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Book of Isaiah

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Isaiah 52

King James Version
The Cup of the Lordís Wrath (continued)
1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money.
4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.
6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

Bible Commentary
This prophecy, which begins here and is continued to the end of the next chapter, points as plainly as can be at Jesus Christ.  The ancient Jews understood it of the Messiah, though the modern Jews take a great deal of pains to pervert it; but Philip, who hence preached Christ to the eunuch, has put it past dispute that of him speaks the prophet this, of him and of no other man, (Acts 8:34, 35). Here, God owns Christ to be both commissioned and qualified for his undertaking.  He is appointed to it. "He is my servant, whom I employ and therefore will uphold.íí In his undertaking he does his Fatherís will, seeks his Fatherís honour, and serves the interests of his Fatherís kingdom.  He is qualified for it. He shall deal prudently, he shall be prosperous and successful in his work; for the spirit of wisdom and understanding shall rest upon him, (ch. 11:2).  The word is used concerning David when he behaved himself wisely, (1 Sa. 18:14).2  The Messiah would humble Himself, but God would highly exalt Him.  The great men of earth would marvel that a man so insignificant by human standards could have so tremendous an influence on menís thinking, on their lives, and on the course of history.3  God shall exalt him, men shall extol him, and with both he shall be very high, higher than the highest, higher than the heavens.2
14 Men stand in amazement that one so highly honoured as the Son of God should have voluntarily humbled Himself as Christ did in His mission to the earth.  Jesus veiled His divinity in humanity in order than men might be attracted to Him, not because of outward glory, but because of the beauty of His character.  The Jews were perplexed that one who assumed no high honours, but lived the humble life that Jesus lived, could be the Messiah of prophecy.  Upon returning from His conflict with Satan in the wilderness of temptation, and during the greater conflict with the powers of darkness in Gethsemane, Jesus was so altered in appearance that even His friends scarcely knew Him.3 Many wondered to see what base usage he met with, how inveterate people were against him, how inhuman, and what indignities were done him: His visage was marred more than any manís when he was buffeted, smitten on the cheek, and crowned with thorns, and hid not his face from shame and spitting. Never was man used so barbarously; his form, when he took upon him the form of a servant, was more mean and abject than that of any of the sons of men. Those that saw him said, "Surely never man looked so miserably, a worm and no man,íí (Ps. 22:6). The nation abhorred him (ch. 49:7), treated him as the off-scouring of all things. Never was sorrow like unto his sorrow.2
15 The Messiah suffered, and died, and so sprinkled many nations; for in his death there was a fountain opened, (Zec. 13:1). He shall sprinkle many nations by his heavenly doctrine, which shall drop as the rain and distil as the dew (Deu. 32:2). He shall do it by baptism, which is the washing of the body with pure water, (Heb. 10:22). So that this promise had its accomplishment when Christ sent his apostles to disciple all nations, by baptizing or sprinkling them. The gospel brings to light things new and unheard of, which will awaken the attention and engage the reverence of kings and kingdoms.2  The kings shall be silent before him out of profound humility, reverence, and admiration of his wisdom. For they shall hear from his mouth many excellent doctrines, which will be new and strange to them. And particularly that comfortable doctrine of the salvation of the Gentiles, which was not only new to them, but strange and incredible to the Jews themselves.5  Much had been said in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah; much had been told them, and they had heard it. But, as the queen of Sheba found concerning Solomon, what they shall see in him, when he comes, shall far exceed what had been told them. Christ disappointed the expectations of those who looked for a Messiah according to their fancies, as the carnal Jews, but outdid theirs who looked for such a Messiah as was promised. 2


References and notes
1.  King James Authorized Version
2. The Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Bible -
3 SDA Bible Commentary Vol. 4 pgs. 288 - 289
4.  Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871).  Commentary by A. R. FAUSSETT -

5John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible -




Music for Isaiah 52

Click on image for song preview of Isaiah 52. This song was composed in 2006 and features on the low budget album Isaiah Servant Songs which was released in 2007.

  Download on iTunes


Author of Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah was the author of the book called by his name.


Chapter Division in wrong place

The chapter division should come between vs. 12 and 13 rather than after v. 15, for ch. 53:1 continues the line of thought without interruption.3,4


Was Jesus Prophesied?

The correspondence with the life and death of Jesus Christ is so minute, that it could not have resulted from conjecture or accident.  An individual is plainly described: he suffers voluntarily, innocently, patiently, and as the efficient cause of the righteousness of His people, which holds good of none other but Messiah (Isaiah 53:4-6,9,11).  An impostor could not have shaped the course of events so as to have made his character and life appear to be a fulfilment of it. The writing is, moreover, declaredly prophetic.  The quotations of it in the New Testament show: (1) that it was, before the time of Jesus, a recognized part of the Old Testament; (2) that it refers to Messiah (Matt 8:17, 15:28; Luke 22:37; Jn 12:38). The genuineness of the passage is certain; for the Jews would not have forged it, since it is opposed to their notion of Messiah, as a triumphant temporal prince. The Christians could not have forged it; for the Jews, the enemies of Christianity, are "our librarians".4


Other Interpretations of Prophecy

The Jews try to evade the force of this prophecy by the figment of two Messiahs, one a suffering Messiah (Ben Joseph), the other a triumphant Messiah (Ben David). HILLEL maintained that Messiah has already come in the person of Hezekiah. BUXTORF states that many of the modern Rabbins believe that He has been come a good while, but will not manifest Himself because of the sins of the Jews. But the ancient Jews, as the Chaldee paraphrast, Jonathan, refer it to Messiah; so the Medrasch Tauchuma (a commentary on the Pentateuch). Some explain it of the Jewish people, either in the Babylonish exile, or in their present sufferings and dispersion. Others, the pious portion of the nation taken collectively, whose sufferings made a vicarious satisfaction for the ungodly. Others, Isaiah, or Jeremiah [GESENIUS], the prophets collectively.4


Isaiah Song Category

The Isaiah Song Category is a great starting point for searching the songs which make up this music category. The song category page contains Daily Scriptures and easy links to song previews and song pages. The song pages include interesting background information and commentary about the songs and the Bible author. Sometimes there are links to related web pages including Bible Quotes, Sermons, Music samples, and Bible Puzzles.

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