And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and my elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE). . .—Jacob (i.e., Israel) and Judah are used to represent respectively the remnants of the two kingdoms that had been carried into captivity.
An inheritor of my mountains - The mountains of Palestine - Jerusalem and the vicinity - called the mountains of God because he claimed that land as his special residence, and the place where his holy religion was established.
my mountains—Jerusalem and the rest of Judea, peculiarly God's (compare Isa 2:2; 11:9; 14:32).
it—the Holy Land.
elect—(Isa 65:15, 22).I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob; no seed beareth a proportion to the tree or plant that it produceth, but in comparison with that is very little; yet it is enough, through the virtue which the God of nature hath put into it, to preserve and uphold the species to which it doth relate. They are but a remnant (saith God) that shall be saved; see Romans 11:5; but a small number that shall come out of the captivity of Babylon: or, (which I rather choose) they will be but a few that shall believe in my Son. yet they shall be enough for my promise to live in: this Paul argueth, Ro 11. As the plant yet lives in the seed, when the root is plucked up, the leaves dropped off, and the stalk is burnt up; so the promise of God lives in a few, when the generality of the people for their sins are cast off and destroyed. The favour of God to men, and the promise of God to good men, lived in one family of Lot, when the five cities were burned, and in the one family of Noah, when the world was drowned; the favour and promise of God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and David lived in the few that returned out of Babylon, and in those few who under the gospel received Christ, and believed in him, though the generality of them rejected the counsel of God against themselves. God further promiseth to bring out of
Judah an inheritor of his mountains, which the most and best interpreters do interpret of the Jews’ return out of the captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem, and into their own country, and particularly to worship God in his temple upon Mount Zion. My mountains: the country of Judea was a mountainous country, Ezekiel 36:1,8. The mountains were round about Jerusalem, Psalm 125:2. See also Ezekiel 38:8. God calls these mountains his mountains, because he had chosen that country before all others, and was once truly worshipped there.
Mine elect signifieth here God’s chosen ones, as in Psalm 106:23 Isaiah 48:10. The term doth not always signify such as belong to the
election of grave, but such as are dignified with some special favour. The whole nation of the Jews are called a chosen people. But possibly this promise is to be interpreted with relation to the sincerer part of that people, after that the others should be wasted by the captivity. Galatians 3:16, but others, the above ancient writer observes, understood it of the apostles; and it seems to design the first that believed in Christ, who were of the Jewish nation, the apostles and others; for though the generality of that people rejected the Messiah, there were a few that believed on him, a remnant according to the election of grace, whom the apostle calls a seed, the Lord left among them, and reserved for himself, Romans 9:29, Romans 11:4 such who received the seed of the word into their hearts, and were born again of incorruptible seed, and which remained in them; these were distinguished by the grace of God from the rest of the people, and were called and brought forth from among them:
and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains; this also is true of Christ, who not only came out of the tribe of Judah, as was foretold he should, and as it is manifest he did; hence he is called the Lion of that tribe; but he is also an heir or inheritor of the mountains of God; he is indeed heir of all things, Hebrews 1:2, as he is the Son of God, he is heir by nature of all the Father has; and, as Mediator, he is heir by appointment of all persons and things; he has all persons for his inheritance, and in his possession, and at his dispose, angels and men; and he is possessed of all things, of all blessings of goodness, natural and temporal, spiritual and eternal; and his chosen people are joint heirs with him, and who may be here meant; such as are the seed of the Lord are sons and heirs; they are heirs of God, being the sons of God; heirs of his covenant, the blessings and promises of it, which is as a mountain, firm and immovable; they are heirs of the grace of life, and of the kingdom; heirs of righteousness, life, and salvation; of eternal glory, the heavenly Canaan, signified by the mountains of the Lord; alluding to the mountains on which the temple and Jerusalem stood, or to those about Jerusalem, or in the land of Judea in general:
and mine elect shall inherit it; Christ is God's first and chief elect, and his people are chosen in him through grace to glory; and these are the seed and heirs that do inherit grace, and shall inherit glory; for this is to be understood not literally of the land of Judea, which was not long inherited by any after the times of Christ and his apostles, to which this prophecy respects; unless it can be thought to belong to the latter day, when the Jews will be converted, and return to it; but figuratively of Mount Zion, or of the heavenly country:
and my servants shall dwell there; my righteous servants, as the Targum; these are the same with the seed, the inheritor, and the elect, who become the servants of God, through the power of his grace, and serve him cheerfully, willingly, and without selfish ends and views; to this they are chosen, and for this purpose become a spiritual seed; nor is this inconsistent with their being heirs; and who shall receive the inheritance in a way of grace, and possess it for ever; they shall dwell in the church below, and enjoy all the privileges of it, and shall dwell upon their estate for ever; for their inheritance is an eternal one, reserved in the heavens.And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. When a separation is effected the true Israelites shall possess the land (ch. Isaiah 57:13, Isaiah 60:21).
a seed] Cf. ch. Isaiah 6:13, Isaiah 53:10.
my mountains] the mountain land of Palestine, an Isaianic phrase (ch. Isaiah 14:25). shall inherit it] i.e. the land.
shall dwell there] Dillmann infers from the adv. “there” that neither the prophet nor his hearers lived in Palestine; but the argument cannot be sustained. “There” may be said of a place just mentioned, irrespective of the speaker’s relation to it. Thus in ch. Isaiah 37:33 Isaiah says that the king of Assyria “shall not shoot an arrow there,” referring to Jerusalem (“this city”) where he was living.Verse 9. - A seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah. Scarcely, "the people of the two captivities" (Delitzsch), though no doubt many Israelites of the ten tribes did return with Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 9:3; Ezra 2:2, 70; Ezra 3:1; Ezra 6:17; Ezra 8:35, etc.). Rather, a mere pleonasm, as in Isaiah 9:8; Isaiah 10:21, 22; Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 40:27; Isaiah 41:8, etc. (see the comment on Isaiah 40:27). An inheritor of my mountains. The whole of Palestine is little more than a cluster of mountains. The cluster may be divided into three groups:
(1) The mountains of Galilee, extending from Hermon to Tabor, separated from the next group by the plain of Esdraelon;
(2) the mountains of Samaria and Judaea, extending from Carmel and Gilbea to the plateau of Mature above Hebron, which is 3600 feet above the sea;
(3) the mountains of the trans-Jordanic region, including those of Bashan, Gilead, Moab, and Edom, separated from the two other groups by the Jordan valley. The highest elevation attained is that of Hermon (9400 feet); other minor heights are Jebel Jurmuk, in Galilee, 4000 feet; Safed, also in Galilee, 2775 feet; Ebal and Gerizim, in Samaria, 2700 feet; Sinjil, 2685; Neby Samwill, 2650; and the Mount of Olives, 2724 feet. The plateau of Mature reaches a height of 3600 feet. The only Palestinian plains are those of Esdraelon, Sharon, and the Ghor, or Jordan valley. Thus the land may well be spoken of as "my mountains." Mine elect (comp. ch. 43:20; 45:4). The same expression is used of Israel in 1 Chronicles 16:13; Psalm 89:3; Psalm 105:6, 43; Psalm 106:5. God "chose" Israel out of all the nations of the earth to be his "peculiar people." Isaiah 65:5 is retrospective, summing up the subject as described in Isaiah 65:3-5, and what follows in Isaiah 65:5 contains the predicate. The heathenish practices of the exiles are here depicted, and in Isaiah 65:7 they are expressly distinguished from those of their fathers. Hence there is something so peculiar in the description, that we look in vain for parallels among those connected with the idolatry of the Israelites before the time of the captivity. There is only one point of resemblance, viz., the allusion to gardens as places of worship, which only occurs in the book of Isaiah, and in which our passage, together with Isaiah 57:5 and Isaiah 66:17, strikingly coincides with Isaiah 1:29. "Upon my face" (‛al-pânai) is equivalent to "freely and openly, without being ashamed of me, or fearing me;" cf., Job 1:11; Job 6:28; Job 21:31. "Burning incense upon the bricks" carries us to Babylonia, the true home of the cocti lateres (laterculi). The thorah only mentions lebhēnı̄m in connection with Babylonian and Egyptian buildings. The only altars that it allows are altars of earth thrown up, or of unhewn stones and wooden beams with a brazen covering. "They who sit in the graves," according to Vitringa, are they who sacrifice to the dead. He refers to the Greek and Roman inferiae and februationes, or expiations for the dead, as probably originating in the East. Sacrifices for the dead were offered, in fact, not only in India and Persia, but also in Hither Asia among the Ssabians, and therefore probably in ancient Mesopotamia and Babylonia. But were they offered in the graves themselves, as we must assume from בּקּברים (not על־קברים)? Nothing at all is known of this, and Bttcher (de inferis, 234) is correct in rendering it "among (inter) the graves," and supposing the object to be to hold intercourse there with the dead and with demons. The next point, viz., passing the night in closed places (i.e., places not accessible to every one: netsūrı̄m, custodita equals clausa, like ne‛ı̄mı̄m, amaena), may refer to the mysteries celebrated in natural caves and artificial crypts (on the mysteries of the Ssabians, see Chwolsohn, Die Ssabier u. der Ssabismus, ii. 332ff.). But the lxx and Syriac render it ἐν τοῖς σπηλαίοις κοιμῶνται δι ̓ἐνύπνια, evidently understanding it to refer to the so-called incubare, ἐγκοιμᾶσθαι; and so Jerome explains it. "In the temples of idols," he says, "where they were accustomed to lie upon the skins of the victims stretched upon the ground, to gather future events from their dreams." The expression ubhannetsūrı̄m points not so much to open temples, as to inaccessible caves or subterraneous places. G. Rawlinson (Monarchies, ii. 269) mentions the discovery of "clay idols in holes below the pavement of palaces." From the next charge, "who eat there the flesh of the swine," we may infer that the Babylonians offered swine in sacrifice, if not as a common thing, yet like the Egyptians and other heathen, and ate their flesh ("the flesh taken from the sacrifice," 2 Macc. 6:21); whereas among the later Ssabians (Harranians) the swine was not regarded as either edible or fit for sacrifice.
On the synecdochical character of the sentence כּליהם פּגּלים וּפרק, see at Isaiah 5:12, cf., Jeremiah 24:2. Knobel's explanation, "pieces" (but it is not וּפרקי) "of abominations are their vessels, i.e., those of their ἱεροσκοπία," is a needless innovation. פּגּוּל signifies a stench, putrefaction (Ezekiel 4:14, besar piggūl), then in a concrete sense anything corrupt or inedible, a thing to be abhorred according to the laws of food or the law generally (syn. פּסּוּל, פּצוּל); and when connected with פרק (chethib), which bears the same relation to מרק as crumbs or pieces (from פּרק, to crumble) to broth (from מתק, to rub off or scald off), it means a decoction, or broth made either of such kinds of flesh or such parts of the body as were forbidden by the law. The context also points to such heathen sacrifices and sacrificial meals as were altogether at variance with the Mosaic law. For the five following words proceed from the mouths of persons who fancy that they have derived a high degree of sanctity either from the mysteries, or from their participation in rites of peculiar sacredness, so that to every one who abstains from such rites, or does not enter so deeply into them as they do themselves, they call out their "odi profanum vulgus et arceo." אליך קרב, keep near to thyself, i.e., stay where you are, like the Arabic idhab ileika, go away to thyself, for take thyself off. על־תּגּשׁ־בּי (according to some MSS with mercha tifchah), do not push against me (equivalent to גּשׁ־הלאה or גּשׁה־לך, get away, make room; Genesis 19:9; Isaiah 49:20), for qedashtikhâ, I am holy to thee, i.e., unapproachable. The verbal suffix is used for the dative, as in Isaiah 44:21 (Ges. 121, 4), for it never occurred to any of the Jewish expositors (all of whom give sanctus prae te as a gloss) that the kal qâdash was used in a transitive sense, like châzaq in Jeremiah 20:7, as Luther, Calvin, and even Hitzig suppose. Nor is the exclamation the well-meant warning against the communication of a burdensome qedusshâh, which had to be removed by washing before a man could proceed to the duties of every-day life (such, for example, as the qedusshâh of the man who had touched the flesh of a sin-offering, or bee sprinkled with the blood of a sin-offering; Leviticus 6:20, cf., Ezekiel 44:19; Ezekiel 46:20). It is rather a proud demand to respect the sacro-sanctus, and not to draw down the chastisement of the gods by the want of reverential awe. After this elaborate picture, the men who are so degenerate receive their fitting predicate. They are fuel for the wrath of God, which manifests itself, as it were, in smoking breath. This does not now need for the first time to seize upon them; but they are already in the midst of the fire of wrath, and are burning there in inextinguishable flame.
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