To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord
Not an exact year, but time in general; for such are wrong, who from hence conclude that Christ's public ministry lasted but a year, since it is certain, by the passovers he kept, that it must be at least three or four years; the whole time of Christ on earth was an acceptable and desirable time, what many great personages desired to see, and did not: this time may take in the whole Gospel dispensation, which was ushered in by Christ: the allusion, as before observed, is to the year of jubilee, when there was a proclamation of liberty; of release of debts; of restoration of inheritances, and of cessation from work; all which must make it an acceptable year: and this proclamation was made on the day of atonement; and Jarchi interprets the phrase here of a "year of reconciliation"; or "the year of atonement to the Lord", as it maybe rendered F19; this was made by the sacrifice of Christ, and is proclaimed in the Gospel, and makes a most considerable part of it. It may be rendered, "the year of the good will of the Lord" F20; and such was the time of Christ's coming on earth, to save men, and make peace and reconciliation for them, ( Luke 2:14 ) and was an "acceptable time" indeed; acceptable to the Lord himself; as were the incarnation of Christ, his obedience and righteousness, his sufferings and death, his sacrifice and satisfaction; since hereby the perfections of God were glorified, his purposes fulfilled, his covenant confirmed, and his people saved: acceptable to men; as were the birth of Christ; the things done by him; peace made, pardon procured, righteousness brought in, and salvation wrought out; all which must be acceptable to such who are lost, and know it, and are sensible that nothing of their own can save them; see ( 1 Timothy 1:15 ) the day of vengeance of our God;
when vengeance was taken on sin, in the person of Christ; when he destroyed the works of the devil, the devil himself, and spoiled principalities and powers; when he abolished death, and was the plague and destruction of that and the grave; when he brought wrath to the uttermost on the Jews for the rejection of him, who would not have him to reign over them; and who will take vengeance on antichrist at his spiritual coming, and upon all the wicked at the day of judgment. Kimchi understands this of the day when God shall take vengeance on Gog and Magog. To comfort all that mourn:
that are under afflictions, and mourn for them; and under a sense of sin, and mourn for that; who mourn for their own sins, indwelling sin, and their many actual transgressions; and for the sins of others, of profane persons, and especially professors of religion; these Christ comforts by his Spirit, by his word and ministers, by his promises, by his ordinances, and by the discoveries, of pardoning grace and mercy,
F19 (hwhyl Nwur tnv) "annum placabilem Jehovae", Vatablus; "annum placabilem Domino", V. L.
F20 Heb. "annum benevolentiae, seu bneplaciti Jehovae", Piscator, Tigurine version; "annum complacentiae", Vitinga.