|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.
Verses 9-17. - ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE COMING DELIVERANCE OF ISRAEL FROM BABYLON, AND CALL ON THE NATIONS FOR A SONG OF PRAISE AND JUBILATION. Jehovah is still the speaker. He begins by promising a new revelation (ver. 9). Then, before the revelation is made, he calls upon the nations - especially those in the vicinity of Palestine - to rejoice at what is about to happen (vers. 10-12). After this he proceeds to make the announcement promised in ver. 9 - an announcement that he is about to deliver his people (ver. 16) and to execute vengeance on their enemies (vers. 13-15 and 17). Verse 9. - Behold, the former things are come to pass; i.e. former prophecies have been fulfilled. Israel has been led lute captivity, and in her captivity has suffered grievous things. The reference is, perhaps, especially to such prophecies as Isaiah 39:5-7. And new things do I declare (comp. Isaiah 43:19). The voluntary restoration of a captive people to their own land by the power to which they were subject, and which could compel their services, was emphatically a "new thing" in the world's history. How unwilling the sovereign power was ordinarily to lose such services may be seen by the narrative in Exodus (Exodus 5-14.), and again by the account which Herodotus gives (1:73, 74) of the ground of quarrel between Alyattes and Cyaxares. Before they spring forth; or, shoot forth. The metaphor is one taken from the vegetable world (comp. Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 45:8).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, the former things are come to pass,.... Which the Lord had foretold in former times, as to Abraham, concerning the affliction of his posterity in Egypt, the bringing them out from thence, and settling them in the land of Canaan; and other things by Moses and Joshua, and other prophets; and by Isaiah; and particularly the captivity of the ten tribes, which was now come to pass in the times of Hezekiah:
and new things do I declare; as the captivity of Judah and Benjamin, and their restoration by Cyrus; and more especially the mission and incarnation of Christ, his sufferings and death, and redemption and salvation by him; which were not only things to come, but new things, famous and excellent ones:
before they spring up I tell you of them or "before they bud forth" (r); while the seeds of them were under ground, sown in the purposes and decrees of God, he spoke of them in prophecy; and now former prophecies being fulfilled, and new ones delivered out, concerning things of which there was no appearance, and yet there was the greatest reason to believe their accomplishment, from the fulfilment of the former; this must be a strong proof and confirmation of the Lord being the true God, and the only one.
(r) "antequam pullulent", Montanus, Cocceius; "germinent", Vatablus; "antequam propullulent vel efflorescant", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. former things—Former predictions of God, which were now fulfilled, are here adduced as proof that they ought to trust in Him alone as God; namely, the predictions as to Israel's restoration from Babylon.
new—namely, predictions as to Messiah, who is to bring all nations to the worship of Jehovah (Isa 42:1, 4, 6).
spring forth—The same image from plants just beginning to germinate occurs in Isa 43:19; 58:8. Before there is the slightest indication to enable a sagacious observer to infer the coming event, God foretells it.
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