|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:5-15 The prophet next turns to Judah, whom he calls the residue of his people. Happy are those alone, who glory in the Lord of hosts himself. Hence his people get wisdom and strength for every service and every conflict. But it is only in Christ Jesus that the holy God communicates with sinful man. And whether those that teach are drunk with wine, or intoxicated with false doctrines and notions concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah, they not only err themselves, but lead multitudes astray. All places where such persons have taught are filled with errors. For our instruction in the things of God, it is needful that the same precept and the same line should be often repeated to us, that we may the better understand them. God, by his word, calls us to what is really for our advantage; the service of God is the only true rest for those weary of the service of sin, and there is no refreshment but under the easy yoke of the Lord Jesus. All this had little effect upon the people. Those who will not understand what is plain, but scorn and despise it as mean and trifling, are justly punished. If we are at peace with God, we have, in effect, made a covenant with death; whenever it comes, it cannot do us any real damage, if we are Christ's. But to think of making death our friend, while by sin we are making God our enemy, is absurd. And do not they make lies their refuge who trust in their own righteousness, or to a death-bed repentance? which is a resolution to sin no more, when it is no longer in their power to do so.
Verse 6. - For a spirit of judgment. How far Judah had departed from the spirit of just judgment was made apparent in the very opening chapter of Isaiah's prophecy (vers. 15-27). To him that sitteth in judgment; rather, that sitteth on the judgment-seat (Cheyne). For strength to them that turn the battle to the gate; i.e. "to those who repulse an enemy, and drive him back to his own city's gate" (comp. 2 Kings 18:8, "He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza ").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment,.... That is, as the Lord would give honour and glory to the people in general, so wisdom and prudence, a spirit of judgment and discerning, to the king in particular, who sat on the throne of judgment to do justice, and execute judgment among his subjects: though this need not be restrained to the king, but be applied to all the judges and magistrates in the land, who sat and heard causes and complaints brought before them, for which they should be qualified by the Lord; so Aben Ezra interprets it of the sanhedrim:
and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate; as wisdom is promised to the king and judges of the land, so strength of body and mind, valour and courage, to the prince and his army; so that they should turn the battle, and cause their enemies to fly before them, and pursue them to the very gates of their cities, as Hezekiah did, 2 Kings 18:8. The Syriac version is, "who turn the battle from the gate"; who, when besieged, sally out upon the besiegers, and drive them from their gates, oblige them to break up the siege, and fly before them. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "and strength to them that return from war to the gate": that come home victorious to their own houses; and so the Targum,
"that he may give victory to them that go out in war, to return them in peace to their own houses.''
Wisdom in the cabinet and courts of judicature, and courage in the camp, are two great blessings to a nation, and serve much to explain the glory and beauty before promised.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Jehovah will inspire their magistrates with justice, and their soldiers with strength of spirit.
turn … battle to … gate—the defenders of their country who not only repel the foe from themselves, but drive him to the gates of his own cities (2Sa 11:23; 2Ki 18:8).
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