And I will set a sign among them
Either a miraculous sign, something wonderful, as the word is often used, ( Exodus 4:8 Exodus 4:9 ) ( Isaiah 7:11 Isaiah 7:14 ) , not the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, in the presence of men of all nations; or the miracles wrought in the Gentile world by the apostles, in confirmation of the Gospel; but rather the wonderful conversion of the Jews, ( Isaiah 66:8 ) , or those wonders, the time of the end of which is inquired, ( Daniel 12:6 ) or else some distinguishing sign or mark is meant; such an one as was set on Cain, and on those that sighed and mourned for the sins of Jerusalem, ( Ezekiel 9:4 ) , and may intend the seal or mark of Christ's Father's name, in the foreheads of his people, to distinguish and preserve them from being hurt with others, ( Revelation 7:3 Revelation 7:4 ) ( 14:1 ) , or, best of all, a sign or ensign to gather persons together; which, though not the usual word for an ensign, is sometimes so used, as in ( Psalms 74:4 ) , and so may intend Christ, who is a sign that has been spoken against, ( Luke 2:34 ) and is set up in the ministration of the Gospel, to gather souls unto him, ( Isaiah 10:10 Isaiah 10:12 ) , and which, as it was attended with great success in the first times of the Gospel, will also in the latter day, ( Isaiah 2:2 Isaiah 2:3 ) ( 49:18-21 ) ( Isaiah 60:4 Isaiah 60:5 Isaiah 60:8 ) : and I will send those that escape of them;
meaning, not the apostles and first preachers of the word, that escaped the perverseness and frowardness of the Jewish nation, their rage and persecution, and the wrath that came upon them to the uttermost; but those that shall escape at the defeat of the Turks, and at the ruin of mystical Babylon, and at the fall of the tenth part of the city, ( Revelation 11:13 ) ( 18:4 ) and who also, in a spiritual sense, will escape the pollutions of the world, through the grace of God, and knowledge of Christ; the vengeance of divine justice; the curses of the law, and wrath to come; hell and eternal damnation, by fleeing to Christ; these, some of them, will be made preachers of the Gospel; as who so fit as those to warn sinners of their danger, to show men the way of salvation, and publish the good tidings of the Gospel, and will be sent of God with a commission from him "unto the nations"; in order to gather them to Christ and his church, and behold his glory: particularly to "Tarshish", a word sometimes used for the sea; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it "the nations in the sea"; or, as the Targum, the province of the sea, the maritime provinces, those that lie nearest the sea; the Persian and Arabian seas; or Tartessus in Spain; and may be put for the whole country: Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow;
which some take to be the same with Put and Lud, or Lybia and Lydia, which go together, ( Jeremiah 46:9 ) ( Ezekiel 30:5 ) both countries in Africa, famous for archery; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it Africa and Lydia; though Bochart, and after him Vitringa, take Pul to be the same with Philas, an island upon the Nile, above Syene, between Ethiopia and Egypt, of which Diodorus Siculus F13 and Strabo F14 make mention; or Elephantine, the same with Phil, near the other. Kimchi interprets those that draw the bow of the Turks: to Tubal and Javan;
which the same version renders Italy and Greece: and the isles afar off;
even as far as the West Indies: what places and countries are exactly and precisely meant cannot be determined; only, in general, that into various parts of the world, east, west, north, and south, even the most distant, the Gospel and Gospel ministers shall be sent: even to those that have not heard my fame;
or, "my report" F15; the Gospel, which is a good and true report of Christ; this the nations, covered with gross darkness, the Pagan ones, have not so much as heard of, but now shall, through these men being sent unto them: neither have seen my glory;
in the glass of the Gospel, that having never been set before them; and so have never seen the glory of Christ, as the only begotten of the Father; his comeliness and beauty, the fulness of grace in him, nor any of the excellencies of him, either of his person or offices: and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles;
this, those that are escaped, or the preachers sent to the nations, shall do; they shall declare publicly, plainly, and clearly, that Christ is the brightness of the divine Glory; shall declare the glory of his deity; of his rich grace and love to sinners, in suffering and dying for them; of his salvation, how great, complete, suitable, and glorious it is; with all the glorious truths of the Gospel, peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, by Christ.
F13 Bibliothec I. 1. p. 23.
F14 Geograph, l. 17. p. 552, 562.
F15 (yemv ta) "meum auditum", Pagninus, Montanus; "the report of me", Gataker.