Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 52:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

There shall no more come into thee - For יבא yabo, "shall come," לבא lebo, "to come," is the reading of five of Kennicott's and two of De Rossi's MSS. This is the better reading, לבא יוסיף לא כי ki lo yosiph lebo, "There shall not add to come."

The uncircumcised and the unclean - Christians have turned many passages of the prophets against the Jews; and it is not to be wondered at, that in support of their obstinate and hopeless cause, they should press a prophecy into their service, and make it speak against the Christians. This Kimchi does in this place; for he says, by the uncircumcised, the Christians are meant; and by the unclean the Turks. The Christians are uncircumcised and the Turks, though circumcised, and using many ablutions, are unclean in their works.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Awake, awake - (See the notes at Isaiah 51:9). This address to Jerusalem is intimately connected with the closing verses of the preceding chapter. Jerusalem is there represented as down-trodden in the dust before her enemies. Here she is described under the image of a female that had been clad in the habiliments of mourning, and she is now called on to arise from this condition, and to put on the garments that would be indicative of gladness and of joy. The idea is, that the time had come now in which she was to be delivered from her long captivity, and was to be restored to her former prosperity and splendor.

Put on thy strength - Hebrew, ‹Clothe thyself with thy strength.‘ The idea is, exert thyself, be strong, bold, confident; arise from thy dejection, and become courageous as one does when he is about to engage in an enterprise that promises success, and that demands effort.

Put on thy beautiful garments - Jerusalem is here addressed, as she often is, as a female (see the note at Isaiah 1:8). She was to lay aside the garments expressive of grief and of captivity, and deck herself with those which were appropriate to a state of prosperity.

The uncircumcised and the unclean - The idea is, that those only should enter Jerusalem and dwell there who would be worshippers of the true God. The uncircumcised are emblems of the impure, the unconverted, and the idolatrous; and the meaning is, that in future times the church would be pure and holy. It cannot mean that no uncircumcised man or idolater would ever again enter the city of Jerusalem, for this would not be true. It was a fact that Antiochus and his armies, and Titus and his army entered Jerusalem, and undoubtedly hosts of others did also who were not circumcised. But this refers to the future times, when the church of God would be pure. Its members would, in the main, be possessors of the true religion, and would adorn it. Probably, therefore, the view of the prophet extended to the purer and happier times under the Messiah, when the church should be characteristically and eminently holy, and when, as a great law of that church, none should be admitted, who did not profess that they were converted.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. Let those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin, find relief in Christ, shake themselves from the dust of their doubts and fears, and loose themselves from those bands. The price paid by the Redeemer for our salvation, was not silver or gold, or corruptible things, but his own precious blood. Considering the freeness of this salvation, and how hurtful to temporal comfort sins are, we shall more value the redemption which is in Christ. Do we seek victory over every sin, recollecting that the glory of God requires holiness in every follower of Christ? The good news is, that the Lord Jesus reigns. Christ himself brought these tidings first. His ministers proclaim these good tidings: keeping themselves clean from the pollutions of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent. Zion's watchmen could scarcely discern any thing of God's favour through the dark cloud of their afflictions; but now the cloud is scattered, they shall plainly see the performance. Zion's waste places shall then rejoice; all the world will have the benefit. This is applied to our salvation by Christ. Babylon is no place for Israelites. And it is a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan, to use the liberty Christ has proclaimed. They were to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger; but they were not to go with distrustful haste. Those in the way of duty, are under God's special protection; and he that believes this, will not hasten for fear.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 17

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. Isaiah 52:1. TDG 17.1

During the night I ...passed through an experience similar to that which I had at Salamanca, New York, two years ago. When I awoke from my first short sleep, light seemed to be all around me, the room seemed to be full of heavenly angels. The Spirit of God was upon me, and my heart was full to overflowing. O what love was burning in my heart! I was exclaiming aloud, “Lord Jesus, I love Thee; Thou knowest that I love Thee. My heavenly Father, I praise Thee with my whole heart. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). ‘The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day’ (Proverbs 4:18). Jesus, my Redeemer, the Representative of the Father, I put my trust in Thee.” TDG 17.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 724

“The rebuke of His people shall He take away,” the prophet declared. “They shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord.” He hath appointed “to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” PK 724.1

“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion;
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the Holy City:
For henceforth there shall no more come unto thee the
uncircumcised and the unclean.
PK 724.2

“Shake thyself from the dust;
Arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem:
Loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter
of Zion.”
PK 724.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 434

Souls are perishing out of Christ, and those who profess to be Christ's disciples are letting them die. Our brethren have talents entrusted to them for the very work of saving souls, but some have bound these up in a napkin and buried them in the earth. How much do such idlers resemble the angel who is represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus? What manner of entreaty can be brought to bear upon the idlers that will arouse them to go to work for the Master? What can we say to the slothful church member to make him realize the necessity of unearthing his talent and putting it out to the exchangers? There will be no idler, no slothful one, found inside the kingdom of heaven. Oh, that God would set this matter in all its importance before the sleeping churches! Oh, that Zion would arise and put on her beautiful garments! Oh, that she would shine! 6T 434.1

There are many ordained ministers who have never yet exercised a shepherd's care over the flock of God, who have never yet watched for souls as they that must give an account. The church, instead of developing, is left to be a weak, dependent, inefficient body. The members of the church, trained to rely upon preaching, do little for Christ. They bear no fruit, but rather increase in selfishness and unfaithfulness. They put their hope in the preacher and depend upon his efforts to keep alive their weak faith. Because the church members have not been properly instructed by those whom God has placed as overseers, many are slothful servants, hiding their talents in the earth and still complaining of the Lord's dealing toward them. They expect to be tended like sick children. 6T 434.2

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