Isaiah 40:5
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) The glory of the Lord shall be revealed.—Did the prophet think of a vision of a glory-cloud, like the Shechinah which he had seen in the Temple? or had he risen to the thought of the glory of character and will, of holiness and love? (John 1:14.)

All flesh.—The revelation is not for Israel only, but for mankind. So in Luke 3:6, the words are quoted from the LXX., “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The phrase meets us here for the first time, and occurs again in Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 66:16; Isaiah 66:23-24, marking, so to speak, the growing catholicity of the prophet’s thoughts. (See Note on Isaiah 38:11.)

Isaiah 40:5. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed — It was revealed in some sort when God brought his people out of Babylon: for that was a glorious work of God, in which he displayed his power, and love, and faithfulness in fulfilling his promises. But his glory was much more eminently revealed when Christ, the Lord of glory, was manifested in the flesh, and gave much clearer and fuller discoveries of God’s glorious wisdom, holiness, goodness, and other divine perfections, than ever before had been imparted to mankind, or to his church. And all flesh shall see it together — All nations, Jews as well as Gentiles. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it — Though it may seem incredible, yet God is able to accomplish it.40:1-11 All human life is a warfare; the Christian life is the most so; but the struggle will not last always. Troubles are removed in love, when sin is pardoned. In the great atonement of the death of Christ, the mercy of God is exercised to the glory of his justice. In Christ, and his sufferings, true penitents receive of the Lord's hand double for all their sins; for the satisfaction Christ made by his death was of infinite value. The prophet had some reference to the return of the Jews from Babylon. But this is a small event, compared with that pointed out by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, when John the Baptist proclaimed the approach of Christ. When eastern princes marched through desert countries, ways were prepared for them, and hinderances removed. And may the Lord prepare our hearts by the teaching of his word and the convictions of his Spirit, that high and proud thoughts may be brought down, good desires planted, crooked and rugged tempers made straight and softened, and every hinderance removed, that we may be ready for his will on earth, and prepared for his heavenly kingdom. What are all that belongs to fallen man, or all that he does, but as the grass and the flower thereof! And what will all the titles and possessions of a dying sinner avail, when they leave him under condemnation! The word of the Lord can do that for us, which all flesh cannot. The glad tidings of the coming of Christ were to be sent forth to the ends of the earth. Satan is the strong man armed; but our Lord Jesus is stronger; and he shall proceed, and do all that he purposes. Christ is the good Shepherd; he shows tender care for young converts, weak believers, and those of a sorrowful spirit. By his word he requires no more service, and by his providence he inflicts no more trouble, than he will strengthen them for. May we know our Shepherd's voice, and follow him, proving ourselves his sheep.And the glory of the Lord - The phrase here means evidently the majesty, power, or honor of Yahweh. He would display his power, and show himself to be a covenant-keeping God, by delivering his people from their bondage, and reconducting them to their own land. This glory and faithfulness would be shown in his delivering them from their captivity in Babylon; and it would be still more illustriously shown in his sending the Messiah to accomplish the deliverance of his people in later days.

And all flesh - All human beings. The word 'flesh' is often used to denote human nature, or mankind in general Genesis 6:12; Psalm 65:3; Psalm 145:21. The idea is, that the deliverance of his people would be such a display of the divine interposition, so that all nations would discern the evidences of his power and glory. But there is a fullness and a richness in the language which allows that it is not to be confined to that event. It is more strikingly applicable to the advent of the Messiah - and to the fact that through him the glory of Yahweh would be manifest to all nations. Rosenmuller supposes that this should be translated,

And all flesh shall see together

That the mouth of Yahweh hath spoken it.

The Hebrew will bear this construction, but there is no necessity for departing from the translation in the common version. The Septuagint adds here the words 'salvation of God' so as to read it, 'and all flesh shall see the salvation of God,' and this reading has been adopted in Luke 3:6; or it may be more probable that Luke Luk 3:4-6 has quoted from different parts of Isaiah, and that he intended to quote that part, not from the version of the Septuagint, but from Isaiah 52:10. Lowth, on the authority of the Septuagint, proposes to restore these words to the Hebrew text. But the authority is insufficient. The Vulgate, the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the Hebrew manuscripts concur in the reading of the present Hebrew text, and the authority of the Septuagint is altogether insufficient to justify a change.

For the mouth of the Lord - The strongest possible confirmation that it would be fulfilled (see the note at Isaiah 34:16). The idea is, that God had certainly promised their deliverance from bondage; and that his interposition, in a manner which should attract the attention of all nations, was certainly purposed by him. Few events have ever more impressively manifested the glory of God than the redemption of his people from Babylon; none has occurred, or will ever occur, that will more impressively demonstrate his glory, wisdom, and faithfulness, than the redemption of the world by the Messiah.

5. see it—The Septuagint for "it," has "the salvation of God." So Lu 3:6 (compare Lu 2:30, that is, Messiah); but the Evangelist probably took these words from Isa 52:10.

for—rather, "All flesh shall see that the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it" [Bengel].

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed: so it was in some sort, when God brought them out of Babylon, which was a glorious work of God; but far more properly and eminently when Christ, who was the glorious God, was manifested in the flesh, and gave much clearer and fuller discoveries of God’s glorious wisdom, and holiness, and goodness, and other Divine perfections, than ever yet had been imparted to mankind and to the church.

All flesh; all nations, both Jews and Gentiles.

For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it; though this may seem incredible, yet God is able to accomplish it. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed..... Christ himself, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, and his own glory, as the glory of the of the only begotten of the Father; the glorious perfections of his nature, seen in the miracles wrought, and in the doctrines taught by him; the glory of the divine Father, in the face or person of Christ; and the glory of his attributes, in the work of salvation by him; all which is most clearly discerned in the glass of the Gospel, or in the ministry of the word, by John, Christ himself, and his apostles:

and all flesh shall see it together; not the Jews only, but Gentiles also; not with their bodily eyes, but with the eyes of their understanding; even the salvation of the Lord, and his glory, as displayed in it, being set forth in the everlasting Gospel to the view of all; see Luke 3:7,

for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it: that his glory should be revealed, and be visible to all, and therefore sure and certain; for what he has said he does, and what he has spoken he makes good. The Targum is,

"for by the word of the Lord it is so decreed;''

and therefore shall be fulfilled.

And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all {h} flesh together shall see it: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

(h) This miracle will be so great, that it will be known through all the world.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. In place of it together LXX. has “the salvation of God,” borrowing apparently from ch. Isaiah 52:10. See Luke 3:6.

for the mouth … it] This prophetic formula is nowhere else used by second Isaiah. The whole verse is deleted as a gloss by Duhm and Cheyne, but on grounds which seem insufficient.Verse 5. - And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed. Then, when the preparation is complete, there shall be a revelation of the glory and might of Jehovah. The nature of the revelation is for the present shrouded in darkness; but it is a revelation which is not confined to Israel. All flesh shall see it together. It shall draw to it the attention of the human race at large. While the restoration of Israel to Palestine is the primary fulfilment of the prophecy, that restoration clearly does not exhaust its meaning, which points on to the restoration of all mankind to God's favour in Christ by the ἐπιφάνεια of his advent in the flesh, which has drown, or will draw, the eyes of "all flesh." For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. A repetition of the emphatic clause wherewith Isaiah had terminated the third section of his first prophecy (Isaiah 1:20). It occurs again in Isaiah 58:14. No other writer uses the expression. The consequences of this coqueting with the children of the stranger, and this vain display, are pointed out in Isaiah 39:3-8 : "Then came Isaiah the prophet to king Hizkiyahu, and said to him, What have these men said, and whence come they to thee? Hizkiyahu said, They came to me from a far country (K. omits to me), out of Babel. He said further, What have they seen in thy house? Hizkiyahu said, All that is in my house have they seen: there was nothing in my treasures that I had not shown them. Then Isaiah said to Hizkiyahu, Hear the word of Jehovah of hosts (K. omits tsebhâ'ōth); Behold, days come, that all that is in thy house, and all that thy fathers have laid up unto this day, will be carried away to Babel (בּבל, K. בּבלה): nothing will be left behind, saith Jehovah. And of thy children that proceed from thee, whom thou shalt beget, will they take (K. chethib, 'will he take'); and they will be courtiers in the palace of the king of Babel. Then said Hizkiyahu to Isaiah, Good is the word of Jehovah which thou hast spoken. And he said further, Yea (כּי, K. אם הלוא), there shall be peace and stedfastness in my days." Hezekiah's two candid answers in vv. 3 and 4 are an involuntary condemnation of his own conduct, which was sinful in two respects. This self-satisfied display of worthless earthly possessions would bring its own punishment in their loss; and this obsequious suing for admiration and favour on the part of strangers, would be followed by plundering and enslaving on the part of those very same strangers whose envy he had excited. The prophet here foretells the Babylonian captivity; but, in accordance with the occasion here given, not as the destiny of the whole nation, but as that of the house of David. Even political sharp-sightedness might have foreseen, that some such disastrous consequences would follow Hezekiah's imprudent course; but this absolute certainty, that Babylon, which was then struggling hard for independence, would really be the heiress to the Assyrian government of the world, and that it was not from Assyria, which was actually threatening Judah with destruction for its rebellion, but from Babylon, that this destruction would really come, was impossible without the spirit of prophecy. We may infer from Isaiah 39:7 (cf., Isaiah 38:19, and for the fulfilment, Daniel 1:3) that Hezekiah had no son as yet, at least none with a claim to the throne; and this is confirmed by 2 Kings 21:1. So far as the concluding words are concerned, we should quite misunderstand them, if we saw nothing in them but common egotism. כּי (for) is explanatory here, and therefore confirmatory. אם הלוא, however, does not mean "yea, if only," as Ewald supposes (324, b), but is also explanatory, though in an interrogative form, "Is it not good (i.e., still gracious and kind), if," etc.? He submits with humility to the word of Jehovah, in penitential acknowledgement of his vain, shortsighted, untheocratic conduct, and feels that he is mercifully spared by God, inasmuch as the divine blessings of peace and stability (אמת a self-attesting state of things, without any of those changes which disappoint our confident expectations) would continue. "Although he desired the prosperity of future ages, it would not have been right for him to think it nothing that God had given him a token of His clemency, by delaying His judgment" (Calvin).

Over the kingdom of Judah there was now hanging the very same fate of captivity and exile, which had put an end to the kingdom of Israel eight years before. When the author of the book of Kings prefaces the four accounts of Isaiah in 2 Kings 18:13-20, with the recapitulation in 2 Kings 18:9-12 (cf., Isaiah 17:5-6), his evident meaning is, that the end of the kingdom of Israel, and the beginning of the end of the kingdom of Judah, had their meeting-point in Hezekiah's time. As Israel fell under the power of the Assyrian empire, which foundered upon Judah, though only through a miraculous manifestation of the grace of God (see Hosea 1:7); so did Judah fall a victim to the Babylonian empire. The four accounts are so arranged, that the first two, together with the epilogue in Isaiah 37:36., which contains the account of the fulfilment, bring the Assyrian period of judgment to a close; and the last two, with the eventful sketch in Isaiah 39:6-7, open the way for the great bulk of the prophecies which now follow in chapters 40-66, relating to the Babylonian period of judgment. This Janus-headed arrangement of the contents of chapters 36-39 is a proof that this historical section formed an original part of the "vision of Isaiah." At any rate, it leads to the conclusion that, whoever arranged the four accounts in their present order, had chapters 40-66 before him at the time. We believe, however, that we may, or rather, considering the prophetico-historical style of chapters 36-39, that we must, draw the still further conclusion, that Isaiah himself, when he revised the collection of his prophecies at the end of Hezekiah's reign, or possibly not till the beginning of Manasseh's, bridged over the division between the two halves of the collection by the historical trilogy in the seventh book.

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