Isaiah 65



Isaiah 65 presents a prophetic vision of God's judgment on the rebellious and His promise of restoration for a faithful remnant. It culminates in the hope of a new creation characterized by peace, prosperity, and a close relationship between God and His people. This chapter reflects the recurring themes of judgment, redemption, and restoration found throughout the book of Isaiah.


  1. Rejection of Israel's Rebellion (Verses 1-7): The chapter begins with God expressing His willingness to be found by those who did not seek Him. However, it contrasts this with the rebellious actions of Israel, who have continually turned away from God, engaged in idolatry, and rejected His ways.

  2. Divine Judgment and Restoration (Verses 8-16): God declares His judgment upon the rebellious and idolatrous among the Israelites, but at the same time, He promises a remnant of faithful ones. The faithful remnant will inherit the blessings of God, including the enjoyment of the land and prosperity.

  3. New Heavens and New Earth (Verses 17-25): Isaiah prophesies about a future time when God will create new heavens and a new earth. This will be a time of joy, peace, and longevity. The new creation will be characterized by harmony among creatures, fruitful productivity, and a close relationship between God and His people.

  4. Contrast between the Righteous and the Wicked (Verses 17-25): The contrast between the righteous and the wicked is emphasized, with God's blessings poured out on those who seek Him and judgment reserved for those who rebel. The imagery includes the idea that the former troubles will be forgotten in the joy of the new creation.

  5. Response of God to Prayer (Verse 24): The chapter closes with the assurance that before the people call, God will answer. The emphasis is on God's responsiveness to the prayers and needs of His people.


65.1 God Is Not Limited To Only Those Who Seek Him


"I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name."


  1. Divine Initiative: God takes the initiative in revealing Himself. The language used here is remarkable because it suggests that God is not limited to responding only to those who actively seek Him or call on His name. Instead, He proactively reveals Himself to those who did not initially seek or ask for Him.

  2. Inclusion of the Gentiles: The mention of a nation that did not call on God's name implies a broader perspective. In the context of Isaiah's prophecies, this points to the inclusion of the Gentiles (non-Israelite nations) in God's redemptive plan. God is reaching out beyond the boundaries of a particular nation or group.

  3. Responsive Presence: The repeated phrase, "Here am I, here am I," underscores God's readiness to respond when people do eventually turn to Him. God is present and willing to make Himself known to those who might not have been seeking Him initially.


Contextually, the previous chapter lays out Israel's prayer to God for Him to lessen His wrath poured out to His people.


65.2 God's Patience With A Rebellious People


"I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;"


  1. God's Extended Hands: The imagery of God holding out His hands suggests an ongoing and patient invitation. It portrays God's continual efforts to draw His people back to Himself, to offer them guidance, love, and relationship.

  2. Obstinate People: The term "obstinate" refers to a people who are stubborn, resistant, or unyielding. Despite God's constant reaching out, the people of Israel are portrayed as persistently going their own way, resisting God's guidance, and refusing to align with His will.

  3. Walking in Unrighteous Ways: The verse highlights the negative behavior of the people. They are described as walking in ways that are not good, indicating a departure from God's moral standards and righteous ways.

  4. Pursuing Their Own Imaginations: The people are not just following misguided actions but are also pursuing their own imaginations. This suggests that their thoughts, desires, and plans are contrary to God's will. Their disobedience is rooted in a willful pursuit of their own way rather than aligning with God's purpose.


65.3 God's Reason For His Anger


"A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;"


  1. Continual Provocation: The opening phrase emphasizes the persistent and deliberate nature of the people's rebellion. Despite God's outreach and patience, the people continually provoke Him to His face. This vivid language suggests a direct and confrontational defiance of God's ways.
  2. Unacceptable Religious Practices: The verse describes specific religious practices that have become a source of provocation.
    • The people are offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick. These actions, intended for worship, are conducted in a manner contrary to God's prescribed methods for worship in the law.
    • Sacrifices offered in gardens may be associated with pagan rituals and practices outside the approved places of worship. Altars of brick might be seen as inferior to altars built with uncut stones, as prescribed in the Mosaic law.
  3. Symbolic of Idolatry and Disobedience: The mention of these practices serves as symbols for the broader issue of idolatry and disobedience. The people are not only violating the specific regulations for worship but are also engaging in activities that reflect a departure from true devotion to God.


65.4 Further Reasons For God's Anger


"Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;"


  1. Sitting Among the Graves: This phrase likely symbolizes involvement in necromancy or seeking guidance from the dead, practices explicitly forbidden in the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 18:10-12). It indicates a departure from trusting in the living God and instead turning to occult and forbidden practices.
  2. Keeping Secret Vigil: The idea of keeping secret vigil during the night suggests involvement in mysterious or occult activities under the cover of darkness. These clandestine practices may involve rituals or ceremonies contrary to God's commandments.
  3. Eating the Flesh of Pigs: The consumption of pork was prohibited under the dietary laws of the Mosaic covenant (Leviticus 11:7). The fact that they are eating the flesh of pigs indicates a disregard for God's dietary laws, pointing to a general disobedience to the divine commandments.
  4. Pots Holding Broth of Impure Meat: The use of pots containing broth of impure meat further underscores the disregard for dietary regulations. The use of the term "impure" suggests a violation of the clean and unclean distinctions outlined in the Mosaic law.


65.5 Israel's Hypocrisy


"Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day."


  1. Holier-than-Thou Attitude: The people being described in this verse have an attitude of self-righteousness and exclusivity. They say, "Keep away; don’t come near me, for I am too sacred for you!" This suggests an arrogant belief in their own holiness and a disdain for those they consider unworthy or impure.

  2. Hypocrisy in Worship: Despite claiming to be sacred, their actions and attitudes are contrary to true holiness. Their exclusivity and self-righteousness reveal a lack of genuine devotion to God. This attitude may extend to their religious practices, where they may perform rituals with a focus on outward appearances rather than sincere worship.

  3. Divine Displeasure: The imagery used in the verse is strong. God describes such people as "smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day." This metaphor conveys God's displeasure and irritation with their hypocritical and arrogant behavior. The smoke and fire imagery suggests a continuous source of annoyance.