Isaiah 29:19
The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
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(19) The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord.—A new element enters into the ideal restoration of the future. Men had been weary of the name of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 30:11). In that better time it should be the source of joy and peace for the poor and the lowly, on whom Isaiah looked with all the yearnings of a prophet’s sympathy.

29:17-24 The wonderful change here foretold, may refer to the affairs of Judah, though it looks further. When a great harvest of souls was gathered to Christ from among the Gentiles, then the wilderness was turned into a fruitful field; and the Jewish church, that had long been a fruitful field, became as a deserted forest. Those who, when in trouble, can truly rejoice in God, shall soon have cause greatly to rejoice in him. The grace of meekness contributes to the increase of our holy joy. The enemies who were powerful shall become mean and weak. To complete the repose of God's people, the scorners at home shall be cut off by judgements. All are apt to speak unadvisedly, and to mistake what they hear, but it is very unfair to make a man an offender for a word. They did all they could to bring those into trouble who told them of their faults. But He that redeemed Abraham out of his snares and troubles, will redeem those who are, by faith, his true seed, out of theirs. It will be the greatest comfort to godly parents to see their children renewed creatures, the work of God's grace. May those who now err in spirit, and murmur against the truth, come to understanding, and learn true doctrine. The Spirit of truth shall set right their mistakes, and lead them into all truth. This should encourage us to pray for those that have erred, and are deceived. All who murmured at the truths of God, as hard sayings, shall learn and be aware what God designed in all. See the change religion produces in the hearts of men, and the peace and pleasure of a humble and devout spirit.The meek - The word 'meek' usually refers to those who are patient in the reception of injuries, but the Hebrew word used here (ענוים ‛ănâviym) means properly the oppressed, the afflicted, the unhappy Psalm 9:13; Psalm 10:12, Psalm 10:17; Proverbs 3:34; Isaiah 11:4. It involves usually the idea of humility or "virtuous suffering" (compare Psalm 25:9; Psalm 37:11; Psalm 69:33). Here it may denote the pious of the land who were oppressed, and subjected to trials.

Shall increase - Margin, as in Hebrew, 'Add.' It means, that they should greatly rejoice in the Lord. They should see the evidence of the fulfillment of his predictions; they should see the oppressors punished Isaiah 29:20-21, and Yahweh coming forth to be their protector and defender Isaiah 29:22-24.

And the poor among men - The poor people; or the needy. Doubtless the idea is that of the pious poor; those who feared God, and who had been subjected to the trials of oppression and poverty.

19. meek—rather, the afflicted godly: the idea is, virtuous suffering (Isa 61:1; Ps 25:9; 37:11) [Barnes].

poor among men—that is, the poorest of men, namely, the pious poor.

rejoice—when they see their oppressors punished (Isa 29:20, 21), and Jehovah exhibited as their protector and rewarder (Isa 29:22-24; Isa 41:17; Jas 2:5).

The meek; the humble and meek believers, opposed to those proud and scornful Israelites or Jews, of whom he speaks in this and in the foregoing chapter. Shall increase their joy in the Lord; shall greatly rejoice in this, that the Lord and Holy One of Israel is now their God and portion.

The poor; either,

1. Spiritually, of which Matthew 5:3. Or,

2. Outwardly, mean and despicable people, such as the Gentiles were in the opinion of the Jews, and such as the greatest part of the first believing Christians were, Matthew 11:5 1 Corinthians 1:26 Jam 2:5. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord,.... The "meek", lowly, and humble, are such who are made sensible of sin, and become humble under a sense of it; who see the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and submit to the righteousness of Christ; who attribute all they have, and are, to the free grace of God, and quietly submit to every dispensation of Providence; who are not easily provoked by men, but bear much and long without reviling; who envy not those that are above them in gifts and grace, nor despise those that are below them, and think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; now these have joy in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, in the Lord Jesus Christ; in the greatness and glory of his person as Jehovah, and so able to save to the uttermost; in him as the Lord their righteousness; in his blood and sacrifice, for the pardon and expiation of their sins; in his fulness as theirs, to supply their wants; in his salvation, being so great, so full, so free, and suitable to them: and whereas their joy may be interrupted through the corruptions of their hearts, the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions, they "shall add" (a) joy in the Lord, as in the original; they shall repeat it, it shall come again, it shall be restored unto them, and they shall afresh exercise it, and "increase" in it, as we render it; for spiritual joy may be increased by the discoveries of the love of God; by fresh views of Christ, through an increase of knowledge of him, and faith in him; by means of meditation and prayer, and by reading and hearing the word:

and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; or, "the poorest of men" (b), who were so in a literal sense; for such were the persons, both among Jews and Gentiles, who in the first times of the Gospel were brought to the knowledge of Christ, and faith in him, Matthew 11:4 or such who are "poor in spirit"; not only spiritually poor, but who are sensible of their spiritual poverty, and apply to Christ for the true riches of grace: the words may be rendered, "Adam's poor"; such who are impoverished by Adam's fall, and are sensible of it; these, perceiving durable riches and righteousness, even unsearchable riches, in Christ, rejoice in him, "the Holy One of Israel"; who is holy in himself, the sanctifier of others, and is made satisfaction to all his people. The Targum is,

"in the word of the Holy One of Israel.''

This joy is not carnal, but spiritual; it is the fruit of the Spirit of God, and is called joy in the Holy Ghost; as it also is the joy of faith, which goes along with it, is through it, and increases as that does; it is peculiar to believers, unknown to the world, and is unspeakable, and full of glory: and such kind of rejoicing, and an increase of it, are what belong to Gospel times.

(a) "et addent", V. L. Pagninus: Montanus, (b) "mendici hominum", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "egentissimi hominum", Junius & Tremellius.

The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
19. The meek and poor (as in the Psalms) are the oppressed and down-trodden lower orders, as contrasted with the irreligious upper class (Isaiah 29:20 f.). They have now no hope but in Jehovah; then they shall obtain fresh joy in Him, because He has delivered them.Verse 19. - The meek... the poor. The "evangelical prophet" anticipates the gospel in this, among other points - that he promises his choicest blessings, not to the rich and mighty, but to the poor and meek (comp. Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 61:1). This stupefaction was the self-inflicted punishment of the dead works with which the people mocked God and deceived themselves. "The Lord hath spoken: Because this people approaches me with its mouth, and honours me with its lips, and keeps its heart far from me, and its reverence of me has become a commandment learned from men: therefore, behold, I will proceed wondrously with this people, wondrously and marvellously strange; and the wisdom of its wise men is lost, and the understanding of its intelligent men becomes invisible." Ever since the time of Asaph (Psalm 50, cf., Psalm 78:36-37), the lamentation and condemnation of hypocritical ceremonial worship, without living faith or any striving after holiness, had been a leading theme of prophecy. Even in Isaiah's introductory address (chapter 1) this complain was uttered quite in the tone of that of Asaph. In the time of Hezekiah it was peculiarly called for, just as it was afterwards in that of Josiah (as the book of Jeremiah shows). The people had been obliged to consent to the abolition of the public worship of idols, but their worship of Jehovah was hypocrisy. Sometimes it was conscious hypocrisy, arising from the fear of man and favour of man; sometimes unconscious, inasmuch as without any inward conversion, but simply with work-righteousness, the people contented themselves with, and even prided themselves upon, an outward fulfilment of the law (Micah 6:6-8; Micah 3:11). Instead of נגּשׁ (lxx, Vulg., Syr., Matthew 15:8; Mark 7:6), we also meet with the reading נגּשׂ, "because this people harasses itself as with tributary service;" but the antithesis to richaq (lxx πόῤῥω ἀπέχει ) favours the former reading niggash, accedit; and bephı̄v (with its moth) must be connected with this, though in opposition to the accents. This self-alienation and self-blinding, Jehovah would punish with a wondrously paradoxical judgment, namely, the judgment of a hardening, which would so completely empty and confuse, that even the appearance of wisdom and unity, which the leaders of Israel still had, would completely disappear. יוסיף (as in Isaiah 38:5) is not the third person fut. hiphil here (so that it could be rendered, according to Isaiah 28:16, "Behold, I am he who;" or more strictly still, "Behold me, who;" which, however, would give a prominence to the subject that would be out of place here), but the part. kal for יוסף. That the language really allowed of such a lengthening of the primary form qatĭl into qatı̄l, and especially in the case of יוסיף, is evident from Ecclesiastes 1:18 (see at Psalm 16:5). In ופלא הפלא, פלא (cf., Lamentations 1:9) alternates with the gerundive (see at Isaiah 22:17): the fifth example in this one address of the emphatic juxtaposition of words having a similar sound and the same derivation (vid., Isaiah 29:1, Isaiah 29:5, Isaiah 29:7, Isaiah 29:9).
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