Isaiah's Prophecies of the Restoration

It has been clearly shown (1) that much of Isaiah had a detailed fulfilment in Hezekiah's time. However, there would seem no reason to doubt that the number of allusions to Isaiah's prophecies of the restoration are significant, particularly in the second half of the prophecy, and indicate that there was an albeit dimmer fulfilment of parts of Isaiah in this period. We have already seen the principle of God describing what can be if His people show adequate spirituality, but deferring it if they do not. It seems that far greater blessings could have been experienced at the Restoration, but they have been deferred until the Kingdom- in the same way as Ezekiel's prophecy of the restoration of the temple was not fully realized, but deferred until the second coming. There are many connections between the restoration prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah and the latter chapters of Isaiah (2). It is possible to interpret the "servant" of these chapters as referring to Zerubbabel; he is described as "My servant" in Hag. 2:23.

40:1   "Comfort ye, Comfort ye"- Nehemiah= 'Comfort of Yah'. Is. 40 has many links with Zech. 3, which is a prophecy of the restoration.

40:29 "He giveth power to the faint"- very relevant to the great physical effort that had to be made by the handfull who first set about the rebuilding.

41:6,7 "They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith. . . ". This refers to the different types of people working together to build Jerusalem. Where exactly does this fit in to the Hezekiah context?

41:11,12 "All they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: and they that strive with thee shall perish. . . they that war against thee shall be as nothing". The Samaritans provide a clear fulfilment of all this.

41:14 "Fear not. . . ye few men of Israel; I will help thee, saith. . the Holy One of Israel" (AVmg. ). The few Jews rebuilding Jerusalem aided by the Angel surely correspond to this.

43:12 "Thou wilt not call upon me, O Jacob; thou wilt be weary of me. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings"- the same ideas are repeated in Mal. 1:13;  2:17  regarding  Israel's    state    after   the restoration.

43:28 "I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary"- put forth "as polluted from the priesthood" (Ezra 2:62).

44:26 "That confirmeth the word of His servant (Jeremiah). . . that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited".

44:28 "Cyrus. . . shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be built".

45:18 "The Lord that created the Heavens; God Himself that formed the earth. . . He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited". If "the earth" is 'the land' of Israel and "the Heavens" refer to the temple (see 1 Kings 8:30; 2 Chron. 30:27; Ps. 20:2,6; 11:4; Heb. 7:26; 2 Sam. 15:15 etc. ) then God is saying that if the temple and land remained uninhabited, His creation of them would be in vain- hence His plan of restoration. The references in Isaiah's prophecies of the restoration to God being the creator of Heaven and earth would therefore be reminders that it was equally in His power to create the new Heavens and earth of the people of Israel/the temple.

46:10 "Declaring the end from the beginning". The emphasis on this (e. g. 41:26) is understandable seeing that such a specific prophecy regarding the 70 years captivity was to be given and fulfilled.

49:4 "My reward is with my God"- cp. "Remember me, O my God, for good" (Neh. 13:31; "my God" is a common theme in Ezra and Nehemiah).

49:16 "Thy (broken down) walls are continually before me".

50:10 "Who is among you that feareth the Lord. . his God?" cp. Ezra 1:3.

51:7 "Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings"- the Samaritans.

52:12 "Ye shall not go out  (from Babylon) with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord (Angel) will go before you", so that they went with the King's blessing and not in panic.

54:5 "The Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth"- a phrase used in Zechariah regarding the Angel co-ordinating the restoration.

54:7,6 "For a small moment (70 years) have I forsaken thee. . . as a woman forsaken. . . and a wife. . . refused"- cp. our comments showing that it was the Angel who married Israel, becoming 'The God of Israel', and then forsook her.

56:2,5 "Blessed is the man. . . that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it. . . unto them will I give in Mine house and within My (rebuilt) walls a place. . ". There was a problem with Sabbath abuse during the restoration.

57:19 "Peace to him that is far off (in Babylon), and to him that is near" (in the land).

58:12 "Build the old waste places. . raise up the foundations. . . and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in" (and 58:13=Neh. 13:22).

64:10,11 "Jerusalem a desolation. . . our beautiful house. . is burned up with fire".

66:1 "Where is the house that ye build unto me?. . . to this man will I look. . . that. . trembleth at My word"- as a few did at the restoration (Ezra 9:4; 10:3), although the majority were more concerned with the physical work of the temple than truly responding in the right spirit to God's word. Similarities with us?


(1) See J. W. Thirtle, Old Testament Problems; H. A. Whittaker, Isaiah (Cannock: Biblia, 1988).

(2) A whole catalogue of connections between the restoration prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah and Isaiah's prophecies of the restoration is to be found in E. G. Walker, 'The Latter Chapters Of Isaiah', The Bible Student, Vol. 22 p. 8.

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