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Isaiah 51:4

4 “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.

Isaiah 51:4 in Other Translations

4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
4 "Give attention to me, my people, and give ear to me, my nation; for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples.
4 “Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice will become a light to the nations.
4 "Pay attention, my people. Listen to me, nations. Revelation flows from me. My decisions light up the world.
4 Pay attention to Me, My people, and listen to Me, My nation; for instruction will come from Me, and My justice for a light to the nations. I will bring it about quickly.

Isaiah 51:4 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 51:4

Hearken unto me, my people
His special people, whether Jews or Gentiles, chosen by him, taken into covenant with him; given to Christ, redeemed by him as a peculiar people, and called by his grace; these are exhorted to hearken to him; to his word, as the Targum; see ( Isaiah 51:1 ) : and give ear unto me, O my nation;
not the nation of the Jews only, but the Gentiles; a nation taken out of a nation, even out of all nations; a chosen and a holy nation. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "kings"; such are made kings and priests unto God: see ( 1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:10 ) , for a law shall proceed from me;
not the Sinai law, but the Gospel; that doctrine that is said to go out of Zion, ( Isaiah 2:3 ) , as Kimchi rightly observes, who adds,

``for the King Messiah shall teach the people to walk in the ways of the Lord; and this shall be after the war of Gog and Magog:''
and this law or doctrine of God comes from Christ, and is dictated, directed, and made effectual by his Spirit: and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people;
this is the same with the law, or doctrine of the Gospel, called "judgment", because it comes from the God of judgment, flows from his wisdom and counsel, and is a declaration of his will; it expands his method of justifying sinners, and is the means of awakening, convincing, and judging the consciences of men, and of informing and establishing the judgments of the saints, and by which the world will be judged at the last day. Now this is for a light of the people;
to enlighten unconverted ones, such who sit in darkness, to turn them from it, and call them out of it into marvellous light; and to illuminate the saints yet more and more, both with respect to doctrine and duty. And this is said to be made to "rest"; which denotes both the continuance of it in the world, until all the ends of it are answered; and the spiritual rest it gives to weary souls now, as well as points out to them that which remains for them hereafter. Though the words may be rendered, "I will cause my judgment to break forth" F8; like the morning, suddenly, and in a "moment" F9; to which agrees what follows.

F8 (eygra) "erumpere faciam", De Dieu.
F9 So R. Jonah, in Ben Melech, takes it to have the signification of (egr) , "a moment"; as if the sense is, "my judgment I will show every moment from this time, to enlighten the people with it."

Isaiah 51:4 In-Context

2 look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
4 “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Exodus 6:7; Psalms 50:7; Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 63:8; Isaiah 64:9
  • 2. S Psalms 78:1
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 18:18
  • 4. S Isaiah 2:4
  • 5. S Isaiah 26:18; S Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 42:4,6