|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
44:1-8 Israel is here called Jeshurun, which means the upright one. Such only are Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile. Those that serve God he will own. He will help them over difficulties, and in their services. Water is the emblem of the Holy Spirit; as water refreshes, cleanses, and makes the earth fruitful, so do his influences the soul. This gift of the Holy Ghost is the great blessing, the plentiful pouring out of which God kept for the latter days. Where God gives his Spirit, he will give all other blessings. Hereby shall be a great increase of the church; thus it shall be spread to distant places. Was there any other Rock, or Protector, that could defend them? None besides could foretell these things to come, of which God by his prophets gave notice. All was set in order in the Divine predictions, as well as in the Divine purposes. Could any other have done so? Who can compare with Israel's Redeemer and King?
Verse 4. - They shall spring up as among the grass. The LXX. have, "As grass among the waters;" and this reading is followed by Bishop Lowth, Ewald, and Mr. Cheyne. But there does not seem to be any necessity for departing from the existing Hebrew text. As willows. There is some doubt whether the Hebrew word used ('ereb) is rightly translated "willows." The modern yarab seems certainly not to be a "willow," but rather a species of Viburnum (see the long note in Delitzsch's 'Commentary on Isaiah,' vol. 2. pp. 203, 204, Eng. trans.). It is, however, most strictly a water-plant, growing only "near flowing water."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall spring up as among the grass,.... That is, such on whom the Spirit of the Lord shall be poured with his gifts and grace, and with the blessings of it: by the "grass" may be meant common believers, comparable to green grass, for their numbers, being many; for their weakness in themselves; for their flourishing condition; like grass for its greenness, and verdure, and its springing up by clear shining after rain; see Psalm 72:6 and by those that "spring up among them" are intended the apostles and ministers of the word, who exceed common Christians in their gifts, and grace, and usefulness; grow up higher and taller than they, like palm trees and cedars in Lebanon; and as such exceed private saints as tall trees exceed the grass they grow among:
as willows by the water courses; a sort of trees well known, and which delight in watery places, and grow best on banks of rivers, and shoot up apace in a very short time, and spread their branches; so the apostles, after the effusion of the Spirit on them, grew quickly in gifts, and grace, and evangelic knowledge; and their usefulness spread far and near. The Targum is,
"the righteous shall grow tender and delicate as the flowers of the grass, as a tree that sends forth its roots by flows of water.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. they—thy "seed" and "offspring" (Isa 44:3).
as among—needlessly inserted in English Version. Rather, "The seed shall spring up as willows among the grass beside canals of water" [Horsley]. Or, "They shall spring up among the grass (that is, luxuriantly; for what grows in the midst of grass grows luxuriantly) as willows by the water-courses," which makes the parallel clauses better balanced [Maurer].
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