The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,.... These are not the words of the prophet, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and others think; though what is here said is applicable to ministers of the word, who have to do with weary souls, and it is their work to comfort and refresh them; and which work requires knowledge and experience of their case, a good degree of elocution to speak aptly and with propriety, even to have the tongue of the learned, especially in a spiritual sense; as such have who have learned of the Father, and have been taught by the Spirit of God, and are well versed in the Scriptures, and can speak in the taught words of the Holy Ghost, comparing spiritual things with spiritual; and they have need of great prudence to time things right, to speak fitly and opportunely, and give to each their portion in due season, to whom they minister; and also great diligence and assiduity in prayer, reading, and meditation; and such as are teachers of others must be the Lord's hearers, and should be very diligent and attentive ones; all which are gifts from the Lord, and to be ascribed to him. But the words are to be understood of Christ, the same person that is speaking in the preceding verses; who being anointed by the Spirit of the Lord God, as man, whose gifts and graces he received without measure, he was abundantly qualified for the discharge of his prophetic office; and was capable of speaking as never man did, and with such power and authority as the Scribes and Pharisees did not, and with so much wisdom and eloquence as were surprising to all that heard him; he had the Spirit of wisdom on him, and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid in him:
that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary; not only saints, weary with sin, their own and others, and with troubles from the world, from Satan, and by afflictive providences; but sinners under first awakenings, distressed and uneasy in their minds at a sight of sin, in its exceeding sinfulness; pressed with the guilt of it, filled with a sense of divine wrath on account of it, and terrified with the thoughts of death, and a future judgment; and are weary with labouring for bread which satisfies not, for righteousness and life, and in seeking for resting places, being in want of spiritual rest, peace, and comfort; and who are hungry and thirsting after righteousness, after pardoning grace and mercy, after Christ and salvation by him, after his word and ordinances, after communion with him, and conformity to him; who are weak and without strength, and ready to faint for want of refreshment. The word for "weary" signifies "thirsty", according to Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; who explain it of persons that thirst after hearing the word of the Lord: the Targum is,
"to know how to teach the righteous that weary themselves at the words of the law;''
or, as some render it, that pant after the words of the law: but not the law, but the Gospel, is "the word in season", to be spoken to weary souls; which proclaims pardon, preaches peace, is the word of righteousness and salvation; which directs hungry and thirsty souls to Christ, as the bread and water of life, and invites weary ones to him for rest. That word of his, Matthew 11:28 is a word in season to such persons: such a word Christ spoke when he was here on earth in his own person, and now speaks by his ministers in the preaching of the Gospel, and by his Spirit applying it to his people.
he wakeneth morning by morning; one after another continually, meaning himself; the allusion is to masters calling their scholars early to their studies; the morning being the fittest season for instruction and learning.
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned; who hear attentively, and with great pleasure and profit. This and the preceding clause seem to denote both the earliness in which Christ entered on his prophetic office, and his attentiveness in hearkening to all that was said in the eternal council and covenant by his divine Father; which he, as the Prophet of his church, makes known unto his people, John 15:15.