Blog 24: Isaiah 62

The final Act – a new name for Jerusalem

 Sunday 14 April 2013 11.00am

The eleventh Act under Artaxerxes is found in chapters 58-61. The act finishes with chapter 60, so often seen as foreshadowing Easter resurrection hope for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and chapter 61, foreshadowing both Jesus’ ministry[1] and the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost on all believers. This chapter is a charter for every Christian as it was for Christ himself.

The twelfth and final Act covers the later part of Artaxerxes reign[2] – corresponding in part to the thirteen years between Ezra and Nehemiah[3] – the promise of Isaiah 60 is not yet seen – the Satrap[4] Megabyzus successfully puts down a rebellion in Egypt fomented by the Libyans and aided and abetted by the Greeks – but then stages a mini-rebellion of his own which may lie behind chapter 63.

Megabyzus was pardoned and kept his job as he was crucial to the curbing of the growing power of Greece.

There has been a longstanding and unresolved argument as to whether Ezra preceded Nehemiah or vice versa – in keeping with the order of the prophecies in Isaiah.

The Act begins with the proclaiming of a new name for Jerusalem which signifies the remarriage of Jerusalem with her God – the second half of chapter 62 is the charter for intercessory prayer – put the watchmen on the walls – and clear a way for God – this is his challenge, for often the clearing is inside us.

As the final Act opens, the challenge is to get in on the Act – to join God’s purposes through prayer. A timely message for us today.

[1] Jesus reads this passage in the synagogue at Nazareth at the outset of his ministry and applies the text to himself – see Luke 4.

[2] 457-438BC

[3] For the bleak report given to Nehemiah at the end of these years read Nehemiah 1:1-3

[4] the Satrap was the royal official of the Persian empire charged with governing a province for the Emperor