Isaiah 62:10
Go through, go through the gates; prepare you the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Go through . . .—Here, probably, we have the cry of the prophet himself (but, possibly, also that of the Servant of Jehovah) addressed to the heralds, who are to go forth and summon the exiles to return to the restored city. On the special phrases, see Notes on Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14.

Lift up a standard for the people.—Literally, peoples, the plural indicating that the prophet thinks of the Gentile nations as escorting Israel. It follows from this that the command itself is addressed, like the previous clauses, to the returning exiles.

Isaiah 62:10. Go through the gates — Namely, the gates of Babylon, which shall be thrown open, that those confined in that idolatrous city may leave it with freedom, and return to the land of Israel. In other words, for the expressions are metaphorical, let all obstructions be removed out of the way of the heathen, that they may have free liberty to bid adieu to their idolatries and vices, and come to, and unite themselves with, the Christian Church. Or, the words may be considered as a command given to the ministers and friends of the church to go forth through Zion’s gates, to invite the nations of the earth to turn to God, and join themselves to his people; and, in order thereto, as far as possible, to prepare their way plain before them, as it follows; or to endeavour to win them over by their pure doctrine, their holy lives, and benevolent actions. The expressions are twice doubled, to give them the greater emphasis. Gather out the stones — Let no rock of offence, or stone of stumbling, remain in the way. As if he had said, Go to and fro, and remove every scandal and impediment, and make plain paths for their feet, Romans 14:13. Lift up a standard — An allusion to generals, who usually set up their standards that the soldiers may know whither to repair from all quarters: see Isaiah 49:22. Thus is Christ held forth in the preaching of the gospel.62:10-12 Way shall be made for Christ's salvation; all difficulties shall be removed. He brings a reward of comfort and peace with him; but a work of humiliation and reformation before him; and they shall be called, The holy people, and, The redeemed of the Lord. Holiness puts honour and beauty upon any place or person, makes them admired, beloved, and sought after. Many events may have been part fulfilments of this, as earnests of more glorious times yet to come. The close connexion between the blessedness of the Jews and of the Gentiles, runs through the Scriptures. The Lord Jesus will complete his work, and he never will forsake one whom he has redeemed and sanctified.Go through, go through the gates - The connection of this with what goes before is not very apparent, and there has been a great diversity of opinion in regard to it among interpreters. Grotius supposes that it refers to the priests and Levites who are referred to also in the previous verses, and that it is a command for them to enter into the temple. Calvin supposes that it refers to the Christian church, and that the idea is, that the gates of it should be continually open for the return of penitent sinners. Rosenmuller supposes that it is an address to the cities lying between Babylon and Jerusalem, and that the idea is, that their gates would be thrown open for the return of the exiles, and that all obstacles would be taken out of the way. Others suppose that it refers to the Jews, and that the command is to them to go through the gates of Babylon, and an immediate order is added to the people to prepare the way for them. This last seems to me to be the sense of the passage. It is a direction to the exiles in Babylon to go forth and return to their own land. The gates so long closed against their return would be thrown open, and they would now have liberty to depart for their own country. Thus explained, the connection is apparent. The watchmen were commanded to pray until this was done Isaiah 62:7; the prophet had said that he would not rest until it was done Isaiah 62:1; Yahweh had promised this in a most solemn manner Isaiah 62:8-9; and now those prayers are heard, and that promise is about to be fulfilled, and they are commanded to leave the city and enter upon their journey to their own land (compare the notes at Isaiah 52:10-12).

Prepare ye the way of the people - (Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:3).

Cast up, cast up the highway - (See the notes at Isaiah 57:14).

Gather out the stones - Clear it from the stones - in other words, make a smooth path on which they can travel with ease. The word which is used here (סקל sāqal) commonly denotes to stone, or to pelt with stones, a species of capital punishment among the Hebrews 2 Samuel Hebrews 16:6-13. Hence, it means to pile up stones in a heap; and it has also the signification of removing stones from a field Isaiah 5:2, and here of removing them from the way when they are an obstruction to the traveler. Harmer supposes that the word here means to pile up stones at proper distances, as a kind of landmark in the deserts, in order to mark the way for travelers - a practice which, he says, is quite common in Arabia. But the more correct interpretation is, that they were to remove the stones from the way, in order that the journey might be made with ease.

Lift up a standard - As when an army is about to march. They were about to be collected from their dispersions and restored to their own land, and the command is given, that the banner might be reared that they might rally around it (see the notes at Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 59:19; Isaiah 49:22).

10. What Isaiah in the person of Messiah had engaged in (Isa 62:1) unrestingly to seek, and what the watchmen were unrestingly to pray for (Isa 62:7), and what Jehovah solemnly promised (Isa 62:8, 9), is now to be fulfilled; the Gentile nations are commanded to "go through the gates" (either of their own cities [Rosenmuller] or of Jerusalem [Maurer]), in order to remove all obstacles out of "the way of the people (Israel)" (see on [867]Isa 7:14; Isa 40:3; 52:10-12).

standard—for the dispersed Jews to rally round, with a view to their return (Isa 49:22; 11:12).

Go through, go through the gates; it is doubled by way of emphasis: q.d. Make haste to your own land; as if Cyrus should say, Get you out of captivity as soon as you will, Isaiah 48:20. Or it may intimate an invitation issued out from them at Jerusalem to those that were scattered about in the captivity; therein possibly typifying the going of Christ’s disciples into the various parts of the world, to bring those that were scattered up and down into the church. Or, Go meet the Gentiles, whom God purposeth to bring into the church, that by pure doctrine and your holy lives they may be the sooner won. Prepare ye the way; let them not have any obstructions in their way: he seems to call upon others to prepare the way for them; thus John was sent to prepare the way for Christ, as was prophesied, Isaiah 40 3; accordingly it is ordered to be

cast up: see Isaiah 57:14. Gather out the stones, that there be no stumbling-stone or offence in their way; or, q.d. Go to and fro, and remove every scandal that they may boggle at, Romans 14:13. The former notes the certainty of their deliverance, harbingers sent before; this the speed of it, no impediment.

Lift up a standard; an allusion to soldiers, that usually set up their standard, that the army may know whither to repair from all quarters; see Isaiah 49:22; and lifting of it up is, that it may be more visible; see Isaiah 11:10-12; and this is Christ held forth in the preaching of the gospel.

For the people; or, over the people. Go through, go through the gates,.... Open them, and keep them open for persons to enter in; meaning not the gates of Jerusalem, which those in it should open for the reception of the Jews returning from Babylon, though there may be an allusion to it; but the gates of the church in the latter day, which shall stand open night and day, that converts, who shall flock unto it, may enter in thereat, whether Jews or Gentiles; see Isaiah 26:1,

prepare you the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; for the people of the Jews, or the Gentiles, by the destruction of the eastern and western antichrist, and by the preaching of the Gospel; by which means way will be made for the kings of the east, and for the eastern kingdoms being converted, and becoming the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; see Revelation 16:12,

gather out the stones; all things that offend, that are a stumblingblock to Jews, Pagans, and Mahometans, and hinder them embracing the Christian religion; as errors, heresies, schisms, false doctrines, false worship, idolatry, and superstition. Jarchi thinks there is a respect to the corruption of nature; and so the Targum interprets it, the thought of the evil imagination, which is as a stone: or, "pitch" or "strow it with stones" (k); that is, the highway; pave it with them, because of the clay, that so it may be a good way for passengers:

lift up a standard for the people; that they may know where to come or go; this is to be understood of the preaching of the Gospel, and of lifting up Christ as a standard or ensign in it, to whom the people might be directed, invited, and encouraged to come; see Isaiah 11:10. The Targum is,

"the prophet said, pass by, and return through the gates; turn the heart of the people to the right way; publish good things and comforts to the righteous, who remove the thought of the evil imagination, which was as a stone of stumbling; lift up a sign to the people.''

(k) "sternite eam lapidibus", Vatablus, Forerius, Gataker. So many Jewish writers, R. Jonah, R. Joseph Kimchi, and Ben Melech; but is disliked by Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 569.

{l} Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

(l) Signifying the great number that would come to the Church, and what means he would prepare for the restitution of the same, as in Isa 57:14.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Go through, go through the gates] To whom are these words addressed? The gates might be those of Babylon, in which case the passage is the exact counterpart of ch. Isaiah 48:20 (“Go ye forth of Babylon”) and Isaiah 52:11 (“go ye out from thence”). It is possible, on the other hand, that those addressed are the present inhabitants of Jerusalem, who are invited to prepare for the final restoration of the Dispersion. The gates must then be those of Jerusalem or of the Temple (so Duhm).

prepare you the way of the people] In ch. Isaiah 40:3 a similar command is addressed to angelic beings, and the “way” is that by which Jehovah Himself is to return, at the head of His people. Here the persons addressed must be the same as in the first clause of the verse; and throughout this section the prophet appears studiously to avoid the idea, so prominent in the earlier part of the book, of a triumphal march of Jehovah in person through the desert to Jerusalem.

cast up the highway] ch. Isaiah 57:14.

lift up an ensign for the peoples (R.V.)] Cf. ch. Isaiah 49:22.

10–12. Announcement of the return of the exiles. The passage resembles ch. Isaiah 48:20 ff., Isaiah 52:11 f.; and at first sight it seems to imply that no exodus from Babylon has as yet taken place. This indeed has been the prevalent view of commentators, based on the assumption that the writer is the same as in the two parallels. But the secondary character of the passage, betrayed by the accumulated citations, is somewhat adverse to this hypothesis, and it will be seen that the language itself is susceptible of a different construction. It is certain that a return of exiled Israelites is announced, but there is nothing to exclude the supposition that (as in ch. Isaiah 60:4; Isaiah 60:9) the return of those who took advantage of the edict of Cyrus lies behind the prophet’s standpoint.Verse 10. - Go through, go through the gates. The speaker returns to the period of the exile, and exhorts the people to pass forth from Babylon, and speed on their way homewards (comp. Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11). Some of them are to clear away obstacles, others are to bring materials and construct a highway along which the stream of emigrants may march (comp. Isaiah 57:14), while a third body removes such stones as might cause stumbling, and a fourth lifts up a standard to direct the march. Zion will be once more the beloved of God, and her home the bride of her children. "Men will no more call thee 'Forsaken one;' and thy land they will no more call 'Desert:' but men will name thee 'My delight in her,' and thy home 'Married one:' for Jehovah hath delight in thee, and thy land is married. For the young man marrieth the maiden, thy children will marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth in the bride, thy God will rejoice in thee." The prophecy mentions new names, which will now take the place of the old ones; but these names indicate what Zion appears to be, not her true nature which is brought to the light. In the explanatory clause לך stands at the head, because the name of Zion is given first in distinction from the name of her land. Zion has hitherto been called ‛ăzūbhâh, forsaken by Jehovah, who formerly loved her; but she now receives instead the name of chephtsı̄-bhâh (really the name of a woman, viz., the wife of Hezekiah, and mother of Manasseh, 2 Kings 21:1), for she is now the object of true affection on the part of Jehovah. With the rejoicing of a bridegroom in his bride (the accusative is used here in the same sense as in גדלה שׂמחה שׂמח; Ges. 138, 1) will her God rejoice in her, turning to her again with a love as strong and deep as the first love of a bridal pair. And the land of Zion's abode, the fatherland of her children, was hitherto called shemâmâh; it was turned into a desert by the heathen, and the connection that existed between it and the children of the land was severed; but now it shall be called be‛ūlâh, for it will be newly married. A young man marries a virgin, thy children will marry thee: the figure and the fact are placed side by side in the form of an emblematical proverb, the particle of comparison being omitted (see Herzog's Cyclopaedia, xiv 696, and Ges. 155, 2, h). The church in its relation to Jehovah is a weak but beloved woman, which has Him for its Lord and Husband (Isaiah 54:5); but in relation to her home she is the totality of those who are lords or possessors (ba‛alē, 2 Samuel 6:2) of the land, and who call the land their own as it were by right of marriage. Out of the loving relation in which the church stands to its God, there flows its relation of authority over every earthly thing of which it stands in need. In some MSS there is a break here.
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