Isaiah 56:5
Even to them will I give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
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(5) Even unto them will I give . . .—The words may refer simply to the spiritual blessedness of the faithful (Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:5), but the customs of Eastern temples and of the later synagogues suggest that they may refer primarily to the memorial tablets which were put up in such places in commemoration of distinguished benefactors. For “place” read memorial. We note, of course, the special adaptation of the words “better than of sons and daughters” to the case which the prophet has in view; but it has to be remembered also that the whole promise substitutes the principle of catholicity for the rubrics of exclusiveness which we find in Deuteronomy 23:1.

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.Will I give in mine house - That is, they shalt be admitted to all the privileges of entering my house of prayer, and of being regarded as my true worshippers, and this shall be to them a more invaluable privilege than would be any earthly advantages. The word 'house' here refers undoubtedly to the temple, regarded as emblematic of the place of public worship in all ages.

And within my walls - The walls of the city where God dwelt, referring primarily to the walls of Jerusalem. They should be permitted to dwell with God, and be admitted to all the privileges of others. All, of all classes and conditions, under the reign of the Messiah, should be regarded as on a level, and entitled to equal advantages. There should be no religious disabilities arising from caste, age, country, color, or rank of life. Those who had any physical defect should not on that account be excluded from his favor, or be regarded as not entitled to his offers of mercy. The lame, therefore, the halt, the blind; the man of color, the african, the red man of the woods; the Hindu and the Islander; all are to be regarded as alike invited to participate in the favor of God, and none are to be excluded from the 'house' erected to his praise, and from within the 'walls' of the holy city where he dwells.

A place - Hebrew, יד yâd - 'A hand.' The word is, however, used to denote 'a place' Deuteronomy 23:13; Numbers 2:17; Joshua 8:10. It is sometimes used in the sense of 'monument,' or 'trophy' 1 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 18:18, as if a monument were a handpointing out or showing anything. The word here denotes, however, a place, and means that the excluded foreigner and the eunuch should be admitted to a place in the temple of God; that is, should be admitted to the favor of God, and be permitted to dwell with him.

And a name - As it was regarded among the Hebrews as one of the highest honors to have a numerous posterity, the idea here is, that they should be admitted to the highest possible honor - the honor of being regarded as the children of God, and treated as his friends.

And I will give them an everlasting name - Their memory shall not perish. They shall be admitted to eternal and unchangeable honors - the everlasting honor of being treated as the friends of God.

5. in mine house—the temple, the emblem of the Church (1Ti 3:15). They shall no longer be confined as proselytes were, to the outer court, but shall be admitted "into the holiest" (Heb 10:19, 20).

a place—literally, "a hand."

than of sons—Though the eunuch is barren of children (Isa 56:3), I will give him a more lasting name than that of being father of sons and daughters (regarded as a high honor among the Hebrews) (Joh 1:12; 10:3; 1Jo 3:1; Re 2:17; 3:12).

In mine house; in my temple, to serve me there as priests, which eunuchs were not allowed to do, Leviticus 21:17, &c.; Deu 23:1.

Within my walls; in the courts of my temple, which were encompassed with walls. This seems to be added with respect to the people, who were admitted into the court, but not into the house itself.

A place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; a far greater blessing and honour than that of having posterity, which was but a temporal mercy, and that common to the worst of men; even my favour, and my Spirit, and eternal felicity. Even to them will I give in mine house and within my walls,.... The Targum is,

"in the house of my sanctuary, and in the land of the house of my Shechinah;''

meaning the temple at Jerusalem, in the land of Judea; but a Gospel church state is here meant, which is the house of God; the materials of which are true believers; the foundation Christ; the pillars and beams of it are the ministers of the word; the windows the ordinances, the door into it faith in Christ, and a profession of it; the provisions of it the word and ordinances; the stewards of it the preachers of the Gospel; where are saints of various sorts, fathers, young men, and children; where Christ is as a son over his own house, and acts as Prophet, Priest, and King, there. This is the Lord's house, it is of his building, where he dwells, which he keeps, repairs, beautifies, and adorns; here he promises to give the persons before described

a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; a "place" of entrance and admission into his house, for continuance to dwell in; a place of honour, profit, and pleasure; a place of comfort, rest, ease, and quietness; a place of fulness at the table of the Lord; a fixed, abiding, settled place; or "a hand" (o), which may signify a part, portion, lot, or inheritance, 2 Samuel 19:43 or a statue or pillar, 2 Samuel 18:18, and a "name", not of office, for all in it are not officers; nor a mere name in a church book, which to have only is of no avail; nor the mere name of a professor, which men may have, and be dead; but a good name, as a church member: and such an one is he who keeps his place in the church; seeks to maintain peace and brotherly love in it; lays himself out for the welfare of it; is ready to contribute according to his ability for the support of it; and whose life and conversation is becoming the Gospel of Christ; moreover, by this name may be meant the name of the people of God, he being their covenant God; or of the priests of God, as all the saints are under the Gospel dispensation; or of Christians, as they are now called; or rather of the sons of God, which is the new name that is given them, and is a more excellent name

than of sons and daughters; that is, than to have sons and daughters, the want of which the eunuch complained of; or than to be the sons and daughters of the greatest potentate on earth:

I will give them an everlasting name, that shall never be cut off; such is their good name in the church, and is spoken well of in later ages, is had in everlasting remembrance, and will be confessed by Christ at the last day; and such is their name as the children of God, for, once sons, no more servants, the name and relation will always continue; and both this name and place are the gift of God; it is he that brings them to his house, and gives them a place there, and enables them to behave well in it, so as to have a good name; and it is he that gives them the name, privilege, power, and relation of children, which shall never be cut off by any act of their own, or his, or by men, or devils; such a name had the eunuch, converted and baptized by Philip, Acts 8:27.

(o) "manum", Montanus, Cocceius. Ben Melech interprets it by "place"; and observes, that not at coporeal place is intended, but a place, of honour, excellency, dignity, and praise.

Even to them will I give in my {e} house and within my walls a place and a {f} name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

(e) Meaning, in his Church.

(f) They will be called after my people, and be of the same religion: yea, under Christ the dignity of the faithful will be greater than the Jews were at that time.

5. a place] a monument; lit., “a hand.” There seems no reason to doubt that the promise is to be understood literally. An illustration of what is meant is found in 2 Samuel 18:18, where we read that Absalom, in the prospect of dying childless, erected the pillar to his own memory which was known as “Absalom’s hand” (cf. also 1 Samuel 15:12, R.V. marg.). The case of those here spoken of is precisely similar. They have “no son to keep their name in remembrance,” but their memory shall be perpetuated by a monument erected within the Templewalls; and such a memorial, testifying to the esteem of the whole community, is better (and more enduring) than sons and daughters.Verse 5. - In mine house; i.e. "in my Church" (comp. 1 Timothy 3:15). Within my walls. Within the walls of my "holy city" (see above, Isaiah 54:11, 12; 50:14; 42:12). A place and a name; or, a memorial and a name; i.e. honourable mention, like that promised to the woman who anointed Christ for his burial (Matthew 26:13). Such mention is found in Matthew 19:12; Acts 8:27-39. The true point of comparison, however, is the energy with which the word is realized. Assuredly and irresistibly will the word of redemption be fulfilled. "For ye will go out with joy, and be led forth in peace: the mountains and the hills will break out before you into shouting, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn will cypresses shoot up, and instead of the fleabane will myrtles shoot up: and it will be to Jehovah for a name, for an everlasting memorial that will not be swept away." "With joy," i.e., without the hurry of fear (Isaiah 52:12); "in peace," i.e., without having to fight their way through or flee. The idea of the sufferer falls back in הוּבל behind that of a festal procession (Psalm 45:15-16). In applying the term kaph (hand) to the trees, the prophet had in his mind their kippōth, or branches. The psalmist in Psalm 98:8 transfers the figure created by our prophet to the waves of the streams. Na‛ătsūts (from nâ‛ats, to sting) is probably no particular kind of thorn, such, for example, as the fuller's thistle, but, as in Isaiah 7:19, briers and thorns generally. On sirpad, see Ges. Thes.; we have followed the rendering, κόυζα, of the lxx. That this transformation of the vegetation of the desert is not to be taken literally, any more than in Isaiah 41:17-20, is evident from the shouting of the mountains, and the clapping of hands on the part of the trees. On the other hand, however, the prophet says something more than that Israel will return home with such feelings of joy as will cause everything to appear transformed. Such promises as those which we find here and in Isaiah 41:19 and Isaiah 35:1-2, and such exhortations as those which we find in Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13, and Isaiah 52:9, arise from the consciousness, which was common to both prophets and apostles, that the whole creation will one day share in the liberty and glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21). This thought is dressed up sometimes in one for, and sometimes in another. The psalmists after the captivity borrowed the colours in which they painted it from our prophet (see at Psalm 96:1-13 and Psalm 98:1-9). והיה is construed as a neuter (cf., בּראתיו, Isaiah 45:8), referring to this festal transformation of the outer world on the festive return of the redeemed. אות is treated in the attributive clause as a masculine, as if it came from אוּת, to make an incision, to crimp, as we have already indicated; but the Arabic âyat, shows that it comes from אוה, to point out, and is contracted from ăwăyat, and therefore was originally a feminine.
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