Isaiah 61:1-3 KJV
¹The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; ²To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; ³To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Berean Study Bible
¹The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners, ²to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of our God’s vengeance, to comfort all who mourn, ³to console the mourners in Zion—to give them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
New King James Version
¹The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; ²To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, ³To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
New American Standard Bible
¹The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD anointed me To bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to captives And freedom to prisoners; ²To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, ³To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The cloak of praise instead of a disheartened spirit. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
The words of our Lord in Luke 4:21, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears, preclude the application of this passage to any other than the Lord himself.
It is simply astonishing that some Christian commentators (Ewald, Hitzig, Knobel) have not seen the force of this argument, but, with the Jews, imagine the prophet to be speaking of his own ministry.
It is contrary to the entire spirit of Isaiah’s writings so to glorify himself, and specially unsuitable that, after having brought forward with such emphasis the Person of “the Servant” (Isaiah 42:1-8; 49:1-12; 1:4-9; 52:13-15; 53:1-12), he should proceed to take his place, and to “ascribe to himself those very same official attributes which he has already set forth as characteristic features in his portrait of the predicted One” (Delitzsch).
Hence most recent commentators, whatever their school of thought, have acquiesced in the patristic interpretation, which regarded the Servant of the LORD as here speaking of himself.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me
Literally, the Spirit of the Lord (Adonay) GOD (YHWH; Yahweh) is upon me.
The Septuagint, the Vulgate, and one manuscript omit adonai.
In the original announcement of “the Servant” it was stated that God had “put his Spirit upon him” (Isaiah 42:1).
The sanctification of our Lord’s human nature by the Holy Spirit is very explicitly taught in the Gospels (Matthew 1:20; 3:16; 4:1, etc.; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 1:35; 2:40; 3:22; 4:1, 14, 18-21, etc.; John 1:32, 33; 3:34, etc.).
The Lord hath anointed me.
The “anointing” of Jesus was that sanctification of his human nature by the Holy Spirit,
- which commenced in the womb of the blessed Virgin (Luke 1:35),
- which continued as he grew to manhood (Luke 2:40, 52),
- which was openly manifested at his baptism, and never ceased till he took his body and soul with him into heaven.
Of this spiritual anointing, all material unction, whether under the Law (Leviticus 8:10-12, 30; 1 Samuel 10:1; 16:13; 1 Kings 1:39; 19:15, 16, etc.) or under the gospel (Mark 6:13; James 5:14), was symbolical or typical.
To preach good tidings
Preaching the good news (the Gospel; comp. Isaiah 40:9; 41:27; 52:7; and Nahum 1:15).
Unto the meek
See Matthew 5:5; 11:29; and compare Isaiah 11:4; 29:19).
To bind up the broken-hearted
Compare Psalms 147:3, where this is declared to be the office of YHWH himself.
Binding up is an ordinary expression in Isaiah’s writings for “healing” (see Isaiah 1:6; 3:7; 30:26).
To proclaim liberty to the captives.
This was one of the special offices of “the Servant” (see Isaiah 42:7).
The “captivity” intended is doubtless that of sin.
And the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
Luke, following the Septuagint, has, “and recovering of sight to the blind.”
It is thought by some that the original Hebrew text has been corrupted.
Others regard the Septuagint rendering as a paraphrase.
A member of the congregation, at the close of a sermon that lasted for an hour, and had been preached amid a stillness most painful, nothing heard but the tones of the preacher, and during the pauses the ticking of the clock — a sermon on the sad and awful issues of a sinful life, and the glory and the joy of a life lived in Christ — and, if Dr. Dale intends to preach like that I shall not come and hear him, for I cannot stand it; it goes through me.
I spoke to Dr. Dale afterwards about the stillness and said it was simply awful.
“Ah! yes, he said; “but it was more awful to me; it is hard to preach like that, but it must be done.” (Gee. Barber, in Dr. Dale’s Life.)
Jesus read this passage at a synagogue in Nazareth to describe His ministry (see Luke 4).
- to preach good news to the poor.
- to bind up the brokenhearted,
- to proclaim freedom for the captives
- to proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
- to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
- to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God,
- to comfort all who mourn…
If Jesus has sent us into the world as the Father sent him (John 20:21-23), shouldn’t we be doing the same?
- Ask God to open your eyes,
- Ask God to help you see those He puts in your path, with whom He want you to share His grace, deliverance, and comfort.
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