Isaiah 29:19
The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
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(19) The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord.—A new element enters into the ideal restoration of the future. Men had been weary of the name of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 30:11). In that better time it should be the source of joy and peace for the poor and the lowly, on whom Isaiah looked with all the yearnings of a prophet’s sympathy.

29:17-24 The wonderful change here foretold, may refer to the affairs of Judah, though it looks further. When a great harvest of souls was gathered to Christ from among the Gentiles, then the wilderness was turned into a fruitful field; and the Jewish church, that had long been a fruitful field, became as a deserted forest. Those who, when in trouble, can truly rejoice in God, shall soon have cause greatly to rejoice in him. The grace of meekness contributes to the increase of our holy joy. The enemies who were powerful shall become mean and weak. To complete the repose of God's people, the scorners at home shall be cut off by judgements. All are apt to speak unadvisedly, and to mistake what they hear, but it is very unfair to make a man an offender for a word. They did all they could to bring those into trouble who told them of their faults. But He that redeemed Abraham out of his snares and troubles, will redeem those who are, by faith, his true seed, out of theirs. It will be the greatest comfort to godly parents to see their children renewed creatures, the work of God's grace. May those who now err in spirit, and murmur against the truth, come to understanding, and learn true doctrine. The Spirit of truth shall set right their mistakes, and lead them into all truth. This should encourage us to pray for those that have erred, and are deceived. All who murmured at the truths of God, as hard sayings, shall learn and be aware what God designed in all. See the change religion produces in the hearts of men, and the peace and pleasure of a humble and devout spirit.The meek - The word 'meek' usually refers to those who are patient in the reception of injuries, but the Hebrew word used here (ענוים ‛ănâviym) means properly the oppressed, the afflicted, the unhappy Psalm 9:13; Psalm 10:12, Psalm 10:17; Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 11:4. It involves usually the idea of humility or "virtuous suffering" (compare Psalm 25:9; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 69:33). Here it may denote the pious of the land who were oppressed, and subjected to trials.

Shall increase - Margin, as in Hebrew, 'Add.' It means, that they should greatly rejoice in the Lord. They should see the evidence of the fulfillment of his predictions; they should see the oppressors punished Isaiah 29:20-21, and Yahweh coming forth to be their protector and defender Isaiah 29:22-24.

And the poor among men - The poor people; or the needy. Doubtless the idea is that of the pious poor; those who feared God, and who had been subjected to the trials of oppression and poverty.

19. meek—rather, the afflicted godly: the idea is, virtuous suffering (Isa 61:1; Ps 25:9; 37:11) [Barnes].

poor among men—that is, the poorest of men, namely, the pious poor.

rejoice—when they see their oppressors punished (Isa 29:20, 21), and Jehovah exhibited as their protector and rewarder (Isa 29:22-24; Isa 41:17; Jas 2:5).

The meek; the humble and meek believers, opposed to those proud and scornful Israelites or Jews, of whom he speaks in this and in the foregoing chapter. Shall increase their joy in the Lord; shall greatly rejoice in this, that the Lord and Holy One of Israel is now their God and portion.

The poor; either,

1. Spiritually, of which Matthew 5:3. Or,

2. Outwardly, mean and despicable people, such as the Gentiles were in the opinion of the Jews, and such as the greatest part of the first believing Christians were, Matthew 11:5 1 Corinthians 1:26 Jam 2:5.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord,.... The "meek", lowly, and humble, are such who are made sensible of sin, and become humble under a sense of it; who see the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and submit to the righteousness of Christ; who attribute all they have, and are, to the free grace of God, and quietly submit to every dispensation of Providence; who are not easily provoked by men, but bear much and long without reviling; who envy not those that are above them in gifts and grace, nor despise those that are below them, and think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; now these have joy in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, in the Lord Jesus Christ; in the greatness and glory of his person as Jehovah, and so able to save to the uttermost; in him as the Lord their righteousness; in his blood and sacrifice, for the pardon and expiation of their sins; in his fulness as theirs, to supply their wants; in his salvation, being so great, so full, so free, and suitable to them: and whereas their joy may be interrupted through the corruptions of their hearts, the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions, they "shall add" (a) joy in the Lord, as in the original; they shall repeat it, it shall come again, it shall be restored unto them, and they shall afresh exercise it, and "increase" in it, as we render it; for spiritual joy may be increased by the discoveries of the love of God; by fresh views of Christ, through an increase of knowledge of him, and faith in him; by means of meditation and prayer, and by reading and hearing the word:

and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; or, "the poorest of men" (b), who were so in a literal sense; for such were the persons, both among Jews and Gentiles, who in the first times of the Gospel were brought to the knowledge of Christ, and faith in him, Matthew 11:4 or such who are "poor in spirit"; not only spiritually poor, but who are sensible of their spiritual poverty, and apply to Christ for the true riches of grace: the words may be rendered, "Adam's poor"; such who are impoverished by Adam's fall, and are sensible of it; these, perceiving durable riches and righteousness, even unsearchable riches, in Christ, rejoice in him, "the Holy One of Israel"; who is holy in himself, the sanctifier of others, and is made satisfaction to all his people. The Targum is,

"in the word of the Holy One of Israel.''

This joy is not carnal, but spiritual; it is the fruit of the Spirit of God, and is called joy in the Holy Ghost; as it also is the joy of faith, which goes along with it, is through it, and increases as that does; it is peculiar to believers, unknown to the world, and is unspeakable, and full of glory: and such kind of rejoicing, and an increase of it, are what belong to Gospel times.

(a) "et addent", V. L. Pagninus: Montanus, (b) "mendici hominum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "egentissimi hominum", Junius & Tremellius.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
19. The meek and poor (as in the Psalms) are the oppressed and down-trodden lower orders, as contrasted with the irreligious upper class (Isaiah 29:20 f.). They have now no hope but in Jehovah; then they shall obtain fresh joy in Him, because He has delivered them.

Verse 19. - The meek... the poor. The "evangelical prophet" anticipates the gospel in this, among other points - that he promises his choicest blessings, not to the rich and mighty, but to the poor and meek (comp. Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 61:1). Isaiah 29:19But the prophet's God, whose omniscience, creative glory, and perfect wisdom they so basely mistook and ignored, would very shortly turn the present state of the world upside down, and make Himself a congregation out of the poor and wretched, whilst He would entirely destroy this proud ungodly nation. "Is it not yet a very little, and Lebanon is turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field esteemed as a forest? And in that day the deaf hear scripture words, and the eyes of the blind will see out of obscurity and out of darkness. And the joy of the humble increases in Jehovah, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For tyrants are gone, and it is over with scoffers; and all who think evil are rooted out, who condemn a man for a word, and lay snares for him that is free-spoken in the gate, and overthrow the righteous through shameful lies." The circumstances themselves, as well as the sentence passed, will experience a change, in complete contrast with the present state of things. This is what is affirmed in Isaiah 29:17; probably a proverb transposed into a more literary style. What is now forest becomes ennobled into garden ground; and what is garden ground becomes in general estimation a forest (לכרמל, ליער, although we should rather expect ל, just as in Isaiah 32:15). These emblems are explained in Isaiah 29:18. The people that are now blind and deaf, so far as the word of Jehovah is concerned, are changed into a people with open ears and seeing eyes. Scripture words, like those which the prophet now holds before the people so unsuccessfully, are heard by those who have been deaf. The unfettered sight of those who have been blind pierces through the hitherto surrounding darkness. The heirs of the new future thus transformed are the anâvı̄m ("meek") and the 'ebhyōnı̄m ("poor"). אדם (the antithesis of אנשׁהים, e.g., Isaiah 29:13) heightens the representation of lowliness; the combination is a superlative one, as in הצאן צעירי, Jeremiah 49:20, and הצאן עניי in Zechariah 11:7 (cf., חיות פריץ in Isaiah 35:9): needy men who present a glaring contrast to, and stand out from, the general body of men. Such men will obtain ever increasing joy in Jehovah (yâsaph as in Isaiah 37:31). Such a people of God would take the place of the oppressors (cf., Isaiah 28:12) and scoffers (cf., Isaiah 28:14, Isaiah 28:22), and those who thought evil (shâqad, invigilare, sedulo agere), i.e., the wretched planners, who made a חטא of every one who did not enter into their plans (i.e., who called him a chōtē'; cf., Deuteronomy 24:4; Ecclesiastes 5:5), and went to law with the man who openly opposed them in the gate (Amos 5:10; yeqōshūn, possibly the perf. kal, cf., Jeremiah 50:24; according to the syntax, however, it is the fut. kal of qūsh equals yâqōsh: see at Isaiah 26:16; Ges. 44, Anm. 4), and thrust away the righteous, i.e., forced him away from his just rights (Isaiah 10:2), by tōhū, i.e., accusations and pretences of the utmost worthlessness; for these would all have been swept away. This is the true explanation of the last clause, as given in the Targum, and not "into the desert and desolation," as Knobel and Luzzatto suppose; for with Isaiah tōhū is the synonym for all such words as signify nothingness, groundlessness, and fraud. The prophet no doubt had in his mind, at the time that he uttered these words, the conduct of the people towards himself and his fellow-prophets, and such as were like-minded with them. The charge brought against him of being a conspirator, or a traitor to his country, was a tōhū of this kind. All these conspirators and persecutors Jehovah would clear entirely away.
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