66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The a heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build to me? and where [is] the place of my rest?
(a) My majesty is so great, that it fills both heaven and earth, and therefore cannot be included in a temple like an idol, condemning by this their main confidence which trusted in the temple and sacrifices. 66:2 For all these [things] hath my hand made, b and all these [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of c a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
(b) Seeing that both the temple and the things in it, with the sacrifices were made and done by his appointment, he shows that he has no need of it, and that he can be without them, See . 66:3 He that killeth an ox [is as if] he d slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, [as if] he cut off a dogs neck; he that offereth an oblation, [as if he offered] swines blood; he that burneth incense, [as if] he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
(c) To him that is humble and pure in heart, who receives my doctrine with reverence and fear.
(d) Because the Jews thought themselves holy by offering their sacrifices, and in the mean season had neither faith or repentance, God shows that he no less detests these ceremonies than he does the sacrifices of the heathen, who offered men, dogs and swine to their idols, which things were expressly forbidden in the law. 66:4 I also will e choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before my eyes, and chose [that] in which I delighted not.
(e) I will discover their wickedness and hypocrisy, with which they think to blind my eyes to all the world. 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his f word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my names sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
(f) He encourages the faithful by promising to destroy their enemies, who pretended to be as brethren, but were hypocrites, and hated them that feared God. 66:6 g A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.
g The enemies will shortly hear a more terrible voice, even fire and slaughter, seeing they would not hear the gentle voice of the prophets, who called them to repentance. 66:7 Before h she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a male child.
(h) Meaning, that the restoration of the church would be so sudden and contrary to all mens opinions as when a woman is delivered before she looked for it, and without pain in travail. 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one i day? [or] shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
(i) This will pass the capacity of man to see such a multitude that will come up at once, meaning under the preaching of the gospel of which they who came out of Babylon were a sign. 66:9 Shall I k bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut [the womb]? saith thy God.
(k) Declaring by this that as by his power and providence women travailed and delivered so he gives power to bring forth the Church at his appointed time. 66:11 That ye may nurse, l and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may draw milk, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
(l) That is may rejoice for all the blessings that God bestows on his Church. 66:12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend m peace to her like a river, and the glory of the n Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye be nursed, ye shall be o borne upon [her] sides, and be dandled upon [her] knees.
(m) I will give her happiness and prosperity in great abundance. 66:14 And when ye see [this], your heart shall rejoice, and your p bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and [his] indignation toward his enemies.
(n) Read ( Isaiah 60:16 ).
(o) You will be cherished as her dearly beloved children.
(p) You will have new strength and new beauty. 66:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to q render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
(q) This vengeance God began to execute at the destruction of Babylon and has always continued it against the enemies of his Church, and will do till the last day, which will be the accomplishment of it. 66:17 They that sanctify r themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst, eating s swines flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
(r) Meaning, the hypocrites. 66:18 For I [know] their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my t glory.
(s) By which are meant them that maliciously transgressed the law, by eating beasts forbidden, even to the mouse which nature abhors.
(t) The Gentiles will be partakers of that glory, which before I showed to the Jews. 66:19 And I will set a u sign among them, and I will send those that x escape of them to the nations, [to] y Tarshish, z Pul, and a Lud, that draw the b bow, [to] c Tubal, and d Javan, [to] the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and e they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
66:20 And they shall bring all your f brethren [for] an offering to the LORD out of all nations upon g horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
(u) I will make these that I chose, that they perish not with the rest of the infidels: by which he alludes to the marking of the posts of his people, whom he preserved, ( Exodus 12:7 ).
(x) I will scatter the rest of the Jews, who escaped destruction, into various nations.
(y) That is, Cecilia.
(z) Meaning Africa.
(a) That is Lydia, or Asia minor.
(b) Signifying the Parthians.
(e) Meaning, the apostles, disciples and others who he first chose of the Jews to preach to the Gentiles.
(f) That is the Gentiles, who by faith will be made the children of Abraham as you are. 66:21 And I will also take of them for h priests [and] for Levites, saith the LORD.
(g) By which he means that no necessary means will want, when God will call the Gentiles to the knowledge of the gospel.
(h) That is, of the Gentiles, as he did Luke, Timothy and Titus first, and others after to preach his word. 66:22 For as the new i heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
(i) By this he signifies the kingdom of Christ in which his Church will be renewed, and where before there were appointed seasons to sacrifice in this there will be one continual Sabbath, so that all times and seasons will be meet. 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the k carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their l worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence m to all flesh.
(k) As he who declared the happiness that will be within the Church for the comfort of the godly, so does he show what horrible calamity will come to the wicked, that are out of the Church.
(l) Meaning, a continual torment of conscience, which will always gnaw them, and never permit them to be at rest, ( Mark 9:44 ).
(m) This is the just recompense for the wicked, who contemning God and his word, will be by Gods just judgments abhorred by all his creatures.