And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
The same with the "redeemed" in ( Isaiah 35:9 ) these shall return, or be converted, as the Vulgate Latin version; they are in the same state and condition with other men by nature, but, by virtue of their being ransomed by Christ, they are by the grace of God turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God; they are returned from the paths in which they had been straying to Christ, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, in order to walk in his ways, and come to Zion with songs;
being called by grace, and converted, they turn their backs on the world, and the men of it, and ask the way to Zion, with their faces thitherwards, even to the church of God; and they find their way, being directed and brought there by the Lord himself; where they come readily and willingly, not only to hear the Gospel, but to submit to all ordinances, and become members of a Gospel church; see ( Hebrews 12:20 ) and hither they "come with songs", for electing, redeeming, calling, justifying, and pardoning grace; everyone of which blessings requires a song, and with which they are now affected, seeing their interest in them, and cannot forbear speaking of them to the glory of divine grace: and everlasting joy upon their heads;
seen in their countenances, and by the lifting up of their heads; and which oil of gladness, is poured upon them, and diffused all over them, like the ointment on Aaron's head: and this is "everlasting": not as to the exercise of it, which is often interrupted by sin, temptation, and desertion; but as to the ground and foundation of it, the everlasting love of God, the everlasting covenant of his grace, and the everlasting righteousness and salvation by Christ; and, as to the principle and habit of it, which can never be lost, nor any man take it away: they shall obtain joy and gladness;
by having the presence of God, and communion with him; through his love being shed abroad in their hearts; by being favoured with views of Christ, and interest in him, and with the gracious influences of the blessed Spirit: and sorrow and sighing shall flee away;
which before attended them, through convictions of sin, but now removed by the discoveries and applications of pardoning grace and mercy; or what was occasioned by want of the divine Presence, now enjoyed; being come to Zion, they are made joyful in the house of prayer, and are satisfied with the marrow and fatness of Gospel ordinances, and continually hear the joyful sound of the Gospel itself: all this may be applied to the state of the saints in heaven; for the highway before described not only leads to Zion the church below, but to the Zion above, to the heavenly glory; and all the redeemed, all that walk in this way, shall come thither; at death their souls "return" to God that gave them, and are in immediate happiness with Christ; and in the resurrection shall return from their dusty beds, and shall appear before God in Zion above; and "with songs" to Father, Son, and Spirit, for what each have done for them, in election, redemption, and conversion; and for persevering grace, and for being safely brought over Jordan's river, and from the grave; see ( 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ) , they shall then enter into joy, which will never end; there will be nothing to interrupt it to all eternity; it will be "everlasting joy" indeed; and this will be "upon their heads", visible and manifest, and be upon them as a crown of life, righteousness, and glory, that shall never fade away; they shall then "obtain joy and gladness", in all the fulness thereof, their joy in the Lord will be complete; which these several words and phrases used are expressive of; and then there will be no more "sorrow and sighing"; for there will be no more sin and unbelief, or any other corruption of nature; no more darkness and desertion; no more of any of Satan's temptations; no more distresses, inward or outward; and so no more sighing within, nor sorrowing without; all tears will be wiped away. The Jews F2 apply this passage to the world to come.
F2 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 110. 2.