Isaiah 66 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
In this closing chapter, the LORD concludes His answer to the Remnant's prayer.
See the expanded outline at the start of the Notes on ch. 64.
d. The Rest of trusting His Word, versus man's religious delusions, 66:1-4
1. Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool:
where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest?
2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD:
but to this [man] will I look,
[even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
3 He that killeth an ox [is as if] he slew a man;
he that sacrificeth a lamb, [as if] he cut off a dog's neck;
he that offereth an oblation, [as if he offered] swine's blood;
he that burneth incense, [as if] he blessed an idol.
Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them;
because when I called, none did answer;
when I spake, they did not hear:
but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose [that] in which I delighted not.
where is the house that ye build unto me?...- The double question of v.1 can be rendered:
"Where then is a house that you could build for Me? Is such an house a place where I may rest?"
  • David desired to build "an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD" (1Chr 28:2).
    Solomon confessed that no earthly Temple can contain the Creator of the universe for the whole of creation cannot contain Him (1Kin 8:27).
  • The LORD did not allow David to build a temple, but instead promised to build and establish David's house and throne forever,
    through one of his descendants (2Sam 7:8-16). Although David knew his son Solomon would build a temple, David himself was looking beyond him to the rising of a still future King, whose righteousness would bring rest and refreshing to the whole earth (2Sam 23:1-7; cp. Isa 11:1,10).
  • The Word of God continually called the nation to find rest in the LORD.
    But tragically, they refused the rest that He offered (Isa 28:12; cp. Heb 4:9-11).
    Only those, who believe God's Word, can enter into His rest (Heb 3:18,19; 4:1-3)
  • The LORD will dwell {tabernacle} with His people, during the Millennial Kingdom on earth,
    and on into the Eternal Kingdom of the new heaven and new earth
    There will be a Temple during the millennial Kingdom (as described in detail in Ezekiel ch. 40-44).
    However, there will be no Temple in the eternal Kingdom (Rev 21:22).
to this man will I look {ie., show regard}... to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.-
Giving heed to God's Word is prerequisite to entrance into His rest (Heb 4:11,12).
he that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man... as if a dog... as if swine's blood... as if he blessed an idol.-
Religious ritual, even though performed in the Temple and as prescribed in the Law, is an abomination to the LORD, when the worshipper's heart does not respond rightly to His Word. Isa 1:11-15
     Where are the houses which Israel built unto the LORD...
  • the first Temple, built by Solomon, and the second Temple, completed by Herod?
    Both were destroyed, because the hearts of the worshippers had turned away from the LORD.
    (2Kin 25:8,9; 2Chr 36:15-19; Mat 24:1,2)
  • Likewise, the third Temple, which will be built during the Tribulation, under the covenant with the Antichrist, will be destroyed because it will be defiled by worship of that impostor (2The 2:3,4).
However, the subject of these verses is not the destruction of buildings, but the eternal destiny of those who, rather than trembling at God's Word, instead, go about their religious ritual with hearts that are far from Him.
they have chosen their own ways... their soul delighted in their abominations...-
I will... choose their delusions... will bring their fears upon them.-
Because they prefer their own thoughts above God's Word, the LORD allows them to be overcome with their self-deception. This will see ultimate fulfillment in the 'strong delusion' of those who worship the Antichrist during the Tribulation period (2The 2:8-12). Carried away with the deception of the Antichrist, they will suffer the eternal consequences of the error they have chosen.
e. The Rebirth of Israel through travail, versus the rendering of recompense to His enemies, 66:5-9
5. Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word;
Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake,
said, Let the LORD be glorified:
but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple,
a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.
7 Before she travailed, she brought forth;
before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?
{cp. Isa 64:4}
Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?
[or] shall a nation be born at once?
for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD:
shall I cause to bring forth, and shut [the womb]? saith thy God.
{cp. Isa 37:3; Gen 18:14}
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word...-
The LORD sends a word of encouragement to those who sincerely seek to serve Him according to His Word, and who suffer persecution because of it. The message to the Remnant is especially applicable to the Tribulation period, when believers will be cast out of society for being identified with the LORD (eg., Rev 13:11-17).
your brethren... hated you... cast you out for my name's sake... said, Let the LORD be glorified...-
The brethren of the believing Remnant (ie., other Israelites), who have shown disrespect toward the LORD (Isa 5:19; Mat 27:43), likewise, disrespect those who follow Him (Mat 5:10-12; Joh 15:18,19). Being in darkness concerning God's Word and Will, they think that their persecution of believers actually honors God (cp. Joh 16:2).
but he shall appear to your joy... they shall be ashamed...- 2The 1:7-10; 1Pet 4:12-14
a voice from the temple... that rendereth recompense to his enemies...-
This is the voice of the LORD from heaven, commanding that judgment be poured out upon the earth during the Tribulation period. cp. Rev 15:5-8- 16:1,17
before she travailed... she was delivered of a man child...- (v.7)
The Messiah was born to Israel, in Bethlehem, long prior to the time of Jacob's Trouble. cp. Rev 12:3-11; Mic 5:2,3
as soon a Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.-
With the Messiah's return, at the close of Israel's Tribulation, the nation will be 'born again' through faith in Him (Zech 12:10; 13:1; Rom 11:26; Joh 3:3-17), and they will be ushered into the time of great blessing, with the restoration of her people to their land (Isa 54:1; 49:20-22).
f. The Rejoicing of Jerusalem in continual consolations, versus the consumption of His enemies in eternal fire, 66:10-24
10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her:
rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:
11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations;
that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
rejoice ye with Jerusalem...- cp. Rev 18:20
that ye may... be satisfied with... her consolations...- Isa 60:5,16
12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream:
then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon [her] sides,
and be dandled upon [her] knees.
{cp. Isa 49:23; 60:4}
13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you;
and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
{cp. Isa 40:1,2; 51:3}
14 And when ye see [this], your heart shall rejoice,
and your bones shall flourish like an herb:
and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants,
and [his] indignation toward his enemies.
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.
16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh:
and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves
in the gardens behind one [tree] in the midst,
eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse,
shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
18 For I [know] their works and their thoughts:
it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues;
and they shall come, and see my glory.
the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants (v.14)...
...peace... comfort... your heart shall rejoice...
and his indignation toward his enemies (v.14)
...anger with fury... rebuke with flames of fire... his sword... the slain of the LORD shall be many.
This is the division between the 'sheep' and the 'goats,' which Christ will accomplish when He returns in glory. Mat 25:31-34,41
they that sanctify themselves... in the gardens... eating swine's flesh...-
The LORD will judge the idolatry and uncleanness of hearts that despise His Word, whether or not they participate in these external idolatrous practices, for He knows their thoughts. cp. Acts 7:42,43; Rev 13:1,8
19 And I will set a sign among them,
and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, [to] Tarshish, Pul, and Lud,
that draw the bow, [to] Tubal, and Javan,
[to] the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory;
and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
20 And they
{ie., the gentiles} shall bring all your brethren [for] an offering unto the LORD out of all nations
upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts,
to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD,
as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
21 And I will also take of them for priests [and] for Levites, saith the LORD.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me,
saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
23 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.
I will set a sign among them... cp. Isa 7:14; 11:10; Luk 2:34
The ensign is the Person of the Messiah.
those that escape of them... cp. Isa 37:31,32; Zech 13:8,9
The believing Remnant, having come through the deadly trials of the Tribulation period, become evangelists of their Messiah, to those who do not know Him. The Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20), at which the church has labored incompletely, will be accomplished in that day, by these Jewish messengers. (Like the Jewish apostles, who first received this commission from the Lord, they will go forth with great zeal.)
They will take the message to:
  • Tarshish...- representing the western nations, Spain, France, Britain.
  • Pul, Lud...- representing the African continent.
  • Tubal, Javan...- representing Greece, Russia, Germany
  • the isles {coastlands} afar off...- representing the rest of the world, including the Americas and the Pacific rim nations.
the new heavens and the new earth... shall remain {ie., stand, endure} before me...-
cp. Isa 65:17; Heb 12:27,28; 2Pet 3:13; 1Pet 1:4,5
so shall your seed and your name remain {ie., stand, endure).- Isa 65:15; cp. Rev 3:12
all flesh shall come to worship before me, saith the LORD.-
Zech 8:20-23; 14:16; Joh 4:23; Rev 15:4
24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me:
for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched;
and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched...-
Jesus quoted this verse in regard to eternal judgment in hell (3x in Mark 9:44,46,48).
  • Each of the sections, of the third and final division of Isaiah, opens with a gracious invitation (Isa 40:1; 49:1; 58:1,8,9)
    and closes with a similar solemn warning:
    "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (cp. v.24 with Isa 48:22; 57:21).
  • The horror of the final verse of Isaiah, is the horror of salvation refused.
    The unquenchable fire which gnaws eternally on the lost, surely includes burning regret for what 'could have been' their inheritance (cp. v.12,13; Heb 2:3).

This concludes the study in Isaiah.
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