Isaiah 56

Salvation is near; do what is right  1
Sabbath keeping  2
The Lord's house is for all  3
The shepherds are like greedy dogs  9

.1 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.  1 - Keep Judgment ... Better translated "Maintain justice and do what is right." (NIV). As mi0608. Also see mt0721. The near salvation is the object of this chapter. This includes being righteous as is represented in the Sabbath.
 1 - Salvation ... near to come It is near to those who are faithful and it could have been near in time.
 1 - Revealed The people were stewards of great promises. See ex1526, de1122, de3010, 1ki1138.
.2  Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.   2 - Blessed ... man ... son of man Judgment and justice and salvation are more than passing activities. They are heritage.
  2 - Sabbath ... polluting If we realize what should make the Sabbath pure, we can understand what pollutes it. It is a time to be with our Lord seeking the joy in personal devotion and in fellowship with others who reflect the Sabbath purity. Parents can have appropriate toys that are only for Sabbath and they can take their children in nature and read good stories.
.3 ¶ Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
 4  For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
 5  Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
  3 - Son of a stranger A convert to the plan God had given more directly to the Jews.
  3 - Eunuchs A "dry tree" would bear no fruit. These were not to "enter into the congregation of the Lord" de2301. Their being forbidden participation, no doubt, taught a spiritual lesson.
  5 - Even to them It is clear that the Lord had no prejudice against these people. It is wicked for us to reject people because of race or any other characteristic. Of course some may not be granted church membership without laying aside practices that would being dishonor to the church. Later Daniel who no doubt became a eunuch would bring great honor to his Lord da0107-.
.6  Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
.7  Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
 8  The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
  6 - Sons of the stranger Why didn't Isaiah simply say "stranger"? Lineage was important to the people but was not to bar anyone from the promised blessings.
  7 - Joyful in my house See mt2115.
  8 - Outcasts of Israel These may be seen as the ones who had been unfaithful to the covenant. There were also Jews in exile de3001-3, ps10643-45, ps014702,3, je2910-14.
  8 - Even others The Gentiles jn1016.
.9 ¶ All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest.
 10  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
 11  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
 12  Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
   We may see this strong rebuke to the Jewish leaders as a result of making many feel that they could not enter the kingdom of God as He clarified in the first part of this chapter.
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