Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand
Some understand this of the second coming of Christ, which coming is certain, such assurances being given of it by promise and prophecy; and will be attended with power, which will be requisite to raise the dead, summon all nations before him, and pass and execute the proper sentence on them; when his arm shall openly bear rule, he will take to himself his great power, and reign; when his reward will be with him, to give to every man according to their works; and his own work will be before him, to judge the world in righteousness: see ( Revelation 22:12 ) , but it is more agreeable to the context, which foretells the coming of John the Baptist, points out the ministers of the Gospel, and describes Christ in his office, as a shepherd feeding his flock, to understand it of his first coming; for not God the Father, but the Son of God, is meant by the Lord God, who is truly God, and so able to save, and which was the end of his coming. He is said to come "with a strong hand", or with great power, which his work required; which was to fulfil the law, satisfy divine justice, atone for sin, grapple and conflict with innumerable enemies, undergo the death of the cross, bear the curse of the law, and the wrath of God, and all in order to obtain eternal redemption for his people; for this he came from heaven to earth, not by change of place, but by assumption of nature. Some render it, "against a strong one" F16; the strong man armed, the devil, whose head he came to break, whose works he came to destroy, with whom he fought, and whom he conquered and destroyed. Jarchi's note is,
``against the wicked, to take vengeance on them;''but Aben Ezra and Kimchi supply the word hand, as we do: and his arm shall rule for him;
or he shall have sufficient power of himself to do the work he comes about; his own arm or power wrought salvation for him and for his people; see ( Isaiah 63:5 ) . Some render it, "over him F17"; that is, over the strong and mighty one, against whom he came, whom he conquered, subdued, and ruled over: behold, his reward is with him;
to give to those that trust in him, as Kimchi; or to those that do his word, as the Targum; that believe in him, embrace his Gospel, and act according to it: or this may respect his own reward, which should follow his work; which he was as sure of as if it was in his hands; namely, his exaltation in his human nature, his glory with his Father, and the enjoyment of his spiritual seed to all eternity: and his work before him;
the work of redemption and salvation, which he was called unto, sent to do, and which, being given him, he agreed to do, was very toilsome and laborious, yet he took great delight in it, and has finished it; this is said to be "before him", being proposed in council, and cut out in covenant for him, was well known unto him, and in his power to effect, and what he could easily do, and did. The Targum understands this of the works of men being before him, for whom he has a reward.
F16 (qzxb) "contra robustum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa.
F17 (wb) "in illum", ibid.