|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
59:16-21 This passage is connected with the following chapters. It is generally thought to describe the coming of the Messiah, as the Avenger and Deliverer of his church. There was none to intercede with God to turn away his wrath; none to interpose for the support of justice and truth. Yet He engaged his own strength and righteousness for his people. God will make his justice upon the enemies of his church and people plainly appear. When the enemy threatens to bear down all without control, then the Spirit of the Lord shall stop him, put him to flight. He that has delivered, will still deliver. A far more glorious salvation is promised to be wrought out by the Messiah in the fulness of time, which all the prophets had in view. The Son of God shall come to us to be our Redeemer; the Spirit of God shall come to be our Sanctifier: thus the Comforter shall abide with the church for ever, Joh 14:16. The word of Christ will always continue in the mouths of the faithful; and whatever is pretended to be the mind of the Spirit, must be tried by the Scriptures. We must lament the progress of infidelity and impiety. But the cause of the Redeemer shall gain a complete victory even on earth, and the believer will be more than conqueror when the Lord receives him to his glory in heaven.
Verse 17. - He put on righteousness as a breastplate. The Isaiah anthropomorphism is far less gross than the Homeric. The gods in Homer put on actual armour, and take sword and shield. Jehovah arms himself for the battle in a way that is manifestly metaphoric. He puts on a "Divine panoply" - righteousness as his breastplate, salvation as his helmet, vengeance for garments, and zeal, or jealousy, for a cloak. He takes no offensive weapons - "the out-breathing of his Spirit (ver. 19) is enough" (Kay).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For he put on righteousness as a breastplate,.... Here the Lord is represented as a warrior clothed with armour, and as Christ is, and as he will appear in the latter day on the behalf of his people, and against their enemies, who is called faithful and true, and in righteousness will make war, Revelation 19:11, he will proceed according to justice and equity in righting the wrongs and avenging the injuries of his people; and both in saving them, and destroying their enemies, he will secure the honour of his faithfulness and justice, and the credit of his name and character; which will be preserved by his conduct, as the breast and inward parts are by the breastplate:
and an helmet of salvation upon his head; the salvation he will work out for his people will be very conspicuous; it will be seen by all, as the helmet on the head; and he will have the glory of it, on whose head are many crowns, Revelation 19:12. The apostle has borrowed these phrases from hence, and applied them to the Christian armour, Ephesians 6:14,
and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing; or, "he clothed himself with vengeance as a garment" (k); he wrapped himself in it, and resolved to execute it on his and his people's enemies; the time being come to avenge the blood of his servants, by shedding the blood of their adversaries, with which his garments will be stained; and therefore is represented as having on a vesture dipped in blood, Revelation 19:13,
and was clad with zeal as a cloak; with zeal for his own glory, and the interest of his people, and against antichrist, and all antichristian worship and doctrine; and therefore his eyes are said to be as a flame of fire, Revelation 19:12.
(k) "et ultionem induit tanquam vestem", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Messiah is represented as a warrior armed at all points, going forth to vindicate His people. Owing to the unity of Christ and His people, their armor is like His, except that they have no "garments of vengeance" (which is God's prerogative, Ro 12:19), or "cloak of zeal" (in the sense of judicial fury punishing the wicked; this zeal belongs properly to God, 2Ki 10:16; Ro 10:2; Php 3:6; "zeal," in the sense of anxiety for the Lord's honor, they have, Nu 25:11, 13; Ps 69:9; 2Co 7:11; 9:2); and for "salvation," which is of God alone (Ps 3:8), they have as their helmet, "the hope of salvation" (1Th 5:8). The "helmet of salvation" is attributed to them (Eph 6:14, 17) in a secondary sense; namely, derived from Him, and as yet only in hope, not fruition (Ro 8:24). The second coming here, as often, is included in this representation of Messiah. His "zeal" (Joh 2:15-17) at His first coming was but a type of His zeal and vengeance against the foes of God at His second coming (2Th 1:8-10; Re 19:11-21).
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