Isaiah 55 commentary

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1. ISAIAH 55 COMMENTARY EDITED BY GLENN PEASE Invitation to the Thirsty 55 Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 1.BARNES, Ho - ( hoy). This word here is designed to call attention to the subject as one of importance. Every one that thirsteth - The word thirst often indicates intense desire, and is thus applied to the sense of want which sinners often have, and to their anxious wishes for salvation. It is not improbable that the Savior had this passage in his eye when he pronounced the blessing on those who hunger and thirst after righteousness Mat_5:6. No needs are so keen, none so imperiously demand supply, as those of hunger and thirst. They occur daily; and when long continued, as in the case of those who are shipwrecked, and doomed to wander months or years over burning sands with scarcely any drink or food, nothing is more distressing. Hence, the figure is often used to denote any intense desire for anything, and especially an ardent desire for salvation (see Psa_42:2; Psa_63:1; Psa_143:6; Joh_7:37). The invitation here is made to all. Everyone ( kol) is entreated to come. It is not offered to the elect only, or to the rich, the great, the noble; but it is made to all. It is impossible to conceive of language more universal in its nature than this; and while this stands in the Word of God, the invitation may be made to all, and should be made to all, and must be made to all. It proves that provision is made for all. Can 2. God invite to a salvation which has not been provided? Can he ask a man to partake of a banquet which has no existence? Can he ask a man to drink of waters when there are none? Can he tantalize the hopes and mock the miseries of people by inviting them to enter a heaven where they would be unwelcome, or to dwell in mansions which have never been provided? (compare Mat_11:28; Mar_16:15; Joh_7:37; Rev_22:17). Come ye to the waters - Water, floods, overflowing streams, or copious showers, are often used in the Scriptures to denote abundant blessings from God, and especially the blessings which would exist under the Messiah (see Isa_35:6; Isa_43:20; Isa_44:3). And he that hath no money - The poor; they who would be unable to purchase salvation if it were to be sold. The idea here is the absolute freeness of the offer of salvation. No man can excuse himself for not being a Christian because he is poor; no man who is rich can ever boast that he has bought salvation, or that he has obtained it on more easy terms because he had property. Come ye, buy and eat - (Compare Mat_13:44-46). That is, procure it without paying a price. The word rendered here buy ( shabar), properly means to break, then to purchase etc. (grain), as that which is broken in a mill (Gesenius), or that which breaks hunger; compare Eng. breakfast (Castell.) Buy wine - ( yayin). Wine was commonly used in their feasts, and indeed was an article of common drink (see the notes at Isa_25:6). Here it is emblematic of the blessings of salvation spoken of as a feast made for people. Wine is usually spoken of as that which exhilarates, or makes glad the heart Jdg_9:13; 2Sa_13:28; Psa_104:15, and it is possible that the image here may be designed specifically to denote that the blessings of salvation make people happy, or dissipate the sorrows of life, and cheer them in their troubles and woes. And milk - Milk, in the Scriptures, is used to denote that which nourishes, or is nutritious Deu_32:14; Jdg_4:1; Jdg_5:25; Isa_7:22; 1Co_9:7. It is mentioned as used with wine in Son_5:1, I have drunk my wine with my milk; and with honey Son_4:11, Honey and milk are under my tongue. The sense here is, that the blessings of the gospel are suited to nourish and support the soul as well as to make it glad and cheerful. Without money ... - None are so poor that they cannot procure it; none are so rich that they can purchase it with gold. If obtained at all by the poor or the rich, it must be without money and without price. If the poor are willing to accept of it as a gift, they are welcome; and if the rich will not accept of it as a gift, they cannot obtain it. What a debt of gratitude we owe to God, who has thus placed it within the reach of all: How cheerfully and thankfully should we accept float as a gift which no wealth, however princely, could purchase, and which, being purchased by the merits of the Redeemer, is put within the reach of the humblest child of Adam! 2. CLARKE, Ho, every one that thirsteth - Water, says Zimchi, is a metaphor for the law and wisdom: as the world cannot subsist without water, so it is impossible that it can subsist without wisdom. The law is also compared to wine and milk: to wine because wine rejoiceth the heart, as it is written: The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart, Psa_19:8. It is compared also to milk, because milk is the subsistence of the child; so are the words of the law the nourishment of his soul who walks in the Divine teaching, and grows up under it. Come, buy wine and milk - In ancient times our forefathers used what is now called the old third person singular, ending in eth, for the imperative mood. We have a fine example of His in the first verses of this chapter. I shall present them as they stand in my old MS. Bible: - Alle gee thirstinge cummeth to wateris: and gee that han not sylver, goth forth and bieth, and etith. 3. Cummeth, bieth without silver, and without eny chaungyng, wyn and mylc. Heerith gee, heering me and etith gode thinge, and deliten schal in fattnesse your soule. Bowith in your eie and cummeth to mee, heerith and liven schal your soule. And I shall smyten with gou, everlastynge covenant, the faithful mercies of David. 3. GILL, Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,.... These are the words not of the prophet, but of the Lord, as what follows throughout the chapter shows; and are directed to the Gentiles, as Aben Ezra thinks: and indeed their conversion is manifestly spoken of in it; and who, Kimchi says, after the war of Gog and Magog, shall know that the Lord reigns, and shall come and be desirous of learning his judgments and laws. The word "ho" is expressive of calling, as the Jewish commentators rightly observe; and carries in it an invitation, in which there seems to be a commiseration of the case of the persons called and it is delivered in indefinite terms, and very openly and publicly; and has in it the nature of a Gospel call or invitation, to persons described as "thirsty"; not in natural, much less in a sinful sense, but in a spiritual one; thirsting after forgiveness of sin by the blood of Christ; after justification by his righteousness; after salvation by him; after more knowledge of him, more communion with him, and more conformity to him; and after the milk of the word, and breasts of ordinances; being sensible of sin and danger, and having a spiritual appetite, and a desire after spiritual things. Such as these are persons made alive; are in distress, and sensible of it; and have desires formed in them after divine things: and these are invited and encouraged to "come to the waters"; by which are meant not Christ, though he is as "rivers of water"; and sensible sinners are directed to come to him, and that as in a starving and famishing condition, and having nothing to help themselves with; and such things are to be had of him, which like water are refreshing and reviving, as his grace, and the blessings of it; and which serve to extinguish thirst, and free from it; yet not he, nor the grace of the spirit, are intended, which is often signified by water in Scripture; but rather the ordinances of the Gospel, which are the means of conveying grace, and of refreshing and comforting distressed minds; in order to which, such may come and hear the word, come and partake of all ordinances. The allusion seems to be to such places by the waterside, where ships, laden with provisions, come and unlade; and where persons, by a public crier, are informed of it, and are called to come and buy. So water means the water side, Jdg_7:4. Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret them of the law, and the doctrines of it; and so the Targum, "ho, everyone that would learn, let him come and learn;'' but the Gospel, and the doctrines and ordinances of that, seem rather designed: and he that hath no money; not in a natural, but in a spiritual sense: unconverted persons have nothing to support themselves or pay off their debts with, though they fancy they have, and that they are rich, and stand in need of nothing; but sensible souls know they have none, and that they are poor and needy; yet these are invited to come where provisions are to be had, since they are to be had at free cost: come ye, buy and eat; come to the ordinances, partake of them freely, and feed upon the provisions therein made: come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price; by wine and milk are meant the Gospel and its doctrines, compared to good old generous wine, for the antiquity of them, and for their being of a reviving and refreshing nature; and to "milk", for its purity and 4. sweetness, and for its cooling and nourishing nature, and because easy of digestion; these are to be bought, and not to be sold. Pro_23:23, but not in a proper sense; no valuable consideration can be given for them, for they are of more worth than thousands of gold and silver; nor have we anything to give to God for them, and the blessings of grace conveyed by them, which is not his own, or can be profitable to him; but in an improper sense, when something thought valuable is parted with for them, as sinful and righteous self, and even everything in life, when called for, and that itself; these are bought without any money or price on our part; they are freely given and received; and on this basis may men expect them, and have them. The Targum is, "he that hath no si