Isaiah 55

Invitation to the Thirsty

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”

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Isaiah 55 Commentary

Chapter 55

An invitation to receive freely the blessings of the Saviour. (1-5) Gracious offers of pardon and peace. (6-13)

Verses 1-5 All are welcome to the blessings of salvation, to whom those blessings are welcome. In Christ there is enough for all, and enough for each. Those satisfied with the world, that see no need of Christ, do not thirst. They are in no uneasiness about their souls: but where God gives grace, he gives a thirst after it; and where he has given a thirst after it, he will give it. Come to Christ, for he is the Fountain opened, he is the Rock smitten. Come to holy ordinances, to the streams that make glad the city of our God. Come to the healing waters, come to the living waters, ( Revelation 22:17 ) . Our Saviour referred to this, #Joh. 7:37 . Come, and buy; make it your own by application of the grace of the gospel to yourselves. Come, and eat; make it still more your own, and enjoy it. The world comes short of our expectations; we promise ourselves, at least, water in it, and we are disappointed; but Christ outdoes our expectations. We come to him, and we find wine and milk. The gifts offered to us are such as no price can be set upon. The things offered are already paid for; for Christ purchased them at the full price of ( 1 Peter. 1:19 ) have nothing to supply them; if Christ and heaven are ours, we see ourselves for ever indebted to free grace. Hearken diligently; let the proud heart stoop; not only come, but accept God's offers. All the wealth and pleasure in the world, will not yield solid comfort and content to the soul. They do not satisfy even the appetites of the body; for all is vanity and vexation. Let the disappointments we meet with in the world, help to drive us to Christ, and to seek for satisfaction in him only. Then, and not before, we shall find rest for our souls. Hear, and your soul shall live. On what easy terms is happiness offered us! By the sure mercies of David, we are to understand the Messiah. All his mercies are covenant mercies; they are purchased by him, they are promised in him, and out of his hand they are dispensed to us. We know not how to find the way to the waters, but Christ is given to be a Leader, a Commander, to show us what to do, and enable us to do it. Our business is to obey him, and follow him. And there is no coming to the Father but by him. He is the Holy One of Israel, true to his promises; and he has promised to glorify Christ, by giving him the heathen for his inheritance.

Verses 6-13 Here is a gracious offer of pardon, and peace, and of all happiness. It shall not be in vain to seek God, now his word is calling to us, and his Spirit is striving with us. But there is a day coming when he will not be found. There may come such a time in this life; it is certain that at death and judgment the door will be shut. There must be not only a change of the way, but a change of the mind. We must alter our judgments about persons and things. It is not enough to break off from evil practices, we must strive against evil thoughts. To repent is to return to our Lord, against whom we have rebelled. If we do so, God will multiply to pardon, as we have multiplied to offend. But let none trifle with this plenteous mercy, or use it as an occasion to sin. Men's thoughts concerning sin, Christ, and holiness, concerning this world and the other, vastly differ from God's; but in nothing more than in the matter of pardon. We forgive, and cannot forget; but when God forgives sin, he remembers it no more. The power of his word in the kingdoms of providence and grace, is as certain as in that of nature. Sacred truth produces a spiritual change in the mind of men, which neither rain nor snow can make on the earth. It shall not return to the Lord without producing important effects. If we take a special view of the church, we shall find what great things God has done, and will do for it. The Jews shall come to their own land; this shall represent the blessings promised. Gospel grace will make a great change in men. Delivered from the wrath to come, the converted sinner finds peace in his conscience; and love constrains him to devote himself to the service of his Redeemer. Instead of being profane, contentious, selfish, or sensual, behold him patient, humble, kind, and peaceable. The hope of helping in such a work should urge us to spread the gospel of salvation. And do thou help us, O Spirit of all truth, to have such views of the fulness, freeness, and greatness of the rich mercy in Christ, as may remove from us all narrow views of sovereign grace.

Cross References 46

  • 1. S Proverbs 9:5; S Isaiah 35:7; Matthew 5:6; Luke 6:21; John 4:14; John 7:37
  • 2. Jeremiah 2:13; Ezekiel 47:1,12; Zechariah 14:8
  • 3. Lamentations 5:4; Matthew 13:44; Revelation 3:18
  • 4. S Song of Songs 5:1; 1 Peter 2:2
  • 5. Hosea 14:4; Matthew 10:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17
  • 6. Psalms 22:26; Ecclesiastes 6:2; Isaiah 49:4; Jeremiah 12:13; Hosea 4:10; Hosea 8:7; Micah 6:14; Haggai 1:6
  • 7. S Isaiah 1:19
  • 8. S Isaiah 30:23
  • 9. S Psalms 78:1
  • 10. S Leviticus 18:5; S John 6:27; Romans 10:5
  • 11. S Genesis 9:16; S Isaiah 54:10; S Hebrews 13:20; Isaiah 61:8
  • 12. S Isaiah 54:8
  • 13. Acts 13:34*
  • 14. Revelation 1:5
  • 15. S 1 Samuel 13:14; S 2 Chronicles 7:18; S Isaiah 32:1; Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23-24
  • 16. S Isaiah 49:6
  • 17. S Isaiah 2:3
  • 18. S Isaiah 12:6; S Isaiah 54:5
  • 19. S Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 60:9
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 4:29; S 2 Chronicles 15:2; S Isaiah 9:13
  • 21. Psalms 32:6; Isaiah 49:8; Acts 17:27; 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
  • 22. S Psalms 50:15; Isaiah 65:24; Jeremiah 29:12; Jeremiah 33:3
  • 23. S 2 Chronicles 7:14; S 2 Chronicles 30:9; Ezekiel 18:27-28
  • 24. Isaiah 32:7; Isaiah 59:7
  • 25. S Isaiah 44:22; S Jeremiah 26:3; S Ezekiel 18:32
  • 26. S Isaiah 54:10
  • 27. S 2 Chronicles 6:21; Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 40:2
  • 28. Philippians 2:5; Philippians 4:8
  • 29. Isaiah 53:6; Micah 4:12
  • 30. S Job 11:8; Psalms 103:11
  • 31. S Numbers 23:19; S Isaiah 40:13-14
  • 32. Isaiah 30:23
  • 33. S Leviticus 25:19; S Job 14:9; S Psalms 67:6
  • 34. S Genesis 47:23
  • 35. 2 Corinthians 9:10
  • 36. S Deuteronomy 32:2; John 1:1
  • 37. Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 45:23; S Matthew 5:18; Hebrews 4:12
  • 38. S Proverbs 19:21; S Isaiah 44:26; Ezekiel 12:25
  • 39. S Psalms 98:4; S Isaiah 35:2
  • 40. Isaiah 54:10,13
  • 41. S Psalms 65:12-13; S Psalms 96:12-13
  • 42. S 1 Chronicles 16:33
  • 43. Psalms 98:8
  • 44. S Numbers 33:55; S Isaiah 5:6
  • 45. Isaiah 41:19
  • 46. S Psalms 102:12; Isaiah 63:12; Jeremiah 32:20; Jeremiah 33:9

Chapter Summary


As the two preceding chapters are prophecies of Christ and his church, this treats of his word and ordinances, and of the nature, use, and efficacy of them. It begins with an invitation of thirsty souls to them, Isa 55:1, an expostulation with them for taking wrong methods, and a dissuasive from them, Isa 55:2, which is followed with an exhortation to hear the word of Christ, attend on his ordinances; to which they are encouraged with promises of life and covenant blessings, Isa 55:2,3. Christ is prophesied of in his offices; and the conversion of the Gentiles to him is foretold, Isa 55:4,5, men are called upon to seek the Lord, where and while he might be found; and both wicked and unrighteous persons, forsaking their ways and thoughts, are encouraged to turn to the Lord, in hopes of pardon, and in consideration of his ways and thoughts not being like theirs, Isa 55:6-9, the nature and efficacy of the word of God are expressed and illustrated by the similes of rain and snow, Isa 55:10,11, and the conversion of the Lord's people, in consequence of the word being made effectual, is predicted, the issue of which is the glory of God, Isa 55:12,13.

Isaiah 55 Commentaries

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