Isaiah 56:8
The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
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(8) The Lord God . . . saith.—The phrase is the normal one for introducing an oracle of special importance. This, so to speak, was to be one of the “faithful sayings” of Isaiah. We can hardly fail to find in John 10:16 a deliberate reproduction of Isaiah’s thought. The first clause refers clearly to the gathering of the heathen as following on that of the “outcasts” of Israel.

Isaiah 56:8. The Lord which gathereth the outcasts — Who will gather to himself, and bring into their own land, those poor Israelites which are or shall be cast out of it, and dispersed in divers parts of the world; saith, Yet will I gather others to him — As there are some few Gentiles whom I have made proselytes and added to the Jewish Church, so I will make another and far more comprehensive gathering of the Gentiles, whom I will bring into the same church with the Jews, making both Jews and Gentiles one flock under one shepherd.

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.The Lord God - This verse is a continuation of the promise made in the previous verses, that those of other nations would be united to the ancient people of God. The sense is, that Yahweh would not only gather back to their country those who were scattered abroad in other lands, but would also call to the same privileges multitudes of those who were now aliens and strangers.

Which gathereth the outcasts of Israel - Who will collect again and restore to their own country those of the Jews who were scattered abroad - the exiles who were in distant lands.

Yet will I gather others to him - To Israel; that is, to the Jews (see John 10:16).

Besides those - Margin, 'To his gathered.' To those who are collected from their exile and restored to their own country, I will add many others of other nations. This completes the promise referred to in this and the previous chapters. The next verse introduces a new subject, and here a division should have been made in the chapters. The great truth is here fully expressed, that under the Messiah the pagan world would be admitted to the privileges of the people of God. The formidable and long-existing barriers between the nations would be broken down. No one nation would be permitted to come before God claiming any special privileges; none should regard themselves as in any sense inferior to any other portion of the world on account of their birth, their rank, their privileges by nature. Under this economy we are permitted to live - happy now in the assurance that though we were once regarded as strangers and foreigners, yet we are 'now fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God' Ephesians 2:19.

The whole world lies on a level before God in regard to its origin - for God 'has made of one blood all the nations of mankind to dwell on the face of all the earth' Acts 18:26. The whole race is on a level in regard to moral character - for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. And the whole race is on a level in regard to redemption - for the same Saviour died for all; the same heaven is offered to all; and the same eternal and most blessed God is ready to admit all to his favor, and to confer on all everlasting life. What thanks do 'we owe to the God of grace for the blessings of the eternal gospel; and how anxious should we be that the offers of salvation should in fact be made known to all people! The wide world may be saved, and there is not one of the human race so degraded in rank, or color, or ignorance, that he may not be admitted to the same heaven with Abraham and the prophets, and whose prayers and praises would not be as acceptable to God as those of the most magnificent monarch who ever wore a crown.

8. Jehovah will not only restore the scattered outcasts of Israel (Isa 11:12; Ps 147:2) to their own land, but "will gather others ('strangers') to him (Israel), besides those gathered" (Margin, "to his gathered"; that is, in addition to the Israelites collected from their dispersion), (Joh 10:16; Eph 1:10; 2:19). Which gathereth the outcasts of Israel; which will gather to himself, and bring into their own land, those poor Israelites which are, or shall be, cast out of their own land, and from God’s presence, and dispersed in divers parts of the world.

Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him; as there are some few Gentiles whom I have made proselytes, and added to the Jewish church, so I shall make another and a far more comprehensive gathering of the Gentiles, whom I shall bring into the same church with the Jews, making both Jews and Gentiles one fold under one Shepherd, as it is promised, John 10:16.

The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith,.... Not the outcasts of literal Israel, the captives in Babylon, and elsewhere; but of spiritual Israel, and who are cast out, not by the Lord, but by the men of the world; who cast out their names as evil, who call them outcasts, and account them the offscouring of all things, Jeremiah 30:17 or rather this character of them may represent what they appear to be in a state of nature, when they seem to be neglected, and not taken notice of by the Lord, as if they were not his people, or beloved by him; and are like the infant cast out into the open field to the loathing of its person; and yet such as these the Lord looks upon, takes notice of, and gathers in by an effectual calling. The Targum renders it, "the scattered of Israel"; and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; who, while unregenerate, are in a state of distance and alienation from God; are without God and Christ, and destitute of the Spirit; aliens from the people of God; wandering out of the way of God; are like lost sheep, scattered abroad by the fall of Adam, and their own actual transgressions: now the Lord God is the gatherer of these; which agrees with Christ, as the surety that engaged to look them up, and bring them in; and as he is a shepherd that gathers the lambs in his arms; and as he is the Saviour that came to seek and save that which was lost; and who, in consequence of having redeemed his people, gathers them by his Spirit and grace, through the ministry of the word; see John 10:16, it may be here meant of God the Father, whose purpose, plan, and contrivance, it was to gather together all his elect in one, even in Christ; and whose promise it is, that to him should the gathering of the people be; and who set him up as an ensign for that purpose, Ephesians 1:10 he now says:

yet will I gather others to him besides those that are gathered unto him; that is, to Israel; either to Christ, to whom these outcasts and scattered ones belong, who is sometimes called Israel, Isaiah 49:3, or to the church of God, whither they are brought when gathered, as in Isaiah 56:5, this is done in the effectual calling, when God's elect are called and gathered out of the world, among whom they have been, and are brought to Christ as their Saviour; as the Lord their righteousness; as the Mediator of the new covenant; and to his blood for pardon, justification, and salvation; and as the ark where they only can find rest for their souls; and as their King, to whom they become subject; and so they are gathered into the church as to a fold and good pasture. Now great numbers of these, both among the Jews and Gentiles, were gathered in at the first preaching of the Gospel, in the first times of the Gospel dispensation; and it is here promised that others besides them should be gathered in, even all that remain of the election of grace uncalled; the rest of those that the Father has given to Christ; the residue of those he has redeemed by his blood; such of the children of God as are yet scattered abroad, even all the remainder of the Lord's people, whether Jews or Gentiles; which will be fulfilled in the latter day, when the forces and fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in, and the nation of the Jews converted at once. The words may be rendered, "yet will I gather unto him his that are to be gathered" (s); the other sheep uncalled; as many as are ordained unto eternal life; not one shall be lost or left behind. Kimchi mentions it as an exposition of his father's,

"after I have gathered the outcasts of Israel; yet will I gather, against them that are gathered, others against his gathered ones, and they are Gog and Magog;''

to which sense, he says, the following verse inclines: but much better is the sense of Aben Ezra,

"yet, will I gather proselytes to the gathered of Israel;''

for his "gathered ones", he says, refers to Israel. But it is best of all to interpret it of the nations gathered and added to the Christian churches in the times of Constantine, who before had been treated as outcasts, and persecuted for their profession of Christ; and of the conversion of various other people, as the Goths, Vandals, &c. in later ages. So Vitringa.

(s) "adhuc congregabo, super eum congregatos ejus", Pagninus, Montanus; "congregandos ejus", Forerius, Grotius.

The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
8. The Lord God … saith] Saith the Lord Jehovah &c. The formula usually follows the sentence to which it refers; here it introduces it, as ch. Isaiah 1:24; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 110:1.

which gathereth the dispersed of Israel] Cf. ch. Isaiah 11:12; Psalm 147:2.

Yet will I gather others &c.] Lit. “I will yet further gather to him, to his gathered ones.” “His gathered ones” is the antithesis to the “dispersed” above. The language certainly suggests (though it may not absolutely prove) that a partial gathering has taken place: the promise is that yet more shall be gathered, and, amongst these, men from “all peoples.”

Verse 8. - The Lord God; rather, the Lord Jehovah - Adonai Jehovah. An unusual phrase. Which gathereth together the outcasts of Israel; i.e. the Lord who has pledged himself to bring back Israel from captivity, and to gather together Israel's outcasts from all regions (Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 27:12, 13; Isaiah 43:5, 6, etc.). This same Lord now promises something further: "He will gather others also to Israel, besides his own gathered ones." Introduced with such emphasis and formality, this was probably, when delivered, a new revelation. In the present arrangement of the prophecies, however, it announces no novelty. The addition of Gentile members to the Israelite community has been declared frequently (see Isaiah 44:5; Isaiah 55:5, etc.). Section V. A WARNING TO THE WICKED (ISAIH 56:9-57.). Isaiah 56:8The expression "saying of the Lord" (Ne'um Jehovah), which is so solemn an expression in itself, and which stands here at the head of the following declaration, is a proof that it contains not only something great, but something which needs a solemn confirmation because of its strangeness. Not only is there no ground for supposing that Gentiles who love Jehovah will be excluded from the congregation; but it is really Jehovah's intention to gather some out of the heathen, and add them to the assembled diaspora of Israel. "Word of the Lord, Jehovah: gathering the outcasts of Israel, I will also gather beyond itself to its gathered ones." We only find ה נאם at the commencement of the sentence, in this passage and Zechariah 12:1. The double name of God, Adonai Jehovah, also indicates something great. עליו (to it) refers to Israel, and לנקבּציו is an explanatory permutative, equivalent to על־נקבציו; or else על denotes the fact that the gathering will exceed the limits of Israel (cf., Genesis 48:22), and ל the addition that will be made to the gathered ones of Israel. The meaning in either case remains the same. Jehovah here declares what Jesus says in John 10:16 : "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd:" "Jehovah one, and His name one," as it is expressed in Zechariah 14:9. Such as the views and hopes that have grown up out of the chastisement inflicted by their captivity. God has made it a preparatory school for New Testament times. It has been made subservient to the bursting of the fetters of the law, the liberation of the spirit of the law, and the establishment of friendship between Israel and the Gentile world as called to one common salvation.
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