Isaiah 65

1 "I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' To a nation that was not called by My name.
2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts;
3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick;
4 Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine's flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Who say, 'Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!' These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.
6 "Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay-- Even repay into their bosom--
7 Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together," Says the Lord, "Who have burned incense on the mountains And blasphemed Me on the hills; Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom."
8 Thus says the Lord: "As the new wine is found in the cluster, And one says, 'Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,' So will I do for My servants' sake, That I may not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, For My people who have sought Me.
11 "But you are those who forsake the Lord, Who forget My holy mountain, Who prepare a table for Gad, And who furnish a drink offering for Meni.
12 Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight."
13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Behold, My servants shall eat, But you shall be hungry; Behold, My servants shall drink, But you shall be thirsty; Behold, My servants shall rejoice, But you shall be ashamed;
14 Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, But you shall cry for sorrow of heart, And wail for grief of spirit.
15 You shall leave your name as a curse to My chosen; For the Lord God will slay you, And call His servants by another name;
16 So that he who blesses himself in the earth Shall bless himself in the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Shall swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My eyes.
17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, And her people a joy.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.
20 "No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.
21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
22 They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
23 They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, And their offspring with them.
24 "It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain," Says the Lord.

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Isaiah 65 Commentary

Chapter 65

The calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews. (1-7) The Lord would preserve a remnant. (8-10) Judgments upon the wicked. (11-16) The future happy and flourishing state of the church. (17-25)

Verses 1-7 The Gentiles came to seek God, and find him, because they were first sought and found of him. Often he meets some thoughtless trifler or profligate opposer, and says to him, Behold me; and a speedy change takes place. All the gospel day, Christ waited to be gracious. The Jews were bidden, but would not come. It is not without cause they are rejected of God. They would do what most pleased them. They grieved, they vexed the Holy Spirit. They forsook God's temple, and sacrificed in groves. They cared not for the distinction between clean and unclean meats, before it was taken away by the gospel. Perhaps this is put for all forbidden pleasures, and all that is thought to be gotten by sin, that abominable thing which the Lord hates. Christ denounced many woes against the pride and hypocrisy of the Jews. The proof against them is plain. And let us watch against pride and self-preference, remembering that every sin, and the most secret thoughts of man's heart, are known and will be judged by God.

Verses 8-10 In the bunch of unripe grapes, at present of no value, the new wine is contained. The Jews have been kept a distinct people, that all may witness the fulfilment of ancient prophecies and promises. God's chosen, the spiritual seed of praying Jacob, shall inherit his mountains of bliss and joy, and be carried safe to them through the vale of tears. All things are for the display of God's glory in the redemption of sinners.

Verses 11-16 Here the different states of the godly and wicked, of the Jews who believed, and of those who persisted in unbelief, are set against one another. They prepared a table for that troop of deities which the heathen worship, and poured out drink-offerings to that countless number. Their worshippers spared no cost to honour them, which should shame the worshippers of the true God. See the malignity of sin; it is doing by choice what we know will displease God. In every age and nation, the Lord leaves those who persist in doing evil, and despise the call of the gospel. God's servants shall have the bread of life, and shall want nothing good for them. But those who forsake the Lord, shall be ashamed of vain confidence in their own righteousness, and the hopes they built thereon. Wordly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world's goods; but God's servants bless themselves in him. He is their strength and portion. They shall honour him as the God of truth. And it was promised that in him should all the families of the earth be blessed. They shall think themselves happy in having him for their God, who made them forget their troubles.

Verses 17-25 In the grace and comfort believers have in and from Christ, we are to look for this new heaven and new earth. The former confusions, sins and miseries of the human race, shall be no more remembered or renewed. The approaching happy state of the church is described under a variety of images. He shall be thought to die in his youth, and for his sins, who only lives to the age of a hundred years. The event alone can determine what is meant; but it is plain that Christianity, if universal, would so do away violence and evil, as greatly to lengthen life. In those happy days, all God's people shall enjoy the fruit of their labours. Nor will children then be the trouble of their parents, or suffer trouble themselves. The evil dispositions of sinners shall be completely moritified; all shall live in harmony. Thus the church on earth shall be full of happiness, like heaven. This prophecy assures the servants of Christ, that the time approaches, wherein they shall be blessed with the undisturbed enjoyment of all that is needful for their happiness. As workers together with God, let us attend his ordinances, and obey his commands.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Literally Troop or Fortune, a pagan deity
  • [b]. Literally Number or Destiny, a pagan deity

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 65

This chapter contains an answer to the prayer begun Isa 63:15, and continued in the preceding chapter; in which reasons are given by the Lord for suffering such calamities as are before mentioned to come upon the Jewish nation; particularly their rejection of the Gospel as preached by Christ and his apostles, and cleaving to the traditions of the fathers, and to their own righteousness; which disobedience and rebellion are aggravated by the Gentiles quick reception of the Gospel, as soon as preached to them, Isa 65:1,2 as also the idolatry of their fathers, their impurity and breach of the divine laws, Isa 65:3,4,7, as well as their own pride, hypocrisy, and self-confidence, Isa 65:5 all which being observed by the Lord was highly provoking to him; and he was determined to recompense into their bosoms their own sins, and the sins of their fathers, whose measure they filled up, Isa 65:6,7, nevertheless he would have a regard to a remnant among them, in whom the true grace of God would be found, and who should have a name and a place in the Gospel church state, and be preserved from the general destruction, Isa 65:8-10, but as for the unbelieving Jews, they should be punished with the sword, with famine, with disgrace, with distress, vexation, and a curse; when the servants of the Lord should have food, and joy, and honour, and bless themselves in the Lord, and serve him, Isa 65:11-16 and the chapter is concluded with promises of a new and happy state to the Jews upon their conversion in the latter day; which will be attended with much spiritual joy, with abundance of outward felicity, with great safety and security, and with the presence of God, Isa 65:17-25.

prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles is not to be doubted, since the Apostle Paul has quoted it, and applied it to that case, Ro 10:20 and is here mentioned as an aggravation of the sin of the Jews, in rejecting Christ, when the Gentiles received him; and was the reason of their being rejected of God, and the Gospel being taken away from them, and given to another people, and of the Lord's removing his presence from the one to the other. The Gentiles are described as those that "asked not for" Christ, or after him, as the apostle supplies it; they had not asked for him, nor after him, nor anything about him; nor of him "before" this time, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; they were without Christ, the promises and prophecies concerning him; and so had no knowledge of him, nor made any inquiry about him, who or what he was; they did not ask after his coming, or for it; did not desire it, or him, and were in no expectation of it; they asked no favour of him, nor saw any need of him, or worth in him; and yet now he was "sought of them"; or, as the apostle has it, "was made manifest unto them"; and so the Septuagint version; that is, he was manifested to them in the Gospel, and by the ministry of it; which is a revelation of him, of salvation by him, of justification by his righteousness, of peace and pardon by his blood, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of eternal life through him; and the words will bear to be rendered, "I was preached unto them": for from this word are derived others {g}, which signify an expounder, and an interpretation, or exposition; and this was matter of fact, that Christ was preached to the Gentiles upon the Jews' rejection of him, which is one branch of the mystery of godliness, 1Ti 3:16 and upon this he was sought of them: they sought him early and earnestly, and desired to have him and his Gospel preached to them again and again, Ac 13:42-48 they sought after the knowledge of him, and for an interest in him, and for all grace from him, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life; and for all the supplies of grace, as all sensible sinners do; this they did as soon as he was made manifest to them by the word, and especially as soon as he was revealed in them, or made manifest in their hearts by his Spirit:

\\I am found of them that sought me not\\; that had not sought him before the Gospel came to them; they sought the world, and the thing, of it, "for after all these things do the Gentiles seek"; they sought after the wisdom of the world, the vain philosophy of it; "the Greeks seek after wisdom"; and at most and best they only sought after morality and outward righteousness, but not after Christ, till he was set up in the Gospel as an ensign to them, Isa 11:10, but being preached in it, they were set a seeking after him, and "found" him in it, of whom it is full; in the doctrines, promises, and ordinances of it; in whom they found righteousness, life, and salvation, food, and plenty of it, rest, spiritual and eternal, and everlasting glory and happiness:

\\I said, behold me, behold unto a nation that was not called by my name\\; which still describes the Gentiles, who formerly were not called the people of God, even those who now are, Ho 2:23, 1Pe 2:10, this Christ says to them in the Gospel, whose eyes he opens by his Spirit, to behold the glory of his person, the riches of his grace, his wondrous love and condescension, the abundance of blessings in him, and the complete salvation he has wrought out for sinners; and the words are repeated to show that Christ is only to be beheld, and is always to be looked unto; as well as it declares the heartiness of Christ, and his willingness that sinners should look unto him, and be saved; and all this is a proof of the preventing grace of God in the conversion of men, he is first in it; before they ask anything of him, or about him, or his Son, he manifests himself; he reveals Christ, bestows his grace, and presents them with the blessings of his goodness. R. Moses the priest, as Aben Ezra observes, interprets this of the nations of the world; and that the sense is,

``even to the Gentiles that are not called by my name I am preached;''

which agrees with the apostle's sense of them; \\see Gill on "Ro 10:20"\\.

{g} So, with the Rabbins, vrd is "to preach"; Nvrd is "a preacher"; hvrd is "a sermon"; vrd "the name of a book of sermons"; and vrdm "an exposition"; see Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. col. 583, 584.

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Isaiah 65 Commentaries