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

Home Gospel Tracts Bible Studies Jim Melough Contact


 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2007 James Melough

66:1. “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?”

Having announced the eternal endurance of Satan’s punishment Isaiah is now inspired to declare the eternal existence of Jehovah, to indicate - because it defies description - the magnificence of His throne, and to declare the impossibility of erecting a house for Him who is eternally omnipresent and omniscient.

66:2. “For all those things have 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.”

As to how God created all things it is written, “For He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast,” Ps 33:9, yet His chief interest is not in these marvels of His creation, but in the man who is humble and penitent, and who revers His Word, i.e., who loves and obeys His Word. The man who professes to be a believer, but who has little or no interest in the study of Scripture, contradicts his profession of faith, for the hallmark of genuine faith is a hunger for, and delight in obeying, the written Word.

66:3. “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.”

In this verse God turns from the announcement of His own uniqueness and holiness to describe the character of the hypocrites, who under the guise of presenting worship actually engage in what is abominable to Him. There are few things more abhorrent to God than hypocrisy, and in all of Scripture it would be difficult to find that fact more clearly stated than here. But spiritual myopia will prevent many from seeing in what is described here God’s view of what passes for “worship” in Christendom today. Beyond the facade of magnificent buildings, a robed and collared clergy, choirs, well-dressed but for the most part unconverted congregations, lies what is as abominable to God as are the things described in this verse. What passes for worship in these “churches” is a far cry from what characterized the meetings of the early Church as described in the New Testament. Protestantism in fact is but the stepchild of Roman Catholicism, and today’s ecumenical movement is on the verge of bringing the errant child back to its ungodly parent.

66:4. “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.”

“...delusions” is also rendered: vexatious things, torment, calamity, hardships, these being the evils brought on by their rebellion against God, who today speaks to men through His Word; but as it was then so is it still: men’s ears are so filled with the clamor of the world that they can’t hear “the still small voice” of God because they won’t study the Bible.

66:5. “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.”

“Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word” is God’s exhortation to true believers, for that same Word is able to sustain and comfort those who love the Lord.

“Let the Lord be glorified” is the mocking challenge of unbelievers to let God glorify Himself by demonstrating His power in delivering His own out of all their troubles. But God doesn’t immediately respond to every challenge of unbelief. In His own good time He will answer the challenge when it will be too late to benefit His enemies. What unbelief fails to realize is that it is by trials that God refines the faith of His own, and eternity will reveal the wisdom of true believers in accepting present adversity as just one of their heavenly Father’s refining methods.

66:6. “A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to his enemies.”

This is generally understood to be a description of the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians, the Lord’s enemies being His own rebellious people, and this being His punishment of their unbelief.

66:7. “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.”

Israel’s time of travail will be in the coming Great Tribulation, the judgments of which will result in the destruction of many, but that will see the conversion of a Jewish remnant, some of whom will survive those judgments, and remain on the earth to enjoy the blessings of the Millennium before passing into the eternal state in the new heavens and new earth. Two thousand years ago Israel, without travail pains, i.e., without knowing it, produced the “man child,” the Lord Jesus Christ, but because He came in lowly guise she failed to recognize Him, and instead of receiving Him as her Savior and King, crucified Him.

66:8. “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? 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.”

The “one day” here is generally understood to be the now imminent Great Tribulation; and the “travail pain” clearly refers to Israel’s terrible sufferings during that three-and-a-half year era, which will end with the Lord returning to deliver her and inaugurate His glorious millennial kingdom. The children brought forth as a result of Israel’s travail will be the surviving believing Jewish remnant that will remain on the earth to enjoy the blessings of His millennial reign.

66:9. “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.”

The NAB translation of this verse reads, “Shall I bring a mother to the point of birth, and yet not let her child be born? says the Lord: or shall I who allow her to conceive, yet close her womb? says your God?”

This continues the Lord’s reaffirmation of His intention to bring a believing remnant of Israel out of the Great Tribulation and into the enjoyment of millennial blessing.

66:10. “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:”

However recalcitrant Israel may have been, the fact remains that the Jews are still God’s chosen and beloved people whom He will eventually bless and promote to dominion over all the nations in the Millennium.

66:11. “That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”

The picture continues to be of Israel repentant, forgiven, blessed, glorified, and restored to her God-appointed place of supremacy in the Millennium, during which she will be like a nursing mother to the nations, her abundance being the source of blessing to all of them.

66:12. “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.”

The NEB translation of this verse reads, “For thus says the Lord: I will send peace flowing over her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a stream in flood.”

Millennial Israel, promoted to glory and supremacy over the nations will be like a loving nursing mother to all of them - a very different condition from what exists today, for the truth is that in spite of an outward facade of friendliness, little love is lost between the Gentiles and the Jews.

66:13. “As one whom his mother conforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

In the Millennium Israel’s supremacy will be exercised like that of a loving nursing mother over her children, her care being for the welfare and blessing of all the nations.

66:14. “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 towards his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.”

TAYLOR has translated this verse, “All the world will see the good hand of God upon His people, and His wrath upon His enemies.”

The glory and peace of the Millennium will rest on the fact that in that era God will rule with a firm hand, rebellion being tolerated only as long as it remains covert, but being punished the moment it become overt.

66:15 “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger and fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”

66:16. “For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.”

This describes the fury with which the Lord will come in power and glory to end the Great Tribulation, and establish His Millennial kingdom, see 2 Thess. 1:6-9.

66:17. “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.”

The reference here is to pagans who attempt to be purified by observing the prescribed rites of their false religions; but God’s warning is that all such will be “consumed,” i.e., be cast into hell, and ultimately the lake of fire, where they will exist in eternal torment.

This picture of pagan idolatry shouldn’t blind us to the fact that Roman Catholicism is nothing less than apostate Christianity’s sanitized duplication of the same folly - and having the same eternal fatal consequences.

66:18. “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 gathering mentioned here will be at Armageddon at the end of the Great Tribulation, see Rev 16:16, “And He gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon,” meaning the hill of slaughter. God’s glory will be displayed there in His slaughter of the rebel armies.

66:19. “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 name, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.”

This setting of a sign is generally taken to be God’s sending the survivors of the battle of Armageddon as His evangelists to the nations during the Millennium.

Tarshish, meaning she will cause poverty: she will shatter, is believed to have been located in Spain; the location of Pul, meaning distinguishing: separator, is unknown; Lud, located in Spain, means to the firebrand: prevailing; Tubal in Asia Minor, means thou shalt be brought; Javan, meaning the effervescing one: mired, is another name for Greece.

There can be little doubt that there is a spiritual lesson connected with these names, but I regret being unable to determine what that message is.

66:20. “And they 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.”

Following the Great Tribulation, the Jews who will have been scattered over the face of the earth, will be brought back to Palestine to enjoy the blessings of the Millennium, part of those benefits being God’s appointment of them to the position of national supremacy, an honor long forfeited by their disobedience. See also comments on chapter 60.

66:21. “And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the Lord.”

Levi means joined, and a further blessing of their restoration will be their reinstatement as God’s priests.

66:22. “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.”

Since the new heavens and new earth will continue for ever, so also apparently will the ministry of the Levites.

66:23. “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.”

This indicates that the Levitical form of worship will continue in and beyond the Millennium, a reminder undoubtedly that the redeemed will never cease to worship God for His “so great salvation,” secured by the sacrificial death of the One who is represented by all the past typical offerings: the Lord Jesus Christ.

66:24. “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.”

This refutes the unscriptural belief that God is too kind to punish unrepentant sinners eternally. Scripture is unequivocal: as the blessing of the redeemed is eternal, so also is the torment of the unbeliever, hence the imperative of heeding God’s warning, “Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2 Cor 6:2. Tomorrow may be eternally too late.


[The End]

Home Gospel Tracts Bible Studies Jim Melough Contact

     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
Portions of this website are copyrighted by the authors, and
all permissions and title to copyrights have been granted to Boundless Partners, Inc.

© 2000-2007 James Melough, ©2008 Boundless Partners