Isa 26: Another song of rejoicing (as refd to in Isa 24:16.
Note many //s to Psa 118 (a Hezekiah psa).
GOD MAKES SALVATION ITS WALLS AND RAMPARTS: Cp Isa
33:6,20; 60:18. In ct with efforts made to build up Jerusalem's defenses (Isa
22:9,10; 2Ch 32:3-5).
WALLS: Sym the saints: the stones built up into God's
house (1Pe 2:4,5), and indwelt by the Glory of God, which is a wall of fire to
protect the city (Zec 2:5; cp Rev 21:12).
THE RIGHTEOUS NATION MAY ENTER: Freed captives from
Assyria/Babylon return to Jerusalem in solemn and joyous procession. LD: Rev
YOU WILL KEEP IN PERFECT PEACE HIM WHOSE MIND IS
STEADFAST: "Let us not even wish for peace until we have, with God's help,
created the conditions in our life and mind that justify peace. Short of this,
'peace' is not a blessing, but a dangerous deception and soporific. True peace
can come only from oneness with God in heart and life and action. 'Steadfast'
implies permanence and consistency: Total dependence and dedication. 'There is
no peace to the wicked.' Hopefully, we are not 'wicked,' but to the degree that
we are sinful (and though we must mightily strive, none of us can ever rise
completely above that), to that degree will our peace be marred. The only peace
is 'peace with God': and God is perfect in holiness. Any unpurged corruption or
foolishness within us will prevent our being wholly comfortable or 'at peace'
with Him, or He fully accepting us in oneness" (GVG).
PERFECT PEACE: Peace of mind; spiritual peace: Joh
14:27; Rom 5:1,2; Eph 2:14-16; Phi 4:7.
HIM WHOSE MIND IS STEADFAST: The personal and
individual ref here is to righteous king Hezekiah -- delivered from his deadly
illness, while his city is delivered from the Assyrian army.
"Trust in the LORD for an eternity of eternities, for in Jah
Jehovah is a Rock of Ages." The figure of a Rock (Isa 17:10; 30:29; 44:8) finds
its meaning with special ref to the altar stone where Abraham was ready to offer
his son, and which became the foundation of the altar of burnt offering (Psa
" 'Them that dwell on high' may be the Assyrians looking down
on Jerusalem from Mount Scopus [where their army encamped during the siege]. And
the 'lofty city' to be 'laid low' can hardly be other than Nineveh whose pride
was crushed with the destruction of its army" (WIsa 271).
The way made plain and smooth for the captives from Assyria (v
2) to return to their Land.
YOUR NAME AND RENOWN ARE THE DESIRE OF OUR HEARTS:
"Loving God enough is the key to everything: the only key. We need two things:
desire and realization. First, the constant, intense desire to be better than we
are, to be the very best we can be, to be one with God, perfectly and eternally.
And we can never be satisfied with anything less -- with the poor little toys
and lusts that the infantile world chooses and plays with and sets its empty
mind on. And then we need realization: The realization of our utter helplessness
and weakness and need -- that we can do nothing of ourselves. All is of God.
Face it: the whole universe is of God, and is God. He is everywhere and
everything. If we run from Him, or cross Him, He will destroy us. He must. He is
perfect goodness, and must in the fulness of time abolish everything out of
harmony with Himself. Only perfect goodness can be eternal. If we run to Him, He
will accept and love us, and absorb us to Himself. He will bless us. He will
glorify us. He will lift us up to His Own divine nature. Is there any question
of the choice to make?" (GVG).
THE NIGHT: Passover night.
THOUGH GRACE IS SHOWN TO THE WICKED, THEY DO NOT LEARN
RIGHTEOUSNESS: The lavish payment of tribute in the time when the Assyrian
was poised to invade the Land (2Ki 18:14-16). (What seems out of character, ie
Hezekiah paying 'bribes' to the Gentiles, may be explained by the onset of his
terrible illness, so that for a time the reins of power passed into the hands of
far less righteous men.)
YOU HAVE DONE FOR US: Therefore, "stand still and see
the salvation of Yahweh" (Exo 14:13). Cp Rom 6:23: salvation is the gift of
OTHER LORDS BESIDES YOU HAVE RULED OVER US: (1) Foreign
rulers, like Sennacherib, and (2) their abomination "gods": Ahaz's compromises
with the Assyrians in 2Ki 16:12-14,18.
THEY ARE DEAD; THEY LIVE NO MORE: The "gods" were never
alive, AND their royal worshipers will die -- like Sennacherib -- never to rise
again (cp Isa 14:9-12; ct Isa 26:19).
THEY LIVE NO MORE: Having no resurrection: Jer
51:39,57; Psa 49:12-14,20; Pro 21:16. "The swashbuckling, power-drunk dictators
of the world now meet their due fate" (WIsa 277).
DEPARTED SPIRITS: "Rephaim": Psa 88:10n; Isa
YOU HAVE WIPED OUT ALL MEMORY OF THEM: Ct with the
"memorial" name of God (vv 8,13b).
YOU HAVE ENLARGED THE NATION: (1) The renewed adherence
to the temple of the people out of the northern tribes (Isa 9:3,4; 2Ch
30:10-12), and (2) the return of the multitude of captives from Sennacherib's
Babylon (Isa 49:19,20; etc).
YOU HAVE EXTENDED ALL THE BORDERS OF THE LAND: In that
your praise has been extended far afield (Psa 48:10), and much of the northern
kingdom and the former captives have been joined to Jerusalem (Isa 43:6; Amo
THEY COULD BARELY WHISPER A PRAYER: The righteous
Hezekiah, brought to the point of death, barely able to breathe out a prayer of
hope to Yahweh (Isa 38:3).
Figure of mother and children in Isaiah: Isa 8:3,4; 11:8;
26:17,18; 28:9; 45:10,11; 46:3,4; 49:15,20-23; 54:1; 60:16; 66:11-13.
"The nation in its trouble is likened to a pregnant woman
suffering all the pain of delivery, yet unable to give birth to her child. Micah
(Mic 4:9,10) has the same figure in the same sort of context. When the official
deputation -- Eliakim the High Priest, and Shebna -- returned from the fruitless
and discouraging encounter with Rabshakeh, the king promptly sent them to seek
the aid of God through the mediation of Isaiah; and here again the same
harrowing figure of speech was employed: 'The children are come to the birth,
and there is no strength to bring forth' (Isa 37:3)... the nation had made its
effort to achieve a new birth (a reformation Hezekiah himself had led), and yet
has found itself suffering more than ever... 'So have we been in thy sight, O
Lord.' The Heb text here suggests: 'from before thy Beloved', with ref to the
messengers sent by the son of David. Isaiah, characteristically, prob meant both
ideas" (WIsa 274).
BUT WE GAVE BIRTH TO WIND: Sb prob read: "Like him
(Hezekiah) we have brought forth wind," ie, no real achievement. 'We have
brought no deliverance to the Land... we have achieved no real reformation in
"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall
they arise" (KJV): In Hezekiah's day, the dead (plural) coming back to life =
the Assyrian captives (given up for dead) returning to their own Land! And the
dead (singular) refs, of course, to his body as good as dead in leprosy --
raised up by God's power.
"Together WITH MY DEAD BODY" (KJV) is alluded to by Paul in
1Th 4:14: "God will bring WITH JESUS those who have fallen asleep in
"It is not certain whether the resurrection envisioned here is
intended to be literal or figurative. A comparison with Isa 25:8 and Dan 12:2
suggests a literal interpretation, but Eze 37:1-14 uses resurrection as a
metaphor for deliverance from exile and the restoration of the nation (see Isa
27:12-13)" (NET notes): both are correct!
DEAD (1st): "Muth".
YOU WHO DWELL IN THE DUST: Cp Dan 12:2: "Multitudes who
sleep in the dust of the earth will awake."
WAKE UP AND SHOUT FOR JOY: Resurrection: Hos 13:13,14;
cited in 1Co 15:54.
THE DEW OF THE MORNING: Cp Psa 110:3: "the dew of your
youth" = a renewal of youth, a resurrection! Sym effects of Holy Spirit, causing
the resurrection of the faithful in the "morning" of Christ's coming (cp Isa
26:19; 2Sa 23:4; Psa 133:3). Also, sym a multitude (2Sa 17:12; Mic 5:7),
enjoying the favor of the king (Pro 19:2); and/or the unfailing compassions of
God for His people (Gen 27:28; Lam 3:22,23); and/or the manna fresh every
morning (Num 1:9). Some dew results from condensation of atmosphere (cp those
alive at Christ's coming), but most dew is formed from moisture risen to surface
of ground or plant leaves (cp those resurrected at Christ's return).
DEAD (2nd): "Rephaim": Psa 88:10n; Isa 26:14,19.
ENTER YOUR ROOMS: This v alludes to both the ark of
Noah (Gen 7:16) and the passover of Moses (Exo 12:22,23) -- the doors shut, the
protecting presence of the angel of Yahweh, while all outside was hopelessness
and death. But the most direct historical context is the action of Hezekiah who,
when he received the threatening message from Sennacherib, promptly went to the
house of God, secluding himself there to pray (Isa 37:1,14,15). Thus was
Jerusalem made a strong city, the walls thereof appointed to salvation (Isa
26:1); and the people who fled to the city were protected from the Assyrian host
by the Divine Hand. But the "chambers" of protection can be anywhere that a
believer turns to God for help. So Jesus can exhort his followers: "But when you
pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Mat
Jewish men wore a garment called a "talith", "talis", or
"prayer shawl", all the time, not just at prayer. "Talith" consists of two
Hebrew words; "tal" (tent) and "ith" (little). Thus, each man had his own little
tent. (The apostle Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, but also a tentmaker. Some
believe that he made prayer shawls, not tents to live in.) Since all Jews could
not worship in the Tent of Meeting at one time, God gave to each Jew his own
private sanctuary where he could meet with God. In prayer, the man would pull it
up over his head, forming a tent, where he could retreat to call upon Yahweh. It
was intimate, private, and set apart from anyone else -- enabling him to totally
focus upon God. It was his prayer closet. Cp Mat 6:6.
FOR A LITTLE WHILE: Which would see both retribution on
the brutal invader and salvation for the faithful (Isa 10:25).
THE LORD IS COMING OUT OF HIS DWELLING: That is, He is
defending His own house, the Temple!
THE BLOOD: Cp blood of righteous Abel, a witness
against sin of Cain.