Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 65\\

This chapter contains an answer to the prayer begun \\#Isa 63:15\\, and
continued in the preceding chapter; in which reasons are given by the
Lord for suffering such calamities as are before mentioned to come upon
the Jewish nation; particularly their rejection of the Gospel as
preached by Christ and his apostles, and cleaving to the traditions of
the fathers, and to their own righteousness; which disobedience and
rebellion are aggravated by the Gentiles quick reception of the Gospel,
as soon as preached to them, \\#Isa 65:1,2\\ as also the idolatry of their
fathers, their impurity and breach of the divine laws, \\#Isa 65:3,4,7\\, as
well as their own pride, hypocrisy, and self-confidence, \\#Isa 65:5\\ all
which being observed by the Lord was highly provoking to him; and he was
determined to recompense into their bosoms their own sins, and the sins
of their fathers, whose measure they filled up, \\#Isa 65:6,7\\,
nevertheless he would have a regard to a remnant among them, in whom the
true grace of God would be found, and who should have a name and a place
in the Gospel church state, and be preserved from the general destruction,
\\#Isa 65:8-10\\, but as for the unbelieving Jews, they should be punished
with the sword, with famine, with disgrace, with distress, vexation, and
a curse; when the servants of the Lord should have food, and joy, and
honour, and bless themselves in the Lord, and serve him, \\#Isa 65:11-16\\
and the chapter is concluded with promises of a new and happy state to
the Jews upon their conversion in the latter day; which will be attended
with much spiritual joy, with abundance of outward felicity, with great
safety and security, and with the presence of God, \\#Isa 65:17-25\\.

prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles is not to be
doubted, since the Apostle Paul has quoted it, and applied it to that
case, \\#Ro 10:20\\ and is here mentioned as an aggravation of the sin of
the Jews, in rejecting Christ, when the Gentiles received him; and was
the reason of their being rejected of God, and the Gospel being taken
away from them, and given to another people, and of the Lord's removing
his presence from the one to the other. The Gentiles are described as
those that "asked not for" Christ, or after him, as the apostle supplies
it; they had not asked for him, nor after him, nor anything about him;
nor of him "before" this time, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it;
they were without Christ, the promises and prophecies concerning him;
and so had no knowledge of him, nor made any inquiry about him, who or
what he was; they did not ask after his coming, or for it; did not
desire it, or him, and were in no expectation of it; they asked no
favour of him, nor saw any need of him, or worth in him; and yet now he
was "sought of them"; or, as the apostle has it, "was made manifest unto
them"; and so the Septuagint version; that is, he was manifested to them
in the Gospel, and by the ministry of it; which is a revelation of him,
of salvation by him, of justification by his righteousness, of peace and
pardon by his blood, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of eternal life
through him; and the words will bear to be rendered, "I was preached
unto them": for from this word are derived others {g}, which signify an
expounder, and an interpretation, or exposition; and this was matter of
fact, that Christ was preached to the Gentiles upon the Jews' rejection
of him, which is one branch of the mystery of godliness, \\#1Ti 3:16\\ and
upon this he was sought of them: they sought him early and earnestly,
and desired to have him and his Gospel preached to them again and again,
\\#Ac 13:42-48\\ they sought after the knowledge of him, and for an interest
in him, and for all grace from him, righteousness, salvation, and
eternal life; and for all the supplies of grace, as all sensible sinners
do; this they did as soon as he was made manifest to them by the word,
and especially as soon as he was revealed in them, or made manifest in
their hearts by his Spirit:

\\I am found of them that sought me not\\; that had not sought him before
the Gospel came to them; they sought the world, and the thing, of it,
"for after all these things do the Gentiles seek"; they sought after the
wisdom of the world, the vain philosophy of it; "the Greeks seek after
wisdom"; and at most and best they only sought after morality and
outward righteousness, but not after Christ, till he was set up in the
Gospel as an ensign to them, \\#Isa 11:10\\, but being preached in it, they
were set a seeking after him, and "found" him in it, of whom it is full;
in the doctrines, promises, and ordinances of it; in whom they found
righteousness, life, and salvation, food, and plenty of it, rest,
spiritual and eternal, and everlasting glory and happiness:

\\I said, behold me, behold unto a nation that was not called by my name\\;
which still describes the Gentiles, who formerly were not called the
people of God, even those who now are, \\#Ho 2:23 1Pe 2:10\\, this Christ
says to them in the Gospel, whose eyes he opens by his Spirit, to
behold the glory of his person, the riches of his grace, his wondrous
love and condescension, the abundance of blessings in him, and the
complete salvation he has wrought out for sinners; and the words are
repeated to show that Christ is only to be beheld, and is always to be
looked unto; as well as it declares the heartiness of Christ, and his
willingness that sinners should look unto him, and be saved; and all
this is a proof of the preventing grace of God in the conversion of
men, he is first in it; before they ask anything of him, or about him,
or his Son, he manifests himself; he reveals Christ, bestows his grace,
and presents them with the blessings of his goodness. R. Moses the
priest, as Aben Ezra observes, interprets this of the nations of the
world; and that the sense is,

``even to the Gentiles that are not called by my name I am
preached;''

which agrees with the apostle's sense of them; \\see Gill on "Ro 10:20"\\.

{g} So, with the Rabbins, \^vrd\^ is "to preach"; \^Nvrd\^ is "a preacher";
\^hvrd\^ is "a sermon"; \^vrd\^ "the name of a book of sermons"; and
\^vrdm\^ "an exposition"; see Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. col. 583, 584.


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