Isaiah 52

1 Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city! For the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!
3 For thus says the Lord: "You have sold yourselves for nothing, And you shall be redeemed without money."
4 For thus says the Lord God: "My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 Now therefore, what have I here," says the Lord, "That My people are taken away for nothing? Those who rule over them Make them wail," says the Lord, "And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
6 Therefore My people shall know My name; Therefore they shall know in that day That I am He who speaks: 'Behold, it is I.' "
7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices, With their voices they shall sing together; For they shall see eye to eye When the Lord brings back Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, You waste places of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has made bare His holy arm In the eyes of all the nations; And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God.
11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there, Touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, Be clean, You who bear the vessels of the Lord.
12 For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider.

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.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Dead Sea Scrolls read Mock; Septuagint reads Marvel and wail; Targum reads Boast themselves; Vulgate reads Treat them unjustly.
  • [b]. Or startle

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 52

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