|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-8 In this figurative vision, the temple is thrown open to view, even to the most holy place. The prophet, standing outside the temple, sees the Divine Presence seated on the mercy-seat, raised over the ark of the covenant, between the cherubim and seraphim, and the Divine glory filled the whole temple. See God upon his throne. This vision is explained, Joh 12:41, that Isaiah now saw Christ's glory, and spake of Him, which is a full proof that our Saviour is God. In Christ Jesus, God is seated on a throne of grace; and through him the way into the holiest is laid open. See God's temple, his church on earth, filled with his glory. His train, the skirts of his robes, filled the temple, the whole world, for it is all God's temple. And yet he dwells in every contrite heart. See the blessed attendants by whom his government is served. Above the throne stood the holy angels, called seraphim, which means burners; they burn in love to God, and zeal for his glory against sin. The seraphim showing their faces veiled, declares that they are ready to yield obedience to all God's commands, though they do not understand the secret reasons of his counsels, government, or promises. All vain-glory, ambition, ignorance, and pride, would be done away by one view of Christ in his glory. This awful vision of the Divine Majesty overwhelmed the prophet with a sense of his own vileness. We are undone if there is not a Mediator between us and this holy God. A glimpse of heavenly glory is enough to convince us that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Nor is there a man that would dare to speak to the Lord, if he saw the justice, holiness, and majesty of God, without discerning his glorious mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. The live coal may denote the assurance given to the prophet, of pardon, and acceptance in his work, through the atonement of Christ. Nothing is powerful to cleanse and comfort the soul, but what is taken from Christ's satisfaction and intercession. The taking away sin is necessary to our speaking with confidence and comfort, either to God in prayer, or from God in preaching; and those shall have their sin taken away who complain of it as a burden, and see themselves in danger of being undone by it. It is great comfort to those whom God sends, that they go for God, and may therefore speak in his name, assured that he will bear them out.
Verses 8-13. - THE PROPHET ENTRUSTED WITH A SPECIAL MISSON. We do not know what special call Isaiah had had previously. Perhaps he had been brought up in the "schools of the prophets." Perhaps, when the "word of the Lord" came to him, he had accepted the fact as sufficient call. Now, however, he had, in vision, a clear and distinct call and mission (vers. 8, 9). He was told to "go," and instructed as to what he was to say (vers. 9, 10). As before (Isaiah 1-5.), while in the main he was to denounce woe, he was still to proclaim the survival of a remnant (vers. 10-12). Verse 8. - Whom shall I send? (comp. 1 Kings 20:20). Such questions enable those who wait in the courts of heaven to show their zeal and readiness. Who will go for us? Some explain the plural pronoun as used of the Almighty and those with whom he is consulting. But he does not really "consult" his creatures (infra, Isaiah 40:14; Romans 11:34), nor do his messengers do his errands for them. The plural form is best explained by the light which ver. 3 throws on it, as indicative of the doctrine of the Trinity (comp. Genesis 1:26).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Also I heard the voice of the Lord,.... The Targum renders it, the voice of the Word of the Lord, as if it was the second Person, the Word, that was heard speaking; but it seems rather to be the voice of the first Person, the Father:
saying, Whom shall I send? to the people of Israel, to reprove them for their blindness and stupidity, and to threaten them, and foretell unto them their ruin and destruction; intimating that it was a difficult thing to pitch upon a proper person; and that there were but few that were fit to go on such an errand: this is spoken after the manner of men; otherwise the Lord knew whom to send, and whom he would send; and could easily qualify anyone he pleased, and send with such a message:
and who will go for us? not directing his discourse to the seraphim, as Aben Ezra and Kimchi; as if he consulted with them: for who of all the creatures is the Lord's counsellor? but to the Son and Spirit, who it is certain were concerned in this mission; for the following words were said when Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, and spake of him, John 12:41 and they are expressly attributed to the Holy Ghost in Acts 28:25 the Septuagint and Arabic versions, instead of "for us", read "unto this people"; and the Targum is,
"whom shall I send to prophesy? and who will go to teach?''
then said I, here am I, send me: for he who before thought himself undone, and unworthy to be employed in the service of God, now having a discovery and application of pardoning grace, freely offers himself to God: this shows the true nature and effect of an application of pardon; it gives a man freedom and boldness in the presence of God, and stimulates to a ready and cheerful obedience to his will, and engages him with the utmost alacrity in his service; so far is the doctrine of free and full pardon by the blood of Christ from being a licentious doctrine.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. I … us—The change of number indicates the Trinity (compare Ge 1:26; 11:7). Though not a sure argument for the doctrine, for the plural may indicate merely majesty, it accords with that truth proved elsewhere.
Whom … who—implying that few would be willing to bear the self-denial which the delivering of such an unwelcome message to the Jews would require on the part of the messenger (compare 1Ch 29:5).
Here am I—prompt zeal, now that he has been specially qualified for it (Isa 6:7; compare 1Sa 3:10, 11; Ac 9:6).
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