Isaiah 65:13
Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed:
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(13) My servants shall eat . . .—The form of the punishment is apparently determined by that of the sin. That had been the orgy of an idol’s feast; the penalty would be hunger and thirst, while joy and gladness would be the portion of those who had abstained from it. The words present a striking parallelism to Luke 6:20-26.

Isaiah 65:13-15. Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry, &c. — I will make a great difference between my faithful servants and such unbelievers as you are. This promise the Lord fulfilled in a remarkable manner before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. In consequence of the direction given by Christ to his disciples, (Matthew 26:15,) when they observed the Roman armies approaching toward Jerusalem, they left the devoted city and fled to the mountains, an opportunity for doing which being given them by the special providence of God. For after the Romans, under Cestius Gallus, made their first advance toward Jerusalem, they suddenly withdrew again in a most unexpected, and, indeed, impolitic manner; at which Josephus testifies his surprise, since the city might then have been easily taken. By this means they gave, as it were, a signal to the Christians to retire; which, out of regard to their Lord’s admonition, they did, some to Pella, and others to mount Libanus, and thereby not only preserved their lives, but obtained a supply of all their wants; while, in the mean time, the unbelieving and disobedient Jews, who had rejected and crucified their Messiah, pertinaciously seeking to defend themselves in the city, were overwhelmed with the greatest calamities that ever came upon any people, and perished with hunger and thirst, the sword of their enemies, and mutual slaughters, in the greatest anguish and despair, crying, as it is here said, for sorrow of heart, and howling for vexation of spirit. And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen — That is, to the Christians. They shall use your name as examples of the eminent wrath of God upon sinners; or, as Vitringa reads it, Ye shall leave your name for an oath to my chosen; explaining the meaning to be, “That the punishment and calamity of these apostates should be so remarkable, that in the forms of swearing, men should take their example from the severity of the divine judgment inflicted upon them, and from their miserable state; saying, ‘If I knowingly and wilfully deceive, may as great calamities happen to me as have happened to those wicked and apostate Jews.’” See Jeremiah 29:22. For the Lord shall slay thee — For you shall not perish by an ordinary hand, but by the hand of the Lord God. Your destruction shall be most extraordinary. The prophet may either allude in this expression to the total abolition of the Jewish economy, or to the prodigious slaughter made of that people by one dreadful massacre after another, especially during the siege of Jerusalem; and shall call his servants by another name — God himself shall consider your very name as infamous and accursed, and will not suffer his people to be called by it. They shall not be called Jews or Israelites, but Christians. See note on Isaiah 62:2.65:11-16 Here the different states of the godly and wicked, of the Jews who believed, and of those who persisted in unbelief, are set against one another. They prepared a table for that troop of deities which the heathen worship, and poured out drink-offerings to that countless number. Their worshippers spared no cost to honour them, which should shame the worshippers of the true God. See the malignity of sin; it is doing by choice what we know will displease God. In every age and nation, the Lord leaves those who persist in doing evil, and despise the call of the gospel. God's servants shall have the bread of life, and shall want nothing good for them. But those who forsake the Lord, shall be ashamed of vain confidence in their own righteousness, and the hopes they built thereon. Wordly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world's goods; but God's servants bless themselves in him. He is their strength and portion. They shall honour him as the God of truth. And it was promised that in him should all the families of the earth be blessed. They shall think themselves happy in having him for their God, who made them forget their troubles.Therefore, thus saith the Lord God - The design of this verse is to show what would be the difference between those who kept and those who forsook his commandments. The one would be objects of his favor, and have abundance; the other would be objects of his displeasure, and be subjected to the evils of poverty, grief, and want.

My servants shall eat - Shall have abundance. They shall be objects of my favor.

But ye - Ye who revolt from me, and who worship idols.

Shall be hungry - Shall be subjected to the evils of want. The idea is, that the one should partake of his favor; the other should be punished.

13. eat—enjoy all blessings from me (So 5:1).

hungry—(Am 4:6; 8:11). This may refer to the siege of Jerusalem under Titus, when 1,100,000 are said to have perished by famine; thus Isa 65:15 will refer to God's people without distinction of Jew and Gentile receiving "another name," namely, that of Christians [Houbigant]. A further fulfilment may still remain, just before the creation of the "new heavens and earth," as the context, Isa 65:17, implies.

As there are a party amongst you who, instead of serving God, are the servants of men, in complying with idolatry and superstition; so I have some servants amongst you who have distinguished themselves by keeping close to my institutions from the rest of you, I will distinguish them from you in the dispensations of my providence: those that have eat bread at their idol feasts shall be hungry; my people, that would not do so, they shall have enough: those who have furnished a drink offering to Meni, or that number of idols, shall want that drink by which they have so profaned my name; but

my servants, from whose mouths you pulled the drink, because they would only furnish a drink-offering to me, they shall drink. My servants, whom now you make to mourn, and upon whom you pour shame and contempt, shall rejoice, and you shall be

ashamed; you that now rejoice and shout, while my servants that cannot comply with you are afflicted, and by you made to mourn, you shall cry for sorrow, and howl through vexation, whilst my servants who keep close to my institutions shall sing for joy of heart. Those who in an hour of persecution for religion can have patience under the enemy’s triumphs and rage, will find that the rod of the wicked shall not always rest upon the lot of the righteous. Therefore thus saith the Lord God,.... This being the case, the following contrast is formed between those that believed in Christ, and those that rejected him:

behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: which has been verified in a literal sense; for the Christians, the Lord's righteous servants, as the Targum in the several clauses calls them, were, as Eusebius (e) relates, by a divine warning, directed to leave Jerusalem, before the destruction of it; when they removed to a place called Pella, beyond Jordan, where they had proper accommodations; while the unbelieving Jews were penned up in the city, and were starved, and multitudes of them died by famine: and in a figurative sense they had a famine, not of bread, or of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord; the Gospel being taken from them, and sent to another people, who received it, and ate it, and were nourished by it; which is bread that strengthens, meat that is savoury, milk that nourishes, honey that is sweet to the taste, delicious fruit, and all that is wholesome and healthful; Christ in the word particularly, who is the Lamb of God, the fatted calf, the hidden manna, the bread of life and spiritual meat, as his flesh is, is the food which believers eat by faith, and feed upon, and are nourished with; while others starve, feeding upon ashes and husks, on that which is not bread. Kimchi interprets this and the following clauses, figuratively, of the reward of the world to come, and of the delights and pleasures of the soul, signified by eating and drinking; and so, he says, their Rabbins interpret it; see Luke 14:15.

Behold, my servants shall drink, and ye shall be thirsty; which has the same sense as before, the same thing in different words. Particularly true believers in Christ drink of his blood by faith, which is drink indeed; and of the grace of Christ, which is the water of life, of which they may drink freely; and of the Gospel of Christ, which is as wine and milk, and as cold water to a thirsty soul; and of the love of Christ, which is better than wine; and they shall drink of new wine with him in the kingdom of his Father; while the wicked shall thirst after their sins and lusts now, and have no satisfaction in them, and hereafter will want a drop of water to cool their tongues.

Behold, my servants shall rejoice; in Christ, in his person, grace, and fulness; in his righteousness and salvation; and in hope of the glory of God by him:

but ye shall be ashamed; of their vain confidence; of their trust in their own righteousness, in their temple, and the service of it; in their troops and numbers, particularly when taken and carried captive; and more especially this will be their case at the great day of judgment, when they shall see him whom they have pierced.

(e) Hist. Eccl. I. 3. c. 5. p. 75.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall {r} eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:

(r) By these words, eat and drink, he means the blessed life of the faithful, who have always had consolation and full contentment of all things in their God, though sometimes they lack these corporal things.

13–16. Contrast between the fate of these idolaters and that of Jehovah’s servants.Verse 13. - Therefore thus saith the Lord God; rather, thus saith the Lord Jehovah (comp. Isaiah 7:7; Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 30:15; Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 48:16; Isaiah 49:22; I. 4, 5, 7, 9; 52:4; 56:8; 61:1, etc.). My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry, etc. This entire series of contrasts may be understood in two ways; literally, of the two classes of exiles, the religious and the irreligious; metaphorically, of God's servants and his adversaries at all times and in all places. The religious exiles would return to the land of promise as soon as permitted, and would there prosper in a worldly sense - have abundance to eat and drink, rejoice, and sing for joy (Ezra 3:11-13). The irreligious, remaining in Babylonia, would suffer hunger and thirst, endure shame, cry and howl for sorrow and vexation of spirit. This would be one fulfilment of the prophecy; but there would also be another. God's servants at all times and in all places would be sustained with spiritual food, and "rejoice and sing for joy of heart." His adversaries would everywhere feel a craving for the "meat" and "drink," which alone satisfy the soul, and would be oppressed with care, and with a sense of shame, and suffer anguish of spirit. The justice of God will not rest till it has procured for itself the fullest satisfaction. "Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence without having recompensed, and I will recompense into their bosom. Your offences, and the offences of your fathers together, saith Jehovah, that they have burned incense upon the mountains, and insulted me upon the hills, and I measure their reward first of all into their bosom." Vitringa has been misled by such passages as Isaiah 10:1; Job 13:26; Jeremiah 22:30, in which kâthabh (kittēbh) is used to signify a written decree, and understands by khethūbhâh the sentence pronounced by God; but the reference really is to their idolatrous conduct and contemptuous defiance of the laws of God. This is ever before Him, written in indelible characters, waiting for the day of vengeance; for, according to the figurative language of Scripture, there are heavenly books, in which the good and evil works of men are entered. And this agrees with what follows: "I will not be silent, without having first repaid," etc. The accentuation very properly places the tone upon the penultimate of the first shillamtı̄ as being a pure perfect, and upon the last syllable of the second as a perf. consec. אם כּי preceded by a future and followed by a perfect signifies, "but if (without having) first," etc. (Isaiah 55:10; Genesis 32:27; Leviticus 22:6; Ruth 3:18; cf., Judges 15:7). The original train of thought was, "I will not keep silence, for I shall first of all keep silence when," etc. Instead of ‛al chēqâm, "Upon their bosom," we might have 'el chēqâm, into their bosom, as in Jeremiah 32:18; Psalm 79:12. In Isaiah 65:7 the keri really has 'el instead of ‛al, whilst in Isaiah 65:9 the chethib is ‛al without any keri (for the figure itself, compare Luke 6:38, "into your bosom"). The thing to be repaid follows in Isaiah 65:7; it is not governed, however, by shillamtı̄, as the form of the address clearly shows, but by 'ăshallēm understood, which may easily be supplied. Whether 'ăsher is to be taken in the sense of qui or quod (that), it is hardly possible to decide; but the construction of the sentence favours the latter. Sacrificing "upon mountains and hills" (and, what is omitted, here, "under every green tree") is the well-known standing phrase used to describe the idolatry of the times preceding the captivity (cf., Isaiah 57:7; Hosea 4:13; Ezekiel 6:13). וּמדּתי points back to veshillamtı̄ in Isaiah 65:6, after the object has been more precisely defined. Most of the modern expositors take ראשׁנה פעלּתם together, in the sense of "their former wages," i.e., the recompense previously deserved by their fathers. But in this case the concluding clause would only affirm, by the side of Isaiah 65:7, that the sins of the fathers would be visited upon them. Moreover, this explanation has not only the accents against it, but also the parallel in Jeremiah 16:18 (see Hitzig), which evidently stands in a reciprocal relation to the passage before us. Consequently ri'shōnâh must be an adverb, and the meaning evidently is, that the first thing which Jehovah had to do by virtue of His holiness was to punish the sins of the apostate Israelites; and He would so punish them that inasmuch as the sins of the children were merely the continuation of the fathers' sins, the punishment would be measured out according to the desert of both together.
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