|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
54:1-5 Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God. This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.
Verse 3. - For thou shalt break forth; or, thou shalt increase (see Genesis 30:30, 43; Exodus 1:12). An overflow, like that of the bursting out of water, is pointed at. On the right hand and on the left; i.e. "on all sides" (comp. Genesis 28:14). Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles. The Christian Church is viewed as a continuation of the Jewish Church; and the conversion of nation after nation to the gospel is regarded as the extension of Jewish dominion over fresh lands. The cities of these lands - desolate hitherto, i.e. without godly inhabitants - will under these circumstances come to be inhabited; i.e. will be peopled by faithful men.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left,.... To the south, and to the north, as the Targum, like an inundation of water, that breaks through and overflows the banks of the river, and spreads itself in the adjacent countries; or like a warehouse overstocked with goods, bursts the walls in which they are pent up; or rather as infants break forth from the womb at the time of birth, as Pharez did, from whence he had his name, Genesis 38:29 see Hosea 13:13, or as, when a country is become exceeding numerous, the inhabitants break out, and go forth beyond their borders, and seek new settlements, the place of their abode being too small for them; so it shall be in the latter day, through the vast number of converts that will be made; see Isaiah 49:19,
and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles; where formerly only Heathens lived, there the Gospel of Christ shall be carried by his apostles and other ministers; and being succeeded to the conversion of many souls, through the power of divine grace accompanying it, a spiritual seed, the seed of the church, shall take place, and dwell there; this was true in the first ages of Christianity, more especially in Constantine's time; and will be more fully accomplished in the latter day, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in:
and make the desolate cities to be inhabited: such cities as were destitute of the knowledge of Christ and his salvation, and of all divine and spiritual things, shall now be inhabited by spiritual men, such as believe in Christ, and profess his name; such cities as Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, and many others.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. break forth—rather, "burst forth" with increase; thy offspring shall grow, answering to "thy seed" in the parallel clause.
thy seed—Israel and her children, as distinguished from "the Gentiles."
desolate cities—of Israel (Isa 44:26).
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