Isaiah 65:13 MEANING

Isaiah 65:13
(13) My servants shall eat . . .--The form of the punishment is apparently determined by that of the sin. That had been the orgy of an idol's feast; the penalty would be hunger and thirst, while joy and gladness would be the portion of those who had abstained from it. The words present a striking parallelism to Luke 6:20-26.

Verse 13. - Therefore thus saith the Lord God; rather, thus saith the Lord Jehovah (comp. Isaiah 7:7; Isaiah 25:8; Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 30:15; Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 48:16; Isaiah 49:22; I. 4, 5, 7, 9; 52:4; 56:8; 61:1, etc.). My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry, etc. This entire series of contrasts may be understood in two ways; literally, of the two classes of exiles, the religious and the irreligious; metaphorically, of God's servants and his adversaries at all times and in all places. The religious exiles would return to the land of promise as soon as permitted, and would there prosper in a worldly sense - have abundance to eat and drink, rejoice, and sing for joy (Ezra 3:11-13). The irreligious, remaining in Babylonia, would suffer hunger and thirst, endure shame, cry and howl for sorrow and vexation of spirit. This would be one fulfilment of the prophecy; but there would also be another. God's servants at all times and in all places would be sustained with spiritual food, and "rejoice and sing for joy of heart." His adversaries would everywhere feel a craving for the "meat" and "drink," which alone satisfy the soul, and would be oppressed with care, and with a sense of shame, and suffer anguish of spirit.

65:11-16 Here the different states of the godly and wicked, of the Jews who believed, and of those who persisted in unbelief, are set against one another. They prepared a table for that troop of deities which the heathen worship, and poured out drink-offerings to that countless number. Their worshippers spared no cost to honour them, which should shame the worshippers of the true God. See the malignity of sin; it is doing by choice what we know will displease God. In every age and nation, the Lord leaves those who persist in doing evil, and despise the call of the gospel. God's servants shall have the bread of life, and shall want nothing good for them. But those who forsake the Lord, shall be ashamed of vain confidence in their own righteousness, and the hopes they built thereon. Wordly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world's goods; but God's servants bless themselves in him. He is their strength and portion. They shall honour him as the God of truth. And it was promised that in him should all the families of the earth be blessed. They shall think themselves happy in having him for their God, who made them forget their troubles.Therefore thus saith the Lord God,.... This being the case, the following contrast is formed between those that believed in Christ, and those that rejected him:

behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: which has been verified in a literal sense; for the Christians, the Lord's righteous servants, as the Targum in the several clauses calls them, were, as Eusebius (e) relates, by a divine warning, directed to leave Jerusalem, before the destruction of it; when they removed to a place called Pella, beyond Jordan, where they had proper accommodations; while the unbelieving Jews were penned up in the city, and were starved, and multitudes of them died by famine: and in a figurative sense they had a famine, not of bread, or of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord; the Gospel being taken from them, and sent to another people, who received it, and ate it, and were nourished by it; which is bread that strengthens, meat that is savoury, milk that nourishes, honey that is sweet to the taste, delicious fruit, and all that is wholesome and healthful; Christ in the word particularly, who is the Lamb of God, the fatted calf, the hidden manna, the bread of life and spiritual meat, as his flesh is, is the food which believers eat by faith, and feed upon, and are nourished with; while others starve, feeding upon ashes and husks, on that which is not bread. Kimchi interprets this and the following clauses, figuratively, of the reward of the world to come, and of the delights and pleasures of the soul, signified by eating and drinking; and so, he says, their Rabbins interpret it; see Luke 14:15.

Behold, my servants shall drink, and ye shall be thirsty; which has the same sense as before, the same thing in different words. Particularly true believers in Christ drink of his blood by faith, which is drink indeed; and of the grace of Christ, which is the water of life, of which they may drink freely; and of the Gospel of Christ, which is as wine and milk, and as cold water to a thirsty soul; and of the love of Christ, which is better than wine; and they shall drink of new wine with him in the kingdom of his Father; while the wicked shall thirst after their sins and lusts now, and have no satisfaction in them, and hereafter will want a drop of water to cool their tongues.

Behold, my servants shall rejoice; in Christ, in his person, grace, and fulness; in his righteousness and salvation; and in hope of the glory of God by him:

but ye shall be ashamed; of their vain confidence; of their trust in their own righteousness, in their temple, and the service of it; in their troops and numbers, particularly when taken and carried captive; and more especially this will be their case at the great day of judgment, when they shall see him whom they have pierced.

(e) Hist. Eccl. I. 3. c. 5. p. 75.

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