Isaiah 52:4 MEANING

Isaiah 52:4
(4) My people went down . . .--Stress is laid on the unprovoked character of the oppression in the case both of Egypt and the Assyrian invaders Sargon and Sennacherib. It is possible that Assyria may be used in its wider sense as including Babylon. If so, the fact tends to the conclusion that the book was written at a time when the kings of Assyria included Babylon in their titles. Probably, however, the prophet refers to the deliverance from the army of Sennacherib as a pledge of the deliverance from Babylon.

Verse 4. - My people went down... into Egypt ... the Assyrian oppressed them. Israel had experienced three captivities. They "went down" voluntarily into Egypt, on invitation, to sojourn, and were there cruelly and unjustly reduced to a servile condition (Exodus 1:13, 14). They (or a great part of them) were violently carried into captivity by the Assyrian kings, Tiglath-Pileser (2 Kings 15:29), Sargon (2 Kings 17:6), and Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13; 'Eponym Canon,' p. 134), who, without cause, grievously "oppressed" them. Now they are suffering under a third captivity in Babylonia. What is to be the Divine action under these circumstances?

52:1-12 The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. Let those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, find relief in Christ, shake themselves from the dust of their doubts and fears, and loose themselves from those bands. The price paid by the Redeemer for our salvation, was not silver or gold, or corruptible things, but his own precious blood. Considering the freeness of this salvation, and how hurtful to temporal comfort sins are, we shall more value the redemption which is in Christ. Do we seek victory over every sin, recollecting that the glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ? The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these tidings first. His ministers proclaim these good tidings: keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent. Zion's watchmen could scarcely discern any thing of God's favour through the dark cloud of their afflictions; but now the cloud is scattered, they shall plainly see the performance. Zion's waste places shall then rejoice; all the world will have the benefit. This is applied to our salvation by Christ. Babylon is no place for Israelites. And it is a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan, to use the liberty Christ has proclaimed. They were to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger; but they were not to go with distrustful haste. Those in the way of duty, are under God's special protection; and he that believes this, will not hasten for fear.For thus saith the Lord God,.... The Lord confirms what he had before said of redeeming his people without money, who had been sold for nothing, by past instances of his deliverance of them:

my people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; Jacob and his family went down there of their own accord, where they were supplied with food in a time of famine, and settled in a very fruitful part of it; but when they were oppressed, and cried to the Lord, he appeared for them, and delivered them:

and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause; which some understand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who they say was an Assyrian, or so called, because of his power and cruelty; or it being usual to call any enemy of the Jews an Assyrian: or rather the words may be rendered, "but the Assyrian", &c. Pharaoh had some pretence for what he did; the Israelites came into his country, he did not carry them captive; they received many benefits and favours there, and were settled in a part of his dominions, so that he might claim them as his subjects, and refuse to dismiss them; but the Assyrians had nothing to do with them; could not make any pretence why they should invade them, and oppress them; and therefore if the Lord had delivered them from the one, he would also deliver them from the other. This may be understood of the several invasions and captivities by Pul, Tiglathpileser, Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, and even Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; Babylon having been the metropolis of Assyria, and a branch of the Assyrian empire, though now translated to the Chaldeans: or the sense is, and the Assyrians also oppressed Israel, as well as the Egyptians, without any just reason, and I delivered them out of their hands; and so I will redeem my church and people out of antichristian bondage and slavery.

Courtesy of Open Bible