Thy dead [men] shall live
These are the words of Christ to his church and people, promising great and good things to them after their troubles are over, thereby comforting them under all their trials and disappointments; as that such things should come to pass, which would be as life from the dead; as the conversion of the Jews, and of great numbers of the Gentiles, dead in trespasses and sins; and a great reviving of the interest of religion, and of professors of it, grown cold, and dead, and lifeless; and a living again of the witnesses, which had been slain. And, moreover, this may refer to the first resurrection, upon the second coming of Christ, when the church's dead, and Christ's dead, the dead in him, will live again, and rise first, and come forth to the resurrection of life, and live and reign with Christ a thousand years: [together with] my dead body shall they arise;
or, "arise my dead body"; the church, the mystical body of Christ, and every member of it, though they have been dead, shall arise, everyone of them, and make up that body, which is the fulness of him that filleth all in all, and that by virtue of their union to him: there was a pledge and presage of this, when Christ rose from the dead, upon which the graves were opened, and many of the saints arose, ( Matthew 27:51-53 ) see ( Hosea 6:2 ) , or, "as my dead body shall they arise" F7; so Kimchi and Ben Melech; as sure as Christ's dead body was raised, so sure shall everyone of his people be raised; Christ's resurrection is the pledge and earnest of theirs; because he lives, they shall live also; he is the first fruits of them that slept: or as in like manner he was raised, so shall they; as he was raised incorruptible, powerful, spiritual, and glorious, and in the same body, so shall they; their vile bodies shall be fashioned like unto his glorious body. This is one of the places in Scripture from whence the Jews F8 prove the resurrection of the dead; and which they apply to the times of the Messiah, and to the resurrection in his days. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust;
this is a periphrasis of the dead, of such as are brought to the dust of death, and sleep there; as death is expressed by sleeping, so the resurrection by awaking out of sleep; which will be brought about by the voice of Christ, which will be so loud and powerful, that the dead will hear it, and come out of their graves; and then will they "sing", and have reason for it, since they will awake in the likeness of Christ, and bear the image of him the heavenly One: for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs;
the power of Christ will have as great effect upon, and as easily raise the dead, as the dew has upon the herbs, to refresh, raise, and revive them; so that their "bones", as the prophet says, "shall flourish like an herb", ( Isaiah 66:14 ) : and the earth shall cast out the dead;
deliver up the dead that are in it, at the all powerful voice of Christ; see ( Revelation 20:13 ) . The Targum is,
``but the wicked to whom thou hast given power, and they have transgressed thy word, thou wilt deliver into hell;''see ( Revelation 20:14 Revelation 20:15 ) .
F7 (Nwmwqy ytlbn) "quemadmodum corpus meum resurget", Vatablus.
F8 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 90. 2, & Cetubot, fol. 111. 1. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 62. 3. Targum in loc. Elias Levita in his Tishbi, p. 109. says the word (hlbn) is never used in Scripture but of the carcass of a beast or fowl that is dead; and never of a man that is dead, but of him that dies not a natural death, excepting this place, which speaks of the resurrection of the dead; and, adds he, ``I greatly wonder at it, how he (the prophet) should call the bodies of the pure righteous ones a carcass; no doubt there is a reason for it, known to the wise men and cabalists, which I am ignorant of.'' But the words are spoken of one who did not die a natural, but a violent death, even the Messiah Jesus; and so just according to the Rabbin's own observation.