The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The remnant shall return . . .—The very form of the words (Shear-jashub) shows that the prophet had the “Immanuel promise in his thoughts, just as “the mighty God” (the same word as in Isaiah 9:6) must have reminded men of the Child who was to bear that name in the age to come. (Comp. Hezekiah’s proclamation in 2Chronicles 30:6.)Isaiah 10:21-23. The remnant shall return — Hebrew, שׁאר ישׁוב, shear- jashub, the name given to one of the prophet’s sons, (see Isaiah 7:3,) in confirmation of the truth of God’s promises. It may be rendered, as here, the remnant, or, a remnant, or, but a remnant, shall return; unto the mighty God — Hebrew, אל גבור, the very appellation given to Christ, Isaiah 9:6. For though thy people Israel — Or, thy people, O Israel; to whom the prophet, by an apostrophe, directs his speech; be as the sand, &c., yet a remnant — Or, a remnant only, as before; shall return — For that this is a threatening in respect of some, as well as a promise in respect of others, is evident from the rest of this, and from the following verse. The consumption decreed shall overflow — God’s judgments are said to overflow when they spread generally, the metaphor being taken from an inundation that sweeps all before it. The destruction of the people of Israel was already decreed by the fixed counsel of God, and therefore must needs be executed, and like a deluge overflow them, with, or in righteousness, as the word is rendered Romans 9:28, that is, with justice, and yet with clemency, inasmuch as he spared a considerable remnant of them, when he might have destroyed them utterly. In the midst of the land — In all the parts of the land, not excepting Jerusalem, which was to be preserved in the Assyrian invasion. Bishop Lowth translates these verses, “Though thy people, O Israel, shall be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them only shall return. The consummation decided overfloweth with strict justice: For a full and decisive decree shall Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, accomplish in the midst of the land.” The prophet’s affirming, that only a remnant of Judah and Ephraim should be preserved, and return in true repentance to God, might justly cause wonder and offence, both to Jews and Israelites, at the time when he spoke these things: for it implied that far the greater part of the people should perish, which they must have conceived highly improbable, especially as they were at that time very numerous and flourishing. The prophet, therefore, declares repeatedly, and more explicitly, that God had determined, by an absolute and precise decree, thus to exercise his justice and severity upon them. This, it is evident, is the sense of the present passage, though there is some difficulty in the expressions. This prophecy was, in part, fulfilled at the Babylonish captivity, but there can be no doubt that it has also a reference to the times of the Messiah: see note on Romans 9:27. Indeed, as Lowth observes, the remnant, so miraculously preserved in Jerusalem from Sennacherib’s invasion, were a type or figure of that small number of converts under the gospel, styled σωζομενοι, (Acts 2:47,) such as should be saved, namely, such as should escape the vengeance which fell upon the main body of the Jewish nation, for their sin in rejecting Christ. And there shall be another remnant of them that shall be saved in the latter days of the Christian Church.
Shall return - Shall abandon their idolatrous rites and places of worship, and shall worship the true God.The remnant; or, a remnant; or, but a remnant; or, a remnant only; which particles are oft understood, as hath been formerly and frequently observed, and may be here supplied from the following verses.
Unto the mighty God; unto the Messiah, expressly called the mighty God, Isaiah 9:6. Isaiah 7:3 which signifies "the remnant shall return", and was imposed on him, to give assurance of it; meaning, either that they should return from the Babylonish captivity, as they did, or to God by repentance; or rather the sense is, they shall turn to the Lord, be converted to Christ, to the faith and obedience of him, as some of them were when he came, a few, not all, only a remnant, as it is explained in the next clause:
even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God; the Messiah, so called, Isaiah 9:6. The Targum is,The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. The remnant, &c.] A remnant shall turn. Thus shall be fulfilled the prophecy embodied in the name of Isaiah’s son, Shear-jashub (ch. Isaiah 7:3).
the mighty God] the Hero-God—in ch. Isaiah 9:6 a title of the Messiah, but here apparently of Jehovah.Verse 21. - The mighty God (comp. Isaiah 9:6). The name is not, however, Messianic in this place. Isaiah 31:8. A stick is wood, and nothing more; in itself it is an absolutely motionless thing. A man is "not-wood," an incomparably higher, living being. As there must be "not-wood" to lay hold of wood, so, wherever a man performs extraordinary deeds, there is always a superhuman cause behind, viz., God Himself, who bears the same relation to the man as the man to the wood. The boasting of the Assyrian was like the bragging of an instrument, such as an axe, a saw, or a stick, against the person using it. The verb hēnı̄ph is applied both to saw and stick, indicating the oscillating movements of a measured and more or less obvious character. The plural, "those that lift it up," points to the fact that by Him who lifts up the stock, Jehovah, the cause of all causes, and power of all powers, is intended.
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