Isaiah 54

The Future Glory of Zion

1 “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.
4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
5 For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.
6 The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.
7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.
8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.
9 “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.
10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
11 “Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,[a]your foundations with lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
13 All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.
14 In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.
15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.
16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.

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Isaiah 54 Commentary

Chapter 54

The increase of the church by the conversion of the Jews and Gentiles. (1-5) Its certain deliverance. (6-10) Its triumphant state is described. (11-17)

Verses 1-5 Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God. This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.

Verses 6-10 As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs; and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the kindness everlasting. We are neither to despond under afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men. Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us, our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and election sure.

Verses 11-17 Let the people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think they hear God speaking comfortably to them by these words, taking notice of their griefs and fears. The church is all glorious when full of the knowledge of God; for none teaches like him. It is a promise of the teaching and gifts of the Holy Spirit. All that are taught of God are taught to love one another. This seems to relate especially to the glorious times to succeed the tribulations of the church. Holiness, more than any thing, is the beauty of the church. God promises protection. There shall be no fears within; there shall be no fightings without. Military men value themselves on their splendid titles, but God calls them, "Wasters made to destroy," for they make wasting and destruction their business. He created them, therefore he will serve his own designs by them. The day is coming when God will reckon with wicked men for their hard speeches, ( Jude 1:15 ) . Security and final victory are the heritage of each faithful servant of the Lord. The righteousness by which they are justified, and the grace by which they are sanctified, are the gift of God, and the effect of his special love. Let us beseech him to sanctify our souls, and to employ us in his service.

Cross References 67

  • 1. S Genesis 30:1
  • 2. S Genesis 21:6; S Psalms 98:4
  • 3. Isaiah 66:7
  • 4. Isaiah 49:20
  • 5. S Isaiah 49:19
  • 6. S 1 Samuel 2:5; Galatians 4:27*
  • 7. S Genesis 26:22; Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 49:19-20
  • 8. Exodus 35:18; Exodus 39:40
  • 9. S Genesis 13:14; S Isaiah 48:19
  • 10. S Job 12:23; S Isaiah 14:2; Isaiah 60:4-11
  • 11. S Isaiah 49:19
  • 12. Jeremiah 30:10; Joel 2:21
  • 13. S Isaiah 28:16; S Isaiah 29:22
  • 14. S Genesis 30:23; S Psalms 119:39; S Isaiah 41:11
  • 15. S Psalms 25:7; S Jeremiah 2:2; S Jeremiah 22:21
  • 16. S Isaiah 51:7
  • 17. S Isaiah 47:8
  • 18. S Psalms 95:6; S Psalms 149:2; S Isaiah 51:13
  • 19. S Song of Songs 3:11; Jeremiah 3:14; Jeremiah 31:32; Hosea 2:7,16
  • 20. S Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 55:5; Isaiah 60:9
  • 21. S Isaiah 48:17
  • 22. S Isaiah 6:3; S Isaiah 12:4
  • 23. Isaiah 49:14-21
  • 24. ver 6-7; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 50:1-2; Isaiah 60:15; Isaiah 62:4,12; Jeremiah 44:2; Hosea 1:10
  • 25. S Exodus 20:14; Malachi 2:15
  • 26. S Job 14:13; Isaiah 26:20
  • 27. S Psalms 71:11; S Isaiah 27:8
  • 28. S Psalms 51:1
  • 29. S Isaiah 49:18
  • 30. Isaiah 9:12; Isaiah 26:20; Isaiah 60:10
  • 31. S Isaiah 1:15
  • 32. ver 10; S Psalms 25:6; Psalms 92:2; Isaiah 55:3; Isaiah 63:7
  • 33. S Psalms 102:13; S Isaiah 14:1; Hosea 2:19
  • 34. S Isaiah 48:17
  • 35. S Genesis 8:21
  • 36. S Isaiah 14:24; S Isaiah 49:18
  • 37. Psalms 13:1; Psalms 103:9; Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 57:16; Jeremiah 3:5,12; Ezekiel 39:29; Micah 7:18
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 28:20
  • 39. Revelation 6:14
  • 40. S Psalms 46:2
  • 41. S Psalms 6:4
  • 42. S Isaiah 51:6; Hebrews 12:27
  • 43. S Genesis 9:16; Exodus 34:10; Psalms 89:34; S Isaiah 42:6
  • 44. S Numbers 25:12
  • 45. ver 8; S Isaiah 14:1; Isaiah 55:7
  • 46. S Isaiah 14:32
  • 47. Isaiah 28:2; Isaiah 29:6
  • 48. S Isaiah 51:19
  • 49. 1 Chronicles 29:2; Revelation 21:18
  • 50. S Isaiah 28:16; Revelation 21:19-20
  • 51. S Exodus 24:10; S Job 28:6
  • 52. Revelation 21:21
  • 53. S Isaiah 28:9; Micah 4:2; John 6:45*; Hebrews 8:11
  • 54. S Leviticus 26:6; S Isaiah 48:18
  • 55. S Isaiah 26:2
  • 56. Jeremiah 30:20
  • 57. S 2 Samuel 7:10; S Isaiah 9:4
  • 58. Zephaniah 3:15; Zechariah 9:8
  • 59. S Isaiah 17:14
  • 60. Isaiah 41:11-16
  • 61. S Isaiah 44:12
  • 62. S Isaiah 10:5
  • 63. S Isaiah 13:5
  • 64. S Isaiah 29:8
  • 65. S Isaiah 41:11; Isaiah 45:24-25
  • 66. Isaiah 56:6-8; Isaiah 63:17; Isaiah 65:8,9,13-15; Isaiah 66:14
  • 67. S Psalms 17:2; Zechariah 1:20-21

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

Chapter Summary


As the former chapter is a prophecy of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, of his sufferings and death, and the glory that should follow; this is a prophecy of that part of his glory which relates to the flourishing estate of his church, as the fruit of his death, and explains and enlarges upon the promise of his having a numerous seed. The prophecy reaches from the death and resurrection of Christ to his second coming; and describes the state of the church during that time, which had been like a barren woman, but now fruitful, which was matter of joy; and would increase, and have yet a more numerous issue, through the conversion and accession of the Gentiles; and therefore is bid not to fear, since she should not bear the shame and reproach of widowhood, Isa 54:1-4, the reason confirming which is, because Christ was her husband, who was her Maker and Redeemer, the God of Israel, and of the whole earth, Isa 54:5, and though she might for some time be under some dark providences, and seem to be forsaken of God, and lie under his displeasure; yet she is assured of the love of God towards her, that it is constant and perpetual; which is illustrated by the oath and covenant of God with Noah, and by its being more immovable than mountains and hills, Isa 54:6-10, and though she would sometimes be in a very afflicted and uncomfortable condition, yet should be raised again to a state of great honour and splendour, of spiritual knowledge, peace, and safety, Isa 54:11-14 and that all her enemies, that gathered together against her, should perish, and all their attempts be unsuccessful, since the Lord was on her side, and would defend her cause, and protect her, Isa 54:15-17.

Isaiah 54 Commentaries

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