ISAIAH 65  


 

ISAIAH 65

(The text used is the NASB, 1992)

The previous section (64:1-12) presents the national prayer of Israel as they face the reality of their judgment and the righteousness of God that is proclaimed through that judgment. It is a prayer of great humility as they recognize their personal and national sinfulness (verses 5-7); and as they humbly appeal to God for His favor and the removal of judgment (verses 8-12).

The judgment in view is that which is yet future to the Isaiah generation, as the language that is used at verses 10-11 speaks of destroyed cities and temple. This did not happen during the Assyrian invasions in the time of Isaiah. And although such a judgment did occur through the Chaldean invasions of 605 to 586 BC, the focus of the prophet goes even beyond that, and reaches to the condition of judgment that resulted from the Roman invasion of 70 AD. This is understood by recognizing that God's answer to their prayer, which is recorded in both chapter 65 and 66, speaks of blessings that come through the arrival of the promised Messiah, and not through the restoration to the land under Cyrus of Persia in 536 BC.

SEE Topic: Israel: National discipline (the 5 cycles)

This national prayer then, is that which is expressed by the people while they are under the Roman dispersion. And although that judgment occurred after the arrival of the Messiah at His first advent, their deliverance from that judgment depends specifically on His work at the first advent and their recognition of Jesus as the promised Savior.

Chapter 65 begins to answer the national prayer of chapter 64 by discussing the new spiritual reality that Messiah will institute through His success on the cross, and it is this that will then be extended to the rejected nation upon His return at the Day of the Lord.

Chapter 66 records another discourse that answers the national prayer. Both begin with Messiah's first advent and the new spiritual reality, and end with national salvation and kingdom blessing for Israel.

The preface for Israel's national blessing, then, is the arrival of the Messiah at the first advent. He must first come as a servant to be the sin-bearer and Savior of the world, which was taught in detail at Isaiah 53. This paves the way for the salvation of national Israel (Romans 11:26-27), the establishment of the earthly kingdom and the fulfillment of all the blessings promised to Israel. However, when the Messiah comes at the first advent, He finds a nation in rebellion which will not accept Him as the promised Messiah (John 5:40). Thus, He must turn away from that nation and establish a new nation (a spiritual nation) comprised of all who will accept Him as the Savior. This new nation or new priestly body (servants who will represent Him to the rest of the world) will include both Jews and Gentiles, and be called by a different name than Israel.

At the time, Israel was seeking God, but was not finding Him because they were seeking based on human righteousness (Romans 10:2-3) instead of on God's terms. Accordingly, that nation will be rejected by God and placed under discipline until the new priestly body completes its mission under the persecutions from "the man of lawlessness," which is described as "until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled," (Luke 21:24) and "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in," (Romans 11:25). The ones whom God will choose to be His servants will be from among those who were NOT seeking Him, but who would be drawn to seek Him. This has been taught previously to the nation beginning with Moses at Deuteronomy 32:21, and earlier by Isaiah at chapter 28:9-17.

AN OUTLINE

1. The renovation of the universe does not take place until AFTER the last judgment, which is AFTER the millennial kingdom (MK).
Certainly there are changes made at the start of the MK, but it is not a COMPLETE new earth. There are still changing weather conditions that occur during the MK and death.
 
2. The fiery events that occur during the Day-of-the-LORD judgments are not TOTAL destructions or changes in the condition of the earth. They don't have anything to do with Revelation 21:1 and 2Peter 3:10-12.
 
4. The "event" of renovation (new heavens and new earth) is a PROCESS that actually begins with the Messiah's FIRST advent establishment of righteousness (justification through faith in Christ), and extends to the establishment of RIGHTEOUSNESS all over the earth when the MK starts along with changes made in the ecology (lions, lambs, snakes, length of life, health, etc). But there will still be physical death of people and animals.
And then ultimately to the total PHYSICAL renovation. But Isaiah's focus is on the Mil kingdom rather than the eternal heavens and earth.
 
5. The focus in Isaiah 65-66 is a HUGE period of time viewed as one event in the ENDTIMES, that begins with Messiah's first advent.
 
6. That event begins with the establishment of the new covenant after Messiah's salvation provision of righteousness (justification) through faith in Christ. Basically, it involves -
A. The first advent provision of salvation (Is. 65:1-5; 66:1-3).
B. The judgment on Israel in 70 AD (65:6-12; 66:4-6)
C. The new evangelistic agent; the church: 65:13-16; 66:7-11
D. Day of the Lord judgments: 66:15-18
E. Evangelism before and during the day of the Lord:  66:19
E. The Mil. Kingdom: 65:17-25; 66:20-24
 

Isaiah 65:1

This section begins with a focus on the establishment of the new priestly body, and then to the reason the new body is needed.

The new body will be comprised of both Jew and Gentile; of those who did not previously pursue God on His terms. This includes the Gentiles who were steeped in their Greek and Roman idolatry, and the Jews who did not seek God according to righteousness. Just at Paul writes at Romans 9:24, "whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles." But from among both of these groups, "as many as did receive Him, to them He gave authority to become children of God, (John 1:12).

1. I permitted Myself to be sought: This is the verb, dArash, as a niphal perfect which means in this stem, to ALLOW or LET or PERMIT oneself to be sought. It differs from the second word for seek in the context (bAqash), in that here the idea is of seeking someone for assistance because one has a need. The idea that God PERMITS Himself to be sought means that not only must God make a WAY available, but must also make known that WAY to the world.

2. by those who did not ask: This is the verb shAal plus the negative, lo, which indicates that this group of people were not looking to God for assistance and not asking after Him.

A good summary of the general condition of the Gentiles is found at Galatians 4:8, "when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods;" and at 1 Corinthians 12:2, "when you were pagans, you were being led astray to the speechless idols."

And a good summary for the Jews is found at Romans 10:2-3, "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."

The Jews were not seeking AFTER God because they found their confidence in Moses and were secure in their religious dogma. (John 5:39; 6:45)

3. I was found: the verb is mAtsa as a niphal perfect, but this time the niphal stem of this verb does not carry the "permit" idea (as with the NASB). It should be rendered as, "I was found." This refers to the fact that these unbelievers actually found and received relationship with God based on the gospel proclaimed to them.

4. by those who did not seek Me: This verb is bAqash, and indicates a "general" seeking. The negative indicates the indifference that the Gentiles had (in general) to the God of Israel. Paul states at Romans 9:30, that the Gentiles "did not pursue righteousness."

And again, of the Jews, Jesus summarized, "but you were not willing," (Matthew 23:37).

5. I said, Here am I, here am I: The Hebrew has the exhortational particle, hine, which means, BEHOLD (focus on, look at, see), followed by the suffix for ME. Thus, "behold - Me! Behold - Me!"

This is the invitation extended to the peoples of the first century.

A. During the ministry of Jesus: John 1:9-11; 6:43; 12:36, 46
B. By the apostles: Colossians 1:6, 23.
C. In principle: Acts 17:30, "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent."

6. To a nation which did not call on My name: Israel did not accept Jesus. They did not "call upon the name of the Lord," as per Romans 10:13. Israel was ministered to, even though as a nation, she totally rejected Jesus as the Messiah. Likewise the Gentile "nations" did not initiate a search for God. It was God who came to them with the gospel message, as per Acts 1:8, "unto the uttermost parts of the earth."

There are some interpreters who follow the KJV, and make this a passive voice ("a nation that was not called by My name"), but most recognize that in that case the form would be a niphal stem as at Isaiah 43:7 and 63:19. The manuscript evidence represent both an active and a passive form, but the LXX has the verb, kaleo, as an aorist active indicative + the negative which is rendered, did not call. What is indicated then, is a failure to respond properly to God rather than a nation that was not even "called by" His name. Those who take the passive, then restrict it only to Gentiles, for no matter how unfaithful Israel was, she was still a nation that was called BY God's name. However, to counter that, we do have the "appearance" of abandonment as is portrayed at Isaiah 63:19, "we have become LIKE those who were not called (niphal stem) by your name." But the focus here is on the failure of the nation AND of the Gentiles, both being in view and equally in need of the Savior's salvation provision.

It has application to the Isaiah generation (and Jeremiah generation) because the nation was still in a rebellious condition that was refusing to call upon God as is seen in the great appeal to the nation of Isaiah 55:1-6, "Call upon Him while He is near."

So, while evidence can be provided in support of both passive and active ideas, it seems that the nod should be given to the active voice (qal stem). At the same time, let's observe that in either case, the same condition of spiritual rebellion is in view, and the same invitation from God is extended to both Jew and Gentile.

 

Isa. 65:2 "I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk {in} the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,"

This summarizes the rebellion of Israel; not only rejecting the Messiah, ultimately, but also rejecting God's revelation to the prophets all throughout their history (Matthew 23:29-35), and instead, making their own rules; there own works system.

This is first an indictment on the Isaiah generation as they are those "who draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition religiously learned," (Isaiah 29:13). And then an indictment on the Messiah generation when Jesus applied verse 29:13 to them at Matthew 15:9, "teaching as doctrines, the precepts of men."

And the most damaging indictment by Jesus at Matthew 23:37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling."

Is it not a sad commentary on Israel and on human nature that 875 years earlier we have the indictment upon the wilderness generation at Deuteronomy 32:5, "They have acted corruptly toward Him, {They are} not His children, because of their defect; {But are} a perverse and crooked generation."

And even upon that occasion, came the warning from God that sometime in the future, the nation would be rejected and replaced with one that would do the job (Deuteronomy 32:21).

And then there is the glaring indictment found at 2 Kings 21:15, "because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger, since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day."

And Jeremiah 7:25-26, "Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending {them.} Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did evil more than their fathers."

 

Isaiah 65:3-4, A people who continually provoke Me to My face, Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks; who sit among graves, and spend the night in secret places; Who eat swine's flesh, And the broth of unclean meat is {in} their pots.

These two verses summarize some of the things practiced by both the Isaiah and the Messiah generation. This language tells of the idolatry that was practiced in a variety of ways. In the Messiah generation, the blatant idolatry had ceased, but the religious people were still involved with the idolatry of greed (Mark 12:40), and the eating of unclean meats.

 

Isaiah 65:5a, Who say, "Keep to yourself, do not come near me, For I am holier than you!"

This verse clearly summarizes the attitude of the Pharisees, who not only promoted self righteousness (Matthew 6:1; 23:5-7), but also ostracized those they deemed to be unclean (John 4:9; Acts 10:28).

 

Isaiah 65:5b, These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.

This expresses God's anger. 1 Thessalonians 1:16; Luke 21:20-24

The book of Isaiah begins with this focus on the failures of the nation, and on God's extreme displeasure as is summarized at chapter 1:10-15.

 

Isaiah 65:6, Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom,

This is a summary statement concerning God's actions toward the nation as an expression of His anger.

1. First we see the "spiritual" response of God as mentioned at Isaiah 1:10-14.

2. Then we see the "physical" response of God as He judges the nation by bringing upon them the kingdom of Assyria, in the Isaiah generation, and the kingdom of Chaldea in the Jeremiah generation.

The Isaiah generation recovers in the midst of the Assyrian oppression, and is spared national dispersion (Isaiah 37:1-38). But 100 years later, the Jeremiah generation is not spared, and in 605 to 536 BC God judges the nation through the Babylonian captivity. Then, the Messiah generation is judged through the Roman captivity of 70 AD.

 

Isaiah 65:7, Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together," says the LORD. Because they have burned incense on the mountains, And scorned Me on the hills, Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom."

This verse specifically indicts the nation in the context of their idolatry that leads to the judgment from Assyria, and later, on the Jeremiah generation through the Babylonian captivity.

Notice that the iniquities of the "fathers" are recompensed in this judgment. This is the same thing that Jesus said would happen with the those of His generation (Matthew 23:31-32).

 

Isaiah 65:8, Thus says the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, 'Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,' So I will act on behalf of My servants In order not to destroy all of them.

Not all the people will be destroyed. Although there are many deaths through the Assyrian invasion, the Isaiah generation recovers, and the nation is spared for about 75 years. Then the nation is captured and plundered by the Chaldeans, but even then, there is a surviving remnant that returns after 70 years (536 BC), and will begin again as God's priestly agent. Not only does this preservation of a remnant restore the nation, but it also keeps the Jewish race and nation in place, so that later, the Messiah can come into the world within the context of "born under the law," (Galatians 4:4). That is, at a time when the NATIONAL structure is in place and is able to politically enforce the national laws as represented in the law of Moses.

 

Isaiah 65:9, "And I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah; Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.

This verse then, looks forward to the arrival of the Messiah.

1. The word offspring is zera (seed) and is in the singular. It refers to the promised seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16).

2. The word heir, is a singular qal active participle from yArash, which means to possess or inherit. Thus, one who inherits. This refers to the fact that the Messiah will be the heir of the promises made to Abraham and to David (Galatians 3:16-18; Luke 1:31-33).

The "mountains" refers to the land of Palestine in general, which has historically been known as a mountainous area. The same use of the plural is seen at Isaiah 14:25

Sadly, the NIV totally ignores the singular of seed and heir, and translates both words in the plural, which of course denies the application to the Messiah.

3. Even my chosen ones shall inherit it: the noun is bAchir and refers to those whom God has chosen to function in a specific capacity as His servants. The basis for such choosing is the fact that individuals from the ranks of the human race, accept the gospel of salvation and receive spiritual life from God and remain here on earth as God's representatives to the world (1 Peter 2:9). God calls (invites), man accepts (believes), and God chooses them to be functional servants here on earth. The Greek word used here in the LXX is eklektos, which refers to the privilege, rank and status of being in God's kingdom.

SEE topic: ELECTION

The NEW priestly body inherits the spiritual blessings originally promised to Israel, but since the nation rejected the Messiah, she forfeited those blessings and conceded them to the replacement priestly body until the 2nd coming of the Messiah.

All the members of the CHURCH, then, are heirs of Abraham (Gal. 3:29); heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). It is this group of believers that is in view at Isaiah 53:11, where the victorious Messiah "will divide the booty with the strong."

The chosen ones will inherit THE LAND. The word, IT, is actually a feminine suffix to refer to an "understood" antecedent that is represented by the plural of mountains, and indicates the land of Palestine, which is a HER, in the mind of the people. The chosen ones fall into two categories. (1) those of the Messiah generation who comprise a SPIRITUAL nation and inherit SPIRITUAL blessings. And (2) those of the nation of Israel who become the chosen of God during the future Day of the Lord, and inherit the physical kingdom over which the Messiah will reign.

However, at the same time, it needs to be recognized that the moral and social blessings associated with RIGHT living, are seen as an experiential inheritance that is for the church (Matthew 5:5; 1 Peter 3:8-13). It is this that is probably in view for those of the Messiah generation and all who believe in Christ through them, thus, the entire church, extending of course, until the Lord returns.

4. And my servants shall dwell there: this refers to being functional in the evangelistic capacity that was designed originally for Israel (and will be restored to her later). The NEW priestly body begins in Jerusalem, basically POSSESSING the land, and saturating the people with the gospel message. They then spread out from there (Acts 1:8), and are seen as ones who "have upset the populated world," (Acts 17:6).

But even in just a spiritual sense, it is only those who have trusted in Christ who will inherit the new Jerusalem which is the heavenly abode of believers (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21:2-14).

 

Isaiah 65:10 "And Sharon shall be a pasture land for flocks, And the valley of Achor a resting place for herds:

The presence of herds in abundance indicates great economic prosperity, and anticipates the future kingdom blessings that will exist for the nation of Israel. But it is also symbolic of the spiritual prosperity that results from the success of Messiah's work at the first advent which is extended to those who believe.

The valley of Achor was considered a place of cursing since a memorial was established there in 1401 BC when Achan was executed for his sin against God and against the nation (Joshua 7:1-26).

The place thus became a symbol for substitutionary sacrifice, for through Achan's death, the nation was removed from judgment and came back under the mantle of divine blessing. Thus, blessing through judgment is the picture, and what greater fulfillment of that symbol than the sin sacrifice of the Messiah. So at Hosea 2:14-23, the symbol of "the valley of Achor" is seen as "a door of hope," that is the basis for Israel's salvation during the tribulation, and refers to the sacrifice of the Savior in order to secure that salvation.

 

Isaiah 65:10b: For My people who seek Me.

The blessing is for those who will seek relationship with God on God's terms. That means, those who trust in Jesus as the Messiah-Savior.

But the ones who forsake the Lord, who reject Jesus as the Messiah, God will reject them and appoint them to national destruction and worldwide captivity.

 

Isaiah 65:11, But you who forsake the LORD, Who forget My holy mountain, Who set a table for Fortune, And who fill {cups} with mixed wine for Destiny,

1. You who forsake the LORD: this refers to those of the nation of Israel during the Messiah generation. It is described by Jesus at Luke 19:44, "because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

2. Forget my holy mountain: they are more concerned with their own personal prosperity and well-being than for the spiritual heritage that revolves around Zion, a name that often represents the entire nation.

3. They set a table for Fortune: the Hebrew has the preposition Le, plus the definite article plus the word GAD, which occurs often in the Phoenician and and Aramaic inscriptions for the god of fortune (fortuity or good luck). This indicates that they worship the concept of good luck and prosperity as being of greater value than occupation with the Messiah. This can involve actual idolatry as with the Isaiah and Jeremiah generations, or it can involve the ideology of making the betterment of yourself the priority in life.

4. and serve wine for Destiny: Again the preposition, Le + THE + the word MENI, which occurs in the same inscriptions for the god of destiny. This further indicates occupation with the physical issues of life rather than the TRUE spiritual issues.

5. Because of actual idolatry and the attitude of idolatry (covetousness), the nation will be judged. The application of what follows to the Messiah generation is valid because Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1 at Romans 9:20 with application to the Gentiles; and because at Isaiah 65:9, the context of Messiah's arrival is announced.

 

Isaiah 65:12

1. I will destine you for the sword, And all of you shall bow down to the slaughter:

This is a reference to the final stage of national discipline (5th cycle) that will be administered to the nation of Israel in 605 to 536 BC via Chaldea under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Chronicles 36:14-21); and then to Israel in 70 AD via Rome. Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-24

In the Chaldean captivity, the nation is restored after 70 years, but in the Roman captivity, Israel is scattered world wide and remains under discipline until the second coming of Jesus (which at the time of this writing, has been 1932 years).

2. Because I called, but you did not answer; I spoke, but you did not hear.

This is the offer of personal and national salvation to Israel through the personal presence of the Messiah. John 1:9-12; Mat. 23:29-38;

The Messiah was rejected by the nation as a whole, and only a few individuals benefited from Christ's work at that time.

3. And you did evil in My sight, And chose that in which I did not delight."

This is a summary of their religious rejection of God's standards for both relationship and worship. As a result, the NATION will be rejected and only those individuals within the nation who trust in Jesus as the Messiah will then be known as God's servants. These, as well as any Gentile converts, will be formed into a new SPIRITUAL nation that will carry out the priestly function of taking the gospel to the world (Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 2:9-10).

 

Isaiah 65:13, Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry. Behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty. Behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame.

The NEW servants will have spiritual prosperity. They will have spiritual food and drink and experience the peace and joy of spiritual life by their relationship with God through trust in the Messiah.
John 10:10; 14:27; 15:11; 16:1, 33.

Those who accept Jesus as the bread of life, will never hunger (John 6:32-35), and those who accept the water of life of Christ's salvation provision (John 4:14) will never thirst.

But the people of Israel who reject the Messiah will continue in their spiritual hunger and thirst, and in 70 AD the nation will be judged (about 1 million died, according to Josephus, Wars 6.9), and those individuals who survive (about 97,000, according to Josephus, Wars 6.9) will be scattered throughout the Roman empire as slaves.

 

Isaiah 65:14, "Behold, My servants shall shout joyfully with a glad heart, But you shall cry out with a heavy heart, And you shall wail with a broken spirit.

The NEW priestly body will have spiritual prosperity and happiness even in the midst of general persecution (John 15:11; 16:20-22). But the nation of Israel, its citizenry scattered throughout the world, will be in spiritual and societal misery. Leviticus 26:36-39; Deut. 28:64-67; Isaiah 57:21

 

Isaiah 65:15

1. And you will leave your name for a curse: the name Jew has been feared, disrespected, hated and maligned all through the years since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Jewish people throughout all of history have inherited the stigma of the generation that crucified Jesus. 1 Thes. 2:14-16; Luke 24:20; Acts 2:22-23; 3:13;

2. to My chosen ones: Again the word, bAchir (and eklektos in the LXX), to refer to those who trust in Jesus as the Messiah Savior.

This means that while the name JEW is cursed, the blessings that were originally meant for them are now extended to the church which is comprised of individuals from all races (1 Corinthians 12:13).

3. And the Lord GOD will slay you: the nation of Israel will be destroyed. About 1 million, 100 thousand Jews are killed by the legions of Rome. The temple will be demolished, and their cultural heritage will be blown to the wind, to be remembered and practiced only by families and individuals as they are scattered throughout the world as slaves and wanderers without any focal point for their worship other than copies of the scriptures, which God allowed to be preserved.

 

Isaiah 65:15

4. But My servants will be called by another name: And the NEW priestly body will be known by a different name other than Jew and Israel; they will bear the very title of the Messiah - Christian (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). Or perhaps the new designation would be, "the chosen ones," (the elect, Col. 3:12; Rom. 8:33; 2 Tim. 2:10).

5. There will be a new spiritual reality based on the success of Messiah's sacrifice and the building of a new priestly house. The focus will now be on "the God of truth" rather than the God of Israel.

 

Isaiah 65:16, Because he who is blessed in the earth Shall be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!

1. Because: this begins to explain the new spiritual reality starting with the converts of the Messiah generation, the new priestly body, the church. Then Isaiah advances to the next stage for ISRAEL, which will be the fulfillment of her kingdom blessings in a "new heavens and a new earth" in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13; Isaiah 9:7). This term extends to the new physical universe which will come into existence at the end of the millennial kingdom, but that is not revealed until the New Testament (2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1).

2. The God of TRUTH: the word is Amen, which means faithfulness.

The significance of this title is that God has brought to completion His promised plans for the redemption of the human race and the future inheritance of Israel. Although Israel will not be "in blessing" at the time that the new priestly body is functioning, it is in fact the reality of that new body that declares the faithfulness of God. And that faithfulness proclaimed and understood confirms the future fulfillment of the promises originally given to Abraham. The focus will be on the God of Faithfulness, NOT on the God of Israel.
There might be a reference to this new focus at John 4:23-24, but it is not something to be dogmatic about.

"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

3. Former troubles forgotten . . . hidden from my sight: This seems to refer to the failures (sins) of Israel in general (with application to the sins of all mankind). The sins of the human race, have now been placed upon the Son, and forgiveness is extended to all people through faith in Christ. Acts 10:42-43.

Isaiah 53:6-7, 10-11; Psalm 103:10-14; Jer. 31:31-34

A. The penalty for sin is removed for all who believe (Rom. 6:23).
B. And the failures of the nation of Israel are also removed for individuals who believe (Romans 1:16; Acts 13:39).

C. And for the PHYSICAL nation of Israel, their national failures will be a thing of the past, once she is restored from discipline and brought into the millennial kingdom. But the basis for that is the sacrifice of the Messiah for sins. The new covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 10:16-17.

D. This fulfills the promises of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. Verse 24, "to bring to an end the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make a covering for iniquity."

E. Thus, at the time that the kingdom begins, ALL ISRAEL will be in a state of belief. Romans 11:25-27, "Thus all Israel will be saved."

F. This will be the result of the separation of the fat sheep from the lean sheep of Ezekiel 34:17-22

Isaiah 65:17, "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.

1. For: explains the basis for focusing on the faithfulness of God.
It is because He will bring to fulfillment the land blessings given to Abraham, and it will be a new heavens and earth because "the former things shall not be remembered."

2. The new heavens and earth describes the millennial earth because there will be a change in the physical laws so that people will live much longer. Also wild animals will be tamed as at verse 25.

3. The following verses all describe this as referring to the millennial earth and not the renovation of the universe that takes place at the end of the millennium.

4. But what begins at the millennial reign of the Messiah will be amplified at the end, when the FINAL disposition of the physical universe is established via total renovation (Revelation 21:1).

5. In addition, the future deliverance of creation from its physical curse is directly related to the resurrection program that begins at the Day of the Lord. Romans 8:18-25 makes this correlation and indicates that "the creation itself will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God," which is called the "redemption of the body" at verse 23.

But this aspect of the new heavens and new earth was unrevealed to the Old Testament prophets, because it is part of the mystery truth which was not revealed except to the New Testament apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:5; Romans 16:25-16).

6. The creation of the new heavens and new earth actually has three phases to it.

A. The RESURRECTION phase, which begins at the inception of the day of the Lord.
Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:22-24, 50-53; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; Rev. 20:4

B. The KINGDOM phase, which is the 1000 earthly reign of the Messiah.
Isaiah 65:18-25; 66:20-23

C. The ETERNAL phase, which is the total physical renovation, which for lack of any language to the contrary, seems to last for all eternity. Heb. 12:26-27; 2 Pet. 3:7-12; Rev. 21:1

 

Isaiah 65:18-19, But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem {for} rejoicing, And her people {for} gladness. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.

The Millennial NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH will provide wonderful physical and emotional blessings. There will be a fulfillment of human happiness during the millennium for the Jewish people living in Jerusalem.
The word, "forever," is a idiom common to all languages that expresses the idea of perpetuity for as long as one is alive. In this context, the focus is on the physical status of Israel and the earth during Messiah's reign. That will last for 1000 years only and then there will be a completely new and different focus. The encouragement to "rejoice forever" refers to rejoicing over the physical blessings extended to Jerusalem and Israel during the kingdom. The focus is not on eternity, even though the terminology will be used to extend the blessing into eternity.

 

Isaiah 65:20, No longer will there be in it an infant {who lives but a few} days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Shall be {thought} accursed.

Long life for all, however, if a believer gets out of fellowship with God, he may be disciplined with physical death. And if an unbeliever violates established policy for living on the "new" earth, he may also forfeit his life, and anyone who ends up dying "early" (before the age of 100), shall be considered to be under a curse (curse of discipline or judgment from God).

There will be those who will be born and grow up without trusting in Christ. The result will be that whole nations will once again be viewed as rebellious against God's viewpoint and policy, and as a result come under various degrees of judgment from Him. Zechariah 14:17-19

Furthermore, by the end of the thousand years of Christ's reign on the earth, there will be a very large group of unbelievers who will be marshaled by Satan to try once again to destroy Jesus (Revelation 20:7-9).

 

Isaiah 65:21-22, And they shall build houses and inhabit {them} ; They shall also plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build, and another inhabit, They shall not plant, and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, {so shall be} the days of My people, And My chosen ones shall wear out the work of their hands.

1. economic prosperity described from the perspective of an agricultural economy.

2. There will be no threat of others invading and confiscating the produce of the land.

3. The lifetime of a tree certainly refers to one that lives a long time such as the oak, for otherwise the application to a long life for the citizenry has no significance.

4. The chosen ones, mentioned here, again indicates that these are believers. But this time the focus has changed from the church, to those who will be believers during the millennium.

5. The image portrayed by "shall wear out the work of their hands," is that of OUT LIVING your production, in the sense that you survive long enough (and longer) to fully enjoy the labor of your hands.
Of course, this is taught from the perspective of an agricultural economy and will be experienced quite differently in the actual millennial kingdom.

 

Isaiah 65:23, They shall not labor in vain, Or bear {children} for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their descendants with them.

The judgment on the nation is over. She shall not again, give up her children to be killed by invaders and have to endure the destruction of her cities through military invasion.

The people and their children will leave in peace and security "forever," that is, through the duration of the Messiah's earthly reign, which is revealed in the New Testament as 1000 years long.

All that had plagued the nation throughout its entire history is now behind them and will never again be a threat. The closest that it will come is at the very end of the kingdom when Satan is released. But his attempt to once again oppress Israel will be immediately prevented.

 

Isaiah 65:24-25 are written in prose to indicate the end of this section, which began at chapter 63.
Chapter 66 begins with a new discourse although directly connected with what has been given in the previous chapters.

Isaiah 65:24, It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

This indicates that the kingdom begins with believers who will have consistency in their prayer activity so that God will be ever quick to meet their needs. Of course, believers with a consistent faith-rest attitude toward God's character and plan have always enjoyed the magnificence of this very same prayer promise. The concept is that God knows exactly what we need as His children and is ever working "all things together for good" (Rom. 8:28) as we consistently trust in Him. Matthew 6:31-34; Philippians 4:6-7, 19.

 

Isaiah 65:25, The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.

As mentioned earlier, the wild animals will be tamed, and these animals will cause no harm or ruin in all of Israel.

1. the word evil, is rAa, and means to do HARM. This is a good place to reaffirm the understanding that the word group RAAH does not mean evil, but harm. Evil is harmful, but functions independently from this idea of causing harm. Evil is harmful, but harmful does not mean evil. At Isaiah 45:7, we learn that Yahweh is the one who accomplishes PEACE and who creates EVIL. However, the word for evil is ra, and actually means HARM. This is given in the context of bringing national judgment upon Israel. It is certainly HARMFUL, what God does, but it is not, is never, evil. Each context must be carefully evaluated and never settle for the translation EVIL, unless it is perfectly clear that evil is the exact intent of the writer or speaker.

This then indicates that no physical harm will be done through the normal actions of animals during the millennial kingdom.

2. The word destroy, is the verb shAchath, and in the hiphil stem, means to spoil or ruin. Coupled with rAa, this word means the destruction of THINGS. Thus, no harm to living things and no harm to property.

3. This refers primarily to Israel's territory, rather than the rest of the world. The point is, that there will be no harm done to living things and no harm brought to the property or the bodies of another through the animal kingdom.

4. This is a restatement of the promise given more extensively at Isaiah 11:6-9.

5. This does not militate against the understanding that there will be animal sacrifices during the kingdom (Ezekiel 44-46), for this is talking only about the harm that the animal kingdom does to others.

Chapter 66, now starts over and focuses on the first advent of the Messiah, and based on Messiah's success, the progress of God's plan from the construction of the new priestly house to the reestablishment of Israel as God's priestly agent in Messiah's earthly kingdom.

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 66


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İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
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