1 Listen, to me O isles; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath calledThis is spoken in the person of Christ, to assure the faithful that these promises should come to pass: for they were all made in him and in him would be performed.me fromThis is meant of the time that Christ would be manifested to the world, as in (Psa_2:7).the womb; from the body of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharpBy the sword and shaft, he signifies the virtue and efficacy of Christ's doctrine.sword; in the shadow of his hand hath heGod has taken me to his protection and defence: this chiefly is meant of Christ, and may also be applied to the ministers of his word.hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
3 And said to me, Thou [art] my servant, OBy Israel is meant Christ, and all the body of the faithful, as the members and their head.Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
4 Then I said, I haveThus Christ in his members complains that his labour and preaching take no effect, yet he is contented that his doings are approved by God.laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing, and in vain: [yet] surely my judgment [is] with the LORD, and my work with my God.
5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered,Though the Jews refuse my doctrine, yet God will approve my ministry.yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also giveTo declare my gospel to the Gentiles, as in (Isa_42:6; Act_13:47; Luk_2:32).thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the end of the earth.
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to aMeaning, the Jews whom tyrants kept in bondage.servant of rulers, Kings shall see andThe benefit of their deliverance will be so great, that great and small will acknowledge it, and revere God for it.arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, [and] the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD,Thus he speaks of his Church when he would show his mercy toward it, (2Co_6:2).In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and giveMeaning, Christ alone.thee for a covenant of the people, to establish theSignifying that before Christ renewed the earth by his word, there is nothing but confusion and disorder.earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That thou mayest say to theTo them who are in the prison of sin and death.prisoners, Go forth; to them that [are] in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and theirBeing in Christ's protection, they will be safe against all dangers, and free from fear of the enemies.pastures [shall be] in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercyMeaning, that there would be nothing in their way from Babylon that would hinder or hurt them: but this is accomplished spiritually.on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountaines, as a way, and my paths shalbe exalted.
12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land ofMeaning, the south country, so that Christ will deliver his from all the parts of the world.Sinim.
13 Sing, ORead (Isa_44:23).heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, The LORD hathHe objects what the faithful might say in their long affliction and answers to comfort them with a most proper comparison and full of consolation.forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
15 Can a woman forget her childe, & not haue compassion on the sonne of her wombe? Though they should forget, yet wil I not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my]Because I would not forget you.hands; thyMeaning, the good order of policy and discipline.walls [are] continually before me.
17 Thy children shall makeI have continual care to build you up again and to destroy your enemies.haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth from thee.
18 Lift up thy eyes around, and behold: all these gather themselves together, [and] come to thee. [As] I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surelyHe shows what are the ornaments of the Church: to have many children, who are assembled by the word of God, and governed by his Spirit.clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on thee], as a bride [doeth].
19 For thy desolations, and thy waste places, and thy land destroied, shall surely be now narow for them that shall dwell in it, and they that did deuoure thee, shalbe farre away.
20 The children of thy barennesse shall say againe in thine eares, The place is straict for mee: giue place to me that I may dwell.
21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten mee these, seeing I am baren and desolate, a captiue and a wanderer to and fro? And who hath nourished them? Beholde, I was left alone: whence are these?
22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up my hand to theHe shows that Christ will not only gather this great number from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in [their] arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon [their] shoulders.
23 And kingsMeaning, that kings will be converted to the gospel, and bestow their power and authority for the preservation of the Church.shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow to thee with [their] face toward the earth, and lick up theBeing joined with the Church, they will humble themselves to Christ their head, and give him all honour.dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I [am] the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
24 Shall the prey beHe makes this as an objection as though the Chaldeans were strong, and had them in just possession.taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
25 But thus saith the LORD,This is the answer to their objection, that no one is stronger than the Lord, neither has a more just title to them.Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
26 And I will feed them that oppress thee withI will cause them to destroy one another as in (Jdg_7:22; 2Ch_20:22; Isa_19:2).their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD [am] thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.