ISAIAH 59  


 

ISAIAH 59
FUTURE SALVATION PROVISION FOR ISRAEL AND THE WORLD

Verse one makes a general statement about God's character and plan.
1. The hand of the LORD: Lit: the hand of Yahweh. Yahweh is the personal name of God. It is usually translated as "the LORD," but there is no definite article used with it directly. Here the construction is "the hand of Yahweh" which is translated as "the hand of the LORD."
See audio study:
Lord_Jehovah

2. hand is not so short that it cannot save." Hand and arm is often used as a symbol of God's power.
This refers to the ability of God to save based on the provision of a way of salvation. Isaiah 55:1-3
V. 55:3, "incline your ear and come to Me, listen that you may live;
and I will make an everlasting covenant with you."

3. "neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear."
God will hear and respond (accept) the one who puts their faith in the Messianic promise; in the one who will be "the Savior of the world." Is. 55:6-7.
V. 55:6, "Seek Yahweh while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near."
"For whoever will call upon the name of Yahweh will be saved." Joel 2:32; Rom. 10:13.

4. This refers to the universal availability of salvation from sin and the possession of everlasting life with God.
WHOEVER believes has everlasting life: John 3:15-16
WHOEVER wants take the water of life freely: Rev. 22:17
See Topic: unlimited atonement

Verses 2-15a declares the status of the whole world in sin. Rom. 3:9-18
Verses 2-3
The "your" statements indicates that this is an indictment on the nation of Israel at the time of writing. But it serves as a launching pad for the GENERAL indictment on the sinfulness of the entire human race.
1. separation: "your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God."
Rom. 3:23, "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

2. No prayer access: God will not hear the prayers of those who are separated from Him.
Psalm 66:18. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
The only thing He will hear from the unbeliever is the proclamation (mental and/or verbal) of trust in the Messianic promise. Is. 55:3, "incline your ear and come to Me. Listen that your soul may live."

Verse 3, statement of general sinfulness both overt acts and sinful speech.
Unbelievers and religious people frequently talk about praying to God even in times of trouble.
It is a "popular" thing to do, and sometimes they even claim that God has answered them.
But any kind of "deliverance" is NOT because God has "heard" them, but because of:
A. coincidence: It just happens that the troublesome situation is resolved.
B. God certainly KNOWS everything, and MIGHT respond to the crisis in a helpful way because He chooses to according to His perfect wisdom and plan.

Verses 4-8
Here Isaiah changes to the third person to describe the GENERAL sinfulness of the entire human race.
This is indicated also by Paul's quote at Romans 3:15-17 as part of the GENERAL indictment on the entire human race.
Rom. 3:10, "there is none righteous, no not one." This statement is then amplified by the list at Romans 3:10-18
The LIST of sins there and here in Isaiah 59, simply covers "all the bases." All people are not guilty of the entire list, but EVERYONE falls somewhere on the list, and quite often more than just once.

Verses 9-15a
Here, Isaiah changes again, but this time to the FIRST person plural.
This expresses the nation's condition and self-condemnation that results from the wide-spread sinfulness of the people that will exist in part at the first arrival of the Messiah; the REDEEMER advent. This is based on the context at verses 15b-17a.
This will result in the conversion of thousands of Jews who trust in Jesus during the building of Christ's church.

It also looks to the general attitude of the nation just before Christ's second coming; the JUDGE advent.
And this will result in the conversion of the 144k Jews of Rev. 7:1-8 and many more during the next several months.
This is similar to the national confession stated at Isaiah 53:1-6.

Verse 9a, "therefore justice is far from us and righteousness does not overtake us."
The justice that forgives sin.
The righteousness that God requires for a right standing before Him.
Both ideas are repeated at verse 14.

Verse 9b, "we hope for light, but behold, darkness;
for brightness but we walk in gloom."
This is because of their sin described in vs. 12-15a and the divine discipline on them.
Their HOPE is in the wrong object.
1. They trusted in their relationship to Abraham. Mat. 3:8-9; John 8:33;
2. They trusted in their works of human righteousness. Rm 10:2-3
3. Is. 64:6, "all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment."
4. At Isaiah 65:2 it is described as, "who walk in a way that is not good, following their own thoughts."

And yet even so occupied with "their own thoughts" they think that the COMING of the Messiah (the day of the Lord) will be something helpful to them.
This attitude is rebuked at Amos 5:18, "alas, you who are longing for the day of the Lord, for what purpose will the day of the Lord be for you? It will be darkness and not light."


Verses 10-11
Further description of the suffering and turmoil from national and personal discipline. This is a general summary of the experience of national and personal discipline from God they will encounter in the future after the rejection of the Messiah. This is based on the context that sees the provision of the Messiah during the REDEEMER advent.
This is similar to the national confession of Isaiah 53.
"We grope for the wall like people who are blind,
We grope like those who have no eyes.
We stumble at midday as in the twilight;
Among those who are healthy we are like the dead."

Verses 12-15a
The sins of the people and the nation.
This reviews the general condition of the nation that characterized it periodically throughout its history and then specifically during the generation that sees the first coming of the the promised Messiah.
(NASB)
"For our wrongful acts have multiplied before You,
And our sins have testified against us;
For our wrongful acts are with us,
And we know our wrongdoings:
13 Offending and denying the Lord,
And turning away from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering lying words from the heart.
14 Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands far away;
For truth has stumbled in the street,
And uprightness cannot enter.
15a Truth is lacking, And one who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey."

Verse 15b declares God's viewpoint concerning the sinfulness of mankind.
"And Yahweh saw: This is not saying that it is was at THAT time that Yahweh noticed what was going on.
It is simply declaring that He was AWARE of what was going on.
And it was evil in His sight that there was no justice."
The Hebrew adjective, ra, actually means harmful; destructive, or evil.
This states God's recognition and acknowledgement of the depravity of the people.
No justice describes the moral depravity of the people.
Israel is in view but has application to all mankind as seen earlier at verses 4-8, and at Rom. 3:9-18.

Verse 16a The inability of man to save himself.
This states the fact that there is no human solution to the sin problem.
Romans 5:6-10 (helpless, ungodly, sinners, enemies); John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5
1. and He saw that there was no man: man, in and of himself can do nothing.
Psalm 49:7-9, "no man can by any means redeem another."
2. and was astonished: shAmam; hithpoel imperfect.
Antropopathism to express God's response to the spiritual condition of His nation.
This states the response of Yahweh to the helplessness of His nation and the failure of the nation's spiritual leadership.
Also at Isaiah 63:5, response of Yahweh to the helplessness of His nation at the hands of the beast during the tribulation.
3. that there was no one to intercede: In the context of God's timing for the REDEEMER advent ("the fullness of time, Gal. 4:4) there was no one to protect and save the people of Israel from the religious oppression of the nation's leadership; Pharisees, etc.


Isaiah 59:16b-17a
This is a good example of how the prophets often wrote of both advents of the Messiah as a single event.
Verse 16b-17a declares God's plan of redemption through the first advent of the Messiah/Savior.
1Cor. 1:30 (WRSR); Rom. 3:21-26
"Then His own arm brought salvation to Him; and His righteousness supported Him.
And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head."
His own arm brought salvation to Him: Yahweh Himself provided the answer. He sent Jesus into the world.
ARM could be a personification to represent the Messiah at the first advent.
The ARM of the Lord is sometimes used in a technical sense to refer to the person of the Messiah.
A. At the first advent: Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38;
B. At the second advent: Isaiah 40:10; 51:5, 9; 52:10; 63:5
C. At the Exodus: Isaiah 51:9-10; 63:8-12

Or it could be referring to the Father and the steps He will take to provide salvation, not only to the people of Israel, but also to the Gentiles.

3. His righteousness supported Him: Everything that God does is perfectly consistent with His character of righteousness and justice. Qal perfect of sAmak (the same verb used at Is. 63:5, "My wrath supported Me."
A. In the case of Jesus: Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He was personally supported by His own integrity and application of God's word.
John 8:29, "I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."
Jesus was able in His humanity to remain faithful to the divine value system; the Father's plan. He resisted all temptation: Heb. 4:15; Mat. 4:1-10; 26:39; Mat. 26:39.

B. In the case of the Father: He is the one who "brought" the Son into the world. Gal. 4:4.

4. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head:
Symbolism to describe the REDEEMER function of the Godhead.
Righteousness in a salvation context.
vengeance and wrath in a judgment context. Is. 63:5

Verse 17b-18 skips over the church age and refers to the second coming of the Messiah for vengeance. (Rev. 6:9-11).
1. He put on garments of vengeance: recompense on His enemies.
At Is. 63:5, "and my wrath upheld me."
2. and wrapped Himself with zeal: fervor and determination to carry out His plan.
The day of the Lord does not need to be mentioned as the rest of the OT clarifies that His coming in judgment and wrath is indeed the DOL.
See topic: day of the LORD survey

3. The mention of both advents with no break is also seen at Isaiah 61:1-2.
The Messiah's REDEEMER advent is described in vs. 1-2a, ending with, "to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord."
The Messiah's JUDGE advent is described in vs. 2b-3, beginning with, "and the day of vengeance of our God."
When Jesus quotes this passage (Luke 4:16-21), He stops reading at "to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord," because that part is what is fulfilled by His first advent presence and work of redemption.

Verse 19
The ultimate result of the second coming will be REVERENCE (fear) of the LORD.
"So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream, Which the wind of the LORD drives."


Isaiah 59:20
The arrival of the Messiah in judgment is also to deliver the nation of Israel and prepare it for the earthly Davidic kingdom.
This is a summary statement concerning the coming of the Messiah.
1. And a Redeemer will come to Zion: The REDEEMER advent) was already mentioned by Isaiah at verses 16b-17a. This statement looks specifically to the NEXT coming after that one.
However, it is STILL the coming of the REDEEMER because he comes also to fulfill the salvation promise to the nation of Israel.
Paul's quote at Rom. 11:26 does not look BACK to the REDEEMER advent, but FORWARD to the JUDGE advent, when Jesus will PHYSICALLY judge and deliver.
Paul uses the preposition "out from" (ek) which indicates the source of the Messiah. The source of the Messiah is the nation of Israel (Zion) and specifically, born from the seed of Abraham and David. But recognizing the source of the Messiah does not deny the specific second coming focus.

2. And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob," declares the LORD.
The next line in the Hebrew is "and to (le) those who turn (shubh) from transgression (pesha) in Jacob."
The proposition can also indicate "for" or "concerning."
The Hebrew focuses on those of Israel who are SEEKING the Messiah prior to His arrival. It is after He arrives that this group of "seeking" Jews will trust in Jesus as SAVIOR.
Romans 11:26, "He will remove (apostrepho) ungodliness (asebeia) from Jacob."
This is exactly quoted from the LXX.
When He comes it is FOR and concerning the nation. His intent is to judge the wicked and recognize the devotion of the "seekers" from among the Jews of Israel. Thus, as Paul represents it, when He comes He will indeed remove all ungodliness. And as a result, everyone who is left will be a believer and fulfill the promise, "all Israel will be saved."

The JUDGE advent is the coming of the Lord both FOR and TO Israel.
It will start with the conversion of the 144k Jews of Rev. 7:1-8.
Romans 11:26b, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB:
This is a direct quote from the LXX at Isaiah 59:20.
The Hebrew says, "to the ones in Jacob turning from sin."
This involves two stages.
First will be the conversion of the group of "seeking" (Mal. 3:1) Jews who will trust in Jesus after He arrives.
Just before the second coming, there will be a large group of Jews who recognize Jesus as the promised MESSIAH, and will long for Him and seek Him. It is THIS group that is in view at Mal. 3:1.
"The Lord whom you SEEK will suddenly come to his temple."
And when He arrives, this group of "seeking" Jews will then accept Him as SAVIOR.

This group is the 144k Jewish servants who trust in Jesus as SAVIOR after He arrives and the church is removed via the rapture. For those who trust in Jesus, ungodliness will be removed from them.
Then throughout the DOL judgments there will be many who trust in Jesus as Savior.

Second: After all the DOL judgments are completed, ending with the battle of Armageddon, Jesus will prepare the earth by removing all unbelievers so that only believers will be left alive to go into the earthly Davidic kingdom.
Mat. 25:31ff; Ezek. 20:33-38; 34:17-24.

Isaiah 59:21 looks to the earthly kingdom and the secondary or PHYSICAL fulfillment of the new covenant.
"This is My covenant with them."
All the believers left alive will be partakers of "My covenant."
Likewise, Romans 11:27, quoting Jeremiah 31:33-34, then looks to the fulfillment of the New Covenant to the entire nation during the DOL and at the inception of the millennial kingdom.
The new covenant of Jer. 31:31-34 was initiated by the redemptive work of Christ on the cross; the REDEEMER advent.
And it was first realized by those who trusted in Jesus as the Savior of the world.
It was thus, spiritually fulfilled at that time and is fulfilled at the present time for everyone who trusts in Christ as Savior.
It will be both spiritually and physically fulfilled after completion of the JUDGE advent in the earthly Davidic kingdom.
For as already shown, it is at that time that "all Israel will be saved," and there will be no more unbelievers left on the earth at the start of the kingdom.
God will thus, "take away their sins."
Individually as people trust in Jesus as Savior during the period of time called the day of the Lord.
Nationally as God physically removes all unbelievers out from the earth after the dust settles from the battle of Armageddon.

The new covenant will be fulfilled for Israel through national salvation and entrance into the mil kingdom.
After the fat sheep are removed from the earth, leaving only the lean sheep, every Jew on the earth will be saved and go alive into the earthly Davidic kingdom. Ezek. 34:17-22; 20:33-38
Likewise, after the Gentile unbelievers (goats) are removed from the believing Gentiles (sheep), then EVERYONE left alive on the earth will be believers and go into the mil. kingdom. Mat. 25:31-45
Isaiah 59:21 describes the blessing of spiritual life in the earthly kingdom.
Isaiah 60:1, is an appeal to the nation to accept the Redeemer when He comes, for it will come at a time when the nation is under the extreme darkness of the great tribulation (verse 2).


 

 
 

Questions and comments are always welcome

Return to BIBLE FRAGRANCES index

 

 

İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.

 

Home | Recent Additions | Studies | Commentary

 

Prophecy | Articles | Topical | About Us