Devotional Commentary on Isaiah 52


Isaiah focuses in this chapter on the Resurrection event. At the Resurrection and Second Coming the Lord calls for all faithful to “Awake” because death is a sleep (v. 1a). He by His creative act clothes them with strength and with a beautiful garment of perfection (v. 1b-c).


Ellen White had the same idea but she saw the sleeping as the Laodicea attitude of members at the time of the end and that they need to prepare by putting on new garments to meet the Lord. The concept is similar although she focused on the living while my own focus is on the dead. See Ellen White, Testimonies Vol. 6 page 434. There will be no idler, no slothful one, found inside the kingdom of heaven. 0 that God would set this matter in all its importance before the sleeping churches! O that Zion would arise and put on her beautiful garments. 0 that she would shine!” Cited by M. L. Andreasen in his 1928 Sabbath School Quarterly on Isaiah page 32.


Delitzsch in Vol. II 1890 page 271 said about verse 1 that it means “Jerusalem which is here represented as a woman sleeping.”


It will be the faithful remnant called Zion and Jerusalem, “the holy city” because it is the New Jerusalem or Heavenly Jerusalem and Heavenly Zion. It is eternity starting for the verse says that the “unclean will no more come into you” (v. 1e-f). There is no case in history where this happened.


At the Resurrection Christ asks the remnant to “shake yourself from the dust, rise up” (v. 2a). The remnant is called “captive Jerusalem” and “captive daughter of Zion” because the remnant in death is captivated by Satan and Resurrection sets them free. Satan is involved since the remnant were “sold for nothing” since Adam and Eve’s Fall and they “will be redeemed without money” by the blood of the Lamb (v. 3).


M. L. Andreasen did not see in 1928 page 32 the Resurrection in verse 2 but merely salvation transformation process: “’Shake thyself from the dust.’ Get rid of all sin.” J. Mortyer in 1993 page 416 did the same as Andreasen here. He sees it as a metaphor in reverse of putting off the old and putting on the new as in Colosians 3:9-10.


On verse 3 Ellen White explained the role of Satan: The enemy is buying souls to-day very cheap. Ye have sold yourselves for a thing of naught, is the language of Scripture. One is selling his soul for the world's applause, another for money; one to gratify base passions, another for worldly amusements. Such bargains are made daily. Satan is bidding for the purchase of Christ's blood, and buying them cheap, notwithstanding the infinite price which has been paid to ransom them. Ellen White, Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 133. Cited by M. L. Andreasen 1928 page 32.


Spiritual Israel went down to Egypt to reside there since 1950 BCE when Jacob came to Egypt and told Pharaoh that he is 130 years old. Joseph became prime minister in 1958 BCE and died in 1878 BCE. Thirty years later started the oppression period for 400 years slavery until the time of Moses and the Exodus under Thutmosis III in his death year March 1450 BCE (K. van Wyk, IJRSSH 2017 Vol. 7/1 January-March 2017: 111-112). That is why one text reads 430 and another reads 400 years long-distance counting.


Also the Assyrians oppressed them since 723 BCE when Israel was taken into exile (v. 4).


M. L. Andreasen mentioned in 1928 page 32 the Egyptian exile, the Assyrian exile and also the Babylonian exile. Delitzsch said the same in Vol. II 1890 page 273 namely that Egypt and Assyria is just mentioned in bypassing since Babylon is mentioned. He called it the “present oppression in Babylon” but that cannot be and is a typical preteristic statement who denies Isaiah’s ability to see future. Preterists wants the prophet to live the time he predicts!


At the end-time spiritual Israel will “be taken away without cause” (v. 5).


However, after the Time of Trouble the remnant “My people shall know My name” (v. 6). It is at that time “that day” the Lord will say “Here I am” because the Lord arrived from the sky, from Heaven with all His angels.


Ellen White in Prophet and Kings page 371 and 372 applied this saying to those who are in exile and had a role of evangelism among the heathen to fulfill: “To the prophet [Isaiah] was given a revelation of the beneficent design of God in scattering impenitent Judah among the nations of earth. My people shall know My name, the Lord declared; they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak. And not only were they themselves to learn the lesson of obedience and trust; in their places of exile they were also to impart to others a knowledge of the living God


At Christ’s Coming it can be said “how lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation” (v. 7).


M. L. Andreasen wished to continue a preteristic model for verse 7 but did not cite Ellen White here in 1928 page 32 of his Sabbath School Quarterly on Isaiah. He felt it was the good news to Israel that they are free to leave Babylon.

Delitzsch who is a preterist got out of his preteristic model here, where Andreasen entered and stayed in this verse, and contrary to his own model advocated that “…the prophet saw the close of the exile in combination with the final and general redemption.” Thanks Delitzsch. You saw it.


Christ announces salvation from the graves and says to Zion “your God reigns” meaning God the King reign then. He received His kingship at closing of the Door of Mercy.


Delitzsch again in Vol. II 1890 page 275 related this kingship to the same of the Psalm 93 and Revelation 19:6 and 11:7. It is the eschaton in Revelation.


The Alert Adventists or watchmen of the faithful remnant “lift up voices, they shout joyfully together for they will see with their own eyes when the Lord restores Zion” (v. 8). The living spiritual remnant at the Second Coming witness the Resurrection first-hand and shout with wonder.


Ellen White interpreted verse 8 as eschatological and so M. L. Andreasen presented her in 1928 page 32: And that it is the purpose of God to restore the unity of the church in the last days, is abundantly evident from the prophecies. We are assured that the watchmen shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Also, that in the time of the end the wise shall understand. When this is fulfilled there will be unity of faith with all whom God accounts wise; for those that do in reality understand aright, must necessarily understand alike. What is to effect this unity but the gifts that are given for this very purpose? Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 140. Misunderstanding of Woman-ordination is also included by alike here. Is circumcision and woman ordination not just a cultural fad that pass away by time? No. Circumcision’s necessity is dealt with in the New Testament exhaustively but woman ordination never. Since no woman was ordained in Paul or John’s day, this would also have been an Acts 15 agenda if it was instated then as something new? There would have also been a controversy over it. The same with the Sunday institution. If Sunday was to be the new day, Jewish Christians would have had it on Acts 15 agenda. Ellen White says: “understand aright, must necessarily understand alike.”


Delitzsch says in Vol. II 1890 page 276 that watchers had a prophetic role. “They who beheld the redemption afar off and comforted the Church therewith.”


The waste places of Jerusalem is asked to also “shout joyfully together” (v. 9a-b). Spiritual people were sometimes buried at these waste places. That is where they will be resurrected and shout for joy.


The Resurrection is an event where the Lord “has comforted His people” and “He has redeemed Jerusalem” (v. 9c-d). The Holy arm of the Lord will be working at the Resurrection and “all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God” (v. 10).


At a certain point in history shortly before the Second Coming the Lord will ask the remnant to come out of Babylon “depart, depart, go out from there touch nothing unclean” (v. 11a-b). They need to go out from the midst of Babylon and “purify yourselves” (v. 11c).


Ellen White emphasized the cleanliness ministers must have to lead the flock: "The church will rarely take a higher stand than is taken by her ministers. We need a converted ministry and a converted people. Shepherds who watch for souls as they that must give account will lead the flock on in paths of peace and holiness. Their success in this work will be in proportion to their own growth in grace and knowledge of the truth. Ellen White, Testimonies Vol. 5 page 227.


C. W. E. Nägelsbach indicated in his 1878 commentary on page 566 that verse 11 is used by Roman Catholics as prooftext for the practice of celibacy by priests. Augustine rejected this connection in his Confes. August. Art. XI. De conjugio sacerdotum, page 458 edited by Hase. Also 241, 27 and 244, 41.


They will not go out in haste (v. 12a). They will have the Lord before them and behind them at the same time (v. 12c-d).


M. L. Andreasen interpreted in 1928 page 34 verse 11 with a double application: one first and one secondary. The first one is preteristically in the days of Ezra, according to him, and the second one is at the end of time: “The final triumph of His people at Christ's coming shall likewise be a complete victory in full sight of the nations.” God does not work with double applications. He does not have a forked tongue. This is an inroad of Reformistic interpretation which is a softcore of preterism that wants to accommodate both preterists and historicist by saying that something happened then but will happen later again. Sometimes our Adventist scholars have graduated from outside universities and as students they were not paying attention to the sources of influence over their epistemology and built into the brains they walked away also with the Trojan Horse of liberalism without even realizing it and in like manner start describing and transforming Adventism into preterism and Reformed Theology. Revelation 13 from California is a case in point.


Delitzsch in Vol. II 1890 page 277 interpreted verse 11 in a preteristic manner applied to the time of Cyrus and Ezra.


Calvin was one of the first people to divide 52:13ff and connect it with chapter 53. This is what R. Gane did in his 2004 Isaiah Sabbath School Quarterly page 82 and also Delitzsch in Vol. II 1890 page 278. J. Mortyer in 1993 page 422 also follows Calvin here.


Christ the Messiah is “My Servant” (v. 13a) and He will prosper (v. 13a); will be high and lifted up (v. 13b) like Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness on the staff when they had to experience faith; He will be “greatly exalted” (v. 13b) for He received Kingship at the end of the Investigative Judgment when the Door of Mercy closes and the Time of Trouble started.


People were astonished by the suffering of the remnant through the ages (v. 14a) “just as many were astonished at you” [the remnant]. Christ appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than other humans (v. 14b-c). “Though He had no taint of sin upon His character, yet He condescended to connect our fallen human nature with His divinity” (RH [May 26, 1896]: 13).


As the King of Kings at the Second Coming, Christ will shut the mouth of kings “on account of Him” and “what had not been told them they will see and what they had not heard they will understand” (v. 15c-d). The word “sprinkle” is used here and some wanted to verify the cultic act of sprinkling in churches by this reference. Christ “shall sprinkle…many nations” and His work is priestly (see J. Mortyer 1993 page 426 citing H. Blocher 1975 page 61). Vitringa also said that it is Christ and that it is priestly but gave to Christ the titles given to the papacy: Magni Pontifici domus Dei (Nägelsbach 1878 page 570). Blocher said: “The burden of proof…rests with those who reject ‘sprinkle’”. Mortyer concurs. It is a purificatory rite that they want to establish through this verse (see Mortyer 426 footnote 1). Mortyer 1993 page 425 said that in the 22 times that sprinkle occurs in the Old Testament it always appears with the direct object which is the liquid sprinkled. (Same in Nägelsbach 1878 page 570). Here in this verse is the only time that the thing on which sprinkling occurs is the direct object. He said the word is not free of difficulty. Sprinkling babies for baptism as mode of substitution of John’s manner of baptism is common among Calvinists. It is an adoption of an anti-biblical practice from Catholicism. In a decree in 1570 at the Council of Trent it was declared that Calvinist is not wrong in the form of the baptism and therefore do not need to be rebaptized when coming back (Mirbt 1911 no. 407.3). Nägelsbach 1878 page 570 said that the word is not sprinkle but spout and that is why the Targum Jonathan to the Prophets on Isaiah as well as the Middle Age rabbis Saadia Gaon and Ibn Ezra used the word that can be translated in Latin as disperget = spout/spurted out. The concept that infant baptism can be squeezed out of this verse is not possible.  




Dear God

The Resurrection is a joyful experience for your remnant when they all see their loved ones rise from the grave. It will be a glorious reunion that no one wants to miss. Also us, O Lord. Amen