Isaiah 52

1 Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again.
2 Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive.
3 For this is what the LORD says: “You were sold for nothing, and without money you will be redeemed.”
4 For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “At first my people went down to Egypt to live; lately, Assyria has oppressed them.
5 “And now what do I have here?” declares the LORD. “For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock,[a] ” declares the LORD. “And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.
6 Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I.”
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
9 Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
11 Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the LORD’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant will act wisely[b] ; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him[c] — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,[d]and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Isaiah 52 Commentary

Chapter 52

The welcome news of Christ's kingdom. (1-12) The humiliation of the Messiah. (13-15)

Verses 1-12 The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. Let those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, find relief in Christ, shake themselves from the dust of their doubts and fears, and loose themselves from those bands. The price paid by the Redeemer for our salvation, was not silver or gold, or corruptible things, but his own precious blood. Considering the freeness of this salvation, and how hurtful to temporal comfort sins are, we shall more value the redemption which is in Christ. Do we seek victory over every sin, recollecting that the glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ? The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these tidings first. His ministers proclaim these good tidings: keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent. Zion's watchmen could scarcely discern any thing of God's favour through the dark cloud of their afflictions; but now the cloud is scattered, they shall plainly see the performance. Zion's waste places shall then rejoice; all the world will have the benefit. This is applied to our salvation by Christ. Babylon is no place for Israelites. And it is a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan, to use the liberty Christ has proclaimed. They were to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger; but they were not to go with distrustful haste. Those in the way of duty, are under God's special protection; and he that believes this, will not hasten for fear.

Verses 13-15 Here begins that wonderful, minute, and faithful description of the office, character, and glory of the Messiah, which has struck conviction to many of the most hardened unbelievers. Christ is Wisdom itself; in the work of our redemption there appeared the wisdom of God in a mystery. Those that saw him, said, Surely never man looked so miserable: never was sorrow like unto his sorrow. But God highly exalted him. That shall be discovered by the gospel of Christ, which could never be told in any other way. And Christ having once shed his blood for sinners, its power still continues. May all opposers see the wisdom of ceasing from their opposition, and be made partakers of the blood of sprinkling, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; obeying him, and praising his salvation.

Cross References 54

  • 1. S Isaiah 51:17
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 2:4; S Isaiah 51:9
  • 3. Exodus 28:2,40; Esther 6:8; Psalms 110:3; Isaiah 49:18; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4
  • 4. S Nehemiah 11:1; S Isaiah 1:26; Matthew 4:5; S Revelation 21:2
  • 5. S Genesis 34:14
  • 6. S Isaiah 35:8
  • 7. Joel 3:17; Nahum 1:15; Zechariah 9:8; Revelation 21:27
  • 8. S Isaiah 29:4
  • 9. Isaiah 60:1
  • 10. S Psalms 81:6; S Isaiah 10:27
  • 11. Psalms 9:14
  • 12. S Psalms 44:12
  • 13. Isaiah 45:13
  • 14. S Isaiah 1:27; 1 Peter 1:18
  • 15. S Genesis 46:6
  • 16. Isaiah 10:24
  • 17. S Isaiah 37:23; Ezekiel 36:20; Romans 2:24*
  • 18. S Isaiah 49:23
  • 19. S Exodus 6:3
  • 20. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 21. S Isaiah 41:26
  • 22. S Isaiah 42:11
  • 23. S 2 Samuel 18:26; S Isaiah 40:9; Romans 10:15*
  • 24. Nahum 1:15; Luke 2:14; Ephesians 6:15
  • 25. S 1 Chronicles 16:31; S Psalms 97:1; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25; Psalms 93:1
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 14:16; Isaiah 56:10; Isaiah 62:6; Jeremiah 6:17; Jeremiah 31:6; Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:7
  • 27. Isaiah 40:9
  • 28. S Isaiah 12:6
  • 29. S Numbers 10:36
  • 30. Isaiah 59:20; Zechariah 8:3
  • 31. S Psalms 98:4; S Isaiah 35:2
  • 32. S Psalms 74:3; S Isaiah 51:3
  • 33. S Isaiah 40:1; Luke 2:25
  • 34. S Ezra 9:9; S Isaiah 48:20
  • 35. S 2 Chronicles 32:8; S Psalms 44:3; S Isaiah 30:30
  • 36. Isaiah 66:18
  • 37. S Joshua 4:24; S Isaiah 11:9
  • 38. S Psalms 67:2; Psalms 98:2-3; Luke 2:30; Luke 3:6
  • 39. S Isaiah 48:20
  • 40. S Isaiah 1:16; 2 Corinthians 6:17*
  • 41. S Numbers 8:6; 2 Timothy 2:19
  • 42. S 2 Chronicles 36:10
  • 43. S Exodus 12:11
  • 44. Micah 2:13; John 10:4
  • 45. S Exodus 14:19
  • 46. S Joshua 1:8; S Isaiah 4:2; S Isaiah 20:3; Isaiah 42:1
  • 47. S Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 57:15; Acts 3:13; S Philippians 2:9
  • 48. S Leviticus 26:32; S Job 18:20
  • 49. S 2 Samuel 10:4
  • 50. S Job 2:12; S Job 16:16
  • 51. S Leviticus 14:7; S Leviticus 16:14-15
  • 52. S Isaiah 49:7
  • 53. S Judges 18:19; Psalms 107:42
  • 54. Romans 15:21*; Ephesians 3:4-5

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Dead Sea Scrolls and Vulgate; Masoretic Text "wail"
  • [b]. Or "will prosper"
  • [c]. Hebrew "you"
  • [d]. Or "so will many nations be amazed at him" (see also Septuagint)

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a prophecy of the glorious state of the church in the latter day, typified by the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon. The church, under the names of Zion and Jerusalem, is exhorted to awake and clothe herself with strength, and with beautiful garments, to shake off her dust, and loose her bands, since she should become a pure and separate people, Isa 52:1,2 and whereas the Lord's people had been afflicted formerly by the Egyptians, and more lately by the Assyrians, a free redemption is promised them; and the rather they might expect it, since the Lord was no gainer by their affliction, but a loser in his name and honour, as well as they distressed, Isa 52:3-5. And it is suggested, that the knowledge of the Lord should be spread, the good tidings of peace and salvation be delightfully published, and that the ministers of the Gospel should have clear light, and be harmonious and unanimous in the publishing of it, Isa 52:6-8. Upon which the waste places of Jerusalem are called upon to rejoice, both because of the restoration of the Jews, and the conversion of the Gentiles, Isa 2:9,10. And the people of God are called to go out of Babylon, the manner of their departure is directed, and something said for their encouragement, Isa 52:11,12. And the chapter is concluded with some account of the Messiah, of his humiliation and exaltation, and of his work and office, Isa 52:13-15, and which are enlarged upon in the next chapter, which ought properly to begin with these last verses.

Isaiah 52 Commentaries

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