But Esaias is very bold, and saith
The apostle here produces another testimony in proof of this, that the Israelites must needs have some knowledge of this truth, the calling of the Gentiles; since a famous prophet of theirs, Isaiah, also spake out with great freedom; he did not mince the matter, or cover it with dark sayings, but with all plainness and perspicuity, and with great courage and intrepidity declared it; though he knew he run the risk, not only of his fame and credit among the Jews, but of his life also, for so doing: the citation is made from ( Isaiah 65:1 ) .
I was found of them that sought me not, I was made manifest unto
them that asked not after me;
here also the Gentiles are meant by "them that sought me not, and asked not after me"; the Messiah; and so R. Moses the priest says F14, that these words are to be understood, (Mlweh twmwa le) , "concerning the nations of the world". The common people among them sought after the things of the world; their philosophers sought after the wisdom of it; and the more devout and religious among them sought the observance of superstitious rites and ceremonies, and, at best and most, a little morality and external righteousness; but none sought after Christ, for they knew nothing of him, and therefore did not so much as ask after him; they did not ask counsel of him, nor ask concerning him, nor ask for him; not for his coming into the world, as the Jews did, nor for the preaching of the Gospel among them, for it came among them unasked for, unexpected, and undesired, as well as undeserved by them, nor for any blessing of his; and yet such was his grace and goodness, that he was "found" of these persons, in the preaching of the Gospel; which by his kind providence was brought among them, and they were brought under the hearing of it; and by the Spirit of God directed to him in it, in whom they found life, peace, pardon, righteousness, food, and rest, and every valuable blessing; a pearl of great price they found, a finding which can never be lost: he is also said to be "made manifest" unto them, not in the flesh, but in the ministry of the word; in which his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, are evidently set forth, and clearly manifested; and besides the outward manifestation of Christ to them by the Gospel, they had no internal revelation of him in their hearts by his Spirit, setting forth to them his grace and fulness, and showing them their interest therein: from this prophecy, also, the Jews could not but have some knowledge of this mystery of grace.
F14 In Aben Ezra in Isa. lxv. 1.