Isaiah 57:19
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, said the LORD; and I will heal him.
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(19) The fruit of the lips . . .—The words point primarily to the praise and thanksgiving of the pardoned penitent (comp. Hosea 14:2; Hebrews 13:15), but include also all true utterances of the wise of heart (Proverbs 10:31). All these alike have their origin in the creative fiat of Jehovah, which proclaims “peace” (i.e., salvation) to all, whether near or far, Jews in Jerusalem, or Jews in exile, or (as in Ephesians 2:17) the Gentiles whose distance was that of spiritual remoteness. The message of healing is for all.

Isaiah 57:19-21. I create — I will, by my almighty power, in a wonderful manner produce; the fruit of the lips — Praise and thanksgiving, termed the fruit of the lips, Hosea 14:2; Hebrews 13:15. God creates this fruit of the lips, by giving new subjects and causes of thanksgiving, by his mercies conferred on those among his people, who acknowledge and bewail their transgressions, and return to him. Peace, peace, &c. — Here we have the great subject of thanksgiving, reconciliation with God, pardon and peace offered to them that are nigh, and to them that are afar off; not only to the Jew, but also to the Gentile, as St. Paul more than once applies those terms, Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:17. See also Acts 2:39. The doubling of the word signifies the certainty and excellence of this peace. But though this peace be freely offered to all without exception, yet all will not partake of it, for the wicked are like the troubled sea, &c. — Their minds are restless, being perpetually hurried with their own lusts and passions, and with guilt, and the dread of divine vengeance. There is no peace to the wicked — Though they may have as great a share of outward prosperity as the best men have, yet they have no share in this inward, spiritual, and everlasting peace. The forty-eighth chapter ends with the same declaration; to express the exclusion of the impenitent and unbelieving from the benefit of the foregoing promises. 57:13-21 The idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing; but those who trust in God's grace, shall be brought to the joys of heaven. With the Lord there is neither beginning of days, nor end of life, nor change of time. His name is holy, and all must know him as a holy God. He will have tender regard to those who bring their mind to their condition, and dread his wrath. He will make his abode with those whose hearts he has thus humbled, in order to revive and comfort them. When troubles last long, even good men are tempted to entertain hard thoughts of God. Therefore He will not contend for ever, for he will not forsake the work of his own hands, nor defeat the purchase of his Son's blood. Covetousness is a sin that particularly lays men under the Divine displeasure. See the sinfulness of sin. See also that troubles cannot reform men unless God's grace work in them. Peace shall be published, perfect peace. It is the fruit of preaching lips, and praying lips. Christ came and preached peace to Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; to after-ages, who were afar off in time, as well as to those of that age. But the wicked would not be healed by God's grace, therefore would not be healed by his comforts. Their ungoverned lusts and passions made them like the troubled sea. Also the terrors of conscience disturbed their enjoyments. God hath said it, and all the world cannot unsay it, That there is no peace to those who allow themselves in any sin. If we are recovered from such an awful state, it is only by the grace of God. And the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that new heart, from whence comes grateful praise, the fruit of our lips, are his gift. Salvation, with all its fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his work, and to him belongs all the glory. There is no peace for the wicked man; but let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.I create the fruit of the lips - The Chaldee and Syriac render this, 'The words of the lips.' The 'fruit' of the lips is that which the lips produce, that is, words; and the reference here is doubtless to offerings of praise and thanksgiving. See Hebrews 13:15; where the phrase, 'fruit of the lips' (καρπὸς χειλέων karpos cheileōn), is explained to mean praise. Compare Hosea 14:2, where the expression, 'we will render the calves of the lips,' means that they would offer praise. The sense here is, that God bestowed such blessings as made thanksgiving proper, and thus, he 'created the fruit of the lips.'

Peace, peace - The great subject of the thanksgiving would be peace. The peace here referred to probably had a primary reference to the cessation of the calamities which would soon overwhelm the Jewish nation, and their restoration again to their own land. But the whole strain of the passage also shows that the prophet had a more general truth in his view, and that he refers to that peace which would diffuse joy among all who were far off, and those who were near. Paul evidently alludes to this passage in Ephesians 2:14-17. Thus understood, the more general reference is to the peace. which the Messiah would introduce, and which would lay the foundation for universal rejoicing and praise (compare the notes at Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 9:5).

To him that is far off - Applied by the apostle Paul to the Gentiles, who are represented as having been far off from God, or as aliens or strangers to him Ephesians 2:17.

And to him that is near - That is, to the Jewish people Ephesians 2:17, represented as having been comparatively near to God in the enjoyment of religious privileges.

19. fruit of … lips—that is, thanksgivings which flow from the lips. I make men to return thanks to Me (Ho 14:2; Heb 13:15).

Peace, peace—"perfect peace" (see Isa 26:3, Margin; Joh 14:27). Primarily, the cessation of the troubles now afflicting the Jews, as formerly, under the Babylonian exile. More generally, the peace which the Gospel proclaims both to Israel "that is near," and to the Gentiles who are "far off" (Ac 2:39; Eph 2:17).

I create, I will by my almighty power and in a wonderful manner produce,

the fruit of the lips; Peace: either,

1. Praise or thanksgiving, which is called the fruit of our lips, Hosea 14:2 Hebrews 13:15, and peace: or rather,

2. That peace which is not wrought by men’s hands, but only by God’s lips or word; peace with God, and in a man’s own conscience, which God hath promised to his people, and which he hath published and offered to all sorts of men by the preaching of the prophets, and especially of the apostles; as may be gathered both from the object of this peace in the following words, and by the exclusion of all wicked men from this peace, Isaiah 57:2021.

Peace: the doubling of the word signifies the certainty and abundance of this peace.

To him that is far off, and to him that is near; to the Gentiles, who are far from God and from salvation, Acts 2:38,39 Eph 2:12, &c., as well as to the Jews, who are called a people near unto God, Psalm 148:14. I create the fruit of the lips,.... Which is praise and thanksgiving, Hebrews 13:16 that is, give occasion of it, afford matter for it, by restoring comforts to the church and its mourners, as in the preceding verse; and by giving peace, as in all the following words. The Targum renders it,

"the speech of the lips in the mouth of all men;''

as if it respected that blessing of nature, speech, common to all mankind: whereas this is a blessing of grace, peculiar to some that share in the above blessings; and it may be restrained to Gospel ministers, the fruit of whose lips is the Gospel of peace; or the word preaching peace by Christ; the word of reconciliation committed to them; the subject of their ministry, as follows:

peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; peace with God, made by Christ, is the fruit of Jehovah the Father's lips, who promised it in covenant, on condition of Christ's shedding his blood to make it; whence the covenant is called the covenant of peace; and spoke of it in prophecy, as what should be obtained by Christ the peacemaker; and peace of conscience flowing from it is the fruit of Christ's lips, who promised to give it to, and leave it with, his disciples; and that they should have it in him, when they had tribulation in the world; and who also by his apostles went and

preached peace to them that were afar off, and to them that were nigh; having first made it by the blood of his cross, Ephesians 2:17 in which place there seems a manifest reference to this passage, when the Gospel was preached to the Jews that were near; to them in Judea first, from whence it first came; and then to the Gentiles that were afar off, as well as the dispersed Jews in distant countries; and in the latter day, to which this prophecy refers, it will be preached far and near, even all the world over; when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Gospel of peace, through the ministry of a set of men raised up by the Lord, created for that purpose, and eminently furnished for such service; the effect of which will be great spiritual peace in the hearts of God's people, and much concord, unity, and love among them, as well as there will be an abundance of external peace and prosperity; and when nations shall learn war no more. This Kimchi and Ben Melech take to be yet future, and what will be after the war of Gog and Magog: "and I will heal them"; of all their soul sicknesses and maladies; of all their divisions and declensions; of their carnality and earthly mindedness, before complained of; and even of all their sins and backslidings; and restore them to perfect health in their souls, and in their church state.

I create the {x} fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is {y} far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

(x) That is, I frame the speech and words of my messengers who will bring peace.

(y) As well to him that is in captivity as to him that remains at home.

19. I create the fruit of the lips] Better, creating fruit of the lips, continuing Isaiah 57:18. “Fruit of the lips” means praise and thanksgiving, as Hosea 14:2 (R.V. marg.); Hebrews 13:15. Jehovah will create this, cause it to spring forth spontaneously, from those who experience His lovingkindness.

Peace, peace &c.] Peace, peace to the far off and to the near! an exclamation, like Isaiah 57:21. The contrast of the “far off” and the “near” is probably that between the Jews still in exile, and those who have returned and are “near” to Jerusalem (cf. ch. Isaiah 56:8).Verse 19. - I create the fruit of the lips; literally, creating the fruit of the lips. The clause is best attached to the preceding verse. By his tender treatment of the wanderers, God brings forth fruit from their lips in the shape of praise and thanksgiving. Peace, peace; or, perfect peace, as in Isaiah 26:3. Judah's prophets were apt to say to her, "Peace, peace," when there was no peace (Jeremiah 6:14; Jeremiah 8:11; Ezekiel 13:10). Isaiah is now commissioned to give the promise from the mouth of God (comp. John 14:27; John 20:21, 26). To him that is far off, and to him that is near; i.e. either "to both the Gentiles and the Jews," or "to both the scattered members of the Jewish body" (Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 43:5, 6) "and the collected nation in Canaan." But this silence would not last for ever. "I will proclaim thy righteousness; and thy works, they will not profit thee. When thou criest, let thy heaps of idols save thee: but a wind carries them all away; a breath takes them off; and whoever putteth trust in me will inherit the land, and take possession of my holy mountain." According to the context, צדקתך cannot be a synonym of ישׁוּעה f here. It is neither salvation nor the way of salvation that is intended; nor is this even included, as Stier supposes. But the simple reference is to what Israel in its blindness regarded as righteousness; whereas, if it had known itself, it would have seen that it was the most glaring opposite. This lying-righteousness of Israel would be brought to a judicial exposure by Jehovah. ואת־מעשׂיך is not a second accusative to אגּיד, for in that case we should have ומעשׂיך את־צדקתך; but it commences a second sentence, as the accents really indicate. When Jehovah begins thus to speak and act, the impotence of the false gods which His people have made for themselves will soon be exposed; and "as for thy works (i.e., thine idols, Isaiah 41:29, cf., Isaiah 1:31), they will do thee no good" (Isaiah 44:9-10, compare Jeremiah 23:33; for the question מה־משׂא), here an empatic elevation of the subject, compare Isaiah 53:8, ואת־דורו, Ewald, 277, p. 683). This determines the meaning of קבּוּציך, which Knobel supposes to refer to the large army of the Babylonians, with which the apostates among the exiles had formed an offensive and defensive alliance. But the term is really applied to the heaps (qibbūts, collectio, not an adjective of the form limmūd) of different idols, with which Israel had furnished itself even in its captivity (compare qibbâtsâh in Micah 1:7). It was in vain for them to turn to these pantheons of theirs; a single rūăch would carry them all away, a hebhel would sweep them off, for they themselves were nothing but hebhel and rūăch (Isaiah 41:29). The proper punctuation here is יקּח־הבל; the first syllable of יקח, which is attached to a word with a disjunctive accent, has a so-called heavy Gaya, the second a euphonic Gaya, according to rules which are too little discussed in our grammars. When Knobel supports his explanation of קבוציך on the ground that the idols in Isaiah 57:13 and the worshippers of Jehovah in Isaiah 57:13 do not form a fitting antithesis, the simple reply is, that the contrast lies between the idols, which cannot save, and Jehovah, who not only saves those who trust in Him, but sends them prosperity according to His promises. With the promise, "Whoso trusts in me will inherit the land," this prophecy reaches the thought with which the previous prophecy (Isaiah 51:7-8) closed; and possibly what is here affirmed of קבּוּציך forms an intentional antithesis to the promise there, לנקבּציו עליו אקבּץ עוד: when Jehovah gathers His faithful ones from the dispersion, and gathers others to them (from among the heathen), then will the plunder which the faithless have gathered together be all scattered to the winds. And whilst the latter stand forsaken by their powerless works, the former will be established in the peaceful inheritance of the promised land. The first half of the prophecy closes here. It is full of reproach, and closes with a brief word of promise, which is merely the obverse of the threat. The second half follows an opposite course. Jehovah will redeem His people, provided it has been truly humbled by the sufferings appointed, for He has seen into what errors it has fallen since He has withdrawn His mercy from it. "But the wicked," etc. The whole closes here with words of threatening, which are the obverse of the promise. Isaiah 57:13 forms the transition from the first half to the second.
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