[Yeshayah 52 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

1 Awake, awake; put on [clothe thyself] thy strength, O [Tziyon]; put on thy beautiful garments [garments of splendor], O [Yerushalayim], the holy city [Ir HaKodesh]: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised [ arel] and the unclean [tameh].

We have all doubtless often been struck by the remarkable coincidental relationship between the various parts of a day's daily readings, revealing the marvellous interweavings of the harmony and unity of God's Word.

Such is the case when we find ourselves, by the "Companion," reading Isa. 52 and Rev. 14 together. Therein we have a parallel picture of history's two great symbolic cities, with their ultimate destinies—Jerusalem and Babylon.

—"Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments O Jerusalem, the Holy City; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."

And Rev. 14:8—

"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

The Holy City, the city of life and hope and light—and the Unholy City, the city of death and confusion and evil. The city of future eternal joy—and the city of present, passing pleasure.

Both these chapters carry us forward to the time when the wisdom of the true choice will be manifested for the blindest to see—Zion exalted and Babylon destroyed. No exhortation or persuasion will be needed then to point out the advantages of the more excellent way. It will be convincingly clear to all, but the books will have been closed and the decree will have gone forth:

"He that is unjust, LET HIM BE UNJUST STILL" (Rev. 22:11).

Too late then to seek oil in panic-stricken confusion. There was plenty of time once, and constant pleadings, but now it is too late.

This picture of two cities, two rival commonwealths, is woven all through the Scriptures. This pictorial and allegorical form of teaching greatly helps the memory and impresses the imagination.

The seed of the Serpent and the seed of the Woman run parallel right from the beginning. From the time Cain hated and slew Abel because he was annoyed and condemned by Abel's more faithful and fuller life, the two cities have existed. Cain went, we are told, and built himself a city (Gen. 4:17)—an establishment, a center, an organization, a foundation of power. Abel already HAD a city. He was satisfied and secure. So Cain hated him in the misery of his own misdirected and unsatisfied desires.

The sons of God, in the long years that followed, tired of the Zionward journey. The vision of their distant city grew dim. The glittering cities of the children of men drew them aside and the result was the greatest catastrophe that has yet befallen the race.

Out of the wreckage, only eight were saved, and even among those eight, all was not well.

And when men began to multiply again, they said (Gen. 11:4):

"Go to, let us BUILD US A CITY."

Give us a city, give us a king, give us something we can see and handle, something social and exciting. This spiritual City, this divine King, this "joy of the Spirit" and "treasure in heaven" are rather thin fare for the natural appetite. "Our soul loatheth this light bread"—this divinely-provided manna from heaven.

But there was one among them who could see through the emptiness of the present. Abraham set forth seeking "a city that had foundations" (Heb. 11:10). He was obsessed with a desire for something real and lasting. He knew that (Psa. 127:1)—

"Except the Lord build, they labour in vain that build it."

So he sought for a city—

"Whose Builder and Maker is God" (Heb. 11:10).

By God's guidance he found the City of Peace with the King of Righteousness reigning in it (Gen. 14:18), set high upon a mountain in the Land of Promise. And Abraham was satisfied, for he saw afar off the glory of this city, and he believed these things, and embraced them, and confessed that he was a stranger and a pilgrim separated from the cities of the children of men and waiting in faith for the City of God.

Not far from this mountain, in the attractive green valleys below, there was a city of the children of men. And God said to Lot:

"Get you out of THIS place…escape to the MOUNTAINS…lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of THIS CITY."

And so another chapter in the lessons of God was written, and Sodom, the city of corruption, added its name and example to Babel, the city of confusion.

Bro Growcott - Two Cities

2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem [O captive Yerushalayim]: loose [free] thyself from the bands of [ chains around] thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion [Bat Tziyon].


3 For thus saith Yahweh, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money [your geulah (redemption) shall be without kesef.].

We are often reminded that the Jews are God's witnesses. What a sad witness they are to this eternal truth! What have they gained by putting aside the loving guidance and restraints of God's arrangements, and seeking their own pleasure and benefit?

"Unto them were committed the oracles of God...To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, the service of God, and the promises."

What great blessings this people had! What great responsibilities these blessings entailed! What terrible punishments because they had been allowed to approach so close to God, and yet had failed to discern His mind or be transformed by His love!

"...and ye shall be redeemed without money."

God's purpose will not fail. Regardless of man's failure, injustice or unkindness, we have the divine and eternal assurance that certain things are sure and guaranteed. And Israel's long night is not purposeless. The nation will rise out of it purged and white.

What does He mean, "redeemed without money"? Surely this refers to the

"stone cut out of the mountain without hands."

"Not by power, nor by might, but by MY spirit, saith the Lord."

When all natural strength and resources are spent and cast aside, then will redemption come. The proud and militant Jews of Palestine have a sad and bitter lesson to learn before that day. And so it is with spiritual Israel (2 Cor. 12:9)-

"MY strength (saith God) is made perfect in weakness."

The proud, ...self-reliant-all such are no value to God.

Bro Growcott - Two cities

3 For thus saith Yahweh, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money [your geulah (redemption) shall be without kesef.].

4 For thus saith the Adonai Yahweh, My people went down aforetime into Egypt [at first into Mitzrayim] to sojourn there; and [lately] the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.

5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith Yahweh, that My people is taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl [mock them], saith Yahweh; and my name [Shemi] continually every day [all day long] is blasphemed.

Before the Lamb can enter Zion with the 144,000, it will be necessary for him to expel the enemy. He comes to redeem Zion from the power of the foreigners, who have "come in like a flood", and afflicted her with "desolation and destruction, and the famine, and the sword". At this crisis of Zion's history, coeval with "darkness covering the earth, and gross darkness the people," Yahweh inquires through the prophet, "What have I here that My people is taken away for naught? They who rule over them make them to howl, saith Yahweh; and My Name continually every day is blasphemed". "They have scattered Israel among the nations, and they have parted My land;" and "the king of the north hath planted the tents of his entrenched camp between the seas to the mountain of the glory of the Holy One" (Isa. 59:19; 52:5; Joel 3:2; Dan. 11:45).

Such are Zion's relations, domestic and foreign, social, civil, and spiritual, at the crisis immediately preceding the appearance of the Lamb and his company within her walls. Being assembled in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and having laid successful siege to Jerusalem, they rifle its houses, ravish its women, and send half of its population into captivity, many of whom they sell to the Greeks for slaves at the vilest prices (Zech. 14:2; Joel 3:3).

This prostrates Jerusalem in the dust, and fastens bands around the neck of the captive daughter of Zion. The uncircumcised and the unclean, then in possession of Tyre and Zidon, and the coasts of Palestine, are in high feather over their success. This will be truly the day of Jacob's trouble, in which there will be none to help, nor any to uphold (Isa. 63:5; Jer. 30:7). But, Zion's extremity is her Redeemer's opportunity. "When," saith Moses, "he seeth that their power is gone, he will repent himself for his servants;" and saith Joel, "He will then be jealous for his land, and pity his people, who shall no more be made a reproach among the nations" (ch. 2:18,19; Deut. 32:36).

"The Harvest of the Earth," according to Joel, and John's angel that comes out of the nave, hath been ripened; "for their wickedness is great". The harvest is composed of vast multitudes of ripened wickedness in the plain, or valley of judgment, unconsciously awaiting a terrible overthrow. Joel in vision saw them all assembled there, as expressed in the words, "Multitudes, multitudes (hamonim, hamonim) in the valley of the judgment; for the Day of Yahweh is near in the valley of the judgment" (ch. 3:14). These hamonim are the hamon-gog of Ezekiel 39:11 - the multitude of Gog, which is buried in the valley of the judgment executed; and gives name to an adjacent city, called Hamonah, that is, Multitude.

This and the preceding chapter of Ezekiel are parallel with Joel 3, and John's vision of the reaping. The prophet is indignant at their wickedness. He does not pray for their conversion, nor for their salvation; but for their sudden and complete overthrow, in the words, "Thither cause to come down with violence thy mighty ones, 0 Yahweh!" Nor will Joel's prayer be in vain; for, referring to the same crisis, Zechariah says, "Yahweh Elohim shall come in, and all the Saints with thee" (ch. 14:5).

This coming in to Jerusalem will be with violence, and a terrific outpouring of wrath upon the multitudes in arms. In the words of Ezek. 38:18, "Adonai Yahweh saith, my fury shall come up in My face: for in my jealousy and in the fire of My wrath have I spoken, surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.... and all the men that are upon the face of the land shall shake AT MY PRESENCE, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the towers shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

And I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all my mountains saith Adonai Yahweh: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him and upon his bands and upon the many peoples that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone". Thus, Yahweh goes forth and fights against these multitudes, as in the days of old (Zech.14:3).

Eureka 14.11.