Verse 5. And the Lord will create-One MS., the Septuagint, and the Arabic, have ayby yabi, He shall bring: the cloud already exists; the Lord will bring it over. This is a blessed promise of the presence of God in all the assemblies of his people.
"Every dwelling place "the station"" - The Hebrew text has, every station: but four MSS. (one ancient) omit lk col, all; very rightly, as it should seem: for the station was Mount Zion itself, and no other. See Exod. xv. 17. And the Septuagint, Arabic, and MSS., add the same word lk col, before harqm mikraeha, probably right: the word has only changed its place by mistake. hyarqm mikrayeh, "the place where they were gathered together in their holy assemblies," says Sal ben Melech. But twenty-five of Kennicott's MSS., and twenty-two of De Rossi's fifty-three editions, besides the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic, have the word in the plural number.
"A cloud and smoke by day" - This is a manifest allusion to the pillar of a cloud and of fire which attended the Israelites in their passage out of Egypt, and to the glory that rested on the tabernacle, Exod. xiii. 21; xl. 38.
The prophet Zechariah, chap. ii. 5, applies the same image to the same purpose:- "And I will be unto her a wall of fire round about; And a glory will I be in the midst of her." That is, the visible presence of God shall protect her. Which explains the conclusion of this verse of Isaiah; where the makkaph between lk col, and dwbk cabod, connecting the two words in construction, which ought not to be connected, has thrown an obscurity upon the sentence, and misled most of the translators.
"For upon all the glory shall be a defense." - Whatever God creates, he must uphold, or it will fail, Every degree of grace brings with it a degree of power to maintain itself in the soul.
Verse 6. "A tabernacle" - In countries subject to violent tempests, as well as to intolerable heat, a portable tent is a necessary part of a traveller's baggage, for defense and shelter. And to such tents the words of the text make evident allusion. They are to be met with in every part of Arabia and Egypt, and in various other places in the East.