Thus saith the Lord,.... The following words are said not to Cyrus, nor to Christ, but to the church, as the feminine pronouns show; and Kimchi observes, they are directed to Jerusalem:
the labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee; a prophecy of the conversion of many in these nations, who should join themselves to the churches of Christ, formed among them, and make use of their riches, got by merchandise, labour, and industry, for the support of the interest of religion; and had its accomplishment in part, in the first times of the Gospel, which was brought into Egypt, as it is said, by the Evangelist Mark; and by which, no doubt, many were converted and formed into a church state, and others joined them. The Ethiopian eunuch, baptized by Philip, carried it into his country, where it also met with success, was embraced and professed; as it will be more so in the latter day, when the kings of Seba and Sheba shall offer gifts to Christ, and bring their riches into the church, the same with the Sabeans here; see Psalms 72:10, who are said to be "men of stature"; that is, of a large and tall stature, as the men of Seba are said to be by otherF23As by Agatharcides, l. 5. c. 50. in Gataker. authors; or, "men of measure"F24אנשי מדה "viri mensurae", Vatablus, Cocceius, Pagninus, Montanus; i.e. of a large measure, as Ben Melech interprets it ανδρες υψηλοι, Sept. "viri sublimes", V. L. . The Targum renders it, "men of merchandise"; who used measures in trade and business: "and they shall be thine": give up themselves to the church, become members of it, and submit to its rule and discipline:
they shall come after thee; follow the church and its pastors, as they have them, for examples. The Targum is,
"they shall walk after thy word;'
be directed, guided, and governed by the church:
in chains they shall come over; being subdued and conquered by the grace of God, shall come in the chains of efficacious grace, drawn with the cords of love, and bands of a man; and yet shall come willingly, being made willing in the day of the power of divine grace upon their souls:
and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee; this is not to be understood of religious worship and invocation, such as is made to God, who only is the object of adoration and prayer in that sense; but is only expressive of their profound veneration and respect for the church of God, beseeching that it would receive them into, though unworthy of, its communion; see Isaiah 49:23,
saying, surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no god; induced thus to come to the church, and show all this respect unto her, from this consideration, that God is in the midst of her, of a truth, her name being "Jehovah Shammah", the Lord is there; here he grants his presence, here his word is preached, and ordinances administered; and hither converts flock, in hope of enjoying the same blessing also, being fully satisfied there is no other God but in Zion, Zechariah 8:23, Ezekiel 48:35. This passage of Scripture is thus explained in the Jewish ChroniclesF25Seder Olam Rabba, c. 23. p. 64, 65. : "the labour of Egypt", that is, Pharaoh king of Egypt: "and the merchandise of Ethiopia", that is, Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia: "and the Sabeans, men of stature", these are their armies:
they shall come over to thee, this is Jerusalem:
they shall be thine, peace being now made with thee:
they shall come after thee, that is, Hezekiah:
in chains they shall come over, in chains and bracelets:
they shall bow down to thee, and make supplication to thee, they shall give praise to God in the midst of thee, and say,
surely God is in thee.