Isaiah 51:17

17 1Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, 2you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, 3the cup of staggering.

Isaiah 51:17 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 51:17

Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem
As persons out of a sleep, or out of a stupor, or even out of the sleep of death; for this respects a more glorious state of the church, the Jerusalem, the mother of us all, after great afflictions; and especially if it respects the more glorious state of all on earth, signified by the New Jerusalem, that will be preceded by the resurrection of the dead, called the first resurrection, when the saints will awake out of the dust of the earth, and stand upon their feet; see ( Daniel 12:2 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ) ( Revelation 20:5 ) , though the last glorious state of the church, in the spiritual reign of Christ, is also expressed by the rising of the witnesses slain, by their standing on their feet, and by their ascension to heaven, ( Revelation 11:11 Revelation 11:12 ) , before which will be a time of great affliction to the church, as here: which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury;
it is no unusual thing in Scripture for the judgments of God, upon a nation and people, or on particular persons, to be signified by a cup, and especially on wicked men, as the effect of divine wrath, ( Psalms 11:6 ) ( 85:8 ) ( Jeremiah 25:15 Jeremiah 25:16 Jeremiah 25:17 ) . Here it signifies that judgment that begins at the house and church of God, ( 1 Peter 4:17 ) , which looks as if it arose from the wrath and fury of an incensed God: and though it may greatly intend the wrathful persecutions of men, yet since they are by the permission and will of God, and are bounded and limited by him, they are called "his cup", and said to come from his hand; and the people of God take them, or consider them as coming by his appointment: thou hast drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out;
alluding to excessive drinking, which brings a trembling of limbs, and sometimes paralytic disorders on men, and to the thick sediments in the bottom of the cup, which are fixed there, as the word F21 signifies, and are not easily got out, and yet every drop and every dreg are drunk up; signifying, that the whole portion of sufferings, allotted to the Lord's people, shall come upon them, even what are most disagreeable to them, and shall fill them with trembling and astonishment.


F21 (yebq ta) "crassamentum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vitringa.

Isaiah 51:17 In-Context

15 I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD of hosts is his name.
16 And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, 'You are my people.'"
17 Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.
18 There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne; there is none to take her by the hand among all the sons she has brought up.
19 These two things have happened to you-- who will console you?-- devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver. 9; Isaiah 52:1
  • 2. Job 21:20; Jeremiah 25:15; [Matthew 20:22; Matthew 26:39, 42; Mark 10:38; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 18:11]
  • 3. Psalms 60:3; Zechariah 12:2