Isaiah 65

 Isaiah 65


This is the climax of the entire book and also seems to answer the lament introduced in Isa 63:7-64:11.

Answering the lament from Isa 63:7-64:11 [1]

  • God will judge those who ignore him and worship in pagan gardens (Isa 65:1-7)

  • God will give the land and his blessing to his chosen servants but will bring his sword against those who have forsaken him (Isa 65:8-16)

  • God will create the new heavens and the new earth that will be full of rejoicing, long life, security, the enjoyment of the fruits of hard labor, and peace (65:17–25)

  • God will honor the humble and contrite but will bring harsh times on those who do not respond to God’s call and continue with their involvement in pagan practices (66:1–4).

  • But Zion will give birth to many children who will rejoice, have peace, and receive God’s comfort (66:5–14)

  • In the end God will bring people from all nations into his glorious kingdom but will judge the wicked with his fire and sword (66:15–24).

God will judge those who ignore him and worship in pagan gardens (Isa 65:1-7)


The people being described are not holy and obedient but rather worldly and rebellious -- doing whatever they desire (v.2). God had made Himself available to them but they did not give glory to Him (v.1). At the same time, they are hypocrites (v.5) -- declaring themselves to be “holier than thou”. God promises to pour out His wrath on them and punish them in full measure (v.6-7).

Questions to ponder

  1. Is it bad to do what we desire? (Isa 65:2) In the context of this verse, the people doing what they desire is presented alongside “living in a way that is morally unacceptable”. The implication is thus that they are doing what they desire instead of what God desires. In general, our spirit is at war with the flesh (Gal 5:17) and our heart is deceitfully wicked (Jer 17:9). These unregenerate people (unregenerate as indicated, among other reasons, by the fact that they will face God’s wrath and are mentioned in opposition to God’s servants in Isa 65:13) do not have the Holy Spirit and therefore can only act according to the flesh (Rom 8:5-8).

  2. Why do these people sit among the tombs? (Isa 65:4)

  3. Is it bad to eat pork nowadays? (Isa 65:4)

  4. Why is smoke in God’s nostrils regarded as a bad thing when incense and the wrath of God’s judgement are regarded as good? What is the distinction? (Isa 65:5)

  5. How is it just that they will be punished for their ancestors’ sins? (Isa 65:6)

The blessings of the faithful remnant (Isa 65:8-10)

Sharon to the Valley of Achor - the Eastern (flat land near Mediterranean coast) and Western (Jordan Valley North of the Dead Sea) boundaries of the land of Israel. Also two fertile areas due to the water nearby. Thus, the entire land of Israel will be maintained for the faithful remnant.

Isa 65:8: "new wine is found in the cluster" - vineyards are not completely stripped during harvest, but there is a small amount left as a blessing to the "stranger, the fatherless, and the widow" (Deut. 24:21). Imagery of the remnant God will preserve.

Contrast between God's servants and His enemies (Isa 65:11-16)

Isa 65:11: Two Hebrew words are used, "Gad" and "Meni"

  • "Gad" = "Fortune"
  • "Meni" = "Destiny"
  • These are false gods that the nations, and Israel, worshipped to discern the future

Isa 65:12: What is God really displeased about?

That the people stopped their ears and ignored God's calling. He is most displeased by deliberately choosing sin and blocking out instruction that would help resist against sin.

  • How do we sometimes do this?

Isa 65:13-15: We have a clear comparison made between how the faithful are treated and how the unfaithful are treated

  • Eat - Hungry
  • Drink - Thirsty
  • Rejoice - Ashamed
  • Sing/Joy - Cry/Sorrow
  • A new name (recall Isa 62, specifically v. 2-4)
Isa 65:16: And what is the result of the new name?
  • "He who blesses himself in the earth will bless himself in the God of truth"
    • What does it mean to "bless oneself"?
      • More clearly stated, "shall be blessed" (as in Ps 72:17)
  • "The God of truth" = "The God of the Amen" (Hebrew/Greek)
    • Amen is a term that means "true", "firm", "reliable"
    • "For in regard to the foundation truths of man’s belief and experience and need, no human tongue can venture to utter its own asseverations with nothing behind them but itself, and expect men to accept them; but that is exactly what God does, and alone has the right to do. His word absolutely, and through and through, in every fibre of it, is reliable and true." - MacLaren
    • Also used by Jesus; he thus claims the same authority as God here
      • Mat 5:18, 18:3, 19:28 (just a few examples of many)
  • So, if God is the God of the Amen (he is the very definition of truth and certainty), then our response to His gift of grace to us is an "Amen" in return in assertion that it is indeed true!
The future kingdom of Israel (Isa 65:17-25)

Isa 65:17-18: God will create a "new heavens and a new earth"; "I create Jerusalem"
  • Rev 21, 3:12
  • Isa 51:6, 66:22
  • 2 Pet 3:10-13
This follows the 1000 year Millennium (Rev 20:1-10)

Characteristics of the new Jerusalem and new earth
  • No more weeping (19)
  • No premature death (20)
  • Security in houses and fruitful vineyards (21, 23)
    • Restoration of the curse from Gen 3:17-19
    • And protection against enemies (22)
  • Relationship with God will be completely intimate (24)
    • cf. Isa 58:9
  • Harmony amongst the animals (25)
    • cf. Isa 11:6-9