|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
61:4-9 Promises are here made to the Jews returned out of captivity, which extend to all those who, through grace, are delivered out of spiritual thraldom. An unholy soul is like a city that is broken down, and has no walls, like a house in ruins; but by the power of Christ's gospel and grace, it is fitted to be a habitation of God, through the Spirit. When, by the grace of God, we attain to holy indifference as to the affairs of this world; when, though our hands are employed about them, our hearts are not entangled with them, but preserved entire for God and his service, then the sons of the alien are our ploughmen and vine-dressers. Those whom He sets at liberty, he sets to work. His service is perfect freedom; it is the greatest honour. All believers are made, to our God, kings and priests; and always ought to conduct themselves as such. Those who have the Lord for their portion, have reason to say, that they have worthy portion, and to rejoice in it. In the fulness of heaven's joys we shall receive more than double for all our services and sufferings. God desires truth, and therefore hates all injustice. Nor will it justify any man's robbery to say, it was for burnt-offerings; and that robbery is most hateful which is under this pretence. Let the children of godly parents be such, that all may see the fruits of a good education; an answer to the prayers for them, in the fruit of God's blessing.
Verse 8. - For I the Lord love judgment. Either "the Servant" here identifies himself with Jehovah, or he cites a declaration of Jehovah which he has authority to announce. Jehovah will restore the Israelites to their land because he "loves judgment" (equivalent to "justice") and hates injustice. The Babylonian conquest, though a judgment sent by him, is, so far as the Babylonians are concerned, a wrong and a "robbery." I hate robbery for burnt offering; rather, I hate robbery with wickedness (comp. Job 5:16; Psalm 58:3; Psalm 64:7; 92:16). The transplantation of nations was a gross abuse of the rights of conquest. I will direct their work in truth; rather, I will give them their recompense faithfully. As they have been wronged, they shall be righted; they shall be faithfully and exactly compensated for what they have suffered. Nay, more - over and above this, God will give them the blessing of an "everlasting covenant" (comp. Isaiah 55:3).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For I the Lord love judgment,.... To do that which is right and just himself, and to see it done by others, and therefore he will right the wrongs of his people; and whereas the Jews, though they have justly suffered his vengeance for their sins, yet being reproached and abused beyond measure by the Gentiles, among whom they are dispersed; the Lord will look in mercy upon them, and will deliver and save them, and bestow favours plentifully on them, as in the preceding verse: or the Lord loves strict justice and real righteousness, and will not be put off with an imperfect righteousness in the room of a perfect one, and much less an insincere and hypocritical one, such as that of the unbelieving Jews, the pharisaical sect of them; nothing less is acceptable to God than a perfect righteousness, which is adequate to the demands of law and justice; and such a righteousness is not to be found among men, only in his Son Jesus Christ, and with which he is well pleased, Isaiah 42:21,
I hate robbery for burnt offering; that which is stolen, though it be converted into a burnt offering: or, "with a burnt offering" (c); all immorality, this being put for the whole, along with ceremonial sacrifices; as if it could be atoned for by them, or would be connived at on account of them: or,
by burnt offering; expiation of theft, or any other sin, by the sacrifices of the law, being offered up without faith in Christ; and especially since the great sacrifice, the antitype of them, is offered up; and therefore God will have no more offered up, they are displeasing and hateful to him, Isaiah 1:12,
and I will direct their work in truth; appoint them work and service of a spiritual nature, and direct them, and enable them to perform it in spirit and in truth, in opposition to the carnal and shadowy ordinances of the ceremonial law; see John 4:23,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them; that is, renew the everlasting covenant of grace with them, make it manifest unto them; apply the grace and bestow the blessings of it to and on them, Romans 11:25.
(c) "rapinam conjunctam holocausto", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. judgment—justice, which requires that I should restore My people, and give them double in compensation for their sufferings.
robbery for burnt offering—rather, from a different Hebrew root, the spoil of iniquity [Horsley]. So in Job 5:6. Hating, as I do, the rapine, combined with iniquity, perpetrated on My people by their enemies, I will vindicate Israel.
direct … work in truth—rather, "I will give them the reward of their work" (compare Isa 40:10, Margin; Isa 49:4, Margin; Isa 62:11, Margin) in faithfulness.
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