Isaiah 52:15 MEANING

Isaiah 52:15
(15) So shall he sprinkle many nations . . .--The words have been very differently rendered by, He shall cause to spring up, i.e., shall startle, He shall scatter, He shall fling away, or, Many nations shall marvel at him. On the whole, however, admitting the difficulty of the passage, the Authorised version seems preferable. The "sprinkling" is that of the priest who cleanses the leper (Leviticus 4:6; Leviticus 4:17), and this was to be done by Him who was Himself counted as a leper "smitten of God" (Isaiah 53:4). We may probably trace an echo of the words in the "sprinkling clean water" of Ezekiel 36:25, in the "blood of sprinkling," of Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 12:24. Here it comes as an explanation of the paradox that the Servant of Jehovah was to bring in "many nations" into the holy city, and yet that the "uncircumcised and unclean" were not to enter it (Isaiah 52:1).

The kings shall shut their mouths . . .--The reverence, as in Isaiah 49:7, Job 29:9; Job 40:4, is that of silent wonder at the change which has passed over the suffering Servant. Wisdom Of Solomon 5:1-5 presents an interesting parallel, the reference there being to the person of the ideal righteous sufferer. In that case, as in this, there was, so to speak, a transfiguration "beyond all that men looked for."

Verse 15. - So shall he sprinkle many nations. The Septuagint has, "So shall many nations marvel at him;" and this translation is followed by Gesenius and Ewald. Mr. Cheyne thinks that the present Hebrew text is corrupt, and suggests that a verb was used antithetical to the "astonied" of ver. 14, expressing "joyful surprise." It is certainly hard to see how the idea of "sprinkling," even if it can mean "purifying," comes in here. Kings shall shut their mouths at him; rather, because of him. In reverential awe of his surpassing greatness (comp. Micah 7:16). That which had not been told them shall they see. They will learn the facts of Christ's humiliation, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven - events that it had never entered into the heart of man to conceive, and of which, therefore, no tongue had ever spoken.

52:13-15 Here begins that wonderful, minute, and faithful description of the office, character, and glory of the Messiah, which has struck conviction to many of the most hardened unbelievers. Christ is Wisdom itself; in the work of our redemption there appeared the wisdom of God in a mystery. Those that saw him, said, Surely never man looked so miserable: never was sorrow like unto his sorrow. But God highly exalted him. That shall be discovered by the gospel of Christ, which could never be told in any other way. And Christ having once shed his blood for sinners, its power still continues. May all opposers see the wisdom of ceasing from their opposition, and be made partakers of the blood of sprinkling, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; obeying him, and praising his salvation.So shall he sprinkle many nations,.... This is not to be understood of water baptism, for though this has been administered in many nations, yet not by Christ, nor done by sprinkling; rather of the grace of the Spirit, which is expressed by water, and its application by sprinkling, and is of a cleansing and sanctifying nature, and which Gentiles are made partakers of; but better of the blood of Christ, called the blood of sprinkling, by which the conscience is purged from dead works, and the heart from an evil conscience, and by which multitudes of many nations are justified and sanctified; though it seems best of all to interpret it of the doctrine of Christ, which is compared to rain and dew, and is dropped, distilled, and sprinkled, and falls gently upon the souls of men, and has been published in many nations, with good effect and success. So Kimchi and Ben Melech say the phrase is expressive of speaking. This passage is applied to the Messiah by a Jewish writer (y). The Targum is,

"he will scatter many people;''

and Aben Ezra interprets it of pouring out their blood and taking vengeance on them.

The kings shall shut their mouths at him; astonished at the glories and excellencies of his person and office, as outshining theirs; at his wonderful works of grace and salvation, and as having nothing to object to his doctrines; and if they do not profess them, yet dare not blaspheme them. It seems to denote a reverent attention to them, and a subjection to Christ and his ordinances; and must be understood of their subjects as well as of themselves.

For that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider; or "understand" (z); this is applied to Christ and his Gospel, in the times of the apostles, Romans 15:20. The Gentiles had not the oracles of God committed to them; could not be told the things of the Gospel, and what relate to Christ, by their oracles, or by their philosophers; nor could they be come at by the light of nature, or by carnal reason; such as the doctrines of a trinity of Persons in the Godhead; of the deity, sonship, and incarnation of Christ; of salvation by him; of justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, and atonement by his sacrifice; of the resurrection of the dead, and eternal life: but now Christ and his Gospel are seen and understood by spiritual men; who, besides having a revelation given them, and the Gospel preached unto them, have their eyes opened, and indeed new eyes and understandings given them; so that they have a sight of Christ, of the glory, beauty, and fulness of his person by faith, through the glass of the word, so as to approve of him, appropriate him, and become like unto him; and of his Gospel, and the doctrines of it, so as to like and esteem them, believe them, distinguish them, and look upon them with wonder and pleasure.

(y) Baal Hatturim in Leviticus 16.14. (z) Sept.; intelligent, Calvin; "intellexerunt", Vitringa.

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