The present chapter, which terminates the second section of Isaiah’s later
prophecies, consists of a long address by God to His people, partly in the
way of complaint, partly of combined premise and exhortation. The
address is divided into three portions, each commencing with a call on
Vers. 1-11. — THE FIRST ADDRESS consists mainly of expostulation
(v. 1). They have had “necks of iron” and “brows of brass” (v. 4). God
has given them prophecies of different kinds (vs. 3-7); yet they have
neither “heard” nor “known;” they have “dealt treacherously” and been
“transgressors from the womb” (v. 8). God might justly have “cut them
off” for their rebellion, but he has “deferred His anger,” and “refrained”
Himself — not, however, for
"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.
Materials are reproduced by permission." - (here and
v. 1b – “Jacob” – a secular
designation – “
The great mass of Jews remained behind and did not
return and they became absorbed into the heathen to
whom they became more and more assimilated.
Those who returned to
worshippers of Jehovah!
"but not in truth, nor in righteousness"
The condition of the majority of the exiles - "This
people honoreth me with their lips but their heart
is far from me" - Matt. 15:8
v. 2 - “For they call themselves of the holy city” - It is an indication of
their real want of truth and righteousness, that they lay such stress upon
what is so entirely outward and formal, as the fact of their belonging to”
the holy city,”
time, “We be Abraham’s seed” (John 8:33) - “stay themselves upon the
dependence, as those Israelites who are mentioned in Isaiah 10:20. but
trusting to the facts that they were “
is “the God of
connected with the holiness of God.
v. 3 – “I have declared the former things from the beginning” -
(comp. Isaiah 41:26; 43:9, 10; 44:7, 8). “Former things” are here
contrasted with the “new things” of v. 6. Two cycles of prophecy seem
to be intended — one of comparatively ancient date, the other quite fresh
— both equally showing forth the power of God and His infinite superiority
to the idols. It is difficult to determine what the two cycles of prophecy
are. Delitzsch suggests that “the former things are the events experienced
by the people from the very earliest times down to the times of Cyrus,”
while “the new things embrace the redemption of
glorification of the people in the midst of a world of nations converted to
the God of Israel, and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.” Dr.
Kay thinks that the “former things” are those mentioned in the prophecies
announced in Isaiah 49-56. I did them suddenly; rather, suddenly I
v. 4 - the forehead may be hardened for a good or a
bad purpose - in obstinacy to God or a determination
to resist evil - here it is defiance and self-will.
v. 5 - there was a strong tendency to idolatry among the Jews, not only before,
but during the Captivity. Ezekiel says that those among whom he lived were
“polluted after the manner of their fathers, and committed whoredom after
their abominations; made their sons pass through the fire, and polluted
themselves with all their idols” (Ezekiel 20:30, 31); nay, went so far as
to declare boldly, “We will be as the heathen, as the inhabitants of the
countries, to serve wood and stone” (Ezekiel 20:32). The “prevailing
tendency,” as Delitzsch remarks, was “to combine the worship of Jehovah
with heathenism, or else to exchange the former altogether for the latter.”
We cannot conclude anything concerning the mass of the community from
the character of those who returned. Those who returned were the sincere
worshippers of Jehovah — the irreligious did not care to return. It is
always to be
borne in mind that it was “the great mass even of
less than of
absorbed into the heathen, to whom they became more and more
I pray that this is not what is happening to traditional Christianity –
assimilating the world in an effort to become contemporary? (CY – 2009)
v. 6 - the "new things" are those about to be revealed in
chps. 49-53 - things belonging to the "coming of Christ"
and the "new creation" which will be the great
object of Christ's coming!
v. 7 – The revelation to man of what has lain secret in God’s counsels
from all eternity is a sort of creation. Whatever shadows of
evangelic truth are discernible in the Law and in the earlier
psalms, they did not constitute a revelation of the way of
salvation at all comparable to that contained in Isaiah’s
v. 8 - "thine ear was not opened....I knew that thou
wouldest deal very treacherously, and was called
a transgressor from the womb"
Again we seem to hear the voice of complaint as in vs. 1,2 and 4.
purpose and spiritual truths of the coming section - they
had not profited by what was taught in the Law and the
Psalms concerning Him -
Remember Jesus' teaching in Luke 24:44-45
9 – “For my Name’s sake will I defer mine anger” -
insincerity (v. 1), obstinacy (v. 4), addiction to idols (v. 5), blindness
(v. 8), and general resistance to God’s will (v. 8), could not but have
provoked God’s “anger.” He will, however, “defer” it, “refrain” Himself,
v. 10 - "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" -
the object of the Captivity
At the end times it will be the Great Tribulation and the Time of
Jacob’s Trouble” – (Jeremiah 30:7)
v. 11b – “I will not give my glory to another”
vs. 12-13 - I am the Absolute and Unchangeable One -
the Alpha and the Omega - the First and the Last -
"from whom and to whom are all things" - Rom. 11:36
God will always be a King and a governor of innumerable
hosts of happy spirits, created by Himself!
As the Maker of heaven and earth, God is entitled to the
attention and obedience of all the dwellers in heaven and
v. 14 - "the Lord hath loved him" - God is a God of Love –
He loves all who in an honest and good heart seek His will
and serve Him faithfully!
vs. 16-22 - THE THIRD ADDRESS.
merciful teaching and leading in the past (vs. 16, 17); expostulated with
on their disobedience (vs. 18, 19); exhorted to go forth boldly and
blessings — even such a blessing as deliverance — are no blessings to any
but the righteous (v. 22).
v. 17 - "The Lord....which teacheth thee to profit"
God's teachings are for the profit of those to whom
they are addressed and if received in a proper spirit,
profit them more than ANYTHING else can do!
would have been poured out upon them "that
there would not have been room enough to receive
it" - Malachi 3:10
v. 18 – Compare Psalm 81:10-16
The ten tribes - Lost Tribes of
the heathen among whom they had been scattered.
The two tribes - Benjamin and Judah - had dwindled
in number until they were scarcely more than a
"handful" - Less than 50,000 returned with Zerubbabel -
Ezra 2:64 - less than 2,000 males with Ezra - Ezra 8:2-20 -
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would have been literally
fulfilled and the descendants of Abraham would have
been in the millions upon millions, instead of one or
two hundred thousand!
v. 20 - "Go ye forth of
Those only availed themselves of the edict of Cyrus
"whose spirit God had raised to go up and build His
house" - Ezra 1:5
The wealthier classes, Josephus tells us, remained.
The very poor could not leave - motives of various
kinds detained others.
"the Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob"
The deliverance of
a preparation for, the WORLD’S REDEMPTION!
v. 22 - This warning phrase occurs again at the close of the second section
of this portion of Isaiah’s work (Isaiah 57:20-21). The third section closes
with a still more solemn warning Isaiah 66:24).
ch. 57:20-21 – “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it
cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked”
ch. 66:24 – “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses
of the men that have transgressed against me: for their
worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched;
and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh”