The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 77 of 144
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Studies in the Prophets.
NO.2.
Israel's restoration and the new covenant.
In the series of articles entitled Fundamentals of Dispensational Truth we have considered the
covenant made by the Lord with Israel at Sinai, and seen it to be the basis of His dealings with them as a
nation. Coming to the prophets, and endeavouring to find further indications of their great purpose, we
find that much is said about this covenant. Turning to the prophecy of Isaiah we find that the references
to the covenant exactly harmonize with the twofold division of the book. There are twelve references to a
covenant in this prophecy, four occurring in the first section, and eight in the second. These references
set forth most vividly the factors that led to the fall, and that will lead to the restoration of Israel, the
burden indeed of all the prophets.
The two covenants.
Let us first of all look at the first and the last mention of covenant by Isaiah;
"They have broken the everlasting covenant" (lsa. 24: 5).
"I will make an everlasting covenant with them" (Isa. Ixi. 8).
Words could not more eloquently express the twofold theme of this prophecy; Israel forfeiting
all by breaking the covenant, God establishing and restoring all by making the covenant Himself in
Christ. With this encouragement to go forward in the study, let us notice the distribution of this word
more carefully.
A. 24: 5. Covenant broken.
First part of Isaiah
B. 28: 15. Covenant made with death.
--Desolation. i--xxxix
B. 28: 18 Covenant with death disannulled
A. 33: 8. Covenant broken.
A. 42: 6; 49: 8. Messiah given as a covenant of the people.
B. 54: 10. Covenant of My peace.
Second part of Isaiah
100: 55: 3. I will make and everlasting covenant
--restoration 40: lxvi
A. 56: 4, 6. They who take hold of My covenant
B. 59: 21. This is My covenant.
100: 61: 8. I will make an everlasting covenant.
The most prejudiced reader can hardly deny that the distribution of this word is, to say the least,
suggestive. In the first part, which deals with Israel's failure, we have a covenant broken, or a covenant
made with death, but no reference to a covenant established or made by the Lord. In the second part
there is no broken covenant, but instead the Messiah is given as a covenant of the people, and God Him-
self promises to make an everlasting covenant. Design is rendered more evident when we notice that the
double reference in 42: and 49: instead of causing a difficulty is exactly balanced by the double
reference to those who take hold of this covenant. Let us observe the contexts of some of these
references.
The broken covenant.
The context of the broken covenant is one of chaos:
"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scatteretb abroad
the inhabitants thereof. . . . The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word. . . .
they. . . . have broken the everlasting covenant, therefore hath the curse devoured the earth" (Isa. 24: 1-6).
The parallel reference says:
"The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceasetb; he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he
regardeth no man. The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and withered away: Sharon is like a
wilderness: and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits" (Isa. 33: 8. 9).
It is very probable that the passage in 33: has immediate reference to Sennacherib, and prophetic
reference to Antichrist. The breaking of the covenant by Israel drew down upon them the judgment of
invasion: