|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:1-6 The great Author of redemption shows the authority for his work. The sword of his word slays the lusts of his people, and all at enmity with them. His sharp arrows wound the conscience; but all these wounds will be healed, when the sinner prays to him for mercy. But even the Redeemer, who spake as never man spake in his personal ministry, often seemed to labour in vain. And if Jacob will not be brought back to God, and Israel will not be gathered, still Christ will be glorious. This promise is in part fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles. Men perish in darkness. But Christ enlightens men, and so makes them holy and happy.
Verse 2. - He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says that "the Word of God" generally "is... sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow" (Hebrews 4:12). Christian experience testifies that tiffs keen, searching, cutting power attaches in an especial way to the sayings of Jesus, which pierce the heart as no other words can do, and rankle in the soul, which is quite unable to forget them. The imagery recurs in the Revelation of St. John (John 1:16; John 2:12, 16; John 19:15, 21). In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me. Either keeping him safe from the malice of his enemies, or reserving him until, "in the fulness of time," it would be fitting to reveal him to the world. And made me a polished shaft, A weapon even keener than a sword, smoothed and polished, so as to make it pierce the deeper, and kept hid in God's quiver until the time came when it could be launched with most effect against the hearts of ungodly men.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword,.... Or,
"he hath put his words in my mouth as a sharp sword,''
as the Targum; namely, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and is sharper than a twoedged sword, and is said to come out of the mouth of Christ, Ephesians 6:17, with which he pierces into and cuts the hearts of men, and lays open all their sin and unrighteousness, and cuts down the worst and best in men, and slays all his enemies; so his mouth was as a sharp sword in the days of his flesh, to inveigh against the sins and to refute the errors of the Scribes and Pharisees; as it will be, in the latter day, to smite the nations of the earth, Revelation 19:15, "in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me"; in his counsels and purposes of old, and in his providence;
"in the shadow of his power hath he protected me,''
as the Targum; thus he hid, and protected him from Herod's cruelty in his infancy; and from the rage and malice of the Scribes and Pharisees, who sought often to lay hands on him, and take away his life before his time. The Jews talk very much of the Messiah's being hid under the throne of glory. Aben Ezra's remark, that the phrase, "he hath hid me", answers to the scabbard of a sword, before mentioned, is not amiss:
and made me a polished shaft; or, "choice arrow" (s); which being polished at the point, or well oiled, and shining, pierces the deeper, So the doctrines of Christ, the words of his mouth, are compared to bright and sharp arrows, which make cutting work, and give great pain where they come; as they sometimes do like arrows, swiftly, suddenly, and with great force and power, Psalm 45:5. Kimchi observes, that he speaks of a sharp sword with respect to the Jews that were near, where a sword could reach them; and of a polished shaft or arrow with respect to the Gentiles afar off, which must be cast after them:
in his quiver hath he hid me, meaning his secret purposes, and his powerful protection, as before; which he compares to a quiver, a case in which arrows are put, because mention had been made of a polished shaft or arrow before.
(s) Sept. "sagittam electam", V. L. "telum electum", Cocceius; "sagittam nitidam vel electam", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. my mouth … sword—(Isa 11:4; Re 19:15). The double office of the Word of God, saving and damnatory, is implied (Isa 50:4; Joh 12:48; Heb 4:12).
shaft—(Ps 45:5). "Polished," that is, free from all rust, implies His unsullied purity.
in … quiver … hid me—Like a sword in its scabbard, or a shaft in the quiver, Messiah, before His appearing, was hid with God, ready to be drawn forth at the moment God saw fit [Hengstenberg]; also always protected by God, as the arrow by the quiver (Isa 51:16).
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