Isaiah 11:16
And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
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(16) And there shall be an highway for the remnant . . .—The “highway” is, as in Isaiah 19:23; Isaiah 49:11, and elsewhere, the raised embanked road, made by Eastern kings for the march of their armies. Such a road the prophet sees in his vision (here as in Isaiah 40:3), stretching across the great plains of Mesopotamia for the return of Israel. It was to be for that “second time” of restoration what the passage of the Red Sea had been for the “first time” of the Exodus, for the exiles in Assyria what another passage of the Egyptian sea was to be for those in Egypt.

11:10-16 When the gospel should be publicly preached, the Gentiles would seek Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest of soul. When God's time is come for the deliverance of his people, mountains of opposition shall become plains before him. God can soon turn gloomy days into glorious ones. And while we expect the Lord to gather his ancient people, and bring them home to his church, also to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, when all will be united in holy love, let us tread the highway of holiness he has made for his redeemed. Let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, looking to him to prepare our way through death, that river which separates this world from the eternal world.And there shall be an highway - All obstructions shall be removed, and they shall be permitted to return without hinderance (compare the note at Isaiah 35:8).

For the remnant of his people from Assyria - See note at Isaiah 11:11.

Like as it was to Israel... - That is, God will remove all obstructions as he did at the Red Sea; he will subdue all their enemies; he will provide for their needs; and he will interpose by the manifest marks of his presence and protection, as their God and their friend. The general view of the chapter is, therefore, that it, refers to the triumph of the Messiah's kingdom; that it is not yet fully accomplished; and that the time is coming when the scattered Jews shall be regathered to God - not returned to their own land, but brought again under his dominion under the administration of the Messiah; and that this event shall be attended with a sudden removal of the obstructions to the gospel, and to its rapid spread everywhere among the nations. Comparing this with the present state of the Jews, we may remark, in regard to this prospect:

(1) That they are now, and will continue to be, scattered in all nations. They have been driven to all parts of the earth - wanderers without a home - yet continuing their customs, rites, and special opinions; and continuing to live, notwithstanding all the efforts of the nations to crush and destroy them.

(2) They speak nearly all the languages of the world. They are acquainted with all the customs, prejudices, and opinions of the nations of the earth. They would, therefore, be under no necessity of engaging in the laborious work of learning language - which now occupies so much of the time, and consumes so much of the strength of the modern missionary.

(3) The law of God is thus in all nations. It is in every synagogue; and it has been well said, that the law there is like extinguished candles, and that all that is needful to illuminate the world, is to light those candles. Let the Jew everywhere be brought to see the true meaning of his law; let the light of evangelical truth shine into his synagogue, and the world would be at once illuminated. The truth would go with the rapidity of the sunbeams from place to place, until the whole earth would be enlightened with the knowledge of the Redeemer.

(4) The Jews, when converted, make the best missionaries. There is a freshness in their views of the Messiah when they are converted, which Gentile converts seldom feel. The apostles were all Jews; and the zeal of Paul shows what converted Jews will do when they become engaged in making known the true Messiah. If it has been a characteristic of their nation that they would 'compass sea and land to make one proselyte,' what will their more than three million accomplish when they become converted to the true faith of the Redeemer? We have every reason, therefore, to expect that God intends to make great use yet of the Jews, whom he has preserved scattered everywhere - though they be but a 'remnant' - in converting the world to his Son. And we should most fervently pray, that they may be imbued with love to their long-rejected Messiah, and that they may everywhere become the missionaries of the cross.

16. highway—a highway clear of obstructions (Isa 19:23; 35:8).

like as … Israel … Egypt—(Isa 51:10, 11; 63:12, 13).

From Assyria; as there was another highway from Egypt in the former verse. So the sense is, that all impediments shall be removed, and a way made for the return of God’s Israel from all parts of the world. He mentions Assyria, because thither the ten tribes were carried, 2 Kings 17:23; whose case seemed to be most desperate.

And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people,.... That is, through the river; that being dried up, and all hindrances and obstacles being removed, the way will be clear for multitudes to walk in without interruption, like a large common, highway, or causeway; so the Mahometan, Pagan, and Papal kingdoms being destroyed, and with them each of their religions, the way of truth, righteousness, and holiness, will be manifest to the remnant of the Lord's people; who will be at this time in those parts, in which they will be directed to walk, and will walk, and not err, see Isaiah 35:8,

which shall be left from Assyria; the Septuagint and Arabic versions read, "which is left in Egypt"; and designs the remnant, according to the election of grace, that shall be in any of the antichristian countries, either Mahometan or Papal; rather the former seems intended, who shall at this time be brought to the knowledge of Christ, and to walk in his ways:

like as it was to Israel in that day that he came up out of the land of Egypt; that is, as there was a highway made through the Red Sea, in which Israel passed, as on dry land, when they came out of Egypt, and went through the wilderness to Canaan's land.

And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
16. a highway] through river and desert. This miraculous “highway” is a frequent feature in prophetic descriptions of the return from exile. Cf. ch. Isaiah 35:8, Isaiah 40:3-4, Isaiah 42:16, Isaiah 49:11, &c.

Verse 16. - There shall be an highway. This is the object in view - the free and unhindered passage of his people from the various regions where they are scattered (ver. 11) to their resting-place in Palestine.

Isaiah 11:16He dwells still longer upon the miracles in which the antitypical redemption will resemble the typical one. "And Jehovah pronounces the ban upon the sea-tongue of Egypt, and swings His hand over the Euphrates in the glow of His breath, and smites it into seven brooks, and makes it so that men go through in shoes. And there will be a road for the remnant of His people that shall be left, out of Asshur, as it was for Israel in the day of its departure out of the land of Egypt." The two countries of the diaspora mentioned first are Asshur and Egypt. And Jehovah makes a way by His miraculous power for those who are returning out of both and across both. The sea-tongue of Egypt, which runs between Egypt and Arabia, i.e., the Red Sea (sinus Heroopolitanus, according to another figure), He smites with the ban (hecherim, corresponding in meaning to the pouring out of the vial of wrath in Revelation 16:12 -a stronger term than gâ‛ar, e.g., Psalm 106:9); and the consequence of this is, that it affords a dry passage to those who are coming back (though without there being any necessity to read hecherı̄b, or to follow Meier and Knobel, who combine hecherı̄m with chârūm, Leviticus 21:18, in the precarious sense of splitting). And in order that the dividing of Jordan may have its antitype also, Jehovah swings His hand over the Euphrates, to smite, breathing upon it at the same time with burning breath, so that it is split up into seven shallow brooks, through which men can walk in sandals. בּעים stands, according to the law of sound, for בּעים; and the ἁπ λεγ עים (with a fixed kametz), from עום equals חום, חמם, to glow, signifies a glowing heat - a meaning which is also so thoroughly supported by the two Arabic verbs med. Ye ‛lm and glm (inf. ‛aim, gaim, internal heat, burning thirst, also violent anger), that there is no need whatever for the conjecture of Luzzatto and Gesenius, בעתסם. The early translators (e.g., lxx πνεύματι βιαίῳ, Syr. beuchdono, with a display of might) merely give conjectural renderings of the word, which had become obsolete before their time; Saadia, however, renders it with etymological correctness suchūn, from sachana, to be hot, or set on fire. Thus, by changing the Euphrates in the (parching) heat of His breath into seven shallow wadys, Jehovah makes a free course for His people who come out of Asshur, etc. This was the idea which presented itself to the prophet in just this shape, though it by no means followed that it must necessarily embody itself in history in this particular form.
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