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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 52

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-15

Chapter 52

Now again God cries for them.

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem ( Isaiah 52:1 ),

There's a day coming of just, "Put on your glorious garments and get ready for the big celebration, O Jerusalem."

the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean ( Isaiah 52:1 ).

Jerusalem's going to be cleaned out of the filth that is presently a part of that whole city there. It is, to me, an extremely sad and tragic thing to see the city of Jerusalem today-though there is always sort of an awe and a wonder about it-yet there is so much prostitution there in the old city, such a ready availability of drugs. You go by the shops and these guys all have the little hashish pipes or the hoses from the thing and you get the smell and you think, "Oh God, this is the holy city! The city that You have chosen above all the cities of the earth to place Your name." And oh, the stuff that goes on there today. The cursing, the anger, the bitterness, the strife, the evil; and you long for that day when Jerusalem shall again be the city of God, the city of righteousness, the light to the whole world. And so God says the time is coming.

Now, "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." This is the day when the Lord has returned and establishes His kingdom.

Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nothing; but you will be redeemed without money ( Isaiah 52:2-3 ).

"We have been redeemed," Peter said, "not with silver and gold. Not with money, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ" ( 1 Peter 1:18-19 ). You sold yourselves for nothing. And how true that is of people today. They're selling themselves for nothing. Jesus said, "What should it profit a man, if he gained the whole world, and lost his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" ( Mark 8:36-37 ) Interesting question.

What would you give in exchange for your soul? If Satan should come to you and say, "Hey, buddy, name your price. I want to buy your soul. How much will you charge?" What would you charge Satan for your soul? What kind of a price would you put on it? Would you take a million bucks for your soul? How about five million? What would a man give in exchange for his soul? When you look at it that way, you say, "Hey man, there's nothing I would take for my soul. That's eternity. I don't want eternity in the kingdom of darkness. There's nothing I would take for it. It's priceless." That's the way God looks at it. He looks at your soul as priceless. But the unfortunate thing, though the person may say, "Man, I wouldn't sell for a million, or I wouldn't sell for five," they're selling it for nothing. You're absolutely getting nothing from Satan but a bunch of dirt. Selling out their soul for nothing. And how foolish it is that man would sell his soul for nothing. And God said, "That's what happened. Hey, you sold yourself for nothing. But I'm going to redeem you, but not with money." And so as we get into chapters 52 and 53, we find the price of redemption that God was willing to give in order to redeem man unto Himself.

For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there ( Isaiah 52:4 );

That is the time of Jacob.

and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nothing? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name is continually blasphemed every day. 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 ( Isaiah 52:4-6 ).

Jesus came to His own; His own received Him not. They did not recognize Him. But the day will come when they will.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings ( Isaiah 52:7 ),

And the word good tidings is the word gospel.

that publisheth peace; that bringeth the gospel of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Your God reigns! ( Isaiah 52:7 )

Oh, how beautiful on the mountain the feet of those that bear good tidings, the gospel of Jesus Christ, that publish forth the good news of peace that man can have with God. "That saith to Zion, Your God reigns!"

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 ( Isaiah 52:8 ).

When God brings again the captivity of Zion, we were as those who were in a dream, it said. Then they will see eye to eye.

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. 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. Depart ye, depart ye, go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go you out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD ( Isaiah 52:9-11 ).

Jesus in the New Testament, or the Spirit urges us through the writings of Paul, "Come ye apart from her, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, touch not the unclean thing. And I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters" ( 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 ). And here again, the call of separation from God. The separation of ourselves from the world and from the policies of the world. "Be not conformed to the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" ( Romans 12:2 ). "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. For he that hath the love of the world in his heart hath not the love of the Father" ( 1 John 2:15 ). And so God's call to His people to come out of the world. "Depart, depart from the world, touch no unclean thing; go out of the midst of her; be clean, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord."

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 behind you ( Isaiah 52:12 ).

God will be in front of you, behind you. So God's glorious leading and protection from the rear. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 52". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/isaiah-52.html. 2014.
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