Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 51

Verses 1-23

Three messages to the faithful immediately follow. The first is a call to courage (verses Isaiah 51:1-8), in which they are charged to look back to Abraham, to look on to the nearness of God's activity, to look around and be without fear in the presence of opposition.

The next is a cry of courage (verses Isaiah 51:9-11), in which they first look up to the arm of the Lord, and then look back and remember how He has delivered, and, finally, look on in the assurance that He will deliver.

The last (verses Isaiah 51:12-16) is a great message of comfort. First of all, fear is rebuked as due to forgetfulness of Jehovah, and, finally, Jehovah is pledged by His might to succor and establish His people. Three messages to the fitted people as a whole follow. The first (verses Isaiah 51:17-23) calls on Jerusalem to awake, because the end of her suffering is approaching. A graphic picture of that suffering is given in which she has been bereft of her children and overtaken by desolation and destruction. The hour has come in which the cup of staggering and of fury is taken out of her hand and put into the hand of those who afflict her.