In my last post, we completed learning about The Cup of Adonai’s Wrath in Yesha’yahu 51:17-23. In this post, we learn about Adonai Commands Tziyon to Wake Up in Yesha’yahu 52:1-12.
1 Awake! Awake, Tziyon! Clothe yourself with your strength! Dress in your splendid garments, Yerushalayim, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean will enter you no more.
For the third time in this section, the call to awake occurs (see Yesha’yahu 51:9,17). This time it is addressed toTziyon, again personified as a woman. The description is of a renewed, refreshed, and restored Yerushalayim, no longer contaminated by the uncircumcised and the unclean.
2 Shake off the dust! Arise! Be enthroned, Yerushalayim! Loosen the chains on your neck, captive daughter of Tziyon!
In an obvious allusion to the exile, Tziyon is pictured as freed from bondage. She will rise from the dust to take her seat, perhaps implying a transition from dusty captive to the dignified queen.
If you go to Yerushalayim today, you can sense the riches of the area, but you can also see the sin and corruption. It won’t always be that way, however, for when Yeshua comes back to rule and reign in Yerushalayim, it will be a holy city, indeed.
3 For thus says Adonai: “You were sold for nothing, and you will be redeemed without money.”
Adonai was so anxious to get rid of sinful Tziyon that He sold her for nothing. He sold her for nothing; He can now redeem her for nothing.
4 For thus says Adonai Elohim: “Long ago My people went down to Egypt to live there as aliens, and Ashur oppressed them for no reason.
The prophecy speaks from a prophetic perspective as if Yesha’yahu were living at the time of the Bavlim captivity. From that time in the future, he looks back on two previous traumatic periods in Israeli history – the Exodus from Egypt in the second millennium BCE and the Ashurim invasion of the northern kingdom during Yesha’yahu’s lifetime (722 BCE). The Bavlim captivity dates to 586-539 BCE.
5 So now, what should I do here,” asks Adonai, “since My people were carried off for nothing? Their oppressors are howling,” says Adonai, “and My name is always being insulted, daily. 6 Therefore My people will know My name; therefore, on that day they will know that I, the one speaking – here I Am!”
Adonai’s people come to know Him through this process of punishment and restoration.
In Bavel, Adonai’s people howled. In Egypt, they cried out (see Exodus 2:23). Adonai heard it all. Just as He sent Moshe to deliver His people from Egypt, He’ll send Koresh to liberate them from Bavel. However, even with their history of miraculous deliverance, polls show that less than 10% of people in Isra’el today believe in Adonai. On that day, however, when Yeshua comes back, they will know Adonai’s true name and His character.
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation and saying to Tziyon, “Your God is King!”
As the song title proclaims: OUR GOD REIGNS! In the ancient world, the news was carried by a herald. In this verse, the herald announces the end of hostilities and the fact that Adonai reigns as King over His people. A variation of this verse occurs in Nahum 1:15.
8 Listen! Your watchmen are raising their voices, shouting for joy together, for they will see, before their own eyes, Adonai returning to Tziyon.
Watchmen were posted on city walls to keep an eye out for attack, or in this case to be the first to witness the return of Adonai to His Holy City, Yerushalayim.
9 Break out into joy! Sing together; you ruins of Yerushalayim! For Adonai has comforted His people, He has redeemed Yerushalayim! 10 Adonai has bared His holy arm in the sight of every nation, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
The salvation referred to here is the conspicuous restoration of Yerushalayim after it had been reduced to ruins by the Bavlim.
11 Leave! Leave! Get out of there! Don’t touch anything, unclean! Get out from inside it, and be clean, you who carry Adonai’s temple equipment.
Adonai’s temple equipment was transported to Bavel during the conquests of Yerushalayim. They were returned to Yerushalayim during the Persian period.
The priests (who are required to carry the vessels of Adonai) are now encouraged to leave, presumably from Bavlim captivity.
12 You need not leave in haste; you do not have to flee; for Adonai will go ahead of you, and the God of Isra’el will also be behind you. ~ Isaiah 52:1-12 (CJB)
When Adonai delivers His people, they never have to run for their lives. They only must move at His pace because He goes before and behind.
In my next post, we will begin to examine one of my favorite – if not my most favorite – passages in the Tanakh: The Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12. I’m pretty sure this will be a multi-part series.