Can you imagine a time
when there will be universal peace, with no military
conflict or training? Can you visualize a time when
there are no war colleges and war machines? Yes,
there will be a day when machinery of warfare will
be turned into implements of agriculture. It will be
a time of worldwide peace.
A glorious future is in
store for the city of Jerusalem. Gentile nations
will go to Jerusalem to learn from God. The Hebrew
prophet Isaiah describes the ideal city in Isaiah
2:1-4, and then goes on to depict the actual city in
his day with its sin and depravity (2:5-4:1).
Finally, Isaiah described the purified Jerusalem
(4:2-6). The opening verses of chapters two and four
stand out as high snowcapped mountain peaks with the
dark valley of judgment running between them far
below. The glorious future of Zion the city of God
is in the Age of the Messiah. Judah and Jerusalem
will be included in that glory. The center of
interest is the Kingdom of Judah and its capital
THE PREFACE TO THE
Isaiah uses interesting
language in his preface to prophecies regarding the
city of Jerusalem. "The word which Isaiah the son of
Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (v. 1).
Here is the substance of the prophetic vision about
the ideal Jerusalem. She is portrayed as God
intended her to be. This is a divine communication
of the supernatural received by Isaiah. It is a
revelation that is impossible for the natural mind
to comprehend, but Isaiah is qualified to behold
intelligently what God has to reveal to him.
The Spirit of God
illumined the prophet’s spiritual eyes or the inner
eyes of the mind to see and to understand what the
sovereign God revealed. Isaiah did not hear; he
"saw" the word. It is a revelation from God in
vision which he communicated in words. He has
received a message from God and he speaks with
clarity and authority.
Isaiah introduces us to
the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy on
Zion. It will come about "in the last days." This
expression stresses the last part of the future into
which the prophetic vision penetrates. The
expression is more than a neutral "in days to come."
It is the final age of the world's history following
the establishment of the Kingdom of God. It takes us
to "the last days" which are always used in an
eschatological sense. The prophet "sees" the
farthest point in the history of this life. It is
the point which lies on the farthest limits of the
speaker's horizon. It was therefore "the last days"
in its most literal and purest sense.
The prophet is referring
to a remote future far beyond his day and age. The
phrase is found only in Hebrew prophecies to reveal
the Messiah, who is the fulfillment and goal toward
which all previous history has been pointing. In the
Old Testament the phrase signifies the age or time
of the Messiah and is therefore used in an
eschatological sense. These last days will reach
their fulfillment and come to a close when the Lord
Jesus returns in His glory.
The context demonstrates
that only the Messiah Himself can accomplish these
things. The fact is He alone produces such results
as described in these verses. This glorious future
is messianic, and only He can accomplish these
glorious results. Keep in mind there is no solid
basis for an allegorical interpretation of this
The time is limited to
one of two possibilities: Some scholars see it as
the New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation 21–22. Is
this a prophetic glimpse down to the time when "old
things have passed away, and all things have been
Another view held by many
conservative, evangelical Old Testament scholars
sees Isaiah 2 as "the glory of the Millennial
Kingdom." Perhaps Isaiah did not know the exact time
when the prophecy would be fulfilled. He just says
"in the last days." Other Scriptures make it clear
that these predictions will be fulfilled in the
Millennium when Christ comes to reign a thousand
years on the earth (cf. Revelation 20:1-6; 1
The prophets of the Old
Testament looked forward with great anticipation to
a messianic age here on earth (cf. Isaiah 11:6-9;
Ezekiel 36–39). The early church, until the fifth
century held, with minor exceptions, to the teaching
of an earthly, historical reign of righteousness.
The millennium is an important demonstration of
Christ's power in this age before He turns over the
kingdom to the Father's all–encompassing dominion in
the age to come.
At the millennium, Christ
will have the opportunity to openly manifest His
kingdom in world history. It will be a demonstration
of the truthfulness of His claims and the
fulfillment of all of God's promises to His people.
Even today Christ is reigning as Lord and King, but
this reign is veiled, unseen, and unrecognized by
the world system. His reign is acknowledged only by
those who have accepted Him by faith. History
demands a day when His righteousness will be
vindicated. The extreme humiliation of the suffering
servant of Yahweh will be glorified by His extreme
exaltation as King of kings.
When Christ returns in
the glory of His millennial kingdom it will be the
age of the manifestation of His full weight of glory
for the entire world to see. It will be the time
when the sovereignty which He now possesses, but
does not openly manifest to the world, will be
displayed before a watching world. Jesus will
ultimately receive universal recognition as the King
of Kings and Lord of Lords on this earth where He
was rejected and crucified. We should see the
millennium as a time of social and political and
economic justice when people dwell together under
the reign of Christ in peace and prosperity. What a
different day that will be than the one in which we
PHYSICAL CHANGES IN
The place is "the
mountain of the house of the LORD" (v. 2b). This
mountain is marked by obvious distinction. The
Temple of Yahweh is rendered visible to the nations
afar off and exerts captivating attraction with
tremendous success. It will have drawing power and
Is Isaiah referring to a
miraculous physical elevation or to a metaphorical
Zion will have
preeminence. It "will be established as the chief of
the mountains," or highest in the sense of first in
dignity. It could be that the physical and spiritual
values so blended into one another as to be
inseparable. It will be an imposing attraction to
the people of the world.
Isaiah sees a miraculous
elevation of Zion in which it "will be raised above
the hills." Apparently, the Temple will have a
loftier site than formerly. In his vision, he sees
Zion towering above all the high places on the
earth. Keil and Delitzsch thinks it is referring to
"the New Jerusalem of the last days on this side and
the New Jerusalem of the new earth on the other,
blended as it were together, and did not distinguish
the one from the other." Compare the millennial
temple in Ezekiel 40-43.
THE PILGRIMAGE OF THE
PEOPLE TO ZION (2:2e-3a,b,c).
Isaiah sees all nations
streaming to Zion. The "nations" are the non-Jewish
nations. The house of Yahweh is attracting Gentiles.
In contrast to the nations in confusion at Babylon
leaving in a rage to the far ends of the earth,
Isaiah sees them streaming or flowing to Jerusalem
the "city of peace." Jerusalem. People are streaming
like a flowing river in contrast to the former
tossing, raging strife of the nations of the world
When God is enthroned in
Zion, many people will be attracted to Him because
His people accept His sovereignty.
Crowds of Gentiles are
seen approaching the Temple (v. 3). In verse 3 "many
peoples" is parallel to "all the nations" in verse
two. Many nationalities, perhaps all nations, will
be represented in this mass-movement. Is this the
same time Jeremiah is referring to in 3:17? "At that
time they shall call Jerusalem 'The Throne of the
LORD,' and all the nations will be gathered to it,
for the name of the LORD in Jerusalem; nor shall
they walk any more after the stubbornness of their
evil heart." Cf. Zechariah 8:20-22; Haggai 2:6-7;
Isaiah 66:22f for similar passages.
You can hear the people
in the street excitedly encouraging one another in
Isaiah's vision. "Come, let us go up to the mountain
of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That
He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may
walk in His paths" (v. 3). Where are they headed?
"To the house of the God of Jacob."
THE PURPOSE OF THE
PILGRIMAGE TO ZION (2:3e, f, g)
The Gentiles have deep
spiritual values and desire to be instructed of the
LORD. Their goal is stated in "that He may teach us
concerning His ways." Only the Spirit of God can
teach man things concerning the LORD God (1
Corinthians 2:10, 11; Romans 11:34, 35). It is not
our human philosophies, but "His ways." These
Gentiles are ready to obey God's word. They are
ready to "walk in His paths." It is a remarkable
picture of love, adoration and reconciliation as
opposed to hostility, wars and pride.
The result of the Gentile
pilgrimages to Zion will be the steady emanation of
the Word of God from Zion to all parts of the earth.
"The Law will go forth from Zion" (v. 3f). God's
final word of authority will go forth as the norm.
It is not hard to see a
partial fulfillment of this prophecy on the day of
Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:5-8, 11).
fulfillments are only preludes to a termination
which is still to be looked for in the future. The
promise in the following verse is yet to be
fulfilled in the future. It is "still altogether
unfulfilled" (Keil and Delitzsch).
Verse four is clearly not
yet fulfilled. In no way of the imagination can we
see this as having been fulfilled in the past two
thousand years or at the present day and time.
THE PEACE THAT WILL
ISSUE FROM ZION (2:4).
The Messiah is the
bringer of peace. Only when the LORD returns will
this prophecy be realized in its totality.
Isaiah is describing a
time of universal and unending peace. He is not
describing a Pax Romana or temporary peace treaties
that are so popular in our day which look great on
the surface and sound good in twenty-second sound
bites or TV news. What is promised in this passage
is altogether unfulfilled at the present time.
When Yahweh arbitrates,
conflicts cease and peace is the issue. When God
rules, there are no wars. There is no other avenue
to a warless world.
Gentile nations from all
over the world are seen coming to Zion to a supreme
arbitrator (v. 4). The very nations who have an
inveterated hate for Israel are coming to Zion to
submit to Israel's King Messiah for settlement! No
longer will they settle disputes by force of war.
"He will judge between nations." "He will render
decisions." What a change of attitude on the part of
world leaders toward God! This will be the court of
last appeals. Whatever He renders will be
unquestionably accepted by the nations. The result
of His decisions will be peace like the world has
Can you imagine a day
when all the nations will live in a state of perfect
peace? This will be a full time, genuine God-given
peace among men. What a contrast this will be to the
evening world news. There will be no more war
colleges, no Pax Romanas, no nuclear arms race, no
nuclear blackmail or threats. It will be a time of
"They will hammer their
swords into plowshares, and their spears into
pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against
nation, And never again will they learn war" (v. 4).
What a contrast to our day when we are busy beating
our plowshares into swords, and our pruning hooks
into spears. The wild beast in man will finally be
Carefully observe the
strict sequence of events in these verses. The
elimination of war cannot come about before the
nations have learned to submit to the Word of the
THE PLEA TO THE PEOPLE
OF ZION (2:5).
"Come, house of Jacob and
let us walk in the light of the LORD."
Yes, there are little
islands of peace all over the world composed of men,
women and youth who have come to an intimate love
relationship with Jesus Christ. They know God's
everlasting peace in their hearts. This is where
true peace begins. He gives us His peace.
However, there is a time
in the future coming when the world will know peace
in personal relations that effect every nation of
the world. Only God can bring this world peace. And
one day He will.
The only way to
participate in the future city is to turn one's
total loyalty to the Lamb of God who takes away the
sin of the world now. One day in the future He will
come to will reign as the Lion of the tribe of
As you read this study
there is still time for you to turn from your
unbelief and trust in the all-sufficient grace of
God that gives eternal life to all who will call
upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the
time of grace. God offers you the free gift of
eternal life now. "The Lord is not slow about His
promise, as some count slowness, but is patient
toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for
all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). "If you
confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe
in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you
shall be saved. . . . for whoever will call upon the
name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10: 9, 13).
Title: Isaiah 2:1-4
The Holy City
in the Old Testament