|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:18-23 Zion is addressed as an afflicted widow, bereaved of her children. Numbers flock to her, and she is assured that they come to be a comfort to her. There are times when the church is desolate and few in number; yet its desolations shall not last for ever, and God will repair them. God can raise up friends for returning Israelites, even among Gentiles. They shall bring their children, and make them thy children. Let all deal tenderly and carefully with young converts and beginners in religion. Princes shall protect the church. It shall appear that God is the sovereign Lord of all. And those who in the exercise of faith, hope, and patience, wait on God for the fulfilment of his promises, shall never be confounded.
Verse 20. - The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other; literally, the children of thy bereavement; i.e. the Gentiles who shall replace those many faithless Israelites who refused to return when Cyrus issued his edict, and became lost to the Church of God. The place is too strait for me (see the comment on ver. 19).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other,.... Which "other lost" are not the Jews, the broken branches, rejected and cut off for unbelief; and the "children after" them not the Gentiles converted, which took their place; but "the other" are such who have been destroyed by the Heathen persecutions, and especially by the antichristian cruelties; and the "children after", the great numbers of converts upon the fall of antichrist. The words may be rendered, "the children of thine orbity" (o), or "childless state"; such as were born unto her in an uncommon, extraordinary, and unexpected way, when the church seemed to be in a widowhood estate, or like a woman that is past bearing children:
shall say again in thine ears; or, "shall yet say" (p); that is, hereafter, in time to come: for this is a prophecy of what should be said in the church's hearing, and such as had never been said before; and therefore improperly rendered "again"; for there never has been as yet such a time as this, or such a large number of converts, as to say,
the place is too strait for me to dwell in; there is not room enough for us, as in 2 Kings 6:1,
give place to me that I may dwell; one and another of the children or converts should say, make room for me, that I may have a name and a place among you, and dwell with you, and abide in the house of the Lord, and partake of the privileges and ordinances of it: but the word used signifies drawing nigh, and not giving way or removing; and should rather be rendered, "draw nigh to me that I may dwell"; or "and I shall dwell" (q), or "sit"; come close to one another, and we shall all sit and dwell comfortably together; just as when a house is well filled with agreeable company, and there is an unwillingness to part with or lose any, they are desired to sit close together, that there may be room for all: and this is, and will be, the case with the church and her members; they will be desirous to sit regularly, and close together, in Gospel order, that everyone may be comfortable, and partake of the benefit of communion, and none be obliged to depart: and to this sense Gussetius (r) interprets the phrase.
(o) "filii orbitatis tuae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa; "orbitatum tuarum", Pagninus, Montanus; "tui orbati", Munster. (The word "orbity" means "childless" or "without parents", Webster's 1828 Dictionary, Editor) (p) "adhuc dicent", Gataker, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa. q) "accede mihi & habitabo", Montanus; "contrahe te mea causa ut sedeam", Cocceius. (r) Ebr. Comment. p. 496.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. children … after … other—rather, "the children of thy widowhood," that is, the children of whom thou hast been bereft during their dispersion in other lands (see on Isa 47:8) [Maurer].
give place—rather, "stand close to me," namely, in order that we may be the more able to dwell in in the narrow place [Horsley]. Compare as to Israel's spiritual children, and the extension of the gospel sphere, Ro 15:19, 24; 2Co 10:14-16. But Isa 49:22 (compare Isa 66:20) shows that her literal children are primarily meant. Gesenius translates, "Make room."
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