The face of the covering cast over all people "The covering that covered the face of all the peoples" - MS. Bodl. reads כל פני על al peney chol . The word פני peney, face, has been removed from its right place into the line above, where it makes no sense; as Houbigant conjectured. "The face of the covering," etc. He will unveil all the Mosaic ritual, and show by his apostles that it referred to, and was accomplished in, the sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ.
And he will destroy - Hebrew, ‹He will swallow up,‘ that is, he will abolish, remove, or take away.
In this mountain the face of the covering - In mount Zion, or in Jerusalem. This would be done in Jerusalem, or on the mountains of which Jerusalem was a part, where the great transactions of the plan of redemption would be accomplished. The word ‹face‘ here is used as it is frequently among the Hebrews, where the face of a thing denotes its aspect. or appearance, and then the thing itself. Thus ‹the face of God‘ is put for God himself; the ‹face of the earth‘ for the earth itself; and the ‹face of the vail‘ means the veil itself, or the appearance of the veil. To cover the head or the face was a common mode of expressing grief (see 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:5; Esther 6:12). It is probable that the expression here is taken from this custom, and the veil over the nations here is to be understood as expressive of the ignorance, superstition, crime, and wretchedness that covered the earth.
Had Israel been true to her trust, all the nations of earth would have shared in her blessings. But the hearts of those to whom had been entrusted a knowledge of saving truth, were untouched by the needs of those around them. As God's purpose was lost sight of, the heathen came to be looked upon as beyond the pale of His mercy. The light of truth was withheld, and darkness prevailed. The nations were overspread with a veil of ignorance; the love of God was little known; error and superstition flourished. PK 371.1
Such was the prospect that greeted Isaiah when he was called to the prophetic mission; yet he was not discouraged, for ringing in his ears was the triumphal chorus of the angels surrounding the throne of God, “The whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:3. And his faith was strengthened by visions of glorious conquests by the church of God, when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 11:9. “The face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations,” was finally to be destroyed. Isaiah 25:7. The Spirit of God was to be poured out upon all flesh. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness were to be numbered among the Israel of God. “They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses,” said the prophet. “One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.” Isaiah 44:4, 5. PK 371.2
To the prophet was given a revelation of the beneficent design of God in scattering impenitent Judah among the nations of earth. “My people shall know My name,” the Lord declared; “they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak.” Isaiah 52:6. And not only were they themselves to learn the lesson of obedience and trust; in their places of exile they were also to impart to others a knowledge of the living God. Many from among the sons of the strangers were to learn to love Him as their Creator and their Redeemer; they were to begin the observance of His holy Sabbath day as a memorial of His creative power; and when He should make “bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations,” to deliver His people from captivity, “all the ends of the earth” should see of the salvation of God. Verse 10. Many of these converts from heathenism would wish to unite themselves fully with the Israelites and accompany them on the return journey to Judea. None of these were to say, “The Lord hath utterly separated me from His people” (Isaiah 56:3), for the word of God through His prophet to those who should yield themselves to Him and observe His law was that they should thenceforth be numbered among spiritual Israel—His church on earth. PK 371.3Read in context »