Isaiah 26:2
Open you the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Open ye the gates . . .—The cry comes as from the heralds of the king of the heavenly city, proclaiming that the gates are open to those who are worthy to enter into it, i.e., to the righteous people who alone may dwell in the city of God (Psalm 15:1-2; Psalm 24:3-4; Psalm 118:19-20; Revelation 21:27.)

The truth.—Literally, truths; all the many forms of truthfulness in heart and life.

26:1-4 That day, seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and covenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. The gates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall receive from him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.Open ye the gates - This is probably the language of a chorus responding to the sentiment in Isaiah 26:1. The captive people are returning; and this cry is made that the gates of the city may be thrown open, and that they may be permitted to enter without obstruction (compare Psalm 24:7, Psalm 24:9; Psalm 118:19).

That the righteous nation which keepeth the truth - Who, during their long captivity and contact with pagan nations, have not apostatized from the true religion, but have adhered firmly to the worship of the true God. This was doubtless true of the great body of the captive Jews in Babylon.

2. Address of the returning people to the gates of Jerusalem (type of the heavenly city, Heb 12:22); (Ps 24:7, 9; 118:19). Antitypically (Re 22:14; 21:25, 27).

righteous nation—that had not apostatized during the captivity. Horsley translates, "The nation of the Just One," namely, the Jews.

Open ye the gates of the city, mentioned Isaiah 26:1.

The righteous nation; either,

1. Those godly Jews who are returning from Babylon; or,

2. The whole body of righteous and holy men, whether Jews or Gentiles. For he seems to speak here, as he apparently did in the foregoing chapter, of the times of the gospel.

Which keepeth the truth; which is sincere and stedfast in the profession and practice of the true religion. Open ye the gates,.... Not of Jerusalem, literally understood, nor of heaven; rather of the New Jerusalem, whose gates are described, Revelation 21:12 at least of the church in the latter day; the gates or door into which now should be, and then will be, open; Christ the door, and faith in him, and a profession of it, without which none ought to be admitted, and whoever climbs up another way is a thief and a robber, John 10:1 these words are the words of the prophet, or of God, or of Christ by him, directed not to the keepers of the gates of Jerusalem, or of the doors of the temple, though, they may be alluded to; nor to any supposed doorkeeper of heaven, angels, or men, there being none such; rather to the twelve angels, at the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:12 or to the ministers of the Gospel, who have the key of knowledge to open the door of faith, and let persons into the knowledge of divine things; to admit them to ordinances, and receive them into the church by the joint suffrage of the members of it. The phrase denotes a large increase of members, and a free, open, and public reception of them, who are after described; see Isaiah 60:11,

that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in; not all the world, for there is none righteous, not one of them naturally, or of themselves; nor the Jewish nation, for though they sought after righteousness, did not attain it, unless when they will be converted in the latter day, and then they, and all the Lord's people, will be righteous, and appear to be a holy nation, and a peculiar people, Isaiah 60:21 and being made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and sanctified by the Spirit, will be fit persons to be admitted through the gates into the city; see Psalm 118:19 and because there will be great numbers of such, especially when a nation shall be born at once, hence they are so called: and these will be a set of men that "will keep the truth"; not, as the Targum renders it,

"who keep the law with a perfect heart;''

for no man can do that; but rather the ordinances of the Gospel, as they were first delivered by Christ and his apostles, and especially the truths of it; and the word here used is in the plural number, and may be rendered "truths"; the several truths of the Gospel, which will be kept by the righteous, not in memory only, but in their hearts and affections, and in their purity, and with a pure conscience; and they will not part with them at any rate, but hold them fast, that no man take their crown, Revelation 3:11.

{c} Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

(c) He assures the godly to return after the captivity to Jerusalem.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Comp. Psalm 118:19-20; Revelation 22:14. “Truth” here means “troth,” fidelity (Deuteronomy 32:20).Verse 2. - Open ye the gates. The command is given by God to his angels within the city, or perhaps by some angels to others, to "open the gates," and let the saints march in and take possession (comp. Psalm 118:19, 20, which seems to represent the same occasion; and Psalm 24:7-10, which tells of another occasion on which the angelic warders were bidden to throw open the gates of the celestial city. The righteous nation which keepeth the truth; literally, a righteous nation. A people, made up of all kindreds and nations and tongues, which should henceforth be "the people of God" They are "righteous," as washed clean from all taint of sin in the blood of the Lamb. They "keep the truth," or "keep faithfulness," as under all circumstances clinging loyally to God. Although the feast is one earth, it is on an earth which has been transformed into heaven; for the party-wall between God and the world has fallen down: death is no more, and all tears are for ever wiped away. "And He casts away upon this mountain the veil that veiled over all peoples, and the covering that covered over all nations. He puts away death for ever; and the Lord Jehovah wipes the tear from every face; and He removes the shame of His people from the whole earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it." What Jehovah bestows is followed by what He puts away. The "veil" and "covering" (massēcâh, from nâsac equals mâsâc, Isaiah 22:8, from sâcac, to weave, twist, and twist over equals to cover) are not symbols of mourning and affliction, but of spiritual blindness, like the "veil" upon the heart of Israel mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3:15. The penē hallōt (cf., Job 41:5) is the upper side of the veil, the side turned towards you, by which Jehovah takes hold of the veil to lift it up. The second hallōt stands for הלּט (Ges. 71, Anm. 1), and is written in this form, according to Isaiah's peculiar style (vid., Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 7:11; Isaiah 8:6; Isaiah 22:13), merely for the sake of the sound, like the obscurer niphal forms in Isaiah 24:3. The only difference between the two nouns is this: in lōt the leading idea is that of the completeness of the covering, and in massēcâh that of its thickness. The removing of the veil, as well as of death, is called בּלּע, which we find applied to God in other passages, viz., Isaiah 19:3; Psalm 21:10; Psalm 55:10. Swallowing up is used elsewhere as equivalent to making a thing disappear, by taking it into one's self; but here, as in many other instances, the notion of receiving into one's self is dropped, and nothing remains but the idea of taking away, unless, indeed, abolishing of death may perhaps be regarded as taking it back into what hell shows to be the eternal principle of wrath out of which God called it forth. God will abolish death, so that there shall be no trace left of its former sway. Paul gives a free rendering of this passage in 1 Corinthians 15:54, κατεπόθη ὁ θάνατος εἰς νῖκος (after the Aramaean netzach, vincere). The Syriac combines both ideas, that of the Targum and that of Paul: absorpta est mors per victoriam in sempiternum. But the abolition of death is not in itself the perfection of blessedness. There are sufferings which force out a sigh, even after death has come as a deliverance. But all these sufferings, whose ultimate ground is sin, Jehovah sweeps away. There is something very significant in the use of the expression דּמעה (a tear), which the Apocalypse renders πᾶν δάκρυον (Revelation 21:4). Wherever there is a tear on any face whatever, Jehovah wipes it away; and if Jehovah wipes away, this must be done most thoroughly: He removes the cause with the outward symptom, the sin as well as the tear. It is self-evident that this applies to the church triumphant. The world has been judged, and what was salvable has been saved. There is therefore no more shame for the people of God. Over the whole earth there is no further place to be found for this; Jehovah has taken it away. The earth is therefore a holy dwelling-place for blessed men. The new Jerusalem is Jehovah's throne, but the whole earth is Jehovah's glorious kingdom. The prophet is here looking from just the same point of view as Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:28, and John in the last page of the Apocalypse.
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