Wherefore, when I came, was there no man?
&c.] The Targum is,
``why have I sent my prophets, and they are not converted?''And so Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it of the prophets that prophesied unto them, to bring them to repentance: the Lord might be said to come by his prophets, his messengers; but they did not receive them, nor their messages, but despised and rejected them, and therefore were carried captive, ( 2 Chronicles 36:15 2 Chronicles 36:16 ) , but it is best to understand it of the coming of Christ in the flesh; when there were none that would receive, nor even come to him, but hid their faces from him, nor suffer others to be gathered unto him, or attend his ministry; they would neither go in themselves into the kingdom of the Messiah, nor let others go in that were entering, ( John 1:11 ) ( 5:40 ) ( Matthew 23:13 Matthew 23:37 ) , when I called, was there none to answer?
he called them to the marriage feast, to his word and ordinances, but they made light of it, and went about their worldly business; many were called externally in his ministry, but few were chosen, and effectually wrought upon; he called, but there was no answer given; for there was no internal principle in them, no grace to answer to the call; he stretched out his hands to a rebellious and gainsaying people, ( Matthew 22:2-5 Matthew 22:16 ) ( Isaiah 65:2 ) ( Proverbs 1:24 ) , is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power
they did not know him to be the mighty God; they took him to be a mere man; and being descended from such mean parents, and making such a mean appearance, they could not think he was able to be their Redeemer and Saviour; but that he had sufficient ability appears by what follows: behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea;
he was able to do it, and did do it for the children of Israel, and made a passage through the Red sea for them, as on dry land; which was done by a strong east wind he caused to blow, here called his "rebuke", ( Exodus 14:20 Exodus 14:21 ) ( Psalms 106:9 ) , of Christ's rebuking the sea, see ( Matthew 8:26 ) . I make the rivers a wilderness;
as dry as the wilderness, and parched ground; in which persons may pass as on dry ground, and as travellers pass through a wilderness; so Jordan was made for the Israelites, ( Joshua 3:17 ) , and may be here particularly meant; called "rivers" because of the excellency of it, and the abundance of water in it, which sometimes overflowed its banks; and because other rivers fall into it, as Kimchi observes: their flesh stinketh because there is no water, and dieth for thirst;
as they did when the rivers of Egypt were turned into blood, ( Exodus 7:21 ) .