Of the increase of [his] government
That is, of the Prince of peace, on whose shoulders it is; which, from small beginnings, will rise to a very great pitch and height of glory; this is signified by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands; that smote the image, became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth, ( Daniel 2:34 Daniel 2:35 Daniel 2:44 Daniel 2:45 ) and by the parable of the mustard seed, the least of all seeds, and yet, when grown up, becomes a great tree, in which the birds of the air build their nests, ( Matthew 13:31 Matthew 13:32 ) . Christ's kingdom and interest, his dominion and government, may be said to be increased, when his Gospel is spread far and near, which is called the Gospel of the kingdom, and the doctrines of it, the mysteries of the kingdom; by means of which men become subjects of it, and so his kingdom is enlarged. At first it was only preached in Judea; and then it was carried into the Gentile world, where it met with great success, and was spread to the overthrow of Paganism in the Roman empire; a stop was put to its progress by the appearance and power of antichrist, the man of sin; but at the Reformation it broke out again, and spread itself over many nations; and though of late years there has been a decline, in the latter day the knowledge of it will cover the earth, as the waters do the sea, and multitudes shall be converted by it; which is meant by the increase of Christ's government. In the days of his flesh on earth, few believed in him; after his ascension to heaven, there was a large increase of his followers in Jerusalem, and in the Gentile world; the Gospel being preached there, more were the children of the desolate than of the married wife; large numbers were converted, and churches raised and formed everywhere; and in the latter day the church shall fill the earth, and the kingdoms of this world will become the church of Christ; all nations will flow unto it; the people of the Jews, in a body, will be converted, and the fulness of the Gentiles will be brought in; the interest of Christ, which made so contemptible a figure at first, consisting chiefly of the poor of this world, harassed with persecution, and disturbed by heretics, will now make a very great one; the kings of the earth coming into it, the wealth and riches of the world falling into the hands of the saints, the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven being given to them; Christianity will be the uersal religion of men, and which will be attended with the greatest spirituality, holiness of life, purity of doctrine, worship, and discipline, and freedom from persecution, as follows. In the word (hbrMl) , rendered, "of the increase", the letter (M) , in the middle of it, is shut, which in other places is open. The Jews seek for mysteries in this. Aben Ezra says, it respects the miracle of the sun, whose shadow returned back in Hezekiah's time; this is said, to serve an hypothesis; Kimchi observes, on the contrary, that in, Ezra (it is in ( Nehemiah 2:13 ) ) the same letter at the end of a word is open, which used to be shut, where mention is made of the walls of Jerusalem being broken down; and thinks is has this mystery in it, that at the time of the salvation, the walls of Jerusalem, that were broken down during the captivity, should be stopped up, and then the government should be opened, which was shut, until the King Messiah came. If there is any mystery in this, it may denote that the government of Christ, which would be for a time straitened, and kept in narrow bounds and limits, should hereafter be extended throughout the world, to the four corners of it, to be firm and stable, perfect and complete; which the figure of this letter, being, shut, and foursquare, may be an emblem of. See ( Revelation 21:16 ) . And peace [there shall be] no end;
this respects both the increase and perpetuity of the peace of Christ's kingdom. The peace of believers, under the Gospel dispensation, is greater than that of the saints under the legal dispensation, whose sacrifices could not remove a consciousness of sin and its guilt; and who, through various laws threatening with death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage; but great is the peace of New Testament saints, through the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and which may be increased more and more; and in the latter day there will be more peace among themselves; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; the sticks of Joseph and Judah shall be one nor will there ever be any more discord between Jew and Gentile, the lion and the lamb shall lie down together; there will be no more war among the nations, after the battle of Armageddon; and no more persecution, after the slaughter of the witnesses; and this abundance of peace, spiritual and temporal, will be as long as the moon endures, ( Psalms 72:7 ) and all this will issue in eternal peace in the world to come: upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom;
that is, on it the Prince of peace shall sit, who is David's son, according to the flesh, and so his heir; see ( Luke 1:32 Luke 1:33 ) and which must be understood spiritually of the church and people of Christ, who are his throne and kingdom; in whose hearts he reigns by his grace and Spirit: to order it;
dispose, rectify, put into form and order, and adorn and beautify, by enacting laws for them, writing them on their hearts, and putting his Spirit within them, to enable them to keep them; and by setting persons over them, under him, as deputies and sub-governors, guides and rulers, to explain his laws, and enforce them; to teach them to observe all things commanded by him; to whom he gives gifts for usefulness and service; and whose ministry he blesses, for the conversion and gathering in of others, and so repairs and glorifies the house of his kingdom; and also by granting his presence in his word and ordinances: and to establish it with justice and judgment;
by convincing men by his Spirit of righteousness and judgment; by revealing in his Gospel his own righteousness to them; by forming in their hearts the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness; by teaching them to live soberly, righteously, and godly; and by protecting them from all their enemies: and so he establishes particular believers in the faith of himself, and with the doctrine of faith, that they persevere to the end; and his whole church upon himself, the Rock of ages, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and in the latter day he will establish it upon the top of the mountains, ( Isaiah 2:2 ) : from henceforth, even for ever;
Christ's throne is for ever and ever, his kingdom is an everlasting one; he will have no successor in it, nor any rival that shall ever dispossess him of it; all other kingdoms will cease, but his will remain for ever: though this clause, according to the accents, is to be connected with what follows F23, thus, from henceforth, even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will
all that is said in this verse, and in the context, respecting the incarnation of Christ and his kingdom; the veracity, faithfulness, and power of God, are engaged to perform whatever he has purposed and promised; and his zeal, which is no other than his fervent flaming love, will move him to it, and is effectual to accomplish it; his fervent love for his own glory, which is his ultimate end in all his works of nature, providence, and grace, will engage him to fulfil whatever is foretold concerning the birth of Christ, and redemption by him, and his offices and kingdom; since this is greatly concerned in all these things, his zeal or fervent love to his Son, shown in giving all things into his hands, in committing all judgment to him, that men may honour him as they do the Father, will move him to increase his government and peace, and make him his firstborn higher than the kings of the earth; and his zeal or fervent love to his people will put him upon all this, since it is for their good, as well as for his own glory, and the honour of his Son; what the queen of Sheba said of Solomon may be said of Christ and his people, ( 1 Kings 10:9 ) .
F23 So Junius and Tremellius, whom Reinbeck commends, De Accent. p. 387.