Isaiah 52:1–15 (NKJV)
52:1 Awake, awake!
Put on your strength, O Zion;
Put on your beautiful garments,
O Jerusalem, the holy city!
For the uncircumcised and the unclean
Shall no longer come to you.
2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise;
Sit down, O Jerusalem!
Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck,
O captive daughter of Zion!
3 For thus says the LORD:
“You have sold yourselves for nothing,
And you shall be redeemed without money.”
4 For thus says the Lord GOD:
“My people went down at first
Into Egypt to dwell there;
Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
5 Now therefore, what have I here,” says the LORD,
“That My people are taken away for nothing?
Those who rule over them
Make them wail,” says the LORD,
“And My name is blasphemed continually every day.
6 Therefore My people shall know My name;
Therefore they shall know in that day
That I am He who speaks:
‘Behold, it is I.’ ”
This chapter begins with the Lord’s declaration that the time for suffering and bondage is over. He instructs the people of God to shake off their bonds and come back from the captivity for which they received nothing. God says they “shall be redeemed without money.” This signifies that the people in bondage will not be ransomed, but rather rescued.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
8 Your watchmen shall lift up their voices,
With their voices they shall sing together;
For they shall see eye to eye
When the LORD brings back Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together,
You waste places of Jerusalem!
For the LORD has comforted His people,
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has made bare His holy arm
In the eyes of all the nations;
And all the ends of the earth shall see
The salvation of our God.
This passage contains the well-known gospel prophecy, but also relates to those who have good news about the fate of Zion. Beautiful are the feet of those who spread good news. Declare that God reigns, and let the waste places sing again. God reigns!
11 Depart! Depart! Go out from there,
Touch no unclean thing;
Go out from the midst of her,
You who bear the vessels of the LORD.
12 For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the LORD will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Take the vessels of God, and don’t run. God goes before you and He comes behind you. You are safe as long as you stay with Him. Keep the pace God is setting for you every day, and walk with Him.
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations.
Kings shall shut their mouths at Him;
For what had not been told them they shall see,
And what they had not heard they shall consider.
This last passage is also a Messianic prophecy, part of the suffering servant Scriptures in the book of Isaiah. This particular passage speaks of the Messiah’s prudence and His exaltation. But this passage also speaks of His physical beating which shall mar His visage, or appearance. But even in His unworthy punishment, He will arise and save the nations, puzzle and silence Kings, and cause people around the world to consider His truth. Declare Him to the nations!