Isaiah 56:7 MEANING

Isaiah 56:7
(7) Even them will I bring . . .--The words foreshadow the breaking down of the "middle wall of partition" (Ephesians 2:14). Every privilege of the Israelite worshipper is to belong also to the proselyte. It is perhaps assumed that the proselyte is circumcised. The development of truth is in such cases gradual, and it was left for St. Paul to complete the work of Isaiah (Romans 2:26-29; Galatians 6:15).

Verse 7. - My house of prayer. In Solomon's address to God at the dedication of the temple, its character, as a house of prayer, is abundantly laid down (1 Kings 8:29-53). And no doubt it was used for the purpose of prayer, as well as for the purpose of sacrifice, from its first erection to its final destruction. But the purpose of sacrifice so far predominated, in fact, over the other, that the expression, "my house of prayer," comes upon us in this place to some extent as a surprise. The prophet seems to anticipate the time when the temple should be emphatically a προσευχή the legal sacrifices having received their fulfilment (Isaiah 53:10), and being thenceforth superfluous and out of place. For all people; rather, for all the peoples. All the ends of the earth were to see the salvation of God (Psalm 98:3); "All nations were to fall down before him; all people to do him service" (Psalm 72:11).

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.Even them will I bring to my holy mountain,.... The church, called a "mountain" for its height, visibility, and immovableness; see Isaiah 2:2, especially for the latter; the true members of it being such who are interested in the unchangeable love of God, in the immovable grace of election, in the unalterable covenant of grace, are on the Rock Christ Jesus, and are secured by the favour and power of God; and it is called a "Holy One", because in it holy men are, holy doctrines are preached, holy services performed, and the holy God, Father, Son, and Spirit, grant their presence: and hither the Lord "brings" his people; he shows them the way thither; he inclines their minds, and moves their wills, to come hither; he removes the objections that are in their way; he constrains them by his love; and he does it in a very distinguishing way, takes one of a city, and two of a family, and brings them hither; and he who says this is able to do it; and, when he has brought them there, will do for them as follows:

and make them joyful in my house of prayer; or "in the house of my prayer" (p); not made by him, as say the Jews (q); but where prayer is made unto him, and is acceptable with him; every man's closet should be a place of private prayer; and every good man's house a place of family prayer; but a church of God is a house where saints meet together, and jointly pray to the Lord: and here he makes them joyful; by hearing and answering their prayers; by granting his gracious presence; by discovering his love, and shedding it abroad in their hearts; by feeding them with his word and ordinances; by giving them views of Christ, his love and loveliness, fulness, grace, and righteousness: by favouring them with the consolations of his Spirit, and his gracious influences; and by showing them their interest in the blessings of grace and glory:

their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar: which is Christ, who is not only the priest that offers up all the sacrifices of his people, but is also the altar on which they are offered up, Hebrews 13:10, and is the only One, and the most Holy One, which is greater than the gift, and sanctifies every gift that is upon it, and makes both the persons and the offerings of the Lord's people acceptable unto God; for by these offerings and sacrifices are not meant legal but spiritual ones; good deeds, acts of beneficence, rightly performed, with which sacrifices God is well pleased; sacrifices of prayer and praise; and even the persons of saints themselves, their bodies and their souls, when presented, a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice unto God, Hebrews 13:15, the prophet here speaks in figures, agreeably to his own time, as Calvin observes, when speaking of Gospel times; so he makes mention of the sabbath before, instead of the Lord's day, or any time of worship under the Gospel dispensation:

for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people; Gentiles as well as Jews; the sons of the strangers, as others, are all welcome to the church of God, to come and worship, and pray to the Lord there, and that is in any place where the saints meet together; for holy hands may be lifted up everywhere, without wrath or doubting, 1 Timothy 2:8. The Jews apply this verse to the time when the son of David, the Messiah, shall come (r).

(p) "in domo orationis meae", V. L. Vatablus, Pagninus, Montanus, Vitringa. (q) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 7. 1.((r) T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 18. 1.

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