Chapter 52 [Isaiah 52:1] 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. Amos Chacham (DaatMikra) points out that the previous verse spoke of the subjection and humiliation of the Jews: [Isaiah 51:23] 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. In the past Judah was humiliated and downtrodden and treated with contempt and forced to behave accordingly. Now Zion (Judah) is being called upon to assert herself "PUT ON THY STRENGTH, O ZION; PUT ON THY BEAUTIFUL GARMENTS". Judah is being called upon to reveal its inner strength and bravery. This has begun to take place.
This has occurred in a limited degree in recent times when the Jewish people in the State of Israel defended themselves against evil oppressors in several wars and numerous day-to-day incidents. Make no mistake. The enemies of the Jewish people are evil. Remember "Entebbe"? When Israeli soldiers were flown a great distance into darkest Africa to rescue Jewish captives from wicked people? All the world rejoiced. My brother at the time was working in a Governmental office in Melborne, Australia. When his Gentile co-workers received the news of the rescue at Entebbe they all went down to the pub to celebrate. THE UNCIRCUMCISED AND THE UNCLEAN: this includes the Arabs even though the Arabs technically are circumcised in Scriptural terms it is as though they were not. In the future Jerusalem is destined to be the capital of the world. Many peoples will come up to visit in Jerusalem. But these non-Israelitee peoples will come up as visitors and guests and not as oppressors or owners. Nowadays it is dangerous for Jews to walk around in any area of Jerusalem or elsewhere that is dominated by Arabs. Arabs can walk around almost anywhere in Israel and apart from security checks here and there (in times of danger) nobody will even say anything to them. In the future this will not be the case. The Jews will rehabilitate themselves after centuries of degradation. Jewish self-respect will re-assert itself.
This is a powerful message. All the Bible is powerful and speaking to us all the time but we keep forgetting. The sages said: "The Torah has seventy aspects". The Hebrew language and the structure of Biblical verses often lend themselves to more than one viable interpretation. The clear impression is that the possibility of several understandings was intended from the begining.
[Isaiah 52:2] SHAKE THYSELF FROM THE DUST; ARISE, AND SIT DOWN, O JERUSALEM: LOOSE THYSELF FROM THE BANDS OF THY NECK, O CAPTIVE DAUGHTER OF ZION. The captivity of the Jews was physical but it had psychological effects that will have to be discarded. At the same time the experience did perhaps teach us humility and sensitivity towards others.
[Isaiah 52:3] FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD, YE HAVE SOLD YOURSELVES FOR NOUGHT; AND YE SHALL BE REDEEMED WITHOUT MONEY.
[Isaiah 52:4] FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD, MY PEOPLE WENT DOWN AFORETIME INTO EGYPT TO SOJOURN THERE; AND THE ASSYRIAN OPPRESSED THEM WITHOUT CAUSE. The Assyrians oppressed both Judah and ten tribed "Israel" though the Ten Tribes were the ones the Assyrians exiled. The Assyrians forced them to accept the Assyrian religion. They were already practising pagans to a large degree and heavily influenced by the surrouinding Canaanites and Middle East cults. These were similar to the Greek ones that were derived from the same sources. The Lost Ten Tribes are not keeping the faith of Moses nor do they acknowledge their true identity.
[Isaiah 52:5] 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. As long as the Ten Tribes do not know of their origins and do not turn back to the God of Israel it is as if they were taken away, -and indeed so they were. For this reason the name of God is blasphemed and people do not own up to the truth of the Bible. THEY THAT RULE OVER THEM MAKE THEM TO HOWL: This could mean straightforward physical oppression by foreigners. It could also refer to the fact that our rulers (in the West) almost force us into immorality and bad living. This is not to our benefit but rather causes a ruination of our lives as a result of which in secret or openly we howl over the waste of our existence. Boys do not want to masturbate or become homosexuals. Girls do not want to be promiscuous or treated as such. People do not want to cheat or steal or use violence or be victimised or oppress others. We do not want to take drugs or act stupidly. Our leaders should be helping us do what we really want to do and should do. In University circles if you say the Bible is true they will long at you as if you are not all there. If you are an academic you may be in danger of losing your job. By clinging to a Bible-based existence we can realize our true selves.
[Isaiah 52:6] 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. God will save us and lead us forward. We shall know that it is by His power we are led onwards. We shall know His name. The name reflects the essence of the named. By knowing His name it means we shall know and realize in our existence the meaning of His name. We shall be renewed.
[Isaiah 52:7] 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!
[Isaiah 52:8] 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. "WATCHMEN" in Hebrew "Tsofaich". These are the prophets. According to tradition in the Messianic Age the gift of Prophecy will once again become apparent.
[Isaiah 52:9] BREAK FORTH INTO JOY, SING TOGETHER, YE WASTE PLACES OF JERUSALEM: FOR THE LORD HATH COMFORTED HIS PEOPLE, HE HATH REDEEMED JERUSALEM. This is referring to all Israel all of whom are centered on Jerusalem.
[Isaiah 52:10] 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.
[Isaiah 52:11] 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. "BE YE CLEAN" in Hebrew "Hibaru" from the root "bar" meaning clean or clear. Similarly in Psalms it says "Nashku Bar" [Psalms 2:12] translated as KISS THE SON since "bar" in Aramaic can also mean son and Nashku can mean either "kiss" or "join unto". The expression in Psalms should more correctly have been translated as "cling unto honesty".
[Isaiah 52:12] 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 REWARD. "WILL BE YOUR REWARD" In Hebrew "umasifchem". Apparently the word rendered above as REWARD was originally REREWARD meaning "Protection of the Rear". [We owe this information to Daniel Tukuafu.] "Umasifchem" in Hebrew suggests both rearguard protection and gathering up (Daat Mikra). Joining the two parts of verse together, it may be understood to say: God will go before you and behind you to protect you and gather up your stragglers. Similary concerning the Tribe of Dan it says: AND THE STANDARD OF THE CAMP OF THE CHILDREN OF DAN SET FORWARD, WHICH WAS THE REREWARD [Hebrew: "Ma-asef"] OF ALL THE CAMPS THROUGHOUT THEIR HOSTS: AND OVER HIS HOST WAS AHIEZER THE SON OF AMMISHADDAI.[Numbers 10:25] Here we have the word Ma-asef translated as REREWARD. The Tribe of Dan both protected the rear-end of the Camp of Israel as well as gathering in all the stragglers from the other Tribes who dropped behind.
Isaiah 52 and Israel as the Servant of the Almighty
The following verses are part of a separate section and should be considered together with the verses that follow in Chapter 53. [Isaiah 52:13] BEHOLD, MY SERVANT SHALL DEAL PRUDENTLY, HE SHALL BE EXALTED AND EXTOLLED, AND BE VERY HIGH. "MY SERVANT": This is Israel.
The servant in Isaiah: The servant of God in Isaiah is either a Prophet, or a Holy Person, or the nation of Israel.
[Isaiah 20:3] AND THE LORD SAID, LIKE AS MY SERVANT ISAIAH HATH WALKED NAKED AND BAREFOOT THREE YEARS FOR A SIGN AND WONDER UPON EGYPT AND UPON ETHIOPIA;
[Isaiah 22:20] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THAT DAY, THAT I WILL CALL MY SERVANTELIAKIM THE SON OF HILKIAH:
[Isaiah 37:35] FOR I WILL DEFEND THIS CITY TO SAVE IT FOR MINE OWN SAKE, AND FOR MY SERVANT DAVID'S SAKE.
[Isaiah 41:8] BUT THOU, ISRAEL, ART MY SERVANT, JACOB WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN, THE SEED OF ABRAHAM MY FRIEND. [Isaiah 41:9] THOU WHOM I HAVE TAKEN FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, AND CALLED THEE FROM THE CHIEF MEN THEREOF, AND SAID UNTO THEE, THOU ART MY SERVANT; I HAVE CHOSEN THEE, AND NOT CAST THEE AWAY.
[Isaiah 42:1] BEHOLD MY SERVANT, WHOM I UPHOLD; MINE ELECT, IN WHOM MY SOUL DELIGHTETH; I HAVE PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM: HE SHALL BRING FORTH JUDGMENT TO THE GENTILES.
[Isaiah 42:19] WHO IS BLIND, BUT MY SERVANT? OR DEAF, AS MY MESSENGER THAT I SENT? WHO IS BLIND AS HE THAT IS PERFECT, AND BLIND AS THE LORD'S SERVANT?
[Isaiah 43:10] YE ARE MY WITNESSES, SAITH THE LORD, AND MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN: THAT YE MAY KNOW AND BELIEVE ME, AND UNDERSTAND THAT I AM HE: BEFORE ME THERE WAS NO GOD FORMED, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE AFTER ME.
[Isaiah 44:1] YET NOW HEAR, O JACOB MY SERVANT; AND ISRAEL, WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN: [Isaiah 44:2] THUS SAITH THE LORD THAT MADE THEE, AND FORMED THEE FROM THE WOMB, WHICH WILL HELP THEE; FEAR NOT, O JACOB, MY SERVANT; AND THOU, JESURUN, WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN.
[Isaiah 44:21] REMEMBER THESE, O JACOB AND ISRAEL; FOR THOU ART MY SERVANT: I HAVE FORMED THEE; THOU ART MY SERVANT: O ISRAEL, THOU SHALT NOT BE FORGOTTEN OF ME.
[Isaiah 44:26] THAT CONFIRMETH THE WORD OF HIS SERVANT, AND PERFORMETH THE COUNSEL OF HIS MESSENGERS; THAT SAITH TO JERUSALEM, THOU SHALT BE INHABITED; AND TO THE CITIES OF JUDAH, YE SHALL BE BUILT, AND I WILL RAISE UP THE DECAYED PLACES THEREOF:
[Isaiah 45:4] FOR JACOB MY SERVANT'S SAKE, AND ISRAEL MINE ELECT, I HAVE EVEN CALLED THEE BY THY NAME: I HAVE SURNAMED THEE, THOUGH THOU HAST NOT KNOWN ME.
[Isaiah 48:20] GO YE FORTH OF BABYLON, FLEE YE FROM THE CHALDEANS, WITH A VOICE OF SINGING DECLARE YE, TELL THIS, UTTER IT EVEN TO THE END OF THE EARTH; SAY YE, THE LORD HATH REDEEMED HIS SERVANT JACOB.
[Isaiah 49:3] AND SAID UNTO ME, THOU ART MY SERVANT, O ISRAEL, IN WHOM I WILL BE GLORIFIED.
[Isaiah 49:5] AND NOW, SAITH THE LORD THAT FORMED ME FROM THE WOMB TO BE HIS SERVANT, TO BRING JACOB AGAIN TO HIM, THOUGH ISRAEL BE NOT GATHERED, YET SHALL I BE GLORIOUS IN THE EYES OF THE LORD, AND MY GOD SHALL BE MY STRENGTH. [Isaiah 49:6] AND HE SAID, IT IS A LIGHT THING THAT THOU SHOULDEST BE MY SERVANT TO RAISE UP THE TRIBES OF JACOB, AND TO RESTORE THE PRESERVED OF ISRAEL: I WILL ALSO GIVE THEE FOR A LIGHT TO THE GENTILES, THAT THOU MAYEST BE MY SALVATION UNTO THE END OF THE EARTH.
[Isaiah 50:10] WHO IS AMONG YOU THAT FEARETH THE LORD, THAT OBEYETH THE VOICE OF HIS SERVANT, THAT WALKETH IN DARKNESS, AND HATH NO LIGHT? LET HIM TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, AND STAY UPON HIS GOD.
[Isaiah 52:13] BEHOLD, MY SERVANT SHALL DEAL PRUDENTLY, HE SHALL BE EXALTED AND EXTOLLED, AND BE VERY HIGH.
[Isaiah 54:17] NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST THEE SHALL PROSPER; AND EVERY TONGUE THAT SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUDGMENT THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME, SAITH THE LORD.
[Isaiah 56:6] ALSO THE SONS OF THE STRANGER, THAT JOIN THEMSELVES TO THE LORD, TO SERVE HIM, AND TO LOVE THE NAME OF THE LORD, TO BE HIS SERVANTS, EVERY ONE THAT KEEPETH THE SABBATH FROM POLLUTING IT, AND TAKETH HOLD OF MY COVENANT;
[Isaiah 63:17] O LORD, WHY HAST THOU MADE US TO ERR FROM THY WAYS, AND HARDENED OUR HEART FROM THY FEAR" RETURN FOR THY SERVANTS' SAKE, THE TRIBES OF THINE INHERITANCE.
[Isaiah 65:8] THUS SAITH THE LORD, AS THE NEW WINE IS FOUND IN THE CLUSTER, AND ONE SAITH, DESTROY IT NOT; FOR A BLESSING IS IN IT: SO WILL I DO FOR MY SERVANTS' SAKES, THAT I MAY NOT DESTROY THEM ALL. [Isaiah 65:9] AND I WILL BRING FORTH A SEED OUT OF JACOB, AND OUT OF JUDAH AN INHERITOR OF MY MOUNTAINS: AND MINE ELECT SHALL INHERIT IT, AND MY SERVANTS SHALL DWELL THERE.
[Isaiah 65:13] THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD, BEHOLD, MY SERVANTS SHALL EAT, BUT YE SHALL BE HUNGRY: BEHOLD, MY SERVANTS SHALL DRINK, BUT YE SHALL BE THIRSTY: BEHOLD, MY SERVANTS SHALL REJOICE, BUT YE SHALL BE ASHAMED: [Isaiah 65:14] BEHOLD, MY SERVANTS SHALL SING FOR JOY OF HEART, BUT YE SHALL CRY FOR SORROW OF HEART, AND SHALL HOWL FOR VEXATION OF SPIRIT. [Isaiah 65:15] AND YE SHALL LEAVE YOUR NAME FOR A CURSE UNTO MY CHOSEN: FOR THE LORD GOD SHALL SLAY THEE, AND CALL HIS SERVANTS BY ANOTHER NAME:
[Isaiah 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 TOWARD HIS SERVANTS, AND HIS INDIGNATION TOWARD HIS ENEMIES.
[Isaiah 52:14] AS MANY WERE ASTONIED AT THEE; HIS VISAGE WAS SO MARRED MORE THAN ANY MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN: The Jews were despised and treated as sub-humans. People were astounded at the depths the Jews were reduced to. In the Ukraine the pogroms in which pregnant Jewish women had their bellies ripped open, the foetus pulled out and a live cat put inside. Then the bellies were sowed up again.
[Isaiah 52:15] 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. They will be astounded that they whom they had treated with such contempt had all along been the favored children of God Almighty. Even now you can prove black on white that the Israelis are in the right and that justice is on their side but no-one wants to hear. Why do all the nations rush to honor and respect and support a perverted non-entity like the Nazi-beast called Arafat? He is the enemy of the Jews therefore he is respected even by some of the Jews and by many of those of "Israelite" origin. An accounting will have to be made for this some day. The leaders of the world will have to explain themselves. The King will want to know why his servant was not accorded the respect due to his position, regardless of personality differences.