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.

The prophet has now described, in Isaiah 11:1-5, the righteous conduct of the Son of David, and in Isaiah 11:6-9 the peace which prevails under His government, and extends even to the animal world, and which is consequent upon the living knowledge of God that has now become universal, that is to say, of the spiritual transformation of the people subject to His sway, - an allusion full of enigmas, but one which is more clearly expounded in the following verse, both in its direct contents and also in all that it presupposes. "And it will come to pass in that day: the root-sprout of Jesse, which stands as a banner of the peoples, for it will nations ask, and its place of rest is glory." The first question which is disposed of here, has reference to the apparent restriction thus far of all the blessings of this peaceful rule to Israel and the land of Israel. This restriction, as we now learn, is not for its own sake, but is simply the means of an unlimited extension of this fulness of blessing. The proud tree of the Davidic sovereignty is hewn down, and nothing is left except the root. The new David is shoresh Yishai (the root-sprout of Jesse), and therefore in a certain sense the root itself, because the latter would long ago have perished if it had not borne within itself from the very commencement Him who was now about to issue from it. But when He who had been concealed in the root of Jesse as its sap and strength should have become the rejuvenated root of Jesse itself (cf., Revelation 22:16), He would be exalted from this lowly beginning l'nēs ‛ammin, into a banner summoning the nations to assemble, and uniting them around itself. Thus visible to all the world, He would attract the attention of the heathen to Himself, and they would turn to Him with zeal, and His menuchâh, i.e., the place where He had settled down to live and reign (for the word in this local sense, compare Numbers 10:33 and Psalm 132:8, Psalm 132:14), would be glory, i.e., the dwelling-place and palace of a king whose light shines over all, who has all beneath His rule, and who gathers all nations around Himself. The Vulgate renders it "et sepulcrum ejus gloriosum" (a leading passage for encouraging pilgrimages), but the passion is here entirely swallowed up by the splendour of the figure of royalty; and menuchah is no more the place of rest in the grave than nēs is the cross, although undoubtedly the cross has become the banner in the actual fulfilment, which divides the parousia of Christ into a first and second coming.
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