51:1 Hearken to me, a ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look to the b rock [from which] ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [from which] ye were dug.
(a) He comforts the Church, that they would not be discouraged for their small number.
51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness c like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found in it, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
(b) That is, to Abraham, of whom you were begotten, and to Sarah of whom we were born.
51:4 Hearken to me, my people; and give ear to me, O my nation: for a d law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
(c) As plentiful as paradise, (Genesis 2:8,9).
(d) I will rule and govern my Church by my word and doctrine.
51:5 My e righteousness [is] near; my salvation is gone forth, and my f arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on my arm shall they trust.
(e) The time that I will accomplish my promise.
51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the g heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall become old like a garment, and its inhabitants shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
(f) My power and strength.
(g) Forewarns them of the horrible changes and mutations of all things, and how he will preserve his church in the midst of all these dangers.
51:9 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, h in the generations of old. [Art] thou not that which hath cut i Rahab, [and] wounded the k dragon?
(h) He puts them in remembrance of his great benefit for their deliverance out of Egypt, that by it they might learn to trust in him constantly.
51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall l return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy [shall be] upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
(i) Meaning, Egypt, (Psalms 87:4).
(k) That is, Pharaoh, (Ezekiel 29:3).
(l) From Babylon.
51:14 The captive exile m hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
(m) He comforts them by the short time of their banishment: for in seventy years they were restored and the greatest empire of the world destroyed.
51:16 And I have put my words in thy n mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the o heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, Thou [art] my people.
(n) Meaning, of Isaiah and of all true ministers who are defended by his protection.
51:17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drank at the hand of the LORD the p cup of his fury; thou hast drank the dregs of the cup of trembling, [and] wrung [them] out.
(o) That all things may be restored in heaven and earth, (Ephesians 1:10).
51:19 These two q [things] have come to thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
(p) You have been justly punished and sufficiently as (Isaiah 40:2) and this punishment in the elect is by measure, and according as God gives grace to hear it: but in the reprobate it is the just vengeance of God to drive them to an insensibleness and madness, as (Jeremiah 25:15,16).
(q) Of which the one is outward as of the things that come to the body, as war, and famine and the other is inward, and belongs to the mind: that is, to be without comfort: therefore he says "How will you be comforted?"
51:21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunk, but r not with wine:
(r) But with trouble and fear.