Isaiah 2:3 MEANING

Isaiah 2:3
(3) Many people shall go and say . . .--What was precious to the prophet's heart was the thought that these pilgrims from afar would not come as with a formal worship like that of Isaiah 1:10-15, but, like the queen of Sheba (1 Kings 10:1-10), as seekers after truth, desiring to be taught. (Comp. Isaiah 60:3.) The "ways" and the "paths" are the great laws of righteousness, which lead to the eternal life. The verb for "teach" is the root of the Hebrew for "law," as the "teaching" of Jehovah.

Shall go forth the law . . .--In the preaching of the Christ, in the mission of the Twelve, in the whole history of the Apostolic Church, we have, to say the least, an adequate fulfilment of the promise. The language of St. Paul, however, suggests that there may be in the future a yet more glorious mission, of which Jerusalem shall once more be the centre (Romans 11:12-15).

Verse 3. - Many people; rather, many peoples. Shall go; or, set forth. The prophet means to represent the nations as encouraging one another on the way. There is no jealousy among them, for the "mountain" can hold them all. He will teach us. The nations feel their ignorance of God, and their need of "teaching." God alone can teach them concerning himself (Romans 11:33, 34; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11); and "he will teach" them, either directly, as the Incarnate Son, or indirectly through those whom he has appointed to be "teachers" (1 Corinthians 12:28). Of his ways; i.e. "some of his ways," not "all of them;" for at present "we know in part" only (1 Corinthians 13:9), and the greater portion of his ways are "past finding out" (Romans 11:33). The "ways" here spoken of are, no doubt, rules for the conduct of life, which are practically inexhaustible. God, however, will teach every man, who honestly seeks to learn, enough to enable him to "walk in his paths." Out of Zion shall go forth the Law; rather, instruction, or teaching. The word (torah) is without the article. The instruction intended is that of the Church of God.

2:1-9 The calling of the Gentiles, the spread of the gospel, and that far more extensive preaching of it yet to come, are foretold. Let Christians strengthen one another, and support one another. It is God who teaches his people, by his word and Spirit. Christ promotes peace, as well as holiness. If all men were real Christians, there could be no war; but nothing answering to these expressions has yet taken place on the earth. Whatever others do, let us walk in the light of this peace. Let us remember that when true religion flourishes, men delight in going up to the house of the Lord, and in urging others to accompany them. Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God; for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep. It is not having silver and gold, horses and chariots, that displeases God, but depending upon them, as if we could not be safe, and easy, and happy without them, and could not but be so with them. Sin is a disgrace to the poorest and the lowest. And though lands called Christian are not full of idols, in the literal sense, are they not full of idolized riches? and are not men so busy about their gains and indulgences, that the Lord, his truths, and precepts, are forgotten or despised?And many people shall go and say,.... This is a prophecy of the numerous conversions among the Gentiles in the latter day, and agrees with Zechariah 8:20 and even the author of the old Nizzachon (p) interprets it of the gathering of the people to the Messiah.

Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; the church of Christ, so called; See Gill on Isaiah 2:2. This expresses the concern that truly gracious souls have for the house of God, and his worship in it; they go up to it, considering it both as their duty and their privilege; and which they do frequently and constantly, with much spiritual pleasure, though sometimes with difficulty, finding their account in it, and knowing it is for the glory of God; and not content with so doing themselves, they encourage others to do so likewise; either professors of religion with them, who are negligent and backward through a spirit of slumber and slothfulness on them; through lukewarmness, coldness, and leaving their first love; through an over love to the world, and the things of it; and through a vain conceit of themselves, as being as knowing as their teachers, or wiser than they: or else such who have made no profession, who are quite ignorant of divine things, these they endeavour to bring with them, out of love to their souls, that they may be under the means of grace, in order to their conversion; and such as are inquiring the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, these they encourage to join with them in holy fellowship; and in all they set an example by a constant attendance themselves; they do not stir them up to go alone, either one or other, but propose to go with them. See Psalm 122:1.

and he will teach us of his ways: that is, the Lord the God of Jacob, the covenant God and Father of his church and people, who often in this prophecy go by the name of Jacob; he is the teacher, and there is none teacheth like him; and happy are they who are taught of God, and who have heard and learnt of the Father, and come to Christ: he taught men by his Son, when here on earth; who was a teacher that came from God, taught the way of God in truth, and with authority, as the Scribes and Pharisees did not: and then by his Spirit, sent after him to teach all things, and bring all things to remembrance; and since by his apostles and ministers, who have gifts, and a commission to teach men; though all human teachings are of no avail, without a divine blessing, unless accompanied with the anointing, which teacheth all things; and which will be abundantly bestowed in the latter day, when all the children of Zion, and that come to the house of the Lord, will be taught of God. Kimchi says, the teacher here is the King Messiah; the "us" to be taught are Gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, whom Christ, under the Gospel dispensation, has given his ministers a commission to teach; and here design such as are humble souls, and sensible of their ignorance, and who know something of Christ, and believe in him; yet, as they know but in part, they desire to know more. The things taught them are the "ways" of the Lord; his ways of love, grace, and mercy, in the salvation of men; the steps he took in eternity towards it, by consulting and contriving the best method of it, forming it in his Son, and agreeing with him in covenant about it, and choosing the persons in him he designed to save: and also his goings forth in time, by sending his Son into this world, to obtain salvation for them, and his Spirit into their hearts, to apply it to them; likewise the ways which he prescribes and directs his people to walk in, such as the ordinances of the Gospel, and every path of duty: and the place where these are taught is the church of God, and to this school all that desire to learn should go; and there is ever something more and more of these ways to be learnt; for they are not all learnt at once, only part of his ways; and it is but a small portion, we know of these in the present state, which God has taken in order to bring about our salvation.

And we will walk in his paths; in Christ, the way, by faith, and in all his ordinances and paths of duty, according to the rule of his word; in imitation of him, and as he walked; in a dependence on his wisdom, grace, and strength, continuing therein; for walking is a progressive motion, and designs a series and course of obedience and perseverance in it:

for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; by which is meant the law or doctrine of the Messiah, Isaiah 42:4 for the Hebrew word signifies any doctrine, and so the evangelical one, the law or doctrine of faith, of justification by faith in Christ's righteousness, Romans 3:27 together with all other doctrines of the same kind; called the "word of the Lord", which the Lord Christ is the author, preacher, sum, and substance of; the word of righteousness, peace, reconciliation, life, and salvation by him. This first began according to his commission and direction to be preached at Jerusalem, and from thence it went forth into all the world; and it is in Zion, in the church of God, it is now preached, and will be more clearly and fully in the latter day; and so is an argument and an encouraging reason to engage persons to go up thither and hear it.

(p) Apud Wagenseil. Tela ignea, p. 29.

Courtesy of Open Bible