Isa 61:1-11. Messiah's Offices: Restoration of Israel.
Messiah announces His twofold commission to bring gospel mercy at His first coming, and judgments on unbelievers and comfort to Zion at His second coming (Isa 61:1-9); the language can be applied to Isaiah, comforting by his prophecies the exiles in Babylon, only in a subordinate sense.
1. is upon me; because ... hath anointed me -- quoted by Jesus as His credentials in preaching (Lu 4:18-21). The Spirit is upon Me in preaching, because Jehovah hath anointed Me from the womb (Lu 1:35), and at baptism, with the Spirit |without measure,| and permanently |abiding| on Me (Isa 11:2; Joh 1:32; 3:34; Ps 45:7; with which compare 1Ki 1:39, 40; 19:16; Ex 29:7). |Anointed| as Messiah, Prophet, Priest, and King.
good tidings -- as the word |gospel| means.
the meek -- rather, |the poor,| as Lu 4:18 has it; that is, those afflicted with calamity, poor in circumstances and in spirit (Mt 11:5).
proclaim liberty -- (Joh 8:31-36). Language drawn from the deliverance of the Babylonian captives, to describe the deliverance from sin and death (Heb 2:15); also from the |liberty proclaimed| to all bond-servants in the year of jubilee (Isa 61:2; Le 25:10; Jer 34:8, 9).
opening of the prison -- The Hebrew rather is, |the most complete opening,| namely, of the eyes to them that are bound, that is, deliverance from prison, for captives are as it were blind in the darkness of prison (Isa 14:17; 35:5; 42:7) [Ewald]. So Lu 4:18 and the Septuagint interpret it; Lu 4:18, under inspiration, adds to this, for the fuller explanation of the single clause in the Hebrew, |to set at liberty them that are bruised|; thus expressing the double |opening| implied; namely, that of the eyes (Joh 9:39), and that of the prison (Ro 6:18; 7:24, 25; Heb 2:15). His miracles were acted parables.
2. acceptable year -- the year of jubilee on which |liberty was proclaimed to the captives| (Isa 61:1; 2Co 6:2).
day of vengeance -- The |acceptable time of grace| is a |year|; the time of |vengeance| but |a day| (so Isa 34:8; 63:4; Mal 4:1). Jesus (Lu 4:20, 21) |closed the book| before this clause; for the interval from His first to His second coming is |the acceptable year|; the day of vengeance| will not be till He comes again (2Th 1:7-9).
our God -- The saints call Him |our God|; for He cometh to |avenge| them (Re 6:10; 19:2).
all that mourn -- The |all| seems to include the spiritual Israelite mourners, as well as the literal, who are in Isa 61:3 called |them that mourn in Zion,| and to whom Isa 57:18 refers.
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).
4. old wastes -- Jerusalem and the cities of Judah which long lay in ruins (see on Isa 58:12).
5. stand -- shall wait on you as servants (Isa 14:1, 2; 60:10).
6. But ye -- as contrasted with the |strangers.| Ye shall have no need to attend to your flocks and lands: strangers will do that for you; your exclusive business will be the service of Jehovah as His |priests| (Ex 19:6, which remains yet to be realized; compare as to the spiritual Israel, Isa 66:21; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Re 1:6; 5:10).
Ministers -- (Eze 44:11).
eat ... riches of ... Gentiles -- (Isa 60:5-11).
in their glory ... boast yourselves -- rather, |in their splendor ye shall be substituted in their stead|; ye shall substitute yourselves [Maurer].
7. double -- Instead of your past share, ye shall have not merely as much, but |double| as much reward (Isa 40:2; Zec 9:12; compare the third clause in this verse).
confusion -- rather, |humiliation,| or |contumely.|
rejoice -- They shall celebrate with jubilation their portion [Maurer]. Transition from the second to the third person.
in their land -- marking the reference to literal Israel, not to the Church at large.
everlasting joy -- (Isa 35:10).
8. judgment -- justice, which requires that I should restore My people, and give them double in compensation for their sufferings.
robbery for burnt offering -- rather, from a different Hebrew root, the spoil of iniquity [Horsley]. So in Job 5:6. Hating, as I do, the rapine, combined with iniquity, perpetrated on My people by their enemies, I will vindicate Israel.
direct ... work in truth -- rather, |I will give them the reward of their work| (compare Isa 40:10, Margin; Isa 49:4, Margin; Isa 62:11, Margin) in faithfulness.
9. known -- honorably; shall be illustrious (Ps 67:2).
people -- rather, |peoples.|
seed ... blessed -- (Isa 65:23).
10. Zion (Isa 61:3) gives thanks for God's returning favor (compare Lu 1:46, 47; Hab 3:18).
salvation ... righteousness -- inseparably connected together. The |robe| is a loose mantle thrown over the other parts of the dress (Ps 132:9, 16; 149:4; Re 21:2; 19:8).
decketh himself with ornaments -- rather |maketh himself a priestly headdress,| that is, a magnificent headdress, such as was worn by the high priest, namely, a miter and a plate, or crown of gold worn in front of it [Aquila, &c.]; appropriate to the |kingdom of priests,| dedicated to the offering of spiritual sacrifices to God continually (Ex 19:6; Re 5:10; 20:6).
jewels -- rather, |ornaments| in general [Barnes].
11. (Isa 45:8, 55:10, 11; Ps 72:3; 85:11).
bud -- the tender shoots.
praise -- (Isa 60:18; 62:7).