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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 51



Verses 1-12

The Hope of speedy Return for the Exiles

Isaiah 51:1-16. Encouragement from consideration of the past. Jehovah's purpose for His people is sure. Prayer for deliverance (based on the deliverance of the exodus). Jehovah in response reassures His people.

17-23. The divine wrath, which was upon Jerusalem, shall be turned against her oppressors.

Isaiah 52:1-6. The glorious change in Zion's fortune.

7-12. The deliverance of the exiles imminent.

Verses 1-23

1, 2. In the past God made Israel a great nation from a single ancestor, and that wonderful growth should be an encouragement to the righteous remnant now to believe in their restoration.

2. Alone] RV 'when he was but one,' i.e. childless.

4. A law, etc.] through Israel, Jehovah purposes to reveal Himself to the nations (Isaiah 42:1).

4, 5. The people] RV 'peoples.'

6. The v. contrasts the certainty of God's purposes for His people with, the transitory character of the visible world.

8. My righteousness] i.e. as shown in faithfulness to My promises.

9-11. An appeal from Israel to Jehovah that He will show His power as of old at the exodus, that the exiles may return triumphantly to Zion.

9. Rahab] a symbolic name for Egypt, as in Isaiah 30:7 RV. Dragon] standing for Egypt (Psalms 74:13).

12-16. God assures His people of their speedy deliverance.

13. As if.. ready] RV 'when he maketh ready.'

14. Read, 'He that is bowed down shall speedily be loosed, and he shall not die in the pit, neither shall his bread fail.'

15. Divided, etc.] RV 'stirreth up the sea, that the waves thereof roar.' Jehovah rules in the world, and therefore has power to perform His promise.

16. While Isaiah 51:12. are spoken to the Jewish exiles, the parallel between this passage and Isaiah 49:2 suggests that the ideal Israel—Jehovah's Servant—is here addressed.

17. Hast drunk] The prostrate condition of Jerusalem under the wrath of Jehovah is set forth under the figure of one stupefied and reeling owing to a deep draught.

19. By whom] RV 'how.'

20. A wild bull] RV 'an antelope': the figure denotes helplessness.

21-23. Jehovah's wrath is now to be turned against Jerusalem's oppressors.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 51:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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