Isaiah 37:31
And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:
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(31) And the remnant that is escaped.—We note the “remnant” of the familiar formula of Isaiah’s earlier days. The name of Shear-jashub had not ceased to be an omen of good (Isaiah 7:3). And that remnant should be as the scion from which should spring in due course the goodly tree of the future (Isaiah 6:13).

37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19And the remnant that is escaped - (See the margin.) Those that are left of the Jews. The ten tribes had been carried away; and it is not improbable that the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah had been reduced by want, and by the siege of Lachish, Libnah, etc. It is not to be supposed that Sennacherib could have invaded the land, and spread desolation for so long a time, without diminishing the number of the people. The promise in the passage is, that those who were left should flourish and increase. The land should be at rest; and under the administration of their wise and pious king their number would be augmented, and their happiness promoted.

Shall again take root downward - Like a tree that had been prevented by any cause from growing or bearing fruit. A tree, to bear well, must be in a soil where it can strike its roots deep. The sense is, that all obstructions to their growth and prosperity would be removed.

31. remnant—Judah remained after the ten tribes were carried away; also those of Judah who should survive Sennacherib's invasion are meant. No text from Poole on this verse.

And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah,.... The few that escaped out of the cities of Judah, upon Sennacherib's invasion of the land, and besieging and taking the fenced cities thereof, who fled to Jerusalem for safety; these were a type of the remnant, according to the election of grace, the few that are chosen of God, the special people redeemed by Christ, the little flock of his, the small number that enter in at the strait gate, and are saved; and who escape, not the fall of Adam, nor the imputation of his sin, nor the corruption of nature, nor the pollutions of the world in a state of nature; but who escape the vengeance of divine justice, the curse of a righteous law, wrath to come, and the damnation of hell; which is owing to the love of God, the covenant of his grace, the suretyship engagements of Christ, and his performance of them; these are the household of faith, God's confessing and professing people, who are Jews inwardly, of whom there are but a few; of these it is said, they

shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. The Targum is,

"as a tree which sends forth its roots below, and lifts up its branches above.''

The sense is, that those people that fled from their own habitations to Jerusalem should return thither again upon the breaking up of the siege, and be firmly settled, and live peaceably and prosperously, abounding with all good things, which may be applied, mystically, to true believers taking root again in the love of God, which is a hidden root, and is the source of salvation, and all the blessings of it, and is in itself immovable; and though the saints are secured in it, and by it, and nothing can root them out of it, yet they are sometimes shaken with doubts and fears about their interest in it; when there is again a fresh taking root in it, and that is, when they have a strong and lively persuasion of it, which produces fruitfulness in the exercise of faith, hope, and love, and in Gospel obedience; and also to their taking root in Christ, who is as a root unto them, hidden, and out of sight to the world, mean and abject, yet the source of all happiness to the saints, who have a being in him, are born by him, and receive sap and nourishment from him; and though their faith of interest in him may be sometimes shaken, yet there is a fresh taking root by new acts of faith upon him, which produce fruitfulness; the fruits brought forth by such are good works, which spring from the seed of grace, are owing to divine goodness, to the dews of grace, are pleasant and acceptable to God through Christ, and profitable unto men; these are called the fruits of the Spirit, and of righteousness, and are meet for repentance, and are brought forth openly and publicly, which may be signified by being bore upwards.

And {a} the remnant that hath escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:

(a) They whom God has delivered out of the hands of the Assyrians will prosper: and this properly belongs to the Church.

31. Comp. ch. Isaiah 27:6.

Verse 31. - The remnant that is escaped (see the comment on ver. 4). Take root downward, and bear fruit upward; i.e. "spread over the land, and became firmly rooted in it, and flourish as in the former time." We must conceive of the Assyrians having, in their two recent invasions, completely depopulated the country districts. Numbers had, no doubt, been slain; more than two hundred thousand had been carried into captivity; a portion had found refuge in the capital On the withdrawal of the Assyrians, these last "went forth," reoccupied their lands, and rebuilt their towns and villages. The blessing of God was upon them, and in a short time Judaea recovered her ancient vigour, so that, under Josiah, she was able to extend her dominion over almost the whole of the old Israelite territory (2 Chronicles 34:6, 18). Isaiah 37:31Seventh turn, "And that which is escaped of the house of Judah, that which remains will again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. For from Jerusalem will a remnant go forth, and a fugitive from Mount Zion; the zeal of Jehovah of hosts (K. chethib omits tsebhâ'ōth) will carry this out." The agricultural prospect of the third year shapes itself there into a figurative representation of the fate of Judah. Isaiah's watchword, "a remnant shall return," is now fulfilled; Jerusalem has been spared, and becomes the source of national rejuvenation. You year the echo of Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 9:6, and also of Isaiah 27:6. The word tsebhâ'ōth is wanting in Kings, here as well as in Isaiah 37:17; in fact, this divine name is, as a rule, very rare in the book of Kings, where it only occurs in the first series of accounts of Elijah (1 Kings 18:15; 1 Kings 19:10, 1 Kings 19:14; cf., 2 Kings 3:14).
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