Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Isa 25:1-12. Continuation of the Twenty-fourth Chapter. Thanksgiving for the Overthrow of the Apostate Faction, and the Setting Up of Jehovah's Throne on Zion.
The restoration from Babylon and re-establishment of the theocracy was a type and pledge of this.
1. wonderful—(Isa 9:6).
counsels of old—(Isa 42:9; 46:10). Purposes planned long ago; here, as to the deliverance of His people.
truth—Hebrew, Amen; covenant-keeping, faithful to promises; the peculiar characteristic of Jesus (Re 3:14).
For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
2. a city … heap—Babylon, type of the seat of Antichrist, to be destroyed in the last days (compare Jer 51:37, with Re 18:1-24, followed, as here, by the song of the saints' thanksgiving in Re 19:1-21). "Heaps" is a graphic picture of Babylon and Nineveh as they now are.
palace—Babylon regarded, on account of its splendor, as a vast palace. But Maurer translates, "a citadel."
of strangers—foreigners, whose capital pre-eminently Babylon was, the metropolis of the pagan world. "Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise" (Isa 29:5; Eph 2:12; see in contrast, Joe 3:17).
never be built—(Isa 13:19, 20, &c.).
Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
3. strong people—This cannot apply to the Jews; but other nations on which Babylon had exercised its cruelty (Isa 14:12) shall worship Jehovah, awed by the judgment inflicted on Babylon (Isa 23:18).
city—not Babylon, which shall then be destroyed, but collectively for the cities of the surrounding nations.
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
4. the poor … needy—the Jews, exiles from their country (Isa 26:6; 41:17).
heat—calamity (Isa 4:6; 32:2).
blast—that is, wrath.
storm—a tempest of rain, a winter flood, rushing against and overthrowing the wall of a house.
Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
5. Translate, "As the heat in a dry land (is brought down by the shadow of a cloud, so) thou shalt bring down the tumult (the shout of triumph over their enemies) of strangers (foreigners); and as the heat by the shadow of the cloud (is brought low), so the branch (the offspring) of the terrible ones shall be brought low." Parkhurst translates the Hebrew for "branch," the exulting song. Jerome translates the last clause, "And as when the heat burns under a cloud, thou shalt make the branch of the terrible ones to wither"; the branch withering even under the friendly shade of a cloud typifies the wicked brought to ruin, not for want of natural means of prosperity, but by the immediate act of God.
And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
6. in this mountain—Zion: Messiah's kingdom was to begin, and is to have its central seat hereafter, at Jerusalem, as the common country of "all nations" (Isa 2:2, &c.).
all people—(Isa 56:7; Da 7:14; Lu 2:10).
feast—image of felicity (Ps 22:26, 27; Mt 8:11; Lu 14:15; Re 19:9; compare Ps 36:8; 87:1-7).
fat things—delicacies; the rich mercies of God in Christ (Isa 55:2; Jer 31:14; Job 36:16).
wines on the lees—wine which has been long kept on the lees; that is, the oldest and most generous wine (Jer 48:11).
marrow—the choicest dainties (Ps 63:5).
well refined—cleared of all dregs.
And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
7. face of … covering—image from mourning, in which it was usual to cover the face with a veil (2Sa 15:30). "Face of covering," that is, the covering itself; as in Job 41:13, "the face of his garment," the garment itself. The covering or veil is the mist of ignorance as to a future state, and the way to eternal life, which enveloped the nations (Eph 4:18) and the unbelieving Jew (2Co 3:15). The Jew, however, is first to be converted before the conversion of "all nations"; for it is "in this mountain," namely, Zion, that the latter are to have the veil taken off (Ps 102:13, 15, 16, 21, 22; Ro 11:12).
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
8. Quoted in 1Co 15:54, in support of the resurrection.
swallow up … in victory—completely and permanently "abolish" (2Ti 1:10; Re 20:14; 21:4; compare Ge 2:17; 3:22).
rebuke—(Compare Mr 8:38; Heb 11:26).
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
9. And it shall be said in that day, &c.—"After death has been swallowed up for ever, the people of God, who had been delivered from the hand of death, shall say to the Lord, Lo, this is our God, whom unbelievers regarded as only a man" [Jerome]. "The words are so moulded as to point us specially to the person of the Son of God, who 'saves' us; as He vouchsafed to Israel temporal saving, so to His elect He appears for the purpose of conferring eternal salvation" [Vitringa]. The Jews, however, have a special share in the words, This is our God (see on Isa 25:6).
we have waited—"Waited" is characteristic of God's people in all ages (Ge 49:18; Tit 2:13).
we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation—compare Ps 118:24, which refers to the second coming of Jesus (compare Ps 118:26, with Lu 13:35).
For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
10. rest—as its permanent protector; on "hand" in this sense; compare Ezr 7:6, 28.
Moab—while Israel is being protected, the foe is destroyed; Moab is the representative of all the foes of God's people.
under him—Rather, "in his own place" or "country" (Ex 10:23; 16:29).
for the dunghill—Rather, "in the water of the dung heap," in which straw was trodden to make it manure (Ps 83:10). Horsley translates either, "in the waters of Madmenah," namely, for the making of bricks; or as the Septuagint, "as the threshing-floor is trampled by the corn-drag" (see Margin; Mic 4:11-13).
And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.
11. he—Jehovah shall spread His hands to strike the foe on this side and on that, with as little effort as a swimmer spreads forth his arms to cleave a passage through the water [Calvin]. (Zec 5:3). Lowth takes "he" as Moab, who, in danger of sinking, shall strain every nerve to save himself; but Jehovah (and "he") shall cause him to sink ("bring down the pride" of Moab, Isa 16:6).
with the spoils of … hands—literally, "the craftily acquired spoils" of his (Moab's) hands [Barnes]. Moab's pride, as well as the sudden gripe of his hands (namely, whereby he tries to save himself from drowning) [Lowth]. "Together with the joints of his hands," that is, though Moab struggle against Jehovah hand and foot [Maurer].
And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.
12. fortress—the strongholds of Moab, the representative of the foes of God's people [Barnes]. Babylon [Maurer]. The society of infidels represented as a city (Re 11:8).