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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Isaiah 61



Verse 1

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Messiah announces His two-fold commission to bring Gospel-mercy at His first coming, and judgments on unbelievers and comfort to Zion at His second coming (Isaiah 61:1-9). The language can be applied to Isaiah, comforting by his prophecies the exiles in Babylon, only in a subordinate sense.

The Spirit of the Lord God (is) upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me - quoted by Jesus as His credentials in preaching (Luke 4:18-21). The Spirit is upon me in preaching, because Yahweh hath anointed me from the womb (Luke 1:35), and at baptism with the Spirit "without measure," and permanently "abiding" on me (Isaiah 11:2; John 1:32; John 3:34; Psalms 45:7 : with which cf. 1 Kings 1:39-40; 1 Kings 19:16; Exodus 29:7). "Anointed" as Messiah, Prophet, Priest, and King. These three classes of functionaries used to be anointed with oil, of which the Holy Spirit, wherewith He was anointed to His three-fold office, was the antitype. "The Lord God" - rather, as the Hebrew, 'the Lord Yahweh:' 'Adonaay (Hebrew #136), Yahweh (Hebrew #3068). The vowel points being the same as these of 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430), misled the English version.

To preach good tidings (Hebrew, l

Verse 2

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord - the year of jubilee on which 'liberty was proclaimed to the captives' (Isaiah 61:1; 2 Corinthians 6:2).

And the day of vengeance of our God. The 'acceptable time of grace' is a "year;" the time of "vengeance" but a 'day' (so Isaiah 34:8; Isaiah 63:4; Malachi 4:1). Jesus (Luke 4:20-21) "closed the book" before this clause; for the interval from His first to His second coming is "the acceptable year:" "the day of vengeance" will not be until He comes again (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Our God. The saints call Him "our God:" for He cometh to "avenge" them (Revelation 6:10; Revelation 19:2). Primarily Israel speaks. The Lord comes again as their God, to avenge them on their enemies (cf. Isaiah 61:3).

To comfort all that mourn. The "all" seems to include the spiritual Israelite mourners, as well as the literal, who are in Isaiah 61:3 called "them that mourn in Zion," and to whom Isaiah 57:18 refers.

Verse 3

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them. "To appoint ... to give" - the double verb, with the one and the same accusative, imparts glowing vehemence to the style.

Beauty for ashes. There is a play on the sound and meaning of the Hebrew words, p

Verse 4

And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

And they shall build the old wastes - Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, which long lay in ruins (note, Isaiah 58:12).

Verse 5

And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.

And strangers shal stand - (shall wait on you as servants, Isaiah 14:1-2; Isaiah 60:10) "and feed your flocks."

Verse 6

But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord. "Ye," as contrasted with the "strangers." Ye shall have no need to attend to your flocks and lands: strangers will do that for you: your exclusive business will be the service of Yahweh as His "priests" (Exodus 19:6, which remains yet to be realized: cf. as to the spiritual Israel, Isaiah 66:21; 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10).

The Ministers of our God - (Ezekiel 44:11.)

Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles - (Isaiah 60:5-11.)

In their glory shall ye boast yourselves ( tityamaaruw (Hebrew #3235)) - or, 'in their splendour ye shall be substituted in their stead; literally, ye shall substitute yourselves. From yaamar (Hebrew #3235), the same as muwr (Hebrew #4171), Jeremiah 2:11, change (Maurer). But Jerome, the Vulgate, Septuagint, Chaldaic, Arabic, and Syriac support the English version. [Thus, the Hebrew letter yodh (y) will stand instead of the Hebrew letter 'aleph ('): tityamaaruw (Hebrew #3235) being for tit'am

Verse 7

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

For your shame (ye shall have) double - Instead of your past share, ye shall have not merely as much, but "double" as much reward (Isaiah 40:2; Zechariah 9:12 : cf. the third clause in this verse).

And (for) confusion - humiliation, or contumely.

They shall rejoice in their portion - they shall celebrate with jubilation their portion (Maurer). Transition from the second to the third person.

Therefore in their land (marking the reference to literal Israel, not to the Church at large,) they shall possess the double; everlasting joy shall be unto them - (Isaiah 35:10.)

Verse 8

For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. For I the Lord love judgment - justice, which requires that I should restore my people, and give them double in compensation for their sufferings.

I hate robbery for burnt offering. So Vulgate, rather, from a different Hebrew root, I hate the spoil of INIQUITY (Horsley). So the Septuagint, Chaldaic, Arabic, and Syriac. So in Job 5:16. [ `owlaah (Hebrew #5930) is the same as `owlaah (Hebrew #5766)]. Hating, as I do, the rapine, combined with iniquity, perpetrated on my people by their enemies, I will vindicate Israel.

And I will direct their work in truth - rather, 'I will give them the reward of their work (cf. margin, Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 49:4; Isaiah 62:11) in faithfulness' naatatiy (Hebrew #5414) p

Verse 9

And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.

And their seed shall be known - honourably: shall be illustrious (Psalms 67:2).

And their offspring among the people - Hebrew, peoples.

All that see them shall acknowledge them, that they (are) the seed (which) the Lord hath blessed - (Isaiah 65:23.)

Verse 10

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord - Zion (Isaiah 61:3) gives thanks for God's returning favour (cf. Luke 1:46-47; Habakkuk 3:18).

Garments of salvation ... robe of righteousness - inseparably connected together. The ( m

Verse 11

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud ... - (Isaiah 45:8; Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalms 72:3; Psalms 85:11.)

Bud - the tender shoots.

Praise - (Isaiah 60:18; Isaiah 62:7.)

Remarks: The grand theme of this prophecy is the Messiahship of the Saviour. He was described in various other aspects previously: here He is set before us as the Anointed One of the Lord Yahweh. In His first sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth He commenced by appropriating to Himself this prophecy. As three classes of typical personages-prophets, priests, and kings-used to be anointed with oil, to consecrate them to their function, so He, the great Antitype, was anointed with the antitypical oil, the fullness of the Spirit, to His function, which combines in one the prophetic, the priestly, and the kingly offices. Since His prophetic function was prominent during His earthly ministry in the flesh, His priestly function at His death, and especially now in His session at the Father's right hand as our great High Priest in the heavens, so at His coming again His kingly office shall be visibly and prominently manifested.


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

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 61:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

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