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Read Isaiah 52

52 Awake, awake, Zion,
    clothe yourself with strength!
Put on your garments of splendor,
    Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
    will not enter you again.
Shake off your dust;
    rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
    Daughter Zion, now a captive.

For this is what the Lord says:

“You were sold for nothing,
    and without money you will be redeemed.”

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“At first my people went down to Egypt to live;
    lately, Assyria has oppressed them.

“And now what do I have here?” declares the Lord.

“For my people have been taken away for nothing,
    and those who rule them mock,”
declares the Lord.
“And all day long
    my name is constantly blasphemed.
Therefore my people will know my name;
    therefore in that day they will know
that it is I who foretold it.
    Yes, it is I.”

How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
    together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,
    they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together,
    you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
    in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
    the salvation of our God.

11 Depart, depart, go out from there!

    Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
    you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.
12 But you will not leave in haste
    or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
    the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant will act wisely;
    he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
    his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
    and his form marred beyond human likeness—
15 so he will sprinkle many nations,
    and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
    and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Go Deeper

Isaiah 52 starts by telling Jerusalem to awake because their time of judgment has ended. The people have been in exile for about 70 years and they are informed that even though they have sold themselves to other gods for nothing in return (v. 3), they shall be redeemed without money. This highlights the prophetic nature of the chapter. It brings awareness of a coming king who will pay the price of redemption for His people, but not with money, but with His life.

God first affirms the glory and authority within His name, even if the nations and His own people didn’t acknowledge it at the time. He tells the people that one day they will know that He is and always has been God. Isaiah proclaims the earth will know that God is a God of salvation. The author then affirms the future servants of God, blessing the feet of those who will proclaim the good news of Jesus’s sacrifice on earth. In fact, this exact passage is revisited by Paul in Romans 10:14-15 as he exclaims the importance of sharing the gospel:

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”

You may remember in Isaiah 6 the reference to the “holy seed” or remnant of Israel following the exile. Paul brings this together in Romans 11 as he looks back on God’s faithfulness through the prophets of the Old Testament. He references how Elijah thought he was the only follower of God left, but God had reserved 7,000 men as a remnant. In the same way, Isaiah 52 prophecies of a remnant of devoted followers of God who will later bring peace, joy and truth to the earth through telling about Jesus. 

As a reminder,  Isaiah was written about 700 years before Jesus was even born. This book is (and was) often referenced as proof that Jesus was the true Messiah. Today, re-read verses 13-15 and reflect on God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promise to send a savior and redeemer for us. 


  1. How do you see God’s faithfulness in this chapter? 
  2. Who can you share what you’ve learned in this chapter with this week? 
  3. How can you make an effort to bring the “good news” of Jesus to someone this week?

Pray This


Thank you for your faithfulness to send your Son to die on a cross for me, knowing in advance the sins I would commit. Thank you for your reminder that you are always God and you are the redeemer. Help me look for people who need to hear the story of Jesus’s sacrifice and give me the courage to share that with them this week. Amen.

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5 thoughts on “Isaiah 52”

  1. As people of The Way, we are given a divine assignment to bring good news of peace and salvation to the masses, that our GOD REIGNS! He’s no counterfeit, complacent, impotent idol, he is Lord of all. Isaiah proclaims this as “beautiful” work, and indeed it is. Once a life has been rescued, the heart explodes with hope that must be shared. What was deemed ruined has been redeemed. The Messiah, the Suffering Servant, came to save us from ourselves, to shatter the darkness of evil and bondage, and love us back to life from death. Who will you encounter today that needs this lifeline? Begin to pray for who you will pass on this miracle of hope. “When you light a dark world and the unexpected places with a brave flame of joy, when you warm the cold hopeless places with the daring joy that God is with us, God is for us, God is in us, you are a wick to light hope in the dark—this is the miracle of Christmas.”
    (Ann Voskamp)

  2. Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord. We are called to be holy also “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:14-16) Holy means to be set apart for a specific purpose (Ancient Hebrew Lexicon, publishing, Jeff Benner).SET APART for a purpose. For me that helps to understand how I could be holy as He is Holy. The only way is through Jesus as our Savior. Then we are to take time to spend time in God’s word, with Him in prayer (just plain old talking to Him) and listening to Him. Spiritual growth as we grow in our faith as children. What do you want to be when you grow in God? More Holy, obedient, not angry, a listener, patient, kind, loving and the list goes on. I just want to do my Father’s will so much more obediently than I ever have. This is what I am learning through this study and God’s faithfulness.

    Thank You God for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the pleasure of being ‘set apart’ for You. I thank You for ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to understand what all You want and need me to do. I am willing. Thank You for feeling Hesed love in Jesus name amen

  3. Enjoyed the commentary! Thank you for including the passage in Romans…I was trying to remember where did I read/hear that recently.
    Tim Keller has been doing such a great job going thru the gospel of Matthew 11. He’s elaborated on the questions that arose from one of the thieves on the cross and John and the Baptist—“Are you the true Messiah?”
    As Isaiah prophesied about the coming of the Messiah, it’s interesting to read Part II in the NT like mentioned today. Keller made such good points, but one he said was, “the world didn’t need one more Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Buddha, Mohammed—the reason God had to come (incarnation) because we are weak, and helpless children…One more prophet wouldn’t have helped us, or a teacher of spiritual disciplines. We didn’t need another prophet to tell us how to be saved, but God who would save us. Someone who would do it for us to receive salvation. Someone who lives the way we should…dies the way we deserve. Jesus came to bring a salvation of grace —to show that He IS the way, the truth, and the life.” (Paraphrased)(Podcast 831)
    Oh, if we would only live as God was speaking to us like He did to Jerusalem in v1-3! Because we know the rest of the story!! That we are more than His creation, but His children—His followers!
    Thank you God, for our Redeemer! Our Savior! Thank you for baring your holy arm in showing us You are more than spirit! May we see, hear, and understand as we go into our mission field today, Lord! We love you! In your precious son’s name…

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