Isaiah 54 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
III. Salvation (poetry), ch. 40-66
B. Salvation procured by the Suffering Servant (The Prince of Peace), ch. 49-57
  1. The Holy One, Israel's Redeemer is also the Salvation of the gentiles, 49:1-26
  2. The Redeemer is rejected by sinful men, 50:1-11
  3. The Redeemer is sure Redemption for the Remnant that trust in Him, 51:1-52:12
  4. The Price of Redemption, the substitionary sacrifice of the Suffering Servant, 52:13-53:12
  5. The Results of Redemption, 54:1-56:8
    1. For Israel...
      • Restored joy & children, 54:1-3
      • Restored relationship to the LORD, v.4-6
      • Guaranteed mercy & peace, v.7-10
      • Bestowed righteousness & beauty, v.11-14
      • Permanent protection from all enemies, v.15-17
1. Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear;
break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
thou [that] didst not travail with child:
for more [are] the children of the desolate
than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent,
and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations:
spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left;
and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles,
and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Sing...- The first word of this chapter contrasts sharply with the previous chapter
which was heavy with Christ's sufferings, and with the sorrow of repentant Israel. Yet, it is only through owning the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, that the believing remnant will enter the joys of right relationship with their God (Isa 44:22,23; 49:13). Their victorious Messiah, Himself, will lead them in songs of praise (Psa 22:22-27; Rev 5:9,10).
sing, O barren... that didst not travail with child...- The barren woman is Israel (cp. Isa 26:16-18),
who is referred to, in several other passages, as the wife of the LORD. Once she had been true to Him, but then she turned away and sold herself to serve iniquities (Isa 50:1). The passage before us looks forward to the time when Israel will turn back to Him, recognizing the great price He has paid to purchase them out of slavery to sin and back to Himself. cp. Isa 26:19; 62:4; (as depicted in the experience of Hosea, eg. Hos 3:1-5)
for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.-
During the years prior to her dispersion, while she was still faithful to Him, she had brought forth many sons, and the nation grew in number. Yet, she will be astounded to learn that during her years of desolation, while she was set aside because of her rebellion and unbelief, and while she suffered the loss of many sons, she bore an innumerable multitude (cp. Isa 49:20,21). Who are these children?
     Paul quotes v.1, in Gal 4:27, in the process of explaining that the children of God are not the children of the flesh, but rather, the children of the promise (ie., those who have been born into the family of God through faith in Christ). Since the Lord Jesus Christ is a son of Israel, all those who are born of Him have their roots in Israel.
enlarge the place of thy tent... thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles...-
This may refer to the land area that restored Israel will inhabit. She has never fully occupied the borders promised to her (cp. Gen 15:18-21; Ex 23:31; Deu 11:24; Josh 1:4). Today, her gentile neighbors contest Israel's very right to exist. But in that day, the gentiles will seek to bless her because of Him (Isa 2:2,3; 42:1-12).
4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded;
for thou shalt not be put to shame:
for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth,
and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
5 For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name;
and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel;
The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
fear not; thou shalt not be ashamed {ie., disappointed}: neither be thou confounded {ie., humiliated}...-
Having returned to the LORD, Israel will not be disappointed or shamed for trusting in Him. Even the scars of their shameful past will be forgotten.
  • the shame of thy youth...- ie., Israel's history of idolatry.
  • the reproach of thy widowhood...- ie., her present rejection.
for thy Maker {lit., Makers} is thy husband {lit., husbands}... thy Redeemer...-
In this verse, the plural of majesty (also in the word for 'God' {HB=Elohim}) indicates the greatness of the LORD who formed, married and redeemed Israel for Himself (cp. Isa 44:2,6,21-23).
...the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.-
Today, Israel's Redeemer, their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ is still rejected of men. But in the day of Israel's restoration, the whole world will recognize Him as God.
for the LORD hath called thee...- (The HB word for 'called' here, is the same as the last word of v.5.)
Though Israel was temporarily set aside, the LORD will again call her by His name, as His wife (cp. Isa 43:1,7; 62:4). In that day, married to the God of the whole earth, Israel will have no cause for fear.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee;
but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment;
but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee,
saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
9 For this [is as] the waters of Noah unto me:
for [as] I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth;
so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee...-
The LORD views time from the perspective of eternity. But to believers in Israel, the judgment upon the nation will seem to be never ending, until it is passed (cp. Lam 5:20; Isa 26:20).
in a little {ie., an outburst of, an overflow of} wrath I hid my face for a moment.-
The LORD's wrath toward His people was 'little,' not in intensity, but in its duration and dismissal (when His beneficial purpose is attained). cp. Psa 30:5; Isa 57:16-18
for this is as the waters of Noah...- ie., Just as God gave His promise to Noah
that He would never again exercise His wrath through a worldwide flood (Gen 9:11-13), so, He swears by Himself (cp. Heb 6:16-18) that He will never again judge His people for sin. His righteous indignation against sin has been fully satisfied (Isa 53:5,6; cp. 1Pet 3:18-22).
for the mountains shall depart... but my kindness shall not depart from thee...-
"The 'mountains' and 'hills' of verse 10 may be a figure of speech for empires and kingdoms, and the declaration may be: That God may withdraw His favour from these, but will never break His Covenant of Peace with Israel." [GWms] cp. Isa 51:6-8; Mat 24:35
11. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, [and] not comforted,
behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours,
and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles,
and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children [shall be] taught of the LORD;
and great [shall be] the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established:
thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear:
and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
{cp. Isa 32:16-18; Eze 34:25,28}
O thou afflicted {ie., downtrodden, poor and needy}... and not comforted...-
Though God's work of redemption is finished (by Christ, in His death and resurrection), and though His promise of peace is sure, the present experience, of unbelieving Israel, is otherwise.
But it will not always be so (Isa 51:17-23).
I will lay thy foundations with sapphires...-
- the Foundation of righteousness and life, 1Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20; 1Pet 2:4-6
- the foundations of His eternal city, the New Jerusalem, Rev 21:18-21
all thy children shall be taught of the LORD...- Jesus quoted this verse, in Joh 6:44,45.
When that day comes, Israel will understand God's Word and put their trust in Christ. (Also see 1Cor 2:11-14)
...great shall be the peace of thy children...-
cp. Isa 2:3; 11:9; 26:3; Jer 31:34; Heb 8:10-13; Rom 5:1; Php 4:7
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, [but] not by me:
whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
{cp. Isa 17:12-14; 29:7,8}
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire,
and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work;
and I have created the waster to destroy.
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.
cp. Isa 45:24; 46:13
Behold, they shall surely gather together...- The meaning of vs.15-17 is:
"that hostility may be shown in the future to Israel, but it will not be purposed of God, and it shall fail; for the smith that forges a weapon of war, and the waster, i.e., the soldier that uses it, are alike creatures of God's hand; and the conclusion is that in Jehovah, His people have an Almighty Defender and a Divine Righteousness." [GWms]
...[they] shall fall for thy sake.- History is full of examples of enemies of Israel which have fallen,
including Pharaoh, Haman (in the book of Esther), Assyria, Babylon, Herod, Hitler... The outcome will be the same in the future, when the Antichrist gathers the nations against them, and again, when Satan gathers Gog and Magog against the Holy City (eg., Zech 12:3,9; Rev 19:19-21; 20:7-9)
the heritage of the servants of the LORD... their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.-
God's people will stand secure, though confronted by enemies who accuse and condemn, because God vindicates His people with His own righteousness. Isa 45:24,25; Rom 3:22-26; 8:31-39
[This section continues into the next chapter.]

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