I the Lord have called thee in righteousness
Not the Prophet Isaiah, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret it; nor the people of Israel, as Kimchi; but the Messiah, whom Jehovah called to the office of Mediator, in a righteous way and manner, consistent with his own perfections; and not against the will of Christ, but with his full consent: or, "unto righteousness", as some F14; so the Arabic version; to fulfil his righteous purposes, concerning the welfare and salvation of his people; to perform his righteous promises of his coming, and of good things by him; to show his strict vindictive justice against sin, in the punishment of it; and to bring in an everlasting righteousness for his people: or it may be rendered, "I have called thee with righteousness F15"; Christ came a righteous Person, holy in his nature, harmless in his life, and truly deserved the character of Jesus Christ the righteous: and will hold thine hand:
denoting his presence with him, and nearness unto him; his favour and affection for him; his counsel and direction of him; the support and assistance he gave him; and the strength he received from him as man, to go through his work: and will keep thee;
as the apple of his eye, being dear unto him; from being hurt by his enemies till the time came to be delivered into their hands; and from miscarrying in his work; and from the power of the grave, so as to be long detained in it: and give thee for a covenant of the people;
Christ is a covenantee, a party concerned in the covenant of grace; the representative of his people in it; the surety, Mediator, messenger, and ratifier of it; the great blessing in it; the sum and substance of it; all the blessings and promises of it are in him, and as such he is "given"; it is of God's free grace that he was appointed and intrusted with all this in eternity, and was sent in time to confirm and secure it for "the people"; given him of his Father, redeemed by him and to whom the Spirit applies the blessings and promises of the covenant; even the elect of God, both among Jews and Gentiles, especially the latter, as follows: for a light of the Gentiles;
who were in the dark as to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, and the way of righteousness and salvation by him, and of all divine and spiritual things; now Christ, through the ministry of the word by his Spirit, was a light unto them; by which they were enlightened into their own state and condition by nature, and into the knowledge of himself, and the mysteries of grace.
F14 "Ad, [sive] in justitiam", Sanctius.
F15 (qdub) "cum justitia", Piscator, Forerius, Cocceius.