For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
For there shall be a day,.... The whole Gospel dispensation is "a day", made so by the bright rising of the sun of righteousness; here it seems to design some certain fixed period of time in that dispensation, when the light of the Gospel will break out most gloriously, and it will be a clear day; as it will be when the Jews will be converted:
that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim; the same with the mountains of Samaria; for Samaria was the head or metropolis of Ephraim, Isaiah 7:9; and these are the watchmen that kept the vines there, Jeremiah 31:5; for the allusion is not to watchmen of states and cities, but to watchers of vineyards, and to such the ministers of the Gospel are compared, Song of Solomon 1:6. Grotius thinks there is an allusion in the word "Notzerim" to the title of Nazarenes, given to Christ and his followers; and Abarbinel the Jew on the place observes, that the prophet, by the Holy Ghost, foresaw that the Romans would believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and therefore would be called Nazarenes from him; see Acts 24:5; so that Christian ministers may be well thought to be here intended: who
shall cry, Arise ye; lift up their voice like a trumpet, and cry aloud to persons as asleep, or in dead and lifeless frames, to awake, arouse, and rise up, and shake off their sloth and indolence, saying:
and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God; to the church of God, to attend the word of God, his worship and ordinances; to which sometimes there is a backwardness, arising from sloth, from a lukewarm frame of spirit, from a love of the world, and a vain conceit of their own sufficiency and knowledge; and it is the business of Gospel ministers to stir up persons to frequent the house of God, and attend public worship in it; since it is not only their duty, but their interest and privilege; here they have true pleasure, and real profit; and it is to their honour to continue here, and not forsake the assembling of themselves together: but they should not rest here, trusting to, and depending on, these things; but should go "to the Lord their God"; not only seek and pray unto him, but should be desirous of hearing of him, and from him; of seeing him, his power and his glory, and him in his beauty; and of having communion with him; and should exercise faith upon him as their own God. Christ seems to be intended; going to him is exercising faith upon him, for righteousness and strength, peace, pardon, life, and salvation; and saying, as Thomas did, "my Lord, and my God", John 20:28.