Isaiah 26

A Song of Praise

1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.
2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.
3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
5 He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust.
6 Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.
7 The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,[a]we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.
9 My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.
10 But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the LORD.
11 LORD, your hand is lifted high, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame; let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.
12 LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
13 LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honor.
14 They are now dead, they live no more; their spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them.
15 You have enlarged the nation, LORD; you have enlarged the nation. You have gained glory for yourself; you have extended all the borders of the land.
16 LORD, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer.[b]
17 As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, LORD.
18 We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life.
19 But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
20 Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.
21 See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.

Images for Isaiah 26

Isaiah 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

The Divine mercies encourage to confidence in God. (1-4) His judgments. (5-11) His people exhorted to wait upon Him. (12-19) Deliverance promised. (20,21)

Verses 1-4 "That day," seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and covenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. The gates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall receive from him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.

Verses 5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of obedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness that God makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion, whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work of it. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready to receive us. The intention of afflictions is to teach righteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches. But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evil ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the evil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy upon them.

Verses 12-19 Every creature, every business, any way serviceable to our comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us which seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin and Satan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to be set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions. Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comes now like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church. His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all the deliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew or rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would raise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.

Verses 20-21 When dangers threaten, it is good to retire and lie hid; when we commend ourselves to God to hide us, he will hide us either under heaven or in heaven. Thus we shall be safe and happy in the midst of tribulations. It is but for a short time, as it were for a little moment; when over, it will seem as nothing. God's place is the mercy-seat; there he delights to be: when he punishes, he comes out of his place, for he has no pleasure in the death of sinners. But there is hardly any truth more frequently repeated in Scripture, than God's determined purpose to punish the workers of iniquity. Let us keep close to the Lord, and separate from the world; and let us seek comfort in secret prayer. A day of vengeance is coming on the world, and before it comes we are to expect tribulation and suffering. But because the Christian looks for these things, shall he be restless and dismayed? No, let him repose himself in his God. Abiding in him, the believer is safe. And let us wait patiently the fulfilling of God's promises.

Cross References 65

  • 1. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 2. Isaiah 30:29
  • 3. S Isaiah 14:32
  • 4. Isaiah 32:18; Isaiah 60:18; Zechariah 2:5; Zechariah 9:8
  • 5. S Psalms 48:13
  • 6. S Psalms 24:7
  • 7. Isaiah 4:3-4">Ps 2Isaiah 4:3-4; Psalms 85:13; S Isaiah 1:26; S Isaiah 4:3; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 50:8; Isaiah 53:11; Isaiah 54:14; Isaiah 58:8; Isaiah 62:2
  • 8. S Job 22:21; S Isaiah 9:6,7; Philippians 4:7
  • 9. S 1 Chronicles 5:20; S Psalms 22:5; S Psalms 28:7; S Isaiah 12:2
  • 10. S Isaiah 12:2; Isaiah 50:10
  • 11. S Psalms 62:8
  • 12. S Genesis 49:24
  • 13. S Isaiah 25:12; Ezekiel 26:11
  • 14. S Isaiah 25:2
  • 15. S Isaiah 5:5
  • 16. Isaiah 49:26
  • 17. S Isaiah 3:15; S Isaiah 14:30
  • 18. S Psalms 26:12
  • 19. S Psalms 25:8
  • 20. S Exodus 14:19; Isaiah 40:4; Isaiah 42:16
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 18:18; Psalms 1:2; Isaiah 56:1; Isaiah 64:5
  • 22. S Psalms 37:9; S Psalms 130:5
  • 23. S Psalms 145:2; S Isaiah 12:4
  • 24. S Psalms 119:55
  • 25. Psalms 42:1-3; Psalms 63:1; Psalms 78:34; Isaiah 55:6
  • 26. S 1 Chronicles 16:14
  • 27. Matthew 6:33
  • 28. Matthew 5:45
  • 29. Isaiah 32:6; Isaiah 59:7,13
  • 30. S 1 Samuel 12:24; Isaiah 22:12-13; Jeremiah 2:19; Hosea 11:7; John 5:37-38; Romans 2:4
  • 31. S Psalms 10:12
  • 32. Isaiah 18:3; Isaiah 44:9,18
  • 33. S Isaiah 9:7; Joel 2:18; Zechariah 1:14
  • 34. Micah 7:16
  • 35. S Isaiah 1:31; Hebrews 10:27
  • 36. S Psalms 119:165; S Isaiah 9:6
  • 37. S Psalms 68:28
  • 38. Isaiah 2:8; Isaiah 10:5,11
  • 39. S Isaiah 12:4
  • 40. Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 63:7
  • 41. S Deuteronomy 4:28
  • 42. S Job 26:5
  • 43. S Psalms 9:5; S Isaiah 10:3
  • 44. S Psalms 9:6
  • 45. S Job 12:23; S Isaiah 14:2
  • 46. Isaiah 33:17
  • 47. S Judges 6:2; S Isaiah 5:30; Hosea 5:15
  • 48. S Psalms 39:11
  • 49. Isaiah 29:4
  • 50. S Isaiah 21:3; S John 16:21; Revelation 12:2
  • 51. Isaiah 33:11; Isaiah 59:4
  • 52. S Genesis 49:10; Psalms 17:14
  • 53. Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 51:4; Jeremiah 12:16
  • 54. S Isaiah 25:8; Ephesians 5:14
  • 55. Psalms 22:29
  • 56. S Genesis 27:28; S Isaiah 18:4
  • 57. Isaiah 66:24; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Daniel 12:2
  • 58. Exodus 12:23
  • 59. Psalms 91:1,4
  • 60. S Isaiah 10:25; S Isaiah 30:27
  • 61. S Job 14:13; Psalms 30:5; Isaiah 54:7-8
  • 62. Isaiah 29:6; Jude 1:14
  • 63. S Isaiah 18:4; Micah 1:3
  • 64. S Isaiah 13:9,11; Isaiah 30:12-14
  • 65. S Job 16:18; Luke 11:50-51

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "judgments"
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a song of praise for the safety and prosperity of the church, and the destruction of its enemies. The church is represented as a strong city, whose walls and bulwarks are salvation, Isa 26:1 it is said to have gates which are to be opened to a righteous nation, Isa 26:2 its inhabitants, being such who trust in the Lord, are promised perfect peace, Isa 26:3 hence the saints are exhorted to trust in him, Isa 26:4 then follows an account of another city, described as lofty, and its inhabitants as dwelling on high, who are brought down, and trampled on, by the feet of the poor and needy, Isa 26:5,6 when the prophet returns to the righteous, and asserts their way to be uprightness, because their path is weighed or levelled by God the most upright, Isa 26:7 and in the name of the church declares that they had waited for the Lord in the way of his judgments; and that the desire of their souls was to his name, and the remembrance of it; and that they continued, and would continue, to desire him, and seek after him, seeing righteousness was to be learned by his judgments, Isa 26:8,9 and though the wicked would not be brought to repentance and reformation by the goodness of God, nor take notice of his hand, yet they should see and be ashamed, and destroyed at last, Isa 26:10,11 but notwithstanding these judgments of God in the earth, the church professes her faith in the Lord, that he would give her peace and prosperity, from the consideration of what he had wrought for her, and in her, Isa 26:12 and rejects all other lords but him, Isa 26:13 who were dead, and should not live again, but were visited and destroyed, and their memory made to perish, Isa 26:14 but the righteous nation should be increased, though they should meet with trouble, which would cause them to go to the throne of grace, and there pour out their complaints, express their pain and distresses, and the disappointments they had met with, Isa 26:15-18 to which an answer is returned, promising a glorious resurrection, Isa 26:19 and calling upon the people of God to retire to their chambers for protection in the mean while, until the punishment to be inflicted on the inhabitants of the earth for their sins was over, Isa 26:20,21.

Isaiah 26 Commentaries

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