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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  THIRTY FIVE
Isaiah 66:14 - 66:24

 

 

Isaiah 66:14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(14)  You shall see and your heart shall rejoice, your limbs shall flourish like grass. The power of the Lord shall be revealed in behalf of His servants; but He shall rage against His foes.

And ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall thrive like grass: and the hand of the Lord shall be known to them that fear him, and he shall threaten the disobedient.

And ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bodies shall flourish like young grass; and the might of the Lord shall be revealed to do good to his servants, the righteous, but a curse will he bring upon his enemies.

From the NKJV
(14)  When you see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants, and His indignation to His enemies.

Wherever they look,  joy now meets their eye.  They will see,  and their heart will rejoice, i.e., (cf., Isa 53:11; 60:5)  they will enjoy a heart-cheering prospect,  and revive again with such smiling scenery all around.

The body is like a tree.   The bones are its branches.
These will move and extend themselves in the fullness of rejuvenated strength (compare Isa 58:11);  and thus will the hand of Jehovah practically become known in His servants - that hand under whose gracious touch all vernal life awakens,  whether in body or in mind.

And thus is it with the surviving remnant of Israel,
whereas Jehovah is fiercely angry with His foes.

The first 'et (OT: 853) [to His servants]  is used in a prepositional sense,  as in Ps 67:2, viz., "in His servants,  so that they come to be acquainted with it".
The second [to His enemies]  in an accusative sense.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

This is an image which is often employed in the Scriptures.
1. When the vigor of the body fails,  or when it is much afflicted,  the bones are said to be feeble or weakened,  or to be dried
(Psalms 6:2; 51:8; 22:14,17; 38:3;  Lamentations 1:13;  Proverbs 14:30; 17:22).
2. In like manner,  prosperity,  health,  vigor,  are denoted by making the bones fat
(Isaiah 58:11; Proverbs 15:20),
or by imparting health,  marrow,  or strength to them
(Proverbs 3:8; 16:24).
The sense here is, that their vigor would be greatly increased.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

The prophecy now takes a new turn with the thought expressed in the words,  "His indignation to His enemies" in verse 14.  Keil & Delitzsch translates it: "and fiercely does He treat His enemies."

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  And when you see this, your heart will rejoice and your bodies will flourish like grass; and the hand of the Lord will be made known beside his servants, but his indignation against his enemies.
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 66:15
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(15)  See, the Lord is coming with fire – His chariots are like a whirlwind – to vent His anger in fury, His rebuke in flaming fire.

For, behold, the Lord will come as fire, and his chariots as a storm, to render his vengeance with wrath, and his rebuke with a flame of fire.

For behold the Lord revealed himself in fire, and his chariots shall be like whirlwinds; to render his anger with strength, and his rebuke with a flame of fire.

From the NKJV
(15)  For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.

Note:
In this act of judgment,  how is Israel,  the remnant,  to be protected by God?
The answer is in the following Scripture.

Revelations 7:2-4
(2)  Then I saw a second angel coming up from the east (the rising of the sun) and carrying the seal of the living God. And with a loud voice he called out to the four angels who had been given authority and power to injure earth and sea,
(3)  Saying Harm neither the earth nor the sea nor the trees, until we have sealed the bond servants of our God upon their foreheads. [Ezek 9:4.]
(4)  And [then] I heard how many were sealed (marked) out of every tribe of the sons of Israel: there were 144,000.    (AMP)
Zechariah 14:3
Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
(KJV)

The judgment of wrath,  which prepares the way for the redemption and ensures its continuance,  is described more minutely in verse 15.

Jehovah comes,  since it is the fiery side of His glory,  in which He appears,  and fire pours from Him,  which is primarily the intense excitement of the powers of destruction within God Himself  (Isa 10:17; 30:27; Ps 18:9),

Psalm 18:7-12
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry.   Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it.   He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet.   And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;  He flew upon the wings of the wind.   He made darkness His secret place;  His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  From the brightness before Him,  His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.     (NKJV)
and in these is transformed into cosmical powers of destruction (Isa 29:6; 30:30; Ps 18:13).
Psalms 18:13-15
The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire.  He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.   Then the channels of the sea were seen, the foundations of the world were uncovered at Your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
He is compared to a warrior, driving along upon war-chariots resembling stormy wind, which force everything out of their way, and crush to pieces whatever comes under their wheels.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Fire is a common emblem to denote the coming of the Lord to judge and punish his enemies (Psalm 50:3):

Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
So Habakkuk 3:5:
Before Him went pestilence, and fever (burning coals) followed at His feet.
So Psalm 97:3:
A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about.
So it is said (2 Thessalonians 1:8), that the Lord Jesus will be revealed  'in flaming fire,  taking vengeance on them that know not God'  (compare Hebrews 10:27; 2 Peter 3:7).
So Yahweh is said to breathe out fire when he comes to destroy his foes:
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Chariots like a whirlwind
He would come with immense rapidity,  like a chariot that was borne forward as on the whirlwind,  to destroy his foes.  God is often represented as coming in a chariot - a chariot of the clouds,  or of a whirlwind.
Psalms 104:3:
Who makes the clouds His chariot,  Who walks on the wings of the wind.

Chariots were commonly made with two wheels,  though sometimes they had four wheels,  to which two horses,  fiery and impetuous,  were attached;  and the rapid movement, the swift revolving wheels,  and the dust which they raised,  had no slight resemblance to a whirlwind.

They usually had strong and sharp iron scythes affixed to the extremities of their axles,  and were driven into the midst of the army of an enemy, cutting down all before them.
Warriors sometimes fought standing on them, or leaping from them on the enemy.
The chariots in the army of Cyrus are said to have been capacious enough to permit twenty men to fight from them.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(15)  For see, the Lord will come with fire, and his chariot like the whirlwind, to pay back his anger, yes his anger, in fury, and his rebukes in flames of fire.

Isaiah 66:16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(16)  For with fire will the Lord contend, with His sword, against all flesh; and many shall be the slain of the Lord.

For with the fire of the Lord all the earth shall be judged, and all flesh with his sword: many shall be slain by the Lord.

For the Lord is about to judge with fire and with his sword all flesh; and many shall be the slain before the Lord.

From the NKJV
(16)  For by fire and by His sword the LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Jehovah appears with these warlike terrors because He is coming for a great judgment.

The fire points to destructive occurrences of nature
The sword points to destructive occurrences of history
At the same time all the emphasis is laid here,  as in Isa 34:5-6  (cf., Isa 27:1),  upon the direct action of Jehovah Himself.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The number of those who shall be consigned to woe shall be immense - though in the winding up of the great drama at the close of the world,  there is reason to hope that a large proportion of the race,  taken as a whole,  will be saved.  Of past generations,  indeed,  there is no just ground of such hope;  of the present generation there is no such prospect.  But brighter and happier times are to come.  The true religion is to spread over all the world,  and for a long period is to prevail;  and the hope is,  that during that long period the multitude of true converts will be so great as to leave the whole number who are lost,  compared with those who are saved,  much less than is commonly supposed.
Still the aggregate of those who are lost,  'the slain of the Lord,'  will be vast.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(16)  For with fire and with his sword the Lord will proceed to judgment On all humanity, and those slain by the Lord will be many.

Isaiah 66:17
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(17)  Those who sanctify and purify themselves to enter the groves, imitating one in the center, eating the flesh of the swine, the reptile, and the mouse, shall one and all come to an end – declares the Lord.

They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens, and eat swine’s flesh in the porches, and the abominations, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.

They who make read and purify themselves for the gardens of the idols, one company after another, that eat the flesh of swine and the abomination and the mouse; they shall come to an end together, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(17)  "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, to go to the gardens after an idol in the midst, eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, shall be consumed together," says the LORD.

The judgment predicted here is a judgment upon nations,  and falls not only upon the heathen,  but upon the great mass of Israel,  who have fallen away from their election of grace and become like the heathen.

Whilst,  on the one hand,  they readily adopt the heathen ritual;  they set themselves on the other hand,  in the most daring way, altogether above the law of Jehovah, by eating swine's flesh (Isa 65:4) and reptiles (sheqets,  abomination,  used for disgusting animals,  such as lizards,  snails,  etc.,  Lev 7:21)

Leviticus 7:21
Moreover the person who touches any unclean thing, such as human uncleanness, an unclean animal, or any abominable unclean thing, and who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of the peace offering that belongs to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.     (NKJV)

However inward and spiritual may be the interpretation given to the law in these prophecies,  yet,  as we see here,  the whole of it,  even the laws of food,  were regarded as inviolable.  So long as God Himself had not taken away the hedges set about His church,  every willful attempt to break through them was a sin,  which brought down His wrath and indignation.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

An idol in the midst
"After the rites of Achad."  The Syrians worshipped a god called Adad  (Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvii. 11; Macrob. Sat. i. 23).  They held him to be the highest and greatest of the gods,  and to be the same with Jupiter and the sun;  and the name Adad,  says Macrobius,  signifies one;  as likewise does the word Achad in Isaiah.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1996, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Eating swine's flesh
That is,  in connection with their public worship (see the notes at Isaiah 65:4).

And the abomination
The thing which is held as abominable or detestable in the law of God.  Thus the creeping thing and the reptile were regarded as abominations (Leviticus 11:41-42).

Leviticus 11:41-42
"And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten.
Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth — these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination."     (NKJV)
They were not to be eaten;  still less were they to be offered in sacrifice  (compare Exodus 8:26; Deuteronomy 20:16;  Isaiah 65:3).
Exodus 8:25-26
Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land."
And Moses said, "It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God.     (NKJV)
Deuteronomy 20:16-18
"But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive,  but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you,  lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the LORD your God.     (NKJV)

The mouse
The Hebrew word used here means the dormouse - a small field-mouse.
Jerome understands it as meaning the glis,  a small mouse that was regarded as a great delicacy by the Romans.  They were carefully kept and fattened for food (see Varro, De Rust., iii. 15).
Bochart (Hieroz., i. 3, 34) supposes that the name used here is of Chaldaic origin,  and that it denotes a field-mouse.
Mice abounded in the East,  and were often exceedingly destructive in Syria (see Bochart;).
It was partly on account of its destructive character that it was held in abomination by the Hebrews.  Yet it would seem that it was eaten by idolaters;  and was,  perhaps,  used either in their sacrifices or in their incantations (Isaiah 65:4).
Vitringa supposes that the description in this verse is applicable to the time of Herod,  and that it refers to the number of pagan customs and institutions which were introduced under his auspices.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Legally unclean (Leviticus 11:29),

Leviticus 11:29
These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind.     (NKJV)
because it was an idol to the pagan (1 Samuel 6:4).
1 Samuel 6:4
Then they said, "What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him?"
They answered,  "Five golden tumors and five golden rats, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines. For the same plague was on all of you and on your lords.     (NKJV)
Translate, 'the field-mouse,' or 'dormouse' (Bochart).
The Pharisees,  with their self-righteous purifications,  and all mere formalists,  are included in the same condemnation,  described in language taken from the idolatries prevalent in Isaiah's times.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(17)  Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one at the center of those who eat the flesh of pigs, detestable things and rats – together, says the Lord.

Isaiah 66:18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(18)  For I [know] their deeds and purposes. [The time] has come to gather all the nations and tongues; they shall come and behold My glory.

And I know their works and their imagination. I am going to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

 

From the NKJV
(18)   For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.

The prophecy now marks out clearly the way which the history of Israel will take.
It is the same as that set forth by Paul,  the prophetic apostle,  in Romans chapters 9-11 as the winding but memorable path by which the compassion of God will reach its all-embracing end.  A universal judgment is the turning-point.

This verse commences in any case with a harsh ellipsis.
Hofmann,  who regards verse 17 as referring not to idolatrous Israelites,  but to the idolatrous world outside Israel,  tries to meet the difficulty by adopting this rendering:  "And I,  saith Jehovah,  when their thoughts and actions succeed in bringing together all nations and tongues  (to march against Jerusalem),  they come and see my glory  (i.e., the alarming manifestation of my power)."

The thoughts are placed after the works,  because the reference is more especially to their plans against Jerusalem,  that work of theirs,  which has still to be carried out,  and which Jehovah turns into a judgment upon them.  All nations and all communities of men,  speaking the same language,  does Jehovah bring together  (including the apostates of Israel, cf., Zech 14:14):

Zechariah 14:14
Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.     (NKJV)
these will come,  impelled by enmity towards Jerusalem,  but not without the direction of Jehovah,  who makes even what is evil subservient to His plans,  and will see His glory - not the glory manifest in grace (Ewald, Umbreit, Stier, Hahn),  but His majestic manifestation of judgment,  by which they,  viz.,  those who have been uncoiled by sinful conduct,  are completely overthrown.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Ezekiel 38:1-8
(1)  And The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
(2)  Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal, and prophesy against him,
(3)  And say, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince (ruler) of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal.
(4)  And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords--
(5)  Persia, Cush, and Put or Libya with them, all of them with shield and helmet,
(6)  Gomer and all his hordes, the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north and all his hordes--many people are with you.
(7)  You [Gog] be prepared; yes, prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and you be a guard and a commander for them.
(8)  After many days you shall be visited and mustered [for service]; in the latter years you shall go against the land that is restored from the ravages of the sword, where people are gathered out of many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste; but its [people] are brought forth out of the nations and they shall dwell securely, all of them. [Isa 24:22.]      (AMP)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Not found in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Isaiah 66:19 & 20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(19)  I will set a sign among them, and send from them survivors to the nations: to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud – that draw the bow – to Tubal, Javan, and the distant coasts, that have never heard My fame nor beheld My glory. They shall declare My glory among these nations.

And I will leave a sign upon them, and I will send forth them that have escaped of them to the nations, to Tharsis, and Phud, and Lud, and Mosoch, [Meshech] and to Thobel, [Tubal] and to Greece, and to the isles afar off, to those who have not heard my name, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

And I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them among the nations, to the province of the sea, the people of Pul and Lud that draw and shoot with the bow, to the province of Tubal and Javan, the coastlands afar off that have not heard the report of my might, nor seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.

(20)  And out of all the nations, said the Lord, they shall bring all your brothers on horses, in chariots and drays, on mules and dromedaries, (camels) to Jerusalem My holy mountain as an offering to the Lord – just as the Israelites bring an offering in a pure vessel to the House of the Lord.

And they shall bring your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord with horses, and chariots, in litters drawn by mules with awnings, to the holy city Jerusalem, said the Lord, as though the children of Israel should bring their sacrifices to me with psalms into the house of the Lord.

And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the peoples for an offering before the Lord, with horses and with chariots and with ewes and with mules and with songs of praise to my holy mountain to Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel to the sanctuary of the Lord.

From the NKJV
(19)  I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
(20)  Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says the LORD, "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

The majority of commentators understand vesamtii bâhem 'ooth (and I set a sign upon them) as signifying, according to Ex 10:2,  that Jehovah will perform such a miraculous sign upon the assembled nations as He formerly performed upon Egypt (Hofmann),  and one which will outweigh the ten Egyptian 'oothooth [signs,] and complete the destruction commenced by them.

Send: as missionaries,  which was God’s intention in the first place,  that Israel would be a holy people set apart for God’s program as missionaries,  now during this 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ,  it will be accomplished.

But a remnant escapes;  and this remnant is employed by Jehovah to promote the conversion of the Gentile world and the restoration of Israel.

The 'ooth (or sign) consists in the unexpected and,  with this universal slaughter,  the surprising fact,  that a remnant is still spared,  and survives this judicial revelation of glory.  This marvelous rescue of individuals out of the mass is made subservient in the midst of judgment to the divine plan of salvation.
Those who have escaped are to bring to the far distant heathen world the tidings of Jehovah,  the God who has been manifested in judgment and grace,  tidings founded upon their own experience.

Tarshish Represents the far west.
Pul….Lud Represents the African peoples.
They are mentioned together, as serving in the Egyptian armies (Ezekiel 30:5  "Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword").
According to Josephus  (Ant. i. 6, 2), a river of Mauritania was called Phout,  and the adjoining country Phoute;  and this is confirmed by other testimonies.  As Lud is by no means to be understood as referring to the Lydian’s of Asia Minor here,  if only because they could not well be included among the nations of the farthest historic-geographical horizon in a book which traces prophetically the victorious career of Cyrus,  but signifies rather the undoubtedly African tribe; Put and Lud form a fitting pair in this relation also, whereas Pul is never met with again.
Tubal Represents the Scythian tribes.
Tubal stands for the Tibarenes on the south-east coast of the Black Sea, the neighbors of the Moschi (meshekª  [Meshek a son of Japheth today we call it Russia] (OT: 4902)),  with whom they are frequently associated by Ezekiel (Ezek 27:13; 38:2-3; 39:1).
According to Josephus (Ant. i. 6, 1),  the (Caucasian) Iberians.
Javan Represents the Greeks settled in Asia Minor.
Javan is a name given to the Greeks, from the aboriginal tribe of the Bawones.
Coastlands Represents the maritime countries.
The eye is now directed towards the west: the  "coastlands"  are the islands standing out of the great western sea (the Mediterranean),  and the coastlands that project into it.  To all these nations,  which have hitherto known nothing of the God of revelation,  either through the hearing of the word or through their own experience,  Jehovah sends those who have escaped;  and they make known His glory there,  that glory the judicial manifestation of which they have just seen for themselves.

It is evident from this, that notwithstanding the expression  "all nations,"  the nations that crowd together against Jerusalem and are overthrown in the attempt, are not to be understood as embracing all nations without exception,  since the prophet is able to mention the names of many nations which were beyond the circle of these great events,  and had been hitherto quite unaffected by the positive historical revelation,  which was concentrated in Israel.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The prophet is speaking here of the ultimate completion of the conversion of the Gentiles;  for elsewhere this appeared to him as the work of the Servant of Jehovah,  for which Cyrus the oppressor of the nations prepared the soil.  His standpoint here resembles that of the apostle in Rom 11:25,

Romans 11:25
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.     (NKJV)
who describes the conversion of the heathen world and the rescue of all Israel as facts belonging to the future;  although at the time when he wrote this,  the evangelization of the heathen foretold by our prophet in Isa 42:1 ff. was already progressing most rapidly.

A direct judicial act of God Himself will ultimately determine the entrance of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God,  and this entrance of the fullness of the Gentiles will then lead to the recovery of the Diaspora [scattering] of Israel,  since the heathen,  when won by the testimony borne to Jehovah by those who have been saved,  "bring your brethren out of all nations."  On the means employed to carry this into effect,  including kirkârooth, a species of camels (female camels),  which derives its name from its rapid swaying motion,  see the Lexicons.

The words are addressed, as in verse 5, to the exiles of Babylonia.
The prophet presupposes that his countrymen are dispersed among all nations to the farthest extremity of the geographical horizon.  In fact,  the commerce of the Israelites,  which had extended as far as India and Spain ever since the time of Solomon,
the sale of Jewish prisoners as slaves to Phoenicians,  Edomites,  and Greeks in the time of king Joram (Obad. 20; Joel 4:6; Amos 1:6 )
the Assyrian captivities
the free emigrations - for example,  of those who stayed behind in the land after the destruction of Jerusalem and then went down to Egypt
had already scattered the Israelites over the whole of the known world (see at Isa 49:12).

This explanation is not only to numerous parallels in Isaiah,  such as Isa 60:4,  but also to the abridgment of the passage in Zephaniah 3:10: "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, the daughter of My dispersed ones, shall bring My offering."  It is the Diaspora of Israel to which the significant name  "my worshippers, the daughters of my dispersed ones," is there applied.

The figure hinted at in  minchâthii  (holy offering)  is given more elaborately here in the book of Isaiah,  viz.,  "as the children of Israel are accustomed to offer the meat-offering"  (i.e.,  that which was to be placed upon the altar as such,  viz.,  wheaten flour,  incense,  oil,  the grains of the first-fruits of wheat, etc.)  "in a pure vessel to the house of Jehovah."
The minchah is the Diaspora of Israel,  and the heathen who have become vessels of honor correspond to the clean vessels.
(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
(19)  I will set up signs among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put,  and Lud – which draw the bow – to Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. Then they will proclaim my glory among the nations.   (20)   They will bring all, all your kindred from all the nations, to my holy mountain Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord – on horses, in chariots, in wagons, and on mules, yes and on mules, and on camels, says the Lord – just as the Israelites bring a grain offering to the house of the Lord in a clean vessel.

Isaiah 66:21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(21)  And from them likewise I will take some to be Levitical priests, said the Lord.

And I will take of them priests and Levites, saith the Lord.

And some of them also will I bring near to be priests and Levites, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(21)  And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites, says the LORD.

The latter (Levites),  having been incorporated into the priestly congregation of Jehovah (Isa 61:6),  are not even excluded from the priestly and Levitical service of the sanctuary.
Hitzig and Knobel suppose meehem to refer to the Israelites thus brought home.
But in this case something would be promised,  which needed no promise at all,  since the right of the native Cohen and Levites to take part in the priesthood and temple service was by no means neutralized by their sojourn in a foreign land.

And even if the meaning were that Jehovah would take those who were brought home for priests and Levites,  without regard to their Aaronic or priestly descent,  or (as Jewish commentators explain it) without regard to the apostasy,  of which through weakness they had made themselves guilty among the heathen;  this ought to be expressly stated.

But as there is nothing said about any such disregard of priestly descent or apostasy and what is here promised must be something extraordinary,  and not self-evident,  meehem must refer to the converted heathen,  by whom the Israelites had been brought home.  Many Jewish commentators even are unable to throw off the impression thus made by the expression meehem (of them);  but they attempt to get rid of the apparent discrepancy between this statement and the Mosaic law,  by understanding by the Gentiles those who had been originally Israelites of Levitical and Aaronic descent,  and whom Jehovah would single out again.

David Friedländer and David Ottensosser interpret it quite correctly thus:

"Meehem,  i.e.,  of those heathen who bring them home,  will He take for priests and Levites,  for all will be saints of Jehovah;  and therefore He has just compared them to a clean vessel,  and the Israelites offered by their hand to a minchâh."
The majority of commentators do not even ask the question,  in what sense the prophet uses lakkoohaniim lalevayyim  (to the priests,  to the Levites)  with the article.

The article presupposes the existence of priests,  Levites,  to whom Jehovah adds some taken from the heathen.  When the heathen shall be converted,  and Israel brought back,  the temple service will demand a more numerous priesthood and Levite hood than ever before;  and Jehovah will then increase the number of those also.  The very same spirit,  which broke through all the restraints of the law in chapter 56,  is to be seen at work here as well.

Those who suppose meehem to refer to the Israelites are wrong in saying that there is no other way,  in which the connection with verse 22 can be made intelligible.  The reason which follows,  relates to the whole of the previous promise,  including verse 21;  the election of Israel,  as Hofmann observes,  being equally confirmed by the fact that the heathen exert themselves to bring back the Diaspora of Israel to their sacred home,  and also by the fact that the highest reward granted to them is,  that some of them are permitted to take part in the priestly and Levitical service of the sanctuary.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The services of God would no longer be performed by the descendants of Aaron, or be limited to them, but would be performed by others who should be called to this office from the pagan world.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,  a holy nation,  His own special people,  that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;      (NKJV)

Revelation 1:6
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(21)  And I shall also select some of them for myself as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.

Isaiah 66:22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(22)  For as the new heaven and the new earth which I will make shall endure by My will – declares the Lord – so shall your seed and your name endure.

For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I make, remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name continue.

For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall be established before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name be established.

From the NKJV
(22)  "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,"  says the LORD,  "so shall your descendants and your name remain."

"For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I am about to make,  continuing before me,  saith Jehovah,  so will your family and your name continue."   The great mass of the world of nations and of Israel also perish;  but the seed and name of Israel,  i.e.,  Israel as a people with the same ancestors and an independent name,  continues for ever,  like the new heaven and the new earth;  and because the calling of Israel towards the world of nations is now fulfilled and everything has become new,  the former fencing off of Israel from other nations comes to an end,  and the qualification for priesthood and Levitical office in the temple of God is no longer merely natural descent,  but inward nobility.

The new heaven and the new earth,  God's approaching creation,  continues eternally before Him  (Isa 49:16),  for the old ones pass away because they do not please God;  but these are pleasing to Him,  and are eternally like His love,  whose work and image they are.  The prophet here thinks of the church of the future as being upon a new earth and under a new heaven.
But he cannot conceive of the eternal in the form of eternity;  all that he can do is to conceive of it as the endless continuance of the history of time.
(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

(22)  For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am about to make will endure before me, says the Lord, so will your descendants and your name endure.

Isaiah 66:23
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(23)  And new moon after new moon, and Sabbath after Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship Me – said the Lord.

And it shall come to pass from month to month, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, that all flesh shall come to worship before me in Jerusalem, saith the Lord.

And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

From the NKJV
(23)   "And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me," says the LORD.

New moons and Sabbaths will still be celebrated therefore;  and the difference is simply this,  that just as all Israel once assembled in Jerusalem at the three great feasts,  all flesh now journey to Jerusalem every new moon and every Sabbath. day (OT:1767) (construct deey (OT:1767))  signifies that which suffices,  then that which is plentiful,  that which is due or fitting,  so that it signifies "from the time when, or as often as what is befitting to the new moon (or Sabbath) occurs."
When we find (bªshabatow (OT: 7676) [and from])  bªchaadªshow (OT: 2320) [to another]  as we do here,  the meaning is,  "as often as it has to occur on one new moon (or Sabbath) after the other,"  i.e.,  in the periodical succession of one after another.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

A similar prophecy occurs in Zechariah 14:16:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
The festivals of the new moon,  the feast of tabernacles,  and the Sabbaths, were the set time among the Hebrews for the worship of God;  and the idea is,  that on set times,  or at regularly recurring intervals,  the worship of God would yet be celebrated in all lands.
The idea is clear,  that the time would come when Yahweh would be worshipped regularly and periodically everywhere;  that in all nations his worship would be established in a manner similar in some respects to that which prevailed among his people in ancient times.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database Copyright © 1997, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(23)  From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all humanity will come to worship before me, says the Lord.

Isaiah 66:24
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(24)  They shall go out and gaze on the corpses of the men who rebelled against Me: their worms shall not die, nor their fire be quenched; they shall be a horror to all flesh. And new moon after new moon and Sabbath after Sabbath all flesh shall come to worship Me – said the Lord.

And they shall go forth, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a spectacle to all flesh.

And they shall go forth, and look upon the corpses of the guilty men who have rebelled against my Jesus (Memra:) for their spirits shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and the wicked shall be judged in Gehenna until the righteous say concerning them, We have seen enough.

From the NKJV
(24)  "And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me.  For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched.  They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Their worm
Quoted in Mark 9:44 (Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched).  Referred by our Lord to Gehenna,  of which the fires in the valley of Hinnom were an illustration.
In the synagogue use,  verse 23 is repeated after verse 24,  so that the book may end with comfort.

They who go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem every new moon and Sabbath,  see there with their own eyes the terrible punishment of the rebellious.

The prophet had predicted in verse 18,  that in the last times the whole multitude of the enemies of Jerusalem would be crowded together against it,  in the hope of getting possession of it.  This accounts for the fact that the neighborhood of Jerusalem becomes such a scene of divine judgment.
bª raa'aah (OT: 7200) [and look]  always denotes a fixed,  lingering look directed to any object;  here it is connected with the grateful feeling of satisfaction at the righteous acts of God and their own gracious deliverance.
deeraa'own (OT: 1860) [an abhorrence],  which only occurs again in Daniel 12:2 (Some to shame and everlasting contempt.),  is the strongest word for "abomination."

It is very difficult to imagine the picture which floated before the prophet's mind.

How is it possible that all flesh,  i.e.,  all men of all nations,  should find room in Jerusalem and the temple?  Even if the city and temple should be enlarged,  as Ezekiel and Zechariah predict,  the thing itself still remains inconceivable.
And again,  how can corpses be eaten by worms at the same time as they are being burned,  or how can they be the endless prey of worms and fire without disappearing altogether from the sight of man?
It is perfectly obvious,  that the thing itself,  as here described,  must appear monstrous and inconceivable;  however we may suppose it to be realized.
The prophet,  by the very mode of description adopted by him,  precludes the possibility of our conceiving of the thing here set forth as realized in any material form in this present state.  He is speaking of the future state,  but in figures drawn from the present world.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The object of his prediction is no other than the new Jerusalem of the world to come,  and the eternal torment of the damned;  but the way in which he pictures it,  forces us to translate it out of the figures drawn from this life into the realities of the life to come;  as has already been done in the apocryphal books of Judith (16:17) and Wisdom (7:17),  as well as in the New Testament,  e.g.,  Mark 9:43 ff.,  with evident reference to this passage.

This is just the distinction between the Old Testament and the New,
The Old Testament Brings down the life to come to the level of this life
The New Testament Lifts up this life to the level of the life to come
The Old Testament Depicts both this life and the life to come as an endless extension of this life
The New Testament Depicts it as a continuous line in two halves, the last point in this finite state being the first point of the infinite state beyond
The Old Testament Preserves the continuity of this life and the life to come by transferring the outer side, the form, the appearance of this life to the life to come
The New Testament By making the inner side, the nature, the reality of the life to come, the
duna'meis (NT:1411) miraculous power
me'llontos (NT:3195) will come
aioo'nos (NT:165) for ages - world without end
immanent in this life.

The new Jerusalem of our prophet has indeed a new heaven above it and a new earth under it,

but it is only the old Jerusalem of earth lifted up to its highest glory and happiness;
whereas the new Jerusalem of the Apocalypse comes down from heaven,  and is therefore of heavenly nature.
In the former (the old) dwells the Israel that has been brought back from captivity;
in the latter (the new),  the risen church of those who are written in the book of life.

And while our prophet transfers the place in which the rebellious are judged to the neighborhood of Jerusalem itself;  in the Apocalypse,  the lake of fire in which the life of the ungodly is consumed,  and the abode of God with men,  are for ever separated.
The Hinnom-valley outside Jerusalem has become Gehenna,  and this is no longer within the precincts of the New Jerusalem,  because there is no need of any such example to the righteous who are for ever perfect.

But the prophet,  who has sealed the first two sections of these prophetic orations with the words,  "there is no peace to the wicked,"  intentionally closes the third section with this terrible picture of their want of peace.  The promises have gradually soared into the clear light of the eternal glory,  to the new creation in eternity;  and the threatenings have sunk down to the depth of eternal torment,  which is the eternal foil of the eternal light.

More than this we could not expect from our prophet.
His threefold book is now concluded.  It consists of twenty-seven orations.
The central one of the whole,  i.e.,  the fourteenth,  is Isa 52:13-53;  so that
the cross forms the centre of this prophetic trilogy.
The self-sacrifice of the Servant of Jehovah lays the foundation for
a new Israel,
a new human race,
a new heaven and a new earth.
(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

(24)  And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of the people who rebelled against me; for their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be an object of revulsion to all humanity.



CONCLUSION  TO  ISAIAH

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You have just completed the entire study of the book of Isaiah,  and you have probably learned more than you ever expected to know and for this reason I am glad that you took the time and effort to do this.
There may be some things that you disagreed on,,  but that is natural in any study of this magnitude.

I want to explain to you just why this study is the way it is,  so that you will understand the reason behind this massive work.  I started this study using information found in the book ‘The guide for the perplexed’  by a man called Moses Maimonides.  He was a Jewish sage or what we call a teacher.  I disagree with many of his views on things,  but I found quite an insight on how to interpret Bible Prophecy from the Jewish standpoint.

For a basis of Scripture,  I chose Tanakh,  the Holy Scriptures which is the new JPS translation according to the traditional Hebrew text.  Using the section called Nevi’im (The Prophets) and then I also used the Septuagint Version which is the oldest translation of the Old Testament,  also I used the Targum,  and finally I used the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.  You can find the Tanakh and Dead Sea Scrolls Bible in the book store today;  you may find it hard to get the other books.

This study is called  The Gospel to Israel,  because to the Jew,  who feels that they are just fine as far as there relationship is with God,  because like in the time of Jesus  ‘We have Abraham to our father’  also they do not accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross or any part of what we call the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation.  To try to reach them I used their own works and the books that their own Rabbi would use if he or she were doing a study on the book of Isaiah.

To the Jew I would say,  please read my study on the book of Hebrews.  This will open your eyes to who this man called Jesus was in relationship to the Angels,  Moses,  Aaron, and others.

To you who are Christians and love God,  I hope that you will see that there is more to Isaiah than the few Scriptures that we preachers pull out of to do a sermon.  Many times we have taken a Scripture out of context from Isaiah to prove a point,  when it just shows how much we don’t know - I put myself also in this group.

I don’t believe that we should spiritualize everything but I also believe that to the Jew who understands their Figures of Speech and language,  that we do an injustice when we don’t try to understand what the Prophet was saying unto Israel.
Paul the Learner

This ends the study of Isaiah which was started November 2002,  and now is completed June 2005

1 Corinthians 9:20
And to the Jews I became as a Jew,  that I might win Jews;  to those who are under the law,  as under the law,  that I might win those who are under the law.     (NKJV)



LESSON  35  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 66:14 - 66:24  -  from the Amplified Version

66:14       WHEN YOU see this, your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like green and tender grass. And the [powerful] hand of the Lord shall be revealed and known to be with His servants, but His indignation [shown] to be against His enemies.
(15)  For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and His chariots will be like the stormy wind, to render His anger with fierceness, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
(16)  For by fire and by His sword will the Lord execute judgment upon all flesh, and the slain of the Lord will be many.
(17)  Those who [attempt to] sanctify themselves and cleanse themselves to enter [and sacrifice to idols] in the gardens, following after one in the midst, eating hog's flesh and the abomination [creeping things] and the [mouse — their works and their thoughts] shall come to an end together, says the Lord.
(18)  For I know their works and their thoughts. And the time is coming when I will gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory.
(19)  And I will set up a [miraculous] sign among them, and from them I will send survivors to the nations — to Tarshish, Pul (Put), and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles and coastlands afar off that have not heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare and proclaim My glory among the nations.
(20)  And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the Lord — upon horses and in chariots and in litters and upon mules and upon camels — to My holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the children of Israel bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.
(21)  And I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.
(22)  For as the new heavens and the new earth which I make shall remain before Me, says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain.
(23)  And it shall be that from one New Moon to another New Moon and from one Sabbath to another Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord.
(24)  And they shall go forth and gaze upon the dead bodies of the [rebellious] men who have stepped over against Me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind.


(End of  Lesson 35)
(End of the study of Isaiah - the Gospel to Israel)


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