Isaiah 51:6

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens,.... And observe their beauty and order, the constant and regular motion of the heavenly bodies, the firmness and solidity of them:

and look upon the earth beneath; how stable and well founded it is:

for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke; though they are so firm, and have lasted so long, and have kept their constant situation and course, yet they shall melt away like salt, as the word {k} signifies, and disappear in an instant like smoke. Reference seems to be had to the general conflagration, when the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, 2 Peter 3:12:

and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and be folded up, and laid aside, as useless; see Ps 102:26. This seems to design not a substantial destruction of the earth, but of its qualities, when waxing old it shall be renewed and changed. Jarchi interprets these clauses of the princes of the hosts of people in heaven, and the governors of the earth; but the inhabitants thereof are mentioned next:

and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; as the heavens and the earth; be dissolved as they, and in like manner; vanish as smoke, and be seen no more; wax old as a garment, and become useless and unprofitable. De Dieu renders it, "as a louse" {l}, and so this word sometimes signifies; and this sense is approved of by many learned men {m}, and seems best to agree with the text; since neither the heavens and the earth are said to die, nor smoke, or a garment: and it may denote how loathsome and nauseous wicked men are in life, like vermin; and how mean and contemptible in death, their bodies are vile and despicable, and how easily they are destroyed:

but my salvation shall be for ever; that salvation which Christ has wrought out for his people is an everlasting salvation, Isaiah 14:17 Hebrews 5:9 and they that are interested in it will be always safe and happy; and though they shall die as other men, they shall rise again, and enjoy glory, immortality, and eternal life:

and my righteousness shall not be abolished: the righteousness which Christ has brought in for his people, and by which they are justified, is also everlasting, Daniel 9:24 or, "shall not be broken" {n}; it answers all the demands of law and justice, and stands firm against all the accusations and charges of men and devils: or, "shall not fail" {o}, as the Septuagint; its virtue to justify will always continue; it will answer for the saints in a time to come, even at the last judgment. The Targum is, it

"shall not tarry;''

being near to be wrought out and revealed, Isaiah 51:5.

{k} wxlmn aliwsontai, "Symmachus". It is expressive of corruption and consumption, as Ben Melech observes; which is the sense of salt land, not inhabited Jer xvii 6. It denotes, as Gussetius (Ebr. Comment. p. 469.) thinks, the fluctuating and confused agitation of the heavens, like those of the salt sea, and as smoke over the head.
{l} Nk-wmk "tanquam pediculus", De Dieu; so the word is used in Exod. viii. 16, 17, 18. "instar vermiculi", Vitringa.
{m} Calvinus, Gataker, Gussetius.
{n} txt "conteretur", Pagninus, Montanus; "atteretur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. So Ben Melech interprets it, "shall not be broken".
{o} ou mh ekleiph, Sept. "non deficiet", V. L.