Chapters 24-27 are often called the

“Apocalypse of Isaiah.” Like much of Isaiah,
it alternates between prophecies of tribulation
and promises of salvation.
The section begins with chapter
twenty-five describing the devastation of the
whole earth, both elites and commoners. In
this, a contrast is made between the elite
priests and the ordinary people (24:2), priests
being viewed as an elite social class. The
theme for Isaiah’s entire book is found in the
explanation for Yahweh’s anger (24:5, ESV):
The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
The “everlasting covenant” (c¬·: :·¬: = berīt
‘ōlām) is an important concept. It is most
generally associated with Israel, but an
everlasting covenant was also established
with all Mankind through Noah (Gen 9:16).
The essential element of Noah’s everlasting
covenant is that “Whoever sheds the blood of
man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God
made man in his own image” (Gen 9:6).
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27 1 Oct 5, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalem
Templ e Themes i n Is ai ah
The Apocalypse of Isaiah
Devastation on the whole
earth (24:1-13); Rejoicing
in Yahweh (24:14-16);
Condemnation to the Pit
(24:17-20); Gathering to Mt
Zion (24:21-23)
The Great Banquet of
Yahweh (25:1-12)
The apocalyptic final
victory of Yahweh
Vineyard and restoration
(27:2-6); condemnation of
idolatry (27:7-13)
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27
William J. Hamblin
Thus, war and murder among the nations
violates this universal “everlasting covenant,”
resulting in the Yahweh’s curse on all
Mankind, devouring the whole earth (24:6).
The link to Israel’s own, more detailed
everlasting covenant to the temple is reflected
in Jer 50:5 and Ezek 16:60, where after the
destruction of the temple of Jerusalem, a new
“everlasting covenant” needs to be
established, since obeying the sacrificial laws
and statues of the covenant requires a temple.
Thus, for the new everlasting covenant to be
established, a new temple will be established
so God can
“make a covenant of peace with them. It shall
be an everlasting covenant with them. And I
will set them in their land and multiply them,
and will set my sanctuary in their midst
forevermore.” (24:5)
Likewise, in Isaiah the violation of
this everlasting covenant “of peace” results in
devastating wars, while the renewal of the
everlasting covenant will occur at the temple.
“for Yahweh of the armies will reign on
Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his
elders he will manifest his glory [at the
temple]” (Isa 24:23), a probable allusion to
the elders who accompanied Moses up Mount
Sinai and saw the glory of Yahweh (Ex 24);
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27 2 Oct 5, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalem
Mt Sinai in Egypt, taken from the traditional site where the seventy elders waited for Moses
with the new everlasting covenant, the elders
see the glory of Yahweh on his new “holy
mountain” (27:13), the Temple Mount. These
elders who see the glory of God are probably
to be equated with the 24 elders of
Chapter 25 begins with a psalm in
praise of Yahweh, culminating in the
prophecy of the great pilgrimage and temple
banquet of Yahweh on the temple mount.
Isaiah describes a great feast that Yahweh will
make for “all peoples” (25:6), not just Israel.
This is consistent with numerous statements
in Isaiah that all the nations will one day
come on the Great Pilgrimage to the temple
with Israel, where all nations will be God’s
There, God will “swallow up death
forever ... [and] wipe away tears from all
faces” (25:8), a sentiment reflected in Rev
7:17, 21:4, and seen by Christians as fulfilled
by the coming of the glory of Yahweh in the
form of Christ, who won victory over death.

This passage in Isaiah becomes a major theme
for Christians in the great wedding supper of
the Lamb.

Chapter 26 is a series of hymns
associated with Mount Zion. The context is
probably an ascent to the Temple Mount
(26:2), where the people would go in
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27 3 Oct 5, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalem
Rev 4:4, 10, 5:8, 11:16, 19:4.
Isa 2:2-4, 4:2-6, 6:13, 11:2-12, 12:6, 19:18-25, 23:18.
Another temple metaphor is “the hand of Yahweh will rest on this mountain” (25:10), referring
to the presence of the awesome power of God at the temple.
Mt 22:1-14 = Lk 14:15-24; Lk 13:26-29 = Mt 8:11-12; Lk 22:18, 28-30; Rev 19:6-10; DC
procession through the gates of the temple
singing hymns to Yahweh.

In preparation for the ascent to the
temple, Yahweh prepares a road:
“The path of the Righteous One is level
The way of righteousness is clear” (26:7).
This “Way of Yahweh” is the way the pilgrim
follows to the temple, and the Way John the
Baptist prepared for the coming of Jesus as
king to the temple.
This “Way of Yahweh”
to the temple is the background for
Christianity’s original name, the Way.
essential element of this metaphor is that the
Way of Yahweh leads to the temple. In the
end, Yahweh “comes out of his place (:·¬:
maqōm)” (26:21)--that is the temple--to
punish iniquity and restore righteousness.
The last chapter, twenty-eight, again
uses the counter-point of desolation and
salvation. This passage describes
paradoxically how Israel will receive its
atonement (27:9):
Therefore by this the guilt of Jacob will be
atoned for:
and this will be the full fruit of the removal
of his sin:
when he makes all the stones of the altars
like chalk stones crushed to pieces,
no Asherim
or incense altars will remain
Notice here that apostate Israel sought
salvation by worshipping at the altars of the
false gods, but real atonement can only come
when they cease worship at altars of the gods
of the nations, and return to the authentic
worship of Yahweh alone at the temple.
When this occurs, scattered Israel will
be gathered from Egypt and Assyria (27:12),
on the great pilgrimage to the feast of Yahweh
mentioned in 25:6-10.
And in that day a great trumpet will be blown,
and those who were lost in the land of Assyria
and those who were driven out to the land of
Egypt will come and worship Yahweh on the
holy mountain at Jerusalem (27:13).
The metaphor here is clearly an Israelite
pilgrimage festival to the temple of
Jerusalem, perhaps the Feast of the Trumpets
(Lev 23:24; Num 29:1). The Second Temple
has a platform on the southwest corner where
a priest stood to blow the sacral trump,
indicating its importance in worship. Part of
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27 4 Oct 5, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalem
Ps 24:7-10, 100:4, 118:19-20.
Isa 40:3, Mal 3:1, Mt 3:3, Mk 1:3, Lk 3:4.
Acts 9.2, “Way of the Lord” 18.25, “Way of God” 18.26, 19.9,23, 22.4, 24.14, 22; Christ as
“the Way,” Jn 14.6.
Asherim at the wooden images, poles, or trees venerated by devotees of Asherah, the fertility
goddess of the Canaanites. W. Dever, Did God Have a Wife?, (2008).
this platform survives (see photo). Note also,
the Temple Mount is the “holy
mountain” (:¬¬¬ ¬¬ = har ha-qodeš); thus
not just the temple itself but the entire Temple
Mount is made holy by the presence of
This sounding of the great trump in
preparation for the millennial return of the
glorified Christ to his temple is an important
New Testament theme as well.
Temple Themes in Isaiah 24-27 5 Oct 5, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalem
Rev 9:14; 1 Cor 15:52; Mt 24:31.
The “trumpeting stone” on the southwest corner of the current Temple Mount/Haram. It was
cast down by the Romans at the destruction of the temple in AD 70, and uncovered by

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