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Book of Isaiah
Isaiah Chapter 29

These six chapters in Isaiah: 28-33 are clearly divided into five OR six parts, depending on whether you think that Isaiah 29:15 is a part of chapter 29 . . . or if it is a stand-alone section, it seems to be your decision. Each section is clearly started with the word woe. These woes (afflictions, despairs, miseries) do not seem to be a collection of strange prophecies, but instead a series of prophecies, exposing Judah’s wickedness. Judah is portrayed with all her evils including trusting Egypt to protect her.

In chapter 29, we begin to see Israel’s lack of trust toward God in their supposed theocracy (government under God). Hezekiah buckled under pressure from others to depend on the supposed help of Egypt. God exposed their intended secret sessions discussing their foreign policy.

This great city of David (Ariel), which was holding feasts to celebrate God’s commands, was spiritually blind. They were insensitive and unwilling to leave behind their traditions and sincerely trust God and His Promises. They did not want to discover the real meanings behind the traditions and so would not pledge change. Being callous and insensitive toward God quickly brings moral decay.

The subject of this and the four following chapters is the invasion of Sennacherib; the great distress of the Jews while it continued; their sudden and unexpected deliverance by God's immediate interceding in their favor; the following prosperous state of the kingdom under Hezekiah . . . all is sprinkled with severe reproofs, and threats of punishment, for their hypocrisy, stupidity, infidelity, their lack of trust in God, and their vain reliance on the assistance of Egypt . . . and which end with Promises of better times. The whole of this is not one continued discourse, but instead a group of different studies upon the same subject; which is treated with great elegance and variety. Although the matter is different, and the transitions sudden, the prophet seldom goes very far from his subject.

Jerusalem is now addressed under the poetic name Ariel (vs.1). Most Hebrew scholars seem to believe that Ariel means lion of God. The meaning lion of God would refer to the many blessings and glories of the city through the centuries.

Theme: Jerusalem . . . prophecies of immediate future and reaching on into the Kingdom.
The prophecies in this chapter are confined to Jerusalem but extends from the invasion of Sennacherib through the time when Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles (Lk.21:24) with the last invader (Zec.14:1-7), having destroyed Jerusalem and, finally, to the establishment of the Kingdom when the Messiah shall come and His feet shall touch the Mount of Olives (Zec.14:4; Acts 1:11-12).
It will help if you compare this chapter with our Lord's discourse on Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37 through 24:2, and also in Luke 13:34-35; 21:20-24.

Jerusalem . . . History and Prophecy (29:1-8)

Isaiah 29:1 Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. (KJV)

Woe to Ariel, to Ariel . . .  Ariel is Jerusalem; Ariel means lionlike or lion of God. The word lionlike appears in (2 Sam.23:20; 1 Chron.11:22-24). The word Ariel appears only in 4 places (Ezra 8:16; Isa.29:1, 2, 7). The lion is the emblem of the family of David. Our Lord is called the Lion of the tribe of Juda (Rev.5:5). Some say Ariel means hearth of God, meaning the place where the altar-fire continually burns to God (Isa.31:9; Eze.43:15-16). Jerusalem was where the Temple of God was, and where the altar was.
The city where David dwelt . . . the royal city, and seat of David and his posterity; which is here mentioned as the base of their confidence; and is implied that their being related to David, and their supposed interest in the Promises made to him and to his seed, would NOT secure them from the destruction that is threatened.
Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices . . . they go on in killing sacrifices one year after another, which makes them think they soothe and please the Lord, and secure themselves . . . but all shall be in vain.

Isaiah 29:2 Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. (KJV)

Yet I will distress Ariel . . . even with all their sacrifices, because there is no real remorse for sin, God will distress Ariel, by bringing and strengthening her enemies against her. Even with all their yearly sacrifices, and their observance of their solemn feasts, and other ceremonies of the law, in which they placed their confidence . . . they neglected weightier matters (Mat.23:23). BEWARE!!! NO amount of ceremonies, rites and rituals can make you right with God!
And there shall be heaviness and sorrow . . . because of the siege and the destructions of the enemy made on all the cities and towns in Judea, and because of the famine and bloodshed in the city. Heaviness and sorrow . . . means their groaning and moaning.

Isaiah 29:3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. (KJV)

And I will camp against thee round about . . . the Lord clearly states that which the enemy would do, because it was by His will, and according to His order, and which He would succeed and prosper, which makes the prophecy all the more terrible . . . seeing that it would be certainly be fulfilled, as it was (Lk.19:43; 21:20).
And will lay siege against thee with a mount . . . an artificial mound formed to be higher than the high walls (Isa.37:33), or possibly a station of warriors for the siege.
And I will raise forts against thee . . . forts . . . siege-towers (Deut.20:20), from where they could batter the city, for the Romans had battering rams. Raise up soldiers to cast their arrows into the city. This cannot be Sennacherib's siege, for he did NOT raise a bank against the city, nor shoot an arrow into it (Isa.37:33), but well agrees with the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, as stated by Josephus.
http://www.josephus.org/FlJosephus2/warChronology7Fall.html

Isaiah 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. (KJV)

And thou shalt be brought down . . . to the ground, and laid level with it, even the city of Jerusalem, as it was by the Romans; and as it was predicted by Christ that it would, (Lk.19:44), although some think this was only of the humbling of the inhabitants of it, by the appearance of Sennacherib's army.
And shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust . . .
some explain this of the submissive language of Hezekiah to Sennacherib, and of his messengers to Rabshakeh (2 Ki.18:14, 26) . . . but it seems it could well express the great famine in Jerusalem, at the time of its siege by the Romans, when the inhabitants were so reduced by it, that they were scarcely able to speak as to be heard, and could not stand but fell to the ground and lay in the dust, speaking with a faint and feeble voice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabshakeh
And thy voice shall be as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust . . . or peep and chirp, as little birds, and as those did that had a familiar spirit (Lev.20:27; 1 Sam.28:7-8; 1 Chron.10:13; 2 Chron.33:6; Isa.19:3; 29:4) . . . a familiar spirit is witchcraft (    Ex.22:18; Lev.19:31; 20:6, 27), and is condemned by Almighty God! Jerusalem would be as a captive, humbled to the dust. Her voice shall come from the Earth as that of the spirit charmers or necromancers (Isa.8:19; Deut.18:9-12), faint and shrill, as the voice of the dead was supposed to be. Ventriloquism was no doubt the trick caused to make the voice appear to come from the Earth (Isa.19:3). Because Jerusalem consulted necromancers, and because it was denounced (Isa.8:19; Mal.3:5), they would receive the same condemnation that the wicked ones would. People in today’s world think nothing of consulting a person with a familiar spirit (evil spirit). This is also a dire warning to them, because in the eyes of God, it is a SIN!

Isaiah 29:5 Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. (KJV)

Moreover, the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust . . . which the wind or a fan would scatter. Of thy strangers . . . means the Romans, who were a strange people to them, who got dominion over them, and scattered them abroad in the world. Small dust is a symbol, to which the Romans are compared, it is not used to express their weakness, but the greatness of their number, which could not be counted, any more than the dust of the Earth could be counted (Num.23:10).
And the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away . . . means the same as above, meaning the numerous army of the Romans, who were terrible to the Jews. They were not weak, feeble, incapable or stupid, but instead shows their swiftness in executing the judgments of God upon His people, who moved as quick as chaff or any such light thing, blown away before a mighty wind.
Yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly . . . in a moment (Isa.30:23), either the army would suddenly be before Jerusalem, or the destruction of that city would be as if it were in a moment. Even though the siege lasted a long while, yet the ruin of it was sudden . . . in so short a time, that it might be said to be in an instant. Jewish writers interpret this of the sudden destruction of Sennacherib's army by the angel (2 Ki.19:35), but the next words show that the destruction of Jerusalem is meant.

*****The prophecy was given before Nebuchadnezzar came up to the city of Jerusalem and destroyed it, which marked the beginning of the times of the Gentiles (Lk.21:24). Our Lord said that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles until the Time of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Lk.21:24). The Gentiles have marched through her streets and still do today.

Isaiah 29:6 Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. (KJV)

Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise . . . Thou, is Ariel or Jerusalem, to whom this whole prophecy clearly speaks, shalt be visited with dreadful judgments, which are frequently expressed in the prophets by these and other similar symbols. Thunder . . . not literally, in the case of the Assyrians (Isa 37:36); but symbolically as an awful judgment (Isa.30:30; 28:17). The hidden, or the future fulfilment, in the case of the Jews' foes in the last days, may be more literal (Zec.14:4). Ariel, or Jerusalem, would be punished by the Lord of hosts; because this visitation or punishment was directly from Him, for their sins and iniquities. The Romans were only the instruments the Lord used, and were the executioners of His vengeance; which was attended with thunder in the heavens, a shaking of the earth, and a great noise.
With storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire . . . with which the Temple was burnt by the Roman army, when it came in like a storm and tempest, and carried away all before it.

Isaiah 29:7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision. (KJV)

And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel . . . the Roman army, which consisted of men of all nations, fought against Jerusalem; the city in which was the altar.  
Even all that fight against her, and her munition, and that distress her . . . they that besieged it, tried to demolish its walls, towns and fortifications.
Shall be as a dream of a night vision . . . meaning either #1. that the Roman Empire would quickly fall, and pass away, and come to nothing, like a dream in the night, for it did soon begin to decay after the destruction of Jerusalem, along with its Pagan religion . . . or #2. that the Roman army would be disappointed at the taking of the city, expecting to find much riches, and great spoil, and would not; and so be like a man that dreams, and hopes he is in the possession of what he craves, but, when he awakes, finds he has nothing. More on this in verse 8.

Isaiah 29:8 It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. (KJV)

It shall be even as when a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth . . . he dreams of food, and thinks that he is really eating it,
But he awaketh, and his soul is empty . . . his appetite or desire (Ps.41:4; 78:18) is unsatisfied. Or, his stomach or body (Ps.16:10) is empty when he awakes, and he finds he has not ate anything at all, or,
As when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh . . . he thinks that he has a cup of liquor in his hand, and is drinking it with eagerness and pleasure.
But he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite . . . when he awakes, he is not at all refreshed with his make-believe drinking, but still desires drink to revive his fainting spirits, and quench his thirst.  
So shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against Mount Zion . . . either they shall quickly perish; or, having raised their expectations, and looking forward to the plunder they would get, of which they thought sure, shall find themselves mistaken, and all is like an elusive dream. Some interpret this of the disappointment of Sennacherib's army; and others say it is the insatiable cruelty of the Chaldeans; but it could also be understood of the Jews, who in the midst of their greatest danger, flattered themselves with the hope of deliverance, which was nothing but a dream and an illusion; and to which the following words seem to agree.
So shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against Mount Zion; no less unsatisfied and greedy shall the enemies of the Jews be, with all the cruelties which they have committed against them; and they shall be thirsting after more of your blood, as if they had never tasted any of it.

*****This prophecy was given before Nebuchadnezzar came up to the city of Jerusalem and destroyed it, which marked the beginning of the times of the Gentiles. Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (KJV) . . . The Gentiles have indeed marched through Jerusalem’s streets and still do today.

The final siege of Jerusalem will be the worst of all (Zec.14), but God will intervene at the last moment and deliver His people from extermination. All the dreams of the enemies of God to bring in their own kingdom will be frustrated, and God will put them down. He will build His own Kingdom and establish it Himself, just as He said He would do. The Jews will NEVER be exterminated!
Jeremiah 31:35-37 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (KJV) . . . Israel is here to stay! Heaven above can NEVER be measured, and the foundations of the Earth can NEVER be searched by anyone! NO one can do either of these things! NO one is wiser than God! 

Jerusalem . . . the Meaning and Message (29:9-15)

Isaiah 29:9 Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. (KJV)

Stay yourselves, and wonder . . . pause, be still about it (Ps.46:10), and you will see the stupidity of this people, of which he is now about to speak. Isaiah directs his speech, either to the religious part of the people, or to those specific persons who heard him when he delivered this prophecy. Some think these words were spoken in the times of Ahaz, with respect to the men of Judah; and others say this is directed to the men of Zion; and it is commonly thought that they are the ones spoken of to be the more religious and sober of them . . . although by verse 10, it seems that it was all of them, and that the people to whom these words is spoken were just as stupid as the others.
Cry ye out, and cry . . . cry out again and again, either in way of appeal or through bewilderment and horror. Or, they take pleasure, indulge themselves in carnal fun, satisfy their sexual appetite in rioting and wantonness, and then cry and lament. One renders the words to be, awake from that deep sleep you have fallen into.
They are drunken, but not with wine . . . many of them were drunk in a literal sense (Isa.28:7), they stagger, but not with strong drink; unsteady in their counsels, and in their principles and practices, and stumble in their goings, either, #1. With drinking the cup of God's fury, where they are said to be made drunk. Or, #2. With the spirit of dizziness or stupidity, which makes them like drunken men, totally unaware of their danger, and not knowing what to do. Not with wine, but with spiritual paralysis (Isa.51:17, 20).

Isaiah 29:10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. (KJV)

For the Lord hath poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep . . . God gave them up to a reprobate mind (Rom.1:28), a mind totally void of judgment and common sense; and open to judicial blindness and hardness of heart. This was remarkably fulfilled by the Jews in the times of Christ and His apostles, who choosing darkness rather than the light of the Gospel, which shone all around them, were given over to such a temper of mind; and to nothing else can be credited their stubborn rejection of the Messiah, against the most glaring light and proof before them (Rom.11:7-8). The spirit of deep sleep . . . hardness of heart, and unaware of their danger and misery, which God is said to send, because He denies or withdraws His fight and His grace, which alone can cure those sicknesses.
Hath poured out upon you . . . this shows the abundance and forcefulness of this judgment.
And hath closed your eyes . . . the eyes of their understanding, so that they could not see the awesome character of the Messiah, and the fulfilment of prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth; nor the danger they were in, nor the ruin that was coming upon their nation, nor even when it was come, they still flattered themselves with safety and deliverance.  http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_todays_jesus_prophecies.htm
The prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered . . . the eyes of them, as before; not only the common people were blinded, but even the Scribes and Pharisees, the elders of the people, their religious rulers, who pretended to be seers, and to know more than others. A lot of these around today!

*****The Lord gives them up to their own hardness of heart (Zec.14:13). God can seal up the Truth so that even the most learned, cannot discern it (Mat.13:10-17; 11:25). Prophecy remained relatively a sealed volume (Dan.12:4, 9; Isa.8:16), until Jesus came, who alone is worthy, to open the seals (Rev.5:1-5, 9; 6:1).

Isaiah 29:11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: (KJV)

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed . . .
the prophecies of all the prophets contained in the Scriptures; or all the prophecies in the book of Isaiah, concerning the Messiah, were no more seen, known, and understood, both by the priests and the people, than if they had been in a book, written, rolled up, and sealed. This was owed NOT to the vagueness of these writings, or because they were actually sealed up, but instead to the blindness and stupidity of the people, whose eyes were closed. Dear one . . . this is SO true today! The Holy Word of God is the only thing in this world that cane save you from Hell . . . BUT . . . you must open it and willingly read it with your eyes wide open!
The people in Isaiah’s time were absolutely ignorant of the prophecies concerning their own ruin and destruction, and concerning their rejection of Christ (Lk.24:27, 44-45; Acts 3:17-18; 13:27).
Which men deliver to one that is learned . . . the learned in that day were the Scribes, who knew the book or the letters and understood the language (Jn.7:15).  Saying, Read this, I pray thee . . . read this and interpret it, and tell the meaning.
And he Saith, I cannot, for it is sealed . . . some say this was an excuse because he had no mind to read it, or otherwise he could have said, open, and I will read it.
But, knowing there were difficult things, and things hard to be understood, in it, he did not care to look into it, and read it, and try to explain it to others.

Isaiah 29:12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (KJV)

And the book is delivered to him that is not learned . . . someone that knows not a book or letters, as before, and therefore cannot read, having never been put to school, or learned to read.
Saying, Read this, I pray thee . . . now, at once, immediately.
And he saith, I am not learned . . . he does not excuse himself because of its being sealed, but because he lacked learning; which shows the former was an excuse. To summarize this, neither the learned nor unlearned Jews, did not want to read their Bibles, or to search the Scriptures, and the prophecies in them, concerning the Messiah, and that neither of them understood them.

*****God works in mysterious ways, to say the least . . . hiding from the wise and prudent, as well as from the unaware and unlearned, and makes known the Truth only to a few babes. There was great ignorance of the Scriptures in the times of Isaiah and also in the times of Christ Jesus, to which these Passages truly belong (Mat.11:20-26; 22:29). The well learned prosper no better than the unlearned, because they have NOT the teaching of God, NOR do they desire it (Isa.54:13; Jer.31:34; Jn.6:45; 1 Cor.2:7, 10; 1 Jn.2:20). So sad, this is how it is today!

*****Again there seems to be a joining together of events near at hand with those in the distant future. The near event was the invasion by the Assyrians under Sennacherib. The distant event shall be the invasion of the land of Israel by a league of armies in the end time under Antichrist, shortly before the Coming of Christ in glory and the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom (Rev.19:11-21).

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (KJV)

Wherefore the Lord said . . . to the hypocritical Jews in Christ's time, as the words are applied by our Lord Jesus Himself (Mat.15:7-9; 23:23-29).  
Forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me . . . draw near to me in acts of worship, with their mouth and with their lips with outward devotions and the profession of religion, in praying to Him, and praising Him, and expressing great love and affection for Him, and zeal for His cause and interest . . . all which were outward only, with their lips and mouths only (professors only); but their heart they have removed far from Him (do not possess Christ in their heart) . . . these professors are not employed in His service, for He desires body and soul as a living sacrifice to Him (Rom.12:1). The Lord requires our heart-felt devotion and our mouths and lips moving for Him, our affections set on Him at all times. The people in Isaiah’s time, nor in the time of Christ, did not fulfill the qualifications, nor had they any real heart-felt concern for His glory.
And their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men . . . their worship of God was not according to the law of God, nor His revealed will . . . but according to the traditions of the elders, which they preferred above the Word of God, and by observing those traditions, transgressed it, and made it of no effect (Mat.15:9). Instead of the precepts of God, given by His prophets, their external worship was by rites, rules and customs and was NOT heartfelt as God requires (Jn.4:24).
But have removed their heart far from me . . . they did not pay the Lord any respect,  love, fear (reverence) and obedience which He required and preferred above and beyond all sacrifices and external services (Heb.13:15-16).
Their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men . . . they worshipped God not in the way and manner as He had commanded and recommended, but according to their own and other men's inventions (Mat.15:9), preferring the plans and traditions of their false prophets above the Lord’s instructions (Isa.30:10). This was a common mistake with the Jews (Jer.7:31; Hos.5:11), and thus our blessed Saviour expounds this very place. Matthew 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV) . . . So much of this going on in today’s world. Rites and rituals will NOT save you! NO one but JESUS can save you (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).

Isaiah 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. (KJV)

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people . . .
because of their hypocrisy and traditionalism, their regard to men, their doctrines and commandments (Mat.15:9; Mk.7:7), was NOT to the will and Word of God, therefore the Lord determines to deal in a spectacular way with this people.
Even a marvellous work, and a wonder . . . meaning something exceedingly marvelous (Hab.1:5), which would be a matter of astonishment to everyone that observed it; and is as follows:
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid . . . wisdom shall disappear and vanish, answers too shall perish. A veil shall be east upon the eyes of their minds; there shall be no evidence or proof of their wisdom . . . only their folly (stupidity) shall be made clear. And this was indeed a marvellous work, and a wonder for their wise men to be made fools. This was indeed fulfilled in the wise men, the doctors and learned Rabbis of the Jews; and they themselves say that, from the time The Temple was destroyed, the wise men became like Scribes, and the Scribes to those that looked after the synagogues, and these became like the common people (1 Cor.1:18-19). The marvellous work is one of unparalleled vengeance on the hypocrites: compared to strange work (Isa.28:21).  The judgment too, will visit the wise in that respect in which they most pride themselves; their wisdom shall be hid, meaning it shall no longer appear to help the nation in its distress.

Isaiah 29:15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? (KJV)

Woe unto them . . . or, O ye,
That seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord . . . seek deep is a symbol from men, who dig deep into the Earth, that they may hide something there. To hide . . . it is utterly vain to think that they can deceive not only men, but Almighty God, by their external professions. A person can SAY that they are a “Christian” . . . BUT if they do NOT possess Christ in their heart . . . they LIE! God KNOWS if you are His TRUE child or not! http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
During the time of Christ on Earth, the Jews consulted against Christ, to kill Him (Jn.7:1, 19, 25; 5:16-18). http://hisservants.org/israel_did_she_kill_jesus_h_s.htm
They persecuted Him and His apostles, they hindered the spread of His Gospel; which even though they consulted Him in private, they formed deep plans against Him, but what they never thought (or think of) is that Almighty God sits in Heaven and sees them, and laughs at their vain imaginations (Ps.2:1-5).  
And their works are in the dark . . . why do the wicked ones do most of their dirty work at night . . . as if the darkness could hide them from the all-seeing eye of God. Such works are truly works of darkness, but they CANNOT be hid from God, even though they flatter themselves they will. Dear one, God sees all and knows all! You cannot hide anything from Him! http://hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/ld_judgments_of_god.htm  
And they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? . . . people try many things to try to hide their wickedness . . . who can see them? Who knows who it is? They think neither God nor man can discover them . . . they are WRONG! Wicked people sink so deep in atheism when trying to please themselves, they think they cannot fail.  

*****Some say that things are so serious for Isaiah’s people that He puts in another woe here. This chapter contains two woes because #1. the people act as if God does not see or know, and #2. they act as if they are getting by with their evil.

The six chapters in Isaiah: 28-33 are clearly divided into five OR six parts, depending on whether you think that Isaiah 29:15 is a part of chapter 29 . . . or if it is a stand-alone section. Each section is clearly started with the word woe. These woes (afflictions, despairs, miseries) do not seem to be a collection of strange prophecies, but instead a series of prophecies, exposing Judah’s wickedness. Judah is portrayed with all her evils including trusting Egypt to protect her.

What is the covenant with death and Hell? Daniel tells us about a future covenant which Israel will make with the Antichrist, the prince who is coming, the Man of Sin, the Wicked, the willful king, the beast out of the sea and the one who is controlled by Satan (Dan.9:27).

Isaiah 29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (KJV)

Surely your turning of things upside down . . . turning things over in their minds,
one version joins this with what follows,
Shall be esteemed as the potter's clay . . . their willful counsels and designs shall be made of no more account with God, and be as easily turned about and brought to nought (nothing), as the clay can be formed, and shaped by the potter, at his pleasure, who could do with them just as seemed good in his sight (Rom.9:21). Such was the stupidity and willfulness of the Jews, in trying to hide their counsels from the Lord, and in thinking that He did not see and know them, that they thought God was like themselves . . . as if the potter was counted as the clay . . . BUT, they were the clay, and God IS the potter. They were really stupid, to think they could do anything against the Lord.  
For shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? . . . it seems that they really thought that the Almighty Creator did not know what was being done by His creatures! They were questioning whether He had made them; for IF He had made them, He had to know their actions and even their hearts.  
Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? . . .
he had no judgment, did not know how to make it as it should be. One version says: thou hast not made me wisely, another says: he did not understand the work itself, the make and fashion of it. In other words, God does not understand me.

Jerusalem . . . Honor and Glory (29:17-24)

Isaiah 29:17 Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? (KJV)

Is it not yet a very little while . . . in just a few years, what follows would indeed come to pass. There would be a strange change and alteration made in the world, and by which it would appear, that the Lord not only knows, but foreknows and foresees all things!
And Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field . . . the forest of Lebanon would be as Carmel, meaning the Gentile world, which was like a fallow forest, full of unfruitful trees, to which wicked men may be compared, would through the preaching of the Gospel be nourished, become like a fruitful field, abounding with people and churches, fruitful in grace and good works. The moral change in the Jewish nation would be as great as if the Lebanon forest were to become a fruitful field. Men's hearts, once a dry desert, are changed so they now bear fruits of righteousness . . . and vice versa, the ungodly who seemed prosperous, shall reveal their utter barrenness.
And the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? . . . the Jews, who once had the Word and ordinances of God, and were a fruitful and flourishing people in religion; through their rejection of the Messiah, and contempt of His Gospel, would be deprived of all their privileges, and become like a dense forest or barren land. This was fulfilled, when the Kingdom of God was taken from them, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it (Isa.32:15; 35:1-2; Mat.21:42-46). This looks forward to the future. The time will come when there will be honor and glory in Jerusalem and in their land. God is NOT through with that city. God has judged them, and He will judge them again. But Jerusalem will one day be rebuilt once again, and THEN it will be the city of God (Heb.12:22; Rev.3:12; 21:10, 23; 22:19).

Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. (KJV)

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book . . . in the times of the Gospel dispensation, when the Gospel would be preached to the Gentiles; who before were spiritually deaf, but now would hear the beautiful words of life, and be very willing to hear, and hear so that they understand the doctrines (teachings) contained in the Scriptures, and the prophecies of them concerning the Messiah; the Words of that Book that is now sealed to the Jews, and that they could not be read, neither by the learned nor unlearned among them; but would be both read, heard, and understood by the Gentiles, having ears given them to hear the Gospel, to receive its doctrines, and obey its ordinances. See Messianic prophecies:
http://www.hisservants.org/messianic_prophecies_h_s.htm
http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_books_messianic_prophecies.html
http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch9.htm
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness . . . those who were before blind and ignorant to spiritual things, were now being called out of darkness into marvellous light, called through the ministry of the Gospel . . . their once spiritually blind eyes now opened, they would now see their sin and misery, their lost and dangerous state, the way of life and salvation by Christ, the great and glorious Truths of the Gospel. They would both see and hear and what eye had not seen, nor ear heard before. The spiritually deaf are going to hear, and the spiritually blind are going to see. The deaf were spiritually deaf before God, but by His Word and grace it did open their ears; even the deaf and blind Gentiles, for which I am eternally grateful!
Shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness . . . only by the amazing grace of God, can anyone ever be brought out of the murky darkness of ignorance and wickedness of idolatry, in which the Jews formerly lived in Egypt, unto a clear and saving knowledge of the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (KJV)

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord . . . humble and meek believers are contrasted to the proud and scornful Israelites or Jews, of whom Isaiah speaks in this and in the previous chapter. Shall increase their joy in the Lord . . . shall greatly rejoice that the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, who is now their God and portion. The meek (lowly, humble), are those who are made aware of their sin, and are humbled by it. The see and know their own righteousness can never be sufficient! The meek willingly submit to the righteousness of Christ; and know that all they have and are, are because of the free grace of God (Eph.2:8-9). The meek never envy those that are above them in gifts and grace, but instead have joy in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, in the Lord Jesus Christ; in the greatness and glory of His Person as Almighty God, that He is well able to save to the uttermost. Dear one, Christ Jesus is God! . . . . . . . .http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god.htm
And the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. . . the poor; either, #1. Spiritually poor (Mat.5:3). Or, #2. Physically poor, the opposite of rich, wealthy, and such as the greatest part of the first believing Christians were (Ps.22:26; 72:12-13; Isa.61:1-3; 66:2; 1 Cor.1:26-27; Jam.2:5). Rejoice . . . when they see their oppressors punished (vs.20-21), and the Almighty Lord exhibited as their Protector and Rewarder (Isa.29:22-24; 41:17; Jam.2:5).

*****This joy is NOT carnal (physical), but spiritual; it is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22), and is called joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom.14:17); as it also is the joy of faith (Phil.1:25), which goes along with it, is through it, and increases as joy does. It is odd, to believers alone, unknown to the world (Rom.8:9), and is unspeakable and full of glory (1 Pet.1:8). This kind of rejoicing, and an increase of it, are what belong to Gospel times.

Isaiah 29:20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: (KJV)

For the terrible one is brought to nought . . . the terrible one is the proud and potent enemies of the meek and poor believers mentioned, such as the unbelieving Jews and the heathen rulers that were in the first age of Christianity. This does not mean Sennacherib, king of Assyria, but some difficult enemy or enemies in the Gospel dispensation; such as the Scribes and Pharisees (Mat.23), and the Jewish Sanhedrim who were violent persecutors of Christ and His followers, the meek and poor before described. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Sanhedrin.html
They were brought to nought, and their power ceased at the destruction of Jerusalem; and the Roman emperor, with all subordinate rulers and governors in the empire, who harassed the Christians in a terrible manner, were at last brought to nought by Constantine, and their persecution ceased. This looks forward to the Roman Antichrist in the Great Tribulation Period, who shall also be so terrible, that none could or dared oppose him; he too in a little time will be brought to nought, and cease to be by the Lord Jesus (Rev.19:20).
And the scorner is consumed . . . all the scornful opposers of God's Word and God’s people shall one day be consumed forever! They diligently apply themselves to the practice of wickedness, and do non-stop harm to others. The Jews mocked Christ because He was meek and poor (Lk.9:58). They scoffed at His doctrines and miracles; they ridiculed His cross, and the preaching of it. And the Antichrist, whose mouth is full of blasphemies against God, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in it is yet to come (Rev.13).
And all that watch for iniquity are cut off . . . so many people are always watching for sin in others, while they should instead be stopping their own sin! The Jews ridiculed the prophets and anyone who was serious about God; they hated them, and did their utmost to bring them into contempt; they were scorners, and sat in the seat of the scornful (Ps.1:1). They lay in wait for any occasion against them. They watched for any sign of iniquity, to see if they could lay hold of anything that is said or done that may be called a sin. They watched for the smallest slip of the tongue, to see if anything, ever so little, was said amiss, that would serve them to make an accusation.  In the time of Christ, they watched for an opportunity to do mischief, just as Judas did to betray our Lord Jesus (Mat.26:47; Mk.14:10, 43; Lk.22:47-48; Jn.12:4; 13:2, 26; 18:5).

Isaiah 29:21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. (KJV)

That make a man an offender for a word . . . a word carelessly spoken or hastily said, with no bad plan or cruel meaning; or for preaching and professing the Word of God, the Gospel of salvation, and standing by it; which is the hateful character of the persecutors of good men in all ages: or a word for a verbal reproof, as appears from the next clause. One says: who condemn the sons of men by their words, mainly for their words of reproof, for which they make them offenders, or pronounce them guilty, as follows:
And lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate . . . to rebuke ungodly men, as these were. In the gate . . . means publicly; which they took for a great insult and disgrace; even though the scolding should be public, because their sin is public and appalling. Isaiah mentions the gate, because it was there the people assembled, both for civil and religious accounts, and it was there that the prophets used to deliver their prophecies (Jer.7:2; 17:19). Gate, the place in a city, where courts of justice were held (Ru.4:11; Pro.31:23; Am.5:10, 12).
For him that reproveth . . . means God's faithful prophets and ministers, whose duty it is to reprove or rebuke. Far too little of that going on in today’s world.
And turn aside the just for a thing of nought . . . turn aside, from judgment, also in (Isa.10:2), or from his right; which is elsewhere called perverting, overturning, or overthrowing of a man's right of judgment (Deut.27:19; Pro.17:23; Lam.3:35). The just are the faithful prophets, ministers and people of God, and especially Christ Jesus, who is often called the Holy One and the Just One (Ps.16:10; Zec.9:9; Mk.1:24; Acts 3:14; 7:52; 22:14) or the Righteous One or THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Isa.45:24-25; Jer.23:5-6; 33:16; Dan.9:24; Mat.6:33; 1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil.3:9), both in the Old and New Testament. For a thing of nought . . . for nothing, nothing of any great advantage, but for a trifle, which greatly intensified their injustice. Or with pride, meaning vain and useless pretenses, without any reason or justice. End result: they falsely pervert the judgment of the innocent; making a man an offender; they condemn and punish a just man as if he were a horrible criminal, just like they did Christ (Mat.28:21; Acts 3:13; 8:33).

***** Three evil things the wicked do to the just:
#1. They cause people to offend in word, or give false evidence.
#2. They lay snares for the righteous and pervert judges.
#3. They turn the just aside for reward, and cheat men for a thing of nought.

Isaiah 29:22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. (KJV)

Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham . . . the Lord redeemed Abraham from manifold dangers, especially from that idolatry in which his family and ancestors were generally involved (Josh.24:2-3). The Lord brought Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees; freeing him from idolatry, and from a vain lifestyle before his conversion, and delivered him from many evils and dangers afterwards; saving him with an everlasting salvation, through the Messiah (Gen.12:1-3), the One and Only Redeemer, that sprung from him (Mat.1:1).
Concerning the house of Jacob . . . Jacob, the Israelites or posterity of Jacob, who are often called Jacob in Scripture, who had great cause to be ashamed, for their continued unfaithfulness, and for their persecutions of God's prophets and righteous servants (Lk.13:34), and for their rejection of their own Messiah; but shall at last be brought back unto the God of their fathers, and to the One and Only Messiah. The Israelites were wrestling Jacobs (Gen.32:25-28), of whom the Lord speaks the following things:
Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale . . . as earlier, when those that descended from Jacob rejected the Messiah, ridiculed His character, as if He was the worst of mankind; blasphemed His person, His doctrines and His miracles; spit on Him, buffeted, scourged and crucified Him . . . which were of the same descent and nation, that believed in Him, with shame and confusion, so that their faces blushed, or turned pale or white; but now this would no longer be the case, because of the conversion and salvation of that people in the last day, which is foretold in the next verse. 
Neither shall his face now wax pale, through fear of their enemies, who, from time to time, have molested them; but now they shall be delivered from them all, and shall serve God without fear (Lk.1:71-75).

*****Here Jacob is referred to as the ancestor of the Jews, looking down on them and taking note of their lives. Their conduct would not make a father proud. Their history has been one of shame; but now it was predicted that Jacob would be ashamed no more. He would look upon his vast household with pride; he would see God's redeeming work in their lives; and they, in the Millennium, would sanctify God and His Holy Name, fear Him, and finally come to admit to and understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel.html
 http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_israel.htm

Isaiah 29:23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. (KJV)

But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him . . . he is Jacob . . . when the believing seed of Jacob shall see those children, whom they have begotten to God by the preaching of the Gospel, and even the Gentiles being converted by their ministry, in the time of Christ . . . it will be a great pleasure to the church of God, indicated by Jacob, when they shall observe a great number of Jacob's posterity, or the Jews born again (Jn.3:3-8) becoming the children of God (Mat.5:9; Lk.1:16; 20:36; Jn.11:52; Rom.8:16-17,21; 9:8; Gal.3:26; 1 Jn.3:1,10; 5:2). This will be done through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the Spirit and grace of God; and so the work of his hands, His new creatures, formed for and by Himself; his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ, wonderously wrought by His Hands.
They shall sanctify my name . . . meaning either the spiritual seed of Jacob, the regenerated ones, because the nation that shall be born at once . . . these shall sanctify the Name of the Lord, by knowing and declaring Him to be Holy; by believing in His Holy Name; by seeking Him for righteousness, by accepting His doctrines, and obeying His decrees.
And sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel . . . reverence to His Name, His Word and His ordinances, worship of Him inwardly and outwardly, fearing (reverencing) the Lord and His goodness (Isa.2:2; Jer.30:24; Eze.38:8,16; Dan.2:28; 10:14; Hos.3:5; Mic.4:1; Rom.11:25).

Isaiah 29:24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. (KJV)

They also that erred in spirit . . . the Gentiles whose spirits or minds were unaware of and erred from God's Truth, and who were led aside by a lying spirit or by the spirit of error and delusion, to commit idolatry and all manner of sin. They were wrong in their judgment of God and in all spiritual things . . . just as the Jews have done, ever since the Blessed Messiah's Coming (Lk.2:1-7), being given up to a spirit of error (vs.10), they have gone astray concerning the Scriptures, and the prophecies of them that concern the Messiah, His work and His office; regarding His Truths and His ordinances, and by preferring their traditions and their man-made commandments to the Word of God as so many do today. Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV) . . . There are absolutely NO commandments of men (FALSE doctrines of cults, written by men) that can save you! And there are absolutely NO rites or rituals that can save you! ONLY GOD’S HOLY WORD AND CHRIST JESUS CAN SAVE YOUR SOUL FROM HELL! (Jn.14:6, Acts 4:12).
Shall come to understanding . . . shall come to the knowledge of the Truth. The Truth is found ONLY in the Holy Bible, the Word of God! NO cult, no matter how big they are, can ever give you a spiritual understanding of Christ and salvation of your soul, no matter what they say! Only the doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can give you the Truth about God and eternity!
They that murmured shall learn doctrine . . . In Isaiah’s time, the people would not receive the doctrine of God, but mumbled at God's faithful prophets and teachers, who delivered it (Isa.30:10), which was the practice of both Jews and Gentiles, but in the last days, they shall then learn TRUE doctrine, and graciously receive God's Truth. Israel was well known for their murmuring (complaining, belly-aching). http://www.hisservants.org/israel%27s_ten_failures_h_s.htm
And they that murmured . . . ever since the Jews rejection of the TRUE Messiah, Israel complained about Christ, all that was brought by Him; at the reception of sinners by Him; at the calling of the Gentiles; and at the providence of God that has attended them. Shall learn doctrine . . . the TRUE doctrine of the Messiah . . . not the law, as some say, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Christ received from His Father (Jn.10:32), and His disciples received from Him (Jn.14:10), and the church has received from them, and has been transmitted to us Gentiles, and will be to the Jews in the last day (Rev.7), who will learn the TRUE knowledge of it. BEWARE!!! There are so many false teachers in the world today!
http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_books_false_teachers.html
http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_1_how_to_know_false_teachers.1.htm

*****So often in prophecies, the judgment is not total, for there is a glimpse of some future restoration and glory (vs.17-24). The oppressors and the scoffers have long been in dominance; and in that day of which our prophet speaks (the Millennium), they will be looked for in vain. But if we are wise, we will note the divine hatred and disgust of all the Pharisees’ claims to superior holiness. Happy is the picture of Israel's future, and well indeed for us, if we can personally fit its  precious lesson into our lives, trusting our awesome Triune God who weaves the web of time, intermingling His grace and mercy with His judgment.
http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html

Special Comments

The prophecy here was from the God of Abraham to Jacob (Israel), predicting that in the Millennium they would enjoy six blessings:
#1. He will not be ashamed.
#2. His face will not grow pale.
#3. His descendants will sanctify God and His Name, meaning to set Him apart in reverence (Isa.29:23).
#4. They will fear the God of Israel.
#5. They will finally come to understanding (Isa.29:24).
#6. The murmurers among them will learn doctrine.
This has NEVER been literally fulfilled with Israel as a nation, so it has to refer to the last days

Three evil things the wicked do to the just:
#1. They cause people to offend in word, or give false evidence.
#2. They lay snares for the righteous and pervert judges.
#3. They turn the just aside for reward, and cheat men for a thing of nought.

Commentaries on Old Testament Books

Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible

Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page

JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page

ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page

ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page

Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant

Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page

Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page

 

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