Isaiah 62

CHAPTER LXII

The prophet opens this chapter with ardent prayers that the

happy period of reconciliation just now promised, and here

again foretold, may be hastened, 1-5.

He then calls upon the faithful, particularly the priests and

Levites, to join him, urging the promises, and even the oath,

of Jehovah, as the foundation of their request, 6-9.

And, relying on this oath, he goes on to speak of the general

restoration promised, as already performing; and calls to the

people to march forth, and to the various nations among whom

they are dispersed to prepare the way for them, as God had

caused the order for their return to be universally proclaimed,

10-12.

NOTES ON CHAP. LXII

Verse 1. For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace] These are the

words of JEHOVAH declaring his purpose relative to the events

predicted in the preceding chapter.

Thou shalt be called by a new name] Viz., CHRISTIAN-or, as in

the fourth verse, chephtsi bah, "my delight is in

her"-because she has now received that command, "This is my

beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; HEAR HIM."

Verse 4. Thy land Beulah] beulah, married. In the

prophets, a desolate land is represented under the notion of a

widow; an inhabited land, under that of a married woman, who has

both a husband and children.

Verse 5. For as a young man-so] The particles of comparison are

not at present in the Hebrew Text: but the Septuagint, Syriac, and

Chaldee seem to have read in their copies caph prefixed to the

verb, ki keyibal, which seems to have been omitted by

mistake of a transcriber, occasioned by the repetition of the same

two letters. And before the verb in the second line a MS. adds

ken, so; which the Septuagint, Syriac, and Chaldee seem also to

have had in their copies. In the third line of this verse the same

MS. has in like manner vechimsos, and two MSS. and the

Babylonish Talmud kimsos, adding the caph; and

in the fourth line, the Babylonish Talmud likewise adds ken,

so, before the verb.

Sir John Chardin, in his note on this place, tells us, "that it

is the custom in the east for youths, that were never married,

always to marry virgins; and widowers, however young, to marry

widows."-HARMER, Observ. ii. p. 482.

So shall thy sons marry thee.] For banayich, thy sons,

Bishop Lowth reads, restorer or builder, as he does not consider

the word as the plural of ben, a son, but the participle benoni

of the verb banah, he built. I do not see that we gain much by

this translation. Thy sons shall dwell in thee, Vulgate; and so

the Septuagint and Chaldee.

Verse 6. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence] The

faithful, and in particular the priests and Levites, are exhorted

by the prophet to beseech God with unremitted importunity (compare

Lu 18:1, &c.) to hasten the redemption of Sion. The image in this

place is taken from the temple service; in which there was

appointed a constant watch, day and night, by the Levites: and

among them this seems to have belonged particularly to the

singers, see 1Ch 9:33. Now the watches in the east, even to this

day, are performed by a loud cry from time to time of the

watchmen, to mark the time, and that very frequently, and in order

to show that they themselves are constantly attentive to their

duty. Hence the watchmen are said by the prophet, Isa 52:8, to

lift up their voice; and here they are commanded, not to keep

silence; and the greatest reproach to them is, that they are dumb

dogs; they cannot bark; dreamers; sluggards, loving to slumber,

Isa 56:10. "The watchmen in the camp of the caravans go their

rounds crying one after another, 'God is one, he is merciful:' and

often add, 'Take heed to yourselves.'" TAVERNIER, Voyage de Perse,

Liv. i. chap. x. The hundred and thirty-fourth Psalm gives us an

example of the temple watch. The whole Psalm is nothing more than

the alternate cry of two different divisions of the watch. The

first watch addresses the second, reminding them of their duty;

the second answers by a solemn blessing. The address and the

answer seem both to be a set form, which each division proclaimed,

or sung aloud, at stated intervals, to notify the time of the

night:-

FIRST CHORUS

"Come on now, bless ye JEHOVAH, all ye servants of JEHOVAH;

Ye that stand in the house of JEHOVAH in the nights;

Lift up your hands towards the sanctuary,

And bless ye JEHOVAH."

SECOND CHORUS

"JEHOVAH bless thee out of Sion;

He that made heaven and earth."

"Ye who stand in the place of the watch, in the house of the

sanctuary of the Lord; and ye praise through the nights;"-says the

Chaldee paraphrase on the second line. And this explains what is

here particularly meant by proclaiming, or making remembrance of,

the name of JEHOVAH: the form, which the watch made use of on

these occasions, was always a short sentence, expressing some

pious sentiment, of which JEHOVAH was the subject; and it is

remarkable, that the custom in the east in this respect also still

continues the very same; as appears by the example above given

from Tavernier.

And this observation leads to the explanation of an obscure

passage in the Prophet Malachi, Mal 2:12.

"JEHOVAH will cut off the man that doeth this;

The watchman and the answerer, from the tabernacles of Jacob;

And him that presenteth an offering to JEHOVAH God of hosts."

er veoneh, the master and the scholar, says our

translation, after the Vulgate: the son and the grandson, says the

Syriac and Chaldee, as little to the purpose: Arias Montanus has

given it vigilantem et respondentem, "the watchman and the

answerer;" that is, the Levite and "him that presenteth an

offering to JEHOVAH," that is, the priest.-L. Ye that make mention

of the Lord, keep not silence. Is not this clause an address to

the ministers of Christ, to continue in supplication for the

conversion of the Jewish people? Kimchi seems to think that the

watchmen are the interceding angels!

Verse 9. But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise

the Lord] This and the following line have reference to the law of

Moses: "Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy

corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil; but thou must eat them before

the Lord thy God, in the place which the Lord thy God shall

choose," De 12:17, 18. "And when ye shall come into the land, and

shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall

count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years it shall be

as uncircumcised unto you; it shall not be eaten of. But in the

fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the Lord

withal. And in the fifth year ye shall eat the fruit thereof,"

Le 19:23-25. This clearly explains the force of the

expressions, "shall praise JEHOVAH," and "shall drink it in my

sacred courts."

Five MSS., one ancient, have yocheluhu, they shall eat

it, fully expressed: and so likewise yishtuhu, they shall

drink it, is found in nineteen MSS., three of them ancient.-L.

Verse 10. Of the people-"For the people"] Before the word

haam, the people, two MSS. insert Yehovah; one MS. adds the

same word after; and eight MSS., three ancient, instead of

haam, have Yehovah, and so likewise one edition. But

though it makes a good sense either way, I believe it to be an

interpolation, as the ancient Versions do not favour it. The

Septuagint indeed read ammi, my people.-L.

Verse 11. Unto the end of the world] el ketseh

haarets-Instead of el, to, ad, UNTO, is the reading

of two of Kennicott's MSS.; and one of mine has mikketseh,

"FROM the end of the earth."

Behold, thy salvation cometh-"Lo, thy Saviour cometh"] So all

the ancient Versions render the word yishech.

Behold, his reward]

See Clarke on Isa 40:10; "Isa 40:11".

This reward he carries as it were in his hand. His work is before

him-he perfectly knows what is to be done; and is perfectly able

to do it. He will do what God should do, and what man cannot do;

and men should be workers with him. Let no man fear that the

promise shall not be fulfilled on account of its difficulty, its

greatness, the hinderances in the way, or the unworthiness of the

person to whom it is made. It is God's work; he is able to do it,

and as willing as he is able.

Verse 12. They shall call them] These characteristics seem to be

put in their inverted order.-1. God will not forsake them. 2. They

shall be sought out. 3. They shall be redeemed. And, 4. Be in

consequence a holy people. 1. When God calls, it is a proof that

he has not forsaken. 2. When he seeks, it is a proof he is waiting

to be gracious. 3. When the atonement is exhibited, all things are

then ready. 4. And when that is received, holiness of heart and

life is then to be kept continually in view, as this is the

genuine work of God's Spirit; and without holiness none shall see

the Lord.

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