Isaiah 66

Following the day of Christ’s vengeance the sorrows of Israel will be turned into abundant joys.
All the Gentiles spared shall rejoice in her salvation.
All nations will look upon the glory of God as it shines in the face of Christ, the King,
and worship will be carefully and constantly attended upon by all the peoples of the earth.

1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?

2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.

4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

5 ¶ Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.

8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.

15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.

20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.

21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD.

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Isaiah 66:1-14 – ​God’s People Made a Blessing

   The prophet forecasts the advent of a new day, when places and rites would be comparatively unimportant compared with the condition of the heart, Isaiah 66:1-4. The opening words were quoted by Stephen, when announcing the substitution of spiritual worship for the effete system which it superseded. See Acts 7:48-49. What is the outward rite to God, when the spirit has fled? It was all one to Him, whether a man killed a lamb in the Temple, or broke a dog’s neck on his farm. His chosen home is not in ornate temples but in contrite hearts!
   The blessedness of God’s people is depicted in glowing words, Isaiah 66:5-14. God will appear, to the joy of His people and the recompense of their foes. Those times will be characterized by great revivals, and souls will be easily born into the heavenly kingdom. The Jew and Gentile will meet like confluent streams in one blessed channel. But, above all, we shall become aware of the mother-side in God’s nature. As one whom his mother comforteth, Isaiah 66:13. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Isaiah 66:13—As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.

​   There is the mother nature as well as that of the father in God. We are familiar with the thought of the Divine Fatherhood; let us not forget the Divine Motherhood. All the soft, gentle touches of mother’s hand, unlike any other hands; all the tender pleading, yearning affection; all the utter selflessness, that never wrecks what it expends for the objects of its solicitude, are equally in God. But as men get mad with drink and sin, and refuse the sweet mother-love which would gather them, until worn-out and weary they come back to it wrecked and forlorn, so we have drifted from God’s mother-heart, getting to ourselves pain and loss, and missing its exquisite solace. Fools that we are!
   Come back to it, children! Like wayward runaway babes, at the end of the long summer’s day, who, shamefaced and sorrowful, with their torn clothes and grimy faces, hardly dare present themselves to those tender eyes, and yet have no alternative, and know that they may count on the most tender reception. So come back to Him. He will receive, forgive, cleanse, comfort.
   A mother’s comfort! Estimate it at its full. Remember how your mother comforted you, as a little child; as a man at the death of your young wife; as a maiden when love had disappointed. How much more God! May we not then address to God’s tender heart those most exquisite words:–

       “Neither love me for
          Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,
       Since one might well forget to weep who bore
          Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby;
       But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
          Thou mayst love on through love’s eternity.” —Our Daily Homily

Isaiah 66:15-24 – ​All Flesh Shall Worship the Lord

   The prophet makes it clear that, whatever blessings accrue in the golden future, they will be apportioned to those alone, who are the Israel of God, not merely by descent but in heart and life. They must be what the Apostle describes in Philippians 3:3. Those who were bent on practicing idolatrous rites, such as passing in procession, with priests as teachers, through gardens and groves devoted to impurity; or who, by partaking of the flesh of animals forbidden in the Levitical law, had become as Gentiles, must suffer with the heathen.
   Isaiah 66:19 suggests that the restored Jewish remnant are to become the future missionaries of the world; and the book closes with a vision of the Holy City as the focus and center of the religious life of mankind. It is as though, like John, Isaiah beheld her descending from God out of heaven, with wide-open gates, through which the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor, Isaiah 66:20. The lot of all enemies of goodness is depicted in the everburning fires of Tophet—the rubbish heaps of which are significant of uselessness, Isaiah 66:24. —Through the Bible Day by Day