|<< Isa 63|
|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
Isaiah 64-66 Listen
Continuation of the Jewish remnant's prayer for deliverance (Isaiah 64)
1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
2 As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
3 When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
7 And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
8 But now, O LORD,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
9 Do not be furious, O LORD,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O LORD?
Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?
This prayer began in Isaiah 63:15 (see notes); it will be the prayer of the remnant of Israel who will be saved during the tribulation. They'll be looking for God to restore them to glory. You will observe that even though Jerusalem still stands at the time of Isaiah's prophecy, he speaks of it as though it has already been destroyed. We see this clearly in verses 10-11, "Your holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful temple, Where our fathers praised You, Is burned up with fire; And all our pleasant things are laid waste."
The depravity of man is seen in verse 6, "But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away." There's a vivid picture of how God views sin. The Hebrew word there for "unclean" is used of ceremonial uncleanness. That "uncleanness," taken with the covering of "filthy rags," compares to the usage of these words in Leviticus 13 (see notes) with regard to the treatment of leprosy. Those diagnosed with leprosy, according to the law, were to separate themselves from the rest of the people and loudly pronounce themselves as "unclean" to anyone who approached. We see also in Leviticus 13 (see notes) the disposal of the lepers' contaminated garments; they were to be burned. The Hebrew word repeatedly translated "garment" ("beged") in that chapter is the same word used here for "rags." Add to that the Hebrew adjective here for "filthy" and a very clear picture emerges i.e. a garment worn by a leper which has been contaminated by the issue of the disease. We see in Leviticus 13 that these garments were subsequently burned. Simply put, God views our sin just as the priest viewed the lepers' contaminated garments - garments to be burned.
Incidentally, notice verse 4, "For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him." This verse is quoted by Paul in I Corinthians 2:9 (see notes) to indicate God's future manifestation to all Believers.
The unrighteous and the remnant (Isaiah 65)
1 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I was found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’
To a nation that was not called by My name.
2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in a way that is not good,
According to their own thoughts;
3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face;
Who sacrifice in gardens,
And burn incense on altars of brick;
4 Who sit among the graves,
And spend the night in the tombs;
Who eat swine’s flesh,
And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Who say, “Keep to yourself,
Do not come near me,
For I am holier than you!’
These are smoke in My nostrils,
A fire that burns all the day.
6 “Behold, it is written before Me:
I will not keep silence, but will repay—
Even repay into their bosom—
7 Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together,”
Says the LORD,
“Who have burned incense on the mountains
And blasphemed Me on the hills;
Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”
8 ¶ Thus says the LORD:
“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it,
For a blessing is in it,’
So will I do for My servants’ sake,
That I may not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
My elect shall inherit it,
And My servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
For My people who have sought Me.
11 “But you are those who forsake the LORD,
Who forget My holy mountain,
Who prepare a table for Gad,
And who furnish a drink offering for Meni.
12 Therefore I will number you for the sword,
And you shall all bow down to the slaughter;
Because, when I called, you did not answer;
When I spoke, you did not hear,
But did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”
13 ¶ Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, My servants shall eat,
But you shall be hungry;
Behold, My servants shall drink,
But you shall be thirsty;
Behold, My servants shall rejoice,
But you shall be ashamed;
14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart,
But you shall cry for sorrow of heart,
And wail for grief of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen;
For the Lord GOD will slay you,
And call His servants by another name;
16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth
Shall bless himself in the God of truth;
And he who swears in the earth
Shall swear by the God of truth;
Because the former troubles are forgotten,
And because they are hidden from My eyes.
17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying.
20 “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days,
Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days;
For the child shall die one hundred years old,
But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
They shall not plant and another eat;
For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people,
And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain,
Nor bring forth children for trouble;
For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD,
And their offspring with them.
24 “It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the LORD.
Here we are at the end of the prophecy of Isaiah, and he ties it all together with these last two chapters. In chapter 64 (see above), the remnant of Israel are prophesied to have prayed just prior to the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom...what we know as the future millennium. They are compared to the wicked people in Israel of Isaiah's day who rejected God's righteousness. Paul quotes verses 1-2 in his description of rejecting Israel in Romans 10:20-21 (see notes). In verses 3-7 we find an indictment of the rebellious people of Israel, but mention of a remnant of righteous people beginning in verse 8. Then in verse 11 it's back to the rebels; a contrast of blessings/cursings is seen in 13-16 for the righteous remnant/rebels.
Beginning in verse 17, Isaiah talks about life during the period we know to be the millennium. John, in the Book of Revelation, divides the period after the tribulation when Israel is brought to righteousness into two distinct periods: the 1,000-year period (aka millennium) and the eternal state of the new earth that follows.
Here is the way John divides the two periods beginning with the millennium:
Isaiah's prophecy here seems to make no distinction between the two periods. In both periods, Jesus, the Messiah, rules. Isaiah specifically mentions the new heaven and new earth in this chapter of prophecy. A new and improved Jerusalem is seen here along with the cessation of hostilities throughout the earth.
In taking Isaiah 65 and Revelation 20-21 (see notes) together, the following assumptions seem plausible:
Notice verse 20, "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed." Many have taken that to mean that a 100-year-old righteous person will be youthful during the millennium, while 100 years old will be a stretch for the unrighteous then. That sounds like a plausible explanation for the verse.
For more detail, click here to view the summary on the last three chapters of Revelation.
Also, you may find helpful the millennial conditions as set forth in the following passages:
Life during the millennium and thereafter (Isaiah 66)
1 Thus says the LORD:
“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
2 For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the LORD.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.
3 “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man;
He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck;
He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood;
He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.
Just as they have chosen their own ways,
And their soul delights in their abominations,
4 So will I choose their delusions,
And bring their fears on them;
Because, when I called, no one answered,
When I spoke they did not hear;
But they did evil before My eyes,
And chose that in which I do not delight.”
5 Hear the word of the LORD,
You who tremble at His word:
“Your brethren who hated you,
Who cast you out for My name’s sake, said,
‘Let the LORD be glorified,
That we may see your joy.’
But they shall be ashamed.”
6 The sound of noise from the city!
A voice from the temple!
The voice of the LORD,
Who fully repays His enemies!
7 “Before she was in labor, she gave birth;
Before her pain came,
She delivered a male child.
8 Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
For as soon as Zion was in labor,
She gave birth to her children.
9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD.
“Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem,
And be glad with her, all you who love her;
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her;
11 That you may feed and be satisfied
With the consolation of her bosom,
That you may drink deeply and be delighted
With the abundance of her glory.”
12 ¶ For thus says the LORD:
“Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river,
And the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.
Then you shall feed;
On her sides shall you be carried,
And be dandled on her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts,
So I will comfort you;
And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”
14 When you see this, your heart shall rejoice,
And your bones shall flourish like grass;
The hand of the LORD shall be known to His servants,
And His indignation to His enemies.
15 For behold, the LORD will come with fire
And with His chariots, like a whirlwind,
To render His anger with fury,
And His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by His sword
The LORD will judge all flesh;
And the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
To go to the gardens
After an idol in the midst,
Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
Shall be consumed together,” says the LORD.
18 ¶ “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
20 Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the LORD, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.
21 And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the LORD.
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD,
“So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.
24 “And they shall go forth and look
Upon the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not quenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Here's an interesting picture in verse 1: Heaven is God's throne and earth is his footstool. As such, where can a house for God be built that will house his glory? Here's what God honors in verse 2, "...him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word." Stephen quotes these two verses in Acts 7:48-49 (see notes).
Sacrifices (verse 3) are of no avail otherwise. Judgment is coming on those who live contrariwise (verses 4-6). The millennial restoration will take place quickly (verses 7-9). Then Isaiah moves into the conditions of millennial living in verse 10. God will comfort his people (verses 13-14).
Isaiah transitions to some second-coming-judgment prophecy in verse 15-17 - scripture that sounds like the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:11-21 (see notes). We find a unified worship of God after that battle - Jews and Gentiles alike based in Jerusalem in verses 18-21. Then beginning in verse 22 we see "the new heavens and the new earth" (Revelation 21:1 (see notes). And the enemies of God? Eternal torment (verse 24) is their eternal destiny.