Darby's Bible Synopsis
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
The following commentary covers Chapters 51 and 52.
The application is found in chapters 51 and 52 to the end of Verse 12 (Isaiah 52:1-12), and that to the remnant of Israel. In Isaiah 51:13 a fresh division of the prophecy begins. The remnant in the last days are exhorted to have confidence. Those who follow after righteousness are a little flock; but God had called Abraham alone, and had blessed and increased him; He can do the same for the remnant. Compare Ezekiel 33:24, where we see in what manner carnal confidence, walking in unrighteousness, can imitate, to its own ruin, divine faith. Jehovah will comfort Zion. Isaiah 51:4 is the second exhortation. The remnant are acknowledged as Jehovah's nation. His righteousness was near; salvation and deliverance were already gone forth from Him, and should be for ever. In Isaiah 51:7 there is a further step. They are a people who know righteousness, who have the law in their heart; they are not to fear men who should be devoured by the judgments of God. But His righteousness and His salvation should be everlasting. The remnant, thus set in their place, are revealed by the Spirit of prophecy as owned of Jehovah. The same Spirit speaks by the mouth of the remnant (Isaiah 51:9), to implore His intervention in power, and to claim the perfect lovingkindness of Jehovah, and the assured salvation of His redeemed ones, as well as the re-establishment of Zion in everlasting joy. The remnant thus encouraged, the Spirit turns to Zion, and even as "Awake! awake!" had been addressed to the arm of Jehovah, so is it now to Zion herself, oppressed and trodden under foot of strangers. As if to say it was Zion that had need to awake, not the Lord, for the salvation was there. The cup shall now be given to those that afflicted her again. "Awake! awake!" is once more addressed to her, that she may stand up and clothe herself in strength and glory. For Jehovah has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of Israel's God. This threefold repetition of "hearken" (Isaiah 51:1; Isaiah 51:4 and Isaiah 51:7), followed by the threefold repetition, "Awake! awake!" is extremely beautiful. The Verses 11, 12 of chapter 52 (Isaiah 52:11-12) shew that in those days Israel will be captive among apostate Gentiles, as in the days of Babylon. Isaiah 52:13 is closely connected with that which precedes. It is Christ's position in those times of glory and of deliverance wrought by Jehovah. Nevertheless it may be considered separately, and as beginning a new subject, because it forms a whole with respect to the Lord Jesus Himself. Christ shall be very highly exalted in those days. But what had His position been? On this subject the Spirit of prophecy enlarges. The kings shall be astonished at His glory-His whose visage had been so marred, more than any man.
Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.
My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
And forgettest the LORD thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?
The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
But I am the LORD thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The LORD of hosts is his name.
And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.
There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.
These two things are come unto thee; who shall be sorry for thee? desolation, and destruction, and the famine, and the sword: by whom shall I comfort thee?
Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull in a net: they are full of the fury of the LORD, the rebuke of thy God.
Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine:
Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.