Isaiah 52:10
The LORD has made bore his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) The Lord hath made bare . . .—The warrior preparing for action throws off his mantle, tucks up the sleeve of his tunic, and leaves his outstretched arm free.

52:1-12 The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. Let those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, find relief in Christ, shake themselves from the dust of their doubts and fears, and loose themselves from those bands. The price paid by the Redeemer for our salvation, was not silver or gold, or corruptible things, but his own precious blood. Considering the freeness of this salvation, and how hurtful to temporal comfort sins are, we shall more value the redemption which is in Christ. Do we seek victory over every sin, recollecting that the glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ? The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these tidings first. His ministers proclaim these good tidings: keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent. Zion's watchmen could scarcely discern any thing of God's favour through the dark cloud of their afflictions; but now the cloud is scattered, they shall plainly see the performance. Zion's waste places shall then rejoice; all the world will have the benefit. This is applied to our salvation by Christ. Babylon is no place for Israelites. And it is a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan, to use the liberty Christ has proclaimed. They were to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger; but they were not to go with distrustful haste. Those in the way of duty, are under God's special protection; and he that believes this, will not hasten for fear.The Lord hath made bare his holy arm - That is, in delivering his people from bondage. This metaphor is taken from warriors, who made bare the arm for battle; and the sense is, that God had come to the rescue of his people as a warrior, and that his interpositions would be seen and recognized and acknowledged by all the nations. The metaphor is derived from the manner in which the Orientals dressed. The following extract from Jowett's Christian Researches will explain the language: 'The loose sleeve of the Arab shirt, as well as that of the outer garment, leaves the arm so completely free, that in an instant the left hand passing up the right arm makes it bare; and this is done when a person, a soldier, for example, about to strike with the sword, intends to give the arm full play. The image represents Yahweh as suddenly prepared to inflict some tremendous, yet righteous judgment, so effectual "that all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God."' The phrase 'holy arm,' seems to mean that God would be engaged in a holy and just cause. It would not be an arm of conquest, or of oppression; but it would be made bare in a holy cause, and all its inflictions would be righteous.

And all the ends of the earth - For an explanation of the phrase 'the ends of the earth,' see the notes at Isaiah 40:28. The meaning here is, that the deliverance of his people referred to would be so remarkable as to be conspicuous to all the world. The most distant nations would see it, and would be constrained to recognize his hand. It was fulfilled in the rescue of the nation from the captivity at Babylon. The conquest of Babylon was an event that was so momentous in its consequences, as to be known to all the kingdoms of the earth; and the proclamation of Cyrus Ezra 1:1-2, and the consequent restoration of his people to their own land, were calculated to make the name of Yahweh known to all nations.

10. made bare … arm—metaphor from warriors who bare their arm for battle (Eze 4:7).

all … earth … see … salvation of … God—The deliverance wrought by God for Israel will cause all nations to acknowledge the Lord (Isa 66:18-20). The partial fulfilment (Lu 3:6) is a forerunner of the future complete fulfilment.

Hath made bare his holy arm; hath discovered and put forth his great power, which for a long time hath lain hid, and seemed to be idle.

All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God; all nations of the world shall with astonishment behold the wonderful work of God, first in bringing his people out of Babylon, and afterwards in their redemption by Christ. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations,.... Revealed his Gospel, which is a system of holy doctrines, and is the power of God unto salvation, openly, in the sight of all men, and given it a general spread all the world over; and with it has exerted his almighty power, in the marvellous conversion of multitudes of souls everywhere, in which his holiness, as well as his power, is displayed: or else Christ is here meant, who is the power of God; by whom he has made the world, and upholds it; by whom he has redeemed his people, and saved them; and by whom he keeps and preserves them; and by whom he will raise them from the dead at the last day; and who is holy in his nature, and in his works: this arm of his was made bare or revealed at his incarnation; is evidently seen in his word and ordinances; and will be more clearly revealed therein in the latter day, as he will be most fully manifested in person at the last day, even in the eyes of the whole world. The allusion is to military persons preparing for battle, especially in the eastern countries, where they wore loose and long garments, which they tucked up on their arms, that they might be more expeditious in it, and so in any other service. Scanderbeg used to fight the Turks with his arm bare, as the writer of his life observes.

And all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God; the salvation which Christ, God manifest in the flesh, has wrought out: the people of God, in the several parts of the world, shall see their need of this salvation; the suitableness of it to them; the necessity of going to Christ for it; their interest in it; and shall partake of the blessings of it: or Christ himself is meant, the Saviour of God's providing, sending, and giving; of whom multitudes, in the several parts of the world, shall have a spiritual sight, by faith, in the latter day; and all shall have a corporeal sight of him, when he comes in person, or appears a second time, without sin unto salvation.

The LORD hath made {i} bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

(i) As ready to smite his enemies and to deliver his people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Here (if not already in Isaiah 52:9) the prophet withdraws his gaze from the future, and describes Jehovah as preparing Himself for the conflict which leads to the joyous scene of Isaiah 52:7 f.

hath made bare his holy arm] throwing back the sleeveless upper garment from the right shoulder, in readiness for action: δεξιὸν ὦμον γυμνὸν ἔχων ἐν τῇ μάχῃ (Arrian, Alex. 5. 18, quoted by Dillmann). See the contrasted metaphor in Psalm 74:11. his holy arm means “His divine arm” (Psalm 98:1). The “arm” of Jehovah, as ch. Isaiah 51:9 (cf. also Isaiah 53:1).

shall see the salvation (i.e. the deliverance or “victory”) of our God] a different idea from that of Isaiah 45:22.Verse 10. - The nations... the ends of the earth. It may well add to the general joy that the work wrought for Israel is not "a thing done in a corner," but one on which the eyes of the" nations" have been turned. and to which the attention of" the ends of the earth" has been called (comp. Isaiah 41:5). The holy arm of Jehovah, made bare for battle, has been seen far and wide. The world has stood to gaze at the contest between Persia and Babylon. The reason for the address is now given in a well-sustained promise. "For thus saith Jehovah, Ye have been sold for nothing, and ye shall not be redeemed with silver. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, My people went down to Egypt in the beginning to dwell there as guests; and Asshur has oppressed it for nothing. And now, what have I to do here? saith Jehovah: for my people are taken away for nothing; their oppressors shriek, saith Jehovah, and my name is continually blasphemed all the day. Therefore my people shall learn my name; therefore, in that day, that I am He who saith, There am I." Ye have been sold (this is the meaning of Isaiah 52:3); but this selling is merely a giving over to a foreign power, without the slightest advantage accusing to Him who had no other object in view than to cause them to atone for their sins (Isaiah 50:1), and without any other people taking their place, and serving Him in their stead as an equivalent for the loss He sustained. And there would be no need of silver to purchase the favour of Him who had given them up, since a manifestation of divine power would be all that would be required (Isaiah 45:13). For whether Jehovah show Himself to Israel as the Righteous One or as the Gracious One, as a Judge or as a Redeemer, He always acts as the Absolute One, exalted above all earthly affairs, having no need to receive anything, but able to give everything. He receives no recompense, and gives none. Whether punishing or redeeming, He always guards His people's honour, proving Himself in the one case to be all-sufficient, and in the other almighty, but acting in both cases freely from Himself.

In the train of thought in Isaiah 52:4-6 the reason is given for the general statement in Isaiah 52:3. Israel went down to Egypt, the country of the Nile valley, with the innocent intention of sojourning, i.e., living as a guest (gūr) there in a foreign land; and yet (as we may supply from the next clause, according to the law of a self-completing parallelism) there it fell into the bondage of the Pharaohs, who, whilst they did not fear Jehovah, but rather despised Him, were merely the blind instruments of His will. Asshur then oppressed it bephes, i.e., not "at last" (ultimo tempore, as Hvernick renders it), but (as אפס is the synonym of אין in Isaiah 40:17; Isaiah 41:2) "for nothing," i.e., without having acquired any right to it, but rather serving in its unrighteousness simply as the blind instrument of the righteousness of Jehovah, who through the instrumentality of Asshur put an end first of all to the kingdom of Israel, and then to the kingdom of Judah. The two references to the Egyptian and Assyrian oppressions are expressed in as brief terms as possible. But with the words "now therefore" the prophecy passes on in a much more copious strain to the present oppression in Babylon. Jehovah inquires, Quid mihi hic (What have I to do here)? Hitzig supposes pōh (here) to refer to heaven, in the sense of, "What pressing occupation have I here, that all this can take place without my interfering?" But such a question as this would be far more appropriate to the Zeus of the Greek comedy than to the Jehovah of prophecy. Knobel, who takes pōh as referring to the captivity, in accordance with the context, gives a ridiculous turn to the question, viz., "What do I get here in Babylonia, from the fact that my people are carried off for nothing? Only loss." He observes himself that there is a certain wit in the question. But it would be silly rather than witty, if, after Jehovah had just stated that He had given up His people for nothing, the prophet represented Him as preparing to redeem it by asking, "What have I gained by it?" The question can have no other meaning, according to Isaiah 22:16, than "What have I to do here?" Jehovah is thought of as present with His people (cf., Genesis 46:4), and means to inquire whether He shall continue this penal condition of exile any longer (Targum, Rashi, Rosenmller, Ewald, Stier, etc.). The question implies an intention to redeem Israel, and the reason for this intention is introduced with kı̄. Israel is taken away (ablatus), viz., from its own native home, chinnâm, i.e., without the Chaldeans having any human claim upon them whatever. The words יהיליילוּ משׁליו (משׁלו) are not to be rendered, "its singers lament," as Reutschi and Rosenmller maintain, since the singers of Israel are called meshōrerı̄m; nor "its (Israel's) princes lament," as Vitringa and Hitzig supposed, since the people of the captivity, although they had still their national sârı̄m, had no other mōshelı̄m than the Chaldean oppressors (Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 14:5). It is the intolerable tyranny of the oppressors of His people, that Jehovah assigns in this sentence as the reason for His interposition, which cannot any longer be deferred. It is true that we do meet with hēlı̄l (of which we have the future here without any syncope of the first syllable) in other passages in the sense of ululare, as a cry of pain; but just as הריע, רנן, רזח signify a yelling utterance of either joy or pain, so heeliil may also be applied to the harsh shrieking of the capricious tyrants, like Lucan's laetis ululare triumphis, and the Syriac ailel, which is used to denote a war-cry and other noises as well. In connection with this proud and haughty bluster, there is also the practice of making Jehovah's name the butt of their incessant blasphemy: מנּאץ is a part. hithpoel with an assimilated ת and a pausal ā for ē, although it might also be a passive hithpoal (for the ō in the middle syllable, compare מגאל, Malachi 1:7; מבהל, Esther 8:14). In Isaiah 52:6 there follows the closing sentence of the whole train of thought: therefore His people are to get to learn His name, i.e., the self-manifestation of its God, who is so despised by the heathen; therefore lâkhēn repeated with emphasis, like כּעל in Isaiah 59:18, and possibly min in Psalm 45:9) in that day, the day of redemption, (supply "it shall get to learn") that "I am he who saith, Here am I," i.e., that He who has promised redemption is now present as the True and Omnipotent One to carry it into effect.

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