Isaiah 62:6 MEANING

Isaiah 62:6
(6) I have set watchmen upon thy walls . . .--The "watchmen" have been differently interpreted as (1) angelic guardians and (2) prophets. Zechariah 1:12, and Daniel 10:16-21 may be alleged in favour of (1), but on the whole, (2) seems preferable. The prophets of the return from exile, Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, may be thought of as representative examples of such "watchmen," as also are the prophets of the Christian Church, which takes partly, at least, the position of the new Jerusalem.

Ye that make mention . . .--Better, ye that are the remembrancers. They are to remind Jehovah of His promises day and night, that He may hasten their fulfilment, never resting till the future Jerusalem is in very deed "a praise in the earth." (Comp. Zechariah 1:12.)

Verse 6. - I have set watchmen upon thy walls. "The Servant" has appointed watchers upon the walls of Zion - either "prophets" (Delitzsch), or "priests and prophets" (Kay), or, more probably, "angelic beings" (Cheyne), who keep perpetual watch and ward (Comp. Isaiah 52:8). Neither day nor night do they hold their peace, or keep silence, but ever intercede with God for his people, like the "angel of Jehovah" in Zechariah 1:12, reminding him of his covenant with them, and his promises to them, and exhorting him to "awake, awake" for his own honour's sake (Isaiah 51:9-11). It is generally allowed that the "watchers" in Daniel 4:13, 17, 23 are angels; and the same interpretation best suits the "watchmen" of the present passage. Ye that make mention of the Lord; rather, as in the margin, ye that are the Lord's remembrancers; i.e. "ye whose business it is to call to God's remembrance the needs and claims of his people, and the obligations of his covenant promises."

62:6-9 God's professing people must be a praying people. He is not displeased with us for being earnest, as men commonly are; he bids us to cry after him, and give him no rest, Lu 11:5,6. It is a sign that God is coming to a people in mercy, when he pours out a spirit of prayer upon them. See how uncertain our creature-comforts are. See also God's mercy in giving plenty, and peace to enjoy it. Let us delight in attending the courts of the Lord, that we may enjoy the consolations of his Spirit.I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem,.... Not angels, as Jarchi; nor kings, as Kimchi; nor princes and civil magistrates, as others; nor the mourners in Zion, as Aben Ezra; but ministers of the Gospel; as the prophets of the Old Testament are called watch men, Isaiah 21:11, so ministers of the New, Isaiah 52:8 who are to watch in all things over themselves, and for the souls of men; for their good, and to guard them against that which is evil, pernicious, and dangerous, both in principle and practice, 2 Timothy 4:5. The allusion is to watchmen on the walls of cities, whose business is to keep their place and stand, and not move from it; to look out diligently, and descry an enemy, or any approaching danger, and give notice of it; and to defend the outworks of the city, and repel the enemy; all which requires courage, constancy, vigilance, and sobriety. The church is a city, and a walled one; God himself is a wall about her; salvation by Christ is as walls and bulwarks to her; and ministers of the Gospel are set for the defence of her: this is an ordinance and appointment of God; these watchmen are not of men's setting, nor do they take this office to themselves; but are placed in it by the Lord, who makes them able ministers, qualifies them for watchmen, and enables them to perform their work; and which is an instance of the love of God to his church, and of his care of it:

which shall never hold their peace day nor night; as the living creatures in Revelation 4:8, which are an emblem of Gospel ministers; who are always to be employed, and to be continually praying or preaching; the two principal branches of their ministry, Acts 6:4, they are not to be silent, but either praying in private or in public for direction and assistance in their meditations; for supply of the gifts and graces of the Spirit in their ministration, and for success in their work; and that all blessings of grace might descend on those to whom they minister: or else preaching the Gospel; being constant in season, and out of season; frequently inculcating the doctrines of Christ; constantly affirming these things; ever informing, instructing, and exhorting the people. It was Austin's wish that death might find him either praying or preaching:

ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence; some take this to be an address to the same persons; and they may be described as such that make mention of the Lord in their ministrations; of the grace and love of God the Father; of the person, office, and grace of Christ; and of the operations of the Spirit: or, "as the remembrancers of the Lord" (i), as it may be rendered; that put men in mind of the Lord; of what he has done for them, and is unto them; of the doctrines of the Gospel respecting him, and of their duty to him, and to one another, and to all men; and who put the Lord in mind of his promises to his people, and prophecies concerning them, to fulfil them: but I rather think another set of men are meant, even members of churches, as distinct from ministers; who make mention of the Lord to one another, in private conference with each other; of his gracious dealings with them, and favours bestowed upon them; and who make mention of him in their prayers to him, and praises of him; and who should not keep silence, but pray without ceasing, even always, and not faint, Luke 18:1.

(i) "qui Deo estis a memoriis", Gataker; "qui facitis ut alii reminiscantur Domini", Forerius.

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