Isaiah 56:4
For thus said the LORD to the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
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56:3-8 Unbelief often suggests things to discourage believers, against which God has expressly guarded. Spiritual blessings are unspeakably better than having sons and daughters; for children are a care, and may prove a grief and shame, but the blessings we partake of in God's house, are comforts which cannot be made bitter. Those who love the Lord truly, will serve him faithfully, and then his commandments are not grievous. Three things are promised. Assistance: I will not only bid them welcome, but incline them to come. Acceptance, and comfort: though they came mourning to the house of prayer, they shall go away rejoicing. They shall find ease by casting their cares and burdens upon God. Many a sorrowful spirit has been made joyful in the house of prayer. The Gentiles shall be one body with the Jews, that, as Christ says, Joh 10:16, there may be one fold and one Shepherd. Thanks be to God that none are separated from him except by wilful sin and unbelief; and if we come to him, we shall be accepted through the sacrifice of our great High Priest.For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs - Even the eunuchs, who have hitherto been excluded from the privileges of the people of God, and who have been regarded as a separated and degraded people, shall be admitted to the same privileges as others.

That keep my sabbaths - The word is used here in the plural, though the weekly Sabbath is probably particularly intended. It may be, however, that the word is used to represent religious observances in general (see the notes at Isaiah 56:2).

And choose the things that please me - Who will be willing to sacrifice their own pleasure and preferences to those things which I choose, and in which Idelight.

And take hold of my covenant - Hold fast, or steadily maintain my covenant. On the meaning of the word 'covenant,' see the notes at Isaiah 28:18; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 54:10.

4. please me—sacrifice their own pleasure to mine.

take hold—so "layeth hold" (see on [856]Isa 56:2).

Choose the things that please me; that observe my commands, not by custom, or force, or fear, but by free choice, and full consent, with love to them and delight in them.

Take hold of my covenant; that resolvedly and stedfastly keep the conditions of my covenant. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths,.... That fear and serve the Lord; religiously observe all times of divine worship, and walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord; show regard to all the institutions of the Gospel, and perform all religious exercises, private and public, on Lord's days, and at other times:

and choose the things that please me; who do that which is wellpleasing unto God, which he has declared in his word to be acceptable to him; and do that from right principles, with right views, and of choice; not forced to it by those who have authority over them, or led to it merely by example and custom:

and take hold of my covenant; not the covenant of circumcision, as Kimchi; for what had eunuchs to do with that? but the covenant of grace, the everlasting covenant, the covenant of peace before spoken of Isaiah 14:10, made between the Father and the Son, on account of the elect; which may be said to be taken hold of when a person by faith claims his interest in God as his covenant God; comes to Christ as the Mediator of the covenant; and deals with his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for pardon, justification, and atonement; regards all the promises and blessings of the covenant as belonging to him and lives by faith on them, as such; so David by faith laid hold on this covenant, 2 Samuel 23:5.

For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
4, 5. In spite of his disability the God-fearing eunuch shall be recognised as a worthy member of the congregation of Jehovah, and his name shall be had in everlasting honour in the new Israel.

that keep my sabbaths] For the expression, cf. Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:30; Leviticus 26:2, &c.

hold fast (as Isaiah 56:2) my covenant] by conscientious obedience.Verse 4. - The eunuchs that... take hold of my covenant. The law of Deuteronomy 23:1 shall be abrogated under the new condition of things, for such as "take hold of God's covenant." This is set forth under a figure drawn from the rain and the snow. "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, till it has moistened the earth, and fertilized it, and made it green, and offered seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will my word be which goeth forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me fruitless, till it has accomplished that which I willed, and prosperously carried out that for which I sent it." The rain and snow come down from the sky, and return not thither till they have .... The perfects after אם כּי are all to be understood as such (Ewald, 356, a). Rain and snow return as vapour to the sky, but not without having first of all accomplished the purpose of their descent. And so with the word of Jehovah, which goeth forth out of His mouth (יצא, not יצא, Isaiah 45:23, because it is thought of as still going on in the preaching of the prophet): it will not return without having effected its object, i.e., without having accomplished what was Jehovah's counsel, or "good pleasure" - without having attained the end for which it was sent by Jehovah (constr. as in 2 Samuel 11:22; 1 Kings 14:6). The word is represented in other places as the messenger of God (Isaiah 9:8; Psalm 107:20; Psalm 147:15.). The personification presupposes that it is not a mere sound or letter. As it goeth forth out of the mouth of God it acquires shape, and in this shape is hidden a divine life, because of its divine origin; and so it runs, with life from God, endowed with divine power, supplied with divine commissions, like a swift messenger through nature and the world of man, there to melt the ice, as it were, and here to heal and to save; and does not return from its course till it has given effect to the will of the sender. This return of the word to God also presupposes its divine nature. The will of God, which becomes concrete and audible in the word, is the utterance of His nature, and is resolved into that nature again as soon as it is fulfilled. The figures chosen are rich in analogies. As snow and rain are the mediating causes of growth, and therefore the enjoyment of what is reaped; so is the soil of the human heart softened, refreshed, and rendered productive or prolific by the word out of the mouth of Jehovah; and this word furnishes the prophet, who resembles the sower, with the seed which he scatters, and brings with it bread which feeds the souls: for every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God is bread (Deuteronomy 8:3).
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