The Passion Translation
The Mountain of the Lord’s Temple
2 This is the word revealed to Isaiah, son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days,[a] the mountain of Yahweh’s temple
will be raised up[b] as the head of the mountains,
towering over all the hills.[c]
A sparkling stream of every nation will flow into it.[d]
3 Many peoples will come and say,
“Everyone, come! Let’s go up higher to Yahweh’s mountain,
to the house of Jacob’s God; then he can teach us his ways
and we can walk in his paths!”
Zion[e] will be the center of instruction,[f]
and the word of Yahweh will go out from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge fairly between the nations
and settle disputes among many peoples.[g]
They will beat the swords they used against each other
into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.[h]
No nation will take up weapons against another,
nor will they prepare for war anymore.
5 O house of Jacob, come let us walk
in the wonderful light of Yahweh![i]
The Judge of the Nations
6 Lord, you have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob,
for they are full of divinations from the east,
like the land of the Philistines, with diviners everywhere;
they are pleased with what is false and foreign.[j]
7 Their land overflows with gold and silver;
they are wealthy beyond measure.
Their land is filled with horses and innumerable chariots!
8 Worthless idols are everywhere, and they worship
the work of their own hands, what their fingers have made.[k]
9 The people bow down low before the “no-gods,”
and the leaders lie down flat before them in worship,
so do not spare them![l]
10 Enter into the rock and hide in the dust
from the dreadful presence of Yahweh
and from his majestic glory.[m]
11 The arrogant[n] will be humbled
and the pride of man brought low.
Only one will be exalted in that day: Yahweh!
12 The Lord of Angel Armies[o]
has a day of humiliation in store for all the high and mighty,
for all who are proud and self-exalting.
They will be brought low.[p]
13 His judgment is coming against all the
lofty cedars of Lebanon[q] and all the oaks of Bashan,[r]
14 against all the high mountains and all the lofty hills,[s]
15 against every high tower[t] and every fortress wall,[u]
16 against all the trading ships of Tarshish[v]
and all the impressive sailing vessels.[w]
17 People’s arrogance will be conquered and brought low,[x]
and those proud of heart will be humiliated.
Only one will be exalted in that day: Yahweh!
18 Every worthless idol will utterly pass away.[y]
The Coming Dread of God
19 People will hide in caves and holes in the ground
from the dreadful presence of Yahweh
and from his majestic glory when he rises
to mightily shake the earth.
20 In that day,[z] people will throw away the worthless idols
their hands have made from gold and silver.
They will fling their treasures to the rodents and bats
21 as they crawl into the clefts of the rock to hide from the
dreadful presence of Yahweh
and from the majesty of his glory
when he rises to shake the earth mightily![aa]
22 So once and for all, stop trusting in man,
who is but one breath from death—frail and puny man![ab]
- Isaiah 2:2 This phrase, often used by the prophets of the Old Testament, speaks of our current time in human history between Pentecost and the coming again of Christ. See Heb. 1:2; 1 John 2:18.
- Isaiah 2:2 Or “prepared.” See Eph. 1:21-22.
- Isaiah 2:2 This is a contrast from ch. 1 to ch. 2 of Isaiah. No matter how despicable our past, God’s grace will fully establish his people as the mountain rising above every other mountain. Mountains in the Bible are often used metaphorically for kingdoms. Kingdoms and governments are like mountains and hills on the landscape of history. The mountain-kingdom of God is in view here. It will be the chief of all mountains, the highest of all hills. The secular world sees Christ’s kingdom as irrelevant and powerless. But one day the kingdoms of the earth will be leveled and the King’s mountain will be high and exalted. With no rival, Jesus will sit enthroned. This prophetic outlook is the backdrop for all that Isaiah preaches. See Isa. 25:6-8; Mic. 4:1-5.
- Isaiah 2:2 Or “All the nations will flow as a river to it.” The Hebrew word nahar can be translated “stream (river)” or “to sparkle, to be cheerful.” In Isa. 60:5 it is translated “radiant.” A cheerful, sparkling stream of people will come into divine radiance as they come up the mountain of the Lord. This speaks of the uphill flow of the river of God—a supernatural magnetism bringing the nations into the kingdom of Christ. This is the reversal of the dispersion of the people at Babel (Gen. 11).
- Isaiah 2:3 Zion is more than a location; it is a realm where God is enthroned (Ps. 2:4-6; 87:5). Zion is a synonym for the people of God, the dwelling place of his Spirit (Ps. 9:11; 74:2; 76:2; Heb. 12:22-24). The perfection of beauty is in Mount Zion, where the light of God shines (Ps. 50:2). Perfected praise rises to the Lord in this place of perfect rest (Ps. 65:1-2). The Mountain of Zion is where the Lord is known in his greatness (Ps. 99:2; Isa. 12:4-6). It is the hope of all the afflicted (Ps. 102:16-22; Isa. 14:32; 51:11).
- Isaiah 2:3 Although the Hebrew word torah is used here, it means more than “the law.” It also can be translated “instruction” or “teaching.” This is not the law of Moses, for that came from Sinai. This is revelation of the gospel and the instruction of God out of the Zion realm that overcomes every work of darkness within us and around us. From Jerusalem the gospel light and the twelve mighty apostles went forth to change the world.
- Isaiah 2:4 The wisdom of the Lord will resolve ethnic conflicts and international disputes.
- Isaiah 2:4 Or “sickles” (LXX). Weapons that were turned on one another will now be used for the harvest.
- Isaiah 2:5 The Hebrew concept of the light of the Lord includes his ways, favor, presence, blessings, and revelation.
- Isaiah 2:6 That is, since they don’t seek the true light of the Lord and his true prophetic word, they end up with Eastern mysticism, the false and the foreign. Arguably, this is one of the more difficult verses to translate in Isaiah, with multiple possibilities. The last clause can be rendered “They clasp hands with foreigners (unholy alliances)” or “They are with the children of foreigners.”
- Isaiah 2:8 Isaiah condemns what the people were trusting in: their broadminded tolerance, financial security, military might (horses and chariots), and the idols they themselves had crafted. See also Deut. 17:14-17.
- Isaiah 2:9 Or “Do not raise them up again.”
- Isaiah 2:10 Everyone on earth will seek to hide in a rock. Those who love the Lord will find shelter in the rock of salvation. Those who deny the Lord will make the rocks and caves their hiding places from the face of God (lit. “hide in the dust from the face of the terror of the Lord”).
- Isaiah 2:11 Or “the eyes of the haughty.”
- Isaiah 2:12 Or “Jehovah-Sabaoth,” the Lord of hosts.
- Isaiah 2:12 See Zeph. 2:3; Mal. 4:1.
- Isaiah 2:13 Isaiah uses the metaphor of trees to symbolize humanity. Lebanon is used metaphorically as a symbol of beauty in the Scriptures. The tall and lofty cedars of Lebanon are a picture of the cultural elite, those of high standing in society. Men are like trees who stand tall and upright, only to be cut down in death. Jesus stands as the fairest of all the trees, like an apple tree in the forest of humanity (Song. 2:3).
- Isaiah 2:13 These oaks were known for making oars (Ezek. 27:6). They speak of the military captains and soldiers surrounding Jesus on the cross, who were like the savage bulls of Bashan (Ps. 22:12). The word Bashan, although the area was known as a fertile land northeast of the Sea of Galilee, is also the word for “serpent.” Oaks of Bashan may also represent great global leaders empowered by demonic spirits.
- Isaiah 2:14 Governments and kingdoms of this earth are like hills and mountains. Even the highest of men’s governmental authorities will bow to the one called the Lord Almighty.
- Isaiah 2:15 High towers could also represent godless academia that towers intellectually above others.
- Isaiah 2:15 This could refer to the strongholds in the mind of man, thoughts of self-importance that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:3-6). Towers and walls served as a refuge during an attack. Rebels against God built a tower in Babylon (Gen. 11:1-9), seeking to be independent of God.
- Isaiah 2:16 The ships of Tarshish were the largest of ships, able to take the longest voyages and the greatest cargoes. They typify the great commercial empires built by man (Ezek. 28:2-5). The economic system, the commerce of earth, will be brought to the feet of Jesus as he establishes an eternal kingdom where righteousness and justice rule.
- Isaiah 2:16 The last clause is difficult to translate with accuracy. Some scholars believe the Hebrew word śāk̠â may be an Egyptian loan word for something like “yacht” or some impressive sailing vessel or “ship of pleasure.” Others translate it as “splendid palaces, works of art, pleasant pictures, images of desire.”
- Isaiah 2:17 Isaiah taught that those who bowed low before idols (2:11) will one day bow low before the true God.
- Isaiah 2:18 The Hebrew has only three words: “Nothings to nothingness!” See 1 Cor. 8:4.
- Isaiah 2:20 The phrase “in that day” is used fifty times by Isaiah.
- Isaiah 2:21 See Heb. 12:25-29; Rev. 6:15-17.
- Isaiah 2:22 Or “who has but breath in his nostrils—of what account is he?” Man’s life is fragile and temporary. His breath is in his nostrils, ready to stop at any moment. With all our boastings and with all our ingenuity and marvelous inventions, man is but a poor, vain creature. In all our littleness and helplessness we must turn away from the answers of men and ask for the breath of God.