Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion
Aben Ezra says, all interpreters agree that this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled, and so it is: by Zion is meant the church in Gospel times, in the latter day glory, which is called upon to awake out of sleep; and this repeated to show what a deep sleep had fallen on her, the danger she was in through it, and the vehemency of the speaker, or the great concern the Lord had for her; and this is the very state and case of the church of Christ now, and the prophecy respects our times, and what follow. There is a general carnal security, and spiritual drowsiness, which has seized the people of God; a non-exercise of grace among them, at least it is not a lively one; a sluggishness to and in duty; a contentment in the external performance of it; an indifference about the cause of Christ, and power of religion; and an unconcernedness about the truths and ordinances of the Gospel, the discipline of Christ's house, and the honour of it; which the enemy takes the advantage of, and sows his tares of false doctrine and worship; wherefore it is high time to "awake" out of sleep, and to "put on strength", or "clothe" F5 with it, and do the Lord's will, and work and oppose the enemy. Saints are weak in themselves, but they have strength in Christ, and on him should they wait, to him should they look, and on him should they exercise faith for it; they should put on the whole armour of God, clothe themselves with it, resume courage, pluck up a good heart and spirit, and not fear any difficulties, dangers, and enemies. Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city;
another name for the Gospel church, see ( Hebrews 12:22 ) , and which is called "the holy city"; referring to the times in the latter day, when holiness shall more appear and prevail in the churches; when saints shall be built up in their holy faith, and more closely attend to holy ordinances, and walk in an holy conversation and godliness; and especially the New Jerusalem church state will answer to this name, and so it is called, ( Revelation 21:2 Revelation 21:10 ) , and when the saints will "put on" their "beautiful garments", as on holy days, and times of rejoicing; their mourning will be over, and all signs of it shall be laid aside; the witnesses will no more prophesy in sackcloth; the marriage of the Lamb will be come; the bride made ready, being clothed with fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints, the garments of Christ's salvation, and the robe of his righteousness; which are the beautiful garments here meant, which serve for many, and answer all the purposes of a garment; as to cover nakedness, preserve from the inclemency of the weather, keep warm and comfortable, beautify and adorn; and beautiful they are, being all of a piece, large and long, pure and spotless, rich and glorious, and which make those beautiful that wear them; and though, being once on, they are never off again; yet saints sometimes are remiss in their acts of faith in putting them on, to which they are here exhorted; see ( Revelation 19:7 Revelation 19:8 ) , for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and
this shows that the prophecy cannot be understood of Jerusalem literally, nor of the times of the Babylonish captivity, and deliverance from it, since after this the uncircumcised and the unclean did enter into it, Antiochus Epiphanes, Pompey, and the Romans; but of the mystical Jerusalem, the church of Christ, in the latter day, the spiritual reign of Christ; when the Gentiles, the Papists, meant by the uncircumcised and the unclean, shall no more "come against" them, as the words F6 may be rendered, and persecute them; and when there will be no more a mixture of Papists and Protestants, of heretics and orthodox, of hypocrites and saints; and when there will be few or none under a profession but will have the truth of grace in them; when every pot and vessel in Jerusalem will be holiness to the Lord, and the Heathen will be perished out of the land, ( Zechariah 14:21 ) ( Psalms 10:16 ) , and especially this will be true in the personal reign of Christ, in the New Jerusalem church state, into which nothing shall enter that defiles, or makes an abomination, and a lie, ( Revelation 21:27 ) .
F5 (Kze yvbl) (endusai thn iscun bou) , Sept.; "induere fortitudine tua", V. L. "induere robur tunm", Vitringa.
F6 (Kb aby) "non veniet contra te", Gataker; "non perget invadere te", Junius & Tremellius; "non pergent", Piscator.