Isaiah 60:22
A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.
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(22) A little one shall become a thousand.—The noun is probably to be taken not in its merely numerical value, but, as in Judges 6:15, 1Samuel 23:23, Micah 5:2, for a clan or sub-division of a tribe.

60:15-22 We must look for the full accomplishment in times and things, exceeding those of the Old Testament church. The nations and their kings shall lay themselves out for the good of the church. Such a salvation, such a redemption, shall be wrought out for thee, as discovers itself to be the work of the Lord. Every thing shall be changed for the better. In thy land shall no more be heard threats of those that do violence, nor complaints of those that suffer violence. Thy walls shall be means of safety, thy gates shall be written upon with praises to God. In the close of this chapter are images and expressions used in the description of the New Jerusalem, Re 21:23; 22:5. Nothing can answer to this but some future glorious state of the church on earth, or the state of the church triumphant in heaven. Those that make God their only light, shall have him their all-sufficient light. And the happiness shall know no change or alloy. No people on earth are all righteous; but there are no mixtures in heaven. They shall be wholly righteous. The spirits of just men shall there be made perfect. The glory of the church shall be to the honour of God. When it shall be finished, it will appear a work of wonder. It may seem too difficult to be brought about, but the God of almighty power has undertaken it. It may seem to be delayed and put off; but the Lord will hasten it in the time appointed by his wisdom, though not in the time prescribed by our folly. Let this hope cheer us under all difficulties, and stir us up to all diligence, that we may have an abundant entrance into this everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.A little one shall become a thousand - There shall be a great increase, as if one, and that the smallest, should be multiplied to a thousand. The idea is, that the people, then small in number, would be greatly increased by the accession of the Gentile world. Lowth and Noyes render this, 'The little one.' Grotius, 'The least one.' So the Septuagint, Ο ὀλιγιστὸς Ho oligistos.

I the Lord will hasten it in his time - Noyes, 'Its time.' Lowth 'Due time.' Septuagint, 'I will do it in the proper time' (κατα καιρὸν kata kairon). The sense is, that this would be done at the proper time - called, in Galatians 4:4, 'the fullness of time.' There was a proper season when this was to be accomplished. There were important preparations to be made before it could be done. The nations, under the divine arrangement, were to be put into a proper position to receive the Messiah. He was not to come until:

1. The experiment had been fairly made to show how weak and feeble man was without a rerelation - to show that philosophy, and learning, and the policy of statesmen, could do nothing effectual for the salvation of men.

2. He was not to come until the world should be at peace, and until there would be facilities for the rapid propagation of religion in all lands.

3. Or was he to come until all that had been said in prophecy should be fulfilled - until all the circumstances should combine, which had been foretold as favorable to the introduction of the reign of the Messiah. But when that period should arrive, then the Lord would 'hasten' it.

There would be no unnecessary delay; none which the circumstances of the case did not call for. So it will be in the universal spread of the gospel referred to in this chapter. When the world shall be moulded into a proper state to welcome it; when the nations are prepared to receive it and profit by it; then the universal propagation shall be hastened, and a nation shall be born in a day (see the notes at Isaiah 66:8). Meantime, for the coming of that day we should pray and labor. By the diffusion of truth: by schools; by the spread of the Bible; by preaching; by the translation of the Word of God into every language: by establishing the press in all the strong points of Pagan influence; by placing missionaries in all the holds of power in the pagan world; and by training up many to enter into the harvest, the Christian world should prepare for the universal conversion of the world to God. In due time it shall be hastened. and 'he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry' Hebrews 10:37.

22. little one—Even one, and that the smallest in number and rank, shall be multiplied a thousandfold in both respects (Mic 5:2; Mt 13:31, 32).

his time—not our time; we might wish to hasten it, but it will come in due time, as in the case of Jesus' first coming (Ga 4:4); so in that of the restoration of Israel and the conversion of the world (Isa 66:8; Hab 2:3; Ac 1:7; Heb 10:37).

A little one shall become a thousand; though of very small beginning, and contemptible, yet shall greatly multiply. Though the church at first will be but a very few, yet will it increase into many thousands; this plant or seed will spring up to many. Some understand it, that many shall be converted, and brought into the church, by men of very few, low, and mean parts; however, these things seem to agree better to some state of the church here, than to the state of the church triumphant.

A small one a strong nation: if this signify, not the same with the other, as probably it may, the word strong signifying numerous, Joel 1:6, then we may understand it, that as the former respected their number, so this their strength.

Will hasten it in his time, viz. in due time, the time that I have appointed: q.d. Let not this be doubted, because I have undertaken it, to whom nothing is difficult. When the time of the promise comes, he will make haste, it will be done speedily; or as soon as it begins it shall hasten apace, as it did in Peter’s sermon, three thousand in one day, Ac 2, and five thousand in another, Ac 4, and so soon filled the whole world, and one Paul planted whole churches, as the people in Egypt increased from seventy persons to a vast multitude. A little one shall become a thousand,.... A small family, a little handful of people in all ages, scattered up and down in the world, of no esteem and account in it, being all gathered together, that ever were in the world, will appear to be thousands and millions, and such a number as no man can number, Revelation 7:9.

and a small one a strong nation; a company of weak persons, persecuted by their enemies, and unable to resist them, as in the present state: now there will be a nation of them strong and mighty; the feeble among them shall be as David, and the house of David as God, as the Angel of the Lord, Zechariah 12:8,

I the Lord will hasten it in his time: as there was a fixed appointed time for Christ's first coming, so there is for his second coming, when this state and dispensation of things will commence; and when that time comes, it will be deferred no longer; as soon as ever it is up, the Lord will hasten the accomplishment of what he has promised, and who is able also to perform; see 1 Timothy 6:15.

A little one shall become a {x} thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in its time.

(x) Meaning, that the Church would be miraculously multiplied.

22. A little one … a small one] Better perhaps: The least … the smallest. The word for “thousand” (’éleph) means also a larger or smaller group of families,—“clan” or tribe. This is doubtless the sense in which it is employed here: comp. the parallel “nation” in the next line.

will hasten it in his time] The fulfilment shall be instantaneous when once the appointed time has arrived. The reference is to the whole of the preceding prophecy.Verse 22. - A little one; i.e. the "little flock" of our Lord's own time on earth (Luke 12:32), will become a strong nation - a countless multitude (Revelation 7:9). In his time; rather, in its time, when the time fixed in God's counsels for the final establishment of Christ's kingdom arrives.

The fourth turn (Isaiah 60:15-18) describes the glorification of Zion through the growth and stability of its community both without and within. A glorious change takes place in the church, not only in itself, but also in the judgment of the nations. "Whereas thou wast forsaken, and hated, and no one walked through thee, I make thee now into eternal splendour, a rapture from generation to generation. And thou suckest the milk of nations, and the breast of kings thou wilt suck, and learn that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob." Of the two ideas of a church (the mother of Israel) and a city (Metropolis) involved in the term Zion, the former prevails in Isaiah 60:15, the latter in Isaiah 60:16. For although עזוּבה and שׂנוּאה are equally applicable to a city and a church (Isaiah 54:6, Isaiah 54:11), the expression "no one walked through thee" applies only to the desolate city as she lay in ruins (see Isaiah 34:10). The fusion of the two ideas in Isaiah 60:15 is similar to Isaiah 49:21. Jerusalem will now become thoroughly a splendour, and in fact an eternal splendour, a rapture of successive generations so long as the history of this world continues. The nations and their kings give up their own vital energy to the church, just as a mother or nurse gives the milk of her breasts to a child; and the church has thereby rich food for a prosperous growth, and a constant supply of fresh material for grateful joy. We cannot for a moment think of enriching by means of conquest, as Hitzig does; the sucking is that of a child, not of a vampyre. We should expect melâkhōth (Isaiah 49:23) instead of melâkhı̄m (kings); but by שׁד (as in Isaiah 56:11 for שׁדי) the natural character of what is promised is intentionally spiritualized. The figure proves itself to be only a figure, and requires an ideal interpretation. The church sees in all this the gracious superintendence of her God; she learns from experience that Jehovah is her Saviour, that He is her Redeemer, He the Mighty One of Jacob, who has conquered for her, and now causes her to triumph (אני כּי with munach yethib, as in Isaiah 49:26, which passage is repeated almost verbatim here, and Isaiah 61:8).
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