Isaiah 26 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
I.D.3. Worship of converted Israel in the future day of consolation, 26:1-21
1. In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;
We have a strong city;
{HB=Yeshuah} will [God] appoint [for] walls and bulwarks.
2 Open ye the gates,
that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace
{lit., peace peace},
[whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]:
because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH
[is] everlasting strength
{lit., Rock of ages, cf. Isa 17:10; Deu 32:4,15}:
5. For he bringeth down them that dwell on high;
the lofty city, he layeth it low;
he layeth it low, [even] to the ground;
he bringeth it [even] to the dust.
{cp. Isa 25:11,12}
6 The foot shall tread it down,
[even] the feet of the poor, [and] the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the just [is] uprightness:
thou, most upright, dost weigh
{ie., ponder, make level} the path of the just.
in that day shall this song be sung...- This prayer is not voiced by Israel, as a nation, today.
But they will worship in song when they recognize their Messiah at His second coming.
Their hearts are moved to worship through:
  1. The Rest of Faith (realized) (v.1-7)
  2. The Patience of Faith (rewarded) (v.8-12)
  3. The Regret of Faith (repentance) (v.13-18)
  4. The Response of the LORD (resurrection and refuge) (v.19-21)
Thou wilt keep him... whose mind is stayed on {ie., rests upon, is supported by, leans upon} Thee.-
In v.3,4, the word for 'peace' and the LORD's name, Jehovah, are both doubled. 'Peace' upon 'Peace' belongs to that person who trusts the 'Ever-Living One, Who Ever-Lives.' The wise man, who builds upon this Rock is eternally secure. cp. Mat 7:24-27
We have a strong city... the lofty city He layeth low...-
Jerusalem, resting upon their Rock, the one sure foundation, and secured by God's appointed Salvation, will tread down 'the lofty city' (ie., Babylon, the world system built upon the pride of man). God's city is strong because He is strong. God's people are victorious only because they rest in Him who is their Salvation, for they are the 'poor and needy' (cp. Isa 25:2-4).
Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation may enter in.-
These gates open to the Jerusalem of the Millennial Kingdom. The righteous 'nation' {HB= goy, this word usually refers to gentile nations} is the believing remnant of Israel together with those gentiles who also obtain righteousness by faith, during the Tribulation (Rev 20:4-6). (The raptured Church Age saints will also be there, having returned with the Lord from heaven. cp. 1The 4:17; Mat 21:42-44; 1Pet 2:9,10)
     These will 'enter in' to the 'rest of faith' which cannot be obtained by those in unbelief (Heb 4:1-9). In that day, the promised things, which believers have long 'hoped for' (expected) by faith, will become reality (Heb 11:1; Rom 8:23-25).
2. The Patience of Faith (rewarded) (v.8-12)
8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee;
the desire of [our] soul [is] to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:
for when thy judgments [are] in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked,
[yet] will he not learn righteousness:
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly,
and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
11 LORD, [when] thy hand is lifted up, they will not see:
[but] they shall see, and be ashamed for [their] envy at the people;
yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
12. LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us:
for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
in the way of thy judgments... have we waited for thee...-
Those, who believe God's Word, trust Him to open the path that He has promised (v.7,8). Though those promises seem long in coming, those, who wait for Him to act, will not be disappointed. Gen 49:18; Psa 27:13,14; 62:1-8; Isa 25:9; Jam 5:7-11
with my soul... with my spirit... will I seek thee early.-
From the depths of his being, a believer yearns for God and the fulfillment of His promises.
His mind and heart are occupied in this pursuit, both day and night (Psa 63:1-6). Through the night of sin's reign in the earth, he longs for the day when righteousness will fill the earth (v.9; Psa 63:7-11; Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14).
let favour be shewed to the wicked, [yet] will he not learn righteousness...-
The wicked will not become righteous persons, when immersed in an environment full of the knowledge of the LORD. Today, where the Gospel message is widely proclaimed, the Lord's offer of righteousness by Grace through faith, is known, but mocked and rejected by many.
in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD...-
Even in Christ's Millennial Kingdom, a generation of unregenerate unbelievers will arise, in rebellion against the King of Righteousness.
yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.-
Their rebellion will be met by the fire of God's judgment (Rev 20:6-9).
LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.-
Though the wicked do wickedly and suffer the reward due to them, God's people will receive His promises, not because of their righteous works, but because the Lord will accomplish His purposes in them and for them. Psa 29:11; Eze 36:24-28; Eph 2:8-10
3. The Regret of Faith (repentance) (v.13-18)
13 O LORD our God,
[other] lords beside thee have had dominion over us:
[but] by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
14 [They are] dead, they shall not live;
[they are] deceased, they shall not rise:
therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them,
and made all their memory to perish.
15 Thou hast increased the nation, O LORD,
thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified:
thou hadst removed [it] far [unto] all the ends of the earth.
16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee,
they poured out a prayer [when] thy chastening [was] upon them.
17 Like as a woman with child,
[that] draweth near the time of her delivery,
is in pain, [and] crieth out in her pangs;
so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain,
we have as it were brought forth wind;
we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth;
neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
The believing remnant of Israel speaks...
...other lords beside thee have had dominion over us...-
ie., In time past, we looked to other nations and other gods for prosperity and protection, and found ourselves under gentile domination. During the Tribulation, we put our trust in the covenant of a powerful prince, who deceived us. Eventually, we saw that he was the Antichrist, who would have broken us completely, if the LORD had not intervened to destroy him. Now we understand that there is no salvation apart from Thee. Dan 9:26,27; Joh 5:43; Isa 43:11
...thou hast increased the nation... removed it far unto all the ends of the earth...-
ie., Even while increasing the population of the Jewish nation (in keeping with Thy promises to Abraham, Gen 12:2; 15:5,6), Thou hast dispersed them far from the promised land because of their sin. trouble have they visited thee... when thy chastening was upon them...-
ie., Thy chastening (in the Tribulation) has caused the nation to turn again to Thee, whom we had forsaken, LORD. From our hearts, our prayer {lit., whispered prayer, eg., 1Sam 1:13,15} poured out to Thee...
we have been with child...-
ie., Although we did not recognize Him, a child was born to us (Isa 9:6). Thy Son's entrance into the world through Israel was a cause of Satan's persecution of the nation (Rev 12:1-6).
we have been in pain... we have... brought forth wind...
we have not wrought deliverance {HB=yeshuah} in the earth...-
ie., All of our sufferings have been unproductive. Our nation building and peace making efforts have been futile. Our attempts to destroy ungodly enemies, to save ourselves and our land, have been unsuccessful.
[Paraphrase of the above lines, by the editor.]
4. The Response of the LORD (resurrection and refuge) (v.19-21)
19 Thy dead [men] shall live,
[together with] my dead body shall they arise.
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust:
for thy dew [is as] the dew of herbs,
and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers,
and shut thy doors about thee:
hide thyself as it were for a little moment,
until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:
the earth also shall disclose her blood,
and shall no more cover her slain.
Thy dead [men] shall live, [together with] my dead body {lit., bodies} shall they arise.-
The redemption of Israel, like the redemption of all believers, rests upon the death and resurrection of Christ (Joh 5:26-29; 11:25,26; 1Cor 15:20-23). The necessity of faith, in His finished work, has both personal and national application (Rom 10:9-11; Psa 110:3).
     Notice that the word 'body' is actually plural ('bodies'). Since the context concerns the restoration of Israel, this is also a promise of resurrection for Israel's 'dry bones' (Eze 37:1-14). This meaning is evident when the text is read without the [bracketed words], which were supplied by the translators.
     Notice also that the plural, 'bodies,' does not damage the application to Christ's bodily resurrection. He is "the firstfruits of them that slept {the sleep of death}." Apart from His resurrection, no one will rise (1Cor 15:16-19). Believers will be raised because we are "in Christ" (1Cor 15:20-23). Since a believer's body belongs to the Lord, both in this life and the next (1Cor 6:19,20), our bodily resurrection is joined with His, when He says "my dead bodies shall arise."
come, my people, enter into thy chambers, and shut the doors about thee...-
The LORD will protect His own through the judgments that fall upon the world system at the end of the Tribulation. He is the refuge of His people. (cp. the ark of safety, Gen 7:1,16; the blood of the Passover lamb, Ex 12:22,23; the shadow of His wings, Psa 91:4-8; Mat 23:37; Isa 54:7,8)
the LORD cometh out of his place {ie., heaven} to punish... iniquity.-
eg., Hos 5:14,15; 2The 1:7-10; Jude 1:14,15
the earth shall disclose her blood... cp. Gen 4:10,11
The LORD, the righteous Judge of all the earth, will exercise true justice, in behalf of His own. Rev 6:9-11; 16:5-7; 18:21-24

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