Thus said the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Isaiah 43:5-6. The two tribes had been carried to Babylon and had been dispersed, or had been allowed to migrate to the various provinces of the Babylonian or Persian empire. But these were in the East, though commonly called the north, because they invaded Israel from the north. Those who had migrated to Egypt were in the south. As yet none were in the West. The dispersion, as well as the gathering, was still future. When our Lord came, they had migrated westward. Greece, Italy, Asia minor, were full of them; and from all they were gathered. All Paul's Epistles written to named Churches, were written to Churches formed from converts in the West. In all these countries God would gather His one people, His Church, not of "the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles" Romans 9:24, grafted into them, as our Lord said, "I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom (the unbelieving Jews, who were not the remnant) shall be cast out into outer darkness" Matthew 8:11-12. Thus saith the Lord of hosts: here again God engageth his almighty power to make good his promise.
Behold; consider well what power is to do this.
I will save my people, bring them safe,
from the east country; Persia and Media, which lay east from Jerusalem, and, being now masters of Babylon and the captive Jews, they are said to be brought out of the east, though otherwhiles they are brought out of the north; both very consistent.
And from the west country: no doubt some of the Jews were carried westward; the trade of selling men was known in those days, and Tyre is noted and threatened for it by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 27:13, beside other sea-towns west of Canaan, which would be ready to buy captive Jews, and convey them westward. But if this promise should look to the Roman empire, and secure the Jews a return from that captivity, it is plain how their empire lay west from the Jews. Or perhaps it is a synecdoche, these two parts of the world mentioned, but all parts intended, as Psalm 1:1 113:3 Malachi 1:11.
I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; this can not be understood of bringing those Jews that remained in Babylon, and other places, to their own land, for Babylon lay north of Judea; see Zechariah 6:6, and as yet there were no Jews in the western part of the world; but now they are chiefly in the east and west, from whence they will be gathered at the time of their general conversion; though this may refer to the times of the apostles of Christ, and to their ministry in the several parts of the world, who went forth, east, west, north, and south, and were the means and instruments of saving the Lord's people, both Jews and Gentiles, wherever they came, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same; see Malachi 1:11.Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. from the east country, and from the west country] Comp. Isaiah 43:5-6. The promise is larger than has yet been fulfilled.Verse 7. - God promises to bring his dispersed people home again - a promise only yet partially fulfilled. My people. A title of honour (Hosea 2:23). From the east country, and from the west country. Two regions are named, symbols of the whole world (comp. Psalm 50:1; Malachi 1:11). The return of the captives from Babylon was a prelude of the future restoration of the dispersed, when all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26). (See a similar promise, Isaiah 43:5, 6; comp. John 11:52.) Zephaniah 3:15. Jehovah has removed thy judgments, cleared away thine enemy; the King of Israel, Jehovah, is in the midst of thee: thou wilt see evil no more. Zephaniah 3:16. In that day will men say to Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion; let not thy hands drop. Zephaniah 3:17. Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a hero who helps: He rejoices over thee in delight, He is silent in His love, exults over thee with rejoicing." The daughter Zion, i.e., the reassembled remnant of Israel, is to exult and shout at the fulness of the salvation prepared for it. The fulness is indicated in the heaping up of words for exulting and rejoicing. The greater the exultation, the greater must the object be over which men exult. הריעוּ, to break out into a cry of joy, is a plural, because the Israel addressed is a plurality. The re-establishment of the covenant of grace assigns the reason for the exultation. God has removed the judgments, and cleared away the enemies, who served as the executors of His judgments. Pinnâh, piel, to put in order (sc., a house), by clearing away what is lying about in disorder (Genesis 24:31; Leviticus 14:36), hence to sweep away or remove. 'Oyēbh: with indefinite generality, every enemy. Now is Jehovah once more in the midst of the daughter Zion as King of Israel, whereas, so long as Israel was given up to the power of the enemy, He had ceased to be its King. Yehōvâh is in apposition to melekj Yisrâ'ēl, which is placed first for the sake of emphasis, and not a predicate. The predicate is merely בּקרבּך (in the midst of thee). The accent lies upon the fact that Jehovah is in the midst of His congregation as King of Israel (cf. Zephaniah 3:17). Because this is the case, she will no more see, i.e., experience, evil (ראה as in Jeremiah 5:12; Isaiah 44:16, etc.), and need not therefore any longer fear and despair. This is stated in Zephaniah 3:16 : They will say to Jerusalem, Fear not. She will have so little fear, that men will be able to call her the fearless one. ציּון is a vocative of address. It is simpler to assume this than to supply ל from the previous clause. The falling of the hands is a sign of despair through alarm and anxiety (cf. Isaiah 13:7). This thought is still further explained in Zephaniah 3:17. Jehovah, the God of Zion, is within her, and is a hero who helps or saves; He has inward joy in His rescued and blessed people (cf. Isaiah 62:5; Isaiah 65:19). יחרישׁ בּאחבתו appears unsuitable, since we cannot think of it as indicating silence as to sins that may occur (cf. Psalm 50:21; Isaiah 22:14), inasmuch as, according to Zephaniah 3:13, the remnant of Israel commits no sin. Ewald and Hitzig would therefore read yachădı̄sh; and Ewald renders it "he will grow young again," which Hitzig rejects as at variance with the language, because we should then have יתחדּשׁ. He therefore takes yachădı̄sh as synonymous with יעשׂה חדשׁות, he will do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19). But this rendering cannot be justified by the usage of the language, and does not even yield a thought in harmony with the context. Silence in His love is an expression used to denote love deeply felt, which is absorbed in its object with thoughtfulness and admiration,
(Note: "He assumes the person of a mortal man, because, unless He stammers in this manner, He cannot sufficiently show how much He loves us. Thy God will therefore be quiet in His love, i.e., this will be the greatest delight of thy God, this His chief pleasure, when He shall cherish thee. As a man caresses his dearest wife, so will God then quietly repose in thy love." - Calvin.)
and forms the correlate to rejoicing with exultation, i.e., to the loud demonstration of one's love. The two clauses contain simply a description, drawn from man's mode of showing love, and transferred to God, to set forth the great satisfaction which the Lord has in His redeemed people, and are merely a poetical filling up of the expression, "He will rejoice over thee with joy." This joy of His love will the Lord extend to all who are troubled and pine in misery.
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