|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
51:4-8 The gospel of Christ shall be preached and published. How shall we escape if we neglect it? There is no salvation without righteousness. The soul shall, as to this world, vanish like smoke, and the body be thrown by like a worn-out garment. But those whose happiness is in Christ's righteousness and salvation, will have the comfort of it when time and days shall be no more. Clouds darken the sun, but do not stop its course. The believer will enjoy his portion, while revilers of Christ are in darkness
Verse 4. - Hearken unto me; rather, attend to me - a stronger term than "hearken" - attend, and hear of a greater blessing than the restoration of the land of Judah to cultivation and fruitfulness. God, enthroned anew in Zion, will from thence send forth his light and his truth to the nations, will make his Law known to them, and allow them to partake of his salvation. O my nation. Some manuscripts have "O ye nations." But the reading is undoubtedly a wrong one. A law shall proceed from me. The Christian "law" - the new covenant - is probably intended. This became, by the preaching of the apostles, a light of the people, or rather, of the peoples.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hearken unto me, my people,.... His special people, whether Jews or Gentiles, chosen by him, taken into covenant with him; given to Christ, redeemed by him as a peculiar people, and called by his grace; these are exhorted to hearken to him; to his word, as the Targum; see Isaiah 51:1,
and give ear unto me, O my nation; not the nation of the Jews only, but the Gentiles; a nation taken out of a nation, even out of all nations; a chosen and a holy nation. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "kings"; such are made kings and priests unto God: see 1 Peter 2:9,
for a law shall proceed from me; not the Sinai law, but the Gospel; that doctrine that is said to go out of Zion, Isaiah 2:3, as Kimchi rightly observes, who adds,
"for the King Messiah shall teach the people to walk in the ways of the Lord; and this shall be after the war of Gog and Magog:''
and this law or doctrine of God comes from Christ, and is dictated, directed, and made effectual by his Spirit:
and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people; this is the same with the law, or doctrine of the Gospel, called "judgment", because it comes from the God of judgment, flows from his wisdom and counsel, and is a declaration of his will; it expands his method of justifying sinners, and is the means of awakening, convincing, and judging the consciences of men, and of informing and establishing the judgments of the saints, and by which the world will be judged at the last day. Now this is
for a light of the people; to enlighten unconverted ones, such who sit in darkness, to turn them from it, and call them out of it into marvellous light; and to illuminate the saints yet more and more, both with respect to doctrine and duty. And this is said to be made to "rest"; which denotes both the continuance of it in the world, until all the ends of it are answered; and the spiritual rest it gives to weary souls now, as well as points out to them that which remains for them hereafter. Though the words may be rendered, "I will cause my judgment to break forth" (h); like the morning, suddenly, and in a "moment" (i); to which agrees what follows.
(h) "erumpere faciam", De Dieu. (i) So R. Jonah, in Ben Melech, takes it to have the signification of "a moment"; as if the sense is, "my judgment I will show every moment from this time, to enlighten the people with it."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. my people—the Jews. This reading is better than that of Gesenius: "O peoples … nations," namely, the Gentiles. The Jews are called on to hear and rejoice in the extension of the true religion to the nations; for, at the first preaching of the Gospel, as in the final age to come, it was from Jerusalem that the gospel law was, and is, to go forth (Isa 2:3).
law … judgment—the gospel dispensation and institutions (Isa 42:1, "judgment").
make … to rest—establish firmly; found.
light, &c.—(Isa 42:6).
Isaiah 51:4 Parallel Commentaries
Isaiah 51:4 NIV
Isaiah 51:4 NLT
Isaiah 51:4 ESV
Isaiah 51:4 NASB
Isaiah 51:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible