All the ends of the world - The Gospel shall be preached to every nation under heaven; and all the kindred of nations, משפחות mishpechoth, the families of the nations: not only the nations of the world shall receive the Gospel as a revelation from God, but each family shall embrace it for their own salvation. They shall worship before Jesus the Savior, and through him shall all their praises be offered unto God.
All the ends of the world - All parts of the earth; all nations. The earth is frequently represented in the Scriptures as having limits or boundaries; as spread out; as having corners, etc. Compare Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 25:23; Jeremiah 49:32; Revelation 7:1. This language is in accordance with the prevailing modes of thinking, in the same way as we say, “the sun rises;” “the sun sets,” etc.
Shall remember - The nations are often represented as “forgetting” God; that is, they act as if they had once known him, and had then forgotten him. See Job 8:13; Psalm 9:17; Psalm 50:22; Romans 1:21. Here it is said that they would again call God to remembrance; that is, they would worship him as the true God.
And turn unto the Lord - Turn away from their idols to worship the living God.
And all the kindreds of the nations - All the families. The numerous families upon the earth that constitute the one great family of mankind.
Shall worship before thee - Shall worship in thy presence; that is, shall worship thee. The language is derived from the act of worshipping God in the tabernacle or the temple, before the visible symbol of his presence there. As applicable to the Redeemer, this language is in accordance with what is uniformly said of him and his work, that the world would be converted to the living and true God. Compare the notes at Psalm 2:8.
In the years that followed the occupation of the Promised Land, the beneficent designs of Jehovah for the salvation of the heathen were almost wholly lost sight of, and it became necessary for Him to set forth His plan anew. “All the ends of the world,” the psalmist was inspired to sing, “shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee.” “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” “The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory.” “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” Psalm 22:27; 68:31; Psalm 102:15, 18-22. PK 370.1
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 371.2Read in context »