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June 9, 2020

Isaiah – 06.09.20

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 10:00 pm

Isaiah

Chapters


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 |
16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 |36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66

    Introduction

  • The name “Isaiah” means “the Lord shall save”; or “Yahweh is Salvation”.
  • 740–698
  • From Jerusalem
  • Basic bible passages = 2 Kings, Chapters 19 and 20; book of Isaiah.
  • Central teaching is “hope through repentance and suffering”
  • He warned that the sin of the people of Judah would bring God’s judgment, yet he also declared that God is sovereign and would use Cyrus the Persian to return them from exile
  • Key verses are 1:18 and 53:4-6
  • Isaiah 37:38 suggests that the prophet lived until the death of Sennacherib in 681 BC
  • New Testament books quote Isaiah more than any other Old Testament books.
  • Isaiah son of Amoz
  • Prophecy activity spanned the reigns of four kings of Judah:
    • Uzziah (783–742 BC, Isaiah’s call is dated to this king’s last year, 6:1); see 2Kg 15:1–7; 2Ch 26:1–23.
    • Jotham (742–735 BC); see Kg 15:32–38; 2Ch 27:1–9.
    • Ahaz (735–716 BC); see 2Kg 16:1–20; 2Ch 28:1–27.
    • and Hezekiah (716–686 BC); see 2Kg 18:1–20:21; 2Ch 29:1–32:33.
  • Babylonian Empire pictures on the web.
  • Assyrian Empire pictures on the web.
  • “Bible for Spirit Filled Living”, Nelson Publishers. Book of Isaiah quoted twenty-one times in the New Testament. Isaiah prophesised at the most crucial period in history of Judah and Israel. Both the southern and northern kingdoms had experienced nearly a half-century of increasing prosperity and power. Israel had succumbed to pagan worship; Judah had maintained an outward conformity to orthodoxy, but had gradually fallen into serious moral and spiritual decline. Secret places of pagan worship were tolerated; the wealthy oppressed the poor; the women neglected their families in the quest of carnal pleasure. Isaiah entered his ministry at about the time of the founding of Rome and the first Olympic games of the Greeks.

CSB STUDY NOTES:

  • Isaiah’s message is relatively simple. First, Isaiah accused God’s people of sin: rebelling against the one who made them and redeemed them. Second, Isaiah instructed these sinners to reform their ways and act obediently. Third, Isaiah announced God’s judgment on the people because of their sin. Finally, God revealed his future restoration of the people, or at least of the faithful remnant that survived the judgment. As part of the restoration of God’s people, Isaiah foresaw both judgment on the nations (chaps. 13–23) and a future turning of the nations to God (2:1–4). The first part of the book (chaps. 1–39) emphasizes sin, the call to repentance, and judgment; the second part (chaps. 40–66) emphasizes the hope of restoration.
  • FUTURE ANOINTED KING:
    • Messiah, 9:1–7; 11:1–9
    • servant 42:1–9; 49:1–6; 50:4–6; 52:13–53:12

TIMELINE:

    750–725 BC

  • Death of King Uzziah of Judah 740
  • Isaiah’s call to be a prophet 740
  • Tiglath-pileser III’s invasions of Israel 734–732
  • Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Damascus form a mutual defense alliance against Assyria and invite Ahaz of Judah to join them. 734
  • Ahaz refuses Isaiah’s counsel and seeks protection from Assyria by paying tribute to them, creating a heavy financial burden on Judah for years to come. 734
  • Alliance between Syria and Israel collapses with the fall of Damascus (732) and the fall of Samaria. 722
    725–700 BC

  • Hezekiah of Judah initiates reforms and shows resistance to Assyria. 715–701
  • Hezekiah prepares for war against Assyria, strengthens Jerusalem’s defenses, and receives Merodach-baladan’s envoys from Babylon. 705–701
  • Sennacherib of Assyria defeats the Phoenicians, Philistines, and Egyptians; destroys most cities in Judah; and besieges Jerusalem. 701
  • God delivers Jerusalem from the Assyrian forces. 701
    700–600 BC

  • Manasseh succeeds his father Hezekiah as king of Judah. 687
  • Ashurbanipal (668–631) rules over a declining Assyrian Empire that experiences revolts in 642, contributed to the assassination of Amon of Judah (641) and the rise of his son Josiah (641–609).
  • Josiah killed by the Egyptians at Megiddo 609
  • Babylonians defeat Pharaoh Neco of Egypt at Carchemish. 605
    600–500 BC

  • Babylonians attack Jerusalem and take citizens of Judah into exile. 605, 597, 586
  • Cyrus captures Babylon without resistance. 539
  • Cyrus issues a decree allowing the Jews to return to Judah. 538
  • Work begins on rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. 536–537
  • Renewed work on the temple 520–518
  • New temple dedicated 515

OUTLINE:

    I. Rebuke and Promise from the Lord (1:1–6:13)

  • A. Rebellion met with judgment and grace (1:1–31)
  • B. Chastisement will bring future glory (2:1–4:6)
  • C. Judgment and exile for the nation (5:1–30)
  • D. Isaiah cleansed and commissioned (6:1–13)
    II. The Promise of Immanuel (7:1–12:6)

  • A. Immanuel rejected by worldly wisdom (7:1–25)
  • B. God’s deliverance and the coming Deliverer (8:1–9:7)
  • C. Exile is coming for proud Samaria (9:8–10:4)
  • D. Promise of a future glorious empire (10:5–12:6)
    III. Coming Judgment upon the Nations (13:1–23:18)

  • A. Babylon (13:1–14:23)
  • B. Assyria (14:24–27)
  • C. Philistia (14:28–32)
  • D. Moab (15:1–16:14)
  • E. Damascus and Syria (17:1–3)
  • F. Israel (17:4–14)
  • G. Cush (18:1–7)
  • H. Egypt (19:1–20:6)
  • I. Babylon, additional judgment (21:1–10)
  • J. Dumah (21:11–12)
  • K. Arabia (21:13–17)
  • L. Jerusalem (22:1–25)
  • M. Tyre (23:1–18)
    IV. First Cycle of General Judgment and Promise (24:1–27:13)

  • A. Universal judgment for universal sin (24:1–23)
  • B. Praise to the Lord as Deliverer (25:1–12)
  • C. A song of comfort for Judah (26:1–21)
  • D. Promise of preservation for God’s people (27:1–13)
    V. Woes upon the Unbelievers of Israel (28:1–33:24)

  • A. God’s dealings with drunkards and scoffers (28:1–29)
  • B. Judgment for those who try to deceive God (29:1–24)
  • C. Confidence in man vs. confidence in God (30:1–33)
  • D. Deliverance through God’s intervention (31:1–32:20)
  • E. Punishment of deceivers and triumph of Christ (33:1–24)
    VI. Second Cycle of General Judgment and Promise (34:1–39:8)

  • A. Destruction of the Gentile world powers (34:1–17)
  • B. The ultimate bliss of God’s redeemed (35:1–10)
  • C. Deliverance for King Hezekiah (36:1–39:8)
    VII. Comfort for God’s People (40:1–66:24)

  • A. The purpose of peace (40:1–48:22)
  • B. The Prince of Peace (49:1–57:21)
  • C. The program of peace (58:1–66:24)
    Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible – Spriros Zodhiates introduction to Isaiah:

  • Isaiah began his career during a time of relative peace and prosperity.
  • Before long, conditions deteriated.
  • During King Ahaz’s reign (11th King of Judah), Assyria became a superpower and deported Judah’s sister kingdom, Israel, in 722 B.C.
  • Ahaz saw Syria and Israel as greater threats, Isaiah trying to reassure Ahaz, asking only that he have faith in God, but Ahaz refused.
  • During Hezekiah’s reign Assyria ravaged the Judean countryside, and Jerusalem itself almost fell.
  • Again, Isaiah preached a message of hope for a repentant Judah who would trust in the Lord. (Oz: as opposed to those who would NOT repent and trust in the Lord.)
  • Isaiah 1 to 39 deals primary with events during the prophet’s lifetime, but the latter part of the book is all concerned with the future.
  • Isaiah 40 begins with a major section that looks ahead to Judah’s return from Babylon exile in the sixth century B.C. The later chapters also peer beyond Isaih’s day, but the time period covered is more difficult to determine.
  • Isaiah 7:14 = Jesus’ miraculous birth and Isaiah Chapter 53 is Jesus’ suffering and death

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Chapter 1

740 B.C.

1 The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

  • Numbers 12:6 And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.


A Rebellious Nation

2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.

  • Jeremiah 2:12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,
  • Deuteronomy 32:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
  • Lord—Jehovah; in Hebrew, “the self-existing and promise-fulfilling, unchangeable One.” The Jews never pronounced this holy name. but substituted Adonai.

3 The ox knows its master,
the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”

  • Jer 8:7 Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD.
  • Jer 9:3 They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the LORD.

4. Oh sinful nation,
people weighed down with iniquity,
brood of evildoers,
depraved children!
They have abandoned the LORD;
they have despised the Holy One of Israel;
they have turned their backs on him.

  • Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
  • The opening Oh marks the beginning of what is commonly called a “woe oracle.” This literary form derives from funeral processions and often signifies the sense that the object of the Oh—in this case the sinful nation (Judah)—is as good as dead.

5 Why do you want more beatings?
Why do you keep on rebelling?
The whole head is hurt,
and the whole heart is sick.

  • Isa 9:13 The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.

6 From the sole of the foot even to the head,
no spot is uninjured—
wounds, welts, and festering sores
not cleansed, bandaged,
or soothed with oil.
7 Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners
right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers.
Daughter Zion is abandoned
like a shelter in a vineyard,
like a shack in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.

  • Job 27:18 He builds his house like a moth’s, like a booth that a watchman makes.
  • daughter of Zion—the city, Jerusalem and its inhabitants. The idea of youthful beauty is included in “daughter.”

9 If the LORD of Armies
had not left us a few survivors,
we would be like Sodom,
we would resemble Gomorrah.

  • Lam 3:22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the instruction of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!

  • Deu 32:32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter;

11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

  • 1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
  • CSB Study Notes:God commanded his people to offer sacrifices (Lv 1–7; burnt offerings are specifically described in Lv 1), but the sacrifices of his people were reprehensible to him. They were not offered with pure motives of sincere repentance. Rather, they were offered with “hands covered with blood” (Is 1:15).

12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?

Exo 23:17 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord GOD.

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.

  • Mat 15:9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
  • Joe 1:14 Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
  • incense—put upon the sacrifices, and burnt on the altar of incense. Type of prayer (Ps 141:2; Rev 8:3).
    • Psa 141:2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
    • Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,

14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
I hate with all my being.
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.

  • Num 28:11 “At the beginnings of your months, you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish;
  • Lam 2:6 He has laid waste his booth like a garden, laid in ruins his meeting place; the LORD has made Zion forget festival and Sabbath, and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest.
  • new moons—observed as festivals (Nu 10:10) with sacrifices and blowing of silver trumpets.
    • Num 10:10 On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings. They shall be a reminder of you before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

15 When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!

  • Pro 1:28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
  • Psa 66:18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
stop doing wrong.

  • Jer 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you?
  • Rom 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.[a]
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

  • Psa 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

  • Tit 1:2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began

21 See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!

  • Jer 2:20 “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.’ Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.

22 Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.

  • Jer 6:8 Be warned, O Jerusalem, lest I turn from you in disgust, lest I make you a desolation, an uninhabited land.”

23 Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.

  • Hos 9:15 Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.
  • Pro 29:24 The partner of a thief hates his own life; he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
  • Jer 22:17 But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.”
  • Jer 5:28 they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.

24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.

  • Deu 28:63 And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

25 I will turn my hand against you;[b]
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.

  • Mal 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.

26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”

  • Jer 33:7 I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first.
  • Zec 8:3 Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain.

27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
and those who forsake the Lord will perish.

  • Job 31:3 Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity?

29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.

30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.

31 The mighty man will become tinder
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
with no one to quench the fire.”

  • Eze 32:21 The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: ‘They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

Chapter 2

740 B.C.
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The Mountain of the Lord

1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

  • Amos 1:1 (ESV) 1 The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
  • Micah 1:1 (ESV) 1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

2 In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.

  • The phrase last days refers to the future, a time beyond the judgment on the sin of God’s people.
  • The mountain of the LORD’s house is a reference to Zion, where the temple was built. Zion was where God made his presence known in a special way among his people.
  • Mic 4:1 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,
  • Gen 49:1 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come.
  • Ps 68:15 O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan; O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
  • Shall flow unto it – This is a figurative expression, denoting that they would be converted to the true religion. It indicates that they would come in multitudes, like the flowing of a mighty river.

3 Many peoples will come and say,
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

  • Luke 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
  • And many people shall go – This denotes a prevalent “desire” to turn to the true God, and embrace the true religion.
  • ALBERT BARNES: For out of Zion – These are the words of the “prophet,” not of the people. The prophet declares that the law would go from Zion; that is, Zion would be the center from which it would be spread abroad; see the note at Isa 1:8. Zion is put here for Jerusalem, and means that the message of mercy to mankind would be spread “from” Jerusalem. Hence, the Messiah commanded his disciples to tarry ‘in Jerusalem until they should be endued with power from on high.’ Luk 24:49. Hence, also, he said that repentance and remission of sins should ‘be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’ – perhaps referring to this very passage in Isaiah; Luk 24:47.

4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.

  • The nation seeking the Lord will experience a great transformation. They will not exert their energies and resources to destruction (swords … spears), but rather to productive activities (plows … pruning knives).

5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord.
The Day of the Lord

  • Eph 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light

6 You, Lord, have abandoned your people,
the descendants of Jacob.
They are full of superstitions from the East;
they practice divination like the Philistines
and embrace pagan customs.

  • Num 23:7 And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “From Aram Balak has brought me, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains: ‘Come, curse Jacob for me, and come, denounce Israel!’
  • Deu 18:14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.
  • Psa 106:35 but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.

7 Their land is full of silver and gold;
there is no end to their treasures.
Their land is full of horses;
there is no end to their chariots.

  • Deu 17:16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’

8 Their land is full of idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their fingers have made.

  • Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
  • Jer 2:28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah.

9 So people will be brought low
and everyone humbled—
do not forgive them.

    shaphel

  • Hebrew pronunciation [shah FAIL]
  • CSB translation be low, humbled
  • Uses in Isaiah 15
  • Uses in the OT 30
  • Focus passage Isaiah 2:9, 11, 17

Isaiah has half the uses of shaphel, which means be lowly (Pr 16:19) or sink (Is 32:19). People are humbled (Is 2:9) or brought down (Is 29:4). Trees are felled (Is 10:33) and mountains leveled (Is 40:4). Causative verbs mean humiliate (Jb 40:11), humble (Pr 29:23), demote (Pr 25:7), bring down or low (Is 25:11–12), stoop down (Ps 113:6), and send down (Is 57:9). Shephelah (20×) is the name for the Judean foothills (Jos 9:1). The adjective shaphal (17×) denotes low (Ezk 17:6), lowly (Is 57:15), humble (Ezk 17:14), or humiliated (Mal 2:9). Once it is lowliest (Ezk 29:15). The phrase “lower than” is translated beneath (Lv 13:20). The noun shephel means humiliation (Ps 136:23) or lowly position (Ec 10:6). Shiphlah, meaning depths, occurs with the verb shaphel (Is 32:19). “Lowness (shiphlut) of hands” suggests negligent hands hanging down (Ec 10:18). The adjective shaphel implies humbled (Is 2:12).
Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1045). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground
from the fearful presence of the Lord
and the splendor of his majesty!

  • Rev 6:15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,

11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled
and human pride brought low;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

  • Hos 2:16 “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’
  • With the words the pride of mankind will be humbled, Isaiah expressed one of the major themes of his book. Through judgment, God cuts down the sinful pretensions of his people.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1045). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store
for all the proud and lofty,
for all that is exalted
(and they will be humbled),

13 for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty,
and all the oaks of Bashan,

  • Isa 14:8 The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’

14 for all the towering mountains
and all the high hills,

  • Isa 30:25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

15 for every lofty tower
and every fortified wall,

16 for every trading ship
and every stately vessel.

17 The arrogance of man will be brought low
and human pride humbled;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,

18 and the idols will totally disappear.

19 People will flee to caves in the rocks
and to holes in the ground
from the fearful presence of the Lord
and the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to shake the earth.

  • Hos 10:3 For now they will say: “We have no king, for we do not fear the LORD; and a king—what could he do for us?”
  • Rev 9:6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

20 In that day people will throw away
to the moles and bats
their idols of silver and idols of gold,
which they made to worship.

21 They will flee to caverns in the rocks
and to the overhanging crags
from the fearful presence of the Lord
and the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to shake the earth.

22 Stop trusting in mere humans,
who have but a breath in their nostrils.
Why hold them in esteem?

  • Psa 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
  • Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life?

Chapter 3

740 B.C.
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JUDAH’S LEADERS JUDGED

1 Note this: The Lord GOD of Armies
is about to remove from Jerusalem and from Judah
every kind of security:
the entire supply of bread and water,

  • 3:1–3 Since God’s people trust in man (2:22) rather than in God, he will remove from them every kind of security. While various political, military, and religious leaders are on the list, it begins with the staples of bread and water. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1045). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 37:21 So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard. And a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
  • Lev 26:26 When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

2 heroes and warriors,
judges and prophets,
fortune-tellers and elders,

  • 2Ki 24:14 He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land.

3 commanders of fifty and dignitaries,
counselors, cunning magicians, and necromancers.

4 “I will make youths their leaders,
and unstable rulers will govern them.”

  • 3:4–5 With the removal of the leaders in whom the people trust comes the installation of inexperienced youths to replace them. The result will be social chaos and oppression. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1045). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Ecc 10:16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning!

5 The people will oppress one another,
man against man, neighbor against neighbor;
the young will act arrogantly toward the old,
and the worthless toward the honorable.

6 A man will even seize his brother
in his father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak—you be our leader!
This heap of rubble will be under your control.”

  • 3:6–7 In such a disorderly society, it did not take much to be a leader among men. In the vignette described in these verses, the people are so unwilling and unfit to lead that a man will be pressed into a leadership role just because he has a cloak. But what would be left for him to lead? Only a heap of rubble. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1046). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

7 On that day he will cry out, saying,
“I’m not a healer.
I don’t even have food or clothing in my house.
Don’t make me the leader of the people!”

8 For Jerusalem has stumbled
and Judah has fallen
because they have spoken and acted against the LORD,
defying his glorious presence.

  • Mic 3:12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

9 The look on their faces testifies against them,
and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin;
they do not conceal it.
Woe to them,
for they have brought disaster on themselves.

  • Gen 13:13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.

10 Tell the righteous that it will go well for them,
for they will eat the fruit of their labor.

  • Ecc 8:12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.
  • Psa 128:2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

11 Woe to the wicked—it will go badly for them,
for what they have done will be done to them.

  • Psa 11:6 Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

12 Youths oppress my people,
and women rule over them.
My people, your leaders mislead you;
they confuse the direction of your paths.

  • Isa 9:16 for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

13 The LORD rises to argue the case
and stands to judge the people.

  • 3:13–15 Isaiah returned to the legal language with which the book began (1:2). The leaders were guilty of destroying the vineyard, the land of Judah (5:1–7), through their exploitation of the poor. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1046). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mic 6:2 Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth, for the LORD has an indictment against his people, and he will contend with Israel.

14 The LORD brings this charge
against the elders and leaders of his people:
“You have devastated the vineyard.
The plunder from the poor is in your houses.

  • Mat 21:33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.

15 Why do you crush my people
and grind the faces of the poor?”
This is the declaration
of the Lord GOD of Armies.

  • Mic 3:2-3 you who hate the good and love the evil, who tear the skin from off my people and their flesh from off their bones, Mic 3:3 who eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and break their bones in pieces and chop them up like meat in a pot, like flesh in a cauldron.

JERUSALEM’S WOMEN JUDGED

16 The LORD also says:

Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
walking with heads held high
and seductive eyes,
prancing along,
jingling their ankle bracelets,
17 the Lord will put scabs on the heads
of the daughters of Zion,
and the LORD will shave their foreheads bare.

  • 3:16 The proud daughters of Zion stand for the city and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (1:8), not just its female inhabitants. Though clearly the inhabitants included a share of rich, snooty women, the fact that the city is clearly described by such a female personification in 3:25–26 confirms the view that the daughters should not be restricted to the female population. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1046). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Deu 28:27 The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed.
  • Jer 13:22 And if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things come upon me?’ it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence.

18 On that day the Lord will strip their finery: ankle bracelets, headbands, crescents,

  • Jdg 8:21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels.

19 pendants, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle jewelry, sashes, perfume bottles, amulets, 21 signet rings, nose rings, 22 festive robes, capes, cloaks, purses, 23 garments, linen clothes, turbans, and shawls.

24 Instead of perfume there will be a stench;
instead of a belt, a rope;
instead of beautifully styled hair, baldness;
instead of fine clothes, sackcloth;
instead of beauty, branding.

  • Isa 22:12 In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called for weeping and mourning, for baldness and wearing sackcloth;

25 Your men will fall by the sword,
your warriors in battle.
26 Then her gates will lament and mourn;
deserted, she will sit on the ground.

  • Jer 14:2 “Judah mourns, and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
  • Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground in silence; they have thrown dust on their heads and put on sackcloth; the young women of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground.
  • Exo 21:10-11 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ex 21:10–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Chapter 4

740 B.C.
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1 On that day seven women
will seize one man, saying,
“We will eat our own bread
and provide our own clothing.
Just let us bear your name.
Take away our disgrace.”

  • Genesis 30:23 (ESV) She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.”
  • 1 Samuel 1:6 (ESV) And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
  • Luke 1:25 (ESV) “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
  • 2Th 3:12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
  • 3:25–4:1 War will severely reduce the male population of Jerusalem. There will not be enough men to marry all the women. Women without husbands were socially vulnerable. Thus, seven women will beg a single man to make them his wives. He will not even need to provide their food (bread) and clothing (something mandated even for unloved secondary wives in Ex 21:10–11).
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1046). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

ZION’S FUTURE GLORY

2 On that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of Israel’s survivors.

  • 4:2–6 This pronouncement marks a sudden shift from judgment to future salvation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
  • 4:2 That day is a future day, a time that comes after the judgment described in 2:5–4:1. Indeed, the new restored state of Zion is a product of passing through the crucible of judgment. The remnant is here described as Israel’s survivors.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

3 Whoever remains in Zion and whoever is left in Jerusalem will be called holy — all in Jerusalem written in the book of life,

  • 4:3 The remnant will be holy. Holiness means set apart or consecrated for service to the Lord. Such a relationship implies an obedient lifestyle. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 60:21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.
  • Phil 4:3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 when the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodguilt from the heart of Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning.

  • Mal 3:2,3 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.
  • 4:4 This verse explicitly states that Zion’s blessed future condition will be accomplished through judgment. It is an act of the grace of God. God’s people must wash themselves (1:16), but it is God who makes them clean.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

5 Then the LORD will create a cloud of smoke by day and a glowing flame of fire by night over the entire site of Mount Zion and over its assemblies. For there will be a canopy over all the glory,

  • Exo 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
  • Zec 2:5 And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.'”
  • 4:5 After the exodus from Egypt, God guided Israel through the desert by a cloud and flame (cp. Ex 40:38), which represented God’s mysterious and powerful presence with his people. Isaiah used this language to teach that the future remnant will again enjoy an intimate and assuring relationship with God after the judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 25:4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

6 and there will be a shelter for shade from heat by day and a refuge and shelter from storm and rain

  • Isa 25:4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

Chapter 5

740 B.C.
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SONG OF THE VINEYARD

1 I will sing about the one I love,
a song about my loved one’s vineyard:
The one I love had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.

  • 5:1–7 This poem has been identified as a parable, an allegory, and a love poem. Whatever its precise genre, its message is clear and compelling. It uses imagery to make the point that the people of God deserve the punishment coming their way. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 80:8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
  • Jer 2:21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?
  • Mat 21:33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.
  • Mar 12:1 And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country.

2 He broke up the soil, cleared it of stones,
and planted it with the finest vines.
He built a tower in the middle of it
and even dug out a winepress there.
He expected it to yield good grapes,
but it yielded worthless grapes.

  • 5:2 The singer continues by describing the labor that went into preparing the vineyard. To create a vineyard was no easy matter. There was a period of a few years that passed from clearing the area of stones (pervasive through the hill country of Israel), planting expensive vines, and building a tower and a winepress. Similarly, God expended great effort in creating the right conditions for Israel to flourish as a godly nation. But in spite of all the work, the vineyard produced worthless grapes. This signified that the people of God did not live up to their promise of being an obedient and blessed people who would also bless the nations around them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?

3 So now, residents of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
please judge between me
and my vineyard.

  • 5:3–6 In these verses the first-person speaker is God, the owner of the vineyard, demanding an accounting of his grapes, the people of Israel.
  • 5:3–4 When God called on the residents of Jerusalem to judge between him and his vineyard, he in essence was calling on them to judge themselves. In this way, this poem functions similarly to the parable of Nathan as he confronted David about his sin with Bathsheba (2Sm 12:1–15). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rom 3:4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

4 What more could I have done for my vineyard
than I did?
Why, when I expected a yield of good grapes,
did it yield worthless grapes?
5 Now I will tell you
what I am about to do to my vineyard:
I will remove its hedge,
and it will be consumed;
I will tear down its wall,
and it will be trampled.

  • 5:5–6 The owner was incensed that the results of his hard labor had produced useless grapes, so he took his anger out on the vineyard. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1047). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 80:12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

6 I will make it a wasteland.
It will not be pruned or weeded;
thorns and briers will grow up.
I will also give orders to the clouds
that rain should not fall on it.
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of Armies
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah,
the plant he delighted in.
He expected justice
but saw injustice;
he expected righteousness
but heard cries of despair.

  • 5:7 The last verse of the poem makes explicit the identification of the vineyard as the people of God. It also gives the explanation for their punishment by means of a wordplay. In the land there was injustice (Hb mispach) and not justice (Hb mishpat), cries of despair (Hb tse‘aqah) and not righteousness (Hb tsedaqah). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1047–1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


JUDAH’S SINS DENOUNCED

8 Woe to those who add house to house
and join field to field
until there is no more room
and you alone are left in the land.

  • 5:8 The first woe is directed toward those who expanded their real estate holdings. Since God graciously provided the land so all of his people had some, buying up land was always done at the cost of another person. Ahab’s seizure of Naboth’s vineyard is a concrete illustration of this exploitation (1Kg 21).
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mic 2:2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

9 I heard the LORD of Armies say:

Indeed, many houses will become desolate,
grand and lovely ones without inhabitants.

  • Isa 22:14 The LORD of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,” says the Lord GOD of hosts.

10 For a ten-acre vineyard will yield
only six gallons of wine,
and ten bushels of seed will yield
only one bushel of grain.

  • Eze 45:11 The ephah and the bath shall be of the same measure, the bath containing one tenth of a homer, and the ephah one tenth of a homer; the homer shall be the standard measure.

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning
in pursuit of beer,
who linger into the evening,
inflamed by wine.

  • 5:11–12 The second woe is directed toward those who indulged in excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages (beer and wine). They drank and ate and sang, forgetting what was really important—the work of God.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Pro 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?

12 At their feasts they have lyre, harp,
tambourine, flute, and wine.
They do not perceive the LORD’s actions,
and they do not see the work of his hands.

  • Amo 6:5 who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music,
  • Job 34:27 because they turned aside from following him and had no regard for any of his ways,
  • Psa 28:5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

13 Therefore my people will go into exile
because they lack knowledge;
her dignitaries are starving,
and her masses are parched with thirst.

  • Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

14 Therefore Sheol enlarges its throat
and opens wide its enormous jaws,
and down go Zion’s dignitaries, her masses,
her crowds, and those who celebrate in her!

  • 5:14 As God’s people indulged themselves with drink and food, so Sheol will open its large mouth and swallow them. Sheol refers to the grave and in some contexts signifies the underworld. The idea of Sheol swallowing its victims did not originate with the Hebrews, but may stem from the Canaanite story that describes the god of death (Mot) swallowing his victims. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

15 Humanity is brought low, each person is humbled,
and haughty eyes are humbled.

  • 5:15–17 John Oswalt (NICOT) notes the theological significance of v. 16. “It expresses the truth that what makes God truly God, what sets him off as divine, is neither his overwhelming power nor his mysterious numinousness. Rather, what marks him as God is his essential justice and righteousness.”Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 2:9, 11 So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them! 11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

16 But the LORD of Armies is exalted by his justice,
and the holy God demonstrates his holiness through his righteousness.
17 Lambs will graze
as if in their own pastures,
and resident aliens will eat
among the ruins of the rich.

  • Isa 10:16 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.

18 Woe to those who drag iniquity
with cords of deceit
and pull sin along with cart ropes,
19 to those who say,
“Let him hurry up and do his work quickly
so that we can see it!
Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel take place
so that we can know it!”

  • 5:18–19 The third woe begins by picturing people whose sin was so heavy that they ended up pulling it along in a cart behind them. Their sin was one of cynicism. With a tone of disbelief, they challenged God to act. In particular they might be thinking of God’s work of judgment. They sinned and did not yet see God’s punishment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 17:15 Behold, they say to me, “Where is the word of the LORD? Let it come!”
  • Amo 5:18 Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light,

20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,

  • 5:20 The fourth woe is against those who confused ethical categories. They classified actions as evil that God would call good and vice versa. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

who substitute darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who substitute bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who consider themselves wise
and judge themselves clever.

  • 5:21 As with the previous verse, the issue of the fifth woe is human autonomy. On being wise in one’s own eyes. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1048). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rom 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
who are champions at pouring beer,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe
and deprive the innocent of justice.

  • 5:22–23 The sixth and final woe returns to the earlier issue of excessive drinking (heroes at drinking wine) and also twisting justice for money. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Pro 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

24 Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes straw
and as dry grass shrivels in the flame,
so their roots will become like something rotten
and their blossoms will blow away like dust,
for they have rejected
the instruction of the LORD of Armies,
and they have despised
the word of the Holy One of Israel.

  • Exo 15:7 In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries; you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
  • Job 18:16 His roots dry up beneath, and his branches wither above.

25 Therefore the LORD’s anger burned against his people.
He raised his hand against them and struck them;
the mountains quaked,
and their corpses were like garbage in the streets.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

  • 2Ki 22:13 “Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
  • Jer 4:24 I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro.
  • Isa 9:12, 17 The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

26 He raises a signal flag for the distant nations
and whistles for them from the ends of the earth.
Look—how quickly and swiftly they come!

  • 5:26–28 God will call for foreign armies to descend on his people. Though these armies are not mentioned by name, we know from later history that these nations were Assyria and Babylon. Notice that God would signal them with a whistle, and they would immediately respond. This illustrates God’s sovereign rule over the nations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 11:12 He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
  • Isa 7:18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
  • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
  • Joe 2:7 Like warriors they charge; like soldiers they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths.

27 None of them grows weary or stumbles;
no one slumbers or sleeps.
No belt is loose
and no sandal strap broken.

  • Dan 5:6 Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together.

28 Their arrows are sharpened,
and all their bows strung.
Their horses’ hooves are like flint;
their chariot wheels are like a whirlwind.

  • Jer 5:16 Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty warriors.

29 Their roaring is like a lion’s;
they roar like young lions;
they growl and seize their prey
and carry it off,
and no one can rescue it.

  • 5:29 Assyrian royal inscriptions often compare their kings to lions. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

30 On that day they will roar over it,
like the roaring of the sea.
When one looks at the land,
there will be darkness and distress;
light will be obscured by clouds.

  • Isa 8:22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 5:1–30). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

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Chapter 6

740 B.C.
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ISAIAH’S CALL AND MISSION

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple.

  • King Uzziah (called “Azariah” in 2Kg 15:1) died about 740 BC. He had been a relatively good king, and did “what was right in the LORD’s sight” (2Kg 15:3), though he did not remove the high places. God also blessed Uzziah’s reign with prosperity and military success. His death, coupled with the rise of Assyria, created great uncertainty in Judah. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • John 12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.

2 Seraphim were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew.

  • Eze 1:11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies.

3 And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Armies;
his glory fills the whole earth.

  • 6:3 The word holy spoken three times is emphatic or superlative and points to God’s otherness. He is completely separated from anything profane or sinful. His sovereignty is underlined by the fact that his glory filled the whole earth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rev 4:8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
  • Psa 72:19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!

4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said:

Woe is me for I am ruined
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of Armies.

  • 6:5 In the presence of such holiness, Isaiah felt the weight of his own sinfulness. He feared for himself because he knew that God did not tolerate uncleanness in his presence. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1049). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs.

  • 6:6–7 God prepared Isaiah by cleansing his lips, the instrument by which he would execute his prophetic task. He did this symbolically by having one of his seraphim touch the prophet’s lips with a burning coal. Fire can purify (Nm 31:22–23), and this burning coal was taken from the altar where sacrifices were offered to atone for sin (1Ch 6:49). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1050). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,

7 He touched my mouth with it and said:

Now that this has touched your lips,
your iniquity is removed
and your sin is atoned for.

  • Jer 1:9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking:

Who will I send?
Who will go for us?

I said:

Here I am. Send me.

  • Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

9 And he replied:

Go! Say to these people:
Keep listening, but do not understand;
keep looking, but do not perceive.
10 Make the minds of these people dull;
deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their minds,
turn back, and be healed.

  • 6:9–10 Isaiah was a prophet with a message of judgment. God’s commission recognized that, because of its sin, Israel’s healing could only come about through their punishment. Isaiah’s message from God would serve only to distance them even more from God. These verses are quoted in the NT to explain why Jesus taught in parables (Mt 13:14–15; Mk 4:12; Lk 8:10) and to explain the people’s lack of response to the gospel (Jn 12:40; Ac 28:26–27). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1050). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 13:14–15 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
    • Joh 12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.”
  • Psa 119:70 their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law.
  • Jer 5:21 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

11 Then I said, “Until when, Lord?” And he replied:

  • Mic 3:12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

Until cities lie in ruins without inhabitants,
houses are without people,
the land is ruined and desolate,
12 and the LORD drives the people far away,
leaving great emptiness in the land.
13 Though a tenth will remain in the land,
it will be burned again.
Like the terebinth or the oak
that leaves a stump when felled,
the holy seed is the stump.

  • 6:11–13 From the start Isaiah knew that his message would not lead God’s people to repentance. They would experience destruction. Even so, a remnant would survive. This remnant is pictured as a stump that is left after a mighty tree falls. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1050). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2 Kings 25:21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
  • Ezr 9:2 For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.”

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 6:1–13). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 7

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THE MESSAGE TO AHAZ

1 This took place during the reign of Ahaz, son of Jotham, son of Uzziah king of Judah: Aram’s King Rezin and Israel’s King Pekah son of Remaliah went to fight against Jerusalem, but they were not able to conquer it.

  • Ahaz. King of southern kingdom, Judah. Jerusalem was in Judah.
  • Rezin. King of Damascus.
  • Pekah. King of Israel (Northern Kingdom).
  • Tiglath-pileser III. King of Assyria.
  • Aram = Syria— Hebrew, Aram, originally the whole region between the Euphrates and Mediterranean, including Assyria, of which Syria is an abbreviation; here the region round Damascus, and along Mount Libanus.

Oz note: The reason that King Rezin and King Pekah were attempting to capture Judah was because Pekah and Rezin had teamed up in a revolt against paying tribute to Assyria’s King Tiglath-pileser III. King Rezin and King Pekah tried to force Ahaz to joining them, but Ahaz refused. When Ahaz refused, King Rezin and King Pekah angrily swarmed into Judah in retaliation, but their attempt to conquer failed.

BACKGROUND:

  • The political situation was tense in Jerusalem.
  • In the early 730s BC the aggressive Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III was busy on his northern frontier.
  • During this time, Rezin, the king of Aram with its capital in Damascus, and Pekah, the king of Israel (also known as Ephraim), joined forces to withstand the almost certain Assyrian attack that would follow Tiglath-pileser’s victory in the north.
  • Rezin and Pekah wanted Judah to support them, but Ahaz wanted nothing to do with the alliance.
  • By this time he (Ahaz) might already have paid (or at least was contemplating paying) the Assyrians to rescue him from these kings (2Kg 16:6–9).
    • 2Ki 16:6 At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered Elath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day.
    • 2Ki 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”
    • 2Ki 16:8 Ahaz also took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasures of the king’s house and sent a present to the king of Assyria.
    • 2Ki 16:9 And the king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir, and he killed Rezin.

  • Isaiah confronted the king with a question: What was the source of his trust: the Lord or the Assyrians? Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1050). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

2 When it became known to the house of David that Aram had occupied Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the hearts of his people trembled like trees of a forest shaking in the wind.

  • Aram = Syria— Hebrew, Aram, originally the whole region between the Euphrates and Mediterranean, including Assyria, of which Syria is an abbreviation; here the region round Damascus, and along Mount Libanus.
  • b>Ahaz. King of southern kingdom, Judah.

3 The LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him: Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering sticks, the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah.

  • 7:4 The Lord’s message to Ahaz (King of Judah) is that he has nothing to fear.

5 For Aram, along with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has plotted harm against you. They say,

  • 7:5–6 Though no other certain references to Tabeel exist in the Bible or are known outside of it, the political intentions of Rezin and Pekah were clear. They wanted to remove Ahaz from the throne because of his unwillingness to join their coalition, and they intended to install a puppet king who would be more easily manipulated. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1050). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6 ‘Let’s go up against Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it for ourselves. Then we can install Tabeel’s son as king in it.’ ”

7 This is what the Lord GOD says: It will not happen; it will not occur.

  • Isa 8:10 Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.

8 The chief city of Aram is Damascus,
the chief of Damascus is Rezin
(within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people),

  • 2Sam 8:6 Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went.

9 the chief city of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the chief of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
then you will not stand at all.

  • 7:9 Ahaz, King of Judah, should trust God, not Assyria to rescue him from Rezin and Pekah.
    • 2Chr 20:20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

THE IMMANUEL PROPHECY

10 Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz: 11 “Ask for a sign from the LORD your God — it can be as deep as Sheol or as high as heaven.”

  • 7:10–11 The purpose of a sign was to give Ahaz even more reason to have confidence in God rather than Assyria to rescue him from Rezin and Pekah. Sheol refers to the underworld. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mat 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”

12 But Ahaz replied, “I will not ask. I will not test the LORD.”

  • 7:12 From Isaiah’s reaction, the reader can discern that Ahaz’s reply, which on the surface seems pious, was actually impious. The king seemed to cite scriptural precedent (Dt 6:16), but the law prohibited the type of rebellious testing that took place at Massah (Ex 17:1–7), not a test offered by a true prophet of the Lord. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

13 Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God?

  • 7:13 The use of my God in this verse instead of “your God,” as in v. 11, shows that Ahaz’s lack of faith was a turning point in his life. Isaiah’s reference to him as house of David shows also that it would impact the Davidic dynasty, spelling its decline.
  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

14 Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.

  • 7:14 The context indicates that the preliminary fulfillment of this sign must have taken place within a few years of its utterance—the time between a child’s conception and his knowing right from wrong (vv. 15–16), traditionally at age twelve. The Hebrew word translated virgin means “young woman of marriageable age” and often has the implication of virginity. Thus many scholars feel that the referent is a woman whom Isaiah would marry and, if so, then the birth is mentioned in 8:1–4. This may be the immediate fulfillment of this sign. But its ultimate and more exalted fulfillment is noted in Mt 1:23 as it cites the more specific Greek word found in the Septuagint, parthenos, which means “virgin.” Immanuel means “God With Us.”
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mat 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Gen 4:1, 25 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” 25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.”
  • Isaiah 8:8 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

15 By the time he learns to reject what is bad and choose what is good, he will be eating curds and honey.

  • 7:15 The first phrase could also be translated, “In order to learn,” meaning that hardship will motivate the child to turn to God. The significance of eating curds and honey is that the devastation of the land’s agriculture (vv. 23–24) will be such that other foods will not be available. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

16 For before the boy knows to reject what is bad and choose what is good, the land of the two kings you dread will be abandoned.

  • 7:16 The Aramean kingdom of Rezin was destroyed in 732 BC. King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria reduced the size of the northern kingdom of King Pekah in 733 BC, and the king was assassinated and replaced by Hoshea. Even so, the northern kingdom was totally defeated in 722 BC, about thirteen years after the Immanuel prophecy. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1053). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isaiah 8:4 for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”
  • 2 Kings 15:30 Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him down and put him to death and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

17 The LORD will bring on you, your people, and your father’s house such a time as has never been since Ephraim separated from Judah: He will bring the king of Assyria.”

  • 7:17 It was not just Syria and the northern kingdom that would experience Assyrian devastation. Judah would also experience God’s punishment. As later events showed, paying Tiglath-pileser to take care of Ahaz’s northern problem was not the smartest strategy. From that point on Ahaz paid a heavy tribute as Assyria’s vassal (2Kg 16:10–18).
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1053–1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2 Chronicles 28:19 For the LORD humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made Judah act sinfully and had been very unfaithful to the LORD.
  • 1 Kings 12:16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents.

18 On that day
the LORD will whistle to flies
at the farthest streams of the Nile
and to bees in the land of Assyria.

  • Isaiah 5:26 He will raise a signal for nations far away, and whistle for them from the ends of the earth; and behold, quickly, speedily they come!

19 All of them will come and settle
in the steep ravines, in the clefts of the rocks,
in all the thornbushes, and in all the water holes.

  • Jer 16:16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.

20 On that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—to shave the hair on your heads, the hair on your legs, and even your beards.

  • 7:20 The razor is Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser, who will ravage the land of Judah. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2KI 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”

21 On that day
a man will raise a young cow and two sheep,
22 and from the abundant milk they give
he will eat curds,
for every survivor in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 And on that day
every place where there were a thousand vines,
worth a thousand pieces of silver,
will become thorns and briers.
24 A man will go there with bow and arrows
because the whole land will be thorns and briers.
25 You will not go to all the hills
that were once tilled with a hoe,
for fear of the thorns and briers.
Those hills will be places for oxen to graze
and for sheep to trample.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 7:1–25). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 8

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The Coming Assyrian Invasion

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Take a large tablet and write on it in common characters, ‘Belonging to Maher-shalal-hash-baz.’

  • Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
  • The name Maher-shalal-hash-baz means “Speeding to the Plunder, Hurrying to the Spoil,” and it signifies the rapid future advance of Assyria. Maher-shalal-hash-baz was one of Isaiah’s sons. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

2 And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me.”

  • 8:2 The presence of witnesses indicates that the writing of this prophecy had the force of a legal document. If the prophecy did not come true, then these two witnesses could attest to its falsity. If it did come true, they could proclaim that it was written before, and not after, the fact. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 16:10 When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.

3 And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the LORD said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz; 4 for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

  • Isaiah’s wife was a prophetess (Ex 15:20; Deborah, Jdg 4:4; Huldah, 2Kg 22:14; Anna, Lk 2:36). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 8:4 The point of the prophecy is that within just a few years the Assyrian army would advance to crush Damascus, the capital of Rezin’s Syria, and Samaria, the capital of Pekah’s northern kingdom of Israel. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 7:16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.
  • 2Ki 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria.

5 The LORD spoke to me again: 6 “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah,

  • 8:5–8 It was good news to Judah that Assyria would defeat Syria and Israel, the two nations that were allied against it. In this light rejoiced with Rezin, the translation and meaning of which is debated, likely refers to Judah’s rejoicing in Rezin’s coming defeat. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 8:6 The water of Shiloah refers to the small water channel that carried water from pools outside Jerusalem into the city. Here it stands for God himself, contrasting with the raging river mentioned in the next verse. Thus, Judah’s rejection of Shiloah signifies their rejection of God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Joh 9:7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
  • Isa 7:1,2 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. 2 When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

7 therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks,

  • 8:7 The mighty rushing water of the Euphrates represents the Assyrian king and thus Assyrian might. By calling on Tiglath-pileser to help him against the Syro-Ephraimite alliance, Ahaz was choosing a foreign nation rather than God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”

  • 8:8 The waters that represent Assyria will come up to Judah’s neck. They will not be drowned, but they will find themselves paying annual tribute. On occasion the Assyrian army will threaten their independent existence. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1054). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 30:28 his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.
  • Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

9  Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered;
give ear, all you far countries;
strap on your armor and be shattered;
strap on your armor and be shattered.

  • 8:9–10 Assyria will not completely subjugate Judah. After all, God was still with them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Joe 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.

10  Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
speak a word, but it will not stand,
for God is with us.

  • Rom 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Fear God, Wait for the LORD

11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying:

  • 8:11 God spoke to Isaiah (me) so he would not conform to the people’s beliefs. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

  • 8:13 The fear of God overshadows all other fears (Lk 12:5). The reason Isaiah and others must not fear threatening alliances is because God is the only one who should be feared. There is a difference in the quality of the two fears described in these verses. The fear of human beings may be described as terror (v. 12), while the fear of God is described as awe. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

  • 8:14–15 The sanctuary image highlights God’s holiness and suggests that he protects his people, but because they have rejected him, the Judeans will experience him as a stumbling stone. Verse 14 is quoted in Rm 9:33 and 1Pt 2:8. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Eze 11:16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’
  • Luk 2:34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed

15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”

  • Mat 21:44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”</li>

16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples.

  • 8:16 The testimony, also called the instruction, refers to the words of God that have come to Isaiah. These are to be kept safely (bind up … seal up) by Isaiah’s disciples. They will keep the pronouncements of God secure until the events prove them true. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

17 I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

  • 8:17 Because of their sin, God will withdraw his saving presence (hiding his face) from his people (the house of Jacob). The faithful, represented by Isaiah, will wait for his certain return. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 54:8 In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.
  • Hab 2:3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

  • 8:18 The children who are signs and wonders are Shear-jashub (Isaiah’s son… whose name literally means “a remnant shall return”) (7:3) and Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Isaiah’s son, was born at the critical time in Israel’s history when the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser was poised to crush Damascus and Samaria. His hebrew name means, “the booty hastens, the spoil speeds,” and the name symbolized the doom that the prophet Isaiah expected to fall on the northern kingdom) (8:1-3). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Hab 2:13 Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing?
  • Psa 71:7 I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.

19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?

  • 8:19–20 The people wanted Isaiah to engage in necromancy as did the witch of Endor (1Sm 28). Such divination was strictly prohibited in the OT (Dt 18:9–14). They should put their trust in God and seek only his guidance through his word. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 1Sa 28:8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, “Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you.”
  • Isa 29:4 And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak, and from the dust your speech will be bowed down; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and from the dust your speech shall whisper.
  • Psa 106:28 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
  • necromancers = a wizard or magician.

20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

  • Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
  • Mic 3:6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision, and darkness to you, without divination. The sun shall go down on the prophets, and the day shall be black over them;

21 They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

  • Rev 16:11 and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 8:1–21). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Chapter 9

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BIRTH OF THE PRINCE OF PEACE

1 Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations.

  • 9:1 Zebulun and Naphtali were two northern tribes hit hard by the Assyrian invasion led by Tiglath-pileser in 733 BC.
  • Isa 8:22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
  • Lev 26:24 then I also will walk contrary to you, and I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins.
  • 2Ki 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria.
    • Ijon – a ruin, a city of Naphtali, captured by Ben-hadad of Syria at the instance of Asa ( 1 Kings 15:20 ), and afterwards by Tiglath-pileser of Assyria ( 2 Kings 15:29 ) in the reign of Pekah; now el-Khiam.
    • Abel-beth-maacah – Abel Beth Maacah, Arabic name: Tell Abil el-Qameḥ, is a large archaeological site consisting of a mound with a small upper northern section and a large lower southern one, connected by a saddle. It is located on the northern border of present-day Israel, about 2 km south of the town of Metulla and about 6.5 km west of Tel Dan.
    • Janoah – A town either far north of the previous Janoah or else east of the Jordan. It’s mentioned among the north and north-eastern towns and regions that fell to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, during the reign of king Pekah of Israel. This invasion resulted in the first deportation of Israelites to Assyria.
    • Kedesh – Kedesh was first documented in the Book of Joshua as a Canaanite citadel conquered by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua. Ownership of Kedesh was turned over by lot to the tribe of Naphtali and subsequently, at the command of God, Kedesh was set apart by Joshua as a Levitical city and one of the Cities of Refuge along with Shechem and Kiriath Arba (Hebron) (Joshua 20:7). In the 8th century BCE, during the reign of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria took Kedesh and deported its inhabitants to Assyria.
    • Hazor – located in Israel, Upper Galilee, north of the Sea of Galilee, in the northern Korazim Plateau.
    • Gilead – was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River, situated in modern-day Jordan. It is also referred to by the Aramaic name Yegar-Sahadutha, which carries the same meaning as the Hebrew Gilead, namely “heap [of stones] of testimony” (Genesis 31:47–48).
    • Galilee – is a region mainly located in northern Israel. The term Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee and Lower Galilee.
    • Naphtali – Joshua assigned Naphtali the eastern side of the Galilee (on the immediate west of the Sea of Galilee), in the areas now known as the Lower Galilee, and Upper Galilee, bordered on the west by Asher, in the north by Dan, in the south by Zebulun, and by the Jordan River on the east.[5] The most significant city was Hazor.

2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
a light has dawned
on those living in the land of darkness.

  • 9:2 The Assyrian invasion brought great devastation (darkness), but the people still had great reason to hope (light has dawned). The verbs in this section are in what is often called the “prophetic perfect.” Though the events were in the future, they are described as if they had already happened. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1055). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mat 4:16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”

3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before you
as they rejoice at harvest time
and as they rejoice when dividing spoils.

  • Jdg 5:30 ‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?— A womb or two for every man; spoil of dyed materials for Sisera, spoil of dyed materials embroidered, two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

4 For you have shattered their oppressive yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,
the staff of their oppressor,
just as you did on the day of Midian.

  • 9:4 The type of deliverance the pronouncement pictures seemed impossible. After all, Assyria was a world power and God’s people were weak and crushed. Thus, the pronouncement alludes to the day of Midian. This refers to the events of Jdg 6–7 when Gideon—with just a handful of troops but with the power of God—defeated the oppressive Midianites and expelled them from the land. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jdg 7:22 When they blew the 300 trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

5 For every trampling boot of battle
and the bloodied garments of war
will be burned as fuel for the fire.

  • 9:5 As Gary Smith explains, “The burning of the boots and the bloody clothes of enemy soldiers … signify a victory in holy war where spoils were dedicated to God and military equipment was set on fire” Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 66:15 “For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

6 For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

  • Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
  • Luk 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
  • Joh 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
  • Tit 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
  • Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

7 The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of Armies will accomplish this.

  • Dan 2:44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,
  • Isa 37:32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

THE HAND RAISED AGAINST ISRAEL

8 The Lord sent a message against Jacob;
it came against Israel.

  • 9:8–10 The preeminent sin of God’s people, pride and arrogance, is again pointed out. They believed they did not need God to survive and prosper. They continued in their pride even after experiencing devastation at the hands of Tiglath-pileser. They foolishly claimed they not only could rebuild, they could even improve themselves by their own resources and strength (cut stones replace bricks; cedars replace sycamores). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mat 24:5 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

9 All the people—
Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—will know it.
They will say with pride and arrogance,

  • Ezekiel 7:9 (ESV) And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the LORD, who strikes.
  • Proverbs 16:18 (ESV) Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
  • 1 Peter 5:5 (ESV) Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

10 “The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with cut stones;
the sycamores have been cut down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”

  • The bricks are fallen down – It contains the confession of the inhabitants of Samaria, that their affairs were in a ruinous and dilapidated state; but also their self-confident assurance that they would be able to repair the evils, and restore their nation to more than their former magnificence.Bricks, in oriental countries, were made of clay and straw, and were rarely turned. Hence, exposed to suns and rains, they soon dissolved. Walls and houses constructed of such materials would not be very permanent, and to build with them is strongly contrasted with building in a permanent and elegant manner with hewn stone.The meaning is, that their former state was one of less splendor than they designed that their subsequent state should be. Desolation had come in upon their country, and this they could not deny. But they confidently boasted that they would more than repair the evil.
  • The sycamores – These trees grew abundantly on the low lands of Judea, and were very little esteemed; 1Ki 10:27; 2Ch 1:15; 2Ch 9:27.

11 The LORD has raised up Rezin’s adversaries against him
and stirred up his enemies.

  • 9:11 Rezin was the king of Syria (Aram) whose adversaries were Assyria and its vassals.
  • Jeremiah 35:11 (ESV) But when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, we said, ‘Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and the army of the Syrians.’ So we are living in Jerusalem.”
  • 2 Kings 16:9 (ESV) And the king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus and took it, carrying its people captive to Kir, and he killed Rezin.
  • Deuteronomy 31:17 (ESV) Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’
  • Jeremiah 4:8 (ESV) For this put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us.”

12 The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

  • The Syrians – Isa 7:1. The Syrians had been the allies of the Israelites. But after the death of Rezin, it is probable that they joined the Assyrians, and united with them in the invasion of Samaria. – Aben Ezra; Grotius. “Before.” Hebrew ‘From the east.’ Syria was situated to the east of Samaria, and the meaning is here, that they would pour in upon Samaria from that side.
  • And the Philistines – The Philistines occupied the country southwest of Samaria, lying along on the shores of the Mediterranean. They were full of hostility to the Jewish people; and were many times engaged with them in wars and several times subdued them. The name Palestine is derived from Philistine.
  • And they shall devour – Hebrew, ‘They shall eat.’ This figure is taken from a ravenous beast; and means that they should come up with raging desires, and fierce impetuosity, to destroy the nation.
  • With open mouth– Hebrew, ‘With the whole mouth.’ The metaphor is derived from raging and furious animals. Chaldee, ‘In every place.’

13 The people did not turn to him who struck them;
they did not seek the LORD of Armies.
14 So the LORD cut off Israel’s head and tail,
palm branch and reed in a single day.

  • 9:14 After the first Assyrian incursion into the north (733 BC), Israel continued in its sinful ways. God soon brought a more devastating judgment in 722 BC, ending their independent existence. The expression head and tail, palm branch and reed points to a totality (19:15). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 9:13 God’s punishment of his people was intended to convince them to return to his ways, but they were so dull of mind and spirit that they did not respond. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

15 The head is the elder, the honored one;
the tail is the prophet, the one teaching lies.

  • 9:15–16 It was particularly the leaders (including the elder and the prophet) who were responsible for the people going in the wrong direction.
  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1056). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

16 The leaders of the people mislead them,
and those they mislead are swallowed up.

  • Isa 3:12 My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

17 Therefore the Lord does not rejoice
over Israel’s young men
and has no compassion
on its fatherless and widows,
for everyone is a godless evildoer,
and every mouth speaks folly.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

  • Psa 147:10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
  • Isa 5:25 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

18 For wickedness burns like a fire
that consumes thorns and briers
and kindles the forest thickets
so that they go up in a column of smoke.

  • 9:18–19 Devastation is seen as the natural consequence of wickedness itself (wickedness burns like a fire) as well as the result of divine anger (the land is scorched by the wrath of the LORD of Armies). Sin breaks up human relationships, even brotherly love. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mal 4:1“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

19 The land is scorched
by the wrath of the LORD of Armies,
and the people are like fuel for the fire.
No one has compassion on his brother.

  • Isa 8:22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
  • Mic 7-2, 6 The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. 6. for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

20 They carve meat on the right,
but they are still hungry;
they have eaten on the left,
but they are still not satisfied.
Each one eats the flesh of his arm.

  • 9:20 The greediness of the people led them to consume everyone and everything in their path. Eventually their hunger turned them on themselves. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Lev 26:26 When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

21 Manasseh eats Ephraim,
and Ephraim, Manasseh;
together, both are against Judah.
In all this, his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is still raised to strike.

  • 9:21 Manasseh and Ephraim were two large northern tribes whose founding fathers were brothers, the sons of Joseph (Gn 41:50–52; 48:5). They turned against each other, illustrating lack of compassion toward a brother (Is 9:19). Then together they turned against Judah. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 9:1–21). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 10

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1 Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
2  to turn aside the needy from justice
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
that widows may be their spoil,
and that they may make the fatherless their prey!

  • 10:1–2 God’s law protected the socially vulnerable:
    • the poor (Exo 23:6, 11 “You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.)
    • widows (Exo 22:22 You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.)
    • and the fatherless (Deu 10:18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.).
  • Isaiah condemned man-made laws that corrupted justice. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

3  What will you do on the day of punishment,
in the ruin that will come from afar?
To whom will you flee for help,
and where will you leave your wealth?

  • 10:3 When the day of reckoning comes, where will they turn? Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

4  Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners
or fall among the slain.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still.

  • 10:4 Though punishment has come, God’s people still have not repented. More judgment will follow. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Judgment on Arrogant Assyria

5  Woe to Assyria, the rod of my anger;
the staff in their hands is my fury!

  • 10:5 The pronouncement opens with a woe against Assyria. This woe is directed toward the enemy rather than toward God’s people (10:1). Assyria is the tool he will use to bring punishment against Israel and Judah. The reference to a rod brings to mind the extensive teaching in Proverbs about using a rod to drive the folly out of a child (Pr 10:13; 22:15) and how a rod is applied to one’s son to encourage him to travel the right path (Pr 13:24; 23:13–14). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6  Against a godless nation I send him,
and against the people of my wrath I command him,
to take spoil and seize plunder,
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

  • 10:6 The godless nation is ironically not Assyria but Israel. They will become the object of God’s anger. The phrase to take spoils, to plunder is reminiscent of the name Maher-shalal-hash-baz, “Speeding to the Plunder, Hurrying to the Spoil” (8:1). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

7  But he does not so intend,
and his heart does not so think;
but it is in his heart to destroy,
and to cut off nations not a few;

  • 10:7 There was a difference between the divine intention and the intention of Assyria. This difference was no obstacle to God’s use of Assyria for his purposes, but it did bode poorly for the tool of God’s anger. While God’s intention was to promote his own glory by punishing his sinful people, Assyria was interested only in imperialistic expansion. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8  for he says:
“Are not my commanders all kings?

  • 10:8–11 Isaiah quotes the proud words of the Assyrian king. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 19:10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.

9  Is not Calno like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath like Arpad?
Is not Samaria like Damascus?

  • 10:9 These three pairs of cities each begin with the southernmost of the two. Thus, Calno (also known as Calneh) was south of Carchemish, Hamath was south of Arpad, and Samaria was south of Damascus. These cities were paired and listed for geographical and not chronological reasons since Carchemish was conquered by the Assyrians in 717 BC, Calno in 738, Hamath in 738 and 720, and Arpad in 740. The claim of the Assyrian king was an imperialistic one, again demonstrating that his intention was different from God’s. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1057). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Amo 6:2 Pass over to Calneh, and see, and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is their territory greater than your territory,
  • 2Ch 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him.

10  As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols,
whose carved images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria,
11  shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols
as I have done to Samaria and her images?”

  • 10:10-11. Comparing north and south. Samaria was north, and Jerusalem was south. Both were practicing idoltry.

12 When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the speech of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the boastful look in his eyes.

  • God will use Assyria, to do God’s will. Assyria “thinks” that they are the winners of the battle, but in the long run, God will punish them.
  • 2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD will do this.
  • Jer 50:18 Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria.

13 For he says:

“By the strength of my hand I have done it,
and by my wisdom, for I have understanding;
I remove the boundaries of peoples,
and plunder their treasures;
like a bull I bring down those who sit on thrones.

  • 10:13–14 The boastful quotation from the Assyrian king reflects the type of bombastic language used in contemporary Assyrian royal inscriptions. The image of the Assyrian king stealing eggs from an abandoned nest emphasizes his cruelty in taking advantage of weaker nations. Indeed, no one can put up a substantial challenge to his growing power. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 37:24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon, to cut down its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses, to come to its remotest height, its most fruitful forest.

14  My hand has found like a nest
the wealth of the peoples;
and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken,
so I have gathered all the earth;
and there was none that moved a wing
or opened the mouth or chirped.”

  • Job 31:25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much,

15  Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it,
or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?
As if a rod should wield him who lifts it,
or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

  • 10:15 The Assyrian king’s boasts are illfounded. From his perspective, he was a mighty warrior and a great leader of armies. From a heavenly perspective, he was a mere tool used by God to accomplish his purposes. The use of rhetorical questions directed to the king has the function of scolding and embarrassing him in his pretension. Each question has the implied answer, “Of course not.” Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:20 “You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms;

16  Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts
will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors,
and under his glory a burning will be kindled,
like the burning of fire.

  • 10:16–19 The conjunction therefore serves as a transition from indictment to judgment. The description of the punishment by disease and fire could be taken literally, metaphorically, or both. The point is clear: glorious and prosperous Assyria will soon be weakened by the judgment of God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

17  The light of Israel will become a fire,
and his Holy One a flame,
and it will burn and devour
his thorns and briers in one day.

  • 10:17 The image of God as Light is typically used for positive purposes (Ps 27:1), but like the light of the sun, God both illuminates so people can see clearly and also scorches and kills in judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 27:1 Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
  • Isa 9:18 For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

18  The glory of his forest and of his fruitful land
the LORD will destroy, both soul and body,
and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.

  • 2Ki 19:23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon; I felled its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses; I entered its farthest lodging place, its most fruitful forest.

19  The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few
that a child can write them down.

The Remnant of Israel Will Return

20 In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean on him who struck them, but will lean on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

  • The remnant will trust in God, and no one else.
  • 2Ki 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”

21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. 22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.

  • 10:21–23 God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand of the sea (see Gn 22:17; 32:12; 41:49), but because of their punishment, only a remnant would survive and even that would be an act of God’s grace. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Rom 9:27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
  • Isa 6:13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

23 For the Lord GOD of hosts will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.

  • Dan 9:27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
  • Rom 9:28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.”

24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.

  • 10:24 The present Assyrian threat is compared to the bondage in Egypt. This comparison evokes memories of God’s deliverance of his people at the Red Sea (Ex 14–15).

    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 37:6 Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me.

25 For in a very little while my fury will come to an end, and my anger will be directed to their destruction.

  • 10:25 God’s wrath against his covenant people is temporary, but his wrath against Assyria will end in their destruction.

    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Dan 11:36 “And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.

26 And the LORD of hosts will wield against them a whip, as when he struck Midian at the rock of Oreb. And his staff will be over the sea, and he will lift it as he did in Egypt.

  • 10:26 Oreb was a Midianite leader who oppressed the Israelites during the period of the judges. He was defeated by the forces of Gideon and executed at a rock that was given his name, the rock of Oreb (Jdg 7:24–25). The reference to God’s staff in Egypt recalls the crossing of the Red Sea. Moses raised his staff, representing God’s presence. God caused the sea to divide, allowing the Israelites to escape the Egyptian army (Ex 14:21–31).

    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1058). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 19:35 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
  • Isa 9:4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
  • Exo 14:26 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.”

27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”

    10:27 The yoke is an image of political domination frequently used by the prophets

    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    • Eze 30:18 At Tehaphnehes the day shall be dark, when I break there the yoke bars of Egypt, and her proud might shall come to an end in her; she shall be covered by a cloud, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
  • Psa 105:15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”
  • 1Jo 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

28  He has come to Aiath;
he has passed through Migron;
at Michmash he stores his baggage;

  • 10:28–32 The pronouncement in these verses describes the march of the Assyrian army from the north to the very doorstep of Jerusalem. The best understanding of these verses is as a visionary image of an attack, not a description of an actual attack. The route described is the most direct route “as the crow flies,” indicating that not even natural obstacles could slow down the army’s advance.Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 10:28 Aiath is likely identified with Ai (Jos 8), which was about thirty miles north of Jerusalem. But the Hebrew term Ai means “ruin” and Aiath is plural, “ruins,” so the name could be given to a number of different sites. Migron refers to the Wadi Swenit, a dry riverbed between Michmash and Geba.

29  they have crossed over the pass;
at Geba they lodge for the night;
Ramah trembles;
Gibeah of Saul has fled.

  • 10:29 Ramah and Gibeah were on the major central hill route north of Jerusalem.
  • 1Sa 13:23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.
  • 1Sa 11:4 When the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, they reported the matter in the ears of the people, and all the people wept aloud.

30  Cry aloud, O daughter of Gallim!
Give attention, O Laishah!
O poor Anathoth!

  • 10:30 Gallim … Laishah, and Anathoth (known as the hometown of the prophet Jeremiah; Jr 1:1) were small towns just north of Jerusalem. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 1Sa 25:44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
  • Jud 18:7 Then the five men departed and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, quiet and unsuspecting, lacking nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone.

31  Madmenah is in flight;
the inhabitants of Gebim flee for safety.

  • Josh 15:31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah,

32  This very day he will halt at Nob;
he will shake his fist
at the mount of the daughter of Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.

  • 10:32 Nob is typically associated with modern Mount Scopus, just northeast of Jerusalem. As a person stands on Nob, he has a commanding view of the city of Jerusalem. Nob was where David received sustenance and the sword of Goliath as he began his flight from Saul. King Saul repaid the priests at Nob by slaughtering them (1Sm 21:1–9; 22:11–23). Nob is also mentioned in Neh 11:32 as near Anathoth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 1Sa21:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant,
  • Neh 11:32 Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
  • Isa 13:2 On a bare hill raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles.
  • Isa 37:22 this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: “‘She despises you, she scorns you— the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you— the daughter of Jerusalem.

33  Behold, the Lord GOD of hosts
will lop the boughs with terrifying power;
the great in height will be hewn down,
and the lofty will be brought low.

  • 10:33–34 The pronouncement ends with a sudden reversal. Assyria marched on Jerusalem, but the army met with destruction. They will become trees (a cedar from Lebanon is implied by the final line) that will be felled by none other than God himself. The Assyrians had been the ax in God’s hand against his people (v. 15), but God will wield an ax against them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Amo 2:9 “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.

34  He will cut down the thickets of the forest with an axe,
and Lebanon will fall by the Majestic One.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 10:1–34). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Chapter 11

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1 Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

  • Zec 6:12 And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.
  • Rev 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
  • Act 13:23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised.
  • Isa 4:2 In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.

2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

  • Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
  • Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.

3 His delight will be in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes,
he will not execute justice
by what he hears with his ears,

  • 11:3 The fear of the LORD is the basic characteristic of a wise, godly person (Pr 1:7). The fear described here is not terror but awe. This wise, Spirit-filled person will not judge according to external appearances, but he will cut to the heart of the truth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1059). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

4 but he will judge the poor righteously
and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.
He will strike the land
with a scepter from his mouth,
and he will kill the wicked
with a command from his lips.

  • Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
  • Job 4:9 By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
  • Mat 4:6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”
  • 2Th 2:8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

5 Righteousness will be a belt around his hips;
faithfulness will be a belt around his waist.
6 The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard will lie down with the goat.
The calf, the young lion, and the fattened calf will be together,
and a child will lead them.

  • 11:6–9 The future rule is described in Edenic terms where there is no animosity among God’s creatures. The knowledge of the LORD will permeate this future ideal world ushered in by the shoot of the stump of Jesse. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1060). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Hos 2:18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.

7 The cow and the bear will graze,
their young ones will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like cattle.
8 An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit,
and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.
9 They will not harm or destroy each other
on my entire holy mountain,
for the land will be as full
of the knowledge of the LORD
as the sea is filled with water.

  • Job 5:23 For you shall be in league with the stones of the field, and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with you.
  • Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

ISRAEL REGATHERED

10 On that day the root of Jesse
will stand as a banner for the peoples.
The nations will look to him for guidance,
and his resting place will be glorious.

  • Rom 15:10, 12 Rom 15:10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

11 On that day the Lord will extend his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people who survive—from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coasts and islands of the west.

  • Oz: Commentaries state that the list of countries here are just representing “from all directions”. Not necessarily the exact countries.
  • Zec 10:10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.

12 He will lift up a banner for the nations
and gather the dispersed of Israel;
he will collect the scattered of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.

  • Joh 7:35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

13 Ephraim’s envy will cease;
Judah’s harassing will end.
Ephraim will no longer be envious of Judah,
and Judah will not harass Ephraim.

  • Oz: Ephraim = the northern kingdom of Israel, also known as Samaria.
  • Jer 3:18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.
  • Eze 37:16, 17, 22 “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms.

14 But they will swoop down
on the Philistine flank to the west.
Together they will plunder the people of the east.
They will extend their power over Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be their subjects.

  • Oz: all these little countries will be absorbed into Israel. These small countries have been known to cause problems for Israel in the past.
  • Dan 11:41 He shall come into the glorious land. And tens of thousands shall fall, but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom and Moab and the main part of the Ammonites.

15 The LORD will divide, the Gulf of Suez.
He will wave his hand over the Euphrates
with his mighty wind
and will split it into seven streams,
letting people walk through on foot.

  • 11:15–16 Exodus imagery is used to describe the return of the remnant from Assyria. God will split the Euphrates River like he did the Red Sea, but in this case he won’t split it into two parts but seven. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1060). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Zec 10:11 He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
  • Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.

16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
who will survive from Assyria,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.

  • Isa 19:21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them.
  • Exo 14:29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 11:1–16). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


Chapter 12

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c. 734 B.C.
A SONG OF PRAISE

1 On that day you will say:
“I will give thanks to you, LORD,
although you were angry with me.
Your anger has turned away,
and you have comforted me.

  • on that day = a future day; a day of salvation!
  • LORD = yah; yahweh. Hebrew.
  • Isa 2:11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
  • Psa 83:18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
  • Exo 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
  • Psa 118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

2 Indeed, God is my salvation;
I will trust him and not be afraid,
for the LORD, the LORD himself,
is my strength and my song.
He has become my salvation.”
3 You will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation,

  • draw water = water in a dry land like Israel represents salvation.
  • Joh 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

4 and on that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the LORD; proclaim his name!
Make his works known among the peoples.
Declare that his name is exalted.

  • 1Ch 16:8 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
  • Psa 105:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
  • Psa 145:4-6 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
  • Psa 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things.
Let this be known throughout the earth.

  • Exo 15:1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, “I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
  • Psa 98:1 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

6 Cry out and sing, citizen of Zion,
for the Holy One of Israel is among you
in his greatness.”

  • Zep 3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
  • Psa 89:18 For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 12:1–6). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 13

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c. 734 B.C.

A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST BABYLON

1 A pronouncement concerning Babylon that Isaiah son of Amoz saw:

  • The pronouncement of Babylon – The prophecy that foretells its destruction by the Medes and Persians
  • Bible Dictionary Commentary: Against Babylon: Isaiah finished his prophetic career in 685 B.C., almost 100 years before Judah finally fell before the Babylonian Empire (586 B.C.). At the time of this prophecy, Babylon was a significant nation, but they were definitely behind the Assyrian Empire in status. Yet the LORD who knows the end of all things can speak of the judgment on the pride of Babylon hundreds of years before the judgment comes.
  • See Jeremiah, Chapter 50 and 51.
  • Oz: Chaldeans were eventually absorbed and assimilated into Babylonia.

2 Lift up a banner on a barren mountain.
Call out to them.
Signal with your hand, and they will go
through the gates of the nobles.

  • Isa 18:3 All you inhabitants of the world, you who dwell on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, hear!
  • Jer 51:25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, declares the LORD, which destroys the whole earth; I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain.
  • Isa 10:32 This very day he will halt at Nob; he will shake his fist at the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

3 I have commanded my consecrated ones;
yes, I have called my warriors,
who celebrate my triumph,
to execute my wrath.

  • Joe 3:11 Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
  • Psa 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!

4 Listen, a commotion on the mountains,
like that of a mighty people!
Listen, an uproar among the kingdoms,
like nations being gathered together!
The LORD of Armies is mobilizing an army for war.

  • 13:4 The LORD of Armies is God’s name that signifies his activity in warfare. The commotion on the mountains emanates from God’s army that gathers there. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1061). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

5 They are coming from a distant land,
from the farthest horizon—
the LORD and the weapons of his wrath—
to destroy the whole country.

  • 13:5 The distant land is not specified, but it may be a reference to the Medes (v. 17) whom God will use (as part of the Persian Empire) to defeat Babylon (the whole country). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1061). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6 Wail! For the day of the LORD is near.

  • Zep 1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.
  • Rev 6:17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
  • Job 31:23 For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.
  • Joe 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore everyone’s hands will become weak,
and every man will lose heart.

  • 13:7 Weak hands and a melted heart refer to physical and psychological reactions to fear. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1061). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8 They will be horrified;
pain and agony will seize them;
they will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
They will look at each other,
their faces flushed with fear.



  • 13:8 Isaiah used the theme of a woman in labor, one that appears often in prophetic literature (21:3; Jr 4:31; 6:24; 22:23; 30:6; Mc 4:9). It is a graphic image of the pain and distress that will result from God’s warring activity. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1061). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 48:6 Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor.

9 Look, the day of the LORD is coming—
cruel, with fury and burning anger—
to make the earth a desolation
and to destroy its sinners.

  • Mal 4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
  • Psa 104:35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!
  • Pro 2:22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

10 Indeed, the stars of the sky and its constellations
will not give their light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
and the moon will not shine.

  • 13:10 The incursion of God as warrior causes nature to go into convulsions. On the day of God’s judgment, the sun … moon, and stars, which God created to provide the world with light (Gn 1:14–19), will go out, plunging the world into darkness (Ezk 32:7; Jl 2:2; 3:1, 15; Am 5:18; Mc 3:6; Mt 24:29; Lk 21:25; Rv 8:12). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1061–1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Eze 32:7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.
  • Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
  • Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
  • Mar 13:24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

11 I will punish the world for its evil,
and wicked people for their iniquities.
I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant
and humiliate the insolence of tyrants.

  • 13:11 The object of God’s wrath is pride that leads people to trust in themselves rather than in him. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 2:17 And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

12 I will make a human more scarce than fine gold,
and mankind more rare than the gold of Ophir.

  • 13:12 God’s warring judgment will reduce the population of the earth dramatically.

13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
and the earth will shake from its foundations
at the wrath of the LORD of Armies,
on the day of his burning anger.

  • 13:13 When the divine warrior appears, not only will the heavenly bodies convulse (v. 10); so will the earth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Hag 2:6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
  • Psa 110:5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
  • Lam 1:12 “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me, which the LORD inflicted on the day of his fierce anger.

14 Like wandering gazelles
and like sheep without a shepherd,
each one will turn to his own people,
each one will flee to his own land.

  • 13:14–15 The destroyed city had residents from many different lands. Once destroyed, the people will be leaderless and will quickly run (like wandering gazelles) back to their homeland. However, they may not make it back. The road will be lined with dangers, including robbers and perhaps even an enemy army. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 50:16 Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; because of the sword of the oppressor, every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land.

15 Whoever is found will be stabbed,
and whoever is caught will die by the sword.
16 Their children will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
their houses will be looted,
and their wives raped.

  • Psa 137:9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!
  • Nah 3:10 Yet she became an exile; she went into captivity; her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; for her honored men lots were cast, and all her great men were bound in chains.
  • Zec 14:2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

17 Look! I am stirring up the Medes against them,
who cannot be bought off with silver
and who have no desire for gold.

  • 13:17 At last, the attacking army is described as the implacable Medes, a people known as early as the ninth century BC. They came from the Zagros Mountains east of the Mesopotamian plain. These warlike people are known in history as Babylon’s allies when they defeated Assyria. However, in the sixth century BC they were engulfed by Persia. The combined armies of the Medes and Persians defeated Babylon in 539 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:11 “Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! The LORD has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance for his temple.
  • Dan 5:28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

18 Their bows will cut young men to pieces.
They will have no compassion on offspring;
they will not look with pity on children.

19 And Babylon, the jewel of the kingdoms,
the glory of the pride of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.

  • 13:19 For the first time Babylon is named as the object of God’s warring activity. They are described as the jewel of the kingdoms in anticipation of the position they will assume after their defeat of Assyria at the end of the seventh century BC. The Chaldeans were the leading tribe that produced the leaders (Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar) who led the Babylonian resurgence. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is described in Gn 19. This account in Isaiah implies a horrible end. It associates Babylon with the perverse sin that led to the destruction of those cities. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 14:4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased!
  • Gen 19:24 Then the LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the LORD out of heaven.
  • Deu 29:23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath—
  • Jer 50:40 As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the LORD, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.

20 It will never be inhabited
or lived in from generation to generation;
a nomad will not pitch his tent there,
and shepherds will not let their flocks rest there.

  • 13:20 In 689 BC the Assyrian king Sennacherib “defeated Babylon, tore down its walls, flooded the area, depopulated the city, and made the city into a meadow” (Gary Smith, NAC). The Medes may also have been involved. The Medes and Persians destroyed Babylon again in 539 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 50:3 “For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.

21 But desert creatures will lie down there,
and owls will fill the houses.
Ostriches will dwell there,
and wild goats will leap about.

  • 13:21–22 These verses describe animals that lived in ruins and desolate places. Ostriches and owls were considered unclean (Lv 11:15–16). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 34:11 But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.

22 Hyenas will howl in the fortresses,
and jackals, in the luxurious palaces.
Babylon’s time is almost up;
her days are almost over.

  • Jer 51:33 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.”=t7

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 13:1–22). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 14

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c. 734 B.C.

ISRAEL’S RETURN

1 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. The resident alien will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.

  • Psa 102:13 You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.
  • Zec 1:17 Cry out again, Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.'”

2 The nations will escort Israel and bring it to its homeland. Then the house of Israel will possess them as male and female slaves in the LORD’s land. They will make captives of their captors and will rule over their oppressors.

  • 14:2 The nations had escorted God’s people out of the promised land when they were exiled, so in the future they will escort them back. Power relations will be reversed. Israel had been the slave of the nations; now the nations will serve God’s people.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1062). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 49:22 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
  • Isa 60:4, 5, 10 Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. 5 Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. 10 Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you.

DOWNFALL OF THE KING OF BABYLON

3 When the LORD gives you rest from your pain, torment, and the hard labor you were forced to do,

4 you will sing this song of contempt about the king of Babylon and say:

  • Isa 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.
  • Hab 2:6 Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own— for how long?— and loads himself with pledges!”
  • Rev 18:16 “Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls!

How the oppressor has quieted down,
and how the raging has become quiet!
5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers.

  • 14:5 The staff and the scepter were held by the king, and they represented his power. The staff may be a shepherd’s staff, and it could refer to the king’s responsibility to shepherd the people. The scepter was an ornamented mace used as a weapon, representing the king’s fearsome power. The fact that God has broken them indicates his superior power. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 125:3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.

6 It struck the peoples in anger
with unceasing blows.
It subdued the nations in rage
with relentless persecution.

  • 14:6–7 The downfall of Babylon will result in peace and jubilation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

7 The whole earth is calm and at rest;
people shout with a ringing cry.
8 Even the cypresses and the cedars of Lebanon
rejoice over you:
“Since you have been laid low,
no lumberjack has come against us.”

  • Isa 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
  • Eze 31:16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the world below.

Sheol below is eager to greet your coming,
stirring up the spirits of the departed for you—
all the rulers of the earth—
making all the kings of the nations
rise from their thrones.

  • 14:9 Sheol refers to the grave and in some contexts signifies the underworld. In this verse Sheol is personified and pictured as warmly greeting its new citizen, the Babylonian king. Indeed, Sheol will rouse all the spirits of the departed kings to greet the Babylonian king when he arrives in the realm of the dead. Some believe this reference to the activities of the dead is just a poetic device, but it is better understood as evidence that the Israelites at the time of Isaiah had an awareness of the afterlife. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Eze 32:21 The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: ‘They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’

10 They all respond to you, saying,
“You too have become as weak as we are;
you have become like us!
11 Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol,
along with the music of your harps.
Maggots are spread out under you,
and worms cover you.”

12 Shining morning star,,a
how you have fallen from the heavens!
You destroyer of nations,
you have been cut down to the ground.

  • 14:12–15 Commentators have often connected this passage to Lk 10:18 and Rv 12:8–9, but the context seems clear that the one fallen from the heavens is not Satan (even though the KJV translated shining morning star as “Lucifer”) but is instead the Babylonian king. If there is a double application the Bible never indicates as much. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • The language is so framed as to apply to the Babylonian king primarily, and at the same time to shadow forth through him, the great final enemy, the man of sin, Antichrist, of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John; he alone shall fulfil exhaustively all the lineaments here given. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 446). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • Isa 34:4 All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.

13 You said to yourself,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.

  • 14:13 The attempt of a human, no matter how powerful, to take the place of God is the ultimate expression of arrogance. In Canaanite mythology, which is exploited here to make a point about human pride, the mountain of Baal, the chief god, was in the remotest parts of the North. Indeed, his mountain was named Mount North (Hb Zaphon). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Mat 11:23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
  • Dan 8:10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.
  • Psa 48:2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.

14 I will ascend above the highest clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”

  • Isa 47:8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children”:
  • 2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

15 But you will be brought down to Sheol
into the deepest regions of the Pit.

  • Mat 11:23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

16 Those who see you will stare at you;
they will look closely at you:
“Is this the man who caused the earth to tremble,
who shook the kingdoms,
17 who turned the world into a wilderness,
who destroyed its cities
and would not release the prisoners to return home?”
18 All the kings of the nations
lie in splendor, each in his own tomb.

  • 14:18–20 There is even a contrast with other kings, who were buried in fine tombs. This king will not even be given a decent burial but will lie dead on the battlefield, surrounded and even covered by other dead bodies. Again, the idea is that a person who was powerful in life will be reduced to a humiliating circumstance in death. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1063). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

19 But you are thrown out without a grave,
like a worthless branch,
covered by those slain with the sword
and dumped into a rocky pit like a trampled corpse.
20 You will not join them in burial,
because you destroyed your land
and slaughtered your own people.
The offspring of evildoers
will never be mentioned again.

  • Job 18:19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people, and no survivor where he used to live.
  • Psa 21:10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, and their offspring from among the children of man.
  • Psa 109:13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation!

21 Prepare a place of slaughter for his sons,
because of the iniquity of their ancestors.
They will never rise up to possess a land
or fill the surface of the earth with cities.

  • 14:21 It was an expectation of a powerful king that, when he died, his son would become the next king and would continue his imperialistic pretensions, but because of the depredations of the fathers, the sons would meet an untimely death. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Exo 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
  • Mat 23:35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.

22 “I will rise up against them” — this is the declaration of the LORD of Armies — “and I will cut off from Babylon her reputation, remnant, offspring, and posterity” — this is the LORD’s declaration.

  • 14:22–23 God will bring this judgment. Babylon, particularly its most southern part, was a swampland. God would reduce the entire nation to this in the anger of his judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Pro 10:7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.
  • Jer 51:62 and say, ‘O LORD, you have said concerning this place that you will cut it off, so that nothing shall dwell in it, neither man nor beast, and it shall be desolate forever.’
  • 1Ki 14:10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone.
  • Job 18:19 He has no posterity or progeny among his people, and no survivor where he used to live.

23 “I will make her a swampland and a region for herons, and I will sweep her away with the broom of destruction.”

This is the declaration of the LORD of Armies.

  • Isa 34:11 But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.
  • Zep 2:14 Herds shall lie down in her midst, all kinds of beasts; even the owl and the hedgehog shall lodge in her capitals; a voice shall hoot in the window; devastation will be on the threshold; for her cedar work will be laid bare.

ASSYRIA WILL BE DESTROYED

(Oz note: Mesopotamia is sometimes used for Assyria)

24 The LORD of Armies has sworn:

As I have purposed, so it will be;
as I have planned it, so it will happen.

  • 14:24 On a human level Assyria seemed invincible, but God assured his people of his determination to judge the Assyrian people.
  • 14:24–27 The pronouncement shifts focus to the northern center of Mesopotamian power, Assyria. Assyria was the nation that under Tiglath-pileser III reduced the size of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 730s BC and then in 722 BC, under Shalmaneser, deported its citizens. But God will bring even this strong kingdom to an end. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

25 I will break Assyria in my land;
I will tread him down on my mountain.
Then his yoke will be taken from them,
and his burden will be removed from their shoulders.

  • 14:25 The yoke was a common metaphor for political servitude (10:27; 47:6; 58:6; Jr 27:11; 30:8; Ezk 30:18). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 10:27 And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat.”

26 This is the plan prepared
for the whole earth,
and this is the hand stretched out
against all the nations.
27 The LORD of Armies himself has planned it;
therefore, who can stand in its way?
It is his hand that is outstretched,
so who can turn it back?

  • 2Ch 20:6 and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
  • Job 9:12 Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
  • Job 23:13 But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.
  • Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
  • Pro 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
  • Pro 21:30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD.
  • Isa 43:13 Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?”
  • Dan 4:31, 35 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST PHILISTIA

28 In the year that King Ahaz died, this pronouncement came:

  • 14:28–32 The pronouncement against Philistia is the first in a series of pronouncements against nations that were immediate neighbors of Israel. Indeed, Philistia occupied part of the promised land in a region west of Jerusalem and on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The book of Genesis records interaction between the patriarchs and the Philistines (Gn 10:14; 21:32, 34), but it was not until the period of the united monarchy that we hear of a sizeable presence of Philistines in the region. Both Saul and David waged war against them. A remnant of Philistines lasted until the sixth century (Jr 47). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 16:20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

29 Don’t rejoice, all of you in Philistia,
because the rod of the one who struck you is broken.
For a viper will come from the root of a snake,
and from its egg comes a flying serpent.

    Oz note: a warning to the Philistia nation, to not rejoice because Assyria is currently broken and defeated and weak. Assyria will rebound, they will once again experience a resurgence.

  • 2Ch 26:6 He went out and made war against the Philistines and broke through the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod, and he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines.
  • 2Ki 18:8 He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

30 Then the firstborn of the poor will be well fed,
and the impoverished will lie down in safety,
but I will kill your root with hunger,
and your remnant will be slain.

  • 14:30 Because of Philistia’s oppression of Judah, the poor [in Juda] had grown poorer, but with its destruction, there will be a reversal of their [Judah’s] fortunes. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

31 Wail, you gates! Cry out, city!
Tremble with fear, all Philistia!
For a cloud of dust is coming from the north,
and there is no one missing from the invader’s ranks.

  • 14:31 The cloud of dust coming from the north will be none other than the Assyrian army that will destroy Philistia. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

32 What answer will be given to the messengers from that nation?
The LORD has founded Zion,
and his oppressed people find refuge in her.

  • 14:32 This verse envisions Philistine envoys trying to convince Judah to join them in resisting the Assyrian army. But Judah’s trust should be in Zion, or God, not foreign alliances. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1064). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 87:1, 5 A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. A Song. On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 5 And of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”; for the Most High himself will establish her.
  • Zec 11:11 So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep traders, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 14:1–32). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 15

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A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST MOAB

  • Oz comments: Moab was a nation to the East of Judah. Often in conflict with their Israelite neighbors.
  • 15:1–16:14 The pronouncement against Moab is the second in a series of pronouncements against nations that were immediate neighbors of Israel. Moab was located in Transjordan opposite Jericho and on the east bank of the Dead Sea. The Bible and other sources (the Moabite Stone, for example) record a long history of conflict between Israel and Moab, whose origins go back to the incestuous union between Lot and his daughter (Gn 19:30–38). See Jr 48 for a similar pronouncement against Moab (also Ezk 25:8–11; Am 2:1–3). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

1 A pronouncement concerning Moab:

Ar in Moab is devastated,
destroyed in a night.
Kir in Moab is devastated,
destroyed in a night.

  • Oz: Ar was in the middle of Moab; Kir was south of Ar.

2 Dibon went up to its temple
to weep at its high places.
Moab wails on Nebo and at Medeba.
Every head is shaved;
every beard is chopped short.

  • 15:2 Nebo and Medeba were two northern Moabite sites east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea. Nebo was further known as the mountain that Moses ascended to catch sight of the promised land before he died (Dt 34:1). Dibon was further south about midway down the coast of the Dead Sea and some twenty miles inland. Its temple was dedicated to Chemosh, the main god of the Moabites. Shaving hair from the head and beard was an ancient mourning rite. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

3 In its streets they wear sackcloth;
on its rooftops and in its public squares everyone wails,
falling down and weeping.
4 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out;
their voices are heard as far away as Jahaz.
Therefore the soldiers of Moab cry out,
and they tremble.

  • 15:4 Heshbon and Elealeh were northeastern cities in Moab. Jahaz was further south parallel to Dibon.

5 My heart cries out over Moab,
whose fugitives flee as far as Zoar,
to Eglath-shelishiyah;
they go up the Ascent of Luhith weeping;
they raise a cry of destruction
on the road to Horonaim.

  • 15:5–9 The pronouncement in these verses describes the attempted escape route of those who survived the devastation of northern Moab. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6 The Waters of Nimrim are desolate;
the grass is withered, the foliage is gone,
and the vegetation has vanished.
7 So they carry their wealth and belongings
over the Wadi of the Willows.
8 For their cry echoes
throughout the territory of Moab.
Their wailing reaches Eglaim;
their wailing reaches Beer-elim.
9 The Waters of Dibon are full of blood,
but I will bring on Dibon even more than this—
a lion for those who escape from Moab,
and for the survivors in the land.

  • Oz: full of blood indicates the slain in Moab will be plenty.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 15:1–9). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


Chapter 16

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1 Send lambs to the ruler of the land,
from Sela in the desert
to the mountain of Daughter Zion.

  • 16:1–5 The Moabites will turn to Judah (Zion) to request refuge.
  • 16:1 Sela (commonly identified as the cliff fortress of Petra) was in Edom, so the Moabite refugees apparently will go that far. Then they will send gifts (lambs) to Jerusalem (Zion). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

2 Like a bird fleeing,
forced from the nest,
the daughters of Moab
will be at the fords of the Arnon.

  • 16:2 The previous verses place the refugees in Edom, so it is odd that they will now say they are at the fords of the Arnon which is in the center of Moab. The metaphor of the bird pushed from the nest presupposes that they were out of their home in Moab. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

3 Give us counsel and make a decision.
Shelter us at noonday
with shade that is as dark as night.
Hide the refugees;
do not betray the one who flees.

  • 16:3 The request for shelter as well as shade is a request for protection, and it implies that Moab will be willing to become a vassal state of Judah. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1065). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

4 Let my refugees stay with you;
be a refuge for Moab from the aggressor.

When the oppressor has gone,
destruction has ended,
and marauders have vanished from the land,
5 a throne will be established in love,
and one will sit on it faithfully
in the tent of David,
judging and pursuing what is right,
quick to execute justice.

  • 16:5 The pronouncement evokes the picture of a just descendant of David ruling on the throne. The language is a reminder of the Davidic covenant in 2Sm 7:12–16 (cp. Is 9:7; 11:1–9), and it hints at the expectation of the Messiah. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

6 We have heard of Moab’s pride—
how very proud he is—
his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance,
and his empty boasting.

  • 16:6–12 In response to Moab’s request for shelter, the prophet can only lament its destruction. This part of the pronouncement is similar in wording and imagery to Jr 48:29–39.
  • 16:6 In keeping with a major theme throughout the book of Isaiah, the heart of Moab’s sin is described as pride. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

7 Therefore let Moab wail;
let every one of them wail for Moab.
You who are completely devastated, mourn
for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.

  • 16:7 Raisin cakes were a delicacy mentioned in Sg 2:5 along with apples as providing sustenance for lovemaking, though it may not have been an aphrodisiac. Hosea 3:1 suggests that raisin cakes were associated with pagan rituals. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8 For Heshbon’s terraced vineyards
and the grapevines of Sibmah have withered.
The rulers of the nations
have trampled its choice vines
that reached as far as Jazer
and spread to the desert.
Their shoots spread out
and reached the sea.

  • 16:8–9 Moab was known for its wine production. Jazer was in the north on the border with Ammon, and Sibmah is of uncertain location. Jazer will weep for itself as God wept for Sibmah.
  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

9 So I join with Jazer
to weep for the vines of Sibmah;
I drench Heshbon and Elealeh with my tears.
Triumphant shouts have fallen silent
over your summer fruit and your harvest.
10 Joy and rejoicing have been removed from the orchard;
no one is singing or shouting for joy in the vineyards.
No one tramples grapes in the winepresses.
I have put an end to the shouting.

  • 16:10 Because of the devastation, joy … singing, and wine will vanish from the land of Moab. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

11 Therefore I moan like the sound of a lyre for Moab,
as does my innermost being for Kir-heres.
12 When Moab appears
and tires himself out on the high place
and comes to his sanctuary to pray,
it will do him no good.

  1. 16:12 Moabite worship is ineffective. His sanctuary refers to the temple of Chemosh, who was no god and therefore could not respond to prayer. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

13 This is the message that the LORD previously announced about Moab.

  • 16:13–14 The concluding comment about the Moabite pronouncement declares that it actually had been delivered at an earlier time, but from this moment Moab had only three more years. Presumably a hired worker would count the time until his work was over with great attention and precision. Most scholars associate this Moabite devastation with the Assyrian king Sargon’s campaign against the people of northwest Arabia in approximately 718 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

14 And now the LORD says, “In three years, as a hired worker counts years, Moab’s splendor will become an object of contempt, in spite of a very large population. And those who are left will be few and weak.”

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 16). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 17

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1 A pronouncement concerning Damascus:

Look, Damascus is no longer a city.
It has become a ruined heap.

  • 17:1–3 The next pronouncement is directed against Damascus, an ancient city and the capital of Syria. From the time of Solomon (1Kg 11:23–25) to the mid-eighth century, there was fighting between Israel and Syria. Isaiah 7 describes how Isaiah encouraged Ahaz of Judah to resist the threat of a Syrian-Ephraimite alliance. Assyria under Tiglath-pileser III absorbed Damascus into its growing empire. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 49:23 Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
  • Amo 1:3 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have threshed Gilead with threshing sledges of iron.
  • Zec 9:1 The oracle of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach and Damascus is its resting place. For the LORD has an eye on mankind and on all the tribes of Israel,

2 The cities of Aroer are abandoned;
they will be places for flocks.
They will lie down without fear.

  • Jer 7:33 And the dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the air, and for the beasts of the earth, and none will frighten them away.

3 The fortress disappears from Ephraim,
and a kingdom from Damascus.
The remnant of Aram will be
like the splendor of the Israelites.
This is the declaration of the LORD of Armies.

  • 17:3 As the next passage demonstrates, it is not good for Aram that its splendor will be like that of Israel (v. 4). Both of these nations will be destroyed.

  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1066). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

  • Isa 7:16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.
  • Isa 8:4 for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

JUDGMENT AGAINST ISRAEL

4 On that day
the splendor of Jacob will fade,
and his healthy body will become emaciated.

  • Isa 10:16 Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.

5 It will be as if a reaper had gathered standing grain—
his arm harvesting the heads of grain—
and as if one had gleaned heads of grain
in Rephaim Valley.

  • 17:5 A second image of destruction is a reaper picking grain. The Valley of Rephaim was southwest of Jerusalem. The meaning of its name is ominous: “Valley of the Departed.” Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:33 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.”

6 Only gleanings will be left in Israel,
as if an olive tree had been beaten
two or three olives at the very top of the tree,
four or five on its fruitful branches.
This is the declaration of the LORD,
the God of Israel.

  • 17:6 The third image of destruction concerns the harvesting of an olive tree. It was shaken, and the fallen olives were eaten. But this image also shows that, though the devastation will be extensive, it will not be total. A remnant, represented by olives that stayed attached to the tree, will survive. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 24:13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.

7 On that day people will look to their Maker and will turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.

  • Mic 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
  • 17:7–8 On that day (v. 4) points to a time beyond the judgment. Indeed, the judgment of God will cause the remnant to turn from false worship to the worship of the true God who created them. Asherah was a Canaanite goddess of love and war. The plural form (Asherahs) signifies that the reference is to wooden poles or trees associated with her worship. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8 They will not look to the altars they made with their hands or to the Asherahs and shrines, they made with their fingers.

9 On that day their strong cities will be
like the abandoned woods and mountaintops
that were abandoned because of the Israelites;
there will be desolation.

  • 17:9 On that day signals the future time of judgment again (see v. 4). The destruction will turn cities into abandoned woods and mountaintops. The reason for their abandonment is the Israelites, who, as v. 10 explains, have sinned by forgetting God.
  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation,
and you have failed to remember
the rock of your strength;
therefore you will plant beautiful plants
and set out cuttings from exotic vines.

  • 17:10–11 To remember God involves more than a mental activity; it implies obeying and worshiping him. To forget him points to Israel’s disobedience. Isaiah spoke of Israel’s bad end by using a plant analogy. Israel worked hard to grow beautiful plants. They exerted their energy but ended up with nothing. Israel’s self-sufficient efforts will also end up empty. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah.

11 On the day that you plant,
you will help them to grow,
and in the morning
you will help your seed to sprout,
but the harvest will vanish
on the day of disease and incurable pain.

JUDGMENT AGAINST THE NATIONS

12 Ah! The roar of many peoples—
they roar like the roaring of the seas.
The raging of the nations—
they rage like the rumble of rushing water.

  • 17:12 The opening exclamation Ah! is the same word earlier translated as “Oh” (see 1:4). It begins a pronouncement that has the form of a funeral dirge. The nations were agitated; they roared and raged (Ps 2:1–4). Their agitation is compared to the pounding of waves. Rushing water is often an image of social and religious chaos (Ps 18:16; 29:3; 32:6).
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 6:23 They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are cruel and have no mercy; the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!”

13 The nations rage like the rumble of a huge torrent.
He rebukes them, and they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills
and like tumbleweeds before a gale.

  • 17:13 Though the nations rage, God’s rebuke will quiet them by driving them away (Pss 2; 48). Chaff was light and wind blew it away, so God’s rebuke will blow away the tumultuous nations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 9:5 You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
  • Psa 83:13 O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
  • Hos 13:3 Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that goes early away, like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor or like smoke from a window.

14 In the evening—sudden terror!
Before morning—it is gone!
This is the fate of those who plunder us
and the lot of those who ravage us.

  • 17:14 God’s judgment comes quickly, in a single day (in the evening … before morning). The victim of the nations (God’s people) speaks here in the first person (us). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1067). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 17:1–14). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 18

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THE LORD’S MESSAGE TO CUSH

1 Woe to the land of buzzing insect wings
beyond the rivers of Cush,

  • Isa 20:4, 5 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast.
  • Eze 30:4, 5, 9 A sword shall come upon Egypt, and anguish shall be in Cush, when the slain fall in Egypt, and her wealth is carried away, and her foundations are torn down. 5 Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. 9 “On that day messengers shall go out from me in ships to terrify the unsuspecting people of Cush, and anguish shall come upon them on the day of Egypt’s doom; for, behold, it comes!
  • Zep 2:12 You also, O Cushites, shall be slain by my sword.
  • Zep 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering.

2 which sends envoys by sea,
in reed vessels over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a nation tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and near,
a powerful nation with a strange language,
whose land is divided by rivers.
3 All you inhabitants of the world
and you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains, look!
When a ram’s horn sounds, listen!

  • Isa 5:26 He will raise a signal for nations far away, and whistle for them from the ends of the earth; and behold, quickly, speedily they come!

4 For the LORD said to me:

I will quietly look out from my place,
like shimmering heat in sunshine,
like a rain cloud in harvest heat.
5 For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over
and the blossom becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife,
and tear away and remove the branches.
6 They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills
and for the wild animals of the land.
The birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them,
and all the wild animals the winter.

7 At that time a gift will be brought to the LORD of Armies from a people tall and smooth-skinned, a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers—to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of Armies.

  • Psa 68:31 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.
  • Psa 72:10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
  • Isa 16:1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
  • Zep 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, shall bring my offering.
  • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 18:1–19:1). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


Chapter 19

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A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST EGYPT

1 A pronouncement concerning Egypt:

Look, the LORD rides on a swift cloud
and is coming to Egypt.
Egypt’s worthless idols will tremble before him,
and Egypt will lose heart.

  • 19:1 The swift cloud, a storm cloud, is God’s war chariot. The image is found elsewhere in Scripture (Ps 18:10; 68:33; 104:3; Nah 1:3) and even has an older ancient Near Eastern background (the god Baal is often described as a “cloud rider”). Fear strikes the hearts of Egypt’s idols again, just as the plagues were described as a victory over Egypt’s gods at the time of the exodus (Ex 12:12). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 46:13 The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt:
  • Psa 18:10 He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
  • Psa 104:3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;
  • Exo 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.
  • Jer 43:12 I shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd cleans his cloak of vermin, and he shall go away from there in peace.

2 I will provoke Egyptians against Egyptians;
each will fight against his brother
and each against his friend,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom.

  • 19:2 God will use Egyptian civil war to judge that nation. During much of the eighth century BC Egypt was at war with itself. There were conflicts between power centers at Tanis, Thebes, and in the delta. There were also conflicts between Cushite rulers and the rulers at Sais. Not until 712 BC was Egypt united under one pharaoh, the Cushite king Shabaka. Even though conditions through much of the eighth century are described by this verse, the picture is so general that it could apply to a different, future time as well. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jud 7:22 When they blew the 300 trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.
  • 1Sa 14:16,20 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there. 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.
  • 2Ch 20:23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.

Egypt’s spirit will be disturbed within it,
and I will frustrate its plans.
Then they will inquire of worthless idols, ghosts,
mediums, and spiritists.

  • 19:3 Egyptian religion was filled with many gods and mysterious rites, but this verse describes a darker religious turn born out of frustration. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?
  • Isa 47:12 Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire terror.

4 I will hand over Egypt to harsh masters,
and a strong king will rule it.
This is the declaration of the Lord GOD of Armies.

  • 19:4 Egypt’s punishment is to be delivered into the control of harsh masters, a strong king. The lack of specificity does not allow the identification of a concrete historical figure. The description reminds the reader that Egypt at an earlier point had been a harsh master for Israel in bondage. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 20:4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt.
  • Jer 46:26 I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, declares the LORD.
  • Eze 29:19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army.

5 The water of the sea will dry up,
and the river will be parched and dry.

  • 19:5–7 The waters of the Nile River were the lifeblood of Egypt. Its fresh waters running northward from the south to the delta and out into the Mediterranean Sea were the only source of drinkable water in the country. Egypt’s prosperity was enhanced by the early development of an irrigation system. God’s judgment of Egypt is pictured as a drying up of the water. As a result farmland will vanish. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:36 Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will plead your cause and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her fountain dry,
  • Eze 30:12 And I will dry up the Nile and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers; I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it, by the hand of foreigners; I am the LORD; I have spoken.

6 The channels will stink;
they will dwindle, and Egypt’s canals will be parched.
Reed and rush will wilt.

  • 2Ki 19:24 I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and I dried up with the sole of my foot all the streams of Egypt.’

7 The reeds by the Nile, by the mouth of the river,
and all the cultivated areas of the Nile
will wither, blow away, and vanish.
8 Then the fishermen will mourn.
All those who cast hooks into the Nile will lament,
and those who spread nets on the water will give up.

  • 19:8 The disappearance of the Nile waters will not only affect farmers but also those who make their living by fishing. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

9 Those who work with flax will be dismayed;
those combing it and weaving linen will turn pale.

  • 19:9–10 Another major industry associated with Egypt was the production of flax, a fiber from which clothes were made. The loss of this industry would lead to economic depression. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1068). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 1Ki 10:28 And Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s traders received them from Kue at a price.
  • Pro 7:16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen;

10 Egypt’s weavers will be dejected;
all her wage earners will be demoralized.

11 The princes of Zoan are complete fools;
Pharaoh’s wisest advisers give stupid advice!
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the wise,
a student of eastern kings”?

  • 19:11 Zoan was an important city (also known as Tanis), formerly a capital of Egypt. It is mentioned in this verse because it was the residence of Pharaoh’s wisest advisers. Egypt was known as a center of wisdom in the ancient Near East. This pronouncement mocks their wisdom. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Num 13:22 They went up into the Negeb and came to Hebron. Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, were there. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.)

12 Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you and reveal
what the LORD of Armies has planned against Egypt.

  • 1Co 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

13 The princes of Zoan have been fools;
the princes of Memphis are deceived.
Her tribal chieftains have led Egypt astray.

  • Jer 2:16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head.

14 The LORD has mixed within her a spirit of confusion.
The leaders have made Egypt stagger in all she does,
as a drunkard staggers in his vomit.

  • 19:14 Egyptian leaders and wise men are pictured as drunk, in a state of heightened confusion. The image of a drunkard staggering and passing out, representing the demise of God’s enemies, occurs frequently in the Prophets. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 1Ki 22:22 And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’
  • Isa 29:10
  • For the LORD has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers).

15 No head or tail, palm or reed,
will be able to do anything for Egypt.

  • 19:15 The expression head or tail, palm or reed points to a totality (9:14). Nothing can protect Egypt against God’s devastating judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 9:14 So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day—

EGYPT WILL KNOW THE LORD

16 On that day Egypt will be like women and will tremble with fear because of the threatening hand of the LORD of Armies when he raises it against them.

  • 16. It was an insult to say that Egypt’s troops will be like women. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting; they remain in their strongholds; their strength has failed; they have become women; her dwellings are on fire; her bars are broken.
  • Nah 3:13 Behold, your troops are women in your midst. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars.
  • Isa 11:15 And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.

17 The land of Judah will terrify Egypt; whenever Judah is mentioned, Egypt will tremble because of what the LORD of Armies has planned against it.
18 On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the LORD of Armies. One of the cities will be called the City of the Sun.

  • 19:17 Egypt was always militarily superior to Judah, so Judah was tempted to depend on Egypt for military support, but this verse envisions Egypt fearing Judah, a shameful reversal for this proud nation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 19:18 On that day, see note at v. 16. While Hebrew settlements were known from the postexilic period on, it is more likely that this verse refers to a conversion of at least some Egyptians to Yahweh. The five cities cannot be identified and may be a symbolic number for “a few.” But the City of the Sun is well known. It was Heliopolis, closely associated with the worship of the sun god. That the worship of the Lord would be taken up in this city is a sign of a radical transformation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Zep 3:9 “For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord.

19 On that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the center of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the LORD near her border.

  • 19:19 On that day, see note at v. 16. As a sign of an Egyptian conversion to the worship of the true God, there will be an altar set up in the center of the land and a memorial pillar at the border. The land will be dedicated to the worship of the true God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Gen 28:18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.
  • Exo 24:4 And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
  • Josh 22:10, 26, 27 And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. 26 Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27 but to be a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, that we do perform the service of the LORD in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and peace offerings, so your children will not say to our children in time to come, “You have no portion in the LORD.”‘

20 It will be a sign and witness to the LORD of Armies in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and leader, and he will rescue them.

  • 19:20 The language of this verse is reminiscent of that of the book of Judges. Here, however, sending someone to rescue a repentant nation from an oppressor describes the situation in future Egypt. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Josh 4:20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.
  • Josh 22:27 Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua had given a possession beside their brothers in the land west of the Jordan. And when Joshua sent them away to their homes and blessed them,

21 The LORD will make himself known to Egypt, and Egypt will know the LORD on that day. They will offer sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and fulfill them.

  • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

22 The LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will turn to the LORD, and he will be receptive to their prayers and heal them.

  • 19:22 Egypt’s conversion will be after that country experiences God’s judgment; healing will follow striking. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. Assyria will go to Egypt, Egypt to Assyria, and Egypt will worship with Assyria.

  • 19:23 Highway is a “favorite metaphor in Isaiah for the removal of alienation and separation (11:16; 33:8; 35:8; 40:3; 49:11; 62:10)” (John Oswalt, Isaiah 1–39). Assyria and Egypt had been enemies for many years, but this amazing passage envisions a time when travel will be free and easy between them. They will be united in the worship of God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 11:16 And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant that remains of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.

24 On that day Israel will form a triple alliance with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing within the land. 25 The LORD of Armies will bless them, saying, “Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance are blessed.”

  • 19:24 Israel was a land bridge between Egypt and Assyria. Both of these nations had tried to control Israel to get a foothold against the other. Here Israel is added to Assyria and Egypt in an intimate relationship of love and worship of the Lord. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1069). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Psa 100:3 Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
  • Isa 29:23 For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
  • Hos 2:23 and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.'”
  • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 19:1–25). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


Chapter 20

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NO HELP FROM CUSH OR EGYPT

1 In the year that the chief commander, sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it —

  • SARGON: An Assrian general who seized the throne during the turbulence after Shalmaneser IV’s death. Sargon founded the last great Assyrian dynansty, ruling from 722 to 705 B.C. Samaria, capital of the northern kingdom, Israel, was captured by Sargon’s forces shortly after his accession. He began the grim policy of deporting entire populations to help quell his restive territorities, and uprooted most of the ten northern tribes (known as the “lost tribes” from then on). In turn, he imported colonist from Hamath to the cities of Samaria. Sargon was a ruthless soldier and able organizer. He smashed revolts in Palestine, exacted tribute from Egypt, drove out Merodach-baladan of Babylon and made himself king of Babylon. He barely completed his showplace palace at Khorsabad before he was assasinated by one of his solders.
  • 20:1 The events narrated in this verse took place between 713 and 711 BC. Sargon II attacked the Philistine city of Ashdod after its king, Azuri, revolted. Azuri probably thought that Egypt under Shabaka would provide aid. The Assyrians deposed Azuri and placed his brother Ahimeti on the throne. But Ahimeti was deposed by a person named Yamani, so Sargon had to come back. Yamani fled to Egypt, but under the Assyrian threat, Egypt handed the rebel over. This should have served as a warning to others who believed Egypt could provide help against their enemies. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer’s Field.

2 during that time the LORD had spoken through Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, “Go, take off your sackcloth and remove the sandals from your feet,” and he did that, going stripped and barefoot —

  • 20:2–4 God commanded Isaiah to perform a symbolic action that would support his spoken pronouncement. Isaiah had been wearing sackcloth, a symbol of mourning, but he was told to go about stripped. This would represent the coming humiliation and destitution of Egypt. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Zec 13:4 On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies. He will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive,
  • 1Sa 19:24 And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
  • Mic 1:8, 11 For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches. 11 Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place.

3 the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot three years as a sign and omen against Egypt and Cush,

  • Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

4 so the king of Assyria will lead the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old alike, stripped and barefoot, with bared buttocks—to Egypt’s shame.

  • 2Sa 10:4 So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half the beard of each and cut off their garments in the middle, at their hips, and sent them away.
  • Isa 3:17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will lay bare their secret parts.
  • Jer 13:22 And if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things come upon me?’ it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence.
  • Mic 1:11 Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place.

5 Those who made Cush their hope and Egypt their boast will be dismayed and ashamed.

  • 20:5 Those who trusted Egypt and Cush for help against their enemies would be sorely disappointed. God was the only proper object of the people’s trust. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 18:21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.

6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say on that day, ‘Look, this is what has happened to those we relied on and fled to for help to rescue us from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?’ ”

  • 20:6 The pronouncement envisioned other nations coming to recognize that Egypt was an unreliable ally. The implicit message is that Judah should come to the same realization. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 47:4 because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 20:1–6). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Isaiah Chap 21<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Chapter 21

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A JUDGMENT ON Babylon

  • 21:1–10 The pronouncement in these verses was against the desert by the sea. This designation is ambiguous when first stated, but the end of the passage (v. 9) makes it clear that Babylon was meant. The description of the fall of Babylon is mysterious. Debate surrounds whether it anticipates an Assyrian defeat of Babylon in the late eighth or early seventh century BC (three times: 710, 700, 689) or the ultimate defeat of Babylon by Persia in 539 BC. A good argument can be made that both the earlier and the later defeats are alluded to in this prophecy. The intention of this prophecy at the time of Isaiah was to show that Babylon would not be an effective ally against Assyria as even King Hezekiah of Judah at one point had hoped (chap. 39). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Zec 9:14 Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.
  • Babylonian Empire pictures on the web.
  • Assyrian Empire pictures on the web.

1 A pronouncement concerning the desert by the sea:

Like storms that pass over the Negev,
it comes from the desert, from the land of terror.

  • 21:1 The desert (lit “wilderness”) by the sea in connection with Babylon could be taken as a reference to the area in the extreme south of Mesopotamia, the swampland next to what today is called the Persian Gulf. This area was the center of Babylonian revolts against Assyria (sometimes called Mesopotamia) at the end of the eighth century (Merodach-baladan) as well as in the late part of the seventh century (Nabopolassar). The Negev was to the extreme south of Jerusalem and was itself a wilderness area. The storms that pass through that area even today are particularly violent. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

2 A troubling vision is declared to me:
“The treacherous one acts treacherously,
and the destroyer destroys.
Advance, Elam! Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning.”

  • 21:2 Elam and Media (Medes) were countries on the Iranian plateau east of Babylon. In this verse they are called to advance, but against whom? In the late eighth century BC, they were allies with Babylon and would have fought against Assyria. In 539 BC they were both parts of the Persian Empire that defeated Babylon. Perhaps the ambiguity intends the reader at a later time to recognize allusions to both events. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 33:1 Ah, you destroyer, who yourself have not been destroyed, you traitor, whom none has betrayed! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have finished betraying, they will betray you.
  • Isa 13:17 Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold.
  • Jer 49:34The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.

3 Therefore I am filled with anguish.
Pain grips me, like the pain of a woman in labor.
I am too perplexed to hear,
too dismayed to see.

  • 21:3 Isaiah used the theme of a woman in labor, one widely used in prophetic literature (13:8; Jr 4:31; 6:24; 22:23; 30:6; Mc 4:9). This was a graphic image of the pain and distress that would fall on the object of God’s warring activity. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1070). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 15:5 My heart cries out for Moab; her fugitives flee to Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah. For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping; on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of destruction;
  • Isa 16:11 Therefore my inner parts moan like a lyre for Moab, and my inmost self for Kir-hareseth.
  • Isa 13:8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.

4 My heart staggers;
horror terrifies me.
He has turned my last glimmer of hope
into sheer terror.

  • Deu 28:67 In the morning you shall say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and at evening you shall say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see.

5 Prepare a table, and spread out a carpet!
Eat and drink!
Rise up, you princes, and oil the shields!

  • 21:5 Attack would come in the midst of celebrative feasting, reminiscent of Dn 5 when Belshazzar ate and drank on the eve of Babylon’s destruction. It is unclear whether such banqueting indicated a lack of preparedness for battle or whether it was a pre-battle rally (Est 1). The reference to the oiling of shields may indicate the latter since this was done before battle. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1070–1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Dan 5:5 Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote.

6 For the Lord has said to me,
“Go, post a lookout;
let him report what he sees.
7 When he sees riders—
pairs of horsemen,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels—
he must pay close attention.”
8 Then the lookout reported,
“Lord, I stand on the watchtower all day,
and I stay at my post all night.
9 Look, riders come—
horsemen in pairs.”
And he answered, saying,
Babylon has fallen, has fallen.
All the images of her gods
have been shattered on the ground.”

  • 21:9 The attacking army returned intact with the announcement that Babylon has fallen. The focus is on the defeat of Babylon’s gods. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail for her! Take balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.
  • Rev 14:8 Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
  • Rev 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
  • Isa 46:1 Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts.
  • Jer 50:2 “Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.’
  • Jer 51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed. The nations shall no longer flow to him; the wall of Babylon has fallen.

10 My people who have been crushed
on the threshing floor,
I have declared to you
what I have heard from the LORD of Armies,
the God of Israel.

  • 21:10 The crushed people were the people of Israel. The prophet confirmed to them that the destruction of Babylon had been announced by none other than God himself. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 51:33 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while and the time of her harvest will come.”

A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST DUMAH

11 A pronouncement concerning Dumah:

One calls to me from Seir,
Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”

  • Jer 49:7,8 Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? 8 Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time when I punish him.
  • Eze 35:2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,

12 The watchman said,
“Morning has come, and also night.
If you want to ask, ask!
Come back again.”

  • 21:11–12 Dumah was an oasis in Arabia that controlled trade routes. In the eighth century it was an object of Assyrian invasion under Sennacherib and was an ally of Babylon. In the sixth century when the last Babylonian king, Nabonidus, moved to Tema in Arabia, he tried to control all the trade routes in that region. Besides designating an oasis in north central Arabia, the Hebrew word Dumah means “silence,” like the silence of death (Ps 94:17). Thus, the name sets the mood for the pronouncement. The Greek translation of the OT understood Dumah as a reference to Edom. Seir is a reference to an important part of Edom, but here Edom spoke to Dumah. The theme of the watchman continues from the preceding pronouncement. The question the watchman was asked is enigmatic, but it may be a way of asking how much longer the suffering (night) would last. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST ARABIA

13 A pronouncement concerning Arabia:

  • 21:13–17 Dedan, Tema, and Kedar are references to geographical and/or political entities in northern Arabia. They were likely allies of Babylon during the eighth century BC. Brevard Childs (Isaiah) has pointed out that these tribes were defeated by Assyria between 691–689 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 49:28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down. Thus says the LORD: “Rise up, advance against Kedar! Destroy the people of the east!

In the desert brush
you will camp for the night,
you caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water for the thirsty.
The inhabitants of the land of Tema
meet the refugees with food.
15 For they have fled from swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bow that is strung,
and from the stress of battle.

16 For the Lord said this to me: “Within one year, as a hired worker counts years, all the glory of Kedar will be gone. 17 The remaining Kedarite archers will be few in number.” For the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.

  • Isa 16:14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”
  • Psa 120:5 Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
  • Isa 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 21:1–17). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 22

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A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST JERUSALEM

1 A pronouncement concerning the Valley of Vision:

What’s the matter with you?
Why have all of you gone up to the rooftops?

  • 22:1 From later in the pronouncement, it is clear that the Valley of Vision is a reference to Jerusalem, even though this name is not used elsewhere of the city. It could be satirical, that is, the Valley of Vision was blind to the divine purpose. The significance of the rooftops is also difficult, but it probably refers to getting a better perspective on the withdrawal of a besieging army. Most think the historical reference is to the withdrawal of the Assyrian army from Jerusalem in 701 BC (chaps. 36–37).Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

2 The noisy city, the jubilant town,
is filled with celebration.
Your dead did not die by the sword;
they were not killed in battle.

  • 22:2 The inhabitants were jubilant because the attacking army had withdrawn from its siege. The reference to those who died apart from battle may be to those who starved or contracted disease during the siege. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 32:13for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers, yes, for all the joyous houses in the exultant city.

3 All your rulers have fled together,
captured without a bow.
All your fugitives were captured together;
they had fled far away.

  • 22:3 The description of fleeing rulers does not accord with what we know about the siege of 701 BC, but some connect it with an Assyrian account of the battle that mentions the capture of some of Hezekiah’s paid troops. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1071). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

4 Therefore I said,
“Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly!
Do not try to comfort me
about the destruction of my dear people.”

  • 22:4–5 The prophet Isaiah (the first-person speaker) did not share the joy of the city. After all, although the siege was lifted, people died. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 4:19 My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

5 For the Lord GOD of Armies
had a day of tumult, trampling, and confusion
in the Valley of Vision—
people shouting and crying to the mountains;

  • Isa 37:3 They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.
  • Lam 1:5 Her foes have become the head; her enemies prosper, because the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

6 Elam took up a quiver
with chariots and horsemen,
and Kir uncovered the shield.

  • Jer 49:35 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might.
  • Isa 15:1 An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone.

7 Your best valleys were full of chariots,
and horsemen were positioned at the city gates.

  • 1Ki 7:2 He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon. Its length was a hundred cubits and its breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, and it was built on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars.
  • 1Ki 10:17 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
  • 22:6–7 Elam (located on the Iranian plateau east of Babylon) and Kir (of uncertain location) appear to have fought along with the Assyrians. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

8 He removed the defenses of Judah.

On that day you looked to the weapons in the House of the Forest.

  • 22:8 The House of the Forest is likely the same as the storehouse in the palace complex known as the House of the Forest of Lebanon (1Kg 7:1–12). Weapons were stored there. The people should have been looking to God for help, but they put their trust in their weapons instead. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

9 You saw that there were many breaches in the walls of the city of David. You collected water from the lower pool. 10 You counted the houses of Jerusalem so that you could tear them down to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the walls for the water of the ancient pool, but you did not look to the one who made it, or consider the one who created it long ago.

  • 22:9–11 Refortifying the wall with construction materials taken from demolished homes and building an emergency reservoir within the city are taken again by the prophet as a sign of human self-reliance. They should have been looking to God for help. After all, he was the one who created it long ago. The reference to collecting water from the lower pool may connect to the fact that Hezekiah built a tunnel to bring water inside the city walls (2Kg 20:20). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Neh 3:16 After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, ruler of half the district of Beth-zur, repaired to a point opposite the tombs of David, as far as the artificial pool, and as far as the house of the mighty men.

12 On that day the Lord GOD of Armies
called for weeping, for wailing, for shaven heads,
and for the wearing of sackcloth.

  • Oz: all signs of mourning.
  • Joe 1:13 Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Go in, pass the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! Because grain offering and drink offering are withheld from the house of your God.
  • Ezr 9:3 As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled.
  • Isa 15:2 He has gone up to the temple, and to Dibon, to the high places to weep; over Nebo and over Medeba Moab wails. On every head is baldness; every beard is shorn;
  • Mic 1:16 Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile.

13 But look: joy and gladness,
butchering of cattle, slaughtering of sheep and goats,
eating of meat, and drinking of wine—
“Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

  • Isa 56:12 “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”
  • 1Co 15:32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

14 The LORD of Armies has directly revealed to me:
“This iniquity will not be wiped out for you people as long as you live.”
The Lord GOD of Armies has spoken.

  • 22:13–14 God called for mourning (v. 12), but the people celebrated the lifting of the siege on the city. The people lived for the moment. The fact that the iniquity of the people would never be removed boded poorly for the future of the city. Paul quotes v. 13 in 1Co 15:32. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 5:9 The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: “Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
  • 1Sa 3:14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
  • Eze 24:13 On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you.

A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST SHEBNA

  • 22:15–25 The pronouncement against Jerusalem in these verses concludes with an evaluation of two stewards. Shebna abused his office and would be replaced by Eliakim. Eliakim was competent, and Isaiah praised him, but even Eliakim eventually failed. The message is that politicians cannot be relied on to solve problems that only God can solve. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

15 The Lord GOD of Armies said, “Go to Shebna, that steward who is in charge of the palace, and say to him:

  • 22:15 The office of steward was an important role, analogous to an American president’s chief of staff. Shebna is known elsewhere as a high-ranking officer in the court of Hezekiah (36:3, 11, 22; 37:2; 2Kg 18:18; 19:2), though in these passages he is called a “secretary” which may indicate that he had been demoted. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 18:37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
  • Isa 36:3 And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

16 What are you doing here? Who authorized you to carve out a tomb for yourself here, carving your tomb on the height and cutting a resting place for yourself out of rock?

  • 22:16 Shebna was concerned more about himself and his own glory than with the well-being of the city. Rock-hewn tombs from antiquity may be seen today all around Jerusalem, but particularly east of the city. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Sa 18:18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day.
  • Mat 26:70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”

17 Look, you strong man! The LORD is about to shake you violently. He will take hold of you,

  • Est 7:8 And the king returned from the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face.

18 wind you up into a ball, and sling you into a wide land. There you will die, and there your glorious chariots will be a disgrace to the house of your lord.

  • 22:18 Shebna not only exalted himself by the type of tomb he was building, but also by driving glorious chariots. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

19 I will remove you from your office; you will be ousted from your position.
20 “On that day I will call for my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah.

  • 22:20 Shebna’s replacement will be Eliakim son of Hilkiah, also known as a high official in King Hezekiah’s court (36:3, 11, 22; 37:22; 2Kg 18:18, 26, 37). He will be God’s servant, a title used elsewhere for Isaiah (20:3). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 2Ki 18:18

21 I will clothe him with your robe and tie your sash around him. I will hand your authority over to him, and he will be like a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.

  • 22:21 The robe and sash were symbols of the office of steward. As opposed to self-serving Shebna, Eliakim will function like a father, looking after the needs of his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1072). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

22 I will place the key of the house of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one can close; what he closes, no one can open.

  • Job 12:14 If he tears down, none can rebuild; if he shuts a man in, none can open.

23 I will drive him, like a peg, into a firm place. He will be a throne of honor for his father’s family.

  • Ezr 9:8 But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.

24 They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s family: the descendants and the offshoots—all the small vessels, from bowls to every kind of jar. 25 On that day”—the declaration of the LORD of Armies—“the peg that was driven into a firm place will give way, be cut off, and fall, and the load on it will be destroyed.” Indeed, the LORD has spoken.

  • 22:24–25 Eliakim is compared to a shelf on which his family put a tremendous burden. The weight ultimately sheared off the peg, causing the shelf (Eliakim) to crash and its contents (his family’s burdens) to break. The message of the pronouncement seems to be that the people could not trust even a competent, well-intentioned person to resolve Jerusalem’s problems. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 22:1–25). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Chapter 23

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A PRONOUNCEMENT AGAINST TYRE

Oz note: Tyre and Sidon were high-traffic port cities on the Mediterranean Sea.


1 A pronouncement concerning Tyre:

Wail, ships of Tarshish,
for your haven has been destroyed.
Word has reached them from the land of Cyprus.

  • 23:1 Tyre was the southernmost major city of Phoenicia. It was a wealthy city due to its development and control of sea trade. As an island city (with overflow population living on the mainland) its major port was easily protected. Tyre had established a trading colony on Tarshish, thought to be in what is modern Spain (Tartessus). The ships of Tarshish were particularly impressive, since they traveled so far between Tyre and Iberia. The destruction of Tyre prophetically described in this pronouncement is difficult to pin down from the description made here. In the latter part of the eighth century and the early seventh century BC, the Assyrians tried to take Tyre a number of times. However, the pronouncement may also look forward to Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on Tyre (including a thirteen-year siege) in the sixth century and perhaps even to the final destruction of Tyre by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Cyprus was a large island about seventy-five miles west of Tyre and would have been the last port of call before reaching Tyre. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Jer 25:22 all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea;
  • Jer 47:4 because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
  • Amo 1:9 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they delivered up a whole people to Edom, and did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
  • Zec 9:2, 4 and on Hamath also, which borders on it, Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. 4 But behold, the Lord will strip her of her possessions and strike down her power on the sea, and she shall be devoured by fire.

2 Mourn, inhabitants of the coastland,
you merchants of Sidon;
your agents have crossed the sea

  • 23:2 Sidon was another important Phoenician trade port north of Tyre. Its mention indicates that, though the pronouncement was specifically directed toward Tyre (the city closest to Jerusalem), the whole of Phoenicia was under judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

3 over deep water.
Tyre’s revenue was the grain from Shihor—
the harvest of the Nile.
She was the merchant among the nations.

  • Eze 27:3 and say to Tyre, who dwells at the entrances to the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coastlands, thus says the Lord GOD: “O Tyre, you have said, ‘I am perfect in beauty.’
  • 23:3 Shihor is a name for the Nile valley. Phoenicia carried on trade with Egypt during much of its history. Egypt was well known for its production and export of grain. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

4 Be ashamed, Sidon, the stronghold of the sea,
for the sea has spoken:
“I have not been in labor or given birth.
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.”

  • 23:4 The sea here is personified, perhaps evoking the idea that the sea (Hb yam) was an important god and rival of the Canaanite god Baal (though the following description fits a female much better). In any case, the sea will lament for its barrenness, perhaps a reference to the loss of Sidon.
  • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

5 When the news reaches Egypt,
they will be in anguish over the news about Tyre.

  • Isa 19:16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them.

6 Cross over to Tarshish;
wail, inhabitants of the coastland!

  • 23:6 Because of the destruction of the Phoenician coastland, its inhabitants will have to disperse, some perhaps going as far as the trading colony of Tarshish Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

7 Is this your jubilant city,
whose origin was in ancient times,
whose feet have taken her
to reside far away?

  • 23:7 The jubilant city is Tyre, the ancient city that established Tarshish as a colony. After it is destroyed, its inhabitants will flee to Tarshish. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Isa 22:2 you who are full of shoutings, tumultuous city, exultant town? Your slain are not slain with the sword or dead in battle.

8 Who planned this against Tyre,
the bestower of crowns,
whose traders are princes,
whose merchants are the honored ones of the earth?

  • 23:8 Tyre’s wealth had brought her great power and prestige.
  • Eze 28:2, 12 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god— 12 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

9 The LORD of Armies planned it,
to desecrate all its glorious beauty,
to disgrace all the honored ones of the earth.

  • Oz note: God is sovereign over all nations!

10 Overflow your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish;
there is no longer anything to restrain you.

  • 23:10 The Nile’s waters overflow annually, depositing a rich, fertile soil. As a result, the Nile also overflowed with human population. Now Tarshish will overflow with all the refugees from the destroyed cities of the Phoenician coastland. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 11 He stretched out his hand over the sea;
    he made kingdoms tremble.
    The LORD has commanded
    that the Canaanite fortresses be destroyed.

    • 23:11 God determines the fate of even the most powerful cities and strikes terror in the hearts of the nations (Ps 2). Phoenicia was considered a part of Canaan, and its fortresses may be referred to as Canaanite fortresses. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 He said,
    “You will not celebrate anymore,
    ravished young woman, daughter of Sidon.
    Get up and cross over to Cyprus—
    even there you will have no rest!”

    • 23:12 Sidon is compared to a rape victim, who must leave to seek refuge in Cyprus. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1073). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rev 18:22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more,

    13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans—
    a people who no longer exist.
    Assyria destined it for desert creatures.
    They set up their siege towers
    and stripped its palaces.
    They made it a ruin.

    • 23:13–14 An analogy is drawn between the fall of the Chaldeans (the Aramaic-speaking tribe that produced the two rebels against Assyria—Merodach-baladan at the end of the eighth century and Nabopolassar at the end of the seventh century BC) and the fall of Tyre. Since the verse goes on to imply the fall of Babylon at the hands of the Assyrians, it probably refers to the first of these, not the second in which Babylon was victorious. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 72:9 May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust!

    14 Wail, ships of Tarshish,
    because your fortress is destroyed!

    15 On that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years—the life span of one king. At the end of seventy years, what the song says about the prostitute will happen to Tyre:

    • 23:15–18 The pronouncement against Tyre ends with a note about its restoration. It also suggests that the city will turn to the Lord. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 23:15 Interestingly, seventy years is cited as the length of the exile and punishment of the people of God (Jr 25:12; Dn 9:2; Zch 1:12).

    16 Pick up your lyre,
    stroll through the city,
    you forgotten prostitute.
    Play skillfully,
    sing many a song
    so that you will be remembered.

    • 23:16 This song may have been popular in ancient Israel. It speaks of an old forgotten prostitute who tried to attract attention by singing songs. The revived Tyre is like this prostitute. The image of the prostitute suggests Tyre itself, since it was a trading city. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    17 And at the end of the seventy years, the LORD will restore Tyre and she will go back into business, prostituting herself with all the kingdoms of the world throughout the earth.

    • Rev 17:2

    18 But her profits and wages will be dedicated to the LORD. They will not be stored or saved, for her profit will go to those who live in the LORD’s presence, to provide them with ample food and sacred clothing.

    • Zec 14:20, 21 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.”

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 23:1–18). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 24

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    THE EARTH JUDGED

    1 Look, the LORD is stripping the earth bare
    and making it desolate.
    He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants:

    • 24:1 While chaps. 13–23 focused on the judgment of particular nations, chaps. 24–27 speak of the whole earth (a word repeated twenty-three times) as the object of God’s punishment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    2 people and priest alike,
    servant and master,
    female servant and mistress,
    buyer and seller,
    lender and borrower,
    creditor and debtor.

    • Oz note: “Everyone”, no matter who you are, will be judged.
    • Hos 4:9 And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.
    • Eze 7:12, 13 The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude. 13 For the seller shall not return to what he has sold, while they live. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not turn back; and because of his iniquity, none can maintain his life.

    3 The earth will be stripped completely bare
    and will be totally plundered,
    for the LORD has spoken this message.
    4 The earth mourns and withers;
    the world wastes away and withers;
    the exalted people of the earth waste away.
    5 The earth is polluted by its inhabitants,
    for they have transgressed teachings,
    overstepped decrees,
    and broken the permanent covenant.

    • 24:5 The cause of this horrific judgment is human sin. The people have broken the covenant between God and Israel (Ex 19–24). The reference to permanent covenant reminds the reader of the Noahic covenant between God and all the inhabitants of the earth (Gn 9:16). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Gen 3:17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
    • Num 35:33 The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasturelands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts

    6 Therefore a curse has consumed the earth,
    and its inhabitants have become guilty;
    the earth’s inhabitants have been burned,
    and only a few survive.

    • 24:6 The covenant form called for a curse if the law was broken (see Dt 27–28 in relationship to Dt 5–26). The remnant theme is seen here in the fact that a few will survive. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mal 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

    7 The new wine mourns;
    the vine withers.
    All the carousers now groan.

    • 24:7–9 God’s judgment brings joyful singing and drinking alcoholic beverages to an end. Both of these involved celebration. Wine and beer were the two main types of alcoholic drinks in the ancient Near East. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 16:8, 9 For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have struck down its branches, which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; its shoots spread abroad and passed over the sea. 9 Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh; for over your summer fruit and your harvest the shout has ceased.
    • Joe 1:10, 12 Joe 1:10 The fields are destroyed, the ground mourns, because the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil languishes. Joe 1:12 The vine dries up; the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up, and gladness dries up from the children of man.

    8 The joyful tambourines have ceased.
    The noise of the jubilant has stopped.
    The joyful lyre has ceased.

    • Jer 7:34 And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.
    • Jer 16:9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride.
    • Jer 25:10 Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp.
    • Eze 26:13 And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more.
    • Hos 2:11 And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts.
    • Rev 18:22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more,

    9 They no longer sing and drink wine;
    beer is bitter to those who drink it.
    10 The city of chaos is shattered;
    every house is closed to entry.
    11 In the streets they cry for wine.
    All joy grows dark;
    earth’s rejoicing goes into exile.

    • 24:11 Wine production will decline, so the people will cry for wine but go unsatisfied. Wine is associated with joy and celebration; the judgment of God will bring such festivities to an end. Wine also blunts pain. This may be another reason the people will cry out for wine—because of the suffering that God’s judgment will produce. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1074). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 Only desolation remains in the city;
    its gate has collapsed in ruins.

    • Oz note: gate represents safety

    13 For this is how it will be on earth
    among the nations:
    like a harvested olive tree,
    like a gleaning after a grape harvest.

    • 24:13 A harvested olive tree or a grape vine after harvest had only a few olives or grapes. So the cities of the nations will have just a few people left when God’s judgment falls.Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 17:5, 6 And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. 6 Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten— two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, declares the LORD God of Israel.

    14 They raise their voices, they sing out;
    they proclaim in the west
    the majesty of the LORD.
    15 Therefore, in the east honor the LORD!
    In the coasts and islands of the west
    honor the name of the LORD,
    the God of Israel.

    • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

    16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs:
    The Splendor of the Righteous One.
    But I said, “I waste away! I waste away!
    Woe is me.”
    The treacherous act treacherously;
    the treacherous deal very treacherously.

    • 24:14–16a Those who sing out are not specifically identified. They could be Israel or the remnant from all the nations. The fact that they are in the west, the east, the coasts and islands of the west, and the ends of the earth, suggests that if it does refer to Israel, then it imagines a time when they will be scattered among the nations. In any case, these verses indicate that there were some people who celebrated the downfall of the wicked described in the previous verses.
    • 24:16b Isaiah (the first-person speaker) does not join the chorus of celebration of vv. 14–16a. Perhaps he was horrified by the destruction or, more likely, by the depth of the transgression of the nations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 5:11 For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly treacherous to me, declares the LORD.

    17 Panic, pit, and trap await you
    who dwell on the earth.

    • Jer 48:43-44 Terror, pit, and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab! declares the LORD. 44 He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For I will bring these things upon Moab, the year of their punishment, declares the LORD.

    18 Whoever flees at the sound of panic
    will fall into a pit,
    and whoever escapes from the pit
    will be caught in a trap.
    For the floodgates on high are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth are shaken.

    • 24:17–18 The words panic, pit, and trap (pachad, wapachat, wapach) play on the similarity of sound of these three words in Hebrew. They stand for the judgment that God has prepared for the sinful inhabitants of the earth. The open windows of the sky imply rain and suggest devastating flood. The shaking foundations would be experienced as earthquakes. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Gen 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.
    • Psa 18:7 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.

    19 The earth is completely devastated;
    the earth is split open;
    the earth is violently shaken.

    • Jer 4:23 I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light.

    20 The earth staggers like a drunkard
    and sways like a hut.
    Earth’s rebellion weighs it down,
    and it falls, never to rise again.

    • 24:20 A drunkard cannot think or stand straight. A lightweight hut sways in the wind. Both ultimately will fall down. This judgment is connected to rebellion against God by virtually all people on earth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 19:14 The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

    21 On that day the LORD will punish
    the army of the heights in the heights
    and the kings of the ground on the ground.

    • 24:21 The phrase on that day points to a future but unspecified time. God’s judgment is extensive. It not only covers the earth but also the army of the heights, a phrase that either indicates the stars (perhaps also suggesting pagan deities) or fallen angels. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 76:12 who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

    22 They will be gathered together
    like prisoners in a pit.
    They will be confined to a dungeon;
    after many days they will be punished.
    23 The moon will be put to shame
    and the sun disgraced,
    because the LORD of Armies will reign as king
    on Mount Zion in Jerusalem,
    and he will display his glory
    in the presence of his elders.

    • 24:23 Even the moon and sun will pale in comparison with the brilliant light emanating from God as he exercises his sovereign rule from the temple. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1075). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.
    • Isa 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
    • Eze 32:7 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.
    • Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
    • Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
    • Rev 19:4, 6 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
    • Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 24:1–23). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 25

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    SALVATION AND JUDGMENT ON THAT DAY

    1 LORD, you are my God;
    I will exalt you. I will praise your name,
    for you have accomplished wonders,
    plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

    • Exo 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
    • Psa 98:1 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
    • Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

    2 For you have turned the city into a pile of rocks,
    a fortified city, into ruins;
    the fortress of barbarians is no longer a city;
    it will never be rebuilt.

    • Isa 21:9 And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!” And he answered, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.”
    • Isa 23:13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not; Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.
    • Jer 51:37 and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, the haunt of jackals, a horror and a hissing, without inhabitant.

    3 Therefore, a strong people will honor you.
    The cities of violent nations will fear you.

    • Rev 11:13 And at that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

    4 For you have been a stronghold for the poor person,
    a stronghold for the needy in his distress,
    a refuge from storms and a shade from heat.
    When the breath of the violent
    is like a storm against a wall,

    • Isa 4:6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

    5 like heat in a dry land,
    you will subdue the uproar of barbarians.
    As the shade of a cloud cools the heat of the day,
    so he will silence the song of the violent.

    6 On this mountain,
    the LORD of Armies will prepare for all the peoples a feast of choice meat,
    a feast with aged wine, prime cuts of choice meat, fine vintage wine.

    • The mountain refers to the mountain of God’s presence—Zion
      Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1076). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 2:2,3 It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, 3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    • Pro 9:2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
    • Mat 22:4 Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”‘
    • Dan 7:14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
    • Mat 8:11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

    7 On this mountain
    he will swallow up the burial shroud,
    the shroud over all the peoples,
    the sheet covering all the nations.

    • 2Co 3:15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.
    • Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

    8 When he has swallowed up death once and for all,
    the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears
    from every face
    and remove his people’s disgrace
    from the whole earth,
    for the LORD has spoken.

    • 25:7–8 God not only conquers the evil nations, but death and sorrow (tears) and disgrace. The verb translated destroy is better rendered as “swallow.” Here there is likely an allusion to the Baal myth of Ugarit where death swallowed the god Baal. Here the Lord swallows death. Paul quotes v. 8 in 1Co 15:54.
      Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1076). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Hos 13:14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
    • 1Co 15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
    • Rev 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
    • Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    9 On that day it will be said,
    “Look, this is our God;
    we have waited for him, and he has saved us.
    This is the LORD; we have waited for him.
    Let’s rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

    • Gen 49:18 I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
    • Tit 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
    • Psa 20:5 May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!

    10 For the LORD’s power will rest on this mountain.

    But Moab will be trampled in his place
    as straw is trampled in a dung pile.

  • 25:10 The mountain is where God will make his presence known—Zion. Up to this point the nations have been referred to generically. Now Moab, a small nation east of the Dead Sea, becomes the subject of the pronouncement. Moab is a prime example of the sinful pride of the nations.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1076). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • 11 He will spread out his arms in the middle of it,
    as a swimmer spreads out his arms to swim.
    His pride will be brought low,
    along with the trickery of his hands.
    12 The high-walled fortress will be brought down,
    thrown to the ground, to the dust.

    • Isa 26:5 For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 25:1–12). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 26

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    THE SONG OF JUDAH

    1 On that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

    We have a strong city.
    Salvation is established as walls and ramparts.

    • Oz note: “rampart” is a fortress
    • Isa 2:11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
    • Isa 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.

    2 Open the gates
    so a righteous nation can come in—
    one that remains faithful.

    • 26:2 The righteous nation includes faithful Israelites but might also suggest other peoples as well, since the defining characteristic of the nation is that it remains faithful to God and his law.
      Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1076). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 118:19, 20 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.

    3 You will keep the mind that is dependent on you
    in perfect peace,
    for it is trusting in you.
    4 Trust in the LORD forever,
    because in the LORD, the LORD himself, is an everlasting rock!

    • Isa 45:17 But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.

    5 For he has humbled those who live in lofty places—
    an inaccessible city.
    He brings it down; he brings it down to the ground;
    he throws it to the dust.

    • 26:5 The inaccessible city, like the “city of chaos” (see note at 24:10), represents the proud who do not humble themselves before God. Though it is called “inaccessible,” God is able to defeat this city in spite of its pretensions. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 25:12 And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
    • Isa 32:19 And it will hail when the forest falls down, and the city will be utterly laid low.

    6 Feet trample it,
    the feet of the humble,
    the steps of the poor.

    GOD’S PEOPLE VINDICATED

    7 The path of the righteous is level;
    you clear a straight path for the righteous.

    • 26:7 A level or straight path is a life with few problems (Heb 12:13). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;

    8 Yes, LORD, we wait for you
    in the path of your judgments.
    Our desire is for your name and renown.

    • 26:8 In this verse Isaiah spoke on behalf of himself and the righteous as he expressed longing for God and specifically for God’s coming judgment on the wicked. But even in the context of passionate desire for God, they did not demand his actions but expressed confidence (we wait). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 64:5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?

    9 I long for you in the night;
    yes, my spirit within me diligently seeks you,
    for when your judgments are in the land,
    the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

    • Psa 63:6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
    • Song of Sol 3:1 On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not.

    10 But if the wicked man is shown favor,
    he does not learn righteousness.
    In a righteous land he acts unjustly
    and does not see the majesty of the LORD.

    • 26:9–10 People learn about righteousness when wickedness is punished. Otherwise, evil behavior is encouraged (Ec 8:11). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Ecc 8:12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.
    • Rom 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
    • Psa 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!

    11 LORD, your hand is lifted up to take action,
    but they do not see it.
    Let them see your zeal for your people
    and be put to shame.

    • Job 34:27 because they turned aside from following him and had no regard for any of his ways,
    • Psa 28:5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.
    • Isa 5:12 They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands.

    Let fire consume your adversaries.
    12 LORD, you will establish peace for us,
    for you have also done all our work for us.

    • 26:12 Contrary to the fate of the wicked, God’s righteous people will experience peace, not destruction. While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact nature of the prophet’s reference to God’s work, it certainly includes the punishment of the wicked. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 LORD our God, lords other than you have owned us,
    but we remember your name alone.

    • 26:13 The faithful acknowledge that other lords have owned them. These would include the Assyrians and eventually the Babylonians and others. But for the faithful there is only one true ruler—God himself. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ch 12:8 Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

    14 The dead do not live;
    departed spirits do not rise up.
    Indeed, you have punished and destroyed them;
    you have wiped out all memory of them.
    15 You have added to the nation, LORD.
    You have added to the nation; you are honored.
    You have expanded all the borders of the land.

    • 26:15 In contrast to the wicked whom he punishes, God blesses the righteous. In this verse his blessing takes the form of an expanded land, evoking the memory that God promised Abraham his descendants would become a “great nation” (Gn 12:2). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 LORD, they went to you in their distress;
    they poured out whispered prayers
    because your discipline fell on them.

    • Hos 5:15 Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

    17 As a pregnant woman about to give birth
    writhes and cries out in her pains,
    so we were before you, LORD.

    • Isa 13:8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.
    • Joh 16:21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

    18 We became pregnant, we writhed in pain;
    we gave birth to wind.
    We have won no victories on earth,
    and the earth’s inhabitants have not fallen.

    • 26:16–18 Turning from the future back to the present, God’s people experienced suffering similar to the excruciating pain of a woman in labor. A pregnant woman goes through that pain and receives a positive result at the end—a baby. However, God’s people went through the pain and simply passed gas (gave birth to wind). There was no deliverance, no victory over enemies. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 17:14 from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.

    19 Your dead will live; their bodies will rise.
    Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust!
    For you will be covered with the morning dew,
    and the earth will bring out the departed spirits.

    • 26:19 In contrast to the wicked who die and stay dead (v. 14), God’s people will live again. The morning dew is an image of freshness and renewal. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.
    • Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

    20 Go, my people, enter your rooms
    and close your doors behind you.
    Hide for a little while until the wrath has passed.

    • Exo 12:22, 23 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
    • Psa 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
    • Isa 54:7, 8 For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. 8 In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer.
    • 2Co 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

    21 For look, the LORD is coming from his place
    to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.
    The earth will reveal the blood shed on it
    and will no longer conceal her slain.

    • 26:20–21 The call to hide during the judgment is reminiscent of the first Passover when God’s people stayed in their homes while God took the lives of the Egyptian firstborn (Ex 12). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1077). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mic 1:3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 26:1–21). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 27

    Return to top


    LEVIATHAN SLAIN

    1 On that day the LORD with his relentless, large, strong sword will bring judgment on Leviathan, the fleeing serpent—Leviathan, the twisting serpent. He will slay the monster that is in the sea.

    • Psa 74:13, 14 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
    • Isa 51:19 These two things have happened to you— who will console you?— devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?
    • Eze 29:3 speak, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams, that says, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself.’
    • Eze 32:2 “Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him: “You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers.
    • 27:1 Leviathan was well-known from ancient Canaanite mythology. Leviathan was a sea monster, representing chaos and evil in this verse. Brevard Childs says that Isaiah used this image to proclaim that God “will destroy not only historical forms of evil, but strike against its cosmic source once and for all” (Isaiah). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    THE LORD’S VINEYARD

    2 On that day
    sing about a desirable vineyard:

    • Isa 5:1 Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
    • Psa 80:8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
    • Jer 2:21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?

    3 I am the LORD, who watches over it
    to water it regularly.
    So that no one disturbs it,
    I watch over it night and day.

    • Psa 121:4, 5 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.

    4 I am not angry.
    If only there were thorns and briers for me to battle,
    I would trample them
    and burn them to the ground.

    • 2Sa 23:6 But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away, for they cannot be taken with the hand;
    • Isa 9:18 For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

    5 Or let it take hold of my strength;
    let it make peace with me—
    make peace with me.

    • Isa 25:4 For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,
    • Job 22:21 “Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.
    • 27:4–5 In these verses the thorns and briers seem to represent rebellion against God—the type of behavior that led to judgment in the first place. The thorns and briers have two possible courses of action: they can experience the devastating punishment of God or they can make peace with him. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    6 In days to come, Jacob will take root.
    Israel will blossom and bloom
    and fill the whole world with fruit.

    • Isa 37:31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
    • Hos 14:5, 6 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.
    • 27:2–6 The desirable vineyard is a metaphor for God’s people. The poem has many contrasts with the vineyard song of 5:1–7. There the vineyard image is used to emphasize God’s judgment on sin; here the vineyard image describes the restoration of his people after judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 27:6 The prophet Isaiah saw a prosperous future for God’s people, one that would bring prosperity to the whole world (Gn 12:1–3).

    7 Did the LORD strike Israel
    as he struck the one who struck Israel?
    Was Israel killed like those killed by the LORD?

    • 27:7 God indeed will judge his people, but he will not annihilate them as he will do with those whom he uses to punish them (Assyria in the eighth century BC and Babylon in the sixth). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 You disputed with Israel
    by banishing and driving her away.
    He removed her with his severe storm
    on the day of the east wind.

    • Job 23:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.
    • Psa 6:1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments; according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.
    • Jer 10:24 Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
    • Jer 30:11 For I am with you to save you, declares the LORD; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
    • Jer 46:28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”
    • 1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
    • Psa 78:38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.
    • 27:8 Rather than annihilating his people, God will scatter them. The image of a windy storm (the east wind was a particularly hot, dangerous wind coming off the desert) evokes the picture of chaff being blown away. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    9 Therefore Jacob’s iniquity will be atoned for in this way,
    and the result of the removal of his sin will be this:
    when he makes all the altar stones
    like crushed bits of chalk,
    no Asherah poles or incense altars will remain standing.

    • 27:9 God’s punishment of his people will be a cleansing (will be atoned for), a renewing, not a complete destruction. In particular, their idolatrous practices will be removed. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    10 For the fortified city will be desolate,
    pastures deserted and abandoned like a wilderness.
    Calves will graze there,
    and there they will spread out and strip its branches.

    • Isa 17:2 The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
    • Isa 32:14 For the palace is forsaken, the populous city deserted; the hill and the watchtower will become dens forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks;

    11 When its branches dry out, they will be broken off.
    Women will come and make fires with them,
    for they are not a people with understanding.
    Therefore their Maker will not have compassion on them,
    and their Creator will not be gracious to them.

    • Deu 32:28 “For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them.
    • Isa 1:3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.”
    • Jer 8:7 Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD.
    • Deu 32:18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
    • Isa 43:1, 7 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
    • Isa 44:2, 21, 24 Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 21 Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me. 24 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,
    • 27:10–11 The fortified city, like the “city of chaos” and the “inaccessible city”, represents arrogant human evil. In the aftermath of God’s judgment, this city will become grazing land. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 On that day
    the LORD will thresh grain from the Euphrates River
    as far as the Wadi of Egypt,
    and you Israelites will be gathered one by one.

    • 27:12 The Euphrates River and the Wadi of Egypt were the far northern and southern boundaries of the promised land. The image of threshing grain represents refining judgment since the process separated the wheat from the chaff. But the aftermath of the punishment will bring a regathering of God’s dispersed people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 On that day
    a great ram’s horn will be blown,
    and those lost in the land of Assyria will come,
    as well as those dispersed in the land of Egypt;
    and they will worship the LORD
    at Jerusalem on the holy mountain.

    • Isa 2:11 The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.
    • Mat 24:31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
    • Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”
    • 27:13 The Israelites will come back for the purpose of worship. The holy mountain refers to Zion, the location of the temple. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1078). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 27:1–13). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 28

    730 B.C.

    Return to top

    WOE TO SAMARIA

    Woe to the majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    and to the fading flower of its beautiful splendor,
    which is on the summit above the rich valley.
    Woe to those overcome with wine.

    • 28:1 Woe marks the beginning of a pronouncement connected to a funeral procession (see note at 1:4). This is the first woe in chaps. 28–33 (29:1, 15; 30:1; 31:1; 33:1). The effect of the pronouncement is to announce that the object of the pronouncement, in this case the northern kingdom of Israel (called by the name of its major tribe Ephraim), is as good as dead. The majestic crown of Ephraim may be a reference to its capital city Samaria, which sat atop a large hill overlooking the area. The reference to heavy drinking in the northern kingdom may be because of an abuse of alcohol in the region, particularly among its leaders, but this also fits with the prophetic theme of the cup of wrath (Jr 12). God will make the objects of his anger drink from this cup so they will become disoriented and eventually pass out. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1079). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    2 Look, the Lord has a strong and mighty one—
    like a devastating hail storm,
    like a storm with strong flooding water.
    He will bring it across the land with his hand.

    • Isa 30:30 And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones.
    • Eze 13:11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out.

    3 The majestic crown of Ephraim’s drunkards
    will be trampled underfoot.
    4 The fading flower of his beautiful splendor,
    which is on the summit above the rich valley,
    will be like a ripe fig before the summer harvest.
    Whoever sees it will swallow it
    while it is still in his hand.
    5 On that day
    the LORD of Armies will become a crown of beauty
    and a diadem of splendor
    to the remnant of his people,
    6 a spirit of justice
    to the one who sits in judgment,
    and strength
    to those who repel attacks at the city gate.

    • 28:5–6 While the majestic crown of Ephraim will be “trampled underfoot” (28:3), God himself will become a crown of beauty for the remnant—for the righteous who survive the punishments to come and form the nucleus for a new people of God. Inspired by God, judges will again be just and soldiers will again have the strength to defend their city. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1079). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 Even these stagger because of wine
    and stumble under the influence of beer:
    Priest and prophet stagger because of beer.
    They are confused by wine.
    They stumble because of beer.
    They are muddled in their visions.
    They stumble in their judgments.

    • Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
    • Hos 4:11 whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.
    • Isa 56:10, 12 His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 12 “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”
    • 28:7–13 While vv. 1–6 criticize the nobility for their drunken behavior, this section focuses on the priests and prophets.
    • 28:7–8 The priests and prophets were crucial to the spiritual leadership of the nation, but here they had clouded their thought with drink. They had drunk so much alcohol that they were covered with vomit, an unflattering and undignified portrait of people who had such an important task. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1079). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 Indeed, all their tables are covered with vomit;
    there is no place without a stench.
    9 Who is he trying to teach?
    Who is he trying to instruct?
    Infants just weaned from milk?
    Babies removed from the breast?

    • Jer 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.
    • 28:9–10 These decadent leaders were acting as if they were teaching babies and not adults. The content of their teaching was mocked. What they said was repetitive and meaningless. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1079). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    10 “Law after law, law after law,
    line after line, line after line,
    a little here, a little there.”
    11 For he will speak to this people
    with stammering speech
    and in a foreign language.

    • 1Co 14:21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”

    12 He had said to them,
    “This is the place of rest;
    let the weary rest;
    this is the place of repose.”
    But they would not listen.

    • 28:11–12 Since God’s people had been so irresponsible and had refused to rest contentedly in God, he will speak to his people with stammering speech and in a foreign language—Akkadian, the language of the Assyrians. Paul quotes these verses in 1Co 14:21 in the context of speaking in other languages. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 The word of the LORD will come to them:
    “Law after law, law after law,
    line after line, line after line,
    a little here, a little there,”
    so they go stumbling backward,
    to be broken, trapped, and captured.

    A DEAL WITH DEATH

    NOTE: 28:14–22 The pronouncement now shifts its focus from the northern kingdom to the southern.

    14 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.

    • 28:14 Scoffers were those who did not fear God and who made fun of those who did (Pr 1:22; 9:7–8, 12; 13:1). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    15 For you said, “We have made a covenant with Death,
    and we have an agreement with Sheol;
    when the overwhelming catastrophe passes through,
    it will not touch us,
    because we have made falsehood our refuge
    and have hidden behind treachery.”

    • Amo 2:4 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have rejected the law of the LORD, and have not kept his statutes, but their lies have led them astray, those after which their fathers walked.
    • 28:15 The rulers of Judah had entered a dangerous agreement. The agreement is said to be with Death and Sheol. Sheol refers to the grave and in some contexts signifies the underworld. Isaiah probably referred to treaties with foreign nations to try to keep Assyria (the overwhelming catastrophe) from defeating them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 Therefore the Lord GOD said:
    “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion,
    a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
    the one who believes will be unshakable.

    • 28:16 It was not foreign alliances that made Judah strong. It was their relationship with God. He was the one who had built it, cornerstone and foundation. A precise identification of the tested stone is elusive. John Goldingay (Isaiah) remarks that the stone “has been identified with the law, the temple, the monarchy, the city, the saving work of Yahweh, the people’s relationship with Yahweh, the true believing community, Zion itself, the Messiah, faith, the remnant, or the actual promise about the one who trusts.” The allusion may be to all of the above. This verse is quoted in Rm 9:33; 10:11; 1Pt 2:6. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Gen 49:24 yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
    • Psa 118:22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
    • Mat 21:42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
    • Act 4:11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.
    • Rom 9:33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
    • Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
    • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
    • 1Pe 2:6-8 For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

    17 And I will make justice the measuring line
    and righteousness the mason’s level.”
    Hail will sweep away the false refuge,
    and water will flood your hiding place.
    18 Your covenant with Death will be dissolved,
    and your agreement with Sheol will not last.
    When the overwhelming catastrophe passes through,
    you will be trampled.
    19 Every time it passes through,
    it will carry you away;
    it will pass through every morning—
    every day and every night.
    Only terror will cause you
    to understand the message.
    20 Indeed, the bed is too short to stretch out on,
    and its cover too small to wrap up in.

    • 28:20 The arrangements that Judah had made to protect itself against Assyria were inadequate, like a bed that was too short. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    21 For the LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim.
    He will rise in wrath, as at the Valley of Gibeon,
    to do his work, his unexpected work,
    and to perform his task, his unfamiliar task.

    • 28:21 At Perazim (described in 2Sm 5:20 as a “bursting flood”) God gave David a great victory over the Philistines. At the Valley of Gibeon, God used hailstones to allow Joshua to defeat the southern coalition of Canaanite city-states (Jos 10:11). Though this pronouncement and many of Isaiah’s pronouncements describe God’s violent judgment against the nations, here it is called unexpected and unfamiliar. It was not the typical, normal, hoped-for mode of relationship, particularly with his covenant people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Sa 5:20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim.
    • 1Ch 14:11 And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim.
    • Josh 10:10 And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.
    • 2Sa 5:25 And David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
    • 1Ch 14:16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.
    • Lam 3:33 for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.

    22 So now, do not scoff,
    or your shackles will become stronger.
    Indeed, I have heard from the Lord GOD of Armies
    a decree of destruction for the whole land.

    • 28:22 Though God’s judgment against the mocking leaders of Judah is certain, their future behavior will determine whether it becomes even worse (your shackles will become stronger). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Dan 9:27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”
    • Isa 10:22 For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.

    GOD’S WONDERFUL ADVICE

    NOTE: 28:23–29 In this section Isaiah drew an analogy between a farmer’s task and God’s treatment of Judah. Good results come from different actions and different methods applied at different times. The passage has the feel of a parable. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1080). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    23 Listen and hear my voice.
    Pay attention and hear what I say.
    24 Does the plowman plow every day to plant seed?
    Does he continuously break up and cultivate the soil?
    25 When he has leveled its surface,
    does he not then scatter black cumin and sow cumin?
    He plants wheat in rows and barley in plots,
    with spelt as their border.
    26 His God teaches him order;
    he instructs him.

    • 28:24–26 The farmer (plowman) does not just keep plowing; he also sows seed. He places the various seeds in their separate places. This order comes from God himself. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1080–1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    27 Certainly black cumin is not threshed
    with a threshing board,
    and a cart wheel is not rolled over the cumin.
    But black cumin is beaten out with a stick,
    and cumin with a rod.

    28:27 Each plant has its proper treatment. The analogy may point to the fact that God exercises his judgment against sinners in a way that is appropriate to their specific situation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    28 Bread grain is crushed,
    but is not threshed endlessly.
    Though the wheel of the farmer’s cart rumbles,
    his horses do not crush it.
    29 This also comes from the LORD of Armies.
    He gives wondrous advice;
    he gives great wisdom.

    • 28:28–29 But the crushing and threshing, images of judgment, are not endless activities. It comes to an end. Threshing and the cessation of threshing produce good bread, so judgment and its aftermath produce good results as well. The order of the farmer’s task as well as God’s “unexpected work” (v. 21) are a result of God’s great wisdom. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 92:5 How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!
    • Jer 32:19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 28:1–29). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 29

    730 B.C.

    Return to top

    WOE TO JERUSALEM

    Woe to Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David camped!
    Continue year after year;
    let the festivals recur.

    • 29:1 Ariel stands for Jerusalem. What the word means is difficult to discern. It could mean “lion of God,” but more likely it refers to “altar hearth,” its meaning in Ezk 43:15 in reference to the hearth of the sanctuary. This chapter is a pronouncement of woe (see note at 1:4) against Jerusalem. This is the second woe presented in chaps. 28–33 (28:1; 29:15; 30:1; 31:1; 33:1). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 43:15, 16 and the altar hearth, four cubits; and from the altar hearth projecting upward, four horns. 16 The altar hearth shall be square, twelve cubits long by twelve broad.
    • 2Sa 5:9 And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward.

    2 I will oppress Ariel,
    and there will be mourning and crying,
    and she will be to me like an Ariel.

    • 29:2 God will turn Jerusalem into an Ariel—an altar hearth. The meaning seems to be that he will destroy it by fire. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 I will camp in a circle around you;
    I will besiege you with earth ramps,
    and I will set up my siege towers against you.

    • 29:3 Though on a literal level it will be Assyria that will set up a siege around Jerusalem, the prophet knew that it would do so only as an agent of the Lord. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    4 You will be brought down;
    you will speak from the ground,
    and your words will come from low in the dust.
    Your voice will be like that of a spirit from the ground;
    your speech will whisper from the dust.

    • 29:4 God speaks to Jerusalem in the second person (you … your) and thus personifies the city. He will kill Jerusalem, and it will be like a buried body (speak from the ground). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?

    5 Your many foes will be like fine dust,
    and many of the ruthless, like blowing chaff.
    Then suddenly, in an instant,

    • Isa 25:5 like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down.
    • Job 21:18 That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away?
    • Isa 17:13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.
    • Isa 30:13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;

    6 you will be punished by the LORD of Armies
    with thunder, earthquake, and loud noise,
    storm, tempest, and a flame of consuming fire.

    • Isa 28:2 Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong; like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters, he casts down to the earth with his hand.
    • Isa 30:30 And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones.

    7 All the many nations
    going out to battle against Ariel—
    all the attackers, the siege works against her,
    and those who oppress her—
    will then be like a dream, a vision in the night.

    • Job 20:8 He will fly away like a dream and not be found; he will be chased away like a vision of the night.

    8 It will be like a hungry one who dreams he is eating,
    then wakes and is still hungry;
    and like a thirsty one who dreams he is drinking,
    then wakes and is still thirsty, longing for water.
    So it will be for all the many nations
    who go to battle against Mount Zion.

    • 29:5–8 Suddenly the pronouncement shifts from judgment against Jerusalem to the restoration of the city. It imagines a situation like Sennacherib’s campaign against Judah. His initial successes fizzled out at the siege of Jerusalem (chap. 37). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 29:8 Those armies that move against Jerusalem will ultimately prove unsuccessful. Their early successes will give way to failure, so their first actions will seem like a dream.
      Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 73:20

    9 Stop and be astonished;
    blind yourselves and be blind!
    They are drunk, but not with wine;
    they stagger, but not with beer.

    • Isa 28:7, 8 These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment. 8 For all tables are full of filthy vomit, with no space left.
    • Isa 51:21

    10 For the LORD has poured out on you
    an overwhelming urge to sleep;
    he has shut your eyes (the prophets)
    and covered your heads (the seers).

    • 29:9–10 The pronouncement shifts again to the spiritual hardness and punishment of the people of God. They will blind themselves, but God will shut their eyes. They will get drunk, but God will give them an overwhelming urge to sleep. The pronouncement recognizes the people’s sinful actions and God’s sovereign control. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1081). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rom 11:1 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.
    • Psa 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see, and make their loins tremble continually.
    • Isa 6:10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
    • 1Sa 9:9 (Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, “Come, let us go to the seer,” for today’s “prophet” was formerly called a seer.)

    11 For you the entire vision will be like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to one who can read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read it, because it is sealed.” 12 And if the document is given to one who cannot read and he is asked to read it, he will say, “I can’t read.”

    • 29:11–12 God has laid it all out for the people (the entire vision), but they were spiritually dull and could not make sense of it. They will not heed God’s warnings and will suffer the consequences. In ancient Israel documents were written on papyrus or vellum scrolls. After being rolled into a tube, they were sealed with wax or clay, then stamped with an impression that identified the sender. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 8:16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples.
    • Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
    • Rev 5:1-5, 9 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

    13 The Lord said:

    These people approach me with their speeches
    to honor me with lip-service,
    yet their hearts are far from me,
    and human rules direct their worship of me.

    • 29:13 The worship offered by the people was empty and meaningless. They were just going through the motions. Jesus quotes these words in Mt 15:8–9 and Mk 7:6–7. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 33:31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.
    • Mat 15:8, 9 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
    • Mark 7:6, 7 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
    • Col 2:22 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.

    14 Therefore, I will again confound these people
    with wonder after wonder.
    The wisdom of their wise will vanish,
    and the perception of their perceptive will be hidden.

    • 29:14 The wisdom offered by the wise would vanish because it is based on the past, and God was going to do new wonders, such as the fall of Jerusalem, the return from captivity, and the sending of a Savior. Paul quotes this verse in 1Co 1:19. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Hab 1:5 “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.
    • Jer 49:7 Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?
    • 1Co 1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

    15 Woe to those who go to great lengths
    to hide their plans from the LORD.
    They do their works in the dark,
    and say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”

    • 29:15 A new woe oracle begins with this verse and extends to the end of the chapter. This is the third woe presented in chaps. 28–33 (v. 1; 28:1; 30:1; 31:1; 33:1). Those who did evil thought they could hide their actions from God. It may be that these plans included a decision to seek help against Assyria from Egypt. Such presumption would not go unpunished. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 30:1 “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the LORD, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
    • Psa 94:7 and they say, “The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

    16 You have turned things around,
    as if the potter were the same as the clay.
    How can what is made say about its maker,
    “He didn’t make me”?
    How can what is formed
    say about the one who formed it,
    “He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”?

    • 29:16 The metaphor of God as a potter is used in a few key places in prophetic literature (45:9; 64:8; Jr 18:1–12; see also Rm 9:21). It evokes the description of the creation of Adam from the dust of the ground (Gn 2:7). The prophets pointed out how crazy it was for God’s creatures, the pots made from clay, to challenge or question their Maker, the Potter. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 45:9 Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?
    • Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

    NOTE: 29:17–24 There is a shift in this pronouncement from judgment to hope.

    17 Isn’t it true that in just a little while
    Lebanon will become an orchard,
    and the orchard will seem like a forest?

    • 29:17 Lebanon was known for its cedar forests, but it will be transformed into an orchard—a place for fruit-bearing trees. The cedar is often used in the Bible as a symbol of power and arrogance, so perhaps the transformation has to do with a change from pride to humble service. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 32:15

    18 On that day the deaf will hear
    the words of a document,
    and out of a deep darkness
    the eyes of the blind will see.

    • Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

    19 The humble will have joy
    after joy in the LORD,
    and the poor people will rejoice
    in the Holy One of Israel.

    • Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
    • Jas 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

    20 For the ruthless one will vanish,
    the scorner will disappear,
    and all those who lie in wait with evil intent
    will be killed—

    • Isa 28:14, 22 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem! 22 Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.
    • Mic 2:1 Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.

    21 those who, with their speech,
    accuse a person of wrongdoing,
    who set a trap for the one mediating at the city gate
    and without cause deprive the righteous of justice.

    • 29:21 The city gate was where public hearings and judicial proceedings were held. The mediator was the person who heard a case. His removal would lead to injustice. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Amo 5:10, 12 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth. 12 For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and turn aside the needy in the gate.
    • Pro 28:21

    22 Therefore, the LORD who redeemed Abraham says this about the house of Jacob:

    Jacob will no longer be ashamed,
    and his face will no longer be pale.

    • Oz note: Jacob is another name for the nation of Israel.
    • Josh 24:3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac.

    23 For when he sees his children,
    the work of my hands within his nation,
    they will honor my name,
    they will honor the Holy One of Jacob
    and stand in awe of the God of Israel.

    • Isa 19:25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
    • Isa 45:11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?
    • Isa 60:21 Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.
    • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    24 Those who are confused will gain understanding,
    and those who grumble will accept instruction.

    • 29:23–24 God will fulfill his promise to Abraham and Jacob by transforming his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 29:1–24). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 30

    Return to top

    CONDEMNATION OF THE EGYPTIAN ALLIANCE

    Woe to the rebellious children!
    This is the LORD’s declaration.
    They carry out a plan, but not mine;
    they make an alliance,
    but against my will,
    piling sin on top of sin.

    • Oz note: this is the 4th woe. Israel was trying to get help from Egypt to prevent invasion from Assyria.
    • Isa 29:15 Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
    • Deu 29:19 one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike.

    2 Without asking my advice
    they set out to go down to Egypt
    in order to seek shelter under Pharaoh’s protection
    and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow.

    • Oz note: this alliance was to counter the Assyrian threat. God’s people would not be equal partners, paying an annual tribute fee.
    • Isa 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!
    • Num 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.”
    • Josh 9:14 So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD.
    • 1Ki 22:7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?”
    • Jer 21:2 “Inquire of the LORD for us, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all his wonderful deeds and will make him withdraw from us.”
    • Jer 42:2, 20 and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the LORD your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us— 20 that you have gone astray at the cost of your lives. For you sent me to the LORD your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the LORD our God, and whatever the LORD our God says declare to us and we will do it.’

    3 But Pharaoh’s protection will become your shame,
    and refuge in Egypt’s shadow your humiliation.

    • Oz note: Zoan (also called Tanis) is the location of all of the Pharoe’s wisest council and advisors.
    • Isa 20:5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast.
    • Jer 37:5, 7 The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem. 7 “Thus says the LORD, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land.

    4 For though his princes are at Zoan
    and his messengers reach as far as Hanes,

  • Isa 19:11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”?
  • 5 everyone will be ashamed
    because of a people who can’t help.
    They are of no benefit, they are no help;
    they are good for nothing but shame and disgrace.

    • Jer 2:36 How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.

    6 A pronouncement concerning the animals of the Negev:

    Through a land of trouble and distress,
    of lioness and lion,
    of viper and flying serpent,
    they carry their wealth on the backs of donkeys
    and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a people who will not help them.

    • Oz note: Negev was a wilderness area south of the Israelite city of Beersheba.
    • Isa 57:9 You journeyed to the king with oil and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far off, and sent down even to Sheol.
    • Hos 8:9 For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey wandering alone; Ephraim has hired lovers.
    • Hos 12:1 Ephraim feeds on the wind and pursues the east wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence; they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt.
    • Deu 8:15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,
    • REMINDER: EPHRAIM is another name for Samaria, the Capital of the Northern Kingdom, Israel.

    7 Egypt’s help is completely worthless;
    therefore, I call her:
    Rahab Who Just Sits.

    • 30:7 In the book of Job, Rahab is a monster representing chaos, which is parallel to Leviathan (Jb 26:12–13), but the name is used here and elsewhere to refer to Egypt (Ps 87:4). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1083). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 8:15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,

    8 Go now, write it on a tablet in their presence
    and inscribe it on a scroll;
    it will be for the future,
    forever and ever.

    • Oz note: in other words, write this down, a predicted future of destruction.
    • Hab 2:1 I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

    9 They are a rebellious people,
    deceptive children,
    children who do not want to listen to the LORD’s instruction.

    • Oz note: Israel was not following God’s law, and also, not follow God’s commandment of not becoming allies of foreign nations.
    • Deu 32:20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.
    • Isa 1:4 Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.

    10 They say to the seers, “Do not see,”
    and to the prophets,
    “Do not prophesy the truth to us.
    Tell us flattering things.
    Prophesy illusions.
    11 Get out of the way!
    Leave the pathway.
    Rid us of the Holy One of Israel.”

    • Oz note: Just like us, Israel didn’t want to hear the bad things that were being told them. They only want to hear what they like. The Holy One of Israel (God) is used more than 25 times in Isaiah.
    • Jer 11:21 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, and say, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, or you will die by our hand”—
    • Amo 2:12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.’
    • Mic 2:6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.”
    • 1Ki 22:13 And the messenger who went to summon Micaiah said to him, “Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king. Let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably.”
    • Mic 2:11 If a man should go about and utter wind and lies, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” he would be the preacher for this people!

    12 Therefore the Holy One of Israel says:
    “Because you have rejected this message
    and have trusted in oppression and deceit,
    and have depended on them,
    13 this iniquity of yours will be
    like a crumbling gap,
    a bulge in a high wall
    whose collapse will come in an instant—suddenly!

    • Psa 62:3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
    • Isa 29:5 But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff. And in an instant, suddenly,

    14 Its collapse will be like the shattering
    of a potter’s jar, crushed to pieces,
    so that not even a fragment of pottery
    will be found among its shattered remains—
    no fragment large enough to take fire from a hearth
    or scoop water from a cistern.”

    • Oz note: Self explanatory…because the people of Israel didn’t listen to God, and trusted Egypt rather than their God, Israel will collapse…they will become shattered.
    • Psa 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
    • Jer 19:11 and shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. Men shall bury in Topheth because there will be no place else to bury.

    15 For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said:
    “You will be delivered by returning and resting;
    your strength will lie in quiet confidence.
    But you are not willing.”

    • Isa 7:4 And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah.
    • Mat 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

    16 You say, “No!
    We will escape on horses”—
    therefore you will escape!—
    and, “We will ride on fast horses”—
    but those who pursue you will be faster.
    17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one,
    at the threat of five you will flee,
    until you remain
    like a solitary pole on a mountaintop
    or a banner on a hill.

    • Oz note: The people of Israel should have just relaxed and trusted upon their God, but they didn’t… so their life would be miserable, and they will flee in terror.
    • Lev 26:8 Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
    • Deu 28:25 “The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
    • Josh 23:10 One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.

    THE LORD’S MERCY TO ISRAEL

    18 Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy,
    and is rising up to show you compassion,
    for the LORD is a just God.
    All who wait patiently for him are happy.

    • Oz notes: God is always reaching out to us. God always starts the initiative to restore relationships with His people. When His people repent, and turn their ways, then his judgment turns into compassion and restoration.
    • Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
    • Psa 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
    • Pro 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
    • Jer 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.

    19 For people will live on Zion in Jerusalem. You will never weep again; he will show favor to you at the sound of your outcry; as soon as he hears, he will answer you.

    • 30:19 The outcry of the people refers to their repentance, an acknowledgment of their sin, and a turn to God for help. As a result, he would respond with his favor. They will live on Zion in Jerusalem near the presence of God. The beginning of the fulfillment of this promise occurred after the Jews began returning from Babylonian exile in 539 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 65:9 I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, and from Judah possessors of my mountains; my chosen shall possess it, and my servants shall dwell there.

    20 The Lord will give you meager bread and water during oppression, but your Teacher will not hide any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher,

    • 30:20 The word oppression refers to the future exile and political oppression by foreign nations (Assyria, followed by Babylon, followed by Persia) that happened because of their sin. The Teacher of the people of God is a reference to God himself who would show them the right way to behave. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Ki 22:27 and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in prison and feed him meager rations of bread and water, until I come in peace.”‘
    • Psa 127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
    • Psa 74:9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.
    • Amo 8:11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

    21 and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.”

    • 30:21 Walking in the way is reminiscent of the language of Ps 1 and Proverbs. There are two ways—a crooked path that represents an evil life heading toward death and the straight path of godliness that leads to life. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jos 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

    22 Then you will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images. You will throw them away like menstrual cloths, and call them filth.

    • 2Ch 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession.
    • Isa 31:7 For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.
    • Hos 14:8 O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.

    23 Then he will send rain for your seed that you have sown in the ground, and the food, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful. On that day your cattle will graze in open pastures.

    • Mat 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
    • 1Ti 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

    24 The oxen and donkeys that work the ground will eat salted fodder scattered with winnowing shovel and fork.

    • 30:23–24 Based on the lists of covenant blessings found in places like Dt 28, God will grant agricultural prosperity to his restored people. While they had nothing but bread and water (Is 30:20) during their oppression, they would have large quantities of food in the future. Even the oxen and donkeys would have plenty of good food. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    25 Streams flowing with water will be on every high mountain and every raised hill on the day of great slaughter when the towers fall.

    • 30:25 Israel’s prosperity was normally tenuous because of limited water supplies. Here the picture is of overflowing waters. The reference to the great slaughter and the fall of towers is probably a reference to the downfall of their oppressors. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 2:14, 15 against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; 15 against every high tower, and against every fortified wall;

    26 The moonlight will be as bright as the sunlight, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days—on the day that the LORD bandages his people’s injuries and heals the wounds he inflicted.

    • Isa 60:19, 20 The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. 20 Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

    ANNIHILATION OF THE ASSYRIANS

    • 30:27–33 The pronouncement in these verses describes God’s appearance as a judging warrior. The object of his wrath is not revealed until v. 31 where Assyria, the oppressor of God’s people, is named. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1084). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    27 Look! The name of the LORD is coming from far away,
    his anger burning and heavy with smoke.
    His lips are full of fury,
    and his tongue is like a consuming fire.
    28 His breath is like an overflowing torrent
    that rises to the neck.
    He comes to sift the nations in a sieve of destruction
    and to put a bridle on the jaws of the peoples
    to lead them astray.

    • Isa 11:4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
    • Isa 8:8 and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”
    • Isa 37:29 Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will turn you back on the way by which you came.’

    29 Your singing will be like that
    on the night of a holy festival,
    and your heart will rejoice
    like one who walks to the music of a flute,
    going up to the mountain of the LORD,
    to the Rock of Israel.

    • 30:29 The scene shifts to the people of God who will celebrate this act of God. The judgment of their enemies is a cause for rejoicing. They will praise God as if it were a holy festival like Passover or the Festival of Shelters. The mountain of the LORD refers to Zion where God (their Rock, a title that signifies shelter and protection) will make his presence known. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1085). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 2:3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
    • Deu 32:4 “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.

    30 And the LORD will make the splendor of his voice heard
    and reveal his arm striking in angry wrath
    and a flame of consuming fire,
    in driving rain, a torrent, and hailstones.

    • Oz note: notice that God uses weather to do his work. Sovereign Lord!
    • Isa 29:6 you will be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
    • Isa 28:2 Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong; like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest, like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters, he casts down to the earth with his hand.

    31 Assyria will be shattered by the voice of the LORD.
    He will strike with a rod.

    • Isa 37:36 And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
    • Isa 10:5, 24 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! 24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O my people, who dwell in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrians when they strike with the rod and lift up their staff against you as the Egyptians did.

    32 And every stroke of the appointed staff
    that the LORD brings down on him
    will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres;
    he will fight against him with brandished weapons.

    • 30:32 The blows of weapons are compared to the beating of tambourines. Babylon was the appointed staff of God to bring down Assyria in the late seventh century BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1085). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 11:15 And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching breath, and strike it into seven channels, and he will lead people across in sandals.

    33 Indeed! Topheth has been ready
    for the king for a long time.
    Its funeral pyre is deep and wide,
    with plenty of fire and wood.
    The breath of the LORD, like a torrent of burning sulfur,
    kindles it.

    • 30:33 Topheth was located in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (Jr 7:30–34). This valley was immediately south and west of Jerusalem. At times it functioned as a garbage heap for the city. In Greek, this valley was known as Gehenna, which became associated with hell. We do not know for certain what the word Topheth means or where it came from, but we do know that King Josiah had desecrated this place earlier during his religious reforms (2Kg 23:10–11). It had been a place where the foreign god Molech was worshiped. Jeremiah said it epitomized the sin and guilt of the people (Jr 7:30–32; 19:6–13). God explicitly had forbidden human sacrifice as well as the worship of Molech (Lv 18:21; Dt 12:31; 18:10; see also Is 57:5, 9; Jr 19:5; 32:35; Ezk 16:20–21; 20:25–26, 31; 23:37, 39). Here though it is being used for a good purpose—the burning of the body of the king of Assyria after his defeat. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1085). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 30:1–33). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 31

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    THE LORD, THE ONLY HELP

    Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
    and who depend on horses!
    They trust in the abundance of chariots
    and in the large number of horsemen.
    They do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
    and they do not seek the LORD.

    • Oz note: Looks like a continuation of Chapter 30. This is the 5th WOE.
    • Isa 30:2 who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
    • Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
    • Dan 9:13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the LORD our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth.

    2 But he also is wise and brings disaster.
    He does not go back on what he says;
    he will rise up against the house of the wicked
    and against the allies of evildoers.

    • Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

    3 Egyptians are men, not God;
    their horses are flesh, not spirit.
    When the LORD raises his hand to strike,
    the helper will stumble
    and the one who is helped will fall;
    both will perish together.

    • Oz note: God will destroy both the helper (Egypt) and the helped (Israel).

    4 For this is what the LORD said to me:

    As a lion or young lion growls over its prey
    when a band of shepherds is called out against it,
    and it is not terrified by their shouting
    or subdued by their noise,
    so the LORD of Armies will come down
    to fight on Mount Zion
    and on its hill.

    • Amo 3:8 The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken; who can but prophesy?”

    5 Like hovering birds,
    so the LORD of Armies will protect Jerusalem;
    by protecting it, he will rescue it;
    by passing over it, he will deliver it.

    • Deu 32:11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,

    6 Return to the one the Israelites have greatly rebelled against. 7 For on that day, every one of you will reject the worthless idols of silver and gold that your own hands have sinfully made.

    • 31:6–7 The restoration of God’s people has two sides: returning to him, which implies repentance, and rejecting false gods in the form of silver and gold idols. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1085). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 2:20 In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats,
    • 1Ki 12:30 Then this thing became a sin, for the people went as far as Dan to be before one.

    8 Then Assyria will fall,
    but not by human sword;
    a sword will devour him,
    but not one made by man.
    He will flee from the sword;
    his young men will be put to forced labor.

    • Oz note: God will use Babylon to defeat Assyria… but this all God…not Babylon!
    • 2Ki 19:35, 36 And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh.

    9 His rock will pass away because of fear,
    and his officers will be afraid because of the signal flag.

    This is the LORD’s declaration—whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

    • 31:9 Though the reference is unusual, the rock is probably a reference to the Assyrian king. A rock is something that provides shelter and protection, but in this case the rock will fail to provide defense. The signal flag is a reference to a battle standard used to rally troops. Zion’s fire and Jerusalem’s furnace may be a reference to the altar fire (see the explanation of “Ariel” in note at 29:1), but in the context of judgment it may point to the fire that will come out of Jerusalem to destroy the attacking enemy. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 37:37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at Nineveh.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 31:1–9). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 32

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    THE RIGHTEOUS KINGDOM ANNOUNCED

    1 Indeed, a king will reign righteously,
    and rulers will rule justly.

    • Oz note: Scholars are dividing as to if they are talking about historical kings, or if we are talking about King Jesus. But my opinion is that it is NOT Jesus because the word king isn’t capitolized. Just my two cents.
    • Psa 45:1 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song. My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

    2 Each will be like a shelter from the wind,
    a refuge from the rain,
    like flowing streams in a dry land
    and the shade of a massive rock in an arid land.

    • Oz notes: Looking at verse 1, and then reading verse 2, makes me think of “wordly” kings, not our heavenly King. Verse 2 talks about how the kings will protect their people.
    • Isa 4:6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

    3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
    and the ears of those who hear will listen.

    • 32:3 Righteous rule will result in greater discernment among the subjects of the just king. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 29:18 In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.

    4 The reckless mind will gain knowledge,
    and the stammering tongue will speak clearly and fluently.
    5 A fool will no longer be called a noble,
    nor a scoundrel said to be important.

    • 32:4–5 The Teacher in Ecclesiastes (Ec 10:16–17) pointed out how dangerous it is when a fool becomes a ruler; the world turns upside down. Here there may be a wordplay on fool (Hb nabal) and noble (Hb nadiv). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    6 For a fool speaks foolishness
    and his mind plots iniquity.
    He lives in a godless way
    and speaks falsely about the LORD.
    He leaves the hungry empty
    and deprives the thirsty of drink.
    7 The scoundrel’s weapons are destructive;
    he hatches plots to destroy the needy with lies,
    even when the poor person says what is right.

    • 32:6–7 The book of Proverbs makes it clear that a fool is someone who rejects God and has a detrimental effect on the community. Here Isaiah claims that folly among the leadership leads to hunger and thirst among the people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 But a noble person plans noble things;
    he stands up for noble causes.

    9 Stand up, you complacent women;
    listen to me.
    Pay attention to what I say,
    you overconfident daughters.

    • Amo 6:1 “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel comes!

    10 In a little more than a year
    you overconfident ones will shudder,
    for the grapes will fail
    and the harvest will not come.
    11 Shudder, you complacent ones;
    tremble, you overconfident ones!
    Strip yourselves bare
    and put sackcloth around your waists.
    12 Beat your breasts in mourning
    for the delightful fields and the fruitful vines,

    • 11-12. The pronouncement suggests the people should move directly into ritual mourning in anticipation of future judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 for the ground of my people
    growing thorns and briers,
    indeed, for every joyous house in the jubilant city.

    • Hos 9:6 For behold, they are going away from destruction; but Egypt shall gather them; Memphis shall bury them. Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver; thorns shall be in their tents.
    • Isa 22:2 you who are full of shoutings, tumultuous city, exultant town? Your slain are not slain with the sword or dead in battle.

    14 For the palace will be deserted,
    the busy city abandoned.
    The hill and the watchtower will become
    barren places forever,
    the joy of wild donkeys,
    and a pasture for flocks,

    • 32:14 Not only will the fields be desolate and unproductive, but so will the city of Jerusalem. It will be turned into the haunt of wild animals. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1086). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    15 until the Spirit from on high is poured out on us.
    Then the desert will become an orchard,
    and the orchard will seem like a forest.

    • 32:15 However, because of God (the Spirit from on high) a miraculous transformation will take place in the future. What has been unproductive will produce fruit-bearing trees. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Joe 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
    • Isa 29:17 Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?

    16 Then justice will inhabit the wilderness,
    and righteousness will dwell in the orchard.
    17 The result of righteousness will be peace;
    the effect of righteousness
    will be quiet confidence forever.

    • Jas 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

    18 Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
    in safe and secure dwellings.
    19 But hail will level the forest,
    and the city will sink into the depths.

    • Isa 30:30 And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones.
    • Zec 11:2 Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen, for the glorious trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan, for the thick forest has been felled!

    20 You will be happy as you sow seed
    beside abundant water,
    and as you let oxen and donkeys range freely

    • Isa 30:24 and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 32:1–20). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 33

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    THE LORD RISES UP

    Woe, you destroyer never destroyed,
    you traitor never betrayed!
    When you have finished destroying,
    you will be destroyed.
    When you have finished betraying,
    they will betray you.

    • 33:1 This is the sixth and final woe in chaps. 28–33 (28:1; 29:1, 15; 30:1; 31:1). The woe pronounces the destruction of a betrayer. Many interpreters believe the reference is to Sennacherib, whom King Hezekiah of Judah paid to back off from the siege of Jerusalem (chaps. 36–37). But others believe it is a general reference to the deception of the nations. They will receive their due. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 21:2 A stern vision is told to me; the traitor betrays, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam; lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end.
    • Hab 2:8 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of man and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell in them.
    • Rev 13:10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

    2 LORD, be gracious to us! We wait for you.
    Be our strength every morning
    and our salvation in time of trouble.

    • 33:2 Since the nations have let them down, God’s people have no recourse but to wait for God to save them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 25:9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

    3 The peoples flee at the thunderous noise;
    the nations scatter when you rise in your majesty.
    4 Your spoil will be gathered as locusts are gathered;
    people will swarm over it like an infestation of locusts.

    • 33:3–4 God will be victorious over Israel’s enemies. Locusts are often symbols of a large destroying army (Jl 1; Nah 3:15–16). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    5 The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
    he has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.

    • Psa 97:9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

    6 There will be times of security for you—
    a storehouse of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
    The fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure.

    • 33:6 Zion’s treasure is not gold, silver, or weapons. Its treasure is the fear of the LORD. A relationship of dependence and trust leads to action by a warring God on behalf of his people (Pr 1:7). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 33:7–13 This passage describes a future attack (perhaps Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem in 701 BC; v. 1) as if it were happening in the present. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 Listen! Their warriors cry loudly in the streets;
    the messengers of peace weep bitterly.

    • 33:7 Diplomacy has broken down. The diplomats weep as warriors control the streets. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 18:18, 37 And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

    8 The highways are deserted;
    travel has ceased.
    An agreement has been broken,
    cities despised,
    and human life disregarded.

    • 33:8 The agreement that was broken may be a direct reference to the agreement that Sennacherib made to withdraw from Jerusalem after being paid tribute—a promise he did not honor. Since the army is on the brink of attack, all travel has ceased. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Judg 5:6 “In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned, and travelers kept to the byways.
    • 2Ki 18:14-17 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer’s Field.

    9 The land mourns and withers;
    Lebanon is ashamed and wilted.
    Sharon is like a desert;
    Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.

    • 33:9 Lebanon was north of Israel. Sharon, the western foothills famous for its wild flowers, as well as Bashan and Carmel were known as lush regions. But because of conflict these areas are described as bare wilderness. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 24:4 The earth mourns and withers; the world languishes and withers; the highest people of the earth languish.

    10 “Now I will rise up,” says the LORD.
    “Now I will lift myself up.
    Now I will be exalted.

    • Psa 12:5 “Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

    11 You will conceive chaff;
    you will give birth to stubble.
    Your breath is fire that will consume you.

    • Psa 7:14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.
    • Isa 59:4 No one enters suit justly; no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

    12 The peoples will be burned to ashes,
    like thorns cut down and burned in a fire.

    • 33:11–12 In spite of the efforts of the enemy army to win a victory, they will achieve nothing productive. They conceive and give birth, not to life but to death, here represented by dead vegetation that is good for nothing (chaff and stubble). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 9:18 For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

    13 You who are far off, hear what I have done;
    you who are near, know my strength.”

    • 33:13 God’s warring activity will be a testimony to the whole world, both near and far off, of his strength. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1087). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 49:1 Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.

    14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
    trembling seizes the ungodly:
    “Who among us can dwell with a consuming fire?
    Who among us can dwell with ever-burning flames?”

    • 33:14 The anticipation of such a powerful, judging God frightens sinners and causes everyone to ask, Who … can dwell with such a God? Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    15 The one who lives righteously
    and speaks rightly,
    who refuses profit from extortion,
    whose hand never takes a bribe,
    who stops his ears from listening to murderous plots
    and shuts his eyes against evil schemes—

    • Psa 15:2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;
    • Psa 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
    • Psa 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

    16 he will dwell on the heights;
    his refuge will be the rocky fortresses,
    his food provided, his water assured.

    17 Your eyes will see the King in his beauty;
    you will see a vast land.

    • 33:17 The King is none other than God himself (cp. v. 22, “the LORD is our King”). The picture of the King in his beauty looks to the future after the judgment and the destruction of the enemy when God’s people will be restored. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    18 Your mind will meditate on the past terror:
    “Where is the accountant?
    Where is the tribute collector?
    Where is the one who spied out our defenses?”

    • 33:18 In this glorious future, no longer will there be emissaries from the oppressive enemy to take the resources of the people of God (accountant and tribute collector) or those who try to prepare for battle against them (the one who spied out our defenses). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Co 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    19 You will no longer see the barbarians,
    a people whose speech is difficult to comprehend—
    who stammer in a language that is not understood.

    • 33:19 The barbarians at the end of the eighth century were the Assyrians, who spoke a language (Akkadian) that the people of God could not understand. They destroyed the northern kingdom and subjected the south to vassalage and threatened their existence. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2 Ki 19:32 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it.
    • Deu 28:49, 50 The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young.
    • Jer 5:15 Behold, I am bringing against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, declares the LORD. It is an enduring nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say.

    20 Look at Zion, the city of our festival times.
    Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
    a peaceful pasture, a tent that does not wander;
    its tent pegs will not be pulled up
    nor will any of its cords be loosened.

    • Psa 48:12 Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers,
    • Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
    • Psa 125:1, 2 A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. 2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.
    • Isa 37:33 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it.
    • Isa 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

    21 For the majestic one, our LORD, will be there,
    a place of rivers and broad streams
    where ships that are rowed will not go,
    and majestic vessels will not pass.

    • 33:20–21 Describing Jerusalem as a tent may be a way of emphasizing the fragility of the city. A tent is easy to pull down or destroy. However, since God will be for them, this tent will not move. To describe Zion as a place of rivers and broad streams is to paint a picture of future blessing since Jerusalem had nothing of the kind. The prevention of shipping in these rivers may refer to war vessels. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    22 For the LORD is our Judge,
    the LORD is our Lawgiver,
    the LORD is our King.
    He will save us.

    • Jas 4:12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
    • Psa 89:18 For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

    23 Your ropes are slack;
    they cannot hold the base of the mast
    or spread out the flag.
    Then abundant spoil will be divided,
    the lame will plunder it,

    • 33:23 It appears that the pronouncement changes the addressee. Your must refer to the enemy who tries to capture the people of God. The ship imagery (ropes … base of the mast) may point to those ships (v. 21) that try to assail Zion. But rather than taking plunder away, even the lame among the people of God will receive a portion. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    24 and none there will say, “I am sick.”
    The people who dwell there
    will be forgiven their iniquity.

    • 33:24 The change from judgment to salvation for the people of God takes place for one reason: they will be forgiven their iniquity.
    • Jer 50:20 In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.

    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1088). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 33:1–24). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 34

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    THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS

    1 You nations, come here and listen;
    you peoples, pay attention!
    Let the earth and all that fills it hear,
    the world and all that comes from it.

    • Oz note: He is GOD of ALL nations.
    • Psa 49:1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Hear this, all peoples! Give ear, all inhabitants of the world,
    • Deu 32:1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

    2 The LORD is angry with all the nations,
    furious with all their armies.
    He will set them apart for destruction,
    giving them over to slaughter.
    3 Their slain will be thrown out,
    and the stench of their corpses will rise;
    the mountains will flow with their blood.

    • Oz note: God isn’t happy.
    • Joe 2:20 “I will remove the northerner far from you, and drive him into a parched and desolate land, his vanguard into the eastern sea, and his rear guard into the western sea; the stench and foul smell of him will rise, for he has done great things.

    4 All the stars in the sky will dissolve.
    The sky will roll up like a scroll,
    and its stars will all wither
    as leaves wither on the vine,
    and foliage on the fig tree.

  • Psa 102:26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
  • Eze 32:7, 8 When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. 8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.
  • Joe 2:31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
  • Mat 24:29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
  • 2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
  • Isa 14:1 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
  • Rev 6:13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
  • THE JUDGMENT OF EDOM

    5 When my sword has drunk its fill, in the heavens,
    it will then come down on Edom
    and on the people I have set apart for destruction.

    • 34:5 Victory over heavenly forces (v. 4) is followed by a description of one representative nation, Edom. This nation was south of Moab in the region southeast of the Dead Sea. Set apart for destruction translates a single Hebrew verb (cherem) that is used frequently in Joshua to indicate that every man, woman, and child would be killed. It also describes the death of the enemy as a type of sacrifice to God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1089). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 46:10 That day is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
    • Jer 49:7 Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?
    • Mal 1:4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the LORD of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the LORD is angry forever.'”

    6 The LORD’s sword is covered with blood.
    It drips with fat,
    with the blood of lambs and goats,
    with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
    For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
    a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

    • Oz note: Bozrah was the capital of Edom
    • Zep 1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.

    7 The wild oxen will be struck down with them,
    and young bulls with the mighty bulls.
    Their land will be soaked with blood,
    and their soil will be saturated with fat.

    8 For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
    a time of paying back Edom
    for its hostility against Zion.

    • Oz note: time of paying = Edom had taken advantage of Israel in the past, when they were weak.
    • Isa 63:4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come.

    9 Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch,
    her soil into sulfur;
    her land will become burning pitch.

    • Oz note: burning pitch is “sulfur”.
    • Deu 29:23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath—

    10 It will never go out—day or night.
    Its smoke will go up forever.
    It will be desolate, from generation to generation;
    no one will pass through it forever and ever.

    • Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
    • Rev 18:18 and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, “What city was like the great city?”
    • Rev 19:3 Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
    • Mal 1:4 If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the LORD of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the LORD is angry forever.'”

    11 Eagle owls and herons will possess it,
    and long-eared owls and ravens will dwell there.
    The LORD will stretch out a measuring line
    and a plumb line over her
    for her destruction and chaos.

    • Oz note: Owls were “unclean” birds to the Israelites. Plumb line, a construction term, God will deconstruct Edom.
    • Isa 14:23 “And I will make it a possession of the hedgehog, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the LORD of hosts.
    • Zep 2:14 Herds shall lie down in her midst, all kinds of beasts; even the owl and the hedgehog shall lodge in her capitals; a voice shall hoot in the window; devastation will be on the threshold; for her cedar work will be laid bare.
    • Rev 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
    • 2Ki 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
    • Lam 2:8 The LORD determined to lay in ruins the wall of the daughter of Zion; he stretched out the measuring line; he did not restrain his hand from destroying; he caused rampart and wall to lament; they languished together.

    12 No nobles will be left to proclaim a king,
    and all her princes will come to nothing.
    13 Her palaces will be overgrown with thorns;
    her fortified cities, with thistles and briers.
    She will become a dwelling for jackals,
    an abode for ostriches.

    • Isa 32:13 for the soil of my people growing up in thorns and briers, yes, for all the joyous houses in the exultant city.
    • Hos 9:6 For behold, they are going away from destruction; but Egypt shall gather them; Memphis shall bury them. Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver; thorns shall be in their tents.
    • Isa 13:21 But wild animals will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches will dwell, and there wild goats will dance.

    14 The desert creatures will meet hyenas,
    and one wild goat will call to another.
    Indeed, the night birds will stay there
    and will find a resting place.
    15 Sand partridges will make their nests there;
    they will lay and hatch their eggs
    and will gather their broods under their shadows.
    Indeed, the birds of prey will gather there,
    each with its mate.
    16 Search and read the scroll of the LORD:
    Not one of them will be missing,
    none will be lacking its mate,
    because he has ordered it by my mouth,
    and he will gather them by his Spirit.

    • Oz note: scroll of the LORD = commentaries are not sure what this represents.
    • Edom will become desolate, deserted, occupied only by wild animals, and overgrown.
    • Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.

    17 He has cast the lot for them;
    his hand allotted their portion with a measuring line.
    They will possess it forever;
    they will dwell in it from generation to generation.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 34:1–17). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 35

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    THE RANSOMED RETURN TO ZION

    1 The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
    the desert will rejoice and blossom like a wildflower.

    • Oz note: In chapter 34 above, God turned the land into barren wilderness, unkept. But now, in chapter 35, the entire chapter, God is restoring the land into a garden. The lesson learned, trust God, and nothing or no one else.
    • Isa 55:12 Isa 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

    2 It will blossom abundantly
    and will also rejoice with joy and singing.
    The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
    They will see the glory of the LORD,
    the splendor of our God.

    • Isa 32:15 until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.

    3 Strengthen the weak hands,
    steady the shaking knees!

    • Job 4:3, 4 Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands. 4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees.
    • Heb 12:12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,

    4 Say to the cowardly:
    “Be strong; do not fear!
    Here is your God; vengeance is coming.
    God’s retribution is coming; he will save you.”

    • vengeance is coming = God will punish the wicked, and reward and restore the righteous.

    5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

    • Isa 29:18 In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.
    • Mat 9:27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
    • Mat 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
    • John 9:6, 7 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
    • Mat 11:5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

    6 Then the lame will leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy,
    for water will gush in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;

  • Mat 11:5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
    • Mat 15:30 And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them,
    • John 5:8, 9 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.
    • Act 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.
    • Isa 32:4 The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
    • Mat 9:32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him.
    • Mat 12:22 Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.
    • Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
    • John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”

    7 the parched ground will become a pool,
    and the thirsty land, springs.
    In the haunt of jackals, in their lairs,
    there will be grass, reeds, and papyrus.

    • Isa 34:13 Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches.

    8 A road will be there and a way;
    it will be called the Holy Way.
    The unclean will not travel on it,
    but it will be for the one who walks the path.
    Fools will not wander on it.

    • 35:8 Israel, with its deep wadis and mountainous terrain, was a hard land to cross, but Isaiah foresaw a road. This road will be the Holy Way, a name indicating that it would provide access to God. While the unclean would not travel on it since it led to the presence of a holy God, even the fools would not get lost if they sought to walk this path. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1090). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 52:1 Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.
    • Rev 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
    • Isa 11:9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
    • Eze 34:25 “I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

    9 There will be no lion there,
    and no vicious beast will go up on it;
    they will not be found there.
    But the redeemed will walk on it,
    10 and the ransomed of the LORD will return
    and come to Zion with singing,
    crowned with unending joy.
    Joy and gladness will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 35:1–10). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 36

    701 B.C.

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    SENNACHERIB’S INVASION

    1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.

    • 36:1 The year was 701 BC. The Assyrians had defeated the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BC and put Judah in a position where they had to pay annual tribute to keep the Assyrians from attacking them. In 703 BC Sennacherib succeeded his father Sargon on the throne of Assyria. Many nations, including Judah, seized upon this succession in leadership as an opportunity to rebel against Assyria. After taking care of rebellions in other parts of his empire, Sennacherib turned his attention to Judah in 701 BC. He easily took many of the smaller fortified cities on the way to Jerusalem. For accounts of this confrontation, see 2Kg 18–19 and 2Ch 32. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1090). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 18:13, 17 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer’s Field.
    • 2Ch 32:1 After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to win them for himself.

    2 Then the king of Assyria sent his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to Launderer’s Field.

    • 36:2 Lachish was an important garrison city about thirty miles west of Jerusalem. Along with other cities, it guarded the road that led to Jerusalem. The king of Assyria, along with his armies, was still at Lachish when he sent his royal spokesman (perhaps a Hebrew representation of an Akkadian title “chief cupbearer”), to present an ultimatum to Jerusalem. The spokesman stood at the same place where Isaiah had confronted Ahaz at an earlier time (7:3). This reminds the reader that the earlier Judean king was told not to trust the Assyrians, but Ahaz did not heed this advice, thus leading to the present situation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1090). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to him.
    4 The royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

    The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What are you relying on? 5 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on that you have rebelled against me?

    • 36:4–5 The purpose of the spokesman’s speech was to try to get Hezekiah to surrender.
    • 2Ki 18:19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?

    6 Look, you are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will pierce the hand of anyone who grabs it and leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him.

    • 36:6 The royal spokesman then undermined any confidence the nation of Judah might have in Egypt as an ally. He used the metaphor of a splintered reed of a staff. A staff was something a person leaned on for support. However, this staff was made out of a reed that could not support a person’s weight. Indeed, God through Isaiah had been making the same point. Egypt was not an ally that could be trusted. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 29:6, 7 Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD. “Because you have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, 7 when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake.

    7 Suppose you say to me, ‘We rely on the LORD our God.’ Isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You are to worship at this altar’?

    • 36:7 Finally, the spokesman questioned whether God would provide protection to Hezekiah. His argument shows that he did not understand the religion of Judah. Indeed, the removal of all altars except the one on Mount Zion was in conformity with the law of centralization in Dt 12. However, the spokesman had a pagan mind-set that assumed a god would be pleased with multiple altars, and conversely displeased if the number of altars were constricted. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 “Now make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you two thousand horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! 9 How then can you drive back a single officer among the least of my master’s servants? How can you rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen?

    • 36:8–9 The spokesman then taunted Judah by offering them two thousand horses, suggesting that they could not find riders for them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    10 Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the LORD’s approval? The LORD said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’ ”

    • 36:10 Here the spokesman’s statement reflects ancient Near Eastern pagan theology. The Assyrians believed that the God of Israel was a real deity, though perhaps not a strong one. The spokesman claimed that Judah’s God had ordered the nation’s destruction. God did use foreign nations on occasion to punish his own people, but in this case the spokesman was wrong, as further developments of the confrontation between Assyria and Israel would indicate. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the royal spokesman, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew within earshot of the people who are on the wall.”

    • 36:11 The Assyrians spoke a dialect of Akkadian, and the Judeans spoke Hebrew at this time. The spokesman probably had been speaking Hebrew to the Judean delegation. The leaders of Judah did not want the people to be frightened by the spokesman’s speech. Perhaps because they did not know how to speak Akkadian, they requested that the conversation take place in Aramaic. This language was closely related to Hebrew. It was known more broadly throughout the ancient Near East, but not by the people who were listening to this conversation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 But the royal spokesman replied, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men who are sitting on the wall, who are destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

    • 36:12 However, it served the spokesman’s propagandistic purpose to have the people hear and be frightened by the coming Assyrian army, so he refused this request. He reminded them of the consequences of a long siege. They would run out of water and have to drink their urine; they would run out of food and have to eat their excrement. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 Then the royal spokesman stood and called out loudly in Hebrew:

    Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot rescue you. 15 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD will certainly rescue us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ ”

    • 36:15 The spokesman mocked the idea of trusting in God to rescue Judah from Assyria. But as the previous chapters have asserted many times, trusting God is precisely what the people of Judah needed to do in this situation. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make peace with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree and drink water from his own cistern 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

    • 36:16–17 Assyria’s imperialistic policy called for the deportation of a subjugated people. The spokesman presented his ultimatum for surrender. For the time being, the Judeans would stay in their own land, but after a while, they would be deported to another land. Such a policy was put into place in 722 BC when the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom and deported the vast majority of the native population and then brought in foreigners to live there. This policy was intended to break the connection between a people and the god of their land. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Zec 3:10 In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

    18 Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘The LORD will rescue us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands ever rescued his land from my power? So will the LORD rescue Jerusalem from my power?”

    • 36:18–20 The spokesman argued that the God of Judah, Yahweh, could not save Judah any more than the gods of other nations and cities that had been defeated by Assyria. He specifically mentioned the defeat of three cities whose gods were unable to rescue their inhabitants. Arpad and Hamath were cities in northern Syria known to have been defeated by Assyria at an earlier time. The exact identification of Sepharvaim is unknown. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1092). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    21 But they kept silent; they didn’t say anything, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the royal spokesman.

    • 36:21–22 Hezekiah did not give his officials authority to negotiate with Assyria. They simply reported the proceedings to the king. Their clothes that were torn were a customary sign of mourning, showing their deep distress. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 36:1–22). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 37

    Return to top

    HEZEKIAH SEEKS ISAIAH’S COUNSEL

    1 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went to the LORD’s temple.

    • 37:1 The report from Hezekiah’s officials (36:22) led the king to assume a posture of mourning, indicated by the customary tearing of his clothes and putting on sackcloth, a rough and uncomfortable material. He then went to the temple, demonstrating the proper response to such a crisis. He did not turn to a foreign nation like Egypt for help, but he turned to God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2 Ki 19:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.

    2 He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace. It is as if children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 Perhaps the LORD your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the LORD your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’ ”

    • 37:2–4 Hezekiah then sent two of his officials, Eliakim and Shebna, along with senior priests, to elicit prayers on behalf of the nation from the prophet Isaiah. One of the main roles of a prophet was to provide intercessory prayer. The first mention of a prophet in the Bible links the office with prayer (Gn 20:7). Most of the prophets, beginning with Moses (Ex 33) and Samuel (1Sm 12:23), demonstrated the important role of prayer in their work. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who said to them, “Tell your master, ‘The LORD says this: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me.

    • 37:5–6 Isaiah assured King Hezekiah through his men that God would remedy the threat presented by the Assyrian army. God took the Assyrian challenge personally. The king had shown trust in the Lord by approaching Isaiah, his servant, to pray. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’ ”

    • 37:7 God would send a spirit of deception to the Assyrian king so he would hear and believe a falsehood that would cause him to retreat. The fact that God would send such a spirit evokes memory of the “evil spirit” God sent to torment Saul (1Sm 16:14) and the “lying spirit” God used to deceive King Ahab (1Kg 22:22). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    SENNACHERIB’S LETTER

    8 When the royal spokesman heard that the king of Assyria had pulled out of Lachish, he left and found him fighting against Libnah.

    • 37:8 When the royal spokesman had traveled to Jerusalem, the Assyrian king and his army was at Lachish (36:2); but when the spokesman returned, the king was at Libnah, a town about eight miles northeast of Lachish. Sennacherib had completed the capture of Lachish and had moved on to the next city on what seemed to be an unstoppable march toward Jerusalem. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1093). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    9 The king had heard concerning King Tirhakah of Cush, “He has set out to fight against you.” So when he heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

    • 37:9 King Tirhakah of Cush at this point in history (701 BC) may have been crown prince of Egypt. He became pharaoh of all Egypt in 690 BC and ruled until 664 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1094). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    10 “Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria.

    • 37:10 The rumor of Tirhakah’s advance on his rear flank caused Sennacherib to retreat from his advance on Jerusalem, but before he left he sent a message in the form of a “letter” (v. 14) to warn Hezekiah that his departure was only temporary. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1094). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: they completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’ ”

    • 37:11–13 Sennacherib again told Hezekiah (see the spokesman’s speech in 36:18–20) that he should not trust the Lord. After all, the gods of other nations and cities conquered by Assyria in the past had been unable to help them. Most of the sites listed here were in what is today eastern Turkey (Haran, the city where Abraham and his family stayed for a while before descending into the promised land; see Gn 11:31–32) or northern Syria (Gozan … Rezeph and Eden). One site, Telassar, has been associated with a location (Til-Ashshuri) in what is today Iraq near the Diyala River. On Hamath … Arpad, and Sepharvaim, see note at 36:18–20. The locations of Hena and Ivvah are unknown. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1094). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 49:23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

    HEZEKIAH’S PRAYER

    14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers’ hands, read it, then went up to the LORD’s temple and spread it out before the LORD.

    15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:

    • 37:14–15 Hezekiah immediately goes to the Lord, his only hope. He does not suppose to inform God of the contents of the letter, but lays it out as an expression of faith—only God can reply to such outrageous claims. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1094). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 LORD of Armies, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17 Listen closely, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see. Hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God.

    • Dan 1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

    18 LORD, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands. 19 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made from wood and stone by human hands. So they have destroyed them. 20 Now, LORD our God, save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are God,aa—you alone.

    • 37:18–20 Sennacherib had dared to compare the true God to mere idols and suggested that he would defeat the Lord’s people as easily as he had defeated the gods of the other countries. Hezekiah appealed to God based on his glory. If Judah should be defeated, then the nations, and in particular Assyria, would believe that Yahweh was just like the false gods of all the other nations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p.1095). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    GOD’S ANSWER THROUGH ISAIAH

    21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘Because you prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22 this is the word the LORD has spoken against him:

    Virgin Daughter Zion
    despises you and scorns you;
    Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head
    behind your back.

    • 37:22 Daughter Zion is a personification of Zion, the most holy location in Judah. This reminds the reader of the intimate relationship God enjoyed with his people. The response was addressed to none other than Sennacherib, so the use of this title for God’s people shows from the start how important they were to Yahweh. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1095). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    23 Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
    and lifted your eyes in pride?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!

    • 37:23 God was enraged by Sennacherib’s mocking condescension toward him, treating him as a local and powerless deity. He was the Holy One of Israel, one of Isaiah’s favorite titles for God, emphasizing his separateness, moral perfection, and uniqueness. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1095). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    24 You have mocked the Lord through your servants.
    You have said, “With my many chariots
    I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
    to the far recesses of Lebanon.
    I cut down its tallest cedars,
    its choice cypress trees.
    I came to its distant heights,
    its densest forest.
    25 I dug wells and drank water in foreign lands.
    I dried up all the streams of Egypt
    with the soles of my feet.”

    26 Have you not heard?
    I designed it long ago;
    I planned it in days gone by.
    I have now brought it to pass,
    and you have crushed fortified cities
    into piles of rubble.
    27 Their inhabitants have become powerless,
    dismayed, and ashamed.
    They are plants of the field,
    tender grass,
    grass on the rooftops,
    blasted by the east wind.

    • 37:26–27 Now God revealed to Sennacherib the true nature of things. Sennacherib had boasted of his achievements, but God announced that he had done nothing without divine design. His victories had come about only because God had willed it. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1095). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    28 But I know your sitting down,
    your going out and your coming in,
    and your raging against me.
    29 Because your raging against me
    and your arrogance have reached my ears,
    I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth;
    I will make you go back
    the way you came.

    • 37:29 It was Assyrian practice, as illustrated in the bas-reliefs that adorned their palaces, to put a hook in the nose or the mouth of captives as they carried them into exile. God told Sennacherib that he would be subjected to this brutal and degrading treatment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1095). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
    • Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

    30 “ ‘This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of Armies will accomplish this.’

    • 37:30–32 God directed these words to Hezekiah, king of Judah, to show him that the future would see a turn for the better for God’s people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 37:30 Because of the siege by Assyria, the Judeans were penned up behind the walls of Jerusalem and had not been able to plant their crops. Thus, they would eat what grew on its own, an unreliable volunteer crop. After Assyria lifted the siege, they would be able to plant, but not until the third year would agriculture get back to normal. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 37:31–32 Now the pronouncement speaks of a metaphorical harvest—of the surviving remnant of the people of God. The future will see the remnant become productive.
    • 2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.
    • Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

    33 “Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria:

    He will not enter this city,
    shoot an arrow here,
    come before it with a shield,
    or build up a siege ramp against it.
    34 He will go back
    the way he came,
    and he will not enter this city.
    This is the LORD’s declaration.
    35 I will defend this city and rescue it
    for my sake
    and for the sake of my servant David.”

    • 37:33–35 God directed his attention back to the king of Assyria. He announced that Sennacherib would fail at his attempt to take the city. He would not even begin the assault but would return to Assyria. God would do this for his own glory and because of the promise he had made to David. God promised David that “your house and kingdom will endure before me forever, and your throne will be established forever” (2Sm 7:16). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 20:6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
    • Isa 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.

    DEFEAT AND DEATH OF SENNACHERIB

    36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning, there were all the dead bodies!

    • 2Ki 19:35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

    37 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.

    • 37:36–37 God sent his angel to kill the Assyrians without a battle. No proximate cause is given for the death of the enemy soldiers, though it is likely that God used disease to accomplish his goal. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.

    • 37:38 Nisroch was an unknown Assyrian god or, more likely, the name given by the Hebrews to a god known by another name. Ararat was a region located around Lake Van north of Assyria. It was known in antiquity as Urartu and was a long-standing foe of Assyria, thus a likely place for the murderous sons of Sennacherib to escape. While Adrammelech and Sharezer are not known by name, Esar-haddona is known to have succeeded his father Sennacherib after the king’s death in 683 BC. Since these events happened in 683 BC, it appears that almost twenty years passed from the time Sennacherib withdrew from Jerusalem in 701 BC to the time when he died at the hands of his sons. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 37:1–38). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 38

    Return to top

    HEZEKIAH’S ILLNESS AND RECOVERY

    38:1 In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’ ”

    • 2 Kings 20:1 (KJV) 1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

    2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD.

    • Psalms 50:15 (KJV) And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

    3 He said, “Please, LORD, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

    • Nehemiah 5:19 (KJV) Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
    • 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 (KJV And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

    4 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah: 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add fifteen years to your life.

    • 38:4–5 God heard the prayer of Hezekiah and increased his lifespan by fifteen years. Interestingly, God is described as the LORD God of your ancestor David. Hezekiah was the descendant of David, who had been promised a son on the throne in Jerusalem forever. Hezekiah may not have had an heir at this time (his heir, Manasseh, was twelve years old when Hezekiah died, 2Kg 21:1). This meant that if he died prior to the fifteen-year extension, the Davidic dynasty would come to an end. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV) And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

    6 And I will rescue you and this city from the grasp of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.

    • 2 Chronicles 32:22 (KJV) Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

    7 This is the sign to you from the LORD that he will do what he has promised: 8 I am going to make the sun’s shadow that goes down on the stairway of Ahaz go back by ten steps.’ ” So the sun’s shadow went back the ten steps it had descended.

    • 38:8 The return of the sun’s shadow on the stairway indicated a lengthening of the day that would be comparable to God’s lengthening of the life of Hezekiah. The parallel account in 2Kg 20:9–11 indicates that Hezekiah was allowed to choose whether the shadow would go ahead or go back ten steps. Hezekiah chose the latter since he considered that the more difficult feat. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1096). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2 Kings 20:8-11 (KJV) And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day? 9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

    9 A poem by King Hezekiah of Judah after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:

    10 I said: In the prime of my life
    I must go to the gates of Sheol;
    I am deprived of the rest of my years.

    • 2 Corinthians 1:9 (KJV) 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

    11 I said: I will never see the LORD,
    the LORD in the land of the living;
    I will not look on humanity any longer
    with the inhabitants of what is passing away.

    • 38:11 The land of the living refers to this world and leaves open the question about Hezekiah’s belief in the afterlife. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1097). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psalms 6:4-5 (KJV) Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

    12 My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd’s tent.
    I have rolled up my life like a weaver;
    he cuts me off from the loom.
    By nightfall you make an end of me.

    • Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.

    13 I thought until the morning:
    He will break all my bones like a lion.
    By nightfall you make an end of me.
    14 I chirp like a swallow or a crane;
    I moan like a dove.
    My eyes grow weak looking upward.
    Lord, I am oppressed; support me.

    • Isa 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

    15 What can I say?
    He has spoken to me,
    and he himself has done it.
    I walk along slowly all my years
    because of the bitterness of my soul.

    • Job 17:11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.

    16 Lord, by such things people live,
    and in every one of them my spirit finds life;
    you have restored me to health
    and let me live.
    17 Indeed, it was for my own well-being
    that I had such intense bitterness;
    but your love has delivered me
    from the Pit of destruction,
    for you have thrown all my sins behind your back.
    18 For Sheol cannot thank you;
    Death cannot praise you.
    Those who go down to the Pit
    cannot hope for your faithfulness.

    • Psa 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
    • Psa 30:9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
    • Psa 88:11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?
    • Psa 115:17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.
    • Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

    19 The living, only the living can thank you,
    as I do today;
    a father will make your faithfulness known to children.

    • Deu 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
    • Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
    • Psa 78:3, 4 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

    20 The LORD is ready to save me;
    we will play stringed instruments
    all the days of our lives
    at the house of the LORD.

    • 38:19 God benefits from keeping his saints alive. The living can praise God, and they can share that praise with the following generations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1097). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 20:7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

    21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of pressed figs and apply it to his infected skin, so that he may recover.” 22 And Hezekiah had asked, “What is the sign that I will go up to the LORD’s temple?”

    • 2Ki20:8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 38:1–22). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 39

    701 B.C.

    Return to top

    HEZEKIAH’S FOLLY

    39:1 At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

    • 39:1 Merodach-baladan was king of Babylon, at this time a province of the Assyrian Empire. The letters and a gift that he sent to Hezekiah were part of a strategy to get Hezekiah to join with him in a rebellious alliance. This story in 39:1–8 finds its parallel in 2Kg 20:12–19. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1097). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 20:12 At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

    2 Hezekiah was pleased with the letters, and he showed the envoys his treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and all his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.

    • 2Ch 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.

    3 Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say, and where did they come to you from?”
    Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant country, from Babylon.”
    4 Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”
    Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”
    5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of Armies: 6 ‘Look, the days are coming when everything in your palace and all that your predecessors have stored up until today will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the LORD.

    • Jer 20:5 Moreover I will deliver all the strength of this city, and all the labours thereof, and all the precious things thereof, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies, which shall spoil them, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.

    7 ‘Some of your descendants—who come from you, whom you father—will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ”

    • 39:5–7 God through the prophet Isaiah expressed his great displeasure with Hezekiah. The king’s actions demonstrated that he was trusting foreign nations like Babylon for his protection rather than God. The Lord’s punishment would take away the wealth that Hezekiah had been showing off to Merodach-baladan. Another part of the punishment was that some of the king’s descendants would be taken away and would become eunuchs in Babylon. Babylonian records indicate that a number of the Babylonian king’s advisers were eunuchs. Some have speculated that Daniel and his three friends (described as “from the royal family and from the nobility,” Dn 1:3) were also made eunuchs since Ashpenaz’s title is literally rendered “chief of the eunuchs.” Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1098). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good,” for he thought: There will be peace and security during my lifetime.

    39:8 The implication of the announced punishment was that it would happen in a future generation. Hezekiah’s selfish relief does not speak well for him. The reference is likely to the turbulent end of the Davidic dynasty in Judah and specifically to the events surrounding the exile and removal of the last king, Zedekiah.
    Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1098). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

  • 1Sa 3:18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
  • Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 39:1–8). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 40

    Return to top

    GOD’S PEOPLE COMFORTED

    40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
    says your God.
    2 “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and announce to her
    that her time of hard service is over,
    her iniquity has been pardoned,
    and she has received from the LORD’s hand
    double for all her sins.”

    • Isa 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

    3 A voice of one crying out:

    Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness;
    make a straight highway for our God in the desert.

    • Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
    • Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
    • Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

    4 Every valley will be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
    the uneven ground will become smooth
    and the rough places, a plain.

    • Isa 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

    5 And the glory of the LORD will appear,
    and all humanity together will see it,
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

    6 A voice was saying, “Cry out!”
    Another said, “What should I cry out?”
    “All humanity is grass,
    and all its goodness is like the flower of the field.

    • Job 14:2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

    7 The grass withers, the flowers fade
    when the breath of the LORD blows on them;
    indeed, the people are grass.
    8 The grass withers, the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God remains forever.”

    • Joh 12:34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

    9 Zion, herald of good news,
    go up on a high mountain.
    Jerusalem, herald of good news,
    raise your voice loudly.
    Raise it, do not be afraid!
    Say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
    10 See, the Lord GOD comes with strength,
    and his power establishes his rule.
    His wages are with him,
    and his reward accompanies him.

    • Isa 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
    • Isa 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

    11 He protects his flock like a shepherd;
    he gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them in the fold of his garment.
    He gently leads those that are nursing.

    • Eze 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
    • Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
    • Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
    • 1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
    • 40:12–26 The series of rhetorical questions that appear in these verses have one intention—to demonstrate the uniqueness of the one true God. This assured God’s people that God not only wanted to deliver them, but he was able to do so. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1099). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
    or marked off the heavens with the span of his hand?
    Who has gathered the dust of the earth in a measure
    or weighed the mountains on a balance
    and the hills on the scales?

    • Pro 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

    13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
    or who gave him counsel?

    • Job 21:22 Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.
    • 1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

    14 Who did he consult?
    Who gave him understanding
    and taught him the paths of justice?
    Who taught him knowledge
    and showed him the way of understanding?
    15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are considered as a speck of dust on the scales;
    he lifts up the islands like fine dust.
    16 Lebanon’s cedars are not enough for fuel,
    or its animals enough for a burnt offering.
    17 All the nations are as nothing before him;
    they are considered by him
    as empty nothingness.

    • Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
    • Psa 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.

    18 With whom will you compare God?
    What likeness will you set up for comparison with him?

    • Isa 46:5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
    • Acts 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

    19 An idol?—something that a smelter casts
    and a metalworker plates with gold
    and makes silver chains for?

    • Isa 41:6-7 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. 7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
    • Isa 44:12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
    • Jer 10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    20 A poor person contributes wood for a pedestal
    that will not rot.
    He looks for a skilled craftsman
    to set up an idol that will not fall over.

    • Isa 41:7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.
    • Jer 10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    21 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    Has it not been declared to you
    from the beginning?
    Have you not considered
    the foundations of the earth?

    • Psa 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
    • Act 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
    • Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    22 God is enthroned above the circle of the earth;
    its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
    He stretches out the heavens like thin cloth
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

    • Job 9:8 Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.
    • Psa 104:2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
    • Isa 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
    • Isa 51:13 And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?
    • Jer 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

    23 He reduces princes to nothing
    and makes judges of the earth like a wasteland.

    • Job 12:21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
    • Psa 107:40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

    24 They are barely planted, barely sown,
    their stem hardly takes root in the ground
    when he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind carries them away like stubble.

    25 “To whom will you compare me,
    or who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

    26 Look up and see!
    Who created these?
    He brings out the stars by number;
    he calls all of them by name.
    Because of his great power and strength,
    not one of them is missing.

    • Psa 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

    27 Jacob, why do you say,
    and Israel, why do you assert,
    “My way is hidden from the LORD,
    and my claim is ignored by my God”?
    28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the whole earth.
    He never becomes faint or weary;
    there is no limit to his understanding.

    • Psa 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
    • Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    29 He gives strength to the faint
    and strengthens the powerless.
    30 Youths may become faint and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall,
    31 but those who trust in the LORD
    will renew their strength;
    they will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not become weary,
    they will walk and not faint.

    • Psa 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 40:1–31). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 41

    Return to top

    THE LORD VERSUS THE NATIONS’ GODS

    41 “Be silent before me, coasts and islands!
    And let peoples renew their strength.
    Let them approach; let them testify;
    let’s come together for the trial.

    • Oz notes: coasts and islands means “far off lands”. This is meant to sound like a trial.
    • Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

    2 Who has stirred up someone from the east?
    In righteousness he calls him to serve.
    The LORD hands nations over to him,
    and he subdues kings.
    He makes them like dust with his sword,
    like wind-driven stubble with his bow.

    • 41:2 The one from the east who subdues kings is a reference to Cyrus, king of Persia (45:1), whom God used to defeat Babylon in 539 BC. This brought the exile of Judah to an end. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1100). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
    • Gen 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
    • Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

    3 He pursues them, going on safely,
    hardly touching the path with his feet.

    • hardly touching the path means that Cyrus conquered nations very quickly.

    Who has performed and done this,
    calling the generations from the beginning?
    I am the LORD, the first
    and with the last—I am he.”

    • Who has performed and done this = God has done this…he used Cyrus to do it, but it was all God.
    • Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
    • Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    5 The coasts and islands see and are afraid,
    the whole earth trembles.
    They approach and arrive.
    6 Each one helps the other,
    and says to another, “Take courage!”

    • Isa 40:19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

    7 The craftsman encourages the metalworker;
    the one who flattens with the hammer
    encourages the one who strikes the anvil,
    saying of the soldering, “It is good.”
    He fastens it with nails so that it will not fall over.

    • craftsman encourages the metalworker = the people who made the false idols that the people trusted in.
    • Isa 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
    • Isa 40:20 He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved.

    8 But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    descendant of Abraham, my friend—

    • descendant of Abraham, = God keeping His Abrahamic covenant, restoring the people of Abraham.
    • Deu 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
    • Deu 10:15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
    • Psa 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
    • Isa 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
    • 2Ch 20:7 Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?
    • Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

    9 I brought you from the ends of the earth
    and called you from its farthest corners.
    I said to you: You are my servant;
    I have chosen you; I haven’t rejected you.

    • 41:9 God’s punishment of Judah led to exile in 586 BC when many of its leading citizens were taken to Babylon and from there scattered throughout the empire. Restoration involved bringing them back from the ends of the earth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1100). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    10 Do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be afraid, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you; I will help you;
    I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

    • right hand is often used as a reference to God’s military strength, his might!
    • Isa 43:5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
    • Deu 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

    11 Be sure that all who are enraged against you
    will be ashamed and disgraced;
    those who contend with you
    will become as nothing and will perish.

  • Exo 23:22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.
  • Isa 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
  • Isa 60:12 For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
  • Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
  • 12 You will look for those who contend with you,
    but you will not find them.
    Those who war against you
    will become absolutely nothing.
    13 For I am the LORD your God,
    who holds your right hand,
    who says to you, “Do not fear,
    I will help you.
    14 Do not fear, you worm Jacob,
    you men of Israel.
    I will help you”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration.
    Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

    • Vs 13-14. Commentaries point out that Israel is not powerful enough, or large enough, to protect themselves. Israel’s protection coes from God.

    15 See, I will make you into a sharp threshing board,
    new, with many teeth.
    You will thresh mountains and pulverize them
    and make hills into chaff.

    • Mic 4:13 Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.
    • 2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

    16 You will winnow them
    and a wind will carry them away,
    a whirlwind will scatter them.
    But you will rejoice in the LORD;
    you will boast in the Holy One of Israel.

    • Jer 51:2 And will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
    • Isa 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

    17 The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
    I will answer them.
    I am the LORD, the God of Israel. I will not abandon them.

    • 41:17–18 The phrase the poor and the needy here refers to God’s own down-and-out people whom he has punished. But God will restore them, turning their dry land into a watery paradise. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1101). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    18 I will open rivers on the barren heights,
    and springs in the middle of the plains.
    I will turn the desert into a pool
    and dry land into springs.

    • Isa 35:6,7 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
    • Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
    • Isa 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
    • Psa 107:35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.

    19 I will plant cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees
    in the wilderness.
    I will put juniper, elm, and cypress trees together
    in the desert,
    20 so that all may see and know,
    consider and understand,
    that the hand of the LORD has done this,
    the Holy One of Israel has created it.

    • 19-20. Only God can make an orchard out of a wilderness. The “created” word used here is the same as created in Genesis.
    • Job 12:9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?

    21 “Submit your case,” says the LORD.
    “Present your arguments,” says Jacob’s King.

    • Jacob’s King is God himself.

    22 “Let them come and tell us
    what will happen.
    Tell us the past events,
    so that we may reflect on them
    and know the outcome,
    or tell us the future.

    • Isa 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

    23 Tell us the coming events,
    then we will know that you are gods.
    Indeed, do something good or bad,
    then we will be in awe when we see it.

    • Isa 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
    • Isa 44:7, 8 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
    • Isa 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
    • Joh 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
    • Jer 10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    24 Look, you are nothing
    and your work is worthless.
    Anyone who chooses you is detestable.

    • 22-24. All the other “gods”; all the other “idols” are nothing.
    • Psa 115:8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
    • Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
    • 1Co 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

    25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he has come,
    one from the east who invokes my name.
    He will march over rulers as if they were mud,
    like a potter who treads the clay.

    • 41:25 King Cyrus of Persia is in mind here. He is said to be from the east (see note at v. 2) because his homeland was geographically east of Israel. On the other hand, he could at the same time be from the north because that was the direction from which he attacked Babylon. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1101). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Ezr 1:2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

    26 Who told about this from the beginning,
    so that we might know,
    and from times past,
    so that we might say, ‘He is right’?
    No one announced it,
    no one told it,
    no one heard your words.

    • Isa 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

    27 I was the first to say to Zion,
    ‘Look! Here they are!’
    And I gave Jerusalem a herald with good news.

    • 41:26–27 While the idols were ignorant because they did not really exist, God knew the future. Indeed he knew about this from the beginning. The coming of Cyrus was good news to Jerusalem because his defeat of Babylon would mean that the exiles could come home. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1101). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

    28 When I look, there is no one;
    there is no counselor among them;
    when I ask them, they have nothing to say.

    • Isa 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

    29 Look, all of them are a delusion;
    their works are nonexistent;
    their images are wind and emptiness.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 41:1–29). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 42

    690 B.C.

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    THE SERVANT’S MISSION

    42:1 “This is my servant; I strengthen him,
    this is my chosen one; I delight in him.
    I have put my Spirit on him;
    he will bring justice to the nations.

    • Commentaries all point to several possibilities for who my servant might be. Some say it might be Isaiah, some say King Cyrus, and of course some (most?) say it is Christ.
    • I have put my Spirit on him” means that God will empower those whom He choses to do his good will!
    • Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
    • Isa 49:3, 6 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
    • Mat 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
    • Phi 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    • Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    • Mat 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
    • Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    • Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
    • Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

    2 He will not cry out or shout
    or make his voice heard in the streets.

    • 42:2 The servant will not be loud or obnoxious in carrying out his task. He will not cry out in pain. This assumes suffering as part of the servant’s future (chap. 53). At Gethsemane Jesus went quietly when arrested (Mt 26:47). Later he quietly bore the crossbeam of his cross a portion of the way as he walked the streets toward his execution site: Golgotha (Jn 19:17). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1102). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 He will not break a bruised reed,
    and he will not put out a smoldering wick;
    he will faithfully bring justice.

    • He will be a fair person, not wanting to hurt or destroy anyone, he will bring justice.

    4 He will not grow weak or be discouraged
    until he has established justice on earth.
    The coasts and islands will wait for his instruction.”

    • coasts and islands = God controls “everything and everywhere”… this is worldwide.
    • Gen 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

    5 This is what God, the LORD, says—
    who created the heavens and stretched them out,
    who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
    who gives breath to the people on it
    and spirit to those who walk on it—

    • God is the creator…he gave breath to Adam, and everyone since.
    • Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
    • Zec 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
    • Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

    6 “I am the LORD. I have called you
    for a righteous purpose,
    and I will hold you by your hand.
    I will watch over you, and I will appoint you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light to the nations,

    • We are talking about the nation of Israel here. God had made a covenant with Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3, and all nations will be blessed by them.
    • Isa 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
    • Isa 49:6, 8 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. 8
    • Luk 2:32 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
    • Act 13:47 For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

    7 in order to open blind eyes,
    to bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
    and those sitting in darkness from the prison house.

    • Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
    • Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
    • Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
    • 2Ti 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
    • Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
    • Isa 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

    8 I am the LORD. That is my name,
    and I will not give my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.

  • Isa 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
  • 9 The past events have indeed happened.
    Now I declare new events;
    I announce them to you before they occur.”

    A SONG OF PRAISE

    10 Sing a new song to the LORD;
    sing his praise from the ends of the earth,
    you who go down to the sea with all that fills it,
    you coasts and islands with your inhabitants.

    • 42:10 The expression new song occurs only in Isaiah, Psalms (Ps 33:3; 40:3; 98:1; 149:1), and Revelation (Rv 5:9; 14:3). With only minor exceptions, “new song” is associated, as here, with the image of God as a warrior. It is the warrior who causes all things to become new through his refining warfare Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1102). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 33:3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
    • Psa 40:3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
    • Psa 98:1 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
    • Psa 107:23 Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters;

    11 Let the desert and its cities shout,
    the settlements where Kedar dwells cry aloud.
    Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy;
    let them cry out from the mountaintops.
    12 Let them give glory to the LORD
    and declare his praise in the coasts and islands.
    13 The LORD advances like a warrior;
    he stirs up his zeal like a soldier.
    He shouts, he roars aloud,
    he prevails over his enemies.

    • When God is a warrior, He always win. There are no surprises!
    • Isa 31:4 For thus the LORD said to me, “As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a band of shepherds is called out against him he is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill.

    14 “I have kept silent from ages past;
    I have been quiet and restrained myself.
    But now, I will groan like a woman in labor,
    gasping breathlessly.

    • 42:14 God has been silent. He has not made an appearance as a warrior for a long time, but that is about to change. He is about to give birth to his righteous anger toward the enemy of his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    15 I will lay waste mountains and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation.
    I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up marshes.
    16 I will lead the blind by a way they did not know;
    I will guide them on paths they have not known.
    I will turn darkness to light in front of them
    and rough places into level ground.
    This is what I will do for them,
    and I will not abandon them.
    17 They will be turned back and utterly ashamed—
    those who trust in an idol
    and say to a cast image,
    ‘You are our gods!’

    • 17. Those who trust in an idol will not be helped but will experience shame. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 97:7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!
    • Isa 1:29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks that you desired; and you shall blush for the gardens that you have chosen.
    • Isa 44:11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
    • Isa 45:16 All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.

    ISRAEL’S BLINDNESS AND DEAFNESS

    • 42:18–25 The chapter ends with a pronouncement that explains why God’s people will experience judgment before they receive the deliverance described in the previous hymn (vv. 10–17). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    18 “Listen, you deaf!
    Look, you blind, so that you may see.
    19 Who is blind but my servant,
    or deaf like my messenger I am sending?
    Who is blind like my dedicated one,
    or blind like the servant of the LORD?

    • Isa 43:8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!
    • Eze 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.
    • Joh 9:39, 41 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

    20 Though seeing many things, you pay no attention.
    Though his ears are open, he does not listen.”

    • 42:18–20 God describes his servant Israel as blind and deaf. These physical disabilities represent spiritual disabilities; they don’t perceive God’s guidance. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rom 2:21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?

    21 Because of his righteousness, the LORD was pleased
    to magnify his instruction and make it glorious.

    • 42:21 The people’s inability to see and hear God’s instruction was not a failure on God’s part. He magnified his instruction and made it glorious. Only the most spiritually insensitive could miss it. God had even sent the prophets—men like Isaiah and later Jeremiah and Ezekiel—to make his instruction clearer, but still they did not obey. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    22 But this is a people plundered and looted,
    all of them trapped in holes
    or imprisoned in dungeons.
    They have become plunder
    with no one to rescue them
    and loot, with no one saying, “Give it back!”

    • 42:22 God’s people have become plunder, a reference to the judgment he will bring on them with the exile. No one will help them. The reference to holes is to makeshift prisons, similar to the cistern in which Jeremiah was held (Jr 38). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    23 Who among you will hear this?
    Let him listen and obey in the future.
    24 Who gave Jacob to the robber,
    and Israel to the plunderers?
    Was it not the LORD?
    Have we not sinned against him?
    They were not willing to walk in his ways,
    and they would not listen to his instruction.
    25 So he poured out his furious anger
    and the power of war on Jacob.
    It surrounded him with fire, but he did not know it;
    it burned him, but he didn’t take it to heart.

    • 42:23–25 God is the one who has allowed Israel to be the plunder of the nations as punishment for not following his law. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1103). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Ki 25:9 And he burned the house of the LORD and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down.
    • Hos 7:9 Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 42:1–43:1). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 43

    690 B.C.

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    RESTORATION OF ISRAEL

    43:1 Now this is what the LORD says—
    the one who created you, Jacob,
    and the one who formed you, Israel
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by your name; you are mine.

    • Jacob was renamed Israel in Genesis 32:28. God named Israel, showing ownership. God telling his people to do not fear, HE has the situation in hand and under control
    • Isa 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
    • Isa 42:6 “I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
    • Isa 45:4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me.

    2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you
    and the rivers will not overwhelm you,
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be scorched
    and the flame will not burn you.

    • Water can stand for forces of chaos and evil, see Daniel 7:1-9, or water can stand for personal duress, see Psalm 69:1-3. Notice, God is directly protecting them, showing a personal relationship.
    • Psa 66:12 you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
    • Psa 91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
    • Deu 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
    • Dan 3:25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

    3 For I am the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior.
    I have given Egypt as a ransom for you,
    Cush and Seba in your place.

    • Pro 11:8 The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.
    • Pro 21:18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.

    4 Because you are precious in my sight
    and honored, and I love you,
    I will give people in exchange for you
    and nations instead of your life.
    5 Do not fear, for I am with you;
    I will bring your descendants from the east,
    and gather you from the west.

    • Isa 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    • Isa 44:2 Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
    • Jer 30:10 “Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.
    • Jer 46:27, 28 “But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid. 28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”

    6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back!’
    Bring my sons from far away,
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—

    • 43:5–6 God will gather his people from all over the world, east and west … north and south. The reference is to the restoration from the exile. The returns under Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel as well as the later returns under Ezra and Nehemiah show that the Lord kept his promise. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1104). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 everyone who bears my name
    and is created for my glory.
    I have formed them; indeed, I have made them.”

    • 43:7 The exile will not result in the eradication of God’s special people. After all, he created them. They will preserve their distinct identity and not be merged into foreign populations. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1104). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 63:19 We have become like those over whom you have never ruled, like those who are not called by your name.
    • Jas 2:7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
    • Psa 100:3 Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    • Isa 29:23 For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
    • Joh 3:3, 5 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
      Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
    • 2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    8 Bring out a people who are blind, yet have eyes,
    and are deaf, yet have ears.

    • eyes and ears, the reference is to spiritual insensitivity.
    • Isa 6:9 And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
    • Isa 42:19 Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the LORD?
    • Eze 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

    9 All the nations are gathered together,
    and the peoples are assembled.
    Who among them can declare this,
    and tell us the former things?
    Let them present their witnesses
    to vindicate themselves,
    so that people may hear and say, “It is true.”

    • Here we see “sarcasm”.
    • Isa 41:21, 22, 26 Set forth your case, says the LORD; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob. 22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come. 26 Who declared it from the beginning, that we might know, and beforehand, that we might say, “He is right”? There was none who declared it, none who proclaimed, none who heard your words.

    10 “You are my witnesses”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
    so that you may know and believe me
    and understand that I am he.
    No god was formed before me,
    and there will be none after me.

    • Isa 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”
    • Isa 55:4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
    • Isa 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.

    11 I—I am the LORD.
    Besides me, there is no Savior.

    • Isa 45:21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me.
    • Hos 13:4 But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior.

    12 I alone declared, saved, and proclaimed—
    and not some foreign god among you.
    So you are my witnesses”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “and I am God.

    • 43:10–12 God called to the assembled nations (v. 9) to be a witness. He also called on his people, whom he identified as his servant, to be his witnesses. The calling of witnesses associates this passage with the courtroom. Not only is God better than the foreign gods; they do not exist at all. The nations were silent when asked to witness to their gods’ work in their lives. God’s people functioned as God’s witness to the fact that he had saved them in the past. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1104). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 32:16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger.
    • Isa 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”

    13 Also, from today on I am he alone,
    and none can rescue from my power.
    I act, and who can reverse it?”

    • God is SOVEREIGN!
    • Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
    • Job 9:12 Behold, he snatches away; who can turn him back? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

    GOD’S DELIVERANCE OF REBELLIOUS ISRAEL

    14 This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

    Because of you, I will send an army to Babylon
    and bring all of them as fugitives,
    even the Chaldeans in the ships in which they rejoice.

    • 43:14 God will turn the Babylonians into fugitives, suggesting that their cities will be defeated and they will wander from place to place. Chaldeans were an Aramaic-speaking tribe of Babylon that rose up in the seventh century BC to lead the charge against Assyria, thus establishing the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The Chaldean tribe’s home base was at the point where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers emptied into what is today called the Persian Gulf. Thus shipping was very important to them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1105). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    15 I am the LORD, your Holy One,
    the Creator of Israel, your King.

    16 This is what the LORD says—
    who makes a way in the sea,
    and a path through raging water,

    • Exo 14:6 So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him,
    • Jos 3:13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.”

    17 who brings out the chariot and horse,
    the army and the mighty one together
    (they lie down, they do not rise again;
    they are extinguished, put out like a wick)—

    • Exo 14:4-9, 25 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD.” And they did so. 5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” 6 So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him,7 and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. 8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. 9 The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. 25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily. And the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from before Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.”

    18 “Do not remember the past events;
    pay no attention to things of old.

    • Jer 16:14 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’

    19 Look, I am about to do something new;
    even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
    Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
    rivers in the desert.

    • 43:18–19 The exodus poetically described in vv. 16–17 is described as past events, the things of old. But God turns the hearers’ attention to something new, a new exodus. This time God will create not “a way in the sea” (v. 16), but a way in the wilderness. This future deliverance is pictured as a reversal of nature, with rivers in the desert. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1105). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    • Rev 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
    • Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
    • Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.
    • Deu 8:15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,
    • Psa 78:16 He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

    20 Wild animals—
    jackals and ostriches—will honor me,
    because I provide water in the wilderness,
    and rivers in the desert,

    • Isa 48:21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and the water gushed out.

    to give drink to my chosen people.
    21 The people I formed for myself
    will declare my praise.

    • 43:20–21 Because of the new provision of water in the wilderness, the animals that live there will be pleased. In the same way, God’s people who have been oppressed by the Babylonians will find new freedom. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1105). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 102:18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD:
    • Eph 1:5, 6 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

    22 “But, Jacob, you have not called on me,
    because, Israel, you have become weary of me.

    • Mal 1:13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD.

    23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings
    or honored me with your sacrifices.
    I have not burdened you with offerings
    or wearied you with incense.

    • Amo 5:25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

    24 You have not bought me aromatic cane with silver,
    or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices.
    But you have burdened me with your sins;
    you have wearied me with your iniquities.

    • 43:22–24 Whether Israel literally stopped offering sacrifices or whether they simply offered them hypocritically is not important; proper sacrifices were not being offered. The passage revolves around the word weary. The people were weary of God, so they did not offer requisite sacrifice. But it was not God’s fault—the purpose of the sacrificial laws was not to weary them but to free them from their sins. Since the people refused to see this, God was instead wearied by the sins of his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1105). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Isa 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
    • Mal 2:17 You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

    25 “I am the one, I sweep away your transgressions
    for my own sake
    and remember your sins no more.

    • Isa 44:22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.
    • Jer 50:20 In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
    • Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
    • Eze 36:22
    • Isa 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
    • Jer 31:34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    26 Remind me. Let’s argue the case together.
    Recount the facts, so that you may be vindicated.
    27 Your first father sinned,
    and your mediators have rebelled against me.
    28 So I defiled the officers of the sanctuary,
    and set Jacob apart for destruction
    and Israel for scorn.

    • 43:26–28 Once again a court setting is introduced. God challenged his people to argue their case against him. The reference to Israel’s first father is likely Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. Jacob was well known for his foolish and sinful ways (Hs 12:1–6). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1105). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mal 2:7, 8 For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
      Mal 2:8 But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts,

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 43:1–28). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 44

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    SPIRITUAL BLESSING

    44:1 “And now listen, Jacob my servant,
    Israel whom I have chosen.

    • Once again, Isaiah points out that God specifically chose Israel:
      • Deu 7:7-11 7 ;It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

    2 This is the word of the LORD
    your Maker, the one who formed you from the womb:
    He will help you.
    Do not fear, Jacob my servant,
    Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

    • Jeshurun is another name for Israel.

    3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land
    and streams on the dry ground;
    I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants
    and my blessing on your offspring.
    4 They will sprout among the grass
    like poplars by flowing streams.
    5 This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s’;
    another will use the name of Jacob;
    still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
    and take on the name of Israel.”

    • another will write on his hand signifies intimacy.

    NO GOD OTHER THAN THE LORD

    6 This is what the LORD, the King of Israel and its Redeemer, the LORD of Armies, says:

    I am the first and I am the last.
    There is no God but me.

    • Isa 41:4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
    • Rev 1:8, 17 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
    • Rev 22:13

    7 Who, like me, can announce the future?
    Let him say so and make a case before me,
    since I have established an ancient people.
    Let these gods declare the coming things,
    and what will take place.

    • announce the future. God does this through prophets like Isaiah.
    • Isa 41:4, 22 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he. 22 Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come.

    8 Do not be startled or afraid.
    Have I not told you and declared it long ago?
    You are my witnesses!
    Is there any God but me?
    There is no other Rock; I do not know any.

    • Deu 4:35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.
    • Deu 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
    • 1 Sam 2;2 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.
    • 2 Sam 22:32 “For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?

    9 All who make idols are nothing,
    and what they treasure benefits no one.
    Their witnesses do not see or know anything,
    so they will be put to shame.

    • Isa 41:24 Behold, you are nothing, and your work is less than nothing; an abomination is he who chooses you.
    • Psa 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

    10 Who makes a god or casts a metal image
    that benefits no one?

    • Jer 10:5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”
    • Hab 2:18 “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!

    11 Look, all its worshipers will be put to shame,
    and the craftsmen are humans.
    They all will assemble and stand;
    they all will be startled and put to shame.

    • Psa 97:7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

    12 The ironworker labors over the coals,
    shapes the idol with hammers,
    and works it with his strong arm.
    Also he grows hungry and his strength fails;
    he doesn’t drink water and is faint.

    • Jer 10:3 for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman.

    13 The woodworker stretches out a measuring line,
    he outlines it with a stylus;
    he shapes it with chisels
    and outlines it with a compass.
    He makes it according to a human form,
    like a beautiful person,
    to dwell in a temple.
    14 He cuts down cedars for his use,
    or he takes a cypress or an oak.
    He lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest.
    He plants a laurel, and the rain makes it grow.
    15 A person can use it for fuel.
    He takes some of it and warms himself;
    also he kindles a fire and bakes bread;
    he even makes it into a god and worships it;
    he makes an idol from it and bows down to it.
    16 He burns half of it in a fire,
    and he roasts meat on that half.
    He eats the roast and is satisfied.
    He warms himself and says, “Ah!
    I am warm, I see the blaze.”
    17 He makes a god or his idol with the rest of it.
    He bows down to it and worships;
    he prays to it, “Save me, for you are my god.”
    18 Such people do not comprehend
    and cannot understand,
    for he has shut their eyes so they cannot see,
    and their minds so they cannot understand.

    • 2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

    19 No one comes to his senses;
    no one has the perception or insight to say,
    “I burned half of it in the fire,
    I also baked bread on its coals,
    I roasted meat and ate.
    Should I make something detestable with the rest of it?
    Should I bow down to a block of wood?”

    20 He feeds on ashes.
    His deceived mind has led him astray,
    and he cannot rescue himself,
    or say, “Isn’t there a lie in my right hand?”

    • lie in my right hand refers to an idol in someone’s hand.
    • Hos 4:12 My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.
    • Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    • 2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

    21 Remember these things, Jacob,
    and Israel, for you are my servant;
    I formed you, you are my servant;
    Israel, you will never be forgotten by me.
    22 I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
    and your sins like a mist.
    Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you.

    • 1Co 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
    • 1Pe 1:18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,

    23 Rejoice, heavens, for the LORD has acted;
    shout, depths of the earth.
    Break out into singing, mountains,
    forest, and every tree in it.
    For the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
    and glorifies himself through Israel.

    • Psa 69:34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them.
    • Jer 51:48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, shall sing for joy over Babylon, for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north, declares the LORD.
    • Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!”

    RESTORATION OF ISRAEL THROUGH CYRUS

  • Cyrus, king of Persia. He is said to be from the east because his homeland was geographically east of Israel. On the other hand, he could at the same time be from the north because that was the direction from which he attacked Babylon.
  • 24 This is what the LORD, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says:

    I am the LORD, who made everything;
    who stretched out the heavens by myself;
    who alone spread out the earth;

    • Job 9:8 who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the sea;

    25 who destroys the omens of the false prophets
    and makes fools of diviners;
    who confounds the wise
    and makes their knowledge foolishness;

    • Jer 50:36 A sword against the diviners, that they may become fools! A sword against her warriors, that they may be destroyed!
    • 1Co 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    26 who confirms the message of his servant
    and fulfills the counsel of his messengers;
    who says to Jerusalem, “She will be inhabited,”
    and to the cities of Judah, “They will be rebuilt,”
    and I will restore her ruins;

    • Zec 1:6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, ‘As the LORD of hosts purposed to deal with us for our ways and deeds, so has he dealt with us.'”

    27 who says to the depths of the sea, “Be dry,”
    and I will dry up your rivers;

    • Jer 50:38 A drought against her waters, that they may be dried up! For it is a land of images, and they are mad over idols.
    • Jer 51:32, 36 the fords have been seized, the marshes are burned with fire, and the soldiers are in panic. 36 Therefore thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will plead your cause and take vengeance for you. I will dry up her sea and make her fountain dry,

    28 who says to Cyrus, “My shepherd,
    he will fulfill all my pleasure”
    and says to Jerusalem, “She will be rebuilt,”
    and of the temple, “Its foundation will be laid.”

    • 2Ch 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
    • Ezr 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 44:1–28). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 45

    690 B.C.

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    • IMPORTANT NOTE: 45:1–8 In this section, written at least 140 years before it was fulfilled, God speaks to Cyrus and announces how he intends to use him as his agent. The passage divinely commissions Cyrus. There is no reason to believe that Cyrus was conscious of his role as God’s agent of redemption any more than Assyria or Babylon were conscious that they were used as the tool of God’s anger. Indeed, the final lines of vv. 4 and 5 state as much. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1108). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Cyrus, king of Persia. He is said to be from the east because his homeland was geographically east of Israel. On the other hand, he could at the same time be from the north because that was the direction from which he attacked Babylon.

    A CHARGE TO CYRUS

    45:1 The LORD says this to Cyrus, his anointed,
    whose right hand I have grasped
    to subdue nations before him
    and disarm kings,
    to open doors before him,
    and even city gates will not be shut:

    • Here the use is metaphorical of God’s invisible commissioning of this earthly king to function as a royal deliverer of his people. In the ancient Near East, when a god grasped the right hand of someone, it indicated special favor, commissioning, guidance, and divine endowment with skill. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1108). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    • Dan 5:30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed.

    2 “I will go before you
    and level the uneven places;
    I will shatter the bronze doors
    and cut the iron bars in two.

    • Psa 107:16 For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.

    3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and riches from secret places,
    so that you may know that I am the LORD.
    I am the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.

    • 45:3 As Cyrus defeated nations (including Medes, Lydians, and Babylonians), their wealth would come into his possession. These treasures were hidden away from the world and thus are associated with darkness and considered secret. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1108). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    • Exo 33:12 Moses said to the LORD, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’

    4 I call you by your name,
    for the sake of my servant Jacob
    and Israel my chosen one.
    I give a name to you,
    though you do not know me.
    5 I am the LORD, and there is no other;
    there is no God but me.
    I will strengthen you,
    though you do not know me,

    • Deu 4:35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him.
    • Deu 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
    • Psa 18:32 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.

    6 so that all may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
    that there is no one but me.
    I am the LORD, and there is no other.

    • Psa 102:15 Nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
    • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

    7 I form light and create darkness,
    I make success and create disaster;
    I am the LORD, who does all these things.

    • Amo 3:6 Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it?

    8 “Heavens, sprinkle from above,
    and let the skies shower righteousness.
    Let the earth open up
    so that salvation will sprout
    and righteousness will spring up with it.
    I, the LORD, have created it.

    • Psa 85:11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.

    9 “Woe to the one who argues with his Maker—
    one clay pot among many.
    Does clay say to the one forming it,
    ‘What are you making?’
    Or does your work say,
    ‘He has no hands’?

    • Jer 18:6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.
    • Rom 9:20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”

    10 Woe to the one who says to his father,
    ‘What are you fathering?’
    or to his mother,
    ‘What are you giving birth to?’ ”

    • 45:10 The second metaphor of God as parent (father and mother) and his human creation as the child also expresses an unbalanced power relationship. A baby does not question his birth any more than a pot questions its creation. So why should Israel question God’s plan? Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1108). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    11 This is what the LORD,
    the Holy One of Israel and its Maker, says:
    “Ask me what is to happen to my sons,
    and instruct me about the work of my hands.

    • Jer 31:9 With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

    12 I made the earth,
    and created humans on it.
    It was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
    and I commanded everything in them.

    • Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
    • Gen 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

    13 I have stirred him up in righteousness,
    and will level all roads for him.
    He will rebuild my city,
    and set my exiles free,
    not for a price or a bribe,”
    says the LORD of Armies.

    • 2 Chron 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:
    • Rom 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

    GOD ALONE IS THE SAVIOR

    14 This is what the LORD says:

    “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush
    and the Sabeans, men of stature,
    will come over to you
    and will be yours;
    they will follow you,
    they will come over in chains
    and bow down to you.
    They will confess to you,
    ‘God is indeed with you, and there is no other;
    there is no other God.’ ”

    • Psa 68:31 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.
    • Zec 8:22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD.
    • Psa 149:8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
    • 1 Cor 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

    15 Yes, you are a God who hides,
    God of Israel, Savior.

    • Psa 44:24 Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

    16 All of them are put to shame, even humiliated;
    the makers of idols go in humiliation together.
    17 Israel will be saved by the LORD
    with an everlasting salvation;
    you will not be put to shame or humiliated
    for all eternity.

    18 For this is what the LORD says—
    the Creator of the heavens,
    the God who formed the earth and made it,
    the one who established it
    (he did not create it to be a wasteland,
    but formed it to be inhabited)—
    he says, “I am the LORD,
    and there is no other.
    19 I have not spoken in secret,
    somewhere in a land of darkness.
    I did not say to the descendants of Jacob:
    Seek me in a wasteland.
    I am the LORD, who speaks righteously,
    who declares what is right.

    • 45:19 While God hid himself in the sense that he is far above creation (v. 15), he pursues relationship with and makes himself known to his creatures. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1109). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
    • Psa 19:8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

    20 “Come, gather together,
    and approach, you fugitives of the nations.
    Those who carry their wooden idols
    and pray to a god who cannot save
    have no knowledge.
    21 Speak up and present your case,f—
    yes, let them consult each other.
    Who predicted this long ago?
    Who announced it from ancient times?
    Was it not I, the LORD?
    There is no other God but me,
    a righteous God and Savior;
    there is no one except me.
    22 Turn to me and be saved,
    all the ends of the earth.
    For I am God,
    and there is no other.

    • Psa 22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.
    • Psa 65:5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;

    23 By myself I have sworn;
    truth has gone from my mouth,
    a word that will not be revoked:
    Every knee will bow to me,
    every tongue will swear allegiance.

    • Heb 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
    • Phi 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    • Psa 63:11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

    24 It will be said about me, ‘Righteousness and strength
    are found only in the LORD.’ ”
    All who are enraged against him
    will come to him and be put to shame.
    25 All the descendants of Israel
    will be justified and boast in the LORD.

    • Jer 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
    • 1 Cor 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 45). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 46

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    THERE IS NO ONE LIKE GOD

    46:1 Bel crouches; Nebo cowers.
    Idols depicting them are consigned to beasts and cattle.
    The images you carry are loaded,
    as a burden for the weary animal.

    • 46:1 Bel means “lord” and is likely a reference to Marduk, the chief god of Babylon. Nebo is the Hebrew name for Nabu, Marduk’s son and an important deity in his own right. Nabu was the god of wisdom, the god of the scribes. These gods, or more precisely the idols that represented them (see note at 44:12–20), had to be carried on carts to move from one place to another. They were a heavy burden for the draft animals that carried them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1110). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 50:2 “Declare among the nations and proclaim, set up a banner and proclaim, conceal it not, and say: ‘Babylon is taken, Bel is put to shame, Merodach is dismayed. Her images are put to shame, her idols are dismayed.’
    • Jer 10:5 Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.”

    2 The gods cower; they crouch together;
    they are not able to rescue the burden,
    but they themselves go into captivity.

    • Jer 48:7 For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and Chemosh shall go into exile with his priests and his officials.

    3 “Listen to me, house of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the house of Israel,
    who have been sustained from the womb,
    carried along since birth.

    • Deu 32:11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions,
    • Psa 71:6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

    4 I will be the same until your old age,
    and I will bear you up when you turn gray.
    I have made you, and I will carry you;
    I will bear and rescue you.

    • 46:3–4 The remnant were those Israelites who would survive the coming judgment. God had carried (sustained) his people from their birth. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1110). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
    • Psa 48:14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

    5 “To whom will you compare me or make me equal?
    Who will you measure me with,
    so that we should be like each other?
    6 Those who pour out their bags of gold
    and weigh out silver on scales—
    they hire a goldsmith and he makes it into a god.
    Then they kneel and bow down to it.
    7 They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along;
    they set it in its place, and there it stands;
    it does not budge from its place.
    They cry out to it but it doesn’t answer;
    it saves no one from his trouble.

    8 “Remember this and be brave;
    take it to heart, you transgressors!
    9 Remember what happened long ago,
    for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and no one is like me.

    • Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

    10 I declare the end from the beginning,
    and from long ago what is not yet done,
    saying: my plan will take place,
    and I will do all my will.

    • Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

    11 I call a bird of prey from the east,
    a man for my purpose from a far country.
    Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about.
    I have planned it; I will also do it.

    • 46:10–11 Cyrus—the king of Persia (45:1), a country east of Israel—was the bird of prey. This is the theme of the prediction. The Lord demonstrates his sovereignty by declaring the end from the beginning. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1110). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Num 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

    12 Listen to me, you hardhearted,
    far removed from justice:

    • Psa 76:5 The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil; they sank into sleep; all the men of war were unable to use their hands.
    • Rom 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

    13 I am bringing my justice near;
    it is not far away,
    and my salvation will not delay.
    I will put salvation in Zion,
    my splendor in Israel.

    • Hab 2:3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
    • Rom 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
    • 46:12–13 The hardhearted here are the same as the “transgressors” in v. 8. They are Israelites who refuse to trust the Lord for deliverance. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1110). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 46:1–13). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 47

    690 B.C.

    Return to top

    THE FALL OF BABYLON

    47:1  “Go down and sit in the dust,
    Virgin Daughter Babylon.
    Sit on the ground without a throne,
    Daughter Chaldea!
    For you will no longer be called pampered and spoiled.

    • 47:1 To sit in the dust, just like sitting on the ground, was a sign of subservience and humiliation. Babylon, the mighty nation that achieved special status among the other nations of the world (pampered and spoiled), will be put in a position of shame. Up to this point in the book, only God’s people have been called daughter by the Lord (1:8; 3:16; 37:22). In this passage not only is Babylon given this title of intimacy, but it is qualified by virgin, indicating purity as well as dependence on the father, or God. However, here virgin is sarcastic. Chaldea refers to the Aramaic-speaking tribe of the southern marsh region of Babylon that came to dominate the entire nation during the Neo-Babylonian period (626–586 BC). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 48:18 “Come down from your glory, and sit on the parched ground, O inhabitant of Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you; he has destroyed your strongholds.

    2 Take millstones and grind flour;
    remove your veil,
    strip off your skirt, bare your thigh,
    wade through the streams.

    • Exo 11:5 and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle.

    3 Your nakedness will be uncovered,
    and your disgrace will be exposed.
    I will take vengeance;
    I will spare no one.”

    • 47:2–3 Babylon, personified as a young woman, will do her lowly chores—in contrast to her former exalted status—and then will strip to cross a stream. As she does so, her disgrace (her promiscuity that contradicted her apparent virginity) will be exposed. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rom 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

    4 The Holy One of Israel is our Redeemer;
    The LORD of Armies is his name.

    • Jer 50:34 Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.

    5 “Daughter Chaldea,
    sit in silence and go into darkness.
    For you will no longer be called mistress of kingdoms.

    • 47:5 On Daughter Chaldea, see note at v. 1. Under leaders like Nabopolassar (626–605 BC) and his better-known son Nebuchadnezzar (605–562 BC), Babylon had achieved dominance among the nations of the world, but its former glory will be turned to oblivion. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Sa 2:9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.
    • Dan 2:37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory,

    6 I was angry with my people;
    I profaned my possession,
    and I handed them over to you.
    You showed them no mercy;
    you made your yoke very heavy on the elderly.

    • Deu 28:50 a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young.

    7 You said, ‘I will be the queen forever.’
    You did not take these things to heart
    or think about their outcome.

    • 47:6–7 God has used Babylon as the tool of his anger against Judah. Babylon’s yoke is an image of their political domination over Judah (see note at 10:27). But Babylon overplayed its hand and sought its own glory, not realizing that its pride would lead to retribution. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’
    • Deu 32:29 If they were wise, they would understand this; they would discern their latter end!

    8 “So now hear this, lover of luxury,
    who sits securely,
    who says to herself,
    ‘I am, and there is no one else.
    I will never be a widow
    or know the loss of children.’
    9 These two things will happen to you
    suddenly, in one day:
    loss of children and widowhood.
    They will happen to you in their entirety,
    in spite of your many sorceries
    and the potency of your spells.

    • 47:8–9 Babylon is personified as a woman consistently in this chapter. Before she was the Virgin Daughter, but in these verses she is a woman who is blessed with marriage and children. The future judgment of Babylon is compared to a woman who will lose husband and children in one day. A woman without husband and children had no value and no protection in ancient times. This disaster will befall Babylon even though she was a sorceress (see Nah 3:4 for a similar description of Assyria). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Th 5:3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

    10 You were secure in your wickedness;
    you said, ‘No one sees me.’
    Your wisdom and knowledge
    led you astray.
    You said to yourself,
    ‘I am, and there is no one else.’
    11 But disaster will happen to you;
    you will not know how to avert it.
    And it will fall on you,
    but you will be unable to ward it off.
    Devastation will happen to you suddenly
    and unexpectedly.

    • 47:10–11 Wisdom includes the ability to navigate life in a way that avoids pitfalls and also includes the skill to get out of jams if hardship should fall. However, in this case wisdom is useless and unable to ward off disaster. In other words, Babylonian wisdom is actually foolishness. This affirmation is not far from the NT idea that the wisdom of the world is folly (1Co 1–2). Babylon will fall because it was “wise in [its] own eyes” rather than trustful in the one true God (Pr 3:5–8). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    12 So take your stand with your spells
    and your many sorceries,
    which you have wearied yourself with from your youth.
    Perhaps you will be able to succeed;
    perhaps you will inspire terror!
    13 You are worn out with your many consultations.
    So let the astrologers stand and save you—
    those who observe the stars,
    those who predict monthly
    what will happen to you.

    • 47:12–13 Babylonian culture was known for its infatuation with sorceries and spells, which represented a way to manipulate the gods. In particular, Babylon was known for attempts to determine the future by consulting the stars. Indeed, even after Babylon disappeared as an empire, the term “Chaldean” was used to designate astrologers. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1111). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Dan 2:2 Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.

    14 Look, they are like stubble;
    fire burns them.
    They cannot rescue themselves
    from the power of the flame.
    This is not a coal for warming themselves,
    or a fire to sit beside!

    • Nah 1:10 For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.

    15 This is what they are to you—
    those who have wearied you
    and have traded with you from your youth—
    each wanders on his own way;
    no one can save you.

    • Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore,

    Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Is 47:1–15). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 48

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    ISRAEL MUST LEAVE BABYLON

    48:1 “Listen to this, house of Jacob—
    those who are called by the name Israel
    and have descended from Judah,
    who swear by the name of the LORD
    and declare the God of Israel,
    but not in truth or righteousness.

    • 48:1 Chapters 40–48 refers to Judah as Jacob and Israel regularly (see 43:1), but only here are those names explicitly linked with Judah. The use of all three titles may hint at a reunited Israel.
    • Israel’s greatest sin was not simply abandoning Yahweh to serve other gods. The sin was in elevating the worship of other gods alongside worship of Yahweh. Even though such worship was explicitly forbidden by the Law (Exod 20:2–6), Israel continued to nominally serve Yahweh alongside the gods of the surrounding nations (1 Kgs 11:1–8; 2 Kgs 23:4). The prophets’ condemnation of idolatry should be understood in this context of polytheistic worship: it included Yahweh, but did not give Him the exclusive worship He required.
    • Religious blending (or syncretism) in ancient Israel primarily involved the worship of other West Semitic deities like Asherah, Baal, Chemosh, or Milcom, or the adaptation of Canaanite religious symbols, myths, and rituals to the worship of Yahweh. The OT writers show a growing concern for Yahweh-only and Jerusalem-only worship over time. At earlier times in Israel’s history, worship of Yahweh at high places or local shrines was tolerated.
    • The golden calves set up in 1 Kgs 12 were likely shrines devoted to Yahweh worship. However, Deuteronomy implies only one legitimate place for Yahweh worship—the Jerusalem temple. An otherwise good king of Israel who rids the land of Baal worship is still suspect in the eyes of the authors of these books because of the golden calves (2 Kgs 10:28–31). It is likely in this sense that Isaiah declares Israel is confessing Yahweh—but improperly.Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 48:1–11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    2 For they are named after the holy city,
    and lean on the God of Israel;
    his name is the LORD of Armies.

    • Mic 3:11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.”

    3 I declared the past events long ago;
    they came out of my mouth; I proclaimed them.
    Suddenly I acted, and they occurred.

    • 48:3 I declared the former things from of old = Yahweh’s sovereignty and power is proven by prophecy. He challenged the foreign idols to prove that they had also predicted accurately in Isa 41:22. Yahweh also stresses the fulfillment of the former things in 42:9 and the imminent fulfillment of new things as in v. 6. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 48:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
    • Jos 21:45 Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
    • Exo 32:9 And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people.
    • Deu 31:27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD. How much more after my death!

    4 Because I know that you are stubborn,
    and your neck is iron
    and your forehead bronze,

    • 48:4 and your forehead bronze Compare Ezek 3:7–9, where God admits that His people are stubborn and have hard foreheads. He gives Ezekiel an equally hard forehead so that he can stand up to them. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 48:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    5 therefore I declared to you long ago.
    I announced it to you before it occurred,
    so you could not claim, ‘My idol caused them;
    my carved image and cast idol control them.’

    • 48:5 My idol caused them = Yahweh’s announcement was meant to prevent them from mistakenly attributing any events to the power or prediction of their idols.
    • Many ancient inscriptions show evidence that the people in the ancient Near East attributed their successes and failures to blessing and affliction from divine forces. Yahweh is claiming superiority over all others, saying that whatever has happened has been His will—not the work of an idol. Kings claimed their gods helped bring them victory or elevated them to the throne, showing an understanding of divine activity in history. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 48:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    6 You have heard it. Observe it all.
    Will you not acknowledge it?
    From now on I will announce new things to you,
    hidden things that you have not known.
    7 They have been created now, and not long ago;
    you have not heard of them before today,
    so you could not claim, ‘I already knew them!’

    • 48:6–7 Up to this point God has been announcing judgment, but now he will announce new things—a message of grace after the judgment. Why had God kept the news of eventual restoration hidden? According to Brevard Childs, “God chose to keep the entrance of the new hidden until the very last moment because he knew that Israel would abuse its foreknowledge” (Isaiah). The new things include God’s use of Cyrus to deliver his people (vv. 14–15). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1112). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    8 You have never heard; you have never known;
    for a long time your ears have not been open.
    For I knew that you were very treacherous,
    and were known as a rebel from birth.

    • Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

    9 I will delay my anger for the sake of my name,
    and I will restrain myself for your benefit and for my praise,
    so that you will not be destroyed.

    • Psa 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
    • Psa 106:8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.
    • Eze 20:9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
    • Psa 78:38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.

    10 Look, I have refined you, but not as silver;
    I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

    • Psa 66:10 For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.

    11 I will act for my own sake, indeed, my own,
    for how can I be defiled?
    I will not give my glory to another.

    • Deu 32:26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces; I will wipe them from human memory,”
    • Eze 20:9 But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

    12 “Listen to me, Jacob,
    and Israel, the one called by me:
    I am he; I am the first,
    I am also the last.

    • Deu 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
    • Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

    13 My own hand founded the earth,
    and my right hand spread out the heavens;
    when I summoned them,
    they stood up together.

    • Psa 102:25 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

    14 All of you, assemble and listen!
    Who among the idols has declared these things?
    The LORD loves him;
    he will accomplish his will against Babylon,
    and his arm will be against the Chaldeans.
    15 I—I have spoken;
    yes, I have called him;
    I have brought him,
    and he will succeed in his mission.

    • 48:14–15 The one whom the Lord loves is Cyrus (44:24–45:8)—the pagan king of Persia whom the Lord will use to deliver his people from the Babylonians. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1112). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 Approach me and listen to this.
    From the beginning I have not spoken in secret;
    from the time anything existed, I was there.”
    And now the Lord GOD
    has sent me and his Spirit.

    • 48:16 Isaiah concluded this section by affirming that God was the one who had brought him to the people.
    • Zec 2:8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:

    17 This is what the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

    I am the LORD your God,
    who teaches you for your benefit,
    who leads you in the way you should go.

    • Psa 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

    18 If only you had paid attention to my commands.
    Then your peace would have been like a river,
    and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

    • Deu 32:20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.
    • Psa 81:13 Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!
    • Psa 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
    • Gen 22:17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
    • Hos 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.”

    19 Your descendants would have been as countless as the sand,
    and the offspring of your body like its grains;
    their name would not be cut off
    or eliminated from my presence.

    • 48:19 Isaiah had earlier announced that Israel’s population would be reduced to a remnant (see note at 10:21–23). The allusion to sand goes back to the patriarchal promise that Abraham would have numerous descendants (Gn 22:17; 32:12; 41:49). It was Israel’s sin that led to a reduction of the population. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Gen 22:17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
    • Hos 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.”

    20 Leave Babylon,
    flee from the Chaldeans!
    Declare with a shout of joy,
    proclaim this,
    let it go out to the end of the earth;
    announce,
    “The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob!”

    • Jer 50:8 “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock.
    • Exo 19:4-6 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

    21 They did not thirst
    when he led them through the deserts;
    he made water flow from the rock for them;
    he split the rock, and water gushed out.

    • 48:21 The prophet alluded to the wilderness wandering when God brought his people out of Egypt and into the promised land. Isaiah had earlier used what might be called the “second exodus” theme (4:5; 11:15–16; 40:3–5; 43:18–19). He saw a parallel between God bringing his people out of a place of bondage (first Egypt, then Babylon). The specific reference is to the times when God provided water to Israel in the wilderness (Ex 17:1–7; Nm 20:1–13). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
    • Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.

    22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the LORD.

    • 48:22 Though God will bring salvation to his people, he will not back down from his judgment on the wicked. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 48:1–22). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 49

    690 B.C.

    Return to top

    THE SERVANT BRINGS SALVATION

    49 Coasts and islands, listen to me;
    distant peoples, pay attention.
    The LORD called me before I was born.
    He named me while I was in my mother’s womb.

    • Coasts and islands = in other words, the entire world.
    • Jer 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
    • Mat 1:20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
    • Joh 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

    He made my words like a sharp sword;
    he hid me in the shadow of his hand.
    He made me like a sharpened arrow;
    he hid me in his quiver.

    • 49:2 The servant was made to be a weapon in the arsenal of God the warrior to wage war against the chaos of the world. The language reminds the reader of the description of a son’s relationship to his father in Ps 127. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Hos 6:5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light.
    • Rev 1:16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
    • Psa 45:5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you.

    3 He said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

    • 49:3 The servant is identified as Israel. As in 42:1–9, the more precise identification is the purified remnant within Israel. However, as with all the servant songs, the NT authors recognized a second and deeper identification of the servant as they associated these texts with Jesus Christ (Mt 8:17; 12:17–21; Jn 12:38; Ac 8:30–35). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Zec 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.
    • Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
    • Eph 3:19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    4 But I myself said: I have labored in vain,
    I have spent my strength for nothing and futility;
    yet my vindication is with the LORD,
    and my reward is with my God.

    • 49:4 The experience of the exile will lead the servant Israel to express its frustration before acknowledging that God brings meaning through his act of vindication—release from bondage. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    5 And now, says the LORD,
    who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
    to bring Jacob back to him
    so that Israel might be gathered to him;
    for I am honored in the sight of the LORD,
    and my God is my strength—

    • 49:5 In v. 3 the servant identified himself as Israel; here the servant speaks as if he is the agent of Israel’s restoration. This seeming inconsistency is resolved once it is realized that it is the remnant, and ultimately the remnant of one — Jesus — who functions in this way (see note at 42:1). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1113). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

    6 he says,
    “It is not enough for you to be my servant
    raising up the tribes of Jacob
    and restoring the protected ones of Israel.
    I will also make you a light for the nations,
    to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

    • 49:6 The servant(Jesus) will do more than restore Israel to its former glory. He will serve as an agent of salvation to the nations, thus fulfilling the divine promise to Abraham that through his descendants God would be a blessing to “all the peoples on earth” (Gn 12:3). Paul and Barnabas quote these words in Ac 13:47. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1113–1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Luk 2:32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

    7 This is what the LORD,
    the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, says
    to one who is despised,
    to one abhorred by people,
    to a servant of rulers:
    “Kings will see, princes will stand up,
    and they will all bow down
    because of the LORD, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel—and he has chosen you.”

    • 49:7 The lowly state of the servant (Jesus) is a characteristic more fully developed in the final servant song in 52:13–53:12. A reversal will take place when kings pay homage to the despised servant. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 26:67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him,

    8 This is what the LORD says:

    I will answer you in a time of favor,
    and I will help you in the day of salvation.
    I will keep you, and I will appoint you
    to be a covenant for the people,
    to restore the land,
    to make them possess the desolate inheritances,

    • 49:8 As in 42:6 the servant has entered into a covenant for the people, and as there the reference is to the Abrahamic covenant. However, while the emphasis in chap. 42 is on the promise that the nations will be blessed through Abraham, here the emphasis is on the promise of the land. God will restore his people to the land he gave them and which they forfeited. Paul quotes this verse in 2Co 6:2. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    9 saying to the prisoners, “Come out,”
    and to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.”
    They will feed along the pathways,
    and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.

    • 49:9 God will deliver his people
    • Zec 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

    10 They will not hunger or thirst,
    the scorching heat or sun will not strike them;
    for their compassionate one will guide them,
    and lead them to springs.

    • Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
    • Psa 121:6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
    • Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

    11 I will make all my mountains into a road,
    and my highways will be raised up.
    12 See, these will come from far away,
    from the north and from the west,
    and from the land of Sinim.

    • 49:11–12 The pronouncement again uses language drawn from the exodus and wilderness wandering traditions. Sinim is typically associated with modern Aswan, postexilic Elephantine in Egypt. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 Shout for joy, you heavens!
    Earth, rejoice!
    Mountains break into joyful shouts!
    For the LORD has comforted his people,
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

    ZION REMEMBERED

    14 Zion says, “The LORD has abandoned me;
    the Lord has forgotten me!”
    15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
    Even if these forget,
    yet I will not forget you.

    • Psa 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
    • Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

    16 Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.

    • 49:16 To inscribe something on one’s hands (tattooing perhaps) placed the writing on a bodily location that would be readily seen. In particular the defensive walls of Jerusalem were a concern of the Lord. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Exo 13:9 And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.
    • Song of Sol 8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.

    17 Your builders hurry;
    those who destroy and devastate you will leave you.

    • 49:17 Those who will build will hurry home to Judah. The word for builders is from the Dead Sea Scroll. The Masoretic text here reads “sons.” Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    18 Look up, and look around.
    They all gather together; they come to you.
    As I live”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “you will wear all your children as jewelry,
    and put them on as a bride does.

    • 49:18 Zion’s children, the people of God, will soon gather as they return to Jerusalem. The picture of Zion wearing her children like wedding jewelry suggests that the passage understood God to be her husband. The returned children were a wedding gift. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1114). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Pro 17:6 Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.

    19 For your waste and desolate places
    and your land marked by ruins
    will now be indeed too small for the inhabitants,
    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.

    • Zec 10:10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.

    20 Yet as you listen, the children
    that you have been deprived of will say,
    ‘This place is too small for me;
    make room for me so that I may settle.’

    • 49:19–20 The passage envisions a return so large that Jerusalem will not be big enough to hold all its inhabitants. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1115). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 3:9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
    • Rom 11:11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.

    21 Then you will say within yourself,
    ‘Who fathered these for me?
    I was deprived of my children and unable to conceive,
    exiled and wandering—
    but who brought them up?
    See, I was left by myself—
    but these, where did they come from?’ ”

    • 49:21 Mother Zion will be amazed and will wonder who has fathered all these children. The implied answer is none other than God himself. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1115). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    22 This is what the Lord GOD says:

    Look, I will lift up my hand to the nations,
    and raise my banner to the peoples.
    They will bring your sons in their arms,
    and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
    23 Kings will be your guardians
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
    They will bow down to you
    with their faces to the ground
    and lick the dust at your feet.
    Then you will know that I am the LORD;
    those who put their hope in me
    will not be put to shame.

    • Psa 72:11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!
    • Psa 72:9 May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust!
    • Mic 7:17 they shall lick the dust like a serpent, like the crawling things of the earth; they shall come trembling out of their strongholds; they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God, and they shall be in fear of you.
    • Psa 34:22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
    • Rom 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

    24 Can the prey be taken from a mighty man,
    or the captives of a tyrant be delivered?

    • Mat 12:29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
    • Luk 11:21, 22 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.

    25 For this is what the LORD says:
    “Even the captives of a mighty man will be taken,
    and the prey of a tyrant will be delivered;
    I will contend with the one who contends with you,
    and I will save your children.
    26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
    and they will be drunk with their own blood
    as with sweet wine.
    Then all humanity will know
    that I, the LORD, am your Savior,
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

    • Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
    • Psa 9:16 The LORD has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 49:1–26). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 50

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    50:1  This is what the LORD says:

    Where is your mother’s divorce certificate
    that I used to send her away?
    Or to which of my creditors did I sell you?
    Look, you were sold for your iniquities,
    and your mother was sent away
    because of your transgressions.

    • 50:1 Zion continues to be described as the mother of God’s people. God is the Father of his people. He put away Zion but did not divorce her. God sold his children, but not to settle a debt (so there are no creditors). Why did he do it? Because of their sins. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1115). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 24:1 “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house,
    • 2Ki 4:1 Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”

    2 Why was no one there when I came?
    Why was there no one to answer when I called?
    Is my arm too weak to redeem?
    Or do I have no power to rescue?
    Look, I dry up the sea by my rebuke;
    I turn the rivers into a wilderness;
    their fish rot because of lack of water
    and die of thirst.

    • 50:2 God expressed wonder, though, that the children, God’s people, did not expect redemption. He did not divorce Zion and he did not sell his people to a creditor, so he could get them back. Further, God is certainly powerful enough to save them. The act of drying up the waters (sea … rivers) reflects an ancient Near Eastern understanding that the waters stood for the forces of chaos. God controlled them and could decimate them at will. His control of the waters and the reference to his redeeming arm recall the exodus. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1115). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 I dress the heavens in black
    and make sackcloth their covering.

    • Exo 10:21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.”
    • Rev 6:12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,

    THE OBEDIENT SERVANT

    4 The Lord GOD has given me
    the tongue of those who are instructed
    to know how to sustain the weary with a word.
    He awakens me each morning;
    he awakens my ear to listen like those being instructed.

    • 50:4–5 The first-person speaker (me) is the servant (v. 10). The servant ultimately is identified with Christ, though the original audience probably identified the servant as purified Israel. Alternatively, a number of scholars identify the servant in this poem as Isaiah. The speaker is a student of God, trained to provide encouragement to those who are weary. Each morning God awakens him with new insight. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1115–1116). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Exo 4:11 Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?
    • Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear,
    and I was not rebellious;
    I did not turn back.

    • Psa 40:6-8 In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
    • Mat 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
    • Joh 14:31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
    • Heb 10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;

    6 I gave my back to those who beat me,
    and my cheeks to those who tore out my beard.
    I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting.

    • Mat 26:67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him,
    • Lam 3:30 let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults.

    7 The Lord GOD will help me;
    therefore I have not been humiliated;
    therefore I have set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.

    • Eze 3:8, 9 Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. 9 Like emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.”

    8 The one who vindicates me is near;
    who will contend with me?
    Let us confront each other.
    Who has a case against me?
    Let him come near me!

    • Rom 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

    9 In truth, the Lord GOD will help me;
    who will condemn me?
    Indeed, all of them will wear out like a garment;
    a moth will devour them.

    • Job 13:28 Man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.

    10 Who among you fears the LORD
    and listens to his servant?
    Who among you walks in darkness,
    and has no light?
    Let him trust in the name of the LORD;
    let him lean on his God.

    • 50:10 A human fears the LORD when he understands that God is far superior and that man is a mere creature. Such fear does not lead to flight but to a trust that can depend on God for protection. The person who fears the Lord listens to what the servant of the Lord says. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1116). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    • 2Ch 20:20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.”

    11 Look, all you who kindle a fire,
    who encircle yourselves with torches;
    walk in the light of your fire
    and of the torches you have lit!
    This is what you’ll get from my hand:
    you will lie down in a place of torment.

    • 50:11 Opposite of the one who fears the Lord and leans on him is the self-reliant person who tries to create light by his own hand. He kindles his own fire to produce light. Such people will experience torment from God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1116). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Joh 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
    • Psa 16:4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 50). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 51

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    SALVATION FOR ZION

    51:1  Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness,
    you who seek the LORD:
    Look to the rock from which you were cut,
    and to the quarry from which you were dug.

    • Rom 9:30-32 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone,

    2 Look to Abraham your father,
    and to Sarah who gave birth to you.
    When I called him, he was only one;
    I blessed him and made him many.

    • Rom 4:1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?
    • Heb 11:11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
    • Gen 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.
    • Gen 24:35 The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys.

    3 For the LORD will comfort Zion;
    he will comfort all her waste places,
    and he will make her wilderness like Eden,
    and her desert like the garden of the LORD.
    Joy and gladness will be found in her,
    thanksgiving and melodious song.

    • 51:3 On the foundation of the ancient promises to Abraham, God will transform Zion’s suffering and devastation (her wilderness … her desert) to joy and prosperity (Eden … garden of the LORD). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1116). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Gen 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)

    4 Pay attention to me, my people,
    and listen to me, my nation;
    for instruction will come from me,
    and my justice for a light to the nations.
    I will bring it about quickly.
    5 My righteousness is near,
    my salvation appears,
    and my arms will bring justice to the nations.
    The coasts and islands will put their hope in me,
    and they will look to my strength.

    • 51:5 Here we have “coasts and islands” again. In previous chapters, like this one, it is referring to all the other nations of the world.
    • Psa 67:4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah.
    • Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    6 Look up to the heavens,
    and look at the earth beneath;
    for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
    the earth will wear out like a garment,
    and its inhabitants will die like gnats.,n
    But my salvation will last forever,
    and my righteousness will never be shattered.

    • 51:6 From a human perspective the heavens and the earth look permanent. People die but the heavens and earth endure. But God’s salvation and righteousness make even the heavens and the earth appear temporary. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1116). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 102:26 They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,

    7 Listen to me, you who know righteousness,
    the people in whose heart is my instruction:
    do not fear disgrace by men,
    and do not be shattered by their taunts.

  • Psa 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.
  • Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
  • 8 For moths will devour them like a garment,
    and worms will eat them like wool.
    But my righteousness will last forever,
    and my salvation for all generations.

    9 Wake up, wake up!
    Arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength.
    Wake up as in days past,
    as in generations long ago.
    Wasn’t it you who hacked Rahab to pieces,
    who pierced the sea monster?

    • Psa 44:23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
    • Psa 93:1 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
    • Psa 44:1 To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old:
    • Job 26:12 By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
    • Psa 87:4 Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon; behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush— “This one was born there,” they say.
    • Psa 89:10 ou crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
    • Psa 74:13 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.

    10 Wasn’t it you who dried up the sea,
    the waters of the great deep,
    who made the sea-bed into a road
    for the redeemed to pass over?

    • 51:9–10 God is encouraged to wake up from slumber and go about his redemptive work (Ps 44:23; 78:65). Past victories are then recounted in the form of the defeat of Rahab, a sea monster (see 30:7; Jb 26:12; Ps 89:10). The sea and its monsters represent the forces of chaos that are against God and his creation. Rahab in other texts clearly stands for Egypt. Here we have a poetic allusion to God’s victory over the Egyptians at the time of the exodus. God, after all, dried up the sea-bed and made it a road at the Red Sea (Ex 14–15). God’s past deliverance of his people from Egyptian bondage bodes well for their future deliverance from Babylonian captivity. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Exo 14:21

    11 And the ransomed of the LORD will return
    and come to Zion with singing,
    crowned with unending joy.
    Joy and gladness will overtake them,
    and sorrow and sighing will flee.

    12 I—I am the one who comforts you.
    Who are you that you should fear humans who die,
    or a son of man who is given up like grass?

    • 2Co 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
    • Psa 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
    • 1 Pet 1:24

    13 But you have forgotten the LORD, your Maker,
    who stretched out the heavens
    and laid the foundations of the earth.
    You are in constant dread all day long
    because of the fury of the oppressor,
    who has set himself to destroy.
    But where is the fury of the oppressor?

    • Psa 104:2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.
    • Job 20:7he will perish forever like his own dung; those who have seen him will say, ‘Where is he?’

    14 The prisoner is soon to be set free;
    he will not die and go to the Pit,
    and his food will not be lacking.

    • 51:14 The word prisoner refers to those who were exiled by the Babylonians. Some high-ranking officials were literally thrown into prisons (2Kg 25:27), but others were in a metaphorical prison by being removed from their land and forced to live in Babylon. The Israelites thought of the grave and the underworld as a large Pit. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Zec 9:11 As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

    15 For I am the LORD your God
    who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—
    his name is the LORD of Armies.

    • 51:15 God is in charge of the mighty waters. This shows metaphorically his ability to control the forces of evil. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Job 26:12 By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab.

    16 I have put my words in your mouth,
    and covered you in the shadow of my hand,
    in order to plant the heavens,
    to found the earth,
    and to say to Zion, “You are my people.”

    • Deu 18:18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
    • 51:17–23 In this section Isaiah called on God’s people to wake up. They were slumbering under the influence of drinking God’s cup of wrath, an image already cited. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    17 Wake yourself, wake yourself up!
    Stand up, Jerusalem,
    you who have drunk the cup of his fury
    from the LORD’s hand;
    you who have drunk the goblet to the dregs—
    the cup that causes people to stagger.

    • Job 21:20 Let their own eyes see their destruction, and let them drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

    18 There is no one to guide her
    among all the children she has raised;
    there is no one to take hold of her hand
    among all the offspring she has brought up.

    • 51:18 In the ancient Near East, it was the duty of the children to care for a drunk parent. Noah’s son Ham acted in a reprehensible manner when his father was drunk (Gn 9:18–29). Here Jerusalem’s children, God’s people, did not take hold of her hand when she was drunk after drinking the cup of God’s fury. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    19 These two things have happened to you:
    devastation and destruction,
    famine and sword.
    Who will grieve for you?
    How can I comfort you?

    • Amo 7:2 When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said, “O Lord GOD, please forgive! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!”

    20 Your children have fainted;
    they lie at the head of every street
    like an antelope in a net.
    They are full of the LORD’s fury,
    the rebuke of your God.

    • Lam 2:11 My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out to the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city.

    21 So listen to this, suffering
    and drunken one—but not with wine.

    • Lam 3:15 He has filled me with bitterness; he has sated me with wormwood.

    22 This is what your Lord says—
    the LORD, even your God,
    who defends his people—
    “Look, I have removed from your hand
    the cup that causes staggering;
    that goblet, the cup of my fury.
    You will never drink it again.
    23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,
    who said to you,
    ‘Lie down, so we can walk over you.’
    You made your back like the ground,
    and like a street for those who walk on it.

    • 51:21–23 Once Jerusalem has experienced the full force of God’s judgment, once they have drunk of the cup of his fury, he will take it away and give it to their tormentors. Among the latter, Babylon is particularly in mind. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1117). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 51:1–23). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 52

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    52:1 “Wake up, wake up;
    put on your strength, Zion!
    Put on your beautiful garments,
    Jerusalem, the holy city!
    For the uncircumcised and the unclean
    will no longer enter you.

    • Oz: This is the third “Wake Up” in this section. The Lord will clean out the “uncircumcised and unclean”.
    • Rev 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    2 Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!
    Take your seat, Jerusalem.
    Remove the bonds from your neck,
    captive Daughter Zion.”

    • Zec 2:7 Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.

    3 For this is what the LORD says:
    “You were sold for nothing,
    and you will be redeemed without silver.”

    • Oz: since she (Zion) was sold for nothing, she will be redeemed for nothing.
    • Psa 44:12 You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them.

    4 For this is what the Lord GOD says:
    “At first my people went down to Egypt to reside there,
    then Assyria oppressed them without cause.

    • 52:4 The prophecy speaks from a prophetic perspective as if Isaiah were living at the time of the Babylonian captivity. From that time in the future, he looks back on two previous traumatic periods in Israelite history—the exodus from Egypt in the second millennium BC and the Assyrian invasion of the northern kingdom during Isaiah’s lifetime (722 BC). The Babylonian captivity dates to 586–539 BC. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1118). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    • Gen 46:6 They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,

    5 So now what have I here”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “that my people are taken away for nothing?
    Its rulers wail”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “and my name is continually blasphemed all day long.

    • Eze 36:20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.’

    6 Therefore my people will know my name;
    therefore they will know on that day
    that I am he who says,
    ‘Here I am.’ ”

    7 How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of the herald,
    who proclaims peace,
    who brings news of good things,
    who proclaims salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

    • Rom 10:15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
    • Psa 93:1 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

    8 The voices of your watchmen—
    they lift up their voices,
    shouting for joy together;
    for every eye will see
    when the LORD returns to Zion.
    9 Be joyful, rejoice together,
    you ruins of Jerusalem!
    For the LORD has comforted his people;
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
    10 The LORD has displayed his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations;
    all the ends of the earth will see
    the salvation of our God.

    • 52:10 The salvation referred to here is the conspicuous restoration of Jerusalem after it had been reduced to ruins by the Babylonians. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1118). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Luk 3:6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'”

    11 Leave, leave, go out from there!
    Do not touch anything unclean;
    go out from her, purify yourselves,
    you who carry the vessels of the LORD.

    • 52:11 The priests (who carry the vessels of the LORD) are now encouraged to leave, presumably from Babylonian captivity (48:20–22). Ezekiel 1:5–11 recounts the return of the temple vessels under the leadership of Sheshbazzar. This pronouncement exhorts the priests not to defile themselves ritually because they are going back to a Zion that is not stained by impurity (Is 52:1). Paul quotes this verse in 2Co 6:17. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1118). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Lev 22:2 “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the LORD.

    12 For you will not leave in a hurry,
    and you will not have to take flight;
    because the LORD is going before you,
    and the God of Israel is your rear guard.

    • Oz: no one is chasing them, like when they left Egypt, so they can just take their time and go home.
    • Exo 12:33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.”
    • Mic 2:13 He who opens the breach goes up before them; they break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king passes on before them, the LORD at their head.
    • Exo 14:19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them,

    THE SERVANT’S SUFFERING AND EXALTATION

    13 See, my servant, will be successful;
    he will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.

    • 52:13–53:12 The view is that the servant in this passage represents the purified remnant of Israel and ultimately the Messiah. The NT authors recognized that the description of a suffering servant, who “bore the sin of many” (53:12), fits Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of his people. This chapter’s description is the most individualistic of all the servant songs in the book of Isaiah, and thus most clearly points to application beyond Israel. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Phi 2:9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

    14 Just as many were appalled at you—
    his appearance was so disfigured
    that he did not look like a man,
    and his form did not resemble a human being—

    • Psa 22:6, 7 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;

    15 so he will sprinkle many nations.
    Kings will shut their mouths because of him,
    for they will see what had not been told them,
    and they will understand what they had not heard.

    • 52:15 Much debate surrounds the meaning of the servant sprinkling many nations. The main problem is that the verse does not specify what the servant will use to sprinkle them. The best guess is that it refers to a ritual act like the sprinkling of blood (Lv 4:6, 17; 16:14–15, 19; Nm 19:4) or oil (Lv 8:11). The effect of this sprinkling is either to purify or to dedicate to a holy status. Paul quotes this verse in Rm 15:21. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
    • Eph 3:5, 9 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 52). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 53

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    53:1 Who has believed what we have heard?
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

    • Joh 12:38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
    • Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

    2 He grew up before him like a young plant
    and like a root out of dry ground.
    He didn’t have an impressive form
    or majesty that we should look at him,
    no appearance that we should desire him.
    3 He was despised and rejected by men,
    a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
    He was like someone people turned away from;
    he was despised, and we didn’t value him.

    • Psa 22:6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
    • Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    • Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.

    4 Yet he himself bore our sicknesses,
    and he carried our pains;
    but we in turn regarded him stricken,
    struck down by God, and afflicted.

    • 53:4–6 For the first time the reader learns that the servant suffered on behalf of others. Even so, people did not recognize it, and he was rejected as one struck down by God for his own supposed sins. Verse 4 is quoted in Mt 8:17. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 8:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
    • Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    5 But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
    crushed because of our iniquities;
    punishment for our peace was on him,
    and we are healed by his wounds.

    • Rom 4:25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
    • 1Pe 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

    6 We all went astray like sheep;
    we all have turned to our own way;
    and the LORD has punished him
    for the iniquity of us all.

    7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth.
    Like a lamb led to the slaughter
    and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
    he did not open his mouth.

    • 53:7 Though not suffering for his own sins, the servant suffered silently and willingly. Philip used this passage to tell the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Jesus, who silently bore his crucifixion (Ac 8:31–35; 1Pt 2:22–23). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 26:63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
    • Acts 8:32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.

    8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment,
    and who considered his fate?
    For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    he was struck because of my people’s rebellion.

    • Dan 9:26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

    9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    but he was with a rich man at his death,
    because he had done no violence
    and had not spoken deceitfully.

    • Mat 27:57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.
    • 1Jo 3:5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

    10 Yet the LORD was pleased to crush him severely.
    When you make him a guilt offering,
    he will see his seed, he will prolong his days,
    and by his hand, the LORD’s pleasure will be accomplished.

    • 53:10–11 That God was pleased to crush the servant sounds mean-spirited, but his pleasure is explained by the fact that the servant’s suffering will justify many. What seems harsh will turn out to be gracious. The servant’s pain, suffering, and death will function like a restitution offering (Lv 5:14–6:7; 7:1–10)—a sacrifice offered when there was a “transgression against the sacred things of the Lord” (Tremper Longman, Immanuel in Our Place). The sin of God’s people was such a transgression. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1119–1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Co 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    11 After his anguish, he will see light and be satisfied.
    By his knowledge,
    my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will carry their iniquities.

    • 1Jo 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
    • Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    12 Therefore I will give him the many as a portion,
    and he will receive the mighty as spoil,
    because he willingly submitted to death,
    and was counted among the rebels;
    yet he bore the sin of many
    and interceded for the rebels.

    • 53:12 Returning to the theme at the beginning of the poem (52:13), the suffering of the servant will give way to his exaltation. Jesus’s suffering culminated in the crucifixion but gave way to the resurrection. This verse is quoted in Lk 22:37. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
    • Col 2:15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
    • Luk 22:37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”
    • Luk 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 53). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 54

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    FUTURE GLORY FOR ISRAEL

    54:1 “Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth;
    burst into song and shout,
    you who have not been in labor!
    For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than the children of the married woman,”
    says the LORD.

    • 54:1 A childless woman was often scorned in the ancient Near East and sometimes replaced by a secondary wife. With no sons to care for her in her old age, she was particularly vulnerable. Thus, barrenness is a frequent image of loneliness and helplessness. In this verse Jerusalem is a barren woman who will have a child (like Sarah, Rachel, or Hannah). Indeed she will have many children. Thus her sadness will turn to joy (Ps 113:9). Paul quotes this verse in Gl 4:27. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    2 “Enlarge the site of your tent,
    and let your tent curtains be stretched out;
    do not hold back;
    lengthen your ropes,
    and drive your pegs deep.
    3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
    and your descendants will dispossess nations
    and inhabit the desolate cities.

    • 54:2-3 Redeemed Jerusalem will be repopulated.

    4 “Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame;
    don’t be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced.
    For you will forget the shame of your youth,
    and you will no longer remember
    the disgrace of your widowhood.
    5 Indeed, your husband is your Maker—
    his name is the LORD of Armies—
    and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
    he is called the God of the whole earth.

    • 54:4–5 A worse fate than childlessness was being a widow. Such a woman had no husband to protect her and care for her. The pronouncement tells the widow Israel not to be afraid because God has married her. She has gone from nothing to everything, as the list of divine names makes clear. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 3:14 Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
    • Zec 14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.
    • Rom 3:29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

    6 For the LORD has called you,
    like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit,
    a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”
    says your God.
    7 “I deserted you for a brief moment,
    but I will take you back with abundant compassion.

  • Psa 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
  • 2Co 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
  • 8 In a surge of anger
    I hid my face from you for a moment,
    but I will have compassion on you
    with everlasting love,”
    says the LORD your Redeemer.

    • 54:6–8 The metaphor changes in this verse. Israel is no longer a widow; she is a divorcee. God, her husband, has abandoned her; now he will take her back. The relationship between God and Israel as described here is like the relationship between Hosea and Gomer (Hs 1; 3) that typifies Israel’s relationship with God. He rejected Israel because of her sin (in a surge of anger), but now he takes her back with everlasting covenant love. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Jer 31:3 the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

    9 “For this is like the days of Noah to me:
    when I swore that the water of Noah
    would never flood the earth again,
    so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
    or rebuke you.

    • Gen 8:21 And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

    10 Though the mountains move
    and the hills shake,
    my love will not be removed from you
    and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
    says your compassionate LORD.

    • 54:9–10 After the flood, God promised, “Water will never again become a flood to destroy every creature” (Gn 9:15). God declares in these verses that though Israel may sin, he will not completely eradicate his people. He may make the hills shake, but he will not completely destroy them. Thus, God is compassionate in not treating Israel as they deserve because of their transgressions. The covenant of peace may be an allusion to the covenant with Noah, symbolized by the rainbow. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1120). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 46:2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
    • Mat 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
    • Psa 89:33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.

    11 “Poor Jerusalem, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
    I will set your stones in black mortar,
    and lay your foundations in lapis lazuli.

    • 1Ch 29:2 So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.
    • Rev 21:18 The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass.

    12 I will make your fortifications out of rubies,
    your gates out of sparkling stones,
    and all your walls out of precious stones.

    • 54:11–12 Jerusalem is now personified as a storm-tossed city that God will restore to unprecedented splendor, made of precious stones and metals, which anticipates new Jerusalem in Rv 21:15–21.
    • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1120–1121). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 Then all your children will be taught by the LORD,
    their prosperity will be great,

    • Jer 31:34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
    • Joh 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
    • 1Co 2:10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
    • 1Th 4:9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,
    • 1Jo 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.
    • Psa 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

    14 and you will be established
    on a foundation of righteousness.
    You will be far from oppression,
    you will certainly not be afraid;
    you will be far from terror,
    it will certainly not come near you.
    15 If anyone attacks you,
    it is not from me;
    whoever attacks you
    will fall before you.

    • 54:15 Those who attacked Jerusalem (the Assyrians in 701 BC and the Babylonians in 605, 597, and 586 BC) did so with God’s permission, but after the restoration, their enemies will not be God-sent and will fall for that reason. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1121). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 Look, I have created the craftsman
    who blows on the charcoal fire
    and produces a weapon suitable for its task;
    and I have created the destroyer to cause havoc.
    17 No weapon formed against you will succeed,
    and you will refute any accusation
    raised against you in court.
    This is the heritage of the LORD’s servants,
    and their vindication is from me.”
    This is the LORD’s declaration.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 54:1–17). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 55

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    COME TO THE LORD

    55:1 “Come, everyone who is thirsty,
    come to the water;
    and you without silver,
    come, buy, and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
    without silver and without cost!

    • Joh 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
    • Mat 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
    • Rev 3:18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

    2 Why do you spend silver on what is not food,
    and your wages on what does not satisfy?
    Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.

    • 55:2 God’s people had not been accepting the free offer of salvation represented by water for the thirsty. They had been spending their resources on things that did not bring soul satisfaction. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1121). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 Pay attention and come to me;
    listen, so that you will live.
    I will make a permanent covenant with you
    on the basis of the faithful kindnesses of David.

    • 55:3 The covenant with David is found in 2Sm 7. David’s dynasty would be established forever (2Sm 7:16). During the Babylonian captivity, though, the Davidic line of kings ruling in Jerusalem came to an end with Zedekiah. The NT understood the unconditional promise to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, a descendant of David. Paul quotes this verse in Ac 13:34. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1121). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    • Jer 32:40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.
    • 2Sam 7:8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.
    • Psa 89:28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
    • Act 13:34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’

    4 Since I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples,

    • Joh 18:37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
    • Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
    • Jer 30:9 But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
    • Eze 34:23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
    • Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
    • Hos 3:5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.

    5 so you will summon a nation you do not know,
    and nations who do not know you will run to you.
    For the LORD your God,
    even the Holy One of Israel,
    has glorified you.”

    • Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—

    6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
    call to him while he is near.

    • Psa 32:6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
    • Mat 5:25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
    • Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
    • Joh 7:34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
    • Joh 8:21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”
    • 2Co 6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
    • Heb 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

    7 Let the wicked one abandon his way
    and the sinful one his thoughts;
    let him return to the LORD,
    so he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will freely forgive.

    • Zec 8:17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the LORD.”
    • Psa 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
    • Jer 3:12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever.

    8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    and your ways are not my ways.”
    This is the LORD’s declaration.

    • 2Sa 7:19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord GOD. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind, O Lord GOD!

    9 “For as heaven is higher than earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways,
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    • Psa 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

    10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
    and do not return there
    without saturating the earth
    and making it germinate and sprout,
    and providing seed to sow
    and food to eat,

    • Deu 32:2 May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb.

    11 so my word that comes from my mouth
    will not return to me empty,
    but it will accomplish what I please
    and will prosper in what I send it to do.”

    12 You will indeed go out with joy
    and be peacefully guided;
    the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
    and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

    • Psa 98:8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together
    • 1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

    13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will come up,
    and instead of the brier, a myrtle will come up;
    this will stand as a monument for the LORD,
    an everlasting sign that will not be destroyed.

    • Mic 7:4 The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.
    • Jer 13:11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 55:1–56:1). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 56

    690 B.C.

    Return to top

    A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL

    56:1 This is what the LORD says:

    Preserve justice and do what is right,
    for my salvation is coming soon,
    and my righteousness will be revealed.

    • 56:1 Salvation here is equivalent to victory or rescue since it envisions release from Babylonian bondage. This verse does not call for obedience that earns salvation. Obedience is a response to the promise of God’s coming deliverance, not a way to earn his favor. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    2 Happy is the person who does this,
    the son of man who holds it fast,
    who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

    • The Sabbath commandment (Ex 20:8–11; Dt 5:12–15) is singled out because it was considered the epitome (the “sign”) of the Mosaic covenant (Ex 31:13).Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    3 No foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD
    should say,
    “The LORD will exclude me from his people,”
    and the eunuch should not say,
    “Look, I am a dried-up tree.”

    • 56:3 God reminds his people that foreigners who convert to the Lord are not excluded from worship. Isaiah is not at odds with Ezekiel (Ezk 44:6–9) or Ezra (Ezr 4:1–3), because they addressed the issue of foreigners who had not converted. Indeed, Ex 12:43 states in regard to the Passover meal that “no foreigner may eat it,” but Ex 12:48–49 then makes it clear that if a foreigner converted and was circumcised, then he could partake. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Act 8:27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship

    4 For the LORD says this:
    “For the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    and choose what pleases me,
    and hold firmly to my covenant,

    • 56:4 Eunuchs were typically excluded from worship, according to Dt 23:1: “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the LORD’s assembly.” That law pointed out that gender and sex were divine gifts that should not be intentionally altered. However, this verse describes an obedient eunuch and thus one who had become a eunuch accidentally or who had converted to worship of God after becoming a eunuch. Such devout eunuchs were invited to join in the worship of God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    5 I will give them, in my house and within my walls,
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters.
    I will give each of them an everlasting name
    that will never be cut off.

    • 56:5 Eunuchs could not have children and thus lacked progeny who would perpetuate their names. God proclaims that he will provide a memorial for them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Ti 3:15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
    • 1Jo 3:1

    6 As for the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD
    to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,
    and to become his servants—
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold firmly to my covenant—
    7 I will bring them to my holy mountain
    and let them rejoice in my house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be acceptable on my altar,
    for my house will be called a house of prayer
    for all nations.”

    • 56:7 God will not turn away anyone who desires to worship him, even foreigners and eunuchs. His house, the temple, will be a place where everyone can come to pray. This verse is quoted in Mt 21:13; Mk 11:17; and Lk 19:46. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
    • Heb 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
    • 1Pe 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
    • Mat 21:13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.
    • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

    8 This is the declaration of the Lord GOD,
    who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
    “I will gather to them still others
    besides those already gathered.”

    • 56:8 The dispersed of Israel refers to those Israelites who were removed from the land of Israel as a result of foreign invasions (Assyrian and Babylonian) that God sent as punishment against his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1122). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Joh 10:16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

    UNRIGHTEOUS LEADERS CONDEMNED

    9 All you animals of the field and forest,
    come and eat!

    • Jer 12:9 Is my heritage to me like a hyena’s lair? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour.

    10 Israel’s watchmen are blind, all of them,
    they know nothing;
    all of them are mute dogs,
    they cannot bark;
    they dream, lie down,
    and love to sleep.

    • Mat 15:14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
    • Phil 3:2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

    11 These dogs have fierce appetites;
    they never have enough.
    And they are shepherds
    who have no discernment;
    all of them turn to their own way,
    every last one for his own profit.

    • Mic 3:11 Its heads give judgment for a bribe; its priests teach for a price; its prophets practice divination for money; yet they lean on the LORD and say, “Is not the LORD in the midst of us? No disaster shall come upon us.”
    • Eze 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?

    12 “Come, let me get some wine,
    let’s guzzle some beer;
    and tomorrow will be like today,
    only far better!”

    • Psa 10:6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
    • Pro 23:35 “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.”
    • Luk 12:19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”‘

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 56:1–12). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 57

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    57:1 The righteous person perishes,
    and no one takes it to heart;
    the faithful are taken away,
    with no one realizing
    that the righteous person is taken away
    because of evil.

    • Psa 12:1 To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David. Save, O LORD, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
    • 1Ki 14:13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the LORD, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.

    He will enter into peace
    they will rest on their beds—
    everyone who lives uprightly.

    • He will enter into peace. Bad things happen to good people, but eventually, they will enter into His rest!
    • 2Ch 16:14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer’s art, and they made a very great fire in his honor.

    PAGAN RELIGION DENOUNCED

    3 But come here,
    you witch’s sons,
    offspring of an adulterer and a prostitute!

    • Mat 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

    4 Who are you mocking?
    Who are you opening your mouth
    and sticking out your tongue at?
    Isn’t it you, you rebellious children,
    you offspring of liars,
    5 who burn with lust among the oaks,
    under every green tree,
    who slaughter children in the wadis
    below the clefts of the rocks?

    • 2Ki 16:4 And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
    • Lev 18:21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.
    • 2Ki 16:3 but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.
    • Jer 7:31 And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind.
    • Eze 16:20 And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter

    6 Your portion is among the smooth stones of the wadi;
    indeed, they are your lot.
    You have even poured out a drink offering to them;
    you have offered a grain offering;
    should I be satisfied with these?

    • 57:6–10 These verses describe idolatrous rituals, many features of which are obscure (e.g., the smooth stones of the wadi). Even so, the sexual nature of these practices comes through clearly at points (see references to bed and genitals), suggesting a connection with the fertility religion of ancient Canaan from which the Israelites were supposed to separate themselves. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1123). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 You have placed your bed
    on a high and lofty mountain;
    you also went up there to offer sacrifice.

    • Eze 16:16 You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.
    • Eze 23:41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil.

    8 You have set up your memorial
    behind the door and doorpost.
    For away from me, you stripped,
    went up, and made your bed wide,
    and you have made a bargain for yourself with them.
    You have loved their bed;
    you have gazed on their genitals.

    • Eze 16:26 You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger.

    9 You went to the king with oil
    and multiplied your perfumes;
    you sent your envoys far away
    and sent them down even to Sheol.

    • Hos 7:11 Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.

    10 You became weary on your many journeys,
    but you did not say, “It’s hopeless!”
    You found a renewal of your strength;
    therefore you did not grow weak.

    • Jer 2:25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.’

    11 Who was it you dreaded and feared,
    so that you lied and didn’t remember me
    or take it to heart?
    I have kept silent for a long time, haven’t I?,e
    So you do not fear me.

    • Psa 50:21 These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

    12 I will announce your righteousness,
    and your works—they will not profit you.
    13 When you cry out,
    let your collection of idols rescue you!
    The wind will carry all of them off,
    a breath will take them away.
    But whoever takes refuge in me
    will inherit the land
    and possess my holy mountain.

    • 57:13 God warned his people that if they worshiped idols, they would have to depend on those idols in times of trouble. But the idols were not substantial, so the wind would blow them away. They will be of no help. On the other hand, God himself is a refuge in trouble. The section ends with the promise that the truly righteous will possess God’s holy mountain, Zion, in Jerusalem. This contrasts with the first part of this section that describes those who performed sexual rituals “on a high and lofty mountain” (v. 7). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    HEALING AND PEACE

    • 57:14–21 Reversing the proportions of the previous pronouncement (vv. 3–13), this section has a long statement about God’s good intentions toward the righteous, with a brief statement about the fate of the wicked at the end (vv. 20–21). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    14 He said,
    “Build it up, build it up, prepare the way,
    remove every obstacle from my people’s way.”
    15 For the High and Exalted One,
    who lives forever, whose name is holy, says this:
    “I live in a high and holy place,
    and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and revive the heart of the oppressed.

    • 57:14–15 Again, Isaiah used the theme of removing obstacles between God and his people in order to describe a restoration of intimate relationship (see note at 40:3–4). In this instance the road leads to God who lives in a high and holy place, so the road is one that goes up (build it up). God may live in a high place, but the lowly of spirit, not the exalted, are with him. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Job 6:10 This would be my comfort; I would even exult in pain unsparing, for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
    • Luk 1:49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
    • Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
    • Psa 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
    • Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
    • Psa 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

    16 For I will not accuse you forever,
    and I will not always be angry;
    for then the spirit would grow weak before me,
    even the breath, which I have made.

    • 57:16–18 God’s punishment of his people’s sins has a limit. He will not completely destroy them, but will punish them in a disciplinary way. He removed his presence from them, but still they continued to sin. Psalm 30 describes a person who grew presumptuous in his success and forgot about God. God turned his face from him, and he came running back. Here God’s people do not break their sin pattern, but God in his grace still promises to heal them. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 85:5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
    • Psa 103:9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
    • Mic 7:18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love.
    • Num 16:22 And they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?”
    • Job 34:14 If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
    • Heb 12:9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

    17 Because of his sinful greed I was angry,
    so I struck him; I was angry and hid;
    but he went on turning back to the desires of his heart.

    • Jer 6:13 “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.

    18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him;
    I will lead him and restore comfort
    to him and his mourners,

    • Jer 3:22 “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to you, for you are the LORD our God.

    19 creating words of praise.”
    The LORD says,
    “Peace, peace to the one who is far or near,
    and I will heal him.

    • Heb 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
    • Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
    • Eph 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

    20 But the wicked are like the storm-tossed sea,
    for it cannot be still,

    • Job 15:20 The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
    • Pro 4:16 For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.

    and its water churns up mire and muck.
    21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
    says my God.

    • 57:19–21 There is a distinction between those to whom God grants peace and those who remain wicked. The wicked will have no peace but will be like the turbulent sea. The sea is commonly a symbol of chaos and wickedness in ancient Near Eastern literature, including the Bible. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 57). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 58

    690 B.C.

    Return to top

    TRUE FASTING

    58:1 “Cry out loudly, don’t hold back!
    Raise your voice like a ram’s horn.
    Tell my people their transgression
    and the house of Jacob their sins.

    • 58:1 God spoke to Isaiah and told him to proclaim loudly and publicly (like a trumpet) the sin of his people. They had tried to put on a show of piety, so it was necessary to expose them for what they were—rebellious Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    2 They seek me day after day
    and delight to know my ways,
    like a nation that does what is right
    and does not abandon the justice of their God.
    They ask me for righteous judgments;
    they delight in the nearness of God.”
    3 “Why have we fasted, but you have not seen?
    We have denied ourselves, but you haven’t noticed!”
    “Look, you do as you please on the day of your fast,
    and oppress all your workers.

    • 58:2–3a God acknowledged that his people appeared pious on the surface. They made pretense that they wanted to know and follow God’s will for their lives as expressed in the commands. They had even fasted, expecting God to do something for them. They claimed to have denied themselves before God, but God had not responded. They challenged God’s silence. Fasts occur elsewhere in Scripture, but they are commanded by human rulers rather than God. Thus, the people of God complained about getting no divine response from their self-initiated fast, while they failed to observe the Sabbath, one of the OT’s most important commands (vv. 13–14). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 58:3b–5 God responded to his people’s challenge. He did not respond to their fasting because it was superficial and inauthentic. It led to divisions in the community and exploitative behavior toward underlings, as well as self-absorption. God’s idea of fasting extended far beyond public expressions of mourning. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1124). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mal 3:14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts?
    • Lev 16:29 “And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.
    • Lev 23:27 “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the LORD.

    4 You fast with contention and strife
    to strike viciously with your fist.
    You cannot fast as you do today,
    hoping to make your voice heard on high.

    • 1Ki 21:9 And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people.

    5 Will the fast I choose be like this:
    A day for a person to deny himself,
    to bow his head like a reed,
    and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
    Will you call this a fast
    and a day acceptable to the LORD?

    • Zec 7:5 “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted?
    • Lev 16:29 “And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.
    • Est 4:3 And in every province, wherever the king’s command and his decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and many of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
    • Job 2:8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
    • Dan 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

    6 Isn’t this the fast I choose:
    To break the chains of wickedness,
    to untie the ropes of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free,
    and to tear off every yoke?

    • Neh 5:10 Moreover, I and my brothers and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us abandon this exacting of interest.
    • Jer 34:9 that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother.

    7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
    to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
    to clothe the naked when you see him,
    and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?,

    • Eze 18:7 does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment,
    • Mat 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
    • Job 31:19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing, or the needy without covering,
    • Gen 29:14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.
    • Neh 5:5 Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”

    8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
    and your recovery will come quickly.
    Your righteousness will go before you,
    and the LORD’s glory will be your rear guard.

    • Job 11:17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning.
    • 58:8–9 The people began by complaining that God did not respond to their fasting (v. 3). Fasting seems self-denying, but God recognized that the fasting of his people had been manipulative. True self-denial means helping others, and behavior that is other-centered rather than self-directed will be rewarded. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1125). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    9 At that time, when you call, the LORD will answer;
    when you cry out, he will say, ‘Here I am.’
    If you get rid of the yoke among you,
    the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,

    • Psa 12:2 Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

    10 and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
    and satisfy the afflicted one,
    then your light will shine in the darkness,
    and your night will be like noonday.
    11 The LORD will always lead you,
    satisfy you in a parched land,
    and strengthen your bones.
    You will be like a watered garden
    and like a spring whose water never runs dry.
    12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
    you will restore the foundations laid long ago;
    you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
    the restorer of streets where people live.

    • 58:11–12 The pronouncement looks forward to the restoration when God’s people will leave their captivity and return to the land, but the land and its cities, especially Jerusalem, will be in ruins. Obedience will lead to prosperity and fertility. The parched land will turn into a watered garden. Obedience and true piety will also lead to the strength needed to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its defenses. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1125). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    13 “If you keep from desecrating the Sabbath,
    from doing whatever you want on my holy day;
    if you call the Sabbath a delight,
    and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
    if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    seeking your own pleasure, or talking business;
    14 then you will delight in the LORD,
    and I will make you ride over the heights of the land,
    and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob.”
    For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

    • 58:13–14 While God’s people kept fasts not commanded in the Bible, they flouted Sabbath observance, which was one of the central commands of the OT. It was the fourth commandment, considered the sign of the Mosaic covenant (see note at 56:2). To observe the Sabbath meant turning away from self-absorbed behavior (see note at 58:8–9). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1125). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Job 22:26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God.
    • Deu 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the land, and he ate the produce of the field, and he suckled him with honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock.
    • Deu 33:29 Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.”
    • Mic 4:4 but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 58:1–14). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 59

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    SIN AND REDEMPTION

    59:1  Indeed, the LORD’s arm is not too weak to save,
    and his ear is not too deaf to hear.

    • Num 11:23 And the LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”

    2 But your iniquities are separating you
    from your God,
    and your sins have hidden his face from you
    so that he does not listen.
    3 For your hands are defiled with blood
    and your fingers, with iniquity;
    your lips have spoken lies,
    and your tongues mutter injustice.
    4 No one makes claims justly;
    no one pleads honestly.
    They trust in empty and worthless words;
    they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.

    • Job 15:35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil, and their womb prepares deceit.”
    • Psa 7:14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.

    5 They hatch viper’s eggs
    and weave spider’s webs.
    Whoever eats their eggs will die;
    crack one open, and a viper is hatched.

    • Oz: Eggs normally produce life, but these eggs produce death.

    6 Their webs cannot become clothing,
    and they cannot cover themselves with their works.
    Their works are sinful works,
    and violent acts are in their hands.

    • Job 8:14 His confidence is severed, and his trust is a spider’s web.

    7 Their feet run after evil,
    and they rush to shed innocent blood.
    Their thoughts are sinful thoughts;
    ruin and wretchedness are in their paths.

    • Pro 1:16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood.
    • Rom 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

    8 They have not known the path of peace,
    and there is no justice in their ways.
    They have made their roads crooked;
    no one who walks on them will know peace.

    • Oz: path and roads are refering to a person’s life.
    • Psa 125:5 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!
    • Pro 2:15 men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.

    9 Therefore justice is far from us,
    and righteousness does not reach us.
    We hope for light, but there is darkness;
    for brightness, but we live in the night.

    • Oz: notice, the author moves to “third party speech from this verse to verse 15” (us; we).
    • Jer 8:15 We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.

    10 We grope along a wall like the blind;
    we grope like those without eyes.
    We stumble at noon as though it were twilight;
    we are like the dead among those who are healthy.

    • Deu 28:29 and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you.
    • Job 5:14 They meet with darkness in the daytime and grope at noonday as in the night.
    • Amo 8:9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.

    11 We all growl like bears
    and moan like doves.
    We hope for justice, but there is none;
    for salvation, but it is far from us.

    • Oz: growling and moaning; all suggest unhappiness. When a dove moans, it sounds like the moans of a person.
    • Eze 7:16 “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.

    12 For our transgressions have multiplied before you,
    and our sins testify against us.
    For our transgressions are with us,
    and we know our iniquities:
    13 transgression and deception against the LORD,
    turning away from following our God,
    speaking oppression and revolt,
    conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.

    • Mat 12:34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

    14 Justice is turned back,
    and righteousness stands far off.
    For truth has stumbled in the public square,
    and honesty cannot enter.

    Oz: Verses 15 to 21. The chapter ends with a description of God’s reaction to the sins of His people. God will rescue them, despite their sin!

    15 Truth is missing,
    and whoever turns from evil is plundered.

    The LORD saw that there was no justice,
    and he was offended.
    16 He saw that there was no man—
    he was amazed that there was no one interceding;
    so his own arm brought salvation,
    and his own righteousness supported him.

    • Eze 22:30 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.
    • Mar 6:6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
    • Psa 98:1 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

    17 He put on righteousness as body armor,
    and a helmet of salvation on his head;
    he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
    and he wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.

    • Eph 6:14, 17 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
    • 1Th 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

    18 So he will repay according to their deeds:
    fury to his enemies,
    retribution to his foes,
    and he will repay the coasts and islands.
    19 They will fear the name of the LORD in the west
    and his glory in the east;,k
    for he will come like a rushing stream
    driven by the wind of the LORD.

    • 59:18–19 God’s enemies do not get off without punishment. The mention of the coasts and islands indicates that the far-flung nations, indeed the whole world (west and east), are in mind here. The whole world will fear the name of the LORD after his work of retribution. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1127). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 113:3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
    • Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.
    • Rev 12:15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

    20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
    and to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”
    This is the LORD’s declaration.

    • Rom 11:26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;

    21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children’s children, from now on and forever,” says the LORD.

    • 59:20–21 The climax of this pronouncement announces the future arrival of God the Redeemer at Zion, God’s holy mountain in Jerusalem. He had abandoned Zion in anticipation of its destruction at the Babylonian captivity (Ezk 11–19), but his war against sin will result in his return. It is specifically to the repentant that he will come. He will reestablish his covenant with them. God’s Spirit will be given to his people to cleanse their mouths (reminiscent of Isaiah’s cleansing at his prophetic commission; chap. 6), so they will proclaim the glory of God to future generations. Paul quotes these verses in Rm 11:26–27. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1127). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    • Heb 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 59:1–21). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 60

    690 B.C.
    Return to top

    THE LORD’S GLORY IN ZION

    60:1 Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the LORD shines over you.

    • Eph 5:14 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
    • Mal 4:2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

    2 For look, darkness will cover the earth,
    and total darkness the peoples;
    but the LORD will shine over you,
    and his glory will appear over you.

    • darkness. Darkness represents sin.

    3 Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to your shining brightness.

    • 60:3 Though the light comes to God’s people, the nations will share in it by coming to the light. The idea that the nations will respond favorably to God is a fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to the nations (Gn 12:3). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1127). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rev 21:24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,

    4 Raise your eyes and look around:
    they all gather and come to you;
    your sons will come from far away,
    and your daughters on the hips of nursing mothers.
    5 Then you will see and be radiant,
    and your heart will tremble and rejoice,
    because the riches of the sea will become yours
    and the wealth of the nations will come to you.

    • Rom 11:25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

    6 Caravans of camels will cover your land—
    young camels of Midian and Ephah—
    all of them will come from Sheba.
    They will carry gold and frankincense
    and proclaim the praises of the LORD.

    • Gen 25:4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
    • Psa 72:10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
    • Mat 2:11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

    7 All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered to you;
    the rams of Nebaioth will serve you
    and go up on my altar as an acceptable sacrifice.
    I will glorify my beautiful house.

    • Gen 25:13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
    • Hag 2:7, 9 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.'”

    8 Who are these who fly like a cloud,
    like doves to their shelters?
    9 Yes, the coasts and islands will wait for me
    with the ships of Tarshish in the lead,
    to bring your children from far away,
    their silver and gold with them,
    for the honor of the LORD your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    who has glorified you.

    • The ships of Tarshish, thought to be what is today Spain (Tartessus), were particularly impressive since they traveled so far between Tyre and Iberia. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1128). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 72:10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
    • Gal 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
    • Jer 3:17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.

    10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
    and their kings will serve you.
    Although I struck you in my wrath,
    yet I will show mercy to you with my favor.

    • 60:10 In the past, foreign nations and their kings had exploited Israel, but the future will see them serve God’s people. One thinks of Nehemiah, who received the permission of the Persian king Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This reversal of fortunes is due to God, who had expressed his anger toward his people by allowing foreign nations to defeat and oppress them; now, in his favor he will allow them to rebuild. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1128). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Zec 6:15 “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
    • Rev 21:24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,

    11 Your city gates will always be open;
    they will never be shut day or night
    so that the wealth of the nations
    may be brought into you,
    with their kings being led in procession.

    • Rev 21:25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.

    12 For the nation and the kingdom
    that will not serve you will perish;
    those nations will be annihilated.

    • Zec 14:17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
    • Mat 21:44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

    13 The glory of Lebanon will come to you—
    its pine, elm, and cypress together—
    to beautify the place of my sanctuary,
    and I will glorify my dwelling place.

    • 1Ch 28:2 Then King David rose to his feet and said: “Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building.
    • Psa 132:7 “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!”

    14 The sons of your oppressors
    will come and bow down to you;
    all who reviled you
    will fall facedown at your feet.
    They will call you the City of the LORD,
    Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

  • Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.
  • Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,

  • Rev 3:9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.
  • 15 Instead of your being deserted and hated,
    with no one passing through,
    I will make you an object of eternal pride,
    a joy from age to age.

    • 60:15 Throughout the OT period, Jerusalem was not a major city of the ancient Near East. At best it was a provincial capital. In the future its status will exceed those of other major cities because of the presence of God. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1128). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    16 You will nurse on the milk of nations,
    and nurse at the breast of kings;
    you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
    and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

    17 I will bring gold instead of bronze;
    I will bring silver instead of iron,
    bronze instead of wood,
    and iron instead of stones.
    I will appoint peace as your government
    and righteousness as your overseers.
    18 Violence will never again be heard of in your land;
    devastation and destruction
    will be gone from your borders.
    You will call your walls Salvation
    and your city gates Praise.
    19 The sun will no longer be your light by day,
    and the brightness of the moon will not shine on you.
    The LORD will be your everlasting light,
    and your God will be your splendor.

    • Rev 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
    • Zec 2:5 And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.'”

    20 Your sun will no longer set,
    and your moon will not fade;
    for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
    and the days of your sorrow will be over.

  • Amo 8:9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.
  • 21 All your people will be righteous;
    they will possess the land forever;
    they are the branch I planted,
    the work of my hands,
    so that I may be glorified.

    • Rev 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
    • Psa 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
    • Mat 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
    • Mat 15:13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
    • Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
    • Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    22 The least will become a thousand,
    the smallest a mighty nation.
    I am the LORD;
    I will accomplish it quickly in its time.

    • Mat 13:31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 60:1–22). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 61

    690 B.C.

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    MESSIAH’S JUBILEE

    61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me,
    because the LORD has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and freedom to the prisoners;

    • Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
    • Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
    • Joh 3:34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
    • Psa 45:7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
    • Psa 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

    2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
    and the day of our God’s vengeance;
    to comfort all who mourn,

    • Lev 25:9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.
    • Mal 4:1, 3 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.
    • 2Th 1:7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
    • Mat 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion;
    to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
    festive oil instead of mourning,
    and splendid clothes instead of despair.
    And they will be called righteous trees,
    planted by the LORD
    to glorify him.

    • Oz: Once suffering, now happiness and celebration.
    • Psa 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
    • Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

    4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins;
    they will restore the former devastations;
    they will renew the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

    • 61:4 The Babylonians devastated Jerusalem and its surrounding towns and villages in 587 BC. The pronouncement looks to the future when the cities will be restored and rebuilt. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1129). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eze 36:33

    5 Strangers will stand and feed your flocks,
    and foreigners will be your plowmen and vinedressers.

    • 61:5–6 Like chap. 60, this pronouncement repeats the themes of foreigners serving rather than oppressing the people of God as well as the wealth of the nations flowing to Jerusalem. The idea that all of God’s people will function as priests toward the nations points back to Ex 19:6 where God told Moses that the Israelites would be “my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.” Because of their failure to function in this way, God had brought judgment against his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1129). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

    6 But you will be called the LORD’s priests;
    they will speak of you as ministers of our God;
    you will eat the wealth of the nations,
    and you will boast in their riches.

    • Exo 19:6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

    7 In place of your shame, you will have a double portion;
    in place of disgrace, they will rejoice over their share.
    So they will possess double in their land,
    and eternal joy will be theirs.

    • double portion is like what a “first born” gets.
    • Zec 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

    8 For I the LORD love justice;
    I hate robbery and injustice;
    I will faithfully reward my people
    and make a permanent covenant with them.

    • 61:8 According to 24:5, God’s devastating judgment had come on Israel because it had broken the permanent covenant, but now God will establish it anew with his restored people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1129). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 11:7 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

    9 Their descendants will be known among the nations,
    and their posterity among the peoples.
    All who see them will recognize
    that they are a people the LORD has blessed.

    10 I rejoice greatly in the LORD,
    I exult in my God;
    for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation
    and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness,
    as a groom wears a turban
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

    • 61:10 Isaiah broke out in a hymn of praise in response to the pronouncement he had just delivered. He used the theme of clothing to describe his taking on God’s salvation and righteousness. These were not just any clothes but the clothes of a bride. This image implies the metaphor of God as husband of his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1129). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Hab 3:18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    • Psa 132:9, 16 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. 16. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.
    • Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    11 For as the earth produces its growth,
    and as a garden enables what is sown to spring up,
    so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
    to spring up before all the nations.

    • Psa 72:3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
    • Psa 85:11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 61:1–11). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    Chapter 62

    690 B.C.
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    ZION’S RESTORATION

    62:1 I will not keep silent because of Zion,
    and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem,
    until her righteousness shines like a bright light
    and her salvation, like a flaming torch.

    • 62:1 The first-person speaker here is either the Servant-Messiah of 61:1–3 or the prophet Isaiah. He will speak until Jerusalem’s spiritual transformation is complete. Light is an important theme describing God’s work among his people (58:10; 60:1–13). It is also connected with the Messiah (10:17; 42:6). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1130). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Luk 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
    • Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
    • Joh 3:34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
    • Psa 45:7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
    • Psa 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

    2 Nations will see your righteousness
    and all kings, your glory.
    You will be given a new name
    that the LORD’s mouth will announce.

    • 62:2 Names and their meaning often were connected with a person’s character or reputation. Name changes were not uncommon. For instance, Naomi (“pleasant”) changed her name to Mara (“bitter”) when her fortunes turned bad (Ru 1:20). Israel’s new divinely given name indicates a change of condition for the people of God (vv. 4, 12). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1130). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Lev 25:9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.
    • Mal 4:1, 3 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. Mal 4:3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.
    • 2Th 1:7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
    • Mat 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    3 You will be a glorious crown in the LORD’s hand,
    and a royal diadem in the palm of your God’s hand.

    • Psa 39:11 When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah.
    • Joh 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

    4 You will no longer be called Deserted,
    and your land will not be called Desolate;
    instead, you will be called My Delight Is in Her,
    and your land Married;
    for the LORD delights in you,
    and your land will be married.

    • Eze 36:33 “Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.

    5 For as a young man marries a young woman,
    so your sons will marry you;
    and as a groom rejoices over his bride,
    so your God will rejoice over you.

    • Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

    6 Jerusalem,
    I have appointed watchmen on your walls;
    they will never be silent, day or night.
    There is no rest for you,
    who remind the LORD.

    • Exo 19:6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.

    7 Do not give him rest
    until he establishes and makes Jerusalem
    the praise of the earth.

    • Zec 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

    8 The LORD has sworn with his right hand
    and his strong arm:
    I will no longer give your grain
    to your enemies for food,
    and foreigners will not drink the new wine
    for which you have labored.

    • 62:8–9 Attacking armies would steal the crops of people they conquered. God had allowed a succession of foreign powers to invade his people because of their sin (Assyria and Babylon most notably), but their plundering will be brought to an end. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1130). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 11:7 For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

    9 For those who gather grain will eat it
    and praise the LORD,
    and those who harvest the grapes will drink the wine
    in my holy courts.

    10 Go out, go out through the city gates;
    prepare a way for the people!
    Build it up, build up the highway;
    clear away the stones!
    Raise a banner for the peoples.

    • Hab 3:18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
    • Psa 132:9, 16 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. 16. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.
    • Rev 21:2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    11 Look, the LORD has proclaimed
    to the ends of the earth,
    “Say to Daughter Zion:
    Look, your salvation is coming,
    his wages are with him,
    and his reward accompanies him.”

    • Psa 73:3 For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    • Psa 85:11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.

    12 And they will be called the Holy People,
    the LORD’s Redeemed;
    and you will be called Cared For,
    A City Not Deserted.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 62:1–12). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Chapter 63

    690 B.C.

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    THE LORD’S DAY OF VENGEANCE

    63:1 Who is this coming from Edom
    in crimson-stained garments from Bozrah—
    this one who is splendid in his apparel,
    striding in his formidable might?

    It is I, proclaiming vindication,
    powerful to save.

    • Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

    2 Why are your clothes red,
    and your garments like one who treads a winepress?
    3 I trampled the winepress alone,
    and no one from the nations was with me.
    I trampled them in my anger
    and ground them underfoot in my fury;
    their blood spattered my garments,
    and all my clothes were stained.

    • Lam 1:15 “The Lord rejected all my mighty men in my midst; he summoned an assembly against me to crush my young men; the Lord has trodden as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah.
    • Rev 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

    4 For I planned the day of vengeance,
    and the year of my redemption came.
    5 I looked, but there was no one to help,
    and I was amazed that no one assisted;
    so my arm accomplished victory for me,
    and my wrath assisted me.

  • Joh 16:32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
  • Psa 98:1 A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
  • 6 I crushed nations in my anger;
    I made them drunk with my wrath
    and poured out their blood on the ground.

    REMEMBRANCE OF GRACE

    7 I will make known the LORD’s faithful love
    and the LORD’s praiseworthy acts,
    because of all the LORD has done for us—
    even the many good things
    he has done for the house of Israel,
    which he did for them based on his compassion
    and the abundance of his faithful love.
    8 He said, “They are indeed my people,
    children who will not be disloyal,”
    and he became their Savior.
    9 In all their suffering, he suffered,
    and the angel of his presence saved them.
    He redeemed them
    because of his love and compassion;
    he lifted them up and carried them
    all the days of the past.

    • 63:7–9 Isaiah looked to the distant past of Israel’s history and remembered God’s grace and compassion. These verses speak in general terms of God’s praiseworthy acts and Israel’s suffering. The later focus on the crossing of the sea (vv. 11–13) leads to the conclusion that even here the prophet alluded to Israel’s bondage in Egypt and God’s rescue. The angel of his presence alludes to the Armies’ role at the time of the Red Sea crossing (Ex 14:19). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1131). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Judges 10:16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD, and he became impatient over the misery of Israel.
    • Exo 14:19 Then the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them,
    • Deu 7:7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
    • Exo 19:4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

    10 But they rebelled
    and grieved his Holy Spirit.
    So he became their enemy
    and fought against them.

    • Exo 15:24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?”
    • Psa 78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!
    • Exo 23:21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.

    11 Then he remembered the days of the past,
    the days of Moses and his people.
    Where is he who brought them out of the sea
    with the shepherds of his flock?
    Where is he who put his Holy Spirit among the flock?

    • Exo 14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
    • Num 11:17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.

    12 He made his glorious strength
    available at the right hand of Moses,
    divided the water before them
    to make an eternal name for himself,

    • Exo 15:6 Your right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
    • Jos 3:16 the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.

    13 and led them through the depths
    like a horse in the wilderness,
    so that they did not stumble.

    • Psa 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert.

    14 Like cattle that go down into the valley,
    the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
    You led your people this way
    to make a glorious name for yourself.

    • 2Sa 7:23 And who is like your people Israel, the one nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name and doing for them great and awesome things by driving out before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt, a nation and its gods?

    ISRAEL’S PRAYER

    15 Look down from heaven and see
    from your lofty home—holy and beautiful.
    Where is your zeal and your might?
    Your yearning and your compassion
    are withheld from me.

    • 63:15 Isaiah began a lament that continues to 64:12. It bemoaned the fact that God had not yet enacted his exodus mercies (63:11–14). God seemed to be up in his heavenly home, distant from his people. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1131). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 26:15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.’
    • Psa 33:14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
    • Jer 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the LORD.

    16 Yet you are our Father,
    even though Abraham does not know us
    and Israel doesn’t recognize us.
    You, LORD, are our Father;
    your name is Our Redeemer
    from Ancient Times.

    • Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?
    • Job 14:21 His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.

    17 Why, LORD, do you make us stray from your ways?
    You harden our hearts so we do not fear you.
    Return, because of your servants,
    the tribes of your heritage.
    18 Your holy people had a possession
    for a little while,
    but our enemies have trampled down
    your sanctuary.

    • Deu 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
    • Psa 74:7 They set your sanctuary on fire; they profaned the dwelling place of your name, bringing it down to the ground.

    19 We have become like those you never ruled,
    like those who did not bear your name

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 63:1–19). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

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    64:1 If only you would tear the heavens open
    and come down,
    so that mountains would quake at your presence—

    • Oz: Isaiah continues to pray, and asks God to come down to help them.

    2 just as fire kindles brushwood,
    and fire boils water—
    to make your name known to your enemies,
    so that nations would tremble at your presence!
    3 When you did awesome works
    that we did not expect,
    you came down,
    and the mountains quaked at your presence.

    • Exo 34:10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.

    4 From ancient times no one has heard,
    no one has listened to,
    no eye has seen any God except you
    who acts on behalf of the one who waits for him.

    • Psa 31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

    5 You welcome the one who joyfully does what is right;
    they remember you in your ways.
    But we have sinned, and you were angry.
    How can we be saved if we remain in our sins?

    • Mal 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

    6 All of us have become like something unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment;
    all of us wither like a leaf,
    and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.

    • Phi 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
    • Psa 90:5, 6 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

    7 No one calls on your name,
    striving to take hold of you.
    For you have hidden your face from us
    and made us melt because of our iniquity.

    8 Yet LORD, you are our Father;
    we are the clay, and you are our potter;
    we all are the work of your hands.
    9 LORD, do not be terribly angry
    or remember our iniquity forever.
    Please look—all of us are your people!
    10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
    Zion has become a wilderness,
    Jerusalem a desolation.
    11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
    where our ancestors praised you,
    has been burned down,
    and all that was dear to us lies in ruins.

    • Eze 24:21 ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword.

    12 LORD, after all this, will you restrain yourself?
    Will you keep silent and afflict us severely?

    • 64:10–12 Isaiah foresaw the time when the Babylonians would destroy the city of Jerusalem and burn the temple in 586 BC. Isaiah appealed to God to turn things around and restore the city and its temple. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1132). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 83:1 A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 64). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

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    THE LORD’S RESPONSE

    65:1 “I was sought by those who did not ask;
    I was found by those who did not seek me.
    I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
    to a nation that did not call on my name.

    • Rom 9:24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

    2 I spread out my hands all day long
    to a rebellious people
    who walk in the path that is not good,
    following their own thoughts.

    • 65:1–2 In these and the following verses, God responded to the people’s prayer uttered by Isaiah. God first described his total openness and accessibility to the people. Even more, he sought them out, though they should be the ones who were seeking him out. God would spread out his hands in welcome to people who had passed him by. Paul quotes these verses in Rm 10:20–21. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rom 10:21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

    3 These people continually anger me
    to my face,
    sacrificing in gardens,
    burning incense on bricks,

    • 65:3 The rebellion of the people is enumerated in terms of their false worship. False worship modeled on the pattern of Canaanite religion was carried on in garden areas. Canaanite worship was part of fertility worship, often featuring sacred gardens and trees. Such false religion was condemned in Dt 12:2; Jr 3:9; and Hs 4:13. Incense offerings are often associated with the worship of a god like Baal or a goddess like Asherah (17:8; 27:9; Ezk 6:6; Hs 11:2). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 32:21 They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

    4 sitting among the graves,
    spending nights in secret places,
    eating the meat of pigs,
    and putting polluted broth in their bowls.

    • 65:4 God’s description of false religion continues with a mention of those who sat among the graves. The worship of departed ancestors was a feature of Canaanite religion. Eating the meat of pigs was particularly sinful because pork was considered an unclean food (Lv 11:7). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 18:11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,

    5 They say, ‘Keep to yourself,
    don’t come near me, for I am too holy for you!’
    These practices are smoke in my nostrils,
    a fire that burns all day long.

    • Mat 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

    6 Look, it is written in front of me:
    I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
    I will repay them fully

    • Deu 32:34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?
    • Psa 50:3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest.
    • Psa 79:12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!

    7 for your iniquities and the iniquities
    of your ancestors together,”
    says the LORD.
    “Because they burned incense on the mountains
    and reproached me on the hills,
    I will reward them fully
    for their former deeds.”

    • 65:6–7 God accused his people of reproaching him on the mountains and hills. False worship on “high places” was condemned (Dt 12:2; 2Kg 17:10; Jr 2:20–21; Ezk 6:13; 20:28; Hs 4:13). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Exo 20:5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
    • Eze 18:6 if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity,
    • Eze 20:27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me.

    8 The LORD says this:

    “As the new wine is found in a bunch of grapes,
    and one says, ‘Don’t destroy it,
    for there’s some good in it,’
    so I will act because of my servants
    and not destroy them all.

    • Joe 2:14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD your God?

    9 I will produce descendants from Jacob,
    and heirs to my mountains from Judah;
    my chosen ones will possess it,
    and my servants will dwell there.

    • 65:8–9 Using the analogy of a bunch of grapes, God announced that he would not destroy the good grapes out of the bunch but would use them to make new wine. The analogy presents the idea that God will preserve a faithful remnant of his people after the judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Mat 24:22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

    10 Sharon will be a pasture for flocks,
    and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
    for my people who have sought me.

    • 65:10 Sharon was the name of the foothills west of Jerusalem, famous for wildflowers. In 33:9 Sharon was described as a desert as a result of God’s judgment (35:2). The Valley of Achor (lit “Valley of Trouble”) received its name in the early days of the conquest of Canaan (Jos 7:16–26) when Achan stole some of the plunder from the city of Jericho. Because of his theft, Israel was defeated at the city of Ai. In Isaiah’s vision of a restored remnant, Achor was a peaceful and prosperous place. See Hs 2:15 for a similar use of the name Achor in a positive prophetic context. Since the Valley of Achor was located in the east (near Jericho) and Sharon was in the west, the two together signified that all of Israel would be prosperous. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Joshua 7:24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor.
    • Hos 2:15 And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

    11 But you who abandon the LORD,
    who forget my holy mountain,
    who prepare a table for Fortune
    and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny,

    • Eze 23:41 You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil.
    • 1Cor 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

    12 I will destine you for the sword,
    and all of you will kneel down to be slaughtered,
    because I called and you did not answer,
    I spoke and you did not hear;
    you did what was evil in my sight
    and chose what I did not delight in.”

    • 65:11–12 Fortune (Hb gad) and Destiny (Hb meni ) are personified as objects of false worship. Gad is thought to be a minor Canaanite god, while Meni is more obscure but “thought to be venerated by the Arabs in the pre-Islamic period” (Brevard Childs, Isaiah). While God had good things in store for the faithful remnant, those among his people who continued to worship false deities would meet a horrible end. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Pro 1:24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
    • Jer 7:13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,

    13 Therefore, this is what the Lord GOD says:

    “Look! My servants will eat,
    but you will be hungry.
    Look! My servants will drink,
    but you will be thirsty.
    Look! My servants will rejoice,
    but you will be put to shame.
    14 Look! My servants will shout for joy from a glad heart,
    but you will cry out from an anguished heart,
    and you will lament out of a broken spirit.

    • Mat 8:12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
    • Luk 13:28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.

    15 You will leave your name behind
    as a curse for my chosen ones,
    and the Lord GOD will kill you;
    but he will give his servants another name.

    • Jer 29:22 Because of them this curse shall be used by all the exiles from Judah in Babylon: “The LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,”
    • Zec 8:13 And as you have been a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”
    • Act 11:26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

    16 Whoever asks for a blessing in the land
    will ask for a blessing by the God of truth,
    and whoever swears in the land
    will swear by the God of truth.
    For the former troubles will be forgotten
    and hidden from my sight.

    • 65:13–16 In this section God continued the distinction between those who followed him and were his servants and those who rejected him. The former will enjoy life; the latter will suffer. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1133). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Psa 72:17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!
    • Jer 4:2 and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’ in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.”
    • Deu 6:13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
    • Zep 1:5 those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear by Milcom,

    A NEW CREATION

    17 “For I will create new heavens and a new earth;
    the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.

    • 65:17 Just as God will give his people a “new name” after his judgment and restoration (see notes at v. 15; 62:2), so he will create a new heaven and a new earth. The past events are acts of sin by the people that resulted in God’s judgment. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
    • Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

    18 Then be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I am creating;
    for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy
    and its people to be a delight.
    19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people.
    The sound of weeping and crying
    will no longer be heard in her.

    • 65:18–19 God’s original intention for Jerusalem will be fulfilled (see Ps 48:1 where it is called “the joy of the whole earth”). Its sin and God’s judgment had reduced it to the point where it was “a horror to all the earth’s kingdoms” (Jr 34:17), but now it will be a joy. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Rev 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

    20 In her, a nursing infant will no longer live
    only a few days,
    or an old man not live out his days.
    Indeed, the one who dies at a hundred years old will be mourned as a young man,
    and the one who misses a hundred years will be considered cursed.

    • Ecc 8:12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him.

    21 People will build houses and live in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
    22 They will not build and others live in them;
    they will not plant and others eat.
    For my people’s lives will be
    like the lifetime of a tree.
    My chosen ones will fully enjoy
    the work of their hands.

    • Psa 92:12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

    23 They will not labor without success
    or bear children destined for disaster,
    for they will be a people blessed by the LORD
    along with their descendants.

    • 65:23 In the past the labor of God’s people had been enjoyed by others as he allowed foreign nations to take them over. Their children had been born to disaster since the enemy would either kill them or deport them. But this will change in God’s “new heaven” and “new earth” (see note at v. 17). The blessing of work and of childbearing was first troubled at the time of the fall into sin (Gn 3:16–19). The language of this verse suggests a reversal of these curses. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Hos 9:12 Even if they bring up children, I will bereave them till none is left. Woe to them when I depart from them!

    24 Even before they call, I will answer;
    while they are still speaking, I will hear.

    • Dan 9:21 while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.

    25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like cattle,
    but the serpent’s food will be dust!
    They will not do what is evil or destroy
    on my entire holy mountain,”
    says the LORD.

    • 65:25 The pronouncement uses language that suggests a restoration of Eden-like conditions. Wolves would normally eat lambs, but they will eat peacefully together. The lion, another predator, will eat straw rather than other animals. The serpent will eat dust, reminiscent of the serpent’s role in Gn 3. The similar language in Is 11:6–9 suggests a connection with the theme of the Messiah expressed in those verses. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  • Gen 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
  • Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 65:1–25). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

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    FINAL JUDGMENT AND JOYOUS RESTORATION

    66:1 This is what the LORD says:

    Heaven is my throne,
    and earth is my footstool.
    Where could you possibly build a house for me?
    And where would my resting place be?

    • God began the final pronouncement in the book of Isaiah by reminding his people that his presence fills heaven (my throne) and earth (my footstool). Stephen quotes vv. 66:1–2 in Ac 7:49–50 just before becoming the first Christian martyr. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1134). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • 1Ki 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!
    • 2Chr 6:18 “But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!
    • Mat 5:34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
    • Act 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

    2 My hand made all these things,
    and so they all came into being.
    This is the LORD’s declaration.
    I will look favorably on this kind of person:
    one who is humble, submissive in spirit,
    and trembles at my word.

    • Psa 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
    • Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

    3 One person slaughters an ox, another kills a person;
    one person sacrifices a lamb, another breaks a dog’s neck;
    one person offers a grain offering, another offers pig’s blood;
    one person offers incense, another praises an idol—
    all these have chosen their ways
    and delight in their abhorrent practices.

    • 66:3 This verse links four legitimate ritual acts with four perverse acts. The people did both, rendering even the legitimate ritual acts abhorrent practices. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1135). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
    • Deu 23:18 You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.

    4 So I will choose their punishment,
    and I will bring on them what they dread
    because I called and no one answered;
    I spoke and they did not listen;
    they did what was evil in my sight
    and chose what I did not delight in.

    • Pro 1:24 Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
    • Jer 7:13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,

    5 You who tremble at his word,
    hear the word of the LORD:
    “Your brothers who hate and exclude you
    for my name’s sake have said,
    ‘Let the LORD be glorified
    so that we can see your joy!’
    But they will be put to shame.”

    • 2Th 1:10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
    • Tit 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

    6 A sound of uproar from the city!
    A voice from the temple—
    the voice of the LORD,
    paying back his enemies what they deserve!

    • 66:5–6 Trembling at God’s word (v. 2) indicates the kind of submission to God that leads to obedience. The brothers (fellow Israelites) mocked the faithful by saying Let the LORD be glorified because they did not think that would happen. God will see that the mockers get what they deserve.
    • Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1135). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    7 Before Zion was in labor, she gave birth;
    before she was in pain, she delivered a boy.
    8 Who has heard of such a thing?
    Who has seen such things?
    Can a land be born in one day
    or a nation be delivered in an instant?
    Yet as soon as Zion was in labor,
    she gave birth to her sons.

    • 66:7–8 Zion or Jerusalem has been described as Israel’s mother before (49:14; 50:1). Here the return to Judah after the exile is described as Zion giving birth painlessly (again reversing a punishment of the fall; ) to many sons. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1135). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    9 “Will I bring a baby to the point of birth
    and not deliver it?”
    says the LORD;
    “or will I who deliver, close the womb?”
    says your God.
    10 Be glad for Jerusalem and rejoice over her,
    all who love her.
    Rejoice greatly with her,
    all who mourn over her—
    11 so that you may nurse and be satisfied
    from her comforting breast
    and drink deeply and delight yourselves
    from her glorious breasts.

    12 For this is what the LORD says:

    I will make peace flow to her like a river,
    and the wealth of nations like a flood;
    you will nurse and be carried on her hip
    and bounced on her lap.
    13 As a mother comforts her son,
    so I will comfort you,
    and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.

    • 66:13 God, who is typically featured as the Father, speaks in the first person as the mother (a role typically played by Zion). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1135). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    14 You will see, you will rejoice,
    and you will flourish like grass;
    then the LORD’s power will be revealed to his servants,
    but he will show his wrath against his enemies.

    • Eze 37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.

    15 Look, the LORD will come with fire—
    his chariots are like the whirlwind—
    to execute his anger with fury
    and his rebuke with flames of fire.
    16 For the LORD will execute judgment
    on all humanity with his fiery sword,
    and many will be slain by the LORD.

    • 66:14–16 God will save his people and punish those who disobey him. While God blesses and punishes in historical time, the ultimate expression of God’s salvation and judgment will take place at the final judgment (pictured most graphically in the book of Revelation). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (pp. 1135–1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    17 “Those who dedicate and purify themselves to enter the groves following their leader, eating meat from pigs, vermin, and rats, will perish together.”

    This is the LORD’s declaration.

    • 66:17 Oz: illegitimate worship sites are the groves.

    18 “Knowing their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see my glory. 19 I will establish a sign among them, and I will send survivors from them to the nations—to Tarshish, Put, Lud (who are archers), Tubal, Javan, and the coasts and islands far away—who have not heard about me or seen my glory. And they will proclaim my glory among the nations.

    • 66:19 The survivors, the remnant of God’s people who survive the judgment, will go out to the nations to speak of God’s glory. Among the representative nations named are those at great distance. Tarshish is modern day Spain (likely Tartessus); Put (ancient Punt) is equivalent to modern Somaliland (though some think a part of Libya; Nah 3:9 lists Libya along with Put); Tubal is an area near the Black Sea; Javan is modern Greece. The coasts and islands refer to distant lands and thus represent all the nations of the world. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    20 They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to the LORD on horses and chariots, in litters, and on mules and camels, to my holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the LORD, “just as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.

    • 66:20 The missionaries of v. 19 will bring back the fruit of their labor, all your brothers, from the nations. This would be Gentile converts coming to Jerusalem. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the LORD.

    • 66:21 The most natural antecedent to them is the nations. Thus, Isaiah presented a remarkable picture of the nations producing people set apart for service to the Lord like priests and Levites. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth,
    which I will make,
    will remain before me”—
    this is the LORD’s declaration—
    “so your offspring and your name will remain.
    23 All humanity will come to worship me
    from one New Moon to another
    and from one Sabbath to another,”
    says the LORD.

    • 66:23 In this future day, no one will neglect the regular worship of the Lord. The New Moon festival was a monthly sacred observance (1:13; Nm 29:6; 2Kg 4:23; Ezr 3:5; Ps 81:3). Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me; for their worm will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all humanity.”

    • 66:24 Isaiah ended his book with one last description of the fate of the wicked. If his intention was to describe a departure from Jerusalem, then perhaps he referred to the Hinnom Valley—a place where garbage was burned and bodies were left to rot. The purpose of this graphic image was to move people toward God and redemption. Longman, T., III. (2017). Isaiah. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1136). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Is 66:1–24). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.


    VERNON MCGEE NOTES

    ISAIAH Dr. J. Vernon McGee
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    PROPHETIC BOOKS

    Beginning with Isaiah, and continuing through the Old Testament, there is a section of Scripture called the prophetic portion of the Bible. Although the predictive element bulks large in this section, the prophets were more than fortune-tellers. Actually, they were men raised up of God in a decadent day when both priest and king were no longer worthy channels through whom the expressions of God might flow.

    These men not only spoke of events in the far-off future but also spoke of local events in the immediate future. They had to speak in this manner in order to qualify for this office under God, according to the Mosaic code:

    But the prophet, who shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

    If the local event did not transpire just as the prophet predicted, he was labeled a false prophet and was so treated. You may be sure that the message of the false prophet is not in the library of inspired Scripture. The prophetic books are filled with events that are local and fulfilled. A sharp distinction needs to be drawn between this portion and that which is yet to be fulfilled.

    One of the greatest evidences of the fact that these men were speaking the words of God is revealed in the hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled literally. Man cannot guess the future. Even the meteorologists have difficulty in prognosticating the weather twenty- four hours in advance, although they have the advantage of all sorts of scientific and mechanical devices to assist them. No modern weather forecaster could have been an accepted prophet in Israel! The law of compound probability forbids man from consistently foretelling the future. Each uncertain element added decreases the chance of accuracy by fifty percent. The example of hundreds of prophecies literally fulfilled has a genuine appeal to the honest mind and sincere seeker after the truth. Fulfilled prophecy is one of the infallible proofs of plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture.

    The predictive element is the peculiar and particular contribution of these men of God. This does not mean there was not this element before them or after them. The last book of the Bible closes the message of God for the future.

    The prophets were extremely nationalistic. They rebuked sin in high as well as low places. They warned the nation. They pleaded with a proud people to humble themselves and return to God. Fire and tears were mingled in their message, which was not one of doom and gloom alone, for they saw the Day of the Lord and the glory to follow. All of them looked through the darkness to the dawn of a new day. In the night of sin they saw the light of a coming Savior and Sovereign; they saw the millennial kingdom coming in all its fullness. Their message must be interpreted before an appreciation of the kingdom in the New Testament can be attained. The correct perspective of the kingdom must be gained through the eye of the Old Testament prophets.

    The prophets were not supermen — they were men of like passions as we are, but having spoken for God, their message is still the infallible and inspired Word of God:

    Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them did signify, when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (1 Peter 1:10, 11)
    We have also a more sure word of prophecy, unto which ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

    Sweet is the harp of prophecy; too sweet not to be wronged by a mere mortal touch.
    — William Cowper

    ISAIAH WRITER: Isaiah (1:1)

    Most of the prophets moved in an orbit of obscurity and anonymity.
    They did not project their personalities into the prophecies they proclaimed. Jeremiah and Hosea are the exceptions to this, of course. Isaiah gives us very little of an historical character concerning himself. There are a few scant references to his life and ministry. In Isaiah 1:1 he gives “the days” in which his lot was cast. It was during the reigns of “Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” These were not the darkest days in Judah internally. Uzziah and Hezekiah were enlightened rulers who sought to serve God. But the days were extremely dark because of the menace of the formidable kingdom of Assyria in the north. The northern kingdom of Israel was carried away into captivity during this period.

    Isaiah 6 records the personal call and commission of Isaiah. This chapter should come first in the prophecy — logically if not chronologically. Isaiah 36 — 39 is the historical section, which records the ministry of Isaiah during the crisis when the Assyrian host encompassed Jerusalem. Beyond these few personal sections, Isaiah stands in the shadow as he points to another Person who is coming.

    It is stated by some that Isaiah belonged to the royal family of David. This cannot be positively affirmed. Likewise, it has been stated that he is referred to in Hebrews 11:37 as the one “sawn asunder.” This may or may not be true. The liberal critic has sawn him asunder in forging the fake fabric of the Deutero-Isaiah hypothesis. Some have gone so far as to fabricate a Trito-Isaiah. There is not a scrap of documentary evidence beyond the skepticism of the destructive critic. They have cut Isaiah up like a railroad restaurant pie. History presents only one Isaiah, not two or three. This method of the destructive critic could be applied one thousand years hence to prove just as easily that there were three Dwight Eisenhowers:

    • 1st — General Eisenhower, the military leader of the victorious forces of World War II — European theatre.
    • 2nd — President Eisenhower of the United States, elected in 1952 and 1956.
    • 3rd — Dwight D. Eisenhower, the invalid man and victim of a heart attack and a serious operation for ileitis.

    We know that only one man by the name of Eisenhower fulfilled all those requirements. Likewise, only one man by the name of Isaiah can easily fulfill all the requirements as the sole author of the Book of Isaiah.

    THEME: As the New Testament presents the Lord Jesus Christ as its theme, so Isaiah presents the Lord Jesus Christ as his theme. Isaiah has been called the 5th evangelist; the Book of Isaiah has been called the 5th Gospel. Christ’s virgin birth, His character, His life, His death, His resurrection, and His second coming are all presented in Isaiah with definiteness and clarity. (See 1 Peter 1:10, 11; cp. Luke 4:16-22 with Isaiah 61:1-4.)

    STYLE AND CONTENT: The prophecy of Isaiah is strikingly similar to the entire Bible, which can be seen in the following comparison:


    BIBLE

    BOOK OF ISAIAH

    66 Books
    66 Chapters

    39 Books in Old Testament
    39 Chapters on Law, the Government of God

    27 Books in the Old Testament
    27 Chapters on Grace, salvation of God

    Also, there are some 66 direct quotations from Isaiah in the New Testament. Some people have found 85 quotations and allusions to Isaiah in the New Testament.

    20 of the 27 books of the New Testament refer to Isaiah; 12 books of the New Testament have direct quotations.

    ISAIAH is woven into the New Testament as a brightly colored thread woven into a beautiful pattern.

    ISAIAH is discernible and conspicuous in the New Testament. ISAIAH is chiseled into the rock of the New Testament with the power
    tool of the Holy Spirit.

    ISAIAH is often used to enforce and enlarge upon those passages that
    speak of Christ.

    The historic interlude (chapters 36—39) leaves the high plateau of prophecy and drops down to the record of history. Even the form of language is different. It is couched in the form of prose rather than poetry. Why are these four chapters of an historical character wedged in between the two major divisions of the book? This is a reasonable question that requires investigation and rewards the honest inquirer. There are several significant factors worthy of mention:

    1. Sacred and secular history are not the same. Dr. Jennings states, “Divine history is never merely history, never simply a true account of past events.” There are great spiritual truths couched in sacred history that are seen only by the eye of faith. The Holy Spirit must teach us the divine purpose in recording scriptural history. Let us note several suggestive reasons:

    • a. These incidents might seem trite to the average historian who records great world movements; but events concerning God’s people were important according to the standards of heaven.
    • b. Actually these chapters note the transfer of power from Assyria to Babylon. Babylon was the real menace to God’s people and was to begin the period designated by our Lord as “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24).
    • c. This section is a record of a son of David who was beset by enemies and who went down to the verge of death but was delivered and continued to reign. In this he foreshadows the great Son of David who was beset by enemies, delivered to death, raised from the dead, and who is coming again to reign. Hezekiah was only a man who walked in the ways of David, another weak man. Hezekiah lived to play the fool. Our Lord was greater than David and, as the crucified and risen Son of God, is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). There are other great spiritual truths which we will note in the chapter outlines.

    2. The second significant factor in this historic section is that these particular events are recorded three times in the Scriptures — 2 Kings 18, 19; 2 Chronicles 29, 30; and here in Isaiah. The fact that the Holy Spirit saw fit to record them three times is in itself a matter of great importance. These records are not identical but similar. Some scholars think Isaiah is the author of all three or at least the one in Kings. Surely the Spirit of God has some special truth for us here that should cause us not to hurry over these events as if they were of no great moment.

    3. Three significant and stupendous miracles are recorded in this brief section:

    • a. The death angel slays 185,000 Assyrians (37:36-38).
    • b. God heals Hezekiah and extends his life fifteen years (38:1-5).
    • c. The sun retreats ten degrees on the sun dial of Ahaz (38:7, 8).

    4. This section opens with Assyria and closes with Babylon. There are two important letters that Hezekiah received:

    • a. The first was from Assyria, which Hezekiah took directly to God in prayer (37:14); and God delivered His people.
    • b. The second letter was from the king of Babylon which flattered Hezekiah and which he did not take to the Lord in prayer. As a result, it led to the undoing of Judah (39:1-8).

    The third and last major division (chapters 40 — 66) returns to the poetic form but is in contrast to the first major section. There we had judgment and the righteous government of God; here we have the grace of God, the suffering, and glory to follow. Here all is grace and glory. The opening “comfort ye” sets the mood and tempo.

    It is this section that has caused the liberal critics to postulate the Deutero-Isaiah hypothesis. A change of subject matter does not necessitate a change of authorship. It is interesting that for 1900 years there was not a word about a second Isaiah. John refers to this section as authored by Isaiah (John 1:23). Our Lord likewise referred to this section as written by Isaiah (Luke 4:17-21). There are numerous other references that similarly confirm the authorship of Isaiah.

    Philip used a chapter from this section to win an Ethiopian to Christ (Acts 8).

    The prophecy of Isaiah presents another important aspect of prophecy. This has to do with the plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture.

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

    One of the most solid proofs of the plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture is fulfilled prophecy. Isaiah contains many prophecies that have been fulfilled since he wrote them.

    There were many false prophets in Israel, as the Scriptures reveal. Read the entire record in 2 Chronicles 18. Note especially 18:22 — “Now, therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these, thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.”

    The prophet had to speak into a local situation and in respect to contemporary events of his day. If his prophecy failed to materialize, then he was declared a false prophet (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). If the matter came to pass, he was declared a true prophet. Isaiah prophesied into many local events. When Jerusalem was surrounded by the Assyrian army, Isaiah made a very daring prophecy

    Therefore, thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. (Isaiah 37:33)

    Also see his prophecy concerning the sickness of Hezekiah in Isaiah 38.

    There are other prophecies that were not fulfilled in his lifetime, but today they stand fulfilled. See, for instance, his prophecies concerning the city of Babylon:

    And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldeans’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures, and ostriches shall dwell there, and he-goats shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the coastlands shall cry in their desolate houses, and jackals in their pleasant palaces; and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. (Isaiah 13:19-22)

    Further fulfillments relative to Babylon are recorded in Isaiah 47. Excavations at Babylon have revealed the accuracy of these prophecies. More than fifty miles of the walls of Babylon have been excavated. The culture of this great civilization is still impressive but lies in dust and debris today according to the written word of Isaiah. This is one of many examples that could be given. Others will come before us in this study as we proceed through the book.

      OUTLINE:

    • I. Judgment (poetry), Chapters 1 — 35 Revelation of the Sovereign on the throne. (The Crown, chapter 6. The government of God.)
      1. A. Solemn call to the universe to come into the courtroom
      2. to hear God’s charge against the nation Israel, Chapter 1
      3. B. Preview of the future for Judah and Jerusalem, Chapter 2
      4. C. Present view of Judah and Jerusalem, Chapter 3
      5. D. Another preview of the future, Chapter 4
      6. E. Parable of the vineyard and woes predicted on Israel, Chapter 5
      7. F. Isaiah’s personal call and commission as prophet, Chapter 6
      8. G. Prediction of local and far events, Chapters 7 — 10
      9. (Hope of future in coming Child)
      10. H. Millennial kingdom, Chapters 11, 12
      11. I. Burdens of surrounding nations (largely fulfilled),
    • Chapters 13 — 23
      • 1. Burden of Babylon, Chapters 13, 14
      • 2. Burden of Moab, Chapters 15, 16
      • 3. Burden of Damascas, Chapter 17
      • 4. Burden of the land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, Chapter 18 5. Burden of Egypt, Chapters 19, 20
      • 6. Burden of Babylon, Edom, Arabia, Chapter 21
      • 7. Burden of the Valley of Vision, Chapter 22
      • 8. Burden of Tyre, Chapter 23
    • J. Kingdom, process and program by which the throne is established on earth, Chapters 24 — 34
    • K. Kingdom, mundane blessings of the Millennium, Chapter 35
      II. Historic interlude (prose), Chapters 36 — 39
      (This section is probably a prophetic picture of how God will deliver His people in the Great Tribulation [see 2 Kings 18, 19 and 2 Chronicles 29, 30].)

    • A. King Hezekiah and the invasion of Sennacherib, king of
    • Assyria, Chapter 36
    • B. King Hezekiah’s prayer and the destruction of the Assyrian
    • hosts, Chapter 37
    • C. King Hezekiah’s sickness, prayer and healing, Chapter 38
    • D. King Hezekiah plays the fool, Chapter 39
      III. Salvation (poetry), Chapters 40 — 66 Revelation of the Savior in the place of suffering. (The Cross, chapter 53. The grace of God. There is a three-fold division marked by the concluding thought in each division, “There is no peace to the wicked.”)

    • A. Comfort of Jehovah which comes through the Servant,
    • Chapters 40 — 48
    • (Polemic against idolatry — help and hope come only through the Servant.)
    • B. Salvation of Jehovah which comes through the suffering Servant, Chapters 49 — 57
      • 1. Redeemer of the whole world, who is God’s Servant,
      • Chapters 49:1— 52:12
      • 2. Redemption wrought by the suffering Servant, who is
      • God’s Sheep (Lamb), Chapters 52:13 — 53:12
      • 3. Results of the redemption wrought by the Redeemer, who
      • is God’s only Savior, Chapters 54 — 57
    • C. Glory of Jehovah which comes through the suffering Servant, Chapters 58 — 66
    • 1. Sin hinders the manifestation of the glory of God,
      Chapters 58, 59
    • 2. Redeemer is coming to Zion, Chapters 60 — 66
      (Nothing can hinder God’s progress — He will judge sin.)

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