[It is] time for [thee], Lord, to work
To send the Messiah, to work righteousness; to fulfil the law, and vindicate the honour of it, broken by men. It was always a notion of the Jews that the time of the Messiah's coming would be when it was a time of great wickedness in the earth; and which seems to agree with the word of God, and was true in fact; see ( Malachi 2:17 ) ( Malachi 3:1-3 Malachi 3:15 Malachi 3:16 ) ( 4:2 ) . Or to arise and have mercy on Zion, for which there is a fixed time: and its seems as if it would be when religion greatly declines, and profaneness abounds; when love is waxen cold, and there is no faith in the earth; and when the days are like those of Noah and Lot, ( Luke 17:26 Luke 17:28 ) ( 18:8 ) ; or to take vengeance on wicked men, by sending down his judgments on them now, as well as he will punish them hereafter; for which a time is appointed, though no man knows of it. The words may be rendered, "it is time to work for the Lord" F15; so the Septuagint version; to which agrees the Targum,
``it is time to do the will of the Lord;''and the Syriac and Arabic versions, "it is time to worship the Lord". It is proper, in declining times, for good men to bestir themselves and be in action, to attempt the revival of religion, to do all that in them lies to support the cause of God, and to vindicate his honour and glory;
[for] they have made void thy law;
the whole word of God, the Scriptures; as atheists and deists, who deny the authority of them; Pharisees, who preferred their oral law to the written word, and by the traditions of the elders made it of none effect; Papists, by their unwritten traditions, and denying the common people the reading of the Scriptures in their mother tongue; and all false teachers, who wrest the Scriptures, and put false glosses on them, and handle the word of God deceitfully; and all profane sinners, who bid defiance to the law, and, as much as in them lies, abrogate it, and set up a law of their own, and frame mischief by it: or the law of faith may be meant; the Gospel of Christ, and the several truths of it, which are opposed, contradicted, and blasphemed by men of corrupt minds; and particularly the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ's righteousness; which are made void by the doctrine of works; and even the law itself is made void by the same: for not those that maintain the doctrine of Christ's righteousness, but those that establish their own, make void the law; presenting a righteousness to it, which is not answerable to its demands, ( Romans 3:31 ) .
F15 (hwhyl twvel te) "tempus est agendi pro Deo", Gussetius, p. 649. "Tempus faciendi Domino", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus.