Isaiah Chapter 54  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Isaiah 54
Isa 54:1

“Sing, O barren one.” Isaiah 54 and 55 cannot be properly understood unless their connection to Isaiah 53 is understood. John Oswalt correctly sees that the “barren one” referred to in Isaiah 54:1 is not just Zion, but everyone, all sinners, because all sinners benefit from the redemptive work of Christ. Oswalt writes: “It is probably not coincidental while the term “Zion” occurs eight times between Isaiah 49:14 and 52:8, it does not occur again until Isaiah 59:20. This suggests that the prophet is consciously resisting the limitation of the implications of God’s forgiving grace that would result from the use of that term [“Zion”] here. To be sure, the imagery is that which has been previously applied to Zion. But the absence of that term here when it has been used frequently immediately before suggests that, because of the work of the servant, all who feel barren and dejected and alone as a result of their sins have a reason to shout for joy now. All, Gentiles and Jews alike, may become blessed people of God” (John Oswalt, NICOT: The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40-66).

Isaiah 54 and 55 follow directly from the end of Isaiah 53, which closes with Christ bearing people’s sins. Without a way to atone for sin and be brought into God’s graces and salvation, all people are “barren,” powerless to save themselves from death and even powerless to guarantee themselves a wonderful life on earth while they are still alive here. The “barrenness” mentioned in Isaiah 54:1 is not meant to be literal, but is a metaphor for powerlessness and shame. The barren woman cannot make herself pregnant, and nor can she escape the shame of her condition (barrenness in the biblical world was supposedly a sign of rejection by God), and similarly, the “barren” human is powerless to escape the defeat and shame of his or her fallen condition. But now, due to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, all people should break forth into singing for joy.

From the flow of Isaiah we learn that this is Zion (Jerusalem) representing Israel,along with all other sinners as well. Christ purchased redemption for all people. Isaiah 54:1-17 speaks of the future restoration and glory of Israel, which will occur in the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus Christ rules the earth. [For more verses in Isaiah that speak of the Millennial Kingdom, see commentary on Isaiah 2:2. For more on Christ’s future kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].

Isa 54:2

“Enlarge the place of your tent.” Isaiah 54:2 is more directly referring to Zion, representing Israel than Isaiah 54:1 was, which was more inclusive of all people. Although Zion is not mentioned by name, the imagery fits her. Whereas she was once barren, now she will grow to include all the different peoples that Christ came to save, and so she will need to enlarge her tent to include them.

Isa 54:3(top)
Isa 54:4(top)
Isa 54:5

“Yahweh of Armies is his name, and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” God redeems people through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, but the plan of redemption originated in Him.

“he will be called the God of all the earth.” In today’s world, the peoples of earth have many gods, but that will not be the case in the future when Christ rules the earth. At that time God will not only be the God of all the earth, but He will also be recognized as such.

Isa 54:6

“even a wife of youth when she is rejected.” This does not refer to a young wife who is rejected (as the NET), but rather to a woman who became a wife in her youth but was later rejected. That is what happened to Israel. Her marriage covenant with God occurred on Mount Sinai on the way out of Egypt (Exod. 24), but she turned to idols and was rejected by God many years later. Nevertheless, in the future God will call her back to Himself.

Isa 54:7(top)
Isa 54:8(top)
Isa 54:9(top)
Isa 54:10(top)
Isa 54:11(top)
Isa 54:12(top)
Isa 54:13(top)
Isa 54:14(top)
Isa 54:15(top)
Isa 54:16(top)
Isa 54:17(top)

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