Isaiah 52 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 52)
52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no a more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

(a) No wicked tyrant, who will subvert God's true religion and oppress the conscience.

52:2 Shake thyself from the b dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

(b) Put off the garments of sorrow and heaviness and put on the apparel of joy and gladness.

52:3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for c nothing; and ye shall be redeemed without money.

(c) The Babylonians paid nothing to me for you: therefore I will take you again without ransom.

52:4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went d down in times past into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian e oppressed them without cause.

(d) When Jacob went there in times of famine.
(e) The Egyptians might pretend some reason to oppress my people because they went there and remained among them, but the Assyrians have no title to excuse their tyranny by, and therefore I will punish them more than I did the Egyptians.

52:5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nothing? they that rule over them make them to wail, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day [is] f blasphemed.

(f) That is, by the wicked, who think that I have no power to deliver them.

52:7 How g beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that proclaimeth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that proclaimeth salvation; that saith to Zion, Thy God reigneth!

(g) Signifying that the joy and good tidings of their deliverance would make their affliction in the mean time more easy: but this is chiefly meant of the spiritual joy, as in (Nahum 1:15; Romans 10:15).

52:8 h Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

(h) The prophets who are your watchmen will publish your deliverance: this was begun under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah, but was accomplished under Christ.

52:10 The LORD hath made i bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

(i) As ready to smite his enemies and to deliver his people.

52:11 k Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from there, touch no unclean [thing]; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that l bear the vessels of the LORD.

(k) He warns the faithful not to pollute themselves with the superstitions of the Babylonians, as (Isaiah 48:20; 2 Corinthians 6:17).
(l) For the time is at hand that the priests and Levites chiefly (and so by them all the people, who will be as the Levites in this office) will carry home vessels of the temple which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away.

52:12 For ye shall not go out m with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel [will be] your rear guard.

(m) As your fathers did out of Egypt.

52:13 Behold, my n servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

(n) Meaning Christ, by whom our spiritual deliverance would be wrought of which this was a sign.

52:14 As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so o marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

(o) In the corrupt judgment of man, Christ in his person was not valued.

52:15 So p shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their q mouths at him: for [that] which had not been told them shall they see; and [that] which they had not heard shall they r consider.

(p) He will spread his word through many nations.
(q) In sign of reverence, and as being astonished at his excellency.
(r) By the preaching of the gospel.