Isaiah 60:21
Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) Thy people also shall be all righteous . . .—The city is to realise the as yet unfulfilled ideal of Psalms 15 and Psalm 21:5 Evil will be blotted out, and, therefore, there will be no forfeiture of the inheritance. In the “branch” we have the words which had been prominent in Isaiah 11:1, and which is now extended from the ideal representative of the nation to the whole body of the people.

Isaiah 60:21-22. Thy people shall be all righteous — Through righteousness imputed to them, Romans 4:3-8; Romans 4:23-24; implanted in them, Ephesians 4:22-24; and practised by them, 1 John 3:7; in other words, through the justification of their persons, the renovation of their nature, and their practical obedience to God’s law. “It was proper,” says Vitringa, “that the prophetic discourse, big with such excellent promises, should set forth the quality of the citizens of this blessed city; for so many and excellent privileges cannot belong to any but to such as are fitted for these times by divine grace. The prophet therefore teaches that the inhabitants of this city should be all righteous; where there can be no doubt that the righteousness of faith is meant; of living faith, purifying the soul, sanctifying the affections, abounding in charity, and never separated from true holiness: so that they who are called righteous here are the same who are elsewhere called holy.” See the following parallel passages, Isaiah 4:3; Isaiah 33:24; Isaiah 35:8; Isaiah 52:1; Zechariah 14:20-21. They shall inherit the land for ever — They shall for ever be continued as God’s peculiar people; the branch of my planting — Born again of my Spirit, created in the Messiah, unto good works, Ephesians 2:10; broken off from the wild olive, and grafted into the good olive; transplanted out of the field into the nursery; that, being now planted in God’s garden on earth, they might shortly be removed into his paradise in heaven; that I may be glorified — By the good fruit which they bear. A little one shall become a thousand — Rather, this should be rendered, A little number shall become a thousand. Though their beginning be very small and contemptible, and the members of the church very few, yet shall they greatly multiply, and increase into many hundreds of thousands and millions. Thus Daniel describes the kingdom of Christ as a stone, which, in process of time, becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth, which will be verified at the proper season, as it follows. I the Lord will hasten it in his time — Namely, in due time, the time that I have appointed; as if he had said, Let not this be doubted, because I have undertaken it, to whom nothing is difficult. Indeed this has been already accomplished in a considerable degree by the great progress the gospel has made. Never were means more unlikely employed to effect any purpose, never was there a stronger opposition; yet the gospel prevailed, and multitudes of both sexes, in different countries, became obedient to the faith, and looked upon it as their greatest glory. Vitringa, who closes his comment on this chapter with some excellent remarks, tending to show that it particularly refers to some future glorious state of the church, which will take place after the conversion of the Jews, and the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles, concludes with the following important observation: “However, all our care and endeavour should be to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of so high a hope; and we should so form our lives and manners as rather to regard things present than future; neglecting no duty of a true citizen of the spiritual Jerusalem, whereof we now profess ourselves members; that the expectation of the future may not deprive us of those blessings and privileges which God offers at present to all those who seriously and sincerely seek them; in the mean time humbly and earnestly interceding with him that his kingdom may come.” 60:15-22 We must look for the full accomplishment in times and things, exceeding those of the Old Testament church. The nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of the church. Such a salvation, such a redemption, shall be wrought out for thee, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord. Every thing shall be changed for the better. In thy land shall no more be heard threats of those that do violence, nor complaints of those that suffer violence. Thy walls shall be means of safety, thy gates shall be written upon with praises to God. In the close of this chapter are images and expressions used in the description of the New Jerusalem, Re 21:23; 22:5. Nothing can answer to this but some future glorious state of the church on earth, or the state of the church triumphant in heaven. Those that make God their only light, shall have him their all-sufficient light. And the happiness shall know no change or alloy. No people on earth are all righteous; but there are no mixtures in heaven. They shall be wholly righteous. The spirits of just men shall there be made perfect. The glory of the church shall be to the honour of God. When it shall be finished, it will appear a work of wonder. It may seem too difficult to be brought about, but the God of almighty power has undertaken it. It may seem to be delayed and put off; but the Lord will hasten it in the time appointed by his wisdom, though not in the time prescribed by our folly. Let this hope cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.Thy people also shall be all righteous - (See the notes at Isaiah 4:2).

They shall inherit the land for ever - (See the notes at Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 54:3; compare Isaiah 65:9; Matthew 5:5).

The branch of my planting - On the meaning of the word branch, see the notes at Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 14:19. Here it means a scion or shoot which Yahweh had planted, and which had sprung up under his culture. Grotius supposes it means posterity. The idea seems to be, that they would inherit the land and all which would grow up under the culture of the hand of Yahweh.

The work of my hands - The language here is taken from the cultivation of the land of Canaan; but the sense is, that the church would inherit all that God had done for its welfare. Applied to the work of redemption, it means that the result of all the labors, self-denials, and sacrifices of the Redeemer, become the inheritance of the church. The comforts, joys, hopes, consolations of his people are the fruit of his self-denial, 'the work of his hands,' and they are permitted to enjoy it all - as if God should cultivate a fruitful field and give the avails entirely to them.

That I may be glorified - (See Isaiah 49:3; Isaiah 61:3; the notes at Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 43:7). God would be glorified in having made so ample provision for their welfare, and in their being made happy by him. He is always glorified when others enjoy the fruits of his benevolence, and when they are made pure and happy as the result of his purposes and plans.

21. all righteous—(Isa 4:3; 52:1; Re 21:27).

inherit … land—(Isa 49:8; 54:3; 65:9; Ps 37:11, 22; Mt 5:5).

branch of my planting—(Isa 61:3; Ps 92:13; Mt 15:13).

work of my hands—the converted Israelites (Isa 29:23; 45:11).

that I may be glorified—the final end of all God's gracious dealings (Isa 49:3; 61:3).

Thy people also shall be all righteous, i.e. the greater part; the word in this use hath been shown frequently; or, altogether righteous, completely righteous. As this respects the Jews, the sense may be, they went into captivity wicked, but most of them being dead, and many of the survivors tarrying behind, they that are returned are said to be righteous, Isaiah 1:25-27 4:4: but principally as it respects the church, they shall be all saints, either by profession, as Paul calls them frequently saints by calling; or rather by an inherent righteousness, or perfectly by the imputed righteousness of Christ: See Poole "Isaiah 35:8".

They shall inherit the land for ever, i.e. for a long time, as you have many instances; and this is spoken, lest that poor remnant should be afraid of being driven out again; but with reference to the church, that they should for ever be continued as God’s peculiar people.

The branch of my planting; put by apposition, viz. Thy people being of my planting, and so also the next clause, the

work of my hands, and therefore cannot miscarry, being what I shall take delight in; and thus the children of God are said to be his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:10.

That I may be glorified; either that I may make them glorious in being thus planted, or myself glorious in thus planting them. Thy people also shall be all righteous,.... That is, the church's people, or the members of the church; otherwise the Lord's people, who are truly so, always were, and ever will be, all righteous; but so have not always been the members of the churches; when Israel was the church of God, they were not all righteous; there was only a remnant among them, according to the election of grace, that were so; nor in the first Christian churches were they all such, there was a Judas among Christ's disciples; Ananias and Sapphira in the church at Jerusalem; and many in the church of Corinth, very disorderly and irregular; and so in all others; and in all ages since there are foolish virgins among the wise, tares among the wheat, and chaff among the corn on the floor; yea, even in the spiritual reign of Christ they will not be all truly gracious; some that will have only a form of godliness, and who, at the close of it, will be the greater number, and will form the lukewarm Laodicean state; but in the personal reign of Christ all the members of the church will be righteous, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them: it will be a congregation of righteous persons, and not one sinner shall stand in it; yea, they shall be inherently righteous, perfectly holy, and free from sin; none shall enter into this state that defiles; every pot and vessel in Jerusalem shall be holiness to the Lord, Psalm 1:5. The Jews (o) have a saying, that the son of David comes not but in an age in which men will be all righteous, or all wicked; in an age in which they will be all righteous, according to Isaiah 60:21, but this designs not his first, but his second coming:

they shall inherit the land for ever; not the land of Canaan only; though perhaps that may be the spot on which Christ will descend, and where he will reside; where he was treated with contempt and crucified, here he will reign, and reign gloriously; and the rather, since, when he comes with all his saints, his feet will stand upon the mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4 but the new earth is meant, which John saw, and Peter says the saints expect, according to promise, in which righteousness men perfectly righteous shall dwell, and none but they, Revelation 21:1 as also it may include a better country, the land afar off, the heavenly glory, which will be the inheritance of the saints to all eternity:

the branch of my planting; in Christ by election grace; in the likeness of his death and resurrection by redemption grace; and as branches in him, the Vine, by effectual calling grace; and in his church, through the ministry of the word; all which will appear true and real; and that they are plants of the Lord's planting, by their being in this church state, even in the paradise of God, near to the tree of life, the fruit of which they will always partake of:

the work of my hands; the workmanship of God, curiously wrought by him; the effect of his mighty power; wholly his own work and not another's; and entirely owing to his great love, abundant mercy, and rich grace; as will be evident in this state; this being the day of the Lord unto which it is performed, and become perfect; and there will be no more doubts of that matter:

that I may be glorified; as he will be then in all them that believe; and by these characters which they bear, and are to be ascribed to his power, grace, and righteousness; Christ, and he alone, will be exalted; he will reign before his ancients gloriously, until he delivers up the kingdom; and then God, Father, Son, and Spirit, will be all in all.

(o) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1.

Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the {u} branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

(u) The children of the Church.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21, 22. The community, composed exclusively of righteous persons, shall possess the land for ever; and Jehovah shall be glorified in them.

inherit] Better: possess.

the branch of my planting] i.e. “which I have planted.” Cf. ch. Isaiah 61:3. The word for branch denotes strictly a “shoot”; so also in ch. Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 14:19. For the figure cf. ch. Isaiah 5:7.Verse 21. - Thy people also shall be all righteous. Here the prophet touches the root of the matter. Pain and sorrow are the fruit of sin. Once let sin disappear, and sorrow goes with it. It is the foundation of all the glory and all the happiness of the redeemed in their Lord's final kingdom, that they are cleansed from all defilement of sin, and "are as the angels" (Mark 12:25). They shall inherit the land; rather, the earth - the "new heavens and new earth" of Isaiah:17; 66:22. The branch of my planting; rather, a sprout of my planting; i.e. a sprout which I have planted. The fourth turn (Isaiah 60:15-18) describes the glorification of Zion through the growth and stability of its community both without and within. A glorious change takes place in the church, not only in itself, but also in the judgment of the nations. "Whereas thou wast forsaken, and hated, and no one walked through thee, I make thee now into eternal splendour, a rapture from generation to generation. And thou suckest the milk of nations, and the breast of kings thou wilt suck, and learn that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." Of the two ideas of a church (the mother of Israel) and a city (Metropolis) involved in the term Zion, the former prevails in Isaiah 60:15, the latter in Isaiah 60:16. For although עזוּבה and שׂנוּאה are equally applicable to a city and a church (Isaiah 54:6, Isaiah 54:11), the expression "no one walked through thee" applies only to the desolate city as she lay in ruins (see Isaiah 34:10). The fusion of the two ideas in Isaiah 60:15 is similar to Isaiah 49:21. Jerusalem will now become thoroughly a splendour, and in fact an eternal splendour, a rapture of successive generations so long as the history of this world continues. The nations and their kings give up their own vital energy to the church, just as a mother or nurse gives the milk of her breasts to a child; and the church has thereby rich food for a prosperous growth, and a constant supply of fresh material for grateful joy. We cannot for a moment think of enriching by means of conquest, as Hitzig does; the sucking is that of a child, not of a vampyre. We should expect melâkhōth (Isaiah 49:23) instead of melâkhı̄m (kings); but by שׁד (as in Isaiah 56:11 for שׁדי) the natural character of what is promised is intentionally spiritualized. The figure proves itself to be only a figure, and requires an ideal interpretation. The church sees in all this the gracious superintendence of her God; she learns from experience that Jehovah is her Saviour, that He is her Redeemer, He the Mighty One of Jacob, who has conquered for her, and now causes her to triumph (אני כּי with munach yethib, as in Isaiah 49:26, which passage is repeated almost verbatim here, and Isaiah 61:8).
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