Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations,.... The Gentiles: who are called upon to hear the word of the Gospel; the word of peace, reconciliation, and salvation by Christ, sent among them by him, for the calling and conversion of them, that they might believe in him, and profess his name:
and declare it in the isles afar off; having heard, received, and embraced the Gospel themselves, it became them to make it known to others; not only to those upon the continent and the isles adjacent, but to those afar off from it; such as these isles of ours, of Great Britain and Ireland; where, blessed be the Lord, this Gospel has been declared to the conversion and comfort of many, and to the glory of Christ:
and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him: that is, the Lord that hath scattered the Jews throughout the nations of the world, and even in the isles afar off, will before long gather them together, and bring them into their own land. This may be understood of the spiritual Israel, be they Jews or Gentiles, the children of God scattered up and down in the world; and who, by reason of sin, and while in an unregenerate estate, are alienated from God, and at a distance from him; but are gathered together in one head, Christ, when he died for them, and redeemed them; and in the effectual calling, when they are gathered to God and Christ, one by one; and afterwards to more near communion with them; and, at last, to glory, and which is the sum and substance of the Gospel to be heard and declared:
and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock; so that they shall be scattered no more, as the Jews have been; nor any of them lost, as God's elect were in their first head Adam: they are Christ's flock, given him by the Father, and purchased with his blood; and having gathered them as above, he will keep them in his hands, from whence none can pluck them, and preserve them by his almighty power unto salvation; which doctrine of the saints' perseverance is a most comfortable doctrine of the Gospel to be published and declared.