Isaiah 29:24
They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
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(24) They that murmured shall learn doctrine.—Better, instruction. The word is prominent in the sapiential books of Israel, and is therefore adapted to describe the process of growth and education that followed on conversion. The word, too, “murmured” is noticeable, as occurring only in Deuteronomy 1:27; Psalm 106:25, of which its use here may be an echo.

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.They also that erred in spirit - (see Isaiah 29:9-10).

Shall learn doctrine - When" this would occur the prophet does not state. It "may" be intended to denote the times of Hezekiah; or the times subsequent to the captivity; or possibly it may refer to the times under the Messiah. All that the prophet teaches is, that at some future period in the history of the Jews, there would be such a reform that they should be regarded as the worthy descendants of the pious patriarch Jacob.

24. They … that erred—(Isa 28:7).

learn doctrine—rather, "shall receive discipline" or "instruction." "Murmuring" was the characteristic of Israel's rebellion against God (Ex 16:8; Ps 106:25). This shall be so no more. Chastisements, and, in Horsley's view, the piety of the Gentiles provoking the Jews to holy jealousy (Ro 11:11, 14), shall then produce the desired effect.

They also that erred in spirit; those Gentiles whose spirits or minds were ignorant of and erred from God’s truth, and who were led aside by a lying spirit, or by the spirit of error and delusion, to idolatry, and all manner of impiety,

Shall come to understanding; shall come to the knowledge of the truth.

They that murmured shall learn doctrine; they that would not receive the doctrine of God, but murmured at God’s faithful prophets and teachers, who delivered it, which was the practice of divers, both Jews and Gentiles, shall now learn doctrine, and receive God’s truth in the love of it. They also that erred in spirit,.... In judgment, and in spiritual things; as the Jews have done, ever since the Messiah's coming, being given up to a spirit of error, as the Targum, on Isaiah 29:10 calls it; they have erred concerning the Scriptures, and the prophecies of them; concerning the Messiah, his work and office; concerning his truths and his ordinances, and by preferring their traditions to the word of God: but these

shall come to understanding; to a spiritual understanding of Christ, and salvation by him; of his Gospel, and the doctrines of it; as well as of themselves, their state and condition:

and they that murmured; at Christ, and what was delivered by him; at the reception of sinners by him; at the calling of the Gentiles; and at the providence of God that have attended them, ever since their rejection of the true Messiah:

shall learn doctrine; the doctrine of the Messiah; not the law, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; but the Gospel, which Christ "received" from his Father, as the word (f) used signifies, and his disciples received from him, and the church has received from them, and has been transmitted to us Gentiles, and will be to the Jews in the latter day, who will learn the true knowledge of it.

(f) a "capere, accipere, est id quod aliquis sibi sumit dicendum", Gusset. Ebr. Comment. p. 443.

They also that erred in spirit {r} shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

(r) Signifying that unless God gives understanding and knowledge, man cannot but still err and murmur against him.

24. The meaning is that even the least capable and most refractory classes of the community shall willingly subject themselves to the teaching of revelation.

understanding and doctrine are words characteristic of the Hebrew Wisdom Literature (Isaiah 28:29).Verse 24. - They also that erred in spirit; i.e. those who were blind and deaf (ver. 18). Shall come to understanding; literally, shall know understanding; i.e. recover their power of spiritual discernment. They that murmured. The reference cannot be to the "murmuring" in Egypt, though the verb used occurs only elsewhere in Deuteronomy 1:27 and Psalm 106:25, where that murmuring is spoken cf. We must look for some later discontent, which we may find in quite recent "murmuring resistance to the admonitions of Jehovah" (Delitzsch), without going back so far as the time of the Exodus. Shall learn doctrine; i.e. "shall willingly receive the teaching, of God's prophets, and profit by it."

But 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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