Isaiah 12:1

(1) In that day thou shalt say . . .--The prophet becomes the psalmist of that new Exodus, and the hymn that follows is based upon the type of that in Exodus 15, though with less of local and historical colouring. He has been taught that confession must be blended with thanksgiving--that those only can rightly estimate the comfort which God gives who have first felt His wrath. The fact that the prophet appears as a psalmist was a natural result of the training of the schools of the prophets, as described in 1Samuel 19:20, possibly also of his familiarity with the Temple service as a priest or Levite. The group of psalms ascribed to the sons of Korah presents so many parallelisms to the writings of Isaiah, and so obviously belongs to the same period, that we may reasonably think of him as having been associated with that goodly company. (See Introduction.)

Verses 1-6. - THE SONG OF THANKSGIVING OF THE UNITED CHURCH. On each of her deliverances the Church is hound to praise God. In some parts of the Church it is customary on every such occasion to sing a "Te Deum." The ordinary Israelite hymn of praise appears to have been the hundred and thirty-sixth psalm (1 Chronicles 16:34, 41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3; Ezra 3:11; Jeremiah 33:11; 1 Macc. 4:24); but on extraordinary occasions special thanksgivings were sung (Exodus 15:1-21; 1 Samuel 7:18-29, etc.). Isaiah is now inspired to give a pattern song, suitable for the Church to sing when she is reunited, enlarged, and restored to favor. Verse 1. - In that day. In the day of deliverance and restoration. Though thou wast angry; literally, because thou wast angry. Kay understands an actual hank-fullness for the severe discipline, which had checked them, and not allowed them to glide on smoothly to ruin. But perhaps the idiom is rather that of the passage, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" (Matthew 11:25), where it is only the last clause that expresses the true object of the thanksgiving. Comfortedst; rather, hast comforted, since the effect continued.

12:10-16 When the gospel should be publicly preached, the Gentiles would seek Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest of soul. When God's time is come for the deliverance of his people, mountains of opposition shall become plains before him. God can soon turn gloomy days into glorious ones. And while we expect the Lord to gather his ancient people, and bring them home to his church, also to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, when all will be united in holy love, let us tread the highway of holiness he has made for his redeemed. Let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, looking to him to prepare our way through death, that river which separates this world from the eternal world.And in that day thou shalt say,.... The following song of praise; just as Israel did, when they were brought through the Red sea, and saved out of the hands of their enemies; to which there are several allusions and references in it; that deliverance being typical of salvation by Christ; the Gospel day, or the times of the Gospel, are here meant:

O Lord, I will praise thee; or "confess thee"; to be my Lord, Redeemer, and Saviour, my Husband, Head, and King; or "confess to thee" (q), my sins and transgressions, and unworthiness to receive any favour from thee, and gratefully acknowledge all the favours bestowed upon me:

though thou wast angry with me; as it appeared to the church, and according to her apprehensions of things, though not in reality, or strictly or properly speaking; for anger is not to be ascribed to God; but it is a speaking after the manner of men; and the Lord seems to be angry when he hides his face from his people, when he refuses to hear their cries, when he afflicts them, and continues his hand upon them, and when he lets in a sense of wrath into their consciences:

thine anger is turned away; he granting his gracious presence; taking off his afflicting hand; manifesting his love, particularly his pardoning grace and mercy; peace and reconciliation being made by the blood of Christ, and justice satisfied, the effects of resentment and displeasure cease:

and thou comfortedst me; by shedding abroad his love in her heart; by discovering the free and full forgiveness of sin; by lifting up the light of his countenance; by an application of precious promises; and by means of the word and ordinances, through the influence of the blessed Spirit as a comforter; who leads in this way for comfort to the person, blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and fulness of Christ, and comforts with these, by applying them, and showing interest in them. The Targum is,

"and thou shalt say at that time, I will confess before the Lord; for that I have sinned before thee, thine anger is upon me; but when I am turned to the law, thine anger will turn from me, and thou wilt have mercy on me;''

or rather turned to Christ, and embrace his Gospel, which is the only way to have comfort.

(q) "confitebor tibi", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

Isaiah 11:16
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