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Bible Commentaries

Utley's You Can Understand the Bible

Isaiah 62

Isaiah 62:0

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASBNKJVNRSVTEVNJB
Zion's Glory and New NameAssurance of Zion's SalvationThe Glory of God's PeopleThe Good News of Deliverance(Isaiah 61:1-12)The Splendor of Jerusalem
Isaiah 62:1-5(1-5)Isaiah 62:1-5(1-5)Isaiah 62:1-9(1-9)Isaiah 62:1-5(1-5)Isaiah 62:1-5(1-5)
Isaiah 62:6-9(6-9)Isaiah 62:6-7(6-7) Isaiah 62:6-7(6-7)Isaiah 62:6-9(6-9)
Isaiah 62:8-9(8-9) Isaiah 62:8-9(8-9)Conclusion
Isaiah 62:10-12(10-12)Isaiah 62:10-12(10-12)Isaiah 62:10-12(10-12)Isaiah 62:10-12(10-12)Isaiah 62:10-11(10-11)
Isaiah 62:12(12)

READING CYCLE THREE (see Guide to Good Bible Reading)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-5

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 62:1-5 1For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, And for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, And her salvation like a torch that is burning. 2The nations will see your righteousness, And all kings your glory; And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate. 3You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD , And a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate” But you will be called, “My delight is in her,” And your land, “Married”; For the LORD delights in you, And to Him your land will be married. 5For as a young man marries a virgin, So your sons will marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So your God will rejoice over you.

Isaiah 62:1 “Zion. . .Jerusalem” These are in a Hebrew parallel relationship. Jerusalem was built on seven hills. Mount Zion was not the site of the Temple, but the location of David's palace and came to be a reference to the whole city of Jerusalem. See Special Topic: Moriah, Salem, Jebus, Zion, Jerusalem.

The VERBS “be silent” (Qal IMPERFECT, BDB 364, KB 361) and “be quiet” (Qal IMPERFECT, BDB 1052, KB 1641), negated, are related to the positive statement of Isaiah 61:1. The “I” could refer to the prophet or the Servant/Messiah (Deity breaks the silence mentioned in Isaiah 42:14; Isaiah 57:11; Isaiah 64:12; Isaiah 65:6). Obviously chapters 60-62 are a literary unit.

“righteousness. . .salvation” These two words also are in a parallel relationship. Righteousness (see Special Topic at Isaiah 48:1) speaks of the position and lifestyle of the people of God which results in their physical deliverance from their enemies. In the OT the term “salvation” primarily refers to a physical deliverance, while in the NT the term refers primarily to spiritual forgiveness and a standing before God. Zion's (cf. Isaiah 61:10-11) new day has come and will affect the whole world (cf. Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 60:3)!

SPECIAL TOPIC: SALVATION (OLD TESTAMENT TERM)

“brightness. . .burning” Again the presence of YHWH is connected to light, as it was on Mt. Sinai (cf. Exodus 19-20). See note at Isaiah 60:1.

Israel was meant to be “the light” of YHWH to the darkness of paganism and fertility worship. However, she was captured by them. The NT gives this same mission of revelation (cf. Jesus is God's ultimate Light, cf. John 1:4; John 8:12; John 12:35) and evangelism to believers (cf. Matthew 5:14-16).

Isaiah 62:2 “The nations will see your righteousness” Israel was chosen by God to be a witness to the entire world to bring them to YHWH (cf. Isaiah 62:11; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 60:3; Isaiah 61:6, Isaiah 61:11; 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). This is the true meaning of the phrase “a kingdom of priests” (cf. Exodus 19:5-6).

“And you will be called by a new name” The imparting of a new name implies the new age of the Spirit. The new covenant is realized.

The term “new” (BDB 294 I) is used extensively in the second part of Isaiah to describe the new day of righteousness.

1. new things, Isaiah 42:9; Isaiah 48:6

2. new song, Isaiah 42:10 (cf. Revelation 5:9; Revelation 14:3)

3. something new, Isaiah 43:19 (cf. Revelation 3:12)

4. new name, Isaiah 62:2 (cf. Isaiah 56:5)

5. new heavens and a new earth, Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22 (cf. 2 Peter 3:13)

The “new” day (cf. Revelation 21:5) was, in reality, the day that God always wanted for humans, but the Fall in Genesis 3:0 caused a terrible disruption! It is surely possible that the Bible's imagery of heaven is a restored Garden of Eden (cf. Revelation 21:2).

Isaiah 62:3 The Jerome Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 383, mentions that ancient eastern people believed their gods wore a crown shaped like the city that worshiped them. If so, then this may be a cultural allusion to this concept. This view depends on

1. YHWH being the speaker of chapter 62

2. how widespread this pagan concept was known

The Bible does use pagan imagery to describe and magnify YHWH. Four of many possible examples:

1. “God of Heaven” in Nehemiah

2. allusion to Persian Zoroastrian deity, Malachi 4:2

3. allusion to the twelve signs of the zodiac in Revelation 12:1

4. allusion to evil as a dragon

In Isaiah 28:5 YHWH Himself is the crown of the covenant people. He is their glory, light, provision, protection, and victory!

In Zechariah 9:16 the covenant people are the jewels in YHWH's crown.

Isaiah 62:4 “forsaken. . .desolate” This describes Israel's own interpretation of the Exile (i.e., this is their title for themselves). They felt they had been forsaken (cf. Isaiah 54:6-7) by God and wondered if He would ever love them again.

“My delight is in her” “Delight” may be the name “Hephzibah” (BDB 343, cf. 2 Kings 21:1). This is the beginning of a sustained metaphor about God as marriage partner (cf. Isaiah 62:4-5). It is hard to describe an infinite Holy Creator God, therefore, we have to use human analogies (see Special Topic at Isaiah 41:2). It is common in the Bible to describe God as Father, as husband, as near kinsman.

“married” This can also be translated “Beulah” (BDB 127). Lines 4 and 5 may be the “new name” of Isaiah 62:2.

This VERB (BDB 127, KB 42) is used four times in Isaiah 62:4-5.

1. Qal PASSIVE PARTICIPLE, Isaiah 62:4

2. Niphal IMPERFECT, Isaiah 62:4

3. Qal IMPERFECT, Isaiah 62:5

4. same as #3

Isaiah 62:5

NASB, NKJV“so your sons will marry you” NRSV“so shall your builder marry you” TEV“He who formed you will marry you” NJB“your rebuilder will wed you” REB“so will you be wedded to him who rebuilds you” LXX“so shall your son dwell with you”

By a revocalization of the consonants (בניך) “sons” becomes “builder” (i.e., YHWH, cf. Psalms 51:18; Psalms 102:16; Psalms 147:2), which fits the marriage imagery of the strophe.

The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 336, says of this verse

“Verse Isaiah 62:5 presents as strange an analogy as that in Isaiah 60:16. In both cases there seems to be an intentional breach in the normal application of the analogy, perhaps in the interests of vivid impression. Such analogies puzzle us, but we do not forget them!”

Verses 6-9

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 62:6-9 6On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; 7And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. 8The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, “I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored.” 9But those who garner it will eat it and praise the LORD; And those who gather it will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary.

Isaiah 62:6 This refers to prophets (cf. Isaiah 52:8; Isaiah 56:10 [negated]; Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:7), although the rabbis see it referring to angels (cf. Zechariah 1:12-17).

Isaiah 62:6-7 “You who remind the LORD. . .give Him no rest until He establishes. . .Jerusalem” This may refer to the theological truth that God has limited Himself to the prayers of His children (cf. James 4:2). It is not overcoming the reluctance of an apathetic Deity, but it is the intercessory ministry of the people of God claiming the promises of God (see Special Topic in Vol. 11A, at Isaiah 37:21-24).

The VERBS “appointed” and “remind” are both Hiphils.

Isaiah 62:8 “The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm” This is an anthropomorphic phrase (see Special Topic: God Described As Human (anthropomorphism)). God does not have a body. He is Spirit (cf. John 4:24), yet He swears by His own ability to act! YHWH is a God who has, will, and does act in individual lives, as well as nations.

God's oath is a significant promise (cf. Isaiah 54:9; Hebrews 6:13-20; Hebrews 7:20-28). It reminds us of

1. the power of God's word, Isaiah 55:11; 66:2d

2. the trustworthy character of God, Isaiah 45:22-23

God has an eternal redemptive plan for all humans made in His image and likeness (cf. Acts 2:23; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; 1 Peter 1:20, see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan). The Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 52:13-12 is the mechanism for universal redemption (cf. Romans 5:12-21). The fellowship of Eden will be restored for those who repent and believe in God's Messiah.

“enemies. . .foreigners” This refers to the invasion of Palestine by foreigners. It is a direct reference to the blessing versus cursing action of Leviticus 26:16 and Deuteronomy 28:30-33. Israel broke the Covenant. Israel suffered the consequences. YHWH promises a future day when the blessings will be a reality.

Isaiah 62:9 “will drink it in the courts of My sanctuary” This refers to the fellowship meal between God and His covenant partner (cf. Deuteronomy 12:18). These people are back in the land and the temple is restored.

Verses 10-12

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 62:10-12 10Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples. 11Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth, Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes; Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.” 12And they will call them, “The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD” And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

Isaiah 62:10-11 This is a message for the people given by the prophet on YHWH's behalf. There is a series of eight IMPERATIVES.

1. go through - Qal, BDB 716, KB 778

2. go through - same as #1

3. clear the way - Piel, BDB 815, KB 937

4. build up - Qal, BDB 699, KB 757

5. build up - same as #4

6. remove the stones - Piel, BDB 709, KB 768

7. lift up a standard - Hiphil, BDB 926, KB 1202

8. say - Qal, BDB 55, KB 65

Isaiah 62:10 “go through the gates” This could refer to

1. the gates of the cities of Mesopotamia where the Israelites and Judeans were exiled (esp. Babylon)

2. possibly out of chronological order and referring to the gates of the rebuilt

a. Jerusalem (Ezra, Nehemiah)

b. the temple

“Clear the way for the people;

Build up, build up the highway”

This is a common metaphor of preparing the road for a royal visit (cf. Isaiah 35:6-10; Isaiah 40:3-4; Isaiah 57:14). This is used several ways in the Bible.

1. it is used of the return of the exiled

2. it is used by John the Baptist as a self-designation of his own ministry

“lift up a standard” This refers to the flag of a tribe or military unit. Notice here the standard is over “the peoples” and Isaiah 62:11a “to the end of the earth.” The insignia of Israel is now the flag of all who believe, receive, and acknowledge YHWH.

Isaiah 62:11 “to the end of the earth” It is this universal aspect of YHWH's promises that signal that His love and salvation are for all humans, not just Israel. See Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan.

“Say. . .” There are three truths to be spoken (Qal IMPERATIVES).

1. your salvation comes (cf. Isaiah 49:6)

2. His reward is with Him

3. His recompense before Him (cf. Isaiah 40:10)

Isaiah 62:12 “they will call them” This is an allusion to “the new name” of Isaiah 62:2. The non-Israelites will now call them, not “Forsaken” or “Desolate” (Isaiah 62:4), but

1. the holy people

2. the redeemed of the LORD

3. sought out

“The redeemed of the LORD” “Redeemed” (BDB 145 I, see Special Topic at Isaiah 41:14) is related to the concept of Go'el. This was the kinsman redeemer who bought back his relative from poverty or capture. YHWH as a go'el is another example of Deity described in close intimate personal family terms.

“Sought out, a city not forsaken” This title was very significant because it states the truth that God was not running from the Jews but running toward the Jews!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Does Isaiah 62:0 refer only to the Exile or is it a typology referring to the reign of the Messiah?

2. Define the OT terms “righteousness” and “salvation.”

3. Why does God have to be reminded in Isaiah 62:6 of His promises?

4. Does God have a special love for Israel that He does not have for other nations?

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Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Isaiah 62". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/isaiah-62.html. 2021.