Isaiah 66:20

20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.

Isaiah 66:20 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 66:20

And they shall bring all your brethren, for an offering unto
the Lord, out of all nations
This is not said of the Jews, either with respect to the first times of the Gospel; not of the devout men of all nations that heard the apostles on the day of Pentecost; nor of those the Gospel met with in the Gentile world, by the ministry of the apostles, to whom Peter and James write their epistles; or, in the latter day, such who remain in the several nations after the general conversion of that people; but this is to be understood of the Gentiles, and of the bringing in the fulness of them, by means of those who shall escape the calamities of those times, the destruction of the eastern and western antichrist; some of which will become preachers of the word, and be the instruments of doing this work: here the Gentiles are called the brethren of the converted Jews, as all the Lord's people are brethren one of another, be they of what nation they will; they are all in a spiritual sense the seed and children of Abraham, who is the father of all that believe; and so all believers are brethren, Jews and Gentiles; yea, they are all the children of God, who is the one God and Father of all, in the covenant of grace, which is common to them all; and by adoption, and through regeneration, the evidence of it. Christ stands in the relation of an elder brother to them all; and the church universal, the Jerusalem above, is the mother of them all; they are mother's children, and so brethren; they are partakers of the same blessings and privileges, and heirs of the same promises, grace, and glory: now all those that are predestinated to the adoption of sons, that are the children of God scattered abroad, and whom God has promised to call by his grace, shall be brought in; not one shall be left behind; such is the will of God, which cannot be resisted; such their election of grace, which stands firm on the sovereign will of God, and, always obtains; such the suretyship of Christ, and the purchase of his blood, which make the bringing of them absolutely necessary; and the Lord knows where they are, and will send his Gospel and ministers to them, to fetch them in, let them be in ever such distant and obscure places: and these shall be brought, for an offering to the Lord;
which shall be offered to him, either by the persons that bring them, the ministers of the Gospel, who are the priests of the Lord, ( Isaiah 66:21 ) and who offer, not slain beasts, as under the law, but living persons, men and women, converted under their ministry; whom they bring to the Lord, and to his house, as trophies of his victorious grace, to serve and glorify him. The Apostle Paul seems to allude to this passage, and to give the sense of it, ( Romans 15:16 ) or else by themselves that are brought; who shall present their souls and bodies a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice unto God, as their reasonable service; not to atone for their sins, but in gratitude to the Lord, as being his, and not their own, ( Romans 12:1 ) the means by which they shall be brought follows: upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon
swift beasts;
which Kimchi and Aben Ezra interpret of camels, the better sort of them; but the Targum renders it, with praises; and so Jarchi understands it of the songs of those that skip and dance for joy; see ( 1 Samuel 6:16 ) , which carriages are not to be understood literally, but figuratively, expressive of the Gospel ministry, which is the vehicle of salvation, and in which souls are brought to Christ, and to his church; and various sorts being mentioned, may signify the multitudes that shall be gathered in, and the different accommodations made, according to different circumstances; some that are strong and eager, and impatient of church communion, are brought on more speedily, on horses, and swift beasts; and others more weakly, and can move but slowly, in chariots and litters; and all denote the safe and honourable way and manner in which they are conducted, as well as the welcome they may expect to have in the churches of Christ; since all manner of help is afforded to them. The horse is an emblem of the Gospel ministry, and so is the chariot, ( Revelation 6:2 ) ( Song of Solomon 3:9 Song of Solomon 3:10 ) the place they will be brought unto is, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord;
not Jerusalem literally taken, though it is highly probable it will be at this time a place of great resort of all Christians; but the church, often called by this name in this prophecy, and in this chapter; a "mountain", for height, visibility, and especially for firmness and immovableness; a "holy" one, where holy things, words, and ordinances are ministered, holy persons meet, and none else should be members of it; hither converted persons are brought, to partake of those holy things, and have communion with holy persons, by means of the ministers of the Gospel, who invite, exhort, encourage, and persuade, and use the most forcible arguments they can, but after all are but instruments, God is the cause; it is he that brings souls to Zion, ( Jeremiah 3:14 ) the manner follows: as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the
house of the Lord;
just as the "minchah", or meat offering, was brought in a pure and clean vessel into the sanctuary of the Lord, and there presented before him; as all the vessels there were Holy Ones, ( Ezra 8:28 ) denoting who those should be that should be brought and offered; persons whose hearts were purified by faith in the blood of Christ; called with a holy calling; sanctified by the Holy Ghost; and appearing in the beauties of holiness of heart and life. The Septuagint version renders it, "with psalms"; and the Arabic version, "with a jubilee"; suggesting they should be brought with joy and gladness; see ( Psalms 45:15 ) . The ancient Jews F16 interpret all this of the gifts brought to the King Messiah in his days.


F16 Midrash Tillim apud Yalkut in Psal. Ixxxvii. 4.

Isaiah 66:20 In-Context

18 For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory,
19 and I will set a sign among them. From them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud—which draw the bow—to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
20 They shall bring all your kindred from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and on mules, and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring a grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord.
21 And I will also take some of them as priests and as Levites, says the Lord.
22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says the Lord; so shall your descendants and your name remain.