The voice said, cry
Not the same voice as in ( Isaiah 40:3 ) , nor the voice of an angel, as Aben Ezra; but a voice from the Lord, as Jarchi; the voice of prophecy, says Kimchi; it is the Lord's voice to the prophet, or rather to any and every Gospel minister, giving them an order to prophesy and preach, without which they cannot preach regularly and lawfully; it is the same as, "go, teach all nations" preach the Gospel to every creature, &c. ( Matthew 28:19 ) ( Mark 16:15 ) : and he said, what shall I cry?
publish, proclaim, or preach? for a minister of the Gospel is to preach not out of his own heart, or of his own head, or what is of his own devising and framing, but what is agreeable to the mind of Christ, as revealed in his word; he is to speak according to the oracles of God, the proportion and analogy of faith; he is to inquire there, and of Christ, what he shall say. The Targum is,
``the voice of him that saith, prophesy; and he answered and said, what shall I prophesy?''
The reply is, all flesh is grass
declare the frailty and mortality of men; which some think is mentioned, to increase the wonder of Christ's incarnation, after prophesied of, as the forerunner of it is before; that Christ should condescend to take upon him such frail mortal flesh; that he should become flesh, and be manifested in it: or rather this is to be said, to put men in mind and to prepare them to think of another world, and how they shall appear before the judgment seat; seeing, if they have not a better righteousness than their own, and except they are born again, they shall neither see nor enter into the kingdom of heaven; which is one of the first things to be published in the Gospel ministry; as also how weak, impotent, and insufficient, men are, to that which is good, which may be meant by this phrase; being as weak as a spire of grass, not able to do any good actions, much less to fulfil the law, or to regenerate themselves, renew their hearts, or cleanse their natures: and this must be said, to abate the pride of men; to show the necessity of divine power in regeneration; to instruct men to seek for the grace of God, as to convert them, so to help and assist them in all they do; and to direct them to ascribe all they have, and are, to the grace of God; to this purpose the Apostle Peter quotes this passage, ( 1 Peter 1:23-25
) . It may be applied to the ordinances of the legal dispensation, and all the privileges of it, which are said to be carnal; and trusting in them was trusting in the flesh, ( Philippians 3:4 Philippians 3:5
) ( Hebrews 9:10
) , these were weak and insufficient to justify, sanctify, and save, and were not to continue: and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field
all the goodliness and glory of man; all that is excellent and valuable in him, or belonging to him, Or that is thought to be so, his riches, honours, strength, beauty, wisdom, and knowledge; yea, all his seeming holiness and righteousness; which are all fading and perishing, like a gay flower, which appears lovely for a while, and on a sudden falls off, or is cropped, or trampled upon; to which a flower of the field is more liable than that of the garden. This may be applied to the splendour of the legal dispensation, which is done away by a more excellent glory taking place, ( 2 Corinthians 3:10 2 Corinthians 3:11