|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
51:9-16 The people whom Christ has redeemed with his blood, as well as by his power, will obtain joyful deliverance from every enemy. He that designs such joy for us at last, will he not work such deliverance in the mean time, as our cases require? In this world of changes, it is a short step from joy to sorrow, but in that world, sorrow shall never come in view. They prayed for the display of God's power; he answers them with consolations of his grace. Did we dread to sin against God, we should not fear the frowns of men. Happy is the man that fears God always. And Christ's church shall enjoy security by the power and providence of the Almighty.
Verse 14. - The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed; rather, he that is bent down hasteneth to be released; i.e. such of the exiles as were cramped and bent by fetters, or by the stocks, would speedily, on the fall of Babylon, obtain their release. They would not "die unto the pit," i.e. so as to belong to the pit and to be east into it, but would live and have a sufficiency of sustenance.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed,.... The time hastens on, or God will hasten the time, for the release either of the captive Jews in literal Babylon, or of his people in mystical Babylon; or they that are in exile and captivity, as soon as ever opportunity offers for their release, will take it, and make no delay: though some understand the words by way of complaint, as if the persons spoken of were impatient, and could not wait the proper time of their deliverance:
and that he should not die in the pit; in captivity, which was like a pit or grave:
nor that his bread should fail: while in the pit or prison, or on his way home. Musculus interprets all this of Pharaoh, whom he supposes to be the oppressor in the preceding verse, and renders the words,
who hastened going to open, lest he should die in the destruction; who, when he saw the firstborn slain, hastened to open and let Israel go, and was urgent upon them to be gone immediately, lest he and all his people should perish in that calamity:
nor did his bread fail; the bread of the people delivered out of Egypt, so he understands it, but were provided with bread from heaven, all the while they were in the wilderness; and yet this instance of divine power and goodness was greatly forgotten in later times. Jerome applies the whole to Christ, who should quickly come; going and treading down his enemies; opening the way of victory; saving those that are converted, and giving the bread of doctrine to them: but the words are a promise to exiles and prisoners for the sake of Christ and his Gospel, that they should be quickly loosed and set free, and not die in prison, nor want bread, neither corporeal nor spiritual.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. captive exile—literally, one bowed down as a captive (Isa 10:4) [Maurer]. The scene is primarily Babylon, and the time near the close of the captivity. Secondarily, and antitypically, the mystical Babylon, the last enemy of Israel and the Church, in which they have long suffered, but from which they are to be gloriously delivered.
pit—such as were many of the ancient dungeons (compare Jer 38:6, 11, 13; Ge 37:20).
nor … bread … fail—(Isa 33:16; Jer 37:21).
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