In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious,.... When the beauty of the Jewish women shall be taken away, and their men shall he slain; by whom is meant, not the righteous and wise men left among the Jews, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; nor Hezekiah; which is the sense of some, as the latter observes: but the Messiah, as Kimchi, and so the Targum, which paraphrases the words thus,
"at that time shall the Messiah of the Lord be for joy and glory;''
and the Septuagint understand it of a divine Person appearing on earth, rendering the words, "for in that day God shall shine in counsel with glory upon the earth"; and so the Arabic version. Christ is called "the branch", not as God, but as man, not as a son, but as a servant, as Mediator; and it chiefly regards his descent from David, and when his family was very mean and low; and a branch being but a tender thing, it denotes Christ's state of humiliation on earth, when he grew up as a tender plant before the Lord, and was contemptible in the eyes of men: and he is called the branch "of the Lord", because of his raising up, and bringing forth; see Zechariah 3:8 and yet this branch became "beautiful", being laden with the fruits of divine grace, such as righteousness, reconciliation, peace, pardon, adoption, sanctification, and eternal life; as well as having all his people as branches growing on him, and receiving their life and fruitfulness from him: and "glorious", being the branch made strong to do the work of the Lord, by his obedience and death; and especially he became glorious when raised from the dead, when he ascended up to heaven, and was exalted there at the right hand of God; and when his Gospel was spread and his kingdom increased in the Gentile world, as it did, both before and after the destruction of Jerusalem, the time here referred to; and which will he in a more glorious condition in the last days; and now he is glorious in the eyes of all that believe in him, and is glorified by them; and when he comes a second time, he will appear in his own and his father's glory, and in the glory of the holy angels.
and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely; not the children of the righteous, as Jarchi; nor ydbe atyrwa, "the doers of the law", as the Targum; see Romans 2:13 but the Messiah, as before, as Kimchi well observes; called "the fruit of the earth", to show that he is not a dry and withered, but a fruitful branch, and which should fill the earth with fruit; and because he sprung from the earth as man, and was the fruit of a woman, that was of the earth, earthly; and so this, as the former, denotes the meanness of Christ in human nature, while here on earth; and yet he became, as these words foretold be should, "excellent": he appeared to be excellent in his person as the Son of God, and to have a more excellent name and nature than the angels, and fairer than the sons of men; to be excellent as the cedars, and more excellent than the mountains of prey; to have obtained a more excellent ministry than Aaron and his sons; to be excellent in all his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King; and particularly in the fruits and blessings of grace, which grew upon him, and came from him; see Deuteronomy 33:13 "and comely", in his person, as God and man, in the perfections of his divine nature, and in the fulness of his grace; and so are his people, as considered in him, who are made perfectly comely, through the comeliness he puts upon them: and so he is
for them that are escaped of Israel; not beautiful and glorious; excellent and comely, in the view of all men, only them that believe, who have seen his glory, and have tasted that he is gracious; these are the remnant according to the election of grace, the preserved of Israel, the chosen of God, and precious, who were saved from that untoward generation, the Jews, and escaped the destruction of Jerusalem, and were saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation.