Isaiah 66:14
And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Your bones shall flourish . . .—“Heart” and “bones” stand respectively as symbols of the inner and outer life. The “bones,” the branches, so to speak, of the body, which had been dry and sere, should revive as with the sap of a new life, and be as the succulent herbage. His “hand,” i.e., His manifested power, will show itself in love to His people, in indignation to their enemies.

Isaiah 66:14. And when ye see this — To what a happy state the church is restored; your heart shall rejoice — The peace of the church, and the extension of the kingdom of Christ, are always causes of real joy to such as fear God. And your bones shall flourish like an herb — The bones that were dried and withered, the marrow of them being quite exhausted, shall recover a youthful strength and vigour, and shall flourish like an herb in the spring, whose verdure and beauty in the winter were concealed in the root hid in the earth. In other words, you Jews shall recover your ancient strength and glory, and be renewed in as wonderful a manner as if dry, withered bones should recover their youth and moisture: or, as if the dead bones in a charnel-house should be united with sinews, clothed again with flesh and skin, and should have life and vigour infused into them. Then shall be effected that resurrection of the dry bones spoken of by Ezekiel 37:1, &c., for that vision relates to the restoration of the Jewish nation, after it had lain for many ages in a dead, hopeless condition. In like manner St. Paul calls the receiving of the Jews into the church, life from the dead, Romans 11:15. And the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants — The power, protection, and influence of God shall be made manifest for, and upon, all such as truly serve and obey him. And his indignation toward his enemies — But the wicked shall experience a quite contrary dispensation, Psalm 1:4. As God’s hand shall be upon and toward such as fear him, to cover, bless, and influence them, so his indignation shall in that day be showed toward those of your nation who have manifested themselves to be his enemies.66:5-14 The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians is increased by every convert brought to Christ. The gospel brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a river of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward man; the joy of the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's mercy and justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.And when ye see this - This great accession to the church from the Gentile world.

Your bones shall flourish like an herb - This is an image which is often employed in the Scriptures. When the vigor of the body fails, or when it is much afflicted, the bones are said to be feeble or weakened, or to be dried Psalm 6:2; Psalm 51:8; Psalm 22:14, Psalm 22:17; Psalm 38:3; Lamentations 1:13; Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 17:22. like manner, prosperity, health, vigor, are denoted by making the bones fat (see the notes at Isaiah 58:11; Proverbs 15:20), or by imparting health, marrow, or strength to them Proverbs 3:8; Proverbs 16:24. The sense here is, that their vigor would be greatly increased.

The hand of the Lord shall be known - That is, it shall be seen that he is powerful to defend his people, and to punish their enemies.

14. bones—which once were "dried up" by the "fire" of God's wrath (La 1:13), shall live again (Pr 3:8; 15:30; Eze 37:1, &c.).

flourish … herb—(Ro 11:15-24).

known toward—manifested in behalf of.

The peace and tranquillity of the church, and the propagation of the kingdom of Christ, is always the cause of a heart-rejoicing to such as fear God, Psalm 105:3; the reason is, because it is the greatest object of their desires, which are then satisfied, and their thoughts are then at rest; and besides they are members of the same body, so as their own bones, which before are dry and withered, Ezekiel 37:1,2, and the sinews, and the flesh, come again upon them, and the skin covers them above, so as they

flourish like an herb in the spring, all whose verdure and beauty in the winter was concealed in the root hid in the earth.

And the hand of the Lord shall be known toward his servants; and in this the power, protection, and influence of God for, of, and upon such as truly serve and obey him shall be made manifest and known.

And his indignation toward his enemies; but the wicked shall be under a quite contrary dispensation, Psalm 1:4. As they have had a day which hath been to you the power of darkness, so you shall have a day which shall be to them the power of darkness; as God’s hand shall be upon and towards such as fear me, to cover, and bless, and influence them, so his indignation shall in that day be showed towards those of your nation who have declared themselves the enemies of the Lord. And when ye see this,.... All the above things prophesied of come to pass; the conversion of the Jews; the peaceable and prosperous condition of the church of Christ; and perceive, feel, and enjoy the comforts of God in an experimental manner:

your heart shall rejoice; for nothing can be matter of greater joy than these; these cause an inward, hearty, and sincere joy, and not mere outward expressions of it:

and your bones shall flourish like an herb; in a well watered garden, or on which the dew lies; which revives, lifts up its head, and is green and flourishing: so the hearts of God's people are comforted and filled with joy, it renews their spiritual strength; the bones that were dried up with sorrow become fat and flourishing and like a garden of herbs, whose springs fail not; see Proverbs 17:22. The people of the Jews, in their present state, are like dry hones; but these dry bones shall live at the word of God, and through the power of his grace, and stand upon their feet, and which will cause great joy to others, and be is life from the dead. This passage Abarbinel and other Jewish writers interpret of the resurrection of the dead; for they believe the same body will rise, and the same bones revive. They have indeed a fabulous notion of the bone "luz", which they say is never consumed, and from which the rest will be restored; but, letting this pass, it may be observed that they use these words with others at the funeral of their dead, and when they return from the grave, thereby expressing their faith in this article. The ceremony used by them is this,

"as they return from the grave, everyone of them plucks up grass from off the ground twice or thrice, and casts it over his head behind him, saying those words of the psalmist, "and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth", Psalm 72:16 and this they do, to signify their hopes of the resurrection of the dead, who shall flourish as the grass, as the prophet says, "your bones shall flourish as the herb" (b),''

or tender grass; as that springs up after it is cut down, so will the bones of the dead revive again, after they have been reduced to dust in the grave; and if that experiment is fact, said to be made by chemists, that herbs may be caused to grow up out of their ashes, it will serve very much to illustrate the words taken in this sense; which is done in the following manner,

"they take a rose, gillyflower, or any other plant, in the spring, in its full consistence, and beat the whole of it in a mortar to a paste, and extract a kind of ashes or salt out of it, which they put up in glasses, stopped and sealed; and, by applying a candle or a soft fire to them, the herbs or plants are perceived, by little and little, to rise up again out of their salt or ashes, in their several proper forms, as they did in the field (c).''

And the hand of the Lord shall be known towards his servants: in making them thus joyful, prosperous, and fruitful; in protecting and preserving them, and, in supplying all their wants; his hand of power, which is not shortened that he cannot save; and his hand of grace, which is opened to distribute to the necessities of his people:

and his indignation towards his enemies; the worshipper, of the beast, the followers of antichrist, who will drink deep of the wine of the wrath of God, poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, he will put into their hands; whose indignation is such as is intolerable, there is no standing before it, or sustaining it, or abiding under it; see Revelation 14:9. Kimchi says this will be fulfilled in the war of Gog and Magog.

(b) Vid. Buxtorf. Jud. Synagog. c. 49. p. 702, 703. Leo Modena, History of the Rites, &c. of the present Jews, part 5. c. 8. sect. 6. p. 237, 238. (c) See Gregory's Notes and Observations, &c. c. 26. p. 122, 123. and his Posthumua, p. 70. (This sounds like a wild fable to me. Editor.)

And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your {p} bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

(p) You will have new strength and new beauty.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. R.V. And ye shall see (it) and your heart &c.; recalling ch. Isaiah 60:5. your bones shall flourish like the tender grass (R.V.)] i.e. shall be fresh and full of sap (cf. Job 21:24; Proverbs 15:30). So when the strength is exhausted by sickness, the bones are said to be consumed or burn (Psalm 31:10; Psalm 32:3; Psalm 102:3; Lamentations 1:13).

and his indignation] Strictly: and he will have indignation (as R.V.). A.V. would be a better construction if we might supply the suffix for “his” (so Duhm).Verse 14. - Your bones shall flourish like an herb (comp. Isaiah 58:11). In the time of calamity, Israel's "bones" have been "consumed" (Psalm 31:10), and "waxed old" (Psalm 32:3), and "burned with heat" (Job 30:30). Now they shall enjoy a time of refreshing from the Lord. New life shall enter them, and health and growth shall follow. The nation shall be rejuvenated, and "flourish" in more than its pristine strength. The hand of the Lord shall be known; or recognized, both in this merciful treatment of his servants, and also in the indignation with which he will visit his enemies. This last clause conveniently introduces the following "theophany" (vers. 15-1S). All of these fall victims to the judgment; and yet Zion is not left either childless or without population. "Before she travailed she brought forth; before pains came upon her, she was delivered of a boy. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen anything like it? Are men delivered of a land in one day? or is a nation begotten at once? For Zion hath travailed, yea, hath brought forth her children. Should I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah: or should I, who cause to bring forth, shut it? saith thy God." Before Zion travaileth, before any labour pains come upon her (chēbhel with tzere), she has already given birth, or brought with ease into the world a male child (hı̄mlit like millēt, in Isaiah 34:15, to cause to glide out). This boy, of whom she is delivered with such marvellous rapidity, is a whole land full of men, an entire nation. The seer exclaims with amazement, like Zion herself in Isaiah 49:21, "who hath heard such a thing, or seen anything like it? is a land brought to the birth (hăyūchal followed by 'erets for hăthūchal, as in Genesis 13:6; Isaiah 9:18; Ges. 147), i.e., the population of a whole land (as in Judges 18:30), and that in one day, or a nation born all at once (yivvâlēd, with munach attached to the kametz, and metheg to the tzere)? This unheard-of event has taken place now, for Zion has travailed, yea, has also brought forth her children," - not one child, but her children, a whole people that calls her mother.

(Note: There is a certain similarity in the saying, with which a talmudic teacher roused up the sleepy scholars of the Beth ha-Midrash: "There was once a woman, who was delivered of 600,000 children in one day," viz., Jochebed, who, when she gave birth to Moses, brought 600,000 to the light of freedom (Exodus 12:37).)

"For" (kı̄) presupposes the suppressed thought, that this unexampled event has now occurred: yâledâh follows châlâh with gam, because chı̄l signifies strictly parturire; yâl, parere. Zion, the mother, is no other than the woman of the sun in Revelation 12; but the child born of her there is the shepherd of the nations, who proceeds from her at the end of the days, whereas here it is the new Israel of the last days; for the church, which is saved through all her tribulations, is both the mother of the Lord, by whom Babel is overthrown, and the mother of that Israel which inherits the promises, that the unbelieving mass have failed to obtain. Isaiah 66:9 follows with an emphatic confirmation of the things promised. Jehovah inquires: "Should I create the delivery (cause the child to break through the matrix) and not the birth (both hiphil, causative), so that although the child makes an effort to pass the opening of the womb, it never comes to the light of day? Or should I be one to bring it to the birth, and then to have closed, viz., the womb, so that the word of bringing forth should remain ineffectual, when all that is required is the last effort to bring to the light the fruit of the womb?" From the expression "thy God," we see that the questions are addressed to Zion, whose faith they are intended to strengthen. According to Hofmann (Schriftbeweis, ii. 1, 149, 150), the future יאמר affirms what Jehovah will say, when the time for bringing forth arrives, and the perfect אמר what He is saying now: "Should I who create the bringing forth have shut up?" And He comforts the now barren daughter Zion (Isaiah 54:1) with the assurance, that her barrenness is not meant to continue for ever. "The prediction," says Hofmann, "which is contained in ה יאמר, of the ultimate issue of the fate of Zion, is so far connected with the consolation administered for the time present, that she who is barren now is exhorted to anticipate the time when the former promise shall be fulfilled." But this change in the standpoint is artificial, and contrary to the general use of the expression ה יאמר elsewhere (see at Isaiah 40:1). Moreover, the meaning of the two clauses, which constitute here as elsewhere a disjunctive double question in form more than in sense, really runs into one. The first member affirms that Jehovah will complete the bringing to the birth; the second, that He will not ultimately frustrate what He has almost brought to completion: an ego sum is qui parere faciat et (uterum) occluserim (occludam)? There is no other difference between יאמר and אמר, than that the former signifies the word of God which is sounding at the present moment, the latter the word that has been uttered and is resounding still. The prophetic announcement of our prophet has advanced so far, that the promised future is before the door. The church of the future is already like the fruit of the body ripe for the birth, and about to separate itself from the womb of Zion, which has been barren until now. The God by whom everything has been already so far prepared, will suddenly cause Zion to become a mother - a boy, viz., a whole people after Jehovah's own heart, will suddenly lie in her lap, and this new-born Israel, not the corrupt mass, will build a temple for Jehovah.

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