A song of praise. (1-5) A declaration of the gospel blessings. (6-8) The destruction of the enemies of Christ's church. (9-12)
Verses 1-5 However this might show the deliverance of the Jews out of captivity, it looked further, to the praises that should be offered up to God for Christ's victories over our spiritual enemies, and the comforts he has provided for all believers. True faith simply credits the Lord's testimony, and relies on his truth to perform his promises. As God weakens the strong who are proud and secure, so he strengthens the weak that are humble, and stay themselves upon him. God protects his people in all weathers. The Lord shelters those who trust in him from the insolence of oppressors. Their insolence is but the noise of strangers; it is like the heat of the sun scorching in the middle of the day; but where is it when the sun is set? The Lord ever was, and ever will be, the Refuge of distressed believers. Having provided them a shelter, he teaches them to flee unto it.
Verses 6-8 The kind reception of repentant sinners, is often in the New Testament likened to a feast. The guests invited are all people, Gentiles as well as Jews. There is that in the gospel which strengthens and makes glad the heart, and is fit for those who are under convictions of sin, and mourning for it. There is a veil spread over all nations, for all sat in darkness. But this veil the Lord will destroy, by the light of his gospel shining in the world, and the power of his Spirit opening men's eyes to receive it. He will raise those to spiritual life who were long dead in trespasses and sins. Christ will himself, in his resurrection, triumph over death. Grief shall be banished; there shall be perfect and endless joy. Those that mourn for sin shall be comforted. Those who suffer for Christ shall have consolations. But in the joys of heaven, and not short of them, will fully be brought to pass this saying, God shall wipe away all tears. The hope of this should now do away over-sorrow, all weeping that hinders sowing. Sometimes, in this world God takes away the reproach of his people from among men; however, it will be done fully at the great day. Let us patiently bear sorrow and shame now; both will be done away shortly.
Verses 9-12 With joy and praise will those entertain the glad tidings of the Redeemer, who looked for him; and with a triumphant song will glorified saints enter into the joy of their Lord. And it is not in vain to wait for him; for the mercy comes at last, with abundant recompence for the delay. The hands once stretched out upon the cross, to make way for our salvation, will at length be stretched forth to destroy all impenitent sinners. Moab is here put for all adversaries of God's people; they shall all be trodden down or threshed. God shall bring down the pride of the enemies by one humbling judgment after another. This destruction of Moab is typical of Christ's victory, and the pulling down of Satan's strong holds. Therefore, beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; for your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Isaiah 25:1-12 . CONTINUATION OF THE TWENTY-FOURTH CHAPTER. THANKSGIVING FOR THE OVERTHROW OF THE APOSTATE FACTION, AND THE SETTING UP OF JEHOVAH'S THRONE ON ZION.
The restoration from Babylon and re-establishment of the theocracy was a type and pledge of this.
1. wonderful--( Isaiah 9:6 ).
counsels of old--( Isaiah 42:9 , 46:10 ). Purposes planned long ago; here, as to the deliverance of His people.
truth--Hebrew, Amen; covenant-keeping, faithful to promises; the peculiar characteristic of Jesus ( Revelation 3:14 ).
2. a city . . . heap--Babylon, type of the seat of Antichrist, to be destroyed in the last days (compare Jeremiah 51:37 , with Revelation 18:1-24 , followed, as here, by the song of the saints' thanksgiving in Revelation 19:1-21 ). "Heaps" is a graphic picture of Babylon and Nineveh as they now are.
palace--Babylon regarded, on account of its splendor, as a vast palace. But MAURER translates, "a citadel."
of strangers--foreigners, whose capital pre-eminently Babylon was, the metropolis of the pagan world. "Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise" ( Isaiah 29:5 , Ephesians 2:12 ; see in contrast, Joel 3:17 ).
never be built--( Isaiah 13:19 Isaiah 13:20 , &c.).
3. strong people--This cannot apply to the Jews; but other nations on which Babylon had exercised its cruelty ( Isaiah 14:12 ) shall worship Jehovah, awed by the judgment inflicted on Babylon ( Isaiah 23:18 ).
city--not Babylon, which shall then be destroyed, but collectively for the cities of the surrounding nations.
4. the poor . . . needy--the Jews, exiles from their country ( Isaiah 26:6 , 41:17 ).
heat--calamity ( Isaiah 4:6 , 32:2 ).
blast--that is, wrath.
storm--a tempest of rain, a winter flood, rushing against and overthrowing the wall of a house.
5. Translate, "As the heat in a dry land (is brought down by the shadow of a cloud, so) thou shalt bring down the tumult (the shout of triumph over their enemies) of strangers (foreigners); and as the heat by the shadow of the cloud (is brought low), so the branch (the offspring) of the terrible ones shall be brought low." PARKHURST translates the Hebrew for "branch," the exulting song. JEROME translates the last clause, "And as when the heat burns under a cloud, thou shalt make the branch of the terrible ones to wither"; the branch withering even under the friendly shade of a cloud typifies the wicked brought to ruin, not for want of natural means of prosperity, but by the immediate act of God.
6. in this mountain--Zion: Messiah's kingdom was to begin, and is to have its central seat hereafter, at Jerusalem, as the common country of "all nations" ( Isaiah 2:2 , &c.).
all people--( Isaiah 56:7 , Daniel 7:14 , Luke 2:10 ).
feast--image of felicity ( Psalms 22:26 Psalms 22:27 , Matthew 8:11 , Luke 14:15 , Revelation 19:9 ; compare Psalms 36:8 , 87:1-7 ).
fat things--delicacies; the rich mercies of God in Christ ( Isaiah 55:2 , Jeremiah 31:14 , Job 36:16 ).
wines on the lees--wine which has been long kept on the lees; that is, the oldest and most generous wine ( Jeremiah 48:11 ).
marrow--the choicest dainties ( Psalms 63:5 ).
well refined--cleared of all dregs.
7. face of . . . covering--image from mourning, in which it was usual to cover the face with a veil ( 2 Samuel 15:30 ). "Face of covering," that is, the covering itself; as in Job 41:13 , "the face of his garment," the garment itself. The covering or veil is the mist of ignorance as to a future state, and the way to eternal life, which enveloped the nations ( Ephesians 4:18 ) and the unbelieving Jew ( 2 Corinthians 3:15 ). The Jew, however, is first to be converted before the conversion of "all nations"; for it is "in this mountain," namely, Zion, that the latter are to have the veil taken off ( Psalms 102:13 Psalms 102:15 Psalms 102:16 Psalms 102:21 Psalms 102:22 , Romans 11:12 ).
8. Quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:54 , in support of the resurrection.
swallow up . . . in victory--completely and permanently "abolish" ( 2 Timothy 1:10 , Revelation 20:14 , 21:4 ; compare Genesis 2:17 , 3:22 ).
rebuke--(Compare 8:38 , Hebrews 11:26 ).
9. And it shall be said in that day, &c.--"After death has been swallowed up for ever, the people of God, who had been delivered from the hand of death, shall say to the Lord, Lo, this is our God, whom unbelievers regarded as only a man" [JEROME]. "The words are so moulded as to point us specially to the person of the Son of God, who 'saves' us; as He vouchsafed to Israel temporal saving, so to His elect He appears for the purpose of conferring eternal salvation" [VITRINGA]. The Jews, however, have a special share in the words, This is
we have waited--"Waited" is characteristic of God's people in all ages ( Genesis 49:18 , Titus 2:13 ).
we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation--compare Psalms 118:24 , which refers to the second coming of Jesus (compare Psalms 118:26 , with Luke 13:35 ).
10. rest--as its permanent protector; on "hand" in this sense; compare Ezra 7:6 Ezra 7:28 .
Moab--while Israel is being protected, the foe is destroyed; Moab is the representative of all the foes of God's people.
under him--Rather, "in his own place" or "country" ( Exodus 10:23 , 16:29 ).
for the dunghill--Rather, "in the water of the dung heap," in which straw was trodden to make it manure ( Psalms 83:10 ). HORSLEY translates either, "in the waters of Madmenah," namely, for the making of bricks; or as the Septuagint, "as the threshing-floor is trampled by the corn-drag" (see Margin; Micah 4:11-13 ).
11. he--Jehovah shall spread His hands to strike the foe on this side and on that, with as little effort as a Israel's Song of Praise for Restoration swimmer spreads forth his arms to cleave a passage through the water [CALVIN]. ( Zechariah 5:3 ). LOWTH takes "he" as Moab, who, in danger of sinking, shall strain every nerve to save himself; but Jehovah (and "he") shall cause him to sink ("bring down the pride" of Moab, Isaiah 16:6 ).
with the spoils of . . . hands--literally, "the craftily acquired spoils" of his (Moab's) hands [BARNES]. Moab's pride, as well as the sudden gripe of his hands (namely, whereby he tries to save himself from drowning) [LOWTH]. "Together with the joints of his hands," that is, though Moab struggle against Jehovah hand and foot [MAURER].
12. fortress--the strongholds of Moab, the representative of the foes of God's people [BARNES]. Babylon [MAURER]. The society of infidels represented as a city ( Revelation 11:8 ).