John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 2 (Isaiah 40:2)

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her ,.... Or, "speak to or according to the heart of Jerusalem F8 דברו על לב , λαλησατε εις την καρδιαν Sept. "loquimini ad cor", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Vitringa; "secundum cor", Calvin. "; to her very heart, what will be a cordial to her, very acceptable, grateful, and comfortable; and let it be proclaimed aloud, that she may hear and understand it. By "Jerusalem" is meant the Gospel church, and the true members of it. Aben Ezra interprets it of the congregation of Israel; see Hebrews 12:22 ,

that her warfare is accomplished ; this life is a warfare; saints have many enemies to engage with, sin, Satan, and the world; many battles to fight, a great fight of afflictions, and the good fight of faith: this is "accomplished", or "filled up F9 מלאה צבאה "completa est militia ejus", Pagninus, Montanus. "; not that it is at an end before this life is, while that lasts there will be a continual conflict; yet all enemies are now conquered by Christ, and in a short time will be under the feet of his people; the Captain of their salvation, who has got the victory, is gone before them; the crown is laid up for them, and is sure unto them. Some interpret it, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, "her set or appointed time F11 "Tempus praefinitum", Junius & Tremellius. "; and compare it with Job 7:1 , and may be understood either of the time of deliverance from captivity: so the Targum,

"that her captivity by the people is filled up:'

or of the time of the Messiah's coming, the fulness of time, when he should appear, afterwards prophesied of; or of the servitude and bondage of the law being at an end, and of all the fatigue, labour, and trouble of that dispensation; and of the Gospel dispensation taking place: it follows,

that her iniquity is pardoned ; which is God's act, flows from his free grace, is obtained by the blood of Christ, is full and complete, and yields great relief and comfort to guilty minds: or "is accepted" F12 נרצה "acccpta est", Piscator, Forerius. ; that is, the punishment of it as bore by her surety; see Leviticus 26:43 . The allusion is to the sacrifices being accepted for the atonement of sin, Leviticus 1:4 , and may have respect here to the acceptation of Christ's sacrifice, for the expiation of the sins of his people. Jarchi interprets the word "appeased"; and so it may be applied to the reconciliation for sin made by the blood of Christ. The Targum understands it of forgiveness, as we do:

for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins ; which may be understood either of a sufficiency of chastisements for sin; though they are not more, but less, than are deserved, yet are as much as their heavenly Father, in his great tenderness and compassion, thinks are enough; and though they are in measure, and do not exceed, yet are in large measure often, at least in their own apprehension: or else of the large and copious blessings of grace and goodness received, instead of punishment for sins, that might be expected: or rather at the complete satisfaction made by Christ for her sins, and of her receiving at the Lord's hands, in her surety, full punishment for them; not that more was required than was due, but that ample satisfaction was made, and, being infinite, fully answers the demerit of sin; and this being in the room and stead of God's people, clears them, and yields comfort to them.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary