Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
Messiah announces His twofold commission to bring gospel mercy at His
first coming, and judgments on unbelievers and comfort to Zion at His
the language can be applied to Isaiah, comforting by his prophecies the
exiles in Babylon, only in a subordinate sense.
1. is upon me; because . . . hath anointed me--quoted by Jesus as
His credentials in preaching
The Spirit is upon Me in preaching, because Jehovah hath
anointed Me from the womb
and at baptism, with the Spirit "without measure," and permanently
"abiding" on Me
Joh 1:32; 3:34;
with which compare
1Ki 1:39, 40; 19:16;
"Anointed" as Messiah, Prophet, Priest, and King.
good tidings--as the word "gospel" means.
the meek--rather, "the poor," as
has it; that is, those afflicted with calamity, poor in circumstances
and in spirit
Language drawn from the deliverance of the Babylonian captives, to
describe the deliverance from sin and death
also from the "liberty proclaimed" to all bond-servants in the year of
Jer 34:8, 9).
opening of the prison--The Hebrew rather is, "the most complete opening," namely, of the eyes to them that are bound, that is,
deliverance from prison, for captives are as it were blind in the
darkness of prison
(Isa 14:17; 35:5; 42:7)
and the Septuagint interpret it;
under inspiration, adds to this, for the fuller explanation of the
single clause in the Hebrew, "to set at liberty them that
are bruised"; thus expressing the double "opening" implied;
namely, that of the eyes
and that of the prison
(Ro 6:18; 7:24, 25;
His miracles were acted parables.
2. acceptable year--the year of jubilee on which "liberty was
proclaimed to the captives"
day of vengeance--The "acceptable time of grace" is a "year"; the
time of "vengeance" but "a day" (so
Isa 34:8; 63:4;
(Lu 4:20, 21)
"closed the book" before this clause; for the interval from His first
to His second coming is "the acceptable year"; the day of vengeance"
will not be till He comes again
our God--The saints call Him "our God"; for He cometh to "avenge"
(Re 6:10; 19:2).
all that mourn--The "all" seems to include the spiritual Israelite
mourners, as well as the literal, who are in
called "them that mourn in Zion," and to whom
3. To appoint . . . to give--The double verb, with the one and the
same accusative, imparts glowing vehemence to the style.
beauty for ashes--There is a play on the sound and meaning of the
Hebrew words, peer, epher, literally, "ornamental headdress" or
worn in times of joy, instead of a headdress of "ashes," cast on the
head in mourning
oil of joy--Perfumed ointment was poured on the guests at joyous
(Ps 23:5; 45:7, 8;
On occasions of grief its use was laid aside
garment of praise--bright-colored garments, indicative of thankfulness,
instead of those that indicate despondency, as sackcloth
trees of righteousness--Hebrew, terebinth trees; symbolical of
men strong in righteousness, instead of being, as heretofore, bowed
down as a reed with sin and calamity
(Isa 1:29, 30;
Ps 1:3; 92:12-14;
planting of . . .
that he might be glorified--
4. old wastes--Jerusalem and the cities of Judah which long lay in
ruins (see on
5. stand--shall wait on you as servants
(Isa 14:1, 2; 60:10).
6. But ye--as contrasted with the "strangers." Ye shall
have no need to attend to your flocks and lands: strangers will
do that for you; your exclusive business will be the service of
Jehovah as His "priests"
which remains yet to be realized; compare as to the spiritual Israel,
1Pe 2:5, 9;
Re 1:6; 5:10).
eat . . . riches of . . . Gentiles--
in their glory . . . boast yourselves--rather, "in their splendor ye
shall be substituted in their stead"; ye shall substitute yourselves
7. double--Instead of your past share, ye shall have not merely as
much, but "double" as much reward
compare the third clause in this verse).
confusion--rather, "humiliation," or "contumely."
rejoice--They shall celebrate with jubilation their portion
[MAURER]. Transition from the second to the third person.
in their land--marking the reference to literal Israel, not to the
Church at large.
8. judgment--justice, which requires that I should restore My people,
and give them double in compensation for their sufferings.
robbery for burnt offering--rather, from a different Hebrew root,
the spoil of iniquity [HORSLEY].
Hating, as I do, the rapine, combined with iniquity,
perpetrated on My people by their enemies, I will vindicate
direct . . . work in truth--rather, "I will give them
the reward of their work" (compare
Margin) in faithfulness.
9. known--honorably; shall be illustrious
seed . . . blessed--
gives thanks for God's returning favor (compare
Lu 1:46, 47;
salvation . . . righteousness--inseparably connected together. The
"robe" is a loose mantle thrown over the other parts of the dress
(Ps 132:9, 16; 149:4;
Re 21:2; 19:8).
decketh himself with ornaments--rather "maketh himself a
priestly headdress," that is, a magnificent headdress, such as was
worn by the high priest, namely, a miter and a plate, or crown of gold
worn in front of it [AQUILA, &c.];
appropriate to the "kingdom of
priests," dedicated to the offering of spiritual sacrifices to God
Re 5:10; 20:6).
jewels--rather, "ornaments" in general
(Isa 45:8, 55:10, 11;
Ps 72:3; 85:11).
bud--the tender shoots.
(Isa 60:18; 62:7).