61 The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh[a] is wrapped around[b] me
because Yahweh has anointed me,[c] as a messenger to preach good news to the poor.[d] He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted, to tell captives, “You are free,”[e] and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.”[f]
Isaiah 61:1The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is viewed by many scholars as a synonymical phrase for the Spirit of Prophecy.
Isaiah 61:1Or “upon, in, on, over, above, by, for, through, throughout, around, beside.”
Isaiah 61:1The title of Messiah is taken from the Hebrew verb “to anoint.” Messiah means the Anointed One in both Hebrew (mashiach) and Greek (Christos). Our Lord Jesus quoted this passage in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-21) and introduced his “jubilee” ministry to Israel (Lev. 25). The first three verses of this chapter describe the twofold mission of Jesus: (1) to open the door of the day of grace to the world; (2) to proclaim the day of vengeance coming on sin, darkness, sickness, and eventually, the “goat” nations. As a prophet, he comes to preach the new season of grace; as a priest, he comes to heal; and as a king, he comes to decree and herald peace and freedom to the captives. See Luke 3:21-22; Acts 10:38.
3 to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful bouquet[a] in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss[b] instead of tears,[c] and the mantle of joyous praise[d] instead of the spirit of heaviness.[e] Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks[f] of Righteousness, planted[g] by Yahweh as a living display of his glory.
Isaiah 61:3Or “beauty for ashes” or “a garland (of flowers) or headdress.” There is an interesting wordplay in the Hebrew text. The word for “beauty” is phe’er, and the word for “ashes” is epher—simply the moving of one letter. God has the power to change and move things around in our lives to make them into something beautiful. See Rom. 8:28.
Isaiah 61:3Or “the spirit of failure.” The Hebrew word for “heaviness” (keheh) comes from a root word for “dark, dim, obscure, colorless, gloom.”
Isaiah 61:3The oak, a hardwood tree, was used to make yokes for oxen and symbolizes strength, might (or mighty men), stability, conviction, uprightness, resoluteness. This could be the Quer-cus calliprinos, also known as the Palestine oak. There is a Palestine oak not far from Hebron that has been estimated to be 850 years old. “Oaks of Righteousness” points to a godly, spiritually mature people who will know the righteousness of God and walk in it. Jesus, the Tree of Life, multiplies himself in us so we become trees of righteousness. A Tree became a forest. See Ps. 1:3.
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