Isaiah 52

Division

  1. V1-6: Awake! Awake! Jerusalem is being called to wake up from sleep.
  2. v7-10: Tell the good tidings
  3. v11-12: Depart from Babylon
  4. v13-15: The starts of the last of the fourth Servant Songs.

Exposition

  • v1-2: [Awake! Awake!] This is the third Awake! Awake!. The first one is a call to God (Isiah 51:9), who seems to be asleep to the Jews, the second is a call to the Jerusalem (Isaiah 51:17), who were drunk from the cup of wrath of God. Here, is a call to the Jerusalem again, who is represented as a sleeping woman. This woman was chained on her neck, but now it is time for her to wake up, and get dress in her priestly garment and to sit on a throne.
  • v1: [will not enter you again]. What about the Romans, and the Muslim conquers?
  • v3-5: The Jews were conquered by Egyptians, and Assyrians in the past, and now by Babylonians. These gentiles blasphemed God’s name because they think they and their gods are superior than Yahweh.
  • v5: [And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.] Paul quoted this verse in Rom 2:24. Paul wrote that because the Jews were hypocrites, the name of God is constantly blasphemed among the gentiles. How true it is for Christians, if we are hypocrites, the name of Jesus will be blasphemed among the unbelievers.
  • v6: But God would redeem the Jews, and they would know God didn’t forsake them.
  • v7: [How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news]. Paul quoted this verse in Rom 10:15. He was referring to the believers who bring the gospel to the gentiles.
  • v8: The job of a watchman is to see far away of what is coming, and tell the truth to the people. The prophets were the watchmen of Israel on OT. On NT, we need watchmen who perform the same function to the church.
  • v9-10: With His holy arm, God has redeemed Jerusalem!
  • v11: Isaiah is calling the Jews to depart from Babylon. They are told not to touch any unclean thing when they leave. They are not to bring any idols back to Jerusalem. Isaiah prophesy the Jews would bring the vessels of the temple back to Jerusalem. The prophecy is fulfilled in Ezra 1:7 [Also King Cyrus brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and put in the house of his gods[
  • v11: [touch no unclean thing] Paul quoted this verse in 2 Co 6:17. The context is believers should not yoked together with unbelievers. Because we are in the light, and they are in darkness In Christ we are righteous, but they are wicked.  We are temple of God, and they are temple of idols.
  • v12: Unlike in Exodus, the Jews are told not to leave in haste. No enemy would chase them this time around, and the God of Israel will be their rear guard is the enemy decided to change their mind. In exodus, God did the same thing, He sent an angle to go behind the Israelites together with the pillar of cloud to protect them from the Egyptians. When God commands us to go some place, we do not need to worry about the enemy attacking us from the back, because the Lord will surely protect us from behind.
  • v13: This is the beginning of the forth Servant song. This should in the start of the next chapter. Ch 52:13-53:12 is the fourth Servant Song. It is the center of the chapter 49-57. This is the climax about the prophesies of the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, the Redeemer. All together it has 15 verses, it can be divided into 5 stanza, with 3 verses in each.
  • v13: God’s Suffering Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ will act wisely, He will in total obedience to God the Father. He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. The Lord Jesus will resurrect, ascend into heaven, and be seated on the throne next to the Father.
  • v14: This is a image of the Lord Jesus physical appearance after He was tortured by the sinners. He was slapped by an officer before Annas (John 18:22). He was spat, slapped, and beaten on the head with fists before Caiaphas (Matt 26:67; Mark 14:^5; Luke 22:63). He was scourged and beaten before Pilate (John 19:1;Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15). And finally, He was crucified on the cross. The Lord Jesus was disfigure to a point it did not look like a man.
  • v14: What a strong contrast between v13 and v14. When we know about Christ suffering, and His exaltation, we can only be in awe!
  • v15: As a result of His suffering on the cross, His blood will sprinkle many nations. Sprinkle is the word used by Priest when he sprinkle blood, oil and water to leper, to furniture in the tabernacle, to the veil, to sanctify them. (Lev 4:6;8:11;14:7). The Lord Jesus’s death on the cross has enable Him to clean the sins of people from many nations. Human leaders in the highest places will be speechless and in awe before the one despised Servant!
  • V15: [For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.] Paul quoted this in Rom 15:21, the context of the passage is it is Paul’s ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not know, so that I will not build on someone else foundation.

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