And they shall build the old wastes
The captives set at liberty, and who are called trees of righteousness, and the planting of the Lord; righteous and good men, who shall be employed in the spiritual building of the church in Gospel times, and especially in the latter day; for here begins an account of the benefits and blessings the church of Christ should partake of, particularly at the time of the calling and conversion of the Jews: after having described the work and office of the Messiah, and his fitness for it, the Holy Ghost returns to the same subject with the preceding chapter, and which is carried on in the next. What is here said was literally true, when the Jews returned from Babylon, and built their ruined houses and cities; or, at least, there is an allusion to it: but it respects either the setting up of the interest of Christ, and forming churches in the Gentile world, where nothing but blindness and ignorance reigned; where there were no preaching nor ordinances, but all things were in ruin and confusion; as they were before the ministry of the Gospel by the apostles, who were wise master builders, and instruments of converting multitudes, and of raising churches to the honour of the great Redeemer there: or rather it respects the building up of the tabernacle of David, that is fallen down, or the church of God among the Jews, which will be in the latter day, when they are turned to the Lord, ( Amos 9:11 ) and the same sense have all the following expressions, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the
waste cities, the desolations of many generations;
setting forth the desolate state and condition of the Jews; their long continuance in it, age after age; and their recovery and restoration, when they shall become a flourishing people again, both in civil and spiritual things.