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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  THIRTY
Isaiah 58:1 - 59:21


Isaiah Chapter 58
Part III - First Prophecy
The False Worship and the True, with the Promises Belonging to the Latter

Isaiah 58:2-14     Contrasted Conduct
Isa 58:2-7 Condition Legal observances
Isa 58:8, 9- Recompense Illumination
Isa 58:-9, 10- Condition Charity
Isa 58:-10-12 Recompense Illumination
Isa 58:13 Condition Legal observance – Sabbath
Isa 58:14 Recompense Ascendancy

Isaiah 58:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Cry with full throat, without restraint; raise your voice like a ram’s horn! Declare to My people their transgressions, to the House of Jacob their sin.

Cry aloud, and spare not; lift up thy voice as with a trumpet, and declare to my people their sins, and to the house of Jacob their iniquities.

Cry aloud, O prophet, spare not, lift up thy voice like the voice of a trumpet, and announce to my people their rebellious acts, and to the house of Jacob their transgressions.

(2)  To be sure, they seek Me daily, eager to learn My ways. Like a nation that does what is right, that has not abandoned the laws of its God, they ask Me for the right way, they are eager for the nearness of God:

They seek me day by day, and desire to know my ways, as a people that had done righteousness, and had not forsaken the judgment of their God: they now ask of me righteous judgment, and desire to draw nigh to God,

Yet before me do they seek instruction daily, as if thy desired to know the ways that are right before me; as a people that hath done righteousness and is not estranged from the judgement of its God, they ask from before me righteous judgement, as if they desired to draw night to the fear of the Lord,

From the NKJV
(1)  Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.   (2)    Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.  They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God.

Cry aloud = Hebrew “call with the throat” - deep down as in the throat.
It denotes not a wild cry,  but solemnity with restraint.

As the last prophecy of the second part contained all the three elements of prophetic addresses -

reproach
threat
promise
so this,  the first prophecy of the third part,  cannot open in any other way than with a rehearsal of one of these.  The prophet receives the commission to appear as the preacher of condemnation;  and while Jehovah is giving the reason for this commission,  the preaching itself commences.

As the second prophecy of the first part takes as its basis a text from Micah (Mic 2:1-4), so have we here in verse 1b the echo of Mic 3:8.

Micah 3:8
But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.       (NKJV)

Not only with lisping lips,  but with the throat;  that is to say,  with all the strength of the voice,  lifting up the voice like the shoophâr (not a trumpet,  which is called chatsotsªraah (OT:2689),  nor in fact any metallic instrument,  but a bugle or signal horn,  like that blown on new year's day),  i.e.,  in a shrill shouting tone.  With a loud voice that must be heard,  with the most unsparing publicity,  the prophet is to point out to the people their deep moral wounds,

which they may indeed hide from themselves
                   but
but cannot conceal from the all-seeing God.

They also desire to know the ways which He intends to take for their deliverance,  and by which He desires to lead them.  This reminds us of the occurrence between Ezekiel and the elders of Gola (Ezek 20:1 ff.; compare also Ezek 33:30 ff.).

As if they had been a people whose rectitude of action and fidelity to the commands of God warranted them in expecting nothing but what was good in the future, they ask God (viz., in prayer and by inquiring of the prophet) for

mishpetee tsedeq righteous manifestations of judgment
qirbath 'Eloohiim the coming of God - His saving parousia
The energetic futures,  with the tone upon the last syllable,  answer to their self-righteous presumption.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

It is true that there is no reference here to the temple or to sacrifices, and it may be true that the main sin of the nation in the time of Manasseh was idolatry;  but it is also true that formality and hypocrisy were prominent sins,  and that these deserved reproof.
It is true that while they adhered to the public forms of religion,  the heart was not in them;  and that while they relied on those forms,  and were surprised that the divine favor was not manifested to them on account of their observance,  there was a good reason why that favor was withheld,  and it was important that that reason should be stated clearly and fully.  It is probable,  therefore,  that the reference here is to the times of the prophet himself,  and that the subject of rebuke is the formality,  hypocrisy,  and prevalent sins of the reign of Manasseh.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Yet they seek me daily
The whole description here is appropriate to the character of formalists and hypocrites;  and the idea is,  that public worship by sacrifice was celebrated daily in the temple,  and was not intermitted.  It is not improbable also that they kept up the regular daily service in their dwellings.

And delight to know my ways
Probably this means,  they profess to delight to know the ways of God;  that is,  his commands,  truths,  and requirements.  A hypocrite has no real delight in the service of God,  or in his truth,  but it is true at the same time that there may be a great deal of professed interest in religion.

As a nation that did righteousness
As if they were a people would do who really loved the ways of righteousness.

They ask of me the ordinances of justice
Their priests and prophets consult about the laws and institutions of religion,  as if they were really afraid of violating the divine commands.  At the same time that they are full of oppression,  strife,  and wickedness,  they are scrupulously careful about violating any of the commands pertaining to the rites of religion.

The same people were subsequently so conscientious that they did not dare to enter the judgment-hall of Pilate lest they should disqualify themselves from partaking of the Passover, at the same time that they were meditating the death of their own Messiah, and were actually engaged in a plot to secure his crucifixion!
(John 19:28   "Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.")
It is often the case that hypocrites are most scrupulous and conscientious about forms just as they are meditating some plan of enormous guilt,  and accomplishing some scheme of deep depravity.

They take delight in approaching God
There is a pleasure which even a hypocrite has in the services of religion,  and we should not conclude that because we find pleasure in prayer and praise,  that therefore we are truly pious.  Our pleasure may arise from a great many other sources than any just views of God or of his truth,  or an evidence that we have that we are his friends.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Luke 18:10-14
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other."     (NKJV)

Matthew 23:25-28
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.  Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  Shout aloud, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet Declare to my people their rebellions, and to the house of Jacob their sins.    (2)    They seek me day after day, and are eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practices righteousness and has not forsaken the justice of their God. They ask me for just decisions; they are eager to draw near to God.
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Note: Chapter 58. 1Q1sa: all; 1Q1sa (b): 58:1-14; 4Q1sa (d): 58:1-3, 5-7; 4Q1sa (n): 58:13-14.

Isaiah 58:3 & 4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  "Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?” Because on your fast day you see to your business and oppress all your laborers!

Saying, why have we fasted, and thou regardest not? Why have we afflicted our souls, and thou did not know it? Nay, in the days of your fasts ye find your pleasures, and all them that are under your power ye wound.

Saying, why do we fast, seeing that it is revealed before thee? Why do we afflict our souls, seeing that it is known before thee? O prophet, say unto them, Behold, in the day of your fasts ye seek your own desires), and bring near all your stumbling-blocks.

(4)  Because you fast in strife and contention, and you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such as to make your voice heard on high.

If ye fast for quarrels and strife’s, and smite the lowly with your fists, wherefore do ye fast to me as ye do this day, so that your voice may be heard in crying?

Behold, for contention and strife do ye fast, and to strike with the fist of wickedness; ye should not fast with fasting like these to make your voice to be heard on high.

From the NKJV
(3)   'Why have we fasted,' they say, 'and You have not seen?  Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?'  "In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,  and exploit all your laborers.    (4)    Indeed you fast for strife and debate,  and to strike with the fist of wickedness.  You will not fast as you do this day,  to make your voice heard on high.

There follow now the words of the work-righteous themselves,  who hold up their fasting before the eyes of God,  and complain that He takes no notice of it.  And how could He?

Afflicted our souls
This refers to the Pentateuch.  This is a strictly Levitical technical expression.

Leviticus 16:29 This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you.
Leviticus 16:31 It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls.  It is a statute forever.
Leviticus 23:27 Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.
Leviticus 23:32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.
Numbers 29:7 On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall afflict your souls; you shall not do any work.
This shows that the People were not in exile as alleged,  but in the Land.

See also the references to other observances below (verse 13).
Note that in Isaiah

Chapters 58 and 59 we have the reference to the Day of Atonement
Chapters 60 and 61 we have the reference to the Sabbatical and Jubilee years
Chapter 60 refers to the feast of Tabernacles with its “ingathering”

You fast
Referring to Day of Atonement,  which was still observed;  and in the Land,  not in exile.

By the side of tsuwm (OT: 6684) - You fast - (root tsm (OT: 7760), to press, tie up, constrain)  we have here the older expression found in the Pentateuch,  nepesh (OT: 5315) `inaah (OT: 6031),  to do violence to the natural life.
In addition to the fasting on the Day of Atonement  (the tenth of the seventh month Tizri),  the only fast prescribed by the law.
Other fasts were observed according to Zech 7:3

(Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years?)
Zech  8:19
(The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts)
Fasts to commemorate
The commencement of the siege of Jerusalem (10th Tebeth)
Tablets of the Law broken by Moses (17th Tammuz)
The death of the sons of Aaron (1st Abib)
The death of Miriam (10th Abib)
The death of Joshua (26th Abib)
The murder of Gedaliah (8th Tizri)

The exiles boast of this fasting here;  but it is a heartless,  dead work,  and therefore worthless in the sight of God.  There is the most glaring contrast between the object of the fast and their conduct on the fast-day:

for they carry on their work-day occupation;
they are then,  more than at any other time,  true taskmasters to their work-people
(lest the service of the master should suffer form the service of God);
and because when fasting they are doubly irritable and ill-tempered,  this leads to quarrelling and strife,  and even to striking with angry fist (bª'egªrop (OT:106),  from gaarap (OT:1640),  to collect together,  make into a ball, clench).
Hence in their present state the true purpose of fasting is quite unknown to them,  viz.,  to enable them to draw near with importunate prayer to God,  who is enthroned on high (Isa 57:15).
(Note: The ancient church called a fast statio,  because he who fasted had to wait in prayer day and night like a soldier at his post.  See on this and what follows,  the Shepherd of Hermas, iii. Sim. 5,  and the Epistle of Barnabas, c. iii.)

Epistle of Barnabas
Chapter 3 - The Fast Of The Jews Are Not True Fasts, Nor Acceptable To God
‘He says then to them again concerning these things, “Why do ye fast to Me as on this day, saith the Lord, that your voice should be heard with a cry? I have not chosen this fast, saith the Lord, that a man should humble his soul. Nor, though ye bend your neck like a ring, and put upon you sackcloth and ashes, will ye call it an acceptable fast.”

To us He saith, “Behold, this is the fast that I have chosen, saith the Lord, not that a man should humble his soul, but that he should loose every band of iniquity, untie the fastenings of harsh agreements, restore to liberty them that are bruised, tear in pieces every unjust engagement, feed the hungry with thy bread, clothe the naked when thou seest him, bring the homeless into thy house, not despise the humble if thou behold him, and not [turn away] from the members of thine own family.

Then shall thy dawn break forth, and thy healing shall quickly spring up, and righteousness shall go forth before thee, and the glory of God shall encompass thee; and then thou shalt call, and God shall hear thee; whilst thou art yet speaking, He shall say, Behold, I am with thee; …..’
(The Epistle of Barnabas vol. 1 Page 138 Ante-Nicene Fathers; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  Why have we fasted (they say), but you do not see? Why have we humbled ourselves, but you take no notice? Look, on your fast day you serve your own interest and oppress all your workers.   (4)   Look, you fast only for quarreling, and for Fighting, and for hitting with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice heard on high.

Isaiah 58:5-7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(5)  Is such the fast I desire, a day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush and lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, a day when the Lord is favorable?

I have not chosen this fast, nor such a day for a man to afflict his soul; neither though thou shouldest bend down thy neck as a ring, and spread under thee sackcloth and ashes, neither thus shall ye call a fast acceptable.

Is this the fasting wherein I take pleasure? The day that a man afflicts his soul, bowing down his head as a rush that is bowed down, and passing the night on sackcloth and ashes? Do ye call this fasting, and a day wherein there is pleasure from before the Lord?

(6)  No, this is the fast I desire: to unlock fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of the yoke to let the oppressed go free; to break off every yoke.

I have not chosen such a fast, saith the Lord; but do thou loose every burden of iniquity, do thou untie the knots of hard bargains, set the bruised free, and cancel every unjust account.

Is not this the fasting wherein I take pleasure? Disperse the congregation of wickedness; loose the bands of perverted judgement, and let them that were oppressed go free, and put away all perverted judgement.

(7)  It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin.

Break thy bread to the hungry, and lead the unsheltered poor to thy house: if thou seest one naked, clothe him, and thou shalt not disregard the relations of thine own seed.

Shalt thou not nourish the hungry with thy bread, and bring the needy that are cast out into the midst of thy house? When thou seest the naked thou shalt clothe him, and thou shalt not ignore him that is nearly related to thee.

From the NKJV
(5)  Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul?  Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?   Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?    (6)    Is this not the fast that I have chosen:  to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?   (7)    Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

While the people on the fast-day are carrying on their worldly,  selfish,  everyday business,  the fasting is perverted from a means of divine worship and absorption in the spiritual character of the day to the most thoroughly selfish purposes:  it is supposed to be of some worth and to merit some reward.  This work-holy delusion,  behind which self-righteousness and unrighteousness were concealed,  is met thus by Jehovah through His prophet.

The true worship,  which consists in works of merciful love to one's brethren,  and its great promises are here placed in contrast with the false worship just described.
Hakaazeh (OT: 2088) points backwards: is such a fast as this - a fast after Jehovah's mind, a day on which it can be said in truth that a man afflicts his soul (Lev 16:29)?

Verses 6 and 7 affirm that the fasting which is pleasant to Jehovah consists in something very different from this,  namely,  in releasing the oppressed,  and in kindness to the helpless;  not in abstinence form eating as such,  but in sympathetic acts of that self-denying love,  which gives up bread or any other possession for the sake of doing good to the needy.

There is a bitter irony in these words,  just as when the ancients said,

"Not eating is a natural fast,  but abstaining from sin is a spiritual fast."
During the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans a general emancipation of the slaves of Israelitish descent  (who were to be set free,  according to the law,  every three years)  was resolved upon and carried out;  but as soon as the Chaldeans were gone,  the masters fetched their liberated slaves back into servitude again (Jer 34:8-22).

And as verse 6 shows,  they carried the same selfish and despotic disposition with them into captivity.
The zeh (OT: 2088)  which points forwards is expanded into in fin. absolutes,  which are carried on quite regularly in the finite tense.

Break every yoke
Mootâh - yoke,  which is repeated,  signifies in both cases a yoke, lit., vectis,  the cross wood which formed the most important part of the yoke,  and which was fastened to the animal's head,  and so connected with the plough by means of a cord or strap.

A yoke,  in the Scriptures,  is a symbol of oppression,  and the idea here is,  that they were to cease all oppressions,  and to restore all to their lust and equal rights.  The prophet demanded,  in order that there might be an acceptable 'fast,'  that everything which could properly be described as a  'yoke'  should be broken.  How could this command be complied with by a Hebrew if he continued to retain his fellow-men in bondage?  Would not its fair application be to lead him to emancipate those who were held as slaves?  Could it be true,  whatever else he might do,  that he would fully comply with this injunction,  unless this were done?
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

We are here told
First - negatively what is not the fast that God has chosen
[1] It is not enough to look demure,  to put on a grave and melancholy aspect,  to bow down the head like a bulrush that is withered and broken:  as the hypocrites,  that were of a sad countenance,  and disfigured their faces,  that they might appear unto men to fast
Matthew 6:16 Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
When it was only mimicked, as here, it was justly ridiculed: it is but hanging down the head like a bulrush, which nobody regards or takes any notice of.
[2] It is not enough to do penance,  to mortify the body a little,  while the body of sin is untouched.
It is not enough for a man to spread sackcloth and ashes under him,  which may indeed give him some uneasiness for the present,  but will soon be forgotten when he returns to stretch himself upon his beds of ivory.
Wilt thou call this a fast?  No,  it is but the shadow and carcass of a fast.
Wilt thou call this an acceptable day to the Lord?  No,  it is so far from being so that the hypocrisy of it is an abomination to him.
Note,  The shows of religion,  though they show ever so fair in the eye of the world,  will not be accepted of God without the substance of it.
Second - positively what is the fast that God has chosen
[1] That we be just to those with whom we have dealt hardly.
The fast that God has chosen consists in
reforming our lives and
undoing what we have done amiss
It is to let the oppressed go free from the oppression which makes his life bitter to him.
[2] That we be charitable to those that stand in need of charity.
We must deny ourselves,  that we may have to give to him that needeth.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(5)  Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen, only a day for a person to humble himself? Is it only for bowing down one’s head like a bulrush, for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, an acceptable day to the Lord?   (6)   Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, and to untie the cords of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?   (7)   Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and to bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him with clothing, and not to raise yourself up (hide yourself 1Q1sa (b). MT) from your own flesh and blood?

Isaiah 58:8-10a
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  Then shall your light burst through like the dawn and your healing spring up quickly; your Vindicator shall march before you, the Presence of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall speedily spring forth: and thy righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of God shall compass thee.

Then shall thy light be revealed as the dawn, and the healing of thy wound shall come up speedily, and thy righteous acts shall go before thee, and in honor from before the Lord shalt thou be gathered together.

(9)  Then, when you call, the Lord will answer; when you cry, He will say: Here I am. If you banish the yoke from your midst, the menacing hand, and evil speech,

Then shalt thou cry, and God shall hearken to thee; while thou art yet speaking he will say, Behold, I am here. If thou remove from thee the band, and the stretching forth of the hands, and murmuring speech;

Then shalt thou pray, and the Lord shall receive thy prayer: thou shalt make supplication from before him, and he shall perform thy petition. If thou remove from among thee the wresting of judgement, the pointing with the finger, and the speaking of words of oppression.

(10a)  And you offer your compassion to the hungry and satisfy the famished creature –

And if thou give bread to the hungry from thy heart, and satisfy the afflicted soul;

And thy soul be troubled before the hungry, and thou satisfy the soul of the afflicted;

From the NKJV
(8)  Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.   (9)    Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'  "If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,   (10a)  If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul,

"And the scar of thy wounds shall be speedily removed." Aquila's Version, as reported by Jerome

The love of God is called "light" in contrast with His wrath.
And a quiet cheerful life in God's love is so called,  in contrast with a wild troubled life spent in God's wrath.

First Promise - Your light shall break forth like the morning
"Light" was an emblem of prosperity.

The idea here is,  that if they were faithful in the discharge of their duty to God,  He would bless them with abundant prosperity.
The image is,  that such prosperity would come on the people like the spreading light of the morning.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

This life in God's love has its dawn and its noon-day.  When it is night both within and around a man,  and he suffers himself to be awakened by the love of God to a reciprocity of love;  then does the love of God,  like the rising sun,  open for itself a way through the man's dark night and overcome the darkness of wrath,  but so gradually that the sky within is at first only streaked as it were with the red of the morning dawn,   the herald of the sun.
(from Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Second Promise - Your healing shall spring up speedily
"Health"  ('aruwkah  - OT:724)
Literally, a long bandage, used by surgeons to heal a wound)
Figuratively, it means their restoration from all the calamities which had been inflicted on the nation.

"Spring forth"  (tsamach - OT:6779)
Properly relates to the manner in which plants germinate.

The man is sick unto death;  but when the love of God stimulates him to reciprocal love,  he is filled with new vigor,  and his recovery springs up suddenly;  he feels within him a new life working through with energetic force like a miraculous springing up of verdure from the earth,  or of growing and flowering plants.

Third Promise - Your righteousness shall go before you
Shall be your leader - as an army is conducted.
Their conformity to the divine laws would serve the purpose of a leader to conduct them in the ways of peace, happiness, and prosperity.

When Israel is diligent in the performance of works of compassionate love,  it is like an army on the march or a traveling caravan,  for which righteousness clear and shows the way as being the most appropriate gift of God.

Fourth Promise - The glory of  the LORD shall be your rear guard
Like the pillar of cloud and fire, the symbol of God's "glory,"  which went behind Israel,  separating them from their Egyptian pursuers,  and whose rear is closed by the glory of God,  which so conducts it to its goal that not one is left behind.

They shall always be safe under the divine protection:

Your righteousness shall go before you
as thy vanguard,  to secure thee from enemies that charge thee in the front
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard
the gathering host, to bring up those of thee that are weary and are left behind, and to secure thee from the enemies, that, like Amalek, fall upon thy rear.
Let them look which way they will,  behind them or before them;  let them look backward or forward;   they see themselves safe,  and find themselves easy and quiet from the fear of evil.  And observe what it is that is their defense;  it is their righteousness, and the glory of the Lord,  that is, Christ;
for it is by Him that we are justified,
and it is by Him that God is glorified
He it is that goes before us,  and is the captain of our salvation,  as he is the Lord our righteousness.
He it is that is our rearward,  on whom alone we can depend for safety when our sins pursue us and are ready to take hold on us.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Fifth Promise - You shall call and the LORD will answer - Here I am
When we cry to him,  as if he were at a distance,  he will let us know that he is near,  even at our right hand, nearer than we thought he was.  It is I, be not afraid.
When danger is near our protector is nearer,  a very present help.  "Here I am, ready to give you what you want, and do for you what you desire; what have you to say to me?"
No sooner do they call to him than he answers.  Wherever they are praying,  God says, "Here I am hearing;  I am in the midst of you."
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Psalms 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.     (NKJV)

Isaiah 65:24
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.   (NKJV)

The Conditions - If you take away
1. The yoke of bondage you would put on others -
equivalent to oppression
2. The putting forth of the finger -
the finger of scorn pointed at humbler men, and especially at such as are godly. The middle finger was so used by the Romans.
3. Speaking vanity -
every injurious speech, even in jest -
the utterance of things which are wicked in themselves and injurious to one's neighbor,  hence sinful conversation in general.
4. Extend your soul to the hungry -
the word 'soul' here is synonymous with heart, or benevolent affection.  Give of your own subsistence.
5. Satisfy the afflicted soul -
satisfy  (saba` OT:7646)  fill to satisfaction -
not just enough to sustain, but to fully satisfy -

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will spring up quickly; and your vindication will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.   (9)   Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you do away with the yoke among you, and with the pointing finger, and with evil talk,

Isaiah 58:10b-12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10b)  then shall your light shine in darkness, and your gloom shall be like noonday.

then shall thy light spring up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as noon-day;

then shall thy light rise in the darkness, and thy gloom be as the noonday:

(11)  The Lord will guide you always;  He will slake your thirst in parched places and give strength to your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose waters do not fail.

and thy God shall be with thee continually, and thou shalt be satisfied according as thy soul desires; and thy bones shall be made fat, and shall be as a well watered garden, and as a fountain from which the water has not failed.

and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and shall satisfy thy soul in the years of drought, and thy body shall enjoy everlasting life, and thy soul shall be filled with delights like a cultivated garden that is well watered, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.

(12)  Men from your midst shall rebuild ancient ruins; you shall restore foundations laid long ago. And you shall be called “Repairer of fallen walls, Restorer of lanes for habitation.”

And thy old waste desert places shall be built up, and thy foundations shall last through all generations; and thou shalt be called a repairer of breaches, and thou shalt cause thy paths between to be in peace.

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt rise up the foundations of many generations, and they shall call thee, the restorer of the right way, the converter of the wicked to the law.

From the NKJV
(10b) Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.   (11)    The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.   (12)    Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.

'Apeelaah (OT: 653) is the darkness caused by the utter absence of light (Arab. afalat esh-shemsu,  "the sun has become invisible").  This,  as the substantive clause affirms,  is like the noon-day,  which is called tsaahaarayim (OT:6672),  because at that point the daylight of both the forenoon and afternoon,  the rising and setting light,  is divided as it were into two by the climax which it has attained.  A new promise points to the fact,  that such a man may enjoy without intermission the mild and safe guidance of divine grace.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

This idea of invigorating is then unfolded in two different figures,

a well-watered garden sets forth the abundance received
a spring the abundance possessed
Natural objects are promised,  but as a gift of grace.
This is the difference between the two testaments, that in the
Old Testament the natural is ever striving to reach the spiritual
New Testament the spiritual lifts up the natural to its own level
Old Testament is ever striving to give inwardness to what was outward
New Testament this object is attained, and the further object now is to make the outward conformed to the inward, the natural life to the spiritual

The members born to the congregation in exile will begin,  as soon as they return to their home,  to build up again the ruins of olden time,  the foundations of earlier generations,  i.e.,  houses and cities of which only the foundations are left;  therefore Israel restored to its fatherland receives the honorable title of  "builder of breaches," "restorer of streets (i.e., of places much frequented once) laashaabet (OT:3427)"  (for inhabiting - to dwell in),  i.e.,  so that,  although so desolate now (Isa 33:8),  they become habitable and populous once more.

The land would have been desolated by the Chaldeans,  and lain waste for a period of seventy years.  Of course all the remains of their former prosperity would have gone to decay,  and the whole country would be filled with ruins.

But all this would be restored if they were obedient to God. and would keep his law.
Their descendants would be so numerous that the land would be entirely occupied and cultivated again, and cities and towns would rise with their former beauty and magnificence.
The people of God,
if they are faithful in keeping his commandments,
and in manifesting the spirit which becomes the church,
will repair the ruins which sin has made in the world, and rebuild the wastes and the desolations of many ages.
Sin has spread its desolations far and wide.  The world is full of the ruins which sin has caused;  and there could be no more striking illustration of the effects of sin on all that is good, than the ruins of Judea during the seventy years of exile.
It is for the church of God to rebuild these wastes, and to cause the beauties of cultivated fields, and the glories of cities rebuilt, to revisit the desolate earth.
They would repair the public highways which had long lain desolate,  by which access was had to their dwelling-places. the advantages of a free contact from one dwelling and one city to another,  and throughout the land,  would be again enjoyed.
Spiritually applied,  it means the same as the previous expression,  that the church of God would remove the ruins which sin has caused,  and diffuse comfort and happiness around the world.
The obstructed and overrun paths to a quiet and peaceable dwelling on earth would be cleared away.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  If you spend yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted soul, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will be like the noonday.   (11)   And the Lord will guide you always, and satisfy your soul in parched places, and they will (he will MT) strengthen your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.   (12)   And your people will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will rise up the age-old foundations, and people will call you Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Live In.

Isaiah 58:13 & 14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(13)  If you refrain from trampling the Sabbath, from pursuing your affairs on My holy day; if you call the Sabbath “delight,” the Lord’s holy day “honored;” and if you honor it and go not your ways nor look to your affairs, nor strike bargains –

If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, so as not to do thy pleasure on the holy days, and shalt call the Sabbaths delightful, holy to God; if thou shalt not lift up thy foot to work, nor speak a word in anger out of thy mouth,

If thou turn back thy foot from the Sabbath from doing thy business on my holy day, and celebrate the Sabbath with delight, and shalt honor the holy thing of the Lord, and shalt honor it before him by not following thine own way, nor satisfying thy needs, nor speaking words of oppression:

(14)  then you can seek the favor of the Lord.  I will set you astride the heights of the earth, and let you enjoy the heritage of your father Jacob – for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

then shalt thou trust on the Lord; and he shall bring thee up to the good places of the land, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken this.

then shalt thou delight thyself before the Lord, and he will cause thee to dwell in the strongholds of the earth, and to eat the fruits of the inheritance of Jacob thy father: for by the Memra of the Lord is it so decreed.

From the NKJV
(13)  If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words,    (14)    then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.  The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

The third part of the prophecy now adds to the duties of human love the duty of keeping the Sabbath,  together with equally great promises;  i.e.,  it adds the duties of the first table to those of the second,

for the Service of Works is sanctified
by the Service of Worship.

The duty of keeping the Sabbath was also enforced by Jeremiah (Jer 17:19 ff.) and Ezekiel (ch. Ezek 20:12 ff., and the neglect of this duty severely condemned.

Jeremiah 17:21-22
Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers.     (NKJV)
Ezekiel 20:13
Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.     (NKJV)

Chapter 56 has already shown the importance attached to it by our prophet.  The Sabbath,  above all other institutions appointed by the law,  was the true means of uniting and sustaining Israel as a religious community,  more especially in exile,  where a great part of the worship necessarily feel into abeyance on account of its intimate connection with Jerusalem and the holy land;  but whilst it was a Mosaic institution so far as its legal appointments were concerned,  it rested,  in a way which reached even beyond the rite of circumcision,  upon a basis much older than that of the law,  being a ceremonial copy of the Sabbath of creation,  which was the divine rest established by God as the true object of all motion;  for God entered into rest Himself again after He had created the world out of Himself,  that all created things might enter into Him.

In order that this,  the great end set before all creation,  and especially before mankind,  viz.,  entrance into the rest of God,  might be secured,  the keeping of the Sabbath prescribed by the law was a divine method of education,  which put an end every week to the ordinary avocations of the people,  with their secular influence and their tendency to fix the mind on outward things,  and was designed by the strict prohibition of all work to force them to enter into themselves and occupy their minds with God and His word.

Your own words = vain words:  or,  keep making talk.

When R. Simon b. Jochai exclaimed to his loquacious old mother on the Sabbath,  "Keeping the Sabbath means keeping silence,"  his meaning was not that talking in itself was working and therefore all conversation was forbidden on the Sabbath. Tradition never went as far as this. The rabbinical exposition of the passage before us is the following: "Let not thy talking on the Sabbath be the same as that on working days;"   and when it is stated once in the Jerusalem Talmud that the Rabbins could hardly bring themselves to allow of friendly greetings on the Sabbath,  it certainly follows from this,  that they did not forbid them.

Cause you to ride = Deuteronomy 32:13

Deuteronomy 32:13
He made Israel ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the increase of the field; and He made him suck honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock.     (AMP)

He will reward thee for thy renunciation of earthly advantages with a victorious reign,  with an unapproachable possession of the high places of the land - I.e.,  chiefly,  though not exclusively,  of the promised land,  which shall then be restored to thee - and with the free and undisputed use and enjoyment of the inheritance promised to thy forefather Jacob;  this will be thy glorious reward,  for the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(13)  If you keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath, from Pursuing your own interests on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable; and if you honor it by not going your own ways seeking your own pleasure or speaking idle words –   (14)   then you will take delight in the Lord, and he will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; and he will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob – yes, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.



SEPARATED  FROM  GOD

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Isaiah Chapter 59
Second Prophecy
The Existing Wall of Partition Broken Down at Last

Isaiah 59:1-21    Sin The Cause Of The Breach  
Isa 59:1 Salvation Jehovah’s power
Isa 59:2-8 Israel Crimination
Isa 59:9-15 Israel Confession
Isa 59:16-21 Salvation Jehovah’s work

Isaiah 59:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  No, the Lord’s arm is not too short to save, or His ear too dull to hear;

Has the hand of the Lord no power to save? Or has he made His ear heavy, so that He should not hear?

Behold it is not because of any lack of power from before the Lord that ye are not saved, nor is it because it is too hard for him to hear that your prayer is not received.

(2)  But your iniquities have been a barrier between you and your God, your sins have made Him turn His face away and refuse to hear you.

Nay, your iniquities separate between you and God, and because of your sins has He turned away His face from you, so as not to have mercy upon you.

But your transgressions have separated between you and your God, and your sins have been the cause of his removing the presence of the Shekinah from you, that he should not receive your prayer.

From the NKJV
(1)  Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.   (2)    But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

This second prophetic address continues the reproachful theme of the first.

In the previous prophecy we found the virtues which are well-pleasing to God, and to which He promises redemption as a reward of grace -
set in contrast with those false means, upon which the people rested their claim to redemption.
In the prophecy before us the sins which retard redemption are still more directly exposed.

The reason why redemption is delayed,

is not that the power of Jehovah has not been sufficient for it  (cf., Isa 50:2),
is not that He has not been aware of their desire for it,
but that
their iniquities have become dividers (mabªdiliym (OT:914), separated),
their iniquities have grown into a party-wall between them and their God,
their sins (cf., Jer 5:25) have hidden from them.
Jeremiah 5:25
Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good from you.     (NKJV)

As the "hand" (yâd) in Isa 28:2 is the absolute hand;
so here the "face" pâniim) is that face which sees everything,  which is everywhere present, whether uncovered or concealed;  which diffuses light when it unveils itself,  and leaves darkness when it is veiled;  the sight of which is blessedness,  and not to see which is damnation.

This absolute countenance is never to be seen in this life without a veil;  but the rejection and abuse of grace make this veil a perfectly impenetrable covering.  And Israel had forfeited in this way the light and sight of this countenance of God,  and had raised a party-wall between itself and Him,  and that mishªmowa` (OT:8085 - cannot hear),  so that He would not hear,  i.e.,  so that their prayer did not reach Him (Lam 3:44) or bring down an answer from Him.

Lamentations 3:44
You have covered Yourself with a cloud, that prayer should not pass through.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  See, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ears Too dull to hear.   (2)   Instead, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have concealed his face from you so that he does not hear.

Isaiah 59:3
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  For your hands are defiled with crime and your fingers with iniquity. Your lips speak falsehood, your tongue utters treachery.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with sins; your lips also have spoken iniquity, and your tongue meditates unrighteousness.

For your hands are associated with innocent blood, and your fingers with transgressions; your lips speak lies, your tongue meditates deceits.

From the NKJV
(3)  For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity.

The sins of Israel are sins in both words and deeds.

The prophet proceeds here more particularly to specify the sins of which they were guilty;  and in order to show the extent and depth of their depravity,  he specifies the various members of the body -

the hands,
the fingers,
the lips,
the tongue,
the feet
as the agents by which people commit iniquity.  See a similar argument on the subject of depravity in Romans 3:13-15,  where a part of the description which the prophet here gives is quoted by Paul
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Romans 3:13-15
Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit;  the poison of asps is under their lips;  whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood.    (NKJV)

Defiled ga'al (OT:1351) to soil - to desecrate
Blood dam (OT:1818) bloodshed - as that which when shed causes death
Iniquity `avon (OT:5771) perversity - moral evil
Lies sheqer (OT:8267) an untruth - deceit without cause
Perversity `evel (OT:5766) moral evil - unrighteousness

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your tongue Mutters wickedness.

Isaiah 59:4-6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(4)  No one sues justly or pleads honestly; they rely on emptiness and speak falsehood, conceiving wrong and begetting evil.

None speaks justly, neither is there true judgment: they trust in vanities, and speak empty words; for they conceive trouble, and bring forth iniquity.

There is none that prays in truth, and none that sues in faithfulness: they trust in vanity, and speak lies, and hasten to bring forth from their heart words of oppression.

(5)  They hatch adder’s eggs and weave spider webs; he who eats of those eggs will die, and if one is crushed, it hatches out a viper.

They have hatched asps’ eggs, and weave a spider’s web: and he that is going to eat of their eggs, having crushed an addled egg, has found also in it a basilisk.

Behold, as the eggs of poisonous serpents are they, and as the threads which a spider spins: for whosoever eateth of their eggs dieth, and they hatch and bring forth deadly poisonous serpents.

(6)  Their webs will not serve as a garment, what they make cannot serve as clothing; their deeds are deeds of mischief, their hands commit lawless acts,

Their web shall not become a garment, nor shall they at all clothe themselves with their works; for their works are of iniquity.

Behold, as the threads of the spider which are of no use for covering oneself, so there is no profit in the works of the wicked: their works are works of oppression, and the labor of deceit is in their hands.

From the NKJV
(4)   No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth.  They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.    (5)    They hatch vipers' eggs and weave the spider's web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.    (6)    Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

The description now passes over to the social and judicial life. Lying and oppression universally prevail.

The abstract infinitives which follow in verse 4 b express the general characteristics of the social life of that time,  after the manner of the historical infinitive  (cf., Isa 21:5).  Men trust in toohuu (OT: 8414) - empty words -  that which is perfectly destitute of truth,  and speak shaawª' (OT: 7723) - lies - what is morally corrupt and worthless.

The point of comparison in the first figure is the injurious nature of all they do,

whether men rely upon it,
in which case  "he eats of their eggs dies,"
or whether they are bold or imprudent enough to try and frustrate their plans and performances,
in which case  "he crushes it and a viper breaks out" which snaps at the heel of the disturber of its rest.

The point of comparison in the second figure is the worthlessness and deceptive character of their works. What they spin and make does not serve for a covering to any man,  but has simply the appearance of usefulness;  their works are ma`aseey-'aawen,  evil works,  and their acts are all directed to the injury of their neighbor,  in his right and his possession.

Romans 3:15-17
Their feet are swift to shed blood.  Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways.  And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize].     (AMP)

The serpents here referred to are among the most venomous and destructive that are known.  And the comparison here includes two points —

1. That their plans resembled the egg of the serpent.
It is only when it is hatched that its true nature is fully developed. So it is with the plans of the wicked. When forming, their true nature may not be certainly known, and it may not be easy to determine their real character.
2. Their plans, when developed, are like the poisonous and destructive production of the serpent's egg. The true nature is then seen; and it is ruinous, pernicious, and evil.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(4)  No one sues fairly, and no one pleads his case honestly; they have relied.  They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to iniquity.   (5)   They hatch Adders’ eggs and weave a spider’s web; whoever eats their eggs dies, and a crushed (egg) hatches out futility.   (6)   Their webs cannot become clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are deeds of iniquity, and acts of violence are in their hands.

Isaiah 59:7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(7)  Their feet run after evil, they hasten to shed the blood of the innocent. Their plans are plans of mischief; destructiveness and injury are on their roads.

And their feet run to wickedness, swift to shed blood; their thoughts also are thoughts of murder; destruction and misery are in their ways;

Their feet run to do wickedness, and hasten to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of oppression; spoiling and destruction are in their paths.

From the NKJV
(7)  Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

Their feet = They.  Feet being put by Figure of Speech Synecdoche (of Part),  for the whole person.

Innocent blood -
In one place (1 Kings 2:31) the Hebrew is chinnâm, meaning "undeserved," or "without cause," and, accordingly, the American Standard Revised Version, instead of "innocent blood...shed," has "blood...shed without cause."
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

This evil doing of theirs rises even to hatred, the very opposite of that love which is well-pleasing to God.
Paul has interwoven this passage into his description of the universal corruption of morals, in Rom 3:15-17. The comparison of life to a road,  and of a man's conduct to walking,  is very common in proverbial sayings. The prophet has here taken from them both his simile and his expressions.  We may see from verse 7a,  that during the captivity the true believers were persecuted even to death by their countrymen,  who had forgotten God.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(7)  Their feet rush into evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; ruin, destruction, and violence are in their highways.

Isaiah 59:8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  They do not care for the way of integrity; there is no justice on their paths. They make their courses crooked; no one who walks in them cares for integrity.

And the way of peace they know not, neither is there judgment in their ways; for their paths by which they go are crooked, and they know not peace.

The way of peace they know not, and there is no judgement in their going: their paths have they made crooked; whosoever walketh therein doth not know peace.

From the NKJV
(8)  The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace.

Their whole nature is broken up into discord.  Peaceable conduct,  springing form a love of peace,  and aiming at producing peace,  is altogether strange to them;  no such thing is to be met with in their path as the recognition of practice of right:  they make their paths for themselves.

Shâloom (peace) is repeated significantly,  in Isaiah's peculiar style,  at the end of the verse.  The first strophe of the prophecy closes here:  it was from no want of power or willingness on the part of God,  that He had not come to the help of His people;  the fault lay in their own sins.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Twenty-four Sins of Israel in Isaiah 59:3-8

1. 59:3 Hands defiled with blood — murder
2. 59:3 Fingers defiled with iniquity — murders, thefts, and idol making
3. 59:3 Lips that have spoken lies
4. 59:3 Tongue that has muttered perverseness — evil, discontent, and malice
5. 59:4 Injustice in every man — no person daring to seek justice in the courts
6. 59:4 Truth forsaken by all — none pleading for truth, but using cunning falsehood for gain
7. 59:4 They trust in vanity — evasions of truth instead of justice
8. 59:4 Speak lies — utter vanities for gain
9. 59:4 Conceive mischief — form plans of evil against others and execute them in fraud and deceit
10. 59:4 Bring forth iniquity when plans have ripened enough to execute them
11. 59:4 Hatch vipers' eggs
12. 59:5 Weave spider's web to catch unsuspecting victims to be devoured
13. 59:5 Cause death to all who eat of their eggs — those who partake of their sins
14. 59:5 They spread sin like hatching vipers.
15. 59:6 Trust in their webs of self-righteousness, reasonings, and traditions
16. 59:6 Seek to cover their sins by works`
17. 59:6 Their works are those of iniquity
18. 59:6 Violence is in their hands
19. 59:7 Their feet run to evil
20. 59:7 They are quick to shed innocent blood
21. 59:7 Their thoughts are those of iniquity
22. 59:7 Wasting and destruction are in their paths — they leave trails of sin
23. 59:8 There is no judgment (justice or righteousness) in their goings (daily life)
24. 59:8 They make crooked paths
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths. They have made their roads crooked; no one who walks in them knows peace.



SIN  CONFESSED

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Isaiah 59:9-15a   Confession
Isa 59:9 Justice Departed
Isa 59:10, 11- Condition Comparisons
Isa 59:-11 Justice Looked for in vain
Isa 59:12, 13 Reason  
Isa 59:14- Justice Turned away backward
Isa 59:-14, 15- Reason  

Isaiah 59:9-11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(9)  That is why redress is far from us, and vindication does not reach us. We hope for light, and lo! There is darkness; for a gleam, and we must walk in gloom.

Therefore has judgment departed from them, and righteousness shall not overtake them: while they waited for light, darkness came upon them; while they waited for brightness, they walked in perplexity.

Therefore is judgment far removed from us, and deeds of righteousness do not meet us: we hoped for light, and behold, darkness; for brightness, and behold, we walk as it were in obscurity.

(10)  We grope, like blind men along a wall; like those without eyes we grope. We stumble at noon, as if in darkness; among the sturdy, we are like the dead.

They shall feel for the wall as blind men, and shall feel for it as if they had no eyes: and they shall feel at noon-day as at midnight; they shall groan as dying men.

We grope for the walls like the blind, yea, we grope as they that have no eyes; we stumble at noonday as men stumble in the dark: the world is shut in our face as the graves are shut in the face of the dead.

(11)  We all growl like bears and moan like doves. We hope for redress, and there is none; for victory, and it is far from us.

They shall proceed together as a bear and as a dove: we have waited for judgment, and there is no salvation, it is gone far from us.

We are troubled from before our enemies who gather themselves together against us like bears; all of us like doves moan sorely: we hoped for judgement, and there was none; for salvation, but it was far removed from us.

From the NKJV
(9)  Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us; we look for light, but there is darkness!  For brightness, but we walk in blackness!    (10)   We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places.    (11)    We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.

In the second strophe the prophet includes himself when speaking of the people.
They now mourn over that state of exhaustion into which they have been brought through the perpetual straining and disappointment of expectation,  and confess those sins on account of which the righteousness and salvation of Jehovah have been withheld.

The prophet is speaking communicatively here;  for even the better portion of the nation was involved in the guilt and consequences of the corruption which prevailed among the exiles,  inasmuch as a nation forms an organized whole,  and the delay of redemption really affected them.

At the end of this group of verses, again, the thought with which it sets out is repeated.

The perfect raachaqaah (OT: 7368) - it is far from us -
denotes a state of things reaching from the past into the present
The future tasiygeenuw (OT: 5381) - does overtake us  -
denotes a state of things continuing unchangeable in the present.

By mishpât (judgment) we understand a solution of existing inequalities or incongruities through the judicial interposition of God.
By tsedâqâh (justice) we understand the manifestation of justice,  which bestows upon Israel grace as its right in accordance with the plan of salvation after the long continuance of punishment,  and pours out merited punishment upon the instruments employed in punishing Israel.  The prophet's standpoint,  whether a real or an ideal one,  is the last decade of the captivity.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

At that time, about the period of the Lydian war,  when Cyrus was making one prosperous stroke after another,  and yet waited so long before he turned his arms against Babylon,  it may easily be supposed that hope and despondency alternated incessantly in the minds of the exiles.  The dark future,  which the prophet penetrated in the light of the Spirit,  was indeed broken up by rays of hope,  but it did not amount to light;  on the contrary,  darkness was still the prevailing state,  and in the deep thick darkness ('apheelooth) the exiles pined away,  without the promised release being effected for them by the oppressor of the nations.

"We grope,"  they here complain,  "like blind men by a wall, in which there is no opening,  and like eyeless men we grope."  For there is such a thing as blindness with apparently sound eyes (cf., Isa 43:8);  and there is also a real absence of eyes,  on account of either a natural malformation,  or the actual loss of the eyes through either external injury or disease.

The true meaning therefore is, "we stumble (reel about) among fat ones, or those who lead a merry life,"  as if we were dead.  "And what," as Doederlein observes, "can be imagined more gloomy and sad,  than to be wandering about like shades,  while others are fat and flourishing?"

The growling and moaning in verse 11 are expressions of impatience and pain produced by longing.

The people now fall into a state of impatience,  and roar like bears (hâmâh like fremere),  as when,  for example,  a bear scents a flock,  and prowls about it;  and now again they give themselves up to melancholy,  and moan in a low and mournful tone like the doves,  expresses less depth of tone.  All their looking for righteousness and salvation turns out again and again to be nothing but self-deception,  when the time for their coming seems close at hand.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(9)  Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We wait for light, but see – there is darkness; (we wait) for brightness, but we walk in darkness. (Deep darkness (plural) MT)   (10)   Let us grope along the wall like the blind, let us grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at midday as in the twilight, among vigorous people we are like the dead.   (11)   We all growl like bears, we moan mournfully like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; and for deliverance, but it is far from us.

Isaiah 59:12 & 13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  For our many sins are before You, our guilt testifies against us. We are aware of our sins, and we know well our iniquities:

For our iniquity is great before thee, and our sins have risen up against us: for our iniquities are in us, and we know our unrighteous deeds.

For our transgressions are many before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are revealed unto us, and as for our iniquities, we know them.

(13)  Rebellion, faithlessness to the Lord, and turning away from our God, planning fraud and treachery, conceiving lies and uttering them with the throat.

We have sinned, and dealt falsely, and revolted from our God: we have spoken unrighteous words, and have been disobedient; we have conceived and uttered from our heart unrighteous words.

We have rebelled, and lied against the Memra of the Lord, and we have turned backwards from the service of our God, and we were speaking falsehood and defection, hastening to bring from our heart words of falsehood.

From the NKJV
(12)  For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:    (13)    in transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

The people have already indicated by `al-keen (therefore) in verse 9 that this benighted,  hopeless state is the consequence of their prevailing sins;  they now come back to this,  and strike the note of penitence (viddui),  which is easily recognized by the recurring rhymes aanu and ênu.  The prophet makes the confession,  standing at the head of the people as the leader of their prayer (ba'al tephillâh):

The people acknowledge the multitude and magnitude of their apostate deeds,  which are the object of the omniscience of God,  and their sins which bear witness against them.

As David said in Psalms 51:3
For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.     (NKJV)

They confessed that they had sinned, and that to this day they were in a great trespass
They confessed the great evil and malignity of sin, of their sin;
They confessed that there was a general decay of moral honesty; and it is not strange that those who were false to their God were unfaithful to one another.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)  For our transgressions before you are many, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we acknowledge them:   (13)   they have rebelled, and denying the Lord, and turning away from following our God, and they have spoken oppression and revolt, and uttering lying words from the heart.

Isaiah 59:14 & 15a
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(14)  And so redress is turned back and vindication stays afar, because uprightness cannot enter.

And we have turned judgment back, and righteousness has departed afar off: for truth is consumed in their ways, and they could not pass by a straight path.

And judgement was turned away backwards, and righteousness stood afar off: for the doers of truth stumbled in the street, and they that observe faithfulness were not able to show themselves.

(15a)  Honesty has been lacking, he who turns away from evil is despoiled.

And truth has been taken away, and they have turned aside their mind from understanding.

And the doers of truth were hiding themselves, and they that turn aside from evil were being spoiled;

From the NKJV
(14)  Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.   (15a)   So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The confession of personal sins is followed by that of the sinful state of society.
In connection with mishpât (judgment)  and tsedâqâh (justice)  here,  we have not to think of the manifestation of divine judgment and justice which is prevented from being realized;  but the people are here continuing the confession of their own moral depravity.

The verse contains a further confession of the evil of their course of life;  and,  among other things,  they acknowledged that they had been unjust in their legal decisions. They had been influenced by partiality and by bribes; they had condemned the innocent, they had acquitted the guilty. Judgment had thus been lumped back by their sins when it seemed to be approaching and entering the city.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Right has been forced back from the place which it ought to occupy,  and righteousness has to look from afar off at the unjust habits of the people,  without being able to interpose.  And why are right and righteousness -that united pair so pleasing to God and beneficial to man - thrust out of the nation,  and why do they stand without?

Because there is no truth or uprightness in the nation.
Truth wanders about,  and stands no longer in the midst of the nation;  but upon the open street,  the broad market-place,  where justice is administered,  and where she ought above all to stand upright and be preserved upright,  she has stumbled and fallen down;  and honesty (nekhoochâh),  which goes straight forward,  would gladly enter the limits of the forum,  but she cannot:  people and judges alike form a barrier which keeps her back.

The consequence of this is indicated in verse 15a:  truth in its manifold practical forms has become a missing thing;  and whoever avoids the existing voice is mishtooleel,  one who is obliged to let himself be plundered and stripped,  to be made a shoolâl,  to cause one's self to be spied out  =  to disguise one's self.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  I will drive back justice, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth has fallen in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.   (15a)   Truth is absent, and whoever avoids evil is plundered. And the Lord saw this, and it displeased him that there was no justice.


THE  REDEEMER  OF  ZION

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Isaiah 59:15b-21     Salvation - Jehovah's Work
Isa 59:-15, 16- Evil Seen by Jehovah
Isa 59:-16-18 Evil Removed by Jehovah
Isa 59:19- The blessed result
Isa 59:-19- Evil Inflicted by the enemy
Isa 59:-19, 20 Evil Removed by Jehovah
Isa 59:21 The blessed result

Isaiah 59:15b-18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(15b)  The Lord saw and was displeased that there was no redress.

And the Lord saw it, and it pleased him not that there was no judgment.

and it was revealed before the Lord, and it was displeasing before him that there was no judgement.

(16)  He saw that there was no man, He gazed long, but no one intervened. Then His own arm won Him triumph, His victorious right hand supported Him.  The Lord saw and was displeased that there was no redress.

And he looked, and there was no man, and he observed, and there was none to help: so he defended them with his arm, and established them with his mercy.

And it was revealed before him that there was no man who did good deeds, and it was known before him that there was no man to arise and make intercession for them: so he delivered them with his strong arm, and by the Memra of his good pleasure he supported them.

(17)  He donned victory like a coat of mail, with a helmet of triumph on His head; He clothed Himself with garments of retribution, wrapped himself in zeal as in a robe.

And he put on righteousness as a breast-plate, and placed the helmet of salvation on his head; and he clothed himself with the garment of vengeance, and with his cloak,

And he shall reveal himself to work deeds of righteousness for his people; strength and salvation shall he bring with his Memra for them that fear him to do them, to exact retribution with strength on them that hate his people, and he shall render vengeance to his enemies.

(18)  According to their deserts, so shall He repay fury to His foes; He shall make requital to His enemies, requital to the distant lands.

as one about to render recompense, even reproach to his adversaries.

He is a lord of recompenses; recompense shall he repay, even retribution to them that hate him, recompense to his enemies; he shall repay recompense to the coastlands.

From the NKJV
(15b)  Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.   (16)   He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.   (17)   For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head;  He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.   (18)   According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay.

The third strophe of the prophecy commences at verse 15b.
It begins with threatening, and closes with promises; for the true nature of God is love, and every manifestation of wrath is merely one phase in its development.

The passage before us had a primary reference to the prevalence of iniquity in the Jewish nation.  But it is language also that will quite as appropriately describe the moral condition of the world as laying the foundation for the necessity of the divine interposition by the Messiah.
The mind of the prophet is fixed upon the depravity of the Jewish nation.  The hands,  the tongue,  the eyes,  the feet,  the fingers,  were all polluted.  The whole nation was sunk in moral corruption;  and this was but a partial description of what was occurring everywhere on the earth.  In such a state of things in the Jewish nation,  and in the whole world,  the question could not but arise,  whether no deliverer could be found.

Was there no way of pardon?
Was there no way by which deserved and impending wrath could be diverted?
From this melancholy view,  therefore,  the prophet turns to him who was to be the Great Deliverer,  and the remainder of the chapter is occupied with a most beautiful description of the Redeemer,  and of the effect of his coming.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

In consideration of the fact that this corrupt state of things furnishes no prospect of self-improvement,  Jehovah has already equipped Himself for judicial interposition.

The prophet's language has now become toilsome as it worked its way through the under wood of keen reproach,  of dark descriptions of character,  and of mournful confession which has brought up the apostasy of the great mass in all the blacker colors before his mind,

from the fact that the confession proceeds from those who are ready for salvation.

And now,  having come to the description of the approaching judgment,  out of whose furnace the church of the future is to spring,  it raises again like a palm-tree that has been violently hurled to the ground,  and shakes its head as if restored to itself in the transforming ether of the future.  Jehovah saw,  and it excited His displeasure ("it was evil in His eyes,"  an antiquated phrase from the Pentateuch, e.g., Gen 38:10)  to see that right had vanished from the life of His nation.

He saw that there was no man there,

no man possessing the Disposition to stem this corruption
no man possessing Power to stem this corruption

Man - 'iysh (OT:376) as in

Jeremiah 5:1 If you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment
1 Samuel 4:9 Be strong and conduct yourselves like men...conduct yourselves like men, and fight!
1 Kings 2:2 Prove yourself a man.
And the old Jewish saying "Where there is no man, I strive to be a man"
He was astonished that there was no mapªgiya` (OT:6293),  i.e.,
no one to step in between God and the people
no one to form a wall against the coming ruin
no one to cover the rent with his body
no one to appease the wrath
no one by his intercession to press this disastrous condition of the people upon the attention of God
The sight of such total depravity exciting in Him the highest degree of compassion and displeasure.

Because the nation was so utterly and deeply corrupt,  Jehovah had quipped Himself for judicial interposition.  The equipment was already completed;  only the taking of vengeance remained to be effected.  Jehovah saw no man at His side that was either able or willing to help Him to His right in opposition to the prevailing abominations,  or to support His cause.

Then His own arm became His help
Then His righteousness became His support
and His righteousness His support;  so that He did not desist from the judgment to which He felt Himself impelled,  until He had procured the fullest satisfaction for the honor of His holiness (Isa 5:16).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Psalms 98:1
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!   For He has done marvelous things;  His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.     (NKJV)

The armor which Jehovah puts on is now described.
According to the scriptural view,  Jehovah is never unclothed;  but the free radiation of His own nature shapes itself into a garment of light.

Light is the robe He wears (Ps 104:2). When the prophet describes this garment of light as changed into a suit of armor, this must be understood in the same sense as when the apostle in Ephesians 6 speaks of a Christian's armor.  Just as there the separate pieces of armor represent the manifold self-manifestations of the inward spiritual life so here the pieces of Jehovah's armor stand for the manifold self-manifestations of His holy nature,  which consists of a mixture of wrath and love.

He does not arm Himself from any outward armory; but the armory is

His infinite wrath and
His infinite love,
and the might in which He manifests Himself in such and such a way to His creatures is His infinite will.
He puts on righteousness as a coat of mail (shirªyaan (OT:8302),  so that His appearance on every side is righteousness.
He sets the helmet of salvation  on His head:  for the ultimate object for which He goes into the conflict is the redemption of the oppressed,  salvation as the fruit of the victory gained by righteousness.
Over the coat of mail He draws on clothes of vengeance as a tabard (LXX peribo'laion (NT:4018)).
And wraps Himself in zeal as in a war-cloak.

No weapon is mentioned,

neither the sword nor bow;
for His own arm procures Him helpand this alone.
But what will Jehovah do,  when He has armed Himself thus with justice and salvation,  vengeance and zeal? As verse 18 affirms,  He will carry out a severe and general retributive judgment.

Messiah is represented as a warrior armed at all points,  going forth to vindicate His people. Owing to the unity of Christ and His people,  their armor is like His, except that

they have no  "garments of vengeance,"  which is God's prerogative
Romans 12:19
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The design here is,  to represent the Redeemer as a hero;  and accordingly allusion is made to the various parts of the armor of a warrior. Yet he was not to be literally armed for battle. Instead of being an earthly conqueror,  clad in steel,  and defended with brass,

his weapons were moral weapons
his conquests were spiritual
The various parts of his weapons were 'righteousness,' 'salvation,' and 'zeal.'
This statement should have been,  in itself,  sufficient to keep the Jews front anticipating a Messiah who would be a bloody warrior and distinguished for deeds of conquest and blood.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

By the adversaries and enemies,  we naturally understand,  after what goes before,  the rebellious Israelites.  The prophet does not mention these,  however,  but  "the islands,"  that is to say,  the heathen world.  He hides the special judgment upon Israel in the general judgment upon the nations.  The very same fate falls upon Israel,  the salt of the world which has lost its savor,  as upon the whole of the ungodly world.  The purified church will have its place in the midst of a world out of which the crying injustice has been swept away.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(15b)  And the Lord saw this, and it displeased him that there was no justice.   (16)    He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm [Jesus] brought him victory, and his righteous acts upheld him. [On the cross =Jesus and this is my words Paul the Learner]   (17)    He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his heads;  he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in fury like a mantle.   (18)   According to their actions, so he will repay – wrath to his enemies, retribution to his foes; to the coastlands he will render requital.

Isaiah 59:19 & 20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(19)  From the west, they shall revere the name of the Lord, and from the east, His Presence. For He shall come like a hemmed-in stream which the wind of the Lord drives on;

So shall they of the west fear the name of the Lord, and they that come from the rising of the sun his glorious name: for the wrath of the Lord shall come as a mighty river, it shall come with fury.

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun: when oppressors shall come like the flooding of the river Euphrates, by the Memra of the Lord shall they be spoiled.

(20)  He shall come as redeemer to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn back from sin – declares the Lord.

And the deliverer shall come for Sion’s sake, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

And he shall come to Zion as a deliverer, and to turn the rebellious ones of the house of Jacob to the law, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(19)  So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun;  when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.   (20)    "The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," says the LORD.

The prophet now proceeds to depict the yªshuw`aah (OT: 3444) salvation,  the symbol of which is the helmet upon Jehovah's head.

From all quarters of the globe will fear of the name and of the glory of Jehovah become naturalized among the nations of the world.  For when God has withdrawn His name and His glory from the world's history,  as during the Babylonian captivity,  the return of both is all the more intense and extraordinary;  and this is represented here in a figure which recalls Isa 30:27-28 (cf., Ezek 43:2  And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Then, when the name of Jehovah makes itself legible once more as with letters of fire,  when His glory comes like a sea of fire within the horizon of the world's history,  all the world form west to east,  from east to west,  will begin to fear Him.  But the true object of the love,  which bursts forth through this revelation of wrath,  is His church,  which includes not only those who have retained their faith, but all who have been truly converted to Him.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Vav here does not signify "and indeed," but "more especially."
He comes as a Redeemer for Zion,  i.e.,  His church which has remained true,  including those who turn again to Jehovah from their previous apostasy. In Rom 11:26 the apostle quotes this word of God, which is sealed with "Thus saith Jehovah," as a proof of the final restoration of all Israel.

The Redeemer  =  the Messiah.  Quoted in Romans 11:26, 27

God who moves on through the Old Testament towards the goal of His incarnation,

and through the New Testament towards that of His parousia in Christ,
which will bring the world's history to a close. But this final close does not take place without its having become apparent at the same time that God "has concluded all in unbelief, that He may have compassion upon all." (Rom 11:32).

Romans 11:25-28
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

"The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins."
Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.     (NKJV)

There shall be a more glorious salvation wrought out by the Messiah in the fullness of time,  which salvation all the prophets,  upon all occasions,  had in view.
The Son of God shall come to us to be our Redeemer.  There shall come the deliverer.  The coming of Christ as the Redeemer is the summary of all the promises both of the Old and New Testament,  and this was the redemption in Jerusalem which the believing Jews looked for,  Luke 2:38. Christ is our Gow'eel (Redeemer),  our next kinsman,  that redeems both the person and the estate of the poor debtor.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Luke 2:36-38
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;  and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(19)  So will they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glories (1Q1sa. his glory MT. (his) glorious name LXX.) from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a pent-up stream that the breath of the Lord drives along.   (20)   And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgressions, says the Lord.

Isaiah 59:21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(21)  And this shall be My covenant with them, said the Lord: My spirit which is upon you, and the words which I have placed in your mouth, shall not be absent from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your children, nor from the mouth of your children’s children – said the Lord – from now on, for all time.

And this shall be my covenant with them, said the Lord; My Spirit which is upon thee, and the words which I have put in thy mouth, shall never fail from thy mouth, nor from the mouth of thy seed, for the Lord has spoken it, henceforth and for ever.

And as for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; my holy spirit which is upon thee, and the words of my prophecy which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart from thy mouth, and from the mouth of thy sons, and from the mouth of thy sons’ sons, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

From the NKJV
(21)  "As for Me," says the LORD, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the LORD, "from this time and forevermore."

My covenant with them.  I would like to attach a second part to this covenant found in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 31:31-33
(31)  Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, [Luke 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25.]
(32)  Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord.
(33)  But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put My law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.     (AMP)

Covenant
     
beriyth  (OT:1285)  a compact, confederacy, covenant, league
A pact,  treaty,  alliance,  or agreement between two parties of equal or of unequal authority.
The covenant is a central,  unifying theme in Scripture.
God's covenants with individuals and the nation Israel finding final fulfillment in the new covenant in Christ Jesus.

God's Covenants with His People
God's grace in relating to His people by initiating covenants with them is a major theme of the Bible.

The Covenant with Noah

Noah received God's first covenant (Genesis 9:9-17).
This was a divine oath or promise not to repeat the flood.   The rainbow stands eternally as a sign of God's promise.
This covenant called for no human response.  It was solely a promise and oath from God.
God's first covenant protected life — both human and animal — in the face of massive destruction. That priority on and protection of life remains the foundation of God's relationship with His creation.

The Covenant with Abraham

God made His second covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:18; 17:2).
As the covenant with Noah involved a righteous man (Genesis 6:8-9),  so the covenant with Abraham involved a man of faith (Genesis 15:6).
God promised to give the land of Canaan to Abraham's descendants after a long sojourn to a foreign land.  God made the oath to keep His promise.
Genesis 17 shows the initiation of circumcision as the sign of the covenant.
God's covenant promise was extended to include international-relations,  many descendants,  and to be God of the people descended from Abraham forever.

The Covenant with Israel

Redemption from Egyptian slavery found its climax in God's covenant with Israel.
This covenant differed from those with Noah and Abraham.
The situation was not an affirmation of human faithfulness or righteousness,  but the confession of God's salvation (Exodus 19:4).  The oath or promise came not from God but from the people.
They were to "obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant."
Then they would be "a peculiar treasure unto me above all people ... a kingdom of priests.., an holy nation" (Exodus 6:5-6).
Covenant law was then revealed to God's people. They had responsibilities within the covenant relationship.  The people accepted this responsibility in a solemn ceremony in which covenant law was read from the  "book of the covenant"  and  "the blood of the covenant"  was sprinkled on the altar and on the people (Exodus 24:3-8).
The covenant with Yahweh meant Israel could make covenants with no other gods (Exodus 23:32). Within the covenant agreement,  God included the sabbath covenant,  Israel's perpetual promise to observe the seventh day as a day of rest,  reflecting God's practice in creation (Exodus 31:16).

The Covenant with David

God's covenant with Abraham and with Israel found its special climax in God's covenant with David 
(2 Samuel 23:5; compare 7:12-16; 2 Chronicles 13:5; Psalms 89:3-34; 132:12).
God would establish the house of David to rule His people forever.
Making covenants with His people characterized God and distinguished Him from the other gods of the nations. Israel's God was the one "who keeps covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart" (1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 6:14; Nehemiah 1:5; 9:32; Psalms 105:8,10; compare Isaiah 54:10).

The Covenant with the Priests

God also made a covenant with the priests, acknowledging their obedient and even heroic acts by promising them the office of the priest forever (Numbers 25:12-13; Exodus 40:15; compare Deuteronomy 33:8-11).

The Covenant with the Church

The New Testament by use of the Greek diatheke transformed covenant into testament, diatheke referring to a binding will a person made to ensure proper disposal of goods upon the death of the person making the will (see Galatians 3:15; Hebrews 9:17).
Still, the New Testament followed the Septuagint, the earliest Greek translation, in using diatheke to translate the Hebrew berith or covenant.  New Testament language is thus Greek with a strong Hebrew flavoring.
Jesus used the last supper as opportunity to interpret His ministry,  and particularly His death,  as fulfillment of Jeremiah's new covenant prophecy.
His death represented the shedding of the blood of the new covenant.
Luke 22:20
Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.     (NKJV)
People who repeated the rites of the last supper drank the blood of the new covenant, remembering His death as the sacrifice for sins (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
Hebrews makes covenant a central theological theme.  The emphasis is on Jesus,  the perfect High Priest,  providing a new,  better,  superior covenant (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6).
Jesus represented the fulfillment of Jeremiah's new covenant promise (Hebrews 8:8,10; 10:16).
Jesus was the perfect covenant Mediator (Hebrews 9:15),  providing an eternal inheritance in a way the old covenant could not (compare 12:24).
Jesus' death on the cross satisfied the requirement that all covenants be established by blood (Hebrews 9:18,20) just as was the first covenant (Exodus 24:8).
Christ's blood established an everlasting covenant (Hebrews 13:20).  If Israel suffered for breaking the Sinai covenant (Hebrews 8:9-10),  how much more should people expect to suffer if they have "counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing" (Hebrews 10:29).
The Greek word testament eventually gave its name to the two parts of our Bible — the Old and the New Testaments. In many ways the name is appropriate to show that the two parts of Scripture rest on God's gracious action in redeeming His people and making a covenant with them.
 
Ezekiel related the history of Israel as God's covenant of mercy, broken by a people who despised it but renewed in an eternal covenant (16:8,59-63; compare 20:37).  The new covenant would bring a new David and a new era of peace not only with human enemies but with the beasts of the natural world (34:22-31; compare 37:24-28).
Zechariah promised that exiles would return to Jerusalem because God would be true to the covenant of blood He made with Moses (Zechariah 9:11; compare Exodus 24).
Malachi joined the chorus condemning Israel for ignoring God's covenant expectations by treating each other "treacherously" (2:10).
Old Testament covenant language ends in Malachi 3:1 with God's announcement that the "messenger of the covenant" will come representing God, proving the covenant relationship is not a thing of the past. He will show God continues to punish those who ignore or reject His covenant.
Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, interpreted the announcement of John's birth as evidence that God had remembered His holy covenant (Luke 1:72).
Peter told skeptical Jews that they were children of the covenant with Abraham and that Christ had come first to them to fulfill the promise of blessing to Abraham by turning them away from their sinful ways (Acts 3:25).
Stephen reminded those who would murder him that the covenant of circumcision with Abraham continued as part of God's history of salvation leading to Jesus (Acts 7:8).
Paul confirmed that just as a human last will and testament could not be changed by another person, so God's covenant with Abraham could not be changed or annulled (Galatians 3:15-17). Paul asserted that with the coming of Christ and Israel's rejection of Him, God still had a covenant to save Israel (Romans 11:27). Paul interpreted Christ as the one who had made the meaning of the Old Testament plain, removing the veil that caused the Jews to continue looking only to Moses rather than to look to Christ as God's final revelation (2 Corinthians 3:14).
The covenant relationship became so characteristic for Israel and their God that the Psalmists in worship and in wisdom teaching called Israel to remember God and His covenants.  Covenant keeping led to mercy and truth (Psalms 25:10; 103:18) and to participation in the intimate covenant relationship (25:14).
In times of trouble the worshiper could call on God,  claiming "neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant" (44:17).
In worship the covenant people gathered to hear God's judgment (50:5; compare 78:10,37: Jeremiah 11:2-3).  A strong word of judgment rebuked those who entered God's covenant with false intentions and results (50:16).
In worship they also claimed God's covenant promises, asking deliverance from trouble by calling on God to "have respect unto the covenant" (74:20).
They praised God for covenant faithfulness (111:5,9).
(from Holman Bible Dictionary. Copyright © 1991 by Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(21)  And as for me, this is my covenant with them,  Says the Lord: and my spirit that is upon 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.



LESSON  30  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 58:1 - 59:21  -  from the Amplified Version

58:1       CRY ALOUD, spare not. Lift up your voice like a trumpet and declare to My people their transgression and to the house of Jacob their sins!
(2)    Yet they seek, inquire for, and require Me daily and delight [externally] to know My ways, as [if they were in reality] a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God [in visible ways].
(3)    Why have we fasted, they say, and You do not see it? Why have we afflicted ourselves, and You take no knowledge [of it]? Behold [O Israel], on the day of your fast [when you should be grieving for your sins], you find profit in your business, and [instead of stopping all work, as the law implies you and your workmen should do] you extort from your hired servants a full amount of labor. [Leviticus 16:29.]
(4)    [The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
(5)    Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
(6)   [Rather] is not this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every [enslaving] yoke? [Acts 8:23.]
(7)    Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house — when you see the naked, that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from [the needs of] your own flesh and blood?
(8)    Then shall your light break forth like the morning, and your healing (your restoration and the power of a new life) shall spring forth speedily; your righteousness (your rightness, your justice, and your right relationship with God) shall go before you [conducting you to peace and prosperity], and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. [Exodus 14:19,20; Isaiah 52:12.]
(9)    Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, Here I am. If you take away from your midst yokes of oppression [wherever you find them], the finger pointed in scorn [toward the oppressed or the godly], and every form of false, harsh, unjust, and wicked speaking, [Exodus 3:14.]
(10)  And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.
(11)  And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
(12)  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
(13)  If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words,
(14)  Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. [Genesis 27:28,29; 28:13-15.]

59:1       BEHOLD, THE Lord's hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear.
(2)    But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.
(3)    For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.
(4)    None sues or calls in righteousness [but for the sake of doing injury to others — to take some undue advantage]; no one goes to law honestly and pleads [his case] in truth; they trust in emptiness, worthlessness and futility, and speaking lies! They conceive mischief and bring forth evil!
(5)    They hatch adders' eggs and weave the spider's web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and [from an egg] which is crushed a viper breaks out [for their nature is ruinous, deadly, evil].
(6)    Their webs will not serve as clothing, nor will they cover themselves with what they make; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
(7)    Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their paths and highways.
(8)    The way of peace they know not, and there is no justice or right in their goings. They have made them into crooked paths; whoever goes in them does not know peace. [Romans 3:15-18.]
(9)    Therefore are justice and right far from us, and righteousness and salvation do not overtake us. We expectantly wait for light, but [only] see darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity and gloom.
(10)  We grope for the wall like the blind, yes, we grope like those who have no eyes. We stumble at noonday as in the twilight; in dark places and among those who are full of life and vigor, we are as dead men.
(11)  We all groan and growl like bears and moan plaintively like doves. We look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us.
(12)  For our transgressions are multiplied before You [O Lord], and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know and recognize them [as]:
(13)  Rebelling against and denying the Lord, turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and muttering and moaning from the heart words of falsehood.
(14)  Justice is turned away backward, and righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God) stands far off; for truth has fallen in the street (the city's forum), and uprightness cannot enter [the courts of justice].
(15)  Yes, truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. And the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice.
(16)  And He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor [no one to intervene on behalf of truth and right]; therefore His own arm brought Him victory, and His own righteousness [having the Spirit without measure] sustained Him. [Isaiah 53:11; Colossians 2:9; 1 John 2:1,2.]
(17)  For [the Lord] put on righteousness as a breastplate or coat of mail, and salvation as a helmet upon His head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal [and furious divine jealousy] as a cloak. [Ephesians 6:14,17; 1 Thessalonians 5:8.]
(18)  According as their deeds deserve, so will He repay wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; on the foreign islands and coastlands He will make compensation.
(19)  So [as the result of the Messiah's intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives]. [Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29.]
(20)  He shall come as a Redeemer to Zion and to those in Jacob (Israel) who turn from transgression, says the Lord.
(21)  As for Me, this is My covenant or league with them, says the Lord: My Spirit, Who is upon you [and Who writes the law of God inwardly on the heart], and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouths of your [true, spiritual] children, or out of the mouths of your children's children, says the Lord, from henceforth and forever. [Jeremiah 31:33; Romans 11:26,27; Galatians 3:29; Hebrews 12:22-24.]


(End of  Lesson 30)


  

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