Isaiah 51

Life on Earth is Getting Worse, But the Righteous Have Hope
 1 ¶ Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  1 - Hearken The faithful of Israel needed had become discouraged is4904, is4914, is5001. It was time for them to remember their roots.
 1 - Righteousness What were to follow after? The word is from sedeq meaning not only "righteousness" but also "justice," "success," or "deliverance." By seeking righteousness they would experience justice, success, and deliverance.
 1 - Rock Through Abraham, they had been selected from Mesopotamia. They were like something precious mined from the earth.
.2  Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
 3  For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. 
 2 -Look unto Abraham From one man and woman had come a great nation.
 2 - Comfort for Zion Why would the Lord comfort a mountain or waste place? Considering this helps give meaning to verse 3.
  4 ¶ Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
 5  My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
.6  Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
 7  Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
.8  For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
  4 - A law will go out from Me The word for law here is torah, the is the five books of Moses. The promise is that, in the discouraging world, the Lord would continue to speak through His prophets.
 4 - Judgment The words "to rest" are not in the original text. How could judgment provide light? The day-of-atonement judgment le23 was not just deciding who would be cut off from the camp le2327. It was a process of final cleansing le1630. Our judge is also our instructor (providing light) and our strength.
  6 - The earth is not secure Our security in the world around us will fail, but . . . . Read the text.
  7 - In whose heart is my law Isaiah wrote this in the mid 700s BC. Through Jeremiah, well more than a century later, God promised to put His law in the hearts of the people. Paul claims the promise in he0810 but, from our verse, this does not mean that the commandments of the Old Testament would be replaced.
   The overall message is clear in the text.
.9 ¶ Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
 10  Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
.11  Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
 9 - Rahab A symbol for Egypt.
 11 - Redeemed ... return See on is3510. Those "of the Lord" would return from Babylon to the land. In the same way, the Lord's redeemed, "all Israel" of the NT, will be freed from mystical Babylon. ro1126, ga0329, re1801, re1901, re2101. A Dead Sea Scrolls reading has "scattered" instead of "redeemed."
.12  I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
 13  And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?
 14  The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
.15  But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
 16  And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
 12 - Afraid of a man Church leaders may point us to Christ but must never try to stand between us and our Lord. They are to die like grass is4006.
  13 - Forgettest This is why God has asked us to keep images out of our worship system ex2004.
  14 - Die in the pit God remembered Joseph ge3720; is2422; zc0911.
  15 - Waves roared A little insight about the Red Sea in connection with the crossing of the Children of Israel. God had shown a little of His power.
  16 - My words Isaiah was to remember that the message was not his own.
.17 ¶ Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
 18  There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
 19  These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
  17 - Awake ... stand Notice the picture. The city is drunk and staggering. She had called the Lord to awaken in v9.
 20  Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
 21  Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
.22  Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
 23  But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
  20 - Sons lie ... streets. Jerusalem needs to realize that her sons have failed to be faithful. This is in contrast with the first part of the chapter.

  23 - [Cup passed] into the hand Why? See is1005-13; is4925.

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