10. NOTES ON ISAIAH 6:13.
1 Albert Barnes in his commentary suggests that the Hebrew word rendered as substance would better be translated as ‘stock’ or the ‘stem’ of the tree.
2 The Kings James Version, (in verse 13) adds in italics the two words ‘their leaves.’ These words are not included in the original text. By adding these two words the K.J.V. suggest the coming of light winds that blow away the autumn leaves.
3 But before we throw out the King James, some newer versions in suggesting that the Hebrew word translated as substance, should be translated as stump don’t do any better. As some of them suggest when the tree is cut down, that the stump which remains in the ground is holy seed. However in Ezra 9:2, it is those who return from Babylon, that are referred to as holy seed, not those who has remained in the land.
4 Barnes suggests it would be better translated as ‘stock’ or the ‘stem’ of the tree.
5 Jamieson, Fausset and Brown in their commentary suggest we should read this passage as ‘when the tree is cast down.’
6 Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, tell us that it is the Hebrew word ‘shallehketh’ meaning a felling (of trees) when cast, that is translated into the King James Version as cast.
7 Matthew Henry in his commentary suggests that God accepts the tenth that is returned as a tithe, to be consumed by God as holy seed.
8 In summing up I would say, it would be more correct to say a strong wind came and up rooted the tree, casting both the tree stem (the main substance of the tree) and its larger roots away.
Some may say that this prophecy was fulfilled by the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. with the casting of the captives into Babylon, and by the later return of the exiles to Jerusalem as holy seed (Ezra 9:2); but Babylonian exile cannot be the total fulfilment of this prophecy, because when Jesus quotes this passage from Isaiah He only quotes the first part as being fulfilled. In many ways the Babylonian exile could be described as a type picture of the final fulfilment of the prophecy which is still to come.
The destruction of the cities of Judea and the exile of the Jews to Babylon cannot be the fulfilment of this prophecy.
1: Because when Jesus quotes this prophecy, He only quotes the first half of the prophecy (concerning blindness and deafness of the Jews) and the full extent of this blindness only came upon the Jews as they reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah, during Jesus first coming, and over the next 40 years.
2: Because the Jews still have eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear to this day, we know that the second part of this prophecy has still not been fulfilled.
This second part will be fulfilled in a time yet to come, when most of the messianic Jews who live in Judea (on seeing the abomination of desolation in the temple) will heed to the words of Jesus Christ and flee the mountains (Matthew 24:15 – 22). Thus they will avoid the great tribulation and the destruction of the cities of Judea, while most of the remaining Jews will be cast out of Jerusalem and Judea taken captive to Babylon. Then, after the great tribulation many Children of Israel and Children of Judah shall return to the cities of Judea as holy seed. At that time the eyes and the ears of the Children of Israel shall be opened and great shall be the ingathering of both the Children of Israel and the Children of Judah into the kingdom of heaven.
Because Jesus prophesies in Matthew 13:12, “He who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” We can say that the blindness this prophecy is speaking of was not fulfilled until after the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ (in 33 A.D.). Then as Paul later writes, in approximately 57 A.D. “That blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;” we can therefore say that this spiritual blindness came upon the Jews sometime between 33 A.D. and 57 A.D. With this blindness coming upon the Jews, the first part of the prophecy is complete.
Isaiah then prophesies that this blindness will remain until the cities of Judah are laid waist. This cannot be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Because 1: The fullness of the Gentiles has not yet come in. 2: The Jews, to this day, are still blind to the truth. So we are still looking ahead to a time when this prophecy will be fulfilled by three things happening (more or less) all at the same time. 1: The cities of Judea shall again be destroyed; 2: The fullness of the Gentiles shall be brought into the kingdom of God; 3: The eyes and ears of the Jews shall be open.
Let us look at another prophecy record by Isaiah and only quoted in part by Jesus Christ.
Luke4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
When we look at this prophecy in Isaiah 61:1 – 4 we find that Jesus stops half way through verse two, but to those who do not have eyes to see, verse two continues without break by saying
“And the day of vengeance of our God.”
Why did Jesus stop reading from Isaiah half way through verse two? Because it was during His first coming to earth in the flesh that Jesus Christ came proclaiming the acceptable year of the LORD, but it will not be until His second coming, that Jesus will proclaim the day of vengeance of our God. So in the middle of verse two there is an unannounced gap period in the prophecy of 2,000 years or more, between the first and second comings of Jesus Christ.
Therefore the later part of verse two and all of verses three and four are looking at events that will happen during Jesus Christ second coming.
Isaiah61:4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.
This is interesting, for in Isaiah 6:10 – 12 we are told that spiritual blindness will remain upon the Jews until cities of Judea are destroyed. Then in Isaiah 61:4 we are told these cities will be restored during the time of Jesus Christ second coming.
This means that in their final fulfilment these two prophecies will overlap. Before the second coming of Jesus Christ the cities of Judea shall be destroyed and the eyes and ears of the Jews shall be open. Then after Jesus Christ second coming they shall rebuild the old ruins, “they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations”.
Let us not forget that blindness came upon the Jews because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. In this, there is not only a parallel between the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ as their Savour, and the Church of the dark ages, who rejected salvation by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus. There is also a warning to the Church today: do not lose our love of the truth, or we also will become blinded to the truth.
Through Jesus Christ letter to the church of Ephesus, Christians of the first church age were rebuked for losing their first love and are warned, unless you repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place (Revelation 1:5). If you lose your love of the truth, spiritual darkness will surely overtake you, and you will be blinded, and unable to see or hear the truth.
Written by Kenneth Allan Clark and printed and published by
VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL. P.O. BOX 144 WYNNUM QLD 4178 AUSTRALIA.
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Scripture taken from the “Clarks English Translation” © Copyright 2011 by Victorious Christian Ministries International. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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