Isaiah 51:4

4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.

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 bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the Lord will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.