So shall he sprinkle many nations
This is not to be understood of water baptism, for though this has been administered in many nations, yet not by Christ, nor done by sprinkling; rather of the grace of the Spirit, which is expressed by water, and its application by sprinkling, and is of a cleansing and sanctifying nature, and which Gentiles are made partakers of; but better of the blood of Christ, called the blood of sprinkling, by which the conscience is purged from dead works, and the heart from an evil conscience, and by which multitudes of many nations are justified and sanctified; though it seems best of all to interpret it of the doctrine of Christ, which is compared to rain and dew, and is dropped, distilled, and sprinkled, and falls gently upon the souls of men, and has been published in many nations, with good effect and success. So Kimchi and Ben Melech say the phrase is expressive of speaking. This passage is applied to the Messiah by a Jewish writer F25. The Targum is,
``he will scatter many people;''and Aben Ezra interprets it of pouring out their blood and taking vengeance on them. The kings shall shut their mouths at him;
astonished at the glories and excellencies of his person and office, as outshining theirs; at his wonderful works of grace and salvation, and as having nothing to object to his doctrines; and if they do not profess them, yet dare not blaspheme them. It seems to denote a reverent attention to them, and a subjection to Christ and his ordinances; and must be understood of their subjects as well as of themselves. For that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which
they had not heard shall they consider;
or "understand" F26; this is applied to Christ and his Gospel, in the times of the apostles, ( Romans 15:20 Romans 15:21 ) . The Gentiles had not the oracles of God committed to them; could not be told the things of the Gospel, and what relate to Christ, by their oracles, or by their philosophers; nor could they be come at by the light of nature, or by carnal reason; such as the doctrines of a trinity of Persons in the Godhead; of the deity, sonship, and incarnation of Christ; of salvation by him; of justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, and atonement by his sacrifice; of the resurrection of the dead, and eternal life: but now Christ and his Gospel are seen and understood by spiritual men; who, besides having a revelation given them, and the Gospel preached unto them, have their eyes opened, and indeed new eyes and understandings given them; so that they have a sight of Christ, of the glory, beauty, and fulness of his person by faith, through the glass of the word, so as to approve of him, appropriate him, and become like unto him; and of his Gospel, and the doctrines of it, so as to like and esteem them, believe them, distinguish them, and look upon them with wonder and pleasure.
F25 Baal Hatturim in Lev. xvi. 14.
F26 (wnnwbth) , (bunhsousi) , Sept.; intelligent, Calvin; "intellexerunt", Vitringa.