Isaiah 54:14
In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression; for you shall not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Thou shalt be far from oppression . . .—On the assumption of Isaiah’s authorship the words stand out in contrast with his own experience of the “oppression” of Ahaz, of the “fear” and “terror” caused by Sargon and Sennacherib.

54:11-17 Let the people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think they hear God speaking comfortably to them by these words, taking notice of their griefs and fears. The church is all glorious when full of the knowledge of God; for none teaches like him. It is a promise of the teaching and gifts of the Holy Spirit. All that are taught of God are taught to love one another. This seems to relate especially to the glorious times to succeed the tribulations of the church. Holiness, more than any thing, is the beauty of the church. God promises protection. There shall be no fears within; there shall be no fightings without. Military men value themselves on their splendid titles, but God calls them, Wasters made to destroy, for they make wasting and destruction their business. He created them, therefore he will serve his own designs by them. The day is coming when God will reckon with wicked men for their hard speeches, Jude 1:15. Security and final victory are the heritage of each faithful servant of the Lord. The righteousness by which they are justified, and the grace by which they are sanctified, are the gift of God, and the effect of his special love. Let us beseech him to sanctify our souls, and to employ us in his service.In righteousness shalt thou be established - This is language which is appropriately addressed to a city or commonwealth. The idea is, that it would not be built up by fraud, and rapine, and conquest, as many cities had been, but by the prevalence of justice.

Thou shalt be far from oppressions - That is, thou shalt be far from being oppressed by others. So the connection demands. The Hebrew would bear an active signification, so that it might be read, 'be thou far from oppression,' that is, be far from oppressing others. But the design of the prophet is rather to promise than to command; and the idea is, that they should have no occasion to fear the violence of others anymore.

For it shall not come near thee - This doubtless refers to the security, perpetuity, and prosperity of the church under the Messiah.

14. righteousness—the characteristic of the reign of Messiah (Isa 11:4, 5; Ps 72:2, 4; Re 19:11).

far from oppression, &c.—far from suffering oppression; "for thou shall have nothing to fear."

In righteousness; either,

1. As the means of thy establishment. This kingdom shall not be set up and settled by fraud or tyranny, as other kingdoms frequently are, but by justice. Or rather,

2. As the effect of the establishment. Thine affairs shall be managed with righteousness, which is the glory and felicity of any society, and not with oppression, as it follows. Justice shall be freely and impartially executed.

Thou shalt be far from oppression; either by thine own governors, or by foreign powers.

Thou shalt not fear; thou shalt neither have any just cause of fear, nor be given up to the torment of fear without cause. In righteousness shalt thou be established,.... In the righteousness of Christ, from whence flows the peace before spoken of, and which is the stability of the church of Christ, and the security of it and its members from condemnation. The doctrine of justification by Christ's righteousness is, as Luther calls it, "articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae", the article of the church, by which, as it is held fast or neglected, it stands or falls: or be established in exercising righteousness, doing justice and judgment, which, as it is the support and establishment of a kingdom and state, so of the church; for if purity of manners, holiness and righteousness, are neglected, a church soon comes to decay and ruin; but such will be the holiness of the professors of religion in the latter day, that every pot and vessel in it shall be holiness to the Lord, Zechariah 14:20,

thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shall not fear; so far from it, that thou shalt not be in the least afraid of it, neither from within nor from without; not from false teachers that oppress the mind with legal doctrine; nor from persecutors that oppress and injure in person and property: the church will be now free from the oppression and tyranny of Rome, or mystical Babylon, which will now fall, and from the persecution of the antichristian states, on whom the vials of God's wrath will be poured, and so the church will be no more in fear of them; the words may be rendered, "therefore thou shalt not fear" (b); there will be no cause for it, no occasion of it:

and from terror; it shall not come near thee; the terror of the antichristian beast and powers, which shall be no more, after their last effort next mentioned.

(b) "quare non timebis, vel ideo non metues", Vitringa; "quare ne timeas", Forerius.

In {m} righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

(m) In stability and sureness, so that it will stand forever.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. In righteousness shalt thou be established] (lit. shalt thou establish thyself) cf. Proverbs 24:3. “Righteousness” may describe the character of the citizens, but more probably it means that the position of the commonwealth is unassailable because based on right—on conformity to the divine order (see Isaiah 54:17).

thou shalt be far from oppression] lit. be thou far from oppression (R.V. marg.), i.e. let it be far from thy thoughts. Here it is obvious from the context that “oppression” is not wrong perpetrated within the city, but external oppression which might be inflicted by its enemies.

thou shalt not fear] i.e. hast no cause to fear.

terror] or destruction.Verse 14. - In righteousness shalt thou be established; rather, through righteousness. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 48:22); and conversely, where righteousness abounds, peace prevails, and the nation "is established." Thou shalt be far from oppression; rather, be thou far from anxiety (Delitzsch). Thou shalt not fear; rather, thou needest not fear. There is no danger - nothing to be afraid cf. "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isaiah 11:9). So long as thou art "established through righteousness," there shall no harm happen unto thee. Thus does Jehovah's displeasure towards Jerusalem pass quickly away; and all the more intense is the manifestation of love which follows His merely momentary anger. "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, and with great mercy will I gather thee. In an effusion of anger I hid my face from thee for a moment, and with everlasting grace I have compassion upon thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeemer." "For a small moment" carries us to the time of the captivity, which was a small moment in comparison with the duration of the tender and merciful love, with which Jehovah once more received the church into His fellowship in the person of its members. רגע in Isaiah 54:8 is not an adverb, meaning momentarily, as in Isaiah 47:9, but an accusative of duration, signifying a single moment long. Ketseph signifies wrath regarded as an outburst (fragor), like the violence of a storm or a clap of thunder; shetseph, which rhymes with it, is explained by A. Schultens, after the Arabic, as signifying durum et asperum esse: and hence the rendering adopted by Hitzig, "in hard harshness." But this yields no antithesis to "everlasting kindness," which requires that shetseph should be rendered in some way that expresses the idea of something transitory or of short duration. The earlier translators felt this, when like the lxx for example, they adopted the rendering ἐν θυμῷ μικρῷ, and others of a similar kind; and Ibn Labrt, in his writing against Menahem b. Zerk, who gives chŏrı̄, burning heat, as a gloss to shetseph, explains it by מעט (as Kimchi and others did afterwards). But, as Jakob Tam correctly observes, "this makes the sense purely tautological." In all probability, shâtsaph is a form allied to shâtaph, as nâshabh (Isaiah 40:7) is to nâshaph (Isaiah 40:24), and qâmat (Job 16:8) to qâmats, which stand in the same relation to one another, so far as the sense is concerned, as bubbling over to flowing over: so that the proper rendering would not be "in the overflowing of glowing heat," as Umbreit thinks, which would require קצף בּשׁטף (Proverbs 27:4), but in the gushing up of displeasure, the overflowing of indignation (Meier). The ketseph is only a shetseph, a vanishing moment (Jer. in momento indignationis), when compared with the true feeling of Jehovah towards Jerusalem, which is chesed ‛ōlâm, everlasting kindness.
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