|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
42:5-12 The work of redemption brings back man to the obedience he owes to God as his Maker. Christ is the light of the world. And by his grace he opens the understandings Satan has blinded, and sets at liberty from the bondage of sin. The Lord has supported his church. And now he makes new promises, which shall as certainly be fulfilled as the old ones were. When the Gentiles are brought into the church, he is glorified in them and by them. Let us give to God those things which are his, taking heed that we do not serve the creature more than the Creator.
Verse 11. - The wilderness and the cities thereof. The desert had its cities, built on some more or less fertile oases, where at any rate water was procurable. Instances of such cities are Tudmor, Petra, Kadesh (Numbers 20:1). Its villages were probably collections of tents, which were moved from time to time, since the Beni-Kedar were nomads (ch. 21:16; Psalm 120:5). The call is upon both the stationary and the wandering inhabitants of the Syro-Arabian desert to join in the song of praise. The inhabitants of the rock; rather, the iahabitants of Sela, or Petra, the rock-city, which was the capital of Idumaea, or Edom (see the comment on ch. 16. l). It is assumed that the return of the Israelites to their land ought to be a subject of rejoicing to all their neighbours.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice,.... The eastern part of the world, Arabia Deserta, and the inhabitants of the cities which were in it:
the villages that Kedar doth inhabit; or the "courts" (t), or tents, the Kedarenes inhabited, who were Arabians, and dwelt in tents, which they pitched here and there, for the convenience of their flocks; and so the Targum,
"the Arabians that inhabit the wilderness shall praise:''
let the inhabitants of the rock sing: or of Petra, which Jerom says was a city of Palestine. It was the metropolis of Arabia Petraea, which whole country may be here meant, and the inhabitants of it, who had reason to sing for joy, when the Gospel was preached unto them; as it was by the Apostle Paul in Arabia, Galatians 1:17,
let them shout from the top of the mountains; the wild, savage, and barbarous people that dwell there, but now become civilized, as well as evangelized, by the Gospel; or the messengers and ministers of the word, whose feet on those mountains were beautiful, bringing the good tidings of peace and salvation by Christ. The Targum interprets this of the resurrection of the dead,
"the dead, when they shall go out of the house of their world, from the tops of the mountains shall lift up their voice (u).''
(t) "atria", Montanus; "tentoria", Grotius. (u) Ben Melech interprets the rocks and mountains of towers built on rocks and mountains, where men dwelt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. cities—in a region not wholly waste, but mainly so, with an oasis here and there.
Kedar—in Arabia-Deserta (Isa 21:16; Ge 25:13). The Kedarenians led a nomadic, wandering life. So Kedar is here put in general for that class of men.
rock—Sela, that is, Petra, the metropolis of Idumea and the Nabathoan Ishmaelites. Or it may refer in general to those in Arabia-Petræa, who had their dwellings cut out of the rock.
the mountains—namely, of Paran, south of Sinai, in Arabia-Petræa [Vitringa].
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