Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 2

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Isaiah 2:1 . The word that Isaiah saw. In these distressing times, when the Jewish church and state were shaken to the very centre, the Messiah spoke to the prophet, and showed him the new-testament church, built on a rock; of which it is said, God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. Psalms 46:5.

Isaiah 2:2 . It shall come to pass in the last days. The days of the Messiah, as this phrase always designates. Hosea 3:5. Jeremiah 48:47. Joel 2:28. Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 38:16. Daniel 10:14. The decay of judaism, on whom, says Paul, “the ends of the world are come.” The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills. The prophet Micah quotes the whole of this passage, with the additional circumstance, that Zion, because of the wickedness of the Jews, should be plowed like a field, Isaiah 3:12: which synchronises the time with that of the Messiah. The rabbins in succession say, that this mountain means Jerusalem. Our Saviour, on the contrary, describes Jerusalem as a carcase for the Roman eagles. St. Paul regards the temple as vanishing away, and Jerusalem as full of blood; but adds, Jerusalem above is free, and is the mother of us all. Ye are come to mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Galatians 4:26. Hebrews 12:22. Some contend here, that the true sense of the text is, “The mountain of the house of Jehovah, shall be established THE TOP of the mountains;” equivalent to a promise, that christianity shall be the religion of the world.

Isaiah 2:3 . Out of Zion shall go forth the law. The new and living law, the law of faith and love, the new covenant in all its glory. Here we ask the Jew, what other law, except the law of Christ, ever went out of Jerusalem; a law published by a new order of ministers, the servants and hand-maidens of the Lord. See more on Micah 3:4.

Isaiah 2:5 . Oh house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the Lord. Let us look forward to those happy times, that the splendour of the Messiah’s righteousness and glory may be reflected upon us, that we may already see his day, and reckon his kingdom as near at hand.

Isaiah 2:19 . They shall go into the holes of the rocks. These words seem to imply that they shall hide their idols in holes and caverns.


The Jews uniformly divided the days, ages, or dispensations into three; the time of the patriarchs, the time of Moses, and the time of the Messiah. We have here therefore a most luminous prophecy, that there shall be a new temple, not on mount Moriah, but high above all hills. This temple the holy apostles have largely expounded of the christian church, built on Christ the sure foundation, and on the secondary foundation of prophets and apostles; a temple against which neither gentile kings, nor the gates of hell shall ever prevail.

We have also a prophecy of a new people being called to worship there; many nations, even the polished and barbarous heathens in every part of the earth. This is the common theme of Hebrew prophecy. Its accomplishment began when the gentiles were admitted into the christian church, and it shall be completed in the glory of the latter day. It shall be a glorious age of prayer and preaching. The spirit and the bride, yea, heaven and earth shall say, oh come, let us go up. They pledge themselves at the same time to keep the statutes and judgments which God shall teach. And whereas they formerly used to go and come; now they shall go and abide in his presence for ever.

The character of the Messiah’s kingdom is righteousness and peace. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares. So it is now in the heart, and in the church, just so far as the kingdom of Christ prevails. The spirit of piety is abhorrent of war. The church groans and travails till war shall be no more; and it is with much doubt and diffidence that she now gives the smallest sanction to war, as a rod of correction to the wicked. She is aware that salvation by prayer is better than salvation by arms. It not only raises the confidence of a nation in God, but it produces striking effects on the enemies’ heart.

The prophecy closes, as is usual on this subject, with a denunciation of judgment on all the disobedient world. On nations as rich as Britain, on the ships of Tarshish, on the pleasant pictures; it should be, on the merchandise of those pleasant or gallant ships. Then let us cease from man, and trust in God. It announces the waning of the Jewish moon, and the falling of the Roman stars, who should hide in the caverns of the mountains from the wrath of the Lamb. Revelation 6:17.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 2". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.