Isaiah 61

The Year of the LORD’s Favor

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

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Isaiah 61 Commentary

Chapter 61

The Messiah, his character and office. (1-3) His promises of the future blessedness of the church. (4-9) The church praises God for these mercies. (10,11)

Verses 1-3 The prophets had the Holy Spirit of God at times, teaching them what to say, and causing them to say it; but Christ had the Spirit always, without measure, to qualify him, as man, for the work to which he was appointed. The poor are commonly best disposed to receive the gospel, ( James 2:5 ) ; and it is only likely to profit us when received with meekness. To such as are poor in spirit, Christ preached good tidings when he said, Blessed are the meek. Christ's satisfaction is accepted. By the dominion of sin in us, we are bound under the power of Satan; but the Son is ready, by his Spirit, to make us free; and then we shall be free indeed. Sin and Satan were to be destroyed; and Christ triumphed over them on his cross. But the children of men, who stand out against these offers, shall be dealt with as enemies. Christ was to be a Comforter, and so he is; he is sent to comfort all who mourn, and who seek to him, and not to the world, for comfort. He will do all this for his people, that they may abound in the fruits of righteousness, as the branches of God's planting. Neither the mercy of God, the atonement of Christ, nor the gospel of grace, profit the self-sufficient and proud. They must be humbled, and led to know their own character and wants, by the Holy Spirit, that they may see and feel their need of the sinner's Friend and Saviour. His doctrine contains glad tidings indeed to those who are humbled before God.

Verses 4-9 Promises are here made to the Jews returned out of captivity, which extend to all those who, through grace, are delivered out of spiritual thraldom. An unholy soul is like a city that is broken down, and has no walls, like a house in ruins; but by the power of Christ's gospel and grace, it is fitted to be a habitation of God, through the Spirit. When, by the grace of God, we attain to holy indifference as to the affairs of this world; when, though our hands are employed about them, our hearts are not entangled with them, but preserved entire for God and his service, then the sons of the alien are our ploughmen and vine-dressers. Those whom He sets at liberty, he sets to work. His service is perfect freedom; it is the greatest honour. All believers are made, to our God, kings and priests; and always ought to conduct themselves as such. Those who have the Lord for their portion, have reason to say, that they have worthy portion, and to rejoice in it. In the fulness of heaven's joys we shall receive more than double for all our services and sufferings. God desires truth, and therefore hates all injustice. Nor will it justify any man's robbery to say, it was for burnt-offerings; and that robbery is most hateful which is under this pretence. Let the children of godly parents be such, that all may see the fruits of a good education; an answer to the prayers for them, in the fruit of God's blessing.

Verses 10-11 Those only shall be clothed with the garments of salvation hereafter, that are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness now, and by the sanctification of the Spirit have God's image renewed upon them. These blessings shall spring forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the earth. So duly, so constantly, and with such advantage to mankind, will the Lord God cause righteousness and praise to spring forth. They shall spread far; the great salvation shall be published and proclaimed, to the ends of the earth. Let us be earnest in prayer, that the Lord God may cause that righteousness to spring forth among us, which constitutes the excellence and glory of the Christian profession.

Cross References 36

  • 1. S Isaiah 11:2; 2 Corinthians 3:17
  • 2. S Isaiah 50:4
  • 3. S Psalms 45:7; S Daniel 9:24-26; S Acts 4:26
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 18:26; S Isaiah 40:9
  • 5. S Job 5:16; S Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22
  • 6. S 2 Kings 22:19; S Job 5:18; Isaiah 57:15
  • 7. S Leviticus 25:10
  • 8. S Psalms 68:6; S Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 49:9
  • 9. S Isaiah 49:8; S Luke 4:18-19*
  • 10. S Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 34:8
  • 11. S Isaiah 40:1; Isaiah 57:18; Matthew 5:4
  • 12. S Job 5:11; Luke 6:21
  • 13. S Isaiah 3:23
  • 14. S Job 2:8
  • 15. S Ruth 3:3; S Isaiah 1:6; Hebrews 1:9
  • 16. Jeremiah 31:13; Matthew 5:4
  • 17. Psalms 1:3; Psalms 92:12-13; Matthew 15:13; 1 Corinthians 3:9
  • 18. S Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 60:20-21
  • 19. S Isaiah 44:26; Isaiah 51:3; Isaiah 65:21; Isaiah 49:8; Ezekiel 36:33; Amos 9:14; Zechariah 1:16-17
  • 20. S Isaiah 14:1-2; S Isaiah 56:6
  • 21. S Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:5
  • 22. Deuteronomy 33:19; S Isaiah 60:11
  • 23. S Isaiah 29:22; S Isaiah 41:11
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 21:17; S Isaiah 40:2; Zechariah 9:12
  • 25. S Isaiah 60:21
  • 26. S Psalms 126:5; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 27. S Psalms 11:7; S Isaiah 1:17; S Isaiah 5:16
  • 28. S Genesis 9:16; S Isaiah 42:6; S Hebrews 13:20; Isaiah 55:3
  • 29. S Isaiah 43:5; S Isaiah 48:19
  • 30. S Genesis 12:2; S Deuteronomy 28:3-12
  • 31. S Psalms 2:11; S Isaiah 7:13; S Isaiah 25:9; Habakkuk 3:18; S Luke 1:47
  • 32. S Job 27:6; S Psalms 132:9; S Isaiah 52:1; Revelation 19:8
  • 33. S Exodus 39:28
  • 34. S Isaiah 49:18; Revelation 21:2
  • 35. S Genesis 47:23; Isaiah 58:11
  • 36. S Isaiah 45:8; Psalms 85:11

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew; Septuagint "the blind"

Chapter Summary


In this chapter both Christ and the church are introduced speaking, in their turns. It begins with the words of Christ, describing his work and office; his qualifications for it; the several parts and branches of it; and the ends to be answered by it; Isa 61:1-3, the reparation of the church; the feeding it by strangers; its being a holy priesthood; its enjoying the riches of the Gentiles; its having honour and joy, instead of shame and confusion; its prosperity in the work of the Lord, and the continuance of its spiritual offspring among the Gentiles, are prophesied of in Isa 61:4-9, and then the church is represented as rejoicing in the Lord, on account of her being clothed with his righteousness, so ornamental to her, Isa 61:10 and the chapter is concluded with a promise of her righteousness and glory appearing before all the nations of the world; of which the following chapter is an illustrious prophecy, Isa 61:11.

Isaiah 61 Commentaries

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