Isaiah 25

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2006 James Melough

25:1.  “O Lord, thou art my God: I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”


Concerning such men as Isaiah it is written, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is,” Jeremiah 17:7.  Such a man will never be disappointed, for he has the assurance that “All things work together for good, to them that love God,” Romans 8:28.  And those who rest upon this promise emulate the prophet: they confess that God is their God, and they exalt Him, i.e., lift Him up in testimony to others; and they continually praise His name for the wonderful things He has done, the most wonderful being His giving His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for the expiation of men’s sins, all who trust Him as Savior having the assurance that their sins, past, present, and future, have all been atoned for at Calvary, they themselves receiving God’s pardon and gift of eternal life, and being made “heirs, and joint heirs” with Christ of all things.  The believer’s assurance rests on the solid foundation of God’s “faithfulness and truth.”


25:2.  “For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defended (fortified) city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built (rebuilt).”


Many exegetes take this destroyed city to be Babylon, all that remains of it today being grass-covered mounds; but it is to be noted that in Revelation 17-18 Babylon is used as a synonym for Papal Rome; and as literal Babylon is now a ruin, so also will that Romish system be destroyed by the Beast in the Tribulation; and as the literal city was never rebuilt neither will the evil system of Romanism be revived.


25:3.  “Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.”


“... strong” is also translated “mighty”; and “terrible” means “tyrannous, barbarous, ruthless, pitiless.”  Relative to the existence of such people in the Millennium, it is to be remembered that while that era will begin with a population of believers only, the children born to them will be unbelievers, some of those children becoming believers, but many remaining in unbelief, and being allowed to live as long as their sin remains covert, but dying when it becomes overt.


25:4.  “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”


“... strength” is also translated “stronghold, refuge,” and “shadow from the heat” means “a shade from the heat.” 


25:5.  “Thou shalt bring down the noise (blast) of strangers, as the heat in a dry place, even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.”


“... noise, or blast, of strangers” is rendered by Taylor as, “merciless men who are like a driving rain that melts down an earthen wall.”  God will protect His own from their enemies, just as He uses clouds to mitigate the sun’s heat.


In the present context “branch” means “song, noise, shout, pride, breath uproar.”  God will defeat the purposes of those who are the enemies of His people.”


25:6.  “And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.”


The mountain is mount Zion on which Jerusalem sits, so it is Jerusalem that is designated here; and since eating is synonymous with satisfaction, as drinking wine is with joy, the message is that in the Millennium Jerusalem will be the center of blessing for the whole world.


25:7.  “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.”


25:8.  “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.”


The Jerusalem Bible rendering of this verse reads, “On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever.” 


Taylor has translated it, “At that time He will remove the cloud of gloom, the pall of death that hangs over the earth: He will swallow up death forever,” the NT counterpart of this truth being declared in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, “... Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 


This great victory was won at Calvary when the Lord Jesus Christ, having expiated sin by His vicarious death, said, “It is finished,” and demonstrated the reality of His victory by emerging from the opened tomb  on the resurrection morning, as the Lord of Life.


25:9.  “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”


On that glorious resurrection morning the weeping of His own was turned to joy as they beheld Him alive, their rejoicing being but a sample of that which will be on that soon coming day described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”


25:10.  “For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.”


Moab represents the flesh as the enemy of the spirit; and the treading down of Moab in the Millennium speaks of the subjugation of the flesh during that era, for as noted already, during that thousand year period overt sin will bring instant death.


25:11.  “And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.”


The swimmer is Jehovah, and as a swimmer spreads his hands to displace water and propel himself through it, so will God spread His hands in the Millennium, and remove those who practice the works of the flesh.


A very unlikely hypothesis is that the swimmer is Moab.


25:12.  “And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.”


It is difficult to find in this anything to support the view of some that Moab is the actor here.  The reference is clearly to Jehovah as Moab’s Destroyer.

[Isaiah 26]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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