Isaiah 57:2
He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
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(2) He shall enter into peace . . .—Notice- able as presenting the brighter side of the dim thoughts of Israel as to the life behind the veil, and so far contrasted with Hezekiah’s shrinking fear. (Comp. Job 3:17.) For the righteous there was peace in death as in life. For the wicked there was peace in neither (Isaiah 57:21).

They shall rest in their beds.—The “bed” is obviously the grave, the thought following naturally on that of death being as the sleep “after life’s fitful fever.” (Ezekiel 32:25.)

Each one walking in his uprightness.—Better, every one who has walked straight before him—has taken, i.e., the straight path of duty (Isaiah 30:21.)

57:1,2 The righteous are delivered from the sting of death, not from the stroke of it. The careless world disregards this. Few lament it as a public loss, and very few notice it as a public warning. They are taken away in compassion, that they may not see the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted by it. The righteous man, when he dies, enters into peace and rest.He shall enter into peace - Lowth, 'He shall go in peace.' So the margin. Vulgate, 'Peace shall come.' Septuagint, 'His sepulture (ἡ ταφὴ αὐτοῦ hē taphē autou) shall be in peace.' The idea is, that by his death the righteous man shall enter into rest. He shall get away from conflict, strife, agitation, and distress. This may either refer to the peaceful rest of the grave, or to that which awaits the just in a better world. The direct meaning here intended is probably the former, since the grave is often spoken of as a place of rest. Thus Job JObadiah 3:17, speaking of the grave, says:

There the wicked cease from troubling; And there the weary be at rest.

The connection here seems also to demand the same sense, as it is immediately added, 'they shall rest in their beds.' The grave is a place of peace:

Nor pain, nor grief, nor anxious fear,

Invade thy bounds; no mortal woes

Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,

While angels watch the soft repose.

- Watts

At the same time it is true that the dying saint 'goes in peace!' He has calmness in his dying, as well as peace in his grave. He forgives all who have injured him; prays for all who have persecuted him; and peacefully and calmly dies. He lies in a peaceful grave - often represented in the Scriptures as a place of repose, where the righteous 'sleep' in the hope of being awakened in the morning of the resurrection. He enters into the rest of heaven - the world of perfect and eternal repose. No persecution comes there; no trial awaits him there; no calamity shall meet him there. Thus, in all respects, the righteous leave the world in peace; and thus death ceases to be a calamity, and this most dreaded of all evils is turned into the highest blessing.

They shall rest in their beds - That is, in their graves.

Each one walking in his uprightness - Margin, 'Before him.' The word נכח nakkoch means "straight, right," and is used of one who walks straight forward. It here means an upright man, who is often represented as walking in a straight path in opposition to sinners, who are represented as walking in crooked ways Psalm 125:5; Proverbs 2:15; Isaiah 59:8; Philippians 2:15. The sense here is, that all who are upright shall leave the world in peace, and rest quietly in their graves.

2. Or, "he entereth into peace"; in contrast to the persecutions which he suffered in this world (Job 3:13, 17). The Margin not so well translates, "he shall go in peace" (Ps 37:37; Lu 2:29).

rest—the calm rest of their bodies in their graves (called "beds," 2Ch 16:14; compare Isa 14:18; because they "sleep" in them, with the certainty of awakening at the resurrection, 1Th 4:14) is the emblem of the eternal "rest" (Heb 4:9; Re 14:13).

each one walking in … uprightness—This clause defines the character of those who at death "rest in their beds," namely, all who walk uprightly.

He shall enter into peace; this just and merciful man shall enter into a state of peace and rest, where he shall be out of the reach of the approaching miseries. Or, He shall go (to wit, to his fathers, as it is fully expressed, Genesis 15:15; or, he shall die; going being put for dying, as 1 Chronicles 17:11, compared with 2 Samuel 7:12 Job 10:21 14:20 Luke 22:22, and elsewhere) in peace. They; just men. Here is a sudden change of the number, which is very frequent in the prophets. In their beds; in their graves, which are not unfitly called their beds, or sleeping houses, as their death is commonly called sleep in Scripture. Walking; or, that walketh or did walk, i.e. live. In his uprightness; in a sincere and faithful discharge of his duties to God and men. Or, before him, i.e. before God, according to the usual phrase of Scripture, as Genesis 17:1 1 Kings 2:4 8:25. For God is oft understood where he is not expressed, but only designed by this or the like pronoun, as Genesis 15:13, and elsewhere.

He shall enter into peace,.... Or "shall go in peace" (d); the righteous man goes in peace now; he has peace from his justifying righteousness; he has peace through believing in Christ; he has peace in, though not from, his obedience and holiness of life; and he has peace in the midst of the many trials he is exercised with; and he goes out of the world in peace, with great serenity and tranquillity of mind, as Simeon desired he might, having views of an interest in Christ, and in the glories of another world; and as soon as he is departed from hence he enters into peace, into a state where there is everything that makes for peace; there is the God of peace; there is Christ, the Prince of peace; there is the Spirit, whose fruit is peace; and there are the angels of peace, and good men, the sons of peace: and there is nothing there to disturb their peace, no sin within, nor Satan's temptations without, nor any wicked men to annoy and molest them; and there is everything that can come under the notion of peace and prosperity; for the happiness of this state is signified by riches, by glory and honour, by a kingdom, and by a paradise; and into this state the righteous may be said to enter immediately upon death, which is no other than stepping out of one world into another; and this they enter into as into a house, as it really is, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; and, entering into it, they take possession of it, and for ever enjoy it:

they shall rest in their beds, their souls in the bosom of Abraham, in the arms of Jesus; their bodies in the grave, which is a bed unto them, where they lie down and sleep, till they are awaked at the resurrection; and where they rest from all toil and labour, from all diseases and distempers, pains and tortures, and from all persecuting enemies; see Revelation 14:13,

each one walking in his uprightness; in the righteousness of Christ, and in the shining robes of immortality and glory, and in perfect purity and holiness: or, "before him" (e); before God, in the sight or presence of him, and by sight, and not by faith, as now. Though this is by some considered as the character of the righteous man in life, so Aben Ezra; and then the sense is, that he that walks in his uprightness, in the uprightness or righteousness of Christ, and by faith on him; that walks uprightly in his life and conversation before God, and "before himself"; following the rule before him, and walking according to the rule of the Gospel, and in the ordinances of it blameless, when he comes to die, he enters into peace and rest. And to this sense is the Targum, which paraphrases it,

"that are doers of his law;''

see Romans 2:13. In the Talmud (f) it is interpreted of that peace and happiness righteous men enter into when they die.

(d) "ibit in pace", Gataker. (e) "coram eo", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Calvin; "ante se", Cocceius, Vitringa. (f) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 104. 1.

{b} He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

(b) The soul of the righteous will be in joy, and their body will rest in the grave to the time of the resurrection, because they walked before the Lord.

2. Render with R.V. (and marg.) He entereth into peace; they rest in their beds, each one that walked straight before him. The “peace” and “rest” spoken of are those of the grave (Job 3:13 ff.), the “bed” is the bier or coffin; cf. 2 Chronicles 16:14; Ezekiel 32:25. The same word is used of the sarcophagus in the Phœnician inscription of Eshmunazar (“the lid of this bed”).

“After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.”

The same feeling is expressed with great pathos in an eloquent passage of the book of Job (Isaiah 3:13 ff.). It is a sentiment that has appealed to the human mind in all ages; but to the O.T. believers it brought no relief from the shuddering recoil from death expressed in other passages, nowhere more forcibly than in the words of Job himself.

each one that walked, &c.] i.e. every one who led a simple, straightforward, upright life; cf. Proverbs 4:25-27. The clause is an extension of the subject of the sentence.

Verse 2. - He shall enter into peace. Not merely into "stillness" or "silence" (Psalm 115:17), but into "peace," or, as the word might be rendered (Cheyne), "a state of peace." There is, no doubt, primarily, "a contrast to the awful troubles which the survivors will have to encounter" (Hengstenberg); but perhaps this contrast is not all that is meant. The "peace" is positive rather than negative, or it would scarcely be a consolation to any one. They shall rest in their beds; or, upon their beds. This expression seems to imply a consciousness of rest, and so a certain enjoyment of it. Each one walking in his uprightness; rather, whosoever hath walked uprightly, or in a straight path (see Proverbs 4:25-27). The phrase is an equivalent for "the righteous" of ver. 1, and refers to the life on earth of those who have gone down into silence, not to their life after they have reached the silent shore. Of that life the evangelical prophet is not commissioned to give us any information. Isaiah 57:2Whilst watchmen and shepherds, prophets and rulers, without troubling themselves about the flock which they have to watch and feed, are thus indulging their own selfish desires, and living in debauchery, the righteous man is saved by early death from the judgment, which cannot fail to come with such corruption as this. "The righteous perisheth, and no man taketh it to heart; and pious men are swept away, without any one considering that the righteous is swept away from misfortune. He entereth into peace: they rest upon their beds, whoever has walked straight before him." With "the righteous" the prophet introduces, in glaring contrast to this luxurious living on the part of the leading men of the nation, the standing figure used to denote the fate of its best men. With this prevailing demoralization and worldliness, the righteous succumbs to the violence of both external and internal sufferings. אבד, he dies before his time (Ecclesiastes 7:15); from the midst of the men of his generation he is carried away from this world (Psalm 12:2; Micah 7:2), and no one lays it to heart, viz., the divine accusation and threat involved in this early death. Men of piety (chesed, the love of God and man) are swept away, without there being any one to understand or consider that (kı̄ unfolds the object to be considered and laid to heart, viz., what is involved in this carrying away when regarded as a providential event) the righteous is swept away "from the evil," i.e., that he may be saved from the approaching punishment (compare 2 Kings 22:20). For the prevailing corruption calls for punishment from God; and what is first of all to be expected is severe judgment, through which the coming salvation will force its way. In Isaiah 57:2 it is intimated that the righteous man and the pious do not lose the blessings of this salvation because they lose this life: for whereas, according to the prophet's watchword, there is no peace to the wicked, it is true, on the other hand, of the departing righteous man, that "he enters into peace" (shâlōm, acc. loci s. status; Ges. 118, 1); "they rest upon their beds," viz., the bottom of the grave, which has become their mishkâb (Job 17:13; Job 21:26), "however has walked in that which lay straight before him," i.e., the one straight plain path which he had set before him (נכחו acc. obj. as in Isaiah 33:15; Isaiah 50:10, Ewald, 172, b, from נכח, that which lies straight before a person; whereas נכח with נכח נכחו, signifying probably fixedness, steadiness of look, related to Arab. nkḥ, to pierce, נכה, percutere, is used as a preposition: compare Proverbs 4:25, לנכח, straight or exactly before him). The grave, when compared with the restlessness of this life, is therefore "peace." He who has died in faith rests in God, to whom he has committed himself and entrusted his future. We have here the glimmering light of the New Testament consolation, that the death of the righteous is better than life in this world, because it is the entrance into peace.
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