The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 54

Isa 54:1

Figure of mother and children in Isaiah: Isa 8:3,4; 11:8; 26:17,18; 28:9; 45:10,11; 46:3,4; 49:15,20-23; 54:1; 60:16; 66:11-13.

Perhaps, Hezekiah's 2 wives: 1st, a concubine, with children, carried captive to Nineveh (as implied in the Taylor Prism; cp Mic 4:8-11); 2nd, Hephzibah, remained in Jerusalem, but no children, treated as a widow due to Hezekiah's leprosy (cp Isa 26:17,18). Or poss, both women are Hephzibah!

Cp Isa 51:2,3: "Look to Abraham... and Sarah." Sarah and Hagar, an allegory: Gal 4:21-31: 2 women, 2 sons, 2 mountains, 2 cities.

Zion, as the "mother" of God's family: Isa 49:14,15; 51:3; 60:7,10; 62:4,6; 66:7-14; Gen 2:22; Eph 2:21 with 5:27; Rev 21:9,10.

A great miracle: a "eunuch" (cp Isa 53:8) and a barren "woman" (Jerusalem) conceive a "seed" (Isa 53:10). This amazed the Ethiopian eunuch (Act 8:33,34; cp Isa 56:3-8). Many more "children" were born to Israel in her "desolate" state (ie AD 70 and after) than at any other time.

Isa 54:2

PLACE: Maqom = a sanctuary!

CURTAINS... CORDS... STAKES: The impermanence of the figure (ie, tent rather than temple) suggests earthly Jerusalem, which 1st-cent Christians were to abandon.

Isa 54:3

NATIONS: Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, gathered into Hezekiah's kingdom (Taylor Prism; Isa 63:1-4; 11:14). Gentile inheritance: Isa 55:5; 61:9; 65:1.

THEIR DESOLATE CITIES: Cities in Judah ravaged by Sennacherib (Isa 44:26).

Isa 54:5

YOUR MAKER IS YOUR HUSBAND: Intensive plurals: "Your mighty maker shall be your glorious husband." Cp Isa 62:5.

HE IS CALLED THE GOD OF ALL THE EARTH: "The whole earth is his glory" (Isa 6:3 mg).

Isa 54:8

SURGE: Heb "shetseph", only here. According to BDB, a variant of a word for "flood" (cp v 9).

Isa 54:9

LIKE THE DAYS OF NOAH: The reference to the days of Noah suggests the Assyrian invasion was like the Flood! (Isa 8:7,8; 17:12). Then Jerusalem was the only "ark" of safety (Isa 1:7,8). There, at Passover, Judah was saved (cp Isa 26:20,21), whilst all about there was death.

For the future: Eze 37:11.

Isa 54:10

// Psa 46:2,5-11.

NOR MY COVENANT OF PEACE BE REMOVED: Peter's stmt: "Be it far from thee, Lord" (Mat 16:22) is lit (Mercy to thyself, O Lord" -- an allusion to Isa 54:10 (LXX). Peter's response to Christ's warnings re his sufferings (Isa 53).

Isa 54:11

LASHED BY STORMS: And then, in one of those breath-taking figurative leaps which the prophet Isaiah seems to enjoy, the ship of salvation, tossed by the tempest, is all at once transformed into a beautiful temple! // Isa 33:23,31.

"It is no wonder, when we consider the part gems play in the glory of man and the pleasure they give to him when he feasts his eye upon their glory and the riot of colour, that the Creator of this earth with all its treasures takes hold of that which constitutes its radiance and glory and teaches by it a lesson. A perfected gemstone in its relation to light is a fitting symbol, of that relationship that will obtain when the living gemstones, gathered from among the peoples of the earth, shall ornament the earth with the charm of colour and beauty that they are to reflect from the Sun of Righteousness, whom God has formed to be His light bearer to the sons of men. To them, during the painful time of their cutting and polishing, the symbol when understood, will bring a message of hope, and patience and comfort, the requisites required to sustain them during the trial" (Wright).

NOT COMFORTED: A play of word "Noah"!

Isa 54:13

Moses was shown the tabernacle pattern in mount (Exo 25:40). Bezaleel and Aholiab were endowed with wisdom (Exo 31:3). Cp David in 1Ch 28:19.

ALL YOUR SONS WILL BE TAUGHT BY THE LORD: "No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth" (Rev 14:3).

GREAT WILL BE YOUR CHILDREN'S PEACE: Or, "Great will be the Salem of your builders."

Isa 54:17

NO WEAPON: Assyrian weapons!

EVERY TONGUE: Including Rabshakeh's!
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