I S A I A H.
The death of Christ is the life of the church and
of all that truly belong to it; and therefore very fitly, after the
prophet had foretold the sufferings of Christ, he foretels the
flourishing of the church, which is a part of his glory, and that
exaltation of him which was the reward of his humiliation: it was
promised him that he should see his seed, and this chapter is an
explication of that promise. It may easily be granted that it has a
primary reference to the welfare and prosperity of the Jewish
church after their return out of Babylon, which (as other things
that happened to them) was typical of the glorious liberty of the
children of God, which through Christ we are brought into; yet it
cannot be denied but that it has a further and principal reference
to the gospel church, into which the Gentiles were to be admitted.
And the first words being understood by the apostle Paul of the
New-Testament Jerusalem (Gal. iv.
26) may serve as a key to the whole chapter and that
which follows. It is here promised concerning the Christian church,
I. That, though the beginnings of it were small, it should be
greatly enlarged by the accession of many to it among the Gentiles,
who had been wholly destitute of church privileges, ver. 1-5. II. That though sometimes
God might seem to withdraw from her, and suspend the tokens of his
favour, he would return in mercy and would not return to contend
with them any more, ver.
6-10. III. That, though for a while she was in sorrow
and under oppression, she should at length be advanced to greater
honour and splendour than ever, ver. 11, 12. IV. That knowledge,
righteousness, and peace, should flourish and prevail, ver. 13, 14. V. That all attempts
against the church should be baffled, and she should be secured
from the malice of her enemies, ver. 14-17.