Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 65:17

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Earth;   Heaven;   Jesus, the Christ;   Millennium;   Righteous;   Scofield Reference Index - Earth;   Heavens;   Kingdom of Heaven;   Thompson Chain Reference - Heavens;   New;   The Topic Concordance - Earth;   Forgetting;   Heaven/the Heavens;   Jerusalem;   Newness;   Sorrow;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Creation;   Earth, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Joy;   Peace;   Sorrow;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Amos, Theology of;   Animals;   Create, Creation;   Day of the Lord, God, Christ, the;   Heaven, Heavens, Heavenlies;   Life;   Mind/reason;   New Creation;   New Heavens and a New Earth;   New Jerusalem;   Restore, Renew;   Suffering;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ecclesiastes, the Book of;   Elect;   Heaven;   Joseph;   Lord's Day;   Pharisees;   Regeneration;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Creation;   Heaven;   Heavens, New;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Kingdom of God;   Micah, Book of;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Righteousness;   Servant of the Lord;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Fire;   Isaiah ;   New Jerusalem;   Progress;   Restitution;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eschatology of the Old Testament (with Apocryphal and Apocalyptic Writings);   Go;   Heavens, New (and Earth, New);   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Earth;   Eschatology;   Revelation (Book of);  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I create new heavens and a new earth - This has been variously understood. Some Jews and some Christians understand it literally. God shall change the state of the atmosphere, and render the earth more fruitful. Some refer it to what they call the Millennium; others, to a glorious state of religion; others, to the re-creation of the earth after it shall have been destroyed by fire. I think it refers to the full conversion of the Jews ultimately; and primarily to the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-65.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For behold - The idea in this verse is, that there should be a state of glory as great as if a new heaven and a new earth were to be made.

I create new heavens - Calamity and punishment in the Bible are often represented by the heavens growing dark, and being rolled up like as a scroll, or passing away (see the notes at Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 34:4). On the contrary, prosperity, happiness, and the divine favor, are represented by the clearing up of a cloudy sky; by the restoration of the serene and pure light of the sun; or, as here, by the creation of new heavens (compare the notes at Isaiah 51:16). The figure of great transformations in material things is one that is often employed in the Scriptures, and especially in Isaiah, to denote great spiritual changes (see Isaiah 51:3; Isaiah 35:1-2, Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 60:13, Isaiah 60:17). In the New Testament, the phrase used here is employed to denote the future state of the righteous; but whether on earth, after it shall have been purified by fire, or in heaven, has been a subject of great difference of opinion (see 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).

The passage before us is highly poetical, and we are not required to understand it literally. There is, so far as the language is concerned, no more reason for understanding this literally than there is for so understanding the numerous declarations which affirm that the brute creation will undergo a change in their very nature, on the introduction of the gospel Isaiah 51:16.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-65.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come to mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit: they shall not plant and another eat: for as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of Jehovah, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith Jehovah."

What is the meaning of this remarkable paragraph? We know that it cannot refer to that New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God (Revelation 21-22), because sinners here are represented as living to be a hundred years old! There shall be no sinners in heaven. Moreover, "It is not eternal life which is envisaged here, but longevity."[18] Furthermore, the necessity of agricultural pursuits and for the continuation of the building industry for the purpose of feeding and housing mankind cannot be fitted into the picture of the New Jerusalem at the conclusion of the New Testament.

Many writers go overboard with their declarations that here is the promise of the Millennium. This can be true, only if the Millennium is properly understood as one of the names of the current Dispensation of the grace of God, not a literal thousand years, but embracing all of the time between the two advents of Jesus Christ.

Taking this chapter as a whole, the situation, first to last, must be identified with the current era of "the last times," as indicated by the apostle Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:16); because it is the era in which the Gentiles are called to accept the gospel (cf. Romans 10:20), and it is the era when God's people are no longer Israelites but are called by "another name" (Isaiah 65:15). Therefore, we accept the designation of Douglas as correct. He designated these last nine verses as, "The Overflowing Blessings in the Messianic Age."[19]

The great difficulty of accepting this understanding of the passage lies in the first verse (Isaiah 65:17) where the "new heavens and the new earth" are promised; because the apostle Peter clearly identified this promise with the final judgment of mankind, the destruction of the earth with fire, in which "the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:7-10).

Both sacred writers are obviously correct. The new heavens and the new earth mentioned by Isaiah here are indeed associated with the Messianic age, but coming at the end of it, its termination, rather than being identified with the period of probation, which constitutes the extended middle portion of the Messianic period, stretching from the first advent to the second advent. It will be remembered that Peter referred to the current dispensation as "the last days" (Acts 2:16,17); and it is a characteristic of all the prophets that events during the Messianic age are telescoped in the prophetic visions so that events, actually separated by millenniums of time, are often mentioned as if they occurred simultaneously. That is exactly what we believe to be evident here.

Another helpful factor in understanding what is written here is seen in the limitation of such promises as, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain" (Isaiah 65:25), to conditions "within all God's holy mountain," that is, within the holy Church of Messiah, It is within that sacred fellowship that the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together, as stated in Isaiah's earlier reference to the Messianic Age (Isaiah 11:6-9). Of course, what is meant is that the changes in men's lives, due to their obedience of the gospel, will be "As great as if,"[20] the nature of fierce animals should be so changed.

This reference to the lion and the wolf, along with its counterpart, has a number of utilities: (1) again we have an instance of "here a little and there a little," so often seen in Isaiah; (2) it identifies this passage as pertaining to the age of Messiah, as is the case in Isaiah 11:6-9; (3) and it serves to illustrate the unity of the prophecy and its authorship by Isaiah. See our notes on Isaiah 11:6-9, above.

The wonderful blessings pertaining to God's people which are cited in these verses, along with Isaiah 65:10 (above) refer to spiritual privileges, despite their being expressed here in the terms of material prosperity. Quite obviously in the passage, the natural laws of birth and death, and other conditions of our earth-life still prevail during the age of Messiah, in which we most assuredly live.

Of course, death itself shall finally be conquered; but when this finally occurs, Christ will render back to the Father the kingdom of heaven; and such shall mark the termination and not the beginning of the Messianic Age (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

"The new heavens and the new earth," like many other prophecies has an immediate and a remote fulfillment, the first being the creation of "an utterly new environment" in the first advent of Christ and the preaching of the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles alike. The remote and final fulfillment is yet to occur when God will shake the earth the second time, signifying its "removal" (Hebrews 12:27), when the present earth and the works within it are "burned up" (2 Peter 3:7-10), when the "elements shall melt with fervent heat," and when has arrived that final "day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." It is freely admitted that these sensational promises could all be interpreted figuratively; but this writer, along with many others, clings to the conviction that cosmic disturbances of the most tremendous and far-reaching nature are most surely associated with the final Judgment Day in the Word of God.

The word "new" is significant in these chapters. There is to be a"new" heaven and earth, a "new" nature in the people of God, and a "new" name. Is not all of this what Paul spoke of? when he wrote: "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away. Behold, they are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

On Isaiah 65:20. here, Rawlinson noted that, "The remarkable thing in this paragraph is that death and sin are represented as continuing."[21] Nevertheless, "Death was spoken of as being `swallowed up in victory' in one of Isaiah's earlier descriptions of Messiah's kingdom."[22] (See Isaiah 25:8 and my comment there). This harmonizes with what we have written above, namely, that both are correct. Sin and death prevail throughout the period of probation (the present dispensation) until the end of it, at which time the judgment and the new heaven and the new earth will appear. Death will be swallowed up in victory when the dead of all generations arise in the judgment to confront the Son of God upon the throne of his glory (Matthew 25). All of these are associated with the Messianic Age.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-65.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,.... This prophecy began to have its accomplishment in the first times of the Gospel, when through the preaching of it there was a new face of things appeared in Judea, and in the Gentile world, so that the whole looked like a new world; and this was all the effect of creating power, of the mighty, powerful, and efficacious grace of God attending the word, to the conversion of many souls; a new church state was formed, consisting of persons gathered out of the world, the old national church of the Jews being dissolved, and Gospel churches everywhere set up; new ordinances appointed, to continue till Christ's second coming and the old ones abolished; a new way of worship observed, at least in a more spiritual and evangelic manner; a new covenant exhibited, or the covenant of grace held forth in a new form of administration, the former waxen old and vanished away; and the new and living way to the Father, through Christ, made more manifest: this will have a further accomplishment at the conversion of the Jews, which will be as life from the dead, and things will look like a new world with them; their blindness will be removed, the veil will be taken away from them; they will part with all their legal rites and ceremonies, and the traditions of the elders, and embrace the Messiah, and all his truths and ordinances; old things shall pass away, and all things become new: and it shall have its complete accomplishments in the New Jerusalem state, when not only Christ will appear, and make all things new in a spiritual sense, and that completely; but even in a literal sense there will be new heavens, and a new earth, which John in vision saw; and which Peter says he and other believers expected, according to the promise of God, when these heavens and earth shall be dissolved and pass away; and unless this passage is referred to by him, it will be difficult to find where this promise is; see Revelation 21:1,

and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind; either the old heavens and earth, which shall pass away, and be no more seen; or the former state both of the Jewish, and Gentile world; or the former troubles, as in the preceding verse, taken in the sense of affliction and persecution; all antichristian troubles shall cease in the latter day, after the conversion of the Jews, and especially in the New Jerusalem state; see Isaiah 2:4.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-65.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For, behold, I create y new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

(y) I will so altar and change the state of my church, that it will seem to dwell in a new world.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-65.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

As Caleb inherited the same land which his feet trod on (Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:9), so Messiah and His saints shall inherit the renovated earth which once they trod while defiled by the enemy (Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 51:16; Isaiah 66:22; Ezekiel 21:27; Psalm 2:8; Psalm 37:11; 2 Peter 3:13; Hebrews 12:26-28; Revelation 21:1).

not be remembered — See on Isaiah 65:16, note on “troubles”; the words here answer to “the former  …  forgotten,” etc. The former sorrows of the earth, under the fall, shall be so far from recurring, that their very remembrance shall be obliterated by the many mercies I will bestow on the new earth (Revelation 21:4-27).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-65.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

I create — I am about wholly to change the state not only of my people, but to bring a new face upon the world, which shall abide until a new heavens and earth appear, in which shall dwell nothing but righteousness.

Not be remembered — That state of things shall be so glorious, that the former state of my people shall not be remembered.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-65.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

behold

Isaiah 65:17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth (see refs. at "create"), but Isaiah 65:18-25 describe the kingdom-age itself. Longevity is restored, but death, the "last enemy" 1 Corinthians 15:26 is not destroyed till after Satan's rebellion at the end of the thousand years. Revelation 20:7-14.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Isaiah 65:17". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/isaiah-65.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Ver. 17. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth.] I am making of a new world - that is, gospel times, called a "new creation," [2 Corinthians 5:17] and "the world to come"; [Hebrews 2:5] heaven beforehand. [Matthew 3:2] The consummation hereof we are to expect at the last day, [2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:5] when the "former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind," because the Lord, who made heaven and earth, shall "bless his people out of Zion" [Psalms 134:3]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-65.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 65:17. For, behold, I create, &c.— Vitringa observes, that these expressions signify a new and better form of religion, to be introduced into the church, the old and inferior one being abolished. It is plain, from what follows, that the prophet here foretels a future and highly-improved state of religion and felicity, greater than has yet been experienced in the church of Christ: see Revelation 19:7-9.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-65.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For, behold, I will tell you yet a more admirable thing, I am about wholly to alter and change the state not only of my people, who are now afflicted, restoring them to a more lightsome state, more free from trouble and afflictions; but

I create new heavens and a new earth, bringing a new face upon the world, sending my Son to raise up a new church, and to institute a new worship, John 4:21,24, and giving out my Spirit in a more plentiful manner, Acts 2:17, which new state shall abide until a new heaven and earth appear, in which shall dwell nothing but righteousness, 2 Peter 3:13 Revelation 21:1. And that state of things shall be such, and so glorious, as the former state of my people shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Whether this new heavens and new earth here promised signifies such a stale of the church wherein Christ shall personally reign upon earth over his saints, the wicked being destroyed, (as some have thought lie shall for a thousand years,) I very much doubt, and do not see how from this and the parallel texts any such thing can be concluded.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-65.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse is an overview of what follows. God announced, in substantiation of everything He had said since Isaiah 56:1, that He would create a restored and renovated universe (cf. Genesis 1:1). Things will be so much better than they are now that people then will not even think about things as they used to be (cf. Romans 6:14; Revelation 21:4). This should motivate God"s people to obey Him in the present. Not only would God perform another Exodus, bringing Israel out of Babylon and into the Promised Land, but He would also create another Creation. Watts, who understood chapters40-66 of Isaiah to refer only to the Jews" return to Palestine following the Exile, believed that the renovation in view is not eschatological or worldwide but restricted to Jerusalem and Judah. [Note: Watts, Isaiah 34-66, p354.]

Isaiah described the future in general terms as "a new heaven and a new earth." In the New Testament, we have further particularization of what this will involve: the making of all things new for those in Christ presently ( Galatians 2:20), the millennial kingdom ( Revelation 20:4-6), and the "eternal state" ( 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). Thus Isaiah"s use of "new heavens and a new earth" is not identical with the Apostle John"s ( Revelation 21:1). What Isaiah wrote about this new creation is true of various segments of it at various stages in the future; it is not all a description of what John identified as "new heavens and a new earth," namely: the eternal state.

"The designation new heavens and a new earth is applied to the Millennial kingdom only as a stage preliminary to the eternal glories of heaven (the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21; Revelation 22)-just as Pentecost was to be regarded ( Acts 2:17) as ushering in the "last days," although it occurred at least nineteen centuries before the Second Advent." [Note: Archer, p653.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-65.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

New earth, in eternity, (Clarius) or here indeed, (2 Peter iii. 3., &c.; Houbigant) having purified the former by the general conflagration, which many assert will take place at the end of 6,000 years. (St. Jerome; St. Augustine, &c.) At the return of the captives, the country flourished again under the Machabees; (ver. 18.; Grotius) or rather the gospel changes the face of the earth, chap. lxvi. 22. (Calmet) (Forerius) --- After the resurrection the qualities, and not the substance, of the world, will be changed. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-65.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

new heavens, &c. : i.e. new, in respect to the old. Not the "new" of 2 Peter 3:13, or Revelation 21:1. Note the contrast of this with the only two references to the history of Rev 21:

Isa. 65.

Name, Jerusalem (Hephzi"bah, Isaiah 65:18)

Position, on mountain (Isaiah 65:25).

Privileges, Isaiah 65:18-20.

Character, sinners there (Isaiah 65:20).

Character, prayer (Isaiah 65:24).

Employment, labour, planting, building (Isaiah 65:21).

Rev. 21.

New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2) ;

"great", "holy" (Revelation 21:10).

out of heaven (Revelation 21:2).

Revelation 21:4

no sinners (Revelation 21:27).

no temple (Revelation 21:22).

already built by God (Revelation 21:12-25; Revelation 22:3-5).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-65.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

For, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth. As Caleb inherited the same land which his feet trod on (Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:9), so Messiah and His saints shall inherit the renovated earth which once they trod, while defiled by the enemy (Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 51:16; Isaiah 66:22 ; Ezekiel 21:27; Psalms 2:8; Psalms 37:11).

And the former shall not be remembered - (note on "troubles," Isaiah 65:16.) The words here answer to "the former troubles are forgotten," etc. The former sorrows of the earth, under the fall, shall be so far from recurring, that their very remembrance shall be obliterated by the many mercies I will bestow on the new earth ( Revelation 21:4-27 ). This prophecy uses language which, while fulfilled on the millennial earth in a degree, shall receive its full accomplishment only in the regenerated earth, which shall succeed the post-millennial conflagration (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1; Hebrews 12:26-28).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-65.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Behold, I create new heavens . . .—The thought reappears in many forms in the New Testament—verbally in 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1, substantially in the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21), in the “manifestation of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19). The “former things,” the sin and sorrow of the past, shall then fade away from the memory of God’s people, absorbed in the abounding and everlasting joy.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-65.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
I create
51:16; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5
the former
Jeremiah 3:16
into mind
Heb. upon the heart.
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:1 - God;  Genesis 2:1 - Thus;  Job 14:12 - till the heavens;  Psalm 102:18 - the people;  Psalm 102:26 - They shall;  Psalm 104:30 - renewest;  Isaiah 43:18 - GeneralIsaiah 45:8 - I the Lord;  Isaiah 46:9 - the former;  Matthew 19:28 - in the regeneration;  Acts 3:19 - when;  Romans 8:19 - expectation;  2 Corinthians 5:17 - old;  Galatians 1:4 - from;  Hebrews 1:11 - shall perish

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-65.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

17.For, lo, I will create new heavens and a new earth. By these metaphors he promises a remarkable change of affairs; as if God had said that he has both the inclination and the power not only to restore his Church, but to restore it in such a manner that it shall appear to gain new life and to dwell in a new world. These are exaggerated modes of expression; but the greatness of such a blessing, which was to be manifested at the coming of Christ, could not be described in any other way. Nor does he mean only the first coming, but the whole reign, which must be extended as far as to the last coming, as we have already said in expounding other passages.

Thus the world is (so to speak) renewed by Christ; and hence also the Apostle (Hebrews 2:5) calls it “a new age,” and undoubtedly alludes to this statement of the Prophet. Yet the Prophet speaks of the restoration of the Church after the return from Babylon. This is undoubtedly true; but that restoration is imperfect, if it be not extended as far as to Christ; and even now we are in the progress and accomplishment of it, and those things will not be fulfilled till the last resurrection, which has been prescribed to be our limit.

The former things shall not be remembered. Some refer these words to heaven and earth; as if he had said that henceforth they shall have no celebrity and no name. But I choose rather to refer them to the former times; for he means that the joy at being restored shall be so great that they shall no longer remember their miseries. Or perhaps it will be thought preferable to view them as relating to benefits which, though they were worthy of being recorded, lost their name when God’s amazing- grace shone forth. In this sense the Prophet said elsewhere, “Remember ye not the former things.” (Isaiah 43:18.) Not that God wished the first deliverance to be set aside or blotted out of the hearts of believers; but because by comparison the one brought a kind of forgetfulness over the other, just as the sun, when he rises, deprives the stars of their brightness.

Let us remember that these things take place in us so far as we are renewed. But we are only in part renewed, and therefore we do not yet see a new heaven and a new earth. We need not wonder, therefore, that we continue to mourn and weep, since we have not entirely laid aside the old man, but many remains are still left. It is with us also that the renovation ought to begin; because we hold the first rank, and it is through our sin that “the creatures groan, and are subject to vanity,” as Paul shews. (Romans 8:20.) But when we shall be perfectly renewed, heaven and earth shall also be fully renewed, and shall regain their former state. And hence it ought to be inferred, as we have frequently remarked, that the Prophet has in his eye the whole reign of Christ, down to its final close, which is also called

“the day of renovation and restoration.” (Acts 3:21.)

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Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-65.html. 1840-57.