I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
I. THE PROMISER "I": that is, the Lord; the most true, the most constant, the most powerful God; most true and sincere in the declaration of His purpose, meet constant and immutable in the prosecution, most powerful and uncontrollable in the perfect execution thereof. These glorious attributes and perfections of His, so often celebrated in Holy Writ, do ground our reliance on all God's promises, and do oblige us, notwithstanding the greatest improbabilities or difficulties objected, to believe the infallible performance of this.
II. THE PERSONS WHOM THE PROMISE MAINLY REGARDS.
1. Priests; that is, persons peculiarly devoted to, and employed in, sacred matters; distinguished expressly from the poor (that is, other meek and humble persons); and from the saints (that is, all other good and religious men).
2. Her priests; that is, the priests of Zion: of that Zion which "the Lord hath chosen"; which "He hath desired for His permanent habitation"; which He hath resolved to "rest and reside in for ever." Whence it plainly enough follows that the priests and pastors of the Christian Church are hereby, if not solely, yet principally designed.
III. THE MATTER OF THE PROMISE. "I will clothe," etc. The least we can imagine here promised to the "priests of Zion," will comprehend these three things.
1. A free and safe condition of life: that they be not exposed to continual dangers of ruin; of miserable sufferance or remediless injury: that the benefits of peace, and law, and public protection shall particularly appertain to them.
2. A provision of competent subsistence for them: that their condition of life be not wholly necessitous, or very penurious; but that they shall be furnished with such reasonable supplies as are requisite to encourage them in the cheerful performance of their duty.
3. A suitable degree of respect, and so high a station among men, as may commend them to general esteem, and vindicate them from contempt.
IV. THE REASONS.
1. God's honour is concerned in the safe, comfortable, and honourable estate of His priests; and that on account of those manifold relations, whereby they stand allied, appropriated, and devoted to Himself. They are in a peculiar manner His servants, stewards, ambassadors, co-workers, etc.
2. The good of the Church requires that the priesthood be well protected, well provided for, and well regarded.
3. Common equity requires this. Is there any office more laborious, more vexatious than theirs; accompanied with more wearisome toil, more solicitous care, more tedious attendance?
(Isaac Barrow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.