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Isaiah 51:4 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Attend unto me, O my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall go forth from me, and I will establish my justice for a light of the peoples.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Pay attention to Me, O My people, And give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, And I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Hearken to me, my people; and give ear to me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Listen unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will establish my judgment for a light of the peoples.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Attend unto me, O my people, And, O my nation, unto me, give ear,—For, instruction, from me, shall go forth, And, my justice—for a light of peoples, will I establish:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Attend unto Me, O My people, And, O My nation, unto Me give ear. For a law from Me goeth out, And My judgment to the light, Peoples I do cause to rest.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear to me, O my tribes: for a law shall go forth from me, and my judgment shall rest to be a light of the nations.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Hearken vnto me, my people, and giue eare vnto me, O my nation: for a Law shall proceed from mee, and I will make my iudgement to rest for a light of the people.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Hear me, hear me, my people; and ye kings, hearken to me: for a law shall proceed from me, and my judgment [shall be] for a light of the nations.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Hearken 7181
{7181} Prime
קָשַׁב
qashab
{kaw-shab'}
A primitive root; to prick up the ears, that is, hearken.
z8685
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
me, my people; 5971
{5971} Prime
עַם
`am
{am}
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
and give ear 238
{0238} Prime
אָזַן
'azan
{aw-zan'}
A primitive root; probably to expand; but used only as a denominative from H0241; to broaden out the ear (with the hand), that is, (by implication) to listen.
z8685
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
me, O my nation: 3816
{3816} Prime
לְאֹם
l@om
{leh-ome'}
From an unused root meaning to gather; a community.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
a law 8451
{8451} Prime
תּוֹרָה
towrah
{to-raw'}
From H3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch.
shall proceed 3318
{3318} Prime
יָצָא
yatsa'
{yaw-tsaw'}
A primitive root; to go (causatively bring) out, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, direct and proximate.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
from x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x854
(0854) Complement
אֵת
'eth
{ayth}
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
me, and I will make my judgment 4941
{4941} Prime
מִשְׁפָּט
mishpat
{mish-pawt'}
From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly justice, including a particular right, or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style.
to rest 7280
{7280} Prime
רָגַע
raga`
{raw-gah'}
A primitive root; properly to toss violently and suddenly (the sea with waves, the skin with boils); figuratively (in a favorable manner) to settle, that is, quiet; specifically to wink (from the motion of the eye lids).
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
for a light 216
{0216} Prime
אוֹר
'owr
{ore}
From H0215; illumination or (concretely) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.).
of the people. 5971
{5971} Prime
עַם
`am
{am}
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 51:4

_ _ my people — the Jews. This reading is better than that of Gesenius: “O peoples ... nations,” namely, the Gentiles. The Jews are called on to hear and rejoice in the extension of the true religion to the nations; for, at the first preaching of the Gospel, as in the final age to come, it was from Jerusalem that the gospel law was, and is, to go forth (Isaiah 2:3).

_ _ law ... judgment — the gospel dispensation and institutions (Isaiah 42:1, “judgment”).

_ _ make ... to rest — establish firmly; found.

_ _ light, etc. — (Isaiah 42:6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 51:4-8

_ _ Both these proclamations, as I may call them, end alike with an assurance of the perpetuity of God's righteousness and his salvation; and therefore we put them together, both being designed for the comfort of God's people. Observe,

_ _ I. Who they are to whom this comfort belongs: “My people, and my nation, that I have set apart for myself, that own me and are owned by me.” Those are God's people and his nation who are subject to him as their King and their God, pay allegiance to him, and put themselves under his protection accordingly. They are a people who know righteousness, who not only have the means of knowledge, and to whom righteousness is made known, but who improve those means, and are able to form a right judgment of truth and falsehood, good and evil. And, as they have good heads, so they have good hearts, for they have the law of God in them, written and ruling there. Those God owns for his people in whose hearts his law is. Even those who know righteousness, and have the law of God in their hearts, may yet be in great distress and sorrow, and loaded with reproach and contempt; but their God will comfort them with the righteousness they know and the law they have in their hearts.

_ _ II. What the comfort is that belongs to God's people. 1. That the gospel of Christ shall be preached and published to the world: A law shall proceed from me, an evangelical law, the law of Christ, the law of faith, Isaiah 2:3. This law is his judgment; for it is that law of liberty by which the world shall be governed and judged. This shall not only go forth, but shall continue and rest, it shall take firm footing and deep root in the world. It shall rest, not only for the benefit of the Jews, who had the first notice of it, but for a light of the people of other nations. It is this law, this judgment, that we are required to hearken and give ear to, at our peril; for how shall we escape if we neglect it and turn a deaf ear to it? When a law proceeds from God, he that has ears to hear, let him hear. 2. That this law and judgment shall bring with them righteousness and salvation, shall open a ready way to the children of men, that they may be justified and saved, Isaiah 51:5. These are called God's righteousness and his salvation, because of his contriving and bringing them about. The former is a righteousness which he will accept for us and accept us for, and a righteousness which he will work in us and graciously accept of. The latter is the salvation of the Lord, for it arises from him and terminates in him. Observe, There is no salvation without righteousness; and, wherever there is the righteousness of God, there shall be his salvation. All those, and those only, that are justified and sanctified shall be glorified. 3. That this righteousness and salvation shall very shortly appear: My righteousness is near. It is near in time; behold, all things are now ready. It is near in place, not far to seek, but the word is nigh us, and Christ in the word, righteousness in the word, Romans 10:8. My salvation has gone forth. The decree has gone forth concerning it; it shall as certainly be introduced as if it had gone forth already, and the time for it is at hand. 4. That this evangelical righteousness and salvation shall not be confined to the Jewish nation, but shall be extended to the Gentiles; My arms shall judge the people. Those that will not yield to the judgments of God's mouth shall be crushed by the judgments of his hand. Some shall thus be judged by the gospel, for for judgment Christ came into this world; but others, and those of the isles, shall wait upon him, and bid his gospel, and the commands as well as the comforts of it, welcome. It was a comfort to God's people, to his nation, that multitudes should be added to them, and the increase of their number should be the increase of their strength and beauty. It is added, And on my arm shall they trust, that arm of the Lord which is revealed in Christ, Isaiah 53:1. Observe, God's arm shall judge the people that are impenitent, and yet on his arm shall others trust and be saved by it; for it is to us as we make it, a savour of life or of death. 5. That this righteousness and salvation shall be for ever, and shall never be abolished, Isaiah 51:8. It is an everlasting righteousness that the Messiah brings in (Daniel 9:24), an eternal redemption that he is the author of, Hebrews 5:9. As it shall spread through all the nations of the earth, so it shall last through all the ages of the world. We must never expect any other way of salvation, any other covenant of peace or rule of righteousness, than what we have in the gospel, and what we have there shall continue to the end, Matthew 28:20. It is for ever; for the consequences of it shall be to eternity, and by this law of liberty men's everlasting state will be determined. This perpetuity of the gospel and the blessed things it brings in is illustrated by the fading and perishing of this world and all things in it. Look up to the visible heavens above, which have continued hitherto, and seem likely to continue, but they shall vanish like smoke that soon spends itself and disappears; they shall be rolled like a scroll, and their lights shall fall like leaves in autumn. Look down to the earth beneath; that abides too for a short ever (Ecclesiastes 1:4), but it shall wax old like a garment that will be the worse for wearing; and those that dwell therein, all the inhabitants of the earth, even those that seem to have the best settlement in it, shall die in like manner: the soul shall, as to this world, vanish like smoke, and the body be thrown by like a garment waxen old. They shall be easily crushed (Job 4:19), and no loss of them. But when heaven and earth pass away, when all flesh and the glory of it wither as grass, the word of the Lord endures for ever, and not one iota or tittle of that shall fall to the ground. Those whose happiness is bound up in Christ's righteousness and salvation will have the comfort of it when time and days shall be no more.

_ _ III. What use they are to make of this comfort. If God's righteousness and salvation are near to them, then let them not fear the reproach of men, of mortal miserable men, nor be afraid of their revilings or spiteful taunts, theirs who bid you sing them the songs of Zion, or who ask you, in scorn, Where is now your God? Let not those who embrace the gospel righteousness be afraid of those who will call them Beelzebub, and will say all manner of evil against them falsely. Let them not be afraid of them; let them not be disturbed by these opprobrious speeches, nor made uneasy by them, as if they would be the ruin of their reputation and honour and they must for ever lie under the load of them. Let them not be afraid of their executing their menaces, nor be deterred thereby from their duty, nor frightened into any sinful compliances, nor driven to take any indirect courses for their own safety. Those can bear but little for Christ that cannot bear a hard word for him. Let us not fear the reproach of men; for, 1. They will be quickly silenced (Isaiah 51:8): The moth shall eat them up like a garment, Isaiah 50:9. The worm shall eat them like wool, or woollen cloth. If we have the approbation of a living God, we may despise the censure of dying men; the matter is not great what those say of us who must shortly be food for worms. Or it intimates the judgments of God with which they shall be visited, with which they shall be consumed, for their malice against the people of God; they shall be slowly and silently, but effectually destroyed, when God shall come to reckon with them for all their hard speeches, Jude 1:14, Jude 1:15. 2. The cause we suffer for cannot be run down. The falsehood of their reproaches will be detected, but truth shall triumph, and the righteousness of religion's injured cause shall be for ever plain. Clouds darken the sun, but give no obstruction to his progress.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 51:4

My people — Ye Jews, whom I chose to be my peculiar people. A law — A new law, even the doctrine of the gospel. Judgment — Judgment is here the same thing with law, the word of God, or the evangelical doctrine, of which he saith that he will make it to rest, that is settle and establish it. The people — People of all nations.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 51:4

Hearken to me, my people; and give ear to me, O my nation: for a (d) law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

(d) I will rule and govern my Church by my word and doctrine.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
O my:

Isaiah 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Exodus 33:13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation [is] thy people.
Psalms 33:12 Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalms 106:5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.
Psalms 147:20 He hath not dealt so with any nation: and [as for his] judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

a law:

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Romans 8:2-4 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. ... That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

I will make:

Isaiah 42:1-4 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. ... He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life:
Matthew 12:18-20 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. ... A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
John 16:8-11 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: ... Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ex 19:6; 33:13. Ps 33:12; 106:5; 147:20. Pv 6:23. Is 2:3; 26:2; 42:1, 6; 49:6. Mi 4:2. Mt 12:18. Lk 2:32. Jn 16:8. Ro 8:2. 1Co 9:21. 1P 2:9.

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