Wesley's Notes on the Bible
<> The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
50:1 Called - All the inhabitants of the earth, from one end to the other: whom he here summons to be witnesses of his proceedings in this solemn judgment, between him and his people, which is here poetically represented. For here is a tribunal erected, the judge coming to it, the witnesses and delinquents summoned, and at last the sentence given.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
50:2 Zion - The place where he was supposed to reside, and where he would now sit in judgment. The perfection - The most amiable place of the whole world, because, of the presence and worship, and blessing of God. Shined - Hath manifested himself in a glorious manner.
Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
50:3 Our God - The prophet speaks this in the persons of the worshippers of God. Though he be our God, yet he will come to execute judgment upon us. Cease - Or delay to sit in judgment. Tempestuous - This is a farther description of that terrible majesty, wherewith God would clothe himself when he came to his tribunal.
He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
50:4 Call - To the inhabitants of them, all angels and men, whom he calls in for witnesses of the equity of his proceedings.
Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
50:5 Gather - O ye angels, summon and fetch them to my tribunal. Which is poetically spoken, to continue the metaphor, and representation of the judgment. My saints - The Israelites, whom God had chosen and separated them from all the nations of the earth, to be an holy and peculiar people to himself, and they also had solemnly devoted themselves to God; all which aggravated their apostacy. Those - Who have entered into covenant with me, and have ratified that covenant by sacrifice. This seems to be added, to acquaint them with the proper nature, use and end of sacrifices, which were principally appointed to be signs and seals of the covenant made between God and his people; and consequently to convince them of their great mistake in trusting to their outward sacrifices, when they neglected the very life and soul of them, which was the keeping of their covenant with God.
And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
50:6 Declare - God will convince the people of his righteousness, and of their own wickedness, by thunders and lightnings, and storms, or other dreadful signs wrought by him in the heavens. Himself - In his own person. God will not now reprove them, by his priests or prophets, but in an extraordinary manner from heaven.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
50:7 Hear - Having brought in God, as coming to judgment, he now gives an account of the process and sentence of the judge. Testify - I will declare my charge against thee. Thy God - Not only in general, but in a special manner, by that solemn covenant made at Sinai; whereby I avouched thee to be my peculiar people, and thou didst avouch me to be thy God.
I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
50:8 I will not - This is not the principal matter of my charge, that thou hast neglected sacrifices which thou shouldst have offered.
I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
50:9 Bullock - Be not so foolish, as to imagine that thou dost lay any obligations upon me by thy sacrifices.
For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
50:11 The fowls - Such as are wild and fly up and down upon mountains.
If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
50:14 Offer - If thou wouldest know what sacrifices I prize, and indispensably require, in the first place, it is that of thankfulness, proportionable to my great and numberless favours; which doth not consist barely in verbal acknowledgments, but proceeds from an heart deeply affected with God's mercies, and is accompanied with such a course of life, as is well - pleasing to God. Vows - Those substantial vows and promises, which were the very soul of their sacrifices.
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
50:15 Call - And make conscience of that great duty of fervent prayer, which is an acknowledgment of thy subjection to me, and of thy trust and dependance upon me. Glorify - Thou shalt have occasion to glorify me for thy deliverance.
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
50:16 But - With what confidence darest thou make mention of my grace and favour, in giving thee such a covenant and statutes.
Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
50:21 Kept silence - I did not express my displeasure against thee in such judgments as thou didst deserve. Thoughtest - Thou didst misconstrue my patience and long - suffering, as if it had proceeded from my approbation of thy evil courses. Set in order - I will bring to thy remembrance, and lay upon thy conscience all thy sins.
Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
50:23 Glorifieth - He and he only gives me the honour that I require, and not he who loads my altar with sacrifices.