Isaiah 54


Some suppose this chapter to have been addressed to the

Gentiles; some, to the Jewish Church; and some, to the

Christian, in its first stage. On comparing the different parts

of it, particularly the seventh and eighth verses, with the

remainder, the most obvious import of the prophecy will be that

which refers it to the future conversion of the Jews, and to

the increase and prosperity of that nation, when reconciled to

God after their long rejection, when their glory and security

will far surpass what they were formerly in their most favoured

state, 1-17.


Verse 1. Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear-"Shout for

joy, O thou barren, that didst not bear"] The Church of God under

the Old Testament, confined within the narrow bounds of the Jewish

nation, and still more so in respect of the very small number of

true believers, and which sometimes seemed to be deserted of God

her husband, is the barren woman, that did not bear, and was

desolate. She is exhorted to rejoice, and to express her joy in

the strongest manner, on the reconciliation of her husband, (see

Isa 54:6,) and on the accession of the Gentiles to her family.

The converted Gentiles are all along considered by the prophet as

a new accession of adopted children, admitted into the original

Church of God, and united with it. See Isa 49:20, 21.

Verse 4. For thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth] That is,

"The bondage of Egypt: widowhood, the captivity of


Verse 7. For a small moment-"In a little anger"] So the Chaldee

and Syriac, either reading regaz, for rega; or

understanding the latter word as meaning the same with the former,

which they both make use of. See Ps 30:5; 35:20, in the

Septuagint, where they render rega by οργη, anger.

Verse 8. I hid my face from thee for a moment] The word rega

is omitted by the Septuagint, Syriac, and two MSS. of Kennicott's,

and two of De Rossi's. It seems to embarrass rather than to help

the sentence. Forte reponi debet pro shetseph, quod potest a

ketseph errore scribae originem duxisse. "Perhaps it ought

to be substituted for shetseph, an error probably made by some

scribe from its similarity to ketseph."-Secker.

Thy Redeemer] goalech: but for this word three of De

Rossi's MSS. have merachamech, thy commiserator.

Verse 9. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me-"The same

will I do now, as in the days of Noah"] kimey, in one word,

in a MS., and some editions; and so the Syriac, Chaldee, Vulgate,

Symmachus, Theodotion, Abarbanel, Sal. ben Melec, and Kimchi

acknowledge that their copies vary in this place.

It is certain that these two words ki mey, were written

formerly as one. Taken as two ki mey, they signify for

as the waters-when as one, kimey, they signify as the

days. This latter reading is found in about four of Kennicott's

and De Rossi's MSS. In one of my own it appears to have been

intended as one word: but he who added the points, which are by a

much later hand than the MS. itself, has pointed the letters so as

to make the two words which are commonly found in the text. For

the waters, Symmachus, Theodotion, the Syriac, Vulgate, and

Arabic have days. The former seems to make the best sense; and

the ancient Versions, except the Septuagint, support it.

Verse 11. Behold, I will lay thy stones-"Behold, I lay thy

stones"] These seem to be general images to express beauty,

magnificence, purity, strength, and solidity, agreeably to the

ideas of the eastern nations; and to have never been intended to

be strictly scrutinized, or minutely and particularly explained,

as if they had each of them some precise, moral, or spiritual

meaning. Tobit, in his prophecy of the final restoration of

Israel, describes the New Jerusalem in the same oriental manner:

"For Jerusalem shall be built up with sapphires, and emeralds, and

precious stones; thy walls, and towers, and battlements, with pure

gold. And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl, and

carbuncle, and stones of ophir." Tob. 13:16, 17. Compare also

Re 21:18-21.

Verse 15. Shall fall for thy sake-"Shall come over to thy

side."] For yippol, twenty-eight MSS. (eight ancient) have

yipal, in its more common form. For the meaning of the word

in this place, see Jer 37:13.

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