62:1-12 The theme of the transformation of God’s people continues in this chapter. From shame, they will rise up in glory—thanks to their God.
62:1 The first-person speaker here is either the Servant-Messiah of 61:1-3 or the prophet Isaiah. He will speak until Jerusalem’s spiritual transformation is complete. Light is an important theme describing God’s work among his people (58:10; 60:1-13). It is also connected with the Messiah (10:17; 42:6).
62:2 Names and their meaning often were connected with a person’s character or reputation. Name changes were not uncommon. For instance, Naomi (“pleasant”) changed her name to Mara (“bitter”) when her fortunes turned bad (Ru 1:20). Israel’s new divinely given name indicates a change of condition for the people of God (vv. 4,12).
62:3 Israel’s future elevated status is compared to a crown.
62:4-5 Israel’s names are changed from ones that indicated her loneliness (Deserted and Desolate) to those that show intimate relationship (My Delight Is in Her and Married). The metaphor of God married to his people as a husband is to his bride communicates the intimacy and exclusivity of the relationship (see note at 61:10). As a bride can have only one husband, so Israel can have only one God.
62:6-7 The watchmen on the walls (see note at 52:8-9) were those who kept an eye out to alert the inhabitants of the city about news or danger. The leaders of God’s people are compared to watchmen whose responsibilities included the encouragement of the people’s relationship with God. Isaiah urged them to keep after God to maintain his efforts at restoring Jerusalem until it was truly “the joy of the whole earth” (Ps 48:1).
62:8-9 Attacking armies would steal the crops of people they conquered. God had allowed a succession of foreign powers to invade his people because of their sin (Assyria and Babylon most notably), but their plundering will be brought to an end.
62:10 A highway is a frequent image in Isaiah for the removal of barriers between God and his people (11:16; 19:23; 33:8; 35:8; 40:3; 49:11). A banner marked a gathering place for the regathered remnant (see note at 11:10) and a rallying point for an army (see note at 13:2).