Isaiah's Little Apocalypse, Chapters 24 through 27, Part 6
by Karl Kemp
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We will finish this verse-by-verse study of Isaiah chapters 24-27 here in Part 6 with a verse-by-verse study of Isaiah 59:19-21 and Romans 11:25-27.
ISAIAH 59:19-21 AND ROMANS 11:25-27.
The apostle Paul's "quotation" in Rom. 11:26, 27 comes from a combination of Isa. 59:20, 21a and 27:9. His "quotation" follows the Septuagint (with one notable exception that will be pointed out below), which is somewhat different than the Hebrew of these verses. "Quotations" in the ancient world, unlike the exact quotations of our day, were often quite loose.
Isaiah 59:19-21. "So they will fear the name of the LORD [Yahweh] from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun [that is, from the east; cf., e.g., Mal. 1:11; in other words, worldwide], For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind [This Hebrew noun ("ruach") could also be translated breath, or Spirit.] of the LORD [Yahweh] drives. [[The ones who will fear the name of Yahweh and His glory are the remnant of the nations left after His end-time judgment of the world (cf., e.g., Isa. 24:13-16a). (On the name Yahweh, see my paper, "The Name Yahweh and God the Father and God the Son" on this Christian article site.) These verses (including Isa. 59:15b-18) put some emphasis on God's judging the nations (which will work for the good of Israel), but it is clear (even if it isn't clearly mentioned in these verses) that God's judgment will fall on Israel too, leaving a humble, repentant remnant of the nation. (Many prophecies show that God will judge and leave a remnant of Israel before He judges and leaves a remnant of the nations.) Those who worship God must have a proper fear of Him (and of His name). The words "He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind [breath, Spirit] of the LORD [Yahweh] drives" picture God's judging the world with awesome power. His "rushing stream" will sweep away all opposition to Him and to His truth and righteousness.]] (20) 'A Redeemer [God (very much including God the Son) is the Redeemer of Israel. Here the "Redeemer" could be limited to the Lord Jesus Christ. ] will come to [or, for] Zion ["Zion" here is another name for Jerusalem/Israel. The Lord will come to/for the humbled, repentant remnant of Zion/Israel.], And to [or, for] those who turn from transgression in Jacob [another name for Israel (Jacob's name was changed to Israel)],' declares the LORD [Yahweh]. ["Those who turn from transgression in Jacob" speaks of the humbled, repentant remnant of Israel that will be left after God's end-time shaking of Israel that will start with the abomination of desolation; see above under Isa. 27:12, and see above under the subsection "Isaiah 10:20-23 and Romans 9:27-29."] (21) [[There is some discontinuity between the rest of Isaiah chapter 59 and verse 21 (the last verse of the chapter) in that the rest of Isaiah is poetry in the Hebrew but verse 21 is prose. (The NASB, NIV, and NKJV demonstrate this difference in the formats they use.)]] 'As for Me, this is My covenant with them,' says the LORD [Yahweh]: 'My Spirit which is upon you [You], and My words which I have put in your [Your] mouth shall not depart from your [Your] mouth, nor from the mouth of your [Your] offspring, nor from the mouth of your [Your] offspring's offspring,' says the LORD [Yahweh], 'from now on and forever.' [[I prefer the viewpoint that the words of verse 21 are addressed to the Messiah, God the Son (A few commentators take this viewpoint), but they could be addressed to the saved end-time remnant of Israel. If Messiah is addressed we would put the words "You" and "Your" in capital letters. (I had a footnote: The Hebrew behind this "You" is masculine singular, as is the Hebrew behind the four uses of the word "your [Your]" in this verse. This masculine singular obviously fits the Messiah, but it can also be used for Israel.)
Quite often in the book of Isaiah, words are addressed to the Messiah ((cf. Isa. 8:8; 42:6-9; 48:16; 49:3, 5-10; 51:16 [[I had a lengthy footnote dealing with this verse: "And I have put My words into your [Your] mouth and have covered you [You] with the shadow of My hand [cf. Isa. 49:2], to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are My people' " (Isa. 51:16). This translation (of the NASB) fits the idea that God the Father is speaking to God the Son (as in Isa. 8:8; 42:6-9; 49:3, 5-10; 59:21; and 63:2). Quite a few commentators adopt this viewpoint regarding Isa. 51:16, including, Fausset, Jennings, Motyer, Oswalt, and Young. The apparent meaning is that God the Son (through whom all things were created [e.g., John 1:1-3]) will also be the One through whom the new heavens and new earth (e.g., Isa. 66:22; Rev. 21:1) will be created, and He will be the Savior of Zion/Israel. The last words of Isa. 51:16 ("to say to Zion, You are My people," since the Messiah is One who is going "to say to Zion, You are My people") help confirm that this verse was not addressed to the people of Israel. The translations of the KJV, NKJV, and NIV differ from that of the NASB, which I quoted here.]]; and Isa. 63:2)).
He is the Servant of God, Immanuel, born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23), who is deity with the Father (e.g., Isa. 9:6, 7), and who will come to judge the world (e.g., Isa. 9:4, 5; 11:1-10). Also, Christ certainly is the primary one who has the Spirit upon Him (cf., e.g., Isa. 11:2; 42:1 ["Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations."]; 48:16; 61:1 [with Luke 4:18]; Matt. 3:16, 17; Mark 1:10, 11; Luke 3:21, 22; John 1:29-34; and 3:34). The very names "Messiah" [from the Hebrew] and "Christ" [from the Greek] mean The Anointed One. And He is the primary one who has God's word in His mouth (cf., e.g., Deut. 18:18; Isa. 51:16 [discussed above under Isa. 59:19-21]; and John 3:34 [discussed in my paper on John 1:19-4:54 on my internet site]). (On God the Father and God the Son, see my papers titled, "The Name Yahweh and God the Father and God the Son"; "Who Do We Pray To?"; "Who Do We Worship?"; and "More on the Trinity.")
The "covenant" of Isa. 59:21 (cf., e.g., Jer. 31:31-34 [discussed in my paper on the book of Jeremiah on this Christian article site]) that God makes with the end-time remnant of Israel is established in the Person and work of the Messiah (with an emphasis on His atoning work as the Lamb of God). Through Christ and His work, all true Christians receive God's Spirit and His word into their hearts and into their mouths (cf., e.g., John 14:23, 24; 17:14) - they speak it; they believe it; they live it.
If the words of Isa. 59:21 are addressed to the Lord Jesus Christ (I prefer this view), then His "offspring" could refer to true Israel, and His "offspring's offspring" could refer to the saved remnant of the nations. ((I had a footnote: The converted remnant of the nations are frequently mentioned in the book of Isaiah. They are mentioned in the first half of Isa. 59:19. The "offspring's offspring" could also be understood to refer to the next generation of the people of true Israel (cf. Isa. 60:22; 65:23), but I don't believe that there will be a next generation of the people of true Israel in that the people of true Israel will all be glorified by this time (about the time the millennial kingdom begins). See under Isa. 65:20 in this paper; it is located toward the end of the chapter on Isaiah chapter 25.))
It can be said that the remnant of the nations will be saved by coming to Jerusalem/true Israel and by the witness of true Israel (cf., e.g., Psalm 87; Isa. 2:2-4; 25:6-8; 26:18, 19; 29:17-24; 44:1-5; 45:14-25; 60:1-17; Rev. 21:2-4; and 21:24-22:3). ((I had a footnote: Psalm 87 is discussed in section 2 and Isaiah 60:1-17 in section 1 of my paper titled, "More regarding God's Salvation Plans for the Nations" on my internet site. Isaiah chapters 2, 25, 26, 29; and 44:1-5; 45:14-25 are discussed verse-by-verse in the paper on Isaiah on my internet site; chapters 25 and 26 are included in this present paper. Revelation chapters 21, 22 are discussed in my paper on Revelation chapters 20-22 on this Christian article site.)) Several of the references just cited include the idea that the saved remnant of the nations will be born of or will be the offspring of Jerusalem/true Israel (Psalm 87; Isa. 44:1-5; 45:14-25; cf. Isa. 29:17-24; 59:21). The elect of the nations will ultimately be born into the eternal life of God's eternal kingdom (see Revelation chapters 21, 22).
It is clear that the saved remnant of the nations will be directly saved by/through the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, not by true Israel (cf. Isa. 53:10; Rev. 21:27 [I had a footnote: On Rev. 21:27 see my paper on Revelation chapters 20-22 on this Christian article site. While there you might read the section titled "A Few Comments Regarding Those Who Constitute the Nations in Rev. 21:24-22:3."), except insofar as the Lord Jesus Christ is Himself true Israel. (He is the heart of true Israel [cf. Isa. 49:3].)]]
Romans 11:25-27. (Romans chapters 9-11 are discussed verse-by-verse on this Christian article site.) "For [This "for" (Greek "gar") at the beginning of verse 25 ties this verse to verse 24, where Paul had just said that the God who has grafted believing Gentiles into (the tree) of true Israel is certainly able to graft the literal sons of Israel into that tree when they repent and submit to Christ in faith.] I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery - so that you will not be wise in your own estimation [[As Rom. 11:17-24 demonstrate, the apostle Paul was addressing Gentile Christians here. He didn't want them to be arrogant toward the unconverted sons of Israel (cf. Rom. 11:18) or ignorant of God's plan to ultimately save "all Israel" (Rom. 11:26), referring to the end-time remnant of Israel pictured in Isa. 10:20-23; Rom. 9:27-29 (and in many other prophetic verses). In Paul's day they were thinking in terms of Christ's returning fairly soon, not after two thousand years.]] - that a partial hardening has happened to Israel [It was only a partial hardening in that some Israelites were becoming Christians in Paul's day (cf., e.g., Rom. 11:1-24).] until the fullness ["full number" NIV] of the Gentiles has come in [[I believe that Paul was speaking of the "full number" of the elect Gentiles who were to be converted and become part of the body of Christ before the resurrection and rapture at Christ's (mid-week) return. ((I had a footnote: The book of Revelation shows that the gospel will still be proclaimed after the mid-week return of Christ and the rapture and that more Gentiles, along with the end-time remnant of Israel, will become Christians after the rapture (cf., e.g., Rev. 12:17; 13:7; 14:6, 7, 12, 13; and 20:4). Apparently this detail had not been revealed to the apostle Paul, who died some thirty years before the book of Revelation was given to the apostle John; God's revelation is progressive. It seems that Paul thought that all who were to be saved (all the elect, whether Jews or Gentiles) would be converted before the resurrection and rapture at the return of Christ (see Acts 17:30-32; Rom. 8:18-25; 11:15; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; 15:20-28, 50-58; Phil. 3:17-21; Col. 3:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:9, 10; 4:13-5:11; and 2 Thess. 1:4-2:15).))]; (26) and so [Or, "thus." Based on Rom. 10:19; 11:11-14, and 31, at least part of what the apostle meant by the word "so," (or "thus") was that the salvation of the Gentiles would make Israel jealous and contribute to their salvation. As we have seen, the end-time judgment that will reduce Israel to a humble, repentant remnant will be a major factor contributing to the conversion of all Israel. ((I had a footnote: The apostle Paul speaks of this end-time shaking of Israel in Rom. 9:27-29 (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3, 4). Knowing what I do from the book of Revelation, I believe I can say with some confidence that the end-time remnant of Israel won't become Christians until after the rapture. Seeing the rapture of the Christian church, which is mostly Gentile, will certainly be a factor in the conversion of Israel.))]] all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 'THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION [[I had a footnote: Note the use of the word "Zion" in Heb. 12:22; 1 Pet. 2:6. The Hebrew of Isa. 59:20 has "to/for Zion." The Septuagint has "for the sake of Zion." The apostle may have quoted from a document that had "from/out of Zion," but it is quite possible that he modified the reading (perhaps under the influence of Psalms 14:7; 53:6 in the Septuagint; those verses in Psalms have the same Greek preposition that Paul used here ["ek"]). As we have seen, there was much liberty permitted with "quotations" in the ancient world.]], HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.' (27) 'THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.' " [[Note that Paul's primary emphasis is on the spiritual deliverance of the end-time remnant of Israel that is associated with their becoming Christians, not with their physical deliverance (in the overthrow of Antichrist and his forces, etc.). As we have discussed, the humbled, repentant end-time remnant of Israel will be ready to submit to Christ in faith at the time of His mid-week return. (There is no need to insist that all of the end-time remnant of the Israel will be ready to submit to Christ by the time of His mid-week return.) Romans 11:15 (cf. Rom. 11:12) seems to indicate that Paul taught that the conversion of all Israel will signal that it is time for the resurrection. Paul apparently thought of Christ's return and the resurrection and rapture taking place very near the end of Daniel's 70th week, when it is time for Him to destroy Antichrist (cf. 2 Thess. 2:8). (I had a footnote: See pages 347-349 of my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture." I'm not suggesting that Paul necessarily thought in terms of Daniel's 70th week. For one thing, Paul didn't have the privilege of having the book of Revelation, which strongly builds on that final seven year period in chapters 11-13, which are chapters of key importance.)]]
May the will of God be fully accomplished through this paper, and His people be edified!
© Copyright by Karl Kemp
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