|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:1-4 Judea was prosperous in the days of Hezekiah, but the kingdom of Christ is the great subject intended. Converting grace makes the soul that was a wilderness, to rejoice with joy and singing, and to blossom abundantly. The feeble and faint-hearted are encouraged. This is the design of the gospel. Fear is weakening; the more we strive against it, the stronger we are, both for doing and suffering; and he that says to us, Be strong, has laid help for us upon One who is mighty. Assurance is given of the approach of Messiah, to take vengeance on the powers of darkness, to recompense with abundant comforts those that mourn in Zion; He will come and save. He will come again at the end of time, to punish those who have troubled his people; and to give those who were troubled such rest as will be a full reward for all their troubles.
Verse 3. - Strengthen ye the weak hands. In the Church of the redeemed there will be "weak" brethren as well as strong, "feeble" as well as healthful (see 1 Corinthians 3:1; Galatians 6:1; Hebrews 5:12-14). God, by the mouth of his prophet, calls on the strong to impart of their strength to their weaker brethren, uplifting their "weak hands," as Aaron and Hur did those of Moses (Exodus 17:12), and "confirming" or sustaining their "feeble knees." So St. Paul: "We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves" (Romans 15:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Strengthen ye the weak hands,.... These are the words of the prophet, as the Targum,
"the prophet said, strengthen the weak hands;''
or rather of God, by the prophet, to the converted Gentiles, to those who saw the glory of the Lord; particularly to the ministers of the Gospel, who have to do with weak and feeble persons, who can scarcely lift up their hands, or stand upon their legs, under a sense of sin, in a view of wrath, and immediate ruin and destruction, ready to sink and faint, because of their enemies, or through want of food; and their business is to comfort and strengthen them, by preaching the Gospel, and pointing out the promises of it to them:
and confirm the feeble knees; that so they may keep their ground against their enemies; shake off their fears and trembling; go on their way courageously and rejoicing; run, and not be weary; walk, and not faint: "hands" and "knees" are mentioned particularly, because a man's strength lies greatly in them; and his weakness is seen by the languor and trembling of them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Strengthen … hands … confirm … knees—The Hebrew for "strengthen" refers to the strength residing in the hand for grasping and holding a thing manfully; "confirm," to the firmness with which one keeps his ground, so as not to be dislodged by any other [Maurer]. Encourage the Jews, now desponding, by the assurance of the blessings promised.
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