Isaiah 51:1-7

Everlasting Salvation for Zion

1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
4 “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
7 “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults.

Isaiah 51:1-7 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 51

This chapter gives the church and people of God reason to expect comfortable times and certain salvation, though they had many enemies. They are directed to look to Abraham and Sarah, signified by the rock and hole of the pit, and observe how he was called alone, blessed and increased; which should be improved as an argument to strengthen their faith, that God could and would bless and increase his church, though in a low estate, and bring it into a flourishing one, Isa 51:1-3. They are assured of the publication of the Gospel, expressed by the law, doctrine, and judgment of the Lord; by which means the righteousness and salvation of Christ should be brought nigh to them, as the object of their trust and confidence, Isa 51:4,5, and also of the perpetuity of his righteousness and salvation, when the heavens, and the earth, and the inhabitants of it, should decay, even their revilers and persecutors, and therefore they need not fear their reproaches and revilings, Isa 51:6-8, upon which follows a prayer of faith, that the Lord would exert his power as in former times, when he destroyed the Egyptians, and dried up the Red sea for Israel to pass through, the ransomed of the Lord; from whence it might be concluded, that the redeemed of the Lord would be brought into a very comfortable condition again, Isa 51:9-11 wherefore they had no reason to be afraid of men, since the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, would deliver, comfort, and establish them, of which he assured them by his prophet, Isa 51:12-16, and though Jerusalem and her sons were, or would be, in a very distressed condition, through the sword and famine, which is described, Isa 51:17-20, yet they should be delivered out of it, and their persecutors should be brought into the same, Isa 51:21-23.

Isaiah 51:1-7 In-Context

1 “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
4 “Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations.
5 My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
7 “Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have taken my instruction to heart: Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults.
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations.”
9 Awake, awake, arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?
11 Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Cross References 31

  • 1. S Isaiah 46:3
  • 2. ver 7; S Deuteronomy 7:13; Deuteronomy 16:20; Psalms 94:15; Isaiah 63:8; Romans 9:30-31
  • 3. Isaiah 55:6; Isaiah 65:10
  • 4. Isaiah 17:10
  • 5. S Genesis 17:6; S Isaiah 29:22; Romans 4:16; Hebrews 11:11
  • 6. S Genesis 12:2
  • 7. S Isaiah 40:1
  • 8. S Psalms 51:18; S Isaiah 61:4
  • 9. Isaiah 44:26; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 61:4
  • 10. S Genesis 2:8
  • 11. S Isaiah 5:6; S Isaiah 41:19
  • 12. S Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 65:18; Isaiah 66:10; Jeremiah 16:9
  • 13. Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 30:19; Jeremiah 33:11
  • 14. Exodus 6:7; Psalms 50:7; Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 63:8; Isaiah 64:9
  • 15. S Psalms 78:1
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 18:18
  • 17. S Isaiah 2:4
  • 18. S Isaiah 26:18; S Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 42:4,6
  • 19. S Psalms 85:9; S Isaiah 12:2
  • 20. S Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 46:13
  • 21. Psalms 98:1; Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:1,5
  • 22. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 23. S Genesis 49:10; S Psalms 37:9
  • 24. S Psalms 37:20; S Psalms 102:26; Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33; 2 Peter 3:10
  • 25. Psalms 102:25-26; Hebrews 1:10-12
  • 26. S Isaiah 12:2
  • 27. ver 8; S Psalms 119:89
  • 28. Psalms 89:33; Isaiah 54:10
  • 29. S ver 1
  • 30. S Deuteronomy 6:6; Psalms 119:11; Psalms 37:31
  • 31. S Psalms 119:39; Isaiah 50:7; Isaiah 54:4; Matthew 5:11; Luke 6:22; Acts 5:41