Isaiah 62:12
And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and you shall be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
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(12) The redeemed of the Lord.—Literally, ransomed, as in Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:10.

Sought out . . .—i.e., a city which men would seek after to honour, and promote its welfare. (Comp. the opposite, “Zion, which no man seeketh after,” in Jeremiah 30:17.)

A city not forsaken.—With special reference to the name “Azubah” in Isaiah 62:4. (Comp, the change of names in Hosea 2:1.)

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.And they shall call them - It shall be the honorable and just name by which they shall be known, that they are a holy people, and that they are the redeemed of Yahweh. No name is so honorable as that; no one conveys so much that is elevated and ennobling as to say of one, 'he is one whom Yahweh has redeemed from sin and death and hell by atoning blood.' He who has a just sense of the import of this name, will desire no Other record to be made of his life - no other inscription on his tomb - than that he is one who has been redeemed by Yahweh.

And thou shalt be called - (See the notes at Isaiah 62:2).

Sought out - The city much sought after, or much desired - to wit, by converts who shall come from afar; by foreigners who shall come to do thee honor (see Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 40:5-6, Isaiah 40:10-11; Isaiah 49:18-22). Or it may mean that Jerusalem would be a city sought out and desired by Yahweh; that is, no more forsaken by him. So Gesenius understands it.

A city not forsaken - No longer given up to the invasions of a foreign enemy, and abandoned to long desolation. The idea is, that the church and people of God would be the object of his kind protecting care henceforward, and would enjoy his continued smiles.

12. Sought out—Sought after and highly prized by Jehovah; answering to "not forsaken" in the parallel clause; no longer abandoned, but loved; image from a wife (Isa 62:4; Jer 30:14). They shall call them, The holy people; or, they shall be called, or they shall be, a peculiar, separate people, Isaiah 4:3.

Sought out; or, one found that was lost: see Ezekiel 34:16. Or, sought out, or for, or one in great esteem, one that the Gentiles should seek to join themselves withal, so as to be one church with her. That reproach should be wiped off from her, that this is Zion whom no man seeketh after, Jeremiah 30:17. Or, cared. for, viz. by God, whom he hath out of infinite love gathered to himself.

A city not forsaken: see Isaiah 62:4. The meaning is, that thus they shall esteem the gospel church; she shall be accosted With such salutations as these are,

the holy people, the

redeemed of the Lord, & c. And they shall call them the holy people,.... For whom the way is prepared, to whom the standard is lifted up, and the proclamation made, and who upon it are gathered in to Christ the Saviour, and to the church: these shall be called, by men that know them, have a spirit of discerning, and are capable of judging, "the holy people"; a people separated and set apart for God, for his service and glory; chosen to be a special people, above all the people of the earth; chosen through sanctification of the Spirit, and to holiness here and hereafter, and so sanctified by God the Father, as in Jde 1:1, and in consequence of it are made holy by the Spirit of God, in the effectual calling; they are not holy by nature, nor by their own power, but by the grace of God, who calls them with a holy calling, and to holiness, and implants principles of grace and holiness in them, so that they are truly and really so. This character respects the church and its members in the latter day, when everyone that remains in Jerusalem, and every pot and vessel there, shall be holiness to the Lord; yea, that shall be upon the bells of the horses, Isaiah 4:3,

the redeemed of the Lord; which character includes the blessing of redemption, from whence the denomination is, which is a blessing of a spiritual nature; the redemption of the soul from sin, Satan, the law, its curse, and condemnation, and from all enemies; a blessing early in the heart of God; contrived by his infinite wisdom; secured in the covenant of grace; wrought out by Christ; is a plenteous one, containing various blessings of grace in it, and, in its effects and consequences, of an eternal duration: this character is also expressive of Christ, as the author of the above blessing: these are not redeemed by themselves, nor by their friends, nor by men, nor by angels, but by the Lord; who, as man, is the near kinsman of his people, and has the right to redeem; as God, he is mighty and able to redeem them; and who by his precious blood has obtained redemption for them; so that he has a property in them, which is asserted in this character; they are not their own, nor any other's but his, a peculiar people, redeemed from among men, the special favourites of heaven; and who, in consequence of it, are called, and kept, and saved with an everlasting salvation:

and thou shalt be called, Sought out; thou, daughter of Zion; or the church of God, consisting of elect, redeemed, and called ones; such as are sought out of the ruins of the fall, among the men of the world, and dust of the earth; found in a very miserable condition, usually by means of the Gospel, and by Christ, who knows them well, where are, and what the time of finding them, and can by name, and does; all which is the fruit and effect of his love unto them; though this character may chiefly respect the notice that will be taken of the church in the latter day; whereas she has been Zion, whom no man seeks after, Jeremiah 30:17, now she shall be sought and flocked unto by all nations, and by great personages, even by the kings and princes of the earth, Isaiah 2:2.

A city not forsaken; the city of the living God, of which saints are fellow citizens, consisting of many persons, in good and flourishing circumstances, and which shall not be forsaken of men, as it has been, Isaiah 60:15, but shall be filled with converts, both Jews and Gentiles; nor forsaken of God, but shall enjoy his gracious presence, and sensible communion with him in his ordinances; nor shall any of its true members be forsaken, or the work of grace in them; they shall none of them perish, but have everlasting life; so that here is a cluster of glorious doctrines, in their order and connection one with another: election in the first character; redemption in the second; effectual calling in the third; and final perseverance in the last.

And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A {o} city not forsaken.

(o) That is, one over whom God has had a singular care to recover her when she was lost.

12. Zion and its people shall then be recognised in their true character by all.

The holy people] The priesthood of humanity; ch. Isaiah 61:6.

The redeemed of the Lord] ch. Isaiah 35:10 [Isaiah 51:10]; cf. Isaiah 48:20.

Sought out] i.e. “much sought after.” Cf. Jeremiah 30:17, “This is Zion whom no man seeketh after.”

A city not forsaken] See Isaiah 62:4.Verse 12. - They shall call them; or, men shall call them, equivalent to "they shall be called." The holy people. The Persians in some degree recognized this character in the Israelites (Ezra 1:2, 3; Ezra 6:8-12: 7:12-26). So did Alexander, according to Josephus. The Romans, on the contrary, regarded them as the votaries of a degrading superstition. Since the Roman conquest, they have been almost universally despised. Perhaps the prophecy may be considered to still await its complete fulfilment. Thou shalt be called. "Thou" refers to Zion or Jerusalem. She should be called Sought out - i.e. a special object of God's care - and A city not for-saken - the very opposite of her former name (ver. 4), which was "Forsaken." All the conditions of her former existence would be altered, nay, reversed, in the future.

Watchmen stationed upon the walls of Zion (says the third strophe) do not forsake Jehovah till He has fulfilled all His promise. "Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, have I stationed watchmen; all the day and all the night continually they are not silent. O ye who remember Jehovah, leave yourselves no rest! And give Him no rest, till He raise up, and till He set Jerusalem for a praise in the earth." As the phrase hiphqı̄d ‛al signifies to make a person an overseer (president) over anything, it seems as though we ought to render the sentence before us, "I have set watchmen over thy walls." But hiphqı̄d by itself may also mean "to appoint" (2 Kings 25:23), and therefore עלח־ומתיך may indicate the place of appointment (lxx ἐπὶ τῶν τειχέων σου, upon thy walls: ̔Ιερουσαλήμ κατέστησα φύλακας). Those who are stationed upon the walls are no doubt keepers of the walls; not, however, as persons whose exclusive duty it is to keep the walls, but as those who have committed to them the guarding of the city both within and without (Sol 5:7). The appointment of such watchmen presupposes the existence of the city, which is thus to be watched from the walls. It is therefore inadmissible to think of the walls of Jerusalem as still lying in ruins, as the majority of commentators have done, and to understand by the watchmen pious Israelites, who pray for their restoration, or (according to b. Menachoth 87a; cf., Zechariah 1:12) angelic intercessors. The walls intended are those of the city, which, though once destroyed, is actually imperishable (Isaiah 49:16) and has now been raised up again. And who else could the watchmen stationed upon the walls really be, but prophets who are called tsōphı̄m (e.g., Isaiah 52:8), and whose calling, according to Ezekiel 33, is that of watchmen? And if prophets are meant, who else can the person appointing them be but Jehovah Himself? The idea that the author of these prophecies is speaking of himself, as having appointed the shōmerı̄m, must therefore be rejected. Jehovah gives to the restored Jerusalem faithful prophets, whom He stations upon the walls of the city, that they may see far and wide, and be heard afar off. And from those walls does their warning cry on behalf of the holy city committed to their care ascent day and night to Jehovah, and their testimony go round about to the world. For after Jerusalem has been restored and re-peopled, the further end to be attained is this, that Jehovah should build up the newly founded city within (cōnēn the consequence of bânâh, Numbers 21:27, and ‛âsâh, Isaiah 45:18; Deuteronomy 32:6; cf., Isaiah 54:14 and Psalm 87:5), and help it to attain the central post of honour in relation to those without, which He has destined for it. Such prophets of the times succeeding the captivity (nebhı̄'ı̄m 'achărōnı̄m; cf., Zechariah 1:4) were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Haggai stands upon the walls of Jerusalem, and proclaims the glory of the second temple as surpassing that of the first. Zechariah points from Joshua and Zerubbabel onwards to the sprout of Jehovah, who is priest and prince in one person, and builds the true temple of God. Malachi predicts the coming of the Lord to His temple, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. Under the eyes of these prophets the city of God rose up again, and they stand upon its pinnacles, and look thence into the glorious future that awaits it, and hasten its approach through the word of their testimony. Such prophets, who carry the good of their people day and night upon their anxious praying hearts, does Jehovah give to the Jerusalem after the captivity, which is one in the prophet's view with the Jerusalem of the last days; and in so lively a manner does the prophet here call them up before his own mind, that he exclaims to them, "Ye who remind Jehovah, to finish gloriously the gracious work which He has begun," give yourselves to rest (dŏmi from dâmâh equals dâmam, to grow dumb, i.e., to cease speaking or working, in distinction from châshâh, to be silent, i.e., not to speak or work), and allow Him no rest till He puts Jerusalem in the right state, and so glorifies it, that it shall be recognised and extolled as glorious over all the earth. Prophecy here sees the final glory of the church as one that gradually unfolds itself, and that not without human instrumentality. The prophets of the last times, with their zeal in prayer, and in the exercise of their calling as witnesses, form a striking contrast to the blind, dumb, indolent, sleepy hirelings of the prophet's own time (Isaiah 56:10).
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