Israel’s Restoration: Major & Minor Prophets, Isaiah Part 7
THE BOOK OF ISAIAH – PART 7
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 7 of the series.
Isaiah 62:1 – “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. Isa 62:2 The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate. Isa 62:3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”
The Lord defends Zion until her glory is manifested in her everlasting salvation. Isaiah frequently looks at two blessings for the restored nation, they being salvation and righteousness. Those two it could never achieve, and failed constantly. However, when the grace of the Lord falls on them and the Lord brings them through the fire, then, and only then will His grace bring them into everlasting salvation and righteousness. Verse 2 informs us there is a new name for the righteous of Israel but only the Lord knows it at this point. The descriptions are majestic – “crown of beauty” and “royal diadem,” a devotion and great love of the Lord for His people.
Isaiah 62:4 “It will no longer be said to you, ‘Forsaken,’ nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate,’ but you will be called, ‘My delight is in her,’ and your land, ‘Married’ for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married. Isa 62:5 As a young man marries a virgin, so your sons will marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so your God will rejoice over you.”
This is just too wonderful. God is so good. He rewards when we just don’t deserve it. He has done that for Christians in the Church, and He will do the same for Israel. “Forsaken” is what the Jews are known as, I think as far back as the time of the Assyrian invasion and dispersion. “Desolate” is the name of Israel’s land, even though today science is starting to improve that situation. In Hosea’s time God had said, “No more compassion” (Hos 1:6); “Not My people, Not your God” (Hos 1:9). However, it all turns around when the Lord takes up His people again and God says, “My delight is in her” and “Married,” and Hosea says, “You are sons of the living God.” Verse 5 is so full of grace, because Israel was polluted with sins, but grace will see her in her restoration as a chaste virgin, and the Lord will rejoice over her, His beloved nation.
Isaiah 62:6 – “On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen. All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves, Isa 62:7 and give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
Here is something quite amazing. It is a call to those who have the welfare of Israel on their hearts to keep beseeching the Lord on behalf of the nation. Keep reminding the Lord (of his promises and covenant)! Don’t slacken or rest up doing that. In fact, don’t let God have any rest as well. Keep reminding Him and even, could it reverently mean, “pester God” until He establishes Jerusalem with the great position the prophets have spoken of her. Keep at God until it happens.
Now that may look very bold to us, even pertinent, but I don’t think God minds because it is His will to establish Jerusalem and Israel as the leading city and nation in the earth. It is a constant prayer we of the Church can make, but we know the Rapture must happen before the Jews’ restoration can occur, so let us give God no rest until the Rapture happens. I know that looks so bold to say, but it is how I understand this passage. In fact, the Lord Himself said a similar thing – Matt 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you, Matt 7:8 for everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” (The present continuous tense is used for “ask, seek, knock,” meaning to keep on doing it).
Learn also the same thing from this parable, sometimes called the parable of the importunate (unrelenting, persistent) judge – Luke 18:3 “There was a widow in that city and she kept coming to him saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent,’ Luke 18:4 and for a while he was unwilling, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, Luke 18:5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection lest by continually coming, she wears me out.’ Luke 18:6 The Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge said. Luke 18:7 Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?’”
Isaiah 62:8 – “The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, ‘I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies, nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have laboured, Isa 62:9 but those who garner it will eat it, and praise the LORD, and those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.’”
These two verses are the guarantee that Israel’s enemies will be a thing of the past. What restored Israel will produce will be hers to enjoy.
Isaiah 62:10 – “Go through, go through the gates. Clear the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway. Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth. Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Lo, your salvation comes. Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.’ Isa 62:12 They will call them, ‘The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD’ and you will be called, ‘Sought out, a city not forsaken.”
Verses 10 and 11 are the call to prepare the land for the coming of the Lord. He comes with salvation to bring great rewards for Israel, and He will recompense His people marvelously (It will be good for evil; righteousness for apostasy). We have another renaming within Israel in that time. For the people it will be, “The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD,” and for the city of Jerusalem it will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.” So many great blessings lie ahead for God’s nation, and every single one of them will come to pass. No wonder we can pray, “Even so, come Lord Jesus,” so the Church can be raptured, and then God turns to His earthly people.
Isaiah 65:17 – “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind, Isa 65:18 but be glad and rejoice forever in what I create, for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing and her people for gladness.”
The Old Testament prophets saw darkly and wrote the visions they saw and the word of the Lord that was revealed to them. Their narrative did not follow any sequential order, and as I have said beforehand, often the timeframe they skipped from the present to the future, then maybe to the past, and then right back to the future in only a few verses. It is necessary to discern these time jumps, and if that is done, then the correct exegesis is arrived at. People who come up with strange ideas, even bizarre ones, do not discern the scriptures because they are not familiar with them. Before one can be definitive about the prophecy contained in the Prophets, that one must be familiar with the prophecies as a whole and have studied them in great detail over years. Every part must be interlocked and arrived at in complete harmony.
The two verses here demonstrate such a time jump. We know verse 17 is the beginning of the eternal state, for all earth’s history has ended in Revelation – Rev 21:1 “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea,” and after that, the New Jerusalem, the home of the Bride descends from heaven. Verse 17, though, is the jump from the mention of the eternal state right back to the Millennium, where described is the restored Jerusalem through the 1,000 years. Those who dwell there will rejoice and be glad; we have seen all that in the previous passages from Isaiah.
Isaiah 65:19 – “I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people, and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. Isa 65:20 No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days, for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed.”
We are frequently told in the prophets that God rejoices in Jerusalem, for He loves that city of the Jewish people, and in restoration, it is the dwelling place of the Messiah. We know He will wipe all tears away, and sorrow will be banished and the people rejoice in great gladness. Verse 20 is proof that we have come back to the Millennium, for it speaks of death. In the eternal state, there will be no death – Rev 21:4 “and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death. There shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. The first things have passed away.”
In the Millennium people will die but they will live long lives; for if a person dies at 100 years old, he is still a youth. Maybe we will return to the Ante-diluvian world in regard to length of lives. God will do marvelous things in those days. Here am I in my seventies with my teeth no good and my knees no good, and my eyes having to have artificial lenses. In the Millennium, will that be a problem for the God who made the human form? Not in the slightest!
Isaiah 65:21 – “They shall build houses and inhabit them. They shall also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. Isa 65:22 They shall not build and another inhabit. They shall not plant and another eat, for as the lifetime of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My chosen ones shall wear out the work of their hands. Isa 65:23 They shall not labour in vain, or bear children for calamity, for they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, and their descendants with them.”
These verses (I use the NASB) spell out the conditions for the nation of Israel in the 1,000-year reign of the Messiah. To summarize, “They shall build houses and plant crops, and no one will ever take them away” as happened when enemies invaded in the past.
I would like to quote from the Pulpit Commentary for verse 22 – “Trees endure for many hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years. The cedars of Lebanon, the oaks of Bashan, were known to have an antiquity of centuries. Isaiah may have had a knowledge of other trees to which attached the tradition of a yet longer existence. In our own day, Brazil and California have furnished proofs of vegetable growths exceeding a millennium. Mine elect shall long enjoy; literally, shall wear out; i.e. have the full use and enjoyment of the work of their hands.”
In the 1,000-year reign of Christ, children will not be aborted as the horrible Moloch cult does in today’s world, slaughtered or captured by enemies, and the family groups will prosper.
Isaiah 65:24 – “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear. Isa 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall graze together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”
So close will be the union between Christ and His people Israel that He knows every one of the redeemed, and He knows if they have any needs, and He will answer them even while they are voicing their need in prayer. In fact, the Lord can even anticipate their needs and answer that need even before they make it known. Do the same truths apply to us, members of His Church? Indeed, they do, for our God is omniscient and omnipresent.
In verse 25 we read of the conditions of nature in the earthly Kingdom of Messiah. All nature will be tame and in contentment. This corresponds to the expanded conditions also given in chapter 11 – Isa 11:6 “The wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the kid and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little boy will lead them. Isa 11:7 Also the cow and the bear will graze. Their young will lie down together and the lion will eat straw like the ox.” In verse 25 the “mountain” is Kingdom. As mentioned at the start of Isaiah, in prophetic writing the word “mountain” means kingdom unless it obviously refers specifically to a natural mountain.
Isaiah 66:15 – “For behold, the LORD will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwind to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire, Isa 66:16 for the LORD will execute judgment by fire and by His sword on all flesh, and those slain by the LORD will be many. Isa 66:17 ‘Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go to the gardens, following one in the centre, who eat swine’s flesh, detestable things, and mice, shall come to an end altogether,’ declares the LORD.”
We come to the final verses in Isaiah. The verses before us are of judgment, and that has to be Armageddon. His “anger with fury” can only describe that battle when all nations are gathered against Israel and Jerusalem to exterminate the Jews. They shall undergo the fire of the wrath of God. All that is described in Zech 12 and 14 and Rev 19 and Jude 1:14-15. Verse 17 was the practice of heathen idolaters, and their heathen mysteries, reprobates, consummating their sacred rites in select gardens or in association with trees. Those verses are judgment.
Isaiah 66:18 “for I know their works and their thoughts. The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues and they shall come and see My glory. Isa 66:19 I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal, and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard My fame nor seen My glory, and they will declare My glory among the nations.”
After the judgement of Armageddon, the Lord steps on Olivet and sets up his holy Kingdom. It is at that time that He gathers all nations and languages to see His glory. It is at that time the nations are separated into sheep and goat nations according to Matt 24 and with application to chapter 25. Verse 19 seems to indicate that the Lord will send missionaries from Israel to distant places to declare the glory of the Lord to all nations. I think the survivors of verse 19 will be the remnant of the Jews who are saved in the Tribulation, having survived the persecution as detailed in Rev chapter 12 where the Jewish saints are divinely protected.
Isaiah 66:20 – “Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the LORD, on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,’ says the LORD, ‘just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. Isa 66:21 I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites,’ says the LORD.”
Verse 20 is quite remarkable. The saved Gentile nations will provide transport for the remnant of Jews who need to return to Israel from all over the world. They will come to His Holy mountain (Jerusalem specific), but Israel in general in this context. As Israel brings grain offering to the Lord in clean vessels to His temple, so shall these Gentile nations take special regard as to how they transport the redeemed of Israel to their homeland. They shall come on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels. A litter is a type of human-powered transport, a wheelless carriage carried on poles for the transport of persons. The transport mode may be different but the same principle applies. When these Jews of the remnant return, God will select some of them as priests for service in the Millennial Temple (Ezek 40 onwards), and surely, they must come from Levi. God knows their ancestral descent.
Isaiah 66:22 – “for just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘so your offspring and your name will endure. Isa 66:23 It shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath. All mankind will come to bow down before Me,’ says the LORD. Isa 66:24 Then they shall go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me, for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.”
Verse 22 indicates that in the eternal state the Jews and their nation will continue forever, and that will be on earth because the Jews are the earthly people of the Lord. So too shall the new heavens and the new earth endure forever. Nothing will wear out. This will be power and grandeur from the Lord unlike anything we have seen so far, even in the universe. Verse 23 indicates worship of the Lord. This is in eternity. Everything will endure, for everything is perfect and holy. It seems the Sabbath may be confirmed again for Israel, and this seems logical. Indeed, it may even be so in the Millennium. Verse 24 is eternal judgement. This will have connection with eternal punishment, but we can’t properly comment of the details. Jesus spoke about Gehenna and hell.
Thus ends the prophecy of Isaiah and the study of the Restoration of Israel from this prophecy. We still have the other books to go.
THIS COMPLETES THE RESTORATION STUDY FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH. THE NEXT POSTING WILL COMMENCE IN THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH.