|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
55:1-5 All are welcome to the blessings of salvation, to whom those blessings are welcome. In Christ there is enough for all, and enough for each. Those satisfied with the world, that see no need of Christ, do not thirst. They are in no uneasiness about their souls: but where God gives grace, he gives a thirst after it; and where he has given a thirst after it, he will give it. Come to Christ, for he is the Fountain opened, he is the Rock smitten. Come to holy ordinances, to the streams that make glad the city of our God. Come to the healing waters, come to the living waters, Re 22:17. Our Saviour referred to this, Joh 7:37. Come, and buy; make it your own by application of the grace of the gospel to yourselves. Come, and eat; make it still more your own, and enjoy it. The world comes short of our expectations; we promise ourselves, at least, water in it, and we are disappointed; but Christ outdoes our expectations. We come to him, and we find wine and milk. The gifts offered to us are such as no price can be set upon. The things offered are already paid for; for Christ purchased them at the full price of his own blood, 1Pe 1:19. Our wants are beyond number, and we have nothing to supply them; if Christ and heaven are ours, we see ourselves for ever indebted to free grace. Hearken diligently; let the proud heart stoop; not only come, but accept God's offers. All the wealth and pleasure in the world, will not yield solid comfort and content to the soul. They do not satisfy even the appetites of the body; for all is vanity and vexation. Let the disappointments we meet with in the world, help to drive us to Christ, and to seek for satisfaction in him only. Then, and not before, we shall find rest for our souls. Hear, and your soul shall live. On what easy terms is happiness offered us! By the sure mercies of David, we are to understand the Messiah. All his mercies are covenant mercies; they are purchased by him, they are promised in him, and out of his hand they are dispensed to us. We know not how to find the way to the waters, but Christ is given to be a Leader, a Commander, to show us what to do, and enable us to do it. Our business is to obey him, and follow him. And there is no coming to the Father but by him. He is the Holy One of Israel, true to his promises; and he has promised to glorify Christ, by giving him the heathen for his inheritance.
Verse 2. - Wherefore do ye spend money? literally, wherefore do ye weigh silver?-silver being the ordinary currency, and money transactions, in default of a coinage, being by weight (cf. Genesis 23:16; Zechariah 11:12). For that which is not bread; i.e. "for that which has no real value - which cannot sustain you, which will do you no good." The affections of the great mass of the Israelites were set on worldly things, on enriching themselves - adding field to field, and house to house (Isaiah 5:8). They did not care for spiritual blessings, much less "hunger and thirst" after them. That which satisfieth not. Worldly things can never satisfy the heart, not even the heart of the worldly. "What fruit had ye then in those things," says St. Paul, "whereof ye are now ashamed?" (Romans 6:21). Hearken diligently unto me; rather, hearken, oh, hearken unto me. The phrase is one of earnest exhortation. It implies the strong disinclination of Israel to listen, and seeks to overcome it (compare the opening words of the next verse). Let your soul delight itself in fatness (comp. Psalm 36:8; Psalm 63:5; and Isaiah 25:6). The spiritual blessings of the Messianic kingdom are richer dainties than any that this world has to offer. The soul that obtains them "delights" in them, and is satisfied with them (Psalm 17:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread?.... Lavish away time, opportunities, and strength, in reading and hearing false doctrine, which is not bread, but chaff; is not wholesome, does not nourish, but is harmful and destructive; eats as does a canker, instead of feeding and refreshing; such as the vain philosophy of the Gentiles, the traditions of the Jews, and the errors and heresies of false teachers:
and your labour for that which satisfieth not? labouring to seek for happiness in worldly things, which is not to be had; or to obtain righteousness by the works of the law, which is not to be attained to in that way; all such labour is in vain, no satisfaction is enjoyed, nor peace and comfort had, nor any solid food; these are husks which swine eat:
hearken diligently unto me; not the prophet, but the Lord himself. The Targum renders it,
the essential Word, Christ Jesus, hearken to his doctrine, which is bread, and of a satisfying nature:
and eat ye that which is good; not the law, as the Jewish commentators; but the good word of God, the Gospel, which being found and eaten by faith, or mixed with faith by them that hear it, and so digested, is the joy and rejoicing of the heart:
and let your soul delight itself in fatness; in the goodness and fatness of the Lord's house, attending on the word and ordinances with spiritual pleasure and delight; and which is the way to become fat and flourishing in spiritual things; see Psalm 36:8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. not bread—(Hab 2:13). "Bread of deceit" (Pr 20:17). Contrast this with the "bread of life" (Joh 6:32, 35; also Lu 14:16-20).
satisfieth not—(Ec 1:8; 4:8).
hearken … and eat—When two imperatives are joined, the second expresses the consequence of obeying the command in the first (Ge 42:18). By hearkening ye shall eat. So in Isa 55:1, "buy and eat." By buying, and so making it your own, ye shall eat, that is, experimentally enjoy it (Joh 6:53). Compare the invitation (Pr 9:5, 6; Mt 22:4).
fatness—(Ps 36:8; 63:5).
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