Isaiah 1:27
Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Zion shall be redeemed with judgment . . .—Better, through justice. The condition of the redemption which primarily proceeds from the compassion of Jehovah is found in the renewed righteousness of man to man described in the preceding verse. Without that no redemption was possible, for that was of its very essence.

Her converts.—Literally, those that turn. The conversion implied is obviously not that of Gentiles to the faith of Israel, but of Israelites who had gone astray. The word is the same as that which meets us in the name of Shear-jashub (the remnant shall return), and is prominent in the teaching of Jeremiah, “Turn ye, and live” (Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 3:14; Isaiah 4:1, et al.).

Isaiah 1:27-28. Zion shall be redeemed — Shall be delivered from all their enemies and calamities; with judgment — By the exercise of God’s strict justice in destroying the obdurate; by purging out those wicked and incorrigible Jews, who, by their sins, hindered the deliverance of the people; and by punishing and destroying their unmerciful enemies who kept them in cruel bondage; and her converts — Hebrew, ושׁביה, her returners, those of them who shall come out of captivity into their own land; with righteousness — Or, by righteousness; either by God’s faithfulness, in keeping his promise of delivering them after seventy years, or by his goodness; for both these qualities come under the name of righteousness in the Scriptures. And, or rather, but, the destruction of the transgressors, &c., shall be together — Though I will deliver my people from the Babylonish captivity, yet those of them who shall still go on in their wickedness, shall not have the benefit of that mercy, but shall be reserved for a more dreadful and total destruction.1:21-31 Neither holy cities nor royal ones are faithful to their trust, if religion does not dwell in them. Dross may shine like silver, and the wine that is mixed with water may still have the colour of wine. Those have a great deal to answer for, who do not help the oppressed, but oppress them. Men may do much by outward restraints; but only God works effectually by the influences of his Spirit, as a Spirit of Judgment. Sin is the worst captivity, the worst slavery. The redemption of the spiritual Zion, by the righteousness and death of Christ, and by his powerful grace, most fully accord with what is here meant. Utter ruin is threatened. The Jews should become as a tree when blasted by heat; as a garden without water, which in those hot countries would soon be burned up. Thus shall they be that trust in idols, or in an arm of flesh. Even the strong man shall be as tow; not only soon broken, and pulled to pieces, but easily catching fire. When the sinner has made himself as tow and stubble, and God makes himself as a consuming fire, what can prevent the utter ruin of the sinner?Zion - See the note at Isaiah 1:8. The word Zion here is used to designate the whole Jewish people to whom the prophet had reference; that is, the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, Isaiah 1:1.

Shall be redeemed - The word used here - פדה pâdâh - is employed in two senses in the Scriptures. It implies always the idea of deliverance, as from captivity, danger, punishment, slavery, sin. But this idea occurs:

(1) sometimes without any reference to a price paid, but simply denoting to deliver, or to set at liberty; and

(2) in other instances the price is specified, and then the word occurs under the strict and proper sense of redeem; that is, to rescue, or deliver, by a ransom price.

Instances of the former general sense occur often; as e. q., to deliver from slavery without mere ion of a price; Deuteronomy 7:8 : 'The Loan loved you, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen.' See also Jeremiah 15:21; Jeremiah 31:11. The idea of delivering in any way from danger occurs often; Job 5:20 : 'In famine he shall redeem thee from death, and in war from the power of the sword;' 1 Kings 1:29 : 'As Jehovah liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress.' 1 Samuel 4:9. But the word often occurs in connection with the mention of the price, and in this sense the words rendered redeem are commonly used in the New Testament; see Exodus 13:13; Numbers 18:15-17; compare Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9; Ephesians 1:17. Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6. In these last places, the blood of Christ, or his atoning sacrifice, is mentioned as the price, or the valuable consideration, by which deliverance from sin is effected; compare the note at Isaiah 43:3. In the case now before us, however, the word is used in the general sense, to denote that God would rescue and save his people from the calamities and judgments to which they were to be subjected on account of their sins. Though they were to be taken captive for their sins, yet they should again be delivered and restored to their land. The Septuagint evidently so understands it: 'Her captivity shall be saved with judgment and with mercy.' The Chaldee Paraphrase renders it in a manner somewhat similar: 'But Zion, when judgment shall have been accomplished in her, shall be redeemed; and they who keep the law shall be returned to it in righteousness.'

With judgment - In a righteous, just manner. That is, God shall evince his justice in doing it; his justice to a people to whom so many promises had been made, and his justice in delivering them from long and grievous oppression. All this would be attended with the displays of judgment, in effecting their deliverance. This might be evinced

(1) in keeping his promises made to their fathers;

(2) in delivering an oppressed people from bondage; and

(3) in the displays of judgment on the nations necessary in accomplishing the deliverance of the Jews. This is the common interpretation.

It may be, however, that the expression does not refer to the character of God, which is not at all the subject of discourse, but to the character of the people that should be redeemed. Before, the nation was corrupt; after the captivity, they would be just. Zion should be redeemed; and the effect of that redemption would be, that the people would be reformed, and holy, and just. This does not refer, properly, to redemption by the Lord Jesus, though it is equally true that that will be accomplished with justice, that is, in entire consistency with the character of a just and holy God.

Her converts - This is an unhappy translation. The Hebrew here means simply, 'they that return of her' (margin); that is, those who return from captivity. It is implied that all would not return - which was true - but those who did return, would come back in righteousness.

With righteousness - This refers to the character of those who shall return. The prediction is, that the character of the nation would be reformed Isaiah 1:26; that it would be done by means of this very captivity; and that they who returned would come back with a different character from the nation at the time that Isaiah wrote. They would be a reformed, righteous people. The character of the nation was greatly improved after the captivity. Their propensity to idolatry, in a particular manner, was effectually restrained; and probably the character of the people after the captivity, for morals and religion, was not inferior to the best periods of their history before.

27. redeemed—temporarily, civilly, and morally; type of the spiritual redemption by the price of Jesus Christ's blood (1Pe 1:18, 19), the foundation of "judgment" and "righteousness," and so of pardon. The judgment and righteousness are God's first (Isa 42:21; Ro 3:26); so they become man's when "converted" (Ro 8:3, 4); typified in the display of God's "justice," then exhibited in delivering His covenant-people, whereby justice or "righteousness" was produced in them.

converts—so Maurer. But Margin, "they that return of her," namely the remnant that return from captivity. However, as Isaiah had not yet expressly foretold the Babylonian captivity, the English Version is better.

Zion, the Jews that live in or near Zion, and worship God in Zion,

shall be redeemed, shall be delivered from all their enemies and calamities,

with judgment; or, by judgment, i.e. by God’s righteous judgment, purging out those wicked and incorrigible Jews, who by their sins hindered the deliverance of the people, and punishing and destroying their unmerciful enemies, who kept them in cruel bondage, as he did to the Babylonians, whereby he made the way open for their deliverance.

Her converts, Heb. her returners, those of them who shall come out of captivity into their own land,

with righteousness; or, by righteousness, i.e. either by my faithfulness, in keeping my promise of delivering them after seventy years; or by my goodness; for both these come under the name of righteousness in Scripture use. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment,.... The blessing of redemption by Christ is the source and foundation of the other blessings of grace, before mentioned, the little remnant are favoured with, as justification, pardon of sin, and conversion, Isaiah 1:18, Isaiah 1:25 it is of a spiritual nature; the redemption of the soul is a deliverance from the captivity of sin, Satan, and the law, and is plenteous and eternal; the objects of redeeming grace are "Zion"

and her converts; not the world, but the church is redeemed by Christ; for by Zion is meant, not a place, but people, even the church and people of God, who frequently bear the name of Zion in this prophecy, and in other passages of Scripture, both of the Old and of the New Testament; see Isaiah 49:14 compared to Mount Zion for its height and holiness; for being the object of God's love, the instance of his choice, the place of his habitation; where his worship is, he grants his presence, and distributes his blessings; for its being a perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth, well fortified and immovable: and the redemption of the church by Christ is

with judgment; with the judgment and vengeance of God on Christ, and through the condemnation of him as her Head and representative; with the judgment of God, which is according to truth, in whose judgment she is truly redeemed by the blood of Christ, and really delivered from her bondage, according to his justice and holiness, which are glorified by it: but here the redemption of Zion seems to mean a more glorious state of the church, a restoration of her to her former glory, or to a greater, which will be in the latter day, and may be discerned as drawing near by the signs of the times fulfilling, Luke 21:28 whereby the truth and faithfulness of God, in his promises concerning it, will be honoured, and he will appear to be a God of judgment:

and her converts with righteousness; so called, not because converted by the church, for conversion is God's work, and not man's; no man can effect his own conversion, he is passive in it; nor can any others, not their nearest friends and relations; they can only pray for it, as Abraham did for Ishmael, and bring them under the means; nor are ministers sufficient, only instruments of conversion neither Zion's ministers nor members can convert one sinner: but they are so called, either because converted "in" her, through the ministry of the word as a means, preached in the midst of her, Psalm 87:5 or because converted "to" her, Isaiah 60:5 being made to submit to the ordinances of the church, and to join themselves to it. "Converts" are the objects of redemption by Christ; all that are redeemed are, sooner or later, converted; and all that are converted are redeemed; and the redemption of them by his blood is consistent "with" the "righteousness" of God; for hereby sin is fully condemned and punished; the justice of God has all its demands, and the law is completely fulfilled; and so the end of God is answered, which is to declare his righteousness by it. Moreover, in the latter day, when there, will be a redemption and deliverance or the church out of all her troubles and distresses, her converts will manifestly appear to be all righteous, being justified with the spotless righteousness of Christ, Isaiah 60:21.

Zion shall be redeemed with {m} judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

(m) By justice is meant God's faithful promise, which is the reason for the deliverance of his Church.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 27. - Redeemed with judgment; rather, delivered through judgment; i.e. God's judgment shall have the effect of "delivering" a remnant, who shall build up Zion once more, and dwell in it. Her converts; i.e. those of her children who turn to God, shall be delivered through God's righteousness, i.e. through the righteous vengeance which he executes upon the unfaithful nation. Some, however, understand both clauses to mean that the penitent remnant shall "deliver their own souls by their righteousness" (comp. Ezekiel 14:14, 20; Ezekiel 18:27, etc.). "How is she become a harlot, the faithful citadel! she, full of right, lodged in righteousness, and now-murderers." It is the keynote of an elegy (kinah) which is sounded here. איכה, and but rarely איך, which is an abbreviated form, is expressive of complaint and amazement. This longer form, like a long-drawn sigh, is a characteristic of the kinah. The kinoth (Lamentations) of Jeremiah commence with it, and receive their title from it; whereas the shorter form is indicative of scornful complaining, and is characteristic of the mâshōl (e.g., Isaiah 14:4, Isaiah 14:12; Micah 2:4). From this word, which gives the keynote, the rest all follows, soft, full, monotonous, long drawn out and slow, just in the style of an elegy. We may see clearly enough that forms like מלאתי for מלאת, softened by lengthening, were adapted to elegiac compositions, from the first v. of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, where three of these forms occur. Jerusalem had previously been a faithful city, i.e., one stedfastly adhering to the covenant of Jehovah with her (vid., Psalm 78:37).

(Note: We have translated the word kiryah "citadel" (Burg), instead of "city;" but Burg also became the name of the town which sprang up around the citadel, and the persons living in and around the Burg or citadel were called burgenses, "burghers." Jerusalem, which was also called Zion, might be called, with quite as much right, a citadel (Burg), as a city.)

This covenant was a marriage covenant. And she had broken it, and had thereby become a zonâh (harlot) - a prophetic view, the germs of which had already been given in the Pentateuch, where the worship of idols on the part of Israel is called whoring after them (Deuteronomy 31:16; Exodus 34:15-16; in all, seven times). It was not, however, merely gross outward idolatry which made the church of God a "harlot," but infidelity of heart, in whatever form it might express itself; so that Jesus described the people of His own time as an "adulterous generation," notwithstanding the pharisaical strictness with which the worship of Jehovah was then observed. For, as the v. before us indicates, this marriage relation was founded upon right and righteousness in the broadest sense: mishpat, "right," i.e., a realization of right answering to the will of God as positively declared; and tzedek, "righteousness," i.e., a righteous state moulded by that will, or a righteous course of conduct regulated according to it (somewhat different, therefore, from the more qualitative tzedâkâh). Jerusalem was once full of such right; and righteousness was not merely there in the form of a hastily passing guest, but had come down from above to take up her permanent abode in Jerusalem: she tarried there day and night as if it were her home. The prophet had in his mind the times of David and Solomon, and also more especially the time of Jehoshaphat (about one hundred and fifty years before Isaiah's appearance), who restored the administration of justice, which had fallen into neglect since the closing years of Solomon's reign and the time of Rehoboam and Abijah, to which Asa's reformation had not extended, and re-organized it entirely in the spirit of the law. It is possible also that Jehoiada, the high priest in the time of Joash, may have revived the institutions of Jehoshaphat, so far as they had fallen into disuse under his three godless successors; but even in the second half of the reign of Joash, the administration of justice fell into the same disgraceful state, at least as compared with the times of David, Solomon, and Jehoshaphat, as that in which Isaiah found it. The glaring contrast between the present and the past is indicated by the expression "and now." In all the correct MSS and editions, mishpat is not accented with zakeph, but with rebia; and bâh, which ought to have zakeph, is accented with tiphchah, on account of the brevity of the following clause. In this way the statement as to the past condition is sufficiently distinguished from that relating to the present.

(Note: It is well known that rebia has less force as a disjunctive than tiphchah, and that zakeph is stronger then either. With regard to the law, according to which bâh has rebia instead of zakeph, see Br, Thorath Emeth, p. 70. To the copies enumerated by Luzzatto, as having the correct accentuation (including Brescia 1494, and Venice, by J. B. Chayim, 1526), we may add Plantin (1582), Buxtorf (1618), Nissel (1662), and many others (cf., Dachselt's Biblia accentuata, which is not yet out of date).)

Formerly righteousness, now "murderers" (merazzechim), and indeed, as distinguished from rozechim, murderers by profession, who formed a band, like king Ahab and his son (2 Kings 6:32). The contrast was as glaring as possible, since murder is the direct opposite, the most crying violation, of righteousness.

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