|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
52:1-12 The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. Let those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, find relief in Christ, shake themselves from the dust of their doubts and fears, and loose themselves from those bands. The price paid by the Redeemer for our salvation, was not silver or gold, or corruptible things, but his own precious blood. Considering the freeness of this salvation, and how hurtful to temporal comfort sins are, we shall more value the redemption which is in Christ. Do we seek victory over every sin, recollecting that the glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ? The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these tidings first. His ministers proclaim these good tidings: keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent. Zion's watchmen could scarcely discern any thing of God's favour through the dark cloud of their afflictions; but now the cloud is scattered, they shall plainly see the performance. Zion's waste places shall then rejoice; all the world will have the benefit. This is applied to our salvation by Christ. Babylon is no place for Israelites. And it is a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan, to use the liberty Christ has proclaimed. They were to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger; but they were not to go with distrustful haste. Those in the way of duty, are under God's special protection; and he that believes this, will not hasten for fear.
Verse 12. With haste... by flight. As at the going forth from Egypt (Exodus 12:33; Exodus 16:5). Then they were "thrust out;" now there would be no need of hurry. They would have the free permission of their sovereign to depart at their own time, and might proceed with calm deliberateness. God would go before them, as he did on that former occasion (Exodus 13:21), though not now visibly; and he would also defend them from attacks by the way, being at once their Guide and their Rereward, or Rearguard.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight,.... As persons afraid of their enemies, of being pursued, overtaken, and detained by them; privily or by stealth, like fugitives, as the Oriental versions render it; in like manner as the Israelites went out of Egypt: but it signifies, that they should go out openly, boldly, quietly, and safely, and without fear of their enemies; yea, their enemies rather being afraid of them. So the witnesses, when they shall rise, will ascend to heaven in the sight of their enemies; which will be followed with a great slaughter of some, and the terror of others, Revelation 11:12,
for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rearward; the Lord will be their Captain, and will lead the van, so that they shall follow in order, and without any tumult or fear; and though they shall make all necessary dispatch, yet no more haste than good speed; the Lord, going before, will check all tumultuous and disorderly motions; and he also will bring up the rear, so that they shall be in no fear of the enemy attacking them behind, and where generally the weaker and more feeble part are; but the Lord will be gathering them up, or closing them, as the word (q) signifies; so that they shall be in the utmost safety, and march out of Babylon with the greatest ease and freedom, without any molestation or disturbance. The allusion may be to the Lord's going before, and sometimes behind Israel, in a pillar of fire and cloud by night and day, as they passed through the wilderness.
(q) , Sept.; "colligens vos", Montanus; "congregabit vos", V. L. Syr. Ar.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. not … with haste—as when ye left Egypt (Ex 12:33, 39; De 16:3; compare Note, see on Isa 28:16). Ye shall have time to cleanse yourselves and make deliberate preparation for departure.
Lord—Jehovah, as your Leader in front (Isa 40:3; Ex 23:20; Mic 2:13).
rereward—literally, "gather up," that is, to bring up the rear of your host. The transition is frequent from the glory of Messiah in His advent to reign, to His humiliation in His advent to suffer. Indeed, so are both advents accounted one, that He is not said, in His second coming, to be about to return, but to come.
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