Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 66

God looks at the Heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt.
(1-4) The increase of the Church, when Jew and Gentile shall be
gathered to the Redeemer. (5-14) Every enemy of the Church shall
be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen.

1-4 The Jews gloried much in their Temple. But what
satisfaction can the Eternal Mind take in a House made with
men's hands? God has a Heaven and an Earth of his own making,
and temples of Man's making; but he overlooks them, that he may
look with favour to him who is Poor in Spirit and serious,
self-abasing and self-denying; whose Heart truly sorrows for
Sin: such a Heart is a living Temple for God. The Sacrifice of
the wicked is not only unacceptable, but a great Offence to God.
And he that now offers a Sacrifice after the Law, does in effect
set aside Christ's Sacrifice. He that burns Incense, puts
contempt upon the Incense of Christ's intercession, and is as if
he blessed an Idol. Men shall be deceived By the vain
confidences with which they deceive themselves. Unbelieving
hearts, and unpurified consciences, need No more to make them
miserable, than to have their own fears brought upon them.
Whatever men Put in the place of the priesthood, Atonement, and
Intercession of Christ, will be found hateful to God.

5-14 The Prophet turns to those that trembled at God's Word, to
comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of
the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and
persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the Gospel went
forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The
Word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the
consolations of the Church. The true happiness of all Christians
is increased By every convert brought to Christ. The Gospel
brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a
River of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and
endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward Man; the joy of
the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's Mercy
and Justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.

15-24 A prophetic declaration is given of the Lord's vengeance
On all enemies of his Church, especially that of all
antichristian opposers of the Gospel in the latter days. Ver.

19,20, set forth the abundance of means for Conversion of
sinners. These expressions are figurative, and express the
plentiful and gracious Helps for bringing God's elect home to
Christ. All shall be welcome; and nothing shall be wanting for
their assistance and encouragement. A Gospel ministry shall be
set up in the Church; they would have solemn Worship before the
Lord. In the last verse the nature of the Punishment of sinners
in the world to come is represented. Then shall the righteous
and wicked be separated. Our Saviour applies this to the
Everlasting misery and Torment of impenitent sinners in the
future state. To the honour of that free Grace which thus
distinguishes them, let the redeemed of the Lord, with Humility,
and not without holy trembling, sing triumphant Songs. With this
affecting representation of the opposite states of the righteous
and wicked, characters which include the whole human race,
Isaiah concludes his prophecies. May God grant, for Christ's
sake, that our portion may be with those who fear and Love his
name, who cleave to his truths, and persevere in every good
work, looking to receive from the Lord Jesus Christ the gracious
invitation, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world.