Isaiah 2

1 Here is the message which God gave to Isaiah son of Amoz about Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it,
3 and their people will say, "Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel's God. He will teach us what he wants us to do; we will walk in the paths he has chosen. For the Lord's teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion he speaks to his people."
4 He will settle disputes among great nations. 1 They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again.
5 Now, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light which the Lord gives us!
6 O God, you have forsaken your people, the descendants of Jacob! The land is full of magic practices from the East and from Philistia. The people follow foreign customs.
7 Their land is full of silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land is full of idols, and they worship objects that they have made with their own hands.
9 Everyone will be humiliated and disgraced. Do not forgive them, Lord!
10 They will hide in caves in the rocky hills or dig holes in the ground to try to escape from the Lord's anger and to hide from his power and glory! 2
11 A day is coming when human pride will be ended and human arrogance destroyed. Then the Lord alone will be exalted.
12 On that day the Lord Almighty will humble everyone who is powerful, everyone who is proud and conceited.
13 He will destroy the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the oaks in the land of Bashan.
14 He will level the high mountains and hills,
15 every high tower, and the walls of every fortress.
16 He will sink even the largest and most beautiful ships.
17 Human pride will be ended, and human arrogance will be destroyed. Idols will completely disappear, and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
19 People will hide in caves in the rocky hills or dig holes in the ground to try to escape from the Lord's anger and to hide from his power and glory, when he comes to shake the earth.
20 When that day comes, they will throw away the gold and silver idols they have made, and abandon them to the moles and the bats.
21 When the Lord comes to shake the earth, people will hide in holes and caves in the rocky hills to try to escape from his anger and to hide from his power and glory.
22 Put no more confidence in mortals. What are they worth?

Isaiah 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The conversion of the Gentiles, Description of the sinfulness of Israel. (1-9) The awful punishment of unbelievers. (10-22)

Verses 1-9 The calling of the Gentiles, the spread of the gospel, and that far more extensive preaching of it yet to come, are foretold. Let Christians strengthen one another, and support one another. It is God who teaches his people, by his word and Spirit. Christ promotes peace, as well as holiness. If all men were real Christians, there could be no war; but nothing answering to these expressions has yet taken place on the earth. Whatever others do, let us walk in the light of this peace. Let us remember that when true religion flourishes, men delight in going up to the house of the Lord, and in urging others to accompany them. Those are in danger who please themselves with strangers to God; for we soon learn to follow the ways of persons whose company we keep. It is not having silver and gold, horses and chariots, that displeases God, but depending upon them, as if we could not be safe, and easy, and happy without them, and could not but be so with them. Sin is a disgrace to the poorest and the lowest. And though lands called Christian are not full of idols, in the literal sense, are they not full of idolized riches? and are not men so busy about their gains and indulgences, that the Lord, his truths, and precepts, are forgotten or despised?

Verses 10-22 The taking of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans seems first meant here, when idolatry among the Jews was done away; but our thoughts are led forward to the destruction of all the enemies of Christ. It is folly for those who are pursued by the wrath of God, to think to hide or shelter themselves from it. The shaking of the earth will be terrible to those who set their affections on things of the earth. Men's haughtiness will be brought down, either by the grace of God convincing them of the evil of pride, or by the providence of God depriving them of all the things they were proud of. The day of the Lord shall be upon those things in which they put their confidence. Those who will not be reasoned out of their sins, sooner or later shall be frightened out of them. Covetous men make money their god; but the time will come when they will feel it as much their burden. This whole passage may be applied to the case of an awakened sinner, ready to leave all that his soul may be saved. The Jews were prone to rely on their heathen neighbours; but they are here called upon to cease from depending on mortal man. We are all prone to the same sin. Then let not man be your fear, let not him be your hope; but let your hope be in the Lord your God. Let us make this our great concern.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 2.4Joel 3.10;Micah 4.3.
  • 2. 2.10Revelation 6.15;2 Thessalonians 1.9.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. hill of the lord: [Mount Zion, the hill in Jerusalem which formed part of the area on which the Temple was built.]
  • [b]. [Probable text] The land . . . Philistia; [Hebrew unclear.]

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 2

This chapter contains a vision or prophecy of the enlargement of Christ's kingdom and interest, and of the glory of his church in the latter day, by the calling of the Gentiles, and the numerous conversions of them to it, and of the abolition of idolatry, and the destruction of the antichristian party. The inscription to it is in Isa 2:1 the prophecy itself follows; the date of it is the last days; the subject matter of it, the kingdom, interest, and church of Christ, signified by the mountain of the Lord's house; its glorious estate is expressed by its establishment on the mountains; by its exaltation above the hills; and by the great numbers that should flock to it, and should encourage one another to go up to it, in order to learn the ways of God, and walk in them; the means of which is the Gospel preached, that should go out of Jerusalem; the effect of that is peace among the nations: hence the house of Jacob is exhorted to walk in the light held forth by it, Isa 2:2-5 and then the reasons are given of God's rejecting and forsaking some that bear the Christian name, called the house of Jacob; namely, their Heathenish superstition, idolatry, covetousness, and confidence in their riches; who are sarcastically called upon to hide themselves in the rocks for fear of the Lord, Isa 2:6-10 when the judgments of God are denounced on the proud and lofty, comparable to cedars, oaks, mountains, hills, high towers, fenced walls, and ships of the ocean, at which time, Christ, and he alone, will be exalted, and idolatry utterly abolished; the consequence of which will be the utmost dread and terror to all idolaters, Isa 2:11-21 and the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to such to cease from the man of sin, and have him in no account, Isa 2:22.

Isaiah 2 Commentaries