I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Bring my sons . . .—The words imply an escort of honour, given by the heathen nations to the returning exiles.
Bring my sons ... - Bring all my people from the distant lands where they have been driven in their dispersion. This is a beautiful passage. As if all lands were under the control of God, and he could at once command and they would obey, he calls on them to yield up his people to their own country. He issues a commandment which is heard in all quarters of the globe, and the scattered people of God come flocking again to their own land.
sons … daughters—The feminine joined to the masculine expresses the complete totality of anything (Zec 9:17).Give up; thou who hast so long had and held my people in bondage, resign them to me, and permit them to return to their own land. He speaks either to the countries themselves by a prosopopoeia, or to the inhabitants of them. Bring my sons; do not only permit, but assist and further, their return.
bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; such whom the Lord had predestinated to the adoption of children, and had taken into his family, and whom he regenerated by his Spirit and grace, of either sex; to whom he beareth the strongest love and affection, as a parent to his children; and of whom he takes the utmost care, so that not one shall be lost; let them be in ever so distant a part of the world, he will send his Gospel to them, his ministers after them, and his Spirit shall accompany them, to bring them to himself, his Son, and his churches. Manasseh, before mentioned, understands this of America, and of the Jews there; but may be much better applied to converted Gentiles there; for God has many sons and daughters in those parts.I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. my sons … my daughters] see ch. Isaiah 1:1. The individual Israelites are the children of the marriage between Jehovah and the nation (Hosea 2:2; Hosea 2:5; Ezekiel 16:20, &c.).Verse 6. - Bring my sons. The nations are called upon, not merely to "let Israel go," but to conduct and escort them from the places of their abode to their own country. (On the need of such escort, see Ezra 8:22, 31. On the actual furnishing of an escort in one case by a Persian king, see Nehemiah 2:7, 8.) Isaiah 42:23 has not the force of a negative sentence, "No one does this," but of a wish, "O that one would" (as in 2 Samuel 23:15; 2 Samuel 15:4; Ges. 136, 1). If they had but an inward ear for the contradiction which the state of Israel presented to its true calling, and the earlier manifestations of divine mercy, and would but give up their previous deafness for the time to come: this must lead to the knowledge and confession expressed in Isaiah 42:24. The names Jacob and Israel here follow one another in the same order as in Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 40:27 (compare Isaiah 41:8, where this would have been impracticable). זוּ belongs to לו in the sense of cui. The punctuation does not acknowledge this relative use of זו (on which, see at Isaiah 43:21), and therefore puts the athnach in the wrong place (see Rashi). In the words "we have sinned" the prophet identifies himself with the exiles, in whose sin he knew and felt that he was really involved (cf., Isaiah 6:5). The objective affirmation which follows applies to the former generations, who had sinned on till the measure became full. הלוך takes the place of the object to אבוּ (see Isaiah 1:17); the more usual expression would be ללכת; the inverted order of the words makes the assertion all the more energetic. In Isaiah 42:25 the genitive relation אפּו חמת is avoided, probably in favour of the similar ring of חמה and מלחמה. חמה is either the accusative of the object, and אפּו a subordinate statement of what constituted the burning heat (cf., Ewald, 287, k), or else an accusative, of more precise definition equals בּחמה in Isaiah 66:15 (Ges. 118, 3). The outpouring is also connected by zeugma with the "violence of war." The milchâmâh then becomes the subject. The war-fury raged without result. Israel was not brought to reflection.
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