Isaiah 52:2
Shake yourself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose yourself from the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Sit down . . .—As Jerusalem has risen from the dust, the “sitting” here implies a throne, and so stands in contrast with that of Babylon in Isaiah 47:1.

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.Shake thyself from the dust - To sit on the ground, to sit in the dust, is an expression descriptive of mourning Job 2:13. Jerusalem is here called on to arise and shake off the dust, as indicating that the days of her grief were ended, and that she was about to be restored to her former beauty and splendor.

Arise and sit down - There is an incongruity in this expression in our translation, which does not occur in the original. The idea in the Hebrew is not that which seems to be implied in this expression to arise and sit down in the same place, but it means to arise from the dust, and sit in a more elevated, or honorable place. She had been represented as sitting on the earth, where her loose flowing robes would be supposed to become covered with dust. She is here called on to arise from that humble condition, and to occupy the divan, or a chair of dignity and honor. Lowth renders this, 'Ascend thy lofty seat,' and supposes it means that she was to occupy a throne, or an elevated seat of honor, and he quotes oriental customs to justify this interpretation. Noyes renders it, 'Arise and sit erect.' The Chaldee renders it, 'Rise, sit upon the throne of thy glory.' The following quotation, from Jowett's Christian Researches, will explain the custom which is here alluded to: 'It is no uncommon thing to see an individual, or group of persons, even when very well dressed, sitting with their feet drawn under them, upon the bare earth, passing whole hours in idle conversation.

Europeans would require a chair, but the natives here prefer the ground. In the heat of summer and autumn, it is pleasant to them to while away their time in this manner, under the shade of a tree. Richly adorned females, as well as men, may often be seen thus amusing themselves. As may naturally be expected, with whatever care they may, at first sitting down, choose their place, yet the flowing dress by degrees gathers up the dust; as this occurs, they, from time to time, arise, adjust themselves, shake off the dust, and then sit down again. The captive daughter of Zion, therefore, brought down to the dust of suffering and oppression, is commanded to arise and shake herself from that dust, and then, with grace, and dignity, and composure, and security, to sit down; to take, as it were, again her seat and her rank, amid the company of the nations of the earth, which had before afflicted her, and trampled her to the earth.'

Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck - Jerusalem had been a captive, and confined as a prisoner. She is now called on to cast off these chains from her neck, and to be again at liberty. In captivity, chains or bands were attached to various parts of the body. They were usually affixed to the wrists or ankles, but it would seem also that sometimes collars were affixed to theneck. The idea is, that the Jews, who had been so long held captive, were about to be released, and restored to their own land.

2. from the dust—the seat of mourners (Job 2:12, 13).

arise, and sit—namely, in a more dignified place: on a divan or a throne [Lowth], after having shaken off the dust gathered up by the flowing dress when seated on the ground; or simply, "Arise, and sit erect" [Maurer].

bands of … neck—the yoke of thy captivity.

Shake thyself from the dust, in which thou hast lain as a prisoner, or sat as a mourner.

Sit down upon thy throne. Or, sit up, as this word is rendered, Genesis 27:19.

Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck; the yoke of thy captivity shall be taken off from thee. It is a metaphor from beasts that have the yoke fastened by bands to their necks. Shake thyself from the dust,.... Or "the dust from thee" (g), in which she had sat, or rolled herself as a mourner; or where she had been trampled upon by her persecutors and oppressors; but now being delivered from them, as well as from all carnal professors and false teachers, she is called upon to shake herself from the dust of debasement and distress, of false doctrine, superstition, and will worship, in every form and shape, a great deal of which adheres to those churches called reformed.

Arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem; or "sit up", as it may be rendered; arise from thy low estate, from the ground and dust where thou art cast;

"and sit upon the throne of thy glory,''

so the Targum: it denotes the exaltation of the church from a low to a high estate, signified by the ascension of the witnesses to heaven, Revelation 11:12. Some render it, "arise, O captivity"; or "captive" (h); so the word is used in Isaiah 49:24 and agrees with what follows:

loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion; or loose thou "the bands off thy neck from thee"; which seems to denote the people of God in mystical Babylon, a little before its destruction, who will be called out of it, as they afterwards are in this chapter; and to throw off the Romish yoke, and release themselves from that captivity and bondage they have been brought into by the man of sin, who now himself shall be led captive, Revelation 13:10.

(g) "exute pulverem a te", Sanctius, Gataker. (h) "surge captivas", Forerius; so Ben Melech interprets it.

Shake thyself from the {b} dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

(b) Put off the garments of sorrow and heaviness and put on the apparel of joy and gladness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 2. - Shake thyself from the dust (compare the opposite command given to Babylon, "Come down, sit in the dust" Isaiah 47:1). Zion was to arise, shake from her all trace of the dust in which she had been so long lying, and then calmly seat herself upon a seat of dignity. Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck. The Hebrew text has. "The bands of thy neck are unloosened;" i.e. I have caused thy chains to fall from thee - thou hast only to "rise," and thou wilt find thyself free. Captives in ancient times were often fastened together by a thong or chain passed round their necks (see Rawlinson, 'History of Ancient Egypt,' vol. 1 p. 473). Daughter of Zion. The prophet passes, by an easy transition, from the city to the nation, which continues to be the object of address in the remainder of the discourse. Just as we found above, that the exclamation "awake" (‛ūrı̄), which the church addresses to the arm of Jehovah, grew out of the preceding great promises; so here there grows out of the same another "awake" (hith‛ōrerı̄), which the prophet addresses to Jerusalem in the name of his God, and the reason for which is given in the form of new promises. "Wake thyself up, wake thyself up, stand up, O Jerusalem, thou that hast drunk out of the hand of Jehovah the goblet of His fury: the goblet cup of reeling hast thou drunk, sipped out. There was none who guided her of all the children that she had brought forth; and none who took her by the hand of all the children that she had brought up. There were two things that happened to thee; who should console thee? Devastation, and ruin, and famine, and the sword: how should I comfort thee? Thy children were benighted, lay at the corners of all the streets like a snared antelope: as those who were full of the fury of Jehovah, the rebuke of thy God. Therefore hearken to this, O wretched and drunken, but not with wine: Thus saith thy Lord, Jehovah, and thy God that defendeth His people, Behold, I take out of thine hand the goblet of reeling, the goblet cup of my fury: thou shalt not continue to drink it any more. And I put it into the hand of thy tormentors; who said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over; and thou madest thy back like the ground, and like a public way for those who go over it." In Isaiah 51:17, Jerusalem is regarded as a woman lying on the ground in the sleep of faintness and stupefaction. She has been obliged to drink, for her punishment, the goblet filled with the fury of the wrath of God, the goblet which throws those who drink it into unconscious reeling; and this goblet, which is called qubba‛ath kōs (κύπελλον ποτηιρίου, a genitive construction, though appositional in sense), for the purpose of giving greater prominence to its swelling sides, she has not only had to drink, but to drain quite clean (cf., Psalm 75:9, and more especially Ezekiel 23:32-34). Observe the plaintive falling of the tone in shâthı̄th mâtsı̄th. In this state of unconscious stupefaction was Jerusalem lying, without any help on the part of her children; there was not one who came to guide the stupefied one, or took her by the hand to lift her up. The consciousness of the punishment that their sins had deserved, and the greatness of the sufferings that the punishment had brought, pressed so heavily upon all the members of the congregation, that not one of them showed the requisite cheerfulness and strength to rise up on her behalf, so as to make her fate at any rate tolerable to her, and ward off the worst calamities. What elegiac music we have here in the deep cadences: mikkol-bânı̄m yâlâdâh, mikkol-bânı̄m giddēlâh! So terrible was her calamity, that no one ventured to break the silence of the terror, or give expression to their sympathy. Even the prophet, humanly speaking, is obliged to exclaim, "How (mı̄, literally as who, as in Amos 7:2, Amos 7:5) should I comfort thee!" He knew of no equal or greater calamity, to which he could point Jerusalem, according to the principle which experience confirms, solamen miseris socios habuisse malorum. This is the real explanation, according to Lamentations 2:13, though we must not therefore take mı̄ as an accusative equals bemı̄, as Hitzig does. The whole of the group is in the tone of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. There were two kinds of things (i.e., two kinds of evils: mishpâchōth, as in Jeremiah 15:3) that had happened to her (קרא equals קרה, with which it is used interchangeably even in the Pentateuch) - namely, the devastation and ruin of their city and their land, famine and the sword to her children, their inhabitants.

In Isaiah 51:20 this is depicted with special reference to the famine. Her children were veiled (‛ullaph, deliquium pati, lit., obvelari), and lay in a state of unconsciousness like corpses at the corner of every street, where this horrible spectacle presented itself on every hand. They lay ketho' mikhmâr (rendered strangely and with very bad taste in the lxx, viz., like a half-cooked turnip; but given correctly by Jerome, sicut oryx, as in the lxx at Deuteronomy 14:5, illaqueatus), i.e., like a netted antelope (see at Job 39:9), i.e., one that has been taken in a hunter's net and lies there exhausted, after having almost strangled itself by ineffectual attempts to release itself. The appositional וגו המלאים, which refers to בניך, gives as a quippe qui the reason for all this suffering. It is the punishment decreed by God, which has pierced their very heart, and got them completely in its power. This clause assigning the reason, shows that the expression "thy children" (bânayikh) is not to be taken here in the same manner as in Lamentations 2:11-12; Lamentations 4:3-4, viz., as referring to children in distinction from adults; the subject is a general one, as in Isaiah 5:25. With lâkhē̄n (therefore, Isaiah 51:21) the address turns from the picture of sufferings to the promise, in the view of which the cry was uttered, in Isaiah 51:17, to awake and arise. Therefore, viz., because she had endured the full measure of God's wrath, she is to hear what His mercy, that has now begun to move, purposes to do. The connecting form shekhurath stands here, according to Ges. 116, 1, notwithstanding the (epexegetical) Vav which comes between. We may see from Isaiah 29:9 how thoroughly this "drunk, but not with wine," is in Isaiah's own style (from this distinction between a higher and lower sphere of related facts, compare Isaiah 47:14; Isaiah 48:10). The intensive plural 'ădōnı̄m is only applied to human lords in other places in the book of Isaiah; but in this passage, in which Jerusalem is described as a woman, it is used once of Jehovah. Yârı̄bh ‛ammō is an attributive clause, signifying "who conducts the cause of His people," i.e., their advocate or defender. He takes the goblet of reeling and wrath, which Jerusalem has emptied, for ever out of her hand, and forces it newly filled upon her tormentors. There is no ground whatever for reading מוניך (from ינה, to throw down, related to יון, whence comes יון, a precipitate or sediment) in the place of מוגי (pret. hi. of יגה, (laborare, dolere), that favourite word of the Lamentations of Jeremiah (Lamentations 1:5, Lamentations 1:12; Lamentations 3:32, cf., Isaiah 1:4), the tone of which we recognise here throughout, as Lowth, Ewald, and Umbreit propose after the Targum ליך מונן דהוו. The words attributed to the enemies, shechı̄ vena‛ăbhorâh (from shâchâh, the kal of which only occurs here), are to be understood figuratively, as in Psalm 129:3. Jerusalem has been obliged to let her children be degraded into the defenceless objects of despotic tyranny and caprice, both at home in their own conquered country, and abroad in exile. But the relation is reversed now. Jerusalem is delivered, after having been punished, and the instruments of her punishment are given up to the punishment which their pride deserved.

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