And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout…
I. Let us ask ourselves what it is that is here described by the words "the Consolation of Israel." Israel was God's own people. For all the duties, for all the trials, for all the sufferings of life, what had the Greek, what had the Roman, to furnish him, as compared with the poorest peasant in Israel, with one who could go forth in the strength of the Lord his God, and make mention of His righteousness only; who could stay himself on his God in trial, and in suffering could say, "It is Jehovah, my covenant God: let Him do what seemeth Him good"? Which of them could ever cry out, as death drew on, "I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord?" Of which of them could it ever be said, amidst all the void and unsatisfied yearnings of this life, "When I awake up after Thy likeness I shall be satisfied"? So that, as compared with the nations round, Israel's Consolation was already abundant. Still, Israel had, and looked for, a Consolation to come. God's people differed in this also from every people on earth. When, then, we use the words "the Consolation of Israel," we mean Christ in the fulness of His constituted Person and Office as the Comforter of His people. And when we say "waiting for the Consolation of Israel," we imply that attitude of expectation, anxious looking for, hearty desire of, this Consolation, which comes from, and is in fact, Christ Himself. First, then, Christ is the Consolation of His people, inasmuch as He DELIVERS THEM FROM THE BONDAGE OF SIN. But, again, Christ consoles His people not only from guilt, but Is SORROW. It is His especial office, as we saw, "to bind up the broken heart; to give the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
(H. Alford, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.