Isaiah 54:5
For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
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(5) The Lord of Hosts . . . the Holy One of Israel.—We note the combination of the two names so prominent in 1 Isaiah. The “Redeemer” in this context suggests the idea of the next of kin (such, e.g., as Boaz was to Ruth), taking on himself the kinsman’s duty of protection (Ruth 4:4-6).

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 thy Maker is thine husband - Both these words, 'maker' and 'husband,' in the Hebrew are in the plural number. But the form is evidently the pluralis excellentiae - a form denoting majesty and honor (see 1 Samuel 19:13, 1 Samuel 19:16; Psalm 149:2; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 30:3; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Hosea 12:1). Here it refers to 'Yahweh of hosts,' necessarily in the singular, as Yahweh is one Deuteronomy 6:4. No argument can be drawn from this phrase to prove that there is a distinction of persons in the Godhead, as the form is so often used evidently with a singular signification. That the words here properly have a singular signification was the evident understanding of the ancient interpreters. Thus Jerome Quia dominabitur tui qui fecit te - 'Because he shall rule ever thee who made thee' So the Septuagint, Ὅτι κύριος ὁ ποιῶν σε, κ.τ.λ. Hoti kurios ho poiōn se, etc. 'For the Lord who made thee, the Lord of Sabaoth,' etc. So the Chaldee and the Syriac. Lowth renders it, 'For thy husband is thy Maker.' The word rendered 'husband,' from בעל ba‛al, denotes properly the lord, maker, or ruler of anyone; or the owner of anything. It often, however, means, to be a husband Deuteronomy 21:13; Deuteronomy 24:1; Isaiah 62:5; Malachi 2:11, and is evidently used in that sense here. The idea is, that Yahweh would sustain to his people the relation of a husband; that he who had made them, who had originated all their laws and institutions, and moulded them as a people (see the note at Isaiah 43:1), would now take his church under his protection and care (see the notes at Isaiah 62:5).

And thy Redeemer - (See Notes on Isaiah 43:1-3.)

The God of the whole earth - He shall no more be regarded as uniquely the God of the Jewish people, but shall be acknowledged as the only true God, the God that rules over all the world. This refers undoubtedly to the times of the gospel, when he should be acknowledged as the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (see Romans 3:29).

5. (Isa 62:5; Jer 3:14). That God was Israel's "Maker," both as individuals and as the theocratic kingdom, is the pledge of assurance that He will be her Redeemer (Isa 43:1-3). Hebrew, "makers … husbands"; plural for singular, to denote excellency.

of Israel … whole earth—Not until He manifests Himself as God of Israel shall He appear as God of the whole earth (Ps 102:13, 15, 16; Zec 14:5, 9).

Thy Maker; he who made thee out of nothing, and therefore can easily fulfil all these promises, how unlikely soever they seem to be; and he who made thee a people, and, which is far more and better, his people, and therefore will not easily nor utterly forsake thee.

Is thine husband; he will own thee for his spouse, and will do the part of a husband to thee.

The Lord of hosts; who hath the sovereign command of all men and creatures, and therefore can subdue the Gentiles to thee, and can make thee to increase and multiply in so prodigious a measure, even in thine old age, notwithstanding thy barrenness in the days of thy youth, of which he speaketh in the foregoing verse.

The God of the whole earth; the God and Father of all nations; whereas formerly he was called only

the God of Israel, and the Gentiles had no special relation to him, nor interest in his covenant and favour, as was observed, Psalm 147:19,20, and elsewhere. For thy Maker is thine Husband,.... That is, Christ, the Husband of the church, and of every true believer; who secretly betrothed them to himself in eternity, having asked him of his father; and, being given to him, openly espouses them in conversion, one by one, as a chaste virgin; which he will do more publicly in a body at the last day, when the marriage of the Lamb will be come, when he will appear as the bridegroom of his people; and to which character he acts up, by loving them with a love of complacency and delight, most affectionately and constantly; by sympathizing with them in all their troubles; by nourishing and cherishing them as his own flesh, and interesting them in all he is and has. It is, in the Hebrew text (k) "thy Makers, thy Husbands", Father, Son, and Spirit; though the relation of a husband is more peculiar to Christ; and the words are a reason of the church's fruitfulness, and why she need not fear the performance of what was promised her; and which is wonderful and amazing; he who stands in such a near and endearing relation to his church and people, is the "Maker" of all things, yea, their Maker, both as creatures, and as new creatures:

the Lord of hosts is his name; of armies above and below, in heaven, and in earth; how great therefore must this their Husband be! to what honour and dignity are they advanced! how safe must they be under his protection! nor need they fear any enemy:

thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; he who is the church's Husband is her Redeemer; and who so fit as he to redeem her from sin, Satan, and the law, and every enemy; who is of the same nature with her, so dearly loves her, and so able to save her? for which he is also abundantly qualified, being holy in both his natures, in his person and offices, in his birth, life, and death; for this seems greatly to respect him as man, as he was a descendant of the Israelitish nation, and of the seed of Abraham:

the God of the whole earth shall he be called: not of Israel only, but of all the nations of the world, of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews; the earth was made by him; the world and all that are in it are his: he is the Governor among the nations; and in the latter day will appear to be the King over all the earth, and will be owned as such; so great and illustrious a Person is the church's Husband. These words are applied by the Jews to the times of the Messiah (l).

(k) Heb. "mariti tui, factores tui", Piscator; "qui crearunt te, habent te in matrimonio", Cocceius. (l) Shemot Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 102. 4.

For thy {f} Maker is thy husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole {g} earth shall he be called.

(f) That regenerated you by his Holy Spirit.

(g) His glory will shine through the whole world, which seemed before to be shut up in Judea.

5. thy Maker is thine husband] Rather, thy husband is thy Maker: He who has entered into this closest and tenderest of relations is none other than He who made thee. “Husband” in the original is a partic.; lit. “he who marries thee”; and both nouns are in the plural after the analogy of words like ǎdônîm (= lord, the so-called plural of majesty).

thy redeemer] See on Isaiah 41:14.

shall he be called] Perhaps, is he called, parallel to “is his name.” The ground of comfort lies in the thought that He who acknowledges Zion as His wife is the God of the whole earth, the ruler of all the forces of the universe.Verse 5. - For thy Maker is thine Husband; rather, for thy Husband is thy Maker. The verse is exegetical of the terms, "married with" in ver. 1, and "widowhood" in ver. 4. "I," says the prophet, "have called thee married and widowed, thereby yoking thee to a husband, for thou hast a Husband, namely, thy Maker." (The Hebrew has both words in the plural, to accord with the following Elohim.) This relationship of God to his Church is often asserted by the prophets (Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 31:32; Hosea 2:19; Song of Solomon 1:4, etc.), and lies at the root of the oft-recurring metaphor by which idolatry is called "lewdness," "adultery," or "playing the whore." Thy Redeemer the Holy One; rather, thy Redeemer is the Holy One. (On the title itself, see the comment on Isaiah 1:4.) The God of the whole earth (comp. Psalm 24:1; Psalm 47:2, 7; Psalm 133:18, etc.). Materially, he was always this. Now, from this time, he will be "God of the whole earth" morally; not God of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles (see Romans 3:29). This great work of salvation lies as the great object of His calling in the hand of the deceased and yet eternally living One, and goes on victoriously through His mediation. He now reaps the fruit of His self-sacrifice in a continuous priestly course. "Because of the travail of His soul, He will see, and be refreshed; through His knowledge will He procure justice, my righteous servant, for the many, and will take their iniquities upon Himself." The prophecy now leaves the standpoint of Israel's retrospective acknowledgment of the long rejected Servant of God, and becomes once more the prophetic organ of God Himself, who acknowledges the servant as His own. The min of מעמל might be used here in its primary local signification, "far away from the trouble" (as in Job 21:9, for example); or the temporal meaning which is derived from the local would be also admissible, viz., "from the time of the trouble," i.e., immediately after it (as in Psalm 73:20); but the causal sense is the most natural, viz., on account of, in consequence of (as in Exodus 2:23), which not only separates locally and links together temporarily, but brings into intimate connection. The meaning therefore is, "In consequence of the trouble of His soul (i.e., trouble experienced not only in His body, but into the inmost recesses of His soul), He will see, satisfy Himself." Hitzig supplies בּטּוב (Jeremiah 29:32); Knobel connects בדעתּו, in opposition to the accents (like A. S. Th. ἐμπλησθήσεται ἐν τῇ γνώσει αὐτοῦ), thus: "He looks at His prudent work, and has full satisfaction therewith." But there is nothing to supply, and no necessity to alter the existing punctuation. The second verb receives its colouring from the first; the expression "He will see, will satisfy Himself," being equivalent to "He will enjoy a satisfying or pleasing sight" (cf., Psalm 17:15), which will consist, as Isaiah 53:10 clearly shows, in the successful progress of the divine work of salvation, of which He is the Mediator. בדעתו belongs to יצדּיק as the medium of setting right (cf., Proverbs 11:9). This is connected with ḻ in the sense of "procure justice," like ל רפא (Isaiah 6:10); ל הניח in Isaiah 14:3; Isaiah 28:12 (cf., Daniel 11:33, ל הבין, to procure intelligence; Genesis 45:7, ל החיה, to prolong life - a usage which leads on to the Aramaean combination of the dative with the accusative, e.g., Job 37:18, compare Job 5:2). Tsaddı̄q ‛abhdı̄ do not stand to one another in the relation of a proper name and a noun in apposition, as Hofmann thinks, nor is this expression to be interpreted according to דּוד המּלך (Ges. 113); but "a righteous man, my servant," with the emphatic prominence given to the attribute (cf., Isaiah 10:30; Isaiah 23:12; Psalm 89:51), is equivalent to "my righteous servant.'

But does בדעתו mean per cognitionem sui, or per cognitionem suam? The former gives a sense which is both doctrinally satisfying and practically correct: the Righteous One makes others partakers of righteousness, through their knowledge of Him, His person, and His work, and (as the biblical ידע, which has reference not only to the understanding, but to personal experience also, clearly signifies) through their entrance into living fellowship with Him. Nearly all the commentators, who understand by the servant of God the Divine Redeemer, give the preference to this explanation (e.g., Vitringa, Hengstenberg, and Stier). But the meaning preferred is not always the correct one. The subjective rendering of the suffix (cf., Proverbs 22:17) is favoured by Malachi 2:7, where it is said that "the priest's lips should keep da‛ath (knowledge);" by Daniel 12:3, where faithful teachers are called matsdı̄qē hârabbı̄m (they that turn many to righteousness); and by Isaiah 11:2, according to which "the spirit of knowledge" (rūăch da‛ath) is one of the seven spirits that descend upon the sprout of Jesse; so that "knowledge" (da‛ath) is represented as equally the qualification for the priestly, the prophetic, and the regal calling. It is a very unseemly remark, therefore, on the part of a modern commentator, when he speaks of the subjective knowledge of the Servant as "halting weakly behind in the picture, after His sacrificial death has already been described." We need only recall to mind the words of the Lord in Matthew 11:27, which are not only recorded both by the synoptists and by John, but supported by testimony outside the Gospels also: "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Let us remember also, that the Servant of Jehovah, whose priestly mediatorial work is unfolded before us here in chapter 53, upon the ground of which He rises to more than regal glory (Isaiah 52:15, compare Isaiah 53:12), is no other than He to whom His God has given the tongue of the learned, "to know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary, i.e., to raise up the wary and heavy laden" (Isaiah 50:4). He knows God, with whom He stands in loving fellowship; He knows the counsels of His love and the will of His grace, in the fulfilment of which His own life ascends, after having gone down into death and come forth from death; and by virtue of this knowledge, which rests upon His own truest and most direct experience, He, the righteous One, will help "the many," i.e., the great mass (hârabbı̄m as in Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:33, Daniel 11:39; Daniel 12:3; cf., Exodus 23:2, where rabbı̄m is used in the same sense without the article), hence all His own nation, and beyond that, all mankind (so far as they were susceptible of salvation equals τοῖς πολλοῖς, Romans 5:19, cf., πολλῶν, Matthew 26:28), to a right state of life and conduct, and one that should be well-pleasing to God. The primary reference is to the righteousness of faith, which is the consequence of justification on the ground of His atoning work, when this is believingly appropriated; but the expression also includes that righteousness of life, which springs by an inward necessity out of those sanctifying powers, that are bound up with the atoning work which we have made our own (see Daniel 9:24). The ancients recognised this connection between the justitia fidei et vitae better than many of the moderns, who look askance at the Romish justitia infusa, and therewith boast of advancing knowledge. Because our righteousness has its roots in the forgiveness of sins, as an absolutely unmerited gift of grace without works, the prophecy returns once more from the justifying work of the Servant of God to His sin-expunging work as the basis of all righteousness: "He shall bear their iniquities." This yisbōl (He shall bear), which stands along with futures, and therefore, being also future itself, refers to something to be done after the completion of the work to which He is called in this life (with which Hofmann connects it), denotes the continued operation of His sebhâlâm (Isaiah 53:4), through His own active mediation. His continued lading of our trespasses upon Himself is merely the constant presence and presentation of His atonement, which has been offered once for all. The dead yet living One, because of His one self-sacrifice, is an eternal Priest, who now lives to distribute the blessings that He has acquired.

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