i.e., In the Church, [Isaiah 2:2] God’s court, [Isaiah 24:23] as the table stood in the sanctuary.

Shall the Lord of hosts make.] Instead of that tree of life in paradise. See Revelation 2:7.

Unto all people,] i.e., To the elect among all people, for reprobates are not worthy. [Matthew 22:8 Revelation 3:4]

A feast (a) of fat things.] The very best of the best. "Fat things, and marrow of fatness; wines," and the most refined; so that "the meek shall eat and be satisfied"; [Psalms 22:16] "Their soul shall delight itself in fatness." [Isaiah 55:2] In the life to come, especially where there shall be solidum huius convivii complementum ac plena perfruitio. Meanwhile the saints have here, at the Lord’s table especially, their dainties and junketting dishes, their celestial viands and most precious provisions: "fat things marrowed," as the Hebrew word is; not only full of marrow, but picked, as it were, and culled out of the heart of marrow. Wine, (b) first, in "the lees," that keepeth the smell, taste, and vigour, vinum cos, as they call it; {as Jeremiah 48:11} next, of "the finest and the best," such as at Lovain they call vinum theologicum, because the divines there, as also the Sorbonists at Paris, drink much of it. Jesus Christ, in his ordinances and graces, is all this, and much more. [Proverbs 9:2 Matthew 22:2] And yet men had rather, as swine, feed on swill and husks, (c) than on these incomparable delicacies.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-25.html. 1865-1868.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

Thus the first hymnic echo dies away; and the eschatological prophecy, coming back to Isaiah 24:23, but with deeper prayerlike penetration, proceeds thus in Isaiah 25:6 : “And Jehovah of hosts prepares for all nations upon this mountain a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things rich in marrow, of wines on the lees thoroughly strained.” This mountain ” is Zion, the seat of God's presence, and the place of His church's worship. The feast is therefore a spiritual one. The figure is taken, as in Psalms 22:27., from the sacrificial meals connected with the shelâmim (the peace-offerings). Sh e mârim m e zukkâkim are wines which have been left to stand upon their lees after the first fermentation is over, which have thus thoroughly fermented, and have been kept a long time (from shâmar , to keep, spec . to allow to ferment), and which are then filtered before drinking (Gr. οἶνος σακκίας, i.e., διΰλισμένος or διηθικὸς, from διηθεῖν, percolare ), hence wine both strong and clear. Memuchâyı̄m might mean emedullatae (“with the marrow taken out;” compare, perhaps, Proverbs 31:3), but this could only apply to the bones, not to the fat meat itself; the meaning is therefore “mixed with marrow,” made marrowy, m edullosae . The thing symbolized in this way is the full enjoyment of blessedness in the perfected kingdom of God. The heathen are not only humbled so that they submit to Jehovah, but they also take part in the blessedness of His church, and are abundantly satisfied with the good things of His house, and made to drink of pleasure as from a river (Psalms 36:9). The ring of the v. is inimitably pictorial. It is like joyful music to the heavenly feast. The more flexible form ממחיים (from the original, ממחי = ממחה ) is intentionally chosen in the place of ממּסהי ם . It is as if we heard stringed instruments played with the most rapid movement of the bow.

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-25.html. 1854-1889.

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

All Peoples Share in the Salvation

The remaining heathen peoples will come to Mount Zion and may share in the feast that the LORD has prepared for Israel (Isa 25:6). The mountain has become a huge court, where a large crowd can gather. That great platform may have been created by the great landslides that struck the earth during the judgments (Rev 6:14; Zec 14:4).

Isa 25:6 connects to the last verse of Isaiah 24 (Isa 24:23). This banquet is reminiscent of the peace offering, especially in connection with the banquets held on the occasion of the appointment of a king (1Sam 11:15; 2Sam 6:18-19). The wine is a picture of joy (Psa 104:15). There is food and joy of the best kind and in abundance.

We can make a spiritual application here. The "choice pieces with marrow" speak of the rich blessings we have received in Christ, the "unfathomable riches of Christ" (Eph 3:8). We may thus be spiritually nourished by the Holy Spirit who makes this riches a reality for our hearts. If we nourish ourselves with Christ in this way, we can only rejoice, which the "refined, aged wine" speak of.

Not only does God give, but He also takes away. The veil of unbelief which Satan has cast upon the nations and upon Israel which blinded them (2Cor 4:3-4; 2Cor 3:13-16) will be swallowed up (Isa 25:7). The counsel of God, which has been hidden from the people for many centuries, is now unveiled, revealed forever. This counsel implies that God in Christ fulfills His intention to bless the nations through Israel (Col 1:20; Rom 11:11-15). Blinded by Satan, the nations still believe all sorts of nonsense, for example, the foolishness of the theory of evolution. The nations still walk "in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding" (Eph 4:17-18).

Death will also have to return his prey. All those who perished after the church's rapture and during the great tribulation will come to life (Isa 25:8; Rev 20:4). Isa 25:8 is one of the few references in the Old Testament to the resurrection. Modern theologians regard this as a later addition in order to defend their thesis that the idea of resurrection only evolved and came about later in the history of Israel.

Paul does not care. He refers to this verse to show that once death will be abolished completely and not only as here for the believers from Israel and the nations (1Cor 15:54). There will be no more other consequences of sin like tears and defamation for God's people (Rev 21:4). Prophetically, this is a reference to the national and spiritual restoration of Israel (Rom 11:15; Isa 26:19; Eze 37:1-14; Dan 12:2-3; Hos 6:2).

The foregoing is reason for a new hymn of praise. They honor the LORD on Whom they have not hoped in vain. They will come to the acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus is God, that He is the Immanuel, the 'God with us'. There is every reason to rejoice about the redemption He has given (Isa 25:9). Don't we have at least as much reason to rejoice about our redemption from the power of sin? Where is our jubilation of deliverance?

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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Isaiah 25:6". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kng/isaiah-25.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

Thanksgiving for God's Benefits

v. 1. Lord, Thou art my God, the God of the covenant, the God of salvation, Cf Psa_31:15; Psa_40:6; Psa_143:10. I will exalt Thee, in songs of thanksgiving, I will praise Thy name, as the revelation of His wonderful essence; for Thou hast done wonderful things, Thy counsels of old, those pertaining to the deliverance of His people, are faithfulness and truth; for the Lord has kept, and is keeping, His promises concerning the redemption of mankind.

v. 2. For Thou hast made of a city an heap, laid the wicked world city in ruins, of a defensed city a ruin, as described in the preceding chapter. a palace of strangers to be no city, the fortifications, the citadels being used for the entire city; it shall never be built.

v. 3. Therefore shall the strong people glorify Thee, men of various nations being brought to the knowledge of Jehovah, the city of the terrible nations, despots and tyrants, shall fear Thee, Gentiles everywhere coming to the knowledge of the true God.

v. 4. For Thou hast been a strength to the poor, Mat_5:3, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, so that its fury could do no harm, a shadow from the heat, that of various afflictions caused by tile hostility of men, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall, for thus the furious snorting and raging of the violent enemies appears.

v. 5. Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place, even the heat with the shadow of a cloud; the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low, literally, "As the burning of the sun in a dry land Thou didst suppress the raging of tile barbarians, as the burning of the sun by a shadow of a cloud the triumphant song of violent ones must cease"; that is, Just as Jehovah causes the glowing heat of the sun to be cut off by a sheltering bank of clouds, so He is able to quell instantaneously all the raging and the triumph of hosts of enemies.

v. 6. And in this mountain, the spiritual Zion, as the dwelling-place of Jehovah in the midst of His people, shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people, all the inhabitants of the earth being included in His gracious will, a feast of fat things, of the richest foods, a feast of wines on the lees, left on the lees to increase its strength, of fat things full of marrow, rich in strength-building properties, of wines on the lees well refined, properly drawn and filtered. The entire verse, in the Hebrew, is a most poetical and musical song, full of praises for the richness of God's grace in the spiritual food prepared for His children in the Gospel.

v. 7. And He will destroy in this mountain, the habitation of His holy Church, the face of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over all nations, namely, that of their spiritual blindness, brought upon them by their own natural depravity. Cf 2Co_3:15.

v. 8. He will swallow up death in victory, completely abolish it with all its power, 2Ti_1:10; Rev_20:14; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces, Rev_21:4; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth, thus removing the cause of all troubles with which men are suffering; for the Lord hath spoken it. In this manner the final victory of the Church is pictured, the happy perfection of all the saints in the glory of heaven. Cf 1Co_15:28-54. After the final victory over death the people of God, delivered from its power, will praise the Lord throughout eternity.

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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/isaiah-25.html. 1921-23.

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

             4. ZION AS THE PLACE OF THE FEAST GIVEN TO ALL NATIONS IN OPPOSITION TO MOAB, WHICH PERISHES INGLORIOUSLY

  Isaiah 25:6-12

6 And in this mountain

Shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people

A feast of fat things,

A feast of wines on the lees,

Of fat things full of marrow,

Of wines on the lees well refined.

7 And he will [FN5]destroy in this mountain

The face of the covering [FN6]cast over all people,

And the vail that is spread over all nations.

8 He will swallow up death [FN7]in victory;

And the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces;

And the [FN8]rebuke of his people shall he take away

From off all the earth;

For the Lord hath spoken it.

9 And it shall be said in that day,

Lo, this is our God;

We have waited for him, and he will save us:

This is the Lord; we have waited for him,

We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest,

And Moab shall be [FN9][FN10]trodden down under him,

Even as straw is[FN11] [FN12]trodden down for the dunghill.

11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them,

As he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim:

And he shall bring down their pride

Together with the [FN13]spoils of their hands.

12 And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down,

Lay low, and bring to the ground,

Even to the dust.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

Isaiah 25:6. שְׁמָנִים מְמֻחָים are not fat pieces unmarrowed, but, on the contrary, fat pieces marrowy, yea provided with abundant marrow. If the stem מָחָה, from which ממחים comes, is to be regarded as not different from מָחָה to wipe away, and not as a denominative from מֹחַ marrow, we must assume as common fundamental signification “to rub, to spread over, to besmear.” But as then מְמֻחָה would be only what is covered over with fat, not what is in itself fat, the derivation from מֹחַ is in my opinion more probable. This Pual is found only here, and no other of the forms that occur has the signification “pinguem, medullosum esse.” Instead of מְמֻחִים we have מְמֻחָיִם, a verb לה֞ (מָחָה) being formed from מֹחַ and its third radical appearing after the manner of verbs לה֞ (comp. בְּעָיוּ,אֵתָיוּ, Isaiah 21:12). The object of employing this form is to increase the concord of sounds which is in Isaiah 25:6 so prominent.

Isaiah 25:7. In פני הלוט we have the genitive of identity, the covering being marked as that which forms the front view, as the foreside. The substantive לוֹט is found only here. The participle לוֹט is evidently chosen for the sake of assonance (comp. Isaiah 24:3). It is formed after the analogy of קוֹם, 2 Kings 16:7. Comp. Gesen. Gr., § 72, note1. מַסֵּכָה and נְסוּכהָ are not from נָסַךְ effundere, libare, but from another נָסַךְ whose radical meaning seems to be “to weave.” מַסֵּכָה is therefore properly a texture, a woven covering. The word is found besides Isaiah 28:20.

Isaiah 25:10. הִדּוּשׁ is as a verbal form quite abnormal and unexampled. It appears to me to be a changing of the regular infinitive form הִדּוֹשׁ into a nominal form, and is allied to forms such as הִתּוּךְ, Ezekiel 22:22, חִלּוּל, Leviticus 19:24. הדּוּשׁ would then be conculcatio, detrusio.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

1. After the hymn by which the Prophet had given expression to his subjective emotions, he returns to his objective representation of the future. He resumes the discourse broken off at Isaiah 24:23, whilst he further depicts what will happen on Mount Zion, and—in opposition to this—what will befall the wicked. What will take place on Mount Zion is of a twofold character, positive and negative. Positively, the Lord will prepare for all nations a feast consisting of the most precious articles of food and drink ( Isaiah 25:6). Negatively, He will first remove the covering which was hitherto spread over all nations ( Isaiah 25:7); Secondly, He will abolish death, wipe off all tears, and take away the reproach which His people had hitherto to endure on the whole earth ( Isaiah 25:8). While believers rejoice in the salvation prepared for them by Jehovah their God, to whom they can now point as to one who is not merely to be believed in, but to be seen in His manifested presence ( Isaiah 25:9), and whose hand bears and upholds all the glory of Mount Zion ( Isaiah 25:10 a), the Moabites, i.e., those who are represented by Moab, are cast like straw into the dung-hole on which they stand ( Isaiah 25:10 b). They will indeed work with the hands in order to rescue themselves, but their efforts will not save them from the most ignominious ruin, and their proud, high fortresses will be levelled to the ground, and crushed to dust ( Isaiah 25:11-12).

2. And in this mountain——refined.

Isaiah 25:6. “This mountain” points back to “Mount Zion,” Isaiah 24:23. Not only Israel, all nations will be collected on the mountain. There the Lord will prepare a feast for them. That it is a spiritual feast, and that it is not simply for one occasion, but that it will be a permanent, everlasting entertainment, is implied in the nature of the thing. For there everything will be spiritual; and when according to Isaiah 25:8. death will be forever abolished, there must, that the antithesis may be maintained, reign forever life, and everything which is the condition of life. This feast meets us elsewhere, both in the Old and in the New Testament, under various forms. In Exodus 24:11 it is related that Moses and the elders of Israel, after they had seen God, ate and drank on the holy mountain, which transaction we are by all means justified in regarding as a typical one. Comp. Psalm 22:27; Psalm 22:30; Isaiah 55:1; Isaiah 65:11 sqq. In the New Testament this holy feast given by God appears sometimes as the Great Supper ( Luke 14:16 sqq.), sometimes as the marriage of the king’s son ( Matthew 22:1 sqq.; Isaiah 25:1 sqq.), or the marriage of the Lamb ( Revelation 19:7; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 19:17 sqq, in which latter place the counterpart of this feast is set forth). It is remarkable that this most glorious, most spiritual feast is represented in so homely a way by the Prophet. This is a clear example of that law of prophecy according to which the future is always represented from the materials furnished by the present. The richest, strongest, most nutritious thing which Isaiah knew to be served up at an earthly feast, is employed as an image to set forth the heavenly banquet. This richest thing was the fat. Therefore the fat of the animals offered in sacrifice (flos carnis) was the chief constituent of the bloody offerings, especially of the Shelamim [E. V, peace offerings] ( Exodus 29:13-22; Leviticus 3:3-5; Leviticus 9-11; Leviticus 14-16; Leviticus 8:16; Leviticus 9:19 sqq.). We can therefore say: What God Himself formerly required of men, as the noblest part of the victims offered to Him, He now Himself as host offers to His redeemed upon His holy mountain. But the expression “fat” or “marrow” is used also in reference to the land and its vegetable products, to designate the finest. Thus it is said, Genesis 45:18, “ye shall eat the fat of the land;” Numbers 18:12, “all the fat of oil and all the fat of new wine and corn;” Deuteronomy 32:14, “the fat of kidneys of wheat.” That שֶמֶן can stand in this sense, we have already seen from other utterances of Isaiah 5:1; Isaiah 10:16; Isaiah 17:4; Isaiah 28:1-4. The most excellent drink accompanies the choicest food. That Isaiah designates this drink by שְׁמָרִים is owing to the endeavor to put as parallel to שֶׁמָנִים a word resembling it in sound. But the question arises, how can Isaiah call the most excellent wine שְׁמָרִים? This word seems primarily to denote a wine containing dregs, that Isaiah, turbid with dregs, therefore, a bad wine. But Isaiah manifestly understands by שְׁמָרִים wines which have lain a sufficient time on their lees. For the lees are not only the product of a process of purification, but also a reacting substance which contributes to heighten the strength, color and durability of the wine. A wine poured off from its lees too soon tastes too sweet and does not keep long. Cato, too, (De re rust. cap. 154) designates a wine that has lain long enough on its lees vinum faecatum. Comp. Gesenius,Thes., p1444, and his commentary on this place. The expression שְׁמָרִים (only plural) comes therefore from שָׁמַר, and שֶׁמֶר is primarily conservatio, the letting lie, then conservatum, that which is let lie (comp. Jeremiah 48:11). The plural denotes the multiplicity of the ingredients contained in the sediment. שְׁמָרִים is moreover used here metonymically; for it plainly signifies not the lees alone, but also the wine united with the lees. But we can not, of course, drink the lees united with the wine. This wine poured off from the lees must be percolated (מזקק only here in Isaiah).

3. And he will destroy——spoken it.

Isaiah 25:7-8. The covering here spoken of brings at once to mind the vail of Moses, Exodus 34:30 sqq. To the visible covering there corresponds an invisible one also, which lies on the heart. But when the Lord will take away the covering, He will first of all remove the covering of the heart, as Paul says, 2 Corinthians 3:16, “περιαιρεῖται τὸ κὰλυμμα.” Then will the external covering also fall off, and men will be capable of seeing the glory of the Lord face to face ( 1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2). [All that the Prophet here says of a covering and vail must be understood metaphorically. A literal, external covering cast over the nations, distinct from a spiritual one, is not to be thought of. D. M.]. Isaiah 25:8. The second negative blessing is that the Lordswallows up death also. בִּלַּע occurs not unfrequently in Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 9:15; Isaiah 29:3; Isaiah 49:19. It seems here and Isaiah 25:7 to denote more than that its object is removed, for then it could be placed somewhere else; but its object is to be conceived as existing no more. Paul tells us ( 1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 15:54) that death shall in this sense be swallowed up. When there is no death, there are no more tears. For tears flow, either in the case of the living, over that which leads to death; or in the case of survivors, over those who have suffered death. The Apostle John quotes in Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4, our place to prove that he regards the things which he saw as a fulfilment, not only of his own prophecy, but also of that spoken by Isaiah. He thus makes his own prophecy an echo or reproduction of the prophetic word of the Old Testament. Where sin and death have disappeared, there can be no more reproach, but only glory. There is a new earth: it is a dwelling-place of God with man; it has, therefore, become the place of the divine glory. Where then could there be upon it any more a place for the reproach of those who belong to the people of God? For the Lord hath spoken it. Comp. on Isaiah 1:2.

4. And it shall be said——rest

Isaiah 25:9-10 a. What follows is not a hymn, but a report of one. This is plain from the use of the impersonal אמר ( Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 65:8). The hymn in Isaiah 25:1 sqq. came from the Prophet’s own mouth: this one is heard by him, and related with a brief statement of its leading thoughts. The redeemed now see the Lord in whom they have hitherto only believed (comp. Isaiah 25:7 and 1 John 3:2). That they see Him is clear from the expression הנֵּה זֶה (comp. Isaiah 21:9). The heathen, who believed in false gods, experience the very opposite. They are confounded when they must mark the vanity of their idols; but they who believe in Jehovah will after faith be rewarded with seeing; for they can point with the finger to their God as one who is really existent and present before the eyes of all, and can say: Our God is no illusion as your false gods; we and all see Him as truly existing, as Him who was and is to come, יהוה ( Exodus 3:14). Herein is their joy perfect ( John 15:11). ויושׁיענו is not “and He saves us,” but “that He may save us” (comp. Isaiah 8:11; Ew. § 347 a): That the joy for the experienced salvation is not transitory and delusive, but will be everlasting is confirmed by the sentence, For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest,etc., Isaiah 25:10 a. The hand of Jehovah will settle upon this mountain, it will rest upon it ( Isaiah 7:2; Isaiah 11:2). But what the hand of Jehovah holds, stands fast for ever.

5. And Moab——to the dust.

Isaiah 25:10 b –12. In opposition to the high, triumphant joy of believers, the Prophet now depicts the lot of unbelievers. He mentions Moab as the representative of the latter. He cannot mean thereby the whole nation of Moab. For all nations partake of the great feast on the holy mountain ( Isaiah 25:6), from all nations the covering is taken off ( Isaiah 25:7), from all faces the tears are wiped away ( Isaiah 25:8). Moab consequently cannot be excluded. Even Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 48:47) leads us to expect the turning of the captivity of Moab in the latter days. It can therefore be only the Moab that hardens itself against the knowledge of God which will suffer the doom described in Isaiah 25:10 sqq. But if Moab, so far as it is hostile to God, has to bear this sentence, why not likewise the God-opposing elements from all other nations? Moab therefore stands for all. But why is Moab in particular named? The Moabites were remarkable for their unbounded arrogance. Jeremiah ( Isaiah 48:11) specifies as the cause of this arrogance the fact that they had, from the time when they began to be a people, dwelt undisturbed in their own land. Further, we must assume that the Prophet, when he began the sentence ( Isaiah 25:10 b), had before his mind the image which he uses ( Isaiah 25:10-11), and the whole series of thoughts attached to it. It Isaiah, moreover, probable that he chose the name Moab just for the sake of the image. According to Genesis 19:37 the father of the Moabites owed his birth to the incestuous intercourse of the eldest daughter of Lot with her father. An allusion to this fact has been always supposed to be contained in the name מוֹאָב. And this view is not destitute of philological support, comp. Ges.Thes., p774, sub voceמואב. The K’ri מוֹ מַדְמֵנָה lets us more clearly perceive why Isaiah made mention of Moab as the representative of the heathen world, and should, therefore, perhaps be preferred. But, whether we read מֵי or מוֹ, it is manifest that the Prophet wishes to express the idea “water of the dung-hole,” and that, alluding to the etymology of Moab, he has named the unbelievers of Moab as representatives of the unbelievers of all nations. Moab is therefore cast down ( Isaiah 28:27 sq.; Isaiah 41:15) under him (i.e., under the place on which he stood, comp. Exodus 16:29; Joshua 5:8; Joshua 6:5; Job 40:12; Amos 2:13). Straw is cast into the filthy water of the dung-hole, in order that it may be saturated by it, and rendered fitter for manure. Our interpretation of מו מ׳ is confirmed by the fact that מדמנה obviously contains an intentional allusion to the Moabite city מַדְמֵן ( Jeremiah 48:2). The person cast into the dung-hole seeks to save himself. We have therefore to suppose the hole to be of considerable extent. He spreads forth his hands as if to swim. But it is sorry swimming. The desperate struggle for life is thus depicted. The effort is unavailing. Moab must find an ignominious end in the impure element. The Lord presses Him down. Moab is elsewhere blamed for two evil qualities: 1) his pride, 2) his lying disposition ( Isaiah 16:6; Jeremiah 48:29). A corresponding punishment is inflicted: the lies, the artifices symbolized by the skilful motions of the hands (ארבות from אָרַבnectere, especially insidias struere) are of no avail. The haughty Moab (comp. נאוה here and Jeremiah 16:6) must perish in the pool of filthy water. The Lord humbles the proud by making disgrace an element of their punishment. That עִם signifies “in spite of” is not sufficiently attested. It can well retain here its proper signification “with;” for, in fact, Jehovah presses down not only the proud, but also the cunning and artful. The humbling of pride Isaiah, however, the main thing. This is therefore once more asserted, Jeremiah 25:13, without a figure in strong expressions. The phrase “the defence of the height of thy walls” for “the defence of thy high walls” is idiomatic Hebrew. Compensation for the adjective is sought in substantive forms (comp. Isaiah 22:7; Isaiah 30:30). Three verbs are used corresponding to the three substantives. If עד־עפר is not equivalent simply to לארץ, we must find in it the idea of being reduced to dust.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

1. Isaiah 24:2. “When general judgments take place, no distinction is observed between man and wife, master and servant, mistress and maid, learned and unlearned, noble and plebeian, clergy and laity; therefore let no one rely on any external prerogative or superiority, but let every one without distinction repent and forsake sin.”—Cramer. Though this is right, yet we must, on the other hand, remember that the Lord declares in reference to the same great event, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” ( Matthew 24:10 sq.). There is no contradiction in these two statements. Both are true: outward relations will make no difference; there shall be no respect of persons. But the state of the heart will make a difference. According to the inward character there will, in the case of those whose external position in the world is perfectly alike, be some who enter life, others whose doom is death.

2. Isaiah 24:5 sq. “The earth is burdened with sins, and is therefore deprived of every blessing. The earth must suffer for our guilt, when we have as it were spoilt it, and it must be subject to vanity for our sakes ( Romans 8:20). What wonder is it that it should show itself ungrateful toward us?”—Cramer.

3. Isaiah 24:13 sq. “Observe the small number of this remnant; here and there one who shall escape the common calamity (as Noah and his family, when the old world was drowned), who when all faces gather blackness, can lift up their head with joy. Luke 21:26-28.” Henry.—D. M.].

4. Isaiah 24:17-20. Our earth is a volcanic body. Mighty volcanic forces were active at its formation. That these are still in commotion in the interior of the earth is proved by the many active volcanoes scattered over the whole earth, and by the perpetual volcanic convulsions which we call earthquakes. These have hitherto been confined to particular localities. But who can guarantee that a concentration and simultaneous eruption of those volcanic forces, that Isaiah, a universal earthquake, shall not hereafter occur? The Lord makes express mention of earthquakes among the signs which shall precede His second coming ( Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11). And in 2 Peter 3:5 sqq. the future destruction of the earth by fire is set over against the destruction of the old world by water. Isaiah in our place announces a catastrophe whose characteristic features will be that, 1) there will be no escape from it; 2) destructive forces will assail from above and below; 3) the earth will be rent asunder; 4) it will reel and totter; 5) it will suffer so heavy a fall that it will not rise again ( Isaiah 24:20 b). Is there not here a prophecy of the destruction of the earth by volcanic forces? And how suddenly can they break loose! The ministers of the word have every reason to compare this extreme exposedness of our earth to fire, and the possibility of its unexpectedly sudden collapse with the above-cited warnings of the word of God, and to attach thereto the admonition which is added in 2 Peter 3:11.

5. Isaiah 24:21. The earth is a part of our planetary system. It is not what it appears to the optical perception to be, a central body around which worlds of a different nature revolve, but it, together with many similar bodies, revolves round a common centre. The earth according to that view of the account of the creation in Genesis 1, which appears to me the true one, has arisen with all the bodies of our Solar system out of one primary matter, originally united, common to them all. If our Solar System is a well-ordered, complete organism, it must rest on the basis of a not merely formal, but also material unity; i.e., the separate bodies must move, not only according to a principle of order which governs all, but they must also as to their substance be essentially like. And as they arose simultaneously, so must they perish simultaneously. It is inconceivable that our earth alone should disappear from the organism of the Solar System, or pass over to a higher material condition. Its absence, or ceasing to exist in its previous form and substance, would necessarily draw after it the ruin of the whole system. Hence the Scripture speaks every where of a passing away and renovation of the heaven and the earth ( Psalm 102:26; Isaiah 51:6; Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:29; Matthew 24:35; 2 Peter 3:7; 2 Peter 3:10; 2 Peter 3:13; Hebrews 12:26; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:1). The heaven that shall pass away with a great noise, whose powers shall be shaken, whose stars shall fall, is the planetary heaven. The same lot will happen to the companions of our earth, to the other planets, and to the centre, the sun, and to all other co-ordinate and subordinate stellar bodies, which will befall the earth itself. This is the substance of the view which serves as a basis for our place. But personal beings are not thereby by any means excluded from the צבא מרום. The parallel expression מלכי האדמה, and the use in other places of the related expression צבא השׁמים lead us rather to suppose personal beings to be included. But I believe that a distinction must be made here. As the heavenly bodies which will pass away simultaneously with the earth, can only be those which arose together with it, and which stand in organic connection with it, so also the angelic powers, which are judged simultaneously with us men, can be only those which stand in connection with the heavenly bodies of our Solar System, i.e., with the earthly material world. There are heavenly bodies of glorious pneumatic substance. If personal beings stand in connection with them, they must also be pure, glorious, resplendent beings. These will not be judged. They are the holy angels, who come with the Lord ( Matthew 25:31). But it is quite conceivable that all the bodies of our Solar System are till the judgment like our earth suffered to be the theatre of the spirits of darkness.

6. Isaiah 24:21-23, It seems to me that the Prophet has here sketched the chief matters pertaining to eschatology. For the passing away of heaven and earth, the binding of Satan ( Revelation 20:1-3), the loosing of Satan again ( Revelation 20:7), and finally the reign of God alone, which will make sun and moon unnecessary ( Revelation 21:23)—are not these the boundary-stones of the chief epochs of the history of the end of the world?

7. [“The Lord of hosts makes this feast. The provision is very rich, and every thing is of the best. It is a feast, which supposes abundance and variety; it is a continual feast to believers: it is their fault if it be not. It is a feast of fat things and full of marrow; so relishing, so nourishing are the comforts of the Gospel to all those that feast upon them and digest them. The returning prodigal was entertained with the fatted calf; and David has that pleasure in communion with God, with which his soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness. It is a feast of wines on the lees; the strongest-bodied wines, that have been long kept upon the lees, and then are well refined from them, so that they are clear and fine. There is that in the Gospel which, like fine wine, soberly used, makes glad the heart, and raises the spirits, and is fit for those that are of a heavy heart, being under convictions of sin, and mourning for it, that they may drink and forget their misery (for that is the proper use of wine; it is a cordial for those that need it, Proverbs 31:6-7) may be of good cheer, knowing that their sins are forgiven, and may be vigorous in their spiritual work and warfare, as a strong man refreshed with wine.” Henry.—D. M.]

8. Isaiah 25:9. “In the Old Testament the vail and covering were before men’s eyes, partly because they waited for the light that was to appear, partly because they sat in darkness and in the shadow of death ( Luke 1:79). The fulfilment of this prediction has in Christ already begun, and will at last be perfectly fulfilled in the Church triumphant where all ignorance and sorrow shall be dispelled ( 1 Corinthians 13:12).” Cramer.

9. Isaiah 25:8. “God here represents Himself as a mother, who presses to her bosom her sorrowful Song of Solomon, comforts him and wipes away his tears ( Isaiah 66:13). The righteous are to believe and appropriate this promise, that every one may learn to speak with Paul in the time of trial: the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, Romans 8:18.” Cramer.

10. Isaiah 25:10. “This is now the hope and consolation of the church that the hand of the Lord rests on this mountain, that Isaiah, that He will be gracious, and let His power, help and grace be there seen and felt. But the unbelieving Moabites, i.e., the Jews, with all others who will not receive the gospel, shall be threshed to pieces as straw in the mire; these the Lord’s hand will not rescue, as it helps those who wait on Him, but it shall press them down so that they will never rise, according to the saying, Mark 16:16.” Veit Dietrich.

11. Isaiah 25 Three thoughts contained in this chapter we should hold fast: 1) When we see the world triumph over every thing which belongs to the Lord and His kingdom, when our hearts are anxious about the preservation in the world of the Church of Christ, which is sore oppressed, let this word of the Prophet comfort our hearts. The world-city which contains all that is of the world, sinks into the dust, and the church of Christ goes from her chains and bands into the state of freedom and glory. We have often seen that it is the Lord’s way to let every thing come to maturity. When it is once ripe, He comes suddenly with His sentence. Let us comfort ourselves therewith, for thus will it happen with the world and its dominion over the faithful followers of Christ. When it is ripe, suddenly it will come to an end2) No one who has a heart for the welfare of the nations can see without the deepest pain how all hearts are now seduced and befooled, and all eyes closed and covered. The simplest truths are no longer acknowledged, but the more perverse, brutal and mean views and doctrines are, the more greedily are they laid hold of. We cannot avert this. But our comfort is that even this seduction of the nations will reach its climax. Then men will come to themselves. The vail and covering will fall off, and the Gospel will shine with new light before the nations. Therewith let us comfort ourselves3) Till this happens, the church is sorrowful. But she shall be full of joy. The promise is given to her that she shall be fully satisfied with the good things of the house of the Lord. A life is promised to her which neither death nor any pain can affect, as she has rest from all enemies. The word of the Lord shall be fulfilled in her: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. The Church that has such a promise may wait in patient quietness for its accomplishment, and praise the Lord in affliction, till it pleases Him to glorify her before all nations.” Weber, The Prophet Isaiah. 1875.

12. Isaiah 26:1. “The Christian church is a city of God. God has built it, and He is the right Master-builder. It is strong: 1) on account of the Builder; 2) on account of the foundation and corner-stone, which is Christ; 3) on account of the bond wherewith the living stones are bound together, which is the unity of the faith.” Cramer. [The security and happiness of true believers, both on earth and in heaven, is represented in Scripture under the image of their dwelling in a city in which they can bid defiance to all their enemies. We dwell in such a city even now, Psalm 46:4-5. We look for such a city, Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 11:16; Revelation 21—D. M.]

13. [These words may be taken as a description of the people whom God owns, who are fit to be accounted members of the church of the living God on earth, and who will not be excluded from the celestial city. Instead of complaining that only the righteous and the faithful will be admitted into the heavenly city, it should rather give us joy to think that there will be no sin there, that none but the just and true will there be found. This has been a delightful subject of reflection to God’s saints. The last words written by Henry Martyn were: “Oh! when shall time give place to eternity? When shall appear that new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness? There, there shall in no wise enter in any thing that defileth; none of that wickedness which has made men worse than wild beasts—none of their corruptions which add to the miseries of mortality shall be seen or heard of any more.”—D. M.]

14. Isaiah 26:4. “The fourth privilege of the church is trust in God the Rock of Ages, i.e., in Christ, who not only here, but also Matthew 16; 1 Corinthians 10; 1 Peter 2, is called a rock in a peculiar manner, because no other foundation of salvation and of the church can be laid except this rock, which is here called the rock of ages on account of the eternity of His being, merit and office. Hence a refutation can be drawn of the papistical fable which makes Peter and his successors, the Roman Pontiffs, to be the rock on which the church is built.” Foerster. [“Whatever we trust to the world for, it will be but for a moment. All we expect from it is confined within the limits of time; but what we trust in God for will last as long as we shall last. For in the Lord Jehovah, Jah, Jehovah, in Him who was, and Isaiah, and is to come, there is a rock of ages, a firm and lasting foundation for faith and hope to build upon; and the house built on that rock will stand in a storm.” Henry.”—D. M.]

15. Isaiah 26:5. “It is very common with the prophets, when they prophesy of the kingdom of Christ to make reference to the proud and to the needy, and to represent the latter as exalted and the former as brought low. This truth is directed properly against the self-righteous. For Christ and His righteousness will not endure spiritual pride and presumption; but the souls that are poor, that hunger and thirst for grace, that know their need, these Christ graciously receives.” Cramer.

16. Isaiah 26:6. “It vexes the proud all the more that they will be overcome by those who are poor and of no consequence. For example, Goliath was annoyed that a boy should come against him with a staff ( 1 Samuel 13:43) Cramer.

17. Isaiah 26:8-10. That the justice of God must absolutely manifest itself that the majesty of the Lord may be seen, and that the wicked may learn righteousness, must even from a new Testament view-point be admitted. But the New Testament disputes the existence of any one who is righteous when confronted by the law, and who is not deserving of punishment. [But that there is none righteous, no not one, is taught most emphatically in the Old Testament also.—D. M.]. But it (the New Testament) while it shuts up all, Jews and Gentiles, without exception, under sin ( Galatians 3:22; Romans 3:9; Romans 11:32), sets forth a scheme of mediation, which, while it renders full satisfaction to justice, at the same time offers to all the possibility of deliverance. This mediation is through the Cross of Christ. It is only when this mediation has not been accepted that punitive justice has free course. It should not surprise us that even the Evangelist of the Old Covenant, who wrote chap53, did not possess perfect knowledge of this mediation. Let us remember John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:7; Matthew 11:11) and the disciples of the Lord ( Luke 9:54). [Let us not forget that Isaiah was a true Prophet, and spoke as he was moved by the Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul did not find fault with the most terrible denunciations of judgment contained in the Old Testament, or affect a superiority over the men who uttered them. On the contrary, he quotes them as words which could not be suffered to fall, but which must be fulfilled in all their dreadful import. See e.g. Romans 11:9-10.—D. M.].

18. Isaiah 26:12. “It is a characteristic of true, sincere Christians, that they give God the glory and not themselves, and freely confess that they have nothing of themselves, but everything from God ( 1 Corinthians 4:7; Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 12:2).” Cramer.

19. Isaiah 26:16. The old theologians have many comforting and edifying thoughts connected with this place: “A magnet has the power to raise and attract to itself iron. Our heart is heavy as iron. But the hand of God is as a magnet. When that hand visits us with affliction, it lifts us up, and draws us to itself.” “Distress teaches us to pray, and prayer again dispels all distress. One wedge displaces the other.” “Ex gravibus curis impellimur ad pia vota.” “Ex monte myrrhae procedimus ad collem thuris ( Song of Solomon 9:6). In amaritudine crucis exsurgit odor devotae precationis ( Psalm 86:6 sq.).” “Ubi nulla crux et tentatio, ibi nulla vera oratio. Oratio sine mails est tanquam avis sine alis. Optimus orandi magister necessitas. Τὰ παθήματα μαθήματα. Quae nocent, docent. Ubi tentatio, ibi oratio. Mala, quae hic nos premunt, ad Deum ire compellunt. Qui nescit orare, ingrediatur mare.” “When the string is most tightly drawn, it sounds best. Cross and temptation are the right prayer-bell. They are the press by which God crushes out the juice of prayer.” Cramer and Foerster.

20. Isaiah 26:20. As God, when the deluge was about to burst, bade Noah go into his ark as into his chamber, and Himself shut the door on him ( Genesis 7:6); so does the Lord still act when a storm is approaching; He brings His own into a chamber where they can be safe, either for their temporal preservation and protection against every might ( Psalm 91:1), or, on the other hand, to give them repose by a peaceful and happy death.” “His anger endureth but a moment; in his favor is life ( Psalm 30:6).” Cramer.

21. [“Great and mighty princes [nations] if they oppose the people of God, are in God’s account, as dragons and serpents, and plagues of mankind; and the Lord will punish them in due time. They are too big for men to deal with, and call to an account; and therefore the great God will take the doing of it into His own hands.” Henry.—D. M.].

22. Isaiah 27:2-5. “It seems to the world that God has no concern for His church and Christians, else, we imagine, they would be better off. But certain it Isaiah, that it is not the angels but God Himself that will be watcher over this vineyard, and will send it gracious rain.” Veit Dietrich. [“The church is a vineyard of red wine, yielding the best and choicest grapes, intimating the reformation of the church, that it now brings forth good fruit unto God, whereas before it brought forth fruit to itself, or brought forth wild grapes, Isaiah 5:4.” “God takes care (1) of the safety of this vineyard; I the Lord do keep it. He speaks this, as glorying in it, that He Isaiah, and has undertaken to be, the keeper of Israel; those that bring forth fruit to God are, and shall be always, under His protection. (2) God takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard: I will water it every moment; and yet it shall not be over watered. We need the constant and continual waterings of the divine grace; for if that be at any time withdrawn, we wither and come to nothing.” Henry. D. M.].

23. Isaiah 27:4. “Est aurea promissio, qua praecedentem confirmat. Indignatio non est mihi, fury is not in me. Quomodo enim is nobis irasci potest, qui pro nobis est mortuus? Quanquam igitur appareat, eum irasci, non tamen est verum, quod irascatur. Sic Paulo immittitur angelus Satanae, sed non est ira, nam ipse Christus dicit: sufficit tibi gratia mea. Sic pater filium delinquentem castigat, sed non est ira, quanquam appareat ira esse. Custodia igitur vineae aliquando cogit Deum immittere speciem irae, ne pereat luxurie, sed non est ira. Est insignis textus, which we should inscribe on all tribulations: Non est indignatio mihi, non possum irasci. Quod autem videtur irasci est custodia vineae, ne pereas et fias securus. Luther. “In order to understand fully the doctrine of the wrath of God we must have a clear perception of the antithesis: the long-suffering of God, and the wrath of God, wrath and mercy.” Lange.

24. Isaiah 27:7-9. “Christ judges His church, i.e., He punishes and afflicts it, but He does this in measure. The sorrow and cross is meted out, and is not, as it appears to us, without measure and infinite. It is so measured that redemption must certainly follow. But why does God let His Christians so suffer? Why does He not lay the cross on the wicked? God answers this question and speaks: the sin of Jacob will thereby cease. That is: God restrains sin by the cross, and subdues the old Adam.” Veit Dietrich.

25. [“The application of this verse to a future restoration of the Jews can neither be established nor disproved. In itself considered, it appears to contain nothing which may not be naturally applied to events long past.” J. A. Alexander.—“This prediction was completely and entirely fulfilled by the return of the Jews to their own country under the decree of Cyrus.” Barnes.—D. M.].

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

1. On Isaiah 24:4-6. Fast-day sermon. Warning against dechristianization of the life of the people1) Wherein such dechristianization consists: a, transgression of the commandments that are in force; b, alteration of the commandments which are essential articles of the everlasting covenant, as e.g. removing of all state institutions from the basis of religion2) Its consequences: a, Desecration of the land (subjectively, by the spread of a profane, godless sentiment; objectively, by the secularization of relations hitherto held sacred); b, the curse consumes the land, Isaiah 24:4.

2. On Isaiah 25:1-5. The Lord, the refuge of the needy1) He has the power to help. This we perceive a, from His nature (Lord, God, Wonderful); b, from His deeds ( Isaiah 25:1 b, Isaiah 25:2). 2) He gives His strength even to the feeble, ( Isaiah 25:4). 3) These are thereby victorious, ( Isaiah 25:5).

3. On Isaiah 25:6-9. Easter Sermon, by T. Schaeffer (Manch. Gab. u. ein Geist III. p269):—“The glorious Easter-blessing of the Risen One: 1) Wherein it consists? 2) who receive it? 3) what are its effects? Christmas Sermon, by Romberg [ibid. 1869, p78): Our text represents to us Christmas joy under the image of a festive board. Let us consider, 1) the host; 2) the guests; 3) the gifts.”

4. On Isaiah 26:1-4. Concerning the church1) She is a strong city in which salvation is to be found2) The condition of having a portion in her is faith3) The blessing which she is instrumental in procuring is peace.

5. Isaiah 26:19-21. The comfort of the Christian for the present and future1) For the present the Christian is to betake himself to his quiet chamber, where he is alone with his Lord and by Him made cheerful and secure2) For the future he has the certain hope, a, that the Lord will judge the wicked, b, raise the believer to everlasting life.

6. Isaiah 27:2-9. How the Lord deals with His vineyard, the church1) Fury is not in Him towards it; 2) He protects and purifies it; 3) He gives it strength, peace and growth; 4) He chastens it in measure; 5) He makes the chastisement itself serve to purge it from sins.

Footnotes:

FN#5 - Heb. Swallow up.

FN#6 - Heb. covered.

FN#7 - for ever.

FN#8 - reproach.

FN#9 - Or, threshed.

FN#10 - be cast down.

FN#11 - Or, threshed in Madmenah.

FN#12 - cast down into the waters of the dunghole.

FN#13 - devices.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/isaiah-25.html. 1857-84.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Isaiah

‘IN THIS MOUNTAIN’

THE FEAST ON THE SACRIFICE

Isaiah 25:6.

There is here a reference to Sinai, where a feast followed the vision of God. It was the sign of covenant, harmony, and relationship, and was furnished by a sacrifice.

I. The General Ideas contained in this Image of a Feast.

We meet it all through Scripture; it culminates in Christ’s parables and in the ‘Marriage Supper of the Lamb.’

In the image are suggested:-

Free familiarity of access, fellowship, and communion with Him.

Abundant Supply of all wants and desires.

Festal Joy.

Family Intercommunion.

II. The Feast follows on Sacrifice. We find that usage of a feast following a sacrifice existing in many races and religions. It seems to witness to a widespread consciousness of sin as disturbing our relations with God. These could be set right only by sacrifice, which therefore must precede all joyful communion with Him.

The New Testament accepts that truth and clears it from the admixture of heathenism.

God provides the Sacrifice.

It is not brought by man. There is no need for our efforts-no atonement to be found by us. The sacrifice is not meant to turn aside God’s wrath.

Communion is possible through Christ.

In Him God is revealed.

Objective hindrances are taken away.

Subjective ones are removed.

Dark fears-indifference-dislike of fellowship-Sin-these make communion with God impossible.

At Sinai the elders ‘saw God, and did eat and drink’ Here the end of the preceding chapter shows the ‘elders’ gazing on the glory of Jehovah’s reign in Zion.

III. The Feast consists of a Sacrifice.

Christ is the food of our souls, He and His work are meant to nourish our whole being. He is the object for all our nature.

The Sacrifice must be incorporated with us. It is not enough that it be offered, it must also be partaken of.

Now the Sacrifice is eaten by faith, and by occupation with it of each part of our being, according to its own proper action. Through love, obedience, hope, desire, we may all feed on Jesus.

The Lord’s Supper presents the same thoughts, under similar symbols, as Isaiah expressed in his prophecy.

Symbolically we feast on the sacrifice when we eat the Bread which is the Body broken for us. But the true eating of the true sacrifice is by faith. Crede et manducasti-Believe, and thou hast eaten.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/isaiah-25.html.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Blessings of the Gospel. B. C. 718.

6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

If we suppose (as many do) that this refers to the great joy which there should be in Zion and Jerusalem when the army of the Assyrians was routed by an angel, or when the Jews were released out of their captivity in Babylon, or upon occasion of some other equally surprising deliverance, yet we cannot avoid making it to look further, to the grace of the gospel and the glory which is the crown and consummation of that grace for it is at our resurrection through Christ that the saying here written shall be brought to pass then, and not till then (if we may believe St. Paul), it shall have its full accomplishment: Death is swallowed up in victory, 1 Corinthians 15:54. This is a key to the rest of the promises here connected together. And so we have here a prophecy of the salvation and the grace brought unto us by Jesus Christ, into which the prophets enquired and searched diligently, 1 Peter 1:10.

I. That the grace of the gospel should be a royal feast for all people not like that of Ahasuerus, which was intended only to show the grandeur of the master of the feast (Esther 1:4) for this is intended to gratify the guests, and therefore, whereas all there was for show, all here is for substance. The preparations made in the gospel for the kind reception of penitents and supplicants with God are often in the New Testament set forth by the similitude of a feast, as Matthew 22:1, &c., which seems to be borrowed from this prophecy. 1. God himself is the Master of the feast, and we may be sure he prepares like himself, as becomes him to give, rather than as becomes us to receive. The Lord of hosts makes this feast. 2. The guests invited are all people, Gentiles as well as Jews. Go preach the gospel to every creature. There is enough for all, and whoever will may come, and partake freely, even those that are gathered out of the highways and the hedges. 3. The place is Mount Zion. Thence the preaching of the gospel takes rise: the preachers must begin at Jerusalem. The gospel church is the Jerusalem that is above there this feast is made, and to it all the invited guests must go. 4. The provision is very rich, and every thing is of the best. It is a feast, which supposes abundance and variety it is a continual feast to believers, it is their own fault if it be not. It is a feast of fat things and full of marrow so relishing, so nourishing, are the comforts of the gospel to all those that feast upon them and digest them. The returning prodigal was entertained with the fatted calf and David has that pleasure in communion with God with which his soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness. It is a feast of wines on the lees, the strongest-bodied wines, that have been kept long upon the lees, and then are well refined from them, so that they are clear and fine. There is that in the gospel which, like wine soberly used, makes glad the heart and raises the spirits, and is fit for those that are of a heavy heart, being under convictions of sin and mourning for it, that they may drink and forget their misery (for that is the proper use of wine--it is a cordial for those that need it, Proverbs 31:5,6), may be of good cheer, knowing that their sins are forgiven, and may be vigorous in their spiritual work and warfare, as a strong man refreshed with wine.

II. That the world should be freed from that darkness of ignorance and mistake in the mists of which it had been so long lost and buried (Isaiah 25:7): He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering (the covering of the face) with which all people are covered (hood-winked or blind-folded) so that they cannot see their way nor go about their work, and by reason of which they wander endlessly. Their faces are covered as those of men condemned, or dead men. There is a veil spread over all nations, for they all sit in darkness and no marvel, when the Jews themselves, among whom God was known, had a veil upon their hearts, 2 Corinthians 3:15. But this veil the Lord will destroy, by the light of his gospel shining in the world, and the power of his Spirit opening men's eyes to receive it. He will raise those to spiritual life that have long been dead in trespasses and sins.

III. That death should be conquered, the power of it broken, and the property of it altered: He will swallow up death in victory, Isaiah 25:8. 1. Christ will himself, in his resurrection, triumph over death, will break its bands, its bars, asunder, and cast away all its cords. The grave seemed to swallow him up, but really he swallowed it up. 2. The happiness of the saints shall be out of the reach of death, which puts a period to all the enjoyments of this world, embitters them, and stains the beauty of them. 3. Believers may triumph over death, and look upon it as a conquered enemy: O death! where is thy sting? 4. When the dead bodies of the saints shall be raised at the great day, and their mortality swallowed up of life, then death will be for ever swallowed up of victory and it is the last enemy.

IV. That grief shall be banished, and there shall be perfect and endless joy: The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. Those that mourn for sin shall be comforted and have their consciences pacified. In the covenant of grace there shall be that provided which is sufficient to counterbalance all the sorrows of this present time, to wipe away our tears, and to refresh us. Those particularly that suffer for Christ shall have consolations abounding as their afflictions do abound. But in the joys of heaven, and nowhere short of them, will fully be brought to pass this saying, as that before, for there it is that God shall wipe away all tears, Revelation 7:17,21:4. And there shall be no more sorrow, because there shall be no more death. The hope of this should now wipe away all excessive tears, all the weeping that hinders sowing.

V. That all the reproach cast upon religion and the serious professors of it shall be for ever rolled away: The rebuke of his people, which they have long lain under, the calumnies and misrepresentations by which they have been blackened, the insolence and cruelty with which their persecutors have trampled on them and trodden them down, shall be taken away. Their righteousness shall be brought forth as the light, in the view of all the world, who shall be convinced that they are not such as they have been invidiously characterized and so their salvation from the injuries done them as such shall be wrought out. Sometimes in this world God does that for his people which takes away their reproach from among men. However, it will be done effectually at the great day for the Lord has spoken it, who can, and will, make it good. Let us patiently bear sorrow and shame now, and improve both for shortly both will be done away.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/isaiah-25.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

The kind reception of repentant sinners, is often in the New Testament likened to a feast. The guests invited are all people, Gentiles as well as Jews. There is that in the gospel which strengthens and makes glad the heart, and is fit for those who are under convictions of sin, and mourning for it. There is a veil spread over all nations, for all sat in darkness. But this veil the Lord will destroy, by the light of his gospel shining in the world, and the power of his Spirit opening men's eyes to receive it. He will raise those to spiritual life who were long dead in trespasses and sins. Christ will himself, in his resurrection, triumph over death. Grief shall be banished; there shall be perfect and endless joy. Those that mourn for sin shall be comforted. Those who suffer for Christ shall have consolations. But in the joys of heaven, and not short of them, will fully be brought to pass this saying, God shall wipe away all tears. The hope of this should now do away over-sorrow, all weeping that hinders sowing. Sometimes, in this world God takes away the reproach of his people from among men; however, it will be done fully at the great day. Let us patiently bear sorrow and shame now; both will be done away shortly.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/isaiah-25.html. 1706.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

In this mountain; in Mount Zion, to wit, in God’s church, which is very frequently meant by the names of Zion and Jerusalem, both in the Old and in the New Testament.

Make unto all people, both Jews and Gentiles, who shall then be admitted to the participation of the same privileges and ordinances,

a feast of fat things; a feast made up of the most exquisite and delicate provisions; which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in and to his church.

Of wines on the lees; which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and afterwards drawn off from the lees, and so refined, as it is explained in the next clause.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-25.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

Yahweh Will Bring Down ‘The City’ With all Its Anti-God Significance And Will Uphold His People and Defeat Death So That They Rise Again (Isaiah 25:1-8).

Analysis.

a O Yahweh, you are my God, I will exalt you, I will give thankful praise to your name, for you have done wonderful things, counsels of old in faithfulness and truth (Isaiah 25:1)

b For you have made of a city a heap, of a defenced city a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city, it will never be built. Therefore will the strong people glorify you, the city of the terrible nations will fear you (Isaiah 25:2-3).

c For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress (Isaiah 25:4 a).

c A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against a wall (Isaiah 25:4 b).

b As the heat in a dry place, you will bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the terrible will be brought low, and in this mountain will Yahweh of hosts make to all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined (Isaiah 25:5-6).

a And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering (shroud) that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He has swallowed up death for ever, and the Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from off all the earth, for Yahweh has said it (Isaiah 25:7-8).

In ‘a’ Yahweh is to be praised because He has done wonderful things, things declared from of old. and in the parallel He will do a new thing, an even greater wonder, for He will destroy death, removing tears and reproach and bring His people everlasting life. In ‘b’ the strong will glorify Him and the terrible will fear Him and all that belonged to the terrible will be a heap and a ruin, and in the parallel the song of the terrible will be brought low, but those who are Yahweh’s will feast with Him luxuriously. In ‘c’ and parallel all this is because Yahweh is the refuge and strength of His people.

Isaiah 25:1-3

‘O Yahweh, you are my God, I will exalt you,

I will give thankful praise to your name,

For you have done wonderful things,

Counsels of old in faithfulness and truth.

For you have made of a city a heap,

Of a defenced city a ruin.

A palace of strangers to be no city.

It will never be built.

Therefore will the strong people glorify you,

The city of the terrible nations will fear you.’

The song is a song of triumph at the victory of Yahweh as described in Isaiah 24:23, seen as looking back on His powerful activity in history and exulting in what He has done and giving Him thankful praise. He has done ‘wonderful things’, mighty wonders, carrying out His wise plans (counsel) which were from of old, faithfully and honourably.

Note the emphasis on His sovereignty throughout history. At the end it will be seen that He has carried through what He planned from the beginning, faithfully and truly fulfilling His covenant.

For He has brought down ‘the city’ which stood for all that was against God, the city of wastedness, of emptiness (Isaiah 24:10) (Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and so also are Nineveh, and Tyre, and Thebes, and Rome). It has been made a heap and a ruin. It is no more. Such is the palace of those who refuse to become one of God’s people, who remain strangers to Him and to them. They will be a ‘no city’. They will dwell among the ruins.

From the beginning the ‘city’, whether Cain’s city (a tent or cave encampment - Genesis 4:17) or Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), has been seen as in opposition to God. When men gather together it is usually to do mischief. They begin to exert themselves against their fellowmen, and to indulge themselves in idle luxury and engage in evil behaviour.

That is why after the building of Babel and the scattering of mankind God is seen as turning to one who had no continuing city, to Abraham the friend of God, a pilgrim and stranger in the earth (Hebrews 11:9-10; Hebrews 13:14; James 2:23). Even Jerusalem, the concept of which was to build a city of God, turned bad (Isaiah 1:21), and has had to be replaced by a heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 12:22; Hebrews 13:14; Galatians 4:26).

So in this cry of triumph is a recognition that all cities oppose God and His people and are therefore doomed (Isaiah 26:5). The city is ever a symbol of man’s opposition to God. It includes Nineveh, and Tyre, and eventually Rome. But especially Babylon with all that it stood for. It will be destroyed, never to be rebuilt.

This will cause strong nations to stand in awe of Him and give Him full credit, the city of terrible nations will fear Him. These strong and terrible nations are the peoples powerful enough to establish empires, and to conquer nations. They too will have their city which will also be destroyed. By this they will recognise His mighty power, and fear. For they too will be doomed.

It should be noted here that this is not referring to a specific city. It is referring to all cities, the places to which men looked for refuge. In that day there will be nothing for poeple to look to who have not looked to Yahweh..

Isaiah 25:4

‘For you have been a stronghold to the poor,

A stronghold to the needy in his distress,

A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat,

When the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against a wall.’

In contrast to thos other cities, to His own, God is not just a city, but an enduring and impregnable stronghold. This is another reason for Isaiah’s exultation, because of what Yahweh has been and is for those who trust in Him, for the poor and the needy. ‘The poor’ is often a description indicating those who are faithful to God. They see earthly things as of no value. They have nothing else to trust in but God (Zephaniah 3:12; Psalms 72:13; Psalms 82:4; Matthew 5:3). But He will be seen to have been their stronghold, somewhere where they could enter and be safe. He will be to them as a refuge from the storm, as a shadow where they can shelter from the burning heat, when the great trials of life come on them (compare ‘the Man’ in Isaiah 32:2). The picture of the storm wind, picking up the sand and battering a wall like a sand blaster, is a vivid one, and illustrates the effect of invading ‘terrible’ enemies on those who are their victims. But in it all God will be a protection to His own, and they can find strength and comfort in Him (even against the great Enemy).

Isaiah 25:5

‘As the heat in a dry place,

You will bring down the noise of strangers,

As the heat by the shadow of a cloud,

The song of the terrible will be brought low.’

Yahweh will be a protection to His own, but to others He will be like a searing heat. The first picture is of those who are ‘strangers’ to God’s people, aliens, wilting in the burning, exhausting heat in an arid land, so that their commotion and activity against His people subsides as they struggle with the impact of the Yahweh produced heat. But when cloud cover comes they are no better off, for the second picture is of the heat being reduced (brought low) by the effect of a cloud, but this but points to the song of prospective invaders being similarly reduced because they are left with nothing to sing about. There will be a cloud over their lives.

Isaiah 25:6

‘And in this mountain will Yahweh of hosts make to all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.’

And finally, ‘in this mountain’. This is the mountain of Yahweh’s people, in earthly terms the hill country stretching from north to south (regularly called ‘the mountain’), His ‘holy mountain’ (Isaiah 11:9), God’s land, the picture of His eternal inheritance, with its focal point in Mount Zion (Isaiah 2:2-3; Isaiah 24:23). In this mountain, in contrast to the searing heat of Isaiah 25:5, Yahweh will provide a great and luxurious feast for His own from among all peoples (compare Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:23 and see Exodus 24:11 which was a symbol of what was to come). Wine on the lees is when the wine has settled down, with the sediment, ‘the lees’, falling to the bottom. This is wine ready for consumption. The fat things full of marrow represent all that is good to eat. The whole idealistic picture is often called ‘the Messianic banquet’, the time of good things for God’s people.

And when Christ came He did provide for man the perfect feast in the hill country of Israel, firstly in the feeding of the crowds and then by the feast of Himself, a feast which replaced the manna and was sufficient for all (John 6:32-35). He provided the good wine (John 2:1-11), which pointed to what He was and what He had come to do. Indeed He often likened the Kingly Rule of God to a feast in His parables (e.g. Luke 14:15-24). And His own will finally feast at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), when the final everlasting feast will begin in the new Jerusalem, Mount Zion (Hebrews 12:22). They will drink of the water of life freely (Revelation 21:6). The whole idea is brought out again in Revelation 21:1-7.

Isaiah 25:7-8

‘And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering (shroud) that is cast over all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He has swallowed up death for ever, and the Lord Yahweh will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from off all the earth, for Yahweh has said it.’

This too will be ‘in this mountain’. That these verses can in the end only refer to the everlasting kingdom comes out here in this remarkable revelation. He Who has done wonderful things will now perform His greatest wonder. Death will be defeated! But that destruction of the veil of death was indeed accomplished ‘in this mountain’ when Jesus Christ was offered up as a sacrifice and raised again in newness of life, defeating death for ever and taking away from His true people the very fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). But the prime meaning of the sentence lies in what that accomplished in the everlasting kingdom.

Death is seen to be like a shroud cast over the peoples, like a mourning veil spread over the nations, a dark shadow over all men, but in the mountain of Yahweh, the place where Yahweh’s people will finally be gathered, there will be no more death. Death will have been swallowed up for ever. Mourning will be a thing of the past. All tears will have been removed by the sovereign Lord, Yahweh. Their reproach will be taken away. For death is the wages of sin, therefore no more death reveals that they have become sinless in God’s eyes, and no more a reproach. The sentence of Eden has been reversed. This is Yahweh’s promise. He has given His word, and His word will bring it about.

The background to the seed thought may be the Canaanite myth of the death of Moth (‘Death’), the killer of Baal (‘Lord’), which results in Baal living again, but it is only used as illustration. But this is not myth. Here there is no thought of yearly repetition or connection with fertility. It rises far above that. Death as a reality is seen as defeated by the Lord Yahweh once for all, and swallowed up, an event never needing to be repeated.

This too found partial fulfilment in the first coming of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, Who gave men eternal life as something they could enjoy in the present (John 5:24-25), and will receive in its final fulfilment at His second coming (John 5:28-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). For He came as the resurrection and the life so that men may live and not die (John 11:25-26). And it will come to completeness when those who hear His voice come alive again, both immediately in experience, and then by the resurrection at the last day (John 5:24-25; John 5:28-29; 1 John 5:13; 1 Corinthians 15:42-49), when they will rise again with spiritual bodies. Death will be swallowed up for ever.

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Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/isaiah-25.html. 2013.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

. Yahweh's Feast to all Nations in Mount Zion.—Here the apocalypse is resumed. The universalism of the passage is especially noteworthy. "We have here one of the most catholic passages in the entire Old Testament, and one of the tenderest presentations of Yahweh" (Gray). Yahweh will provide for all nations a rich feast in Mt. Zion, a banquet of fat and marrowy dainties, and of wine on the lees well strained (p. 111). Here too He will tear from their face the mourner's veil and dry the tears He then sees upon the face. There will be no more death, no sorrow or shame.

Isaiah 25:7. face of the covering: the outer side of the veil; cf. Job 41:13.

Isaiah 25:8. Duhm regards the first clause as an insertion, breaking the connexion between the removal of the veil and the wiping away of the tears. This may be correct, for the line has no parallel, but the anticipation that death will be abolished so completely harmonises with the situation that one would prefer to keep it in the passage, assuming a dislocation of the text and the loss of the parallel line. The prophet thinks of the predictions as realised on earth; there is no reference to the Christian idea of heaven.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/isaiah-25.html. 1919.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

THE BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL

(Missionary Sermon.)

Isa . And in this mountain, &c.

What the spirit of prophecy has here recorded is the testimony of Jesus and of His salvation, the subject presented to our view being the blessings of the Gospel of the Son of God. They are described in their general nature, in their unrivalled excellence, and in their universal extent.

I. The blessings of the Gospel are here described in their general nature, as including instruction for the ignorant, consolation for the sorrowful, and life for the dead. They thus correspond to the state of man without the Gospel, which is a state of darkness, misery, and death.

1. The natural state of fallen man is a state of moral darkness. A veil is upon him, by which those things which make for his peace and essentially affect his well-being are hidden from his eyes. It is a triple veil.

(1.) There is the fold of native ignorance. The merely natural man is totally ignorant of God and eternity. He knows not whence he came or whither he is going. He is altogether "sensual, having not the Spirit," and cannot know those things of the Spirit of God which are only spiritually discerned. Hence, ever since the Fall, darkness has covered the earth and gross darkness the people.

(2.) There is the yet thicker fold of moral corruption. Sin has exactly the same tendency in each particular case as in the case of Adam. It darkens the understanding by its deceitfulness, as well as hardens the heart by its malignity. It tends to extinguish that candle of the Lord which shines in the conscience, and to render useless and unavailing those other means which God has provided for delivering us from the night of Nature. Those in whom it reigns choose the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil (cf. Eph ).

(3.) There is the fold of Satanic infatuation. "The whole world lieth in the wicked one." He rules in the hearts of all the children of disobedience; and his kingdom is the kingdom of delusion and darkness. He beguiled Eve through his subtilty, and he still labours to corrupt and darken the minds of men (2Co ).

All this is true of all the unregenerate, however diversified may be their external condition and local circumstances. Hence multitudes even of nominal Christians are fit objects of our compassionate care and exertion. But the description of the text is still more applicable to the case of heathen nations not yet visited by the Gospel. They have not the light which nominal Christians do not allow to shine into them; in general, they have no effectual light. Over them is cast the veil not merely of ignorance and sin, but of superstition and false religion, than which nothing can be more fatally opposed to the entrance of light and the operation of Divine grace. Their very systems of religion are the means of perpetuating folly and vice, instead of reclaiming them to wisdom and righteousness. In many cases that "religion" sanctions and prescribes the most cruel of sacrifices and the most licentious of rites. In Christendom men may be superstitious and wicked, licentious and cruel, but it is because they neglect their religion. In heathen and Mohammedan countries, they are so because they attend to their religion. They breathe its genuine spirit and exemplify its proper tendency. All that is deemed sacred and authoritative in the name of religion unites with all the ignorance and depravity of fallen man, and with all the subtilty and power of the Prince of Darkness to produce and perpetuate a system of error and iniquity. False religion may pretend to be a sun which enlightens, but it is really a veil which darkens all who come under its power—a veil much more effectual to favour the ravages of sin, misery, and death than even any of the coverings previously mentioned.

2. Man is described in the text as the child not only of darkness and error, but also of misery and death. For ignorance is the mother, not of devotion, but of sin, in all its multiplied forms. And sin is invariably linked to misery! The wretchedness of men bears an exact correspondence to their ignorance and wickedness (Rom ).

If this statement be true of natural men in general, it is still more awfully verified in the condition of the heathen world in particular. Infidel travellers who have cheated the public from time to time by highly-coloured pictures of the happiness of pagans, ought not on such a point to be believed. It cannot be that in the dark places of the earth, the habitations of cruelty, no groans should be heard, no tears be seen. The fact is, that while heathenism leaves its votaries to the unmitigated operation of all those natural and moral causes of distress which are common to man in general, it opens many new sources of misery, inflicts many additional desolations, creates many forms of terror, suffering, and destruction, which are peculiar to itself. All men are born to tears, because born in sin; but the tears of pagans are often tears of blood. Every groan they heave is big with double wretchedness.

The Gospel, in its provision of blessings for the human race, adapts itself to that state of darkness, wretchedness, and mortality which I have faintly described.

1. It removes darkness. It reveals to us the existence, character, and will of God, our own origin, immortality, and accountableness, the way of salvation and the path of duty; and, used by the Holy Spirit as His great instrument, it changes the heart of those who receive it, and delivers them from the delusions and dominion of Satan. In these several ways does the Gospel become the instrument of illumination. By it, and in connection with it, God destroys the covering which is naturally on men's faces, and the veil that is spread over their understandings and hearts. The consequence is, in instances innumerable, that "beholding as in a glass," with unveiled face, "the glory of the Lord, they are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

The glorious diffusion of light and purity which results from Christianity is still more striking when it obtains access to heathen nations. In proportion to the deeper gloom of their former ignorance is the splendour of the new illumination, when the Sun of righteousness arises upon them with healing in His beams. On such occasions, it may be said with peculiar emphasis, "The entrance of Thy Word giveth light,"—a light which is able to penetrate and destroy even the thickest veil of false religion.

2. It wipes away tears. This is here declared to be a part of its design, and experience proves it to be one of its actual operations (Psa ). It leads to repentance, and so to pardon, purity, and genuine peace. It comforts in sorrow. It cheers in death.

To the heathen it is peculiarly valuable and welcome. It opens to them, in common with others, the sources of spiritual enjoyment and the hopes of eternal bliss. And besides, it abolishes pagan cruelties and diffuses principles of humanity and kindness. Hence result the amelioration of their civil institutions, the increase of domestic happiness, and the improvement of social life (H. E. I. 1122-1133).

3. It swallows up death in victory. It delivers every believer from the fear of death (Heb ; H. E. I. 1109-1111, 1589, 1594). God will most gloriously swallow up death in victory when He shall actually recover from the territories of the grave, by His almighty power, those spoils which death has won.

In proportion to its progress in heathen countries, the Gospel will not merely extract the sting of death, but arrest and diminish its most awful ravages. The waste of human life in many pagan lands is incalculable. As true religion increases, even in Christian countries, wars, which it has already rendered less sanguinary, will be less frequent too (chap. Isa ).

II. The unrivalled excellence of the blessings of the Gospel. "A feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined." Variety! richness! abundance! (See pp. 253-256.) Who does not recognise, in the unrivalled excellence of the blessings the Gospel conveys, the most powerful arguments for missionary exertion? Who can think of the Gospel feast, in contrast with the famine of the heathen, without wishing that they also might be bidden to the heavenly entertainment?

III. The universal extent of the blessings of Christianity. "The Lord of hosts shall make unto all people a feast of fat things."

1. They are adapted to all people.

2. They are sufficient for all people.

3. They were designed for all people.

4. The wide world shall, sooner or later, partake of them.

One result of this universal spread and triumph of Christianity is stated in the text: "The rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth."

1. By the successful exertions of God's people to evangelise the world, the reproach, which is at present too well-founded, of neglecting to care for those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, shall become no longer just and applicable.

2. In consequence of the general spread and influence of Christianity, the reproach of Christ, the scandal of the Cross, shall cease; and the Church, formerly despised and laughed to scorn, shall be held in great honour and reputation (chap. Isa ).

3. The particular reproach of spiritual barrenness—the reproach founded on the paucity of her converts, and the small number of her children—shall then for ever cease. At present "Jacob is small," and the flock of Jesus is, comparatively, a little flock. This fact has been converted by infidels into matter of attack upon Christianity itself. They have tauntingly urged the narrow extent of our religion as an argument against its divinity. That argument admits, even now, of solid refutation. But in due season the fact itself shall be altered, and no shadow of plausibility be left for the reproach (chap. Isa ).

CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS.

1. The text should teach you your personal obligations and privileges in reference to the Gospel. The feast is spread out before you; to you are the blessings of it freely offered (chap. Isa ).

2. The text teaches you the ground of missionary exertions. To partake of the feast ourselves is our first duty; but, while we "eat the fat and drink the sweet," shall we not "send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared?" Can any duty be more obviously founded in reason and justice, humanity and piety, than that of sending the bread of life to our perishing fellow-creatures? The most hateful and inexcusable of all monopolies is the monopoly of Christian truths and consolations.

3. There are great encouragements to such labour.

(1.) The certainty of Divine approbation.

(2.) The certainty of consequent success (H. E. I. 1166-1168). But remember, if you would share in the triumphs of the Gospel, you must share in the labour and expense of their achievement.—Jabez Bunting, D.D.: Sermons, vol. i. pp. 453-483.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-25.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

I do not say but that the Prophet had an eye to Israel's joy, in returning, after their captivity, to their own land; and in the first sense of these verses, to the end of the chapter, the words may be so referred: but it were sadly to read those precious things, were we not, now they are unfolded to us in gospel days, to read them principally and fully, as pointing to Jesus, and the rich feast of salvation brought by him, in the holy mountain of his Church. Here we have a feast, indeed, and a feast of fat things. The Lord of Hosts, even Jehovah, in his threefold character of persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, hath made it. And it is made for all people; not merely the house of Israel only, but for us poor Gentiles, who were aliens and strangers to the commonwealth of Israel. And he that made the feast, hath called us to the feast, and sent to us in the lanes, and streets, and highways, to bring us in, though poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind. And we have found, that our unworthiness hath proved no obstacle to the receiving the bountiful provision of the Lord. It is the feast of a king, yea, the heavenly king; and they that are the highly privileged partakers of it, do partake of it, without money and without price. Precious Lord Jesus! have I found thy flesh to be meat indeed, and thy blood, to be drink indeed? Then if so, Lord, to my soul's salvation, these things become as marrow to the body, and as the strongest bodied wine to the animal spirits, which by resting upon the lees, both gets out all the strength of the grape, and becomes refined, by remaining, long unshaken; so, Lord, would I feed and rest on thee! Matthew 22:2-4; Proverbs 9:1-5; Luke 14:16-24.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-25.html. 1828.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 25:6-7. And in this mountain — In mount Zion, namely, God’s church, very frequently meant by the names of Zion and Jerusalem, both in the Old and New Testaments; shall the Lord make unto all people — Both Jews and Gentiles, who shall then be admitted to a participation of the same privileges and ordinances; a feast of fat things — A feast made of the most delicate provisions: which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in his church. Of wines on the lees — Which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and are afterward drawn out and refined. He will destroy the face of the covering — The covering of the face, or the veil, as the next clause expounds it, namely, of ignorance of God, and of the true religion; cast over all people — Which then was upon the Gentiles and the Jews, 2 Corinthians 3:14-16. This is a manifest prophecy concerning the illumination and conversion of the Gentiles.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-25.html. 1857.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 892

THE GOSPEL A SOURCE OF RICHEST BLESSINGS

Isaiah 25:6-8. In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees: of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.

MANY passages of Scripture, which, from the language, might be supposed to belong to the Jewish dispensation only, will be found to refer in a more especial manner to the times of the Gospel. The “mountain” so frequently mentioned in this place was Mount Zion, which was distinguished above all other mountains by being the peculiar residence of the Deity: and it should seem that all the great things which God promised to the world, were to be transacted upon that spot. But Mount Zion was a type of the Gospel Church, wherein God yet more eminently dwells: and it is in the Church of Christ that he bestows the blessings which are here promised. The Gospel, which is here promulgated, affords,

I. Food to the hungry—

The Gospel calls us to a luxurious feast—

[The terms in which this feast is expressed, are evidently intended to raise in our minds the highest possible conceptions of its excellency. “A feast” is far more than a common meal, and conveys an idea of costliness and abundance: a feast “of fat things” imports that the choicest provisions are set forth: and the fat things being “full of marrow,” suggests, that no expense is spared in procuring whatever can provoke the appetite of the guests, or afford them pleasure. But “wines” are also added; wines that have contracted a delicious flavour by being long kept “upon the lees;” and wines “well refined,” that are bright as a ruby, that “sparkle in the glass,” and that delight the eye whilst they gratify the palate. What are we to understand from this accumulation of ideas, but that, as the choicest viands administer nourishment and comfort to the body, so the Gospel provides every thing which can exhilarate and support the soul. After all, this representation falls very far short of the truth: for the promises of the Gospel are infinitely sweeter to the hungering and thirsting soul than the most exquisite food can be to our taste. Let but a sinner, who pants after pardon, be enabled to apply to his soul that promise of Jehovah, That “crimson sins shall be made white as snow,” or that word of Christ, That “whosoever cometh to him he will in no wise cast out;” what transports of joy will he not feel! how will he be “filled as with marrow and fatness, while he praises his God with joyful lips!” What strength did that word, “My grace is sufficient for thee,” administer to Paul under the buffetings of Satan! In the strength of that one meal he was enabled to go on, not for forty days only, but to the latest hour of his life [Note: In allusion to Elijah, 1 Kings 19:7-8.]. And such is the Gospel to all who cordially embrace it.]

This feast has God himself prepared for all people—

[It is none other than “the Lord of hosts” who has spread this table at his own expense. And he invites “all people,” not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also; yea, the very vilest of the human race. He sends out his servants into the highways and hedges, to call the halt, the lame, and the blind, and orders them to take no refusal, but to compel them to come in [Note: Matthew 22:4. Luke 14:17; Luke 14:21-22.].” Yea, though in every succeeding age there have been myriads of guests brought in, yet his message to us is, that “yet there is room.”]

But, as this feast can be of no use to those who feel not their need of it, nor discern its excellency, the Gospel suits itself to our necessities, and offers,

II. Light to the blind—

There is a thick, impenetrable “veil” over the hearts of men—

[The lusts and prejudices of men cast a film over their eyes, and incapacitate them from discerning spiritual things: and Satan by his subtle devices confirms their blindness [Note: 2 Corinthians 4:4.]. As the Jews, even while Moses was read to them every Sabbath day, were unable, by reason of the veil that was upon their hearts, to comprehend the great ends and purposes of the Mosaic dispensation [Note: 2 Corinthians 3:14-15.], so thousands who live under the light of the Gospel are total strangers to its fundamental truths; or admit them only in theory, while they are destitute of any experimental knowledge of them in their hearts. “They have eyes, but see not; ears, but hear not; hearts, but understand not.”]

But God by his Gospel removes this veil—

[“He who commanded light to shine out of darkness will shine into the hearts” of those who seek him. “The things which flesh and blood could never have discovered, he will reveal unto them [Note: Matthew 16:17.].” He will shew them the evil of sin, the depravity of their hearts, the fulness and suitableness of Christ, the stability of the covenant, together with every thing else which they need to know. He will not merely turn aside the veil, and give them a transient view of the holy of holies, but will “destroy” the veil, and “rend it in pieces from the top to the bottom.” It is true, this clear knowledge of divine truth will not be imparted all at once; but it shall gradually increase, till they “see as they are seen, and know as they are known.”]

To complete the happiness of his people, God further promises,

III. Victory to the oppressed—

The former part of the text refers to the apostolic and millennial periods; but the latter will not be accomplished till the day of judgment. To that season in particular St. Paul applies the words before us [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:54.]. Taking him for our guide, we are in no danger of misinterpreting their import, whilst we say, that God will rescue us from,

1. The power of death—

[Death is even now disarmed of its sting; and the king of terrors is made our friend. They who through the Gospel are enabled to live unto Christ, may justly account it “gain to die:” not life only, but even death itself, is numbered among their treasures [Note: Philippians 1:21. 1 Corinthians 3:22.]. Such is their victory over it, that it is an object of hope and desire rather than of terror and aversion [Note: Philippians 1:23.]: and when it comes, they are not so properly said to die, as to “fall asleep in Jesus.” Nor will its apparent triumphs be of long duration; for that which swallowed up mankind with insatiable avidity, shall itself “be swallowed up in victory,” and not a vestige of it ever again be found among the saints of God.]

2. The sorrows of sin—

[Whilst we continue in the body there will be occasion for us to “go on our way weeping.” But even now the sorrows of believers are widely different from the sorrows of the world: instead of corroding the heart, they bring a peace along with them; and the persons who are most affected with them, so far from wishing to get rid of them, desire to have them more deep and abiding. But ere long they shall sully the face no more; but shall be “wiped away” by the hand of a compassionate Father, and be followed by a harvest of eternal joy [Note: Revelation 21:4; Revelation 7:16-17.].]

3. The reproaches of the world—

[There is scarcely any thing which an ungodly world will not say or do, to asperse the character of the godly, and to destroy their peace. But God in this world so far “takes away their rebuke,” as often to manifest himself to them, and to interpose visibly on their behalf [Note: Ex. gr. Joseph, Daniel, the Hebrew Youths. &c.]. But in a little time “He will bring forth their righteousness as the noon day;” and they who were regarded “as the filth of the world and the off-scouring of all things,” shall be openly acknowledged as the children of the living God.]

Address—

1. To those who are living at a distance from God—

[Whatever you may promise yourselves from the enjoyment of this world, you in reality are feeding only on husks; and however you may boast of attainments in philosophy, there is a veil on your hearts that hides from you all spiritual knowledge. Besides, whatever satisfaction you feel, or whatever reputation you enjoy, death will speedily swallow up both you and it, and will consign you over to everlasting shame and misery. Say, then, whether you have not made a wretched choice, and whether the mourning and despised Christian be not in a far happier state than you? It is not however too late for you to repent: the invitations of the Gospel are sent to you as well as to others; and if you put away your vain excuses, and return to God as prodigals, you shall find a cordial welcome, and feast this very hour on the fatted calf. O that the “scales may fall from your eyes;” and that, being “brought from darkness unto light, you may be turned from the power of Satan unto God!”]

2. To those who are come to God’s holy mountain—

[You find that the promises of the Gospel have not disappointed you. If you are not “satisfied with the plenteousness of God’s house,” it is not because the provisions are withheld from you, but because you want a better appetite for them. “Be not straitened in yourselves;” and be sure you never shall be straitened in your God: “open your mouth wide, and he will fill it.” Above all things remember to feed continually on “the body and blood of your beloved Lord; for his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed [Note: John 6:54-55.].” And soon you shall be called to the banquet above, where “your Lord shall gird himself and come forth to serve you.” Then shall these promises receive their full accomplishment; and you shall possess that “fulness of joy which is at God’s right hand for evermore.”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/isaiah-25.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 25:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-25.html. 1905-1909. New York.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 25:6-9

A feast of fat things

The Gospel feast

I.
THE FEAST.

1. Spiritual blessings are here, as in other places, set forth under the emblem of feast (Proverbs 9:2-5; Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:4). In Christ, and in His Gospel, provision is made for our refreshment in various respects.

2. But where is the feast made? “In this mountain” This is said in allusion to Judaea, a mountainous country, and especially to Jerusalem and Mount Zion, whore this provision was first made. There Christ died and rose again, the Spirit was first poured out, the Gospel first preached, and the Christian Church first formed. But the Christian Church itself is often figuratively described under the terms, Jerusalem and Mount Zion Hebrews 12:22).

3. Do we further inquire, for whom this feast is made, and on what terms such may partake of it! It is made “for all people,” on the terms of repentance and faith.

4. To this feast we are invited. But we neither know by nature our want of these blessings, nor the worth of them, nor the way of attaining them. To remedy this evil we have--

II. A GRACIOUS PROMISE. “He will destroy the face,” etc. The “face of the covering” is put by a hypallage, for the “covering of the face.” The expression has a reference to the veil that was upon the face of Moses, or to that of the tabernacle and temple, both emblematical of the obscurity of that dispensation. But much darker was the dispensation the heathen were under. The veil of unbelief is also intended (Romans 11:32); and that of prejudice. These veils are removed by the plain and powerful preaching of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 3:12-13). By the circulation of the Scriptures. By the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17-19). By the “heart turning to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16), and faith in Jesus (John 12:46). Here we have a manifest prophecy of the illumination and conversion of both Jews and Gentiles, and of the universal spread of religion.

III. THE EFFECT PRODUCED (verse 8). The Messiah, who is the “light of the world,” is the “light of life.”

1. “He will swallow up death in victory.”

2. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.” He will remove sufferings and sorrows, and the causes of them forever (Revelation 21:4).

3. “And the rebuke of His people,” etc. This implies, that the people of God have been, and will be more or less, under reproach, in all ages, till the glorious period here spoken of arrive.

IV. THE JOY AND TRIUMPH OF GOD’S PEOPLE (verse 9). Their enemies now reproach them, “Where is your God?” But what will then be the reply of the Lord’s people? “Lo, this is our God”; we have trusted, hoped, waited for Him, and now He hath saved us. Henceforth we shall have the everlasting fruition of His glorious presence. The presence of God shall remain with the Church (verse 10). (J. Benson, D. D.)

A feast of fatness

This prophecy spans the Gospel dispensation. First, it presents to us the Gospel dispensation in its present state of grace. The prophet says “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things.” By “this mountain” the prophet intends Mount Zion; and from the literal Mount Zion it was that the Word of the Lord went forth, being preached in the first instance by the forerunner of Christ, and then by the incarnate Son of God Himself. And all the blessings which have flowed to the Church and to the world have come to us from Jerusalem--that Jerusalem which is the type of the Christian Church And you will observe that this Gospel dispensation, with its blessings and its privileges, is spoken of under the familiar imago of a feast. This imagery is eminently calculated to present to us an idea of the fulness of the grace of the Gospel. It is not as if God was offering provision to starving men just enough, as we should say in common parlance, to keep body and soul together. It is not a scanty provision: it is not a provision simply of bread and water. Now, in order to see what is meant let us apply this, in the first place, to the Gospel dispensation in its bearing upon sinners to whom the invitation is first addressed. You mark, in the first verse, that it is a feast of fat things. It is a feast of wine in the very best condition--wine which is old, settled upon its lees, and which by reason of its age has now attained its very best and choicest flavour. Now, let us observe how aptly this illustrates the provision of the Gospel in its aspect to those to whom the message and the invitation are still addressed. When we, for instance, as ministers, are called upon to deliver this invitation under any circumstances, we feel that we are entirely unhampered by any limitation as to persons, or by any limitation as to the question of sufficiency and adaptation to those who are invited. It is not, I mean, a scanty hospitality which God has provided. It is not such that he who has to deliver the invitation in this church, or anywhere else in the midst of the streets of London, has to consider, “Well, the Gospel is only intended for a certain class of sinners; the Gospel is only intended for certain kind of sins; and before I deliver this invitation I have to decide whether this is a case which it will suit,--whether this is a case which is included in the provision that is made,--whether I may not be deceiving and disappointing this man.” No such thing. It is a feast; it is a feast of fat things; and it is a feast of the very choicest wines. What does all this mean when we strip off the imagery,--when we look at this not as a beautiful piece of prophetic poetry, but in its reality, in its actual bearing upon men to whom the Gospel is addressed? It means to say that there is abundant rich provision for every sinner. It means to say that God in His love has provided for the case of every man. It means that the blessings of salvation which we have to offer in Jesus Christ are not scanty blessings,--that they are not such blessings as leave us any doubt as to whether they will meet the case of this particular man, but that the salvation which is in Christ is a feast, and a feast of fat things. And then, again, take the aspect of this Gospel towards those who have already received the invitation, and who are, so to say, sitting down at the feast table. Every believing man who is in Christ is as a man sitting down at a perpetual feast. Everyday is, in this sense, a feast day to him. Every day is a day upon which he is to be feeding upon Christ, and to be nourishing his soul with the rich and costly blessings of salvation. Better to have the feeblest faith than to be an unbeliever. But is this the condition in which God would have His believing people to be? I say, no such thing. God intends that you should receive, and receive without doubting, and receive without reserve, when you come to Christ, the fulness and the freeness of His grace. He intends that you should believe Him when He says “Thy sins are forgiven.” He does not expect of you that you should be content with saying “Ah, at some time or other God will forgive my sins: there is hope that my sins will be forgiven.” He intends to make you feel, and desires to have you realise from day to day, that it is not simply bread and water, but that it is wine and milk. There is this unbroken continuity between what we call “grace” and what we very properly call “glory.” You observe how this appears clearly in the end of the passage, because the prophet flows from one thing into the other as naturally as possible. What I want you particularly to mark, as one of the chief things I would impress upon you, is how, beginning with this Word of the Lord in Jerusalem--beginning with the taking away of the yell from off the faces of all people--beginning with the invitation to repent and believe and receive the remission of sins through our Lord Jesus Christ--the prophet goes on to what we find ultimately to be at the very end of the dispensation; how naturally, as if there was no break, as if it was just one flow of grace until, if I may so express it, the river of grace is lost in the vast expanse of the ocean of glory. There seems to be no chasm. Indeed, wherever there is in any young man or in any old man, in any woman or in any child, a work of grace--real, saving grace--that is the beginning, and glory with all its details and all its blessedness, all its companionships and all its occupations, will be nothing more than the full efflorescence and the full development and the full consummation of that work of grace which is begun. Well now, you see, these are blended together in the text; and the apostle says that God will in that day fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, and that He will “swallow up death in victory.” He will not do it before. Death is not swallowed up in victory, even when the triumphant Christian dies. But the apostle says, interpreting the words of the prophet, “Then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written”; that is, when the voice of the archangel shall be heard, and the trumpet shall sound, and when the graves shall give up their dead, and when they that have gone down to the grave in a natural body, in dishonour, in corruption, in feebleness, shall be raised in power and in incorruption and in glory,--“then shall be brought to past the saying which is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” And this is to be followed by the fulfilment of the declaration of the prophet, interpreted by the figure of the Apocalypse. God is then to wipe away all tears. Tears, as we know, on earth, have many sources. There are the tears of penitence: we shall have to shed them no longer. There are the tears of anguish on account of temporal sorrow and bereavement and bodily suffering: we shall have to shed them no more.

There are the tears of anxiety amid all the pressing cares of life. There are the tears of despondency and disappointment. We shall have to shed them no more. There is another source of tears while we are yet in the body. You and I have often shed tears from another cause--tears of joy. And why do we shed tears of joy? Because the joy is sometimes so sudden, it is so deep, it is so great, it so thoroughly overmasters us and transports us, that the feeble body cannot bear it; and the result is that tears course down our cheeks, and, as we say not infrequently, we “weep for joy.” There will be no weeping for joy after the resurrection. Because, though we shall have the joy, we shall be capacitated to bear it: we shall have the joy, even the joy of our Lord, but our whole nature will be strong enough to enjoy that joy, and so there will be no more tears. (J. C. Miller, D. D.)

“In this mountain”

A poet’s imagination and a prophet’s clear vision of the goal to which God will lead humanity are both at their highest in this great song of the future, whose winged words make music even in a translation. No doubt it starts from the comparatively small fact of the restoration of the exiled nation to its own land. But it soars far beyond that. It sees, all mankind associated with them in sharing its blessings. It is the vision of God’s ideal for humanity. That makes it the more remarkable that the prophet, with this wide outlook, should insist with such emphasis on the fact that it has a local centre. That phrase “in this mountain” is three times repeated in the hymn; two of the instances have lying side by side with them the expressions “all people” and “all nations,” as if to bring together the local origin and the universal extent of the blessings promised. The sweet waters that are to pour through the world well up from a spring opened “in this mountain.” The beams that are to lighten every land stream out from a light blazing there. The world’s hopes for that golden age which poets have sung, and towards which earnest social reformers have worked, and of which this prophet was sure, rest on a definite fact, done in a definite place, at a definite time. Isaiah knew the place, but what was to be done, or when it was to be he knew not. You and I ought to be wiser. History has taught us that Jesus Christ fulfils the visioned good that inspired the prophet’s brilliant words. We might say, with allowable licence, that “this mountain,” in which the Lord does the good things that this song magnifies, is not so much Zion as Calvary. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The source of the world's hope

I. WHERE DOES THE WORLD’S FOOD COME FROM? Physiologists can tell, by studying the dentition and the digestive apparatus of an animal, what it is meant to live upon, whether vegetables or flesh, or a mingled diet of both. And you can tell by studying yourself, what, or whom, you are meant to live upon. Look at these hearts of yours with their yearnings, their clamant needs. Will any human love satisfy the heart hunger of the poorest of us? No! Look at these tumultuous wills of ours that fancy they want to be independent, and really want an absolute master whom it is blessedness to obey. The very make of our being, our heart, will, mind, desires, passions, longings, all with one voice proclaim that the only food for a man is God. Jesus Christ brings the food that we need. “In this mountain is prepared a feast . . . for all nations.” Notice, that although it does not appear on the surface, and to English readers, this world’s festival, in which every want is met, and every appetite satisfied, is a feast on a sacrifice. Would that the earnest men, who are trying to cure the world’s evils and still the world’s wants, and are leaving Jesus Christ and His religion out of their programme, would ask themselves whether there is not something deeper in the hunger of humanity than their ovens can ever bake bread for.

II. WHERE DOES THE UNVEILING THAT GIVES LIGHT TO THE WORLD COME FROM? My text emphatically repeats, “in this mountain.” The pathetic picture that is implied here, of a dark pall that lies over the whole world, suggests the idea of mourning, but still more emphatically that of obscuration and gloom. The veil prevents vision and shuts out light, and that is the picture of humanity as it presents itself before this prophet--a world of men entangled in the folds of a dark pall that lay over their heads, and swathed them round about, and prevented them from seeing; shut them up in darkness and entangled their feet, so that they stumbled in the gloom. It is a pathetic picture, but it does not go beyond the realities of the case. There is a universal fact of human experience which answers to the figure, and that is sin. That is the black thing whose ebon folds hamper us, and darken us, and shut out the visions of God and blessedness, and all the glorious blue above us. The weak point of all these schemes and methods to which I have referred for helping humanity out of the slough, and making men happier, is that they underestimate the fact of sin. There is only one thing that deals radically with the fact of human transgression; and that is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and its result, the inspiration of the Spirit of life that was in Jesus Christ, breathed into us from the throne itself.

III. WHERE DOES THE LIFE THAT DESTROYS DEATH COME FROM? “He will swallow up death in victory.” Or, as probably the word more correctly means, “He will swallow up death forever.” None of the other panaceas for the world’s evils even attempt to deal with that “shadow feared of man” that sits at the end of all our paths. Jesus Christ has dealt with it. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Needy man and his moral provision

I. HUMANITY IS MORALLY FAMISHING--CHRISTIANITY HAS PROVISIONS. “A feast of fat things,” etc. The feverish restlessness and the earnest racing after something not yet attained, show the hungry and thirsty state of the soul. Christianity has the provisions, which are--

1. Adequate: “for all people.”

2. Varied: “wines and fat things full of marrow.”

3. Pleasant: “wines on the lees well refined.”

II. HUMANITY IS MORALLY BENIGHTED--CHRISTIANITY HAS ILLUMINATION. “He will destroy in this mountain,” etc. Men are enwrapped in moral gloom; they have their, “understanding . . . darkened” Ephesians 4:18). “The veil is upon their hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:15). Physical darkness is bad enough, intellectual darkness is worse, moral darkness is the worst of all. It is a blindness to the greatest Being, the greatest obligations, and the greatest interests. Christianity has moral light. Christ is “the light of the world.” Indeed, Christianity gives the three conditions of moral vision:--the visual faculty; opens the eyes of conscience; the medium, which is truth; and the object, which is God, etc.

III. HUMANITY IS MORALLY DEAD--CHRISTIANITY HAS LIFE. “He will swallow up death in victory.” Men are “dead in trespasses and sins” The valley of dry bones is a picture of moral humanity. Insensibility, utter subjection to external forces, and offensiveness, are some of the characteristics of death. Christianity has life. Its truths with a trumpet’s blast call men up from their moral graves. Its spirit is quickening. “You hath He quickened,” etc.

IV. HUMANITY IS MORALLY UNHAPPY--CHRISTIANITY HAS BLESSEDNESS. There are tears on “all faces.” Go to the heathen world, and there is nothing but moral wretchedness. The whole moral creation groaneth: conflicting passions, remorseful reflections, foreboding apprehensions, make the world miserable. Christianity provides blessedness.

V. HUMANITY IS MORALLY REPROACHED--CHRISTIANITY HAS HONOUR. “And the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth.” Man morally rebukes himself; he is rebuked by his fellow man; he is rebuked by his Maker. He is under “condemnation.” And the rebuke is just. Christianity removes this. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” It exalts man to the highest honour. (Homilist.)

Veils removed and souls feasted

I. THE PLACE SPECIFIED. “In this mountain.” Mountains are often spoken of in the Scriptures, and wonderful things were done on some of them. The ark rested on a mountain; Abraham offered up his son Isaac on a mountain, etc. The Church may be compared to a mountain--

1. Because of its conspicuousness.

2. Because of its exposure to storms.

3. Because of its stability.

4. Because it is beautiful and beneficial. Mountains break the monotony of the landscape, are good for shelter, and rich with valuable substances. The Church is a thing of moral beauty, and should be rich in faith, love, and zeal.

II. THE BUSINESS TO BE DONE IN THIS MOUNTAIN. Face coverings and veils have to be destroyed. People have to be prepared for a feast: and with veiled faces and muffled mouths they can neither see nor eat. The coverings which sin has thrown over all people are--

1. Ignorance. Sin made Adam so ignorant that he tried to hide himself from the presence of an omnipresent and omniscient God by creeping among the trees in the Garden of Eden. And his children are also as ignorant of God.

2. Shame and slavish fear. This drives men from God as it did their first father.

3. Unbelief; causing men to reject Christ, and to stagger at God’s promises. From thousands of minds such coverings, thick and strong though they be, have been torn and destroyed.

III. THE FEAST THAT IS TO FOLLOW. The Church is not a place of amusement merely, or a lecture room, but the soul’s feasting place, where all the dainties of Heaven can be had. At a feast there is generally found--

1. Variety.

2. Plenty. God’s stores can never be exhausted.

3. Good company is expected. At this feast you have God’s nobility on earth, princes and princesses, kings and priests, and you are favoured with the presence of the King of kings Himself. Nowhere out of Heaven can the company be more select.

4. Here all is gratis. (“V in Homilist.)

Tire marriage feast between Christ and His Church

These words are prophetical, and cannot have a perfect performance all at once, but they shall be performed gradually. I will show why Christ, with His benefits, prerogatives, graces, and comforts, is compared to a feast.

I. In regard of THE CHOICE OF THE THINGS. In a feast all things are of the best; so are the things we have in Christ. They are the best of everything. Pardon for sin is a pardon of pardon. The title we have for Heaven, through Him, is a sure title. The joy we have by Him is the joy of all joys. The liberty and freedom from sin, which He purchased for us by His death, is perfect freedom. The riches of grace we have by Him are the only lasting and durable riches.

II. There is VARIETY. In Christ there is variety answerable to all our wants. Are we foolish? He is wisdom. Have we guilt in our consciences 7 He is righteousness, and this righteousness is imputed unto us, etc.

III. There is FULL SUFFICIENCY. There is abundance of grace, and excellency and sufficiency in Christ.

IV. A feast is for COMPANY. This is a marriage feast, at which we are contracted to Christ. Of all feasts, marriage feasts are most sumptuous.

V. For a feast ye have THE CHOICEST GARMENTS, as at the marriage of the Lamb, “white and flue linen” (Revelation 19:8).

VI. This was SIGNIFIED IN OLD TIME BY THE JEWS.

1. In the Feast of the Passover.

2. Manna was a type of Christ.

3. The hard rock in the wilderness, when it was struck with the rod of Moses, presently water gushed out in abundance, which preserved life to the Israelites; so Christ, the rock of our salvation, when His precious side was gored with the bloody lance upon the Cross, the blood gushed out, and in such a manner and such abundance, that by the shedding thereof our souls are preserved alive.

4. All the former feasts in times past were but types of this.

5. In the sacrament you have a feast, a feast of varieties, not only bread, but wine--to shew the variety and fulness of comfort in Christ.

VII. Because there can be no feast where the greatest enemy is in force, HE SWALLOWS UP DEATH IN VICTORY. (R. Sibbes, D. D.)

The Gospel feast

In the single circumstance that the feast foretold by the prophet was to be a feast “to all people,” there is an obvious reference to the Gospel dispensation; for feasts among the Jews were more or less exclusive, and in no instance, not even on occasions of the most intense interest and joy, were they made accessible to the Gentiles by open and indiscriminate invitation. Besides, in the subsequent context, there is a prediction respecting the conquest of death by believers, which is quoted by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1-58), and is directly applied by him to that most blessed and triumphant result of the death of Christ. This quotation gives to the whole prediction a New Testament aspect.

I. WHO IS REPRESENTED AS MAKING THIS FEAST. “The Lord of hosts.” This is one of God’s names, which calls up the majesty of His nature. He dwells amidst the bright angels, controls the stormiest tide of battle, prescribes their courses to the great lights of the firmament; yet though thus almighty, independent, supreme, He makes a feast for guilty, polluted man. Nor is it a feast in the ordinary sense of the term. As the world is now constituted, He may be said to have spread, out such a feast in the riches of that universe which He has so skilfully contrived, and so munificently adorned. There is a feast in its aspects of beauty and grandeur--in its vastness and variety--in its perfection and magnificence--in its wondrous laws and minute provisions. Still more; there is a feast in the comforts, the privileges, and pleasures of civilised life--in the means of acquiring knowledge--in the protection of righteous laws--in the blessings of the domestic constitution--in the progress of nations--and in the triumphs or reason. But far different is the feast foretold in the text. It is a spiritual feast; a feast for the undeserving; a feast which required important arrangements to be made before it could be provided.

II. THE SCENE OF ENTERTAINMENT. “On this mountain.” “This mountain” means Zion or Jerusalem, which was the select scene of Divine manifestation and worship to the chosen people. Zion came to be identified with the Church of God; and in the Old Testament it is frequently employed as synonymous with it. It is emphatically styled “the mountain of the Lord’s house” Its great distinction consisted in this--it was the scene where the Divine presence was manifested in a visible glory, and where answers were vouchsafed to the prayers of the faithful. In one sense, the feast might be said to have been prepared at the period the prediction of the text was announced. As the believing Jews waited on the spiritual services of the temple, they partook of this feast. Truths of unspeakable importance occupied their attention; their minds were elevated, comforted and soothed by them; and, as they descended from the sacred hill, again to engage in the ordinary duties and cares of life, it must have been with refreshed and joyful hearts, with conscious satisfaction, and with a settled tranquillity. The full revelation of the Gospel, however, was more appropriately and emphatically the time of festivity. Now this full revelation might be said to have been made on Zion or in Jerusalem. It was in the temple of Zion that the infant Redeemer was first recognised by aged Simeon; there He was dedicated to the Lord by His mother, Mary. From time to time, He appeared within its gates, addressing the people; while, on one memorable occasion, He asserted His authority as its master by driving forth the dove merchants and the money changers, by whom it had been recklessly profaned. There, too, it is to be remembered, was the scene of His last suffering--there He shed the blood of atonement, and there He abolished death by dying. When He had left our world, it was in Jerusalem that His apostles first began to preach; it was “in an upper room” there that they met with one accord, and engaged in prayer, the Spirit came plentifully down, and by means of one sermon, three thousand converts were added to the Church. Jerusalem continued to be the scene of amazing triumphs. The city of the prophets was shaken to its centre; the feast of grace was spread out; the invitation was freely announced; multitudes from distant heathen lands heard the Gospel sound, and crowded to the scene of entertainment. There is a peculiarity respecting this feast which requires to be considered. It is not, like other feasts, restricted as to time or place; it is a feast for all times and for all places.

III. THE FEAST ITSELF. It is a feast of best things. We consider this figurative language as strikingly descriptive of the peculiar blessings the Gospel offers to guilty, ruined man. This provision grows by distribution; like the miraculous loaves in the Gospel, the fragments after every participation are more abundant than the original supply.

IV. THE GUESTS FOR WHOM THE FEAST IS MADE. “All people.” There is no distinction, and there is no limit. This feast presents a striking contrast with the feasts usually made by men. When men invite to a feast, they select a class--kindred, friends, or, perhaps more frequently, rich neighbours. But the feast foretold in the text, is to be a feast “for all people.” The vastness of its extent strikingly illustrates the power and the mercy of the Divine Entertainer. Conclusion:--There is one question of immense importance, Have you accepted the invitation to come to this feast! (A. Bennie, M. A.)

Good cheer for Christmas

God, in the verse before us, has been pleased to describe the provisions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Other interpretations are all flat and stale, and utterly unworthy of such expressions as those before us. When we behold the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed, offered up upon the chosen mountain, we then discover a fulness of meaning in these gracious words of sacred hospitality. Our Lord Himself was very fond of describing His Gospel under the self-same image as that which is here employed.

I. THE FEAST. It is described as consisting of viands of the best, nay, of the best of the best. They are fat things, but they are also fat things full of marrow. Wines are provided of the most delicious and invigorating kind, wines on the lees, which retain their aroma, their strength, and their flavour; but these are most ancient and rare, having been so long kept that they have become well refined; by long standing they have purified, clarified themselves, and brought themselves to me highest degree of brightness and excellence.

1. Let us survey the blessings of the Gospel, and observe that they are fat things, and fat things full of marrow:

2. Changing the run of the thought, and yet really keeping to the same subject, let me now bring before you the goblets of wine. These we shall consider as symbolising the joys of the Gospel.

II. THE BANQUETING HALL. “In this mountain.” There is a reference here to three things--the same symbol bearing three interpretations.

1. Literally, the mountain upon which Jerusalem is built. The reference is here to the hill of the Lord upon which Jerusalem stood; the great transaction which was fulfilled at Jerusalem upon Calvary hath made to all nations a great feast.

2. Frequently Jerusalem is used as the symbol of the Church of God, and it is within the pale of the Church that the great feast of the Lord is made unto all nations. The mountain sometimes means the Church of God exalted to its latter day glory.

III. THE HOST of the feast. In the Gospel banquet there is not a single dish brought by man. I know some would like to bring a little with them to the banquet, something at least by way of trimming and adornment, so that they might have a share of the honour; but it must not be, the Lord of hosts makes the feast, and He will not even permit the guests to bring their own wedding garments--they must stop at the door and put on the robe which the Lord has provided, for salvation is all grace from first to last. The Lord provides sovereignly as “Lord of hosts,” and all-sufficiently as Jehovah. It needed the all-sufficiency of God to provide a feast for hungry sinners. If God spread the feast it is not to be despised If He provide the feast, let Him have the glory of it.

IV. THE GUESTS.

“For all people.” This includes not merely the chosen people, the Jews, whose were the oracles, but it encompasses the poor uncircumcised Gentiles, who by Jesus are brought nigh. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A rich feast for hungry souls

The prophets of old prophesied of the grace of Christ which should come unto us (1 Peter 1:10); and of these none more than our evangelical prophet.

I. THE MAKER AND MASTER OF THE FEAST, the Lord Himself. It is a royal feast, with which the King of Zion entertains His own subjects. Particularly, it is the Lord Christ, the Son of God, who, pitying the famished condition of poor sinners, was at the expense of this costly feast for them; for the Maker of it is the same who swallows up death in victory (Isaiah 25:8). A warlike title is ascribed to Him, the “Lord of hosts” for there is a banner in Christ’s banqueting house; and this feast looks both backward and forward to a war.

II. THE GUESTS FOR WHOM THIS FEAST IS PROVIDED. It is made for “all people.” The invitation is given to all who come in its way, without distinction or exception of any sort of persons.

III. THE GUEST CHAMBER WHERE THIS FEAST IS HELD. “In this mountain,” namely, Mount Zion, that is, the Church.

IV. THE MATTER OF THE FEAST. A feast imports abundance and variety of good entertainment; and here nothing is wanting which is suitable for hungry souls. In this valley of the world lying in wickedness, there is nothing for the soul to feed on but carrion, nothing but what would be loathed, except by those who were never used to better: but in this mountain, there is a “feast of fat things,” things most relishing to those who taste them, most nourishing to those who feed on them; and these are “full of marrow,” most satisfying to the soul. In this valley of the world there is nothing but muddy waters, which can never quench the thirst of the soul, but must ruin it with the dregs ever cleaving to them; but here, on this mountain, are “wines on the lees well refined.” (T. Boston, D. D.)

The feast prepared by Jesus Christ

I. SHOW THE ABSOLUTE NEED THERE IS OF THIS PROVISION. A lost world, by Adam’s fall, the great prodigal, was reduced to a starving condition. The King of Heaven set down Adam, and his posterity in him, to a well-covered table in paradise, in this lower world, making a covenant of friendship with him, and with them in him. But man being drawn into rebellion against God, Adam and all his posterity were driven out of the guest chamber, the family was broken and scattered, having nothing left them.

1. In point of need, Adam left us with hungry hearts, like the prodigal Luke 15:16). Every one finds himself not self-sufficient, and therefore his soul cleaves to something without itself to satisfy it. He left us also with thirsty consciences, scorched and burnt up with heat.

2. In point of supply, he left us without any prospect, for all communication with Heaven was stopped. War was declared against the rebels, so that there could be no transportation of provisions from thence. Adam’s sons, abandoned of Heaven, fell a-begging at the world’s door, if so be they might find rest and satisfaction in the creature. The natural man is born weeping, lives seeking, and will die disappointed, if not brought to the feast of fat things.

II. EXPLAIN WHAT THE PROVISION IS WHICH CHRIST HAS PREPARED FOR THE SOULS OF SUCH A FAMISHED WORLD. This, in a word, is His precious self; the Maker of the feast is the matter of it.

III. CONSIDER WHAT SORT OF A FEAST IT IS.

1. It is a feast upon a sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

2. It is a covenant feast (Hebrews 13:20-21).

3. It is a marriage feast (Matthew 22:1-4). The Lord Christ is the Bridegroom, and the captive daughter of Zion the bride.

4. It is a feast which has a respect to war. The Lord of hosts made it. It looks backward to that terrible encounter which Christ had with the law, with death, with hell, and the grave, upon the account of His ransomed ones, and that glorious victory which He obtained over them, by which He wrought the deliverance of His people. It is provided for and presented to His people to animate and strengthen them for the spiritual warfare against the devil, the world, and the flesh; and none can truly partake of it, but those who are resolved on that battle, and are determined to pursue it, till they obtain the complete victory at death.

5. It is a weaning feast. There is a time prefixed in the decree of God, at which all who are His shall, by converting grace, be weaned from their natural food.

IV. CONFIRM THAT ALL PEOPLE WHO WILL COME, MAY COME, AND PARTAKE OF THIS FEAST.

1. Christ invites all without distinction, even the worst of sinners, to this spiritual feast.

2. For what end does Jesus send out His messengers with a commission to invite all to come, if they were not welcome? (Matthew 22:9).

3. He takes it heinously amiss when any refuse to come.

V. PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT. (T. Boston, D. D.)

The Gospel feast

In this sacred feast there is--

I. VAST ABUNDANCE. The unsearchable riches, and all the fulness, that it hath pleased the Father should dwell in Jesus Christ. Here the saints receive large measures of knowledge; such degrees of holiness as shall gradually carry them forward to be perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect; and such plentiful consolations as shall fill them with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

II. RICH VARIETY. Pardon of sin, etc. The Holy Spirit to renew, sanctify, comfort, etc.; strength for the performance of duty, support under affliction, etc. Here is the milk of the Word for babes, strong meat for them whose senses are exercised to discern both good and evil, the water of life for such as are thirsty, the bread of life for those that are hungry, and the choicest fruits for them that are weak and languishing.

III. MOST EXCELLENT PROVISION. “Fat things, full of marrow,” etc.

IV. These are joined with GREAT FESTIVITY AND JOY among those who partake of the feast. (R. Macculloch.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 25:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-25.html. 1905-1909. New York.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 25:6-9

A feast of fat things

The Gospel feast

I.
THE FEAST.

1. Spiritual blessings are here, as in other places, set forth under the emblem of feast (Proverbs 9:2-5; Luke 14:16-24; Matthew 22:4). In Christ, and in His Gospel, provision is made for our refreshment in various respects.

2. But where is the feast made? “In this mountain” This is said in allusion to Judaea, a mountainous country, and especially to Jerusalem and Mount Zion, whore this provision was first made. There Christ died and rose again, the Spirit was first poured out, the Gospel first preached, and the Christian Church first formed. But the Christian Church itself is often figuratively described under the terms, Jerusalem and Mount Zion Hebrews 12:22).

3. Do we further inquire, for whom this feast is made, and on what terms such may partake of it! It is made “for all people,” on the terms of repentance and faith.

4. To this feast we are invited. But we neither know by nature our want of these blessings, nor the worth of them, nor the way of attaining them. To remedy this evil we have--

II. A GRACIOUS PROMISE. “He will destroy the face,” etc. The “face of the covering” is put by a hypallage, for the “covering of the face.” The expression has a reference to the veil that was upon the face of Moses, or to that of the tabernacle and temple, both emblematical of the obscurity of that dispensation. But much darker was the dispensation the heathen were under. The veil of unbelief is also intended (Romans 11:32); and that of prejudice. These veils are removed by the plain and powerful preaching of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 3:12-13). By the circulation of the Scriptures. By the “spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17-19). By the “heart turning to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:16), and faith in Jesus (John 12:46). Here we have a manifest prophecy of the illumination and conversion of both Jews and Gentiles, and of the universal spread of religion.

III. THE EFFECT PRODUCED (verse 8). The Messiah, who is the “light of the world,” is the “light of life.”

1. “He will swallow up death in victory.”

2. “The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.” He will remove sufferings and sorrows, and the causes of them forever (Revelation 21:4).

3. “And the rebuke of His people,” etc. This implies, that the people of God have been, and will be more or less, under reproach, in all ages, till the glorious period here spoken of arrive.

IV. THE JOY AND TRIUMPH OF GOD’S PEOPLE (verse 9). Their enemies now reproach them, “Where is your God?” But what will then be the reply of the Lord’s people? “Lo, this is our God”; we have trusted, hoped, waited for Him, and now He hath saved us. Henceforth we shall have the everlasting fruition of His glorious presence. The presence of God shall remain with the Church (verse 10). (J. Benson, D. D.)

A feast of fatness

This prophecy spans the Gospel dispensation. First, it presents to us the Gospel dispensation in its present state of grace. The prophet says “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things.” By “this mountain” the prophet intends Mount Zion; and from the literal Mount Zion it was that the Word of the Lord went forth, being preached in the first instance by the forerunner of Christ, and then by the incarnate Son of God Himself. And all the blessings which have flowed to the Church and to the world have come to us from Jerusalem--that Jerusalem which is the type of the Christian Church And you will observe that this Gospel dispensation, with its blessings and its privileges, is spoken of under the familiar imago of a feast. This imagery is eminently calculated to present to us an idea of the fulness of the grace of the Gospel. It is not as if God was offering provision to starving men just enough, as we should say in common parlance, to keep body and soul together. It is not a scanty provision: it is not a provision simply of bread and water. Now, in order to see what is meant let us apply this, in the first place, to the Gospel dispensation in its bearing upon sinners to whom the invitation is first addressed. You mark, in the first verse, that it is a feast of fat things. It is a feast of wine in the very best condition--wine which is old, settled upon its lees, and which by reason of its age has now attained its very best and choicest flavour. Now, let us observe how aptly this illustrates the provision of the Gospel in its aspect to those to whom the message and the invitation are still addressed. When we, for instance, as ministers, are called upon to deliver this invitation under any circumstances, we feel that we are entirely unhampered by any limitation as to persons, or by any limitation as to the question of sufficiency and adaptation to those who are invited. It is not, I mean, a scanty hospitality which God has provided. It is not such that he who has to deliver the invitation in this church, or anywhere else in the midst of the streets of London, has to consider, “Well, the Gospel is only intended for a certain class of sinners; the Gospel is only intended for certain kind of sins; and before I deliver this invitation I have to decide whether this is a case which it will suit,--whether this is a case which is included in the provision that is made,--whether I may not be deceiving and disappointing this man.” No such thing. It is a feast; it is a feast of fat things; and it is a feast of the very choicest wines. What does all this mean when we strip off the imagery,--when we look at this not as a beautiful piece of prophetic poetry, but in its reality, in its actual bearing upon men to whom the Gospel is addressed? It means to say that there is abundant rich provision for every sinner. It means to say that God in His love has provided for the case of every man. It means that the blessings of salvation which we have to offer in Jesus Christ are not scanty blessings,--that they are not such blessings as leave us any doubt as to whether they will meet the case of this particular man, but that the salvation which is in Christ is a feast, and a feast of fat things. And then, again, take the aspect of this Gospel towards those who have already received the invitation, and who are, so to say, sitting down at the feast table. Every believing man who is in Christ is as a man sitting down at a perpetual feast. Everyday is, in this sense, a feast day to him. Every day is a day upon which he is to be feeding upon Christ, and to be nourishing his soul with the rich and costly blessings of salvation. Better to have the feeblest faith than to be an unbeliever. But is this the condition in which God would have His believing people to be? I say, no such thing. God intends that you should receive, and receive without doubting, and receive without reserve, when you come to Christ, the fulness and the freeness of His grace. He intends that you should believe Him when He says “Thy sins are forgiven.” He does not expect of you that you should be content with saying “Ah, at some time or other God will forgive my sins: there is hope that my sins will be forgiven.” He intends to make you feel, and desires to have you realise from day to day, that it is not simply bread and water, but that it is wine and milk. There is this unbroken continuity between what we call “grace” and what we very properly call “glory.” You observe how this appears clearly in the end of the passage, because the prophet flows from one thing into the other as naturally as possible. What I want you particularly to mark, as one of the chief things I would impress upon you, is how, beginning with this Word of the Lord in Jerusalem--beginning with the taking away of the yell from off the faces of all people--beginning with the invitation to repent and believe and receive the remission of sins through our Lord Jesus Christ--the prophet goes on to what we find ultimately to be at the very end of the dispensation; how naturally, as if there was no break, as if it was just one flow of grace until, if I may so express it, the river of grace is lost in the vast expanse of the ocean of glory. There seems to be no chasm. Indeed, wherever there is in any young man or in any old man, in any woman or in any child, a work of grace--real, saving grace--that is the beginning, and glory with all its details and all its blessedness, all its companionships and all its occupations, will be nothing more than the full efflorescence and the full development and the full consummation of that work of grace which is begun. Well now, you see, these are blended together in the text; and the apostle says that God will in that day fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, and that He will “swallow up death in victory.” He will not do it before. Death is not swallowed up in victory, even when the triumphant Christian dies. But the apostle says, interpreting the words of the prophet, “Then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written”; that is, when the voice of the archangel shall be heard, and the trumpet shall sound, and when the graves shall give up their dead, and when they that have gone down to the grave in a natural body, in dishonour, in corruption, in feebleness, shall be raised in power and in incorruption and in glory,--“then shall be brought to past the saying which is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” And this is to be followed by the fulfilment of the declaration of the prophet, interpreted by the figure of the Apocalypse. God is then to wipe away all tears. Tears, as we know, on earth, have many sources. There are the tears of penitence: we shall have to shed them no longer. There are the tears of anguish on account of temporal sorrow and bereavement and bodily suffering: we shall have to shed them no more.

There are the tears of anxiety amid all the pressing cares of life. There are the tears of despondency and disappointment. We shall have to shed them no more. There is another source of tears while we are yet in the body. You and I have often shed tears from another cause--tears of joy. And why do we shed tears of joy? Because the joy is sometimes so sudden, it is so deep, it is so great, it so thoroughly overmasters us and transports us, that the feeble body cannot bear it; and the result is that tears course down our cheeks, and, as we say not infrequently, we “weep for joy.” There will be no weeping for joy after the resurrection. Because, though we shall have the joy, we shall be capacitated to bear it: we shall have the joy, even the joy of our Lord, but our whole nature will be strong enough to enjoy that joy, and so there will be no more tears. (J. C. Miller, D. D.)

“In this mountain”

A poet’s imagination and a prophet’s clear vision of the goal to which God will lead humanity are both at their highest in this great song of the future, whose winged words make music even in a translation. No doubt it starts from the comparatively small fact of the restoration of the exiled nation to its own land. But it soars far beyond that. It sees, all mankind associated with them in sharing its blessings. It is the vision of God’s ideal for humanity. That makes it the more remarkable that the prophet, with this wide outlook, should insist with such emphasis on the fact that it has a local centre. That phrase “in this mountain” is three times repeated in the hymn; two of the instances have lying side by side with them the expressions “all people” and “all nations,” as if to bring together the local origin and the universal extent of the blessings promised. The sweet waters that are to pour through the world well up from a spring opened “in this mountain.” The beams that are to lighten every land stream out from a light blazing there. The world’s hopes for that golden age which poets have sung, and towards which earnest social reformers have worked, and of which this prophet was sure, rest on a definite fact, done in a definite place, at a definite time. Isaiah knew the place, but what was to be done, or when it was to be he knew not. You and I ought to be wiser. History has taught us that Jesus Christ fulfils the visioned good that inspired the prophet’s brilliant words. We might say, with allowable licence, that “this mountain,” in which the Lord does the good things that this song magnifies, is not so much Zion as Calvary. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The source of the world's hope

I. WHERE DOES THE WORLD’S FOOD COME FROM? Physiologists can tell, by studying the dentition and the digestive apparatus of an animal, what it is meant to live upon, whether vegetables or flesh, or a mingled diet of both. And you can tell by studying yourself, what, or whom, you are meant to live upon. Look at these hearts of yours with their yearnings, their clamant needs. Will any human love satisfy the heart hunger of the poorest of us? No! Look at these tumultuous wills of ours that fancy they want to be independent, and really want an absolute master whom it is blessedness to obey. The very make of our being, our heart, will, mind, desires, passions, longings, all with one voice proclaim that the only food for a man is God. Jesus Christ brings the food that we need. “In this mountain is prepared a feast . . . for all nations.” Notice, that although it does not appear on the surface, and to English readers, this world’s festival, in which every want is met, and every appetite satisfied, is a feast on a sacrifice. Would that the earnest men, who are trying to cure the world’s evils and still the world’s wants, and are leaving Jesus Christ and His religion out of their programme, would ask themselves whether there is not something deeper in the hunger of humanity than their ovens can ever bake bread for.

II. WHERE DOES THE UNVEILING THAT GIVES LIGHT TO THE WORLD COME FROM? My text emphatically repeats, “in this mountain.” The pathetic picture that is implied here, of a dark pall that lies over the whole world, suggests the idea of mourning, but still more emphatically that of obscuration and gloom. The veil prevents vision and shuts out light, and that is the picture of humanity as it presents itself before this prophet--a world of men entangled in the folds of a dark pall that lay over their heads, and swathed them round about, and prevented them from seeing; shut them up in darkness and entangled their feet, so that they stumbled in the gloom. It is a pathetic picture, but it does not go beyond the realities of the case. There is a universal fact of human experience which answers to the figure, and that is sin. That is the black thing whose ebon folds hamper us, and darken us, and shut out the visions of God and blessedness, and all the glorious blue above us. The weak point of all these schemes and methods to which I have referred for helping humanity out of the slough, and making men happier, is that they underestimate the fact of sin. There is only one thing that deals radically with the fact of human transgression; and that is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and its result, the inspiration of the Spirit of life that was in Jesus Christ, breathed into us from the throne itself.

III. WHERE DOES THE LIFE THAT DESTROYS DEATH COME FROM? “He will swallow up death in victory.” Or, as probably the word more correctly means, “He will swallow up death forever.” None of the other panaceas for the world’s evils even attempt to deal with that “shadow feared of man” that sits at the end of all our paths. Jesus Christ has dealt with it. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Needy man and his moral provision

I. HUMANITY IS MORALLY FAMISHING--CHRISTIANITY HAS PROVISIONS. “A feast of fat things,” etc. The feverish restlessness and the earnest racing after something not yet attained, show the hungry and thirsty state of the soul. Christianity has the provisions, which are--

1. Adequate: “for all people.”

2. Varied: “wines and fat things full of marrow.”

3. Pleasant: “wines on the lees well refined.”

II. HUMANITY IS MORALLY BENIGHTED--CHRISTIANITY HAS ILLUMINATION. “He will destroy in this mountain,” etc. Men are enwrapped in moral gloom; they have their, “understanding . . . darkened” Ephesians 4:18). “The veil is upon their hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:15). Physical darkness is bad enough, intellectual darkness is worse, moral darkness is the worst of all. It is a blindness to the greatest Being, the greatest obligations, and the greatest interests. Christianity has moral light. Christ is “the light of the world.” Indeed, Christianity gives the three conditions of moral vision:--the visual faculty; opens the eyes of conscience; the medium, which is truth; and the object, which is God, etc.

III. HUMANITY IS MORALLY DEAD--CHRISTIANITY HAS LIFE. “He will swallow up death in victory.” Men are “dead in trespasses and sins” The valley of dry bones is a picture of moral humanity. Insensibility, utter subjection to external forces, and offensiveness, are some of the characteristics of death. Christianity has life. Its truths with a trumpet’s blast call men up from their moral graves. Its spirit is quickening. “You hath He quickened,” etc.

IV. HUMANITY IS MORALLY UNHAPPY--CHRISTIANITY HAS BLESSEDNESS. There are tears on “all faces.” Go to the heathen world, and there is nothing but moral wretchedness. The whole moral creation groaneth: conflicting passions, remorseful reflections, foreboding apprehensions, make the world miserable. Christianity provides blessedness.

V. HUMANITY IS MORALLY REPROACHED--CHRISTIANITY HAS HONOUR. “And the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth.” Man morally rebukes himself; he is rebuked by his fellow man; he is rebuked by his Maker. He is under “condemnation.” And the rebuke is just. Christianity removes this. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” It exalts man to the highest honour. (Homilist.)

Veils removed and souls feasted

I. THE PLACE SPECIFIED. “In this mountain.” Mountains are often spoken of in the Scriptures, and wonderful things were done on some of them. The ark rested on a mountain; Abraham offered up his son Isaac on a mountain, etc. The Church may be compared to a mountain--

1. Because of its conspicuousness.

2. Because of its exposure to storms.

3. Because of its stability.

4. Because it is beautiful and beneficial. Mountains break the monotony of the landscape, are good for shelter, and rich with valuable substances. The Church is a thing of moral beauty, and should be rich in faith, love, and zeal.

II. THE BUSINESS TO BE DONE IN THIS MOUNTAIN. Face coverings and veils have to be destroyed. People have to be prepared for a feast: and with veiled faces and muffled mouths they can neither see nor eat. The coverings which sin has thrown over all people are--

1. Ignorance. Sin made Adam so ignorant that he tried to hide himself from the presence of an omnipresent and omniscient God by creeping among the trees in the Garden of Eden. And his children are also as ignorant of God.

2. Shame and slavish fear. This drives men from God as it did their first father.

3. Unbelief; causing men to reject Christ, and to stagger at God’s promises. From thousands of minds such coverings, thick and strong though they be, have been torn and destroyed.

III. THE FEAST THAT IS TO FOLLOW. The Church is not a place of amusement merely, or a lecture room, but the soul’s feasting place, where all the dainties of Heaven can be had. At a feast there is generally found--

1. Variety.

2. Plenty. God’s stores can never be exhausted.

3. Good company is expected. At this feast you have God’s nobility on earth, princes and princesses, kings and priests, and you are favoured with the presence of the King of kings Himself. Nowhere out of Heaven can the company be more select.

4. Here all is gratis. (“V in Homilist.)

Tire marriage feast between Christ and His Church

These words are prophetical, and cannot have a perfect performance all at once, but they shall be performed gradually. I will show why Christ, with His benefits, prerogatives, graces, and comforts, is compared to a feast.

I. In regard of THE CHOICE OF THE THINGS. In a feast all things are of the best; so are the things we have in Christ. They are the best of everything. Pardon for sin is a pardon of pardon. The title we have for Heaven, through Him, is a sure title. The joy we have by Him is the joy of all joys. The liberty and freedom from sin, which He purchased for us by His death, is perfect freedom. The riches of grace we have by Him are the only lasting and durable riches.

II. There is VARIETY. In Christ there is variety answerable to all our wants. Are we foolish? He is wisdom. Have we guilt in our consciences 7 He is righteousness, and this righteousness is imputed unto us, etc.

III. There is FULL SUFFICIENCY. There is abundance of grace, and excellency and sufficiency in Christ.

IV. A feast is for COMPANY. This is a marriage feast, at which we are contracted to Christ. Of all feasts, marriage feasts are most sumptuous.

V. For a feast ye have THE CHOICEST GARMENTS, as at the marriage of the Lamb, “white and flue linen” (Revelation 19:8).

VI. This was SIGNIFIED IN OLD TIME BY THE JEWS.

1. In the Feast of the Passover.

2. Manna was a type of Christ.

3. The hard rock in the wilderness, when it was struck with the rod of Moses, presently water gushed out in abundance, which preserved life to the Israelites; so Christ, the rock of our salvation, when His precious side was gored with the bloody lance upon the Cross, the blood gushed out, and in such a manner and such abundance, that by the shedding thereof our souls are preserved alive.

4. All the former feasts in times past were but types of this.

5. In the sacrament you have a feast, a feast of varieties, not only bread, but wine--to shew the variety and fulness of comfort in Christ.

VII. Because there can be no feast where the greatest enemy is in force, HE SWALLOWS UP DEATH IN VICTORY. (R. Sibbes, D. D.)

The Gospel feast

In the single circumstance that the feast foretold by the prophet was to be a feast “to all people,” there is an obvious reference to the Gospel dispensation; for feasts among the Jews were more or less exclusive, and in no instance, not even on occasions of the most intense interest and joy, were they made accessible to the Gentiles by open and indiscriminate invitation. Besides, in the subsequent context, there is a prediction respecting the conquest of death by believers, which is quoted by St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1-58), and is directly applied by him to that most blessed and triumphant result of the death of Christ. This quotation gives to the whole prediction a New Testament aspect.

I. WHO IS REPRESENTED AS MAKING THIS FEAST. “The Lord of hosts.” This is one of God’s names, which calls up the majesty of His nature. He dwells amidst the bright angels, controls the stormiest tide of battle, prescribes their courses to the great lights of the firmament; yet though thus almighty, independent, supreme, He makes a feast for guilty, polluted man. Nor is it a feast in the ordinary sense of the term. As the world is now constituted, He may be said to have spread, out such a feast in the riches of that universe which He has so skilfully contrived, and so munificently adorned. There is a feast in its aspects of beauty and grandeur--in its vastness and variety--in its perfection and magnificence--in its wondrous laws and minute provisions. Still more; there is a feast in the comforts, the privileges, and pleasures of civilised life--in the means of acquiring knowledge--in the protection of righteous laws--in the blessings of the domestic constitution--in the progress of nations--and in the triumphs or reason. But far different is the feast foretold in the text. It is a spiritual feast; a feast for the undeserving; a feast which required important arrangements to be made before it could be provided.

II. THE SCENE OF ENTERTAINMENT. “On this mountain.” “This mountain” means Zion or Jerusalem, which was the select scene of Divine manifestation and worship to the chosen people. Zion came to be identified with the Church of God; and in the Old Testament it is frequently employed as synonymous with it. It is emphatically styled “the mountain of the Lord’s house” Its great distinction consisted in this--it was the scene where the Divine presence was manifested in a visible glory, and where answers were vouchsafed to the prayers of the faithful. In one sense, the feast might be said to have been prepared at the period the prediction of the text was announced. As the believing Jews waited on the spiritual services of the temple, they partook of this feast. Truths of unspeakable importance occupied their attention; their minds were elevated, comforted and soothed by them; and, as they descended from the sacred hill, again to engage in the ordinary duties and cares of life, it must have been with refreshed and joyful hearts, with conscious satisfaction, and with a settled tranquillity. The full revelation of the Gospel, however, was more appropriately and emphatically the time of festivity. Now this full revelation might be said to have been made on Zion or in Jerusalem. It was in the temple of Zion that the infant Redeemer was first recognised by aged Simeon; there He was dedicated to the Lord by His mother, Mary. From time to time, He appeared within its gates, addressing the people; while, on one memorable occasion, He asserted His authority as its master by driving forth the dove merchants and the money changers, by whom it had been recklessly profaned. There, too, it is to be remembered, was the scene of His last suffering--there He shed the blood of atonement, and there He abolished death by dying. When He had left our world, it was in Jerusalem that His apostles first began to preach; it was “in an upper room” there that they met with one accord, and engaged in prayer, the Spirit came plentifully down, and by means of one sermon, three thousand converts were added to the Church. Jerusalem continued to be the scene of amazing triumphs. The city of the prophets was shaken to its centre; the feast of grace was spread out; the invitation was freely announced; multitudes from distant heathen lands heard the Gospel sound, and crowded to the scene of entertainment. There is a peculiarity respecting this feast which requires to be considered. It is not, like other feasts, restricted as to time or place; it is a feast for all times and for all places.

III. THE FEAST ITSELF. It is a feast of best things. We consider this figurative language as strikingly descriptive of the peculiar blessings the Gospel offers to guilty, ruined man. This provision grows by distribution; like the miraculous loaves in the Gospel, the fragments after every participation are more abundant than the original supply.

IV. THE GUESTS FOR WHOM THE FEAST IS MADE. “All people.” There is no distinction, and there is no limit. This feast presents a striking contrast with the feasts usually made by men. When men invite to a feast, they select a class--kindred, friends, or, perhaps more frequently, rich neighbours. But the feast foretold in the text, is to be a feast “for all people.” The vastness of its extent strikingly illustrates the power and the mercy of the Divine Entertainer. Conclusion:--There is one question of immense importance, Have you accepted the invitation to come to this feast! (A. Bennie, M. A.)

Good cheer for Christmas

God, in the verse before us, has been pleased to describe the provisions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Other interpretations are all flat and stale, and utterly unworthy of such expressions as those before us. When we behold the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed, offered up upon the chosen mountain, we then discover a fulness of meaning in these gracious words of sacred hospitality. Our Lord Himself was very fond of describing His Gospel under the self-same image as that which is here employed.

I. THE FEAST. It is described as consisting of viands of the best, nay, of the best of the best. They are fat things, but they are also fat things full of marrow. Wines are provided of the most delicious and invigorating kind, wines on the lees, which retain their aroma, their strength, and their flavour; but these are most ancient and rare, having been so long kept that they have become well refined; by long standing they have purified, clarified themselves, and brought themselves to me highest degree of brightness and excellence.

1. Let us survey the blessings of the Gospel, and observe that they are fat things, and fat things full of marrow:

2. Changing the run of the thought, and yet really keeping to the same subject, let me now bring before you the goblets of wine. These we shall consider as symbolising the joys of the Gospel.

II. THE BANQUETING HALL. “In this mountain.” There is a reference here to three things--the same symbol bearing three interpretations.

1. Literally, the mountain upon which Jerusalem is built. The reference is here to the hill of the Lord upon which Jerusalem stood; the great transaction which was fulfilled at Jerusalem upon Calvary hath made to all nations a great feast.

2. Frequently Jerusalem is used as the symbol of the Church of God, and it is within the pale of the Church that the great feast of the Lord is made unto all nations. The mountain sometimes means the Church of God exalted to its latter day glory.

III. THE HOST of the feast. In the Gospel banquet there is not a single dish brought by man. I know some would like to bring a little with them to the banquet, something at least by way of trimming and adornment, so that they might have a share of the honour; but it must not be, the Lord of hosts makes the feast, and He will not even permit the guests to bring their own wedding garments--they must stop at the door and put on the robe which the Lord has provided, for salvation is all grace from first to last. The Lord provides sovereignly as “Lord of hosts,” and all-sufficiently as Jehovah. It needed the all-sufficiency of God to provide a feast for hungry sinners. If God spread the feast it is not to be despised If He provide the feast, let Him have the glory of it.

IV. THE GUESTS.

“For all people.” This includes not merely the chosen people, the Jews, whose were the oracles, but it encompasses the poor uncircumcised Gentiles, who by Jesus are brought nigh. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A rich feast for hungry souls

The prophets of old prophesied of the grace of Christ which should come unto us (1 Peter 1:10); and of these none more than our evangelical prophet.

I. THE MAKER AND MASTER OF THE FEAST, the Lord Himself. It is a royal feast, with which the King of Zion entertains His own subjects. Particularly, it is the Lord Christ, the Son of God, who, pitying the famished condition of poor sinners, was at the expense of this costly feast for them; for the Maker of it is the same who swallows up death in victory (Isaiah 25:8). A warlike title is ascribed to Him, the “Lord of hosts” for there is a banner in Christ’s banqueting house; and this feast looks both backward and forward to a war.

II. THE GUESTS FOR WHOM THIS FEAST IS PROVIDED. It is made for “all people.” The invitation is given to all who come in its way, without distinction or exception of any sort of persons.

III. THE GUEST CHAMBER WHERE THIS FEAST IS HELD. “In this mountain,” namely, Mount Zion, that is, the Church.

IV. THE MATTER OF THE FEAST. A feast imports abundance and variety of good entertainment; and here nothing is wanting which is suitable for hungry souls. In this valley of the world lying in wickedness, there is nothing for the soul to feed on but carrion, nothing but what would be loathed, except by those who were never used to better: but in this mountain, there is a “feast of fat things,” things most relishing to those who taste them, most nourishing to those who feed on them; and these are “full of marrow,” most satisfying to the soul. In this valley of the world there is nothing but muddy waters, which can never quench the thirst of the soul, but must ruin it with the dregs ever cleaving to them; but here, on this mountain, are “wines on the lees well refined.” (T. Boston, D. D.)

The feast prepared by Jesus Christ

I. SHOW THE ABSOLUTE NEED THERE IS OF THIS PROVISION. A lost world, by Adam’s fall, the great prodigal, was reduced to a starving condition. The King of Heaven set down Adam, and his posterity in him, to a well-covered table in paradise, in this lower world, making a covenant of friendship with him, and with them in him. But man being drawn into rebellion against God, Adam and all his posterity were driven out of the guest chamber, the family was broken and scattered, having nothing left them.

1. In point of need, Adam left us with hungry hearts, like the prodigal Luke 15:16). Every one finds himself not self-sufficient, and therefore his soul cleaves to something without itself to satisfy it. He left us also with thirsty consciences, scorched and burnt up with heat.

2. In point of supply, he left us without any prospect, for all communication with Heaven was stopped. War was declared against the rebels, so that there could be no transportation of provisions from thence. Adam’s sons, abandoned of Heaven, fell a-begging at the world’s door, if so be they might find rest and satisfaction in the creature. The natural man is born weeping, lives seeking, and will die disappointed, if not brought to the feast of fat things.

II. EXPLAIN WHAT THE PROVISION IS WHICH CHRIST HAS PREPARED FOR THE SOULS OF SUCH A FAMISHED WORLD. This, in a word, is His precious self; the Maker of the feast is the matter of it.

III. CONSIDER WHAT SORT OF A FEAST IT IS.

1. It is a feast upon a sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

2. It is a covenant feast (Hebrews 13:20-21).

3. It is a marriage feast (Matthew 22:1-4). The Lord Christ is the Bridegroom, and the captive daughter of Zion the bride.

4. It is a feast which has a respect to war. The Lord of hosts made it. It looks backward to that terrible encounter which Christ had with the law, with death, with hell, and the grave, upon the account of His ransomed ones, and that glorious victory which He obtained over them, by which He wrought the deliverance of His people. It is provided for and presented to His people to animate and strengthen them for the spiritual warfare against the devil, the world, and the flesh; and none can truly partake of it, but those who are resolved on that battle, and are determined to pursue it, till they obtain the complete victory at death.

5. It is a weaning feast. There is a time prefixed in the decree of God, at which all who are His shall, by converting grace, be weaned from their natural food.

IV. CONFIRM THAT ALL PEOPLE WHO WILL COME, MAY COME, AND PARTAKE OF THIS FEAST.

1. Christ invites all without distinction, even the worst of sinners, to this spiritual feast.

2. For what end does Jesus send out His messengers with a commission to invite all to come, if they were not welcome? (Matthew 22:9).

3. He takes it heinously amiss when any refuse to come.

V. PRACTICAL IMPROVEMENT. (T. Boston, D. D.)

The Gospel feast

In this sacred feast there is--

I. VAST ABUNDANCE. The unsearchable riches, and all the fulness, that it hath pleased the Father should dwell in Jesus Christ. Here the saints receive large measures of knowledge; such degrees of holiness as shall gradually carry them forward to be perfect as their Father in Heaven is perfect; and such plentiful consolations as shall fill them with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

II. RICH VARIETY. Pardon of sin, etc. The Holy Spirit to renew, sanctify, comfort, etc.; strength for the performance of duty, support under affliction, etc. Here is the milk of the Word for babes, strong meat for them whose senses are exercised to discern both good and evil, the water of life for such as are thirsty, the bread of life for those that are hungry, and the choicest fruits for them that are weak and languishing.

III. MOST EXCELLENT PROVISION. “Fat things, full of marrow,” etc.

IV. These are joined with GREAT FESTIVITY AND JOY among those who partake of the feast. (R. Macculloch.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 25:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-25.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 25:6. And in this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts The words in this third gradation are to be understood partly as a commemoration of the benefit performed, partly as continuing and perfecting the prophesy concerning it. The sense of the metaphor is, that God would provide on mount Sion, for all people, matter of great and consummate joy; which should arise not from temporal causes only, but principally from spiritual ones; which should bring to the mind tranquillity, comfort, and acquiescence in its present state. See Zechariah 14. With respect to the prophetical part, this may refer primarily to the proselytes who were made to the Jewish religion after the times of the Maccabees; and secondarily to the Gospel-feast. See Matthew 8:11. Psalms 22:27; Psalms 22:31. Wines on the lees, might perhaps with more propriety be rendered, Wines from the lees; as the expression seems to denote wines which were purified and made fit for drinking.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-25.html. 1801-1803.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XXIX

GOD’S POOR

DATE UNCERTAIN

Isaiah 25:1-12; Isaiah 26:1-21; Isaiah 27:1-13

WE have seen that no more than the faintest gleam of historical reflection brightens the obscurity of chapter 24, and that the disaster which lowers there is upon too world-wide a scale to be forced within the conditions of any single period in the fortunes of Israel. In chapters 25-27, which may naturally be held to be a continuation of chapter 24, the historical allusions are more numerous. Indeed, it might be said they are too numerous, for they contradict one another to the perplexity of the most acute critics. They imply historical circumstances for the prophecy both before and after the exile. On the one hand, the blame of idolatry in Judah, [Isaiah 27:9] the mention of Assyria and Egypt, [Isaiah 27:12-13] and the absence of the name of Babylon are indicative of a pre-exilic date. Arguments from style are always precarious: but it is striking that some critics, who deny that chapters 24-27 can have come as a whole from Isaiah’s time, profess to see his hand in certain passages. Then, secondly, through these verses which point to a pre-exilic date there are woven, almost inextricably, phrases of actual exile: expressions of the sense of living on a level and in contact with the heathen; [Isaiah 26:9-10] a request to God’s people to withdraw from the midst of a heathen public to the privacy of their chambers (chapters 20, 21); prayers and promises of deliverance from the oppressor (passim); hopes of the establishment of Zion, and of the repopulation of the Holy Land. And, thirdly, some verses imply that the speaker has already returned to Zion itself: he says more than once, "in this mountain"; there are hymns celebrating a deliverance actually achieved, as God "has done a marvel. For Thou hast made a citadel into a heap, a fortified city into a ruin, a castle of strangers to be no city, not to be built again." Such phrases do not read as if the prophet were creating for the lips of his people a psalm of triumph against a far future deliverance; they have in them the ring of what has already happened.

This bare statement of the allusions of the prophecy will give the ordinary reader some idea of the difficulties of Biblical criticism. What is to be made of a prophecy uttering the catchwords and breathing the experience of three distinct periods? One solution of the difficulty may be that we have here the composition of a Jew already returned from exile to a desecrated sanctuary and depopulated land, who has woven through his original utterances of complaint and hope the experience of earlier oppressions and deliverances, using even the names of earlier tyrants. In his immediate past a great city that oppressed the Jews has fallen, though, if this is Babylon, it is strange that he nowhere names it. But his intention is rather religious than historical; he seeks to give a general representation of the attitude of the world to the people of God, and of the judgment which God brings on the world. This view of the composition is supported by either of two possible interpretations of that difficult verse, Isaiah 27:10 : "In that day Jehovah with His sword, the hard and the great and the strong, shall perform visitation upon Leviathan, Serpent Elusive, and upon Leviathan, Serpent Tortuous; and He shall slay the Dragon that is in the sea." Cheyne treats these monsters as mythic personifications of the clouds, the darkness, and the powers of the air, so that the verse means that, just as Jehovah is supreme in the physical world, He shall be in the moral. But it is more probable that the two Leviathans mean Assyria and Babylon-the "Elusive" one, Assyria on the swift-shooting Tigris: the "Tortuous" one, Babylon on the winding Euphrates-while "the Dragon that is in the sea" or "the west" is Egypt. But if the prophet speaks of a victory over Israel’s three great enemies all at once, that means that he is talking universally or ideally: and this impression is further heightened by the mythic names he gives them. Such arguments, along with the undoubted post-exilic fragments in the prophecy, point to a late date, so that even a very conservative critic, who is satisfied that Isaiah is the author, admits that "the possibility of exilic authorship does not allow itself to be denied."

If this character which we attribute to the prophecy be correct-viz., that it is a summary or ideal account of the attitude of the alien world to Israel, and of the judgment God has ready for the world-then, though itself be exilic, its place in the Book of Isaiah is intelligible. Chapters 24-27 fitly crown the long list of Isaiah’s oracles upon the foreign nations: they finally formulate the purposes of God towards the nations and towards Israel, whom the nations have oppressed. Our opinions must not be final or dogmatic about this matter of authorship; the obscurities are not nearly cleared up. But if it be ultimately found certain that this prophecy, which lies in the heart of the Book of Isaiah, is not by Isaiah himself, that need neither startle nor unsettle us. No doctrinal question is stirred by such a discovery, not even that of the accuracy of the Scriptures. For that a book is entitled by Isaiah’s name does not necessarily mean that it is all by Isaiah: and we shall feel still less compelled to believe that these chapters are his when we find other chapters called by his name while these are not said to be by him. In truth there is a difficulty here, only because it is supposed that a book entitled by Isaiah’s name must necessarily contain nothing but what is Isaiah’s own. Tradition may have come to say so; but the Scripture itself, bearing as it does unmistakable marks of another age than Isaiah’s, tells us that tradition is wrong: and the testimony of Scripture is surely to be preferred, especially when it betrays, as we have seen, sufficient reasons why a prophecy, though not Isaiah’s, was attached to his genuine and undoubted oracles. In any case, however, as even the conservative critic whom we have quoted admits, "for the religious value" of the prophecy "the question" of the authorship "is thoroughly irrelevant."

We shall perceive this at once as we now turn to see what is the religious value of our prophecy. Chapters 25-27 stand in the front rank of evangelical prophecy. In their experience of religion, their characterizations of God’s people, their expressions of faith, their missionary hopes and hopes of immortality, they are very rich and edifying. Perhaps their most signal feature is their designation of the people of God. In this collection of prayers and hymns the people of God are not regarded as a political body. They are only once called the nation and spoken of in connection with a territory. Only twice are they named with the national names of Israel and Jacob. [Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 27:9; Isaiah 27:12] We miss Isaiah’s promised king, his pictures of righteous government, his emphasis upon social justice and purity, his interest in the foreign politics of his State, his hopes of national grandeur and agricultural felicity. In these chapters God’s people are described by adjectives signifying spiritual qualities. Their nationality is no more pleaded, only their suffering estate and their hunger and thirst after God. The ideals that are presented for the future are neither political nor social, but ecclesiastical. We saw how closely Isaiah’s prophesying was connected with the history of his time. The people of this prophecy seem to have done with history, and to be interested only in worship. And along with the assurance of the continued establishment of Zion as the centre for a secure and holy people, filling a secure and fertile land, -with which, as we have seen, the undoubted visions of Isaiah content themselves, while silent as to the fate of the individuals who drop from this future through death, -we have the most abrupt and thrilling hopes expressed for the resurrection of these latter to share in the glory of the redeemed and restored community.

Among the names applied to God’s people there are three which were destined to play an enormous part in the history of religion. In the English version these appear as two "poor and needy"; but in the original they are three. In Isaiah 25:4 : "Thou hast been a stronghold to the poor and a stronghold to the needy," poor renders a Hebrew word, "dal," literally wavering, tottering, infirm, then slender or lean, then poor in fortune and estate; needy literally renders the Hebrew "‘ebhyon," Latin egenus. In Isaiah 26:6 : "the foot of the poor and the steps of the needy," needy, renders "dal," while poor renders "ani," a passive form - forced, afflicted, oppressed, then wretched, whether under persecution, poverty, loneliness, or exile, and so tamed, mild, meek. These three words, in their root ideas of infirmity, need, and positive affliction, cover among them every aspect of physical poverty and distress. Let us see how they came also to be the expression of the highest moral and evangelical virtues.

If there is one thing which distinguishes the people of the revelation from other historical nations, it is the evidence afforded by their dictionaries of the power to transmute the most afflicting experiences of life into virtuous disposition and effectual desire for God. We see this most clearly if we contrast the Hebrews’ use of their words for poor with that of the first language which was employed to translate these words-the Greek in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament. In the Greek temper there was a noble pity for the unfortunate; the earliest Greeks regarded beggars as the peculiar proteges of Heaven. Greek philosophy developed a capacity for enriching the soul in misfortune; Stoicism gave imperishable proof of how bravely a man could hold poverty and pain to be things indifferent, and how much gain from such indifference he could bring to his soul. But in the vulgar opinion of Greece penury and sickness were always disgraceful; and Greek dictionaries mark the degradation of terms, which at first merely noted physical disadvantage, into epithets of contempt or hopelessness. It is very striking that it was not till they were employed to translate the Old Testament ideas of poverty that the Greek. words for "poor" and "lowly" came to bear an honourable significance. And in the case of the Stoic, who endured poverty or pain with such indifference, was it not just this indifference that prevented him from discovering in his tribulations the rich evangelical experience which, as we shall see, fell to the quick conscience and sensitive nerves of the Hebrew?

Let us see how this conscience was developed. In the East poverty scarcely ever means physical disadvantage alone: in its train there follow higher disabilities. A poor Eastern cannot be certain of fair play in the courts of the land. He is very often a wronged man, with a fire of righteous anger burning in his breast. Again, and more important, misfortune is to the quick religious instinct of the Oriental a sign of God’s estrangement. With us misfortune is so often only the cruelty, sometimes real, sometimes imagined, of the rich; the unemployed vents his wrath at the capitalist, the tramp shakes his fist after the carriage on the highway. In the East they do not forget to curse the rich, but they remember as well to humble themselves beneath the hand of God. With an unfortunate Oriental the conviction is supreme, God is angry with me; I have lost His favour. His soul eagerly longs for God.

A poor man in the East has, therefore, not only a hunger for food: he has the hotter hunger for justice, the deeper hunger for God. Poverty in itself, without extraneous teaching, develops nobler appetites. The physical, becomes the moral, pauper; poor in substance, he grows poor in spirit. It was by developing, with the aid of God’s Spirit, this quick conscience and this deep desire for God, which in the East are the very soul of physical poverty, that the Jews advanced to that sense of evangelical poverty of heart, blessed by Jesus in the first of His Beatitudes as the possession of the kingdom of heaven.

Till the Exile, however, the poor were only a portion of the people. In the Exile the whole nation became poor, and henceforth "God’s poor might become synonymous with God’s people." This was the time when the words received their spiritual baptism. Israel felt the physical curse of poverty to its extreme of famine. The pains, privations, and terrors, which the glib tongues of our comfortable middle classes, as they sing the psalms of Israel, roll off so easily for symbols of their own spiritual experience, were felt by the captive Hebrews in all their concrete physical effects. The noble and the saintly, the gentle and the cultured, priest, soldier and citizen, woman, youth and child, were torn from home and estate, were deprived of civil standing, were imprisoned, fettered, flogged, and starved to death. We learn something of what it must have been from the words which Jeremiah addressed to Baruch, a youth of good family and fine culture: "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not, for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord; only thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest." Imagine a whole nation plunged into poverty of this degree-not born into it having known no better things, nor stunted into it with sensibility and the power of expression sapped out of them, but plunged into it, with the unimpaired culture, conscience, and memories of the flower of the people. When God’s own hand sent fresh from Himself a poet’s soul into "the clay biggin"’ of an Ayrshire ploughman, what a revelation we received of the distress, the discipline, and the graces of poverty! But in the Jewish nation as it passed into exile there were a score of hearts with as unimpaired an appetite for life as Robert Burns; and, worse than he, they went to feel its pangs away from home. Genius, conscience, and pride drank to the dregs in a foreign land the bitter cup of the poor. The Psalms and Lamentations show us how they bore their poison. A Greek Stoic might sneer at the complaint and sobbing, the self-abasement so strangely mixed with fierce cries for vengeance. But the Jew had within him the conscience that will not allow a man to be a Stoic. He never forgot that it was for his sin he suffered, and therefore to him suffering could not be a thing indifferent. With this, his native hunger for justice reached in captivity a famine pitch; his sense, of guilt was equalled by as sincere an indignation at the tyrant who held him in his brutal grasp. The feeling of estrangement from God increased to a degree that only the exile of a Jew could excite: the longing for God’s house and the worship lawful only there; the longing for the relief which only the sacrifices of the Temple could bestow; the longing for God’s own presence and the light of His face. "My soul thirsteth for Thee, my flesh longeth after Thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is, as I have looked upon Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory. For Thy lovingkindness is better than life!"

"Thy lovingkindness is better than life!"-is the secret of it all. There is that which excites a deeper hunger in the soul than the hunger for life, and for the food and money that give life. This spiritual poverty is most richly bred in physical penury, it is strong enough to displace what feeds it. The physical poverty of Israel which had awakened these other hungers of the soul-hunger for forgiveness, hunger for justice, hunger for God-was absorbed by them; and when Israel came out of exile, "to be poor" meant, not so much to be indigent in this world’s substance as to feel the need of pardon, the absence of righteousness, the want of God.

It is at this time, as we have seen, that Isaiah 24:1-23; Isaiah 25:1-12; Isaiah 26:1-21; Isaiah 27:1-13 was written; and it is in the temper of this time that the three Hebrew words for "poor" and "needy" are used in chapters 25 and 26. The returned exiles were still politically dependent and abjectly poor. Their discipline therefore continued, and did not allow them to forget their new lessons. In fact, they developed the results of these further, till in this prophecy we find no fewer than five different aspects of spiritual poverty.

1. We have already seen how strong the sense of sin is in chapter 24. This poverty of peace is not so fully expressed in the following chapters, and indeed seems crowded out by the sense of the "iniquity of the inhabitants of the earth" and the desire for their judgment. [Isaiah 26:21]

2. The feeling of the poverty of justice is very strong in this prophecy. But it is to be satisfied; in part it has been satisfied. [Isaiah 25:1-4] "A strong city," probably Babylon, has fallen. "Moab shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dunghill." The complete judgment is to come when the Lord shall destroy the two "Leviathans" and the great "Dragon of the west". [Isaiah 27:1] It is followed by the restoration of Israel to the state in which Isaiah [Isaiah 5:1] sang so sweetly of her. "‘A pleasant vineyard, sing ye of her. I, Jehovah, her Keeper, moment by moment do I water her; lest any make a raid upon her, night and day will I keep her." The Hebrew text then reads. "Fury is not in Me"; but probably the Septuagint version has preserved the original meaning: "I have no walls." If this be correct, then Jehovah is describing the present state of Jerusalem, the fulfilment of Isaiah’s threat, Isaiah 5:6 : "Walls I have not; let there but be briers and thorns before me! With war will I stride against them; I will burn them together." But then there breaks the softer alternative of the reconciliation of Judah’s enemies: "Or else let him seize hold of My strength; let him make peace with Me-peace let him make with Me." In such a peace Israel shall spread, and his fulness become the riches of the Gentiles. "In that by-and-bye Jacob shall take root, Israel blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit."

Perhaps the wildest cries that rose from Israel’s famine of justice were those which found expression in chapter 34. This chapter is so largely a repetition of feelings we have already met with elsewhere in the Book of Isaiah, that it is necessary now only to mention its original features. The subject is, as in chapter 13, the Lord’s judgment upon all the nations; and as chapter 13 singled out Babylon for special doom, so chapter 34, singles out Edom. The reason of this distinction will be very plain to the reader of the Old Testament. From the day the twins struggled in their mother Rebekah’s womb, Israel and Edom were at either open war or burned towards each other with a hate which was the more intense for wanting opportunities of gratification. It is an Eastern edition of the worst chapters in the history of England and Ireland. No bloodier massacres stained Jewish hands than those which attended their invasions of Edom, and Jewish psalms of vengeance are never more flagrant than when they touch the name of the children of Esau. The only gentle utterance of the Old Testament upon Israel’s hereditary foe is a comfortless enigma. Isaiah’s "Oracle for Dumah," [Isaiah 22:11 f.} shows that even that large-hearted prophet, in face of his people’s age-long resentment at Edom’s total want of appreciation of Israel’s spiritual superiority, could offer Edom, though for the moment submissive and inquiring, nothing but a sad, ambiguous answer. Edom and Israel, each after his fashion, exulted in the other’s misfortunes: Israel by bitter satire when Edom’s impregnable mountain-range was treacherously seized and overrun by his allies; {Obadiah 1:4-9] Edom, with the harassing, pillaging habits of a highland tribe, hanging on to the skirts of Judah’s great enemies, and cutting off Jewish fugitives, or selling them into slavery, or malignantly completing the ruin of Jerusalem’s walls after her overthrow by the Chaldeans. [Obadiah 1:10-14;, Ezekiel 35:10-15] In "the quarrel of Zion" with the nations of the world Edom had taken the wrong side, -his profane, earthy nature incapable of understanding his brother’s spiritual claims, and therefore envious of him, with the brutal malice of ignorance, and spitefully glad to assist in disappointing such claims. This is what we must remember when we read the indignant verses of chapter 34. Israel, conscious of his spiritual calling in the world, felt bitter resentment that his own brother should be so vulgarly hostile to his attempts to carry it out. It is not our wish to defend the temper of Israel towards Edom. The silence of Christ before the Edomite Herod and his men of war has taught the spiritual servants of God what is their proper attitude towards the malignant and obscene treatment of their claims by vulgar men. But at least let us remember that chapter 34, for all its fierceness, is inspired by Israel’s conviction of a spiritual destiny and service for God, and by the natural resentment that his own kith and kin should be doing their best to render these futile. That a famine of bread makes its victims delirious does not tempt us to doubt the genuineness of their need and suffering. As little ought we to doubt or to ignore the reality or the purity of those spiritual convictions, the prolonged starvation of which bred in Israel such feverish hate against his twin-brother Esau. Chapter 34, with all its proud prophecy of judgment, is. therefore, also a symptom of that aspect of Israel’s poverty of heart, which we have called a hunger for the Divine justice.

3. POVERTY OF THE EXILE. But as fair flowers bloom upon rough stalks, so from Israel’s stern challenges of justice there break sweet prayers for home. Chapter 34, the effusion of vengeance on Edom, is followed by chapter 35, the going forth of hope to the return from exile and the establishment of the ransomed of the Lord in Zion. Chapter 35 opens with a prospect beyond the return, but after the first two verses addresses itself to the people still in a foreign captivity, speaking of their salvation (Isaiah 35:3-4), of the miracles that will take place in themselves (Isaiah 35:5-6) and in the desert between them and their home (Isaiah 35:6-7), of the highway which God shall build, evident and secure (Isaiah 35:8-9), and of the final arrival in Zion (Isaiah 35:10). In that march the usual disappointments and illusions of desert life shall disappear. The "mirage shall become a pool"; and the clump of vegetation which afar off the hasty traveller bails for a sign of water, but which on his approach he discovers to be the withered grass of a jackal’s lair, shall indeed be reeds and rushes, standing green in fresh water. Out of this exuberant fertility there emerges in the prophet’s thoughts a great highway, on which the poetry of the chapter gathers and reaches its climax. Have we of this nineteenth century, with our more rapid means of passage, not forgotten the poetry of the road? Are we able to appreciate either the intrinsic usefulness or the gracious symbolism of the king’s highway? How can we know it as the Bible-writers or our forefathers knew it when they made the road the main line of their allegories and parables of life? Let us listen to these verses as they strike the three great notes in the music of the road: "And a highway shall be there, and a way; yea, the Way of Holiness shall it be called, for the unclean shall not pass over it": that is what is to distinguish this road from all other roads. But here is what it is as being a road. First, it shall be unmistakably plain: "The wayfaring man, yea fools, shall not err therein." Second, it shall be perfectly secure. "No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up thereon; they shall not be met with there." Third, it shall bring to a safe arrival and ensure a complete overtaking: "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall overtake gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

4. So Israel was to come home. But to Israel home meant the Temple, and the Temple meant God. The poverty of the exile was, in the essence of it, poverty of God, poverty of love. The prayers which express this are very beautiful, -that trail like wounded animals to the feet of their master, and look up in His face with large eyes of pain. "And they shall say in that day, Lo, this is our God: we have waited for Him, that He should save us; this is the Lord: we have waited for Him; we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation . . . . Yea, in the way of Thy ordinances, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; to Thy name and to Thy Memorial was the desire of our soul. With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, by my spirit within me do I seek Thee with dawn". [Isaiah 25:9;, Isaiah 26:8]

An Arctic explorer was once asked, whether during eight months of slow starvation which he and his comrades endured they suffered much from the pangs of hunger. No, he answered, we lost them in the sense of abandonment in the feeling that our countrymen had forgotten us and were not coming to the rescue. It was not till we were rescued and looked in human faces that we felt how hungry we were. So is it ever with God’s poor. They forget all other need, as Israel did, in their need of God. Their outward poverty is only the weeds of their heart’s widowhood. "But Jehovah of hosts shall make to all the peoples in this mountain a banquet of fat things, a banquet of wines on the lees, fat things bemarrowed, wines on the lees refined." We need only note here-for it will come up for detailed treatment in connection with the second half of Isaiah-that the centre of Israel’s restored life is to be the Temple, not, as in Isaiah’s day, the king; that her dispersed are to gather from all parts of the world at the sound of the Temple trumpet: and that her national life is to consist in worship. {cf. Isaiah 27:13}

These then were four aspects of Israel’s poverty of heart: a hunger for pardon, a hunger for justice, a hunger for home, and a hunger for God. For the returning Jews these wants were satisfied only to reveal a deeper poverty still, the complaint and comfort of which we must reserve to another chapter.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/isaiah-25.html.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

19

CHAPTER XXX

THE RESURRECTION

Isaiah 26:14-19;, Isaiah 25:6-9

GRANTED the pardon, the justice, the Temple and the God, which the returning exiles now enjoyed, the possession of these only makes more painful the shortness of life itself. This life is too shallow and too frail a vessel to hold peace and righteousness and worship and the love of God. St. Paul has said, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." What avails it to have been pardoned, to have regained the Holy Land and the face of God, if the dear dead are left behind in graves of exile, and all the living must soon pass into that captivity, from which there is no return?

It must have been thoughts like these, which led to the expression of one of the most abrupt and powerful of the few hopes of the resurrection which the Old Testament contains. This hope, which lightens Isaiah 25:7-8, bursts through again-without logical connection with the context-in Isaiah 26:14-19.

The English version makes Isaiah 26:14 to continue the reference to the "lords," whom in Isaiah 26:13 Israel confesses to have served instead of Jehovah. "They are dead; they shall not live: they are deceased; they shall not rise." Our translators have thus intruded into their version the verb "they are," of which the original is without a trace. In the original, "dead" and "deceased" (literally "shades") are themselves the subject of the sentence-a new subject and without logical connection with what has gone before. The literal translation of Isaiah 26:14 therefore runs: "Dead men do not live; shades do not rise: wherefore Thou visitest them and destroyest them, and perisheth all memory of them." The prophet states a fact and draws an inference. The fact is, that no one has ever returned from the dead; the inference, that it is God’s own visitation or sentence which has gone forth upon them, and they have really ceased to exist. But how intolerable a thought is this in presence of the other fact that God has here on earth above gloriously enlarged and established His people (Isaiah 26:15). "Thou hast increased the nation, Jehovah; Thou hast increased the nation. Thou hast covered Thyself with glory; Thou hast expanded all the boundaries of the land." To this follows a verse (Isaiah 26:16), the sense of which is obscure, but palpable. It "feels" to mean that the contrast which the prophet has just painted between the absolute perishing of the dead and the glory of the Church above ground is the cause of great despair and groaning: "O Jehovah, in The Trouble they supplicate Thee; they pour out incantations when Thy discipline is upon them." In face of The Trouble and The Discipline par excellence of God, what else can man do but betake himself to God? God sent death; in death He is the only resource. Israel’s feelings in presence of The Trouble are now expressed in Isaiah 26:17 : "Like as a woman with child that draweth near the time of her delivery writheth and crieth out in her pangs, so have we been before Thee, O Jehovah." Thy Church on earth is pregnant with a life, which death does not allow to come to the birth. "We have been with child; we have been in the pangs, as it were; we have brought forth wind; we make not the earth," in spite of all we have really accomplished upon it in our return, our restoration and our enjoyment of Thy presence-"we make not the earth salvation, neither are the inhabitants of the world born."

The figures are bold. Israel achieves, through God’s grace, everything but the recovery of her dead; this, which alone is worth calling salvation, remains wanting to her great record of deliverances. The living Israel is restored, but how meagre a proportion of the people it is! The graves of home and of exile do not give up their dead. These are not born again to be inhabitants of the upper world.

The figures are bold, but bolder is the hope that breaks from them. Like as when the Trumpet shall sound, Isaiah 26:19 peals forth the promise of the resurrection-peals the promise forth, in spite of all experience, unsupported by any argument, and upon the strength of its own inherent music. "Thy dead shall live! my dead bodies shall arise!" The change of the personal pronoun is singularly dramatic. Returned Israel is the speaker, first speaking to herself: "thy dead," as if upon the depopulated land, in face of all its homes in ruin, and only the sepulchres of ages standing grim and steadfast, she addressed some despairing double of herself; and secondly speaking of herself: "my dead bodies," as if all the inhabitants of these tombs, though dead, were still her own, still part of her, the living Israel, and able to arise and bless with their numbers their bereaved mother. These she now addresses: "Awake and sing, ye dwellers in the dust, for a dew of lights is Thy dew, and the land bringeth forth the dead."

If one has seen a place of graves in the East, he will appreciate the elements of this figure, which takes "dust" for death and "dew" for life. With our damp graveyards "mould" has become the traditional trappings of death; but where under the hot Eastern sun things do not rot into lower forms of life, but crumble into sapless powder, that will not keep a worm in life, "dust" is the natural symbol of death. When they die, men go not to feed fat the mould, but "down into the dust"; and there the foot of the living falls silent, and his voice is choked, and the light is thickened and in retreat, as if it were creeping away to die. The only creatures the visitor starts are timid, unclean bats, that flutter and whisper about him like the ghosts of the dead. There are no flowers in an Eastern cemetery; and the withered branches and other ornaments are thickly powdered with the same dust that chokes, and silences, and darkens all.

Hence the Semitic conception of the underworld was dominated by dust. It was not water nor fire nor frost nor altogether darkness, which made the infernal prison horrible, but that upon its floor and rafters, hewn from the roots and ribs of the primeval mountains, dust lay deep and choking. Amid all the horrors he imagined for the dead, Dante did not include one more awful than the horror of dust. The picture which the northern Semites had before them when they turned their faces to the wall was of this kind.

The house of darkness

The house men enter, but cannot depart from,

The road men go, but cannot return.

The house from whose dwellers the light is withdrawn,

The place where dust is their food, their nourishment clay.

The light they behold not; in darkness they dwell.

They are clothed like birds, all fluttering wings.

On the door and the gateposts, the dust lieth deep.

Either, then, an Eastern sepulchre, or this its infernal double, was gaping before the prophet’s eyes. What more final and hopeless than the dust and the dark of it?

But for dust there is dew, and even to graveyards the morning comes that brings dew and light together. The wonder of dew is that it is given from a clear heaven, and that it comes to sight with the dawn. If the Oriental looks up when dew is falling, he sees nothing to thank for it between him and the stars. If he sees dew in the morning, it is equal liquid and lustre; it seems to distil from the beams of the sun-"the sun, which riseth with healing under his wings." The dew is thus doubly "dew of light." But our prophet ascribes the dew of God, that is to raise the dead, neither to stars nor dawn, but, because of its Divine power, to that higher supernal glory which the Hebrews conceived to have existed before the sun, and which they styled, as they styled their God, by the plural of majesty: "A dew of lights is Thy dew." {Cf. James 1:17} As, when the dawn comes, the drooping flowers of yesterday are seen erect and lustrous with the dew, every spike a crown of glory, so also shall be the resurrection of the dead. There is no shadow of a reason for limiting this promise to that to which some other passages of resurrection in the Old Testament have been limited: a corporate restoration of the holy State or Church. This is the resurrection of its individual members to a community which is already restored, the recovery by Israel of her dead men and women from their separate graves, each with his own freshness and beauty, in that glorious morning when the Sun of righteousness shall arise, with healing under His wings-"Thy dew, O Jehovah!"

Attempts are so often made to trace the hopes of resurrection, which break the prevailing silence of the Old Testament on a future life, to foreign influences experienced in the Exile, that it is well to emphasise the origin and occasion of the hopes that utter themselves so abruptly in this passage. Surely nothing could be more inextricably woven with the national fortunes of Israel, as nothing could be more native and original to Israel’s temper, than the verses just expounded. We need not deny that their residence among a people, accustomed as the Babylonians were to belief in the resurrection, may have thawed in the Jews that reserve which the Old Testament clearly shows that they exhibited towards a future life. The Babylonians themselves had received most of their suggestions of the next world from a non-Semitic race; and therefore it would not be to imagine anything alien to the ascertained methods of Providence if we were to suppose that the Hebrews, who showed what we have already called the Semitic want of interest in a future life, were intellectually tempered by their foreign associations to a readiness to receive any suggestions of immortality, which the Spirit of God might offer them through their own religious experience. That it was this last, which was the effective cause of Israel’s hopes for the resurrection of her dead, our passage puts beyond doubt. Chapter 26 shows us that the occasion of these hopes was what is not often noticed: the returned exile’s disappointment with the meagre repopulation of the holy territory. A restoration of the State or community was not enough: the heart of Israel wanted back in their numbers her dead sons and daughters.

If the occasion of these hopes was thus an event in Israel’s own national history, and if the impulse to them was given by so natural an instinct of her own heart, Israel was equally indebted to herself for the convictions that the instinct was not in vain. Nothing is more clear in our passage than that Israel’s first ground of hope in a future life was her simple, untaught reflection upon the power of her God. Death was His chastening. Death came from Him, and remained in His power. Surely He would deliver from it. This was a very old belief in Israel. "The Lord killeth and maketh alive; He bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up." Such words, of course, might be only an extreme figure for recovery from disease, and the silence of so great a saint as Hezekiah about any other issue into life than by convalescence from mortal sickness staggers us into doubt whether an Israelite ever did think of a resurrection. But still there was Jehovah’s almightiness; a man could rest his future on that, even if he had not light to think out what sort of a future it would be. So mark in our passage, how confidence is chiefly derived from the simple utterance of the name of Jehovah, and how He is hailed as "our God." It seems enough to the prophet to connect life with Him and to say merely, "Thy dew." As death is God’s own discipline, so life, "Thy dew," is with Him also.

Thus in its foundation the Old Testament doctrine of the resurrection is but the conviction of the sufficiency of God Himself, a conviction which Christ turned upon Himself when He said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Because I live, ye shall live also."

If any object that in this picture of a resurrection we have no real persuasion of immortality, but simply the natural, though impossible, wish of a bereaved people that their dead should today rise from their graves to share today’s return and glory-a revival as special and extraordinary as that appearing of the dead in the streets of Jerusalem when the Atonement was accomplished, but by no means that general resurrection at the last day which is an article of the Christian faith-if any one should bring this objection, then let him be referred to the previous promise of immortality in chapter 25. The universal and final character of the promise made there is as evident as of that for which Paul borrowed its terms in order to utter the absolute consequences of the resurrection of the Son of God: "Death is swallowed up in victory." For the prophet, having in Isaiah 25:6 described the restoration of the people, whom exile had starved with a famine of ordinances, to "a feast in Zion of fat things and wines on the lees well refined," intimates that as certainly as exile has been abolished, with its dearth of spiritual intercourse, so certainly shall God Himself destroy death: "And He shall swallow up in this mountain" (perhaps it is imagined, as the sun devours the morning mist on the hills) "the mask of the veil, the veil that is upon all the peoples, and the film spun upon all the nations. He hath swallowed up death for ever, and the Lord Jehovah shall wipe away tears from off all faces, and the reproach of His people shall He remove from off all the earth, for Jehovah hath spoken it. And they shall say in that day, Behold, this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He shall save us; this is Jehovah: we have waited for Him; we will rejoice and be glad in His salvation." Thus over all doubts, and in spite of universal human experience, the prophet depends for immortality on God Himself. In Isaiah 26:3 our version beautifully renders, "Thou wilt keep him imperfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." This is a confidence valid for the next life as well as for this. "Therefore trust ye in the Lord forever." Amen.

Almighty God, we praise Thee that, in the weakness of all our love and the darkness of all our knowledge before death, Thou hast placed assurance of eternal life in simple faith upon Thyself. Let this faith be richly ours. By Thine omnipotence, by Thy righteousness, by the love Thou hast vouchsafed, we lift ourselves and rest upon Thy word, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Oh, keep us steadfast in union with Thyself, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/isaiah-25.html.

The Pulpit Commentaries

EXPOSITION

Isaiah 25:1-12

ISAIAH'S SONG OF PRAISE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GOD'S KINGDOM. AS in Isaiah 12:1-6, after describing the first setting up of Christ's kingdom and the call of the Gentiles, the prophet broke out into song, through joy at the tidings he was commissioned to announce, so now, having proclaimed the final establishment of the same kingdom in the heavenly Zion, he is again carried away by the sense of exultant gladness into a fresh Lobgesang, which he utters in his own person—not, as the former one, in the person of the Church. His song divides itself into three sections:

Isaiah 25:1

Thou art my God; I will exalt thee (comp. Exodus 15:2 and Psalms 118:28). To Isaiah the "Song of Moses" seems to have been a pattern thanksgiving, from which he delighted to draw his phrases when he was bent on formally singing praise to God. Compare the following: Exodus 15:2 with Isaiah 12:2, "He is become my salvation;" the same with Isaiah 25:1, "He is my God; I will exalt him;" Exodus 15:6 with Isaiah 13:16, "Hath dashed in pieces;" Exodus 15:7 with Isaiah 47:14, "Consumed them as stubble;" Exodus 15:11 with Isaiah 46:5, "Who is like," etc.? the same with Isaiah 25:1, "Doing wonders;" Exodus 15:16 with Isaiah 8:13, "Fear and dread;" Exodus 15:18 with Isaiah 24:23, "The Lord shall reign." Wonderful things; thy counsels of old are, etc.; rather, thou hast wrought wonders, counsels of old, faithfulness and truth. The wonders for which God is praised were decreed in his counsels from all eternity; their accomplishment shows forth God's "faithfulness" and "truth."

Isaiah 25:2

Thou hast made of a city an heap. No particular city is pointed at. The prophet has in his mind the fate of all those cities which have been enemies of Jehovah and persecutors of the saints upon earth. A defended city; i.e. "a fenced, or fortified, city." A palace of strangers. As the "city" of this passage is not an individual city, so the "palace" is not an individual palace. All the palaces of those who were "strangers" to God and his covenant have ceased to be—they are whelmed in the general destruction (see Isaiah 24:20). They will never rise again out of their ruins.

Isaiah 25:3

Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee; rather, strong peoples. God's judgments on the nations specially hostile to him would cause some among the heathen peoples to range themselves on his side. Perhaps Persia is mainly intended (see Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, etc.; and comp. Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 6:3-12, etc.). The city of the terrible nations; rather, cities of terrible nations. Though the noun is singular, the verb is plural, showing that the word "city" is again used distributively.

Isaiah 25:4

The poor … the needy. The "poor and needy" are especially the afflicted saints, whom the ungodly of the earth have so long injured and oppressed. God is ever a "Strength" and "Refuge" to such (comp. Isaiah 14:30; Isaiah 29:19; and see also Psalms 72:12-14). A Refuge from the storm (comp. Isaiah 4:6; and the Psalms passim). A Shadow from the heat. The idea is a little enlarged in Isaiah 32:2. Its germ is, perhaps, to be found in Psalms 121:5, Psalms 121:6. No writer accumulates striking images with such force and beauty as Isaiah. Primarily, the entire imagery has reference to what God will have done for his people when the final consummation arrives. Secondarily, a precious encouragement is held out to all who are undergoing their earthly trial and probation, who are taught where to look for a sure refuge in time of trouble.

Isaiah 25:5

Thou shalt bring down. The past foreshadows the future. What God had done in "bringing down" the enemies of his saints, he would do again and again. He could as easily bring to naught the clamorous uprising of heathen nations (strangers) against his people, as temper the sun's heat by the interposition of a thick cloud. The branch; rather, the song (comp. Isaiah 24:16; Job 35:10; Psalms 95:2; Psalms 119:51). The exultant chant of triumph which the ungodly are sure to raise as they deem their victory over the people of God complete, will be stopped in mid-career, and "brought low," or reduced to silence, by the crushing overthrow predicted in Isaiah 24:1-23.

Isaiah 25:6-8

The blessings of the final state are now touched upon, as a special subject for thanksgiving. They are not enumerated; but a certain number are set forth, as specimens from which we may form a conception of the general condition of the "saved." These are:

Isaiah 25:6

In this mountain; i.e. the heavenly Zion—the "mountain of the Lord's house" (Isaiah 2:2; comp. Isaiah 24:23). Unto all people; rather, unto all peoples. There is no restriction of salvation to any particular race or nation—"Jew, Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond, free" (Colossians 3:11), are equally invited, and some of each come in (comp. Daniel 7:14; Matthew 8:11; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 7:9). The Church of the redeemed contains men and women of all "nations and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues." A feast of fat things. It follows from many passages of Holy Scripture that there is something in the final beatitude of man which is best represented to us in our present condition by the image of a "feast"—something very different, no doubt, from the festive joy of which our Teutonic ancestors hoped to partake in the halls of Odin, but yet figured to us most fitly and appropriately by terms ordinarily used to describe earthly feasting. Our Lord tells of a "marriage supper," to which he will invite his friends (Matthew 22:2-12); and the scene of the "marriage supper of the Lamb, "according to St. John in the Revelation" (Revelation 19:7-9), is heaven. There man, it would seem, will partake of a sacrificial feast with his glorified Lord (Matthew 26:29)—will eat the "heavenly manna," which is "angels' food" (Psalms 78:25), and drink a spiritual drink which may be called "the fruit of the vine," deriving from this "eating" and "drinking" life and joy and strength. It has been already observed, in the Commentary upon Exodus, that the sacrificial meal on Sinai, whereto the seventy elders were admitted (Exodus 24:9-11), prefigured this heavenly feasting, and throws a certain light upon it. All gross and carnal ideas must, of course, be subtracted from the conception of the heavenly festivity; but it seems to be true to say that our author, and also St. John and our Lord himself, imply that in the world to come there will be a feast, at which God will be the Host, and all men, priests and laity alike, his guests, and receive from him the choicest and most exquisite gifts—gifts which will make them supremely happy. A feast of wines on the lees. 'Wine which remained on its Ices, and was not poured off them into another vessel, was considered to be of especial strength (see Jeremiah 48:11). Its defect was a want of clearness. The wine of the heavenly banquet is to be at once strong and perfectly clear or "well refined."

Isaiah 25:7

He will destroy … the face of the covering. According to some, the "covering cast ever all people" is death, and the second clause of the verse is a mere repetition of the first. But, though the heads of criminals were covered when they were led to execution (Esther 7:8), yet death itself is never elsewhere called a "covering." May not the prophet have in view that "veil" or "covering" of misconception and prejudice, whereof St. Paul speaks as lying "on the hearts of the Jewish nation," and preventing them from discerning the true sense of Scripture (2 Corinthians 3:15)? Certainly one of the great curses of humanity while here is its inability to see things as they really are—its colored, distorted, prejudiced, views of life and death, of this world and the next, of self-interest, duty, happiness. This "veil" is certainly to be done away; for "now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now we know in part, but then shall we know even as we are known" (2 Corinthians 13:12).

Isaiah 25:8

He will swallow up death in victory; rather, he will abolish death forever. Hosea, a contemporary, was inspired to write! "Will ransom Israel from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction" (Hosea 13:14); but otherwise this was the first announcement that death was to disappear and to cease to be a possibility. It was an enormous advance on the dim and vague conceptions of a future life hitherto current (Job 19:25, Job 19:27; Psalms 17:15) to have such an announcement made as this. Hitherto men had been "through fear of death all their life subject to bondage" (Hebrews 2:15). Now they were taught that, in the resurrection-life, there would be no tear, no possibility of death. The joyous outburst of the apostle, when he quotes the present passage (2 Corinthians 15:54), is the natural thanksgiving song of reassured humanity, on recognizing its final deliverance from the unspeakable terror of death and annihilation. The Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces. A recent commentator asks, "What place is left for tears?" But surely death is not the only cause of human mourning. Our own sins, the sins and sufferings of our dear ones, are the main provocatives of our tears. When it is promised, as here and in Revelation 7:17 and Revelation 21:4, that "there shall be no more pain, neither sorrow nor crying," the revelation is made that there shall be no more sin; for where sin is, sorrow must be. The rebuke of his people shall he take away. It will be among the lesser satisfactions of the final condition of the saved that they are no longer subject to reproach. In this life they have to endure continually reproach, rebuke, contumely (Psalms 74:10; Psalms 89:50, Psalms 89:51, etc.). In the resurrection-life they will be exempt from any such annoyance. The Lord hath spoken it. God's word has gone forth. There can be no retractation. The blessings promised are certain to be obtained.

Isaiah 25:9-12

After thanksgiving for deliverance in the past, and commemoration of blessings in the present, confidence is expressed in the future.

Isaiah 25:9

It shall be said; literally, one shall say; i.e. the redeemed generally shall thus express themselves. We have waited for him. During all the weary time of their oppression and persecution, the godly remnant (Isaiah 24:13-15) was "waiting fur the Lord," i.e. trusting in him, expecting him to arise and scatter his enemies, won-daring that he endured so long the "contradiction of sinners against himself" (Hebrews 12:3), but content to abide his determination of the fitting season for coming forward as their Avenger, and now quite satisfied that he has avenged them in his own good time and in his own good way. We will be glad and rejoice (comp. Psalms 118:24 and So Psalms 1:4).

Isaiah 25:10

In this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest. The protecting hand of God will ever be stretched out over the spiritual Zion—the Church of the Redeemed—to defend it and keep it safe throughout eternity. Moab shall be trodden down. Various reasons have been given for the selection of Moab to represent the enemies of the redeemed. Perhaps, as the Moabites were, on the whole, the bitterest of all the adversaries of the Jews (see 2 Kings 24:2; Ezekiel 25:8-11), they are regarded as the fittest representatives of the human adversaries of God. For the dung-hill; rather, in the water of a dung-pit. The image is, perhaps, selected with conscious reference to Psalms 83:1-18; where the psalmist prays that the "children of Lot" and their helpers may become "as the dung of the earth" (Psalms 83:10).

Isaiah 25:11

He shall spread forth his hands … as he that swimmeth. Moab will endeavor to save himself from sinking in the water of the dung-pit; but in vain. God will bring down his pride, or abase his haughtiness, together with all the plots and snares that he contrives. A continued plotting of the enemies of God against his Church seems to be assumed, even after the Church is established in the spiritual Zion under the direct protection and rule of Jehovah.

Isaiah 25:12

The fortress of the high fort … shall he bring down, etc.; rather, hath he bowed down, laid low, brought down to earth. The past mercies of God in abasing the pride of the Church's foes, rather than any further mercies of the same kind, seem to be here spoken of. Mr. Cheyne suggests that the verse is out of place.

HOMILETICS

Isaiah 25:1-12

The place of thanksgiving in the religious life.

It is generally agreed by Christians that the religious life embraces a considerable number of separate duties of a strictly religious character. Among these the first place is ordinarily assigned to prayer; the second to reading of the Scriptures; the third, perhaps, to meditation; and so forth. But it is not always, or indeed very often, that a distinct position, or a very prominent position, is assigned to praise and thanksgiving. Prayer is apt to be made the staple of our religious exercises, thanksgiving to be huddled off into a comer. Yet, if we will consider the matter, we shall find that, on all grounds, thanksgiving is entitled to at least an equal place in our regards with prayer.

I. THANKSGIVING IS POINTED OUT BY NATURE AS A DUTY NO LESS THAN PRAYER. It is as the Giver of benefits that man seems first to have recognized God. Worship began with altars and sacrifices (Genesis 4:3-5), which were primarily thank offerings. One of the earliest forms of religion was sun-worship, and the reason for selecting the sun as the object of religious regard was the manifest fact that from the sun man derives so many and such great blessings. Geolatry was another very early form of worship, and took its rise from the feeling that the earth was a nursing mother, comprehending in herself a manifold variety of beneficent influences. The very name "God" is probably a modification of the root gut, or "good," and was given to the Supreme Being by our Anglo-Saxon forefathers, in recognition of his goodness in bestowing upon us so many benefits. The first religious utterances seem to have taken the shape of hymns rather than prayers (Genesis 14:19, Genesis 14:20; Exodus 15:1-18); and hymns or psalms form the most antique portions of all rituals.

II. THANKSGIVING IS, EQUALLY WITH PRAYER, ENJOINED ON MEN AS A DUTY IN SCRIPTURE. If prayer is required in such phrases as, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17); "I will that all men pray everywhere" (1 Timothy 2:8); "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1); "Pray one for another" (James 5:16); thanksgiving is as frequently and as positively enjoined in passages like the following: "Give thanks always for all things" (Ephesians 5:20); "I exhort that … giving of thanks be made for all men" (1 Timothy 2:1); "Offer sacrifices of praises, giving thanks' (Hebrews 13:15); "With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6).

III. THANKSGIVING IS, EQUALLY WITH PRAYER, SET BEFORE US BY THE CHURCH AS A DUTY. The ritual of the Jewish Church was almost entirely one of praise. The Book of Psalms is the Israelite's 'Manual of Devotion.' Our own Church declares the objects for which we assemble in public worship to be

IV. PRAISE IS, IN ITS NATURE, A HIGHER RELIGIOUS EXERCISE THAN PRAYER. In prayer we approach God for our own sakes, desiring something of him. In praise we have no selfish object, but desire simply to honor God by setting forth his admirable qualities and declaring the reasons that we have for loving and adoring him. Praise is the enduring attitude of angels, who have (comparatively speaking) no occasion for prayer. Prayer implies imperfection, want, need, defect of nature. Praise is appropriate when all wants are satisfied, when the nature is no longer defective, when no need is felt. Thus prayer belongs to the probation period of man's existence; but praise will ring on through the vaults of heaven for all eternity. The cry in the heavenly Jerusalem will ever be, "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy Name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest" (Revelation 15:3, Revelation 15:4).

HOMILIES BY E. JOHNSON

Isaiah 25:1-8

Hymn of praise to Jehovah.

I. THE PERSONAL APPROPRIATION OF GOD. This is one of the great marks of personal, spiritual religion. Other nations have known their gods as leaders in war, protectors of hearth and home; it was reserved for Israel and for Christianity to think of the High and Holy One as tenanting the heart and soul of the believer. Jehovah is not only "my father's God,"—this would be merely traditional religion; but "my God," "my Salvation,"—this is personal religion

. This is seen in his counsels and in the execution of them.

1. His far-reaching counsels. God's thoughts are not extempore inspirations, accidental—"happy," as we say, springing up in no fixed order or method; they originated "long ago" (Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 37:26). To God nothing is sudden or unforeseen; though to us it may seem" the unexpected always happens." All things were ordained by him before the foundation of the world (Acts 15:18). "All the wonders which happen contrary to the expectation of men are the result of that regular order which God maintains in governing the world, arranging all things from the beginning to the end. Now, since we do not understand these secret decrees, and our powers of understanding cannot rise so high, our attention must therefore be directed to the manifestation of them; for they are concealed from us, and exceed our comprehension, till the Lord reveal them by his Word, in which he accommodates himself to our weakness; for his decree is unsearchable" (Calvin).

2. The faithful realization of them in history. The imperial city, the city of Israel's oppressors (Isaiah 24:10), is destroyed. It has become a ruinous heap of stones; and the palace of the barbarians will never again rise out of those ruins. It is symbolic in its fate of heathen pride and power and superstition, and all that exalts itself against the true God and the true religion.

III. THE EFFECT OF HIS JUDGMENTS ON THE HEATHEN. They will honor the mighty God of Israel. They will be converted from rudeness and wildness to meekness and lowly reverence. The former oppressors will bow in fear before him. "They are affrighted, and give glory to the God of heaven" (Revelation 11:13). For in great crises, in days of judgment, the nature of Jehovah and his rule is made manifest to men. The calm, unbroken smile of the summer day does not so reveal God to us in his power and beneficence as the thunder and the lightning, followed by the refreshing rain. Revolutions awaken the slumbering consciences of the nation; and God is revealed, not only by the objects and institutions he overthrows, but by those which are protected and fostered in the midst of and by the very means of change. He is seen to have been, in the magnificent imagery of the prophet, "a fortress to the weak, a fortress to the poor in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat" (cf. Isaiah 30:3; Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 16:3). As he can quell the fiery heat by bringing up a shady thicket of clouds, (Jeremiah 4:29, Exodus 19:9, Psalms 18:12), or say to the proud waves of the sea, "Thus far, and no further!" so did he dispel the thundering hordes of the assailants of his people. So in later times did he meet the "blast of threats and slaughter" (Acts 9:1) from the mouth of an arch-persecutor, and turn, by his mighty and merciful self-manifestation, that arch-persecutor into an arch-apostle. And to the infant Church he became what is described in Psalms 18:4. Behind the providence which "frowns," the "smiling face" is ever hidden.

IV. THE ULTIMATE CONSUMMATION. In this mountain of Zion, where the prophet dwells, the seat of the Divine presence, a feast of fat things, with wines on the lees well strained, will be made for all peoples. They will be incorporated into the kingdom of Jehovah; many having come from east and west, and north and south, to sit down in the kingdom of God. The feast is symbolic of all spiritual and temporal blessings, as it is in the parables of our Savior. It is symbolic of satisfaction: "The meek shall eat and be satisfied" (Psalms 22:26). The allusion may be to the thank or peace offering: "I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness" (Jeremiah 31:14; cf. Le Jeremiah 7:31). The meal which followed the sacrifice was a joyous and festive occasion. It was expected by the Jews that the glorious Messianic time would be ushered in by a great feast; and of this, doubtless, the guest at the dinner-table of the Pharisee was thinking when he exclaimed, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" As the feast, so the age, of the Messiah is to be unending. And in one great burst of universal joy, death and sorrow are to be swallowed up. Death is signified by the covering or veil cast over all nations, or web woven over them. The covered head is a sign of mourning in antiquity in general; it will be withdrawn (Psalms 21:10; Psalms 55:10). Darkness and oblivion are associated with death; this will greatly give way before the light of Jehovah. The bondage to the fear of death will be broken, death itself will be abolished, and life and immortality be brought to light (2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:54). The promise belongs to the Jewish nation (Hosea 13:14), and to all its believing members. All sorrow is more or less rooted in the associations of death; this too shall cease, and Jehovah shall wipe away all tears from off all faces. The reproaches so long leveled at the people in their worldwide dispersion shall be taken away. No more will the taunt be leveled at them, "Where is now your God?" (Psalms 79:10). Sin will be eradicated, which has had its fruit in tears, in shame, and in death. "The new Jerusalem is Jehovah's throne, but the whole earth is Jehovah's glorious kingdom. The prophet is here looking from just the same point of view as Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:18, and John in the last page of the Apocalypse" (Delitzsch). The last point in the distant perspective on which the eye rests is the epoch known as" the day of redemption," the restoration of all things, when the old and corrupt order shall finally give place to the new, the confusions of time cease in the harmonies of the eternal world (see Luke 21:28; Acts 3:21; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 4:30). A great poet, Burns, said that he could never read this passage without tears. It does, indeed, touch the depth of the heart, as it strikes the full tones of the eternal evangel. For here we have the gospel in the universality of its message ("good tidings of great joy to all people")—the fullness of its power to satisfy and to comfort, in the all-hopeful perspective of the future it opens up. "Let us, then, direct all our hope and expectation to this point, and let us not doubt that the Lord will fulfill all these things in us when we have finished our course. If we now sow in tears, we shall reap in joy. The reproaches of men will procure for us one day the highest glory. Having obtained here the beginning of this happiness and glory, by being adopted by God and beginning to bear the image of Christ, let us firmly and resolutely await the completion of it at the last day" (Calvin).—J.

Isaiah 25:9-12

Song of the redeemed.

I. THE STATE OF THE CHOSEN PEOPLE. They will be in the joyous realization of long-awaited blessings. A brief strain from their hymn is given—

"Lo! here is our God!

For him we have waited that he should save us;

This is Jehovah, for whom we have waited;

Let us exult and rejoice in his salvation!"

As "a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering happier things," so the crown of joy is the recollection of past miseries in the hour of deliverance. And how it intensifies joy—the sense of having waited, of having ploughed and sown, watched and wept, with a view to the "far-off interest of tears!" And finally, to see and know that in this mingled experience one hand has been at work, one will has been guiding, one mercy mixing the ingredients of life's cup! "Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself!" yea, but verily, also, thou art a God that dost in due time disclose thyself to reward the patience and faith of thy chosen, and to pour confusion on thy foes! On the sacred mountain the hand of Jehovah will rest, to protect his people, to judge his foes. Beautiful image! As a symbol of protection, cf. Ezra 7:6, Ezra 7:28; Ezra 8:18, Ezra 8:22, Ezra 8:31; Nehemiah 2:8.

II. THE DOOM OF THE HEATHEN. Noah seems to stand for the heathen in general. Moab, as the proud foe of Israel (2 Kings 24:2; Ezekiel 28:8-11), shall be trampled down, swamped, and contend like a swimmer for his life. But his pride will be abased; his strong walls be cut down, even to the dust. So that hand, which is outspread beneficently, like the canopy of the broad sky, to protect and bless the chosen, may be clenched in threat and for vengeance upon the wicked. There are two senses in which that hand may "rest" upon us—lightly, as the father's hand rests on the head of a beloved child, to express affection, approval, and the promise of aid; or heavily, to punish, to overwhelm, to "turn our moisture into the drought of summer." To listen to the voice, to submit to the hand of the Eternal,—this is the expression of genuine piety. To writhe and struggle and resist the pressure of that hand, to turn a deaf ear to that voice,—this is the expression of hardness of heart and impiety, bringing certain punishment in its turn. "Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts!"—J.

HOMILIES BY W.M. STATHAM

Isaiah 25:8

Christ's conquest of death.

"He will swallow up death in victory." Here the fullness of Isaiah's evangelical prophecy begins to break forth. In the fourth verse he has described Jehovah as "a Strength to the poor, a Strength to the needy in his distress, a Refuge from the storm, a Shadow from the heat;" and all this, he says, God has been. Human history will endorse the record. But he will be more to men than all this! Death, that dogs men's footsteps and darkens even their days with fear; death, that breaks in upon all dreams of perfect friendship and permanent joy; death, which, as invisible monarch, holds empire in so many breasts;—death itself shall be destroyed.

I. THE VICTORY CAME. It was not then. But the prophecy was fulfilled. Death had to bring its sacred spoils and to lay them at the feet of Christ during his earthly ministry. And when men wondered at his mighty power, Christ said, "Marvel not at this, for all … that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth."

II. THE VICTORY WAS COMPLETE. Death was swallowed up in victory. No province was left undisturbed. No delay intervened. No conflict occurred. Death knew its own Lord and King, and gave back at once its spoils. Thus we understand the words, "He led captivity captive." The very powers that once had held empire over men he now despoiled. And as in the Roman processions, the princes who once had spoiled others were now led captive at the chariot-wheels of a greater victor than themselves, so death was led captive at the chariot-wheels of Christ.

III. THE VICTORY WAS PERMANENT. "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him." Now that Christ has risen from the dead, he has become the Firstfruits of all that sleep. The triumph of the Savior over the grave was designed to give great rest and gladness of heart. "And the Lord God will wipe away tears from Off all faces." It is immortal life that not only gives preciousness to friendship, but that gives relief from overwhelming tribulation. We sorrow, indeed, still; the hot rain of tears falls from the aching brain; but we sorrow not as those without hope. We comfort our hearts with these words of Jesus: "Let not your hearts be troubled …. In my Father's house are many mansions."—W.M.S.

HOMILIES BY W. CLARKSON

Isaiah 25:1-5

Rejoicing in God.

Such words as these could only come from an enlightened mind. They would have been impossible to a heathen sage. The gods of the nations were beings in whom no right-minded man could rejoice at all, and their character could not have been painted in these colors. But the God of Isaiah, our God, is One for whom "praise may be continually on the lips" of the wise and pure. Our souls can "delight themselves in God;" for—

I. HIS ABIDING FAITHFULNESS. "His counsels of old are faithfulness and truth" (verse 1). "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations." What he has purposed and promised is sure of fulfillment. The lapse of time, the passing of centuries, makes not the faintest difference in the certainty. Heaven and earth may pass, but his promise never (James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8). We may lean all the weight of our hope on his Divine Word, and we shall find that we are resting on the immovable rock.

II. HIS PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS. (Verses 2, 5.) The powerful empire-city might boast of its antiquity, its defenses, its soldiery, but its iniquity should receive its desert—it should be humbled to the very dust; it should be a heap, a ruin, a desert. The righteousness of God will assuredly be vindicated in time. God must not be judged as if a few decades were much in his measurement. Only wait his time, and when the cup of human guilt is full, the arm of Divine retribution will deal its stroke. Then shall the shoutings of impious arrogancy be silenced; it shall be dumb with shame (verse 5).

III. HIS DIVINE COMPASSION. (Verse 4.) When the raging tempest of human persecution threatens to overtake and destroy the humble and the helpless, then the pitiful One will appear on their behalf. A Strength to the poor and the needy, a Shadow from the heat, will he prove to be; as the saving cloud shelters from the scorching heat (verse 5), so will Divine interposition deliver from the consuming fires of human wrath. And this gracious pity is not an unusual or occasional feeling in his heart—it is his constant attitude, it is his abiding spirit. In every age and in every land he regards the poor and the needy, the suffering and the down-trodden, with a peculiar kindness; he is always ready to shelter them in the pavilion of his power. Therefore:

1. Let the guilty fear. (Verse 3.) What God has done in holy retribution he is prepared to do again, and will do again if heedlessness lead to impenitence, and impenitence to greater and more arrogant rebellion.

2. Let the oppressed hope. The destruction of the strong city of sin is the relief and the rescue of the holy. Not only the "strong people," but the obedient and humble people—the people of God—will "glorify" his Name (verse 3).

3. Let the redeemed praise God for his righteous judgment and his merciful deliverances. "I will praise thee." Not only those delivered from power and bondage of the human enemy, but those who have been ransomed and redeemed from the tyranny and the slavery of sin.

4. Let every man claim a direct personal interest in God. By approaching to him, by communion with him, by reconciliation to him, by joyful engagement in his service, let each one of us claim the right to say with holy exultation, "O Lord, thou art my God."—C.

Isaiah 25:6

Divine provision for the human soul.

In the vegetable and animal kingdoms God has made full and rich provision for all the wants and cravings of our body—for its revival, its nourishment, its strength, its enjoyment. In the gospel of his grace he has granted us the most ample and generous provision for our spiritual nature. In Christ Jesus, in "the truth as it is in him," and in his holy service, we have all we need for—

I. OUR SPIRITUAL REVIVAL. Food, especially wine, is given to revive as well as to nourish. "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish" (Proverbs 31:6). Many a human life has been saved by the restoring cup administered with a wise hand. The wine of heavenly truth is for a revival indeed. From him who is the "true Vine" (John 15:1) comes that reanimating virtue which calls from spiritual death the soul that was about to perish in its sin.

II. NOURISHMENT. Food is, above all things, for sustenance. We partake of the kind and welcome growths of the garden and the field that the waste of our system may be repaired, and that life may be preserved in its fullness and integrity. Without constant refreshment from "the Word of the truth of the gospel," if we did not sit down daily to the table which God has spread for us in his heavenly wisdom, our souls would soon fade and fail and die. As we eat of the "Bread of life," as we drink of "the river that makes glad the city of God," we find our life sustained; we "live unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

III. STRENGTH. "A feast of fat things full of marrow." That which is ample, not only to sustain life, but to augment its force. "Of wines on the lees"—wines that have acquired, and will presumably impart, strength. In Jesus Christ is everything to confer spiritual vigor, manliness, power. Communion with him, the study of his life and character, active service in his cause, the direct communications which proceed from his upholding, energizing Spirit,—all these minister to spiritual strength; they are all open to every disciple, so that the Christian teacher has a right to say, imperatively, to the disciple, "Be strong in the Lord" (Ephesians 6:10).

IV. JOY. Wine and gladness are closely associated in Scripture (see Psalms 4:7; Psalms 104:18). Feasting and joy are also intimately connected. The provision which is made in the feast of the gospel is one that gives a purer, truer, more manly, more lasting joy; for it is the joy of the soul, and it is a joy in God.

V. ADAPTATION. The wine of this feast was to be strong for those who wanted strength—"on the lees;" it was also to be "well refined" for those who wanted the coarse flavor removed and desired purity as well as power (see Jeremiah 48:11). The same Divine truth, delivered from the same lips, contained within the same covers, has force, for those who need to be mightily wrought upon, and refinement for those whose moral perceptions are clear and whose spiritual taste is fine and cultured. There is everything on the table of our Lord to meet the varied cravings of these hearts of ours.

1. This is a feast which we are not at liberty to decline; for "the Lord of hosts has made it"—has prepared it with exceeding care and at great cost.

2. It is open to every hungering soul. It is made "unto all people." It is free to all. "He, every one that thirsteth," etc.—C.

Isaiah 25:7

Spiritual veils.

Anything interposed between the eye and the object of vision may be called a veil; designed for the purpose of convenience or of modesty, the veil has often been the cause of unsightliness and inconvenience—it has been abused almost as much as it has been used. In Scripture the word has a moral significance, indicating something which intercepts the truth, and blinds the soul to the will of God and to its own duty and interest.

I. THE EXISTENCE OF SPIRITUAL VEILS. They are those of:

1. Credulity. Often the mind freely accepts all kinds of irrational, superstitious errors, which coat and cover the truth of God, rendering it invisible beneath a mass of error.

2. Prejudice. Men who act as did the Jews in our Lord's time, determining beforehand and judging irrespective of the evidence before their eyes, making up their minds in advance of any facts or reasons which have to be alleged, are sure to miss their way. They cannot see through the veil of prejudice.

3. Intellectual pride: unwillingness to believe anything which our finite faculties cannot comprehend; practical forgetfulness that the heavenly Father must have many more truths that we can only very dimly discern to reveal to his children, than earthly fathers have to make intelligible to their sons.

4. Worldliness: allowing the interests, occupations, gratifications, of this world to assume a magnitude and importance to which they have no claim; and allowing the conventional maxims of society to pass current as heavenly truth, when they are only too often misleading and even deadly errors.

5. Passion. The false glare of passion hides from many souls the truth which otherwise they would see and by which they' would live.

II. THEIR REMOVAL God "will destroy … the veil that is spread over all the nations."

1. It is a blessed fact, in the far future, which God will establish. By means he is now employing, and perhaps by ways and methods of which we may have no conception now, he will bring it to pass; the day will come when the nations shall walk in the light of the Lord; both Jew (2 Corinthians 3:16) and Gentile (Isaiah 60:3).

2. We may contribute our share toward this happy issue: there are mental errors and spiritual delusions which we can help to expose, both by enlightening words and convincing action.

3. We are bound to make every effort to put away whatever veil may be over our own eyes. Unconscious spiritual blindness is sin (see John 9:41). It may be in part a man's misfortune, but it is partly his fault. There may be that which palliates it, but nothing will excuse it. We must betake ourselves to God (Psalms 139:23, Psalms 139:24).—C.

Isaiah 25:8, Isaiah 25:9

The evening of expectation.

Of this passage we may look at—

I. ITS PRIMARY HISTORICAL APPLICATION. (See Exposition.)

II. ITS APPLICATION TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. The Church of Christ is "the Israel of God," and we may expect much of the language first used in reference to the Jewish nation to be appropriate to it and even intended for its service. Like ancient Israel, the Church has found itself in great humiliation and distress, and has been in sore need of Divine comfort in its dark days. At many stages in its history the Church has felt itself oppressed with heavy burdens, beset with serious difficulties, threatened with great calamities; and then the blessed promise of deliverance has dawned, and its heart has been elated, and such words of joyful praise as these in the text have been upon its lips. Even when there are no signs of the coming of Christ in delivering and reviving power, the Church may "take heart of grace" if it be

This holy and rightful attitude will turn the night of sorrow into the evening of expectation; and in due time will come the morning of deliverance; this will include

III. ITS APPLICATION TO INDIVIDUAL SOULS. Our Christian life presents various aspects according to the path by which our Lord leads us home. The life of some may be characterized as that of abounding privilege, of others as that of multiplied mercies, of others as that of honorable and useful activity; in these cases the heavenly kingdom may appear to be a continued though an exalted experience in another sphere. But in other instances human life is one of unflagging toil, or of unceasing struggle, or of oppressive care, or of crushing sorrow: the night for which weeping endures (Psalms 30:5) is all but lifelong. It is in such cases as these that we are "saved by hope." Hope is the morning star which is a blessed promise of an eternal day. It turns the night of weary trouble into the evening of holy expectation; it puts a song of joy even into the lips of suffering; it calmly but eagerly "prevents" the approaching morning; it anticipates the hour when the tears of sorrow will be wiped away from eyes that will weep no more forever, when every burden will fall from every heavy-laden shoulder, when the heart will be "exceeding glad" in the joy of God's great salvation. Let the children of affliction comfort themselves with these words of the prophet; but let them

Isaiah 25:8

The supreme victory.

"He will swallow up death in victory." The terms of the text are not satisfied by anything less than the gospel of the grace of God; that, and that alone, can be truly said to swallow up death. It is only Jesus Christ who can be said to have "abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10). This is the supreme victory. Great conquests have been gained in other fields: in geographical research—discovery of America, penetration of Africa, etc.; in the useful arts—printing, telegraphy, steam-power, etc.; in mathematical science; in historical exploration, etc. These things, and such things as these, have conferred dignity on our nature and. enlargement on our life. But there is one victory compared with which even these are small—the triumph over death. Death has been thought of and written about everywhere as the great conqueror, before whose prevailing arm all human forces go down vanquished to the dust. It has been acknowledged to be the master of our humanity. But in the gospel of Jesus Christ death is defied, is met face to face, is overcome, is so utterly subdued and routed that we can truly say that it is "swallowed up in victory." In Christ there is a double defeat of its power; for in him is—

I. ABUNDANT SPIRITUAL LIFE HERE. Sin has led man down to moral and spiritual death; they that live apart from God are "dead while they live," for they move on toward the grave, missing all those things which give nobility, excellency, beauty, real and lasting joy to human life. But to know God in Christ Jesus is life (John 17:3). And whoso enters into all the fullness of the life which is in Christ has that life "more abundantly" (John 10:10). Spiritual death is lost in largeness and fullness of spiritual life—life in God, with God, for God; it is swallowed up in victory.

II. IMMORTAL LIFE IN THE HEAVENLY WORLD. Here we have the significance of the words of the text. Other faiths beside that of Jesus Christ have included a promise of life in the future; but the hopes they have held out have been uncertain, vague, illusory; the life they have promised has been shadowy, unreal, unattractive. Their disciples must have felt that in its contest with death the faith has met its match, and, if it has not been actually worsted, it has failed to triumph. In the gospel of Christ we have a decided and delightful contrast to this. There the victory is complete. We pass away, indeed, from earth, from its scenes, its engagements, its friendships, its joys; but we pass into a state and a world where everything is immeasurably better than the present.

1. We are unclothed in body, but we are clothed upon with a house which is from heaven (2 Corinthians 5:4).

2. The ignorance of earthly twilight we exchange for the full knowledge of the celestial day (1 Corinthians 13:12).

3. From the broken delights and the fatiguing toils of time we pass to the tearless happiness and to the untiring activities of eternity.

4. The sorrowful separations of the present will make more blessed the union where we "clasp inseparable hands" in unfading friendship.

5. The apparent absence of the heavenly Father will be lost in the conscious nearness which will make us to dwell continually in his holy presence, God with us and we with him forever. Death will be "swallowed up in victory."

HOMILIES BY R. TUCK

Isaiah 25:1

Personal rights in God.

"O Lord, thou art my God." The difference between the "man" and the "godly man" may be seen in this. The man says, "O Lord, thou art God;" but the godly man says, "O Lord, thou art my God." The difference is the matter of conscious personal relation; it is a question of "appropriation." At first sight it might seem to detract from the august majesty of the Divine Being that any single individual should call him "mine." But, whatever we may make of it, the fact must be admitted that, while God's revelation to man in nature is to man as a whole—to man as a race the revelation of God to man in a book, and in a person, is a constant encouragement to him to recognize and come into the joy of personal relations. This point may be variously illustrated.

I. THE EARLIEST REVELATION OF GOD TO THE RACE AS MORAL BEINGS PERMITTED PERSON RELATIONS. This is shown in God's trusting Adam and Eve; also in his holding the communion of friendship with them, "walking in the garden;" and much may be made of the assertion in Luke's genealogy, "the son of Adam, which was the son of God" (Luke 3:38).

II. THE PATRIARCHS LIVED IN THE JOY OF PERSONAL RELATIONS WITH GOD. Illustrated in Abraham's familiarity in intercession for Sodom; indicated in the fact of covenant; and proved in the distinctness with which God is spoken of as the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

III. THE DELIVERANCES AND REDEMPTIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL SHOW AN IMMEDIATE AND PERSONAL INTEREST IN THEM ON THE PART OF GOD. One instance is suggestive of many. On the further shores of the Red Sea Moses lint a song of thanksgiving into the mouths of the people, and this is its opening verse: "The Lord is my Strength and Song, and he is become my Salvation: he is my God."

IV. WHEN PERSONAL GODLINESS FINDS EXPRESSION WE SEE THE SIGNS OF THE PERSONAL APPROPRIATION. (See Psalms 118:28; Psalms 145:1.)

V. THE FULL REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN IN CHRIST JESUS IS PERMISSION AND INVITATION TO COME INTO PERSONAL RELATIONS. That is the revelation of God as a Father, a word which involves our individual rights in him as his sons. That is the revelation of a salvation which restores broken relations and renews our rights in God. But it is precisely in this appropriation of God that men are so often hindered. Many can admit that "Jesus died for the sins of the world," and "God loved the world;" but there is no life, no joy, no right sense of relation, until we can say, "God loves me, even me; and Jesus died for me, even me." R.T.

Isaiah 25:1

The true reading of the Divine dealings.

"Thou has, done wonderful things, even counsels of old, in faithfulness and truth" (Revised Version). When we can read aright, the Divine plan and workings in the olden times are not merely wonderful, causing surprise at the Divine wisdom and power; the great thing about them is seen to be their goodness, adaptation, mercifulness, and truth to promise and pledge. This is the result of a true reading of history, and ninny of us have found this to follow our right and worthy reading of our own lives, and of God's ways with us. Now we can say, "Not one good thing hath failed us of all that the Lord our God hath promised." "All the operations of providence are according to God's eternal counsels (and those faithfulness and truth itself), all consonant to his attributes, consistent with one another, and sure to be accomplished in their season."

I. WE OFTEN. MISTAKE GOD'S PURPOSE WHILE IT IS BEING WROUGHT OUT. As we might mistake any work in progress. Because we do not know the mind of the Worker; because his ways are other than our ways; because he uses strange agents and agencies; and because he purposely holds from our view his meaning, so that he may encourage patience, waiting, and trust.

"Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan his work in vain."

Illustrate by the apparent confusion in the ground where a cathedral is being erected; and show how great a mistake we should make about God's purpose in Joseph or David, if we took only isolated parts and incidents of their lives for study. We often mistake God's meaning when we try to read only parts of our own lives.

II. WE SHALL NOT MISTAKE GOD'S PURPOSE WHEN WE SEE IT IN ITS ISSUES. That is true. God's end always explains and justifies his means. But then the end is not yet; it is often away in the future, out of our vision. And we want some indication of God now. All we can have is the vindication, given over and over again, in history. We have "seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." And we have good argument and well-grounded faith that God's counsels are always "faithfulness and truth."

III. WE NEED NEVER MISTAKE GOD'S DEALINGS OR GOD'S PURPOSE IF WE WILL READ THEM IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WE KNOW OF GOD HIMSELF. Life for us all may be full of puzzling firings, but we can always say, "We know God." It must be right, it must be wise, it must be good, it must be for the absolute best, since he has done it, who, being love, must be "making all things work together for good." True reading is reading in the light of what we know God to be.—R.T.

Isaiah 25:4

God our Shadow.

"For thou hast been … a Shadow from the heat." The prophet sees, in God's mercifulness to his people, a reason why the nations around, the masses of the people, should fear him. We man understand why the word "fear" is employed. God's deliverings and defendings of his people involve judgments on the great kingdoms that were oppressing Israel; and judgments are striking and impressive to masses of people, who must act upon fear rather than upon love, or even upon a sense of duty, for they are like children who are only learning the superior power of moral motives, and meanwhile must be subject to force, and put into right ways. The figures in this verse are very forcible. The "storm" is in the original a "storm which overthrows a wall," or a storm so violent that it sweeps down walls before it (Matthew Arnold). In Eastern countries the value of a shade from the blazing sunshine is well understood; anti Thomson tells of a terrible boated day when he escaped from the burning highway into a dark vaulted room at the lower Beth-heron, and realized what Isaiah pictured. Another traveler says, "About midday, when the heat was very oppressive, a small cloud, scarcely observable by the eye, passed over the disc of the burning sun. Immediately the intense heat abated, a gentle breeze sprang up, and we felt refreshed." As a figure for God this may be variously applied and illustrated. We suggest three lines of illustration.

I. GOD IN HISTORY HAS OFTEN PROVED A SHADOW. Points may be obtained from such reviews of history as are given in Psalms 105:1-45.; 106.; 107. The key-note is, "Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses."

II. GOD NEEDS TO BE A SHADOW IN OUR TIMES OF PROSPERITY. For then all that is good and great in us is in grave danger of being burned up in the blazing heat. Few of us can stand long in the sun of prosperity. Woe unto us when all men speak well of us! and woe unto us when all things go well with us! It is most gracious in God that he flings his shadow across, and gives us times of quietness and peace; bumbling times they must be, when self is put down from his boastful place.

III. GOD IS SURE TO BE A SHADOW IN OUR TIMES OF ADVERSITY. So David found, and when new trouble came he could say, "I flee unto thee to hide me." Our earthly anxieties come in part from circumstances, in part from enemies, and in part from our own evil selves. It may be shown that, for each kind of trouble, the only true shelter is in God. Close with this idea—where the shadow is, God, who throws it, must be near; then, if we keep well within the shadow, we must be close to God, and so quiet and safe.—R.T.

Isaiah 25:6

Jehovah's feast after reconciliation.

The picture in this text is based upon the familiar custom in Judaism of associating a sacrificial feast with a thank offering or peace offering. Such feasts were highly festive and joyous occasions. As an instance of the custom, reference may be made to the scene of the anointing of King Saul. Samuel made a feast, after sacrifice, to which some thirty persons were bidden (1 Samuel 9:19, 1 Samuel 9:22). "According to the Mosaic Law, the fat pieces of the victim were to be devoted to Jehovah immediately by burning, and the next best piece, the breast, mediately by giving it to his servants the priests;" the rest was a foundation for a feast in which the offerers shared. The "wines on the lees" are those kept long, that have become old and mellowed. "Full of marrow" indicates superior quality. The first reference may be to the joy of the returned captives when God permitted a revival of Jerusalem; but the full reference must be to the spiritual provisions of Messianic times. For "feasts" as the figure for spiritual blessings, gospel provisions, comp. Psalms 22:26-29; Isaiah 55:1-5; Matthew 8:11; Matthew 25:1; Luke 13:28, Luke 13:29; Luke 14:15-24. Keeping to the idea of feast after sacrifice sealing the reconciliation, and working that idea out in relation to Christian times, we note—

I. GOD GIVES COMMUNION WHEN HE GIVES RECONCILIATION. The feast was designed to assure the worshippers that all separations and enmities were done away, and God was now in gracious and comfortable relations with them. In the East restored friendship is sealed by eating together. It will at once be seen how this constancy of Divine communion with renewed souls is sealed in the symbolic meal of our sacramental Supper. That feast keeps up the assurance of God's comfortable relations with us. We are the restored and accepted ones to whom God gives his friendship.

II. GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS FUTURE RELATIONS WITH HIS REDEEMED ONES. It is important to correct a sentiment which very seriously imperils right Christian living, but seldom gets shape in actual words. It is assumed that God is supremely anxious for our salvation, our "conversion" as we call it, but indifferent to what we are and do, if only we are saved. This modern modification of Antinomian error is met by the fact that God makes a feast for the redeemed, providing for them after redemption. God is the food for the soul's life, and that life he quickens.

III. GOD WANTS JOY TO CHARACTERIZE THOSE CONTINUOUS RELATIONS. Therefore is the festive figure chosen. "The joy of the Lord is our strength." The redeemed of the Lord ought to march "with singing unto Zion." Depressions may come, but they may not abide. Our Christian life should be a glad feasting on the abundance God provides.—R.T.

Isaiah 25:8

Triumph over death.

There is a first reference here to the restoration of Judah from its death-state of captivity, and to the wiping away of the tears the captives shed when they hung their harps upon the willows. But we cannot forget that St. Paul and St. John have put the richest Christian meanings into these beautiful and pathetic words (1 Corinthians 4:1-21 :54; Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4). And life for a nation out of the death-state of captivity may well be taken as a type of the sublime resurrection of humanity from the grasp of physical death. Our triumph over death is assured; and foretaste of it is given in the conquest of the Lord Jesus over the grave. He is our Conqueror of death, and in him the prophecy of this text will have its large and blessed fulfillment. We read the prophecy in the light of Christ and of his work. And Scripture teaches us to regard the resurrection of Christ as a final conquest of death for us (Acts 2:24;1 Corinthians 4:21, 55, 56; Ephesians 4:8; 2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18).

I. CHRIST IS THE CONQUEROR OF DEATH ITSELF. It was not the design of Christ to destroy death altogether, and withdraw its commission to the human race. He left it still to bite, but plucked away its sting, the venom of its hopelessness, and the bitterness of its connection with human sin. We shall die, though Christ has conquered death; but death is now only the messenger that calls us home—he is no longer the jailer that drags us to our doom. Dissolution, or translation, such as we have hints of in the cases of Enoch and Elijah, may be the Divine idea for unfallen created beings; but certainly death, as we know it, with all its attendant circumstances of evil, is the immediate result of human sin. Change of state, and change of worlds, may be death in an abstract sense; but death in fear, and amid sufferings, and under disease, and involving agonizing separations, and terrible with the black shadows of an unknown future; this death—and this is the death with which we have to do—is the penalty of transgression. "The sting of death is sin." Lord Bacon, in his essay on death, almost makes too much of the material accompaniments of it, and under estimates the moral feeling in relation to it. He says, "Groans, and convulsions, and a discolored face, and friends weeping, and blacks, and obsequies, and the like, show death terrible There is no passion in the mind of man so weak, but it mates and masters the fear of death; and therefore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so many attendants about him that can win the combat for him. Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief fleeth to it; and lear preoccupieth it." But this is only true for certain individuals, and under various pressures of excitement. To most of us, and especially to those who are thoughtful, and oppressed with the burdens of humanity, death has aspects of great bitterness. Then in what sense can we think of Christ as the present Conqueror of death? The answer is this—He has conquered the death-dread in us, both concerning ourselves and concerning those who are dear to us. He has "delivered those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." And he has conquered it by fixing its connections with the body alone, and severing it, once and forever, from all relation to the renewed and redeemed soul. "He that liveth and believeth on me shall never die." In Christ death is compelled to take rank with disease and pain, as the servants of God. Its masterfulness is destroyed; its dart lies broken on the ground.

II. THE CONQUEROR OF DEATH OUGHT TO RULE IN ITS STEAD. In Christ life rules, hope rules, goodness rules, eternity rules. Man may despairingly look upon his partially raised schemes, and say, "Alas! I shall die." But the Christian man builds on bravely and hopefully. He knows that beneath all the outward show he is raising a structure of character on which death has no power, and he says, "I shall never die." The difference that is made by our letting death rule our thoughts and hopes and endeavors, and letting Christ rule them, may be illustrated by the change wrought in the land of Persia, when Zoroaster proclaimed that Ormuzd, the Good, was the real ruler of humanity. When Zoroaster came, the religious instincts of the people were debased, the divinity worshipped was malevolent, the moral tone was low, the social habits were vicious, the land of Iran was overgrown with thorns and weeds; men were idle, negligent, like the surfeited inhabitants of Sodom, given up to sensuality; they thought of their divine ruler as evil, malicious, cruel; they had the crushing, despairing, disheartening sentiments which always follow the belief that death, the representative of evil, rules. Zoroaster brought back the old and lost truth that God rules—not evil, not death. Evil is subject to God. The good God is the God of life, and life is mightier than death; of light, and light triumphs over darkness. Ormuzd was the god of production, and if they would sow and plant and weed, they would be sure to win, under his benediction, a glorious triumph over waste and barrenness and death. We are not yet free as we should be from the notion that death still reigns. We have not yet opened our hearts fully to the glorious truth that Jesus, the conqueror of death, now reigns. Above everything else our age wants to yield its allegiance to Christ, ruling in morals, in education, in literature, in science, in politics, in commerce, and in society; triumphing now over all the forms of evil that death can symbolize.—R.T.

Isaiah 25:9

Waiting on God.

"This is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us." Waiting on God. Waiting for God. Waiting on when all is dark. Waiting still, when commotions and troubles surround us. Bidding us wait for him, a way of the Lord's dealing with us. Making it hard to wait, a sign of God's severer dealing with us. And wafting sanctified to our soul-culture. These are subjects very suggestive to Christian meditation.

I. WAITING CIRCUMSTANCES. It was a waiting-time for the godly in Judah when Isaiah wrote. In their own country, luxury and profligacy were plainly bearing the country on to some terrible doom. In the nations around them the cup of iniquity was getting full, and overwhelming judgments were falling on one after another. Every man who believed in the covenant was put into silence and waiting. The scenes around him he could not reason out. Precisely what God would do with his people he could not know. All about him was painful mystery; he could only wait, keeping firm hold of the truth, faithfulness, and love of God while he waited. When circumstances are against us, the best thing we can do is to wait.

"Wait thou his time, so shall thy night

Soon end in joyous day."

The history of God's ancient people is a series of waiting circumstances. Through a long Egyptian bondage they were called to wait for the day of their deliverance. Surrounded with perils, they stood at the shores of the Red Sea, and were bidden to wait for the salvation of God. Crowded in the plain before the Mount of Sinai, the people failed to wait in patience until Moses reappeared. For forty years they wandered, waiting for admission to their promised land. In their first siege they must wait until God's signal for the falling walls. At last they must hang their harps on the willows, in the stranger's land, waiting the completion of their seventy years of judgment. And even today, among us, Israel stands in waiting circumstances—waiting while her land lies fallow; waiting while the times of the Gentiles are being fulfilled. While the story of that people Israel remains upon the records, all may know that God does a part of his work of grace in men, by placing them in waiting circumstances. What is true of the nation is true of her heroic sons and daughters: e.g. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Simeon, and a host of others had to wait, and often wait long, for the fulfillment of their hopes. So we are still placed in waiting circumstances. There are often times when we can do nothing—we can only sit at the window, like the sailor's wife when the storm-wrack fills the sky, and the sea makes its moan almost to heart-breaking. Times when we are put aside from busy life. Times when our way seemed to be walled up, no door would open, no sign of the guiding hand appeared; we could only wait. But this is true, the circumstances are God's arrangement, and the waiting does God's work. Life itself is one great waiting-time. The earth itself is but in waiting circumstances (Romans 8:22).

II. WAITING ATTITUDES.

1. The attitude of prayer, using that word in its large sense of openness of soul to God; the outlooking, up-looking of the soul to God; the humble sense of self; the silent and the spoken cry for the light and help of God. The union of prayer with waiting lifts it from the mere dull and stricken submission of the slave, into the pleasant waiting of the child, who, being sure of the Father's love, keeps looking for the Father's time. Waiting work never becomes weary work, or bitter work, until we cease to pray.

2. The attitude of expectancy. Waiting ought to become watching, in strong faith and assured hope; watching like that of David, when he could sing out his confidence and say, "Yet the Lord will command his loving-kindness in the daytime." Such a spirit the captives in Babylon might cherish. Flinging open their windows westward, as they knelt, they might see the temple arise, the streets of the holy city fill with busy people, and the walls encircle a delivered and independent nation; and with such expectations it could not be hard to wait, for God's time to bless is never more than a "little way off."

3. The attitude of keeping on in the ways of righteousness, whether we find them pay or not pay. Doing right, even if it does seem to bring suffering. Purposing that our mouth shall not transgress. If, while we wait, we faint in spirit, let us take good care never to faint from righteousness.

III. WAITING CONSOLATIONS. We may be quite sure that God is in the waiting. Nearer than ever to us in the hours of delay. If the waiting is God's, if it belongs to the mysterious ways of the Divine love, then even waiting-times are blessed. They are even a gracious agency for the culture of our souls; and oftentimes better things are done for us in the waiting than in the suffering times. The great lessons of the perfect trust are learned in the waiting hours; and "patience gets her perfect work."—R.T.

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/isaiah-25.html. 1897.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
in this
10; 2:2,3; Psalms 72:14-16; 78:68; Micah 4:1,2; Zechariah 8:3; Hebrews 12:22
make
55:1,2; Psalms 63:5; Proverbs 9:1-5; Song of Solomon 2:3-5; 5:1; Jeremiah 31:12,13; Zechariah 9:16,17; Matthew 22:1-10; Luke 14:16-23; 22:30; Revelation 19:9
all people
49:6-10; Daniel 7:14; Matthew 8:11; Mark 16:15
of wines
Song of Solomon 1:2,4; Jeremiah 48:11; Matthew 26:29; Luke 5:39
Reciprocal: Exodus 5:1 - a feast;  Numbers 6:20 - and after;  Deuteronomy 16:14 - General2 Chronicles 4:8 - ten tables;  Job 36:16 - full;  Psalm 22:26 - The meek;  Psalm 23:5 - preparest;  Psalm 36:8 - abundantly;  Proverbs 9:2 - killed;  Isaiah 27:13 - and shall;  Jeremiah 31:14 - my people;  Ezekiel 34:14 - feed them;  Matthew 5:6 - for;  Matthew 26:27 - Drink;  Luke 6:21 - for ye shall be;  Luke 15:23 - the fatted;  Luke 22:18 - the fruit;  John 6:54 - eateth;  Acts 2:13 - These;  1 Corinthians 5:8 - let;  1 Corinthians 11:24 - eat;  Ephesians 5:18 - but;  Revelation 7:17 - feed

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-25.html.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

And — In mount Zion, in God's church.

All people — Both Jews and Gentiles.

A feast — A feast made up of the most delicate provisions, which is manifestly meant of the ordinances, graces, and comforts given by God in his church.

Of wines — Which have continued upon the lees a competent time, whereby they gain strength, and are afterwards drawn off, and refined.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-25.html. 1765.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6.Will destroy’ the face of the covering — The fulness of the Messianic times will remove the veil that rests on the Gentiles, hitherto living in darkness. Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 42:6-7; Luke 1:78-79; Acts 26:17-18.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 25:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-25.html. 1874-1909.