Israel’s Restoration: Major & Minor Prophets, Isaiah Part 6
THE BOOK OF ISAIAH – PART 6
This is a study on the restoration of Israel from both Major and Minor Prophets. Every Restoration passage is being covered, and I hope none has been missed. The series began with the book of Isaiah, and this is PART 6 of the series.
This next passage in a long one, and I will do it in sections.
Isaiah 60:8 – “Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like the doves to their lattices? Isa 60:9 Surely the coastlands will wait for Me and the ships of Tarshish will come first to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.”
One of the things that annoys me greatly is the violence done to scripture by those who can’t be bothered to understand things in context, and the above two verses fit that example. So many people lacking any sense try to make verse 8 apply to the current time with airplanes and even wars. They try to identify places. No! It is ignorant nonsense. One must look carefully at the context of these verses, and it is then plain that they do NOT apply to our time. Verse 9 says “because He has glorified you,” and that puts the passage into Israel’s restoration with Messiah in their midst. Verse 9 deals with the return of saved Jews from all over the world; even the distant parts for Tarshish was Spain, about the longest they knew. When the Jews stream into Israel, they bring great treasures with them, often the gifts of the sheep nations in honor of the King who reigns in Jerusalem.
The context of these verses is the beginning of the Millennium, NOT IN OUR TIME!
Flying like a cloud means so many Jewish saints returning like doves returning home. The purpose of that expression is to say the Jews will be numerous and they are returning. The ships of Tarshish traveled long distances and were substantial ships. They meant the big ships of the time. Every means of bulk transport will be used by the nations to send the Jewish remnant home.
Isaiah 60:10 – “Foreigners will build up your walls, and their kings will minister to you, for in My wrath I struck you, and in My favour I have had compassion on you. Isa 60:11 Your gates will be open continually. They will not be closed day or night so that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations with their kings led in procession, Isa 60:12 for the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, and the nations will be utterly ruined.”
This is a picture of Jerusalem in the Millennium. Remember, this is in the restored world where the remaining nations (much reduced in number, I feel, and certainly in size, considering the extent of death in the Tribulation) will honour Israel and do all they can for her. This will be a time of peace and much abundance. God says He struck the nation, and then turned to them in compassion in restoration. That idea is covered by a number of prophets. It is punishment leading to conversion.
Israel will be filled with so many treasures and wealth. I don’t think money will be used in the Millennium, but if it is, then the greedy multinationals will not be operating. National delegations will follow each other bringing treasures to Jerusalem, led by their leaders. If any kingdom turns away from Israel, its fate is set. It will perish. At the start of the Millennium, all the sheep nations will be good, for they have helped Israel in its most severe need.
It seems like, as time goes on, there may be nations who decide to abandon Israel and not serve under the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. At the end of the Millennium, there is a revolt when Satan goes out to gather all the malcontents from among the nations. These are termed Gog and Magog, meaning a whole mob of them (not the Gog and Magog of the Armageddon war 1,000 years earlier). This is described in Rev 20:7-10. It is hard to understand why there will be so many unbelievers who will breed up in the Millennium, who will secretly despise the Lord of Lords, the King Messiah reigning in Jerusalem. Satan has nothing to do with it because he is in the abyss. The only explanation has to be that the human heart is still wicked and these Gentile nations in the 1,000 years of the Kingdom are not sinless.
Familiarity breeds contempt, and like Nineveh that completely repented under Jonah, in 100 years they were destroyed. The welsh revivals lasted 2 to 3 generations, then people turned wicked. In 1954 so many were saved in the Billy Graham crusades in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, that it changed society and made it “more Christian”; but today, the majority are supporters of homosexuality, greed, perversion and stronger and stronger anti-God socialists.
Isaiah 60:13 – “The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the juniper, the box tree, and the cypress together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary, and I shall make the place of My feet glorious. Isa 60:14 The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, and all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet. They will call you the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”
Lebanon was thickly forested with grand timbers, most notably the cedar and the cypress, so when the land flourishes in its restoration, Israel will be forested. However, in this verse 13, it means those wonderful trees will be found in the sanctuary of the Millennial Temple to make it so beautiful. There is also the thought that the timbers of those trees will be used for the temple and its sanctuary.
Verse 14 means acknowledgement of wrong, but I don’t think it means repentance. There were the evil oppressors of Israel, but they will be forced to bow at the Jews’ feet in the same way as this verse is understood – Phil 2:10 “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, Phil 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” “Every knee” would include the unbelievers, Jew-haters, popes, Nazis and all the rest.
A special name will be here for Jerusalem. It will be also known as “the city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” That will be another general name for the great city, or what the persecutors in that verse are compelled to confess.
Isaiah 60:15 – “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated with no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, a joy from generation to generation. Isa 60:16 You will also suck the milk of nations, and will suck the breast of kings. Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Isa 60:17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver, and instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. I will make peace your administrators, and righteousness your overseers.”
More restoration promises follow. Israel that was once the off-scouring of the world and the despised and reproached people, will have all that turned around; no longer forsaken and hated with no passer-by walking the condemned place or being overrun by armies, but it will become an everlasting pride and a joy to all. Superb is the restoration of Israel. Sucking the nations’ breasts means receiving so much in the way of riches from the nation. We cannot imagine what it will be like with so much of the world’s riches streaming into the land.
Verse 16 contains four titles of the Messiah – LORD, Saviour, Redeemer and the Mighty One of Jacob. Verse 17 is speaking of the riches of the land. Gold will be as common as bronze is now, silver as iron, and even stones will be like iron. The colorful language at the end of verse 17 is saying that Israel will be governed by peace and righteousness. Restored Israel will be like nothing the earth has ever seen.
Isaiah 60:18 – “Violence will not be heard again in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders but you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise. Isa 60:19 No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light, but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. Isa 60:20 Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be finished.”
For these three verses we must refer to chapter 14 of Zechariah. In the Millennium there will be cosmic and even atmospheric changes, and the light will be altered. We cannot appreciate that now, bound by the day and night conditions we have, but this will be lifted out of physical science. The verses tell us it is not the sun that lights the day, or the moon that provides some light at night. Instead the Lord will be the everlasting light for the entire day. The purpose of sun and moon will cease, and the Lord will be the Light of the World.
Zech 14:6 “and it will come about in that day that there will be no light. The luminaries will dwindle, Zech 14:7 for it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.” Never again a hint of mourning. Never again will there be violence, or devastation or destruction, only salvation and praise. What of us the Church? Just before coming to receive His Jews to himself, there was the marriage supper of the Lamb, so, as the Lord’s Bride, we will be with Him forever. How can all Israel and the whole Bride from Adam to the Rapture fit into Israel, let alone Jerusalem? I do not know. We only know threads, and that is sufficient.
Isaiah 60:21 – “Then all your people will be righteous. They will possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. Isa 60:22 The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.”
Superb! The Jews will be righteous. They are close to God’s heart. They will possess their land forever. It is the Lord who has done everything for them. He called them (Abraham); He planted them as a man plants a tree to grow; His hands formed all the work to bring the Jews into His glorious Millennial Kingdom. Verse 22 is describing the expansive blessing of their Messiah. How tragic it is when misled church people, in stupidity, just write Restored Israel off and transfer all the promises for that nation to some spiritual interpretation for the Church. It is dishonoring; it is of the devil who hates Israel. Any true Christian must love Israel.
We enter here into such a profound chapter connected with the Restoration of Israel. It overflows with the blessings of the Millennium. Israel is blessed beyond measure.
Isaiah 61:5 – “Strangers will stand and pasture your flocks and foreigners will be your farmers and your vinedressers, Isa 61:6 but you will be called the priests of the LORD. You will be spoken of as ministers of our God. You will eat the wealth of nations and in their riches you will boast. Isa 61:7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, and instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land. Everlasting joy will be theirs.”
The verses are well connected with a “but” beginning verse 6. This is a passage of contrasts as in “That then . . . but Now This.” Once their pastures were barren and the land cursed because of their sin, for Israel’s blessings had always been, and always will be, in the land. Barrenness, blight, bitterness and banishment had been their sorrowful history for 3,000 years, but when the Lord again takes up His people, it will all be changed. They will not even have to do the work on their land, and strangers will be the herdsmen and farmers. This has nothing to do with slavery or forced labor, and nothing to do with superiority. The world will rejoice in doing what it can for Israel. They serve the King over the whole world and delight to serve Him.
While others do the agricultural work, the Jews serve God as priests. I am not sure how to understand this. Sacrifices will feature throughout the Millennium in the Temple (Ezek 40 to end), so the Levitical priests still function. In this regard, it could be called a nation of priests. The concept of New Testament priests is something we have, but I am uncertain if that application of priests in our format will apply to these restored saints in the Millennium when the Lord is actually in their midst. Verse 6 terms the Jews then as “ministers of our God.” Eating the wealth of nations is an expression saying the wealth of the world will flow into Israel, and we said earlier this is all done willingly with kings leading the procession.
Shame has been a feature of Jewish history, as they were humiliated by Gentiles because of their sin. Now in God’s great grace and love, all that is gone, and in its place, double blessing from God. Even in the land, they will have a double portion. Then the Jew will experience what the church will also have – everlasting joy. As for the double portion, Hannah received it; Elisha received it; the son of the unloved received it (Deut 21:17. In the future, the nation will receive it.
Isaiah 61:8 – “For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery in the burnt offering. I will faithfully give them their recompense and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Isa 61:9 Then their offspring will be known among the nations and their descendants in the midst of the peoples. All who see them will recognize them because they are the offspring whom the LORD has blessed.”
Jehovah speaks in verse 8. Four aspects are given – justice, robbery, recompense and covenant. God loves justice, and we know from many prophets that justice will roll on through the earth in that day. Injustice in the earth today is absolutely honored and practised everywhere. God hates it.
Robbery in the burnt offering was commonplace and came to a head in Malachi’s time – Mal 1:13 “You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and you bring what was taken by robbery, and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?’ says the LORD. Mal 1:14 ‘But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock, and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and My name is feared among the nations.” God hates it. He hates robbery, the cheating of God of His rightful belongings (or assets).
The third aspect is recompense. The reward they deserved was continual banishment and rejection, but God’s incomprehensible graciousness, through love, lifted them into a recompense of everlasting joy. Great will be their restoration. The fourth one is this, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” This covenant is made at the time of their restoration, and like the workings of the New Testament covenant, will have its basis in the cross.
There are many covenants regarding Israel, the first being the one with Abraham. Isaiah raised it in 59 v 21. It is too big a subject to broach here, but we will just cite this one:
Jer 31:31 “Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, Jer 31:32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD. Jer 31:33 ‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, Jer 31:34 and they shall not teach again, each man his neighbour and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
The blessings of that covenant God makes will be enormous, utterly life changing, for all Israel’s sad past will be gone, and the everlasting future lies ahead with glory and blessing. Again, it is not the people who rise up to choose God; all of us would never choose God, for our depraved sin drives us from God. It is all of God’s grace that calls them (and us too) into a covenant relationship with Him.
Isaiah 61:10 – “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD. My soul will exult in my God for He has clothed me with garments of salvation. He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isa 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts and as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.”
Continuing with this restoration passage, we see either Isaiah rejoicing in what God will do for his people in the future, or more likely, it will be the theme of the ransomed of Israel as they rejoice in the Millennium. Garments of salvation, after untold centuries of rejection by the hating world, will result in exaltation. Righteousness and praise will spring up and never cease, and all nations will see it, and themselves will praise and honor the Messiah of Israel. In context, these verses are Israel in restoration, even though an application can be made to the Church. There is only ever one interpretation of verses of scripture, but there may be applications from that. Verse 10 is the glory of Israel, but application hints at the glory of the Church as the Bride.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 7