Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
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(10) I will greatly rejoice . . .—The speaker is again, as in Isaiah 61:1, the ideal Servant of Jehovah, who identifies himself with the people and slaves. The Targum, it may be noted, makes Jerusalem the speaker.

The garments of salvation . . .—The imagery is the same as that of Isaiah 59:17 and Isaiah 61:3, its entirely spiritual significance being, perhaps, still more strongly accentuated.

As a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments.—Literally, wears a turban (or mitre), as a priest. It would appear from Song Song of Solomon 3:11 that bridegrooms wore a special head-dress on the day of their espousal, and this is here compared to the priestly “bonnet,” or “mitre” (Exodus 28:4; Exodus 39:28; Ezekiel 44:18). On the special occasion which may have suggested the image, see Note on Isaiah 62:4.

Isaiah 61:10. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord — This is spoken in the person of the church, wherein she thankfully acknowledges God’s kindness to her in the fore-mentioned promises. My soul shall be joyful in my God — The expression here is varied, but the sense is the same with that in the former clause. He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, &c. — With salvation as with a garment, and with righteousness as with a robe: the salvation that God will work for me will render me as beautiful and considerable as they are that are clothed with the richest garments. As the bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments — Hebrew, יכהן פאר

כחתן, as the bridegroom decketh himself with a priestly crown; so Bishop Lowth translates it, observing that it is “an allusion to the magnificent dress of the high-priest when performing his functions, and particularly to the mitre, and crown, or plate of gold on the front of it, Exodus 29:6. The bonnet or mitre of the priests also was made, as Moses expresses it, ‘for glory and for beauty,’ Exodus 28:40. It is difficult to give its full force to the prophet’s metaphor in another language: the version of Aquila and Symmachus comes nearest to it: ως νυμφιον ιερατευομενον

στεφανω,” as a bridegroom exercising the priest’s office in a crown.61:10,11 Those only shall be clothed with the garments of salvation hereafter, that are covered with the robe of Christ's righteousness now, and by the sanctification of the Spirit have God's image renewed upon them. These blessings shall spring forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the earth. So duly, so constantly, and with such advantage to mankind, will the Lord God cause righteousness and praise to spring forth. They shall spread far; the great salvation shall be published and proclaimed, to the ends of the earth. Let us be earnest in prayer, that the Lord God may cause that righteousness to spring forth among us, which constitutes the excellence and glory of the Christian profession.Compare Revelation 19:8, and Paul's beautiful description in Ephesians 6:13-17. In like manner, vice and wickedness are sometimes represented as so closely adhering to a man as to be a part of his very clothing; Psalm 109:18-19 :

He clothed himself with cursing, like as with a garment.

Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him,

And for a girdle, wherewith he is girded continually.

The Chaldee renders this, 'And the just shall be round about him on every side - סחור סחור sehôr sehôr - and the servants of truth shall come near to him.' The idea is, that he shall be distinguished for justice and truth, and that a zeal for these shall make him strong and active in executing the purposes of his reign. This closes the description of the "personal" qualities of the Messiah. The account of the effects of his reign follows in the subsequent verses.

Isaiah 61:10I wilt greatly rejoice in the Lord - This is the language of the prophet in the name of the church; or, as Vitringa supposes, the language of a chorus introduced here by the prophet. The Chaldee regards it as the language of Jerusalem, and renders it, 'Jerusalem said, I will surely rejoice in the Lord.' The sentiment is, that the prosperity and enlargement of Zion is an occasion of joy, and should lead to thanksgiving and praise. The phrase, 'I will rejoice in the Lord,' means that the joy would arise from the view of the faithfulness and perfections of Yahweh manifested in the redemption of his people. See similar expressions of joy in the song of Mary Luke 1:46-47.

For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation - That is, Jerusalem or the church.

He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness - The word rendered 'robe' here means mantle, or a large and loose garment thrown over the other parts of the dress. Such garments are for protection and for ornament, and the image is that of the church defended and ornamented by God (see the notes at Isaiah 49:18).


10. Zion (Isa 61:3) gives thanks for God's returning favor (compare Lu 1:46, 47; Hab 3:18).

salvation … righteousness—inseparably connected together. The "robe" is a loose mantle thrown over the other parts of the dress (Ps 132:9, 16; 149:4; Re 21:2; 19:8).

decketh himself with ornaments—rather "maketh himself a priestly headdress," that is, a magnificent headdress, such as was worn by the high priest, namely, a miter and a plate, or crown of gold worn in front of it [Aquila, &c.]; appropriate to the "kingdom of priests," dedicated to the offering of spiritual sacrifices to God continually (Ex 19:6; Re 5:10; 20:6).

jewels—rather, "ornaments" in general [Barnes].

I will greatly rejoice: this by a prosopopoeia is spoken in the person of the church, wherein she doth thankfully acknowledge God’s kindness to her in the forementioned promise, expressed here in the greatness of her affection, with reference both to her present deliverance from Babylon, and to the happiness of her gospel state.

In the Lord; or, because of the Lord, or of the goodness of the Lord towards me; a usual form of gratulation, 1 Samuel 2:1 Habakkuk 3:18 Luke 1:47: or thus, I will not rejoice so much in my deliverance as in the Lord.

My soul shall be joyful in my God: this clause is to the same purpose, save only she varies the expression: q.d. Yea, I do it with my whole soul.

With the garments of salvation; with salvation as with a garment; so in the next with righteousness as with a robe. The meaning is, The salvation that God will work for me will render me as beautiful and considerable as they are that are clothed with the richest garments, as bridegrooms usually are, and brides with their jewels, or as venerable as kings in their princely robes; my sackcloth will now be turned into robes; or, I shall be compassed about with glory, as garments do compass the body.

With the robe of righteousness, i.e. either with the fruits and effects of his love and many favours to the church, in which sense righteousness is taken, Psalm 112:3,4,9, compared with 2 Corinthians 9:9 Isaiah 51:6,8; she should see the righteousness of God in fulfilling all these promises. Or that righteousness of Christ imputed to us, which we are said to put on, Romans 13:14; or those graces imparted to us, and acted in a holy life. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,.... These are not the words of the prophet spoken in his own person, rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord to his people and countrymen; nor of Christ; but of the church, especially the Jewish church, expressing her joy for benefits received, as declared in the preceding verses. The Targum is,

"Jerusalem said, rejoicing I will rejoice in the Word of the Lord;''

not in his word of promise, but in his essential Word, his Son the Messiah; in his person, offices, fulness, righteousness, and salvation:

my soul shall be joyful in my God; in Christ, in that he is God, and so able to save to the uttermost, and keep from a final and total falling, and to preserve safe to his kingdom and glory: hence his person is excellent; his blood precious; his righteousness valuable; and his sacrifice efficacious; and all matter of joy to the believer: and who also rejoices in that he is his God, "my God"; God in our nature; Immanuel, God with us; the God-man and Mediator, through whom there is access to God and acceptance with him; and who stands in near relation to his people, and has all fullness to supply their wants, and makes all he has theirs; so that, they have great reason to rejoice in him indeed. The Targum is,

"my soul shall rejoice in the salvation of my God;''

the nature of this joy may be collected from the text itself: it is not a carnal one, or the joy of a carnal man in carnal things, it is spiritual; nor a pharisaical joy, a rejoicing in a man's self, in his own works of righteousness, for this "is in the Lord"; nor is it a hypocritical one, or only externally, for it is the soul that rejoices; and it is the joy of faith, or in the Lord, as "my God"; and a very great one it is, joy unspeakable, and full of glory; and is what continues, as the matter and ground of it always does, as follows: "for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation"; with salvation as garments; the salvation of Christ, which, like garments, is without men, being wrought out by Christ; and is brought near, and applied by the spirit of Christ; and is all around, and encompasses the saints as such, and like them beautifies and adorns them, and keeps them warm and comfortable, when they have the joys of it; and which secures them from the storms of divine wrath and vengeance; and the plural number being used may denote the fulness and completeness of this salvation, from all sin, from wrath, hell, and damnation, and from every enemy: and this is matter of joy to the believer interested in it, and clothed with it; since it is a salvation so great; a garment so fitting and suitable, and had at free cost; and in which the glory of all the divine perfections is so conspicuous, as well as it being so full, complete, and perfect, and an everlasting one:

he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness: not with her own, that is a rag, and not a robe, and a filthy one too, Isaiah 64:6 and no covering, and is indeed no righteousness, properly speaking; but the righteousness of Christ, the best robe, the wedding garment, and change of raiment, which, like a robe, is upon believers, but not in them; it in Christ, and imputed to them; it covers their persons and their nakedness, and all their sins, so as not to be seen with the eye of avenging justice: to clothe and cover with it is God's act of imputation, and Christ's application of it by his Spirit, Zechariah 3:4, which, perceived by the believer, causes great joy; it being all of a piece, like Christ's seamless robe, and so pure and spotless, so perfect and complete, and so rich and glorious:

as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments; or, "adorns" himself

in a princely or priestly manner (d); for the word used signifies both. The sense is, as a bridegroom puts on the best clothes he has on his wedding day, and makes the appearance of a prince in his richest robes, or as the high priest when he had on all his sacerdotal garments; so the Targum,

"as a bridegroom that flourishes in his bridechamber, and as the high priest who is adorned with his garments:''

and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels; or "implements" (e); and makes herself as fine as she can, to recommend herself to her spouse and her friends: thus richly and magnificently arrayed is the church of Christ, and every believer, being clothed with his righteousness; he and they are in the same relation; he is the bridegroom, they the bride; and they are clothed alike with the garment down to the foot; and are righteous as he is righteous; and are herewith as a bride adorned and made ready for her husband; and the joy at such a solemnity fitly expresses the mutual joy of Christ and his church; see Revelation 19:7 so Christ's righteousness is compared to a wedding garment, Matthew 22:12.

(d) "sacerdotali more ornabit", Tigurine version; "qui sacerdotem refert ornatu", Piscator. (e) "vasis suis", Vatablus, Montanus; "instrumentis"; Junius & Tremellius, De Dieu.

{s} I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

(s) He shows what will be the affection, when they feel their deliverance.

10. According to the Targum and some critics the speaker here is the Zion of the future; while Delitzsch and others, who assign the preceding words to the Servant of Jehovah, suppose that he is still the speaker. If the prophet is the speaker he transports himself to a future standpoint, and there is no reason why he should not at the same time become the mouthpiece of the redeemed community. Duhm and Cheyne agree in thinking that the verse stands out of its proper position and interrupts the connexion of Isaiah 61:9 with Isaiah 61:11.

garments of salvation &c.] Cf. ch. Isaiah 59:17; Psalm 132:9; Psalm 132:16.

salvation and righteousness are, as often, synonymous.

as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments] R.V. “with a garland” (as Isaiah 61:3). The last word denotes a headdress worn by priests (Exodus 39:28; Ezekiel 24:17; Ezekiel 44:18), by fashionable ladies (ch. Isaiah 3:20), and (according to this passage) by a bridegroom. The verb for “decketh himself” means to officiate as a priest (Hosea 4:6, &c.), and its use here, (“maketh his headdress priestly,”) is so peculiar as to be-suspicious.

and as a bride &c.] Better, and like a bride that putteth on her jewels (as Genesis 24:53) or her attire (as Deuteronomy 22:5).Verses 10, 11. - JERUSALEM ACCEPTS THE PROMISES, AND GLORIES IN JEHOVAH. So the Targum and Rosenmuller. Others think that "the Servant" is still speaking, or that Isaiah speaks in the name of the people. To us the exposition of the Targum appears the most satisfactory. It is in the manner of Isaiah suddenly to introduce a new speaker. Verse 10. - I will greatly rejoice in the Lord (comp. Habakkuk 3:18). The promises made were such as naturally to call forth on the part of Israel the most heartfelt joy and rejoicing - including, as they did, restoration, rule over the Gentiles, a universal priesthood, a wide territory, "everlasting joy," a high renown, and an "everlasting covenant. He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation (comp. Isaiah 59:17 and Isaiah 61:3). The metaphor occurs also in the Psalms (Psalm 71:6; Psalm 109:18). God clothes Israel with "righteousness" derived from himself (Isaiah 54:17, ad fin.), and then with its natural consequence - "salvation." The result is to make Israel as a bridegroom who decketh himself with a priestly crown, and as a bride who adornoth herself with her jewels. That bridegrooms ordinarily wore crowns appears from the Mishna. Even in Isaiah 61:3 with להם וקרא a perfect was introduced in the place of the infinitives of the object, and affirmed what was to be accomplished through the mediation of the Servant of Jehovah. The second turn in the address, which follows in Isaiah 61:4-9, continues the use of such perfects, which afterwards pass into futures. But the whole is still governed by the commencement in Isaiah 61:1. The Servant of Jehovah celebrates the glorious office committed to him, and expounds the substance of the gospel given him to proclaim. It points to the restoration of the promised land, and to the elevation of Israel, after its purification in the furnace of judgment, to great honour and dignity in the midst of the world of nations. "And they will build up wastes of the olden time, raise up desolations of the forefathers, and renew desolate cities, desolations of former generations. And strangers stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners become your ploughmen and vinedressers. But ye will be called priests of Jehovah; Servants of our God, will men say to you: ye will eat the riches of the nations, and pride yourselves in their glory." The desolations and wastes of ‛ōlâm and dōr vâdōr, i.e., of ages remote and near (Isaiah 58:12), are not confined to what had lain in ruins during the seventy years of the captivity. The land will be so thickly populated, that the former places of abode will not suffice (Isaiah 49:19-20); so that places must be referred to which are lying waste beyond the present bounds of the promised land (Isaiah 54:3), and which will be rebuilt, raised up, and renewed by those who return from exile, and indeed by the latest generations (Isaiah 58:12, מםּ; cf., Isaiah 60:14). Chōrebh, in the sense of desolation, is a word belonging to the alter period of the language (Zeph., Jer., and Ezek.). The rebuilding naturally suggests the thought of assistance on the part of the heathen (Isaiah 60:10). But the prophet expresses the fact that they will enter into the service of Israel (Isaiah 61:5), in a new and different form. They "stand there" (viz., at their posts ready for service, ‛al-mish-martâm, 2 Chronicles 7:6), "and feed your flocks" (צאן singularetantum, cf., Genesis 30:43), and foreigners are your ploughmen and vinedressers. Israel is now, in the midst of the heathen who have entered into the congregation of Jehovah and become the people of God (ch Isaiah 19:25), what the Aaronites formerly were in the midst of Israel itself. It stands upon the height of its primary destination to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6). They are called "priests of Jehovah," and the heathen call them "servants of our God;" for even the heathen speak with believing reverence of the God, to whom Israel renders priestly service, as "our God." This reads as if the restored Israelites were to stand in the same relation to the converted heathen as the clergy to the laity; but it is evident, from Isaiah 66:21, that the prophet has no such hierarchical separation as this in his mind. All that we can safely infer from his prophecy is, that the nationality of Israel will not be swallowed up by the entrance of the heathen into the community of the God of revelation. The people created by Jehovah, to serve as the vehicle of the promise of salvation and the instrument in preparing the way for salvation, will also render Him special service, even after that salvation has been really effected. At the same time, we cannot take the attitude, which is here assigned to the people of sacred history after it has become the teacher of the nations, viz., as the leader of its worship also, and shape it into any clear and definite form that shall be reconcilable with the New Testament spirit of liberty and the abolition of all national party-walls. The Old Testament prophet utters New Testament prophecies in an Old Testament form. Even when he continues to say, "Ye will eat the riches of the Gentiles, and pride yourselves in their glory," i.e., be proud of the glorious things which have passed from their possession into yours, this is merely colouring intended to strike the eye, which admits of explanation on the ground that he saw the future in the mirror of the present, as a complete inversion of the relation in which the two had stood before. The figures present themselves to him in the form of contrasts. The New Testament apostle, on the other hand, says in Romans 11:12 that the conversion of all Israel to Christ will be "the riches of the Gentiles." But if even then the Gentile church should act according to the words of the same apostle in Romans 15:27, and show her gratitude to the people whose spiritual debtor she is, by ministering to them in carnal things, all that the prophet has promised here will be amply fulfilled. We cannot adopt the explanation proposed by Hitzig, Stier, etc., "and changing with them, ye enter into their glory" (hithyammēr from yâmar equals mūr, Hiph.: hēmı̄r, Jeremiah 2:11; lit., to exchange with one another, to enter into one another's places); for yâmar equals ‛âmar (cf., yâchad equals 'âchad; yâsham equals 'âsham; yâlaph equals 'âlaph), to press upwards, to rise up (related to tâmar, see at Isaiah 17:9; sâmar, Symm. ὀρθοτριχεῖν, possibly also ‛âmar with the hithpael hith‛ammēr, lxx καταδυναστεύειν), yields a much simpler and more appropriate meaning. From this verb we have hith'ammēr in Psalm 94:4, "to lift one's self up (proudly)," and here hithyammēr; and it is in this way that the word has been explained by Jerome (superbietis), and possibly by the lxx (θαυμασθήσεσθε, in the sense of spectabiles eritis), by the Targum, and the Syriac, as well as by most of the ancient and modern expositors.
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