|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
54:6-10 As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting. We are neither to despond under afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men. Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and election sure.
Verse 9. - This is as the waters of Noah unto me. The existing calamity - Israel submerged in the flood of Babylonian captivity-is as it were a repetition of the calamity of the Deluge in God's eyes. Its object is to purify his Church, as the object of the Flood was to purify the world. A righteous household survived in the one case; a righteous remnant would go forth in the other. And as God bound himself in Noah's time not to repeat the calamity of the Deluge, so now he binds himself not again to submerge his Church in a captivity like the Babylonian. It has been said that the promise was not kept, since the Jewish Church was, in A.D. , carried captive by the Romans. But the prophet views the Jewish Church as continued in the Christian, into which all its better and more spiritual members passed at the first preaching of the gospel; and the promise here made is thus parallel to that of our Lord, "Upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Much as the Christian Church has suffered from the world, it has never been in like cases with the Jewish Church in Babylon, and, as God is faithful, never will be reduced to such extremity. As I have sworn; i.e. "pledged myself." It does not appear from Genesis 8:20-22 or Genesis 9:8-17 that God actually bound himself by oath. So have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. That is to say, not to the same extent, not so as to visit her with the same punishment.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me,.... Some copies, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, read these two words, , as one, thus, "as the days of Noah"; and this is followed by the Targum, Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions; both readings may be kept, and joined in one, and the sense be, "for this is as the waters that were in the days of Noah unto me"; so Kimchi and Menachem join them. The meaning is, that God's dispensation towards his people, at the time the prophecy refers to, is like that of his to Noah and his family; and the love he bears to them is like that which he bore to him; and the covenant he has made with them is as that he made with him:
for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; he gave his word for it, which is as firm as his oath; he made a covenant with Noah, and confirmed it by a rainbow, that the waters should no more go over the earth as they had, and that the world should be no more destroyed by a flood, Genesis 9:9,
so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee; for though the Lord's people are by nature children of wrath, as others, he has not appointed them to it, nor will he suffer it to fall upon them, but saves them from it through the righteousness of Christ, who has borne it for them; and though he rebukes by his Spirit, by his word and ministers, and by his providences, yet not in wrath, but in love; and of this he has given the strongest assurances; he has not only said it, but swore to it in covenant, Psalm 89:3. The Jews (r) refer this prophecy to the times of the Messiah.
(r) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. I am about to do the same in this instance as in Noah's flood. As I swore then that it should not return (Ge 8:21; 9:11), and I kept that promise, so I swear now to My people, and will perform My promise, that there shall be no return of the deluge of My wrath upon them. Lowth, on insufficient authority, reads (the same will I do now as), "in the days of Noah."
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