Isaiah 66:19
And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
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(19) I will set a sign among them . . .—The “sign” may be one of supernatural terror in the work of judgment, or, as the context makes more probable, of supernatural deliverance. The thought of a “remnant” to be saved is still characteristically dominant, and that “remnant” is to act as heralds of Jehovah to the far-distant nations who had not been sharers in any open antagonism to Israel, and who were, therefore, not involved in the great judgment. Of these the prophet names Tarshish, either definitely for Spain, or vaguely for the far west.

Pul is not found elsewhere as the name of a nation, and stands probably for “Phut,” as in the LXX., found in common with “Lud” in Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5, and standing for an African people (Phint, or Phet) on the east coast of Northern Africa.

Lud, joined with “Pul” here, in Ezekiel 27:10 with Phut, and with Ethiopia and Libya in Ezekiel 37:5, stands, in the judgment of most scholars, not for the Lydians of Asia Minor, but for an African nation, the Ludim of Genesis 10:13 and Jeremiah 46:9, where they are named, as here, as famous for their skill as archers. On the other hand, Mr. Sayce (Cheyne, 2:287) identifies “Pul” with the Apuli of Italy and “Lud,” with the Lydian soldiers, by whose help Psammitichus made himself independent of Assyria.

Tubal (comp. Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 38:2-3; Ezekiel 39:1) points to the shores of the Black Sea and tribes of Scythian extraction.

Javan (Ionia), Genesis 10:2, is here used widely for any Greek settlements, and points probably to those on the Black Sea, which, together with Tubal and Meshech, carried on an active slave-trade with Tyre (Ezekiel 27:3). It completes the list of nations named as representing the far-off lands that had not before heard of the God of Israel, but were now to know Him through the preaching of the remnant.

66:19,20, set forth the abundance of means for conversion of sinners. These expressions are figurative, and express the plentiful and gracious helps for bringing God's elect home to Christ. All shall be welcome; and nothing shall be wanting for their assistance and encouragement. A gospel ministry shall be set up in the church; they would have solemn worship before the Lord. In the last verse the nature of the punishment of sinners in the world to come is represented. Then shall the righteous and wicked be separated. Our Saviour applies this to the everlasting misery and torment of impenitent sinners in the future state. To the honour of that free grace which thus distinguishes them, let the redeemed of the Lord, with humility, and not without holy trembling, sing triumphant songs. With this affecting representation of the opposite states of the righteous and wicked, characters which include the whole human race, Isaiah concludes his prophecies. May God grant, for Christ's sake, that our portion may be with those who fear and love his name, who cleave to his truths, and persevere in every good work, looking to receive from the Lord Jesus Christ the gracious invitation, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.And I will set a sign among them - (See the notes at Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 18:3). On the meaning of the word 'sign' (אות 'ôth), see the notes at Isaiah 7:11. What is its meaning here is to be determined by the connection. That would seem to me to require some such interpretation as this: That when God should come Isaiah 66:17-18 to take vengeance on his foes, and to manifest his glory, he would establish some mark or memorial; would erect some standard, or give some signal, by which his true friends would escape, and that he would send them to distant nations to proclaim his truth and gather together those who had not seen his glory. What that sign should be, he does not here say. Whether a standard, a secret communication, or some intimation beforehand, by which they should know the approaching danger and make their escape, is not declared. It is by no means easy to determine with certainty on this passage; and it certainly becomes no one to speak dogmatically or very confidently.

But it seems to me that the whole passage may have been intended, by the Holy Spirit, to refer to the propagation of the gospel by the apostles. The heavy judgments referred to may have been the impending calamities over Jerusalem. The glory of God referred to, may have been the signal manifestation of his perfections at that period in the approaching destruction of the city, and in the wonders that attended the coming of the Messiah. The gathering of the nations Isaiah 66:18 may possibly refer to the collecting together of numerous people from all parts of the earth about that time; that is, either the assembled people at the time of the Saviour's death Acts 2:8, Acts 2:11, or the gathering of the armies of the Romans - a commingled multitude from all nations - to inflict punishment on the Jewish nation, and to behold the manifestation of the divine justice in the destruction of the guilty Jewish capital.

The 'sign' here referred to, may denote the intimations which the Redeemer gave to his disciples to discern these approaching calamities, and to secure their safety by flight when they should be about to appear Matthew 24:15-18. By these warnings and previous intimations they were to be preserved. The sign was 'among them,' that is, in the very midst of the nation; and the object of the intimation was, to secure their safety, and the speedy propagation of the true religion among all nations. Deeply sensible that there is great danger of erring here, and that the above view may be viewed as mere conjecture, I cannot, however, help regarding it as the true exposition. If there is error in it, it may be pardoned, for it will probably be felt by most readers of these notes that there has not been a too frequent reference in the interpretation proposed to the times of the Christian dispensation.

And I will send those that escape of them - According to the interpretation suggested above, this refers to the portion of the Jewish nation that should escape from the tokens of the divine displeasure; that is, to the apostles and the early disciples of the Redeemer. The great mass of the nation would be abandoned and devoted to destruction. But a remnant would be saved (compare Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 11:11, Isaiah 11:16). Of that remnant, God would send a portion to make his name known to those who had not heard it, and they would lead distant nations to the knowledge of his truth. The whole passage is so accurately descriptive of what occurred in the times when the gospel was first preached to the pagan world, that there can be little danger of error in referring it to those times. Compare Vitringa on the passage for a more full view of the reasons of this interpretation. The names of the places which follow are designed to specify the principal places where the message would be sent, and stand here as representatives of the whole pagan world.

To Tarshish - (See the notes at Isaiah 2:16; Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 60:19). Tarshish was one of the most distant seaports known to the Hebrews; and whether it be regarded as situated in Spain, or in the East Indies, or south of Abyssinia (see the notes above) it equally denotes a distant place, and the passage means that the message would be borne to the most remote regions.

Pul - This is supposed to denote some region in Africa. Jerome renders it, 'Africa.' The Septuagint, Φοὺδ Foud - 'Phud.' Bochart, Phaleg. iv. 26, supposes that it means Philae, a large island in the Nile, between Egypt and Ethiopia; called by the Egyptians Pilak, i e., the border, or far country (see Champollion, l'Egypte, i. 158). There are still on that island remains of some very noble and extensive temples built by the ancient Egyptians.

And Lud - Jerome renders this, 'Lydia.' The Septuagint 'Lud.' There was a Lydia in Asia Minor - the kingdom of the celebrated Croesus; but it is generally supposed that this place was in Africa. Ludim was a son of Mizraim Genesis 10:13, and the name Ludim, or Lybians, referring to a people, several times occurs in the Bible Jeremiah 46:9; Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5. These African Lybians are commonly mentioned in connection with Pul, Ethiopia, and Phut. Bochart supposes that Abyssinia is intended, but it is by no means certain that this is the place referred to. Josephus affirms that the descendants of Ludim are long since extinct, having been destroyed in the Ethiopian wars. It is clear that some part of Egypt is intended, says Calmer, but it is not easy to show exactly where they dwelt.

That draw the bow - (קשׁת משׁכי moshekēy qeshet). The Septuagint here renders the Hebrew phrase simply by Μοσὸχ Mosoch,' understanding it of a place. Lowth supposes that the Hebrew phrase is a corruption of the word Moschi, the name of a nation situated between the Euxine and the Caspian seas. But there is no authority for supposing, as he does, that the word 'bow' has been interpolated. The Chaldee renders it, 'Drawing and smiting with the bow.' The idea is, that the nations here referred to were distinguished for the use of thw bow. The bow was in common use in wars; and it is by no means improbable that at that time they had acquired special fame in the use of this weapon.

To Tubal - Tubal was the fifth son of Japhet, and is here joined with Javan because they were among the settlers of Europe. The names before mentioned together relate to Africa, and the sense there is, that the message should be sent to Africa; here the idea is, that it should be sent to Europe. Tubal is commonly united with Meshech, and it is supposed that they populated countries bordering on each other. Bochart labors to prove that by Meshech and Tubal are intended the Muscovites and the Tibarenians. The Tibarenians of the Greeks were the people inhabiting the country south of the Caucasus, between the Black Sea and the Araxes. Josephus says, that 'Tubal obtained the Thobelians (Θωβήλους Thōbēlous) who are reckoned among the Iberians.' Jerome renders it, 'Italy.' It is not possible to determine with certainty the country that is referred to, though some part of Europe is doubtless intended.

And Javan - Jerome renders this, 'Greece.' So the Septuagint, Εἰς τήν Ἑλλάδα Eis tēn Hellada - 'To Greece.' Javan was the fourth son of Japhet, and was the father of the Ionians and the Greeks Genesis 10:2-4. The word 'Ionia,' Greek Ἰων Iōn, Ἰωνία Iōnia, is evidently derived from the word rendered here 'Javan' (יון yâvân), and in the Scriptures the word comprehends all the countries inhabited by the descendants of Javan, as well in Greece as in Asia Minor. Ionia properly was the beautiful province on the western part of Asia Minor - a country much celebrated in the Greek classics for its fertility and the salubrity of its climate - but the word used here includes all of Greece. Thus Daniel Dan 11:2, speaking of Xerxes, says, 'He shall stir up all against the realm of Javan.' Alexander the Great is descried by the same prophet as 'king of Javan' Daniel 8:21; Daniel 10:20. The Hindus call the Greeks Yavanas - the ancient Hebrew appellation. It is needless to say, on the supposition that this refers to the propagation of the gospel by the apostles, that it was fulfilled. They went to Greece and to Asia Minor in the very commencement of their labors, and seme of the earliest and most flourishing churches were founded in the lands that were settled by the descendants of Javan.

To the isles afar off - (See the notes at Isaiah 41:1).

That have not heard my fame - Hebrew, 'Who have not heard my report,' that is, who were ignorant of the true God.

Neither have seen my glory - The glory which he had manifested to the Hebrews in giving his law, and in the various exhibitions of his character and perfections among them.

19. sign—a banner on a high place, to indicate the place of meeting for the dispersed Jewish exiles, preparatory to their return to their land (Isa 5:26; 11:12; 62:10).

those that escape of them—the Gentile survivors spared by God (see on [888]Isa 66:18; Zec 14:16). Isa 2:2, 3; Mic 5:7; and Zec 14:16-19 represent it, not that the Jews go as missionaries to the Gentiles, but that the Gentiles come up to Jerusalem to learn the Lord's ways there.

Tarshish—Tartessus in Spain, in the west.

Pul—east and north of Africa: probably the same as Philœ, an island in the Nile, called by the Egyptians Pilak, that is, the border country, being between Egypt and Ethiopia [Bochart].

Lud—the Libyans of Africa (Ge 10:13), Ludim being son of Mizraim (Egypt): an Ethiopian people famous as bowmen (Jer 46:9): employed as mercenaries by Tyre and Egypt (Eze 27:10; 30:5).

Tubal—Tibarenians, in Asia Minor, south of the Caucasus, between the Black Sea and Araxes. Or, the Iberians [Josephus]. Italy [Jerome].

Javan—the Greeks; called Ionians, including all the descendants of Javan, both in Greece and in Asia Minor (Ge 10:2-4).

my glory … Gentiles—(Mal 1:11).

It is on all hands agreed that this verse is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles.

I will set a sign: by sign here some understand an ensign, as the word signifies, Psalm 74:4, which is a military sign to gather people together; by this may be understood Christ, Luke 2:34. See Isaiah 11:10. Or, as others, the ministry of the word attended with miracles (often called signs); these were set up among the Jews first, then among the Gentiles. Others (but less probably) understand by sign a mark of distinction, like that mentioned Ezekiel 9:4; so as, saith he, some shall escape and not be destroyed; and for those that shall escape, I will send them to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, Javan, to Europe, Asia, and Africa, to all the quarters of the world, (see the Latin Synopsis, and the English Annotations, large discourses of these particular places,) to all nations that had never before heard of God or his true worship.

And they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles; and they shall every where preach the gospel, and set up my gospel ordinances and institutions. This was eminently made good upon the apostles leaving the Jews, and turning to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46, and more fully after the destruction of Jerusalem, when the believers among the Jews, as well as the apostles, went about publishing the gospel to all people, which was the declaring of the Lord’s glory.

And I will set a sign among them,.... Either a miraculous sign, something wonderful, as the word is often used, Exodus 4:8, not the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, in the presence of men of all nations; or the miracles wrought in the Gentile world by the apostles, in confirmation of the Gospel; but rather the wonderful conversion of the Jews, Isaiah 66:8, or those wonders, the time of the end of which is inquired, Daniel 12:6 or else some distinguishing sign or mark is meant; such an one as was set on Cain, and on those that sighed and mourned for the sins of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 9:4, and may intend the seal or mark of Christ's Father's name, in the foreheads of his people, to distinguish and preserve them from being hurt with others, Revelation 7:3, or, best of all, a sign or ensign to gather persons together; which, though not the usual word for an ensign, is sometimes so used, as in Psalm 74:4, and so may intend Christ, who is a sign that has been spoken against, Luke 2:34 and is set up in the ministration of the Gospel, to gather souls unto him, Isaiah 10:10, and which, as it was attended with great success in the first times of the Gospel, will also in the latter day, Isaiah 2:2,

and I will send those that escape of them; meaning, not the apostles and first preachers of the word, that escaped the perverseness and frowardness of the Jewish nation, their rage and persecution, and the wrath that came upon them to the uttermost; but those that shall escape at the defeat of the Turks, and at the ruin of mystical Babylon, and at the fall of the tenth part of the city, Revelation 11:13 and who also, in a spiritual sense, will escape the pollutions of the world, through the grace of God, and knowledge of Christ; the vengeance of divine justice; the curses of the law, and wrath to come; hell and eternal damnation, by fleeing to Christ; these, some of them, will be made preachers of the Gospel; as who so fit as those to warn sinners of their danger, to show men the way of salvation, and publish the good tidings of the Gospel, and will be sent of God with a commission from him "unto the nations"; in order to gather them to Christ and his church, and behold his glory: particularly to "Tarshish", a word sometimes used for the sea; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it "the nations in the sea"; or, as the Targum, the province of the sea, the maritime provinces, those that lie nearest the sea; the Persian and Arabian seas; or Tartessus in Spain; and may be put for the whole country:

Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow; which some take to be the same with Put and Lud, or Lybia and Lydia, which go together, Jeremiah 46:9 both countries in Africa, famous for archery; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it Africa and Lydia; though Bochart, and after him Vitringa, take Pul to be the same with Philas, an island upon the Nile, above Syene, between Ethiopia and Egypt, of which Diodorus Siculus (m) and Strabo (n) make mention; or Elephantine, the same with Phil, near the other. Kimchi interprets those that draw the bow of the Turks:

to Tubal and Javan; which the same version renders Italy and Greece:

and the isles afar off; even as far as the West Indies: what places and countries are exactly and precisely meant cannot be determined; only, in general, that into various parts of the world, east, west, north, and south, even the most distant, the Gospel and Gospel ministers shall be sent:

even to those that have not heard my fame; or, "my report" (o); the Gospel, which is a good and true report of Christ; this the nations, covered with gross darkness, the Pagan ones, have not so much as heard of, but now shall, through these men being sent unto them:

neither have seen my glory; in the glass of the Gospel, that having never been set before them; and so have never seen the glory of Christ, as the only begotten of the Father; his comeliness and beauty, the fulness of grace in him, nor any of the excellencies of him, either of his person or offices:

and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles; this, those that are escaped, or the preachers sent to the nations, shall do; they shall declare publicly, plainly, and clearly, that Christ is the brightness of the divine Glory; shall declare the glory of his deity; of his rich grace and love to sinners, in suffering and dying for them; of his salvation, how great, complete, suitable, and glorious it is; with all the glorious truths of the Gospel, peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, by Christ.

(m) Bibliothec I. 1. p. 23. (n) Geograph, l. 17. p. 552, 562. (o) "meum auditum", Pagninus, Montanus; "the report of me", Gataker.

And I will set a {u} sign among them, and I will send those that {x} escape of them to the nations, to {y} Tarshish, {z} Pul, and {a} Lud, that draw the {b} bow, to {c} Tubal, and {d} Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and {e} they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

(u) I will make these that I chose, that they perish not with the rest of the infidels: by which he alludes to the marking of the posts of his people, whom he preserved, Ex 12:7.

(x) I will scatter the rest of the Jews, who escaped destruction, into various nations.

(y) That is, Cecilia.

(z) Meaning Africa.

(a) That is Lydia, or Asia minor.

(b) Signifying the Parthians.

(c) Italy.

(d) Greece.

(e) Meaning, the apostles, disciples and others who he first chose of the Jews to preach to the Gentiles.

19. I will set a sign among them] i.e. perform a miracle (ch. Isaiah 7:11) that shall convince them of Jehovah’s divinity.

I will send … them] I will send from them escaped ones, survivors (cf. Isaiah 45:20) of the judgement depicted in Isaiah 66:16. The purpose is to spread the tidings of Jehovah’s glory.

to Tarshish … Javan] All these names are taken from the book of Ezekiel; see Isaiah 27:10; Isaiah 27:12 f., Isaiah 38:1, Isaiah 39:1. So Duhm, who thinks the whole line is a gloss. Tarshish = Tartessus; see on ch. Isaiah 2:16. A name Pul occurs nowhere else, and it is doubtless here a clerical error for Put (so LXX. Φούδ). Phut and Lud are mentioned together in Jeremiah 46:9; Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5; and in Genesis 10:6; Genesis 10:13 both peoples are connected genealogically with Mizraim (Egypt). Probably therefore two African nations are denoted.

that draw the bow] The bow is mentioned as the weapon of the Lydians (Lud) in Jeremiah 46:9. The LXX. reads Μόσοχ (Meshech). This is attractive, because of the resemblance to môshěkê (drawing), and because Meshech and Tubal are nearly always associated (Genesis 10:2; Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 32:26, &c.). They are the Moschi and Tibareni of classical writers, the Muski and Tabal of the Assyrian monuments, tribes lying south and south-east of the Black Sea (Schrader, Cun. Inscr. pp. 82, 84). If the reading of the LXX. be adopted it will be necessary to find an equivalent for qésheth (bow); and Duhm suggests Rosh from Ezekiel 38:1; Ezekiel 39:1 (see Davidson’s Note).

Javan (= Ἰάϝων) the Ionians, is the Hebrew name for the Greek race.

the isles (coastlands, ch. Isaiah 40:15) afar off, that have not heard my fame &c.] This distinction between the nearer nations who have experienced something of the greatness of Jehovah, through contact with His people Israel, and the remoter nations who have not heard His name, originates with the prophet Ezekiel. It underlies the conception of the invasion of Gog’s host and its destruction as described in ch. 38 f. Gog is the leader and representative of the outlying nations of the earth, and the demonstration of Jehovah’s power against them falls at a time subsequent to the peaceful settlement of Israel in its own land, and long after judgement has been executed on the neighbouring states which had been in contact with Israel throughout its history (see Davidson, Camb. Bible, Ezekiel, pp. 273 ff.). But while the distinction is common to the two prophets, the development of the idea is strikingly different. In Ezekiel Gog’s ignorance of Jehovah tempts him to an act of sacrilege on the land of Israel, which is avenged by the annihilation of him and his host. The spirit of this passage is more evangelical. Jehovah sends missionaries from the nearer nations to those who have not heard His fame nor seen His glory; and the report carries conviction to their minds, so that they restore the Israelites exiled amongst them, as an offering to the Lord.

Verses 19-24. - THE FINAL CONDITION OF THE CHURCH OF THE REDEEMED ON EARTH. When the enemies of God have been consumed, there shall go out from the Church missionaries, who shall convert the distant Gentiles, and unite them, and the Jews who dwell among them, into a single body of worshippers, which shall inhabit the new Jerusalem on equal terms, and join continually in a common worship of Jehovah. The awful destruction of the wicked, and their eternal sufferings, shall at the same time be held in remembrance. Verse 19. - I will set a sign among them. Dr. Kay suggests that the "sign" is the resurrection of our Lord, or possibly a miraculous manifestation of Christ which is to precede his coming in judgment. Mr. Cheyne, less venturesome, finds in the prophet's words merely a suggestion of "some mysterious event, which he leaves his awestruck readers to imagine." Those that escape of them. Not, surely, those of God's enemies that survive the slaughter, but "the remnant" of Jews, that are not among God's enemies, and so "escape." These shall be sent (as missionaries) to the distant nations; not literally to those enumerated, but to such as at the end of the world occupy a position which the nations mentioned occupied on Isaiah's horizon. Of these nations, Tarshish (Tartessus) was at the furthest limit westward, Pul and Lud, or rather Phut and Lud, at the furthest limit southward, Tubal and Javan at the furthest limit northward, Pul, which occurs nowhere else in Scripture as a geographic name, is almost certainly a wrong reading for Phut, which occurs in Genesis 10:6, and also three times (Jeremiah 46:9; Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5) in connection with Lud. Phut designates an African nation, probably the Nubians, whom the Egyptians called Pet, and who were noted as bowmen. Wetstein's conjecture of "Pun" (Punici, 'Phoenicians '), commended by Mr. Cheyne, is quite unsupported and highly improbable. Lud. It is tempting to connect "Lud" with the Lydians, who were certainly known as "Lndi" to the Assyrians of the time of Asshur-bani-pal (B.C. 669-626). But the other scriptural notices of "Lud" (Jeremiah 46:9; Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5), which uniformly connect it with Phut, point rather to an African people. See also Genesis 10:13, where the Ludim are a subdivision of the Egyptians. That draw the bow (comp. Jeremiah 46:9). To Tubal, and Javan. Tubal stands, no doubt, for the Tibareni, a people of the Asiatic highland west of the Upper Euphrates, called Tuplai or Tabali by the Assyrians. They would occupy Isaiah's northern and north-western horizon, in company with Javan, or the Ionians (Ἰάβονες), who were among the chief people of Asia Minor. Javan, Tubal, and Mesheeh (Μόσχοι, Muskai) are joined in Genesis 10:2 and Ezekiel 27:13. The isles afar off; i.e. the shores and islands of the Mediterranean. Isaiah 66:19But a remnant escapes; and this remnant is employed by Jehovah to promote the conversion of the Gentile world and the restoration of Israel. "And I set a sign upon them, and send away those that have escaped from them to the Gentiles to Tarshiish, Phl, and Ld, to the stretchers of the bow, Tbal and Javan - the distant islands that have not heard my fame and have not seen my glory, and they will proclaim my glory among the Gentiles. And they will bring your brethren out of all heathen nations, a sacrifice for Jehovah, upon horses and upon chariots, and upon litters and upon mules and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain, to Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring the meat-offering in a clear vessel to the house of Jehovah." The majority of commentators understand vesamtı̄ bâhem 'ōth (and I set a sign upon them) as signifying, according to Exodus 10:2, that Jehovah will perform such a miraculous sign upon the assembled nations as He formerly performed upon Egypt (Hofmann), and one which will outweigh the ten Egyptian 'ōthōth and complete the destruction commenced by them. Hitzig supposes the 'ōth to refer directly to the horrible wonder connected with the battle, in which Jehovah fights against them with fire and sword (compare the parallels so far as the substance is concerned in Joel 3:14-16, Zephaniah 3:8, Ezekiel 38:18., Zechariah 14:12.). But since, according to the foregoing threat, the expression "they shall see my glory" signifies that they will be brought to experience the judicial revelation of the glory of Jehovah, if vesamtı̄ bâhem 'ōth (and I set a sign upon them) were to be understood in this judicial sense, it would be more appropriate for it to precede than to follow. Moreover, this vesamtı̄ bâhem 'ōth would be a very colourless description of what takes place in connection with the assembled army of nations. It is like a frame without a picture; and consequently Ewald and Umbreit are right in maintaining that what follows directly after is to be taken as the picture for this framework. The 'ōth (or sign) consists in the unexpected and, with this universal slaughter, the surprising fact, that a remnant is still spared, and survives this judicial revelation of glory. This marvellous rescue of individuals out of the mass is made subservient in the midst of judgment to the divine plan of salvation. those who have escaped are to bring to the far distant heathen world the tidings of Jehovah, the God who has been manifested in judgment and grace, tidings founded upon their own experience. It is evident from this, that notwithstanding the expression "all nations and tongues," the nations that crowd together against Jerusalem and are overthrown in the attempt, are not to be understood as embracing all nations without exception, since the prophet is able to mention the names of many nations which were beyond the circle of these great events, and had been hitherto quite unaffected by the positive historical revelation, which was concentrated in Israel. By Tarshish Knobel understand the nation of the Tyrsenes, Tuscans, or Etruscans; but there is far greater propriety in looking for Tarshish, as the opposite point to 'Ophir, in the extreme west, where the name of the Spanish colony Tartessus resembles it in sound. In the middle ages Tunis was combined with this. Instead of ולוּד פּוּל we should probably read with the lxx ולוּד פּוּט, as in Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5. Stier decides in favour of this, whilst Hitzig and Ewald regard פול as another form of פוט. The epithet קשׁת משׁכי (drawers of the bow) is admirably adapted to the inhabitants of Pūt, since this people of the early Egyptian Phet (Phaiat) is represented ideographically upon the monuments by nine bows. According to Josephus, Ant. i. 6, 2, a river of Mauritania was called Phout, and the adjoining country Phoute; and this is confirmed by other testimonies. As Lud is by no means to be understood as referring to the Lydians of Asia Minor here, if only because they could not well be included among the nations of the farthest historico-geographical horizon in a book which traces prophetically the victorious career of Cyrus, but signifies rather the undoubtedly African tribe, the לוד which Ezekiel mentions in Isaiah 30:5 among the nations under Egyptian rule, and in Isaiah 27:10 among the auxiliaries of the Tyrians, and which Jeremiah notices in Jeremiah 46:9 along with Put as armed with bows; Put and Lud form a fitting pair in this relation also, whereas Pul is never met with again. The Targum renders it by פּוּלאי, i.e., (according to Bochart) inhabitants of Φιλαί, a Nile island of Upper Egypt, which Strabo (xvii. 1, 49) calls "a common abode of Ethiopians and Egyptians" (see Parthey's work, De Philis insula); and this is at any rate better than Knobel's supposition, that either Apulia (which was certainly called Pul by the Jews of the middle ages) or Lower Italy is intended here. Tubal stands for the Tibarenes on the south-east coast of the Black Sea, the neighbours of the Moschi (משׁך), with whom they are frequently associated by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 38:2-3; Ezekiel 39:1); according to Josephus (Ant. i. 6, 1), the (Caucasian) Iberians. Javan is a name given to the Greeks, from the aboriginal tribe of the Bawones. The eye is now directed towards the west: the "isles afar off" are the islands standing out of the great western sea (the Mediterranean), and the coastlands that project into it. To all these nations, which have hitherto known nothing of the God of revelation, either through the hearing of the word or through their own experience, Jehovah sends those who have escaped; and they make known His glory there, that glory the judicial manifestation of which they have just seen for themselves.

The prophet is speaking here of the ultimate completion of the conversion of the Gentiles; for elsewhere this appeared to him as the work of the Servant of Jehovah, for which Cyrus the oppressor of the nations prepared the soil. His standpoint here resembles that of the apostle in Romans 11:25, who describes the conversion of the heathen world and the rescue of all Israel as facts belonging to the future; although at the time when he wrote this, the evangelization of the heathen foretold by our prophet in Isaiah 42:1. was already progressing most rapidly. A direct judicial act of God Himself will ultimately determine the entrance of the Pleroma of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God, and this entrance of the fulness of the Gentiles will then lead to the recovery of the diaspora of Israel, since the heathen, when won by the testimony borne to Jehovah by those who have been saved, "bring your brethren out of all nations." On the means employed to carry this into effect, including kirkârōth, a species of camels (female camels), which derives its name from its rapid swaying motion, see the Lexicons.

(Note: The lxx render it σκιαδίων, i.e., probably palanquins. Jerome observes on this, quae nos dormitoria interpretari possumus vel basternas. (On this word, with which the name of the Bastarnians as ̔Αμαξόβιοι is connected, see Hahnel's Bedeutung der Bastarner fr das german. Alterthum, 1865, p. 34.))

The words are addressed, as in Isaiah 66:5, to the exiles of Babylonia. The prophet presupposes that his countrymen are dispersed among all nations to the farthest extremity of the geographical horizon. In fact, the commerce of the Israelites, which had extended as far as India and Spain ever since the time of Solomon, the sale of Jewish prisoners as slaves to Phoenicians, Edomites, and Greeks in the time of king Joram (Obadiah 1:20; Joel 3:6; Amos 1:6), the Assyrian captivities, the free emigrations - for example, of those who stayed behind in the land after the destruction of Jerusalem and then went down to Egypt - had already scattered the Israelites over the whole of the known world (see at Isaiah 49:12). Umbreit is of opinion that the prophet calls all the nations who had turned to Jehovah "brethren of Israel," and represents them as marching in the most motley grouping to the holy city. In that case those who were brought upon horses, chariots, etc., would be proselytes; but who would bring them? This explanation is opposed not only to numerous parallels in Isaiah, such as Isaiah 60:4, but also to the abridgment of the passage in Zephaniah 3:10 : "From the other side of the rivers of Ethiopia (taken from Isaiah 18:1-7) will they offer my worshippers, the daughters of my dispersed ones, to me for a holy offering." It is the diaspora of Israel to which the significant name "my worshippers, the daughters of my dispersed ones," is there applied. The figure hinted at in minchâtı̄ (my holy offering) is given more elaborately here in the book of Isaiah, viz., "as the children of Israel are accustomed (fut. as in Isaiah 6:2) to offer the meat-offering" (i.e., that which was to be placed upon the altar as such, viz., wheaten flour, incense, oil, the grains of the first-fruits of wheat, etc.) "in a pure vessel to the house of Jehovah," not in the house of Jehovah, for the point of comparison is not the presentation in the temple, but the bringing to the temple. The minchah is the diaspora of Israel, and the heathen who have become vessels of honour correspond to the clean vessels.

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