The garments of salvation . . .--The imagery is the same as that of Isaiah 59:17 and Isaiah 61:3, its entirely spiritual significance being, perhaps, still more strongly accentuated.
As a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments.--Literally, wears a turban (or mitre), as a priest. It would appear from Song Song of Solomon 3:11 that bridegrooms wore a special head-dress on the day of their espousal, and this is here compared to the priestly "bonnet," or "mitre" (Exodus 28:4; Exodus 39:28; Ezekiel 44:18). On the special occasion which may have suggested the image, see Note on Isaiah 62:4.
"Jerusalem said, rejoicing I will rejoice in the Word of the Lord;''
not in his word of promise, but in his essential Word, his Son the Messiah; in his person, offices, fulness, righteousness, and salvation:
my soul shall be joyful in my God; in Christ, in that he is God, and so able to save to the uttermost, and keep from a final and total falling, and to preserve safe to his kingdom and glory: hence his person is excellent; his blood precious; his righteousness valuable; and his sacrifice efficacious; and all matter of joy to the believer: and who also rejoices in that he is his God, "my God"; God in our nature; Immanuel, God with us; the God-man and Mediator, through whom there is access to God and acceptance with him; and who stands in near relation to his people, and has all fullness to supply their wants, and makes all he has theirs; so that, they have great reason to rejoice in him indeed. The Targum is,
"my soul shall rejoice in the salvation of my God;''
the nature of this joy may be collected from the text itself: it is not a carnal one, or the joy of a carnal man in carnal things, it is spiritual; nor a pharisaical joy, a rejoicing in a man's self, in his own works of righteousness, for this "is in the Lord"; nor is it a hypocritical one, or only externally, for it is the soul that rejoices; and it is the joy of faith, or in the Lord, as "my God"; and a very great one it is, joy unspeakable, and full of glory; and is what continues, as the matter and ground of it always does, as follows: "for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation"; with salvation as garments; the salvation of Christ, which, like garments, is without men, being wrought out by Christ; and is brought near, and applied by the spirit of Christ; and is all around, and encompasses the saints as such, and like them beautifies and adorns them, and keeps them warm and comfortable, when they have the joys of it; and which secures them from the storms of divine wrath and vengeance; and the plural number being used may denote the fulness and completeness of this salvation, from all sin, from wrath, hell, and damnation, and from every enemy: and this is matter of joy to the believer interested in it, and clothed with it; since it is a salvation so great; a garment so fitting and suitable, and had at free cost; and in which the glory of all the divine perfections is so conspicuous, as well as it being so full, complete, and perfect, and an everlasting one:
he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness: not with her own, that is a rag, and not a robe, and a filthy one too, Isaiah 64:6 and no covering, and is indeed no righteousness, properly speaking; but the righteousness of Christ, the best robe, the wedding garment, and change of raiment, which, like a robe, is upon believers, but not in them; it in Christ, and imputed to them; it covers their persons and their nakedness, and all their sins, so as not to be seen with the eye of avenging justice: to clothe and cover with it is God's act of imputation, and Christ's application of it by his Spirit, Zechariah 3:4, which, perceived by the believer, causes great joy; it being all of a piece, like Christ's seamless robe, and so pure and spotless, so perfect and complete, and so rich and glorious:
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments; or, "adorns" himself
in a princely or priestly manner (d); for the word used signifies both. The sense is, as a bridegroom puts on the best clothes he has on his wedding day, and makes the appearance of a prince in his richest robes, or as the high priest when he had on all his sacerdotal garments; so the Targum,
"as a bridegroom that flourishes in his bridechamber, and as the high priest who is adorned with his garments:''
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels; or "implements" (e); and makes herself as fine as she can, to recommend herself to her spouse and her friends: thus richly and magnificently arrayed is the church of Christ, and every believer, being clothed with his righteousness; he and they are in the same relation; he is the bridegroom, they the bride; and they are clothed alike with the garment down to the foot; and are righteous as he is righteous; and are herewith as a bride adorned and made ready for her husband; and the joy at such a solemnity fitly expresses the mutual joy of Christ and his church; see Revelation 19:7 so Christ's righteousness is compared to a wedding garment, Matthew 22:12.
(d) "sacerdotali more ornabit", Tigurine version; "qui sacerdotem refert ornatu", Piscator. (e) "vasis suis", Vatablus, Montanus; "instrumentis"; Junius & Tremellius, De Dieu.