And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Guzik • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • Teed • TTB • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My mountains . . . my highways . . .—The pronoun asserts the universal lordship of Jehovah. The whole earth is His.
THE MOUNTAIN ROAD
This grand prophecy is far too wide to be exhausted by the return of the exiles. There gleamed through it the wider redemption and the true return of the real captives. The previous promises all find their fulfilment in the experiences of the soul on its journey back to God. Here we have two characteristics of that journey.
I. The Path through the mountains.
‘My mountains.’ That is the claim that all the world is His; and also the revelation that He is the Lord of Providence. He makes our difficult and steep places. Submission comes with that thought, and even ‘for the strength of the hills we bless Thee.’ There are mountains which are not His but ours, artificial difficulties of our own creating.
1. Our way does lie over the mountains. There are difficulties. The Christian course is like a Roman road which never turned aside, but went straight up and on. So much the better. A keener air blows, bracing and health-giving, up there. Mosquitoes and malaria keep to the lower levels.
2. There is always a path over the mountains. Some way opens when we get close up, like a path through heather, which is not seen till reached. We walk by faith. We foolishly forebode and fancy that we cannot live if something happens, but there is no cul de sac in our paths if God’s mountain-way is our way, nor does the faint track ever die out if our faith is keen-sighted and docile.
II. The Pasture on the mountains-lit. ‘bare heights.’
Pastures in the East are down in bottoms, not, like ours, upon the hills. But this flock finds supplies on the barren hill-tops.
Sustenance in Sorrow and Loss.
1. Promise that whatever be our trials and losses we shall be taken care of. Not, perhaps, as we should have liked, nor as abundantly fed as down in the valleys, but still not left to starve. No carcases strewed on the bleakest bit of road as one sees dead camels by the side of the tracks in the desert.
2. Promise of sustenance of a higher kind even in sorrow. The Alpine flora is specially beautiful, though minute. The blessings of affliction; the more intimate knowledge of His love, submission of will. ‘Out of the eater came forth meat.’
‘Passing through the valley of weeping they make it a well’; the tears shed in times of rightly borne sorrow are gathered into a reservoir from which refreshment, patience, trust and strength may be drawn in later days.
But the perfect fulfilment of the promise lies beyond this life. ‘On the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be,’ and they who have found pasture on the barren heights of earthly sorrow shall ‘summer high in bliss upon the hills of God,’ and shall at once both lie ‘for ever in a good fold,’ and ‘follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth,’ and find fountains of living water bursting forth for ever on these fertile heights.Isaiah 40:4).
mountains a way—I will remove all obstructions out of the way (Isa 40:4).
exalted—that is, cast up (Isa 57:14; 62:10); for instance, over valleys. Vitringa explains "mountains" as great kingdoms, Egypt, Syria, &c., subjected to Rome, to facilitate the spreading of the Gospel; "highways," the Christian doctrine wherein those who join the Church walk, and which, at the time of Constantine, was to be raised into prominence before all, and publicly protected (Isa 35:8, 9).Isaiah 40:3,4.
and my highways shall be exalted; Christ is the great highway of all, and next his word and ordinances, which are ways of holiness and righteousness; these may be said to be "exalted", being conspicuous and visible; and, like causeways, or, highways cast up, that are above, and carry over the mire and dirt; so these carry over the mire and dirt of sin and corruption; and may be said to be so when made use of, approved, and valued: or the words may be rendered, "they shall be", or "let them be exalted on my highways" (f); that is, his people, being in the exercise of faith, and in the discharge of their duty; see Psalm 18:33 with these words compare Isaiah 40:3 perhaps this passage may be best explained by Revelation 16:12, where mention is made of the drying up of the river Euphrates, or of the destruction of the Ottoman empire, to make way for the conversion of the eastern nations, prophesied of, among others, in the following verse.And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. The expression my mountains is difficult. An allusion to the mere fact of creation is not natural, and to understand it of the mountains of Palestine (as in ch. Isaiah 14:25) would limit the image to the last stage of the return journey. Possibly the text should be amended so as to read “mountains” simply. Cf. LXX. (πᾶν ὄρος).
my highways] See on ch. Isaiah 40:4.Verse 11. - I will make all my mountains a way. No obstacles shall prevent the return of the wanderers. Mountains shall he as roads, and as highways lifted up. Isaiah 49:4. For his reason for addressing his summons in Isaiah 49:1 to the world of nations, is that Jehovah has not guaranteed to him, the undaunted one, success to his labours among his own people, but has assigned him a mission extending far beyond and reaching to all mankind. "And now, saith Jehovah, that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring back Jacob to Him, and that Israel may be gathered together to Him; and I am honoured in the eyes of Jehovah, and my God has become my strength. He saith, It is only a small thing that thou becomest my servant, to set up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved of Israel. I have set thee for the light of the Gentiles, to become my salvation to the end of the earth." Both shōbhēbh and hâshı̄bh unite within themselves the meanings reducere (Jeremiah 50:19) and restituere. On לא equals לו generally, see at Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 63:9. Jerome is wrong in his rendering, et Israel qui non congregabitur (what could a prophecy of the rejection of the Jews do here?); so also is Hitzig's rendering, "since Israel is not swept away;" and Hofmann's, "Israel, which is not swept away." In the present instance, where the restoration of Israel is the event referred to, אצף must signify "the gathering together of Israel," as in Isaiah 11:12. לו (parallel אליו) points to Jehovah as the author of the gathering, and as the object of it also. The transition from the infinitive of design to the finite verb of desire, is the same as in Isaiah 13:9; Isaiah 14:25. The attributive clause, added to the name Jehovah, expresses the lofty mission of the servant of God with regard to Israel. The parenthesis, "I have honour in the eyes of Jehovah, and my God has become my strength, i.e., has become mighty in me, the apparently weak one," looks beyond to the still loftier mission, by which the former lofty one is far surpassed. On account of this parenthetically inserted praise of Jehovah, the אמר is resumed in ויּאמר. Instead of נקל היותך (compare 1 Kings 16:31), i.e., it is a small thing that thou shouldst be, we have it here, as in Ezekiel 8:17, with a comparative min, which must not, however, be logically pressed: "It is smaller than that," i.e., it is too small a thing that thou shouldst be. The netsı̄rē (Keri, netsūrē) of Israel are those who have been preserved in exile (Ezekiel 6:12); in other cases, we find שׁאר, שׁארית, or פּלטה. Not only is the restoration of the remnant of Israel the work of the servant of Jehovah; but Jehovah has appointed him for something higher than this. He has given or set him for the light of the heathen ("a light to lighten the Gentiles," Luke 2:32), to become His salvation to the end of the earth (lxx: τοῦ εἶναι σε εἰς σωτηρίαν ἕως ἐσχάτου τῆς γῆς). Those who regard Israel as a nation as speaking here (e.g., Hitzig, Ewald, Umbreit, etc.) go right away from this, which is the most natural sense of the words, and explain them as meaning, "that my salvation may be, reach, or penetrate to the end of the earth." But inasmuch as the servant of Jehovah is the light of the world, he is through that very fact the salvation of the world; and he is both of these through Jehovah, whose counsels of ישׁוּעה are brought by him into historical realization and visible manifestation.
LinksIsaiah 49:11 Interlinear
Isaiah 49:11 Parallel Texts
Isaiah 49:11 NIV
Isaiah 49:11 NLT
Isaiah 49:11 ESV
Isaiah 49:11 NASB
Isaiah 49:11 KJV
Isaiah 49:11 Bible Apps
Isaiah 49:11 Parallel
Isaiah 49:11 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 49:11 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 49:11 French Bible
Isaiah 49:11 German Bible