For your waste and your desolate places, and the land of your destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed you up shall be far away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Shall even now be too narrow.—Literally, with a vivid abruptness, thou shalt be . . . The over population of the future is contrasted with the depopulation of the past (Isaiah 3:6; Isaiah 4:1).Isaiah 49:19-21. For thy waste and desolate places, &c. — He alludes to the land of Judea lying waste during the Babylonish captivity. Thus the church of God was in a waste, desolate, and barren state, till the coming of the Messiah, the introduction of the gospel, and the conversion of the Gentiles; and the land of thy destruction — Or, thy land of destruction. He still alludes to Judea, thus characterized, because it was devoted, and should be exposed to destruction, first by the Chaldeans, and again by the Romans, a lively emblem of the ruined state of their church; shall even now be too narrow — To contain the multitude of converts that shall be made. The middle wall of partition that separated the Jews from the Gentiles shall be broken down, and the pale of the church shall be enlarged. The children which thou shalt have, &c. — Hebrew, בני שׁכלין, The children of thy orbity, or, barren and childless state. Those children which thou shalt have when thou art past the ordinary age and state of childbearing, as Sarah in her old age was made the mother of a most numerous posterity; to which he seems to allude: those children which shall be begotten to thee by the gospel when thou shalt be deprived of thine own natural children, or when thou shalt become barren as to the conversion of natural Jews; when the generality of the Jews shall cut themselves off from God and his true church, by their apostacy from him, and by their unbelief and rejection of their Messiah; shall say again — Or rather, shall yet say, though for the present it be far otherwise, The place is too strait for me, &c. — This is figuratively spoken, merely to signify the great enlargement of the church by the accession of the Gentiles. See Isaiah 54:1. Then shalt thou say in thy heart — Not without admiration, Who hath begotten me these — Whence, or by whom, have I this numerous issue? Seeing I have lost my children — Seeing it is not long since that I was in a manner childless? And am desolate — Without a husband, being forsaken of God, who formerly owned himself for my husband, Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 31:32; a captive, and removing to and fro — In an unsettled condition, and not likely to bear and bring up children for God or myself. Who hath brought up these? — The same thing is repeated in these words to express the miraculousness of this work, and the great surprise of the Jews at it: which shows that he speaks of the conversion of the Gentiles.
And the land of thy destruction - That is, thy land laid in ruins. The construction is not uncommon where a noun is used to express the sense of an adjective. Thus in Psalm 2:6, the Hebrew phrase (margin) is correctly rendered 'my holy hill.' Here the sense is, that their entire country had been so laid waste as to be a land of desolation.
Shall even now be too narrow - Shall be too limited to contain all who shall become converted to the true God. The contracted territory of Palestine shall be incapable of sustaining all who will acknowledge the true God, and who shall be regarded as his friends.
And they that swallowed thee up - The enemies that laid waste thy land, and that "absorbed," as it were, thy inhabitants, and removed them to a distant land. They shall be all gone, and the land shall smile again in prosperity and in loveliness.
too narrow—(Isa 54:1, 2; Zec 10:10).Thy waste and thy desolate places; thy own land, which is now waste and desolate, and whereof divers parts lay formerly waste and desolate for want of people to possess and manage them.
The land of thy destruction; or rather, thy land of destruction; so called because it is devoted and shall be exposed to destruction. Shall be far away, to wit, from thee.
shall even now be too narrow, by reason of the inhabitants; because of the multitude of them; a hyperbolical expression, setting forth the great numbers of Christian converts everywhere: this straitness will not be on account of strangers or enemies having taken possession; but on account of those who are true and proper possessors: for it follows,
and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away; from the church; the Heathen, the Gentiles, or Papists,
shall now perish out of his, Jehovah's, "land"; "sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked be no more", Psalm 10:16. Antichrist and his abettors, which "swallowed" up the people, their riches, and substance, like beasts of prey, to which he is compared, shall go into perdition, and never disturb the church any more, Revelation 13:1.For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. For as for thy waste and thy desolate places and thy land that hath been destroyed, surely now shalt thou be too strait for the inhabitants, &c.] So R.V. But there appears to be some textual disorder, the subjects in the first half of the verse having no predicate. The R.V. gets over the difficulty by taking “thy waste places” &c. as a sort of casus pendens, resumed in the “thou” of the last clause; but this is a forced construction. The most probable solution is that the original conclusion of the first clause has been lost in copying (Duhm); the second would then commence with the words For now.
the land of thy destruction] lit. “thy land of destruction,” i.e., as R.V., thy land that hath been destroyed.
19, 20. In place of her present solitude, the ideal Zion shall yet look down on a densely peopled city, whose inhabitants are embarrassed for want of room.Verse 19. - The land of thy destruction; or, of thy overthrow - i.e, where thou wert overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar - shall even now be too narrow, etc. This must not be understood literally. Palestine, after the return from the Captivity, was at no time over-populated; and when the conversion of the Gentiles took place it caused no influx of fresh settlers into the Holy Land. The object of the prophet is simply to mark the vast growth of the Church, which would necessarily spread itself far beyond the limits of Palestine, and would ultimately require the whole earth for its habitation. Psalm 98:4 as well as in Isaiah), is peculiarly Isaiah's (Isaiah 14:7, and several times in chapters 40-66). "The afflicted ones" (‛ăniyyı̄m) is the usual Old Testament name for the ecclesia militans. The future alternates with the perfect: the act of consolation takes place once for all, but the compassion lasts for ever. Here again the glorious liberty of the children of God appears as the focus from which the whole world is glorified. The joy of the Israel of God becomes the joy of heaven and earth. With the summons to this joy the first half of the prophecy closes; for the word תאמר, which follows, shows clearly enough that the prophecy has merely reached a resting-point here, since this word is unsuitable for commencing a fresh prophecy.
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