Isaiah 43 talks about the return of Israel in the Second Redemption, which will parallel Israel in the wilderness in the First Redemption. Isa 11.12-16 tells about the return of Israel in the Second Redemption, as does Isa 27.12-13. In Isa 43.8-13 we see the servant is Israel, and this can also be seen in Isa 44.1-8. Beginning in Isa 44.9-20, we have more Abomination of Desolation passages. We see the idol is referred to as an “it” and it is in “the form of a man”; “like the beauty of a man”; “so it may sit in a house.” God continues to compare himself and what he has done with an idol they are making, and how it has and can do nothing. Isa 44.21-27 talks about the greatness of God again and Israel is seen as the servant.
So, what we have so far is this. Isa 40 starts out with the voice “crying in the wilderness.” He is preparing the way for the coming of the Lord. Isa 40.6 says a voice (a Bat Kol=”daughter of the Voice”) calls out to “the voice” saying “Call out.” The “voice” (“he”) then asks “What shall I call out?” From Isa 40.7 to Isa 66.24 we have what “the voice” will say. The “voice” is “Elijah”, the messenger of the Brit Chadasha (New/Renewed Covenant), and Yochanon Ha Matvil fulfilled this role in the first century . This coming is rehearsed at Passover and every wedding has two witnesses (Moses and Elijah). At a circumcision, the father sits in a chair called the “Chair of Elijah. At Havdalah the song “Eliahu Ha Navi” (Elijah the Prophet) is sung. In the liturgy of Sukkot there is a prayer called “The Voice of the Herald” (“Kol M’Basar”) which is drawn from Elijah and we have already shown what they prayer is in an earlier post.
What we have from Chapter 40 to 66.24 is a composition of the message of “Elijah.” It will deal with the last days, but in the Peshat level (literal) it was dealing with the Eighth Century B.C. and the coming of the Assyrians. In the Remez (alluded to) and Drash (interpretation) level they are linked. In the Sowd (hidden, secret, mystical) level it is referring to the last days, and the Day of the Lord in particular. The topic these chapters go into is a comparison with the greatness of God and an idol that is being presented as God. This idol is a picture of the Abomination of Desolation. We are also going to have “the Servant Passages” where the servant will be seen as Israel, the Messiah or both.
In Isa 44.28 to 45.13 we have Cyrus the Persian King presented. His name in Hebrew is “Koresh” and he is called the Lord’s “shepherd.” He is the “anointed one” (Messiah) of the Lord (44.1). This was written nearly 200 years before Cyrus was even born. He will be seen as a type of the Messiah in the Sowd level. It says, “He will perform all my desire.” Cyrus was a Medo-Persian king under whom the Babylonian Captivity ended. In the first year of his reign he was prompted by the Lord to make a decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt (Ezra 1.1). These things will also be done when Yeshua comes. The captivity will end and Ezekiel’s Temple will be built.
Middot 1.3 says, “There were five gates to the Temple Mount: the two Huldah Gates on the south, that served for coming in and for going out; the Kiponus Gate on the west, that served for coming in and for going out; the Tadi Gate on the north, which was not used at all; the Eastern Gate on which was portrayed the Palace of Shushan (“Susa” which was the capital of the Persian Empire, put there in gratitude to Cyrus). Through this the High Priest that burned the heifer, and the heifer, and all that aided him went forth to the Mount of Olives” (also Azazel on Yom Kippur). In Isa 45.2 the Lord says that he will go before Cyrus and “make the rough places smooth” and this is similar to Isa 40.3.
Isa 45.7 can be a confusing verse, so we will briefly go over it so it can be understood. It says, “The one forming light (natural light like the sun in the Peshat. In the Sowd it means moral, rational, spiritual light/understanding) and creating darkness (natural darkness, no sun, deprivation of sight and blindness in mankind, ignorance, judicial blindness, God turns them over to it), causing peace (well-being, no deficiency, perfection) and creating evil (deficiency, distress, adversity, the absence of peace).” So, “peace” is perfection, no deficiency, and “evil” is a lack of perfection and deficiency. It existed since creation, in balance with good. Evil (deficiency) is anything that conceals God’s perfection. God did not “create it” but it is a natural consequence of God concealing his presence in creation. Sin, evil and deficiency are “labels” given to circumstances that don’t meet the goal of perfection.
Isa 45.20-21 are Abomination of Desolation passages and the people are without knowledge, who “carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save.” This was taken out of the Oleynu prayer due to Catholic pressure. The Lord goes on to say that “there is no other God besides me.” In Isa 45.22-25 he pleads for the people to “turn to me and be saved (v 22). He has sworn that “every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (v 23). Men will come to the Messiah (v 25).
In Isa 46.5-7 we learn more about the Abomination of Desolation. It says “they will lift it upon the shoulder and carry it (like carrying a crucifix)” and they “set it in it’s place and and it stands (Matt 24.15 talks about the Abomination of Desolation “standing” in the Heicahl of the Temple).” Isa 46.11 speaks of a “bird of prey from the east (Cyrus of Persia, east of Babylon. The standard of Cyrus had an eagle), the man of my purpose from a far country.” This will be true of the Messiah who comes “as the lightning comes from the east” (Matt 24.27).
So, Isa 40 through 46 is the message of the “voice” concerning the greatness of God in comparison to an idol that is called “an abomination (44.19); “in the image of a man” (44.13); “fastens it with nails” (41.7); “in a house” (44.13); “”the idol” is plated with gold and chains of silver” (40.19); it can be carried on the shoulder (46.7); compared to God (40.18, 46.6); called “god” (44.17, 45.20); it is wooden (45.20). The voice will be coming against the Abomination of Desolation. Even the Catholic Church had Isa 45.20 stricken from from the prayer called the Oleynu because they saw an attack on the crucifix (Hertz Authorized Daily Prayer Book, p 208-209, 550-551). The Catholic Church tied the above verses to the crucifix, which we believe will be the Abomination of Desolation.
So, as we have already pointed out, Isa 40.6 says a “Bat Kol” (Daughter of the Voice/God) is heard saying “Call out” and the “voice” of Isa 40.3 answers the voice of God and asks, “What shall I call out?” From that point to Isa 66.24 we have the message of the voice. This “voice” is the Messenger of the Covenant (Mal 3.1) like “Elijah”, one who has the same anointing. This is exactly what we are told about Yochanon Ha Matvil in Luke 1.17 and Matt 11.7. We believe this will also be the message of the Two Witnesses (Rev 11.1-13) who come in the anointing, calling and purpose (“the spirit of”) Moses and Elijah, who personify the Torah and the Prophets (Rom 3.21). Part of their message will be against idolatry in general, and the Abomination of Desolation in particular, using Isa 40.18 (“to whom will you liken me”) to Isa 46.5-7 (“to whom will you liken me”) as the basis of what will be preached to the people.
In Part 22, we will pick up with more information on the Abomination of Desolation, starting in Dan 9.27, 11.31 and 12.11.