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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 55:3

"Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David.

Adam Clarke Commentary

I will make an everlasting covenant - Hebrews עולם ברית לכם אכרתה echrethah lachem berith olam, "I will cut the old or everlasting covenant sacrifice with you." That covenant sacrifice which was pointed out of old from the very beginning; and which is to last to the consummation of ages; viz., the Lamb of God that was slain from the foundation of the world.

The sure mercies of David - That is, says Kimchi, "The Messiah," called here David; as it is written, "David my servant shall be a prince over you."

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Hear, and your soul shall live - That is, if you attend to my command and embrace my promises, you shall live. Religion in the Scriptures is often represented as life John 5:40; John 6:33; John 8:13; John 20:31; Romans 5:17-18; Romans 6:4; Romans 8:6; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 2:7-10. It stands opposed to the death of sin - to spiritual and eternal death.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you - On the word ‹covenant,‘ see the notes at Isaiah 28:18; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:8. Here it means that God would bind himself to be their God, their protector, and their friend. This covenant would be made with all who would come to him. It would not be with the nation of the Jews, as such, or with any community, as such, but it would be with all who should embrace the offers of life and salvation.

Even the sure mercies of David - I will confirm to you, and fulfill in you, the solemn promises made to David. The transaction here referred to is that which is celebrated in Psalm 89:2-4:

For I have said, mercy shall be built up forever;

Thy faithfulness hast thou established in the very heavens.

I have made a covenant with my chosen,

I have sworn unto David my servant,

Thy seed will I establish forever,

And build up thy throne to all generations.

A kingdom had thus been promised to David, and he had been assured that the true religion should flourish among those who were to succeed him in Israel. The prophet here says that this solemn promise. would be fulfilled in those who should embrace the Messiah, and that God would ratify with them this covenant. The word rendered here ‹mercies‘ (חסד chesed ), properly means kindness, goodwill, pity, compassion; then goodness, mercy, grace. The word rendered ‹sure,‘ denotes that which is established, or confirmed; that in which confidence may be placed. The whole expression denotes that the covenant made with David was one which promised great favors, and was one which was not to be abrogated, but which was to be perpetual. With all who embraced the Messiah, God would enter into such an unchanging and unwavering covenant - a covenant which was not to be revoked.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 55:3

Incline your ear

God’s voice

To incline your ear and hearken diligently unto God is to follow the Divine teachings as to the aims and methods of life.
And God has a thousand voices for those who will hearken.

1. The voice of experience is His, and experience is loud and emphatic in assuring us that “if we live after the flesh we shall die; but if we, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body we shall live.”

2. The voice in the heart and conscience is His, and if you will listen in the silence of the mind you will hear the sweet parental accents speaking to your deepest filial affection, and saying, “My son, give Me thine heart.”

3. And the voice of inspiration is His, speaking through those who have seen most deeply into the Divine meaning of life, and the conclusion of the whole matter with them has been, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

4. And the voice of Christ” is the voice of God, and.” “Jesus stood and cried,, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. (C. Short, M. A.)

“Incline your ear"

Hold it near the mouth of the gracious Speaker. Be willing to hear what God has to say. Take out that wool of prefudice that has prevented you from hearkening to God’s voice.(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The Divine call and promise

The institution of public worship derives a peculiar value from its tendency to dispose men to the voice of God

I. THE GRACIOUS PROPOSAL ON THE PART OF GOD. “I will make an everlasting covenant with you,” etc. The covenant here proposed is a covenant of promise, that is, a covenant in which God promises to bestow freely upon His creatures a variety of the greatest and most necessary blessings. Two things here call for our attention--

1. The extent here specified of the engagements of the covenant. “The sure mercies of David.” This covenant was first discovered to Adam, more fully to Abraham, still more so to David, who was an eminent type of Christ.

Now Christ, the spiritual David, is come; what these sure mercies are, we know more fully. But they are “sure mercied,” which lead to:

2. The ground of dependence. The covenant is founded upon the goodness of God. Think of the fidelity of His promises; of His ability; of the pledge He has given us. “He that spared not His own Son,” etc. Think of the great cloud of witnesses who all testify to the Divine character, and speak the mercies to them without exception. Sure in the effects they produce. Sure in all changes. These never fail. Sure in another state of existence, for it is an everlasting covenant administered by an Eternal Being.

II. THE MEANS OF OUR SECURING THESE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID. “Incline your car, and come unto Me.”

1. The Person speaking ought to induce attention. It is the Lord, our Maker, Preserver, Redeemer.

2. The interest we have in the subject ought to induce attention.

3. Our attention must lead us to God. “Incline your ear, and come unto Me.

4. The amazing issues which depend on our obedience should lead us at once to obey. “Hear, and your soul shall live.” (J. Bolton, B. A.)

God’s own Gospel call

This very memorable chapter may be called God’s own Gospel sermon.

I. TWO SAVING PRECEPTS, which are pressed upon you. These are of simple character.

1. “Incline your ear.” This is placed in another form, “Hearken diligently unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live. You have ears to hear w t therefore-hear. Consider and think upon eternal things. Think about Divine matters as God sets them before you. This attention, this hearkening, must be hearty, honest, continual, earnest and believing.

2. The second precept grows out of the first: “Come unto Me. “How can I come to God?’ saith one.

1. Come, at least, by thinking much of Him.

2. Come, by your desires.

3. Come, by confession of sin.

4. Come, in humble, believing prayer. These are the two precepts--“Hear” and “Come.” They are neither exacting norunreasonable.

II. To encourage you, and come to my second head, which deals with SAVING PROMISES. Here are two promises corresponding to the two precepts--

1. “Your soul shall live.”

2. “I will make an everlasting covenant with you.”

III. Urge the Lord’s own SAVING PLEAS.

1. God Himself speaks to you.

2. Your day of mercy is not ended (Isaiah 55:6).

3. He is ready and willing to forgive the whole of your past offences (Isaiah 55:7).

4. Then comes in the great persuasive of the magnanimity of God (Isaiah 55:8-9).

5. Hear how the Lord pleads the power of His Gospel (Isaiah 55:10-11). Hearken to God’s voice, and let it enter your heart; then it will quicken and save you as surely as the sun and the rain water the earth.

6. The Lord persuades men to come to Him by telling them of the joy they will obtain in coming (Isaiah 55:12).

7. He calls you to Him by the effectual nature of His work (Isaiah 55:13). (C. H.Spurgeon.)

God’s call to the needy and sinful

I. AN INVITATION, addressed to us by Jehovah Himself, to hearken diligently unto Him, to incline our ear, and to come to Him. There is something peculiarly touching in the invitations of the Word of God, which, if men would but pause and reflect, could not fail to make an impression upon their hearts. “Hearken diligently unto Me,” God says; “incline your ear. He would take you, as it were, each one separately by himself, and reason and counsel with you. The matters of which He would treat with you are too important to be handled in a crowd, too sacred to be discussed amid the noise and bustle of worldly avocations. The Lord will have sinners “come” to Him; He will have all distance annihilated between your souls and Him; He will have you brought into the closest relationship and communion with Himself; He will have you not only within hearing of His voice, but in His very embrace.

II. THE REASONS FOR OUR CLOSING WITH THIS INVITATION are two, and each of them is very weighty.

1. You will be vast gainers if you follow the leadings of the Divine Spirit, and go into conference with God, and embrace His terms. Your soul shall delight itself in fatness. Your soul shall live.”

2. To refuse the offer is to lose the soul. (A. B. Davidson, D. D.)

Salvation through the ear

God hath ordained--as it were to cross the devil--that as death entered into the world through the car, by our first parents listening to that old man-slayer, so should life enter into the soul by the same door. (J. Trapp.)

Hear, and your soul shall live

The highest life

Life is more than mere existence; it is the natural, healthful, and joyous activity of every part of the being. It is eternal life. (Christian Age.)

The way to life

I. THE MESSAGE IMPLIED. When we are commanded to “hear,” it is supposed that something is spoken: there is a voice which, in one way or other, addresses us. This is none else than the voice of Jehovah, the God of truth, the God of love, the God of all patience and consolation. He speaks to us in His good Word.

II. THE REGARD WHICH THIS MESSAGE DEMANDS. “Hear.” There can be no impropriety in understanding this literally; and, in this view, it condemns such as do not hear the Gospel when it is brought to them, and they have the opportunity of hearing it. It also reproves such as only occasionally hear the Gospel But more is meant by hearing, in the text, than your presence in the place where the Gospel is preached.

1. Hear with attention. Thus the expression is varied, both in this and the preceding verse: “Hearken diligently unto Me; incline your ear,” as persons peculiarly and closely attentive. Some marks of inattention, under the sound of the Gospel, are obvious enough. But we cannot always judge of attention by outward appearances. Then, will you hear with attention, when you arc deeply convinced of the truth of what you hear; when you feel its vast importance; when you are thoroughly satisfied that the word of the Gospel is indeed the Word of God.

2. Hear with affection. It is a great thing to love the Gospel. When the Gospel is heard affectionately, there is an earnest concern to enjoy its invaluable blessings: prejudice falls before it; there is a growing conformity to it.

3. Hear with believing application.

4. Hear with obedient compliance. This, indeed, is nearly allied to what has last been mentioned, yet it includes something farther. Thus it is said, “Incline your ear, and come unto Me” not only believe that these blessings of salvation are adapted to your state, and ready for your reception, but apply to Him who has them to bestow. He is “the Author of eternal salvation;” to whom? “to all them that obey Him.’

5. Hear with humble prayer.

III. THE ADVANTAGE PROMISED. “Your soul shall live.” Several things are here observable.

1. It is a personal advantage. Many advantages are relative and distant. Persons may attend to various means with a view to the good of others. But this advantage is personally your own.

2. It is a spiritual advantage. Your “soul.” To benefit the body is something; to preserve its life, to maintain and to improve its health, are objects of real moment; but they sink into nothing compared with what relates to the soul.

3. It is a great advantage. “Your soul shall live.” We all have some idea what life is, and we know how highly it is valued. This advantage must be of peculiar magnitude, as the soul is unspeakably more excellent than the body, and as eternity is of infinitely higher moment than the fleeting shadow of time. The life of the soul! What does it denote? What does it include? The commencement of the life of the soul is in regeneration.

4. It is a sure advantage. Application:

1. The message of the Gospel is brought to you.

2. What is the regard which you are giving to this message?

3. What is your experience of this advantage? (T. Kidd.)

Life in Christ



And I will make an everlasting covenant with you

The covenant with Israel

Nothing is required on the part of Israel but hearing and coming and taking; through these, it becomes pervaded by new life, and Jehovah presents it with an everlasting covenant, namely, the unchangeable mercies of David. (E. Delitzsch, D. D.)

Twelve covenant mercies

I. SAVING KNOWLEDGE (Jeremiah 31:31-34).


III. FREE PARDON (end of Jeremiah 31:34).

IV. RECONCILIATION (Jeremiah 32:38).

V. TRUE GODLINESS (Jeremiah 31:39).

VI. CONTINUANCE IN GRACE (Jeremiah 31:40).

VII. CLEANSING (Ezekiel 36:25).

VIII. RENEWAL OF NATURE (Jeremiah 31:26).

IX. HOLY CONVERSATION (Jeremiah 31:27).

X. HAPPY SELF-LOATHING (Jeremiah 31:31).

XI. COMMUNION WITH GOD (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

XII. NEEDFUL CHASTISEMENT (Psalms 89:30). (C. H. Spurgeon.)

God’s covenant

We should hear much less of the doubts and fears of Christians about their own acceptance, if they would think more of God and His act, His call, His promise and His covenant, than of their own unworthiness, which, indeed, is frankly assumed throughout. (G. A.Chadwick, D. D.)

The sure mercies of David

“The sure mercies of David:”

“The sure mercies of David:” i.e the mercies (loving-kindnesses) irrevocably promised to David and his house (comp. 2 Samuel 23:5; Psalms 18:50; Psalms 89:28; Psalms 89:4), and the great promise to which all these passages point (2 Samuel 7:8-16). The comparison of the everlasting covenant to these Davidic “mercies” cannot mean simply that the one is as sure as the other. It is identity rather than comparison that is implied, the idea being that the contents of the covenant are the same as the mercies promised to David, and that it will be the fulfilment of the hopes that clustered round the Davidic dynasty. (Prof. J. Skinner, D. D.)

“The sure mercies of David”

What is this “everlasting covenant”? What are these “sure mercies of David”? Two sorts of authors deserve to be heard on this article, though on different accounts, the first for their ignorance and prejudice, the last for their knowledge and impartiality. The first are the Jews, who, in spite of their obstinate blindness, cannot help owning that these words promise the advent of the Messiah. Rabbi David Kimchi gives this exposition of the words: “‘The sure mercies of David,’ that is, the Messiah, whom Ezekiel calls David, They shall dwell in the land that I have given them, they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever; and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.” The other authors, whom we ought to hear for their impartial knowledge, are the inspired writers, and particularly St. Paul, whose comment on this passage, which he gave at Antioch in Pisidia, determines its meaning. There, the apostle, having attested the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, affirms that the prophets had foretold that event; and, among other passages, which he alleged in proof of what he had advanced, quotes this, “I will give you the sure mercies of David” (Acts 13:34). (J. Saurin.)

“The sure mercies of David”

The Gospel is the exhibition and the bestowment of all these blessings which were promised to David, as the type of Christ, and His forefathers according to the flesh. Those blessings are indeed unspeakably valuable; in them is the charter of our hope, and the record of our salvation. And this consideration above all adds value to them--they are c, sure.”

1. Sure, as respects the fountain from which they are derived, the love and compassion of the holy and eternal one.

2. Sure, as respects the intention of Him who proposes them to us.

3. Sure, because of the price at which they are offered. (H. J. Hastings, M. A.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 55:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Incline your ear, and come unto me,.... The exhortations are repeated, to show the importance of them, how welcome these persons were to the Lord, and to his house, and his earnest and tender care and concern for them:

hear, and your soul shall live; or, "that your soul may liveF6ותחי "ut vivat", Junius & Tremellius, Vitringa. "; spiritually and eternally. There must be life before hearing; men must be made alive before they can come to Christ spiritually, or hear his word so as to have a spiritual understanding of it, or savingly believe it; but the meaning is, that by coming and hearing the word of the Lord, they should have something to live upon, good, solid, substantial food; and that they should live comfortably and plentifully, and that for ever. It was reckoned a great absurdity in Sunlungus, a Chinese philosopher, who assertedF7Martin. Hist. Sinic. l. 4. p. 170. that a man had three ears, one different from the two that are seen; it is true in a spiritual sense.

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you; which is to be understood not of the covenant of works, nor of the covenant of circumcision, nor of the Sinai covenant; but of the covenant of grace, which is an "everlasting one"; it is from everlasting, being founded in the everlasting love of God, is according to his eternal purposes; Christ is the Mediator of it, who as such was set up from everlasting, and the promises and blessings of it were so early put into his hands; and it will continue to everlasting, sure, firm, unalterable, and immovable. This, properly speaking, was made with Christ from all eternity, and his people in him; it is made manifest to them at conversion, when they are shown it, and their interest in it; when God makes himself known to them as their covenant God, and Christ as the Mediator of it is revealed to them; when the Lord puts his Spirit into them, and makes them partakers of the grace of it; shows them their interest in the blessings of it, and opens and applies the promises of it unto them; and these are made manifest in the ministration of the Gospel, and in the administration of ordinances: even "the sure mercies of David"; that is, the Messiah, the son of David, and his antitype, whence he is often called by his name, Ezekiel 34:23, and so Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and othersF8Abarbinel, Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 26, 1. , interpret it. The blessings of the covenant are called "mercies", because they spring from the mercy of God, as redemption, pardon of sin, regeneration, salvation, and eternal life; and they are the mercies of David, or of Christ, for the promises of them were made to him, and the things themselves put into his hands, and are ratified and confirmed by his blood, and through him come to his people: and these are "sure", firm, and steadfast, through the faithfulness and holiness of God, who has given them to Christ; through being in a covenant ordered in all things and sure; and also being in the hands of Christ, in whom the promises are yea and amen, and the blessings sure to all the seed; see Acts 13:34, Acts 13:34.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Incline your ear, and come to me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the f sure mercies of David.

(f) The same covenant which through my mercy I ratified and confirmed to David, that it would be eternal, (2 Samuel 7:13) ; (Acts 13:34).

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https: 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

live — by coming to me ye shall live: for “I am the life” (John 14:6).

everlasting covenant — (Jeremiah 32:40; 2 Samuel 23:5).

with you … David — God‘s covenant is with the antitypical David, Messiah (Ezekiel 34:23), and so with us by our identification with Him.

sure — answering to “everlasting,” irrevocable, unfailing, to be relied on (Psalm 89:2-4, Psalm 89:28, Psalm 89:29, Psalm 89:34-36; Jeremiah 33:20, Jeremiah 33:21; 2 Samuel 7:15, 2 Samuel 7:16; 2 Corinthians 1:18-20).

mercies of David — the mercies of grace (Isaiah 63:7; John 1:16) which I covenanted to give to David, and especially to Messiah, his antitype. Quoted in Acts 13:34.

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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.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

An everlasting covenant — That everlasting covenant of grace and peace which I made with Abraham, and his seed.

Of David — Even that covenant which was made first with Abraham, and then with David, concerning those glorious and sure blessings which God hath promised to his people, one and the chief of which was giving Christ to die for their sins. David here seems to be put for the son of David.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.Incline your ear. This assemblage of words makes still more evident what I slightly mentioned a little before, that God leaves nothing undone which is fitted to correct and arouse our tardiness. Yet there is an implied reproof; for they must be excessively stupid who, when they are so gently called, do not instantly obey. This is a remarkable passage, from which we see that our whole happiness lies in obeying the word of God. When God speaks in this manner, the object which he has in view is to lead us to life; (80) and therefore the blame lies wholly with ourselves, because we disregard this saving and life­giving word.

And come unto me. If God only commanded what we ought to do, he would indeed lay down the method of obtaining life, but without advantage; for the Law, which proceeded from the mouth of God, is the minister of death; but when he invites us “to himself,” when he adopts us as children, when he promises pardon of sin and sanctification, the consequence is, that they who hear obtain life from him. We ought, therefore, to take into view the kind of doctrine which contains life, in order that we may seek our salvation from it; and hence we infer that there is no hope of salvation if we do not obey God and his word. This reproves all mankind, so that they can plead no excuse for their ignorance; for he who refuses to hear can have no solid argument to defend his cause.

These repetitions describe the patience of God in calling us; for he does not merely invite us once, but when he sees that we are sluggish, he gives a second and even a third warning, in order to conquer our hardheartedness. Thus he does not all at once reject those who despise him, but after having frequently invited them.

Besides, this is a description of the nature of faith, when he bids us “come to himself.” We ought to hear the Lord in such a manner that faith shall follow; for they who by faith receive the word of God have laid aside their desires and despised the world, and may be said to have broken their chains, so that they readily and cheerfully “draw near to God.” But faith cannot be formed without hearing, (Romans 10:17,) that is, without understanding the word of God, and so he bids us “hear” before we “come to him.” Thus, whenever faith is mentioned, let us remember that it must be joined to the word, in which it has its foundation.

And I will strike a covenant of eternity with you. It is asked, Did not the Jews formerly enter into an everlasting covenant with God? For he appears to promise something that is new and uncommon. I reply, nothing new is here promised for which the Lord did not formerly enter into an engagement with his people; but it is a renewal and confirmation of the covenant, that the Jews might not think that the covenant of God was made void on account of the long­continued banishment. For when they were banished from the country that had been promised to them, (81) when they had no temple or sacrifices, or any marks of the “covenant” except circumcision, who would not have concluded that it was all over with them? This mode of expression, therefore, Isaiah accommodated to the capacity of the people, that they might know that the covenant into which God entered with the fathers was firm, sure, and eternal, and not changeable or temporary.

This is also what he means by the mercies of David, but by this phrase he declares that it was a covenant of free grace; for it was founded on nothing else than the absolute goodness of God. Whenever, therefore, the word “covenant” occurs in Scripture, we ought at the same time to call to remembrance the word “grace.” By calling them “the faithful mercies of David,” (82) he declares that he will be faithful in it, and at. the same time states indirectly that he is faithful and steadfast, and cannot be accused of falsehood, as if he had broken his covenant; that the Jews, on the other hand, are covenant­breakers and traitors, (for they have revolted from him,) but that he cannot repent of his covenant or his promise.

He calls them “the mercies of David, ” because this covenant, which has now been solemnly confirmed, was made in the land “of David.” The Lord indeed entered into a covenant with Abraham, (Genesis 15:5) afterwards confirmed it by Moses, (Exodus 2:24) and finally ratified this very covenant in the hand of David, that it might be eternal. (2 Samuel 7:12) Whenever, therefore, the Jews thought of a Redeemer, that is, of their salvation, they ought to have remembered “David” as a mediator who represented Christ; for David must not here be regarded as a private individual, but as bearing this title and character. Yet some regard must be had to the time when this prophecy was uttered; for, since the rank of the kingdom had been obliterated, and the name of the royal family had become mean and contemptible during the captivity in Babylon, it might seem as if, through the ruin of that family, the truth of God had fallen into decay; and therefore he bids them contemplate by faith the throne of David, which had been cast down.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, [even] the sure mercies of David.

Ver. 3. Incline your ear.] Hear with all your might. Alphonsus, King of Arragon, is renowned for his attentive hearing; so is our King Edward VI, who usually stood and took notes on all the sermon. Origen chideth his hearers for nothing so much as for their seldom coming to hear God’s Word, and for their careless and heedless hearing it when they did come; whence their slow growth in godliness.

Hear, and your souls shall live.] God hath ordained - as it were to cross the devil - that as death entered into the world through the ear, by our first parents listening to that old man-slayer, so should life enter into the soul by the same door, as it were. "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." [John 5:25] The Romanists hold not hearing so absolutely needful - the mass only they make a work of duty, but the going to sermons but a matter of convenience, and such as is left free to men’s leisures and opportunities without imputation of sin. (a)

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you.] Heb., I will cut out unto them a covenant of perpetuity. A covenant is a cluster of promises solemnly made over.

Even the sure mercies of David.] Or, Firm, faithful. The Greek [Acts 13:34] hath it, "The holy things," or the "venerable things of David," that is, of Christ, for the ratifying and assuring whereof it was necessary that Christ should rise from death and enter into glory; for which purpose Paul allegeth this text. See Acts 13:34.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 55:3. Incline your ear, &c.— Vitringa is of opinion, that these words are immediately addressed to the Jews, and he paraphrases them thus: "O ye Jews, who ought to be ashamed of refusing that grace, and the blessings accompanying it, which, offered equally to the Gentiles and to you, will be received by them with avidity; apply yourselves diligently, laying aside the prejudices that you are under, to know the doctrine of the kingdom of heaven, and to consider prudently the wonderful appearances, which will render the beginning of the kingdom of God remarkable among you." The sure mercies of David, mean those promises and blessings of the new covenant, which were to be fulfilled by the Messiah, who sprung from David. There are some who by David here understand the Messiah: an opinion which they ground particularly upon the next verse. See Psalms 89:2.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Hear; hearken attentively and obediently to my counsel; hearing being oft put for obeying, as Deuteronomy 18:15 1 Samuel 15:22,23 Psa 95:7, &c.

Your soul shall live, to wit, comfortably and happily; which only is worthy of the name of life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you; that everlasting covenant of grace and peace which I made with Abraham, and his seed the Israelites, I am ready to make it with every one of you thirsting Gentiles.

Even the sure mercies of David; even that covenant which was made first with Abraham, and then with David, concerning the exhibition of those glorious and sure mercies or blessings which God hath promised to his people, one and the chief of which mercies was the giving of Christ to die for their sins, and to rise again for their justification. This exposition may receive light and strength by comparing this place with Acts 13:33,34. He mentions David rather than Abraham, either,

1. Because these promises, and especially that great promise, which is the foundation of the rest, concerning Christ and his eternal kingdom, were far more frequently, and expressly, and fully made and revealed to David than they were to Abraham. Or,

2. Because David was a more evident and illustrious type of Christ than Abraham was, as being raised from a mean condition to the highest honour, being made a great and most victorious and righteous king, and the first king of that throne upon which the Messiah was to sit. Or,

3. Because the name of David is not here put personally for the king of that name, but patronymically for the Messiah, who was to be David’s Son and successor, and who is therefore called David in the prophetical scriptures, as Jeremiah 30:9 Ezekiel 34:23,24 37:24,25 Ho 3:5; as Rehoboam upon the same account is called David, 1 Kings 12:16. And this is the more probable, because the next verse, which hath a manifest relation to this verse, is confessedly understood of Christ.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. This invitation is followed by a yearning call upon every one to be a partaker in the whole mass of gospel blessings embraced in the covenant made with David; a covenant made first with Abraham, and renewed with David; a covenant promise of Christ in all his humiliations, and ending with a crowned Christ, a kingly Messiah, exulting in royal victories, and a redeemed, completely redeemed, Church.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Again the Lord urged the hearers (everyone) to come to Him. He pressed them to listen to what He was saying, twice. God Himself is the feast. The result for them would be life, real life as opposed to the vain life described above ( Isaiah 55:2). Real life would involve living under an everlasting covenant that God would make with His people. This is probably a reference to the New Covenant, since the implication is that God would make it in the future (cf. Isaiah 54:10).

While Jeremiah 31:31 says that Yahweh would make a new covenant "with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," that covenant is the one under which all the people of God have lived since Jesus ratified it ( 2 Corinthians 3:6; Hebrews 8:8-12). Its benefits are not all exclusively for Israel, though some of its benefits are exclusively for Israel and these benefits will only come into Israel"s possession in the Millennium. Jesus terminated the Mosaic Covenant ( Mark 7:19; Romans 10:4; Romans 14:14; Hebrews 8:6 to Hebrews 9:22; et al.) and ratified the New Covenant ( Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) with His blood when He died on the Cross.

However, this could be a reference to the Davidic Covenant, which is also eternal (cf. 2 Samuel 7:16). [Note: J. Martin, p1110; Dyer, in The Old . . ., p576.] This new covenant would be in full harmony with God"s promises to David, in the Davidic Covenant, regarding David"s descendant who would rule over his house forever ( 2 Samuel 7:12-16; 1 Chronicles 17:23-26; Psalm 89:35-38; cf. Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 13:34).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

David. I will be equally faithful to you, Psalm lxxxviii. 29. Septuagint, "the holy things of David faithful," Acts xiii. 34. The resurrection of Christ fully accomplished the promise made to David.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

everlasting. See note on "ancient", Isaiah 44:7.

the sure mercies of David: i.e. the lovingkindnesses well assured to David, the "everlasting covenant" made with David in 2 Samuel 7:8-16. Quoted in Acts 13:34. Assured by oath to David (Psalms 132:11). of = pertaining to. Genitive of Relation. App-17.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live. By coming to me ye shall live; because "I am the life" (John 14:6).

And I will make an everlasting covenant - (Jeremiah 32:40; 2 Samuel 23:5.)

With you, (even) the sure mercies of David - God's covenant is with the antitypical David, Messiah (Ezekiel 34:23), and so with us by our identification with Him.

Sure - answering to "everlasting," irrevocable, unfailing, to be relied on (Psalms 89:2-4; Psalms 89:28-29; Psalms 89:34-36; Jeremiah 33:20-21; 2 Samuel 7:15-16; 2 Corinthians 1:18-20).

Mercies of David - the mercies of grace (Isaiah 63:7; John 1:16-17) which I covenanted to give to David, and especially to Messiah, his antitype. Quoted in Acts 13:34 as fulfilled in God's 'raising up Messiah from the dead, now no more to return to corruption.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Your soul shall live . . .—Better, revive. The idea is that of waking to a new life.

I will make an everlasting covenant . . .—The words find their explanation in the “new covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31, Luke 22:20, but those which follow show that it is thought of as the expansion and completion of that which had been made with David (2 Samuel 7:12-17; Psalms 89:34-35), as the representative of the true King, whom Isaiah now contemplates as identical with the “servant of the Lord.” For “sure mercies” read the unfailing loving-kindnesses, which were “of David,” as given to him and to his seed by Jehovah.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Psalms 78:1; 119:112; Proverbs 4:20
Matthew 11:28; John 6:37,44,45; 7:37
Matthew 13:16; 17:5; John 5:24,25; 8:47; 10:27
and I will
54:8; 61:8; Genesis 17:7; 2 Samuel 23:5; Jeremiah 32:40; 50:5; Hebrews 13:20
the sure
2 Samuel 7:8-17; Psalms 89:28,35-37; Jeremiah 33:20,21,26; Ezekiel 37:24,25; Acts 13:34

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary


Isa . Hear, and your soul shall live.

The great secret of all true happiness is obedience to the will of God. And the fruitful cause of misery and discomfort, is the spirit of indifference to the Divine authority and contempt for the commands of Heaven. It is therefore of infinite importance that we should be acquainted with the rule and principle of obedience, and that its delightful effect in promoting our happiness should be so exhibited to our view, and impressed upon our hearts, as to induce and secure the performance of that which God commands. This is one great end of the Scripture revelation, &c. Obedience is enforced by a regard to our own happiness.… Nowhere, perhaps, is this more conspicuous than in this chapter.… And in the text, the principle is again displayed, that obedience to the Divine will is needful in order to receive any good.


1. The Almighty Sovereign by whom the proclamation is made. Marvellous that He should stoop to speak to man, &c. Yet a latent scepticism prevails, leading men to overlook the fact that it is God who addresses them. God is speaking in His Word.

2. The solemn business to which the proclamation relates. The life of our soul—the life of God in the soul, &c.

3. The serious attention to this proclamation demanded. Several terms are brought together. Implies attention, humble submission, obedience (1Sa ; Pro 1:24-26).


1. The nature of the engagement proposed.

2. The peculiar properties of the covenant. Divine in its origin, eternal in its duration.

3. The invaluable blessings that flow from submission. These mercies are great, numerous, valid. Have you submitted to God? (Rom ).—George Smith, D.D.


When we are commanded to "hear," it is supposed that there is a voice which addresses us. This is none else than the voice of Jehovah, who addresses us in this chapter with peculiar energy and feeling. In the first verse we have an epitome of the whole Gospel. This is the message implied in the text.


"Hear." This command condemns such as do not hear the gospel when they have the opportunity of doing so. It also reproves such as do so only occasionally, and permit the most trivial engagements and excuses to keep them away from the sanctuary. But more is meant by hearing than your presence in the place where the Gospel is preached. Hear,

1. With attention (H. E. I. 2573-2576);

2. With affection;

3. With believing application (H. E. I. 2654-2658);

4. With obedient compliance;

5. With humble prayer.


It is a personal, spiritual, great, and sure advantage.—Thornhill Kidd: Fifty-three Sermons, pp. 1-7.

How much of the language of Scripture is language of invitation! He who has the most and best to give is most free in disposing of it; and in this the Divine Benefactor proves that His thoughts and ways are above those of men.

I. THE BLESSING PROFERRED: the life of the soul.

1. The soul was originally made for life.

2. The soul's life is endangered by sin, the wages of which are death.

3. The soul is redeemed by the death of Him who was and is "the Life," even Jesus Christ.

4. The soul is capable of renewal and revival by the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, "the Lord and Giver of life."

5. It is God's pleasure that the soul should live. The true life of the soul is an immortal life. "Life and immortality" are Gospel gifts.

II. THE CONDITION IMPOSED: attention to the Divine voice.

1. A voluntary act. The first indispensable step in order to life is the giving heed to Heaven's quickening voice.

2. Submission and self-surrender. This is involved in "Hear!" for this requires that self-sufficiency be given up, and that God's voice be heeded as of supreme authority.

3. The approach and obedience of faith. "Come!"

4. The condition is one compatible both with God's grace and with men's freedom. Desert is out of the question; by hearing men cannot merit or earn life. At the same time the condition imposes a true probation to all who are addressed. The terms of life are not hard; they are suitable to man, the receiver; they are honourable to God, the Giver!—Homiletical Library, vol. ii. p. 117.

I. Reasons for a diligent attention to the voice of Christ in His Word.

1. The majesty and grace of Him who addresses you (Isa , and others).

2. The great end proposed by Christ, for which He seeks a conference with you. That your souls may live—live a life of faith, holiness, happiness, &c.

3. The rich consolations which follow a devout reception of the Word. All the blessings of grace and glory.

4. The awful denunciations following a neglected Gospel.

II. Requisites for a profitable attendance.

1. Before you come—meditation and prayer.

2. When you come—with prayer, reverence, faith—Christ is present with all His capacity to bless.

3. Afterwards, aim to retain the impression. Where hearing ends practising begins.—Samuel Thodey.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 55:3". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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