An exhortation, after the pattern of Abraham, to trust in Christ, 1, 2, by reason of his comfortable promises, 3, of his righteous salvation, 4-6, and man's mortality, 7, 8. Christ by his sanctified arm defends his people from the fear of man, 9-16. He bewails the afflictions of Jerusalem, 17-20, and promises deliverance, 21-23.
1 "Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD. Look to the rock from where you are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from where you are dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you, for I called him alone, blessed him, and increased him.
3 For the LORD will comfort Zion. He will comfort all her waste places, and he will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
4 Listen to me, my people, and give ear to me, O my nation. For a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
5 My righteousness is near. My salvation has gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people. The coastlands shall wait upon me, and in my arm they shall trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look upon the earth beneath, for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, the earth shall become old like a garment, and its inhabitants shall die in a like manner. But my salvation shall be forever and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart my law is. Do not fear the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings.
8 For the moth shall eat them like a garment and the worm shall eat them like wool. But my righteousness shall be forever and my salvation from generation to generation."
9 Awake, awake, put on your strength, O arm of the LORD. Awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Is it not you who cut Rahab and wounded the dragon?
10 Is it not you who dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, who has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
11 Therefore, the redeemed of the LORD shall return and come with singing to Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their head. They shall obtain gladness and joy. Sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
12 "I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of a man who shall die, and of the son of man who shall be made as grass,
13 And forget the LORD your maker, who has stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor?
14 The captive exile hastens so that he may be released and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. 15 But I am the LORD your God who divided the sea, whose waves roared. The LORD of hosts is his name. 16 And I have put my words in your mouth and have covered you in the shadow of my hand, so that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, 'You are my people.'"
17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which have drank at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury. You have drank the dregs of the cup of trembling and wrung them out.
18 There is no one to guide her among all the sons whom she has brought forth, neither is there any who takes her by the hand of all the sons whom she has brought up.
19 There are two things that have come to you (who shall be sorry for you?): they are desolation and destruction, famine and the sword. By whom shall I comfort you?
20 Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net. They are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of your God.
21 Now therefore, hear this, you afflicted and drunken, but not with wine.
22 Thus says your Lord Yahweh, and your God who pleads the cause of his people: "Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury. You shall no longer drink it again.
23 But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to your soul, 'Prostrate yourself so that we may go over.' So you have laid your body as the ground and as the street to those who went over."
Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 51[➚]