Isaiah 27:3
I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
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(3) I the Lord do keep it.—The words imply a distinct reversal of the sentence passed in Isaiah 5:1-7. Instead of abandonment, there is constant care. Instead of the clouds being commanded to give no rain, the vineyard is watered whenever it requires watering. Instead of being wasted by the wild boar or by spoilers, Jehovah tends it both by day and night.

27:1-5 The Lord Jesus with his strong sword, the virtue of his death, and the preaching of his gospel, does and will destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, that old serpent. The world is a fruitless, worthless wilderness; but the church is a vineyard, a place that has great care taken of it, and from which precious fruits are gathered. God will keep it in the night of affliction and persecution, and in the day of peace and prosperity, the temptations of which are not less dangerous. God also takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard. We need the continual waterings of Divine grace; if these be at any time withdrawn, we wither, and come to nothing. Though God sometimes contends with his people, yet he graciously waits to be reconciled unto them. It is true, when he finds briers and thorns instead of vines, and they are set in array against him, he will tread them down and burn them. Here is a summary of the doctrine of the gospel, with which the church is to be watered every moment. Ever since sin first entered, there has been, on God's part, a righteous quarrel, but, on man's part, most unrighteous. Here is a gracious invitation given. Pardoning mercy is called the power of our Lord; let us take hold on that. Christ crucified is the power of God. Let us by lively faith take hold on his strength who is a strength to the needy, believing there is no other name by which we can be saved, as a man that is sinking catches hold of a bough, or cord, or plank, that is in his reach. This is the only way, and it is a sure way, to be saved. God is willing to be reconciled to us.I the Lord do keep it - There is understood here or implied an introduction; as 'Yahweh said' (compare Psalm 121:3-5).

I will water it every moment - That is, constantly, as a vinedresser does his vineyard.

3. lest any hurt it—attack it [Maurer]. "Lest aught be wanting in her" [Horsley]. I the Lord do keep it; I will secure it, that neither men, nor beasts, nor drought shall spoil it; which alone are the things that can hurt it. I will protect my church from all the assaults of her enemies, and supply her with all necessary provisions, with my ordinances, and with my Spirit and grace. I the Lord do keep it,.... The vineyard, the church, not only by his ministers, called the keepers of it, Sol 8:12 but by himself, by his own power; for unless he keeps it, who is Israel's keeper, the watchmen wake in vain; he keeps his church and people from sin, that it does not reign over them; and from Satan's temptations, that they are not destroyed by them; and from the malice of the world, and the poison of false teachers, that they are not ruined thereby; and from a final and total falling away; the Lord's preservation of his church and people will be very manifest in the latter day:

I will water it every moment; both more immediately with the dews of his grace, and the discoveries of his love; that being like dew, it comes from above, is according to the sovereign will of God, without the desert of man falls in the night, silently, gently, and insensibly, and greatly refreshes and makes fruitful, Hosea 14:5 and more immediately by the ministry of the word and ordinances, by his ministers, the preachers of the Gospel, who water as well as plant, 1 Corinthians 3:6 these are the clouds he sends about to let down the rain of the Gospel upon his church and people, by which they are revived, refreshed, and made fruitful, Isaiah 5:6 and this being done "every moment", shows, as the care of God, and his constant regard to his people, so that without the frequent communications of his grace, and the constant ministration of his word and ordinances, they would wither and become fruitless; but, by means of these, they are as a watered garden, whose springs fail not, Isaiah 58:11,

lest any hurt it; as would Satan, who goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; and the men of the world, who are the boar out of the wood, and the wild beast out of the field, that would waste and destroy the vineyard; and false teachers, who are the foxes that would spoil the vines, 1 Peter 5:8 but, to prevent any such hurt and damage, the Lord undertakes to keep the church, his vineyard, himself, which he repeats with some addition, to declare the certainty of it; or, "lest he visit it" (m); that is, an enemy, as some (n) supply it; lest he should break down the hedge, and push into it, and waste it; or Jehovah himself, that is, as Gussetius (o) interprets it, while Jehovah the Father, Isaiah 27:1, is striking leviathan, or inflicting his judgments upon his enemies, Jehovah the Son promises to take care of his vineyard, the church, that the visitation does not affect them, and they are not hurt by it, but are safe and secure from it; which is a much better sense than that of Kimchi mentioned by him, I will water it every moment, "that not one leaf of it should fail"; the same is observed by Ben Melech, as the sense given by Donesh Ben Labrat:

I will keep it night and day; that is, continually, for he never slumbers nor sleeps; he has kept, and will keep, his church and people, through all the vicissitudes of night and day, of adversity and prosperity, they come into: how great is the condescension of the Lord to take upon him the irrigation and preservation of his people! how dear and precious must they be to him! and what a privilege is it to be in such a plantation as this, watered and defended by the Lord himself!

(m) "ne forte visitet eum", Munster, Pagninus, Tigurine version. (n) So Munster, Pagninus, Vatablus, and Ben Melech. (o) Comment. Ebr. p. 668, 669.

I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
3. do keep it] Better: am its keeper. For I will water … I will keep, substitute I water … I keep.Verse 3. - I the Lord do keep it; or, guard it (comp. Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:8; Psalm 121:5). Vineyards were considered to require special watching, since they were liable to damage both from thieves and foxes (Song of Solomon 2:15). It was usual to build towers in them, from which a watch could be kept (Isaiah 5:2; Matthew 21:33). I will water it every moment (compare the threat in Isaiah 5:6, "I will command my clouds that they rain no rain upon it"). The Church needs and receives "the continual dew of God's blessing." The tephillâh now returns to the retrospective glance already cast in Isaiah 26:8, Isaiah 26:9 into that night of affliction, which preceded the redemption that had come. "Jehovah, in trouble they missed Thee, poured out light supplication when Thy chastisement came upon them. As a woman with child, who draws near to her delivery, writhes and cries out in her pangs, so were we in Thy sight, O Jehovah. We went with child, we writhed; it was as if we brought forth wind. We brought no deliverance to the land, and the inhabitants of the world did not come to the light." The substantive circumstantial clause in the parallel line, למו מוּסר, castigatione tua eos affilgente (ל as in Isaiah 26:9), corresponds to בּצּר; and לחשׁ צקוּן, a preterite עצוּק etire equals יצק, Job 28:2; Job 29:6, to be poured out and melt away) with Nun paragogic (which is only met with again in Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 8:16, the yekōshūn in Isaiah 29:21 being, according to the syntax, the future of kōsh), answers to pâkad, which is used here as in Isaiah 34:16; 1 Samuel 20:6; 1 Samuel 25:15, in the sense of lustrando desiderare. Lachash is a quiet, whispering prayer (like the whispering of forms of incantation in Isaiah 3:3); sorrow renders speechless in the long run; and a consciousness of sin crushes so completely, that a man does not dare to address God aloud (Isaiah 29:4). Pregnancy and pangs are symbols of a state of expectation strained to the utmost, the object of which appears all the closer the more the pains increase. Often, says the perfected church, as it looks back upon its past history, often did we regard the coming of salvation as certain; but again and again were our hopes deceived. The first כּמו is equivalent to כּ, "as a woman with child," etc. (see at Isaiah 8:22); the second is equivalent to כּאשׁר, "as it were, we brought forth wind." This is not an inverted expression, signifying we brought forth as it were wind; but כמו governs the whole sentence in the sense of "(it was) as if." The issue of all their painful toil was like the result of a false pregnancy (empneumatosis), a delivery of wind. This state of things also proceeded from Jehovah, as the expression "before Thee" implies. It was a consequence of the sins of Israel, and of a continued want of true susceptibility to the blessings of salvation. Side by side with their disappointed hope, Isaiah 26:18 places the ineffectual character of their won efforts. Israel's own doings - no, they could never make the land into ישׁוּעת (i.e., bring it into a state of complete salvation); and (so might the final clause be understood) they waited in vain for the judgment of Jehovah upon the sinful world that was at enmity against them, or they made ineffectual efforts to overcome it. This explanation is favoured by the fact, that throughout the whole of this cycle of prophecies yōshbē tēbēl does not mean the inhabitants of the holy land, but of the globe at large in the sense of "the world" (Isaiah 26:21; Isaiah 24:5-6). Again, the relation of יפּלוּ to the תּפּיל in Isaiah 26:19, land the figure previously employed of the pains of child-birth, speak most strongly in favour of the conclusion, that nâphal is here used for the falling of the fruit of the womb (cf., Wis. 7:3, Il. xix. 110, καταπεσεῖν and πεσεῖν). And yōshbē tēbēl (the inhabitants of the world) fits in with this sense (viz., that the expected increase of the population never came), from the fact that in this instance the reference is not to the inhabitants of the earth; but the words signify inhabitants generally, or, as we should say, young, new-born "mortals." The punishment of the land under the weight of the empire still continued, and a new generation did not come to the light of day to populate the desolate land (cf., Psychol. p. 414).
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