The Book of Isaiah
James J. Barker

Lesson 47

Text: ISAIAH 52:1—12


1.     We saw last week in Isaiah 51:17 that the LORD told Jerusalem to “awake” and to “stand up.”  Israel was “drunken, but not with wine” (51:21).

2.     The “cup” represents the fierce wrath and judgment of God (51:17-22).

3.     In 51:17 Jerusalem was told to awake and stand up.  Now in Isaiah 52:1, Jerusalem is told to awake and dress up – “put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city.”

4.     This cannot be referring to the Jerusalem of Isaiah’s day (cf. Isa. 1:4, 10).  Nor can it be the Jerusalem of our day (cf. Rev. 11:8).

5.     Isaiah is speaking here of Jerusalem redeemed and restored during the millennial kingdom.  The last verse of chapter 51 speaks of God dealing with Israel’s enemies at the second coming of Christ.







1.     Jerusalem is called “the holy city” eight times in the Bible (Isa. 52:1; Nehemiah 11:1, 18; Isaiah 48:2; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 4:5; 27:53; Revelation 11:2).

2.     “Holy” means set apart by God.  The fourth commandment is, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).  What this means is God has set one day apart from the other six.  For Israel this was the Saturday sabbath.  For us today it is Sunday, the Lord’s Day.  We are to “keep it holy.”

3.     Leviticus 27:30 says the tithe “is holy unto the LORD.”  This means it is set apart for God.  It belongs to God.

4.     God calls Jerusalem “the holy city” eight times in the Bible (cf. 52:1). It is set apart from all other cities.  Psalm 48:2 says, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion.”

5.     But the people of Israel (who were supposed to be a holy people) rebelled against God.  Therefore the Lord allowed them to be oppressed by the Egyptians and later on the Assyrians (52:4).

6.     The Lord allowed the Babylonians to come in and destroy both Jerusalem and the temple.

7.     Later on in AD 70, God allowed the Romans to do the same thing. 

8.     When the Israelites were in captivity, their Babylonian oppressors would taunt them (Isa. 52:5; cf. Ezekiel 36:20).  

9.     The apostle Paul referred to this in Romans 2:24, “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you.”



1.     The interpretation: the remnant of saved Israelites will go out all over the world during the millennium proclaiming the good tidings of salvation in Christ (52:7).

2.     The application is found in Romans 10:15.  Today we are to proclaim the good news – the Gospel of Christ – because, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14).

3.     It is the same “good tidings,” the same Gospel of peace.   HA Ironside said, “How fitting it is that these words should come here immediately before Isaiah presents the greatest and most complete Messianic prophecy in all the Old Testament (52:13—53:12), in which we come to the very Holy of Holies” (Isaiah).

4.     The “watchmen” (52:8) will lift up their voices in joyful singing and shouting when the Lord returns to restore Zion.

5.     All the nations of the world, “and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” (52:10).



1.     By repatriation, I mean the return of the Jews to Israel.  God will lead and direct them back to their home land (52:11, 12).

2.     Today there is much controversy regarding Israel and her right to live peaceably within her borders.  However, the Bible is clear about these matters. 

3.     Today, Israel is in their land but in unbelief.  God will continue to chasten them because they have rejected Christ.  But there is a day coming (possibly very soon) when Israel will repent and turn to Christ (cf. Zech. 12:2, 3, 10; 13:1; 14:1-4).

4.     Isaiah 52:11 predicts that the Israelites would be able to leave Babylon with the sacred vessels stolen from the temple by King Nebuchadnezzar.

5.     They were to keep themselves clean – “touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean” (52:11).

6.     Those that “bear the vessels of the LORD” are the priests.  Today we can apply this to anyone who witnesses for Jesus because the NT teaches that all believers are priests.

7.     First Peter 2:5 says we are “an holy priesthood,” and I Peter 2:9 says we are “a royal priesthood.”  Therefore we must keep ourselves clean.

8.     James 1:27 says we are to be “undefiled before God and are to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world.”

9.     Second Corinthians 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

10. God says, “go out with haste” as they head back home to Israel (52:12). 

11. This prophecy looks beyond Israel’s return from the Babylonian captivity to the future restoration of Israel.

12. The Muslims want all the Jews out of the Middle East, but God is going to bring them back home to Israel.



1.     When the Israelites left Egypt, the LORD protected them with the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.

2.     But when the Jews move back into Israel at the second coming of Christ, the LORD Himself will be their rereward (rear guard).

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