Isaiah 61:11
For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) As the earth bringeth forth her bud . . .—The passage is memorable as at least suggesting the leading thought of the parable of the sower, and the appropriation of that title to Himself by the Son of Man (Matthew 13:3-23; Matthew 13:37; Mark 4:26-29).

Isaiah 61:11. For as the earth bringeth forth, &c. — By this and the other metaphor here used, the church shows, not only the revival and restoration of her blessings, after they had been, as it were, dead and lost in the winter of affliction, but the great plenty and abundance of them that should spring forth and flourish: what had been as a wilderness should be as a paradise, referring to the effects of God’s grace and bounty. So the Lord will cause righteousness — That is, his great work of salvation; and praise — As the natural product and fruit of it; to spring forth — To break out and appear; before all nations — These things will not be done in a corner, but will be eminently conspicuous in the sight of all the world. 61:10,11 Those only shall be clothed with the garments of salvation hereafter, that are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness now, and by the sanctification of the Spirit have God's image renewed upon them. These blessings shall spring forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the earth. So duly, so constantly, and with such advantage to mankind, will the Lord God cause righteousness and praise to spring forth. They shall spread far; the great salvation shall be published and proclaimed, to the ends of the earth. Let us be earnest in prayer, that the Lord God may cause that righteousness to spring forth among us, which constitutes the excellence and glory of the Christian profession.For as the earth bringeth forth - This figure is several times used by the prophet (see the notes at Isaiah 45:8; Isaiah 55:10-11). The idea is an exceedingly beautiful one, that, on the coming of the Messiah, truth and righteousness would spring up and abound like grass and fruits in the vegetable world when the earth is watered with rain.

Her bud - The word 'bud' we now apply usually to the small bunch or protuberance on the branches of a plant, containing the rudiments of the future leaf or flower. The Hebrew word, however, (צמח tsemach), rather means the germ, the shoot, or the young and tender plant as it comes up from the earth; that which first appears from the seed.

So the Lord God will cause righteousness to spring forth - (See the notes at Isaiah 42:19; Isaiah 43:9; Isaiah 44:4; Isaiah 45:8).

Before all the nations - The sense is, that righteousness would abound over all the earth, and that all the world would yet join in celebrating the praises of God.

11. (Isa 45:8, 55:10, 11; Ps 72:3; 85:11).

bud—the tender shoots.

praise—(Isa 60:18; 62:7).

As the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth: by this and the other metaphor he shows not only the reviving of the blessings of the church after they had been as it were dead in the winter of affliction, but the great plenty and abundance of blessings that should break forth; that which had been as a wilderness shall be as a paradise, pointing at the effects of his grace and bounty.

So the Lord God will cause righteousness to spring forth, i.e. his great work of salvation shall break out and appear.

And praise, as the natural product and fruit of it; his own glory being the principal end of making his righteousness to appear and manifest itself.

Before all nations: these things will not be done in a corner, but will be eminently conspicuous in the sight of all the world, for which purpose those hymns penned by the godly will ever be famous in the churches of Christ to all ages, as of Moses, Hannah, Mary, Zacharias, Simeon, &c. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,.... Of tender grass in the spring of the year, after a long and cold winter, being well manured:

and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth being enclosed, and better taken care of, and well watered, and dunged, and cultivated; seeds sown in such a rich soil spring up freely, strongly, and constantly:

so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations; that is, the righteousness and salvation of his people through Christ, by which they shall be justified and saved; and on account of which they shall praise the Lord, and shall be to honour and praise themselves, being interested in those blessings in the sight of all the Christian nations around them. It respects the conversion of the Jews, and their justification and salvation, and the suddenness of it, and the large numbers of them converted, who should rise up at once like the buds of grass out of the earth; and denotes the flourishing condition in which they shall be, like a garden abounding with all manner of flowers and fruit; and suggests how full of joy, thankfulness, and praise to God they should be, and how honourable in the sight of men; and all this will be the Lord's doing, and owing to his efficacious grace. The Targum is,

"so the Lord God will reveal the righteousness and praise of Jerusalem before all the people.''

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. as the earth &c.] i.e. as surely as the seed germinates in the earth, so surely will Jehovah bring to pass the great redemption here promised through the self-fulfilling power of His word. Cf. ch. Isaiah 55:10, Isaiah 42:9, Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 58:8.Verse 11. - As the garden; rather, as a garden. The Hebrew is without the article. Righteousness and praise. The essential result of righteousness is "salvation" (see ver. 20); its accidental result is "praise" or "renown." Men cannot but recognize the benefits which flow to themselves from goodness in others; and a perfectly righteous nation would attract to itself universal praise (comp. Zephaniah 3:20, "I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord ").



Even in Isaiah 61:3 with להם וקרא a perfect was introduced in the place of the infinitives of the object, and affirmed what was to be accomplished through the mediation of the Servant of Jehovah. The second turn in the address, which follows in Isaiah 61:4-9, continues the use of such perfects, which afterwards pass into futures. But the whole is still governed by the commencement in Isaiah 61:1. The Servant of Jehovah celebrates the glorious office committed to him, and expounds the substance of the gospel given him to proclaim. It points to the restoration of the promised land, and to the elevation of Israel, after its purification in the furnace of judgment, to great honour and dignity in the midst of the world of nations. "And they will build up wastes of the olden time, raise up desolations of the forefathers, and renew desolate cities, desolations of former generations. And strangers stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners become your ploughmen and vinedressers. But ye will be called priests of Jehovah; Servants of our God, will men say to you: ye will eat the riches of the nations, and pride yourselves in their glory." The desolations and wastes of ‛ōlâm and dōr vâdōr, i.e., of ages remote and near (Isaiah 58:12), are not confined to what had lain in ruins during the seventy years of the captivity. The land will be so thickly populated, that the former places of abode will not suffice (Isaiah 49:19-20); so that places must be referred to which are lying waste beyond the present bounds of the promised land (Isaiah 54:3), and which will be rebuilt, raised up, and renewed by those who return from exile, and indeed by the latest generations (Isaiah 58:12, מםּ; cf., Isaiah 60:14). Chōrebh, in the sense of desolation, is a word belonging to the alter period of the language (Zeph., Jer., and Ezek.). The rebuilding naturally suggests the thought of assistance on the part of the heathen (Isaiah 60:10). But the prophet expresses the fact that they will enter into the service of Israel (Isaiah 61:5), in a new and different form. They "stand there" (viz., at their posts ready for service, ‛al-mish-martâm, 2 Chronicles 7:6), "and feed your flocks" (צאן singularetantum, cf., Genesis 30:43), and foreigners are your ploughmen and vinedressers. Israel is now, in the midst of the heathen who have entered into the congregation of Jehovah and become the people of God (ch Isaiah 19:25), what the Aaronites formerly were in the midst of Israel itself. It stands upon the height of its primary destination to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6). They are called "priests of Jehovah," and the heathen call them "servants of our God;" for even the heathen speak with believing reverence of the God, to whom Israel renders priestly service, as "our God." This reads as if the restored Israelites were to stand in the same relation to the converted heathen as the clergy to the laity; but it is evident, from Isaiah 66:21, that the prophet has no such hierarchical separation as this in his mind. All that we can safely infer from his prophecy is, that the nationality of Israel will not be swallowed up by the entrance of the heathen into the community of the God of revelation. The people created by Jehovah, to serve as the vehicle of the promise of salvation and the instrument in preparing the way for salvation, will also render Him special service, even after that salvation has been really effected. At the same time, we cannot take the attitude, which is here assigned to the people of sacred history after it has become the teacher of the nations, viz., as the leader of its worship also, and shape it into any clear and definite form that shall be reconcilable with the New Testament spirit of liberty and the abolition of all national party-walls. The Old Testament prophet utters New Testament prophecies in an Old Testament form. Even when he continues to say, "Ye will eat the riches of the Gentiles, and pride yourselves in their glory," i.e., be proud of the glorious things which have passed from their possession into yours, this is merely colouring intended to strike the eye, which admits of explanation on the ground that he saw the future in the mirror of the present, as a complete inversion of the relation in which the two had stood before. The figures present themselves to him in the form of contrasts. The New Testament apostle, on the other hand, says in Romans 11:12 that the conversion of all Israel to Christ will be "the riches of the Gentiles." But if even then the Gentile church should act according to the words of the same apostle in Romans 15:27, and show her gratitude to the people whose spiritual debtor she is, by ministering to them in carnal things, all that the prophet has promised here will be amply fulfilled. We cannot adopt the explanation proposed by Hitzig, Stier, etc., "and changing with them, ye enter into their glory" (hithyammēr from yâmar equals mūr, Hiph.: hēmı̄r, Jeremiah 2:11; lit., to exchange with one another, to enter into one another's places); for yâmar equals ‛âmar (cf., yâchad equals 'âchad; yâsham equals 'âsham; yâlaph equals 'âlaph), to press upwards, to rise up (related to tâmar, see at Isaiah 17:9; sâmar, Symm. ὀρθοτριχεῖν, possibly also ‛âmar with the hithpael hith‛ammēr, lxx καταδυναστεύειν), yields a much simpler and more appropriate meaning. From this verb we have hith'ammēr in Psalm 94:4, "to lift one's self up (proudly)," and here hithyammēr; and it is in this way that the word has been explained by Jerome (superbietis), and possibly by the lxx (θαυμασθήσεσθε, in the sense of spectabiles eritis), by the Targum, and the Syriac, as well as by most of the ancient and modern expositors.
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