Isaiah 54:3
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
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(3) On the right hand and on the left.—Comp. Genesis 28:14. Strictly speaking, the words indicate specially the north and the south, in relation to one who stands looking towards the East. Here, of course, they mean “on every side.” The words that follow have, like others, a lower or material and a higher or spiritual meaning.

54:1-5 Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God. This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.For thou shalt break forth - (See the notes at Isaiah 49:19-20).

And make the desolate cities - (See the notes at Isaiah 44:26).

3. break forth—rather, "burst forth" with increase; thy offspring shall grow, answering to "thy seed" in the parallel clause.

thy seed—Israel and her children, as distinguished from "the Gentiles."

desolate cities—of Israel (Isa 44:26).

Thou shalt break forth; thou shalt bring forth a multitude of children; for this word is commonly used of any great and extraordinary propagation of living creatures, whether beasts or men, Genesis 30:30 Exodus 1:12.

On the right hand and on the left; on every side, in all the parts of the world.

Thy seed; either,

1. Thy spiritual seed, the church of the new testament, which is accounted Abraham’s seed, or children, Galatians 3:7-9,29. Or,

2. Thy natural seed, Christ and his apostles, and other ministers, who were Jews, by whom this work was first and most eminently done.

Shall inherit the Gentiles; shall subdue the Gentile world to the church, and to the obedience of the faith.

The desolate cities; those cities and countries which in a spiritual sense were desolate and forsaken by God.

For thou shall break forth on the right hand and on the left,.... To the south, and to the north, as the Targum, like an inundation of water, that breaks through and overflows the banks of the river, and spreads itself in the adjacent countries; or like a warehouse overstocked with goods, bursts the walls in which they are pent up; or rather as infants break forth from the womb at the time of birth, as Pharez did, from whence he had his name, Genesis 38:29 see Hosea 13:13, or as, when a country is become exceeding numerous, the inhabitants break out, and go forth beyond their borders, and seek new settlements, the place of their abode being too small for them; so it shall be in the latter day, through the vast number of converts that will be made; see Isaiah 49:19,

and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles; where formerly only Heathens lived, there the Gospel of Christ shall be carried by his apostles and other ministers; and being succeeded to the conversion of many souls, through the power of divine grace accompanying it, a spiritual seed, the seed of the church, shall take place, and dwell there; this was true in the first ages of Christianity, more especially in Constantine's time; and will be more fully accomplished in the latter day, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in:

and make the desolate cities to be inhabited: such cities as were destitute of the knowledge of Christ and his salvation, and of all divine and spiritual things, shall now be inhabited by spiritual men, such as believe in Christ, and profess his name; such cities as Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi, Thessalonica, and many others.

For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
3. The tent must be larger than of old, for the new community shall spread abroad (cf. Genesis 28:14; Genesis 30:30; Genesis 30:43) on the right hand and on the left, i.e. in all directions.

inherit the Gentiles] take possession of nations (cf. Genesis 22:17; Genesis 24:60). The reference is not to be limited to the heathen who had occupied the soil of Palestine; although the desolate cities in the parallel clause are no doubt primarily those of the holy land.

Verse 3. - For thou shalt break forth; or, thou shalt increase (see Genesis 30:30, 43; Exodus 1:12). An overflow, like that of the bursting out of water, is pointed at. On the right hand and on the left; i.e. "on all sides" (comp. Genesis 28:14). Thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles. The Christian Church is viewed as a continuation of the Jewish Church; and the conversion of nation after nation to the gospel is regarded as the extension of Jewish dominion over fresh lands. The cities of these lands - desolate hitherto, i.e. without godly inhabitants - will under these circumstances come to be inhabited; i.e. will be peopled by faithful men. Isaiah 54:3The reason why the tent is to be so large and strong is given in Isaiah 54:3 : "For thou wilt break forth on the right and on the left; and thy seed will take possession of nations, and they will people desolate cities." "On the right and on the left" is equivalent to "on the south and north" (Psalm 89:13, the speaker being supposed to have his face turned towards the east: compare the Sanscrit apân, situated at the back, i.e., towards the west). We must supply both west and east, since the promises contained in such passages as Genesis 15:18-21 remained unfulfilled even in the age of David and Solomon. Jerusalem will now spread out, and break through all her former bounds (pârats is used in the same sense in Genesis 28:14); and her seed (i.e., the seed acquired by the Servant of Jehovah, the dead yet eternally living One, the σπέρμα, whose σπέρμα He Himself is) will take possession of nations (yârash, yârēsh, capessere, occupare; more especially κληρονομεῖν, syn. nâchal); and they (i.e., the children born to her) will people desolate cities (hōshı̄bh, the causative of yâshabh, to be inhabited, Isaiah 14:20). Thus will the promise be fulfilled, that "the meek shall inherit the earth," - a promise not confined to the Preacher on the mount, but found also in Psalm 37:9-11, and uttered by our own prophet in Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 65:9.
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