Isaiah 2 Commentary

Jerusalem as it should be and as it is (2:1-22)

God’s people always looked for the day when Jerusalem would be the religious centre of the world, where people of all nations would go to be taught the ways of God. In that day there would be no more war, but contentment and prosperity (2:1-4). (A note on the new Jerusalem is included in the introduction to Chapters 40-66, where the subject of Jerusalem’s future glory is considered more fully.) Such hope for the future is all the more reason why Judah should walk in the ways of God now (5).

But the people of Judah, instead of leading other nations to know God and enjoy his peace, follow the idolatry and superstitious practices of those nations. Instead of trusting in God, they spend much energy building up their wealth and increasing their fighting force (6-8). Because they proudly trust in their own achievements, God will bring them low. God alone is to be exalted (9-11).

Israel and Judah had always hoped for the time when God would give them victory over all their enemies. Isaiah warns them that before God acts against their enemies, he must act against them (12). All the things they proudly trust in for security, whether natural resources, defence fortifications or prosperous trade, will be destroyed (13-16). Neither arrogant self-confidence nor devotion to idols will save them (17-18).

People will see the worthlessness of the things in which they have trusted, and will flee in a last desperate effort for safety when the day of God’s judgment comes (19-21). They will at last see the uselessness of putting confidence in anything of human origin (22).

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