Isaiah 52 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
The thought continues from the previous chapter (Isaiah ch. 51).
(See the extended outline at the beginning of the Notes on Isaiah ch. 51).
3. The Redeemer is sure Redemption for the Remnant that trust in Him, 51:1-52:12
f. Awake: O Zion (from the LORD), re: the glories of His Salvation (52:1-12)
1. Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion;
put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city:
for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
{The ultimate fulfillment awaits the New Jerusalem. Rev 21:27}
2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem:
loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought;
{cp. Isa 50:1}
and ye shall be redeemed without money.
{cp. 1Pet 1:18,19}
4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there;
and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
{cp. Hos 8:13; 11:5}
5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought?
they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD;
and my name continually every day [is] blasphemed.
{cp. Psa 74:10,18-23; Eze 36:21-24}
6 Therefore my people shall know my name:
therefore [they shall know] in that day that I [am] he that doth speak:
behold, [it is] I.
awake... O Zion... O Jerusalem... for henceforth there shall no more come... the unclean.-
Here the LORD proclaims the completion of Israel's redemption, and calls them to enter into it.
put on thy strength... put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city...- (v.1)
He calls His people to arise from the desolation and bondage into which they had fallen through their own sin, and under the oppression of the Antichrist (vs.2-4; cp. Isa 51:17; Lam 2:10).
  • Having been brought down to nothing (Isa 51:23), they have no strength of their own. He invites them to be clothed in His strength (Hag 2:4; Eph 6:10).
  • Having defiled their garments, they have no righteousness of their own. He invites them to be clothed in the priestly robes of a people made holy unto the LORD (cp. Ex 28:2; Zech 14:20,21).
my people went... into Egypt... and the Assyrian oppressed them...-
This brief statement encompasses Israel's history of false confidences in the surrounding nations and the troubles which she experienced at the hands of those nations, from the time prior to Moses to the time of the Antichrist, who is called 'the Assyrian' in previous passages (eg., Isa 14:25; 30:31; 31:8).
therefore, shall my people know my name...- cp. Eze 20:44; 37:13,14; 39:27-29
Behold, it is I.- cp. Job 42:5; Joh 4:25,26; Zech 12:10
7. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation;
that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing:
for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem:
for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations;
{cp. Isa 53:1}
and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation
{HB=Yeshuah} of our God.
11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean [thing];
go ye out of the midst of her;
{cp. Isa 48:20; Rev 18:4}
be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight:
for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel [will be] your rereward.
how beautiful... the feet... that bringeth good tidings...-
The good news is that the God of Zion reigns. His long awaited Kingdom has come. cp. Isa 40:9; Mat 6:10; 25:34; Rev 11:15
...upon the mountains are the feet of him...-
This can be said of many traveling messengers, whose worn and bruised feet were beautified by reason of the beauty of the Good News which they proclaim (cp. Rom 10:15).
But observe that v.7 focuses on a singular messenger ('the feet of him') and a unique gospel ('thy God reigneth'). See Luk 7:38; Psa 22:16; Zech 14:4; Nah 1:15; 1Cor 15:25; Rev 1:15,17).
thy watchmen shall... sing: for they shall see eye to eye...-
In the day of Israel's restoration, the prophets of the LORD, whose messages of judgment and redemption had long been rejected by the nation, will rejoice as their people understand and receive the truth. cp. Jer 6:17; 31:6,7
The LORD hath made bare his holy arm... all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.-
See Isa 49:6; Psa 22:27
depart ye... touch no unclean thing... be ye clean... vessels...
The salvation provided by the Holy God will deliver His people, not only from earthly enemies, but from sin and all uncleanness, that they may be holy vessels, set apart for Him. cp. 2Cor 6:16-18; Ex 19:6; 1Pet 2:9
ye shall not go out with haste...-
During the exodus from Egypt, the children of Israel went out with haste, first being urged to leave by their gentile neighbors, and then being pursued by Pharaoh, after he changed his mind (Ex 12:33,39; 14:8). In that future day, when the Messiah delivers Israel, their enemies will no longer threaten (Isa 51:12-14), and the gentiles will hasten to gather them into their land (Isa 49:17,18; 60:9,10).
the LORD will go before {ie., preparing the way}... will be your rereward {HB='acaph, rear guard, gatherer}...-
At the exodus from Egypt, the LORD went before to lead them out, and went behind to protect from their pursuers (Ex 13:21,22; 14:19,20). But here, the LORD goes before to prepare the way for them to come in, and goes behind to ensure their ingathering (cp. Deu 30:1-6; Neh 1:8,9).
III. Salvation (poetry), ch. 40-66
A. Peace assured through knowing the LORD God... (The God of Peace), ch. 40-48
B. Salvation procured by the Suffering Servant (The Prince of Peace), ch. 49-57
  1. The Holy One, Israel's Redeemer, is also the Salvation of the gentiles, 49:1-26
  2. The Redeemer is rejected by sinful men, 50:1-11
  3. The Redeemer is sure Redemption for the Remnant that trust in Him, 51:1-52:12
  4. The Price of Redemption, the substitionary sacrifice of the Suffering Servant, 52:13-53:12
In his commentary "Isaiah: The Salvation of Jehovah," Alfred Martin calls this passage
"the great connecting link between Psalm 22 and Psalm 110, the former being the psalm of the cross and the latter the psalm of Christ's royal priesthood." - - Mr. Martin offers the following outline:
The Suffering Servant of Jehovah
  1. The Servant Exalted (52:13-15)
  2. The Servant Despised (53:1-3)
  3. The Servant Wounded (53:4-6)
  4. The Servant Cut Off (53:7-9)
  5. The Servant Satisfied (53:10-12)
13. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,
he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee
his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations;
the kings shall shut their mouths at him:
for [that] which had not been told them shall they see;
and [that] which they had not heard shall they consider.
Behold, my servant...- The speaker is the LORD. He directs our attention to His perfect Servant.
His message is prophetic of future events (vs.13,15). Yet, the Servant's sufferings (v.14), which would occur 700 years beyond Isaiah's time, are presented in the past tense, as though already accomplished (cp. 1Pet 1:18-20; Rev 13:8b).
As noted in the outline above, these closing verses of ch. 52, relate to the exaltation of Christ.
However, these verses also provide another outline or overview of ch. 53...
  1. The Messiah's appearance -
  2. His sufferings (52:14 and 53:4-10)
  3. His glories (52:15 and 53:11-12)
1. The Messiah's appearance--
  • ...he shall deal prudently {ie., act with wisdom, circumspectly, with comprehension}...- cp. Isa 11:1-5; 42:1
    He acted in full understanding of the LORD's will, in contrast to all other men (Psa 53:2,3).
  • ...he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.- Some scholars observe a progression in this sentence:
    He shall 'rise up' (Christ's resurrection), 'be lifted up' (Christ's ascension), and 'be highly exalted' (Christ's final exaltation).
    The height of that exaltation is indicated by the application of the same words to the glory of the LORD, in Isa 6:1 (where 'exalted and extolled' are translated 'high and lifted up'). cp. Eph 1:20-23; Php 2:9-11).
2. His Sufferings--
  • As many were astonied {appalled, stunned, desolated} at thee...-
  • His visage {ie., appearance, that which is seen} was so marred {ie., disfigured, corrupted} more than any man...-
    Isa 50:6; Mat 27:29,30; Psa 22:6-7,15-16
    This is man's perspective, looking on the outward appearance. From God's perspective, the 'marring' of Christ was far more than skin deep (as we will see in ch. 53).
3. His Glories--
So shall he sprinkle {HB=nazah, sprinkle, splatter, startle} many nations...- The word has two senses:
  • sprinkle: The Servant's sacrifice (v.14,15) will provide atonement for the sins of many nations (Jew & Gentile, alike).
    cp. Lev 4:6; Heb 9:13,14; 1Pet 1:2
  • startle: "The 'as' of verse 14 corresponds with the 'so' of verse 15. The statement is: that just as the Messiah astonished men by the humiliation of His First Advent, so will He astonish them by the glory of His Second. For, as in His First Coming, the basest of men mocked Him, so in His Second, the chiefest of men will stand in silent awe before Him." [in quotes, GWms] cp. Isa 49:7
    In that day, the nations will understand and believe the Gospel. Meanwhile, unbelief prevails, as described in the next verse (Isa 53:1; 1Cor 1:21-24)
[This section continues to the end of the next chapter.]

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