Isaiah 41:16
Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
41:10-20 God speaks with tenderness; Fear thou not, for I am with thee: not only within call, but present with thee. Art thou weak? I will strengthen thee. Art thou in want of friends? I will help thee in the time of need. Art thou ready to fall? I will uphold thee with that right hand which is full of righteousness, dealing forth rewards and punishments. There are those that strive with God's people, that seek their ruin. Let not God's people render evil for evil, but wait God's time. It is the worm Jacob; so little, so weak, so despised and trampled on by every body. God's people are as worms, in humble thoughts of themselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them; worms, but not vipers, not of the serpent's seed. Every part of God's word is calculated to humble man's pride, and to make him appear little in his own eyes. The Lord will help them, for he is their Redeemer. The Lord will make Jacob to become a threshing instrument. God will make him fit for use, new, and having sharp spikes. This has fulfilment in the triumphs of the gospel of Christ, and of all faithful followers of Christ, over the power of darkness. God has provided comforts to supply all their wants, and to answer all their prayers. Our way to heaven lies through the wilderness of this world. The soul of man is in want, and seeks for satisfaction; but becomes weary of seeking that in the world, which is not to be had in it. Yet they shall have a constant supply, where one would least expect it. I will open rivers of grace, rivers of living water, which Christ spake of the Spirit, Joh 7:38,39. When God sets up his church in the Gentile wilderness, there shall be a great change, as if thorns and briers were turned into cedars, and fir-trees, and myrtles. These blessings are kept for the poor in spirit, who long for Divine enlightening, pardon, and holiness. And God will render their barren souls fruitful in the grace of his Spirit, that all who behold may consider it.Thou shalt fan them - Keeping up the figure commenced in the previous verse. To fan here means to winnow, an operation which was performed by throwing the threshed grain up with a shovel into the air, so that the wind drove the chaff away. So all their enemies, and all the obstacles which were in their way should be scattered.

And the whirlwind shall scatter them - The ancients believed that people might be swept away by a storm or whirlwind. See Job 27:p>The cast wind carrieth him away and he departeth;

And as a storm hurleth him out of his place.

Compare Homer, Odys. xx. 63ff, thus rendered by Pope:

Snatch me, ye whirlwinds! far from human race,

Tost through the void illimitable space;

Or if dismounted from the rapid cloud,

Me with his whelming wave let ocean shroud!

See the notes at Job 30:22.

And thou shalt rejoice in the Lord - In view of the aid which he has vouchsafed, and the deliverance which he has performed for you.

Shalt glory - Shalt boast, or shalt exult. You will regard God as the author of your deliverance, and joy in the proofs of his interposition, and of his gracious protection and care.

16. fan—winnowed (compare Mt 3:12).

whirlwind … scatter them—(Job 27:21; 30:22).

Thou shalt fan them, when thou hast beaten them as small as dust or chaff.

Shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel; for to him, and not to thyself, thou shalt ascribe thy victory over thine enemies.

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them,.... In illusion to the custom of the Jews, who had their threshingfloors on the tops of hills and mountains, where they took the opportunity and advantage of the wind in winnowing their corn, which fanned it, and carried away the chaff, and scattered it abroad; in like manner, it is suggested, the enemies of the church and people of God should be dealt with, which are like the chaff the wind driveth away, and is found no more, Psalm 1:5, and so Rome Pagan was no more as such when subdued by Constantine, nor will the Papal antichristian states, Daniel 2:35. Compare with this what is said of literal Babylon, which will have its accomplishment in mystical Babylon, Jeremiah 51:33,

and thou shalt rejoice in the Lord: the Targum is,

"in the word of the Lord;''

and so it paraphrases the preceding clause,

"his word shall scatter them as the whirlwind chaff;''

and therefore in him the saints shall rejoice, because it is he that destroys their enemies; so when Rome Pagan was abolished, and the devil and his angels, or the Heathen emperors, were drove out of it and destroyed, there was great joy among the people of God, saying, "now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ", Revelation 12:10 there will be great rejoicing in the Lord likewise when Rome Papal falls, and the saints have got the victory over the beast, Revelation 15:2.

and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel; whose arm alone has done the above things, and to whom the glory is to be given: it is the true character of believers to rejoice in Christ, in his person, offices, and grace, and to glory in his being made unto them wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Philippians 3:3.

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Isaiah 41:16The consolatory words, "Fear not," are now repeated, for the purpose of once more adding the promise that Israel will not succumb to its foes, but will acquire power over its enemies. "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and handful Israel: I will help thee, saith Jehovah; and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I have made thee a threshing roller, a sharp new one, with double edges: thou wilt thresh mountains, and pound them; and hills thou wilt make like chaff. Thou wilt winnow them, and wind carries them away, and tempest scatters them: and thou wilt rejoice in Jehovah, and glory in the Holy One of Israel." Israel, which is now helplessly oppressed, is called "worm of Jacob" (gen. appos.) in compassion, i.e., Jacob that is like a worm, probably with some allusion to Psalm 22:7; for the image of the Messiah enriches itself in these discourses, inasmuch as Israel itself is looked upon in a Messianic light, so that the second David does not stand by the side of Israel, but appears as Israel's heart, or true and inmost essence. The people are then addressed as the "people of Israel," with some allusion to the phrase מספּר מתי (i.e., few men, easily numbered) in Genesis 34:30; Deuteronomy 4:27 (lxx ὀλιγοστὸσ ̓Ισραήλ; Luther, Ir armer hauffe Israel, ye poor crowd of Israel). They no longer formed the compact mass of a nation; the band of the commonwealth was broken: they were melted down into a few individuals, scattered about hither and thither. But it would not continue so. "I help thee" (perfect of certainty) is Jehovah's solemn declaration; and the Redeemer (redemtor, Leviticus 25:48-49) of His now enslaved people is the Holy One of Israel, with His love, which perpetually triumphs over wrath. Not only will He set it free, but He will also endow it with might over its oppressors; samtı̄kh is a perfect of assurance (Ges. 126, 4); mōrag (roller) signifies a threshing-sledge (Arab. naureg, nōreg), which has here the term חרוּץ (Isaiah 28:27) as a secondary name along with חדשׁ, and is described as furnished on the under part of the two arms of the sledge not only with sharp knives, but with two-edged knives (פּיפיּות a reduplication, like מאסּאה in Isaiah 27:8, whereas מימי is a double plural). Just like such a threshing machine would Israel thresh and grind to powder from that time forth both mountains and hills. This is evidently a figurative expression for proud and mighty foes, just as wind and tempest denote the irresistible force of Jehovah's aid. The might of the enemy would be broken down to the very last remnant, whereas Israel would be able to rejoice and glory in its God.
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