Isaiah 56:8 MEANING

Isaiah 56:8
(8) The Lord God . . . saith.--The phrase is the normal one for introducing an oracle of special importance. This, so to speak, was to be one of the "faithful sayings" of Isaiah. We can hardly fail to find in John 10:16 a deliberate reproduction of Isaiah's thought. The first clause refers clearly to the gathering of the heathen as following on that of the "outcasts" of Israel.

Verse 8. - The Lord God; rather, the Lord Jehovah - Adonai Jehovah. An unusual phrase. Which gathereth together the outcasts of Israel; i.e. the Lord who has pledged himself to bring back Israel from captivity, and to gather together Israel's outcasts from all regions (Isaiah 11:11; Isaiah 27:12, 13; Isaiah 43:5, 6, etc.). This same Lord now promises something further: "He will gather others also to Israel, besides his own gathered ones." Introduced with such emphasis and formality, this was probably, when delivered, a new revelation. In the present arrangement of the prophecies, however, it announces no novelty. The addition of Gentile members to the Israelite community has been declared frequently (see Isaiah 44:5; Isaiah 55:5, etc.). Section V. A WARNING TO THE WICKED (ISAIH 56:9-57.).

56:3-8 Unbelief often suggests things to discourage believers, against which God has expressly guarded. Spiritual blessings are unspeakably better than having sons and daughters; for children are a care, and may prove a grief and shame, but the blessings we partake of in God's house, are comforts which cannot be made bitter. Those who love the Lord truly, will serve him faithfully, and then his commandments are not grievous. Three things are promised. Assistance: I will not only bid them welcome, but incline them to come. Acceptance, and comfort: though they came mourning to the house of prayer, they shall go away rejoicing. They shall find ease by casting their cares and burdens upon God. Many a sorrowful spirit has been made joyful in the house of prayer. The Gentiles shall be one body with the Jews, that, as Christ says, Joh 10:16, there may be one fold and one Shepherd. Thanks be to God that none are separated from him except by wilful sin and unbelief; and if we come to him, we shall be accepted through the sacrifice of our great High Priest.The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel, saith,.... Not the outcasts of literal Israel, the captives in Babylon, and elsewhere; but of spiritual Israel, and who are cast out, not by the Lord, but by the men of the world; who cast out their names as evil, who call them outcasts, and account them the offscouring of all things, Jeremiah 30:17 or rather this character of them may represent what they appear to be in a state of nature, when they seem to be neglected, and not taken notice of by the Lord, as if they were not his people, or beloved by him; and are like the infant cast out into the open field to the loathing of its person; and yet such as these the Lord looks upon, takes notice of, and gathers in by an effectual calling. The Targum renders it, "the scattered of Israel"; and so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; who, while unregenerate, are in a state of distance and alienation from God; are without God and Christ, and destitute of the Spirit; aliens from the people of God; wandering out of the way of God; are like lost sheep, scattered abroad by the fall of Adam, and their own actual transgressions: now the Lord God is the gatherer of these; which agrees with Christ, as the surety that engaged to look them up, and bring them in; and as he is a shepherd that gathers the lambs in his arms; and as he is the Saviour that came to seek and save that which was lost; and who, in consequence of having redeemed his people, gathers them by his Spirit and grace, through the ministry of the word; see John 10:16, it may be here meant of God the Father, whose purpose, plan, and contrivance, it was to gather together all his elect in one, even in Christ; and whose promise it is, that to him should the gathering of the people be; and who set him up as an ensign for that purpose, Ephesians 1:10 he now says:

yet will I gather others to him besides those that are gathered unto him; that is, to Israel; either to Christ, to whom these outcasts and scattered ones belong, who is sometimes called Israel, Isaiah 49:3, or to the church of God, whither they are brought when gathered, as in Isaiah 56:5, this is done in the effectual calling, when God's elect are called and gathered out of the world, among whom they have been, and are brought to Christ as their Saviour; as the Lord their righteousness; as the Mediator of the new covenant; and to his blood for pardon, justification, and salvation; and as the ark where they only can find rest for their souls; and as their King, to whom they become subject; and so they are gathered into the church as to a fold and good pasture. Now great numbers of these, both among the Jews and Gentiles, were gathered in at the first preaching of the Gospel, in the first times of the Gospel dispensation; and it is here promised that others besides them should be gathered in, even all that remain of the election of grace uncalled; the rest of those that the Father has given to Christ; the residue of those he has redeemed by his blood; such of the children of God as are yet scattered abroad, even all the remainder of the Lord's people, whether Jews or Gentiles; which will be fulfilled in the latter day, when the forces and fulness of the Gentiles shall be brought in, and the nation of the Jews converted at once. The words may be rendered, "yet will I gather unto him his that are to be gathered" (s); the other sheep uncalled; as many as are ordained unto eternal life; not one shall be lost or left behind. Kimchi mentions it as an exposition of his father's,

"after I have gathered the outcasts of Israel; yet will I gather, against them that are gathered, others against his gathered ones, and they are Gog and Magog;''

to which sense, he says, the following verse inclines: but much better is the sense of Aben Ezra,

"yet, will I gather proselytes to the gathered of Israel;''

for his "gathered ones", he says, refers to Israel. But it is best of all to interpret it of the nations gathered and added to the Christian churches in the times of Constantine, who before had been treated as outcasts, and persecuted for their profession of Christ; and of the conversion of various other people, as the Goths, Vandals, &c. in later ages. So Vitringa.

(s) "adhuc congregabo, super eum congregatos ejus", Pagninus, Montanus; "congregandos ejus", Forerius, Grotius.

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