The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 52 Part 1

Isaiah

Next up is Isaiah 52:1-6

As believers in Messiah, as those who have received the gospel message, we should be fully assured that we are going to be recipients of what G-d has promised. G-d is faithful. A great example of His faithfulness is how He will deal with Israel in the last days. G-d has not broken His covenant with Israel. He has not replaced Israel. Prophecy does not support these views. Instead, prophecy reveals to us that there is going to be a wonderful restoration. This restoration of the remnant of Israel will come about right at the end of Daniel’ seventieth week (Dan 9:27), when Messiah returns to the Mount of Olives for His second coming (Zech 14:3-4). It is at this time that the remnant of Israel will experience deliverance and victory. They are going to call upon the One who has been pierced and they are going to be saved (Zech 12:10; Roms 11:26-27). 

v1: Awake: This is going to become a reality for the descendants of Jacob in the last days. ‘Waking up’ implies a transition, a change, a transformation. 

  • Put on your strength: One of the first things we do in the morning when we wake up is to clothe ourselves. 
  • Your strength: This strength is a prophetic promise from G-d. He is going to strengthen Israel in the last days.
  • Zion: A Kingdom word. It is a word that speaks about Jerusalem in a new state – in a redemptive state. Seeing this word in a text should cause us to think that there are going to be Kingdom ramifications. We should expect to see the outcome of G-d’s redemptive work through Messiah. 
  • Strength…beautiful garments: Parallelism. G-d’s power is going to make a glorious transformation for His people.
  • Zion…Jerusalem: Also, parallelism. 
  • No longer: There is a change.
  • Uncircumcised: Circumcision has to do with the removal of flesh, and the death of that flesh that has been removed. Nothing fleshly or carnal will enter into Jerusalem when she is in her new, redemptive state. Things which are of the flesh have been rejected and forbidden by G-d. Those who are going to go into Jerusalem (those who have accepted Messiah – Gal 3:16) are not going to be rejected by G-d. They are all going to be received by Him. 
  • Unclean: Impure

v2: Shake yourself…arise; sit down:  Transition and transformation commanded here. 

  • Dust: Dust or soil have to do with the earth. Poetically it represents traces of the world. G-d is commanding His covenant people to remove or separate themselves from the things that relate to this world. The things of this world do not belong in the Kingdom. 
  • Rise up: A good study of this word will reveal that it is a word which is frequently used for someone who is called into service – we are called to stand up to serve, to stand up to fulfil G-d’s expectations. Israel (like the believers in Messiah are also called to do) is going to shake off the things of this world so that they can faithfully serve G-d. If we have any traces of the world on us, we will not be faithful servants of G-d. 
  • Sit down: It seems odd to be told to rise up and then told to sit down. The rising up is related to serving. Most of the Biblical commentators point out that the sitting down is related to sitting on the throne (Eph 2:6 – raised up to be seated with Messiah). Finally, in the (millennial) Kingdom, Israel is going to take her position as a leader who is going to carry out G-d’s purposes – the rulership that G-d called her to display over the nations (Deut 15:6).

Note: When Messiah returns to earth, He will be bringing all those who were raptured (the church) back to earth with Him (Rev 19:14). The church, who will all have received their resurrected bodies, will have a supervisory function in the millennial Kingdom (Rev 20:4) – judging and assisting Israel in her leadership role over the nations (which they have long rebelled against). The remnant of Israel, who were saved at Messiah’s second coming (Zech 13:8), will not have resurrected bodies (they did not go through the rapture) but they will still have bodies of flesh – they will all still be subject to death (Zech 8:4, Isaiah 65:20).

  • Loose yourself from the bonds: In order for Israel to begin to lead, she has to come out of bondage. ‘Bonds’ speak of the enslavement, the bondage, that the nations had put Israel in. In the last days this enslavement is going to come to an end. Those who were in exile are going to experience redemption. 

v3: You have sold yourselves for nothing: Israel went into bondage because of sin (they became bond slaves) and they received no financial compensation for the work that they were required to do. 

  • You shall be redeemed without money: Redemption only comes about through the precious blood of Messiah – not through money. 

v4: First: Beginning.

  • Went down…into Egypt to dwell there: The sons of Jacob were not forced to go to Egypt – they decided to go and live there (Gen 46:1-7). They had however sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt, and, according to the principle found in Matt 7:2, they found themselves enslaved there. 
  • Without cause: Assyria had no reason to go against Israel. They did so purely from evil purposes – for the sheer enjoyment they derived from tormenting others. 

Verse 5 (literally): “’But now who is to Me here?’ declares the L-rd. ‘For My people were taken for nothing, the one who ruled over them caused them to wail,’ declares the L-rd, ‘And always, all day long, My name is blasphemed.’”

  • But now: An important, transitional phrase.
  • Now: At the time of Isaiah.
  • Who is to Me here: Who there belongs to the L-rd. In the midst of the situation they found themselves in, who was going to be faithful to G-d?
  • Wail: They suffered greatly under this oppressive ruler.
  • All day long, My name is blasphemed: G-d will only tolerate this for so long. There is coming a point where G-d is going to put a stop to this behaviour. A change needs to be anticipated. 

v6: Therefore: This is, in a sense, cause and effect. G-d’s name is being blasphemed, so He now tells us what is going to happen because of this. 

  • My people shall know My name: There will be people who do not blaspheme the name of the L-rd. 
  • In that day: A phrase that refers to Judgment Day – the final Judgment Day. For those who are in a relationship with Messiah (those who believed by faith under the Old Covenant, and those who have a New Covenant relationship with Messiah) this day is going to be a wonderful day. It is on this day that the saints will be vindicated (Rev 6:9-11). It is also on this day that witnessing G-d’s wrath against the enemies of Israel will bring the remnant of Israel (those who are still alive on this earth) to faith in Messiah Yeshua. Heaven rejoices when G-d brings His righteous judgment (Rev 18:20). So should we. G-d’s righteous judgment brings forth a marvellous outcome – the Kingdom of G-d.
  • I am He who speaks: G-d is making this promise. This should capture our attention. G-d’s promises will always be fulfilled. 

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