Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 25

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes


The world rejoicing in Messiah’s reign ch. 25

Isaiah next described the remnant, believers who will stream to Zion, praising God, at the beginning of Messiah’s reign. Notice the many triadic formations in the structure of this chapter, creating a feeling of the completeness of joy. The prophet first pictured the pilgrims moving through a ruined world to Zion, singing of the wonder of their rescue and the Lord’s power over their enemy.

"Soon after God in His judgment will wipe out sinful people (chap. 24) the Messiah’s glorious kingdom will begin. In poetry Isaiah described the praise that will be ascribed to the Lord in the Millennium for His marvelous work." [Note: J. Martin, p. 1073.]

Verse 1

The prophet reflects a personal knowledge of God; he is a saved person. He exalts and thanks Yahweh his God because He supernaturally and faithfully executed the outworking of plans that He had formulated long before.

The singer is probably Isaiah himself, who projected himself into the future time that he envisioned (cf. chs. 40-66). He spoke for the redeemed of that time, the beginning of the Millennium. Since Old Testament saints will be resurrected at the beginning of the Millennium (Daniel 12:2), Isaiah himself may utter this prophetic psalm of praise in the future. Isaiah included more praise of God among his prophecies than any other Old Testament writing prophet. We might even think of him as a psalmist as well as a prophet. [Note: Grogan, p. 158.]

Verses 1-5

Pilgrims on the march 25:1-5

Verse 2

What did God do? He destroyed the city of man, the world of city-state culture (cf. Isaiah 24:10), as He said He would. The city, since the time of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), was a biblical figure of self-salvation. In the Tribulation, God will humble the pride of man who seeks to save himself.

Verse 3

Strong people and groups of ruthless individuals will fear God and respect Him for what He has done. They will not necessarily become believers in Him, but they will acknowledge that He has done great things (cf. Revelation 9:20-21).

Verse 4

Specifically, they will confess how He delivered those who trusted in Him (during the Tribulation) in spite of the fierce antagonism of their enemies, which was like driving rain (cf. Psalms 61:2-4).

Verse 5

As a passing cloud provides relief from the heat during a drought, so the Lord gives His people relief by humbling the song of their ruthless foreign enemies.

"In either the sudden intensity of the cloudburst or the steady, enervating heat, life is threatened. Unless one has a stronghold against the flood (cf. Matthew 7:24-27) or a shade from the heat [Psalms 121:5], there is no hope." [Note: Oswalt, p. 462.]

Verse 6

All who enter the Millennium-everyone who does will be a believer-will stream to Mount Zion (Isaiah 24:23) where Yahweh will provide a joyful banquet for them. Amillennialists typically take Zion as a figurative representation of the church. According to Young, the banquet signifies "the spiritual blessings that God brings to mankind through His kingdom." [Note: Young, 2:192.] Inaugural banquets were fairly customary when ancient Near Eastern kings were crowned (cf. 1 Samuel 11:15; 2 Samuel 6:18; 1 Kings 1:9; 1 Kings 1:19; 1 Kings 1:25; 1 Kings 8:62-65). The new king often bestowed favors on such occasions.

Verses 6-8

The coming great banquet 25:6-8

Having delivered His people from the Tribulation and preserved them to enter His earthly kingdom, the Lord will invite them to rejoice with Him at a great banquet at the beginning of the Millennium (cf. Exodus 24:11).

Verses 7-8

The Lord will also remove the curse of death that has hung over humankind since the Fall (cf. Isaiah 26:19; Genesis 2:17; Job 19:26; Daniel 12:2; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:54; Hebrews 2:15; Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4; Revelation 22:3). This will occur at the end of the Millennium, after the final rebellion and God’s creation of new heavens and a new earth. Isaiah’s vision of the future followed the course of events that later revelation clarified, but he did not present the eschatological future as consisting of consecutive watertight compartments for two reasons. First, he did not see the future as clearly as later prophets did (1 Peter 1:10-12), and second, he described the future here as a poet rather than as a historian. Isaiah here telescoped the millennial and eternal reigns of God-both aspects constitute His future kingdom-as He did the first and second advents of Christ (Isaiah 65:17-25).

Sovereign Yahweh will wipe the tears from each face (Revelation 7:17; Revelation 21:4), as a loving mother, and will remove the disgrace to His people from living in slavery to sin (cf. Joshua 5:9; Ezekiel 5:13-17; Romans 11:11-27). This is a promise from the Lord. It was customary for an ancient Near Eastern king at his banquet to demonstrate his power by performing some heroic act. [Note: Watts, p. 331.]

Verse 9

The redeemed will rejoice that they are finally in the presence of the God, whose rule and care they had longed to be delivered to for so long (cf. Revelation 6:9-11; Revelation 7:9-12). Finally, hope will have given way to sight, and Old Testament saints will rejoice because they are finally with their Savior (cf. Romans 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

Verses 9-12

The great joy to come 25:9-12

The last part of this chapter returns to the emphasis of the first part: the joy that will come to God’s people at this time.

Verse 10

The reason for their rejoicing is that God’s hand of blessing that will rest on Zion then. In contrast, Moab, representing the godless nations antagonistic to Israel in the parallel oracle (chs. 15-16), will suffer judgment and humiliation under His foot. The mountains of Moab are visible to the east from the mountains surrounding Jerusalem.

"The same pride which held Moab back from seeking security in the divine promises in an earthly crisis (cf. Isaiah 16:6) will exclude Moab from partaking of the heavenly promises. This is the ultimate tyranny of false choices." [Note: Motyer, p. 211.]

Verses 11-12

Moab would try to swim out of his predicament, as he had relied on himself and tried to save himself in the past, but the Lord will punish his clever pride. None of Moab’s defenses against divine judgment will work. The Lord will bring them all down.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 25". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". 2012.