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Isaiah 53: Set Free and Made Righteous by the Lamb of God, Part 1
by Karl Kemp
1/31/2018 / Bible Studies
ISAIAH 53 (52:13-53:12) IN CONTEXT WITH THE BOOK OF ISAIAH: INCLUDES A STUDY ON THE FOUR HEBREW WORDS THAT ARE MOST OFTEN TRANSLATED RIGHTEOUS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, JUSTIFY (OR MAKE RIGHTEOUS).
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING READING THIS PAPER: Part 1 of this paper includes the Contents for this paper, which is relevant for the full paper, and it includes the INTRODUCTION. The primary topic of this paper deals with the super-important atoning death of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the resultant very full new-covenant salvation that brings us forgiveness AND SETS US FREE FROM SPIRITUAL DEATH AND BONDAGE TO SIN AND DEMONS AND MAKES US RIGHTEOUS WITH THE IMPARTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BY THE OUTPOURED, INDWELLING RIGHTEOUS, HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. The only part of Part 1 of this paper that deals with the primary topic of this paper is the INTRODUCTION. Essentially all of the Introduction deals with the primary topic of this paper
The rest of Part 1 deals mostly with end-time prophecy. Those who are just interested in the primary topic of this paper, which is at the heart of what new-covenant salvation is all about, could skip the rest of Part 1, but almost all the rest of this paper deals with the primary topic of this paper. This paper includes a rather thorough study on the meaning of four often-used Hebrew words that are most often translated righteous, righteousness, justify (or make righteous) that is totally relevant to the primary topic of this paper. Two of these Hebrew words are used in Isa. 53:11, which is one of the most important verses in the Bible on the resultant very full salvation that flows from the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God: The Righteous One Will Make Righteous The Many (All Believers).
All quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. I am using straight quotation marks ("), hyphens (-) instead of dashes, and a few other things like this because some of the internet sites where I post these articles require it. Also they don't allow footnotes. Cf., e.g., means "compare, for example."
1. INTRODUCTION..... page 3
2. ISAIAH 52:10-12..... 6
2.1 I'LL QUOTE SOME KEY VERSES FROM ISAIAH CHAPTER 2 AND BRIEFLY DISCUSS THIS CHAPTER...... 7
2.2 I'LL QUOTE AND BRIEFLY COMMENT ON ISAIAH 10:20-23 AND ROMANS 9:27-20; 11:25-27...... 8
2.3 EXCERPTS FROM COMMENTATORS ON ISAIAH 52...... 10
3. ISAIAH 52:13-15..... 12
4. ISAIAH 53:1-3..... 15
5. ISAIAH 53:4-6, 11..... 16
5.1 More on How the Lamb of God Bore Our Sicknesses..... 17
5.2 Thirty-Nine Stripes (Shroud of Turin)..... 22
6. ISAIAH 53:7-9..... 25
7. ISAIAH 53:10-12..... 29
STARTING ON PAGE 31 WE WILL BEGIN TO DISCUSS THE SUPER-IMPORTANT WORDS "THE RIGHTEOUS ONE WILL JUSTIFY [OR BETTER, "WILL MAKE RIGHTEOUS"] THE MANY" OF ISAIAH 53:11.
7.1 I'LL QUOTE THE DEFINITION OF "RIGHTEOUS" FROM MY WEBSTER'S NEW WORLD DICTIONARY..... 32
8. SOME VERY RELEVANT PROPHECIES FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH ON GOD'S OUTPOURED, IMPARTED RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH NEW COVENANT SALVATION..... 32
8.1 I WON'T QUOTE ANY MORE PASSAGES FROM ISAIAH, BUT I'LL QUOTE A VERY IMPORTANT PROPHECY FROM JEREMIAH AND ONE FROM EZEKIEL..... 42
8.2 I'LL QUOTE A FEW SUPER-RELEVANT VERSES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT..... 43
8.3 A FEW COMMENTS, VERY IMPORTANT COMMENTS, ON THE USE/MEANING OF THE WORDS "RIGHTEOUSNESS" AND "JUSTIFY" IN ROMANS CHAPTER 4..... 45
8.4 FURTHER DISCUSSION ON THE SUPER-IMPORTANT VERB "WILL JUSTIFY," OR BETTER, "WILL MAKE RIGHTEOUS," BEFORE I QUOTE THE REST OF ISAIAH 53:11..... 46
8.5 THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE ON ISAIAH 53:11..... 51
8.6 SOME COMMENTATORS ON THE MEANING OF THIS HEBREW VERB IN ISAIAH 53:11..... 51
8.7 SOME EXAMPLES OF COMMENTATORS WHO TAKE THE MAJORITY VIEW (BUT I BELIEVE WRONG VIEW) OF THE MEANING OF "JUSTIFY" "MAKE RIGHTEOUS" IN ISAIAH 53:11..... 54
9. A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF FOUR CLOSELY RELATED HEBREW WORDS, THE ADJECTIVE TSADDIQ, THE VERB TSADEQ, TSADOQ, AND THE TWO NOUNS TSEDEQ AND TSEDAQAH, USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON..... 59
9.1 A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW ADJECTIVE "TSADDIQ" THAT IS USED IN ISAIAH 53:11, "THE RIGHTEOUS ONE", USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON..... 61
9.2 A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW VERB TSADOQ, TSADEQ THAT I WOULD TRANSLATE "WILL MAKE RIGHTEOUS" IN ISAIAH 53:11, USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON. (BDB lists both forms of this verb.)..... 64
9.3 A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW NOUN TSEDEQ THAT IS MOST OFTEN TRANSLATED "RIGHTEOUSNESS," USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON..... 69
9.4 A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE HEBREW NOUN TSEDAQAH THAT IS MOST OFTEN TRANSLATED "RIGHTEOUSNESS," USING THE BDB HEBREW LEXICON..... 72
I HAVE DECIDED THAT I NEED TO DO A FOLLOW UP WORD STUDY ON THE THREE GREEK WORDS DIKAIOS, DIKAIOSUNE, AND DIKAIOO THAT ARE USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT ARE COMPARABLE IN MEANING WITH THE HEBREW WORDS THAT ARE DISCUSSED IN THIS PAPER. Dikaios is an adjective and is most often translated "righteous." Dikaiosune is a noun and is most often translated "righteousness." And dikaioo is a verb and is most often translated "justify." That word study will be separate follow-up paper.
10. ISAIAH 54:1-8..... 77
11. SEQUENCE OF SOME KEY EVENTS AT THE END OF THIS AGE..... 81
1. INTRODUCTION. Isaiah chapter 53 is one of the most important chapters in the Bible. It deals in some detail with the all-important atoning death of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. I discussed some of the most important verses from this chapter (53:4-6, 8, 11, and 12) in my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I didn't deal at all with the context of these verses in the book of Isaiah. I will discuss all of the verses from Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in this paper, verse-by-verse, but first I will also somewhat briefly discuss these verses in their contexts in the book of Isaiah, especially with chapters 51-52. At the end of this paper I will comment briefly on the first part of Isaiah chapter 54.
It is easy enough for Christians who understand the gospel and the New Testament to understand at least most of Isaiah 53 without dealing with its context in the book of Isaiah, but we should always consider passages in their contexts. I have spent some time (especially recently while preparing to write this paper) seeing how Bible commentators interpret Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in context with chapters 51 and 52, especially 52:10-12. I have looked at some thirty commentaries on Isaiah, including quite a few one or two volume commentaries that cover the entire Bible. I'll mention six of those commentaries that I found helpful, and give excerpts from several of them.
The primary topic dealt with in this paper is the meaning of the words the Righteous One will justify (or, better, will make righteous) the many of Isa. 53:11. Large numbers of Christians (a strong majority) believe that the Hebrew verb that is often translated will justify in Isa. 53:11 (but I prefer the translation will make righteous) is limited to the ideas of being forgiven, being declared righteous, having a strictly legal, right standing before God, having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them in a strictly legal sense, and being accepted by God on this basis. The majority insist that this verb doesn't include God's making us righteous by imparting His righteousness to us through Christ's all-important atoning death and the outpouring and indwelling of the Righteous, Holy Spirit of life. I believe they are making a serious mistake! I believe they are missing the primary meaning of what God said through Isaiah here. For one thing, we desperately need to be set free from spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons and made righteous with God's imparted righteousness, by grace through faith.
I believe the evidence strongly demonstrates that this verb in Isa. 53:11 puts the emphasis on God's making us righteous with His imparted righteousness, by the Holy Spirit, through the atoning death of His Son. Spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons came through (as a penalty for) the sin/transgression of Adam, but the Lamb of God bore all of our sins, very much including Adam's, with the guilt and with the penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons, so we could be born again and walk in the righteousness of God with the victory over sin and demons by grace through faith. THIS IS THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL! We will discuss these super-important things in some detail in this paper. This will include discussing the meaning of the Hebrew verb used in Isa. 53:11 (will justify, will make righteous), the closely related Hebrew adjective translated the Righteous One in 53:11, and we will also discuss the meaning of two closely related Hebrew nouns that are typically translated righteousness, even though these often-used nouns are not used in Isa. 52:13-53:12.
I believe Isa. 53:11 puts the emphasis on God's making us righteous with His imparted righteousness; however, it is clear that being forgiven through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus when be become Christians is a very important part of the gospel. (Also, forgiveness is provided for Christians who sin through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus when they repent.) For one thing, we can see forgiveness included in Isaiah 53 because the Lamb bore our sin, iniquity, transgression WITH THE GUILT and with the penalties. All Christians agree that being forgiven is a very important part of what it means to become a Christian. A very serious problem exists, however, when, as it so often happens in our day, large numbers of Christians put most of the emphasis on forgiveness and a strictly legal, right standing with God while minimizing, or denying, the GOOD NEWS that we have been set free from bondage to sin and demons and we are called, enabled, required, and privileged to receive and walk in the imparted righteousness of God through the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus and the outpoured, indwelling Righteous, Holy Spirit of life, by grace through faith.
I don't object to the translation will justify in Isa. 53:11 if it is understood in the full sense that includes our being set free from spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons and our being made righteous with the imparted righteousness of God. The verb justify is often used in this full sense in the New Testament. (I'll briefly discuss this super-important point in this paper, and I will discuss it in detail in my follow-up paper: A STUDY ON THE MEANING OF THE THREE GREEK WORDS THAT ARE MOST OFTEN TRANSLATED "RIGHTEOUS," "RIGHTEOUSNESS," AND "JUSTIFY" IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.) There are many places in the Bible where the words justify, justified, etc. are used in a narrow sense that has nothing to do with new-covenant salvation, where, for example, a judge justifies someone (declares them righteous) because they are innocent (not guilty) of the charge (they didn't steal the donkey), but that is very different than being declared righteous because you have been forgiven.
A narrow sense of justify doesn't fit at all in a context like that of Isaiah chapter 53 or Romans chapter 5 for example. As we will discuss in this paper, it is very significant that the Hebrew verb translated "will justify" in Isa. 53:11 and the closely related Hebrew adjective translated "the Righteous One" in Isa. 53:11 and the two often-used closely related nouns that are typically translated "righteousness" in the Old Testament are not used of being forgiven and declared righteous in a strictly legal sense, whether with or without a sacrificial offering. I haven't found even one example of that usage out of many hundred uses of these words. It is possible that I am misunderstanding a verse, or two, but I doubt it, and it is very clear that these words are very rarely, if ever, used of people having a right standing with God (being declared righteous by God) because they have been forgiven. (We'll briefly discuss Romans chapter 5 in this paper, and I'll refer the reader to fuller discussions of this chapter in my books. One of the chapters in my book Holiness and Victory Over Sin: Full Salvation Through the Atoning Death of the Lord Jesus is titled "A Study on the Meaning of Justify/Justification As These Words Are Used in the New Testament.")
I believe it is extremely important for us to see (to see with the eyes of our hearts; faith is of the heart) that the Hebrew verb used in Isa. 53:11 is giving us a super-solid Biblical basis (along with many other verses, especially verses in the New Testament) for faith for victory over sin and demons. Our having faith for forgiveness and strictly legal, right standing with God will not enable us to walk with the victory over sin, but victory over sin was bought and paid for in the atoning death of the Son of God. God hates sin and He Sacrificed His Son, and His Son voluntarily submitted to the Father's plan of salvation, so His people could be set free from spiritual death and bondage to sin and demons and walk by the Spirit in the imparted righteousness of God, on a continuous basis, by grace through faith, for the glory of God.
2. ISAIAH 52:10-12 (NASB): The LORD [Yahweh in the Hebrew] has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God. [Compare, for example, Isa. 51:9-11; Psalm 98:1-3, 9.] (11) Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD. (12) But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go out as fugitives; For the LORD [(Hebrew) Yahweh] will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
There is a strong Biblical basis to see that, although this prophecy builds on God's delivering Israel from Babylon through Cyrus the Persian (Medo-Persian) king, it deals with God's often-mentioned deliverance and salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel worldwide. This will include His saving the repentant end-time remnant of Israel with spiritual (new-covenant) salvation, His judging and overthrowing the kingdom of this world, and His saving the repentant remnant of the nations left after His end-time judgment of the world. (We will briefly discuss the salvation of the repentant end-time remnant of the nations under Isa. 52:15.)
To be more specific, I believe, based mostly on passages in the New Testament, that the repentant end-time remnant of Israel will submit to the Lord Jesus when He returns in the middle of the seven-year period that is sometimes called Daniel's 70th week (Dan. 9:27), but too late to be taken in the mid-week rapture, and that much of God's end-time judgment of the world will take place throughout the second half of the seven years. (See my books Mid-Week Rapture and Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture. I recommend reading the second book first. It was taken from radio broadcasts and is easier to read, but the first book contains a lot more information.)
Isaiah and other Old Testament prophetic books, including many Psalms, are packed with prophecies that deal with God's end-time judgment of the world and His saving the end-time remnant of Israel and of the nations. Three of my papers deal with some of these prophecies: Verse-by-Verse Studies of Selected Eschatological Prophecies from the Book of Isaiah: Most of These Prophecies Deal with God's Salvation Plans for the Remnants of Israel and of the Nations After His End-Time Judgment of the World; Verse-by-Verse Studies of Selected Eschatological Psalms: Most of These Prophecies Deal with God's Salvation Plans for the Remnants of Israel and of the Nations After His End-Time Judgment of the World; and Verse-by-Verse Studies from the Book of Jeremiah. All of these papers are available on my internet site (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching).
2.1 I'LL QUOTE SOME KEY VERSES FROM ISAIAH CHAPTER 2 AND BRIEFLY DISCUSS THIS CHAPTER. Isaiah chapter 2 is an important example of a very large number of such prophecies in Isaiah and in quite a few other books of the Old Testament. Isaiah 2:12-22 (cf. 2:11) prophesy of God's end-time judgment of the world. This chapter is discussed verse-by-verse in my paper on Isaiah that I mentioned above. I'll list some other passages in Isaiah that prophesy of God's end-time judgment of the world: Isa. 11:1-5; 13:6-13; 24:1-23; 25:1-2, 10-12; 26:5-6, 9, 21; 32:19; 34:1-17; 63:1-6; 66:14-18. Many of these passages are discussed in my paper on Isaiah.
Isaiah 2:2-4 contain a very important prophecy that shows that after God's end-time work of spiritually saving the end-time remnant of Israel and judging the world, the repentant end-time remnant of the nations will come to God for salvation. I'll quote ISAIAH 2:2-4. Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD [at Jerusalem] will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; and all the nations [the repentant end-time remnant of the nations left after God's end-time judgment of the world] will stream into it. (2) And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (4) And He will judge between the nations And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.
This prophecy, like so many similar prophecies in the Old Testament (including throughout the entire book of Daniel, for example) totally skips the future existence of the Christian church and just deals with Israel and the nations. We need the New Testament to learn God's plans for the Christian church. For one thing, we need to understand that all true Christians are grafted into the tree of God's true Israel (Rom. 11:17-24). God's true Israel will reign with God the Father and His Son (along with the Holy Spirit) forever in the millennial kingdom and then in the eternal state. I believe God's true Israel includes all the believers who lived in the days before the gospel was proclaimed and all true Christians (Jews and Gentiles). And I believe that the end-time remnant of the nations that God leaves at the end of Daniel's 70th week to enter the millennial kingdom, and the nations we read about in Revelation chapters 21, 22 in the eternal state that follows the millennial kingdom, will be distinct from true Israel: True Israel will be reigning in the millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:4) and in the eternal state (Rev. 22:5).
I believe all the members of God's true Israel (which, as I mentioned, includes all true Christians) will be glorified and reigning by the time the millennial kingdom begins. I don't believe that the end-time remnant of the nations will ever become part of God's true Israel. I believe we can see that they are two distinct groups in Revelation 21, 22. True Israel will be reigning (cf. Rev. 22:5). It is clear that the nations will be saved through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rev. 21:27).
2.2 I'LL QUOTE AND BRIEFLY COMMENT ON ISAIAH 10:20-23 AND ROMANS 9:27-29; 11:25-27. These verses deal with God's salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel. (These verses, including these from the book of Romans, are all discussed in my paper on Isaiah that I mentioned above.)
ISAIAH 10:20-23. Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped [["the survivors of the house of Jacob" (NIV). God will leave this "remnant/survivors" of Israel/Jacob after His end-time shaking of Israel. They will be repentant and will submit to the Lord Jesus and the One who sent Him (cf., e.g., Zech. 12:10-13:1 with 14:3-5, 8-11; Dan. 7:26-27; Joel 2:32; Mic. 5:3; Rom. 11:25-27; and Rev. 11:13). I'll list some more of the many passages in Isaiah that mention the salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel (The interpretation of some of these passages is not limited to the salvation of the repentant end-time remnant of Israel): Isaiah 11:11-16; 14:1-2; 19:16-25; 25:1-12; 27:12-13; 28:5-6; 30:18-33; 32:15-20; 35:1-10; 40:9-11, 31; 41:8-20; 45:8-25; 46:12-13; 56:8; 59:15b-21; 60:1-22; 61:1-11; 62:1-12; 65:17-25; 66:8-24).]], will never again rely on the one who struck them [the Assyrians, Babylonians, Antichrist, etc.], but will truly rely on the LORD [Yahweh], the Holy One of Israel. (21) A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. [Many prophecies also speak of the end-time remnant of Israel returning to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem (cf., e.g. Isaiah 14:1-2; 11:11-16; 27:12-13; 35:8-10; 43:5-7; 49:22; 56:8; 60:4-9; 66:12, 20).] (22) For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the sea, Only a remnant will return; A destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness. [Much of this destruction for Israel will take place during the short great tribulation that will take place during the one-month period that will end with the mid-week return of the Lord Jesus (see my end-time books, Mid-Week Rapture and Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture for the details).] (23) For a complete destruction, one that is decreed, the Lord GOD of hosts will execute in the midst of the whole land [This could be translated "in the midst of all the earth" with the ESV. It is clear that God's end-time judgments will be worldwide. It is also true that the Bible frequently mentions that all of the people of Israel will not be living in Israel in the end times. It is also clear that much destruction will take place in Israel in the end times (cf., e.g. Dan. 11:41; Zech. 13:8; 14:1-2; Joel 2:32; Mic. 5:1-4), and it is also clear, I believe, that God will judge the nations worldwide and leave a repentant remnant of the nations.].
ROMANS 9:27-29. (In Romans 9:27-28 the apostle Paul loosely quoted Isa. 10:22-23 from the Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, which is somewhat different than the Hebrew of those verses.) Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; (28) FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD UPON THE EARTH [This could be translated "on the land"; see above under Isa. 10:23; however the NASB, NIV, KJV, NKJV, and the ESV have "earth."], THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY." (29) And just as Isaiah foretold, "UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH ["LORD of hosts"] HAD LEFT US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH [where all were destroyed except for Lot and his daughters]."
ROMANS 11:25-27. Here the apostle Paul speaks further of the salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel, when they will submit to the Lord Jesus and become born-again Christians. As these verses indicate, this salvation will take place at the time the Lord Jesus returns ((cf. Zech. 12:10-13:1 (They will look on the Lord Jesus not long after He comes to the Mount of Olives, not long after the mid-week rapture [Zech. 12:10].); Zech. 14:3-5 (The Lord Jesus will stand on the Mount of Olives at Jerusalem, but not for long [Zech. 14:4].); Joel 2:32 (Joel 2:31 speaks of the coming of the "great and awesome day of the Lord," which will start when the Lord Jesus returns); Rev. 11:13 with 11:15; 11:15 speaks of the Lord Jesus returning at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet of the book of Revelation).))
As I discuss in some detail in my two books on the end-times, I believe the repentant end-time remnant of Israel will submit to the Lord Jesus shortly after He returns and the rapture takes place, when He (accompanied by the glorified, raptured saints) comes to them, starting with His coming to the Mount of Olives. They will become Christians right after the rapture, too late to be taken in the rapture. They will be living on the earth throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week, and it will be a very difficult time for them (e.g., Zech. 13:9), but this will work for the glory of God and for their ultimate good. They will be glorified and reigning with the other members of God's true Israel throughout the millennium and in the eternal state.
I'll quote ROMANS 11:25-27: For I do not want you, brethren [In this context Paul is speaking to Gentile Christians (see 11:17-24). The apostle had just mentioned that the Gentile Christians have been grafted into the tree of God's true Israel. We Gentile Christians are part of God's true Israel, which embraces all the believers from the days of the Old Testament and all true Christians, whether from Jewish or Gentile backgrounds.], to be uninformed of this mystery - so that you will not be wise in your own estimation - that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in [The salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel will take place when the Lord Jesus returns and the rapture takes place, too late for them to be taken in the rapture. As I mentioned, I believe He will return right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week, at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet of the book of Revelation. This is the same trumpet as in Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52 ("last trumpet") and 1 Thess. 4:16.]; (26) and so all Israel will be saved [referring to the repentant end-time remnant of Israel (Rom. 9:27-29)]; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. (27) THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."
2.3 EXCERPTS FROM COMMENTATORS ON ISAIAH 52.
I'll include two excerpts from what Harry Bultema said under Isaiah chapter 52 (Commentary on Isaiah [Kregel Publications, 1981; originally published in Dutch in 1923]). "... But Isaiah 52 obviously is not talking of Israel's return from Babylon but of her final return from among all nations in the end time, and in connection with that Israel's complete restoration and great glory. [Bultema wrote this before Israel became a nation again in 1948. Many Christians who wrote before 1948 wrote with the complete assurance, based on their understanding of Bible prophecy, that Israel had to, and would, become a nation before the end.] This is evident from numerous facts as follows: a) From henceforth no uncircumcised nor unclean person will pass through Jerusalem [52:1]. b) Jerusalem will be freed from the bands around her neck [52:2]. c) The Lord Himself will speak to Israel on the day of her liberation and say, Behold, it is I [52:6]. d) Messengers will skip along on Israel's mountains and say to Zion (Jerusalem) Thy God reigneth [52:7]. e) Israel's watchmen will see with their own eyes that the Lord Himself and not Zerubbabel or Nehemiah will bring back Zion [52:8]. f) The Lord rebuilds the waste places of Jerusalem and on that occasion comforts His people [52:9]. g) The Lord has made bare His holy arm, i.e., He has gone out to do battle against all nations [52:10]. h) All the ends of the earth will see the salvation which Jehovah [Yahweh] Himself has brought to the Jews (52:10). The returned Savior, who once was so humiliated, will at that time be exalted in the sight of all nations and rulers (52:13-15)" (page 499).
"The people will not return from the final exile in fear and haste as they once did at the exodus from Egypt, because Jehovah-Jesus will be their vanguard and rereward [This is another spelling for rearward and is related to rear guard.]. At the exodus from Egypt He protected His people with the pillar of cloud and of fire, but then He will do so with His very person" (pages 501-502).
I'll include a few excerpts from Merrill F. Unger (Unger's Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume 2 [Moody Press, 1981], page 1292). We agree on the basics here, but differ on a few details. I'll quote what he says under Isa. 52:10: "He has laid bare His holy arm (Psalm 98:1-3; Isa. 51:9; 66:18) - He has been glorified, and His worldwide salvation published - in the sight of all nations (NASB). As a result of His display of gracious love for Israel and His holy power ('arm') against His enemies (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-20:3), the uttermost parts of the millennial earth will see the salvation of Israel's God, who will become their God [see Isa. 52:15, for example]."
And I'll quote part of what Unger said under Isa. 52:7: "the return from Babylon was but a dim prefigurement of the fulfillment of this prophecy at the second advent [Unger believed that the rapture will take place before Daniel's 70th week begins and that the second advent of the Lord Jesus will take place at the end of the seven years of Dan. 9:27. I believe He will return in the middle of the seven years and that the rapture will take place at that time.], when the Redeemer (Rom. 11:26) will appear as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)."
I'll quote what John A. Martin said under Isa. 52:11-12 (Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament [Victor Books, 1985], page 1106): "As in the Exodus out of Egypt and the Exodus away from Babylon, so in Israel's yet-future return, the righteous remnant [of Israel] is exhorted to get away from the evil places where they will be living: Depart, depart...come out. However, there will be a difference: they will not have to leave in haste (cf. 48:20). [They left Egypt in haste. Those who left ancient Babylon did not leave in haste, since Cyrus allowed them to leave and even helped them.] Since the LORD will be with them and will protect them they need have no fear." The remnant of the nations will have been humbled by judgment and be repentant. Isaiah mentions several times that the nations will bring the remnant of Israel to God at Jerusalem (cf. Isa. 14:2; 49:22; 60:4).
I'll quote a few words from what A. R. Fausset said under Isa. 52:6 (Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. 2 [1984 reprint; Fausset died in 1910], page 727). "in that day - when Christ shall reveal Himself to Israel sensibly; the only means thereby their obstinate unbelief shall be overcome (Psalm 102:16; Zech. 12:10; 14:5)." The end-time remnant of Israel will be greatly humbled and repent before the Lord Jesus appears to them in Zech. 12:10. Compare Matt. 23:39.
I won't quote anything from Edward E. Hindson (Liberty Bible Commentary, [Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1882], pages 1385-86), but he clearly understands these verses to deal with God's end-time salvation of Israel. H. A. Ironside (The Prophet Isaiah [Loizearux Brothers, 1952] is another commentator who understands Isaiah chapter 52 to speak of the salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel
3. ISAIAH 52:13-15 (These verses are closely connected to Isaiah chapter 53 by the mention of the all-important Servant of Yahweh in 52:13, who is spoken of throughout chapter 53, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are not disconnected from Isaiah 52. God the Father is the One speaking in Isa. 52:13-15 and 53:11-12. The people of Israel, at a time after they have understood and submitted to Christ, are speaking in verses 1-6, and they could be the ones speaking in at least most, if not all, of verses 7-10 of chapter 53. Merrill Unger (in his commentary quoted above, page 1295) says "The speaker in verses 1-10 in the fullest prophetic scope is the remnant of Israel, who will turn in faith to the Messiah at His second advent (Zech. 12:10-13:1; Rom. 11:26)...." Of course all of this prophetic content came from God through Isaiah.): Behold, My Servant [This is the fourth so-called "Servant Song." The first three Servant Songs are Isaiah 42:1-9; 49:1-13; and 50:4-11.] will prosper [or, will act wisely], He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. [[(This double bracket goes on for three paragraphs.) In this context the Servant has already been glorified and judged the world and saved the end-time remnant of Israel (52:10-12). From our present point of view, we know that He has been crucified, resurrected, glorified and ascended and that the Christian church has been in existence since the Day of Pentecost, when the life-giving, sanctifying Spirit was first poured out by the Lord Jesus after He received the promised Spirit from the Father to pour out (e.g., Acts 2:33).
The existence of the Christian church, which obviously is of key importance for us Christians (and to God), is skipped over here in Isaiah, as it is in so many Old Testament prophecies. We had to wait for the New Testament to adequately understand the deity of the Messiah, the Trinity, the foundational importance of the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension (great exaltation) to the right hand of God the Father, and the existence of the Christian church. Isaiah chapter 53 is a key chapter on the all-important atoning death of the Lord Jesus and the resultant very full new-covenant salvation. Most of Isaiah chapter 53 is totally relevant to and applicable for Christians.
Christ's being high and lifted up and greatly exalted followed His all-important atoning death, which is pictured in Isa. 52:14 and in chapter 53 (cf., e.g., Phil. 2:6-11).]] (14) Just as many were astonished at you, My people [[(This double bracket goes on for two paragraphs.) Most interpreters believe that the Father was speaking to His exalted Servant here, but the NASB, by adding the words My people in italics, has the Father speaking to the people of Israel. I prefer the viewpoint of the NASB. For one thing, the words of Isa. 52:11-12 were addressed to the people of Israel, and the Servant isn't spoken to anywhere else in Isa. 52:13-53:12. He is, however, spoken about throughout this passage. This passage is all about Him and His super-important atoning death and resurrection and the resultant very full new-covenant salvation.
If these words of 52:14 were addressed to the people of Israel, they undoubtedly build on the fact that Israel is often referred to as a servant(s) of Yahweh in Isaiah (Isa. 41:8, 9 with 10-20; 42:19 with 18-25; 43:10; 44:1, 2, 21; 45:4; 48:20; 54:17; 63:17; 65:8, 9, 13, 14, 15; and 66:14). And it is clear that Israel knew much suffering because of God's judgments, but also because the world and the god of this world hate the people of God. It is clear that they didn't know suffering like the Servant of God was to know suffering in His atoning death, but it is clear that "many were astonished" at some of the negative things that happened to Israel, the people, servant, of God (cf., e.g., Lev. 26:32; Jer. 18:16; 19:8-9; Dan. 9:16).]], So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. [Isaiah 53 goes on to speak of the tremendous difficulty of the trial of the atoning death of the Lamb of God. Consider, for example, Matt. 26:36-42; 27:46; and Luke 22:39-46. He endured the beatings, the plucking out of His beard, the crown of thorns, the scourging, the mocking and unfaithfulness of His disciples, and the crucifixion, but beyond that the major part of the trial was in the spiritual dimension, with an emphasis on His being temporarily separated from the Father for the first time ever through bearing our sins with the guilt and the penalties.] (15) Thus [because of His atoning death (and subsequent resurrection and ascension and His having established the Christian church that has continued for some two thousand years) and having just come (and glorified and raptured all of the true Christians, those still living and those who will have died before that time, and all of the believers from the days of the Old Testament) and judged the world and saved the end-time remnant of Israel (52:10-12)] He will sprinkle [[(This double bracket goes on for two paragraphs.) Many opt for the reading "startle" instead of "sprinkle," and "startle" fits the context well, but the Hebrew favors "sprinkle" (sprinkle with His atoning blood) and "sprinkle" fits the context well too. For the Lord Jesus to "sprinkle" the nations will result in the often-mentioned salvation of the end-time remnant of the nations. This salvation is often mentioned in Old Testament prophecies, including (but not limited to) prophecies in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Psalms (see my papers on these three books for many examples). I'll list some verses from Isaiah that mention God's end-time salvation of the remnant of the nations (some of these verses make it clear that Israel will ultimately be reigning; some of these verses could include Gentiles coming to salvation throughout this present age): Isaiah 2:2-4 (quoted and briefly discussed above); Isaiah 11:10; 14:1-2; 19:16-25; 24:13-16; 25:1-12; 42:1-17; 44:3-5; 45:14-25; 49:6-7, 22-23; 51:4-5; 52:10, 15; 56:1-8; 60:1-22; 61:4-11; 66:10-14, 18-23.
The rest of this verse (52:15) goes on to speak of the salvation of the end-time remnant of the nations that remain after God's end-time judgment of the world. The New Testament doesn't speak much of the salvation of the end-time remnant of the nations, but see Rev. 15:2-4; 20:3; cf. Matt. 25:31-40, 46. ((These verses from the book of Revelation are discussed in my two end-time books that I mentioned above and in verse-by-verse studies on the book of Revelation on my internet site. The verses from Matthew 25 are discussed in my paper on Matthew chapters 24 and 25 on my internet site. I believe it is obvious why the New Testament has very little to say about God's salvation plans for the remnant of the nations: During this present age we have one message to share with mankind worldwide: Repent and submit in faith to God the Father, His Son, and the gospel of new-covenant salvation. We don't confuse the issue by speaking of the possibility of people being saved as part of the remnant of the nations at the end of this age.)) For the record, the New Testament doesn't have very much to say about the salvation of the end-time remnant of Israel either.]] many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand. The remnant of the nations ((having been humbled by judgment and enlightened through seeing the return of the Lord Jesus, and the rapture, and seeing God's righteous judgments through the Lord Jesus, His Servant, which includes His saving the end-time remnant of Israel, which things all happened in accordance with His prophetic word, and having learned the truth regarding salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning death and that He has left them as a remnant and is calling them to repent and be saved)) will repent and submit to God the Father and His Son and salvation.
Unger in his Commentary on the Old Testament (mentioned above, page 1295) speaks of the "millennial nations" here and the "kings" of those nations. I think of the remnant of the nations coming to God at the end of Daniel's 70th week, at the beginning of the millennial kingdom. John A. Martin, Bible Knowledge Commentary - Old Testament (discussed above, page 1107) says, "Eventually, when they see Him exalted in His Second Advent, they [the people in many nations] will finally understand and see clearly." (Martin, like Unger believes the rapture of the believers will take place before Daniel's 70th week begins and that the "Second Advent," by his definition, will take place at the end of Daniel's 70th week.)
And I'll include a brief excerpt from A. R. Fausset, Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. 2 (discussed above, page 729): "Their 'howls' of anguish [of the end-time remnant of Israel] shall bring the Lord to their help. 'They shall know in that day' the Lord Christ as their manifested Redeemer, who shall then deliver them from their gratuitous oppressors...." (For the record, Fausset doesn't believe the Lord Jesus will return to judge the world and glorify His people until the end of Daniel's 70th week. See under Rev. 19:11 in Vol. 3 of this commentary.)
Copyright © by Karl Kemp
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.
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