ISRAEL'S CONFESSION OF THE NATIONAL SIN
SOMEONE has tersely spoken of the Book of Genesis as "the seed plot of the Bible." A careful examination of its contents confirms this position. Some Bible students call attention to the fact that many of the fundamental doctrines of the Scriptures are found, in their embryonic form, in the writings of Moses.
Among the very important doctrines of the Scriptures is the prediction that the nation of Israel will confess the national sin, repudiate it, and plead for mercy and forgiveness.
40 And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary unto me, 41 I also walked contrary unto them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; 42 then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land (Lev. 26:40-42).
I. ACCORDING TO MOSES
In Leviticus, chapter 26, appears one of the most important prophecies relating to Israel. This prediction was given by Moses at Mount Sinai and is a brief outline of the meandering course over which Israel travels during the centuries, from Moses' day to the time that the Chosen People are gathered from among the nations and are restored to their own land.
Moses begins the message by calling special attention to Israel's unique relation to Jehovah their God (vv. 1,2).
In verses 3-13 he calls attention briefly to the special blessing which the Lord will bestow upon the people of Israel if they will be faithful to Him. God promises them rains in their seasons, abundance of crops, and protection from all enemies.
On the other hand, He warns them against disobedience, threatening punishment commensurate with their sins. If they continue in willful disobedience, the Lord threatens to punish them sevenfold. In the event that the punishment administered does not cause them to reform, He threatens to send punishment even sevenfold more severe. If, under these conditions they absolutely refuse to repent and to reform, the Lord again threatens them with punishment sevenfold more severe than they have already experienced. Finally, if they still stubbornly persist in rebellion against God and His will, He threatens to spue them out of the land and to scatter them among the nations.
While the people of Israel are so journeying in other countries, the Lord assures them that their land shall enjoy its sabbath rests while it is lying in a desolate condition. This warning is vitally important to the understanding of God's dealings with His Ancient People.
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; 28 then I will walk contrary unto you in wrath; and I also will chastise you seven times for your sins. 29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. 30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your sun-images, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and my soul shall abhor you. 31 And I will make your cities a waste, and will bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors. 32 And I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it. 33 And you will I scatter among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you: and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy its sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye are in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy its sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it had not in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. 36 And as for them that are left of you, I will send a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies: and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one fleeth from the sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. 37 And they shall stumble one upon another, as it were before the sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them (Lev. 26:27-39).
Verse 39 speaks of the last generation of Israel scattered among the nations that will "pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them." According to this verse, the generation of Israel that is leftthe last generation scattered among the nationswill pine away from two causes: from their own iniquity and from the iniquities of their fathers. Something in the life of this generation is properly called "their iniquity." Since the word iniquity is in the singular number, it evidently refers to some wrong of which the people of Israel are guilty, and on account of which they are suffering. The second thing for which they will pine away is the iniquities of their fathers. Light upon this expression is gleaned from Exodus 34:6,7. In this passage God declares that He visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation. People reap what they sow. Sin always leaves its mark upon the sinner. According to this passage, the effects of the father's sins are transmitted to his children, to the third and fourth generation.
According to Proverbs 28:13, the sinner who "covereth his transgressions shall not prosper; But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy." In keeping with the fundamental principles of Leviticus 26:40, the people of the last generation of Israel left among the nations will have to confess both their own iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers.¹ In the King James Version of the Scriptures, verse 40 reads as follows: "If they shall confess their iniquity ..." The American Standard Version (1901 edition) renders the sentence, "And they shall confess their iniquity ..." This latter translation is correct. The King James Version is wrong in translating the first clause as if it were conditional. Confessing or not confessing the iniquity is not an optional matter for Israel to decide. God speaks of it as one of Israel's musts. "And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers ..." The people of the last generation are guilty of an iniquitous act. Their fathers also are guilty of an iniquitous act. Are these two acts one and the same?
The act of iniquity of which the fathers are guilty is a trespass which the fathers trespass against Jehovah while they are in the land. In committing this trespass, the fathers walk contrary unto Jehovah, who punishes them by scattering them among the nations.
There seems to be but one iniquitous act which the fathers commit while they are in the land, and of which the last generation is held guilty. Will a righteous and just God hold a person responsible for the acts of another with which he had nothing to do? Every right-thinking person knows that God will not. The fathers commit an act of iniquity, for which God spues them out of the land and scatters them over the world. All Biblical students know that God allowed the Romans to overthrow the kingdom of Judah and to spue them out of the land. If one studies the events of A.D. 70 in the light of Leviticus 26:40-42 and in the light of the gospel records, he comes to the conclusion that the one act of iniquity committed by the fathers of Israel was the rejection and the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the Hebrew Messiah, "a man approved of God unto you [the Jewish nation] by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; 23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it" (Acts 2:22-24).
If the leaders of the nation of Israel in the first century commit the act of iniquity, foretold by Moses, how can a just and righteous God hold their descendants of the twentieth century guilty for a crime committed by their ancestors nearly two thousand years before their day? Those who demanded His crucifixion held certain views and attitudes toward Him. They shouted, "Away with him, away with him, crucify him! ... We have no king but Caesar" (John 19:15). "His blood be on us, and on our children" (Matt. 27:25). If the descendants of those who crucified the Messiah take the same attitude toward Him, they are just as guilty as those who perpetrated the crime. In the light of these facts one is forced to conclude that the fathers of Israel committed the iniquitous act mentioned by Moses and that the people of the last generation of Israel scattered among the nations, holding the same attitude toward the Messiah that their fathers held, can justly and righteously be said to be guilty of the same iniquitous act.
"... if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; 42 then will I remember my covenant with Jacob ... and I will remember the land" (Lev. 26:41,42). When the remnant of Israel humble themselves and accept the punishment of their iniquity (acknowledge their offense against Jehovah in rejecting the Messiah), God will remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and will remember the land promise.
The day on which Israel sees the truth with reference to the Messiah and repudiates the national sin of rejecting and executing Him will be one of the highest mountain peaks of Israel's entire existence. Concerning that day Malachi says: "But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings; and ye shall go forth, and gambol as calves of the stall" (Mal. 4:2).
II. ACCORDING TO HOSEA
Hosea, one of the earliest writing prophets in Israel, also speaks of Israel's confession and repudiation of the national sin:
15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly. 6 Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him 3 And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain as the latter rain that watereth the earth (Hosea 5:15-6:3).
In order to see the force of this prophecy, one must look at the context. In thundering tones Hosea denounced the sins of the people of both kingdomsEphraim and Judah. Hosea addressed the priests, the house of Israel, and the royal house, stating that the judgment pertains to them. The Prophet, speaking for God uncovers the sinful lives of the people; for they had played the harlot and defiled themselves. They had gone so far from God in sin and defilement that they could not turn back to God:
4 Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God; for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not Jehovah. 5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in their iniquity: Judah also shall stumble with them (Hosea 5:4,5).
According to these verses, both Israel and Judah traveled the road of disobedience and reached the point most obnoxious to Godpride. Of all sins pride is the most repulsive to God.
Because of this condition Hosea, the representative of God, threatens both Israel and Judah with devastating strokes of judgment.
Instead of turning from sin unto God, the major part of the nation turned to the king of Assyria in this crisis (Hosea 5-13). In the next verse God threatens to be as a lion to Ephraim and Judah: "For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and there shall be none to deliver."
At this point of the prediction, the Prophet, following the law of double reference² blends what he had said about this special crisis with another crisis, far greater, in the future.
An examination of verses 14 and 15 shows that in them the Prophet stops talking about this crisis and speaks of another one in the remote future. Concerning this event, the Prophet, speaking for God, declares, "I will go and return to my place ..." In the first-mentioned crisis the Lord did not leave heaven and come to earth to deal with the situation. He simply overruled providentially in dealing with the case. It is not so with the crisis in verses 14b,15, for in this latter event He leaves heaven (His place) and comes to earth. Both Ephraim and Judah sin against Him. As punishment the Lord rends both Ephraim and Judah as a lion rends his prey. Then He goes away to His place and remains there until the offenders acknowledge their offense.
The language implies that the Lord leaves heaven, comes to earth, and is sinned against by the Chosen People. When these events take place, the Lord returns to heaven and declares that He will remain there until the guilty ones acknowledge their offense. These offenders will not only acknowledge their sin, but will seek the Lord's faceHis favor and blessing. When will they do these things? The answer is, "In their affliction"the Great Tribulation which is called "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7). At that time the people of Israelthe faithful remnantwill seek the Lord earnestly, with all their heart.
This prediction is followed by an unusual prophecy:
6 Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him. 3 And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth (Hosea 6:1-3).
An examination of these verses shows that they are a continuation of the prediction found in the two preceding verses, Hosea 5:14,15. Seeing the close connection, some Bible students insert the participle saying. Undoubtedly the insertion of this word shows the exact connection: "... In their affliction they will seek me earnestly, [saying], Come and let us return unto Jehovah ..." (Hosea 5:15-6:1).
In the light of all the facts, stated and implied, in this context, Hosea 6:1-3 is a call issued by certain ones to others to join them in returning to God; "for he [Jehovah] hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up." The "tearing" of this verse is obviously the tearing of Ephraim and Judah mentioned in 5:14. Those issuing the call and those to whom the call is proclaimed acknowledge that God has punished them by tearing them, and that, if they will return to Jehovah, He will heal them. One may believe that those who issue the call are the leaders of the Jewish people and that those to whom the proclamation is made are the masses of Israel.
The second verse of this call to repentance mentions three days:
"After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him." What is the significance of the words "two days"? Some have very erroneously thought that they are symbolic and indicate two thousand years. As scriptural authority for this interpretation, these expositors refer to II Peter 3:8: "But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Upon the basis of this passage they claim that one day in prophecy fore-shadows a thousand years in history. Does the verse set forth this position? Note the language carefully: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." With God, declares the Apostle, one day is not a thousand years, but as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. What then is the significance of this verse? From the context in which this verse appears, it is clear that the passage of time does not alter God's promises. He is as faithful in fulfilling a promise after a thousand years as He is the day on which He makes the promise.
What does Hosea mean by saying, "After two days will He revive us ..."? Since there are no indications in the context showing that the expression "two days" is not to be taken literally, one is logically forced to understand that the Prophet means two literal days. Israel will set a date for the repudiation of the national sin. When that day arrives, the nation, possibly with some exceptions, will in sincerity and earnestness begin this public confession and repudiation of the offense which was committed against Jehovah (Messiah) when He came the first time. After the penitent remnant have bowed in deep contrition and genuine repentance for two days, suddenly on the third day God will send the Holy Spirit, who will revive every sincere heart that humbles himself before God and in faith accepts the rejected Messiahas Saviour and Lord. Thus on the third of those three days a revival will break out in all Israel. According to verse 2, on the third day Jehovah will go forth. His doing so will be as "sure as the morning." From what place will this going forth of Jehovah be? As has been seen, Jehovah Messiah, after His rejection, returns to heaven and remains there until the people of Israel acknowledge their ofense. When they do so, He will go forth from heaven and return to this earth in order to set up His glorious reign of righteousness over all nations. The three days mentioned in this passage are the last three days of the Tribulation.
Enrapt by the vision of the solution of all Israel's problems, Hosea exhorts the Jewish people, saying: "And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth" (Hosea 6:3).
According to Hosea 5:1-6:3, the entire nation of Israel is going to "acknowledge their offense and seek" His face. This testimony of Hosea confirms that of Moses, the great lawgiver.
5 Hear this, O ye priests, and hearken, O house of Israel, and give ear, O house of the king; for unto you pertaineth the judgment; for ye have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor 2 And the revolters are gone deep in making slaughter; but I am a rebuker of them all. 3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me; for now, O Ephraim, thou hast played the harlot, Israel is defiled. 4 Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God; for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not Jehovah. 5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in their iniquity; Judah also shall stumble with them. 6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah; but they shall not find him: he hath withdrawn himself from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously against Jehovah; for they have borne strange children: now shall the new moon devour them with their fields. 8 Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: sound an alarm at Beth-aven; behind thee, O Benjamin. 9 Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. 10 The princes of Judah are like them that remove the landmark: I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, he is crushed in judgment; because he was content to walk after man's command. 12 Therefore am I unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness. 13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to Assyria, and sent to king Jareb: but he is not able to heal you, neither will he cure you of your wound. 14 For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and there shall be none to deliver. 15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.
6 Come, and let us return unto Jehovah; for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 2 After two days will he revive us: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live before him. 3 And let us know, let us follow on to know Jehovah: his going forth is sure as the morning; and he will come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the earth. (Hosea 5:1-6:3)
III. ACCORDING TO ISAIAH
Isaiah, the great statesman, orator, and prophet, likewise foretells Israel's confession and repudiation of the national sin of rejecting Messiah at His first coming.A. Isaiah 52:13-53:12³
Isaiah often uses the term servant. When the context of each occurrence of this word is examined, it is learned that the Prophet uses it with three different meanings. In Isaiah 42:18-22 the context shows that he refers to literal Israel, in the broadest sense of the term. In 41:8-16 the servant described is the faithful remnant of Israel of the end time. In 42:1-4 the servant is the Messiah, who comes into the world to establish justice among the nations. In 49:1-7; 50:1-11; and 52:13-53:12 the servant is undoubtedly an individual, the ideal Israelite, the Messiah.B. Isaiah 63:7-64:12
Embedded in the famous passage of Isaiah, chapter 53, is one of the verbal confessions which penitent Israel will make regarding the mistake made by their leaders when they rejected the Messiah, who came nineteen hundred years ago. Herewith is the confession in full:
53 Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Isa. 53:1-9).
Upon reading Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the unbiased reader, who has no theory to support, sees clearly that the prophecy speaks of an individual who suffers vicariously for others. Notwithstanding this fact, there are those who still insist that Israel as a nation is the sufferer of this passage. Dr. Frederick A. Aston, in his pamphlet, The Challenge of the Ages (pp. 5 and 6), shows twelve reasons why Israel cannot be interpreted as the sufferer of this oracle.
"1. He is portrayed in the detailed features of a human personality.
"2. He is an innocent sufferer (vv. 9c,d; 12d).
"3. He is a voluntary sufferer (v. 7a).
"4. He is a meek and silent sufferer (v. 7).
"5. His suffering springs from love for sinners, including his executioners, who acted in ignorance (vv. 4c,d; 7; 12f).
"6. His suffering is ordained by God in love and fulfills a divine purpose (v. 10).
"7. His suffering is vicarious, that is, substitutionary (vv. 4a,b; 5a,b; 6c; 8d; 10b; 11d; 12e).
"8. His Suffering is redemptive and spiritual in nature (vv. 5c,d; 11d).
"9. His suffering ends in death (vv. 8c; 10b; 12c).
"10. His death gives way to resurrection (vv. 10c; 11).
"11. His atoning work leads the straying people to confession and repentance (vv. 4-6).
"12. His redemptive work, in which suffering, humiliation, and death are central, inaugurates a life of sublime exaltation (52:13; 15a,b; 53:12a,b)."
The twelve points just listed prove conclusively that the servant presented in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is a man who suffers vicariously for sinners, and who is able to make expiation for all accepting his atoning sacrifice in their behalf. This passage, studied in the light of related ones, identifies this sufferer as the Messiah.
As stated before, Isaiah 53:1-9 is one of the versions of Israel's oral confession of the national sin. Very frequently the prophets were borne along in vision by the Spirit of God to some time in the future and, figuratively speaking, were let down into the midst of the scenes concerning which they were to prophesy. That this statement is correct is evident in the light of II Peter 1:21, "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." It is certain that Isaiah the Prophet in 53:1-9 is transported in vision by the Spirit of God from his own day to the time that the whole nation of Israel will genuinely make this confessionat the end of the Tribulation. Every one who knows anything about Jewish history realizes that the people of Israel have never yet made such a confession. But they will do so, as has already been seen from Leviticus 26:40 and Hosea 5:15. When will they make this confession? The answer is that they will make it the year 1961 plus (x) plus 7. (The letter x is an algebraic symbol representing the unknown time between now and the Tribulation, and the number 7 represents the seven years of the Tribulation.) In the year 1961 plus (x) plus 7, when the people of Israel will have learned the facts concerning the rejected and condemned Messiah, they will look backward over the wasted centuries of suffering and confess that Messiah actually came on scheduled time, as foretold by the prophets, but that the people of Israel did not recognize Him. Not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, many of the leaders of Israel rejected the Messiah, considering Him as an ignorant, unlettered, and deluded impostor. Hence, He was "despised and rejected of men" (Isa. 53:1-3).
But in the year 1961 plus (x) plus 7 the entire nation of Israel will have been given the facts concerning the Messiah and His atoning sacrifice. As just seen, verses 1-3 give a glimpse of the Jewish people of the first century and their outlook when they were blindly led by their misguided leaders, whereas verses 4-9 picture the people of Israel of the twentieth century (plus 'x') as having learned the real facts regarding Messiah. According to these verses, they will see that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the true Messiah; that in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension He literally fulfilled the prophecies relating to Messiah's first coming; and that the people of Israel, after learning these facts, will make confession of their guilt of rejecting Him in the words of Isaiah 53:1-9. One may be certain that, when God pours out the Spirit of grace and supplication upon Israel (Zech. 12:10), He will open their blind eyes to see the marvelous truth of Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
A second version of the confessions and prayers which the people of Israel will make in the year 1961 plus (x) plus 7 is found in Isaiah 63:7-64:12:
7 I will make mention of the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah, and the praises of Jehovah, according to all that Jehovah hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. 8 For he said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not deal falsely: so he was their Saviour. 9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 10 But they rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. 11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit in the midst of them? 12 that caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses? that divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 13 that led them through the depths, as a horse in the wilderness, so that they stumbled not? 14 As the cattle that go down into the valley, the Spirit of Jehovah caused them to rest; so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. 15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where are thy zeal and thy mighty acts? the yearning of thy heart and thy compassions are restrained toward me. 16 For thou art our Father, though Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us: thou, O Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is thy name. 17 O Jehovah, why dost thou make us to err from thy ways, and hardenest our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 18 Thy holy people possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. 19 We are become as they over whom thou never barest rule, as they that were not called by thy name.
64 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might quake at thy presence, 2 as when fire kindleth the brushwood, and the fire causeth the waters to boil; to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! 3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains quaked at thy presence. 4 For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides thee, who worketh for him that waiteth for him. 5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou wast wroth, and we sinned: in them have we been of long time; and shall we be saved? 6 For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee; for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us by means of our iniquities. 8 But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 9 Be not wroth very sore, O Jehovah, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, look, we beseech thee, we are all thy people. 10 Thy holy cities are become a wilderness, Zion is become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned with fire; and all our pleasant places are laid waste. 12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O Jehovah? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore?
This version lays bare the heart of the faithful remnant of Israel of the end time, as few passages do.
¹ The last generation of the people of Israel pine away because of the iniquities of their fathers, and they also confess "the iniquity of their fathers." This distinction must always be borne in mind.
² The law of double reference is the principle of the blending of two distinct, though similar, events into a single picture.
³ For exposition of Isaiah 52:13-53:12 see my volume, The Eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel and Lost Humanity, Chapter XVIII.
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