How Isaiah 48 Reveals the Spiritual Forces of Darkness in this World, ישעיהו מח:א-ז / Isaiah 48:1-7

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Introduction to Isaiah 48:1-7

It is important to note that there are spiritual forces of darkness at work in this world (Paul points this out in Ephesians 6:1-24) whose major objective is causing men, women, and children to turn from trusting in the Lord God of Israel, and even to prevent people from knowing the God of Israel and His great mercy, and of knowing His Messiah Yeshua. The evil one seeks to prevent all men from learning what we have been learning here in the previous chapters of Isaiah (Isaiah 40-47) whose major theme was to trust God unconditionally, and that if one does not trust in God, destruction will come. We note the unconditional nature of the trust we are to have, that there is no other who is able to save. There is the absolute inability for any other agent, whether human or nation, to help save from disaster. It is only the Lord God Almighty, the Creator and the Master of History, who is Sovereign and has the Foreknowledge who declares and brings to pass His prophetic message, that is able to save. And that the Lord God and His Messiah have the unconditional power to pardon us, and to break the power of the evil one over those whom he has hold of! These truths are powerful because this is what faith is all about! The Lord God Almighty has demonstrated how He is trustworthy according to Isaiah 7-39 and that His grace is for all who believe and act upon it! Isaiah 48 now continues to draw out these themes based upon the following outline of this chapter:

Isaiah 48: Overview and Major Themes

  1. God’s Sovereignty and Foreknowledge:
  • God declares His foreknowledge and the power to fulfill prophecies.
  • He emphasizes that He had foretold events before they occurred to prevent the Israelites from attributing them to false gods.
  • The chapter highlights God’s control over history and His ability to bring about His purposes.
  1. Prolonged Patience for His Name’s Sake:
  • For His name’s sake, God restrains His wrath and chooses to refine Israel through affliction.
  • He declares His unwillingness to share His glory with false idols.
  • God’s patience and commitment to His covenant people are evident.
  1. The Call to Leave Babylon and Trust in God:
  • Despite Israel’s disobedience, God expresses His desire to teach them His ways for their prosperity and peace.
  • However, their rebellion has led to exile in Babylon.
  • God calls them to depart from Babylon, promising to quench their thirst in the desert.
  1. Unchanging God and His Redemption:
  • God asserts His eternal existence and power as the Creator.
  • He emphasizes that He has called Israel for His purpose.
  • The Spirit of the Lord is mentioned, reinforcing the idea of God’s guidance and help for His people.
  1. No Peace for the Wicked:
  • The chapter ends with a warning that there is no peace for the wicked.
  • It underscores the consequences of disobedience and the need for repentance.

Again, we see Isaiah continuing the themes that were introduced previously in Isaiah 48:1-22. These themes include God’s sovereignty, redemption, and the call to trust in Him. Here in chapter 48 we see emphasis placed on God’s prolonged patience and willingness to work on His people as opposed to destroying His people completely because of their sins. This chapter also provides a call to depart from Babylon, which also echoes the idea of leaving the ways of this world and its pagan ideologies and practices, to return to the land of Israel which is synonymous to turning to God’s holy and righteous ways and remaining in the covenant. Leaving Babylon echoes the mercy of God and the themes of deliverance and restoration that are seen in Isaiah 40-47. In Isaiah 48:1-22 the Lord God continues calling His people to be committed to Him and His ways, and that because of His name sake He will work in their lives to turn them back, and to realize it is only in the Lord God of Israel and His Messiah that we can be saved!

Take note of the significance of these things, and how the evil spiritual forces in this world do not want mankind to understand these things. This is illustrated in how modern scholarship deals with this chapter (Isaiah 48:1-22). Most of the scholarly discussions pertain to the unity of the chapter and seek to determine the authorship and purpose of the chapter because of these doubts in God’s word. For example, commentators such as Duhm take it upon himself to remove verses and chapters from the book of Isaiah claiming they are not authentic. He removes chapter 48, and chapters 56-66 stating they are not authentic. Isn’t it interesting how he is removing Isaiah 56, a foundational book to the understanding of the coming of the Servant King Messiah. Among Duhm’s removal of scripture from Isaiah are the various polemics against idolatry, the Servant Songs, and all of chapters 56-66 as mentioned previously, and Duhm also concluded that Isaiah 1-11 only 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 11 were original, and that the rest were glosses written by a redactor. So he essentially eliminates all of the book of Isaiah from His bible and completely destroys the hope that Isaiah provides for us. The central point is that the reason Duhm and others want to remove these chapters from the book of Isaiah are because of a lack of faith, and refusal to admit the authenticity of Isaiah’s book, and the point that Isaiah makes is that idolatry has always been a problem in the land of Israel ever since the people came out of Egypt and entered the land. We just find a climactic point here with Babylon being moved against Israel in 750-550 BC due to the accumulated sins of the fathers and the sons throughout the history of the people. We note again how these things provide evidence for how our sins can destroy future generations. Isaiah however provides us with a picture of the mercy of God, and of redemption and deliverance, and of His sending a deliverer for His people! This is the hope that the evil one wants to steal from all people. We have to be aware of the works of the evil one, and maintain our faith in the God of Israel! The point is that thus far Isaiah 48 is consistent with the previous chapters that we have already covered. This chapter again argues the superiority of God over the idols of the nations, and echoes the call to trust in the God of Israel no matter what. Here Isaiah is saying that no matter what the circumstance that happens, we must continue in faithfulness to God. Isaiah is warning us just as he warned the people in his day about these things, and that human tendency is to turn to our own devices. Isaiah says that regardless of what happens, we trust in God to deliver us, just as we see here in the case of Babylon attacking Israel. 

Masoretic Text (MSS) on Isaiah 48:1-7

Isaiah opens chapter 48 saying the following according to Isaiah 48:1-2.

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
א   שִׁמְעוּ-זֹאת בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל וּמִמֵּי יְהוּדָה יָצָאוּ הַנִּשְׁבָּעִים | בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּבֵאלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יַזְכִּירוּ לֹא בֶאֱמֶת וְלֹא בִצְדָקָה: ב   כִּי-מֵעִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ נִקְרָאוּ וְעַל-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל נִסְמָכוּ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ:       

Isaiah 48:1 states, “Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. (שִׁמְעוּ-זֹאת בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל וּמִמֵּי יְהוּדָה יָצָאוּ הַנִּשְׁבָּעִים | בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּבֵאלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יַזְכִּירוּ לֹא בֶאֱמֶת וְלֹא בִצְדָקָה)” Isaiah 48:2 “For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. (כִּי-מֵעִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ נִקְרָאוּ וְעַל-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל נִסְמָכוּ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ)”

Cross References for Isaiah 48:1-2: Ge 17:5; 29:35; Ex 23:13; Nu 24:7; Dt 6:13; 33:28; 1 Sa 20:42; 2 Sa 14:11; 2 Ch 32:8; Ne 11:1; Ps 50:16; 68:26; Is 1:26; 10:20; 19:18; 29:23; 43:1, 7; 45:23; 46:12; 47:4; 51:1, 9–16; 52:1; 58:2; 59:14; 64:10; 65:16; Je 3:1–25; 4:2; 5:2; 7:4, 9–10; 21:2; 44:26; Da 8:12; Mic 3:11; Zec 8:3; Mt 4:5; Ro 2:17; Eph 2:10–13

Here we see Isaiah opening this chapter with the words שִׁמְעוּ-זֹאת which again echoes the Torah call for the people and us to listen to the word of the Lord. Isaiah identifies those who are to listen בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב (the house of Jacob) which refers to Jacob’s descendants and the interpretation here is to emphasize the lineage and heritage of Israel in the Land of Israel. This reminds us and the people in Isaiah’s time of their covenantal connection to God through the promises that God had made to Jacob. Note how the house of Judah is said to be הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל called by the name of Israel! Isaiah also mentions the waters of Judah (מִמֵּי יְהוּדָה) which is reminiscent of the wellsprings of water and underscores the historical roots of Israel in the land, and the significance of the geographical heritage. Isaiah goes on saying הַנִּשְׁבָּעִים | בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּבֵאלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל (Swearing by the Name of the Lord and the God of Israel) which speaks to an act of faithfulness, but Isaiah concludes saying לֹא בֶאֱמֶת וְלֹא בִצְדָקָה (not in truth and not in righteousness). So, the idea here is that the people are using the name of the Lord but not being authentic or truthful in their swearing in the name of the Lord. This is a challenge to the people to recognize the error of their ways and to live up to their calling and trust in God wholeheartedly. Note that in Isaiah 48:2 Isaiah says that they call themselves of the holy city and stay themselves upon the God of Israel. This sounds as if the people are laying claim to the prestige of being a child of God but not wanting to live as if one is a child of God. What Isaiah is saying here being a descendent of Abraham and Jacob, and laying claim to the name of God does not ensure that is righteous before God. Isaiah 48:1-2 suggests that there are some who put on a show, but their hearts are not with God, and this is illustrated in Matthew 7:21-23 when Yeshua says depart from me I never knew you.

TheNT parallel to the content of these verses from Isaiah 48:1-2 may be found in what Paul writes according to Romans 9:6-8.

Romans 9:6–8  
9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (KJV 6 Οὐχ οἷον δὲ °ὅτι ἐκπέπτωκεν ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ*. οὐ γὰρ πάντες οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραὴλ οὗτοι ⸀Ἰσραήλ·* 7 οὐδʼ ὅτι εἰσὶν σπέρμα Ἀβραὰμ πάντες τέκνα, ἀλλʼ·* ἐν Ἰσαὰκ κληθήσεταί σοι σπέρμα*. 8 τοῦτʼ ἔστιν, ⸆ οὐ τὰ τέκνα τῆς σαρκὸς ταῦτα τέκνα τοῦ θεοῦ ἀλλὰ τὰ τέκνα τῆς ἐπαγγελίας λογίζεται εἰς σπέρμα*.)

Here Paul discusses the concept of being called and chosen by God, emphasizing that not all who are descended from Israel are truly part of God’s chosen people. This is similar to the idea in Isaiah 48:1-2 that being called by the name of Israel and being descendants of Judah is important, but not sufficient for true righteousness. This is a very important observation about the people, and it is also a very important observation about our lives today especially in this wicked world that we live in, whether we are drawing near to this world in sin or near to the Lord in righteousness? The Hebrew text of Isaiah 48:1-2 contains interesting features that remind us of our heritage and lineage, our fathers who came before us, and the importance of being called by the Name of God. These features emphasize how Believers are called to genuine faith and righteousness. The reliance on God remains a central theme in the teaching of Isaiah and note how this is also a central theme taught by Yeshua and the Disciples. We can learn from these ancient words and apply them authentically in our lives, leaning on the God of Israel with sincerity and righteousness. 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 48:3-5.

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
ג   הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מֵאָז הִגַּדְתִּי וּמִפִּי יָצְאוּ וְאַשְׁמִיעֵם פִּתְאֹם עָשִֹיתִי וַתָּבֹאנָה: ד   מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה וְגִיד בַּרְזֶל עָרְפֶּךָ וּמִצְחֲךָ נְחוּשָׁה: ה   וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ פֶּן-תֹּאמַר עָצְבִּי עָשָֹם וּפִסְלִי וְנִסְכִּי צִוָּם: 

Isaiah 48:3 states, “I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. (הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מֵאָז הִגַּדְתִּי וּמִפִּי יָצְאוּ וְאַשְׁמִיעֵם פִּתְאֹם עָשִֹיתִי וַתָּבֹאנָה)” Isaiah 48:4 “Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; (מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה וְגִיד בַּרְזֶל עָרְפֶּךָ וּמִצְחֲךָ נְחוּשָׁה)” Isaiah 48:5 “I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ פֶּן-תֹּאמַר עָצְבִּי עָשָֹם וּפִסְלִי וְנִסְכִּי צִוָּם)”

Cross References for Isaiah 48:3-5: Ex 32:9; Dt 9:27; 31:27; Jos 21:45; 2 Ch 36:13; Ps 93:2; Pr 29:1; Is 9:9; 16:13; 17:14; 29:5; 30:13; 37:33–38; 40:21; 41:22, 26; 42:9; 43:9; 44:7–8; 45:20–21; 46:10; 48:3, 5, 7–8; Je 44:15–18; Eze 2:4; 3:7–9; Ac 7:51

In these verses from Isaiah 48:3-5, there are some interesting features in the Hebrew text, for example, in Isaiah 48:3 הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מֵאָז הִגַּדְתִּי (The first things from then, I declared). The use of the word הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת (the first things) emphasizes the importance and priority of God’s declarations and how what had gone out of his mouth, His Words, they created all that we know, which may be the explanation for what it means by Isaiah saying וְאַשְׁמִיעֵ֑ם (and I showed them). Note that this kind of language is similar to what Isaiah has said previously according to Isaiah 41:22–23, 42:9, 43:9, 44:6–8, 45:21, 46:9–10. This places this text right where it should be in the narrative that we have in this section of chapters in Isaiah. In addition to this, there is an interesting word here וְאַשְׁמִיעֵ֑ם and what makes this word interesting is that this word is derived from the root שמע (to listen). What is interesting is how the creative force of God is connected to listening. The creation listened to the word of God because it was by the power of His declaration, His word that the world was created. This means that there was an act of attentive listening and then action that was taking place in the creation. This same thing happens for us today, if we listen and receive what God has done for us, then there is a creative thing that happens within, we are changed by the power of God, as Paul writes we are made a new creation and that the old things have passed away. This implies that God has been revealing His plans and purposes from the beginning and how His power is connected to the act of listening and obeying. In Isaiah 48:4 Isaiah says, מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה וְגִיד בַּרְזֶל עָרְפֶּךָ וּמִצְחֲךָ נְחוּשָׁה (Because I knew that you are stubborn, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your forehead is brass). The Hebrew words קָשֶׁה (kasheh, stubborn, difficult, hard), גִיד בַּרְזֶל (gíd barzel, iron sinew), and נְחוּשָׁה (nekhushah, brass, copper) describe the hardness of the people’s hearts and their resistance to God’s word. The idea is that if the heart is heart it requires a hammer to move and mold and reshape into something that is useful. This serves as a warning to us to remain humble and receptive to God’s teachings because if we don’t the Lord God will bring a hammer to do some work on our hearts and in a way that would not be so comfortable. In Isaiah 48:5 we read, וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ פֶּן-תֹּאמַר עָצְבִּי עָשָֹם וּפִסְלִי וְנִסְכִּי צִוָּם (And I declared to you from then, before it came to pass, I made you hear it, lest you should say, My idol has done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, has commanded them). The Hebrew word עָצְבִּי (idol) refers to the false gods that the people worshiped. The God of Israel emphasizes that He alone is responsible for the events that have occurred, not the idols that are the creation of man’s hands. Again, this emphasizes the uniqueness of God as the Creator and that there are no others and that is why He should be listened to because He is sovereign over all the earth!

The parallels to the content of these verses in the NT text occurs in the book of Acts. In Acts 7:51, Stephen addresses the religious leaders, saying, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.” This echoes the description of the stubbornness and resistance in Isaiah 48:4. The Hebrew text of Isaiah 48:3-5 highlights the importance of God’s declarations, the stubbornness of the people, and the futility of idol worship. These themes are echoed in the NT text emphasizing the need to respond to the word of God and reject any false way. Note again the language that Isaiah uses when he says that God knows their stubbornness and unyielding nature using the language of a “iron sinew” for their neck which symbolizes their resistance to God’s guidance, and the “brass forehead” which again signifies insolence and refusal to bow to divine instruction. We note how these things are being told of the generation that was alive during Isaiah’s day, and the are a prophetic message for the future generation that will experience all of these things. The reason that the Lord God highlights these particular things is to help the people realize that their idols have not done these things, and this is how the Lord God reveals His unique role in shaping history, foretelling these events and establishing His authority and distinguishing Himself from lifeless idols. We also note something particular about the way that this text speaks of the heart. These verses (Isaiah 48:3-8) speak of man’s refusal to see the normal signs that point to the existence of a God beyond time and space who is not subject to our control. When a man admits that God exists, he has to admit his right to rule our lives. This is an intolerable conclusion for those who do not love the God of Israel. Those who do not know God do not recognize that all good things come from the Lord( James 1:17), those who do not know the Lord would rather thank the works of their own hands for whatever has been accomplished in our lives. Paul makes a similar argument according to Romans 1, stating that once one has refused to admit one’s debt of thanks to God he or she begins to look to a controllable creation for the means of supplying his or her needs. At this point the path forward is inexorably downward. Gross forms of idolatry are not accidental as Paul writes since they are the outcome, the necessary end result of the human refusal to accept a transcendent God. This is the danger and the warning to us that Isaiah is making concerning these things. 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 48:6-7.

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
ו   שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ וְאַתֶּם הֲלוֹא תַגִּידוּ הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ חֲדָשׁוֹת מֵעַתָּה וּנְצֻרוֹת וְלֹא יְדַעְתָּם: ז   עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ וְלֹא מֵאָז וְלִפְנֵי-יוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתָּם פֶּן-תֹּאמַר הִנֵּה יְדַעְתִּין:  

Isaiah 48:6 states, “Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. (שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ וְאַתֶּם הֲלוֹא תַגִּידוּ הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ חֲדָשׁוֹת מֵעַתָּה וּנְצֻרוֹת וְלֹא יְדַעְתָּם)” Isaiah 48:7 “They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. (עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ וְלֹא מֵאָז וְלִפְנֵי-יוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתָּם פֶּן-תֹּאמַר הִנֵּה יְדַעְתִּין)” 

Cross References on Isaiah 48:6-7: Ex 6:7; Ps 93:2; Is 16:13; 37:33–38; 41:22; 42:9; 43:19; 45:20–21; 48:5, 7–8; 49:6; 65:18; Ro 16:25

In these verses from Isaiah 48:6-7, there are some interesting features in the Hebrew text, such as in Isaiah 48:6 we read, ו   שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ וְאַתֶּם הֲלוֹא תַגִּידוּ הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ חֲדָשׁוֹת מֵעַתָּה וּנְצֻרוֹת וְלֹא יְדַעְתָּם (And you have heard, behold all this, and you, would you not declare it? I have shown you new things from this time, and things that are hidden, and you did not know them). The Hebrew word חֲדָשׁוֹת means news in modern Hebrew and in ancient Hebrew חֲדָשׁוֹת means “new things.” the word חֲדָשׁוֹת coupled with the word נְצֻרוֹת (netzurot, watch, keep) is translated as “hidden things” to emphasize that God reveals new and hidden knowledge to His people. This highlights the importance of paying attention to God’s word and being open to what God has to say to us according to His word and our circumstances in life. Isaiah 48:7 states, ז   עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ וְלֹא מֵאָז וְלִפְנֵי-יוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתָּם פֶּן-תֹּאמַר הִנֵּה יְדַעְתִּין (Now they are created, and not from then; and before today you have not heard them, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them). The phrase עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ (atah nivru) means “now they are created.” These new things are unfolding before the eyes of God’s people. The context refers to the deliverance of Israel from Babylon by Cyrus. This historical event serves as a type of foreshadowing that directs us to the gospel message where God’s redemptive plan unfolds anew through Yeshua the Messiah. The phrase עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ highlights the immediacy and relevance of God’s revelation to His people. The verse also emphasizes that the people had not previously heard these things, reinforcing the idea that the Lord God is revealing something new so that the people would repent.

The parallels to the content of these verses in the NT text may be found in the book of John. In John 13:19, Yeshua says, “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.” This echoes the idea of the Lord God Almighty revealing His will for the lives of His people in Isaiah 48:6-7. The Hebrew text of Isaiah 48:6-7 again emphasizes the importance of paying attention to God’s word and being open to what the Lord God has to say concerning His Word. These themes again are echoed in the NT text. 

Note that we were created in the image of God, and so we have been given the desire to manipulate our environment, to bring things under our control, to organize data, learn from experimentation, create habitats we can live in such as a house with a roof over our heads, and so clearly from history and even today we can see how we use our intellect to manipulate these things for our own benefit, even to the manipulation of things down to the sub atomic level in sensors development and electronic components, etc. These things reveal to us how man has been given this inherent desire to do these things. And in this inherent desire for us to know the truth and to use our environment and circumstances, the Lord God has foretold things for the future so that we in our investigative nature can know that it is the Lord God of Israel who does these things. So the Lord God of Israel is able to bring forth evidence of His power through history, whereas the idol worshipers are unable to bring forward any evidence that their gods had spoken what was right (Isaiah 41:21–24, 43:8–13, 44:7, 46:9–10). Because of these things, Israel and us today have no option but to proclaim the plain truth concerning the God who loves us and performs miracles for His people. We note that what the Lord God is showing us by using Cyrus to deliver Israel, is that He is outside of time and space, and so He is not restricted by the same things we are here on earth. And likewise, He does not have to do things in the same way as He did before (again illustrated in Cyrus), and these things are related to the King Messiah whom the Lord God Almighty would bring to save us from our sins. We note that what God would do in bringing Yeshua the Messiah, was not outside of what He had prophesied to us (Isaiah 53). The principle that is being taught here is that the Lord God of Israel is the One who is in charge, and He is dependable and trustworthy. Man however wants to have control and not give control over to the Lord. This reminds me of the movie “The end of tomorrow” with Tom Cruise, where aliens invaded earth and the military could not stand up against the enemy. The main star, Tom Cruise, during the war was covered in alien slime, and this enabled him to return to the past after he died. So the idea of the movie was that when he died, he knew the mistakes that he had made and the second time around he could change the events and continue the fight. And so in essence, Tom Cruise knew the future. It is interesting to observe that Tom Cruise died over and over and over again until he got it perfect, so eventually the human race won the war and destroyed the alien queen that controlled her army. The point is that even if we knew the future, the events that would take place in the future for our own individual lives, there is no guarantee that we would be successful in life. We would need to be given a second chance over and over again just like what we see taking place in this movie. God has given us a picture of the future events, and the point is that God is who gives us this insight according to the Scriptures, and even though we have this insight, we still need God’s help. What the Lord God has given us is not so that we can know the future, but that we can have evidence that what God says He can and will do will come to pass and has come to pass and so we can trust in Him. To use the knowledge of the future for making ourselves secure (like in the movie) is simply another form of idolatry! God is calling us to turn from our idolatry and seek Him and trust in Him because He is able to take care of us! 

Rabbinic Commentary on Isaiah 48:1-7

The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for continuing to study the book of Isaiah!

תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק מח:א-ז
א  שְׁמָעוּ דָא בֵית יַעֲקֹב דָמִתְקְרָן בִּשְׁמָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִזַרְעִית יְהוּדָא נְפַקוּ דִגְזַר לְהוֹן קְיָם בִּשְׁמָא דַייָ אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל לָא יִפְסֵיק דָכְרָנֵיהוֹן הֲלָא קַיָם מֵימְרֵהּ בִּקְשׁוֹט וּבְזָכוּ: ב  אֲרֵי בְקַרְתָּא דְקוּדְשָׁא חוּלָקְהוֹן וְעַל אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל רוֹחֲצָנְהוֹן יְיָ צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ: ג  קַדְמֵיתָא מִבְּכֵן חַוֵתִי וּמִמֵימְרִי נְפַקָא וּמְסַרְתִּינוּן בִּתְכֵיף עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וַאֲתָאָה: ד  גְלֵי קֳדָמַי דְאַתְּ סַרְבָן וְקָשֵׁי כְּבַרְזְלָא קָדְלָךְ וּבֵית עֵינָךְ חֲסִין כִּנְחָשָׁא: ה  וְחַוֵיתִי לָךְ מִבְּכַן עַד לָא יֵיתְיָן בְּסַרְתָּךְ דִלְמָא תֵימַר דְחַלְתִּי עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וְצַלְמִי וּמַתָּכִי אַתְכִינוּן: ו  שְׁמַעְתָּא הָא אִתְגְלִיאַת לְכָל עַמָא מַה דְאִתְגְלִיאַת לְכוֹן וְאַתּוּן הֲלָא תְחַווּן בְּסַרְתָּךְ חַדְתָּן מִכְּעַן וּנְטִירַן וְלָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן: ז  כְּעַן אִתְבְּרִיאָה וְלָא מִבְכֵן וּקְדָם יוֹם מֵיתֵיהוֹן וְלָא בְסַרְתִּינוּן דִלְמָא תֵימַר הָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן:

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 48:1-7
48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth from the stock of Judah, with whom he hath made a covenant in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, that the remembrance of them shall not cease. Shall not His WORD stand in truth and righteousness? 48:2 For their portion is in the holy city, and their confidence is in the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name. 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they have gone forth from my WORD, and I announced them; suddenly I will do them, and they shall come to pass. 48:4 I knew that thou wouldest be a rebel, and thy neck would be as hard iron, and thy brow strong as brass. 48:5 Therefore I have declared these things to thee from the beginning; before they came to pass I announced them unto thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my molten image hath prepared them. 48:6 Hast thou heard whether that was revealed to any people which was revealed unto thee? and as for you, will ye not declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, and hidden things, and thou didst not know them. 48:7 They are created now, and not of old; yea, I have not announced them before the day of their coming to pass, lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I have known them. (TgJ)

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
א   שִׁמְעוּ-זֹאת בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל וּמִמֵּי יְהוּדָה יָצָאוּ הַנִּשְׁבָּעִים | בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וּבֵאלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל יַזְכִּירוּ לֹא בֶאֱמֶת וְלֹא בִצְדָקָה: ב   כִּי-מֵעִיר הַקֹּדֶשׁ נִקְרָאוּ וְעַל-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל נִסְמָכוּ יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ:       
לוגוס
א   שְמַעוּ דָא בֵית יַעְקֹב דְמִתקְרַן בִשמָא דְיִשׂרָאֵל וּמִזַרעְיָת יְהוּדָה נְפַקוּ דִגזִיר לְהֹון קְיָם בִשמָא דַיוי אְלָהָא דְיִשׂרָאֵל לָא יִפסוּק דוּכרָנְכֹון הְלָא קַייָם מֵימְרֵיה בִקשֹוט וּבִזכוּ׃ ב        אְרֵי בְקַרתָא דְקוּדשָא חוּלָקְהֹון וְעַל אְלָהָא דְיִשׂרָאֵל רוּחצָנְהֹון יוי ‭”‬צְבָאֹות‭“‬ ‭”‬שְמֹו‭“‬׃ 
ספריה 
א  שְׁמָעוּ דָא בֵית יַעֲקֹב דָמִתְקְרָן בִּשְׁמָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִזַרְעִית יְהוּדָא נְפַקוּ דִגְזַר לְהוֹן קְיָם בִּשְׁמָא דַייָ אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל לָא יִפְסֵיק דָכְרָנֵיהוֹן הֲלָא קַיָם מֵימְרֵהּ בִּקְשׁוֹט וּבְזָכוּ: ב  אֲרֵי בְקַרְתָּא דְקוּדְשָׁא חוּלָקְהוֹן וְעַל אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל רוֹחֲצָנְהוֹן יְיָ צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ: 

Isaiah opens in the TgJ stating the following according to Isaiah 48:1-2, א  שְׁמָעוּ דָא בֵית יַעֲקֹב דָמִתְקְרָן בִּשְׁמָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִזַרְעִית יְהוּדָא נְפַקוּ דִגְזַר לְהוֹן קְיָם בִּשְׁמָא דַייָ אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל לָא יִפְסֵיק דָכְרָנֵיהוֹן הֲלָא קַיָם מֵימְרֵהּ בִּקְשׁוֹט וּבְזָכוּ: 48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth from the stock of Judah, with whom he hath made a covenant in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, that the remembrance of them shall not cease. Shall not His WORD stand in truth and righteousness? ב  אֲרֵי בְקַרְתָּא דְקוּדְשָׁא חוּלָקְהוֹן וְעַל אֱלָהָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל רוֹחֲצָנְהוֹן יְיָ צְבָאוֹת שְׁמוֹ: 48:2 For their portion is in the holy city, and their confidence is in the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name. (TgJ) In the Targum Jonathan on Isaiah 48:1-2, there are a few differences between the Aramaic translation and the Hebrew Bible. For example, according to verse 1, the Hebrew text reads שִׁמְעוּ-זֹאת בֵּית-יַעֲקֹב הַנִּקְרָאִים בְּשֵׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל וּמִמֵּי יְהוּדָה (hear, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, from the waters of Judah), while the Aramaic translation reads שְׁמָעוּ דָא בֵית יַעֲקֹב דָמִתְקְרָן בִּשְׁמָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִזַרְעִית יְהוּדָא  (hear, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel from the stock/seed of Judah). This difference emphasizes the identity of the people being addressed. In both the Hebrew bible and the Targum Jonathan, they are called the “house of Jacob” but also “called by the name of Israel.” The Targum emphasizes that they are not just Jacob’s descendants but also bear the name of Israel, which implies a deeper spiritual connection. This highlights the importance of living up to their name and character as Israel, governed by God. In verse 2, the Hebrew text reads וְעַל-אֱלֹהֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל נִסְמָכוּ (and sustain themselves on the God of Israel), while the Aramaic translation reads וְעַל אְלָהָא דְיִשׂרָאֵל רוּחצָנְהֹון (and on the God of Israel they have faith/security). This difference emphasizes the importance of the covenant in the lives of the people being addressed. The Targum emphasizes faith and security, and this is very similar to the idea of sustaining oneself upon the God of Israel through faith and by living in the way that God wants us to live.  The Targum emphasizes their reliance on God but points out that it lacks authenticity. The application of these verses is found in the challenge to move beyond mere external association and to truly rely on the Lord. These things again emphasize the importance of the covenant in the lives of God’s people which should be a central aspect of our relationship with God. We note that in the covenant of God the Torah states we are to live in righteousness and holiness towards God and others. The Word of God changes lives for the glory of God. In addition, the mention of remembering the name of the LORD and the God of Israel, but not in truth and righteousness, could be interpreted as a warning against empty or hypocritical worship. 

The NT parallels to the content of these verses may be found in Ephesians 2:12, where Paul writes, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” This echoes the idea of being called by the name of Israel and taking hold of the covenant, as seen in the Aramaic translation of Isaiah 48:1-2. We note the inheritance that we have by faith in Yeshua the Messiah, and the gentiles being grafted into Israel. These things again remind us of the promises of God to our Fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In addition to this, we read in Matthew 23:29-32 how Yeshua criticizes the scribes and Pharisees for their outward display of righteousness while inwardly being filled with hypocrisy and wickedness. This is similar to the Targum’s warning against remembering the name of the Lord God of Israel without truth and righteousness. These small differences in translation of the Targum Jonathan translation on Isaiah 48:1-2 emphasize the importance of being called by the name of Israel, of being descendants of Judah, and of being grafted into the family of God, and provide a warning against empty or hypocritical worship. We note how these differences in translation draw out these truths and these things reveal how the NT text is consistent with these themes from Isaiah! 

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
ג   הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת מֵאָז הִגַּדְתִּי וּמִפִּי יָצְאוּ וְאַשְׁמִיעֵם פִּתְאֹם עָשִֹיתִי וַתָּבֹאנָה: ד   מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה וְגִיד בַּרְזֶל עָרְפֶּךָ וּמִצְחֲךָ נְחוּשָׁה: ה   וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ פֶּן-תֹּאמַר עָצְבִּי עָשָֹם וּפִסְלִי וְנִסְכִּי צִוָּם: 
לוגוס
ג      קַדמַיָאתָא מִבְכֵין חַוִיתִי וּמִמֵימְרִי נָפְקָא וּבַסַרתִינוּן בִתכֵיף עְבַדתִינוּן וַאְתַאָה׃ ד      גְלֵי קֳדָמַי דְאַת סָרְבָן וּקשֵי כְבַרזְלָא קְדָלָך וּבֵית עֵינָך חַסִין כִנחָשָא׃ ה      וְחַוִיתִי לָך מִבְכֵין עַד לָא יֵיתיָן בַסַרתָך דִלמָא תֵימַר דַחלְתִי עְבַדתַנוּן וְצַלמִי וּמַתְכִי אַתֵיכוּנוּן׃ 
ספריה 
ג  קַדְמֵיתָא מִבְּכֵן חַוֵתִי וּמִמֵימְרִי נְפַקָא וּמְסַרְתִּינוּן בִּתְכֵיף עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וַאֲתָאָה: ד  גְלֵי קֳדָמַי דְאַתְּ סַרְבָן וְקָשֵׁי כְּבַרְזְלָא קָדְלָךְ וּבֵית עֵינָךְ חֲסִין כִּנְחָשָׁא: ה  וְחַוֵיתִי לָךְ מִבְּכַן עַד לָא יֵיתְיָן בְּסַרְתָּךְ דִלְמָא תֵימַר דְחַלְתִּי עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וְצַלְמִי וּמַתָּכִי אַתְכִינוּן: 

Isaiah continues saying the following according to the TgJ on Isaiah 48:3-5, ג  קַדְמֵיתָא מִבְּכֵן חַוֵתִי וּמִמֵימְרִי נְפַקָא וּמְסַרְתִּינוּן בִּתְכֵיף עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וַאֲתָאָה: 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they have gone forth from my WORD, and I announced them; suddenly I will do them, and they shall come to pass. ד  גְלֵי קֳדָמַי דְאַתְּ סַרְבָן וְקָשֵׁי כְּבַרְזְלָא קָדְלָךְ וּבֵית עֵינָךְ חֲסִין כִּנְחָשָׁא: 48:4 I knew that thou wouldest be a rebel, and thy neck would be as hard iron, and thy brow strong as brass. ה  וְחַוֵיתִי לָךְ מִבְּכַן עַד לָא יֵיתְיָן בְּסַרְתָּךְ דִלְמָא תֵימַר דְחַלְתִּי עֲבַדְתִּינוּן וְצַלְמִי וּמַתָּכִי אַתְכִינוּן: 48:5 Therefore I have declared these things to thee from the beginning; before they came to pass I announced them unto thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my molten image hath prepared them. (TgJ) Here the Lord God speaking through Isaiah is speaking about providing a way for His people to recognize that it is the God of Israel that does these things by bringing to pass what He has declared would happen. In Isaiah 48:4, the Hebrew text reads וְגִ֤יד בַּרְזֶל֙ עָרְפֶּ֔ךָ (for your neck is an iron sinue/tendon), while the Aramaic translation reads קָשֵׁי כְּבַרְזְלָא קָדְלָך (his neck is hard as iron). This difference emphasizes the strength of man’s unwillingness to listen. In Isaiah 48:5 the Aramaic text reads, וְחַוֵיתִי לָךְ מִבְּכַן עַד לָא יֵיתְיָן בְּסַרְתָּךְ “Therefore I have declared these things to thee from the beginning.” The Hebrew Bible states, וָאַגִּיד לְךָ מֵאָז בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ “I have even from the beginning declared it to thee, come I will cause you to hear.” The similarity in these translations emphasize the patience of God to wait on us to turn in repentance. Note how in the hebrew bible the text states that the Lord God will enable us to listen (תָּבוֹא הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ). This reminds us of God’s commitment to us and His power to help us overcome our issues. 

The NT parallels may be found in Matthew 24:35, Yeshua says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” This echoes the idea of God’s unwavering commitment to His plans, as seen in the Aramaic and Hebrew translations of Isaiah 48:3-5. Both the Hebrew and Aramaic translations on Isaiah 48:3-5 emphasize God’s strength and determination, providing a powerful reminder of His commitment to His people. We note that there are a lot of examples of the patience of God, for example, in Matthew 21:33 we read about the parable of the vineyard owner who echoes themes of God’s patience and judgment. These themes of repentance, divine patience, and revelation resonate throughout the Scriptures. We note Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon) also known as Rambam wrote in His Mishneh Torah the following concerning the patience and repentance of men. 

Mishneh Torah, Repentance 4:2
וּמֵהֶן חֲמִשָּׁה דְּבָרִים הַנּוֹעֲלִים דַּרְכֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה בִּפְנֵי עוֹשֵׂיהֶן. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. א) הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִן הַצִּבּוּר, לְפִי שֶׁבִּזְמַן שֶׁיַּעֲשׂוּ תְּשׁוּבָה לֹא יִהְיֶה עִמָּהֶן וְאֵינוֹ זוֹכֶה עִמָּהֶן בִּזְכוּת שֶׁעוֹשִׂין. ב) וְהַחוֹלֵק עַל דִּבְרֵי חֲכָמִים, לְפִי שֶׁמַּחְלָקְתוֹ גּוֹרֶמֶת לוֹ לִפְרשׁ מֵהֶן וְאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ דַּרְכֵי הַתְּשׁוּבָה. ג) וְהַמַּלְעִיג עַל הַמִּצְוֹת, שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּתְבַּזּוּ בְּעֵינָיו אֵינוֹ רוֹדֵף אַחֲרֵיהֶן וְלֹא עוֹשָׂן וְאִם לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה בַּמֶּה יִזְכֶּה. ד) וְהַמְבַזֶּה רַבּוֹתָיו, שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה גּוֹרֵם לוֹ לְדָחֳפוֹ וּלְטָרְדוֹ כְּגֵיחֲזִי וּבִזְמַן שֶׁנִּטְרָד לֹא יִמְצָא מְלַמֵּד וּמוֹרֶה לוֹ דֶּרֶךְ הָאֱמֶת. ה) וְהַשּׂוֹנֵא אֶת הַתּוֹכָחוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הִנִּיחַ לוֹ דֶּרֶךְ תְּשׁוּבָה. שֶׁהַתּוֹכָחָה גּוֹרֶמֶת לִתְשׁוּבָה שֶׁבִּזְמַן שֶׁמּוֹדִיעִין לוֹ לָאָדָם חֲטָאָיו וּמַכְלִימִין אוֹתוֹ חוֹזֵר בִּתְשׁוּבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה (דברים ט ז) “זְכֹר (וְ) אַל תִּשְׁכַּח”. (דברים ט ז) “מַמְרִים הֱיִיתֶם”. (דברים כט ג) “וְלֹא נָתַן ה’ לָכֶם לֵב”. (דברים לב ו) “עַם נָבָל וְלֹא חָכָם”. וְכֵן יְשַׁעְיָהוּ הוֹכִיחַ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַר (ישעיה א ד) “הוֹי גּוֹי חֹטֵא”. (ישעיה א ג) “יָדַע שׁוֹר קֹנֵהוּ”. (ישעיה מח ד) “מִדַּעְתִּי כִּי קָשֶׁה אָתָּה”. וְכֵן צִוָּהוּ הָאֵל לְהוֹכִיחַ לַחַטָּאִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה נח א) “קְרָא בְגָרוֹן אַל תַּחְשֹׂךְ”. וְכֵן כָּל הַנְּבִיאִים הוֹכִיחוּ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַד שֶׁחָזְרוּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהַעֲמִיד בְּכָל קָהָל וְקָהָל מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל חָכָם גָּדוֹל וְזָקֵן וִירֵא שָׁמַיִם מִנְּעוּרָיו וְאָהוּב לָהֶם שֶׁיְּהֵא מוֹכִיחַ לָרַבִּים וּמַחֲזִירָן בִּתְשׁוּבָה, וְזֶה שֶּׁשּׂוֹנֵא אֶת הַתּוֹכָחוֹת אֵינוֹ בָּא לַמּוֹכִיחַ וְלֹא שׁוֹמֵעַ דְּבָרָיו לְפִיכָךְ יַעֲמֹד בְּחַטֹּאתָיו שֶׁהֵם בְּעֵינָיו טוֹבִים:
Among [the 24] are five deeds which cause the paths of Teshuvah to be locked before those who commit them. They are: a) One who separates himself from the community; when they repent, he will not be together with them and he will not merit to share in their merit. b) One who contradicts the words of the Sages; the controversy he provokes will cause him to cut himself off from them and, thus, he will never know the ways of repentance. c) One who scoffs at the mitzvoth; since he considers them as degrading, he will not pursue them or fulfill them. If he does not fulfill mitzvot, how can he merit [to repent]? d) One who demeans his teachers; this will cause them to reject and dismiss him as [Elishah did to] Gechazi. In this period of rejection, he will not find a teacher or guide to show him the path of truth. e) One who hates admonishment; this will not leave him a path for repentance. Admonishment leads to Teshuvah. When a person is informed about his sins and shamed because of them, he will repent. Accordingly, [rebukes are] included in the Torah, [for example]: ”Remember, do not forget, that you provoked [God, your Lord, in the desert. From the day you left Egypt until here,] you have been rebelling….” (Deuteronomy 9:7. ”[Until this day,] God did not give you a heart to know….” (Deuteronomy 29:3 . ”[Is this the way you repay God,] you ungrateful, unwise nation” (Deuteronomy 2:6 . Similarly, Isaiah rebuked Israel, declaring: “Woe, sinful nation, [people laden with iniquity…]” (Isaiah 1:4 , ”The ox knows its owner, [and the ass, his master’s crib. Israel does not know…]” (ibid.: 1:3), I know you are obstinate… (ibid. 48:4). God also commanded him to admonish the transgressors as [ibid. 58:1] states: “Call out from your throat, do not spare it.” Similarly, all the prophets rebuked Israel until she repented. Therefore, it is proper for each and every congregation in Israel to appoint a great sage of venerable age, with [a reputation of] fear of heaven from his youth, beloved by the community, to admonish the masses and motivate them to Teshuvah. This person who hates admonishment will not come to the preacher’s [lecture] or hear his words. Accordingly, he will continue his sinful [paths], which he regards as good.

Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, Repentance 4:2, outlines five actions that prevent individuals from achieving repentance. These actions include: 1) separating oneself from the community, which prevents one from sharing in their merit; 2) contradicting the words of the Sages, leading to being cut off from them and not knowing the ways of repentance; 3) scoffing at the mitzvot, which prevents one from pursuing and fulfilling them; 4) demeaning one’s teachers, causing rejection and the inability to find guidance for the path of truth; and 5) hating admonishment, leaving no path for repentance. Note how each of these actions demonstrates a form of rebellion—whether through isolation, defiance of authority, disregard for sacred practices, disrespect toward teachers, or aversion to constructive criticism. Take for example the scoffing at the mitzvot (commandments). This point illustrates how dismissing God’s commandments as degrading or irrelevant is a form of rebellion to the Word of God. Note also the concept of hating admonishment. Admonishment is essential for self-awareness and change. Rambam says that hating admonishment closes the path to repentance and this is due to pride. Rebukes challenge the status quo and rejecting them signifies rebellion against growth and improvement. The idea here is that we are to consider a rebuke for improving who we are to remove actions or thought patterns that lead to the rebellion. Repentance, also known as Teshuvah in Hebrew, is the act of regretting one’s sins, seeking forgiveness, and committing to change one’s ways. It is a central concept in Judaism and Christianity. Repentance is significant for salvation because it allows individuals to recognize their wrongdoings, reconcile one’s sins with God, and seek a path of righteousness. Repentance allows us to have a restored relationship with God. Through Teshuvah we acknowledge our need for a Savior and accept the gift of forgiveness that Yeshua the Messiah offers. Note also that repentance is not merely an emotional feeling of regret; it is a change of mind that results in a change of action. It’s essential for salvation because it aligns us with God’s plan and opens the door to His grace and forgiveness. 

ספר ישעיה פרק מח
ו   שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ וְאַתֶּם הֲלוֹא תַגִּידוּ הִשְׁמַעְתִּיךָ חֲדָשׁוֹת מֵעַתָּה וּנְצֻרוֹת וְלֹא יְדַעְתָּם: ז   עַתָּה נִבְרְאוּ וְלֹא מֵאָז וְלִפְנֵי-יוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתָּם פֶּן-תֹּאמַר הִנֵּה יְדַעְתִּין: 
לוגוס
ו      שְמַעתָא הְאִתגְלִיאַת לְכָל עַם כְמָא דְאִתגְלִיאַת לְכֹון וְאַתוּן הְלָא תְחַוֹון בַסַרתָך חֲדַתָן מִכְעַן וּנטִירָן וְלָא יְדַעתָנִין׃ ז      כְעַן אִתבְרִיאָה וְלָא מִבְכֵין וּקֳדָם יֹום מֵיתֵיהֹון וְלָא בַסַרתָנִין דִלמָא תֵימַר הא יְדַעתָנִין׃
ספריה 
ו  שְׁמַעְתָּא הָא אִתְגְלִיאַת לְכָל עַמָא מַה דְאִתְגְלִיאַת לְכוֹן וְאַתּוּן הֲלָא תְחַווּן בְּסַרְתָּךְ חַדְתָּן מִכְּעַן וּנְטִירַן וְלָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן: ז  כְּעַן אִתְבְּרִיאָה וְלָא מִבְכֵן וּקְדָם יוֹם מֵיתֵיהוֹן וְלָא בְסַרְתִּינוּן דִלְמָא תֵימַר הָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן:

Isaiah continues saying the following according to the TgJ on Isaiah 48:6-7, ו  שְׁמַעְתָּא הָא אִתְגְלִיאַת לְכָל עַמָא מַה דְאִתְגְלִיאַת לְכוֹן וְאַתּוּן הֲלָא תְחַווּן בְּסַרְתָּךְ חַדְתָּן מִכְּעַן וּנְטִירַן וְלָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן: 48:6 Hast thou heard whether that was revealed to any people which was revealed unto thee? and as for you, will ye not declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, and hidden things, and thou didst not know them. ז  כְּעַן אִתְבְּרִיאָה וְלָא מִבְכֵן וּקְדָם יוֹם מֵיתֵיהוֹן וְלָא בְסַרְתִּינוּן דִלְמָא תֵימַר הָא יְדַעְתִּינוּן:48:7 They are created now, and not of old; yea, I have not announced them before the day of their coming to pass, lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I have known them. (TgJ) In verse 6, the Hebrew text reads שָׁמַעְתָּ חֲזֵה כֻּלָּהּ (you have heard see all this), while the Aramaic translation reads שְׁמַעְתָּא הָא אִתְגְלִיאַת לְכָל עַמָא (the message that is revealed to all nations). This difference emphasizes the universal nature of the message being revealed, how the Lord God is looking to reveal His truth to both the Jew and Gentile. In verse 7, the Hebrew text reads עַתָּ֤ה נִבְרְאוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א מֵאָ֔ז וְלִפְנֵי־י֖וֹם וְלֹ֣א שְׁמַעְתָּ֑ם (They are created now, and not from the beginning; Even before the day when thou heardest them not), while the Aramaic translation reads כְּעַן אִתְבְּרִיאָה וְלָא מִבְכֵן וּקְדָם יוֹם מֵיתֵיהוֹן (the message is revealed, and not from now on, but before the day of their death). This difference highlights the urgency of the message, as it is revealed before the day of their death. The Targum emphasizes divine revelation, personal guilt, and the awe-inspiring encounter with God’s glory. These verses encourage us to recognize our sins, seek forgiveness, and acknowledge God’s presence. The message is not just for a specific group of people but for all nations, and it is revealed before the day of their death, urging us to pay attention and respond as soon as possible.

A NT parallel may be found in 2 Peter 1:19. The author of the epistle writes the following: 

2 Peter 1:19–21  
1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (KJV 19 καὶ ἔχομεν βεβαιότερον τὸν προφητικὸν λόγον ᾧ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες ὡς λύχνῳ φαίνοντι ἐν αὐχμηρῷ τόπῳ,* ἕως οὗ ⸆ ἡμέρα διαυγάσῃ καὶ ⸀φωσφόρος ἀνατείλῃ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν,* 20 τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες ὅτι πᾶσα ⸂προφητεία γραφῆς⸃ ἰδίας ἐπιλύσεως οὐ γίνεται·* 21 οὐ γὰρ θελήματι ἀνθρώπου ἠνέχθη ♦⸂προφητεία ποτέ⸃,* ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ πνεύματος ἁγίου φερόμενοι ἐλάλησαν ⸄ἀπὸ θεοῦ⸅ ἄνθρωποι.)

Peter echoes the idea of paying attention to the message revealed by God, as seen in the Aramaic translation of Isaiah 48:6-7. In summary, the Targum Jonathan’s Aramaic translation of Isaiah 48:6-7 emphasizes the universal nature and urgency of God’s message, urging us to pay attention and respond accordingly. This passage highlights the significance of the prophetic word, which serves as a guiding light in the darkness of the world. Peter refers to the prophetic word as something more sure than even his own eyewitness experience (the Transfiguration). The significance of these things is that we can trust the Scriptures as a reliable guide for our faith and practice. The Scriptures are like a lamp shining in a dark place, illuminating our path until the day dawns, a reference to the return of the Messiah. 2 Peter 1:19-21 emphasizes the importance of the prophetic word in guiding our lives, the divine origin of scripture, the necessity of collective interpretation, and the transformative power of the word. The application for us today is that we must diligently study the Scriptures and recognize their authority and relevance of Scripture for our lives today.