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+ Isaiah

Isaiah 2:2-3

1 This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come, The mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it;
3 many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the LORD'S mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.

1. [1] An editorial addition introducing Isaiah 2-5.

2. [2-4] The messianic destiny which ensures Judah's later restoration. In the messianic kingdom the prophets generally see the Lord's house as the seat of authority and the source of clear and certain doctrine; also, its rule willingly accepted by all peoples, maintained by spiritual sanctions, and tending to universal peace. This passage is found substantially unchanged in Micah 4:1-3; it probably, although not certainly, has Isaiah as its author.

3. [3] Zion . . . Jerusalem: types of the earthly center of the messianic kingdom.

Isaiah 11:9

The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.
On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Isaiah 18:3-6

Sending ambassadors by sea, in papyrus boats on the waters! Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and bronzed, To a people dreaded near and far, a nation strong and conquering, whose land is washed by rivers.
All you who inhabit the world, who dwell on earth, When the signal is raised on the mountain, look! When the trumpet blows, listen!
For thus says the LORD to me: I will quietly look on from where I dwell, Like the glowing heat of sunshine, like a cloud of dew at harvest time.
Before the vintage, when the flowering is ended, and the blooms are succeeded by ripening grapes, Then comes the cutting of branches with pruning hooks and the discarding of the lopped-off shoots.
They shall all be left to the mountain birds of prey, and to the beasts in the land; The birds of prey shall summer on them and on them all the beasts of the earth shall winter.
Then will gifts be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and bronzed, from a people dreaded near and far, a nation strong and conquering, whose land is washed by rivers-to Mount Zion where dwells the name of the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 25:6-10

as with the desert heat, even so you quell the uproar of the wanton.
2 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
On that day it will be said: "Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
3 For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, but Moab will be trodden down as a straw is trodden down in the mire.
He will stretch forth his hands in Moab as a swimmer extends his hands to swim; He will bring low their pride as his hands sweep over them.

2. [6] This mountain: Zion, symbol of the heavenly Jerusalem.

3. [10] Moab: symbol of God's enemies.

Isaiah 27:13

5 On that day, The LORD shall beat out the grain between the Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt, and you shall be gleaned one by one, O sons of Israel.
6 On that day, A great trumpet shall blow, and the lost in the land of Assyria and the outcasts in the land of Egypt Shall come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain, in Jerusalem.

5. [12] The Euphrates and the Wadi of Egypt: the ideal borders of Israel; cf Genesis 15:18; 2 Kings 24:7.

6. [13] The triumph of God's people is described in eschatological language; they will gather in Jerusalem from Assyria and Egypt.

Isaiah 30:25, 29

The oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork.
Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall,
The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.
While at every sweep of the rod which the LORD will bring down on him in punishment,
You will sing as on a night when a feast is observed, And be merry of heart, as one marching along with a flute Toward the mountain of the LORD, toward the Rock of Israel, accompanied by the timbrels and lyres.
For the pyre6 has long been ready, prepared for the king; Broad and deep it is piled with dry grass and wood in abundance, And the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulphur, will set it afire.

6. [29-33] Pyre: on which the corpse of the king of Assyria is burned. This is the occasion of festal rejoicing for the Israelites, who are now free from his yoke.

Isaiah 31:4

The Egyptians are men, not God, their horses are flesh, not spirit; When the LORD stretches forth his hand, the helper shall stumble, the one helped shall fall, and both of them shall perish together.
Thus says the LORD to me: As a lion or a lion cub growling over its prey, With a band of shepherds assembled against it, Is neither frightened by their shouts nor disturbed by their noise, So shall the LORD of hosts come down to wage war upon the mountain and hill of Zion.
Like hovering birds, so the LORD of hosts shall shield Jerusalem, To protect and deliver, to spare and rescue it.

Isaiah 37:24

Whom have you insulted and blasphemed, against whom have you raised your voice And lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel!
Through your servants you have insulted the Lord: You said, "With my many chariots I climbed the mountain heights, the recesses of Lebanon; I cut down its lofty cedars, its choice cypresses; I reached the remotest heights, its forest park.
I dug wells and drank water in foreign lands; I dried up with the soles of my feet all the rivers of Egypt.

Isaiah 40:4, 9

2 A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

2. [3-5] The figurative language here describes the actual return of the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. It is the Lord who leads them; their road is made easy for them. Matthew 3:3 and parallels see in these verses a prophecy of the Baptizer and Christ.

Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever."
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!
Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him.

Isaiah 56:7

And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, ministering to him, Loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants-- All who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant,
Them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; Their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Others will I gather to him besides those already gathered.

Isaiah 57:7, 13

1 Among the smooth stones of the wadi is your portion, these are your lot; To these you poured out libations, and brought offerings. Should I decide not to punish these things?
Upon a high and lofty mountain you made your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost you placed your indecent symbol. Deserting me, you spread out your high, wide bed; And of those whose embraces you love you carved the symbol and gazed upon it

1. [6] Smooth stones: the Hebrew word for this expression has the same consonants as the word for "portion"; instead of making the Lord their portion (cf Psalm 16:5), the people adored slabs of stone which they took from the streambeds in valleys and set up as idols; cf Jeremiah 3:9. Therefore, it is implied, they will be swept away as by a sudden torrent of waters carrying them down the rocky-bottomed gorge to destruction and death without burial.

3 I will expose your justice and your works;
4 They shall not help you when you cry out, nor save you in your distress. All these the wind shall carry off, the breeze shall bear away; But he who takes refuge in me shall inherit the land, and possess my holy mountain.
Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove the stumbling blocks from my people's path.

3. [12] Justice: here used ironically.

4. [13] All these: the wicked mentioned in Jeremiah 57:3-10.

Isaiah 65:11, 25

Sharon shall be a pasture for the flocks and the valley of Achor a resting place for the cattle of my people who have sought me.
2 But you who forsake the LORD, forgetting my holy mountain, You who spread a table for Fortune and fill cups of blended wine for Destiny,
You I will destine for the sword; you shall all go down in slaughter. Since I called and you did not answer, I spoke and you did not listen, But did what was evil in my sight and preferred things which displease me,

2. [11-12] Destiny: the Hebrew also has a play on the words: Destiny and destine; menî and manîthî.

Before they call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hearken to them.
3 The wolf and the lamb shall graze alike, and the lion shall eat hay like the ox (but the serpent's food shall be dust). None shall hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.

3. [25] See note on Isaiah 11:6-9.

Isaiah 66:20

I will set a sign among them; from them I will send fugitives to the nations: to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory; and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries, to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.

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