In this remarkable chapter the coming glory of Zion is stressed and elaborated, making silence impossible. Isaiah will pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and Yahweh will put “watchmen upon [her] walls” whose persistent appeals will at length bring promise to reality. There are figures of majestic glory (v3); of marital rest and joy (v4, 5); of prosperity and freedom from oppression (v8–9); and ready access to the royal city for all peoples, where the Anointed will be with his bride, “the redeemed of the LORD” (v10–12). This chapter builds on the pictures of Zion’s elevation and glory drawn in chapters 60 and 61.

62:1–3 Yahweh’s zeal for Zion

62:1 (1) “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the (2) righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”

(1) Here the determination of God to elevate Zion to become a beacon of light for all nations is emphasised by repetition. Though there has been a protracted interval of desolation for Zion, and the LORD has long time held His peace, been still and refrained Himself (cp 42:14), “the day of Yahweh’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion” (34:8) will surely come. Notice how Zion and Jerusalem are paired in this verse, as elsewhere in Isaiah (cp 2:3; 24:23; 52:1).

(2) What is the “righteousness” and “salvation” of Zion that Yahweh would have go forth before all nations? It is the redemption that has been accomplished by His Servant Jesus Christ; “by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify [make righteous] many” (53:11); this righteousness which is God’s righteousness has been imputed to His servants (54:17; Rom 3;26, 27; Phil 3:9). The knowledge of God’s saving grace in His Son is the foundation upon which Zion’s glory and prosperity will rest, and Yahweh will not hold His peace until this is acknowledged world-wide (v7; cp 52:10).

Notice, too, how “righteousness” and “salvation” are paired, again a feature of Isaiah (45:8; 51:5, 6, 8; and 61:10 – contextually this verse is very significant).

62:2 (1) “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and (2) thou shalt be called by a new name, (3) which the mouth of the LORD shall name.”

(1) Nations and kings shall “see” the righteousness and glory of Zion (2:2–3; 49:7; 52:7–10; 60:3, 10, 11). What Yahweh will do for her will make Zion the focus of attention and all nations shall be drawn to her light (Zech 14:16; 8:21–23), from the mists of darkness, the “vail that is spread over all nations” (25:7).

(2) The bestowal of a “new name” (cp Rev 2:17; 3:12; cp Rev 14:3) speaks of a new nature with new and greater potentialities.

(3) The transformation of Zion, signified by the “new name,” is so great and marvellous that only Yahweh Himself can choose and bestow it.

62:3 “(1) Thou shalt also be a crown of glory (2)in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”

(1) Notice that Zion is not said to be a crown on the head of Yahweh, but to actually be the crown. Both crown and diadem are eloquent symbols of power and royalty; so the redeemed of the LORD (v12), in themselves, by their very deportment and disposition will be the sign that He is King.

(2) Both crown and diadem are said to be in God’s hand, that is, in a place kept, guarded and upheld.

Remember also the tragic demise of Judah, when from the last king, Zedekiah, the diadem and crown were removed – and then reaching forward with hope to this day, Ezekiel adds, “until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him” (Ezek 21:25-27).

62:4–5 New names, elevated status, rejoicing

62:4 (1) “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; (2) neither shall thy land anymore be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called the Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for Yahweh delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married”.

62:5 (3) For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”

(1) Notice that both Zion, Yahweh’s betrothed, and her land, eretz-Israel, are addressed. Zion had complained about being forsaken, but here her standing has been dramatically reversed ( 49:14;54:6–7; Hos 1:10; 2:20–22): she is to be called Hephzi-bah, meaning “my delight is in her.”

In order to cement the reality of this glorious, new relationship the analogy of a bridegroom rejoicing over his bride is appropriate (v5), “so shall thy God rejoice over thee” (see notes 61:10).

Reference to the name “Hephzi-bah” recalls the wife of Hezekiah, the mother of Manasseh (1 King 21:1). Both kings were contemporary with Isaiah.

(2) No longer will the term, Desolate, be applicable to “thy land;” but rather, Beulah, meaning “married” (v5). Yahweh has declared, “ I will make the place of my feet glorious” (60:13), and in the explanation of this in verse 5 we learn that “as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee.”

(3) The two parts of this verse describe the wedding and the honeymoon. The bridegroom has pledged ‘to love and cherish’ his bride, according to the covenant of marriage, and this is followed by entry into the delight of married life in which the bridegroom rejoices in his bride (Song 7).

So the picture is of Zion, “married” to her sons; and of Yahweh, “thy God,” Zion’s God, rejoicing over her. This is essentially the unity for which our Lord prayed, “that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:20–26).

62:6–7 Zion’s watchmen are to pray unceasingly until she is made a praise in the earth

62:6 (1) “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: (2) ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

62:7 And give him no rest [mg, silence],(3) till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

(1) The LORD has set us as watchmen ‘upon the walls of Jerusalem’ who anxiously await her future glory( Matt 24:42; 25:13;Mark 13:33–37; Luke 21:36), just as there were faithful men and women who looked for the first coming of Messiah (Luke 2: 25–26, 36–38).

(2) Watchmen are keepers or guardians. Notice the AV margin “Or, ye that are the LORD’s remembrancers,” and the RSV has, “You who put the LORD in remembrance.” Here others are invited, appointed to this role of incessant prayer to God for Zion, and they have one distinguishing qualification, they know Yahweh’s purpose with Jerusalem and they keep “reminding” Him in prayer, like Daniel did (Dan 9:18–19), that His honour is inextricably bound up with her glorification.

Today, our privileged brotherhood,”the ecclesia of the living God” is the repository of this precious heritage and woe betide us if we cease to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psa 122:6; 51:18; cp 102:12–22).

(3) Yahweh, through his Anointed Son, is going to “establish” Jerusalem and make her “a praise in the earth.” Saints pray for the time when her righteousness and peace will flow like a river to all peoples. As a result Zion will become “a praise in the earth,” that is, the city for which the whole world gives thanks to Yahweh; for in saving Zion, He has saved the world (see verse 9 and notes on 60:18).

From these verses we learn that our prayers are to be

(1) ceaseless, ‘day and night’

(2) vocal, “keep not silence”

(3) directed to Yahweh, “ye that make mention of the LORD”

(4) urgent and pressing, “give him no rest” (mg, silence)

(5) sustained, “till he establish”

62:8–9 By an oath Yahweh assures Zion’s sons of security, prosperity and justice.

62:8 (1) “The LORD hath sworn (2)by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more (3)give thy corn to be meat [RSV grain to be food] for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou has laboured:

62:9 (4) But they that have gathered it shall eat it, (5) and praise the LORD; and they that have brought it together shall drink it (6) in the courts of my holiness” (NIV my sanctuary).

(1) This divine oath provides the strongest assurance possible (Heb 6:16–18; 7:20–22).

(2) Mention of Yahweh’s “right hand” implies personal involvement; and “arm”, His power (52:10; 51:9; Luke 1:51). Together they make it clear that He is more than adequate for the task in hand.

(3) The Midianite invasion provides an historical illustration of such pillaging and rapine (Jud 6:1–4). This was a punitive invasion of the land following Israel “doing evil in the sight of Yahweh” (v1); in accordance with His warning (Lev 26:14–16; Deut 28:15,30–33).

(4) Tenure and enjoyment of the fruits of the land were conditional upon obedience. The situation in this vision is different to the past, for Zion is now comforted, having “received of the LORD’s hand double for all her sins”(Isa 40: 1,2).

(5) God’s righteousness having been satisfied, divine blessings follow in turn, eliciting praise to Him (cp also 60:11; Psa 72:15).

(6) Here is a beautiful picture of the people of God feasting of His bounty in the courts of the great Temple, the house of prayer for all nations (56:7, 5; cp Deut 12:11, 12). The picture is reminiscent of the days of old when the tribes brought offerings before Him to the Tabernacle/Temple on the occasions of the three great feasts: Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. In the Kingdom these feasts will be reinstated and all nations will come up to Jerusalem “from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts” (Zech 14:16; Ezek 45:21), and to celebrate and commemorate deliverance from oppression.

62:10–12 The road to Zion prepared for all to come to her in view of Messiah’s imminent presence and rewards.

62:10 (1) “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people (cp 40:3; 57:14); cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard [Heb nes; RSV ensign] for the people [RSV peoples].”

(1) Notice the double imperatives, “Go through, go through … cast up, cast up the highway,” indicating urgency in view of Messiah’s proximity! (v11). Gates are open, roads prepared, directions put in place to facilitate the pilgrimage to Zion by all peoples, those afar off (Gentiles) and those who are “near” (Israel; cp Isa 57:19; Eph 2:13–17).

62:11 (1) “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, (2) Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy [Zion’s] salvation cometh; behold, (3) his [Messiah’s] reward is with him, and his work [RSV and mg, recompense] before him.”

(1) This urgent proclamation goes out to all nations, the ones for whom the road preparations have been made (v 10) to facilitate their rapid progress to Zion so they might be partakers of the rewards Messiah will give his children. Notice that there are three “Beholds” in this verse!

(2) The daughter of Zion is specifically addressed. She is told that her “salvation” is approaching?! What is meant? What is approaching? Is this not a case of metonymy, where salvation is put for its source, Yahweh and His Son? That this is so can be seen from the fact that in Isaiah 40:10 the same words and message are attributable to Yahweh!? As He was manifested in His Son, who came in His name, it is notable that our Lord appropriates these very words to himself (Matt 16;27; Rev 22:12; see also Matt 21:5; Zech 9:9).

(3) The daughter of Zion’s attention is specifically drawn to the fact that her Messiah comes with his rewards, with recompenses (RSV), which he will bestow upon faithful men and women, believers of all ages, both Jews and Gentiles.

62:12 “And (1) they shall call them,(2) the holy people, (3) the redeemed of the LORD: and thou (4) shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.”

(1) Who are the “they” the onlookers observing the pilgrims arriving, and making the judgment that they are “the holy people …?” Could it not be that this is a reference to the angels, ‘those that stand by’, who will assist with the great assize? (Matt 13:41).

(2) These are saints, holy ones, sanctified by believing the Truth ( John 17:17,19; 15:3; 1 Pet 1:15,16 ;Heb 12:14).

(3) See Isaiah 35:9,10.

(4) Now the city, the “daughter of Zion” is addressed and told her new names (v2), “Sought out” and “A city not forsaken.”

Inhabited by those who love her, who have prayed for her peace (v6, 7), she will rejoice, never to return to the past experience of shame and confusion (54:4–7).