The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 60 of 253
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glorious consummation shall be attained, "for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it". The
prophetic utterance is then rounded off by a vision of the coming of the Lord, and His
twofold character of Ruler and Shepherd, uniting in His Person and work of the office of
Kinsman-Redeemer and the Avenger of Blood.
The first expansion given by the prophet of what is intended by the ministry of
"comfort", with which this great section opens, is found in the words, "Her warfare is
accomplished". The reader will note that for "warfare" the margin reads "appointed
time". The Hebrew word translated "warfare" is familiar to the English reader in the
Divine title, "The Lord of Sabaoth" (Rom. 9: 29), which is taken from the Hebrew
Tsabaoth, "Hosts". Tsaba occurs in the O.T. 485 times, of which 394 occurrences are
translated "host", 42 translated "war" or "warfare", 29 translated "army", and 6 translated
"battle". The glad tidings that at length shall be proclaimed in Jerusalem is that her
"warfare" is "accomplished". This will be incomparably good news, for Israel's history
is deluged in blood and soaked in tears. War, both on the physical and spiritual plane,
has been theirs, and is even threatened at the close of the Millennium (Rev. 20: 8, 9). The
prophet Daniel was staggered by a vision that revealed "warfare great" (Dan. 10: 1) for the
word translated "appointed time" is tsaba. Peace however shall come; Israel's warfare
shall one day cease;  it shall be "accomplished".  This word "accomplished" is a
translation of male, "To fill", and is of frequent occurrence in the Scriptures. Isaiah uses
the word in a very forceful manner when he speaks of hands being "full of blood" (1: 15);
loins "filled with pain" (21: 3); lips "full of indignation" (30: 27); but in Isa. 40: 2 he
uses the word in a slightly different sense, indicating that Israel's experience of war will
at length be "filled". It will indeed have been a full measure, for the prophet's own
comment is that Israel has received of the Lord's hand "double" for all her sins.
The prophet Ezekiel, referring to the punishment of Israel at the hands of the King of
Babylon says, "Let the sword be doubled" (Ezek. 21: 14). The prophet Jeremiah says,
"First I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double" (Jer. 16: 18); and again,
"Bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction"
(Jer. 17: 18).  In all probability there is a literal fulfillment of the law in all this, for
failure to keep faith was punished by restoring the amount involved "double"
(Exod. 22: 4, 7, 9). This same principle is seen at work at the judgment of Babylon:
"Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her
works; in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double" (Rev. 18: 6).
This however would be no word of "comfort" to Jerusalem, but there is another side to
the matter. The same Isaiah, when he looks forward to "the acceptable year of the Lord"
and the day of Israel's restoration, says:--
"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" (Isa. 66: 7).
and the prophet Zechariah says:--