Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
There will be no need to lock the city gates because there is no danger. On the contrary, it is important to keep them open because kings and caravans of wealth will be arriving day and night. Destruction will await any nation that does not serve Israel in that day. Lebanon sends its finest trees to beautify the temple area. The descendants of those Gentiles who formerly persecuted Israel now acknowledge Jerusalem as “The City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel”.
And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.
Foreigners will serve as construction crews, and kings as servants of God’s people. God is now showing mercy to the nation that He has punished.
Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.
Plane loads of Israel’s sons and exiles return to Israel like flocks of birds, along with large ships bringing their accumulated wealth with them.
Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
As Jerusalem raises her eyes, she sees her sons and daughters returning to the land. Super-abounding joy fills her heart as she watches the Gentiles bringing their gifts and tribute. Camel caravans from far and near come with gold and incense, praising Jehovah’s name. Great flocks arrive in Jerusalem to be used for the sacrifices at the temple, commemorating the Messiah’s finished work on Calvary. Note – myrrh is missing in verse 6. Myrrh speaks of suffering. Christ’s atoning sufferings were finished forever. At His Second Coming, there will only be gold, glory, and incense, fragrance.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Zion’s time to arise and shine had come, for the glory of the LORD, that is, the Messiah Himself, had appeared. The world is still in spiritual darkness and the darkness of the Tribulation, but the LORD shines on Israel and through Israel to the rest of the world. Representatives of the Gentiles, including kings, will flock to Jerusalem to pay their respect to the reborn nation.
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
When the LORD looked upon the earth, He is grieved that there is no justice. He marvels that there is no intercessor or mediator capable of handling the situation, so He steps in and does it Himself. His own strength brings Him victory and His own righteousness upholds Him. He dons the armor and moves out against His foes in righteousness, salvation, vengeance, zeal, and fury. He gives the Gentiles exactly what they deserve, so that, at last, all the people from east to west are forced to acknowledge that He is Lord, for the Messiah comes in like a flood, driven by the breath of Jehovah. He will come as Redeemer to the godly remnant in Zion. Then God will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.
Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.
Speaking for the believing remnant, Isaiah now confessed their sin as his own. He acknowledges their injustice, unrighteousness, blindness, deadness. They growl with impatience and moan in despondency. There is no justice and no deliverance. Their transgressions had multiplied in God’s sight and testified against them. They denied the Lord and wandered far from Him. They spoke in the language of oppression, rebellion, and falsehood. Justice is driven back, righteousness stands afar off, and truth falls a victim in the street. Uprightness is refused admission, truth is nowhere to be found, and the godly man is assaulted.
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
It was Israel’s sin that held God back from delivering them; the fault could not be blamed on Him. Their hands, fingers, lips, and tongue are all active in murder and lying. There was widespread perversion of justice and dishonesty. People conceived evil and brought forth crime. Their activities were as dangerous as vipers’ eggs and as useless as a spider’s web. Sin controled every area of their lives—what they did, where they went, what they thought. They did not care for peace and justice, preferring what is crooked. What was true of Israel is also true of the entire human race.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
If God’s people would respect the Sabbath by abstaining from business or selfish pleasure and considered it a delight to honor God’s holy day, then they would delight in the LORD who gave the day, and He would give them a place of leadership in the earth and the heritage that God promised to Jacob. Nothing could hinder this because God had spoken it.
Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
The godly one is assured that whenever they call, the LORD will answer “Here I am.” If an individual would eliminate oppression, stop pointing their finger in accusation or in scoffing, and cease from mud-slinging and slander, if they would alleviate human need, both spiritual and physical, then God promised that their night would turn to day. They would enjoy guidance, abundant supply of good things, health and strength, beauty and fruitfulness, and national restoration.