|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 5. - What have I here? rather, what have r to do here? i.e. what is the task before me - the work that I have to perform? There are three principal considerations by which the answer to this question has to be determined.
(1) The Babylonians have obtained possession of the Israelites without purchase - for nought;
(2) they use their authority harshly and brutally; and
(3) they continually blaspheme the Name of Jehovah. All three are grounds for bringing the captivity to an end, and coming forward with the cry of a deliverer, "Here I am." Make them to howl; rather, howl; i.e. insult over the captives with shouts and yells of triumph. The prophet is speaking of the Babylonian oppressors, not of the native "rulers," who exercised a certain amount of authority over the captives (see Delitzsch and Cheyne). My Name... is blasphemed. Cruel taskmasters vexed the captives by insulting their God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now therefore what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought?.... Or what do I get by it, that my people should be taken and held in captivity without cause? I am no gainer, but a loser by it, as it afterwards appears; and therefore why should I sit still, and delay the deliverance of my people any longer? but as I have delivered Israel out of Egypt, and the Jews from Babylon, so will I deliver my people out of mystical Babylon, spiritually called Sodom and Egypt.
They that rule over them cause them to howl, saith the Lord; they that hath carried them captive, and exercised a tyrannical power over them, cause them to howl under their bondage and slavery, as the Israelites formerly in Egypt; wherefore the Lord is moved with compassion to them, and since neither he nor they were gainers, but losers by their captivity, he determines to deliver them: or it may be rendered, "they cause its rulers to howl" (i), or his rulers howl; not the common people only, but their governors, civil and ecclesiastical; so Aben Ezra interprets it not of Heathen rulers, but of the great men of Israel:
and my name continually every day is blasphemed; by ascribing their extent of power and authority, their dominions and conquests, not to the Lord, but to their idols, whom they worship, to such or such a saint; opening their mouths in blasphemy against God, his name and tabernacle, and his people, Revelation 13:5. The Targum is,
"and always, all the day, because of the worship of my name, they provoke.''
The Septuagint is, "for you always my name is blasphemed among the Gentiles"; see Romans 2:24.
(i) "dominatores ejus ululare facient", Montanus; "dominus ipsius ejulant", Junius & Tremellius, Vitringa; "ululant", Piscator; "qui habent potestatem in eum ejulant", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. what have I here—that is, what am I called on to do? The fact "that My people is taken away (into captivity; Isa 49:24, 25) for naught" (by gratuitous oppression, Isa 52:4; also Isa 52:3, and see on Isa 52:3) demands My interposition.
they that rule—or "tyrannize," namely, Babylon, literal and mystical.
make … to howl—or, raise a cry of exultation over them [Maurer].
blasphemed—namely, in Babylon: God's reason for delivering His people, not their goodness, but for the sake of His holy name (Eze 20:9, 14).
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