Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation…
If it be asked, What the great design of God is in the Scriptures? I answer, To bring a lost world to the knowledge of a Saviour. all the prophecies, promises, histories, and doctrines of the Word, do point us to Him, as the needle in the mariner's compass points to the pole star. "To Him bore all the prophets witness." And when apostles under the New Testament were sent unto all nations, with the silver trumpet of the everlasting Gospel in their mouths, what was the great theme of their sermons! It was just to make Christ known among the nations All the lines of religion meet in Him as their centre. The prophet in the close of the preceding chapter, having spoken of dark and dismal days of trouble and distress, comes in the beginning of this, to comfort and encourage the hearts of true believers, with the good things which were coming in the days of the great Messiah.
I. There are THREE GREAT NEW TESTAMENT BLESSINGS he condescends upon.
1. Great light should spring up to a lost world (ver. 2).
2. Joy in the Lord (ver. 3).
3. Spiritual liberty (vers. 4, 5).
II. It any should ask WHO IS HE, AND WHERE IS HE, THAT SHALL DO ALL THESE GREAT THINGS? You have an answer in the words, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder," etc. In the words we may notice these things following.
1. The incarnation of the great Messiah; for here the prophet speaks of His birth.
2. His donation. He is the gift of God to a lost world. "Unto us a Son is given."
3. His advancement to the supreme rule and authority. "The government shall be upon His shoulder."
4. His character and designation, in five names here given Him, which show that He has a name above every name, "Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
5. The relation He stands in to lost sinners of Adam's family. He is born "to us," He is given "to us," and not to the angels which fell.
6. The application and triumph of faith upon all this; for the Church here lays claim to Him, and triumphs in her claim; for the words are uttered in a way of holy boasting. "Unto us this Child is born, unto us this Son is given."
Parallel VersesKJV: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
WEB: But there shall be no more gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time, he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.