Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 2

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-4

A Prophecy of the Millennial Reign of Christ Isaiah 2:1-4 describes the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth. Isaiah the prophet will refer to this period of history on a number of occasions in the book of Isaiah. Since this book places emphasis upon the role of Christ Jesus in the nation of Israel’s ultimate redemption, the prophet takes them to the time of their complete redemption when Jesus Christ shall deliver this nation from its enemies at the final, great battle that closes the seven-year Tribulation Period and ushers the world into the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ Jesus on earth.

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:2-4 Comments - Isaiah 2:2-4 is identical to Micah 4:1-3.

Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Isaiah 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:3 Comments - The Millennial Reign of Christ is most often described in Bible prophecy as a time when the Lord will rule and reign on earth from the holy city Jerusalem; however, we must keep in mind that these prophecies in Isaiah of this period in history are for the nation of Israel. So, from their perspective, the land of Israel will serve as the place where other nations will come to be instructed in the Word of the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 2:4 “and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks” Comments - We can imagine the value of iron in the ancient world, so that recycling would have been common place.

Isaiah 2:4 “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” - Comments - This thousand-year period called the Millennial Reign of Christ will be characterized by a time of peace on earth when there will be no war.

Verses 1-22

Prophecies Against Israel Isaiah 1:2 to Isaiah 12:6 contains a collection of prophecies against the nation of Israel. The phrase, “for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still,” is repeated five times within this passage of Scripture (Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 9:12; Isaiah 9:17; Isaiah 9:21; Isaiah 10:4).

Also found within this first major section of Isaiah are three prophecies of the Messiah’s birth. These prophecies reflect three characteristics of the Messiah. He will be born of a virgin as the Son of God dwelling with mankind (Isaiah 7:14-15). He will rule over Israel in the Davidic lineage (Isaiah 9:6-7). He will come from the seed of David and be anointed as was David (Isaiah 11:1-5).

Verses 5-10

Isaiah 2:6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.

Isaiah 2:6 “because they be replenished from the east” Comments - This phrase literally says, “because they are filled from the east.” In other words, the land of Israel had been filled with the ways of the people of the east. Note other modern English translations:

ASV “because they are filled with customs from the east”

BBE “because they are full of the evil ways of the east”

NIV “They are full of superstitions from the East”

RSV because they are full of diviners from the east”

YLT “For they have been filled from the east”

Verses 11-17

A Description of Man’s Pride Isaiah 2:11-17 gives a lengthy description of man’s pride in his rebellion against God. The passage gives us a list of things that are tall and stately in this world: the trees of the field, and the mountains and the hills, the high towers and fortified walls, and the tall, stately ships of the sea.

If we were to give this prophecy today, we would refer to tall buildings instead of high towers and fortified walls. For example, when the two tall buildings in New York fell on September 11, 2001, the nation began discussions of how to restore this part of the city. They decided to rebuild these buildings even taller as a sign of America’s national pride, rather than call the nation to repentance. However, this was an expression of human pride rather than humility and repentance towards God; since it was America’s sins that opened the door to such a tragedy.

Isaiah 2:16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

Isaiah 2:16 “and upon all pleasant pictures” Word Study on “pleasant” Strong tells us that the Hebrew word “pleasant” “chemdah” ( חֶמְדָּה ) (H2532) means, “delight, desire, goodly, precious, pleasant,” and it comes from the root word ( חָמַד ) (H2530), which means, “to delight in.” The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 25 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as, “pleasant 12, desire 4, beloved 3, goodly 2, precious 4.”

Word Study on “pictures” Gesenius says the Hebrew word “pictures” “sek-ee-yaw'” ( שְׂכִיָּה ) (H7914) means, “image, form, appearance.” Strong says it means, “a conspicuous object, picture.” This word is used once in the Old Testament, being translated “pictures.” Strong says it is similar to ( שֶׂכוּ ) (H7906), which means, “an observatory,” and both of these words come from an unused root word that means, “to surmount.” Gesenius says the word ( שְׂכִיָּה ) can refer to the “flag of a ship,” or “a standard.” However, he refers to the Vulgate and suggests that the phrase “and all pleasant images” serves to sum up everything listed in Isaiah 2:13-16.

Comments - The KJV gives its literal translation. However, it can also refer to a ship because of the context of the preceding phrase, “and upon all the ships of Tarshish.”

ASV “and upon all pleasant imagery (or watch-towers)”

LXX “and upon every display of fine ships”

NIV “and every stately vessel”

RSV “and against all the beautiful craft”

YLT “And for all desirable pictures”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 2". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.