Isaiah 51:11
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
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(11) Therefore the redeemed.—Note worthy as being either a quotation by Isaiah from himself (Isaiah 35:10), or by the unknown writer of Isaiah from the earlier prophet. The assumption that it is an interpolation by a copyist rests on no adequate ground.

51:9-16 The people whom Christ has redeemed with his blood, as well as by his power, will obtain joyful deliverance from every enemy. He that designs such joy for us at last, will he not work such deliverance in the mean time, as our cases require? In this world of changes, it is a short step from joy to sorrow, but in that world, sorrow shall never come in view. They prayed for the display of God's power; he answers them with consolations of his grace. Did we dread to sin against God, we should not fear the frowns of men. Happy is the man that fears God always. And Christ's church shall enjoy security by the power and providence of the Almighty.Therefore the redeemed of the Lord - This is probably the language of Yahweh assuring them, in answer to their prayer, that his ransomed people should again return to Zion.

And everlasting joy shall be upon their head - This entire verse occurs also in Isaiah 35:10. See it explained in the note on that verse. The custom of singing alluded to here on a journey is now very common in the East. It is practiced to relieve the tediousness of a journey over extended plains, as well as to induce the camels in a caravan to move with greater rapidity. The idea here is, that the caravan that should return from Babylon to Jerusalem, across the extended plains, should make the journey amidst general exultation and joy - cheered on their way by songs, and relieving the tedium of their journey by notes of gladness and of praise.

11. (Isa 35:10).

Therefore—assurance of faith; or else the answer of Jehovah corresponding to their prayer. As surely as God redeemed Israel out of Egypt, He shall redeem them from Babylon, both the literal in the age following, and mystical in the last ages (Re 18:20, 21). There shall be a second exodus (Isa 11:11-16; 27:12, 13).

singing—image from the custom of singing on a journey when a caravan is passing along the extended plains in the East.

everlasting joy—(Jude 24).

sorrow … flee away—(Re 21:4).

Therefore; or, So; Heb. And. This verse contains an answer to the prophet’s prayer. It is true, I did these great things, and I will do the like again.

Everlasting joy shall be upon their head, like a crown of glory. But for the accomplishment of this magnificent promise we must needs look beyond their return from Babylon into their own land, when they met with many discouragements, and troubles, and calamities, and extend it unto the coming of Christ, by whom these great things were procured and actually conferred upon his people.

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return,.... Or "and", or "so" (q). In like manner, and as sure as the Israelites had a way made for them through the sea to pass over, so sure shall all those that are redeemed by the blood of Christ from sin, Satan, the law, death, and hell, be gathered out of the nations of the world, and from the antichristian states, and shall be converted and turn to the Lord. Or these words are a continuation of the above prayer, as Jarchi, "let them return"; or rather are an answer to it, and a promise that they should:

and come with singing unto Zion; to the Gospel church, and join themselves to it, praising God for his grace in calling and converting them, adoring the riches of his distinguishing love, and singing the new song of redeeming grace; and hereafter they shall return from the grave, and come to Zion above, singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb:

and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; visible in the present state, more so hereafter, when there will be upon them an eternal weight of glory, a crown of life and righteousness:

they shall obtain joy and gladness; by having the presence of God, communion with him, views of interest in Christ, and the gracious influences of the blessed Spirit; all these they enjoy in the church now, but in full perfection hereafter:

and sorrow and mourning shall flee away: either for sin, having the discoveries and application of forgiving love; or on account of desertion, now enjoying the light of God's countenance; or by reason of persecution, which in the latter day glory will entirely cease. But all this will be most fully accomplished in the New Jerusalem church state, and ultimate glory, Revelation 21:4. See Gill on Isaiah 35:10.

(q) "et nunc", V. L. "ita", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. And Ben Melech observes, that "and", is in the room of "thus".

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall {l} return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

(l) From Babylon.

11. For Therefore render as R.V. And. The verse is almost verbally identical with Isaiah 35:10, which is clearly its original setting. Here its connexion with what precedes is somewhat loose, and since ch. 35 is of more recent date than this prophecy, the verse must have been transferred by a copyist.

Isaiah 51:11But just as such an exhortation as this followed very naturally from the grand promises with which they prophecy commenced, so does a longing for the promised salvation spring out of this exhortation, together with the assurance of its eventual realization. "Awake, awake, clothe thyself in might, O arm of Jehovah; awake, as in the days of ancient time, the ages of the olden world! Was it not thou that didst split Rahab in pieces, and pierced the dragon? Was it not thou that didst dry up the sea, the waters of the great billow; that didst turn the depths of the sea into a way for redeemed to pass through? Ad the emancipated of Jehovah will return, and come to Zion with shouting, and everlasting joy upon their head: they grasp at gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing flee away." The paradisaical restoration of Zion, the new world of righteousness and salvation, is a work of the arm of Jehovah, i.e., of the manifestation of His might. His arm is now in a sleeping state. It is not lifeless, indeed, but motionless. Therefore the church calls out to it three times, "Awake" (‛ūrı̄: to avoid monotony, the milra and milel tones are interchanged, as in Judges 5:12).

(Note: See Norzi and Luzzatto's Grammatica della Lingua Ebr. 513.)

It is to arise and put on strength out of the fulness of omnipotence (lâbhēsh as in Psalm 93:1; cf., λαμβάνειν δύναμιν Revelation 11:17, and δύσεο ἀλκήν, arm thyself with strength, in Il. 19:36; 9:231). The arm of Jehovah is able to accomplish what the prophecy affirms and the church hopes for; since it has already miraculously redeemed Israel once. Rahabh is Egypt represented as a monster of the waters (see Isaiah 30:7), and tannı̄n is the same (cf., Isaiah 27:1), but with particular reference to Pharaoh (Ezekiel 29:3). אתּ־היא, tu illud, is equivalent to "thou, yea thou" (see at Isaiah 37:16). The Red Sea is described as the "waters of the great deep" (tehōm rabbâh), because the great storehouse of waters that lie below the solid ground were partially manifested there. השּׂמה has double pashta; it is therefore milel, and therefore the third pr. equals שׂמה אשׁר (Ges. 109, Anf.). Isaiah 35:10 is repeated in Isaiah 51:11, being attached to גּאוּלים of the previous verse, jut as it is there. Instead of נסוּ ישּׂיגוּן, which we find here, we have there ונסוּ ישּׂיגוּ; in everything else the two passages are word for word the same. Hitzig, Ewald, and Knobel suppose that Isaiah 51:11 was not written by the author of these addresses, but was interpolated by some one else. But in Isaiah 65:25 we meet with just the same kind of repetition from chapters 1-39; and in the first part we find, at any rate, repetitions in the form of refrains and others of a smaller kind (like Isaiah 19:15, cf., Isaiah 9:13). And Isaiah 51:11 forms a conclusion here, just as it does in Isaiah 35:10. An argument is founded upon the olden time with reference to the things to be expected now; the look into the future is cleared and strengthened by the look into the past. And thus will the emancipated of Jehovah return, being liberated from the present calamity as they were delivered from the Egyptian then. The first half of this prophecy is here brought to a close. It concludes with expressions of longing and of hope, the echo of promises that had gone before.

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