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 2007 James Melough

62:1. “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my pace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”

The Speaker here appears to be God the Father.

Zion (another name for Jerusalem) means parched place; but Jerusalem means dual peace shall be taught: lay (set) ye double peace. For most of her history the city has indeed been Zion, a parched place spiritually, her disobedience causing her to languish under the chastisement of God; but the day is near when she will no more be called Zion but Jerusalem, the capital of the millennial earth basking in the enjoyment of the peace the world has so long sought but not yet known.

We are reading only half the spiritual message however, if we fail to see in her transformation a type of what occurs when a sinner repents and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior: the formerly “parched” life becomes as a watered garden basking in the peace and blessing of God, see Php 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The second half of the verse has also something to teach us: righteousness must characterize the believer’s life, because if it doesn’t the brightness of our lamp of testimony will become the equivalent of a mere smoking wick, and it is to be remembered that frequent trimming is essential if the wick is to burn with a clear bright flame, see Mt 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The equivalent of that “trimming” is the self-examination enjoined relative to the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week, see 1 Cor 11:27-30, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (die).”

62:2. “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.”

It is instructive to note that righteousness precedes glory, the degree of eternal glory being in proportion to the measure of righteousness displayed in the life lived here on earth. And relative to the new name, we have already noted that such a change accompanied a changed state, e.g., Jacob meaning supplanter became Israel meaning he shall be prince of God; and the fierce persecutor of the Christians, Saul meaning requested, became Paul meaning little, the great apostle. And it is to be noted that it is God, not man, who pronounces the new name.

62:3. “Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”

What will be true of millennial Jerusalem will be equally true of her people: the converted nation will reflect God’s glory, and will lead the nations to worship Him also. The same principle applies to believers today: we are responsible to live as becomes our high calling, and to be faithful in proclaiming the gospel, which believed, will lead others to worship Him also. Our own eternal glory will also reflect the degree of faithfulness we have exercised in spreading the gospel, and in seeking to glorify Him by our obedience to His word.

62:4. “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”

Hephzi-bah means my delight is in her, and Beulah, married, the state that is synonymous with fruitful increase. The type will be fulfilled in the Millennium as declared in Amos 9:13 e.g., “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt (flow with wine).” In Scripture, wine, used in a good sense, as here, speaks of joy.

62:5. “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”

The symbolic picture is still of Israel in the Millennium, the happiness of the people being likened to the pleasure a young man has in his bride, and God’s pleasure in her being presented under the same figure, thus emphasizing the harmony that will exist between God and the people in that glorious era.

62:6. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence.”

62:7. “And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

Taylor has translated these verses, “O Jerusalem, I have set intercessors on your walls who shall cry to God all day and all night for the fulfillment of His promises. Take no rest, all you who pray, and give God no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her respected and admired throughout the earth.”

The speaker is generally understood to be God commanding the people to continue in prayer for the establishment of Christ’s millennial kingdom, and the question may be asked, Why would He command them to pray for what He had already determined to do, i.e., bring in that kingdom? The answer seems to be that it was to keep the hope of it constantly before them in the long interval that was to intervene before fulfillment of the promise, and during which there would be much to discourage them even to the point of abandoning all expectation of its fulfillment.

That same encouragement is needed today. As believers look back over the 2,000 years that have passed since the Lord’s death, resurrection, and return to heaven, they too may become discouraged, and be tempted to ask the same question as the scoffers mentioned in 2 Pe 3:4, “Where is the promise of his coming?” or that of the believers in Rev 6:10 “.... How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Everything however, points to the imminence of His return, first to rapture His Church to heaven, and then seven years later to return with her to inaugurate His millennial kingdom.

62:8. “The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast labored.”

The immutability of the Lord’s oath here is similar to that which He made with Abraham, see Heb 6:13, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.” What is promised here in the verse we are studying will be fulfilled to Israel in the Millennium.

62:9. “But they that have gathered it shall eat it, and praise the Lord; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness.”

The produce of Israel’s fields and vineyards has been enjoyed all too often by her foes; but that will not happen in the Millennium. During that era she will be the head and not the tail of the nations. They will then willingly present her with the choicest of all they possess, in acknowledgment of her God-given supremacy over them, see Dt 28:13, “And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them.”

Israel’s rebellion has robbed her of these blessings, but the terrible Tribulation judgments will bring her to repentant confession and abandonment of her sin, in response to which God will pour out the abundant blessing promised in Amos 9:13 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.”

“... the courts of my holiness” are the Temple courts.

62:10. “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.”

Taylor’s translation of this verse is, “Go out! Go out! Prepare the roadway for My people to return! Build the roads, pull out the boulders, raise the flag of Israel.”

The command for Israel to go through the gates is generally understood to apply to their departure from Babylon. It was necessary because many had settled down in Babylon, and had chosen to remain there even after they were free to leave and return to Palestine. The application today is to those who have settled down in what Babylon represents: Roman Catholicism, and the churches of apostate Protestantism. There are many today in those two systems who are well aware of the error of both, but who refuse to come out of them.

Some commentators take this to be a command for the improvement of the roads in Israel in the Millennium; others, that it means to facilitate the return of the Jews to Palestine from the countries in which they have been so long scattered. There may be a measure of truth in both views.

62:11. “Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”

This appears to be God’s command at the beginning of the Millennium, to the Jews scattered all over the earth, to return to Palestine, and enjoy fulness of blessing. (It is to be remembered that those who survive the Tribulation judgments, and pass into the Millennium, will all be believers).

“... his work before him” is better translated “His recompense (reward) comes with Him.” The believers who survive the Tribulation will be amply rewarded by the Lord for their faithfulness to Him even at the risk of losing their lives at the hand of the Beast and his followers.

62:12. “And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”

The “holy people, the redeemed of the Lord,” will be the Israelites who will be converted during the Tribulation era; and clearly the “sought out, A city not forsaken” will be millennial Jerusalem.


[Isaiah 63]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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