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Isaiah 62

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Zion's Glory and New Name Assurance of Zion's Salvation The Glory of God's People The Good News of Deliverance  (61:1-62:12) The Splendor of Jerusalem
62:1-5  (1-5) 62:1-5  (1-5) 62:1-9  (1-9) 62:1-5  (1-5) 62:1-5  (1-5)
62:6-9  (6-9) 62:6-7  (6-7)   62:6-7  (6-7) 62:6-9  (6-9)
  62:8-9  (8-9)   62:8-9  (8-9) Conclusion
62:10-12  (10-12) 62:10-12  (10-12) 62:10-12  (10-12) 62:10-12  (10-12) 62:10-11  (10-11)
        62:12  (12)

READING CYCLE THREE

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.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 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.

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.

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 61:1. The "I" could refer to the prophet or the Servant/Messiah (Deity breaks the silence mentioned in 42:14; 57:11; 64:12; 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 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. 61:10-11) new day has come and will affect the whole world (cf. v. 2; 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 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; 8:12; 12:35) and evangelism to believers (cf. Matt. 5:14-16).

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. v. 11; 52:10; 60:3; 61:6,11; I Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6). This is the true meaning of the phrase "a kingdom of priests" (cf. Exod. 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, 42:9; 48:6

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

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

4. new name, 62:2 (cf. 56:5)

5. new heavens and a new earth, 65:17; 66:22 (cf. II Pet 3:13)

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

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, Mal. 4:2

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

4. allusion to evil as a dragon

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

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

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. 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. II Kgs. 21:1). This is the beginning of a sustained metaphor about God as marriage partner (cf. vv. 4-5). It is hard to describe an infinite Holy Creator God, therefore, we have to use human analogies (see Special Topic at 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 v. 2.

This verb (BDB 127, KB 42) is used four times in vv. 4-5.

1. Qal passive participle, v. 4

2. Niphal imperfect, v. 4

3. Qal imperfect, v. 5

4. same as #3

 

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 (ךינב) "sons" becomes "builder" (i.e., YHWH, cf. Ps. 51:18; 102:16; 147:2), which fits the marriage imagery of the strophe.

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

"Verse 5 presents as strange an analogy as that in 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!"

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 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.

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

▣ "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 37:21-24).

The verbs "appointed" and "remind" are both Hiphils.

62:8 "The Lord has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm" This is an anthropomorphic phrase (see Special Topic at 41:2). 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. 54:9; Heb. 6:13-20; 7:20-28). It reminds us of

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

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

God has an eternal redemptive plan for all humans made in His image and likeness (cf. Acts 2:23; 3:18; 4:28; I Pet. 1:20, see Special Topic at 40:15). The Suffering Servant Song of 52:13-53:12 is the mechanism for universal redemption (cf. Rom. 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 Lev. 26:16 and Deut. 28:30-33. Israel broke the Covenant. Israel suffered the consequences. YHWH promises a future day when the blessings will be a reality.

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

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 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."

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

 

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

 

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

▣ "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. Isa. 35:6-10; 40:3-4; 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

 

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 at 40:15.

▣ "Say. . ." There are three truths to be spoken (Qal imperatives).

1. your salvation comes (cf. 49:6)

2. His reward is with Him

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

 

62:12 "they will call them" This is an allusion to "the new name" of v. 2. The non-Israelites will now call them, not "Forsaken" or "Desolate" (v. 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 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 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 v. 6 of His promises?

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

 

Related Topics: Bible Study Methods