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Isaiah 55

Isaiah 55:1-13 . THE CALL OF THE GENTILE WORLD TO FAITH THE RESULT OF GOD'S GRACE TO THE JEWS FIRST.

7. unrighteous--Hebrew, "man of iniquity"; true of all men. The "wicked" sins more openly in "his way"; the "unrighteous" refers to the more subtle workings of sin in the "thoughts." All are guilty in the latter respect, thought many fancy themselves safe, because not openly "wicked in ways" ( Psalms 94:11 ). The parallelism is that of gradation. The progress of the penitent is to be from negative reformation, "forsaking his way," and a farther step, "his thoughts," to positive repentance, "returning to the Lord" (the only true repentance, Zechariah 12:10 ), and making God his God, along with the other children of God (the crowning point; appropriation of God to ourselves: "to our God"). "Return" implies that man originally walked with God, but has apostatized. Isaiah saith, "our God," the God of the believing Israelites; those themselves redeemed desire others to come to their God ( Psalms 34:8 , Revelation 22:17 ).
abundantly pardon--Literally, "multiply to pardon," still more than "have mercy"; God's graciousness is felt more and more the longer one knows Him ( Psalms 130:7 ).

8. For--referring to Isaiah 55:7 . You need not doubt His willingness "abundantly to pardon" (compare Isaiah 55:12 ); for, though "the wicked" man's "ways," and "the unrighteous man's thoughts," are so aggravated as to seem unpardonable, God's "thoughts" and "ways" in pardoning are not regulated by the proportion of the former, as man's would be towards his fellow man who offended him; compare the "for" ( Psalms 25:11 , Romans 5:19 ).

9. ( Psalms 57:10 , 89:2 , 103:11 ). "For" is repeated from Isaiah 55:8 . But MAURER, after the negation, translates, "but."

10. The hearts of men, once barren of spirituality, shall be made, by the outpouring of the Spirit under Messiah, to bear fruits of righteousness ( Isaiah 5:6 , Deuteronomy 32:2 , 2 Samuel 23:4 , Psalms 72:6 ).
snow--which covers plants from frost in winter; and, when melted in spring, waters the earth.
returneth not--void; as in Isaiah 55:11 ; it returns not in the same shape, or without "accomplishing" the desired end.
bud--germinate.

11. ( Matthew 24:35 ). Rain may to us seem lost when it falls on a desert, but it fulfils some purpose of God. So the gospel word falling on the hard heart; it sometimes works a change at last; and even if so, it leaves men without excuse. The full accomplishment of this verse, and Isaiah 55:12 Isaiah 55:13 , is, however, to be at the Jews' final restoration and conversion of the world ( Isaiah 11:9-12 , Isaiah 60:1-5 Isaiah 60:21 ).

12. go out--from the various countries in which ye (the Jews) are scattered, to your own land ( Ezekiel 11:17 ).
led--by Messiah, your "Leader" ( Isaiah 55:4 , Isaiah 52:12 , Micah 2:12 Micah 2:13 ).
mountains . . . trees, &c.--images justly used to express the seeming sympathy of nature with. the joy of God's people. For, when sin is removed, the natural world shall be delivered from "vanity," and be renewed, so as to be in unison with the regenerated moral world ( Isaiah 44:23 , Psalms 98:8 , Romans 8:19-22 ).

13. thorn--emblem of the wicked ( 2 Samuel 23:6 , Micah 7:4 ).
fir tree--the godly ( Isaiah 60:13 , Psalms 92:12 ). Compare as to the change wrought, Romans 6:19 .
brier--emblem of uncultivation ( Isaiah 5:6 ).
myrtle--Hebrew, Hedes, from which comes Hedassah, the original name of Esther. Type of the Christian Church; for it is a lowly, though beautiful, fragrant, and evergreen shrub ( Psalms 92:13 Psalms 92:14 ).
for a name . . . everlasting sign--a perpetual memorial to the glory of Jehovah ( Jeremiah 13:11 , 33:9 ).

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