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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 52

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-12

The Hope of speedy Return for the Exiles

Isaiah 51:1-16. Encouragement from consideration of the past. Jehovah’s purpose for His people is sure. Prayer for deliverance (based on the deliverance of the exodus). Jehovah in response reassures His people.

17-23. The divine wrath, which was upon Jerusalem, shall be turned against her oppressors.

Isaiah 52:1-6. The glorious change in Zion’s fortune.

7-12. The deliverance of the exiles imminent.

Verses 1-12

1, 2. Zion invited to array herself as a queen and sit enthroned, freed from the presence of heathen foes, and with her children restored from captivity.

1. Thy strength] Strength returns to Zion when the Arm of Jehovah works within her (Isaiah 51:9).

3. Her captors paid no price, and therefore have no claim upon her.

4. The Assyrian oppressed] alluding to the sufferings of God’s people at the hands of Sargon and Sennacherib.

5. What have I] RV ’what do I.’ The argument is that the Egyptian and Assyrian oppressors were but temporary; is there any reason why the Babylonian exile should be permanent? Make.. howl] RV ’do howl.’

Every day] RV ’all the day.’

6. Shall know my name] Owing to the exile men had doubted Jehovah’s power (cp. Isaiah 52:5, ’my name.. is blasphemed’), but in the ensuing deliverance He will vindicate Himself, and His people shall know Him in His true character.

7. Cp. Isaiah 40:9; This and the following vv. refer to the return from the exile.

8. Watch-men] may refer to prophets (cp. Isaiah 21:6, Isaiah 21:11-12; Isaiah 56:10), or to heavenly spirits (cp. Daniel 4:13). Eye to eye] i.e. as one looks into the eye of his friend.

10. His holy arm] cp. Isaiah 51:9.

11. No unclean thing] cp. v.

1. That bear the vessels, etc.] i.e. the priests and Lévites, who are to carry back to Jerusalem for use in the restored Temple the sacred utensils, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away to Babylon. See the fulfilment of this recorded in Ezra 1:7-11.

12. With haste, etc.] in contrast to the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:39).

Rereward] i.e. rearguard.

The Suffering of Jehovah’s Servant: Its Meaning and Results

See introductory note to chapters


Isaiah 52:13-15. The contrast between the Servant’s humiliation and exaltation; its effect upon the world.

Isaiah 53:1-12. The import of the Servant’s sufferingnot understood. The vicarious nature and triumphant issue of the Servant’s suffering.

Verses 13-15

13. Deal prudently] RV ’wisely.’ The word implies success as the result of prudent plan; it is used of David’s behaviour (1 Samuel 18:14-15, 1 Samuel 18:30).

Exalted, etc.] The idea is repeated for emphasis.

14. 15. At the Servant’s exaltation, following upon his deep humiliation and suffering, the nations and their rulers are dumb with awe, and learn truth unknown before. This was fulfilled in the effect upon the world of the resurrection and exaltation of Christ following upon His passion.

15. So corresponds to as (Isaiah 52:14), the words his visage.. men being a parenthesis. Sprinkle] i.e. so as to cleanse (Pesh. ’he shall purify’): or, read, ’startle’ (RM).

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 52". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/isaiah-52.html. 1909.
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