The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Upon me — Though the prophet may speak of himself, yet it is principally to be understood of Christ.
Anointed — Set me apart, both capacitating him with gifts, and commissioning him with authority; and yet more, as it is applied to Christ, a power to make all effectual, from whence he hath also the name of Messiah among the Hebrews, and of Christ among the Greeks; nay, Christ alone among the prophets hath obtained this name, Psalms 45:7. The prophet describes first, who Christ is, and then what are his offices.
Liberty — This appertains to Christ's kingly office, whereby he proclaims liberty from the dominion of sin, and from the fear of hell.
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Vengeance — It being necessary, that where God will deliver his people, he should take vengeance on their enemies; principally on the enemies of his church, and the spiritual ones chiefly, Satan, sin, and death.
 To 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.
Ashes — By ashes understand whatever is proper for days of mourning, as by beauty whatever may become times of rejoicing.
Oil of joy — He calls it oil of joy in allusion to those anointings they were wont to use in times of joy, gladness for heaviness; and it is called a garment in allusion to their festival ornaments, for they had garments appropriated to their conditions, some suitable to times of rejoicing, and some to times of mourning.
Called — That they may be so.
Trees — That they shall be firm, solid, and well rooted, being by faith engrafted into Christ, and bringing forth fruit suitable to the soil wherein they are planted.
 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
Strangers — Gentiles, such as are not of the natural race of the Jews, but Gentile converts. Or, such as shall have no more than an outward profession.
Stand — Ready to be at thy service.
Flocks — The churches with the word of God.
Plow-men — Shall manage the whole work of God's spiritual husbandry.
 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
The priests — The whole body of them shall now be as near to God as the priests were formerly, and shall be a royal priesthood. This is most certainly true of all the faithful under the gospel.
 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
Double — Honour.
Portion — Of honour, that God will give them.
 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Love judgment — I will do them right, for I love justice in myself, and in them that practise it.
Robbery — All things gotten by injustice, though it be for sacrifice.
Direct — I will lead them so, that they shall do all things in sincerity.
Everlasting covenant — Though you have broken covenant with me, yet I will renew my ancient covenant made with your fathers, confirmed with the blood of Christ, and it shall be everlasting, never to be abrogated.
 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
Shall be — That is, eminently a promise of the increase of the church; such shall be their prosperity, and multiplying, that they shall be known abroad by their great increase; or else, the meaning is, the church shall have a seed of the Gentiles, whereas the church has been confined to one corner of the world, now it shall remain in one nation alone no more, but shall fill all the nations of the earth.
Hath blessed — There shall be such visible characters of God's love to them, and of God's grace in them.
 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
I will — This is spoken in the person of the church.
Garments, … — With salvation as with a garment, and with righteousness as with a robe.
 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Righteousness — His great work of salvation shall break out and appear.
Praise — As the natural product, and fruit of it.