Who is the Speaker in Isaiah 61:10?

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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Greetings,

A commentator I respect says it is the Servant of the Lord--Jesus, the same speaker as in the first section of chapter 61. But I doubt it.

So who is the speaker in Isaiah 61:10? @iainduguid

Isaiah 61:10 (ESV)​
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

I see 3 choices:
1. Is it the Servant of the Lord? Lang, Ortlund, Keil & Delitzsch
2. Is it the prophet speaking of/for the Church? Calvin (& others)
3. Is it the Church? Carson, Oswalt, Young
4. Other

My answer: Number 3. - Obviously, it was written by Isaiah, and it is the Church speaking.

E. J. Young says:
10 The speaker in this verse cannot be the Messiah, for never in Scripture is the Messiah said to be clothed with the garments of salvation. The one who here praises God has received righteousness and salvation from the Lord. The Messiah on the other hand brings salvation; he does not receive it. Hence it is the Church of God, the elect, the true Israel, that here rejoices in the God of its salvation. This rejoicing is emphatically expressed through the infinitive absolute and the finite verb, Rejoicing I will rejoice.

Young, E. (1972). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (Vol. 3, p. 465). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Sophomore
In the original context, it seems clear that it refers to restored Jerusalem, the true Zion, which of course points forward to the church. Young's argument seems persuasive to me. Notice too how the immediately following verses (62:1-2) also speak of righteousness and salvation which there explicitly belong to Zion/Jerusalem.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I was looking at the passage just this afternoon. My first thought without looking at commentaries was that it was Jerusalem speaking. It immediately follows discussion about the seed of the people being known among the Gentiles. In previous chapters Isaiah sometimes referred to Zion as the "servant" witness to the Gentiles, describing what they were meant to be, but fell short by their idolatry/sins.

It seems that Zion, in her union with and redemption by the Messiah, finally will enter that role.
 
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