Isaiah 26:15
Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.
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(15) Thou hast increased the nation . . .—The nation is, if we follow this rendering, Israel, whose prosperity the prophet contrasts with the downfall of its oppressors (comp. Isaiah 9:3). The LXX., however, gives, “Add thou evils to all the glorious ones,” as if referring to the “chastening” of exile in the next verse, and the use of the word “nation” (i.e., heathen) instead of “people,” is, perhaps, in favour of this rendering. “Nation,” however, is used for Israel in Isaiah 9:3, which is partly parallel to this passage.

Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earths—Better, Thou hast moved far off the borders of the land. The English Version seems to speak of the exile and dispersion of the people. “What is really meant is, probably, that Jehovah will restore it to its old remoter boundaries, as in the days of David and Solomon. This belongs, of course, to the ideal, and not the historical, restoration.

Isaiah 26:15. Thou hast increased the nation — Namely, the Jewish nation, which multiplied exceedingly in Egypt, and afterward in Canaan, so that they filled the land. But the prophet perhaps foretels their increase after their return from captivity in Babylon; and, as some think, that increase of the church (called the righteous nation, Isaiah 26:2) which was to take place in gospel days. Thou art glorified — In faithfully fulfilling thy promises made to Abraham concerning the multiplication of his seed, and making him the father of many nations. Thou hast removed it far unto all the ends of the earth — Thou hast scattered thy people over all the world, so that they are found in every nation under heaven, where they are witnesses for thee, the only living and true God, against idolaters of all descriptions. This was the case before, and at the time of the coming of the Messiah, and of the opening of the gospel dispensation, Acts 2:5. And in a little time, the Gentiles being called into the church of God, the Christians were spread over all parts of the Roman empire, and far beyond its utmost limits, and they were much more faithful witnesses or the truth than the Jews had ever been. But, as the Hebrew of the first clause of this verse, יספת לגוי, when literally rendered, is only, thou hast added to the nation; some think the prophet does not speak of adding to their number, or increasing them, but rather of adding to their plagues or chastisements. This, it must be acknowledged, would agree well with what follows. Then the interpretation of the next clauses would be, Thy justice is glorified in their punishment, and thou hast removed them out of their own land, and suffered them to be carried captive to the ends of the earth. This, as the reader will easily observe, would accord perfectly with what follows to the end of the chapter.

26:12-19 Every creature, every business, any way serviceable to our comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us which seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin and Satan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to be set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions. Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comes now like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church. His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all the deliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew or rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would raise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.Thou hast increased the nation - That is, the Jewish nation (see the note at Isaiah 9:3). The nation was not only enlarged by its regular increase of population, but many converts attended them on their return from Babylon, and probably many came in from surrounding nations on the rebuilding of their capital.

Thou hadst removed it far ... - Or rather, thou hast extended far all the borders of the land. The word rendered 'removed' (רחק râchaq) means usually to put far away, and here it may mean to put far away the borders or boundaries of the nation; that is, to extend them far. The word 'unto' is not in the original; and the phrase rendered 'ends of the earth,' may mean the borders. or boundaries of the land. The parallelism requires this construction, and it is indeed the obvious one, and has been adopted by Lowth and Noyes.

15. hast—prophetical preterite (Isa 9:3).

hast removed … far … ends of … earth—rather, "Thou hast extended far all the borders of the land" [Vitringa].

Thou hast increased the nation, Heb. Thou hast added to the nation; which may be understood either,

1. In way of mercy, of adding to their numbers, as our translation takes it; and so we have in effect the same phrase 2 Samuel 24:3, The Lord add to the people, &c., and Psalm 115:14, in the Hebrew text, The Lord shall add upon or to you. Or,

2. In way of judgment, of adding to their plagues or miseries, of which we read Revelation 22:18, in which sense the phrase is found in the Hebrew text, Psalm 120:3, What shall be added to thee? and in that usual form of imprecation, The Lord do so to me, and more, Ruth 1:17 1 Samuel 3:17, &c., where it is in the Hebrew, The Lord do so to me, and add. And this sense seems to be favoured by the context, as also by the ancient Greek translators, who render the words, add to them evil or punishments. And so the word adding may be used emphatically and sarcastically. God indeed will add to them; but what? Not numbers, and power, and glory, as they expected, but plagues and judgments one after another. This

nation is supposed by the current of interpreters to be the people of Israel, emphatically called the nation. Possibly it may be the Assyrians, of whom he spoke in the last verse. But this I propose with submission.

Thou art glorified; thy justice is glorified in their punishment or destruction. Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth; which may be understood either,

1. Of Israel, and that either in a way of mercy, Thou hast by destroying the Assyrians enlarged thy people, who were shut up in Jerusalem, so that now they may go to the remotest parts of the land; or in way of judgment, Thou hast removed thy people out of their own land, and suffered them to be carried captive to the ends of the earth. Or,

2. Of the Assyrians; Thou hast removed them from Jerusalem, which they had besieged, and caused them to flee into their own country, which in Scripture phrase was in the ends of the earth; of which see Isaiah 5:26 13:5.

Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation,.... The righteous nation, Isaiah 26:2 the church of God, by the numerous conversions of Jews and Gentiles; when the nation of the Jews shall be born at once, and the fulness and forces of the Gentiles are brought in; when the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ: this increase is repeated, to denote the certainty of it, and because a matter of great moment and importance:

thou art glorified; as by the destruction of the antichristian powers, so by the enlargement of the church and kingdom of Christ; for now will the voices be heard in heaven, giving praise and glory to God: even those that are frightened with his judgments, as well as those that are affected with his goodness, will give glory to the God of heaven, Revelation 11:13,

thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth: not the Jewish people now scattered throughout the world, but the righteous nation increased and enlarged, which now will be spread to the ends of the world; for Christ's kingdom will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, Psalm 72:8 it may be rendered, "thou hast removed afar off all the ends of the earth": so De Dieu, who interprets it of the great men of the earth, the excellent in it, the cornerstones of it; but perhaps it may be better to understand hereby every island and mountain fleeing away at the destruction of antichrist, and the enlargement of Christ's kingdom, Revelation 16:20.

Thou hast increased {o} the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far to all the ends of the earth.

(o) That is, the company of the faithful by the calling of the Gentiles.

15. Thou hast increased the nation] Probably an allusion to ch. Isaiah 9:3. There is no justification for taking the perfects here as prophetic perfects, or for understanding them in a precative sense. A real increase of the nation and its territory is regarded as already effected; this is one of the successes which Jehovah has wrought for His people.

thou art glorified] thou hast glorified thyself,—by thus exalting Israel.

thou hadst removed … earth] Render with R.V., thou hast enlarged all the borders of the land.

Verse 15. - Thou hast increased the nation; i.e. the "righteous nation" of ver. 2 - not the Jewish people merely, but "the Israel of God" - who are to be "a great multitude, that no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Revelation 7:9). Thou hadst removed it. This rendering gives a very good sense. It makes the redeemed pass in thought from their present state of happiness and glory to that former time of tribulation and affliction when they were a remnant, scattered over the face of the earth (Isaiah 24:13-15), driven into its uttermost corners (Isaiah 24:16), oppressed and down-trodden by their enemies. But it is doubtful whether the Hebrew will bear the rendering. Most modern commentators translate, "Thou hast extended far all the borders of the land," which is certainly the more natural meaning of the words. If we accept this view, we must regard the clause as continuing the idea contained in the former part of the verse - the nation is increased in number, and its borders are advanced - it is "a multitude that no man can number," and it has no narrower limits than the "new earth," which has been given to it for its habitation (Revelation 21:1). Isaiah 26:15Israel, when it has such cause as this for praising Jehovah, will have become a numerous people once more. "Thou hast added to the nation, O Jehovah, hast added to the nation; glorified Thyself; moved out all the borders of the land." The verb יסף, which is construed in other cases with על, אל ,, here with ל, carried its object within itself: to add, i.e., to give an increase. The allusion is to the same thing as that which caused the prophet to rejoice in Isaiah 9:2 (compare Isaiah 49:19-20; Isaiah 54:1., Micah 2:12; Micah 4:7; Obadiah 1:19-20, and many other passages; and for richaktâ, more especially Micah 7:11). Just as Isaiah 26:13 recals the bondage in Egypt, and Isaiah 26:14 the destruction of Pharaoh in the Red Sea, so Isaiah 26:16 recals the numerical strength of the nation, and the extent of the country in the time of David and Solomon. At the same time, we cannot say that the prophet intended to recall these to mind. The antitypical relation, in which the last times stand to these events and circumstances of the past, is a fact in sacred history, though not particularly referred to here.
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