|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-8 The nations have not yet so submitted to the Prince of Peace, as to beat their swords into ploughshares, nor has war ceased. But very precious promises these are, relating to the gospel church, which will be more and more fulfilled, for He is faithful that has promised. There shall be a glorious church for God set up in the world, in the last days, in the days of the Messiah. Christ himself will build it upon a rock. The Gentiles worshipped their idol gods; but in the period spoken of, the people will cleave to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and delight in doing his will. The word halteth, describes those who walk not according to the Divine word. The collecting the captives from Babylon was an earnest of healing, purifying, and prospering the church; and the reign of Christ shall continue till succeeded by the everlasting kingdom of heaven. Let us stir up each other to attend the ordinances of God, that we may learn his holy ways, and walk in them, receiving the law from his hands, which, being written in our hearts by his Spirit, may show our interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.
Verse 5. - This verse gives the reason why Israel is thus strong and safe. In the parallel passage in Isaiah (Isaiah 2:5) it is converted into an injunction to the house of Jacob. All people will walk; rather, all nations walk. Everyone in the name of his god. "To walk" is generally used of moral and religious habits (e.g. 2 Chronicles 17:4; Psalm 89:31; Ezekiel 5:6, etc.); so here the meaning is that all other nations adhere to their false gods, and frame their life and conduct relying on the power and protection of these inanities, and, by implication, shall find their hope deceived. And we will walk in the name of the Lord our God. This is the secret of Israel's strength. The heathen can never prevail against the true believers who put their whole trust in the Lord, and live in union with him. By saying we, the prophet identifies himself with the faithful people. Forever and ever. The Church shall never fail. Heathen powers last for a time; the kingdom of Messiah is everlasting.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For all people will walk everyone in the name of his god,.... Till those times come before described; when many nations and people shall flock to the church, and there shall be such general peace and tranquillity as here promised; till then the nations of the earth shall retain their former religion, and the profession of it, with constancy, till they are otherwise instructed, as Aben Ezra; or till the Messiah shall turn them into the right way, as Kimchi; till that time comes, the Pagans will worship their idols, and continue in the idolatry of their ancestors; the Papists will retain their image worship, and hold to their lord god the pope, as they call him; the Mahometans will cleave to their prophet, and walk according to the rules he has left them to observe. Jarchi's note is,
"they shall go to destruction because of their idolatry;''
with which he says the Targum agrees, which is,
"all nations shall go according to the idols they have worshipped;''
or, as the king of Spain's Bible,
"they shall be guilty or condemned because they have worshipped idols:''
and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever; both in the mean while, and when those happy times shall come, and so through all generations as long as the world stands. This is the language of those that know the Lord, believe in him, and sincerely serve him; who determine in the strength of divine grace to continue in their profession of faith of him, in his worship and service, in his ways, truths, and ordinances, whatever others, do; and indeed are the more animated to it, when they observe how constant and steadfast idolaters, Pagans, Papists, and Mahometans, are in their false worship, both in the profession and practice of it. The Targum is,
"we will trust in the Word of the Lord our God for ever and ever;''
in Christ the essential Word; and so the phrase is expressive of faith, and a profession of faith in him; and of constant attendance upon his word and ordinances.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. For—rather, Though it be that all people walk after their several gods, yet we (the Jews in the dispersion) will walk in the name of the Lord. So the Hebrew particle means in the Margin, Ge 8:21; Ex 13:17; Jos 17:18. The resolution of the exile Jews is: As Jehovah gives us hope of so glorious a restoration, notwithstanding the overthrow of our temple and nation, we must in confident reliance on His promise persevere in the true worship of Him, however the nations around, our superiors now in strength and numbers, walk after their gods [Rosenmuller]. As the Jews were thoroughly weaned from idols by the Babylonian captivity, so they shall be completely cured of unbelief by their present long dispersion (Zec 10:8-12).
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