1 I am [I let Myself be] sought of them that asked not for Me; I am [let Myself be] found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold [Hineni] Me, behold me, unto a nation [Goy] that was not called by My Name [Shem].
Yahweh answers His people's supplication. This chapter opens with a "very bold" statement, as the apostle Paul declares in Rom. 10:20. It is bold as it reveals that Gentiles would be called of Yahweh. The word "sought" is the Hebrew darash, and signifies "to tread, frequent" thus "to gain access." *
3 A people [HaAm] that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens [ganot], and burneth incense [sacrifices] upon altars of brick;
This typified Manasseh's reign who built pagan altars all around Jerusalem and promoted Baal worship in groves (2 Kgs 21: 1-4, 9-11; 2 Chron 33: 1-6). Ahaz before him had placed a pagan altar before the Temple (2 Kgs l6: 10-16). **
4 Which remain among the graves [ kevarim], and lodge in the monuments [spend the night in closed places], which eat swine's flesh [basar hachazir], and broth of abominable things [piggulim] is in their vessels;
Dark places, to practice necromancy and cult worship and violate the laws on clean and unclean (Lev.l1:7). **
7 Your iniquities [avonot], and the iniquities of your fathers [avot] together, saith Yahweh, which have burned incense [sacrifices] upon the mountains, and blasphemed [insulted] Me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom [ peulot into their kheyk].
8 Thus saith Yahweh, As the new wine [tirosh] is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing [brocha] is in it: so will I do for My servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
This echoes the judgment of Sodom, which God would not destroy as long as righteous Lot was amongst them (Gen 18). So also God was longsuffering in the days of Noah, in spite of the wickedness of the age (Gen.6). A cluster of good grapes might save a degenerate vine from being hued down and burnt. Yahweh will never destroy the righteous with the wicked, but provide a way of escape. **
9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob [zera out of Ya'akov], and out of Judah an inheritor [Yehudah a yoresh] of My mountains: and Mine elect [Bechir (Chosen ones)] shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.
... the righteous Man from the East, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.
(Isa 41: 2)
"God," then "has not cast away his people Israel, whom he foreknew," and spoke of to Abraham and Isaac, before they had any sons. He has chastised them for their sins; but "there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
The election hath obtained the grace, by accepting Jesus as the Seed, and inheritor of the land; and the rest are blinded until this day. But this blindness is not permanent. They will yet become a great and mighty nation, rejoicing in the service of the Lord Jesus and the elect; for
"blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
And so all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11:2,5,7,8,25,26) -- that is, all the twelve tribes shall be reunited into one nation and kingdom upon their own land, and be received into the favour of God (Ezek. 37:25-28; 36:33-38; 39:25-29); they will then have been grafted in again, according to the word of the Lord.
In conclusion, everything in relation to the kingdom is ordained upon sovereign principles. Nothing is left to the will of man. Hence, the apostle saith,
"It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."
The call of the Gentiles to take part in the future kingdom is a striking illustration of the truth of this. Had things been left to the apostles, they would not have extended the invitation to men of other nations to become with them heirs of the kingdom of Canaan, and of the dominion of the world.
They were running to and fro among their own nation, calling upon them to become the children of the promise who are counted for the seed; but it was not of their will, but contrary to it, that "the word" was preached to the Gentiles, opening the kingdom to them.
The invitation to our race, as the apostle truly saith, was "of God that showeth mercy." ....He that has power over the clay had appointed Israel to be "a vessel unto honour," upon whom it was His sovereign pleasure to have mercy. They were, therefore, "vessels fitted for mercy," whom He had before prepared, that on them He might make known the riches of His glory, both then and in a time to come. ... while He elected Israel to become His people in the land of Canaan. Thus "He had mercy on whom He would have mercy, and whom He would He hardened" (Rom. 9:14-33). Such is the doctrine of election as taught in the scriptures of truth.
Elpis Israel 2.3.
10 And Sharon shall be a fold [ meadow] of flocks [for tzon], and the valley of Achor a place for the herds [flock] to lie down in, for my people [Ami] that have sought me.
Achor, no longer a vale of trouble but a door of hope and joyful singing for the returning Jews (Hos 2: 15) and a place and fold for flocks and herds for food and offerings in the great Temple. The beauty of Sharon is no longer trodden underfoot by the warpath of the oppressor (Is 33:9). but where sheep may safely graze. The redeemed of Yahweh give him thanks forevermore as the sheep of his pasture (Psa 79: 13, Jhn10). **
**The Apocalyptic Messenger, July 2019
15 And ye shall leave your name [shem] for a curse unto My chosen [Bechir]: for Adonai Yahweh shall slay thee, and call his servants [Avadim] by another name [shem]:
Here we have the idea presented of the whole Hebrew nation being a name of the Deity. But through the iniquity and falsehood of the tribes the idea was not perfected. The development of the idea was placed in abeyance. He had brought them out of Egypt under Moses "to make for himself a Name of Olahm;" he led them as a horse in the wilderness, "to make himself a Name of Honour;" and to no other people was the name proclaimed: but, although they were called gods, and all of them Sons of the Most High, yet they were not "Elohim of truth;" therefore the Spirit in David said,
"Surely as Adam ye shall die; and as one of the princes ye shall fall:" but to his faithful and truth-loving servants, he saith, "Arise, 0 Elohim, judge the earth; for thou shalt inherit among all the nations" (Psal. lxxxii. 7,8; Isai. lxiii. 12-19).
But though Israel and Judah under the law judged themselves unworthy of having the Name of the Deity written upon them, YAHWEH did not abandon his purpose.
16 That he who blesseth himself in the earth [ha'aretz] shall bless himself in the Elohim of truth [Omein]; and he that sweareth [taketh an oath] in the earth [ha'aretz] shall swear by the Elohim of Truth; because the former troubles [ tzoros ] are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes.
The "Elohim of Truth" is in the Hebrew, the "Elohim of the Amen." The word 'amen,' commonly used at the conclusion of a prayer, signifies that which is guaranteed; sure; faithful. It shows that what is said in conformity with the Elohim of the Amen is absolute; something we need to bear in mind when offering or participating in prayers. What we present to the Almighty, will be what He expects of us.
Christ declared himself as "The Amen" (Rev. 3:14), for in him all things will be fulfilled. The new heaven and earth of v. 17 speak of the great millennial aristocracy and society. The joy and glory of that wonderful event is imminent. Then the earth will be purged of all rebels (v. 12), including those who despise their high and holy calling, and who make ungodly demands on others within the precincts of the presence of the Almighty (v. 12, when they "did evil before Mine eyes"). * GEM
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Unquestionably God had an object in view when he created the mundane system; and a plan also according to which he determined to accomplish it. Do parents forbear to generate because of the evil they know assuredly will befall their offspring? Why, then, should God have abstained from the genesis of the world, because he knew that in attaining to the full development of his purpose, according to the moral basis he laid down, it would in its ages and generations pass through a sore and terrible probation?
But, after all that can be said of the evil, even if it were ten times worse than it is, the life and happiness of the world that is to inhabit the Earth eternally, will surpass ten million fold, nay, illimitably, the evil of its mortal period of seven thousand years.
The citizen of that world when he looks back upon these years, more especially on the small proportion of the evil he personally experienced, will behold in it but "a momentary light affliction," that "worketh out a more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Men err by comparing the good and evil of the present state as though it were permanent and final. The present is only temporary - a transient system of means to a glorious end.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1857
Are the new heavens and new earth (Isaiah 65:17-20) in which there was death, the same as those which John saw in which there is to be no more death?-(Rev. 21:1-4.)-A. B. Mc D.
Answer.-They are the same in two relations. The discrepancy is only apparent. When the "new heavens and the new earth" of Isaiah 65. are constituted in making "Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy," it will be truly proclaimed, as we read in Isaiah 25:8, concerning this very time, that Yahweh
"will swallow up death in victory, and wipe away tears from off all faces:"
but this is a progressive result, beginning at the establishment of the kingdom with the immortalization of the first-fruit saints, and ending with a similar result as regards the harvest to be gathered in at "the end." It is not universally accomplished at the recovery of Jerusalem from her present "desolations of many generations." It is commenced then: and it will be the work of the kingdom, in the hands of immortalized saints, to carry on the work to the glorious state reached in the symbolism of Rev. 21. and 22.
There are stages in the work indicated by Paul thus: 1. Christ. 2. Those who are Christ's at his coming. 3. The end when the kingdom will have prevailed to the putting down of all enemies, including death itself which is the last to be destroyed.-(1 Cor. 15:22, )
Then the kingdom will be delivered up to the Father, that God may be all in all. It is the same kingdom first and last: the same new heaven and new earth, but in the separate stages of a commenced and completed work.
The Christadelphian, Apr 1872
18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold [hinei], I create Jerusalem [Yerushalayim] a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
The Millennial Constitution of the World, as may be perceived from Isa. 65, is not perfect. It will be a great advance upon both the old Mosaic, and the Times of the Gentiles; but it will fall far short of the constitution and order of things beyond the Thousand Years.
We learn this from Paul in his reference to the visions and revelations granted to him, as it would seem, for his own exclusive benefit, for he would not, could not, or might not, communicate what he had seen and heard to others (2 Cor. 12:1).
19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem [Yerushalayim], and joy in my people [Ami]: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying [out].
20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man [ zaken] that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old [he that shall die a hundred years old will be regarded a na'ar]; but the sinner [choteh] being 100 years old shall be accursed.
As to Israel, the Lord will have gotten them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame; and have made them a name and a praise among all the people of the earth (Zeph. 3:19,20).
"All nations shall call them blessed, for they shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 3:12).
Instead of being a bye-word and a reproach, as at this day, the Gentiles will glory in their patronage; for
"in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go,with you; for we have heard that God is with you" (Zech. 8:23).
Yes, the kingdom and throne of David will then be in their midst again, and Christ the Lord God, and Holy One of Israel, sitting upon it in power and great glory. The gospel of the kingdom will be no longer a matter of hope, but a reality; and those who have believed it, and submitted cheerfully and lovingly to the law of faith in the obedience it requires, and have perfected their faith by works meet for repentance, will be shining
"as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever" (Dan. 12:3).
This is the Hope of Israel which is set before men in the gospel, and for which Paul was bound in a chain. It is a very different one to that exhibited in pulpit-theology; yet it is that which must be embraced as the soul's anchorage, if a man would be saved, and inherit the kingdom of God.
Such will be the order of things for a thousand years. But, though truth and righteousness will have gained the ascendency and have prevailed for so long a period, sin will still exist in the flesh, and in some instances reveal itself in overt acts of disobedience.
Elpis Israel 3.6.
Harmony in the future
21 And they shall build houses [batim], and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards [kramim], and eat the fruit of them.
22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [HaEtz] are the days of my people [Ami], and Mine elect [Bechir] shall long enjoy the work [ma'aseh] of their hands.
23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble [misfortune]; for they are the seed of the blessed [ Zera Beruchei] of Yahweh, and their offspring with them.
24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking [medaberim], I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock [ox]: and dust [aphar] shall be the serpent's meat [lechem of the nachash]. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain [Har Kadosh], saith Yahweh.
But when the judgment is over; when the wrath of the Deity is all filled up; when the great and marvellous sign has passed away from the heaven; when the end of the "thousand six hundred furlongs" "time of the end" hath been reached; when smoke no longer fills the Nave from the glory and power of the Deity - after the forty years of Micah are all in the past; and the kingdom hath been restored to Israel; what will then obtain, and be the economy of this fullness of the times?
The Millennial Day of Christ will have come; the strong nations, recently so terribly rebuked, will be awaiting their conqueror's law; and the Saints resting from their judicial military labours, are henceforth blessed with the peaceable and glorious possession of the kingdom, without a disturbing element within or from without, to ruffle the glassy sea, over which is extended, for a thousand years, their righteous and almighty rule. Then their wars shall have ceased to the ends of the earth (Psa. 46 and 47), and they are exalted over the subject nations; then the new law will be proclaimed from Zion and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem (Mic. 4:2).
By this law, "a New Heaven and a New Earth" is created, in which Jerusalem is created a rejoicing, and her people a joy. Israel is admitted into the bond of the covenant, the truth and the mercy sworn to their fathers Abraham and Jacob from the days of old. Henceforth the voice of weeping will be heard no more in Jerusalem, nor the voice of crying.
Longevity will bless her citizens, whose lives shall be enduring as a tree; and they shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Peace will be extended to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like a flowing stream. The Bride the Lamb's wife will be there, as the Queen arrayed in the gold of Ophir, whose beauty will be greatly desired by the King, and her favour entreated by the rich among the peoples (Mic. 7:20; Isa. 65:17-24; Psa. 46).
Such will be the blessedness of the Firstborn of the nations. The brilliant and precious living stones of fair colours, the immortal constituents of the Bride, will be kings and priests in all the earth. The nations, freed from the dominion of thieves and robbers, and enlightened in the truth, which they will heartily believe, will be permitted to enter into the covenant of the Most Holy; and thus to be joined to Yahweh, and to become his people in fellowship with Israel.
One economy, or administration, will rule the world in righteousness, all of whose nations, being justified by faith, will be blessed in and with faithful Abraham, as the gospel of the kingdom preached to him has long declared. There will then exist a world of enlightened nations, ruled by the ONE BODY in perfect harmony with the truth, or word then proclaimed from Jerusalem. This is "the world to come;" the future constitution of things upon the habitable, which no one is able to enter into until the Seven Plagues of the Seven Angels are fulfilled" (Isa. 54:11-13; Zech. 2:11; Gal. 3:7-9).