Isaiah 62:10
Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Go through . . .—Here, probably, we have the cry of the prophet himself (but, possibly, also that of the Servant of Jehovah) addressed to the heralds, who are to go forth and summon the exiles to return to the restored city. On the special phrases, see Notes on Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14.

Lift up a standard for the people.—Literally, peoples, the plural indicating that the prophet thinks of the Gentile nations as escorting Israel. It follows from this that the command itself is addressed, like the previous clauses, to the returning exiles.

Isaiah 62:10. Go through the gates — Namely, the gates of Babylon, which shall be thrown open, that those confined in that idolatrous city may leave it with freedom, and return to the land of Israel. In other words, for the expressions are metaphorical, let all obstructions be removed out of the way of the heathen, that they may have free liberty to bid adieu to their idolatries and vices, and come to, and unite themselves with, the Christian Church. Or, the words may be considered as a command given to the ministers and friends of the church to go forth through Zion’s gates, to invite the nations of the earth to turn to God, and join themselves to his people; and, in order thereto, as far as possible, to prepare their way plain before them, as it follows; or to endeavour to win them over by their pure doctrine, their holy lives, and benevolent actions. The expressions are twice doubled, to give them the greater emphasis. Gather out the stones — Let no rock of offence, or stone of stumbling, remain in the way. As if he had said, Go to and fro, and remove every scandal and impediment, and make plain paths for their feet, Romans 14:13. Lift up a standard — An allusion to generals, who usually set up their standards that the soldiers may know whither to repair from all quarters: see Isaiah 49:22. Thus is Christ held forth in the preaching of the gospel.

62:10-12 Way shall be made for Christ's salvation; all difficulties shall be removed. He brings a reward of comfort and peace with him; but a work of humiliation and reformation before him; and they shall be called, The holy people, and, The redeemed of the Lord. Holiness puts honour and beauty upon any place or person, makes them admired, beloved, and sought after. Many events may have been part fulfilments of this, as earnests of more glorious times yet to come. The close connexion between the blessedness of the Jews and of the Gentiles, runs through the Scriptures. The Lord Jesus will complete his work, and he never will forsake one whom he has redeemed and sanctified.Go through, go through the gates - The connection of this with what goes before is not very apparent, and there has been a great diversity of opinion in regard to it among interpreters. Grotius supposes that it refers to the priests and Levites who are referred to also in the previous verses, and that it is a command for them to enter into the temple. Calvin supposes that it refers to the Christian church, and that the idea is, that the gates of it should be continually open for the return of penitent sinners. Rosenmuller supposes that it is an address to the cities lying between Babylon and Jerusalem, and that the idea is, that their gates would be thrown open for the return of the exiles, and that all obstacles would be taken out of the way. Others suppose that it refers to the Jews, and that the command is to them to go through the gates of Babylon, and an immediate order is added to the people to prepare the way for them. This last seems to me to be the sense of the passage. It is a direction to the exiles in Babylon to go forth and return to their own land. The gates so long closed against their return would be thrown open, and they would now have liberty to depart for their own country. Thus explained, the connection is apparent. The watchmen were commanded to pray until this was done Isaiah 62:7; the prophet had said that he would not rest until it was done Isaiah 62:1; Yahweh had promised this in a most solemn manner Isaiah 62:8-9; and now those prayers are heard, and that promise is about to be fulfilled, and they are commanded to leave the city and enter upon their journey to their own land (compare the notes at Isaiah 52:10-12).

Prepare ye the way of the people - (Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:3).

Cast up, cast up the highway - (See the notes at Isaiah 57:14).

Gather out the stones - Clear it from the stones - in other words, make a smooth path on which they can travel with ease. The word which is used here (סקל sāqal) commonly denotes to stone, or to pelt with stones, a species of capital punishment among the Hebrews 2 Samuel Hebrews 16:6-13. Hence, it means to pile up stones in a heap; and it has also the signification of removing stones from a field Isaiah 5:2, and here of removing them from the way when they are an obstruction to the traveler. Harmer supposes that the word here means to pile up stones at proper distances, as a kind of landmark in the deserts, in order to mark the way for travelers - a practice which, he says, is quite common in Arabia. But the more correct interpretation is, that they were to remove the stones from the way, in order that the journey might be made with ease.

Lift up a standard - As when an army is about to march. They were about to be collected from their dispersions and restored to their own land, and the command is given, that the banner might be reared that they might rally around it (see the notes at Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 59:19; Isaiah 49:22).

10. What Isaiah in the person of Messiah had engaged in (Isa 62:1) unrestingly to seek, and what the watchmen were unrestingly to pray for (Isa 62:7), and what Jehovah solemnly promised (Isa 62:8, 9), is now to be fulfilled; the Gentile nations are commanded to "go through the gates" (either of their own cities [Rosenmuller] or of Jerusalem [Maurer]), in order to remove all obstacles out of "the way of the people (Israel)" (see on [867]Isa 7:14; Isa 40:3; 52:10-12).

standard—for the dispersed Jews to rally round, with a view to their return (Isa 49:22; 11:12).

Go through, go through the gates; it is doubled by way of emphasis: q.d. Make haste to your own land; as if Cyrus should say, Get you out of captivity as soon as you will, Isaiah 48:20. Or it may intimate an invitation issued out from them at Jerusalem to those that were scattered about in the captivity; therein possibly typifying the going of Christ’s disciples into the various parts of the world, to bring those that were scattered up and down into the church. Or, Go meet the Gentiles, whom God purposeth to bring into the church, that by pure doctrine and your holy lives they may be the sooner won. Prepare ye the way; let them not have any obstructions in their way: he seems to call upon others to prepare the way for them; thus John was sent to prepare the way for Christ, as was prophesied, Isaiah 40 3; accordingly it is ordered to be

cast up: see Isaiah 57:14. Gather out the stones, that there be no stumbling-stone or offence in their way; or, q.d. Go to and fro, and remove every scandal that they may boggle at, Romans 14:13. The former notes the certainty of their deliverance, harbingers sent before; this the speed of it, no impediment.

Lift up a standard; an allusion to soldiers, that usually set up their standard, that the army may know whither to repair from all quarters; see Isaiah 49:22; and lifting of it up is, that it may be more visible; see Isaiah 11:10-12; and this is Christ held forth in the preaching of the gospel.

For the people; or, over the people.

Go through, go through the gates,.... Open them, and keep them open for persons to enter in; meaning not the gates of Jerusalem, which those in it should open for the reception of the Jews returning from Babylon, though there may be an allusion to it; but the gates of the church in the latter day, which shall stand open night and day, that converts, who shall flock unto it, may enter in thereat, whether Jews or Gentiles; see Isaiah 26:1,

prepare you the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; for the people of the Jews, or the Gentiles, by the destruction of the eastern and western antichrist, and by the preaching of the Gospel; by which means way will be made for the kings of the east, and for the eastern kingdoms being converted, and becoming the kingdoms of our Lord, and his Christ; see Revelation 16:12,

gather out the stones; all things that offend, that are a stumblingblock to Jews, Pagans, and Mahometans, and hinder them embracing the Christian religion; as errors, heresies, schisms, false doctrines, false worship, idolatry, and superstition. Jarchi thinks there is a respect to the corruption of nature; and so the Targum interprets it, the thought of the evil imagination, which is as a stone: or, "pitch" or "strow it with stones" (k); that is, the highway; pave it with them, because of the clay, that so it may be a good way for passengers:

lift up a standard for the people; that they may know where to come or go; this is to be understood of the preaching of the Gospel, and of lifting up Christ as a standard or ensign in it, to whom the people might be directed, invited, and encouraged to come; see Isaiah 11:10. The Targum is,

"the prophet said, pass by, and return through the gates; turn the heart of the people to the right way; publish good things and comforts to the righteous, who remove the thought of the evil imagination, which was as a stone of stumbling; lift up a sign to the people.''

(k) "sternite eam lapidibus", Vatablus, Forerius, Gataker. So many Jewish writers, R. Jonah, R. Joseph Kimchi, and Ben Melech; but is disliked by Gussetius, Ebr. Comment. p. 569.

{l} Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

(l) Signifying the great number that would come to the Church, and what means he would prepare for the restitution of the same, as in Isa 57:14.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Go through, go through the gates] To whom are these words addressed? The gates might be those of Babylon, in which case the passage is the exact counterpart of ch. Isaiah 48:20 (“Go ye forth of Babylon”) and Isaiah 52:11 (“go ye out from thence”). It is possible, on the other hand, that those addressed are the present inhabitants of Jerusalem, who are invited to prepare for the final restoration of the Dispersion. The gates must then be those of Jerusalem or of the Temple (so Duhm).

prepare you the way of the people] In ch. Isaiah 40:3 a similar command is addressed to angelic beings, and the “way” is that by which Jehovah Himself is to return, at the head of His people. Here the persons addressed must be the same as in the first clause of the verse; and throughout this section the prophet appears studiously to avoid the idea, so prominent in the earlier part of the book, of a triumphal march of Jehovah in person through the desert to Jerusalem.

cast up the highway] ch. Isaiah 57:14.

lift up an ensign for the peoples (R.V.)] Cf. ch. Isaiah 49:22.

10–12. Announcement of the return of the exiles. The passage resembles ch. Isaiah 48:20 ff., Isaiah 52:11 f.; and at first sight it seems to imply that no exodus from Babylon has as yet taken place. This indeed has been the prevalent view of commentators, based on the assumption that the writer is the same as in the two parallels. But the secondary character of the passage, betrayed by the accumulated citations, is somewhat adverse to this hypothesis, and it will be seen that the language itself is susceptible of a different construction. It is certain that a return of exiled Israelites is announced, but there is nothing to exclude the supposition that (as in ch. Isaiah 60:4; Isaiah 60:9) the return of those who took advantage of the edict of Cyrus lies behind the prophet’s standpoint.

Verse 10. - Go through, go through the gates. The speaker returns to the period of the exile, and exhorts the people to pass forth from Babylon, and speed on their way homewards (comp. Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11). Some of them are to clear away obstacles, others are to bring materials and construct a highway along which the stream of emigrants may march (comp. Isaiah 57:14), while a third body removes such stones as might cause stumbling, and a fourth lifts up a standard to direct the march. Isaiah 62:10The concluding strophe goes back to the standpoint of the captivity. "Go forth, go forth through the gates, clear the way of the people. Cast up, cast up the road, clear it of stones; lift up a banner above the nations! Behold, Jehovah hath caused tidings to sound to the end of the earth. Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. And men will call them the holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah; and men will call thee, Striven after, A city that will not be forsaken." We cannot adopt the rendering proposed by Gesenius, "Go ye into the gates," whether of Jerusalem or of the temple, since the reading would then be שׁערים בּאוּ (Genesis 23:10) or בשּׁערים (Jeremiah 7:2). For although בּ עבר may under certain circumstances be applied to entrance into a city (Judges 9:26), yet it generally denotes either passing through a land (Isaiah 8:21; Isaiah 34:10; Genesis 41:46; Leviticus 26:6, etc.), or through a nation (2 Samuel 20:14), or through a certain place (Isaiah 10:28); so that the phrase בּשּׁער עבר, which does not occur anywhere else (for in Micah 2:13, which refers, however, to the exodus of the people out of the gates of the cities of the captivity, שׁער ויּעברוּ do not belong together), must refer to passing through the gate; and the cry בשׁערים עברוּ means just the same as מבּבל צאוּ ("Go ye forth from Babylon") in Isaiah 48:20; Isaiah 52:11.

The call to go out of Babylon forms the conclusion of the prophecy here, just as it does in Isaiah 48:20-21; Isaiah 52:11-12. It is addressed to the exiles; but who are they to whom the command is given, "Throw up a way," - a summons repeatedly found in all the three books of these prophecies (Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 57:14)? They cannot be the heathen, for this is contradicted by the conclusion of the charge, "Lift ye up a banner above the nations;" nor can we adopt what seems to us a useless fancy on the part of Stier, viz., that Isaiah 62:10 is addressed to the watchmen on the walls of Zion. We have no hesitation, therefore, in concluding that they are the very same persons who are to march through the gates of Babylon. The vanguard (or pioneers) of those who are coming out are here summoned to open the way by which the people are to march, to throw up the road (viz., by casting up an embankment, hamsillâh, as in Isaiah 11:16; Isaiah 49:11; maslūl, Isaiah 35:8), to clear it of stones (siqqēl, as in Isaiah 5:2; cf., Hosea 9:12, shikkēl mē'âdâm), and lift up a banner above the nations (one rising so high as to be visible far and wide), that the diaspora of all places may join those who are returning home with the friendly help of the nations (Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 49:22). For Jehovah hath caused tidings to be heard to the end of the earth, i.e., as we may see from what follows, the tidings of their liberation; in other words, looking at the historical fulfilment, the proclamation of Cyrus, which he caused to be issued throughout his empire at the instigation of Jehovah (Ezra 1:1). Hitzig regards השׁמיע as expressing what had actually occurred at the time when the prophet uttered his predictions; and in reality the standpoint of the prophets was so far a variable one, that the fulfilment of what was predicted did draw nearer and nearer to it ἐν πνεύματι. But as hinnēh throughout the book of Isaiah, even when followed by a perfect, invariably points to something future, all that can be said is, that the divine announcement of the time of redemption, as having now arrived, stands out before the soul of the prophet with all the certainty of a historical fact. The conclusion which Knobel draws from the expression "to the end of the earth," as to the Babylonian standpoint of the prophet, is a false one. In his opinion, "the end of the earth" in such passages as Psalm 72:8; Zechariah 9:10 ('aphsē-'ârets), and Isaiah 24:16 (kenaph hâ'ârets), signifies the western extremity of the orbis orientalis, that is to say, the region of the Mediterranean, more especially Palestine; whereas it was rather a term applied to the remotest lands which bounded the geographical horizon (compare Isaiah 42:10; Isaiah 48:20, with Psalm 2:8; Psalm 22:28, and other passages). The words that follow ("Say ye," etc.) might be taken as a command issued on the ground of the divine hishimiă‛ ("the Lord hath proclaimed"); but hishimiă‛ itself is a word that needs to be supplemented, so that what follows is the divine proclamation: Men everywhere, i.e., as far as the earth or the dispersion of Israel extends, are to say to the daughter of Zion - that is to say, to the church which has its home in Zion, but is now in foreign lands - that "its salvation cometh," i.e., that Jehovah, its Saviour, is coming to bestow a rich reward upon His church, which has passed through sever punishment, but has been so salutarily refined. Those to whom the words "Say ye," etc., are addressed, are not only the prophets of Israel, but all the mourners of Zion, who become mebhasserı̄m, just because they respond to this appeal (compare the meaning of this "Say ye to the daughter of Zion" with Zechariah 9:9 in Matthew 21:5). The whole of the next clause, "Behold, His reward," etc., is a repetition of the prophet's own words in Isaiah 40:10. It is a question whether the words "and they shall call thee," etc., contain the gospel which is to be proclaimed according to the will of Jehovah to the end of the earth (see Isaiah 48:20), or whether they are a continuation of the prophecy which commences with "Behold, Jehovah hath proclaimed." The latter is the more probable, as the address here passes again into an objective promise. The realization of the gospel, which Jehovah causes to be preached, leads men to call those who are now still in exile "the holy people," "the redeemed" (lit. ransomed, Isaiah 51:10; like pedūyē in Isaiah 35:10). "And thee" - thus does the prophecy close by returning to a direct address to Zion-Jerusalem - "thee will men call derūshâh," sought assiduously, i.e., one whose welfare men, and still more Jehovah, are zealously concerned to promote (compare the opposite in Jeremiah 30:17) - "a city that will not be forsaken," i.e., in which men gladly settle, and which will never be without inhabitants again (the antithesis to ‛ăzūbhâh in Isaiah 60:15), possibly also in the sense that the gracious presence of God will never be withdrawn from it again (the antithesis to ‛ăzūbhâh in Isaiah 62:4). נעזבה is the third pers. pr., like nuchâmâh in Isaiah 54:11 : the perfect as expressing the abstract present (Ges. 126, 3).

The following prophecy anticipates the question, how Israel can possibly rejoice in the recovered possession of its inheritance, if it is still to be surrounded by such malicious neighbours as the Edomites.

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