The LORD has sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give your corn to be meat for your enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink your wine, for the which you have labored:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord hath sworn . . .—The principle of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 6:13) is recognised here. Jehovah can swear by nothing less than that which is the symbol of His own greatness, identified with Himself.
I will no more give thy corn . . .—The words throw us back upon the early history of Israel, subject at any time to the desolating attacks of Midianites (Judges 6:4; Judges 6:11), Assyrians (Isaiah 16:9), and Philistines (2Chronicles 28:18). The new blessing stands in special contrast with the curse of Deuteronomy 28:33; Deuteronomy 28:51.Isaiah 62:8-9. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand — “Lifting up the hand was a ceremony used in swearing, Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezekiel 20:5; Ezekiel 20:15. And here God swears by that very hand which used to be held up at the taking of an oath; that is, he swears by his power and might, as it follows, that the enemies of his people should not interrupt that peace and plenty which he should give them, but that they should quietly enjoy his blessings with hearts full of thankfulness for them. This must relate to some happier condition than the Jews enjoyed after their return from captivity, when their enemies frequently invaded them, and, at last, the Romans destroyed both their temple and nation.” — Lowth. The passage is undoubtedly metaphorical; and is to be understood of the free and undisturbed enjoyment of the spiritual blessings of religion, which God will grant the Christian Church in the latter days: and “the oath which ushers in this promise proves that it will be exactly and punctually performed.” See Joel 2:24; and Joel 3:18; Jeremiah 31:12; Zechariah 9:17. The expressions in the next verse, particularly in the latter part of it, allude to the ordinances of the law, which required the people to spend their first-fruits, and other hallowed things, at the temple, in a thankful acknowledgment to God for his blessings, Deuteronomy 12:11; and Deuteronomy 14:23; Deuteronomy 14:26.Hebrews 6:13, he is represented as swearing by himself (see the notes at Isaiah 45:23). Here he is represented as swearing by his right hand and by his arm - the strong instrument by which he would accomplish his purposes to defend and save his people. The sense is, that he solemnly pledged the strength of his arm to deliver them, and restore them to their own land.
Surely I will no more give - Margin, as in Hebrew, 'If I give.' That is, I will not give.
Thy corn to be meat - The word 'corn' in the Scriptures means all kinds of grain - especially wheat, barley, etc. The word 'meat' was formerly used to denote all kinds of food, and was not restricted as it is now usually to animal food. The meaning is, that they should not be subjected to the evils of foreign invasion and conquest.
And the sons of the stranger - Foreigners, Isaiah 60:10.
Shall not drink thy wine - The productions of your toil shall be safe, and you shall enjoy them yourselves. All this denotes a state of safety and prosperity, such as there would be if they were allowed to cultivate the soil without interruption, and were permitted to enjoy the fruit of their labors.
sons of … stranger—Foreigners shall no more rob thee of the fruit of thy labors (compare Isa 65:21, 22).
sworn to see to the prosperity of Jerusalem; and he names the
hand, to signify his faithfulness, as the giving of our hand notes our fidelity; and arm, to signify his power,
the arm of his strength, i.e. his strong arm: these being eminently to be engaged and put forth for his people, he swears by them.
Surely I will no more give; or, If I give; a usual aposiopesis; an abrupt form of swearing, implying something of an imprecation, as great as can be expressed: q.d. Never account me faithful or almighty, if I accomplish not this.
The sons of the stranger: see Isaiah 61:5.
Shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: the meaning is, That meat, and drink, and all necessaries that thou hast laboured for, the Babylonians took away from thee; but now it shall be so no more, he will not give thee up to the will of thine enemies.
surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the strangers shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured: this was threatened to the people of Israel, in case of sinning against God, and revolting from him; and was accomplished in the times of their captivity in Babylon, Deuteronomy 28:33 but here it is promised, and the strongest assurance given, it should be so no more; which cannot respect the deliverance of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity; for it is certain that after that their enemies did eat their corn, and drink their wine; the Romans came and took away their city and nation, as they feared, and all their good things; wherefore this must refer to future times, to times yet to come, when this people, being converted, shall be restored to their own land, and enjoy great plenty of good things, and never more be disturbed by their enemies: though all this may be understood in a spiritual sense of the "corn" and "wine" of the Gospel, and the ministration of it; which was first provided for them, and they were invited to partake of it; and in preparing which the apostles and first ministers of the word, being Jews, "laboured"; but they rejecting it, it was carried to the Gentiles, who had been their "enemies", and were "aliens" from the commonwealth of Israel, which they gladly received and fed upon; but now it is promised, that the Gospel, being again brought unto them, should no more be taken from them, but ever continue with them; even all the means of grace, and ordinances of the Gospel, for the comfort and refreshment of their souls.The LORD hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast laboured:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. The Lord hath sworn by his right hand &c.] i.e. so surely as He has the power to help. Cf. ch. Isaiah 45:23, Isaiah 54:9.
the sons of the stranger] R.V. strangers.
thy wine] Lit. “new wine,” must.
8, 9. Jehovah has sworn that the Israelites shall no longer be spoiled by their enemies, but shall be secured in the peaceful enjoyment of the fruits of the ground. The phrase “no longer” seems to imply that at the time of writing the community was exposed to the depredations of its hostile neighbours. This would be an additional indication of post-exilic authorship, which is confirmed by the mention of the Temple courts in the end of Isaiah 62:9.Verse 8. - The Lord hath sworn. In answer to the representations of the "remembrancers," God solemnly binds himself by an oath to come to the relief of the people, to restore them to their own land, and to give them the enjoyment of its fruits in peace. By his right hand. God commonly swears "by himself" (Genesis 22:16; Isaiah 45:23; Jeremiah 49:13; Jeremiah 51:14; Amos 6:5), or "by his holiness" (Psalm 89:35; Amos 4:2). Once he swears "by his great Name" (Jeremiah 44:26), and once "by the excellency of Jacob" (Amos 8:7). There is no other place in Scripture where he swears "by his right hand and arm" - emblems of his power to act. Thy corn... thy wine; i.e. the fruits of thy land. Hitherto, even when Israel was in possession of Palestine, its fruits were constantly destroyed, or carried off, by the raids of hostile neighbours. Henceforth this plundering should cease. Isaiah 62:6 and also from the expression used; for châshâh is the word commonly employed in such utterances of Jehovah concerning Himself, to denote His leaving things in their existing state without interposing (Isaiah 65:6; Isaiah 57:11; Isaiah 64:11). Moreover, the arguments which may be adduced to prove that the author of chapters 40-66 is not the speaker in Isaiah 61:1-11, also prove that it is not he who is continuing to speak of himself in Isaiah 62:1-12 Jehovah, having now begun to speak and move on behalf of Zion, will "for Zion's sake," i.e., just because it is Zion, His own church, neither be silent nor give Himself rest, till He has gloriously executed His work of grace. Zion is now in the shade, but the time will come when her righteousness will go forth as nōgah, the light which bursts through the night (Isaiah 60:19; Isaiah 59:9; here the morning sunlight, Proverbs 4:18; compare shachar, the morning red, Isaiah 58:8); or till her salvation is like a torch which blazes. יבער belongs to כלפּיד (mercha) in the form of an attributive clause equals בּער, although it might also be assumed that יבער stands by attraction for תבער (cf., Isaiah 2:11; Ewald, 317, c). The verb בּער, which is generally applied to wrath (e.g., Isaiah 30:27), is here used in connection with salvation, which has wrath towards the enemies of Zion as its obverse side: Zion's tsedeq (righteousness) shall become like the morning sunlight, before which even the last twilight has vanished; and Zion's yeshū‛âh is like a nightly torch, which sets fire to its own material, and everything that comes near it. The force of the conjunction עד (until) does not extend beyond Isaiah 62:1. From Isaiah 62:2 onwards, the condition of things in the object indicated by עד is more fully described. The eyes of the nations will be directed to the righteousness of Zion, the impress of which is now their common property; the eyes of all kings to her glory, with which the glory of none of them, nor even of all together, can possibly compare. And because this state of Zion is a new one, which has never existed before, her old name is not sufficient to indicate her nature. She is called by a new name; and who could determine this new name? He who makes the church righteous and glorious, He, and He alone, is able to utter a name answering to her new nature, just as it was He who called Abram Abraham, and Jacob Israel. The mouth of Jehovah will determine it (נקב, to pierce, to mark, to designate in a signal and distinguishing manner, nuncupare; cf., Amos 6:1; Numbers 1:17). It is only in imagery that prophecy here sees what Zion will be in the future: she will be "a crown of glory," "a diadem," or rather a tiara (tsenı̄ph; Chethib tsenūph equals mitsnepheth, the head-dress of the high priest, Exodus 28:4; Zechariah 3:5; and that of the king, Ezekiel 21:31) "of regal dignity," in the hand of her God (for want of a synonym of "hand," we have adopted the rendering "in the lap" the second time that it occurs). Meier renders יהוה בּיד (בּכף) Jovae sub praesidio, as though it did not form part of the figure. But it is a main feature in the figure, that Jehovah holds the crown in His hand. Zion is not the ancient crown which the Eternal wears upon His head, but the crown wrought out in time, which He holds in His hand, because He is seen in Zion by all creation. The whole history of salvation is the history of the taking of the kingdom, and the perfecting of the kingdom by Jehovah; in other words, the history of the working out of this crown.
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