The Life, Times And Message Of Isaiah The Prophet Apr/May 1974
THE SALVATION AND GLORY OF ZION
ISAIAH CHAPTER 62
- For Zion’s sake I will not be silent
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest
Until her righteousness shines forth like the dawn,
And her salvation like a blazing torch.
- And nations shall see thy righteousness
And all the kings thy glory;
And thou shall be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the LORD shall design
- And thou shalt be a crown of splendor in the hand of the LORD
And a royal diadem in the palm of thy God.
- Thou shalt no more be called, “Forsaken”
Neither shall thy land be called, “Desolate”,
But thou shalt be called (Hephzi-bah) – “I Delight in Her”
And thy land Married, [Beulah] For the LORD delights in thee
And thy land shall be married.
- For as a young man marries a virgin
So shall thy sons marry thee,
And as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall thy God rejoice over thee.
- Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem
Have I set watchmen.
They shalt never keep silence by day or by night,
You who remember the LORD take no rest.
- And give Him no rest until He establish
And make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
- The LORD has sworn by His right hand
And by His strong arm
Never again will I give your grain to thine enemies for food,
Nor will strangers drink thy wine,
For which thou has toiled.
- But they who harvest it, shall eat it
And praise the LORD.
And they who gather it, shall drink it
In the courts of My sanctuary.
- Pass through, pass through the gates
Clear the way of the people.
Cast up, cast up a highway,
Remove the stones,
Raise a signal over the peoples.
- Behold the LORD has proclaimed to the ends of the earth
Say to the daughter of Zion:
“Behold, thy salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His recompense before Him.”
- And they shall be called, “the holy people
The redeemed of the LORD.”
And thou shalt be called, “the sought out,
A city not forsaken”.
1-7 The glorious promises concerning the future of Israel in chapters 60-61 are continued.
- For Zion’s sake I will not be silent. . . . for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest
The question has been raised who is the speaker of the words, the Lord or the prophet. The message itself and especially v. 6 makes it clear that it as the LORD Himself who speaks, solemnly assuring Zion that He will not keep silent until her righteousness will shine forth like the dawn. Righteousness is here synonymous with the vindication of Israel before the nations of the world.
- And nations shall see thy righteousness and all the kings thy glory
The nations which once despised Israel will now see what God has done for His people and Israel’s glory, which will reflect the glory of Jehovah Himself. Just as in the past Jacob wrestled with the angel of the LORD and was named Israel – a prince with God. So again as a mark of Israel’s new dignity she will receive a new name, which the LORD Himself will designate, a name will be appropriate to her new stature of a regenerated and holy people.
- And thou shalt be a crown of splendor in the hand of the LORD And a royal diadem in the palm of thy God
Instead of bringing dishonor and disgrace upon God’s name about which Ezekiel bitterly lamented (Ezk. 36:17-20), Israel will now become God’s masterpiece. The crown and royal diadem symbolize royal and high-priestly dignity. The Hebrew word “tsnuf” or “mitsnephet” is the head-dress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4) and of the king (Ezk. 21:26). Out of her lowly beginning in history the LORD is shaping a kingdom of priests.
- Thou shall no more be called, “Forsaken” . . . “Desolate”’
“Forsaken” and “Desolate” were the designations of Zion in the days of her humiliation and degradation, but when restored to Divine favor, she will be called Hephzi-Bah, that is, “My delight-is-in-Her” and “Married” – Beulah.
For the LORD delights in thee and thy land shall be married
These words explain clearly the reason for Zion’s new names.
- For as a young man marries a virgin so shall thy sons marry thee
After the introductory work “ki” – “for as”, each of the five following words in the Hebrew text begins with the alliterative “b” in each root word. This is a rather engaging mark of Isaiah’s style. The sense of these words is that Zion’s sons will marry and possess their land, just as a young man married and possesses his beloved.
And as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee
Israel in her redeemed state and splendor is figuratively called, “The Bride of God”, just as the new Jerusalem is referred to in Rev. 21:2 and 22:17 as “The Bride of Christ, beloved and precious to the LORD”.
- Upon thy walls, O Jerusalem have I set watchmen
Ancient and medieval cities had their appointed watchmen, whose primary duty was to warn the citizens against any impending attack by the enemy. So also the LORD has set watchmen on the walls of His holy city, Jerusalem, whose duty is to guard the city against her spiritual enemies, against wicked and ungodly men and against spiritual and moral corruption. These watchmen were the prophets of God, who must never be silent or at ease, but keep on pleading with God on behalf of Jerusalem, that is, Israel.
- . . . until He established and make Jerusalem a praise in the earth
The watchmen and the remembrancers of God must never cease their intercessions until Jerusalem becomes what God intended her to be: “a praise in the earth”, “the Holy City of God.”
- The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm
The right hand and the strong arm of God are figurative of God’s power, manifested in His redemptive actions on behalf of Israel.
Never again will I give your grain to thine enemies for food
The LORD will not permit that Israel should again be robbed of the fruits of her labors, or to become a prey of the nations.
- But they who harvest it, shall eat it and praise the LORD . . .
In the courts of My Sanctuary
These words complement naturally the preceding lines, “To eat and to drink with praise in the courts of God’s sanctuary” does not imply that all food and drink must be consumed in the sanctuary, but alludes to the requirements of the Law concerning the festal meals in the Temple and the double tithe for the Levites, for the widows, the orphans and the poor. Dt. 14:22-27, 29.
10-12 A call to the nations to prepare the way for the returning exiles.
- Pass through, pass through the gates, clear the way of the people
The question has been raised to whom this command is directed – and about which gates was the prophet speaking. Some thought that “the gates” might be those of Jerusalem (Young). However, it seems that it is more likely that the prophet had in mind any place wherever the Jews were held captive, including Babylon. The above verse parallels the command given to the exiles in ch. 48:20-21 and 52:11-12.
Raise a signal over the peoples
The thought here and the words are similar to those in ch. 49:22, where God lifts a signal for the peoples of the world that they should bring back the captive sons and daughters of Zion.
- Behold the LORD has proclaimed to the ends of the earth . . .
. . . . . thy salvation is coming
God has proclaimed (hishmeea), that they, that is the nations, should announce to the daughter of Zion that her salvation is coming. This salvation (Yeshuah) is personified, thus suggesting a personal Savior (Yeshua-Jesus).
Behold His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him
This salvation or savior brings His reward of redemption with Him and His recompense before Him (see comment on ch. 40:10 and 48:20).
- And they shall be called, “the holy people, the redeemed of the LORD”
God’s basic plan for Israel is that they should be a holy people, (Ex. 19:6). This will become a reality when they will be redeemed and regenerated.
And thou shalt be called, “the sought out, a city not forsaken”
Just as they were once forsaken and desolate (v. 4), now they shall be a sought after people, a city which will be the spiritual center and the attraction of all nations.