|Faith Strengthened||Chapter 20||Part 1|
"And many nations shall go and say, Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He shall teach us in His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3). This verse is combined by the Christians with that in Isaiah 51:4: "Hearken unto me, O my people, and give ear unto me, O my nation, for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment for a light of the people." They deduce from it that Isaiah here prophesied that there would be a future covenant, viz., the law of Jesus; the law of Moses having been delivered on Sinai, while the new doctrine of Jesus was promulgated in Zion.
Refutation.—The preceding chapter disproves this assertion, we having therein established on incontestable testimony, that the law of Moses is not to be revoked, and that no second revelation is to be added to the former; therefore no inference or support can be derived from the above texts. The verses quoted do by no means declare that a new law was to be given by the Almighty, but that the תּוֹרָה, which means instruction and improvement, shall go forth from Zion, and shall be communicated through the advent of the true expected Messiah. Hence, they shall say, "And he shall instruct us in his ways, and we will walk in his paths." The King Messiah is to be the Instructor. In allusion to him, the prophet says, "And he shall judge among the Gentiles." A passage relating to this we read in Isaiah 42:1, "Behold the servant on whom I shall rely, for he as judge and a teacher, shall carry out judgment among the Gentiles, and they shall wait for his instruction." A parallel promise is given in the words, "For the law [i.e. instruction] shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment rest as the light of Nations." The beneficent activity of the King Messiah is further exhibited in the prediction (Isaiah 2:4), "And they shall strike their swords into ploughshares," etc.
This justifies the expectation that, in cases where otherwise wars arising from strife and contention would occur, appeals will be made to the King Messiah, who will rule over all nations, and decide which party is in the right, and which in the wrong. Thus, he will establish peace between them, and thus prevent warfare between nations. The destructive instruments of battle will no longer be required, but will be converted into implements of husbandry. "Their swords shall be struck into ploughshares, their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation, and they shall no longer learn the art of war." We acquire by this prophecy a manifest assurance that the law which is to proceed from the Messiah is nothing else but the instruction and propagation of the most humane principles. The Hebrew word תּוֹרָה is very frequently used for conveying the idea of instruction." See Proverbs 1:8, "My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the laws (or teaching) of thy mother." Further, ibid 3:1, "My son, forget not my laws (teachings), and let thine heart keep my precepts." And in the same chapter, "for I give you a good doctrine: do not forsake my laws" (i.e. instructions). No person will venture to assert, that King Solomon alluded to any new law, written by himself, or any of his contemporaries. Controversial opponents, themselves, must acknowledge, that the word תּוֹרָה in the Book of Proverbs has no other meaning but worldly uninspired instruction; and the inference deducible from this interpretation, with regard to the passage under discussion, is so obvious, that it leaves no ground for vindicating the existence of a new law, subsequent to the one given by Moses.