The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 12

Isa 12:1

Isa 12: A psalm of praise for the deliverance God will bring to Jerusalem, by the destruction of the army of Assyria. Note //s with Exo 15 -- commemorating the destruction of the army of Egypt.

ALTHOUGH YOU WERE ANGRY WITH ME: "This, of course, makes no sense apart from the realisation that the affliction which came on Hezekiah was not personally deserved but was visited on him as representative of the nation. Nor does this first declaration make sense apart from what follows: 'Thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me' " (WIsa 191).

Isa 12:3

WELLS OF SALVATION: "In Hezekiah's day there was only one 'well of salvation' -- the Gihon spring which was led underground by Hezekiah's conduit (2Ch 32:3,4) to Siloam (Isa 8:6) inside the city's defences. The intensive plural -- 'wells' -- is used here for emphasis. Here is the beginning (it could hardly have been introduced earlier) of the lovely figure of speech, in psalms and prophets, of the Lord as a life-giving spring of water (Jer 2:13; cp Psa 42:1,2). [This v] suggests that it was in thanksgiving for the Assyrian deliverance that the procedure was instituted at the Feast of Tabernacles [cp also Zec 14:16] of drawing water from Siloam and taking it in solemn processional to the temple, there to be poured out in praise and thanksgiving at the base of the altar. It was, of course, this to which Jesus referred in his great appeal on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Joh 7:37,38). He appropriated the meaning of the entire procedure to himself, and thus underlined (what needs no underlining) that Isa 12 is about himself and his salvation" (WIsa 192).

Isa 12:4

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, CALL ON HIS NAME: Quoting from one of the processional psalms when David brought the ark to Zion (1Ch 16:8; cp Psa 105:1). 'Do not forget that the true "Ark" of the glory of God is here in Jerusalem, and that He is the tower and refuge of His people (Psa 46:7; 48:3).'

Isa 12:5

GLORIOUS: Or "excellent". Lit, the "surging" or "welling up" of mighty waters (cp sw in Psa 89:9; similar wd in Exo 15:1,21; Eze 47:5) -- alluding to the sudden flow of water through the Siloam conduit when completed. Cp ideas in Psa 46.

LET THIS BE KNOWN TO ALL THE WORLD: One outcome of the Assyrian defeat was an unparalleled acknowledging of the God of Israel by surrounding nations (2Ch 32:23).

Isa 12:6

SHOUT ALOUD AND SING FOR JOY: In unrestrained gladness at such a mighty salvation.

GREAT IS THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL AMONG YOU: Cp Hos 11:9; Zep 3:14,15. Cp Christ entering the Jerusalem: "Hosanna... Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Mat 21:9; Psa 118:26; cp Zec 14:16; Rev 7:9; 21:3).

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