Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
SUFFERINGS, AND OF
Israel converted is compared to a wife
put away for unfaithfulness, but now forgiven and taken home again. The
converted Gentiles are represented as a new progeny of the
long-forsaken but now restored wife. The pre-eminence of the Hebrew
Church as the mother Church of Christendom is the leading idea; the
conversion of the Gentiles is mentioned only as part of her felicity
1. Sing--for joy
barren--the Jewish Church once forsaken by God, and therefore during
that time destitute of spiritual children
didst not bear--during the Babylonian exile primarily. Secondarily,
and chiefly, during Israel's present dispersion.
the children--the Gentiles adopted by special grace into the original
Isa 49:20, 21).
than . . . married wife--than were her spiritual
children, when Israel was still a married wife (under the law, before
the Babylonian exile), before God put her away [MAURER]. So Paul contrasts the universal Church of the
New Testament with the Church of the Old Testament legal dispensation,
quoting this very passage
But the full accomplishment of it is yet future.
(Isa 49:19, 20;
Jer 31:31-36, 38, 39).
Thy children shall be so many that thy borders must be extended to
curtains--the cloth forming the covering of the tent.
spare not--give abundantly the means for the enlargement of the Church
cords . . . stakes--The more the tent is enlarged by lengthening the
cords by which the cloth covering is fastened to the ground, the more
the stakes supporting the tent need to be strengthened; the Church is
not merely to seek new converts, but to strengthen those she has in the
faith. The image is appropriate, as the tabernacle was the symbol of
the old Israelitish Church
3. break forth--rather, "burst forth" with increase; thy offspring
shall grow, answering to "thy seed" in the parallel clause.
thy seed--Israel and her children, as distinguished from "the
desolate cities--of Israel
(Isa 41:10, 14).
shame of thy youth--Israel's unfaithfulness as wife of Jehovah,
almost from her earliest history.
reproach of widowhood--Israel's punishment in her consequent dismissal
from God and barrenness of spiritual children in Babylon and her present
Jer 3:24, 25; 31:19;
That God was Israel's "Maker," both as individuals and as the
theocratic kingdom, is the pledge of assurance that He will be her
Hebrew, "makers . . . husbands"; plural
for singular, to denote excellency.
of Israel . . . whole earth--Not until He manifests Himself as God
of Israel shall He appear as God of the whole earth
(Ps 102:13, 15, 16;
Zec 14:5, 9).
6. called--that is, recalled: the prophetic past for the future.
forsaken--that had been forsaken.
when thou--or, "when she was rejected"; one who had been
a wife of youth
(Eze 16:8, 22, 60;
at the time when (thou, or) she was rejected for infidelity
[MAURER]. "A wife of youth but afterwards
7. small moment--as compared with Israel's coming long
(Isa 26:20; 60:10).
So the spiritual Israel
gather thee--to Myself from thy dispersions.
8. In a little wrath--rather, "In the overflowing of wrath"; as
Margin, [GESENIUS]. The wrath, though but
"for a moment," was overflowing while it lasted.
hid . . . face--
everlasting--in contrast to "for a moment."
9. I am about to do the same in this instance as in Noah's flood. As
I swore then that it should not return
(Ge 8:21; 9:11),
and I kept that promise, so I swear now to My people, and will perform
My promise, that there shall be no return of the deluge of My wrath
upon them. LOWTH, on insufficient authority,
reads (the same will I do now as), "in the days of Noah."
Ps 89:33, 34;
covenant of my peace--
The covenant whereby I have made thee at peace with Me.
11. not comforted--by anyone; none gave her help or comfort.
lay . . . with fair colours--rather, "lay
. . . in cement of vermilion" [LOWTH]. The Hebrew for "fair colors" means
stibium, the paint with which Eastern women painted their
eyelids and eyelashes
The very cement shall be of the most beautiful color
12. windows--rather, "battlements"; literally, "suns"; applied to
battlements from their radiated appearance.
carbuncles--literally, "sparkling gems"; the carbuncle when held to
the sun becomes like a burning coal.
all thy borders--rather, "thy whole circuit," consisting of
precious stones. The glory of the Church on earth, when the Hebrew
Church, according to the original design, shall be the metropolis of
13. Quoted by the Saviour
to prove that in order to come to Him, men must be "drawn" by the
Heb 8:10; 10:16;
great . . . peace--generally
Specially referring to the peaceful prosperity which shall
prevail under Messiah in the latter days
(Isa 2:4, 9:6).
14. righteousness--the characteristic of the reign of Messiah
(Isa 11:4, 5;
Ps 72:2, 4;
far from oppression, &c.--far from suffering oppression; "for
thou shall have nothing to fear."
15. gather together, &c.--that is, If it should happen that enemies
"gather together" against thee
they will not have been sent by Me (compare
as instruments of My wrath (nay, it will be with My
disapproval); for "whosoever shall gather together," &c.
fall for thy sake--rather, "shall come over to thy side"
[LOWTH]. Literally, "fall to thee"
(Jer 21:9; 39:9).
To be fully fulfilled to Jerusalem hereafter
16. The workman that forms "weapons against thee"
is wholly in My power, therefore thou needest not fear, having Me on thy
for his work--rather, "by his labor
[HORSLEY]. "According to the
exigencies of his work" [MAURER].
waster to destroy--
(Isa 10:5-7; 37:26, 27; 45:1-6).
Desolating conquerors who use the "instruments" framed by "the smith."
The repetition of the "I" implies, however, something in the latter
half of the verse contrasted with the former understand it, therefore,
thus: "I have in My power both him who frames arms and him who destroys
them (arms)" [ROSENMULLER].
17. tongue . . . condemn--image from a court of justice. Those who
desire to "condemn" thee thou shalt "condemn"
Ro 8:1, 33).
righteousness . . . of me--
(Isa 45:24; 46:13).
Rather, "(this is) their justification from Me." Their enemies would
"condemn" them, but I justify and vindicate them, and so they condemn