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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Isaiah 12

Verse 1

Isaiah prophesied that on the day Messiah reigned, the remnant who survived the harvesting of Israel would praise Yahweh for ending His discipline of them, and for comforting them. Previously in Isaiah"s prophecy "that day" was one to be dreaded (cf. Isaiah 2:20; Isaiah 3:18; Isaiah 4:1; Isaiah 7:18; Isaiah 7:20-21; Isaiah 7:23), but now it is one to be hoped for. This is the eschatological "day of the Lord" so often referred to by the prophets, that will include judgment (in the Tribulation) and blessing (in the Millennium).

Verse 2

The focus of this song is God Himself. Finally the Israelites express their commitment to trust in Him rather than in other people (cf. Isaiah 8:12 to Isaiah 9:1). They acknowledge Him as their salvation, their strength, and their song (cf. Exodus 15:2; Psalm 118:14), not just as the provider of these blessings. Song is the natural expression of a free spirit. None of these things come apart from Him. Isaiah had tried to get King Ahaz to trust and not fear ( Isaiah 7:2-9), but he would not believe that God was with him.

Verse 3

Water is a rich symbol of salvation, especially to a people who lived in a land as dry as Palestine. God had provided salvation in the form of water for the Israelites during their wilderness march ( Exodus 15:27; Exodus 17:1-7). In the future, Israelites could anticipate securing His salvation and sharing it with others, specifically the Gentiles (cf. Psalm 116:13). This verse became a common saying among the Jews and led to a water-drawing ceremony in Jerusalem (cf. John 4:15; John 7:37-38). Water represents everything necessary for supporting life.

Verses 4-5

In the eschatological day, the remnant will give thanks to Yahweh, pray to Him because of His character revealed in His behavior, and tell the Gentiles about His deeds. They will remind others from all over the world that He is an exalted Person, and will praise Him in song for His excellent actions.

Verse 6

Praise and joy come with realizing that Yahweh is salvation (cf. Exodus 15:20-21; Jonah 2:9). The title "the Holy One of Israel" summarizes whom this hymn of praise honors, as well as what this whole section of the book is about. Only Yahweh is the Holy One of Israel!

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.