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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  TWENTY  EIGHT
Isaiah 54:1 - 56:8


Isaiah 54:1-56:8
The Call To “Sing” “Come”

  Isa 54:1, 2 Exhortation “Sing”
 
Isa 54:3 Reason Fruitfulness
  Isa 54:4 Exhortation “Fear not”
 
Isa 54:5-10 Reason Jehovah’s faithfulness
  Isa 54:11- Exhortation Be comforted
 
Isa 54:-11-17 Reason Jehovah’s goodness
  Isa 55:1-3 Exhortation “Come”
 
Isa 55:4, 5 Reason Messiah given
  Isa 55:6, 7 Exhortation “Seek”
 
Isa 55:8-13 Reason Jehovah’s gifts
  Isa 56:1- Exhortation “Keep justice”
 
Isa 56:-1, 2 Reason Jehovah’s blessing
  Isa 56:3 Exhortation Encouragement
 
Isa 56:4-8 Reason Jehovah’s gathering
   

Isaiah Chapter 54
Sixth Prophecy
The Glory of Jerusalem, the Church of the Servants of Jehovah

Isaiah 54:1
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Shout, O barren one, you who bore no child! Shout aloud for joy, you who did not travail! For the children of the wife forlorn shall outnumber those of the espoused – said the Lord.

Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that dost not travail: for more are the children of the desolate than of her that has a husband: for the Lord has said,

Sing praises, O Jerusalem, who wast as a barren woman that bare not; break forth into a song of praise and rejoice, thou who wast as a woman that conceived not: for more shall be the children of desolate Jerusalem than the children of inhabited Rome, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(1)  "Sing, O barren, you who have not borne!  Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child!  For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman," says the LORD.

Sing = Shout in triumph (Isa 52:8, 9. Zeph. 3:14). Quoted in Gal. 4:27.

Zephaniah 3:14
Sing, O daughter of Zion!  Shout, O Israel!  Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!      (NKJV)

Galatians 4:27
For it is written:  "Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear!  Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor!  For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband."       (NKJV)

After the "Servant of God" has expiated the sin of His people by the sacrifice of Himself, 
and Israel has acknowledged its fault in connection with the rejected One,
and entered into the possession and enjoyment of the salvation procured by Him,
the glory of the church,  which has thus become a partaker of salvation through repentance and faith,
is quite ready to burst forth.

The words are addressed to Jerusalem,  which was a counterpart of Sarah:

first in her barrenness
afterwards in her fruitfulness
It is not indeed that she had never had any children,  but
during her captivity and exile she had been robbed of her children
and as a holy city she had given birth to no more

She was

shoomeemâh (OT: 8074) desolate - rendered solitary (the allusion is to her depopulation as a city)
whereas formerly she was
bª`uwlaah (OT: 1166) married woman  i.e.,  enjoyed the fellowship of Jehovah her husband
But this condition would not last  (for Jehovah had not given her a divorce):  she was therefore to exult and shout for joy, since the number of children which she would now have,  as one desolate and solitary,  would be greater than the number of those which she had as a married wife (Isa 49:21).

Some suppose this chapter to have been addressed to the Gentiles;
some, to the Jewish Church;
and some, to the Christian Church, in its first stage.
On comparing the different parts of it, particularly the seventh and eighth verses,  with the remainder,  the most obvious import of the prophecy will be that which refers it to the future conversion of the Jews,  and to the increase and prosperity of that nation,  when reconciled to God after their long rejection,  when their glory and security will far surpass what they were formerly in their most favored state.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  Sing, O woman barren and who never bore a child;  burst into song, and shout for joy, and you who were never in labor! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than the children of her that is married, says the Lord.
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 54:2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(2)  Enlarge the site of your tent, Extend the size of your dwelling, do not stint! Lengthen the ropes, and drive the pegs firm.

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and of thy curtains: fix the pins, spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy pins;

Enlarge the place of thy habitation, and cause the cities of thy land to be inhabited; restrain not: increase the people of thy camps, and strengthen thy governors:

From the NKJV
(2)  Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;  do not spare;  lengthen your cords,  and strengthen your stakes.

With this prospect before her,  even her dwelling-place would need enlarging.
She is to widen out the space inside her tent,  and they (yaTuw (OT:5186) has no definite subject, which is often the case where some subordinate servant is to be thought of)  are to spread out far and wide the coverings of the framework of her dwelling,  which is called mishkenooth (in the plural) on account of its roominess and magnificence:  she is not to forbid it,  thinking in her weakness of faith,  "It is good enough as it is;  it would be too large."  The cords which hold up the walls,  she is to lengthen;  and the plugs,  to which the cords are fastened,  she is to ram fast into the earth:  the former because the tent  (i.e., the holy city,
Jer 31:38-40,  and the dwelling-place of the church generally, Isa 26:15)  has to receive a large number of inhabitants;  the latter because it will not be broken up so soon again (Isa 33:20).
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Jeremiah 31:38-40
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, that the city shall be built for the LORD from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.  The surveyor's line shall again extend straight forward over the hill Gareb;  then it shall turn toward Goath.  And the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields as far as the Brook Kidron,  to the corner of the Horse Gate toward the east,  shall be holy to the LORD.  It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever.      (NKJV)

If we apply this to the state of the Jews after their return out of captivity,  it is a prophecy of the increase of their nation after they were settled in their own land.

Jerusalem had been in the condition of a wife written childless, or a desolate solitary widow
but now it is promised that the city should be replenished and the country peopled again
Not only the ruins of Jerusalem should be repaired
but the suburbs of it extended on all sides
a great many buildings erected upon new foundations
Those estates which had for many years been wrongfully held by the Babylonian Gentiles should now return to the right owners.
God will again be a husband to them, and the reproach of their captivity shall be forgotten.
And it is to be observed that, by virtue of the ancient promise made to Abraham of the increase of his seed, when they were restored to God's favor they multiplied greatly.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(2)  Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your dwellings be stretched wide; and do not hold back, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.

Isaiah 54:3
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  For you shall spread out to the right and the left; your offspring shall dispossess nations and shall people the desolate towns.

Spread forth thy tent yet to the right and the left: for thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and thou shalt make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

For to the south and to the north shall thou be strengthened, and thy children shall inherit the peoples, and shall cause the desolate cities to be inhabited.

From the NKJV
(3)  For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.

"To the right and to the left"  is equivalent to  "on the south and north,"  the speaker being supposed to have his face turned towards the east.  We must supply both west and east,  since the promises contained in such passages as Gen 15:18-21 remained unfulfilled even in the age of David and Solomon.

Genesis 15:18-21
On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying:
"To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates — the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites,  the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,  the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."       (NKJV)

Jerusalem will now spread out,  and break through all her former bounds;  and her seed  (i.e., the seed acquired by the Servant of Jehovah,  the dead yet eternally living One)  will take possession of nations and they  (the children born to her)  will people desolate cities.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

It was a proof of divine power going along with the gospel that in all places it grew and prevailed mightily.  It broke forth,  as the breaking forth of waters - on the right hand and on the left,  that is, on all hands.  The gospel spread itself into all parts of the world;  there were eastern and western churches.  The church's seed inherited the Gentiles,  and the cities that had been desolate (that is, destitute of the knowledge and worship of the true God)  came to be inhabited,  that is,  to have religion set up in them and the name of Christ (the Messiah) professed.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  For you will spread out to the right hand and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will populate the deserted towns.

Isaiah 54:4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(4)  Fear not, you shall not be shamed; do not cringe, you shall not be disgraced. For you shall forget the reproach of your youth, and remember no more the shame of your widowhood.

Fear not, because thou hast been put to shame, neither be confounded, because thou wast reproached: for thou shalt forget thy former shame, and shalt no more at all remember the reproach of thy widowhood.

Fear not; for thou shalt not be put to shame: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be insulted: for the shame of thy youth shalt thou forget, and the reproaches of thy widowhood thou shalt no more remember.

From the NKJV
(4)  Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

Now that redemption was before the door,  Israel was not to fear any more,  or to be overcome by a felling of the shame consequent upon her state of punishment,  or so to behave herself as to leave no room for hope.

For a state of things was about to commence,  in which she would have no need to be ashamed,  but which,  on the contrary,  would be so glorious that she would forget the shame of her youth, i.e., of the Egyptian bondage,  in which the national community of Israel was still but like a virgin ('almâh),  who entered into a betrothal when redeemed by Jehovah,  and became His youthful wife through a covenant of love when the law was given at Sinai (Jer 2:2; Ezek 16:60);  so glorious indeed,  that she would never again remember the shame of her widowhood,  i.e.,  of the Babylonian captivity,  in which she,  the wife whom Jehovah had taken to Himself,  was like a widow whose husband had died.

Jeremiah 2:2-3
Go and cry in the hearing of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the LORD:  "I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your betrothal, when you went after Me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.   Israel was holiness to the LORD, the firstfruits of His increase.    (NKJV)

Ezekiel 16:60-61
Nevertheless I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.      (NKJV)

The shame of your youth
Some say this refers to Israel’s days of idolatry.
Others say it refers to their bondage in Egypt.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(4)  Do not be afraid; for you will not be ashamed; and do not fear shame, for you will not be humiliated. For you will forget the disgrace of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

Isaiah 54:5-10
Reason - Jehovah's Faithfulness

Isa 54:5-7 The Covenant [Marriage] Breach  
Isa 54:8- Wrath overflowing
Isa 54:-8 Everlasting kindness
Isa 54:9- The waters of Noah Comparison
Isa 54:-9- The waters of Noah Reason
Isa 54:10- Everlasting kindness
Isa 54:-10 The Covenant   Breach removed  

Isaiah 54:5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(5)  For He who made you will espouse you – His name is “Lord of Hosts.” The Holy One of Israel will redeem you – He is called “God of all the Earth.”

For it is the Lord that made thee; the Lord of hosts is his name: and he that delivered thee, he is the God of Israel, and shall be called so by the whole earth.

For thy lord who made thee, the Lord of hosts is his name: and thy redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.

From the NKJV
(5)  For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

It was no real widowhood,  however,  but only an apparent one (Jer 51:5),  for the husband of Jerusalem was living still.

Jeremiah 51:5
For Israel has not been widowed and forsaken, nor has Judah, by his God, the Lord of hosts.      (AMP)

Your Maker is your Husband
He who has entered into the relation of husband to Jerusalem is the very same through whom she first came into existence,  the God whose bidding the heavenly hosts obey.
The word rendered 'husband,' from ba`al (OT:1167),  denotes properly the lord, maker, or ruler of anyone; or the owner of anything.
It often, however, means, to be a husband, and is evidently used in that sense here.
The idea is, that Yahweh would sustain to his people the relation of a husband; that he who had made them, who had originated all their laws and institutions, and molded them as a people, would now take his church under his protection and care.
Your Redeemer is the Holy One
The Redeemer of Jerusalem,  the Holy One of Israel,  is called the God of the whole earth,  and therefore has both the power and the means to help her,  as prompted by the relation of love which exists between them.  See Isaiah 43:1, 2
He is...God of the whole earth
He shall no more be regarded as uniquely the God of the Jewish people, but shall be acknowledged as the only true God, the God that rules over all the world.
This refers undoubtedly to the times of the gospel, when he should be acknowledged as the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews (see Romans 3:29).
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Romans 3:29-31
Or is He the God of the Jews only?  Is He not also the God of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(5)  For your maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of the whole earth.

Isaiah 54:6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(6)  The Lord has called you back as a wife forlorn and forsaken. Can one cast off the wife of his youth?

The Lord has not called thee as a deserted and faint-hearted woman, nor as a woman hated from her youth, saith thy God.

For as a wife forsaken, and grieved in spirit, hath the Shekinah of the Lord summoned thee, and as a wife of youth that hath been cast off, saith thy God.

From the NKJV
(6)  For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,"  says your God.

And this relation He now renews.
The verb qaaraa' (OT:7121),  which is the one commonly used in these prophecies to denote the call of grace,  on the ground of the election of grace,  is used here to signify the call into that relation,  which did indeed exist before,  but had apparently been dissolved.

Jehovah calls His church back to Himself,  as a husband takes back the wife he loved in his youth,  even though he may once have been angry with her.  The future (imperfect) indicates what partially happens,  but does not become an accomplished or completed fact:  He is displeased with her,  but He has not cherished aversion or hatred towards her.

This is designed to confirm and illustrate the sentiment in the previous verse.

God there says that he would be a husband to his people.
Here he says, that
although he had for a time apparently forsaken them, as a husband who had forsaken his wife -
and although they were cast down and dejected like a woman who had thus been forsaken -
Yet he would now restore them to favor!
The idea is that of a wife wedded in youth; a wife toward whom there was early and tender love, though she was afterward rejected. God had loved the Hebrew people as his people in the early days of their history. Yet for their idolatry he had seen occasion afterward to cast them off, and to doom them to a long and painful exile. But he would yet love them with all the former ardor of affection, and would greatly increase and prosper them.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(6)  For the Lord has called you back like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off, says the Lord your God.

Isaiah 54:7 & 8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(7)  For a little I forsook you, but with vast love I will bring you back.

For a little while I left thee: but with great mercy will I have compassion upon thee.

In a little anger did I put thee away, but with great mercies will I bring near thy exiles.

(8)  In slight anger, for a moment, I hid My face from you; but with kindness everlasting I will take you back in love. – said the Lord your Redeemer.

In a little wrath I turned away my face from thee; but with everlasting mercy will I have compassion upon thee, saith the Lord that delivers thee.

For a small moment did I remove the presence of my Shekinah from thee for a season, but with everlasting mercies that will not cease will I have compassion on thee, saith the Lord, thy redeemer.

From the NKJV
(7)  "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.    (8)    With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,"  says the LORD, your Redeemer.

Thus does Jehovah's displeasure towards Jerusalem pass quickly away;  and all the more intense is the manifestation of love which follows His merely momentary anger.

"For a small moment" carries us to the time of the captivity,  which was a small moment in comparison with the duration of the tender and merciful love,  with which Jehovah once more received the church into His fellowship in the person of its members.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Hebrew means,  'For a little moment;'  a very short time.
The reference here is probably to the captivity at Babylon,  when they were apparently forsaken by Yahweh.

Though to them this appeared long -
Yet compared with their subsequent prosperity  -  it was but an instant of time.
Though this had probably a primary reference to the captivity then,  yet there can be no impropriety in applying it to other similar cases.  It contains an important principle ; that is -
Though God appears to forsake his people -
Yet it will be comparatively but for a moment.
He will remember his covenant,  and however long their trials may seem to be,  yet compared with the subsequent mercies and the favors which shall result from them,  they will seem to be but as the sorrows of the briefest point of duration (compare 2 Corinthians 4:17).
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction,  which is but for a moment,  is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(7)  For a brief moment I abandoned you; but with great compassion I will gather you.    (8)    In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with my Everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.

Isaiah 54:9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(9)  For this to Me is like the waters of Noah: as I swore that the waters of Noah nevermore would flood the earth, so I swear that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you.

From the time of the water of Noe this is my purpose: as I swore to him at that time, saying of the earth, I will no more be wroth with thee, neither when thou art threatened,

As the days of Noah is this before me, when I swore by my Memra that the waters of the flood which were in the days of Noah should no more pass over the earth; so have I sworn that my anger shall not light upon thee, and that I will not rebuke thee.

From the NKJV
(9)  "For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

I have sworn = when I swore. Reference to the Pentateuch (Gen. 6-9).
The ground of this  "everlasting kindness"  is given in verse 9.

The present turning-point resembles,  in Jehovah's esteem,  the days of Noah - those days in which He swore that a flood should not any more come upon the earth:  for so does He now confirm with an oath His fixed purpose that no such judgment of wrath as that which has just been endured shall ever fall upon Jerusalem again (gaa`ar (OT:1605) denotes threatening with a judicial word,  which passes at once into effect,  as in Isa 51:20).

(1) That the prophecy refers to the converted Israel of the last days,  who’s Jerusalem will never be destroyed again.
These last days appear to the prophet,  according to the general character of all prophecy,  as though linked on to the close of the captivity.
For throughout all prophecy,  along with the far-sightedness imparted by the Spirit,  there was also a short-sightedness which the Spirit did not remove;
that is to say,  the directly divine element of insight into the future was associated with a human element of hope,  which was nevertheless also indirectly divine,  inasmuch as it sub served the divine plan of salvation;
and this hope brought,  as it were,  the far distant future into the closest proximity with the troubled present.
If we keep this in mind,  we shall see that it was quite in order for the prophet to behold the final future on the very edge of the present,  and not to see the long and undulating way between.
(2) The Israel which has been plunged by the Romans into the present exile of a thousand years is that part of the nation (Rom 11:25),  which has thrust away the eternal mercy and the unchangeable covenant of peace;
but this rejection has simply postponed, and not prevented, the full realization of the salvation promised to Israel as a people.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Romans 11:25-27
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."         (NKJV)

The covenant still exists,  primarily indeed as an offer on the part of Jehovah,  so that it rests with Israel whether it shall continued one-sided or not;  but all that is wanted on the part of Israel is faith,  to enable it to exchange the shifting soil of its present exile for the rocky foundation of that covenant of peace which has encircled the ages since the captivity (see Hag 2:9), as the covenant with Noah encircled those after the flood with the covenant sign of the rainbow in the cloud.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Haggai 2:9
"The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former," says the LORD of hosts. "And in this place I will give peace," says the LORD of hosts.      (NKJV)

Jeremiah 31:31-34
(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.
(34)  And they will no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they will all know Me [recognize, understand, and be acquainted with Me], from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will [seriously] remember their sin no more. [Heb 8:8-12; 10:16, 17.]        (AMP)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(9)  For this is to me like the waters of Noah: when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you again and will not rebuke you.

Isaiah 54:10
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10)  For the mountains may move and the hills be shaken, but my loyalty shall never move from you, nor My covenant of friendship be shaken – said the Lord, who takes you back in love.

Shall the mountains depart, nor shall thy hills be removed: so neither shall my mercy fail thee, nor shall the covenant of thy peace be at all removed: for the Lord who is gracious to thee has spoken it.

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be rent asunder; but my goodness shall not depart from thee, O saith he that is about to have compassion upon thee, even the Lord.

From the NKJV
(10)  For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has mercy on you.

Jehovah's grace and covenant of peace (cf., Num 25:12) stand as firm as the mountains of God (Ps 36:7),  without departing from Jerusalem and without shaking;  and they will be fulfilled.
This fulfillment will not take place either by force or by enchantment;  but the church which is to be glorified must pass through sufferings,  until it has attained the form which answers to the glory promised to it on oath.
And this will also take place;  for the old Jerusalem will come forth as a new one out of the furnace of affliction.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Numbers 25:12-13
Therefore say , 'Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'      (NKJV)

Psalm 36:7
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!  Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  For the mountains may collapse and the hills reel, but my steadfast love will not depart from you, neither will my covenant of peace totter, says the Lord who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:11 & 12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(11)  Unhappy, storm-tossed one, uncomforted! I will lay carbuncles as your building stones and make your foundations of sapphires.

Afflicted and outcast thou hast not been comforted: behold, I will prepare carbuncle for thy stones, and sapphire for thy foundations;

O thou unfortunate one, that hast suffered humiliation; thou city whereof the peoples say, She shall not be comforted; behold, I will set the stones of thy pavement with antimony, and lay thy foundations with jewels;

(12)  I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of precious stones, the whole encircling wall of gems.

and I will make thy buttresses jasper, and thy gates crystal, and thy border precious stones.

and I will set thy timbers in pearls, and thy gates will I make carbuncles, and all thy border goodly stones.

From the NKJV
(11)  "O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.    (12)    I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones.

Sapphires serve as foundation-stones,  for the foundation of Jerusalem stands as immovably firm as the covenant of God.

The sapphire blue is the color of the heaven,  of revelation,  and of the covenant.
The ruby The shemâshooth,  however,  i.e.,  the minarets which stand out like rays of the sun,  and also the gates,  have a red appearance
  Red is the color of blood,  and hence of life and of imperishableness;  also the color of fire and of lightning,  and hence of wrath and victory.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

It is upon the passage before us that Tobit 13:16, 17, and Rev 21:18-21, are founded.
The motley colors of the precious stones,  with which the New Jerusalem is adorned,  are something more than a mere childish fancy.

Whence,  then,  do the precious stones derive their charm?
The ultimate ground of this charm is the fact,  that in universal nature everything presses to the light,  and that in the mineral world the jewels represent the highest stage of this ascending process.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

It is the self-unfolding process of the divine glory itself,  which is reflected typologically in the several gradations of the manifold play of colors and the transparency of the precious stones.  For this reason,  the high priest wore a breastplate with twelve precious stones,  upon which were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel;  and for this same reason,  the author of the Apocalypse carries out into detail in chapter 21 the picture of the new Jerusalem,  which is here sketched by the prophet of the Old Testament (without distinguishing time from eternity),  adding crystals and pearls to the precious stones which he there mentions one by one.

How can all this be explained,  except on the ground that even the mineral world reflects the glory of those eternal lights from which God is called the "Father of lights,"  or except on the assumption that the saints in light will one day be able to translate these stony types into the words of God,  out of which they have their being?

Rev 21:18-21
(18)  The wall was built of jasper, while the city [itself was of] pure gold, clear and transparent like glass.
(19)  The foundation [stones] of the wall of the city were ornamented with all of the precious stones. The first foundation [stone] was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony (or white agate), the fourth emerald, [Isa 54:11, 12.]
(20)  The fifth onyx, the sixth Sardis, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.
(21)  And the Twelve gates were Twelve pearls, each separate gate being built of one solid pearl. And the main street (the Broadway) of the city was of gold as pure and translucent as glass.      (AMP)

At the present time the church,  of which Jerusalem is the metropolis,  is sunk in misery,  driven with tempest like chaff of the threshing-floor,  without comfort;  because till now it has waited in vain for any act of consolation on the part of God,  and has been scorned rather than comforted by man.  But this will be altered;  Jerusalem will rise again from the dust,  like a glorious building of God.

The whole description is one of great beauty as applicable to the church of God;   to its glories on earth;  and to its glory in heaven.  Its future magnificence shall be as much greater than anything which has yet occurred in the history of the church,  as a city built of gems would be more magnificent than Jerusalem was in the proudest days of its glory.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(11)  O afflicted (city), passed back and forth and not comforted, behold, I am about to set your stones in antimony and lay your foundations with sapphires.   (12)    And I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.

Isaiah 54:13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(13)  And all your children shall be disciples of the Lord, and great shall be the happiness of your children;

And I will cause all thy sons to be taught of God, and thy children to be in great peace.

And all thy children shall be learning the law of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.

From the NKJV
(13)  All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

The outward glory of the city is only the manifestation,  which strikes the senses,  of the spiritual glory of the church dwelling therein.

The children of Jerusalem will need no instruction from man,  but carry within them the teaching of heaven,  as those who are "taught of God" John 6:45; 1 Thess 4:9).

John 6:45
It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'  Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.     (NKJV)

1 Thessalonians 4:9
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you,  for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.     (NKJV)

Essentially the same promise is given in Jer 31:34;  and represented in 1 John 2:20 as already fulfilled.
In the place of the former inward and outward distress, there has no entered shâloom, perfect inward and outward peace,  complete salvation,  and blessedness as its result.

Jeremiah 31:34
No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."     (NKJV)

1 John 2:20
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.      (NIV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(13)  And all your children will be taught by the Lord; and great will be your children’s prosperity.

Isaiah 54:14 & 15
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(14)  You shall be established through righteousness. You shall be safe from oppression, and shall have no fear; from ruin, and it shall not come near you.

And thou shalt be built in righteousness: abstain from injustice, and thou shalt not fear; and trembling shall not come nigh thee.

In righteousness shalt thou be established: be thou far removed from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come upon thee.

(15)  Surely no harm can be done without My consent: whoever would harm you shall fall because of you.

Behold, strangers shall come to thee by me, and shall sojourn with thee, and shall run to thee for refuge.

Behold, the exiles of thy people shall be gathered together unto thee at the last; the kings of the peoples that gather together to oppress thee, O Jerusalem, shall be cast down in thy midst.

From the NKJV
(14)  In righteousness you shall be established;  you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.    (15)    Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.  Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

In perfect keeping with this grace through righteousness, Jerusalem will then stand firm and impregnable.

Both the thought and action of Jerusalem will be righteousness then,  and it will thereby acquire strength.  With this reciprocal influence of its moral character and imparted glory,  it can,  and is to keep far away from all thought of oppression and terror;  for,  through divine grace and a corresponding divine nature,  it has nothing to fear.

Here, we once again look to the future.  Verse 15 has a 3-fold application, and the Targum seems to capture the thought: "the exiles of thy people shall be gathered together unto thee at the last;" and "the kings of the peoples (plural) ... shall be cast down."

(1) Present Natural Jerusalem The exiles from Babylon would return and Jerusalem would be rebuilt.  It would regain it's beauty, and Babylon would  fall.  In their lifetime, there would be no need to fear.
(2) Future Natural Jerusalem "At the last" - Jerusalem will be restored beyond any previous beauty and safety, and all those "kings of the peoples" that oppressed them over the centuries, would fall and meet their retribution for oppressing the chosen people of Yahweh.
(3) Future Spiritual Jerusalem "At the last" - the church of God in Jesus Christ, would be exalted as His bride, and all those who had persecuted her over the generations would meet their eternal doom.
      In Revelation 21:9-10, it  says:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
And he begins to describe what he saw - the beauty of the holy city.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  In righteousness you will be established; you will be far from tyranny, for you will not be afraid, and far from terror, for it will not come near you.    (15)    See, if anyone does attack you, it will not be from me; whoever will attack (attacks MT) you, they will fall (he will fall MT. they will flee LXX.) because of you.

Isaiah 54:16 & 17
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(16)  It is I who created the smith to fan the charcoal fire and produce the tools for his work; so it is I who create the instruments of havoc.

Behold, I have created thee, not as the coppersmith blowing coals, and bringing out a vessel fit for work; out I have created thee, not for ruin, that I should destroy thee.

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the fire in the coals, and brings forth a vessel for his use; and I have created the destroyer to destroy.

(17)  No weapon formed against you shall succeed. And every tongue that contends with you at law you shall defeat. Such is the lot of the servants of the Lord, such their triumph through Me.

I will not suffer any weapon formed against thee to prosper; and every voice that shall rise up against thee for judgment, thou shalt vanquish them all; and thine adversaries shall be condemned thereby. There is an inheritance to them that serve the Lord, and ye shall be righteous before me, saith the Lord.

No weapon that is prepared against thee, O Jerusalem, shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise up against thee for judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness from before me, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(16)   "Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy.    (17)    No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me," says the LORD.

Jerusalem will be thus invincible,  because Jehovah,  the Almighty One,  is its protector.

The sense of verse 16 is, "Everything that can effect your welfare is under my control. The smith who manufactures the instruments of war or of torture is under me. His life, his strength, his skill, are all in my hands, and he can do nothing which I shall not deem it best to permit him to do."
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

If Jehovah has created the armorer, who forges a weapon lªma`aseehuw (OT: 4639) (for his work),  to be used in the hostile army against Jerusalem,  He has also created a destroyer (lªchabeel (OT: 2254)) to destroy.  The very same creative might,  to which the origin of the weapon is to be traced as its primary cause,  has opposed to it beforehand a defender of Jerusalem.

And as every hostile weapon fails,  Jerusalem,  in the consciousness of its divine right,  will convict every accusing tongue as guilty and deserving of utter condemnation (hirªshiya` (OT:7561)).

The Epiphonema in verse 17b,  with the retrospective zo't (OT: 2063) (this) and the words "saith the Lord,"  which confirm the certainty of the fulfillment,  forms an unmistakable close to the prophecy.

This is the position in which Jehovah has placed His servants as heirs of the future salvation
This is the righteousness which they have received as His gift, and which makes them:
Strong within
and Victorious without

The one  "Servant of Jehovah"  is the heart of the church,  in which the crisis which bursts forth into life is passing -
The righteousness of the  "servants of Jehovah"  is the fruit of the sufferings of this one  "Servant of Jehovah,"  who is Himself the Mediator of all the salvation of the church.
He is not only its "head," but its "fullness".
(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

(16)  See, it is I who have created the blacksmith who fans coals in the fire, and produces a weapon for his purpose. It is I who have created the ravager to wreak havoc.   (17)    No weapon that is forged against you will be effective.  This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their righteousness from me, says the Lord.


Isaiah Chapter  55
Seventh Prophecy
Come and Take the Sure Salvation of Jehovah

AN  INVITATION  TO  ABUNDANT  LIFE

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Isaiah 55:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Ho, all who are thirsty, come for water, even if you have no money; come, buy food and eat: buy food without money, wine and milk without cost.

Ye that thirst go to the water, and all that have no money, go and buy; and eat and drink wine and fat without money or price.

Ho, every one that wishes to learn, let him come, and learn, and he that hath no money; come ye, and hear, and learn; come, hear, and learn, without price and without money, instruction that is better than wine and milk.

(2)  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, your earnings for what does not satisfy? Give heed to Me, and you shall eat choice food and enjoy the richest viands.

Wherefore do ye value at the price of money, and give your labor for that which will not satisfy?  Hearken to me, and ye shall eat that which is good, and your soul shall feast itself on good things.

Wherefore do ye spend your money for that which cannot be eaten? And your labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto my Memra, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in that which is fat.

From the NKJV
Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;  and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.    (2)    Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.

Hitzig and Knobel understand by water,  wine,  and milk,  the rich material blessings which awaited the exiles on their return to their fatherland,  whereas they were now paying tribute and performing service for Babylon without receiving anything in return.  But the prophet was acquainted with something higher than either natural water (Isa 54:3, cf., 41:17) or natural wine (Isa 25:6).  He knew of an eating and drinking which reached beyond the mere material enjoyment;  and the expression h' Tuwb (OT: 2898) (good),  while it includes material blessings (Jer 31:12), is not exhausted by them.

Jeremiah 31:12
Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD — for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd;  their souls shall be like a well-watered garden,  and they shall sorrow no more at all.      (NKJV)

Water, wine, and milk, as the fact that water is placed first clearly shows, are not the produce of the Holy Land, but figurative representations of spiritual revival, recreation, and nourishment (cf., 1 Peter 2:2).  The whole appeal is framed accordingly.  When Jehovah summons the thirsty ones of His people to come to the water,  the summons must have reference to something more than the water to which a shepherd leads his flock.

Two classes invited by God:

1. Everyone that is thirsty
The word 'thirst' often indicates intense desire, and is thus applied to the sense of want which sinners often have, and to their anxious wishes for salvation.
It is not improbable that the Savior had this passage in his eye when he pronounced the blessing on those who hunger and thirst after righteousness
The invitation here is made to all. 'Everyone' - kaal (OT:3605) is entreated to come.
It is not offered to the elect only,  or to the rich,  the great,  the noble; but it is made to all.  It is impossible to conceive of language more universal in its nature than this.
2. He that has no money
The poor; they who would be unable to purchase salvation if it were to be sold.
The idea here is the absolute freeness of the offer of salvation.
No man can excuse himself for not being a Christian because he is poor; no man who is rich can ever boast that he has bought salvation

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.     (NRSV)

Matthew 11:5
And the poor have the gospel preached to them.     (NKJV)

And as buying without money or any other medium of exchange is an idea which neutralizes itself in the sphere of natural objects,  wine and milk are here blessings and gifts of divine grace,  which are obtained by grace (cha'riti (NT: 5485), gratis), their reception being dependent upon nothing but a sense of need,  and a readiness to accept the blessings offered.  Again,  the use of the verb shibªruw (OT:7665),  which is confined in other passages to the purchase of cereals,  is a sufficient proof that the reference is not to natural objects,  but to such objects as could properly be compared to cereals.

The bread and other provisions, which Israel obtained in its present state of punishment, are called "not bread," and "not serving to satisfy," because that which truly satisfies the soul comes from above, and being of no earthly nature, is to be obtained by those who are the most destitute of earthly supplies. Can any Christian reader fail to recall the words of the parable in Matt 22:4, "All things are now ready?"

Barnes offers:
You toil,  and expend the avails of your labor for that which does not produce satisfaction.  What a striking description of the condition of the world!  The immortal mind will not be satisfied with wealth,  pleasure,  or honor.  It never has been.

Where is the man who is satisfied with his wealth, and who says it is enough?
Where is there one who is satisfied with pleasure, and vanity, and gaiety?
There is a void in the heart which these things do not, cannot fill.  There is a consciousness that the soul was made for higher and nobler purposes,  and that nothing but God can meet its boundless desires.
Where is the man who has ever been satisfied with ambition?
Alexander wept on the throne of the world;  and though Diocletian and Charles V descended voluntarily from the throne to private life,  it was because there was nothing in royalty to satisfy the soul,  and not because they found happiness enough there.  There never was a more simple and true description of this whole world than in this expression of Isaiah,  that people are spending their money and their labor for that which satisfieth not.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.     (NKJV)

John 7:37-39
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,  "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.     (NKJV)

Revelation 22:17
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  Ho, everyone who is thirst, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy wine and milk without money and at no cost.    (2)    Why spend your money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in rich food.

Isaiah 55:3-5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  Incline your ear and come to me; hearken, and you shall be revived. And I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the enduring loyalty promised to David.

Give heed with your ears, and follow my ways: hearken to me, and your soul shall live in prosperity; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the sure mercies of David.

Incline your ear, and hearken unto my Memra; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

(4)  As I made him a leader of peoples, a prince and commander of peoples,

Behold, I have made him a testimony among the Gentiles, a prince and commander to the Gentiles.

Behold I have appointed him for a prince to the peoples, a king and a governor over all the kingdoms.

(5)  so you shall summon a nation you did not know, and a nation that did not know you shall come running to you for the sake of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel who has glorified you.

Nations which know thee not, shall call upon thee, and peoples which are not acquainted with thee, shall flee to thee for refuge, for the sake of the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified thee.

Behold, a nation that thou knowest not shall serve thee, and a nation that knew thee not shall run to offer tribute to thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for he hath glorified thee.

From the NKJV
(3)  Incline your ear, and come to Me.  Hear, and your soul shall live;  and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.    (4)    Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people.    (5)    Surely you shall call a nation you do not know, and nations who do not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you.

Incline your ear, and come to Me
In this way it is possible to obtain not only the satisfaction of absolute need, but a superabundant enjoyment, and an overflowing fulfillment of the promise.

The Covenant
The sure mercies of David:  i.e.  the loving kindnesses well assured to David,  the “everlasting covenant

Made with David  (2 Samuel 7:8-16) Now therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "...I will set up your seed after you...and I will establish his kingdom...My mercy shall not depart from him...And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."
Quoted by Paul (Acts 13:34) And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:  'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'
Assured by oath to David  (Psalm 132:11-12) The LORD has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:  "I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.  If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore."

The expression "make a covenant" (kârath beriith)  is not always applied to a superior in relation to an inferior;  but here the double-sided idea implied is confined to one side alone,  having all the force of a covenant,  and also of the offer of a covenant or anticipated conclusion of a covenant,  where "the true mercies of David" are attached to the idea of offering or granting involved in the expression, "I will make an everlasting covenant with you."
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

All that is required on the part of Israel is hearing,  and coming,  and taking:  let it do this,  and it will be pervaded by new life;  and Jehovah will meet with an everlasting covenant,  and the unchangeable mercies of David.
Our interpretation of this must be dependent chiefly upon whether verse 4 is regarded as

looking back to the history of David,
or looking forward to something future.

In the latter case (looking forward) we are either to understand by "David"

the second David (according to Hos 3:5; Jer 30:9; Ezek 34:24),  so that the allusion is to the mercies granted in the Messiah,  and according to ch .Isa 9:7, enduring  "from henceforth even for ever;"
                        or else
David is the son of Jesse,  and  "the mercies of David" are the mercies bestowed upon him, which are called "the true mercies" as mercies promised and running into the future (Ps 89:50; 2 Chron 6:42), in which case verse 4 explains what David will become in the person of his antitype the second David.

Keil & Delitzsch offer:
The directly Messianic application of the name "David" is to be objected to,  on the ground that the Messiah is never so called without further remark;  whilst the following objections may be adduced to the indirectly Messianic interpretation of verse 4 (David in the Messiah):

(1) The change of the tense in vv. 4, 5, which requires that we should assume that verse 4 points backwards into the past, and verse 5 forwards into the future.
(2) That the choice of the expression in verses 4 & 5 is designed to represent what Israel has to look for in the future as going beyond what was historically realized in David; for in v. 5 the mass of the heathen world, which has hitherto stood out of all relation to Israel, answers to the lª'umiym (OT:3816) (the people).
(3) That the juxtaposition of the Messiah and Israel would be altogether without parallel in these prophecies (ch. 40-66),  and contrary to their peculiar character;  for the earlier stereotype idea of the Messiah is here resolved into the idea of the "servant of Jehovah,"  from which it returns again to its primary use,  i.e.,  from the national basis to the individual,  by means of the ascending variations through which this expression passes,  and thus reaches a more comprehensive, spiritual, and glorified form.
What David himself was able to say in Ps 18:43,  "People that I did not know served me,"  will be fulfilled to a still wider extent in the experience of Israel.  Having been presented with the promised  "sure mercies of David,"  it will effect a spiritual conquest over the heathen world,  even over that portion which has hitherto stood in no reciprocal relation to it,  and gain possession of it for itself for the sake of Jehovah,  whom it has for its God,  and to the Holy One of Israel,  because He hath glorified it so that joining themselves to Israel is the same as joining themselves to God and to the church of the God of revelation.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Four "come's" to the thirsty and poor:

1. Isaiah 54:1 Come to the waters
2. Isaiah 54:1 Come, buy, and eat
3. Isaiah 54:1 Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price
4. Isaiah 54:3 Come unto Me

Eight Things Offered by God

 1. Waters (Isaiah 55:1)
 
(1) Of salvation (Isaiah 12:3)
(2) Of everlasting life (John 4:14; Rev. 7:16; Rev. 21:6; Rev. 22:1; Jeremiah 2:13; Jeremiah 17:13)
(3) Of Purification (Eph 5:26)
(4) Of satisfaction (Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 44:3)
(5) Of growth, fruitfulness, and success (Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 17:5-8)
(6) Of Peace (Psalm 23:2)
(7) Of spiritual power (Jeremiah 7:37-39)
 2. Wine (Isaiah 55:1)
 
(1) Figurative of the blood of Jesus
Christ by which we have
forgiveness of sins
(Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16-21; 1 Cor. 11:25-27)
 3. Milk (Isaiah 55:10)
 
(1) Figurative of the simplicity of truth (1 Cor. 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13; 1 Peter 2:2)
 4. Bread (Isaiah 55:2)
 
(1) Of life (John 6:35-58)
(2) Of sincerity and truth (1 Cor. 5:8)
(3) Of healing (Matthew 15:26)
(4) Of the broken body of Christ by which we receive healing (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 10:16-21; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; 1 Peter 2:24 with Isaiah 53:4-5)
 5. Things that satisfy (Isaiah 55:2)
 
(1) With the fatness of God's house (Psalm 36:8)
(2) Drinking of the river of God's pleasure (Psalm 36:8)
(3) God's supply (Psalm 37:19)
(4) God's goodness (Psalm 65:4; Jeremiah 31:14)
(5) Good things (Psalm 103:5)
(6) Long life (Psalm 91:16)
(7) Bread (Psalm 132:15)
(8) Being in His likeness (Psalm 17:15)
 6. Good things (Isaiah 55:2)
 
(1) They shall not lack any good thing (Psalm 34:9-10)
(2) No good thing will He withhold
from them that walk uprightly
(Psalm 84:11)
(3) Satisfies your mouth with good things (Psalm 103:5)
(4) Good things to them that ask Him (Matthew 7:7-11)
(5) Good things to come (Hebrews 9:11)
(6) Shadow of good things to come (Hebrews 10:1)
 7. Fatness (Isaiah 55:2)
 
(1) Your dwelling shall be the fatness
of the earth
(Genesis 27:39)
(2) Your table shall be full of fatness (Job 36:16)
(3) Satisfied with the fatness of Your house (Psalm 36:8)
(4) Your paths drop fatness (Psalm 65:11)
(5) Let your soul delight itself in fatness (Isaiah 55:2)
(6) Partake of the root and fatness of
the olive tree
(Romans 11:17)
 8. Spiritual life (Isaiah 55:3)
 
(1) Show me paths of life (Psalm 16:11)
(2) With You is the fountain of life (Psalm 36:9)
(3) With long life will I satisfy him (Psalm 91:16)
(4) Redeems your life from destruction (Psalm 103:4)
(5) Life forevermore (Psalm 133:3)
(6) They shall be life to your soul (Proverbs 3:1-23; Proverbs 4:20-27)
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  Incline your ear, and come to me; and listen, so that you may live; and I will make (let us make 1Q1sa (b). 4Q1sa (c)) with you an everlasting covenant, my faithful, sure loves for David.    (4)    See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.    (5)    See, you will call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that does not know you will run to you, because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Isaiah 55:6 & 7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(6)  Seek the Lord while He can be found, call to Him while He is near.

Seek ye the Lord, and when ye find him, call upon him; and when he shall draw nigh to you,

Seek ye the fear of the Lord, while ye are living: make supplication from before him while ye are still alive:

(7)  Let the wicked give up his ways, the sinful man his plans; let him turn back to the Lord, and He will pardon him; to our God, for He freely forgives.

let the ungodly leave his ways, and the transgressor his counsels: and let him return to the Lord, and he shall find mercy; for he shall abundantly pardon your sins.

let the wicked forsake his wicked way, and the man of violence his thoughts; and let him return to the service of the Lord, and he will have compassion upon him; and to the fear of our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

From the NKJV
(6)  Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.    (7)    Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;  let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

So gracious is the offer which Jehovah now makes to His people,  so great are the promises that He makes to them - the regal glory of David,  and the government of the world by virtue of the religion of Jehovah.

Seek the LORD
The commencement of religion in the heart is often represented as seeking for God.  or inquiring for his ways (Deuteronomy 4:29; 9:10; 27:8).  This is to be regarded as addressed not to the Jewish exiles only or uniquely, but to all in view of the coming and work of the Messiah. That work would be so full and ample that an invitation could be extended to all to seek after God, and to return to him.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Deuteronomy 4:29
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.     (NKJV)
Psalms 9:10
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.     (NKJV)
Psalms 27:8
When You said, "Seek My face,"  my heart said to You,  "Your face, LORD, I will seek."      (NKJV)

Call upon him
That is,  implore his mercy (see Romans 10:13; compare Joel 2:32).  How easy are the terms of salvation! How just will be the condemnation of a sinner if he will not call upon God!  Assuredly,  if people will not breathe out one broken-hearted petition to the God of heaven that they may be saved,  they have only to blame themselves if they are lost.  The terms of salvation could be made no easier;  and man can ask nothing more simple.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Joel 2:32
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.     (NKJV)
Romans 10:13
For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.      (NKJV)

There are two things involved in repentance:

1. Turn from sin It is to turn from sin; it is to forsake it. It is to leave it, and to leave it with loathing and abhorrence, never to return to it again.
There must be not only a change of the way, but a change of the mind; the unrighteous must forsake his thoughts.
Repentance,  if it be true,  strikes at the root,  and washes the heart from wickedness.  We must alter our judgments concerning persons and things,  dislodge the corrupt imaginations and quit the vain pretences under which an unsanctified heart shelters itself.
Note, It is not enough to break off from evil practices, but we must enter a caveat against evil thoughts.
Proverbs 23:7  "What he thinks is what he really is."    (TEV)
2. Return to the Lord To repent is to return to the Lord;  to return to him as our God,  our sovereign Lord,  against whom we have rebelled,  and to whom we are concerned to reconcile ourselves;  it is to return to the Lord as the fountain of life and living waters,  which we had forsaken for broken cisterns.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Ten Commands in Isaiah 55

1. (Isaiah 55:2) Listen diligently to Me
2. (Isaiah 55:2) Eat that which is good
3. (Isaiah 55:2) Let your soul delight in fatness
4. (Isaiah 55:3) Incline your ear, come to Me
5. (Isaiah 55:3) Hear, and your soul shall live
6. (Isaiah 55:6) Seek the Lord while He may be found
7. (Isaiah 55:6) Call upon Him while He is near
8. (Isaiah 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way
9. (Isaiah 55:7) Let the unrighteous forsake his thoughts
10. (Isaiah 55:7) Let him return to the Lord
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(6)  Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.    (7)    Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous person his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Isaiah 55:8 & 9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  For My plans are not your plans, nor are My ways your ways – declares the Lord.

For my counsels are not as your counsels, nor are my ways as your ways, saith the Lord.

For not as my thoughts are your thoughts, neither are your ways upright as the ways of my goodness, saith the Lord.

(9)  But as the heavens are high above the earth, so are My ways high above your ways and My plans above your plans.

But as the heaven is distant from the earth, so is my way distant from your ways, and your thoughts from my mind.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are the ways of my goodness more upright than your ways, and my thoughts more upright than your thoughts.

From the NKJV
(8)  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.    (9)    "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Note the Introversion of lines in verses 7 and 8:

Isa 55:-7 Way wicked man forsake his way
Isa 55:7- Thoughts unrighteous man forsake his thoughts
Isa 55:-8 Thoughts God's thoughts are not our unrighteous thoughts
Isa 55:8- Ways God's ways are not our wicked ways
Isa 55:-8 Ways God's ways higher than wicked ways
Isa 55:-8 Thoughts God's thoughts higher than unrighteous thoughts

The appeal,  to leave their own way and their own thoughts,  and yield themselves to God the Redeemer,  and to His word,  is now urged on the ground of the heaven-wide difference between the ways and thoughts of this God and the despairing thoughts of men (Isa 40:27),  and their aimless labyrinthine ways.

The kii (for) introduces the undeniable statement of a fact patent to the senses,  for the purpose of clearly setting forth,  by way of comparison,  the relation in which the ways and thoughts of God stand to those of man.  On what side the heaven-wide elevation is to be seen,  is shown in what follows.  They are not so fickle,  so unreliable,  or so powerless.

Six Aspects God's Ways and Thoughts Higher:

1. In pardon
People never would have planned pardon for enemies, as God did. Human beings seek revenge on all such and harbor malice and hatred,
whereas God planned redemption and untold glories for His enemies (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
2. In number of offenses
Under favorable and special circumstances people forgive a few times, but they are prone not to forgive after repeated offenses.
God forgives freely many times and as completely and lovingly the last time as the first (Matthew 12:31; Matthew 18:21-22; 1 John 1:9).
3. In number of offenders
People may pardon one person or a few who injure them, but the greater the number the less they are inclined to forgive.
God forgives all, regardless of the number of offenders (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Rev. 22:17).
4. In kinds of offenses
People usually limit themselves as to what kind of offenses they will forgive,
but God has no qualifications on this point, except the offense of rejecting the only means of help He can offer (Matthew 12:31-32).
5. In degree of offenses
Men will forgive if an offense is small enough not to be of any great injury to them;
but God will forgive the greatest and most aggravated offense against Him (Isaiah 53, notes; John 3:16).
6. In mode of pardon
Men may be willing to forgive if it does not cost them much, and they can see that such is to their advantage;
but God gave the most precious gift of heaven that He might have a basis of forgiveness for His enemies.
God redeems on the basis of personal suffering and having substituted Himself to be punished instead of His enemies.
He forgives by the very One whom men sought to destroy,  the One made to endure the most horrible sufferings ever laid upon a human being.
He blesses by faith in the blood atonement and the death of an innocent Person.
Man would have punished the guilty and satisfied justice;
but God punished the Innocent to justify the guilty.
In fact the whole program of reconciling enemies to God is on such a high level that men never could have planned it.
(Dake's Annotated Reverence Bible, Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, Lawrenceville, GA)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.    (9)    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:10 & 11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10)  For as the rain or snow drops from heaven and returns not there, but soaks the earth and makes it bring forth vegetation, yielding seed for sowing and bread for eating,

For as rain shall come down or snow, from heaven, and shall not return until it have saturated the earth, and it bring forth, and bud, and give seed to the sower, and bread for food:

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and cannot return thither, but watered the earth, and maketh it to grow and bring forth, and giveth seed sufficient for the sower and bread sufficient for the eater;

(11)  so is the word that issues from My mouth: it does not come back to Me unfulfilled, but performs what I purpose, achieves what I sent it to do.

so shall my word be, whatever shall proceed out of my mouth, it shall by no means turn back, until all the things which I willed shall have been accomplished; and I will make thy ways prosperous, and will effect my commands.

so is the word of my goodness that goeth forth from before me; it cannot return before me empty, but accomplished that which I please, and causeth the thing whereto I sent it to prosper.

From the NKJV
(10)  For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,    (11)    so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

The meaning of this verse and the following is plain.  This refers evidently,  as the whole passage does,  to the times which should succeed the coming of the Messiah.

The hearts of people by nature are what the earth would be without the rains of heaven - barren and sterile.
But God says that his truth shall certainly accomplish an effect similar to that produced by descending showers.
The rain never descends in vain.  It makes the earth fertile,  beautiful,  and lovely.  So would it be with his truth in the moral world.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The word is represented in other places as the messenger of God (Isa 9:8).
The personification presupposes that it is not a mere sound or letter. As it goes forth out of the mouth of God it acquires shape,

and in this shape is hidden a divine life,  because of its divine origin;
and so it runs,  with life from God,
endowed with divine power,  supplied with divine commissions,  like a swift messenger through nature and the world of man,  there to melt the ice,  as it were,  and here to heal and to save;
and does not return from its course till it has given effect to the will of the sender.

This return of the word to God also presupposes its divine nature.  The will of God,  which becomes concrete and audible in the word,  is the utterance of His nature,  and is resolved into that nature again as soon as it is fulfilled.  The figures chosen are rich in analogies.

As snow and rain are the mediating causes of growth, and therefore the enjoyment of what is reaped;
so is the soil of the human heart softened, refreshed, and rendered productive or prolific by the word out of the mouth of Jehovah;
and this word furnishes the prophet,  who resembles the sower,  with the seed which he scatters,  and brings with it bread which feeds the souls:  for every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God is bread (Deut 8:3  "but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD").

Matthew Henry notes:
The efficacy of his word in the kingdom of providence and grace is certain. This assures us,

(1) That the promises of God shall all have their full accomplishment in due time,  and not one iota or tittle of them shall fail (1 Kings 8:56   There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.)
These promises of mercy and grace shall have as real an effect upon the souls of believers,  for their sanctification and comfort,  as ever the rain had upon the earth,  to make it fruitful.
(2) That according to the different errands on which the word is sent it will have its different effects.
If it be not a savior of life unto life,  it will be a savior of death unto death.
If it do not convince the conscience and soften the heart,  it will sear the conscience and harden the heart.
One way or other, it will take effect.
(3) That Christ's coming into the world,  as the dew from heaven,  will not be in vain. For,  if Israel be not gathered,  he will be glorious in the conversion of the Gentiles;  to them therefore the tenders of grace must be made when the Jews refuse them,  that the wedding may be furnished with guests and the gospel not return void.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bring forth and sprout, yielding seed for the sower and bread for eating.   (11)    so will my word be that goes out of my mouth; it will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:12 & 13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  Yea, you shall leave in joy and be led home secure. Before you, mount and hill shall shout aloud, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

For ye shall go forth with joy, and shall be taught with gladness: for the mountains and the hills shall exult to welcome you with joy, and all the trees of the field shall applaud with their branches.

For ye shall go out with joy from among the peoples, and in peace shall ye be brought unto your land: the mountains and hills shall exult before you with a song, and all the trees of the field shall clap with their branches.

(13)  Instead of the brier, a cypress shall rise; instead of the nettle, a myrtle shall rise. These shall stand as a testimony to the Lord, as an everlasting sign that shall not perish.

And instead of the bramble shall come up the cypress, and instead of the nettle shall come up the myrtle: and the Lord shall be for a name, and for an everlasting sign, and shall not fail.

Instead of the wicked the righteous shall be established, and instead of the transgressors they that fear sin shall be established: and it shall be before the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not fail.

From the NKJV
(12)  For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace;  the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.   (13)    Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

The true point of comparison, however, is the energy with which the word is realized. Assuredly and irresistibly will the word of redemption be fulfilled.

"With joy,"  - without the hurry of fear (Isa 52:12)
"In peace,"  - without having to fight their way through or flee

The idea of the sufferer falls back in huwbal  (led out) behind that of a festal procession (Ps 45:15).  In applying the term kaph (hand) to the trees,  the prophet had in his mind their kippooth,  or branches.  The psalmist in Ps 98:8 transfers the figure created by our prophet to the waves of the streams.

Psalms 45:15
With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought;  they shall enter the King's palace.     (NKJV)

That this transformation of the vegetation of the desert is not to be taken literally.  On the other hand,  however,  the prophet says something more than that Israel will return home with such feelings of joy as will cause everything to appear transformed.

Such promises as those which we find here and in Isa 41:19 and 35:1-2,  and such exhortations as those which we find in Isa 44:23; 49:13, and 52:9,  arise from the consciousness,  which was common to both prophets and apostles,  that the whole creation will one day share in the liberty and glory of the children of God (Rom 8:21).

Romans 8:21
Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.     (NKJV)

It shall be to the LORD  -  The reference here is to all that had been said in the chapter.

The gift of the Messiah
The universal offer of the gospel
The bestowing of pardon
The turning of the wicked unto God
The great and salutary changes produced by the gospel
All would be a memorial of the benevolence and glory of Yahweh.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)  For you will go out in joy, and come back with peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.   (13)   Instead of thorn bushes pine trees will grow, and instead of briers myrtles will grow; and they (it MT) will be for the Lord’s sign and for an everlasting renown (for an everlasting sign MT) that will not be cut down.


Isaiah 56:1-8
Eighth Prophecy
Sabbatical Admonitions, and Consolation for Proselytes and Eunuchs

SALVATION  FOR  THE  GENTILES

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Isaiah 56:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Thus said the Lord: observe what is right and do what is just; for soon My salvation shall come, and my deliverance be revealed.

Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my mercy to be revealed.

Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgement, and do righteousness: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

(2)  Happy is the man who does this, the man who holds fast to it: who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and stays his hand from doing any evil.

Blessed is the man that does these things, and the man that holds by them, and keeps the Sabbaths from profaning them, and keeps his hands from doing unrighteousness.

Happy is the man that shall do this, and the son of man that shall hold fast by it; that shall keep the Sabbath from profaning it, and keep his hands from doing any evil.

From the NKJV
(1)  Thus says the LORD:  "Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.    (2)    Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."

The note of admonition struck in the foregoing prophecy is continued here,  the sabbatical duties being enforced with especial emphasis as part of the general righteousness of life.

Jehovah and Israel both have an objective standard in the covenant relation into which they have entered:

Justice mishªpaaT (OT:4941) Practice 
Salvation yªshuw`aah (OT:3444) Performance promised by God
Righteousness tsªdaaqaah (OT:6666) Personal Activity

Keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil
The observance of the first and second table of the law - together they form the whole duty of man:

"Sabbath" referred to the first tablet of the law The Worship of God
"Doing Evil" referred to the second tablet of the law A Holy Life
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1) For thus says the Lord: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and soon my deliverance will be revealed.   (2)   Blessed is the one who does this, and the person that holds it fast, who observes the Sabbath without profaning it, and restrains his hands (his hand 1Q1sa (b). MT.) from doing any evil.

Isaiah 56:3-5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  Let not the foreigner say, who has attached himself to the Lord, “The Lord will keep me apart from His people;” and let not the eunuch say, “I am a withered tree.”

Let not the stranger who attaches himself to the Lord, say, surely the Lord will separate me from his people: and let not the eunuch say, I am a dry tree.

Neither let the stranger that joins himself to the people of the Lord speak, saying, the Lord will surely separate me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, behold, I am as a dry tree.

 (4)  For thus said the Lord: “As for the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, who have chosen what I desire and hold fast to My covenant –

Thus saith the Lord to the eunuchs, as many as shall keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things which I take pleasure in, and take hold of my covenant;

For thus saith the Lord of the eunuchs that shall keep the days of my Sabbaths, and take pleasure in the things that I desire, and hold fast by my covenant:

(5)  I will give them, in My House and within My walls, a monument and a name better than sons or daughters. I will give them an everlasting name which shall not perish.

I will give to them in my house and within my walls an honorable place, better than sons and daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, and it shall not fail.

I will give unto them in my sanctuary and in the land where my Shekinah dwells a place and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not fail.

From the NKJV
(3)  Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD speak, saying,  "The LORD has utterly separated me from His people";  nor let the eunuch say,  "Here I am, a dry tree."    (4)    For thus says the LORD:  "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant,    (5)    Even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters;  I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.

The 'sry (blessed) of verse 2 is now extended to those who might imagine that they had no right to console themselves with the promises which it contained.

By the eunuchs we are to understand those of Israelitish descent,  as the attributive clause is not repeated in their case.  Heathen,  who professed the religion of Jehovah,  and had attached themselves to Israel,  might be afraid lest,  when Israel should be restored to its native land,  according to the promise,  as a holy and glorious community with a thoroughly priestly character,  Jehovah would no longer tolerate them - would forbid their receiving full citizenship.

And the Israelitish eunuchs,  who had been mutilated against their will,  that they might serve at heathen courts or in the houses of foreign lords,  and therefore had not been unfaithful to Jehovah,  might be afraid lest,  as "unfruitful trees",  they should be pronounced unworthy of standing in the congregation of Jehovah.  There was more ground for the anxiety of the latter than for that of the former.
For the law in Deut 23:4-7 merely prohibits Ammonites and Moabites for all time to come from reception into the congregation,  on account of their unbrotherly conduct towards the Israelites as they came out of Egypt,  whilst that in Deut 23:8-9 prohibits the reception of Edomite’s and Egyptians to the third generation;  so that there was no prohibition as to other allies - such,  for example,  as the Babylonians.  On the other hand,  the law in Deut 23:2 expressly declares,  as an expression of the horror of God at any such mutilation of nature,  and for the purpose of precluding it,  that no kind of emasculated person is to enter the congregation of Jehovah.

But prophecy breaks through these limits of the law.  The second condition after the sanctification of the Sabbath has reference to the regulation of life according to the revealed will of God;  the third to fidelity with regard to the covenant of circumcision. yaad (OT:3027) also means a side,  and hence a place; but in the passage before us,  as an index lifted up on high,  which strikes the eye and arrests attention,  pointing like a signpost to the person upon whom it is placed.

They are assured that they will not be excluded from close fellowship with the church ("in my house and within my walls"), and also promised, as a superabundant compensation for the want of posterity, long life in the memory of future ages,  by whom their long tried attachment to Jehovah and His people in circumstances of great temptation will not be forgotten.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Acts 10:34-35
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.  But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.     (NKJV)

In My House - the temple,  the emblem of the Church. T hey shall no longer be confined,  as proselytes were,  to the outer court,  but shall be admitted "into the Holiest."
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Hebrews 10:19-23
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  Let no foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people;” and let no eunuch say, “I am just a dry tree.”    (4)    For thus says the Lord: to the eunuchs who observe my Sabbaths, and who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant:    (5)     to them I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give them (him 1Q1sa (b). MT.) an everlasting name that will not be cut off.

Isaiah 56:6 & 7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(6)  As for the foreigners who attach themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants – all who keep the Sabbath and do not profane it, and who hold fast to My covenant –

And I will give it to the strangers that attach themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be to him servants and handmaids; and as for all that keep my Sabbaths from profaning them, and that take hold of my covenant;

Also the strangers that join themselves to the people of the Lord to minister to him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that shall keep the sabbath from profaning it, and that holdeth fast by my covenant;

(7)  I will bring them to My sacred mount and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices shall be welcome on My altar; for My House shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

I will bring them to my holy mountain, and gladden them in my house of prayer: their whole-burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon mine altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations,

even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their holy sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar: for my sanctuary shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

From the NKJV
(6)   Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants — everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant —   (7)    even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar;  for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

The fears of proselytes from among the heathen are also removed.

Jehovah will bring them along with His people to the holy mountain,  upon which His temple rises once more;  there will He cause them to rejoice,  and all that they place upon His altar will find a most gracious acceptance.  It is impossible that the prophet should be thinking here of the worship of the future without sacrifice,  although in chapter 53 he predicts the self-sacrifice of the  "Servant of Jehovah,"  which puts an end to all animal sacrifices.  But here the temple is called  "the house of prayer,"  from the prayer which is the soul of all worship.

It will be called a house of prayer for all nations; and therefore its nature will correspond to its name.

Nor is there anything to surprise us in the breaking down of the party wall,  built up so absolutely between the eunuchs on the one hand and the congregation on the other,  or the one partially erected between the heathen and the congregation of Israel.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

There are two ideas in the passage as used by Isaiah;

First, that the temple should be regarded as a house of prayer
Secondly, that the privileges of that house should be extended to all people
The main design of the temple was that God might be there invoked, and the inestimable privilege of calling on him was to be extended to all the nations of the earth.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Ephesians 2:19
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.     (NKJV)

And we take it a step further, to its ultimate conclusion - what is the true temple of God that  is to be a house of prayer?
1 Peter 2:4
You also,  as living stones,  are being built up a spiritual house,  a holy priesthood,  to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(6)  Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, (the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord 1Q1sa (b). MT.) to be his servants, and to bless the Lord’s name and observing (all who observe 1Q1sa (b). MT.) the sabbath without profaning it, and who hold fast my covenant:    (7)    these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will rise up to be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.

Isaiah 56:8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  Thus declares the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: “I will gather still more to those already gathered.”

Saith the Lord that gathers the dispersed of Israel; for I will gather to him a congregation.

The Lord Elohim who is about to gather together the dispersed of Israel saith, I will yet bring near their exiles to gather them together.

From the NKJV
(8)  The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says,  "Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him."

The expression "The Lord God says" (Ne'um Adonai Jehovah),  which is so solemn an expression in itself,  and which stands here at the head of the following declaration,  is a proof that it contains not only something great,  but something which needs a solemn confirmation because of its strangeness.  Not only is there no ground for supposing that Gentiles who love Jehovah will be excluded from the congregation;  but it is really Jehovah's intention to gather some out of the heathen,   and add them to the assembled Diaspora of Israel.

Jehovah here declares what Jesus says in John 10:16.

God has made it a preparatory school for New Testament times.  It has been made subservient to the bursting of the fetters of the law,  the liberation of the spirit of the law,  and the establishment of friendship between Israel and the Gentile world as called to one common salvation.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

John 10:16
16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.     (NKJV)

Ephesians 1:7-11
In Him we have redemption through His blood,  the forgiveness of sins,  according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel: I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.



LESSON  28  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 54:1 - 56:8  -  from the Amplified Version

54:1       SING, O barren one, you who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child! For the [spiritual] children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married wife, says the Lord. [Galatians 4:27.]
(2)    Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes,
(3)    For you will spread abroad to the right hand and to the left; and your offspring will possess the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
(4)    Fear not, for you shall not be ashamed; neither be confounded and depressed, for you shall not be put to shame. For you shall forget the shame of your youth, and you shall not [seriously] remember the reproach of your widowhood any more.
(5)     For your Maker is your Husband — the Lord of hosts is His name — and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth He is called.
(6)    For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken, grieved in spirit, and heartsore — even a wife [wooed and won] in youth, when she is [later] refused and scorned, says your God.
(7)    For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion and mercy I will gather you [to Me] again.
(8)    In a little burst of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment, but with age-enduring love and kindness I will have compassion and mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.
(9)    For this is like the days of Noah to Me; as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you.
(10)  For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.
(11)  O you afflicted [city], storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in fair colors [in antimony to enhance their brilliance] and lay your foundations with sapphires.
(12)  And I will make your windows and pinnacles of [sparkling] agates or rubies, and your gates of [shining] carbuncles, and all your walls [of your enclosures] of precious stones. [Revelation 21:19-21.]
(13)  And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. [John 6:45.]
(14)  You shall establish yourself in righteousness (rightness, in conformity with God's will and order): you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
(15)  Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me. Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall and surrender to you.
(16)  Behold, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals and who produces a weapon for its purpose; and I have created the devastator to destroy.
(17)  But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.

55:1       WAIT and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. [Revelation 21:6,7; 22:17.]
(2)    Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. [Jeremiah 31:12-14.]
(3)    Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David. [2 Samuel 7:8-16; Acts 13:34; Hebrews 13:20.]
(4)    Behold, I have appointed him (Him) [David, as a representative of the Messiah, or the Messiah Himself] to be a witness [one (One) who shall testify of salvation] to the nations, a prince (Prince) and commander (Commander) to the peoples.
(5)    Behold, you [Israel] shall call nations that you know not, and nations that do not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.
(6)    Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon.
(8)    For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
(9)    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
(10)  For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, [2 Corinthians 9:10.]
(11)  So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
(12)  For you shall go out [from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
(13)  Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name of renown, for an everlasting sign [of jubilant exaltation] and memorial [to His praise], which shall not be cut off.

56:1       THUS SAYS the Lord: Keep justice, do and use righteousness (conformity to the will of God which brings salvation), for My salvation is soon to come and My righteousness (My rightness and justice) to be revealed. [Isaiah 62:1,11; Matthew 3:2; Luke 21:31; Romans 13:11,12.]
(2)    Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.
(3)    Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, The Lord will surely separate me from His people. And let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
(4)    For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths and choose the things which please Me and hold firmly My covenant —
(5)    To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better [and more enduring] than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
(6)    Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord to minister to Him and to love the name of the Lord and to be His servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath so as not to profane it and who holds fast My covenant [by conscientious obedience] —
(7)    All these I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
(8)    Thus says the Lord God, Who gathers the outcasts of Israel: I will gather yet others to [Israel] besides those already gathered.

 

(End of  Lesson 28)


   

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