Isaiah 65:1-9

1 I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, "Here am I, here am I," to a nation that did not call on my name.
2 I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices;
3 a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and burning incense upon bricks;
4 who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 who say, "Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am set apart from you." These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before me: "I will not keep silent, but I will repay, yea, I will repay into their bosom
7 their iniquities and their fathers' iniquities together, says the LORD; because they burned incense upon the mountains and reviled me upon the hills, I will measure into their bosom payment for their former doings."
8 Thus says the LORD: "As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, 'Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,' so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

Isaiah 65:1-9 Meaning and Commentary

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 65:1-9 In-Context

1 I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, "Here am I, here am I," to a nation that did not call on my name.
2 I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices;
3 a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and burning incense upon bricks;
4 who sit in tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 who say, "Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am set apart from you." These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.
6 Behold, it is written before me: "I will not keep silent, but I will repay, yea, I will repay into their bosom
7 their iniquities and their fathers' iniquities together, says the LORD; because they burned incense upon the mountains and reviled me upon the hills, I will measure into their bosom payment for their former doings."
8 Thus says the LORD: "As the wine is found in the cluster, and they say, 'Do not destroy it, for there is a blessing in it,' so I will do for my servants' sake, and not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, and from Judah inheritors of my mountains; my chosen shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
10 Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.
11 But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;
12 I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in."
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 put to shame;
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.