Download The Bible Study Guide

Subscribe Now

"How Beautiful Upon The Mountains"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Chapter 52 is one of several in which the poet foretells, or seems to foretell, the coming of the Messiah. Early Christian scholars were convinced that this coming is the proper interpretation of the lines and that Isaiah prophesied accurately the life and ministry of Jesus and the growth of the Church. Later scholarship puzzled over these passages and considered several Jewish leaders of the period, to whom Isaiah might have assigned the role of deliverer. More recently scholarship has tended to the opinion that a true Messiah, as later exemplified by Christ, is what Isaiah does refer to. Chapter 40 serves as a prelude, announcing that the suffering of Israel will presently end and that at last the glory of God will descend upon its people. In Chapter 42 Isaiah describes one he calls the Servant, who has been prepared by the Lord, and who will bring God's religion to the people that it may be spread abroad in the world; his coming will be quiet and without fanfare; his teaching will be gentle. In Chapter 49 another of these evangelistic hymns announces the Servant and portrays him speaking to the nations and explaining his mission to them; in the following chapter he describes his own suffering and the strength that upholds him in it. Chapter 52 begins with Isaiah's jubilant announcement that Babylonian oppression is at an end; Jerusalem the holy city will no longer be defiled by the unclean. In the words of the Lord, the people have sold themselves into captivity for nothing, and will be redeemed in the same way; for...

(The entire section is 554 words.)