Isaiah 57:19
I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith 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." Isaiah 57:19But when the redemption comes, it will divide Israel into two halves, with very different prospects. "Creating fruit of the lips; Jehovah saith, 'Peace, peace to those that are far off, and to those that are near; and I heal it.' But the wicked are like the sea that is cast up for it cannot rest, and its waters cast out slime and mud. There is no peace, saith my God, for the wicked." The words of God in Isaiah 57:19 are introduced with an interpolated "inquit Jehova" (cf., Isaiah 45:24, and the ellipsis in Isaiah 41:27); and what Jehovah effects by speaking thus is placed first in a determining participial clause: "Creating fruit (נוב equals נוּב, נוב, keri ניב) of the lips," καρπὸν χείλεων (lxx, Hebrews 13:15), i.e., not of His own lips, to which בּורא would be inapplicable, but the offering of praise and thanksgiving springing from human lips (for the figure, see Psychol. p. 214, trans.; and on the root נב, to press upon forward): "Jehovah saith shâlōm, shâlōm," i.e., lasting and perfect peace (as in Isaiah 26:3), "be the portion of those of my people who are scattered far and near" (Isaiah 43:5-7; Isaiah 49:12; compare the application to heathen and Jews in Ephesians 2:17); "and I heal it" (viz., the nation, which, although scattered, is like one person in the sight of God). But the wicked, who persist in the alienation from God inherited from the fathers, are incapable of the peace which God brings to His people: they are like the sea in its tossed and stormy state (נגרשׁ pausal third pers. as an attributive clause). As this cannot rest, and as its waters cast out slime and mud, so has their natural state become one of perpetual disturbance, leading to the uninterrupted production of unclean and ungodly thoughts, words, and works. Thus, then, there is no peace for them, saith my God. With these words, which have even a more pathetic sound here than in Isaiah 48:22, the prophet seals the second book of his prophecies. The "wicked" referred to are not the heathen outside Israel, but the heathen, i.e., those estranged from God, within Israel itself.

The transition form the first to the second half of this closing prophecy is formed by ואמר in Isaiah 57:14. In the second half, from Isaiah 57:11, we find the accustomed style of our prophet; but in Isaiah 56:9-57:11a the style is so thoroughly different, that Ewald maintains that the prophet has here inserted in his book a fragment from some earlier writer of the time of Manasseh. But we regard this as very improbable. It is not required by what is stated concerning the prophets and shepherds, for the book of Ezekiel clearly shows that the prophets and shepherds of the captivity were thus debased. Still less does what is stated concerning the early death of the righteous require it; for the fundamental idea of the suffering servant of Jehovah, which is peculiar to the second book, is shadowed forth therein. Nor by what is affirmed as to the idolatrous conduct of the people; for in the very centre (Isaiah 57:4) the great mass of the people are reproached for their contemptuous treatment of the servants of Jehovah. Nor does the language itself force us to any such conjecture, for Isaiah 53:1-12 also differs from the style met with elsewhere; and yet (although Ewald regards it as an earlier, borrowed fragment) it must be written by the author of the whole, since its grandest idea finds its fullest expression there. At the same time, we may assume that the prophet described the idolatry of the people under the influences of earlier models. If he had been a prophet of the captives after the time of Isaiah, he would have rested his prophecies on Jeremiah and Ezekiel. For just as Isaiah 51:18. has the ring of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, so does Isaiah 57:3. resemble in many respects the earlier reproaches of Jeremiah (compare Jeremiah 5:7-9, Jeremiah 5:29; Jeremiah 9:8, with the expression, "Should I rest satisfied with this?"); also Jeremiah 2:25 (נואשׁ), Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6, Jeremiah 3:13 ("upon lofty mountains and under green trees"); also the night scene in Ezekiel 23.

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