|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
42:13-17 The Lord will appear in his power and glory. He shall cry, in the preaching of his word. He shall cry aloud in the gospel woes, which must be preached with gospel blessings, to awaken a sleeping world. He shall conquer by the power of his Spirit. And those that contradict and blaspheme his gospel, he shall put to silence and shame; and that which hinders its progress shall be taken out of the way. To those who by nature were blind, God will show the way to life and happiness by Jesus Christ. They are weak in knowledge, but He will make darkness light. They are weak in duty, but their way shall be plain. Those whom God brings into the right way, he will guide in it. This passage is a prophecy, and is also applicable to every believer; for the Lord will never leave nor forsake them.
Verse 16. - I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not. "The blind" here can only be captive Israel, still dim-sighted from the effect of its old sins against light, and therefore greatly needing God's guidance. God promises to "bring them" out of captivity "by a way not hitherto known to them" - the way of voluntary release by the favour of a new king (see the comment on ver. 9). I will make darkness light before them; either, I will illuminate with rays of light and hope the dark and cheerless life that they have been leading (Delitzsch), or, I will throw light upon that dark future which has hitherto stretched before them, and allow them to penetrate its obscurity, and see what is about to happen. Crooked things; rather, rough places; i.e. difficulties of any and every kind. Straight; rather, smooth, level, flat,. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Dr. Kay translates, "These things have I done, and have not forsaken them;" Mr. Cheyne, "These are the things that I will do, and will not let them slip;" Delitzsch, "These are the things that I carry out and do not leave." According to the two latter renderings, the clause is a mere solemn confirmation of the previous promises.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not,.... The Targum interprets this of the people of Israel, thus,
"I will lead the house of Israel, which are like to the blind, in a way which they knew not.''
But it is better to understand it of the Gentiles, who, before the light of the Gospel came among them, were blind as to the true knowledge of God, and especially as in Christ; and of Christ, and the way of peace, life, and salvation by him; and of themselves, and their miserable estate and condition; and of the Spirit of God, and his operations; and of the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; and which is the case of all men in a state of nature: but the Lord, by his Spirit, opens the eyes of their understandings, and shows them those things they were blind in, and ignorant of, and brings them by a way they knew not before; which way is Christ, the only way to the Father; the way of peace, righteousness, and life; the way to heaven, and eternal happiness: this they knew not before, but thought they must make their own way to God, and their peace with him; must be justified by their own works, and work out their own salvation; but, in conversion, this way to Christ is made known and plain unto them; and in this way the Lord brings all his people to eternal glory:
I will lead them in paths that they have not known; in the paths of duty and truth; in the paths of faith, righteousness, and holiness, and in the ordinances of the Gospel; which they were aliens and strangers to before:
I will make darkness light before them; by going before them himself, as before the children of Israel in a pillar of fire by night; by giving his word to enlighten them; by granting his good Spirit, as a spirit of illumination to them; and by lifting up the light of his countenance on them:
and crooked things straight; remove all obstructions, bear them up under all discouragements, and carry them through all difficulties:
these things will I do unto them, and not forsake them; which may be depended upon, being promised by him that is able to perform, is true, and faithful, and changes not; and, when done, shall not be the last done for them; he will never leave them, nor forsake them, till he has brought them safe to glory.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. blind—God's people, Israel, in captivity, needing a guide. In the ulterior sense the New Testament Church, which was about to be led and enlightened by the Son of God as its leader and shepherd in the wilderness of the Roman empire, until it should reach a city of habitation. "A way … they knew not," refers to the various means ployed by Providence for the establishment of the Church in the world, such as would never have occurred to the mind of mere man. "Blind," they are called, as not having heretofore seen God's ways in ordering His Church.
make darkness light, &c.—implies that the glorious issue would only be known by the event itself [Vitringa]. The same holds good of the individual believer (Isa 30:21; Ps 107:7; compare Ho 2:6, 14; Eph 5:8; Heb 13:5).
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