Isaiah 51:11
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Therefore the redeemed.—Note worthy as being either a quotation by Isaiah from himself (Isaiah 35:10), or by the unknown writer of Isaiah from the earlier prophet. The assumption that it is an interpolation by a copyist rests on no adequate ground.

51:9-16 The people whom Christ has redeemed with his blood, as well as by his power, will obtain joyful deliverance from every enemy. He that designs such joy for us at last, will he not work such deliverance in the mean time, as our cases require? In this world of changes, it is a short step from joy to sorrow, but in that world, sorrow shall never come in view. They prayed for the display of God's power; he answers them with consolations of his grace. Did we dread to sin against God, we should not fear the frowns of men. Happy is the man that fears God always. And Christ's church shall enjoy security by the power and providence of the Almighty.Therefore the redeemed of the Lord - This is probably the language of Yahweh assuring them, in answer to their prayer, that his ransomed people should again return to Zion.

And everlasting joy shall be upon their head - This entire verse occurs also in Isaiah 35:10. See it explained in the note on that verse. The custom of singing alluded to here on a journey is now very common in the East. It is practiced to relieve the tediousness of a journey over extended plains, as well as to induce the camels in a caravan to move with greater rapidity. The idea here is, that the caravan that should return from Babylon to Jerusalem, across the extended plains, should make the journey amidst general exultation and joy - cheered on their way by songs, and relieving the tedium of their journey by notes of gladness and of praise.

11. (Isa 35:10).

Therefore—assurance of faith; or else the answer of Jehovah corresponding to their prayer. As surely as God redeemed Israel out of Egypt, He shall redeem them from Babylon, both the literal in the age following, and mystical in the last ages (Re 18:20, 21). There shall be a second exodus (Isa 11:11-16; 27:12, 13).

singing—image from the custom of singing on a journey when a caravan is passing along the extended plains in the East.

everlasting joy—(Jude 24).

sorrow … flee away—(Re 21:4).

Therefore; or, So; Heb. And. This verse contains an answer to the prophet’s prayer. It is true, I did these great things, and I will do the like again.

Everlasting joy shall be upon their head, like a crown of glory. But for the accomplishment of this magnificent promise we must needs look beyond their return from Babylon into their own land, when they met with many discouragements, and troubles, and calamities, and extend it unto the coming of Christ, by whom these great things were procured and actually conferred upon his people. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return,.... Or "and", or "so" (q). In like manner, and as sure as the Israelites had a way made for them through the sea to pass over, so sure shall all those that are redeemed by the blood of Christ from sin, Satan, the law, death, and hell, be gathered out of the nations of the world, and from the antichristian states, and shall be converted and turn to the Lord. Or these words are a continuation of the above prayer, as Jarchi, "let them return"; or rather are an answer to it, and a promise that they should:

and come with singing unto Zion; to the Gospel church, and join themselves to it, praising God for his grace in calling and converting them, adoring the riches of his distinguishing love, and singing the new song of redeeming grace; and hereafter they shall return from the grave, and come to Zion above, singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb:

and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; visible in the present state, more so hereafter, when there will be upon them an eternal weight of glory, a crown of life and righteousness:

they shall obtain joy and gladness; by having the presence of God, communion with him, views of interest in Christ, and the gracious influences of the blessed Spirit; all these they enjoy in the church now, but in full perfection hereafter:

and sorrow and mourning shall flee away: either for sin, having the discoveries and application of forgiving love; or on account of desertion, now enjoying the light of God's countenance; or by reason of persecution, which in the latter day glory will entirely cease. But all this will be most fully accomplished in the New Jerusalem church state, and ultimate glory, Revelation 21:4. See Gill on Isaiah 35:10.

(q) "et nunc", V. L. "ita", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. And Ben Melech observes, that "and", is in the room of "thus".

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall {l} return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

(l) From Babylon.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. For Therefore render as R.V. And. The verse is almost verbally identical with Isaiah 35:10, which is clearly its original setting. Here its connexion with what precedes is somewhat loose, and since ch. 35 is of more recent date than this prophecy, the verse must have been transferred by a copyist.But the great work of the future extends far beyond the restoration of Israel, which becomes the source of salvation to all the world. "Hearken unto me, my people, and give ear unto me, O my congregation! for instruction will go forth from me, and I make a place for my right, to be a light of the nations. My righteousness is near, my salvation is drawn out, and my arms will judge nations: the hoping of the islands looks to me, and for mine arm is their waiting." It is Israel which is here summoned to hearken to the promise introduced with kı̄. לאוּמּי is only used here of Israel, like גּוי in Zephaniah 2:9; and the lxx (καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς) have quite misunderstood it. An address to the heathen would be quite out of harmony with the character of the whole prophecy, which is carried out quite consistently throughout. עמי and לאומי, therefore, are not plurals, as the Syriac supposes, although it cannot be disputed that it is a rare thing to meet with the plural form apocopated thus, after the form of the talmudic Aramaean; and see also at Psalm 45:9). What Isaiah 42:1. describes as the calling of the servant of Jehovah, viz., to carry out justice among the nations, and to plant it on the earth, appears here as the act of Jehovah; but, as a comparison of מאתּי with מצּיּון (Isaiah 2:3) clearly shows, as the act of the God who is present in Israel, and works from Israel outwards. Out of Israel sprang the Saviour; out of Israel the apostleship; and when God shall have mercy upon Israel again, it will become to the whole world of nations "life from the dead." The thorâh referred to here is that of Sion, as distinguished from that of Sinai, the gospel of redemption, and mishpât the new order of life in which Israel and the nations are united. Jehovah makes for this a place of rest, a firm standing-place, from which its light to lighten the nations streams forth in all directions. הרגּיע as in Jeremiah 31:2; Jeremiah 50:34, from רגע, in the sense of the Arabic rj‛, to return, to procure return, entrance, and rest; a different word from רגע in Isaiah 51:15, which signifies the very opposite, viz., to disturb, literally to throw into trembling. צדק and ישע, which occur in Isaiah 51:5, are synonyms throughout these prophecies. The meaning of the former is determined by the character of the thorah, which gives "the knowledge of salvation" (Luke 1:77), and with that "the righteousness of God" (Romans 1:17; cf., Isaiah 53:11). This righteousness is now upon the point of being revealed; this salvation has started on the way towards the fullest realization. The great mass of the nations fall under the judgment which the arms of Jehovah inflict, as they cast down to the ground on the right hand and on the left. When it is stated of the islands, therefore, that they hope for Jehovah, and wait for His arm, the reference is evidently to the remnant of the heathen nations, which outlives the judgment, and not only desires salvation, and is susceptible of it, but which actually receives salvation (compare the view given in John 11:52, which agrees with that of Isaiah, and which, in fact, is the biblical view generally, e.g., Joel 3:5). To these the saving arm (the singular only was suitable here; cf., Psalm 16:11) now brings that salvation, towards which their longing was more or less consciously directed, and which satisfied their inmost need. Observe in Isaiah 51:5 the majestic and self-conscious movement of the rhythm, with the effective tone of yeyachēlûn.
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