Sing to the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Sing unto the Lord a new song.—The words are familiar in the Psalms (Psalm 33:3; Psalm 40:3; Psalm 98:1) and are probably quoted from them. The only touch of definite localisation is found in the mention of Kedar. (See Note on Isaiah 21:16.) Starting from this, the other terms gain a more defined significance. The proclamation seems to be addressed to the nations of the Eastern, not the Western world, as if to the ships that sailed from Elath or Ezion-geber down the Elanitic Gulf. The rock, or Sela (see Isaiah 16:1), is the Petra of Roman Idumæa; the ships are those that trade to Ophir or the land of Sinim. The cities and the nomad tribes are all invited to join in the hymn of praise, and it is to be echoed in the far-off “islands,” or coasts, of the Indian Ocean.Isaiah 42:10; Isaiah 42:12. Sing unto the Lord a new song — Upon this new and great occasion, the salvation of the world by Christ. It is with peculiar propriety and elegance that the nations are here called upon and exhorted to praise and extol Jehovah, for the singular blessing conferred upon them by the gospel. And his praise from the end of the earth — All nations, from one end of the earth to another. Ye that go down to the sea — You that go by sea, carry these glad tidings from Judea, where Christ was born, and lived, and died, and published the gospel, unto the remotest parts of the earth. Let the wilderness, &c. — Those parts of the world which are now desolate and forsaken of God, and barren of all good fruits. The villages that Kedar doth inhabit — The Arabians, who were a heathen and barbarous people, and are put for all nations. Let them shout from the top of the mountains — Whose inhabitants are commonly more savage and ignorant than others. Let them declare his praise in the islands — In the remotest parts of the world, as well as in Arabia, which was near to them.Isaiah 12:1-6; Isaiah 25:1-12; 26) Here the prophet calls upon all people to celebrate the divine mercy in a song of praise in view of his goodness in providing a Redeemer. The sentiment is, that God's goodness in providing a Saviour demands the thanksgiving of all the world.
A new song - A song hitherto unsung; one that shall be expressive of the goodness of God in this new manifestation of his mercy. None of the hymns of praise that had been employed to express his former acts of goodness would appropriately express this. The mercy was so great that it demanded a song expressly made for the occasion.
And his praise frown the end of the earth - From all parts of the earth. Let the most distant nations who are to be interested in this great
Ye that go down to the sea - That is, traders, navigators, merchants, seamen; such as do business in the great waters. The sense is, that they would be interested in the plan of mercy through a Redeemer; and hence, they are called on to celebrate the goodness of God (compare the notes at Isaiah 60:5). This is referred to by the prophet, first, because of the great multitude who thus go down to the sea; and, secondly, because their conversion will have so important an influence in diffusing the true religion to distant nations.
And all that is therein - Margin, as Hebrew, 'The fullness thereof.' All that fill it; that is, either in ships, or by dwelling on the islands and coasts. The meaning is, that all who were upon the sea - the completeness, the wholeness of the maritime population, being equally interested with all others in the great salvation, should join in celebrating the goodness of God.
The isles - A large portion of the inhabitants of the world are dwellers upon islands. In modern times, some of the most signal displays of the divine mercy, and some of the most remarkable conversions to Christianity, have been there. In the Sandwich Islands, and in Ceylon, God has poured out his Spirit, and their inhabitants have been among the first in the pagan world to embrace the gospel.
ye that go down to the sea—whose conversion will be the means of diffusing the Gospel to distant lands.
all … therein—all the living creatures that fill the sea (Ps 96:11) [Maurer]. Or, all sailors and voyagers [Gesenius]. But these were already mentioned in the previous clause: there he called on all who go upon the sea; in this clause all animals in the sea; so in Isa 42:11, he calls on the inanimate wilderness to lift up its voice. External nature shall be so renovated as to be in unison with the moral renovation.Sing unto the Lord a new song, upon this new and great occasion, the calling and salvation of the world by Christ.
From the end of the earth; all nations, from one end of the earth. to another, who shall be sharers in this mercy.
Ye that go down to the sea, & c.; you that go by sea, carry these glad tidings from Judea, where Christ was born, and lived, and died, and published the gospel, unto the remotest parts of the earth, that they may join with you in singing forth God’s praises for his marvellous kindness and grace to them.
and his praise from the end of the earth; thither the Gospel being sent, and there made effectual to the conversion of many, these are exhorted to sing and show forth the praises of him who had called them out of Heathenish blindness and darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel and grace of God:
ye that go down into the sea; in ships, that trade by sea; such as the Phoenicians, Tyrians, and Sidonians, to whom the Gospel came, and where it was preached with success, to the conversion of many of them, and therefore had reason to join in this new song; see Acts 11:19 or such that went by sea to distant parts, on purpose to publish the Gospel, as Paul, Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy; and who, succeeding in their work, had reason to rejoice; see Acts 13:4,
and all that is therein: or "the fulness of it" (s); meaning not the fishes in it, but the islands of it, as next explained:
the isles, and the inhabitants thereof; as Cyprus, Crete, and other isles, which heard the joyful sound of the Gospel, and embraced it, Acts 13:4, and, as the sea often denotes the western part of the world from Judea, this may design the European parts of it, and the islands in it, particularly ours of Great Britain and Ireland, whither the Gospel came very early.Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10–13. The mention of “new things” in Isaiah 42:9 suggests this “new song,” in which the creation is called to celebrate Jehovah’s redemption of His people. The expression is common in the Psalms (Psalm 33:3 Psalm 40:3, Psalm 96:1, Psalm 98:1, Psalm 144:9, Psalm 149:1; cf. Revelation 14:3). These Psalmists probably borrowed the term from our prophet, whose use of it bears the stamp of originality. It is a song “such as has never been heard in the heathen world” (Delitzsch). see ch. Isaiah 24:14-16.
from the end of the earth] means (as in Genesis 19:4; Jeremiah 51:31) “from end to end.”
ye that go down to the sea] seafarers, cf. Psalm 107:23. There is some awkwardness in the following words: and all that is therein (lit. “and the fulness thereof”), which are naturally parallel to “the sea” and not to “those who go down to it.” The harshness is removed by a plausible emendation of Lowth, who reads the whole clause in accordance with Psalm 96:11; Psalm 98:7 let the sea roar and the fulness thereof (יִרְעם for יו̇רְדֵי).
the isles] see on ch. Isaiah 40:15. The mention of the sea and its coasts before the land is one indication of the prominence which the western lands have in the mind of this prophet.Verse 10. - Sing unto the Lord a new song. The call for a "new song" is based upon the ground that the mercy vouchsafed was a "new" one (see ver. 9). The expression is frequent in the Psalms (Psalm 33:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 144:9; Psalm 149:1). His praise from the end of the earth; i.e. "let his praise be sung by all the inhabitants of the earth to its remotest bounds." The sea. Sea and land are called upon equally to proclaim God's praise; the sea, "and its fulness" (margin) - those who frequent it in ships, and those who dwell on its shores and islands. The last clause, "the isles and the inhabitants thereof," is exegetical of the preceding one - " all that is therein." Isaiah 42:3 now lead to the thought that the servant of God will never be extinguished or become broken Himself. "He will not become faint or broken, till He establish right upon earth, and the islands wait for His instruction." As יכהה (become faint) points back to כהה פשׁתה (the finat or glimmering wick), so ירּוץ must point back to רצוּץ קנה (the bruised or broken reed); it cannot therefore be derived from רוּץ (to run) in the sense of "He will not be rash or impetuous, but execute His calling with wise moderation," as Hengstenberg supposes, but as in Ecclesiastes 12:6, from רצץ equals ירץ (Ges. 67, Anm. 9), in the neuter sense of infringetur (will break). His zeal will not be extinguished, nor will anything break His strength, till He shall have secured for right a firm standing on the earth (ישׂים is a fut. ex. so far as the meaning is concerned, like יבצּע in Isaiah 10:12). The question arises now, whether what follows is also governed by עד, in the sense of "and until the islands shall have believed his instruction," as Hitzig supposes; or whether it is an independent sentence, as rendered by the lxx and in Matthew 12:21. We prefer the latter, both because of Isaiah 51:5, and also because, although לדבר ה יחל may certainly mean to exercise a believing confidence in the word of God (Psalm 119:74, Psalm 119:81), לתורתו יחל can only mean "to wait with longing for a person's instruction" (Job 29:23), and especially in this case, where no thought is more naturally suggested, than that the messenger to the Gentile world will be welcomed by a consciousness of need already existing in the heathen world itself. There is a gratia praeparans at work in the Gentile world, as these prophecies all presuppose, in perfect harmony with the Gospel of John, with which they have so much affinity; and it is an actual fact, that the cry for redemption runs through the whole human race, i.e., an earnest longing, the ultimate object of which, however unconsciously, is the servant of Jehovah and his instruction from Zion (Isaiah 2:3) - in other words, the gospel.
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