61:1-3 The prophets had the Holy Spirit of God at times, teaching them what to say, and causing them to say it; but Christ had the Spirit always, without measure, to qualify him, as man, for the work to which he was appointed. The poor are commonly best disposed to receive the gospel, Jas 2:5; and it is only likely to profit us when received with meekness. To such as are poor in spirit, Christ preached good tidings when he said, Blessed are the meek. Christ's satisfaction is accepted. By the dominion of sin in us, we are bound under the power of Satan; but the Son is ready, by his Spirit, to make us free; and then we shall be free indeed. Sin and Satan were to be destroyed; and Christ triumphed over them on his cross. But the children of men, who stand out against these offers, shall be dealt with as enemies. Christ was to be a Comforter, and so he is; he is sent to comfort all who mourn, and who seek to him, and not to the world, for comfort. He will do all this for his people, that they may abound in the fruits of righteousness, as the branches of God's planting. Neither the mercy of God, the atonement of Christ, nor the gospel of grace, profit the self-sufficient and proud. They must be humbled, and led to know their own character and wants, by the Holy Spirit, that they may see and feel their need of the sinner's Friend and Saviour. His doctrine contains glad tidings indeed to those who are humbled before God.
3. To appoint … to give—The double verb, with the one and the same accusative, imparts glowing vehemence to the style.
beauty for ashes—There is a play on the sound and meaning of the Hebrew words, peer, epher, literally, "ornamental headdress" or tiara (Eze 24:17), worn in times of joy, instead of a headdress of "ashes," cast on the head in mourning (2Sa 13:19).
oil of joy—Perfumed ointment was poured on the guests at joyous feasts (Ps 23:5; 45:7, 8; Am 6:6). On occasions of grief its use was laid aside (2Sa 14:2).
garment of praise—bright-colored garments, indicative of thankfulness, instead of those that indicate despondency, as sackcloth (Joh 16:20).
trees of righteousness—Hebrew, terebinth trees; symbolical of men strong in righteousness, instead of being, as heretofore, bowed down as a reed with sin and calamity (Isa 1:29, 30; 42:3; 1Ki 14:15; Ps 1:3; 92:12-14; Jer 17:8).
planting of … Lord—(See on Isa 60:21).
that he might be glorified—(Joh 15:8).