Isaiah 60:14
The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you; The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
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(14) The sons also of them that afflicted thee . . .—The explanation commonly given is that the “sons” are named because the persecutors themselves are thought of as no more. It seems better, however, to see in the words an expression of the law of inherited retribution, which entered so largely into the Hebrew’s thought of the moral government of the world. That law will show itself in the prostrate homage with which the descendants of the old oppressors will recognise that the restored city is indeed the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 60:14. The sons of them, that afflicted thee — Their posterity, or themselves, for it is the manner of the Hebrews so to speak; shall come bending unto thee — Humbling themselves as penitents, and thus manifesting their respect and reverence for thee. They shall acknowledge their former errors, or the errors of their fathers, and instead of being persecutors shall become proselytes. And all they that despised thee — As a poor, mean, insignificant, and despicable people; shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet — Shall prostrate themselves before thee as humble suppliants, or rather before Christ, the head, husband, and king of his church. And they shall call thee, The city of the Lord — They shall acknowledge thee to be so, and to be so called, both from the love that God hath to thee, and from the presence of God with thee. As there is no account of any thing like this happening to the Jews, that any people, who had before persecuted and afflicted them, came and made submission to them in such a suppliant manner as is here represented, this must, of necessity, be considered as a description, either, 1st, Of that change of things which was made in the Roman empire, when the highest powers in it, even the emperors themselves, became Christians, in consequence of which the heathen became suppliants to the Christians, whom they had before treated in the most cruel and barbarous manner: or, 2d, Of that still greater change which shall take place, in this respect, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ, and he will make his church’s enemies to come and worship, that is, to prostrate themselves before her feet, and to know that he has loved her, Revelation 3:9.60:9-14 God will be very gracious. We must begin with his promise, thence all mercies take rise. Many shall be brought into the church, even from far countries. Christ is always ready to receive all who come to him; and the gate of mercy is always open, night and day. All that are about the church shall be made serviceable to it. But those who will not be subject to Christ's golden sceptre, to his word and Spirit, who will not be kept in by the laws and rules of his family, shall be broken in pieces by his iron rod. The peculiar advantages of every nation, and of every description of men, shall join to beautify the church of Christ. We must suppose this to be accomplished in the beauties of holiness, and the graces and comforts of the Spirit, with which gospel ordinances are adorned and enriched. Blessed be his name, the gates of Zion are ever open to returning sinners.The sons of them that afflicted thee - In the previous verses the prophet had said that strangers and foreigners would become tributary to the true religion. Here, to give variety and interest to the description, he says, that even the descendants of those who had oppressed them would become tributary to them, and acknowledge them as favored by Yahweh.

Shall come bending unto thee - Shall come to time in a posture of humiliation and respect, In regard to the fulfillment of this, we may observe:

1. That there was a partial fulfillment of it in the conquest of Babylon. The sons, the descendants of those who had destroyed Jerusalem, and led the Jews into captivity, were constrained to acknowledge them, and, under Cyrus, to reconduct them to the land of their fathers (see the notes at Isaiah 14:1-2).

2. It has often occurred, in times of persecution, that the immediate descendants of the persecutors, and that too by means of the persecution, became converted to the true religion, and acknowledged the God of those whom they bad persecuted to be the true God.

3. It often occurs in times when there is no open and public persecution. Many of those now in the church are the children or descendants of those who had been the enemies of the gospel. They themselves did all that could be done, by their lives and examples, to train up their children in opposition to it. But the sovereign mercy of God interposed, and from such he selected heralds of salvation and preachers of righteousness to a lost world, or such as should become shining lights in the more obscure walks of the Christian life.

And all they that despised thee - There shall yet be a universal acknowledgment of the true religion even in those nations that have spurned the gospel. This does not mean that all who have ever despised the true religion shall be converted and saved, but that there shall be a universal acknowledgement that it is of God, and that the church is under his care. See an explanation of this sentiment in the notes at Isaiah 45:23.

At the soles of thy feet - In a posture of the utmost reverence and submission (see Revelation 3:9; compare the notes at Isaiah 49:23).

And they shall call thee - They shall honor thee as the favored of the Lord; as the abode of the true God (see Isaiah 2:3).

The Zion ... - The Zion, or the royal court where the holy God that is worshipped in Israel dwells.

14. The sons—Their fathers who "afflicted" Israel having been cut off by divine judgments (Isa 14:1, 2; 49:23).

The Zion of the Holy One—The royal court of the Holy One. Maurer translates, "Zion, the sanctuary (holy place) of Israel" (Isa 57:15; Ps 46:4).

The sons; either their posterity, acknowledging their fathers’ sins in afflicting thee; or themselves; for it is the manner of the Hebrews to put the sons of a thing for the thing itself.

Bending; humbling themselves, as penitents; this being the sign of reverence and respect; and that either for love or fear submit to the yoke of Christ; they shall be like Christ, of a humble and meek spirit, and the degree of this is mentioned in the next clause.

Bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet: this notes that great degree of submission, that even despisers and enemies shall yield to the church, prostrating themselves as humble suppliants; see Isaiah 49:23; or rather to Christ, the Head, King, and Husband of the church.

They shall call thee, The city; they shall give her that honourable title, or acknowledge her to be so, and so called, both from the love that God had for her, and from the temple of God that was in her. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee,.... The posterity of the Jews, who persecuted the first Christian churches, even those who say they are Jews and are not; these shall be convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, and be converted to it, and shall come and worship before the church, and in fellowship with it, and own it to be the true church of God; which is what is foretold shall be in the Philadelphian state, which is the same with the spiritual reign here described; see Revelation 3:9 or the children of the Roman Heathens, their remote descendants, who formerly greatly distressed the Christians; or rather the posterity of Rome Papal, many of whom shall be called out of her at the time of her destruction, and be humble suppliants to the church of Christ, and be subject to the doctrines, rules, and laws of it, whose ancestors cruelly persecuted it:

and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; a phrase expressive of great respect, veneration, and submission; see Isaiah 49:23,

and they shall call thee the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel; instead of calling them heretics, schismatics, and fanatics, as their fathers did, they shall own them to be the true church of Christ; a city of his building, and where he dwells; the object of his choice, delight, and love, as Zion was; a holy people made meet to be the habitation of the God of Israel; which are so many names for the church under the Gospel dispensation; see Hebrews 12:22.

The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending to thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves {p} down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

(p) To worship their head Christ, by obeying his doctrine.

14. The homage done to Zion by her former oppressors is probably to be regarded as the consequence of the new glory which accrues to the Sanctuary (Isaiah 60:13).

The sons also … feet] The LXX. reads simply: “And there shall come crouching unto thee the sons of thine afflicters and despisers.” The words omitted (“all” and “shall bow … feet”) are probably a gloss.

The Zion of the Holy One of Israel] On the construction of the proper name followed by a genitive see Davidson, Syntax, § 24, R. 6.Verse 14. - The sons (i.e. descendants) also of them that afflicted thee; i.e. of the various nations that at different times oppressed and afflicted Israel - as Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, etc. Shall come bending unto thee. Bowing themselves down to the new Israel - the Israel of God - as the eleven sheaves bowed themselves down to Joseph's sheaf (Genesis 37:7). At the soles of thy feet (comp. Isaiah 49:23). Shall call thee, The city of the Lord. Hitherto her enemies had bestowed on Jerusalem disparaging names, as "Forsaken," or "Desolate" (Isaiah 62:4). Now they will substitute for such names titles of honour, such as "City of Jehovah," "Zion of Israel's Holy One." From the mainland, over which caravans and flocks are coming, the prophet now turns his eyes to the sea. "Who are these who fly hither as a cloud, and like the doves to their windows? Yea, the islands wait for me; and the ships of Tarshish come first, to bring thy children from far, their silver and gold with them, to the name of thy God, and to the holy One of Israel, because He hath ornamented thee." Upon the sea there appear first of all enigmatical shapes, driving along as swiftly as if they were light clouds flying before the wind (Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 45:22), or like doves flying to their dovecots (celeres cavis se turribus abdunt, as Ovid says), i.e., to the round towers with their numerous pigeon-holes, which are provided for their shelter. The question is addressed to Zion, and the answer may easily be anticipated - namely, that this swarm of swiftly flying figures are hurrying to a house which they long to reach, as much as pigeons do to reach their pigeon-house. The kı̄ which follows is explanatory: this hurrying presents itself to thine eyes, because the isles wait for me. The reason for all this haste is to be found in the faith of those who are hurrying on. The Old Testament generally speaks of faith as hope (ל קוּה as in Isaiah 51:5; Isaiah 42:4); not that faith is the same as hope, but it is the support of hope, just as hope is the comfort of faith. In the Old Testament, when the true salvation existed only in promise, this epithet, for which there were many synonyms in the language, was the most appropriate one. The faith of the distant lands of the west is now beginning to work. The object of all this activity is expressed in the word להביא. The things thus flying along like clouds and doves are ships; with the Tartessus ships, which come from the farthest extremity of the European insular quarter of the globe, at their head (בּראשׁנה with munach instead of metheg, in the same sense as in Numbers 10:14; lxx ἐν πρώτοις; Jerome, in principio, in the foremost rank), i.e., acting as the leaders of the fleet which is sailing to Zion and bringing Zion's children from afar, and along with them the gold and silver of the owners of the vessels themselves, to the name (לשׁם, to the name, dative, not equivalent to למען; lxx διὰ, as in Isaiah 55:5) of thy God, whom they adore, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath ornamented thee, and thereby inspired them with reverence and love to thee (פארך for פארך, as in Isaiah 54:6, where it even stands out of pause).
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