Isaiah

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 4.)

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The beginning of Isaiah is thus: -

Isaiah 1, the judgment of Judah and Jerusalem, for their iniquity in general.

Isaiah 2, their establishment as the head of nations, connected with the judgment of these last. Israel had been forsaken for their departure from Jehovah. This setting aside man, in his pride and pleasure, must be, for Jehovah judges (Isaiah 3) His own people.

Isaiah 4, they are brought very low, but then there shall be a complete blessing, the glory being in Zion fully sanctified, though by judgment - the Lord's presence being then openly over them, as the cloud in the wilderness. This is complete in itself.

In Isaiah 5 Jehovah enters into an immediate pleading with His vineyard. Christ is distinctly brought in. It is Jehovah, but addressed by the Spirit as the Well-Beloved, and having done all possible for it, and only had wild grapes, as Jehovah He gives it up to the wild boar out of the forest. The various causes, in the ways of Israel, are stated, and the progressive judgments of God detailed. This takes in all Israel, and is thus more historical. The anger of the Lord is kindled against His people, and His hand stretched out. They are smitten and cut off (v. 25), but His anger is still there. This, I think, brings in Babylon, and the kingdoms of the beast, and darkness falls upon them.

But this brings in (Isaiah 6) the revelation of Christ as Jehovah, and desolation rests on the Land, only the people are preserved in the Remnant or holy Seed. We then have Christ in connection with the house of David, but as Emmanuel - God with His people - the Virgin's Son. With this, the passing away of Israel and Syria, and the inroad of, not the Beast, but the Assyrian.

In Isaiah 7 this is discussed more fully. The Land being now Emmanuel's, He is to be the hope and trust of the Remnant. They were not to make conspiracies and seek help elsewhere, but make Jehovah their Sanctuary. Christ's first coming (Jehovah) is then brought in, His rejection, and the shutting up of good in the narrow circle of His disciples (Isaiah 8:16-18). The nation are left in darkness, still it is not like what seemed less, for Messiah has come in, and, when the nation, in the last days, are in their darkest hour, the full revelation of Messiah in delivering judgment breaks forth. All is here the last scene, from Christ's rejection to the judgment when He comes. Chapter 6 to chapter 9:7, is thus a parenthesis, introducing the House of David, and Messiah. Then the history of Israel is resumed and taken up, as a whole, from the then attacks of Rezin and Pekah (which are the occasion of all this prophecy) and carried on to Babylon, but with the still outstretched hand to the Assyrian, whose judgment is stated; chap. 10:33. Christ is revealed as the Heir of the House of David - His character, and then peace in God's holy mountain, and full blessing on the people. Israel is all gathered, and all wars cease.

8 Isaiah 12, the song arises, for Jehovah has done great things, and He dwells in the midst of Zion. This closes the opening of the prophecy. The question of Babylon is then taken up.

In what follows, after Babylon, the Assyrian having been introduced especially, from the end of Isaiah 17 (Damascus) the prophet looks out, in a remarkable manner, to the latter days (chapter 18 being the centre) though partially applicable to the present encouragement. There is a certain mingling of prophecies, which regard the then present time, to bring out a perfect testimony as regards the last day.

It is evident, as indeed it long ago struck me, that the destruction of Babylon, which God had specially set up as the golden head (though many historical successors) had to come in - yet made epoch, because the Jews were delivered, and what God had set up judged, and indeed by one who was God's servant. The world and idolatry were judged. This, Isaiah 13 and 14 give us, and they go to the end, though the present coming judgment is also before the prophet's eyes. The day of the Lord was at hand, the prophet being rapt into the time to come. These two chapters are, in a certain sense, complete. We have Babylon judged - the heaven and earth being shaken. The Assyrian destroyed on the mountains, and land of Jehovah, note, and then the country cleared of its internal possessors, and "Jehovah hath founded Zion."

Isaiah 16 I should judge me-atz (from of old) (v. 13), to mean "from ancient days" - His original, general purpose connected (vv. 4, 5), with the establishment of the throne of the Son of David. But now is the more immediate judgment, I suppose, by Nebuchadnezzar. "From the east," says Ezekiel, if it be the same time. No doubt chapter 15 begins with the impending judgment in view, but the prophetic mind passes on to God's counsels "from of old" (me-atz) returning then, in verse 14, to what was immediate.

9 Isaiah 17 is proof how the object is the last days through present circumstances. Here the Assyrian, not Babylon, is the occasion - the inroads of Shalmaneser, Sargon and Sennacherib, but especially Tiglath Pileser and Sennacherib. But Jacob is brought low at the same time; but in the Remnant there is deliverance and salvation in the lowest estate of Israel, but the Remnant looking to God. The nation judged for leaving Jehovah and trusting its own ways, the multitude of nations come up, but are destroyed. This seems clearly to introduce Isaiah 18, or the condition of Israel in that day - the last days. Egypt comes in for present judgment, probably then by Sargon, but the prophecy evidently goes on thence to the last day.

Isaiah 20. This gives the invasion of Sargon.

Isaiah 21. My impression is that this chapter refers to present or more immediate times - the then fall of Babylon. But we must remember that this was the judgment on the golden head set up by God, and the deliverance of Israel, and, in this sense, a characteristic event in its bearing. Seir is judged, but her judgment has also a special character - she seems to have exulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, when taken by Nebuchadnezzar; see Obadiah and Psalm 137:7. Its final judgment will be directly from the Lord, see Isaiah 34:5, and Obadiah, where the Jews seem to take part, as well as the heathen; compare also Psalm 84. Arabia and Kedar come under present judgment, connected with the fall of Babylon.

Isaiah 22. This is a remarkable chapter. It would seem to be (vv. 1-14), the state of the city in Zedekiah's time, and its capture by Nebuchadnezzar, but the end of David's responsible family, and the setting up of the Gentiles, makes this of all importance. Jehovah had no longer a throne upon earth. It is the judgment of Jerusalem by the hand of the Gentiles. Along with this, we have a prophecy (v. 15 to the end) which clearly in its immediate reference, speaks of personages of Hezekiah's time. One is deposed, and another set up, alluding, I apprehend, to the last days - verse 25 referring clearly to "that day" - the last days. The setting aside of Jerusalem would make one understand this, but the combination is remarkable.

10 Isaiah 23. The judgment of Tyre is by Nebuchadnezzar, yet looks out beyond it, in verses 9 and 18. Up to this, it had long been the untouched power of commerce, and its pride. This was judged now, just as the natural pride of man was in Egypt.

Isaiah 24. This chapter is a remarkable witness of this passing on from present to future, and final judgment. When Tyre was taken, after a long siege, by Nebuchadnezzar, the whole land was laid waste - the Land of Canaan - not merely Canaan, as in Isaiah 23:11, but the Land. Hence it stretches out to a judgment on the whole earth; compare Isaiah 3:1, connected with Isaiah 2, where the direct subject is Israel, the land, the people, and the priest, but it is connected with the judgment which casts Satan and his angels down, and judges all the kings of the earth, and Jehovah will reign in Zion - the following chapters bringing in the full result; to the end of Isaiah 27, they celebrate the last days.

Isaiah 25. This may have had its primary fulfilment in the fall of Babylon, but it is the setting aside of human power in favour of the needy. The darkness of this world will then be removed, and the resurrection take place, and the rebuke of His people be removed. This is celebrated then in a prophetic way, in which the Lord's ways are unfolded, and His people called upon to hide themselves for a little moment.

Isaiah 26:19 is in contrast with verse 14. They have wholly perished, but Israel is renewed on the principle of resurrection, as the "sure mercies of David" are cited by the Apostle as a proof of it. Israel has wrought no deliverance, their restoration is power in resurrection. At the same time it is the time of the definite judgment of this world.

Isaiah 27. Satan's power amongst men (viewed here as exercised in the hands of the Gentiles) is set aside, and Israel, though chastised, is purged and blessed; compare Psalm 74. But it is full judgment on Israel. This closes the inward history. The Gentiles judged are those amongst whom Israel had been in captivity - the Beast.

The subsequent chapters take up the last Assyrian inroad. What went before was the prophetic earth, which took the place of Israel or was part of the Land, with just an allusion to the Assyrian in the latter day. Now this latter is the object. God has ordered all His plans, and deals with His harvest with discretion. Here this Assyrian takes Jerusalem, which is in league with death and hell, in contrast with the Tried Stone laid in Zion, which enables the Remnant to wait. Jehovah does His strange work, and (Isaiah 28:22) it is kalah v'necharatzah (a judgment of destruction determined upon), the decreed consumption of her, remarked on.

11 Isaiah 29. In this chapter, Jerusalem is not taken, but the multitude of nations disappear, who have surrounded and brought her low. The moral ground of the judgment is stated - the darkness of heart they had got into, though they had the word, then all totally changed - the deaf hear the words of the Book - the external power of evil and malice against the feeble just is done away, and Jacob shall now never be ashamed, and spiritual intelligence is their portion. The Assyrian is still the main person.

Isaiah 30. This is also the case in this chapter. God's people's reliance on other strength than His is then judged. They were a shame to themselves in their uselessness to the world. But the judgment is much more the Lord's. The nation is wholly broken up - it is as a broken vessel, of which not a potsherd is left. Two faults are here - first trusting on fleshly strength, and then slighting God's word. Jehovah rises up, in His own rights over it all, to bless His people. Adversity is there, but the Lord gives His word and guidance, and these come in in full blessing. The full judgment of the Lord, coming in glory, is then revealed, and it is joy for the delivered. The Assyrian and the king are judged by power. The voice of the Lord beats down the Assyrian, and Tophet is prepared for both. Verse 18 is very striking; see Psalm 94:12, 13. In the Psalm it is more Antichrist, or the Beast, than the Assyrian, but the principle is brought out. The Lord leaves full play to chastisement, that pride and self-will may be abased - waits till this is fully carried out (only gives the word, vv. 20, 21) and this, that He may be gracious, and in His own way and that is fully. This principle is striking in this part of the prophecy.

Isaiah 31. Helper and helped shall both fall down together, i.e., man's strength and the Lord's people leaning upon it - for Jehovah will come down and fight for Mount Zion. And the Assyrian, always the "enemy" here, shall be beaten down.

12 Isaiah 32. This chapter, the end of which first led me to see a new dispensation, leads us, after the fall of the Assyrian, to the King enquiring in righteousness, "Who cares for the poor?" Misery would rest on the Jews, till the Spirit was poured out on them, then they would have peace, when judgment would come on the multitude of the Gentiles, and the city be seen laid low. Then peace would be there.

Isaiah 33. The Assyrian (or Gog) is then openly challenged. The Lord arises to take His place, and fills Jerusalem with righteousness and peace. The Remnant are preserved and blessed, when Jehovah takes matters into His own hand, and Zion is the seat of peace and blessing. King - Messiah, is there, and security. They are not shut up. The pride of man is wholly brought low.

Isaiah 34 continues another part of the same but in connection with the Assyrian. It gives the connection of Idumaea and the Assyrian (compare Psalm 83) and records the terrible judgment which will take place in that land, always hostile to Judaea.

Isaiah 35 is the blessing which follows for Israel.

This closes the divine history of the prophecy. Then we have (with the resurrection) the present events which gave the peg on which the prophecy hangs - Sennacherib's invasion. The latter part of the prophecy is the account of the Lord's dealings with Israel (restoring them, and crowning them with glory) in respect of idolatry, and Babylon, and in respect of Christ, with the full results. How simply the folly of ignorance, is the complaint of rationalists that the second part of it is not woes or burdens like the first!

Isaiah 40 to 48 go together. Isaiah 40:1-8 is, however, introduction. Jerusalem has been sufficiently chastised, and the Lord speaks to her heart. But that is accompanied by this solemn truth - "All flesh is grass." The people, God's own people according to the flesh, come under this designation - "the people are grass." That withers, but this does not hinder their full blessing, only it must be known, "God's word abides for ever," and that is what secures the promises and their accomplishment. This is the introduction. The general statement is then taken up. He that bringeth good tidings to Zion and Jerusalem (for so I am disposed to take it*) is to announce, with energy, God Himself "to the cities of Judah." He "will come with strong hand," with His reward, "shall feed his flock like a shepherd." Then comes the contrast between Jehovah and idols. Princes shall be brought to nothing. He is the Creator of the heavens. Why does Israel distrust Him? The strongest shall faint - "those that wait on Jehovah shall renew their strength." This is the general thesis.

{*See marginal reading.}

13 He then begins, naming the object only descriptively, with Cyrus. He breaks up the nations which serve idols, but Israel is Jehovah's servant, and shall, in the strength of his Redeemer, thrash the nations. The Lord shall refresh the poor and needy - where all was waste, beauty and blessing shall spring up, and the hand of the Lord be thus seen, and the nothingness of idols proved. This goes on from Cyrus to full deliverance.

Isaiah 42 consequently introduces Christ, meek and unknown till He set judgment in the earth, and the isles wait for His law. He was to be a covenant to the people and a light to the nations; so Simeon. Jehovah is thus to be everywhere praised. He rises up now, having long holden His peace, and brings blind Israel by a way they know not, and the idols shall be ashamed - for Israel is blind and deaf, none so much so. He would magnify His Law and make it honourable. But Israel was robbed and spoiled - Jehovah, for that was the cause, had given them up for their disobedience, and His anger had been poured out upon them. But now all was changed. Israel was redeemed called by His name - His; and He would preserve them through every danger, and bring them out from every place, for Jehovah had created them for His glory. He challenges the nations to say what He was doing. But Israel had been a witness of His ways, when there was no strange God there. For their sakes, Babylon would be judged by Him who was the Redeemer of Israel - the Creator, who brought in new things for His glory. The Lord then pleads with Israel, the people He had formed for Himself. But Israel had not served Him, but, on the contrary, wearied Him with their iniquities. He forgave them for His own sake. He had profaned, and given Jacob to the curse. But now He would refresh, and deliver, and calls to Jacob His servant, and His chosen to assure him of it. They should spring up as willows by the watercourses. He then takes up the controversy as to idolatry - the great subject of this portion of the Book - renews the promises to Israel, as his Redeemer - He who can do all things, He who formed Israel for Himself, and then calls Cyrus, by name, to perform His pleasure in rebuilding Jerusalem.

14 The destruction of Babylon is the setting aside the Gentile power which held Israel captive. It is the suppression of idolatry, so that the whole principle of full deliverance is brought forward with the strongest testimony of the place Israel holds, and sovereign grace in Him who can do all things, and who loves and forgives His people. We are beyond the question of the Assyrian here. It is the establishment of Jerusalem by the power of God - Babylon being destroyed and idolatry put down.

Isaiah 46 continues as to Cyrus. He is called by name for Israel's sake. Light, darkness, peace, and evil were His work, and the blessing of Israel is in God's creative power. His word and promise were not in vain. He was the one only God. But His word went also out to the nations. Every knee should bow to Him, and Israel be justified before the Lord. The gods of Babylon fail before the judgment of God - nor would God delay the deliverance of Zion.

Isaiah 47. The judgment of Babylon who had gladly oppressed God's people, when His hand was upon them, is fully stated.

Isaiah 48. The Spirit then pleads with Jacob. God had foretold, lest they should say it was their idol. He had done it at once, lest they should say in human wisdom "I knew them"; but their neck was as brass. God would deliver them for His own name sake. He would judge Babylon. But if Israel had hearkened, his peace would have been as a river. But Jehovah would now deliver, refresh, and guide, only there would be "no peace for the wicked."

This closes the first prophecy to the heart of Israel; the subjects - Jehovah, the one God - Israel, His elect people, and servant, formed for His praise - Babylon and idolatry, their oppressors - Cyrus, their present deliverer, but future deliverance, and Christ Himself, looked forward to, and no wicked allowed, no peace for them. Jehovah and Israel, Babylon and idolatry, are in contrast. Cyrus the present instrument? but Jehovah who had judged Israel for their evil would redeem, and bless now for His own sake.

15 This general judgment and result having been unfolded, Messiah, Christ, must now be more distinctly brought forth, and Israel's relationship with Him.

Isaiah 49 begins the second part of the prophecy. Israel is he in whom God will be glorified. The immediate portion closes at the end of Isaiah 57, and with the repetition of the last words of Isaiah 48, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

But if Israel is to be the seat and vessel of Jehovah's glory, Messiah must at once come in. But He comes in first, with the confession that, perfect as it was with God, His labour has been in vain with Israel. The answer of the Oracle of God is, it is a light thing to restore the preserved of Jacob, He should be a light to the Gentiles, Jehovah's salvation to the end of the earth. In verse 7 the ultimate purpose of God on earth is gone on to. Kings shall own Him - Israel shall be delivered - Zion, never forgotten, will be established in full favour in glory, delivered from the hands of the mighty, and kings and queens become her nursing fathers and mothers. And all flesh would know Jehovah was Israel's Saviour, and where and why was her divorce. And thus He fully enters into the sufferings and work of Christ.

Isaiah 50. Here Jehovah, with no diminished power to save, came, yea called, but there was none to answer. Was His humiliation a motive, when He had come into it, to know how to speak a word in season to him that was weary? Wondrous and touching word! Blessedly submissive - the Lord would vindicate Him! Those who feared the Lord and were in darkness were to wait on Him. Those who kindled their own sparks would lie down in sorrow. This passes on to the latter day, which Isaiah 51 then takes up in the most beautiful way - the appeal of God to the Remnant, and, in the midst of it, the appeal of the Remnant to God, and the promise of full deliverance and judgment of the enemy, and then Isaiah 52 continues, by calling Zion to clothe herself with glory. To the end of verse 14, this deliverance is spoken of. Thus we have the full final deliverance of Israel. In verse 15 in a beautiful progress, we have not the history of rejection, as in chapter 50, but the Lord's mind as to Christ. Messiah is introduced in glory, but as the rejected and despised One, One esteemed the smitten One, but the atonement, wrought in His work, now owned, and thus blessing would come even on the transgressors, and Himself have the glory spoken of before, in verse 13. But the consequence is, he passes directly, as usually in the prophets, to the last days, when its effect in Israel will be accomplished; and the Church is passed over, only Isaiah 54 recognises that more children have been born to desolate Jerusalem than to the married wife. And peace, now restored to Israel, shall abide for ever - never to be taken from her; and her peace shall be great - no enemy shall prevail against her.

16 Isaiah 55 is the call to repentance, but an invitation in grace, so that in principle whoever thirst can come. Promises are established in resurrection. Christ is witness to, and a leader of the various peoples. Pardon is abundant, for God's thoughts are above ours, and His Word is infallible in producing its results.

Isaiah 56 goes, evidently, beyond promise to Israel. It passes on to the last days, and, while assuring the blessing to the Remnant, passes it on to the Gentile. His house shall be "a house of prayer for all nations," i.e., those who have taken hold of Jehovah's covenant. Hence, clearly, Christ could speak of the blood of the new covenant as "shed for many." Here it goes on, no doubt, to the new state of things, but the foundation of it was laid in the Cross. Verses 9-12 are the condition of the nation and their teachers, not the Remnant

Isaiah 57 goes on to what seems forgetfulness, on God's part, in the latter days. The righteous perishes, but this does not awaken the careless - they mock at the righteous, going on with their idols. Their wickedness is then rehearsed. Jehovah defies their confidences, and declares that those that trust in Him shall possess the Land. He had smitten, but now would heal; but "for the wicked" there would be "no peace."

Isaiah 58. Pleading with the ungodly is resumed, for chapter 57 closes one section - their false and formal self-righteousness judged. On a true and upright return of heart to righteousness and God's ways, blessing would flow in as a river, and Jehovah's blessing on His people.

Isaiah 59. His arm was not shortened, nor His ear heavy, but their iniquities had separated them from Him, and their evil state is exposed. From verses 9 to 15 is confession, and then God arises in His own strength, when all is at the very worst, destroys their enemies and acts in the power of the new covenant which is to be for ever. Then follows, in view of the full blessing, and the result of the latter day, a whole development of all that took place connected with Christianity. It begins with putting Jerusalem in glory, as its thesis. But the state of the people is gone into, and the details of judgment and final deliverance, the elect Remnant being the first immediate object. This is the third part more specially connected with the second, as Christ's second coming is with the first - the Remnant taking His character.

17 Note in Isaiah 60, when the lighting up of Jerusalem is come, and the glory of the Lord enlightens her, darkness covers the Land, and gross darkness the different peoples (l'-ummim). Then her light gathers them all to itself. This chapter is the description of the glory. The Gentiles are subservient to this glory, and the days of her mourning are ended, her people all righteous, and they will be blessed and mighty without return of evil, at least her sun going down. Thus chapters 58 and 59 are the time previous to the Lord's appearing, i.e., His pleadings with the people then. Chapter 60 is the effect of that appearing, chapter 59:16 being the turning point. Chapter 61 brings in, evidently, Messiah and the full blessing, under Him, which goes on to chapter 62. Then chapter 63 takes up "the day of vengeance of our God." Chapter 60 brings in the sovereign re-establishment of Jerusalem in glory, fruit of God's own sovereign power and good pleasure.

Isaiah 61 and 62 show the part of Christ, come in blessing, from His first to His second coming - His interest in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 63, bringing in the vengeance, pleads with the people, and the Remnant with Jehovah, for the great body of the people will be objects of the vengeance - the carcase will be there. The judgment of the peoples, and enemies of Israel is in verses 1-6. Then come the ways of God in goodness, and of the people (vv. 8-10). It is the Spirit of grace in the people (the Remnant) which now recalls it. It turns into the most earnest pleading in faith (v. 15), but passes into the fullest confession, and places the people in Jehovah's hands, as clay in the hands of the potter, and recalls the utter desolation of what, after all, was Jehovah's, if it was His people's, to the end of Isaiah 64. All this is very beautiful.

Then (Isaiah 65) comes the answer of Jehovah. But note the appeal to God is for the people as a whole; God separates and judges the people (so in Sodom). Then God's answer introduces the finding of the Gentiles, and God's patient but useless appeal to the Jews, quoted by the Apostle, and, giving the character of the Jews of old and in the last days, intervenes for the Remnant, sparing because of them, but judging the people, taking them in their own ways and for their own doings, and makes the difference (as Malachi says) between those that sought the Lord, and the rebellious and idolatrous sinners. But, though saving and blessing the Remnant, it is really on the principle of a new creation, as all blessing must be, yet it is accomplished promises to Israel; but when, as a responsible nation, they are judged, verse 17 states, absolutely, the fact of new Creation. Verse 18 takes up, I conceive, the principle as now characterising God's dealings with Jerusalem. Hence we have no setting aside anything. At the end of the millennium, the wicked who rebel are destroyed. How the rest pass into final blessing is not said. It may be as men suppose Adam would have done, had he not sinned. But it is not the substitution of another state of things, setting aside this, though it may merge into better things, just as Christ's reign as Son of man does.

18 Then comes the millennial state, often noticed; compare Isaiah 11 of more extent, and Isaiah 25 which adds resurrection too, as well as the blessing of the Gentiles. This thought of creation characterises this part of the revelation, although physically it is not come yet. For us, at that time too, it will be the new Creation, and never pass away at all, but merge in what is eternal, though the reign over the earth will be given up, so as we have seen as to the earth, though the difference may be greater. The Jewish state is the fruit of sovereign power, not of dealing with responsibility, and a state God has produced for Himself for His praise. Hence in Isaiah 66 when the Jews shall have built the Temple, it is sufficient to say (for they seek to restore the old things, and as a beloved people on that footing) "All those things have been, saith Jehovah." But they, the Remnant, are to rejoice in that which Jehovah creates; the restoration of the old is utterly rejected. Then comes the new birth of the people, in the Remnant, and Jerusalem becomes their joy. Jehovah pleads in judgment with all flesh, idolaters and rebels (Jews and Gentiles are thrown together, but especially Jews) and then those that escape bring in the scattered Remnant from afar, and they will remain before Jehovah, His privileged priests and servants - the carcases of the rebels being there, a witness of judgment, for this is judgment. Isaiah 61 and 62 is simple blessing from Messiah's coming, first and last, but, as we have seen from Isaiah 63, we have to do with judgment and new Creation.

19 The Lord looks to the heart and not to formal worship and sacrifice, so in the Lord's testimony. It is "the poor in spirit" (Isaiah 66:2) - the same words spoken of Moses in Numbers 11, and Christ's first blessing in Matthew 5.

Then there is another word in Isaiah 61:10, 11, and in Isaiah 62, "righteousness." That the Lord is their righteousness, as ours, is clear. The prophet says, speaking in the person of the people and Jerusalem, "He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness." Then "the Lord Jehovah will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations."

In chapter 61, Jerusalem's righteousness goes forth. What is righteousness? In verse 10 it seems to be full acceptance according to the mind of God, in a righteous way, as the best robe with the prodigal. So Abel had testimony that he was righteous from his offering. We are the righteousness of God, accepted and acceptable according to God's own mind, what He is - Christ being the ground, in Him only it is known and manifested. But this favour is not only realised, but reflected and manifested in fruits and the manifest state of soul of those enjoying it.

And here I remark that a place in this righteousness can never be had till it is submitted to, i.e., that a man has, consciously, no ground at all to meet God - self is wholly condemned, and sovereign grace alone accepts through Christ; "grace reigns through righteousness." Hence it never is, when the soul is not brought, emptied of self, and judging evil, into the practical reflex of it in the state of the soul. Christ is precious to God, but the honour (time) is for us also. Hence, essentially, the state answers to it; hence the righteousness shines forth - Jerusalem is right in all her thoughts; she judges evil as God does - in God's favour, as He does towards her - reflects it in her state and condition. And so with us, only in a higher and heavenly way. The righteousness is wholly Christ, but we are "accepted in the Beloved"; but He is in us, all to us, and manifested in us. Here, it will be publicly manifested, only when they see will they have it, and be seen in it. We know it is ours in a heavenly way. It will be manifested when we appear in glory; so Phil. 3. Still, by the power of the Spirit, it ought to be shown out now and this is just the assurance of salvation, and its fruits. Only when Christ appears will they know - we now by the Holy Ghost, while He is within, which gives all to us - a full heavenly character, and we shall be glorified with Him then. Only the nations will recognise the rightness of the exaltation of God's people, the people whom He has blessed. For Jehovah, and Christ's glory, will be owned. For righteousness, as I have long ago said, is God's consistency with Himself - He being essentially right. Ours would be consistency with the measure of our place before Him. But He has been perfectly glorified in Christ, and in respect of it, though in perfect holiness, yea, by it in obedience. Then this, i.e., Christ, is our righteousness. Hence God's, the necessary result as displayed in the creature, according to Christ, i.e., as He has entered into it as Man.