Isaiah 66:5
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
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(5) Hear the word of the Lord . . .—The prophet turns from the hypocrites to the persecuted remnant. The self-righteous, self-exalting Pharisee (comp. Isaiah 65:5) repudiates, and, as it were, excommunicates, the true worshippers, and taunts them with their devotion to a God who does not help them. In words which find an echo in Matthew 27:42, they said, “Let Jehovah glorify Himself, that we may look on your joy.” The prophet adds the doom that shall fall upon the mockers: “They, and not those whom they deride, shall be put to shame.”

Isaiah 66:5. Hear, &c. — The prophet here, forbearing to proceed in denouncing judgments against the hypocrites and formalists among the Jews, now turns his discourse to such as feared God, whose religion is described by their trembling at his word, as in Isaiah 66:2. Such apostrophes, or diversions of his speech to other persons, we had Isaiah 50:10; Isaiah 51:1; Isaiah 51:7. The same addresses, it must be observed, belong not to saints and presumptuous sinners. It is highly probable, as Vitringa supposes, that the apostles and other disciples and followers of Christ, who embraced the gospel, who were the seed of the first church, and were to constitute that spiritual temple which God had determined to build and inhabit upon the abolition of the material temple, are here addressed and comforted by God, on account of the contempt, hatred, and excommunication of them by their brethren among the Jews and Pharisees. See John 16:2. Your brethren — By nation, or by an external profession of religion; though false brethren, that cast you out — That cast you out of their synagogues, cast you out of their city, and some of you out of the world; for my name’s sake — For your adherence to my law; said, Let the Lord be glorified — Thinking they did God good service, John 16:2. Or, we may understand it as spoken in defiance of God; as if he had said, You say God will be glorified in your deliverance. Let him be glorified then. Let him make speed and hasten his work, Isaiah 5:19. Thus they derided Christ, Let him deliver him since he delighted in him. But he shall appear to your joy, &c. — There will come a time, which is at no great distance, when God will come forth, and let them know his judgment concerning their unjust and violent proceedings. Then you shall have joy, and they shall be ashamed, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8. This was fulfilled when, upon the signal given of Jerusalem’s approaching destruction, the hearts of the Jews failed them for fear: but the disciples of Christ, whom they hated and persecuted, lifted up their heads with joy, knowing that their redemption drew nigh, Luke 21:26.

66:5-14 The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians is increased by every convert brought to Christ. The gospel brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a river of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward man; the joy of the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's mercy and justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.Hear the word of the Lord - This is an address to the pious and persecuted portion of the nation. It is designed for their consolation, and contains the assurance that Yahweh would appear in their behalf, and that they should be under his protecting care though they were cast out by their brethren. To whom this refers has been a question with expositors, and it is perhaps not possible to determine with certainty. Rosenmuller supposes that it refers to the pious whom the 'Jews and Benjaminites repelled from the worship of the temple.' Grotius supposes that it refers to those 'who favored Onias;' that is, in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. Vitringa supposes that the address is to the apostles, disciples, and followers of the Lord Jesus; and that it refers to the persecution which would be excited against them by the Jewish people. This seems to me to be the most probable opinion:

1. Because the whole structure of the chapter (see the analysis) seems to refer to the period when the Messiah should appear.

2. Because the state of things described in this verse exactly accords with what occurred on the introduction of Christianity. They who embraced the Messiah were excommunicated and persecuted; and they who did it believed, or professed to believe, that they were doing it for the glory of God.

3. The promise that Yahweh would appear for their joy, and for the confusion of their foes, is one that had a clear fulfillment in his interposition in behalf of the persecuted church.

Your brethren that hated you - No hatred of others was ever more bitter than was that evinced by the Jews for those of their nation who embraced Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. If this refers to his time, then the language is plain. But to whatever time it refers, it describes a state of things where the pious part of the nation was persecuted and opposed by those who were their kinsmen according to the flesh.

That cast you out - The word used here is one that is commonly employed to denote excommunication or exclusion from the privileges connected with the public worship of God. It is language which will accurately describe the treatment which the apostles and the early diciples of the Redeemer received at the hand of the Jewish people (see John 16:2, and the Acts of the Apostles generally).

For my name's sake - This language closely resembles that which the Saviour used respecting his own disciples and the persecutions to which they would be exposed: 'But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me' (John 15:21; compare Matthew 10:22; Matthew 24:9). I have no doubt that this refers to that period, and to those scenes.

Said, Let the Lord be glorified - That is, they profess to do it to honor God; or because they suppose that he requires it. Or it means, that even while they were engaged in this cruel persecution, and these acts of excommunicating their brethren, they professed to be serving God, and manifested great zeal in his cause. This has commonly been the case with persecutors. The most malignant and cruel persecutions of the friends of God have been originated under the pretext of great zeal in his service, and with a professed desire to honor his name. So it was with the Jews when they crucified the Lord Jesus. So it is expressly said it would be when his disciples would be excommunicated and put to death John 16:2. So it was in fact in the persecutions excited by the Jews against the apostles and early Christians (see Acts 6:13-14; Acts 21:28-31). So it was in all the persecutions of the Waldenses by the Papists; in all the horrors of the Inquisition; in all the crimes of the Duke of Alva. So it was in the bloody reign of Mary; and so it has ever been in all ages and in all countries where Christians have been persecuted. The people of God have suffered most from those who have been conscientious persecutors; and the most malignant foes of the church have been found in the church, persecuting true Christians under great pretence of zeal for the purity of religion. It is no evidence of piety that a man is full of conscientious zeal against those whom he chooses to regard as heretics. And it should always be regarded as proof of a bad heart, and a bad cause, when a man endeavors to inflict pain and disgrace on others, on account of their religious opinions, under pretence of great regard for the honor of God.

But he shall appear to your joy - The sense is, that God would manifest himself to his people as their vindicator, and would ultimately rescue them from their persecuting foes. If this is applied to Christians, it means that the cause in which they were engaged would triumph. This has been the case in all persecutions. The effect has always been the permanent triumph and estalishment of the cause that was persecuted.

And they shall be ashamed - How true this has been of the Jews that persecuted the early Christians! How entirely were they confounded and overwhelmed! God established permanently the persecuted; he scattered the persecutors to the ends of the earth!

5. tremble at … word—the same persons as in Isa 66:2, the believing few among the Jews.

cast you out for my name's sake—excommunicate, as if too polluted to worship with them (Isa 65:5). So in Christ's first sojourn on earth (Mt 10:22; Joh 9:22, 34; 16:2; 15:21). So it shall be again in the last times, when the believing shall be few (Lu 18:8).

Let the Lord be glorified—the mocking challenge of the persecutors, as if their violence towards you was from zeal for God. "Let the Lord show Himself glorious," namely, by manifesting Himself in your behalf; as the parallelism to, "He shall appear to your joy," requires (as in Isa 5:19; compare Isa 28:15; 57:4). So again Christ on the cross (Mt 27:42, 43).

appear to your joy—giving you "joy" instead of your "rebuke" (Isa 25:8, 9).

The prophet turneth his discourse from denouncing judgment against the idolaters and formalists amongst the Jews to such as feared God, whose religion is described by a

trembling at his word, as Isaiah 66:2; such a turning of the prophet’s discourse was Isaiah 1:10 51:1,7. The same words belong not to saints and presumptuous sinners. Your brethren, by nation, or by external profession in religion, though false brethren, Galatians 2:4. Thus Paul calls all the rejected Jews

brethren, Romans 9:3. That cast you out; that either shut you out of their intimate society, or (which is more probable) excommunicate and cast you out of their synagogues, or cast you out of their city, and some of you out of the world, John 9:22,35 16:2.

For my name’s sake, i.e. for my sake, for your owning me and adherence to my law. Said, Let the Lord be glorified; either mocking you, as the Jews did Christ, when hanging union the cross, Matthew 27:43 Luke 23:35; thus they mocked at David, Psalm 42:3. Or,

Let the Lord be glorified, thinking they did God good service, John 16:2.

But he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed; there will come a day when God shall appear and let them know his judgment concerning their violence and rage, then you shall have joy, and they shall be ashamed, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word,.... This is said to the comfort of the believing Jews, who are thus described; See Gill on Isaiah 66:2,

your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake; as the unbelieving Jews, the Pharisees; and so Jarchi interprets it of the children of the Pharisee, that say, Depart, ye defiled; who were brethren to them that believed in Christ, by blood, by birth, by country, yet hated them, though without cause; as they did Christ, in whom they believed; and cast them out of their affections, and company, and conversation; out of their own houses, and out of the synagogues; excommunicated them from fellowship with them, and that for the sake of their believing in Christ, and professing his name; having made a law, that whoever confessed him should be put out of the synagogue, or excommunicated; and the word here used signifies that excommunication among the Jews called "niddui"; see John 15:19 these said,

let the Lord be glorified; that is, they pretended, by all this hatred of and aversion to those of their brethren that believed in Christ, and by their persecution of them, that all their desire and design were the glory of God, imagining that, in so doing, they did God good service; see John 16:2. R. Moses the priest (not the Egyptian, or Maimonides, as some commentators suggest) thinks the sense is, that these unbelievers complained, as if the Lord was "heavy" unto them, and imposed burdensome precepts and commands upon them they were not able to perform; and which, he says, is always the sense of the word when in this form; but Aben Ezra observes, that he forgot the passage in Job 14:21, where it is used in the sense of honour and glory. This sense Kimchi also takes notice of; but seems not to be the sense of the passage; and, were it so, it was a false suggestion of those unbelievers; for Christ's "yoke is easy, and his burden light", Matthew 11:30, see John 6:60,

but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed: that is, the Lord shall appear, either in a providential way, as he did for the Christians at Jerusalem, before the destruction of it; directing them to go out from thence, as they did, to a place called Pella, where they were safe, and had a sufficiency of good things; while the unbelieving Jews were closely besieged, and reduced to the greatest straits and miseries, and so to shame and confusion: or else this may respect the second coming, the glorious appearance of Christ, which will be to the joy of those believing Jews, and of all his people; since he will appear to their salvation, and they shall appear with him in glory, and see him as he is, Hebrews 9:28, and to the shame, confusion, and destruction of those that have pierced him, despised and rejected him, and persecuted his people, Revelation 1:7.

Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his {f} word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

(f) He encourages the faithful by promising to destroy their enemies, who pretended to be as brethren, but were hypocrites, and hated them that feared God.

5, 6. A promise to the believing Jews, that they shall speedily witness the discomfiture of their enemies and persecutors.

ye that tremble at his word]—thus fulfilling the condition of Isaiah 66:2. The “word” of the Lord is that spoken by the prophets, and the “trembling” of these devout hearers expresses their scrupulous anxiety to conform with its requirements.

your brethren] men of the same stock with yourselves. The term could not be applied to the known leaders of the Samaritan community, like Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10 &c.), but might be used of the community as a whole, composed as it largely was of men of Israelitish descent and, in part, probably of Jews who had been spared in the general deportation of the people.

that hate you] as R.V. Cf. ch. Isaiah 57:4.

that cast you out] Perhaps “that put you far away” (in aversion). Comp. the use of the word in Amos 6:3 (“that put far away the evil day”). In later Hebr. it means to excommunicate.

said, Let the Lord &c.] Render: have said, Let Jehovah shew Himself glorious (pointing the verb as Niph.) that we may see your joy (cf. R.V.),—a sarcastic allusion to the enthusiastic hopes entertained by the pious Jews of a manifestation of Jehovah to their joy. Cf. ch. Isaiah 5:19.

but they shall be ashamed] Ch. Isaiah 65:13.

Verses 5-14. - THE GODLY EXILES ENCOURAGED. The scoffs which have long greeted those who believed God's promises and expected the restoration of Zion, will be put to shame. The silence in which Zion has lain will be broken; she will be once more a city "full of stirs, a tumultuous city" (Isaiah 22:2). Suddenly, without any pains of travail, she will bring forth; and her offspring will be "a nation born at once" (ver. 8). The godly exiles are called upon to rejoice at the prospect (ver. 10), and promised peace and comfort in the restored city (vers. 11-14). Verse 5. - Hear... ye that tremble. The godly are addressed - those that have a reverent fear of God's word (comp. ver. 2, ad fin.; and see also Ezra 9:4; Ezra 10:3). Your brethren that... cast you out; rather. that put you away (Cheyne), or thrust you from them (Delitzsch). The verb used came in later times to designate formal excommunication; but here it points merely to a practical renunciation of fellowship. Said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy; rather, said, Let Jehovah glorify himself, that ice may see your joy; i.e. "said sarcastically, May the prophecies be fulfilled, and God humble Babylon, and release Israel, and restore her, that we may witness your rejoicing. We should gladly see all this; but we do not in the least expect it." And they shall be ashamed; rather, but as for them (i.e. those who so speak) they shall be ashamed. The event shall shame them. Isaiah 66:5From the heathenish majority, with their ungodly hearts, the prophet now turns to the minority, consisting of those who tremble with reverential awe when they hear the word of God. They are called to hear how Jehovah will accept them in defiance of their persecutors. "Hear ye the word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at His word: your brethren that hate you, that thrust you from them for my name's sake, say, 'Let Jehovah get honour, that we may see your joy:' they will be put to shame." They that hate them are their own brethren, and (what makes the sin still greater) the name of Jehovah is the reason why they are hated by them. According to the accents, indeed (מנדיכם rebia, סמי pashta), the meaning would be, "your brethren say ... 'for my name's sake (i.e., for me equals out of goodness and love to us) will Jehovah glorify Himself,' - then we shall see your joy, but - they will be put to shame." Rashi and other Jewish expositors interpret it in this or some similar way; but Rosenmller, Stier, and Hahn are the only modern Christian expositors, who have done so, following the precedent of earlier commentators, who regarded the accents as binding. Luther, however, very properly disregarded them. If סמי למען be taken in connection with יכבד, it gives only a forced sense, which disturbs the relation of all the clauses; whereas this is preserved in all respects in the most natural and connected manner if we combine שמי למען with מנדּיכם שׂנאיכם, as we must do, according to such parallels as Matthew 24:9. נדּה from נר, to scare away or thrust away (Amos 6:3, with the object in the dative), corresponds to ἀφορίζειν in Luke 6:22 (compare John 16:22, "to put out of the synagogue"). The practice of excommunication, or putting under the ban (niddūi), reaches beyond the period of the Herodians (see Eduyoth v. 6),

(Note: Compare Wiesner: Der Bann in seiner gesch. Entwickelung auf dem Boden des Judenthums, 1864.)

at any rate as far back as the times succeeding the captivity; but in the passage before us it is quite sufficient to understand niddâh in the sense of a defamatory renunciation of fellowship. To the accentuators this שמי למען מנדיכם appeared quite unintelligible. They never considered that it had a confessional sense here, which certainly does not occur anywhere else: viz., "for my name's sake, which ye confess in word and deed." With unbelieving scorn they say to those who confess Jehovah, and believe in the word of the true redemption: Let Jehovah glorify Himself (lit. let Him be, i.e., show Himself, glorious equals yikkâbēd, cf., Job 14:21), that we may thoroughly satisfy ourselves with looking at your joy. They regard their hope as deceptive, and the word of the prophet as fanaticism. These are they, who, when permission to return is suddenly given, will desire to accompany them, but will be disappointed, because they did not rejoice in faith before, and because, although they do now rejoice in that which is self-evident, they do this in a wrong way.

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