A location is personified as a representation of the sum of its inhabitants. Thus, Zion, which is a title given to the Jewish people, the land, the mount in Jerusalem and so on, is the sum of all Israel (ethnic, religious) and her land. She is a parched land, a people in need of redemption, and for her sake God will not keep silent.
Isa 62:1 Lema’an For the sake of Tziyon (Zion, parched land) lo I will not echesheh keep silent, ulema’an and for the sake of Yerushalayim (Flood, downpour of Peace) lo I will not eshkot shut up, ad-yeitzei kanogah tzidkah until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, viyshuatah and her salvation kelapiyd as a torch yivar burning.
“Till I work salvation for Zion, I will give no rest to the nations, until I bring consolation to Jerusalem, I will give no rest to the kingdoms, till her light be revealed as the early dawn, and her salvation shall burn as a lamp.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
As is often the case the question of “who is the speaker?” results in numerous and contrary answers. Iben Ezra suggests that the speaker is corporate Israel in exile in Babylon (Given both the prophetic and historical context his seems extremely unlikely). On the other hand a number of modern scholars, both Jewish and Christian suggest that Isaiah is the speaker (tenable but not consistent with other factors within the parasha [portion]).
In determining the speaker we must look at context (historical, cultural, prophetic etc.), nearest previous subject, inspiration and indeed, the prophet himself. The historical context is pre-exile (Babylon), the locational context is the land of Israel, the prophetic context relates to the redemptive work of God as it is worked out through the Salvation of Israel in the land of Israel. The nearest previous subject is God Himself (Isaiah 61:11), and the prophet is tasked, as always, with relaying the words of God.
Isaiah had no authority nor the means to appoint watchmen on the walls, nor is any man capable of assuring that watchmen will continue to cry out warning perpetually (v.6). It is also said that “The Lord has proclaimed” the salvation of the daughter of Zion to the ends of the land (v.11). Further still, the Hebrew “chashah” (silence) is commonly used of Adonay in reference to Himself when making a proclamation regarding His leaving things as they are (Isa. 65:6; 57:11; 64:11). Therefore, it seems most likely that God Himself is the speaker.
The Targum also supports the understanding that God is the speaker. After all, only God can work salvation for Zion.
With this in mind the text offers a powerful assurance, in the fact that it is God Himself Who will not keep silent, and will appoint others to resonate with that truth from the walls that surround the cities of Israel. In particular, the walls of Jerusalem. I am reminded of the familiar repetition of Pesach:
“God Himself and not a malakh (messenger), God Himself and not a seraph (Angel of fire)…”
“For the sake of Tziyon (Zion, parched land) I will not keep silent”. A location is personified as a representation of the sum of its inhabitants. Thus, Zion, which is a title given to the Jewish people, the land, the mount in Jerusalem and so on, is the sum of all Israel (ethnic, religious) and her land. She is a parched land, a people in need of redemption, and for her sake God will not keep silent.
“And for the sake of Yerushalayim (Flood, downpour of Peace) I will not shut up”. The use of the proper noun Jerusalem is of great significance here. Not only will God not keep silent regarding the entire people of Israel (ethnic, religious) in her parched state, He will further more not shut up until she is redeemed and transformed into her future state in the midst of a flood of peace (Jerusalem). Once again, a city is the sum of its inhabitants, therefore, it is for the sake of the Jews of Jerusalem that HaShem will not shut up.
“until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a torch burning.” Her righteousness is purchased of God and not of herself, for God has said elsewhere that the righteousness of human beings is as used menstrual cloth (Isaiah 64:6). In fact, Israel’s Righteousness, like her Salvation (v.11), is a person. While it is true that the Hebrew text uses the general noun “shuatah” for salvation, it none the less sets up the personification of Salvation in verse 11, where the general noun is used and followed by the phrase “His reward is with Him”. Therefore, it is quite acceptable to understand the present verse as:
“Her Righteousness (Yeshua) goes forth as brightness, and her Salvation (Yeshua) as a torch burning.”
“As a burning torch” This brings to mind the lit torches of the watchmen on the walls that shone across the valleys surrounding the city of Jerusalem, and were at times taken by a watchman to help retrieve returning Jews in the darkness of the night. A watchman was not only responsible for warning of coming danger, he was also responsible for assuring that any Jews returning to the city were afforded light and safe passage through the gates and in behind the city walls. Thus the figurative meaning is profound. Salvation (Yeshua) Himself is the greatest of watchmen and His torch (saving work) is a light of both warning and deliverance that goes out from the walls and into the darkness of the world that surrounds God’s holy City and its people (the Jews).
Ultimately the righteousness and salvation of Jerusalem will shine forth in fullness following the redemption of the entire remnant of ethnic, religious Israel (The Jewish people) [Romans 11:25-26], when the New Jerusalem will come down from the heavens and converge with the existing city (Heb. 11:22; Rev. 21).
Isa 62:2 Vekora goyim And the nations shall see tzidkeich your righteousness, vechol-melachiym and all kings kevodeich your glory, vekora lach sheim chadash and you shall be called by a new name, asher piy which the mouth of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) yikovenu shall pierce you with.
“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and they shall call thee by a new name, which the Word of the Lord shall declare.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The nations will see Yeshua, the righteousness of Israel (ethnic, religious) and the rulers of those nations will be in awe of His glory reflected in the redeemed people of Israel (Modern Jews being the unification of the tribes previously returned from exile to Judah).
“You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) shall pierce you with” The imagery here denotes the application of a piece of bridal jewellery to the nose of the bride (Ezekiel 16:12; Genesis 24:22-31). Thus, the new name given to the people of Israel is symbolic of her position as bride of God. The giving of the new name also reflects the journey of Jacob and his wrestling with the man (Yeshua), God manifest (Gen. 32). This famous Torah account concludes with the renaming of Jacob (A Follower who struggles). Thus, through submitting to the man (God with us: Yeshua) Jacob is renamed (By that same One) Yisra-El (Overcomes in God). Therefore, the new name given to Israel, spoken by the mouth of HaShem, will reflect her redemption through His King Messiah Yeshua. Israel (ethnic, religious) will look upon the one Whom we have pierced and grieve as one mourns for an only son (Zech. 12:10).
It is interesting to note that the Targum alludes to the Word (Davar: John 1) of the Lord as being the origin of the declaration of Israel’s (Jerusalem’s, Zion’s) new name.
So what will the new name be? The truth is that there are numerous possibilities but no certainties. The new name will relate to the redeemed nature of the city of Jerusalem made one with the New Jerusalem, in which God Himself and the Lamb Yeshua will dwell and provide the city with light (Rev. 21:22-23). The last new name for Jerusalem mentioned in the Tanakh (OT) is found in Ezekiel.
“It will be 18,000 cubits all around. From that day on, the name of the city will be: ‘YHVH Shammah Adonai Is There.’” -Ezekiel 48:35
Isa 62:3 Vehayiyt And it will come to pass that you will be ateret a crown tiferet of splendour beyad-YHVH in the hand of HaShem, utzeniyf meluchah and a royal diadem bechaf-Elohayich in the palm of your God.
Israel (ethnic, religious) will be a crown revealing God’s glorious redemptive work and will be held by God’s mighty (hand) protection. Additionally she will be carefully cradled in the open palm of God’s hand as a treasured possession, protected and tenderly loved. Therefore, the themes of fierce protection and tender love are conveyed in the nuanced use of the Hebrew yad and chaf.
The Hebrew tzeniyf is used of both the headdress of the high priest (Ex. 28:4; Zech. 3:5) and of the king (Ezk. 21:26). Therefore, the redemption of Israel’s calling as a nation of priests is rendered in figurative language. There is also a connection to the unification of the kingship and priesthood of Israel in our King Messiah Yeshua.
Isa 62:4 Lo yei’ameir lach od You will not be spoken of any longer as azuvah forsaken; uleartzeich lo yei’ameir od neither will your land be spoken of any longer as being shemamah desolate: Kiy lach for you shall yikarei be called Cheftzi-vah (My delight is in her), uleartzeich and your land Be’ulah (Married one, possession, has a Husband); kiy-chafeitz YHVH for HaShem delights in you, ve’artzeich and your land shall tiba’eil be married (ruled over, have a Husband).
Zion herself had complained that she had been forsaken by God:
“But Zion said, HaShem has forsaken me, and Adonay has forgotten me.” -Isaiah 49:14
Earlier Isaiah prophecies the word of the Lord acknowledging that Israel has been left desolate as a result of her sin, and making a similar promise to that of the present verse:
“Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.” -Isaiah 60:15
“You will not be spoken of any longer as azuvah forsaken”. This is a reference to an estranged or divorced wife and is consistent with the bridal language used throughout chapters 61 and 62.
“neither will your land be spoken of any longer as being shemamah desolate”. The land is personified here as a barren woman, no longer fruit bearing, desolate.
“for you shall yikarei be called Cheftzi-vah (My delight is in her), uleartzeich and your land Be’ulah (Married one, possession, has a Husband)” Now the figurative language takes on a redemptive quality. The people once forsaken (divorced) is now called the delight of her husband, and the land once barren (desolate, fruitless) is now called a married woman. The role of the ancient Jewish groom and husband was to care for and provide for His bride, wife. Therefore, in the arms of a righteous husband a woman was highly valued, protected, delighted in, adored, given fruitful land and shelter for her progeny. How wicked our generation has become, that we should rob women of the very thing they desire most, to be cared for, protected, provided for and made fruitful. Instead our women spurn the roles of creation and our men take no responsibility for their depraved actions, resulting in the objectification of women and the demeaning of men and the rapid decay of western civilization. A society once founded on Biblical morality.
If, as some conjecture, the king of Judah at this time was Manasseh, the use of the name Cheftzivah is a strong indictment against Manasseh’s evil choices given that He was born to a mother of the same name:
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hephzibah.” -2 Kings 21:1
“For HaShem delights in you, and your land shall be married (ruled over, have a Husband).” We are reminded that at the time of this prophecy Israel’s behaviour was far from delightful, and yet HaShem saw her redeemed outside of time and space through the blood of His Son the King Messiah, Israel’s Salvation. Therefore, He delights in her redeemed future self, a bride made pure and dressed to adorn her Husband’s arm.
Notice that the land of Israel is intrinsically connected to her redemption and marriage to HaShem. He has promised the land through Abraham and will bring the full bride price to the wedding feast. Redeemed Israel (ethnic, religious) will inhabit the new land, transformed through the vicarious work of the King Messiah.
Isa 62:5 Kiy For yival bachur as a young man marries betulah a virgin, yivaluch banayich so shall your sons marry you; umesos and rejoicing chatan as the bridegroom -kalah over the bride, yasiys alayich Elohayich so shall your God rejoice over you.
The meaning is that of devotion in the first love of youth. The sons of Redeemed Israel will so delight in being part of the people of Israel that they will be like excited grooms pursuing their brides. Likewise, God Himself will rejoice over Israel (ethnic, religious) as a Groom over His bride. This language is reminiscent of but not the same as that of Revelation 21:2; 22:17 where the New Jerusalem is called the bride of Messiah. A city is the sum of its inhabitants and the sum of the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem will include goyim as well as Jews. However, the present verse specifically refers to ethnic, religious Jews redeemed through Messiah, and the location, while it includes Jerusalem, is none the less the entire land of Israel promised and delivered to Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen).
Isa 62:6 Al-chomotayich Upon your walls Yerushalayim, hifkadtiy I have set shomeriym guardians (watchmen); kol-hayom all day ve’kol-halaylah and all night tamid perpetually lo yecheshu they shall never be silent: hamazkiriym the remembrances et YHVH of HaShem (Mercy) al-domiy lachem don’t you cease!
“Upon your walls Yerushalayim I have set shomeriym guardians (watchmen)” The speaker is HaShem, He alone is qualified to appoint perpetual guardians on the walls of Jerusalem. The use of the Hebrew shomeriym guardians from shomer guard, (keep), illuminates the role of watchman. A watchman of the walls of Jerusalem was by necessity a Jew, a sabra (born of the land) and was appointed by the head watchman under the ruler of the city guard and ultimately at the order of the king of Judah (Israel). A Gentile could not perform this role because a Gentile does not have a blood connection to the people and the land, nor does he (generally and contextually speaking) have a connection to the God of Israel (except through Messiah) and is therefore more likely to flee at the slightest sign of trouble.
“All day and all night perpetually they shall never be silent: the remembrances of HaShem (Mercy) don’t you cease observing them!”
These particular watchmen are appointed in every generation: they never fail to warn the city of coming danger, nor do these watchmen ever forsake the remembrances of HaShem (Shabbaot, moedim Festivals, regaliym and Temple service of worship). Therefore, these are watchmen over both the physical and spiritual well-being of Israel (ethnic, religious). They are not silent when the people prosper (day), nor do they fail to warn the people when they pursue evil (night). Like HaShem Who chose them they are always working (John 5:17).
The word shomer is used to refer to many religious obligations in Judaism. We are to shomer Shabbat, guard or keep the Shabbat. We practice shomer Torah, the keeping or guarding of the Torah and so on. The watchmen being referred to here are not only looking out for coming trouble, they are also tasked with thwarting the trouble which results from the sin of the people. They do this through the maintaining of the Instruction (Torah) of HaShem, in worship, observances, remembrance of His mighty deeds and vigilant purity. A watchman is responsible for proclaiming the Word of HaShem in every generation. In fact, Isaiah is one such watchman and the prophets of Israel are his co-workers. However, the watchman is not responsible for the response of the people. Their choice for or against God is their own.
“Do not be as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets cried, saying, ‘Thus says Adonai of hosts, “Return you now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, says Adonai.’” -Zechariah 1:4
The watchmen that succeeded the time of captivity in Babylon were:
“Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Haggai stands upon the walls of Jerusalem, and proclaims the glory of the second temple as surpassing that of the first. Zechariah points from Joshua and Zerubbabel onwards to the sprout of the Lord, who is priest and prince in one person, and builds the true temple of God. Malachi predicts the coming of the Lord to His temple, and the rising of the Sun of righteousness. Under the eyes of these prophets the city of God rose up again, and they stand upon its pinnacles, and look thence into the glorious future that awaits it, and hasten its approach through the word of their testimony. Such prophets, who carry the good of their people day and night upon their anxious praying hearts, does Jehovah give to the Jerusalem after the captivity, which is one in the prophet's view with the Jerusalem of the last days.” -Keil & Delitzsch
These watchmen are the righteous counterparts of the previously mentioned unrighteous watchmen:
“His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.” -Isaiah 56:10
Isa 62:7 Ve’al titenu domiy and give Him no rest, lo ad yechonein till He establishes, ve’al yasiym and till He makes et-Yerushalayim tehilah a praise ba’aretz in the land.
It is m Who the prophets are to give no rest. He has instructed them to be advocates in the likeness of His Son the King Messiah, the greatest of advocates. What awesome hope for Israel (ethnic, religious) and for all the earth. For the watchmen of God will not stop crying out to Him until He establishes the city of His glory, the city where Peace Himself brings a flood of wholeness, well-being and eternal peace. The capital city of the Jewish people and the location of the eternal Jerusalem which comes down from the heavens. All the land of Israel, meaning all her tribes collectively will look to their capital and hear her praises as a result of the redemptive work of the King Messiah.
“But Yeshua answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now [He has never ceased working], and I too am working.’” – John 5:17
Isa 62:8 Nishba YHVH HaShem (Mercy) has sworn biymiyno by his right hand, uvizroa uzi and by the arm of His strength, im-etein Surely I will no longer give et-deganeich your wheat to be od again ma’achal food leoyevayich for your enemies; ve’im-yishtu veneiy-neichar and sons of strangers shall not drink tiyrosheich your new wine, yaga’at bo for which you have laboured:
Make no mistake, the context makes Israel the recipient of this promise (not the Church). HaShem has sworn that never again will foreign nations steal the harvest and posterity of the Jewish people. We will no longer labour in vain. Therefore, Iben Ezra is right in saying:
“This verse also proves clearly, that this prophecy refers to the time yet to come; for the Lord hath sworn, that is, has made an unconditional decree. By His right hand. By His might, which is everlasting. The right hand is mentioned here to indicate His power of preventing enemies despoiling the Israelites of their corn, etc.”
The doubling of the right hand and strong arm firmly establishes this promise.
Isa 62:9 Kiy For me’asfayv they that have gathered it yocheluhu shall eat it, vehillu and praise et HaShem (YHVH: Mercy); umekabetzayv and they that have gathered it yishtuhu shall drink it bechatzrot in the courts kodshiy of My sanctuary.
The food gathered and eaten in the courts of the Temple refers to festival foods and the ritual offerings of the Temple cult along with the tithes for the Levites etc. rather than to all the food gathered (Deut. 14:22-27, 29). The connecting of the harvest to the Temple worship shows a link between spiritual renewal and agricultural prosperity.
Isa 62:10 Ivru ivru Go through, go through basheariym in the gates; panu clear you derech a way ha’am for the tribe; solu solu lift up, lift up hamsilah the highway; sakelu throw stones; mei’even from the stone hariymu the raising up neis of a sign (a miracle. A banner) al-ha’amiym upon the tribes.
This is interpreted by some to refer to the gates of Israel’s captivity but seems more likely to refer to the clearing of a way into the gates of the city of Jerusalem upon the return of the exiles via the highway that is to be built up as prophesied previously:
“And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people, that shall remain, from Assyria; like as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” -Isaiah 11:16
“And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for: the wayfaring men, yes, fools shall not go about on it.” -Isaiah 35:8
“The voice of one that cries, ‘Prepare you in the wilderness the way of Adonay; make level in the desert a highway for our God.’” -Isaiah 40:3
“And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted.” -Isaiah 49:11
“And He will say, ‘Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of My people.’” -Isaiah 57:14
“mei’even from the stone hariymu the raising up neis of a sign (a miracle. A banner) al-ha’amiym upon the tribes.” This miraculous sign (neis) will be raised up from the stone (even) as a means of drawing the tribes of Israel in returning to Hashem. The Hebrew amiym is poorly translated by those who render “peoples”. In this context it clearly refers to the tribes of Israel as distinct from the goyim, or else why does it not say goyim? This sign is of course the Messiah Himself, lifted up on the cross for all to see, and, He being the foundation, corner, and cap stone (Ha-even) [as well as the stone on which one is broken and under which the other is crushed], is both the One through Whom all things are created (John 1; Colossians 1: Jewish tradition also teaches that the universe was created through the stone [Ha-even] on the Temple mount [Moriah] in Jerusalem), and the firstborn from the dead, the Salvation of Israel and the hope of the nations.
Note the distinction in the following verses regarding the goyim (nations) and the amiym (tribes), Israel, Judah. It is not to say that the sign is only for the tribes of Israel but rather that the sign of Messiah has a unique instantaneous national redemptive outcome with regard to Israel (Romans 11:25-26). Whereas it brings the nations in their fullness over a predetermined period of time prior to the great salvation (through Yeshua the King Messiah) of the entire remnant of the Jewish people.
“He will raise a sign la-goyim for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the land.” -Isaiah 11:12
“Thus says the Lord YHVH: ‘Behold, I will lift up My hand to the goyim nations, and raise My sign to the amiym tribes; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.” -Isaiah 49:22
Isa 62:11 Hineih Behold, now, pay attention! HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) hishmiya el-ketzeh has demanded that the extremity of ha’aretz the land hear, imru Say you lebat-Tziyon to the daughter of Zion, Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, yisheich your salvation ba comes; Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, secharo His reward ito is with Him, ufeulato and His recompense (repayment) lefanayv is before His face.
As always the use of Hineih is a call to attention. HaShem demands that all the tribes of Israel hear and take note. Even to the very extremity of the land of Israel. How do we know that the land of Israel is meant and not the earth entirely? Because the message is to the daughter of Zion, and the closest previous subject is the tribes of Israel.
The daughter of Zion is now called to pay attention. “yisheich your salvation ba comes”…
“Hineih Behold, now, pay attention, secharo His reward ito is with Him, ufeulato and His recompense (reward) lefanayv is before His face.”
Zion’s Salvation is a Him. Therefore, yeshuah the noun is revealed as Yeshua the Person, some 700 years before the entry into time and space of the King Messiah Yeshua.
Yeshua (Salvation) comes to Zion with reward for the repentant and recompense for the wicked. Therefore, this speaks of His second coming.
Isa 62:12 Vekareu And they shall call them am-hakodesh The holy tribe, geuleiy redeemed of Hashem (YHVH: Mercy): veloch and you Yikarei derushah shall be called Sought out, iyr lo ne’ezavah a city not forsaken.
“They” are those who look on and see the redemption of the entire remnant of Israel (ethnic, religious) at the end of the age. They will call them “The Holy Tribe”, “Redeemed of YHVH”, and Jerusalem (that is the New Jerusalem) will be called “Sought Out”, “A City Not Forsaken”!
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” -Isaiah 2:2
“In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honour of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.” -Isaiah 4:2-6
Copyright Yaakov Brown 2019
The garment of praise is not, as some foolishly suggest, a mechanism for deliverance, rather it is the garment that clothes us after we are delivered. The praises of men toward God do not deliver, to the contrary, Messiah is the deliverer and praise is the fruit of lips that have been.
Isaiah 60 speaks of the redemption, restoration, increase and illumination of Israel through her Moshieich (Savior), God (YHVH) Himself, both Sender (Elohiym) and Sent (Imanu-El, Yeshua), the Redeemer of Israel. Now, in short, Isaiah 61 reveals both the Person and the outworking of Israel’s Salvation.
For many of our rabbis and for some liberal Christian scholars there may be some debate as to who is speaking in the opening verses of Isaiah 61. The most common suggestion being that Isaiah himself is the speaker. However, for the true follower of Yeshua (Jesus) the King Messiah, there can be no doubt as to Who the speaker is. Reading in His boyhood synagogue in Nazareth Yeshua reads the words of Isaiah 61:1-3 and claims that they are fulfilled in Him (Luke 4:14:28). This is of great significance to the Jewish reader who is familiar with the idea of a Torah cycle and the Haf-Tarah (Literally “completion of the Torah”, a portion selected from the prophets and writings) readings that correspond to specific Torah passages. An early tradition of making commentary on both portions developed in the first century and is still present in the rabbinical practice of today. This commentary following the Torah and Haf-Tarah readings is known as a Davar Torah (Word of the Torah), and makes a cohesive illumination of the theme that the two portions share in common. It is interesting to note that in the first century CE/AD, the Word (Davar: John 1) of God Himself shared a Davar Torah following His reading of the passage we are now examining.
During the time of Yeshua (1 Century AD/CE) the Torah cycle was read over a three-year (triennial) period and included many Haf-Tarah readings that have since been discarded to make way for the yearly Torah cycle of modern rabbinic Judaism which had been developed by the rabbis in the Babylonian diaspora, while the more ancient triennial tradition continued to be used in Israel, Egypt and northern Africa until the annual cycle became universal in approximately 1100 CE/AD following the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD/CE and the subsequent need for Judaism to reinvent itself due to an inability to perform the rites of the Temple sacrificial system prescribed in the Torah.
While there are some similarities between the two Torah cycle traditions there are also many major differences. The later annual Torah cycle has clearly been derived from the earlier triennial tradition, however the Haf-Tarah portions are completely different.
In the more modern annual rabbinical tradition, largely but not solely due to history and dispersion, the assigned readings from the Prophets focus on Israel’s past, connecting the events in the Torah with other historical accounts in Scripture. However, in the more ancient triennial tradition, the Haf-Tarah readings were often focused on the future redemption of Israel and the reign of the King Messiah. Therefore, the emphasis of the Haf-Tarah readings during the time of Yeshua’s ministry on earth (first Century CE) was on the coming deliverance of Israel and on the King Messiah and His reign.
It is thought by scholars that the triennial reading tradition was still developing in the first century CE/AD. However, this cannot be known for certain. Some believe that during that period, it was up to the one chosen for the aliyah (going up, as a reader of the scrolls) to choose the prophetic passage he would read (women were not permitted to read publicly in this historical context).
We may deduce from the 3rd century lists compiled by scholars [Charles Perrot, p 137-159, in Mikra (Compendia Rerum Iudiacarum ad Novum Testamentum), (Van Gorcum) 1988)], that the Haf-Tarah passage often began by reiterating the phrasing or the theme of the words read from the Torah portion (a “gezerah shavah“ [The gezerah shavah ("Similar laws, similar verdicts") is the second rule of Hillel and of Rabbi Ishmael in Talmudic hermeneutics]). This would be followed by what is known today as the Davar Torah (Word of the Torah), which, as I explained previously, is a short sermon expounding the theme of the Torah and Haf-Tarah portions. Thus, the reader would make an oral commentary on the Torah and end with a promise of God’s coming redemption.
For example, when Genesis 1 was read, the traditional triennial Haf-Tarah was Isaiah 65:17-25:
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or [a]come to mind…
‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’
Says the Lord.” -Isaiah 65:17, 25 (NKJV)
We note that the Haf-Tarah passage begins by echoing the theme of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and then ends with a promise of the New Creation. Therefore, it is very likely that as the ancient Jews meditated on the mighty acts of redemption God had performed for Israel in the past, they were also looking ahead to the future redemption God had promised through His prophets.
On the other hand (and without contradicting the aforementioned practice), it is quite possible, that the triennial readings had developed into a semi-standardized cycle, which means that Yeshua needed to be at the synagogue in Natzaret (Nazareth, Yeshua’s home town) at the right point in the Torah cycle and be invited to make aliyah (going up) to the bimah (pulpit) to read the Haf-Tarah portion (This was not a given, because the Jewish community of Yeshua’s childhood synagogue may have had an order of aliyot). Of course, it is most likely that being a member of His home town synagogue He was familiar with the aliyot protocol and intentionally made sure to be at the shul on the Shabbat assigned to Him for aliyot. If, as some suggest, Yeshua simply chose a Haf-Tarah portion, we may still ask, “To what Torah portion might it have related?”
It’s difficult to know which Torah portion Isaiah 61 might have correlated to, however, the most trustworthy 3rd to 7th Century CE/AD listing of the triennial readings compiled by scholars [Charles Perrot, p 137-159, in Mikra (Compendia Rerum Iudiacarum ad Novum Testamentum), (Van Gorcum) 1988)] suggest that Isaiah 61:1-3 was read as one of the parts of the Haf-Tarah portion for Genesis 28 – 29:31 (The other part being 1 Samuel 1:2), and Isaiah 61:1-9 was read following Isaiah 43:1-21 as the Haf-Tarah portion for Genesis 33:1 – 35:9.
Based on the aforementioned triennial listings the Torah portion prior to Yeshua’s reading of Isaiah 61:1-2 would have either concerned the now famous story of Jacob’s ladder (a figure of the Messiah), ending with the opening of Leah’s womb:
“Now Adonai saw that Leah was unloved, so he opened her womb;” -Genesis 29:31
Or, the portion concerning Jacob’s reconciliation to Esau, the rape of Dinah and Jacobs return to Bethel and to Paddan-aram, ending with the words:
“God appeared to Jacob again, after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.” -Genesis 35:9
The former seems the more likely candidate because it relates thematically to the revelation of the figure for Messiah (Jacob’s ladder) and the good news being proclaimed to the humble (poor of spirit), a barren Leah, a matriarch of Israel.
While we can gain some interesting insights based on these possibilities, we cannot solidify our understanding beyond conjecture.
What we know for certain is that Yeshua read Isaiah 61:1-2 and said that it had been fully filled in the ears of those who heard Him read it as a prophetic reference to Himself, the Servant Redeemer of God sent to set Israel free both physically and spiritually, stood in His boyhood synagogue and read the words He authored through the prophet Isaiah some 730 years prior to being born into time and space.
“14 Yeshua returned in the power of the Ruach to the Galilee, and news about Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone was praising Him. 16 And He came to Natzeret, where He had been raised. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and He got up to read. 17 When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Ruach Adonai is on me,
because He has anointed me
to proclaim Good News to the poor.
He has sent me[f] to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set free the oppressed,
19 and to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.”[g]
20 He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him. 21 Then He began to tell them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”22 All were speaking well of Him and marveling at the gracious words coming out of His mouth. And they were saying, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”23 But He said to them, “Doubtless you will say to Me this proverb, ‘Doctor, heal yourself!’ and ‘What we have heard was done at Capernaum, do as much here also in your hometown.’”24 But He said, “Truly, I tell you, ‘No prophet is accepted in his own hometown.’ 25 But with all truthfulness I say to you, that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when heaven was closed for three and a half years and there came a great famine over all the land. 26 Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a widowed woman. [h] 27 There were many with tzara’at in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them were purified apart from Naaman the Syrian.”[i]28 Now all in the synagogue were filled with rage upon hearing these things. 29 Rising up, they drove Him out of the town and brought Him as far as the edge of the mountain on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him off the cliff. 30 But passing through the middle of them, He went on His way.” -Luke 4:14-28 (TLV)
We must also remember that Yeshua was prophesied as a netzer branch (the root for the noun Natzaret) by the prophet Isaiah:
“And he went and lived in a city called Natzeret,[a] to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that Yeshua shall be called a Natzrati.” -Matthew 22:23 (TLV)
“Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse,
and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots.” -Isaiah 11:1 (TLV)
Isa 61:1 Ruach The Spirit Adonay of the Lord (Master) HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) is alay upon me; ya’an because mashach HaShem (YHVH) otiy the LORD has anointed me le’vaseir to bear good news anaviym to the poor, meek, humble, afflicted; shelachaniy he has sent me lachavosh to bind up (bandage, govern) lenishbereiy-leiv the heart broken into pieces, likro to proclaim lishvuyim to the captives deror flowing liberty, vela’asuriym and to the those bound (in prison) pekach-koach a wide opening;
While Isaiah is prophesying these words by the Spirit of God, he cannot be the subject of them. The speaker uses language related to priesthood and kingship (anointed) and proclaims a work of HaShem that is beyond the means and application of any normal human being. No prophet of Israel ever spoke this way of himself, however, many spoke in these terms concerning HaShem. Therefore, the speaker can be none other than God with us (Imanu-El, Yeshua), the Servant of God spoken of in the previous chapters of Isaiah’s scroll (Isa.42:1; 50:4-5). Isaiah was not capable of binding up the broken hearts of Israel, nor is any man: only God Himself could do that, and through His death and resurrection the King Messiah Yeshua has done and continues to do that very thing for all who receive Him.
In fact, Isaiah prophecies concerning the Servant King Messiah saying:
“And there shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of Adonai shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai.” -Isaiah 11:1-2
Therefore, the Spirit of the Lord is to rest upon the Servant King Messiah, Who is of the lineage of Jesse. Isaiah is of Judah but not of the lineage of Jesse, thus, he does not qualify as the speaker of the opening words of Isaiah 61 based on the pretext of Isaiah 11:1-2.
The Hebrew mashach (anointed) is the root from which we derive the Hebrew Mashiach (anointed one). While it can refer to any anointed one, it here refers specifically to the King Messiah, as He Himself testifies (Luke 4:14-28).
“le’vaseir to bear good news anaviym to the poor, meek, humble, afflicted” The best reading of anaviym in this context is “humble” or “poor of spirit”, “contrite” (Matt. 5:3).
“shelachaniy he has sent me lachavosh to bind up (bandage, govern) lenishbereiy-leiv the heart broken into pieces,” We note that the anointed One will bandage and bind up broken hearts, a physical impossibility, making the language figurative. Thus, the subsequent captivity is also symbolic of something that keeps the inner person captive.
“likro to proclaim lishvuyim to the captives deror flowing liberty, vela’asuriym and to the those bound (in prison) pekach-koach a wide opening;” While it is true that this has immediate significance regarding the historical captivities of Israel, it is none the less a proclamation of freedom from spiritual imprisonment, Israel’s, and humanity’s captivity to sin and its resulting death. This is consistent with the prior allusion to humble (repentant) ones and broken hearted ones. More importantly, it is made clear by Messiah Himself when He proclaims this same liberty to the members of His childhood synagogue in Nazareth. In another sense “captivity” is a reference to the nation and “bondage” to the ties that bind the individual member of the nation.
“And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall be shown mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” -Matthew 5:2-12 (TLV)
Isa 61:2 Likro to proclaim shenat-ratzin a year acceptable la’YHVH to HaShem (Mercy), veyom and a day of nakam vengeance leiloheiynu of our God; lenacheim to comfort (console) kol-aveiliym all who are in mourning;
“for in my wrath I struck you, but in my acceptance I have had mercy on you.” -Isaiah 60:10
It is important to note that there is a reversal in order of acceptance and vengeance (wrath being the enacting of vengeance). In the present verse the acceptable year refers to the time frame of repentant Israel’s (and humanity’s) redemption. This of course is alluded to by Yeshua in Luke 4: He was beginning with Israel and would continue with her even into the olam haba (world to come). This is followed by the day of God’s vengeance. In Hebrew Yom Ha-Din (Day of the Judgement). This vengeance will be meted out against sin and death and against Satan and his minions, along with all who have refused God’s grace. Notice that the acceptance of God is offered over a lengthy span (year) while His vengeance is just and brief (a day).
The speaker (Servant King Messiah) uses inclusive language, acknowledging that He is of the people of Israel (ethnic, religious), saying, “Our God”. He has come to comfort the persecuted, wandering, tormented and previously, seemingly abandoned people of Israel who sit in mourning with ashes on their heads awaiting the redemption of Adonai.
Isa 61:3 Lasum to appoint (place, set) la’aveileiy to those that mourn, Tziyon Zion (Parched land), lateit to give lahem to them pe’eir an ornamental headdress tachat instead of eifer ashes, shemen oil sason of joy tachat instead of eivel mourning, ma’ateih a garment tehilah of praise tachat instead of ruach a spirit keihah of fainting (dullness, dimness, colourless, darkness); ve’kora lahem and they will be called eiyleiy rams (figuratively: trees) of ha-tzedek the righteous One, mata a planting of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), lehitpaeir to His glorification, adornment and beauty.
“to appoint (place, set) la’aveileiy to those that mourn, Tziyon Zion (Parched land)” The anointed One is appointed by God to comfort the mourners of Zion (Israel, ethnic, religious).
“to give lahem to them pe’eir an ornamental headdress tachat instead of eifer ashes” The Hebrew pe’eir (headdress) is also used in verse 10 and is a reference to the ancient Jewish wedding custom of a bride wearing an ornamented headdress in anticipation of receiving her husband. This custom was abandoned by many Jews following the destruction of the Temple at which time traditions remembering that destruction were added to the Jewish wedding ceremony, such as the breaking of the glass etc. However, many Mizrachiym (eastern Jews from Iran, Iraq) still practice this ancient bridal tradition today, donning exotic bejewelled headdress for the wedding ceremony.
The ashes here are of course the ashes of mourning rubbed on the head of the mourner, blackening the hair and skin and removing all sheen and glory from the person who mourns. In the case of women, because their hair is their glory (1 Cor. 11:3-16), the desecration of it was their shame and the redemption of it became their joy.
“shemen oil sason of joy tachat instead of eivel mourning, ma’ateih” The Anointed One has been appointed to anoint others with oil (The Spirit). In fact, He will deliver those who mourn and give them the oil of His Spirit and of joy in the place of their mourning. There mourning having been a result of their sin and their joy the fruit of their deliverance through the Servant King Messiah.
“a garment tehilah of praise tachat instead of ruach a spirit keihah of fainting (dullness, dimness, colourless, darkness)” The Hebrew keihah while it could be considered representative of heaviness, depression etc. also carries the idea of fainting caused by an inability or choosing not to see. The body made colourless, fainting into darkness is used as a figure for the failing spirit of the sin affected human being. It is from this state that the Anointed One delivers a person and clothes that person with a garment of praise. The garment of praise is not, as some foolishly suggest, a mechanism for deliverance, rather it is the garment that clothes us after we are delivered. The praises of men toward God do not deliver, to the contrary, Messiah is the deliverer and praise is the fruit of lips that have been delivered. Therefore, the garment of praise of the present verse is intrinsically linked to the garment of salvation of verse 10.
“and they will be called eiyleiy rams (figuratively: trees) of ha-tzedek the righteousness One, mata a planting of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), lehitpaeir to His glorification, adornment and beauty.” Those who mourn in Zion will be called “Strong trees of the Righteous One”, in other words, “Followers of the Anointed King Messiah”, having been predestined, a planting of YHVH, for the purpose of glorifying and adorning Him as Husband to Israel.
"That He might be glorified" -Isaiah 61:3c
Not that we might be delivered, rather, that in His deliverance of us, He might be glorified.
Isa 61:4 Uvanu And they shall build, establish, cause to continue, charevot olam the ancient ruins, shomemot desolations, yekomeimu they shall raise up vechideshu and repair, renew, make new, chorev dry (drought ridden) shomemot desolations (desolate and abandoned cities), of dor va’dor generation upon generation (many generations).
The children of Israel will return and rebuild the ancient ruins of Israel’s cities, especially the city of Zion, Jerusalem. This of course had an historical fulfilment following Israel’s return from Babylon, and more recently in the return of Jews from all over the world to the modern state of Israel. But as is so often the case, it is yet to be truly and fully filled. We note that “they shall raise up and renew the dry abandoned places of many generations”. This is an allusion to the redemptive power of the Anointed One, Who is the goal of the Torah (given at Chorev) [Romans 10:4].
Ha-Chorev (Horeb) is the place of the giving of the Torah. It is also known as Har Ha-Elohiym (The Mountain of the Lord), and is of course synonymous with Har Siynay (Sinai)
Isa 61:5 Ve’amedu And standing, zariym strangers (estranged ones) verau will tend (graze) tzonchem your flocks, u’veneiy neichar and the sons of foreigners ikareiychem will be your plowmen vechoremeiychem and your vine-dressers.
This is similar to the words of Isaiah 60:10, and refers to the fact that Gentiles who have come to faith in Messiah Yeshua will work together in harmony with the ethnic, religious children of Israel the Jews. This stands as a warning to those Christians who resist God’s continued purposes for Israel. Those who claim to be Christ followers but are actively resisting the people of Israel are living in direct contradiction to the role given to redeemed Gentiles, and therefore, prove themselves to be unredeemed.
Isa 61:6 Ve’atem And you (plural) Kohaneiy priests of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) tikarei’u will be called; meshareteiy ministers (servants) Eloheiynu of our God yei’ameir they will call lachem you: cheiyl the wealth, strength goyim of the nations’ tocheilu you shall eat, uvichvodam and in their glory tityamaru you will boast (change places).
“And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” -Exodus 19:6 (NKJV)
As a result of the Gentiles provoking of the Jewish people to Jealousy over the Jewish Messiah Yeshua (Rom. 10:19; 11:11, 14), Those Jews who have not already received Him will turn in repentance and come into the role they were always intended for as ministers and priests to the nations.
The expression “our God” once again reveals the Jewish identity of the Anointed one. It may also be taken to illuminate the unity that will develop between Jew and Gentile through Messiah.
The term meshareteiy ministers (servants) refers to servants of higher function and affirms the role of Israel as humble spiritual servant to the nations.
Isa 61:7 Tachat Instead of bashetechem your shame mishneh double; uchelimah and instead of confusion, disgrace, dishonour, yaronu they shall overcome chelkam in their portion (territory): lachein therefore, be’artzam in their land mishneh double yirashu they shall possess; simchat olam joy everlasting tiheyeh lahem has come to them.
Once put to shame because of her sin and removed from her land, now Israel would receive double honour (the doubling of things denotes that they are firmly established), and in place of her disgraceful captivity she would return to her land and receive her allotted portion in full, according to the covenant cut with Abraham for the land of Israel. This refers to the end of the age and the olam haba (world to come) because Israel’s possession of the promised land is here said to be everlasting.
Notice that the joy has come to them (Israel, ethnic, religious). Israel cannot find joy through her own actions, but joy will find her through the vicarious sacrifice of her King Messiah Yeshua.
Isa 61:8 Kiy For Aniy I, HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), oheiv love mishpat justice, sonei I hate gazeil robbery be’olah with a burnt offering (ascent); venatatiy and I will give fe’ulatam them their recompense be’emet in truth, u’veriyt a covenant olam everlasting echrot I will cut lahem with them.
The Septuagint reads “I hate robbery with iniquity”, but the Masoretic text better fits with the theme of Israel’s syncretised sacrifices which were alluded to in the earlier chapters of the latter part of Isaiah (ex. Isa.58). Therefore, the Masoretic Hebrew reading “I hate gazeil robbery be’olah with a burnt offering (ascent)” better conveys the message that HaShem detests hypocrisy above almost all other forms of human sin. We note that during His earthly ministry it was hypocrisy that Yeshua most often railed against (Matt. 6:2-16; 15:7; 22:18; 23:13-15; 23:23-29; Mark 7:6; Luke 12:56; 13:15).
Up to this point the Anointed One has been identifying with Israel (“Our God”), now He speaks against Israel’s captors and enemies saying “them”, who He will repay for the evil they have committed against His people. But with Israel He will make an everlasting covenant through His own shed blood.
Isa 61:9 Venodah bagoyim And known among the nations zaram will be their seed, vetze’etza’eiyhem and their offspring betoch in the midst ha’amiym of the tribes; kol-ro’eiyhem all who see them yakirum will recognize, acknowledge, and respect them, kiy because hem they zera are the seed beirach blessed by Hashem (YHVH: Mercy).
“Their seed” refers to the closest previous subject Israel (ethnic, religious). Therefore, from this point on “them” in the midst of the tribes or nations are Israel (ethnic, religious).
Notice that the Jewish people (Israel) will be known among the nations, not because of their own merit but because “they are the seed blessed by YHVH”!
Isa 61:10 Sos Exult asiys exulting ba’YHVH in Hashem (Mercy), tageil be joyful nafshiy my soul (entire being) beilohay in my God; kiy because hilbiysaniy he has clothed me bigdeiy-yesa with the garments of salvation, me’iyl a robe tzedakah of righteousness ye’ataniy he has covered me with, kechatan like a bridegroom yechahein acting as priest pe’eir with headdress, vechakalah and a bride ta’deh adorned (advancing) cheileyah with furniture (with vessels, utensils).
“Jerusalem shall say, I will greatly rejoice in the Word of the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in the salvation of my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the upper garment of righteousness, like a bridegroom who is happy in his bride- chamber, and like the high priest who decketh himself with his robes, and like a bride who is adorned with her jewels.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The Targum’s phrasing lends itself to be understood in the same way that Yochanan (John) understands Yeshua (Salvation) as the Davar (Word, essence) through Whom all is created. Therefore, we Messiah followers might read the Targum this way:
“City where Peace pours down and floods, you will say, ‘I will greatly rejoice in Yeshua Who is of YHVH (Mercy), my entire being will be joyful in the Yeshua (Salvation) of my Elohim (God, Judge); for He has clothed me with the garments of Yeshua (Salvation)…”
In response to the words of the Anointed One the prophet now speaks on behalf of all Israel. He exults exceedingly in Hashem and instructs his own soul to be joyful in his God because he understands that both he and all of future redeemed Israel will become like a bride anew, clothed with the garments of salvation (provided by the Saviour). As a result of the work of the Anointed one the prophet and his people will be robed in the righteousness of God with the Anointed One acting as her High Priest. Israel will wear the ancient headdress of the Jewish bride who awaits her Groom, holding her gifts and the vessels of worship in anticipation of her Kingly High Priest Yeshua.
Isa 61:11 Kiy For cha’aretz as the land totziy tzimchah brings forth its sprout, u’cheganah and as the garden (orchard) zeru’eiha tatzmiyach causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; kein yes, Adonay the Lord Hashem (YHVH: Mercy) yatzmiach tzedakah will cause righteousness to spring forth utehilah and praise neged conspicuously in front of kol-ha-goyim all the nations.
The righteousness of God will be made manifest in Israel (both the people and the land) to such a profound degree that it will seem as natural and abundant as the seasonal sprouting of vegetation from the earth and the rich harvest of a well-tended garden. Israel’s redemption in Hashem through Yeshua the King Messiah will be conspicuous to all the nations.
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me [a]void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” -Isaiah 55:10-12 (NKJV)
© 2019 Yaakov Brown
The created darkness is banished by the pre-existent (uncreated) light (of God), Who is God with us the King Messiah and Light of the world.
Isa 60:1 Kumiy Get up (arising), Oriy shine; kiy va oreich for your light is come, uchevod and the glory of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) alayich upon you zarach rises, breaks out.
“Arise, shine, Jerusalem, for the time of thy redemption is come, and the glory of the Lord is revealed upon thee.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
This is being spoken to “Jacob” (59:20-21), who is the closest preceding subject. To Jacob’s seed (59:21) generationally, meaning always spoken to Jacob’s seed. That is, to the ethnic, religious, empirical children of Israel, the Jews.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: perpetually first for the Jew, and also perpetually for the Gentile.” -Romans 1:16
The idea of Israel’s redemption both physical and spiritual is implicit in the text and is illuminated by the Targum. In the context of the prophet’s time the physical redemption relates to Israel’s pursuant return from Babylonian captivity. However, in the prophetic present (past, present, future) the prophet is clearly speaking of the redemptive work of the Messiah, Who is implicitly referred to in 59:21 as the “Word”, and is known in Scripture as “Or Ha-olam: The Light of the World” (Yochanan [John] 8:12).
What light is come? The light of the Redeemer (59:20). To whom has this light come? To Zion, to Jacob (Israel, ethnic, religious), to Jerusalem (Targum). To what is this light likened? To the glory of HaShem. And where is the light situated? Upon Israel (ethnic, religious). What is the result of the light which is manifest in and upon Israel? The rebellion of Jacob is turned back (59:20), and Israel is to “get up” and “shine” that same light to the nations. What does God promise? To make a covenant of peace, to pour out His Spirit (Acts 2) upon Israel and put His Word (John 1:1) everlasting in her mouth (59:21).
Israel (ethnic, religious, chosen, set apart) was chosen before the creation of the world to be a light to the nations through her perfect representative, the Servant Redeemer Yeshua, the King Messiah. The King Messiah and Redeemer was to come from her and thus turn her away from rebellion against God. As a result His redemptive work is to be made known to all humanity.
“Listen to me, distant nations,
you people who live far away!
Before I was born, the Lord chose me
and appointed me to be his servant.
2 He made my words as sharp as a sword.
With his own hand he protected me.
He made me like an arrow,
sharp and ready for use.
3 He said to me, “Israel, you are my servant;
because of you, people will praise me.”
4 I said, “I have worked, but how hopeless it is!
I have used up my strength, but have accomplished nothing.”
Yet I can trust the Lord to defend my cause;
he will reward me for what I do.
5 Before I was born, the Lord appointed me;
he made me his servant to bring back his people,
to bring back the scattered people of Israel.
The Lord gives me honor;
he is the source of my strength.
6 The Lord said to me,
“I have a greater task for you, my servant.
Not only will you restore to greatness
the people of Israel who have survived,
but I will also make you a light to the nations--
so that all the world may be saved.”
7 Israel's holy God and savior says
to the one who is deeply despised,
who is hated by the nations
and is the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you released
and will rise to show their respect;
princes also will see it,
and they will bow low to honor you.”
This will happen because the Lord has chosen his servant;
the holy God of Israel keeps his promises.” -Isaiah 49:1-7 (GNT)
“Get up” Is an invitation that requires action. Likewise “shine” is an action of light. Israel is not being forced to participate, rather she is being offered the opportunity to participate in what God is doing. God has sent His Redeemer, and Israel must receive her redemption. God has offered His light, and Israel must receive it and place it on a hill so that all can see. “Get up” or “stay wallowing in your sin”, “shine” or “remain in darkness”. You have a decision to make and a choice for action or inaction. Inaction is action.
“for your light is come” Not, “Your light has come” or “your light will come” but “Your light is come!” This is a statement of the eternal present. The light “Or” of Messiah pre-exists creation and although He made Himself subject to creation by the act of His will, He is none the less before creation and Ruler over creation and has made the sin affected creation subject to Him through His death and resurrection.
“and the glory of YHVH upon you rises and breaks out.” The glory (light) of God with us cannot be contained. By nature God’s redemptive light breaks out in this sin affected world and dispels the darkness.
“Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:6 (ASV)
In conclusion, Yeshua is the Light of the world and Israel is called to stand in Him and shine that light to the nations. Thus, both the Servant and in another sense Israel (ethnic, religious) are called to be “light to the nations”. Speaking of Himself Yeshua says “Salvation (the Person) comes from the Jews (plural)” [John 4:22].
“When Yeshua spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” -Yochanan (John) 8:12
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” -Matthew 5:14-15 (NIV)
Isa 60:2 Kiy Hineih For, behold, now, pay attention, ha-choshech the darkness yechaseh-eretz shall cover the land, va’arafel and thick darkness leumiym the tribes; ve’alayich and on you yizrach shall rise, break out HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), uchevodo and his glory alayich upon you yeira’eh shall be seen.
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the kingdoms: but in thee the Shekinah of the Lord shall dwell, and His glory shall be revealed upon thee.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The Targum illuminates for the English reader the obvious connection in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 60:2 to both the Genesis creation narrative (Genesis 1) and the plague of darkness that came against Egypt during Israel’s captivity there (while the Egyptians were in thick darkness the Israelites dwelt in light in Goshen. Exodus 10:21-22). Simply put, the created darkness is banished by the pre-existent (uncreated) light (of God), Who is God with us the King Messiah and Light of the world.
“For, behold, now, pay attention, the darkness shall cover the land, and thick darkness the tribes” To translate “leumiym” here as “to the peoples” and “eretz” as “earth” is to disregard the context. It is not “peoples” in general that are being spoken of as the inception point of the receiving of the light and glory of HaShem’s redemptive action but Israel, ethnic, religious. The following verse makes this clear by using language specific to the nations “goyim” regarding those who are drawn to the light of God, as it is seen manifest upon Israel (ethnic, religious).
Therefore, the “darkness” (blindness) covers the land of Israel, and the “thick darkness” of HaShem’s presence (Gen.15:12; 1 Kings 8:12; Psalm 18:11; 97:2; 1 Tim. 6:16) covers the tribes of Israel.
We note that the “thick darkness” is a reference to the presence of God Who dwells in unapproachable light, and that the context of these opening verses relates to the presence of the glory of Hashem manifest on the Mishkan (Tent of meeting) in the desert (Exodus 40:34) and the Temple of Solomon at its inauguration (1 Kings 8).
“And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and came out, and blessed the tribe: and the glory of HaShem appeared unto all the tribe. -Leviticus 9:23
“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple. Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;’” -1 Kings 8:10-12 (NIV)
“on you shall rise, break out HaShem and his glory upon you shall be seen.” Upon both the land and the tribes HaShem will rise and break out, and His glory will be seen. Who will see it? The “goyim” nations. The following verse affirms this reading.
One of the rabbis of the Talmud understands this verse to refer to the coming of the King Messiah:
“And that is the background for the following exchange, as a certain heretic said to Rabbi Abbahu: When will the Messiah come? Rabbi Abbahu said to him: He will come when the darkness will enshroud these people, i.e., you. The heretic said to him: Are you cursing me for no reason? Rabbi Abbahu said to him, I am merely relating to you a verse that is written: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and fog the peoples; but the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:2).” -T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.
“13 I charge you before God who gives life to all things and Messiah Yeshua who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 15 This He will reveal in His own time—the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or is able to see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” -1 Timothy 6:13-16 (TLV)
Isa 60:3 Vehalechu goyim And nations shall walk leoreich to your light, umelachiym and kings le’nogah to the brightness of zarcheich your dawning.
As stated previously, the “peoples” of verse 2 cannot be the “nations” of the present verse because the “peoples” of the previous verse are the subject of “your light” which the “nations” are drawn to. Therefore, the “tribes” of Israel are the “amiym” of verse 2 and it is the light of Messiah in the tribes of Israel that the “goyim” of the present verse are drawn to.
Some have suggested the following reading of the Targum, “and the nations will walk in your light”. If applied to the Messiah, this is an accurate understanding of the need for the redeemed to remain in Him.
There is of course an intrinsic connection to the Messiah Who is the source of Israel’s light.
“Yea, all kings shall fall down before him; All nations shall serve him.” -Psalm 72:11 (ASV)
In a literal sense kings (rulers, spiritual leaders) from the east were drawn to the light of a star that led them to the Light of the world, born into time and space as a boy of the tribe of Judah, in the line of David (Matthew 2).
Isa 60:4 Se’iy-saviyv Lift up in a circuit eiynayich your eyes, ure’iy and see: kulam all nikbetzu assemble, vau-lach they come to you; banayich your sons meirachok from afar yavo’u shall come, uvenotayich and your daughters al-tzad upon the side te’amanah will be nursed, supported faithfully.
“Lift up thine eyes, O Jerusalem, round about, and see all the children of the people of thy captivity, who are gathered together: thy sons shall come from far into thy midst, and thy daughters shall be carried upon the arms.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
This in part refers to the return of exiles from Babylon. It also finds manifestations in numerous proceeding generations to some degree or another, and is profoundly applicable to the modern Jewish state but ultimately finds fulfilment yet future in the return of the King Messiah and the redemption through Him of the entire remnant of Israel (ethnic, religious).
“Thus says the Lord YHVH, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my ensign to the peoples; and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” -Isaiah 49:22
Isa 60:5 Az Then tiriy you will see venahart and be radiant, ufachad and tremble (be in awe) verachav and grow wide levaveich your heart; kiy because yeihafeich you shall be overturned, alayich upon you hamon the abundance yam of a sea, cheiyl the wealth of goyim nations yavo’u lach will come to you.
“Then thou shalt see and be enlightened, and thou shalt be struck with awe, and thine heart shall be enlarged on account of the terror of sinners, for the riches of the west shall be transferred unto thee; the treasures of the nations shall be brought unto thee.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The Targum gives the overall sense of the physical results born from the metaphysical change caused by the light of God.
“Then” Means “In due course” or “Next in order”. This reminds us to look at the progression of events that began in verse 1:
“Then you will see and be radiant, and tremble (be in awe) and grow wide your heart” It is now, as a result of the transforming work of God’s light (The King Messiah) in you, you will radiate His glory as Moses did at Sinai: you will tremble before God in humble awe and the fruit will be a heart of grace and mercy toward others.
“because you shall be overturned, upon you the abundance of a sea, the wealth of nations will come to you.” To be overturned is a Hebrew idiom best translated into English as “a change of heart” or “repented”. In other words, because Israel allows God to overturn her through the redemptive work of His Messiah, the nations will witness her transformation and acknowledge it as the work of God. They will therefore, bring physical riches to Israel in honour of the spiritual blessing that results from God’s saving action.
“25 But now I am going to Jerusalem, bringing aid to the kedoshim. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are under obligation to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual blessings, they also ought to serve them in material blessings.” -Rav Shaul’s letter to the Roman Believers 15:25-27 (TLV)
Isa 60:6 Shifat The multitude gemaliym of camels techaseich shall cover you, bichreiy the young camels of Midyan (strife) ve’eiyfah and Ephah (gloom, darkness); kulam all misheva from Sheba (Seven, oath, blessing) yavo’u shall come; zahav gold ulevonah and frankincense yisa’u they will carry, utehilot and the praises of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) yevaseiru they shall announce as good news.
Midian was a son of Abraham by Keturah and Ephah a son of Midian (Gen. 25:4). Sheba is also of the blood of Abraham (Gen. 25:3). Their progeny subsequently inhabited Arabia.
Therefore, as a result of the work of the Redeemer and the light that He manifests in Israel the Arabian tribes will be drawn to salvation on mass.
In fact, at one point in history three eastern leaders and their retinue are drawn to Salvation Himself, riding camels and bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matt. 2). In turn they will announce the “Good news” (Gospel) to others.
Isa 60:7 Kol-tzon All the flocks of Keidar (dusk, mourning) yikavetzu shall be gathered together lach to you, eiyleiy the rams of Nevayot (heights) yesharetunech shall minister to you; ya’alu they shall come up al-ratzon with delight (acceptance) to mizbechiy My altar; uveiyt and the house tifartiy of My splendour afa’eir I will glorify, beautify, adorn.
“All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;” Nebaioth and Kedar were sons of Ishmael, (Gen.25:13). Ishmael's twelve sons, of which Nebaioth was the eldest, inhabited all the country from Euphrates to the Red sea, known in classical antiquity as Nabataea.
The noun “flocks” is primarily used here in a figurative sense. In this context it refers to the tribes of nations other than Israel: specifically those tribes who share the bloodline of Ishmael’s sons Kedar and Nebaioth (Arab tribes). The figurative use of the noun is supported by the phrase “shall minister to you”, which is something that applies to those involved in human service. Ministering (in this context) requires cognitive thought and human intention.
“they shall come up with delight (acceptance) My altar;” This is significant because the tribes mentioned were known for the worship of other deities and were not worshippers of the God of Israel. The Hebrew “ratzon” can be translated as “acceptance” and denotes the fruit of repentance and atonement. Therefore, this speaks of the redemption of Arab tribes through Messiah, and their reconciliation to both God and Israel (their ancient cousins).
“the house of My splendour I will glorify, beautify, adorn.” This is a reference to the Temple of God in Jerusalem, which is to be “a house of prayer for all the tribes” (Isaiah 56:7). Yeshua rebukes Israel for failing to honour the Temple as a house of prayer for all tribes (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). He also uses the noun “flock” in a figurative sense to refer to His future followers from other tribes, peoples, nations (John 10:16).
Isa 60:8 Miy Who eileh are these ka’av like a cloud te’ufeynah of flying things, vechayoniym and like doves aruboteiyhem to a window?
Given the context it appears that those like the cloud of flying things are the masses of the Arab tribes and eastern nations who come to faith in and through the light of Messiah, and are drawn to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel. Among these masses are those like doves returning to a window or a hollow. This is likely an allusion to the children of Israel who return to the land with the repentant among their captors. The Targum understands the entire verse to apply to the returned captives of Israel.
“Who are these that are coming openly like swift clouds, and tarry not? the captives of Israel, who are gathered together, come to their land, lo, as doves which return to their dove-houses.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
This causes me to think of the “Holy doves” of the Kotel (Western wall) in Jerusalem, who return to nest in the crevices of the outer wall of the Temple Mount.
Isa 60:9 Kiy-liy For Me iymiym the islands (Mediterranean coastlands) yekavu shall wait, vo’oniyit and the ships of Tarshiysh (yellow jasper) barishonah among the first, lehaviy to bring banayich your sons merachok from afar, kaspam their silver uzhavam and their gold itam with them, lesheim for the name of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Elohayich your God, velikdush and for the Holy One Yisrael of Israel, kiy because fei’arach he has beautified, adorned, glorified you.
“Surely, the isles shall wait for my Word, and those that embark in the ships of the sea, the hand that stretches out their sails shall be first, to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The tribes and nations to the west (Mediterranean) will wait for HaShem the God of Israel. For what reason do the western nations wait on HaShem? For their own salvation. The Targum understands the text to refer to the Word of God, which includes both the Torah, the prophetic books and the writings, and more importantly is used by the prophet Yochanan (John) in a figurative sense to represent the Living Word, the King Messiah. Therefore, the tribes and nations to the west wait on the King Messiah as the manifestation of God with us.
Upon seeing God’s mighty act of redemption and the light of His presence upon Israel, the nations to the west will sail to the land of Israel bringing back Jews and with them, the riches of their respective nations. All this will be done “for the Name of YHVH”, Who will be recognized as “the Holy One of Israel” because He has glorified His people through the glory of the King Messiah and in His redemptive purpose.
Isa 60:10 Uvanu beneiy-neichar And the sons of foreigners will build up chomotayich your walls, umalcheiyhem and their kings yesharetunech shall minister to you: kiy for vekitzpiy in my wrath hiykiytiych I struck you, uvirtzoniy but in my favour, acceptance richamtiych I have had mercy on you.
The Hebrew “beneiy-neichar” is used elsewhere to refer to converts to Judaism. It is possible that the same is meant here. Regardless, the beautiful irony remains, that the sons of nations that sought to tear down Jerusalem’s walls are the same that will rebuild them. What is more is that the rulers of those same nations will come to minister to the people of Israel. And all this, not because of Israel’s righteousness but because of God’s righteousness made manifest in her through His Light, the Redeemer, King Yeshua.
Isa 60:11 Ufitchu she’arayich Therefore, your gates will be open tamiyd continually, everlasting; yomam valaylah lo yisageiru they will not be shut day nor night; lehavi elayich cheiyl goyim so that wealth of the nations will be brought to you, umalcheiyhem and their kings nehugiym led captive.
“And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no night there): and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it:” -Revelation 21:25-26 (ASV)
The only way a city’s gates can remain open forever is if that city remains forever. Therefore, this speaks of the convergent Jerusalem at the inception of the Olam Haba (World to come).
Regarding the kings of the nations Kimchi the Jewish commentator writes:
"they shall come before the King Messiah, as servants before their masters.''
Isa 60:12 Kiy-hagoy For the nation vehamamlachah and kingdom asher that lo-ya’avduch will not serve you yoveidu will perish, vanish, be destroyed; ve’hagoyim and those nations charov yecheravu will be utterly wasted, made completely desolate.
“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, Jerusalem, shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly destroyed.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
The subject here is redeemed Israel under the rule of the King Messiah. Therefore, any nation (organised collective) that will not serve the King Messiah and His chosen people Israel (ethnic, religious: Not the Church), will be wiped out, made utterly desolate. Such is the strength of this warning that it is doubled. This is a firmly established metaphysical reality for those who oppose Israel and her Messiah.
“And it shall be, that whoever of the families of the earth go not up unto Jerusalem to worship the King, HaShem of hosts, upon them there shall be no rain.” -Zechariah 14:17
Isa 60:13 Kevod The glory halevanon of Lebanon (Whiteness) elayich yavo shall come to you, berosh the cypress, tidhar the pine, uteashur and the box-tree yachdav together, lefa’eir to beautify mekom the place mikdashiy of My sanctuary; umekom and the place raglay achabeid of My feet, weighty with glory.
This connects the prophecy to the building of Solomon’s Temple and the manifest glory of God (1 Kings 6:9).
“The place of My feet” Is both figurative and literal. Literal in the sense of the Messiah, the Malakh HaShem (Angel of the Lord), and figurative in the sense of God’s light presence made manifest in Jerusalem. King David recognises the Mercy seat of the Ark of the covenant as the “footstool” of HaShem:
“Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: as for me, it was in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Adonai, and for the footstool of our God; and I had made ready for the building.” -1 Chronicles 28:2
Isa 60:14 Vehalechu eilayich And walking toward you shechoach the bending beneiy sons me’anayich of them that afflicted you; vehishtachavu bowing themselves down al-kapot raglayich at the soles of your feet; kol-mena’atzayich all those who despised you vekare’u loch will call you iyr City of HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), Tziyon (Parched land) kedush Yisrael of the Holy One of Israel.
The persecutors of Israel will be made subject to her and to her King Messiah.
“City of YHVH” refers to Jerusalem, in Zion, purchased by the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 60:15 Tachat Whereas heyoteich you have been azuvah forsaken usenuah and hated, ve’eiyn oveir so that none passed through you, vesamtiych I will make you ligon olam an eternal majesty, mesos a joy dor vador of generation upon generation.
Once again the only way a city can be made eternally majestic is if it is an eternal city. Therefore, the New Jerusalem is being spoken of.
“Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is mount Zion, the sides of the north, The city of the great King.”-Psalm 48:2 (ASV)
“Generation upon generation” Is a collective phrase referring to the gathering of generations past present and future to dwell within a city whose majesty is everlasting. It does not denote reproduction in the world to come, nor does it refer to the present world.
Isa 60:16 Veyanakt And you will nurse (suckle) chaleiv milk goyim of nations, veshod melachiym and at the breast of kings tinakiy you will nurse (suckle); ve’yada’at and you will know kiy that Aniy I, HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), am Moshiyeich your Saviour, ve’goaleich and your Redeemer, aviyr Yaakov the Mighty One of Jacob.
Israel will be supplied by the nations, and as a result will know that God Himself is her Saviour (Yeshua, the King Messiah).
“I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? A curse on that idea! (May it never be!) But by their false step salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke Israel to jealousy. 12 Now if their transgression leads to riches for the world, and their loss riches for the Gentiles, then how much more their fullness!” -Romans 11:11-12
“I, HaShem, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” How can HaShem both send a Redeemer (59:20) and be the Redeemer? Only if the Redeemer is a manifestation of the Person of God that enters time and space and remains present outside of time and space as a result of His redemptive work. Immanuel (With us God) the King Messiah Yeshua alone qualifies.
Isa 60:17 Tachat Instead hanechoshet of brass aviy I will bring zahav gold, vetachat and instead habarzel of iron aviy I will bring kesef silver, vetachat and instead of ha’eitziym wood nechoshet brass, vetachat and instead of ha’avaniym stones barzel iron. Ve’samtiy I will also appoint fekudateich your custodians shalom peace, wholeness, wellbeing, venogesayich and your taskmasters tzedakah righteousness.
The progression of elements makes the most valued material of Israel’s oppression the lest valuable of her redemption. Thus her desolation is turned into prosperity through the redemptive work of God.
In counter distinction to the drunk watchmen and wicked shepherds of the former chapters, God will appoint rulers who impart peace and the motivation for the people will be righteousness personified.
Isa 60:18 Lo-yishama No more will be heard od again chamas violence be’artzeich in your land, shod desolation veshever and fracturing bigvulayich within your borders; vekarat and you will call yeshuah chomotayich thy walls Salvation, ushe’arayich and your gates tehilah Praise.
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea.” -Isaiah 11:9
Salvation Himself (Yeshua) will be the protection, peace and Light of the New Jerusalem.
Isa 60:19 Lo-yihyeh-lach od ha-shemesh The sun will no longer be leor your light yomam by day; ulenogah hayareicach lo-yaiyr lach and the brightness of the moon will not give light to you: vehayah-lach but HaShem (YHVH) will be to you le’or olam an everlasting light, veilohayich and your God letifarteich will be your splendour, beauty, glory.
This is a description of the New Jerusalem and the dwelling of God with humanity on the new earth.
“And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the light thereof is the Lamb.” -Revelation 21:23
Isa 60:20 Lo-yavo od shimsheich Your sun will no longer go down, vireicheich lo yeiaseif and your moon will not withdraw itself; kiy for HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) yihyeh-loch will be your le’or olam everlasting light, veshalmu and the fullness (end, covenant of peace) of your yemeiy days evleich of mourning.
“Thy kingdom shall cease no more, and thy glory shall not be removed: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” -Targum Yonatan (2nd Century CE)
“and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.” -Revelation 21:4 (ASV)
Isa 60:21 Veameich Your tribes kulam tzaddikim will all be righteous ones; leolam also forever yireshu aretz they shall inherit the land, neitzer the green sprout (branch, shoot) matatay a planting, ma’aseh the work yaday of My hands, lehitpaeir that I may be glorified, adorned.
This refers to all the tribes of Israel represented by a holy remnant, redeemed through Yeshua the King Messiah.
“Now I heard the number of those marked with the seal:
144,000 from every tribe of Bnei-Yisrael—” -Revelation 7:4 (TLV)
“Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the booming of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they are singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one is able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.” -Revelation 14:1-3 (TLV)
“The branch of My planting” is a figurative reference to the King Messiah the branch of Jesse. Therefore, Israel’s tribes will inherit the land of Israel as covenanted by God with Abraham as a result of the redemptive work of the King Messiah.
“Then a shoot will come forth out of the stem of Jesse,
and a branch will bear fruit out of His roots.
2 The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him,
the Spirit of wisdom and insight,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of Adonai.
3 His delight will be in the fear of Adonai.
He will not judge by what His eyes see,
nor decide by what His ears hear.” -Isaiah 11:1-3 (TLV)
Isa 60:22 Hakaton The little one yihyeh will become laelef a thousand, vehatzaiyr and the insignificant one legoy atzum a strong nation; Aniy I, HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), be’itah achiyshenah will hasten it in its time.
This is speaking of the least among the tribes of Israel becoming great both physically and spiritually through the work of the King Messiah. It also speaks of Israel “the insignificant one” being made “a strong nation” and this, “hastened in its time” by Hashem. The phrasing “Aniy YHVH” (I Am HaShem) is fierce. God is zealous for His chosen people Israel (ethnic, religious), and when the fullness of the nations has come in He will save all Israel (ethnic, religious, empirical) [Romans 11:25-26]. Nowhere in the entirety of Scripture is Israel ever used figuratively or otherwise to refer to Gentiles (Nor is it ever used of the Church). Israel is an ethnic, religious proper noun given to those who are of the bloodline of Jacob (twelve tribes). Likewise the noun “Jew” derived from Yehudah (praise), is now used to describe those who are of the tribes of Israel united under the tribe of Judah upon returning to the land of Israel and the territory of Judah following the Babylonian exile. Therefore, for all intents and purposes the titles “Jew” and “Israel” are now synonymous. Those who say otherwise speak with a satanic tongue.
Copyright 2019 Yaakov Brown
Spiritual leader of Beth Melekh Community, Auckland, Aotearoa, N.Z.