CHAPTER 1 | Verses 26 - 31

Verse 26: “I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as the beginning. And afterwards ‘This righteous city’ you shall be called, ‘a faithful city’”.

At the first…as the beginning: The image here is that of restoration.

Judges…counsellors: Justice and righteousness are going to be restored. Counsellors have wisdom – they understand what righteousness and unrighteousness are – and they are able to impart that wisdom/understanding to others.

Afterwards: After God’s activity has been perfomed. It is only God who can bring this about.

This righteous city you shall be called, a faithful city: Referring to the city of Jerusalem.

Verse 27: “Zion, with justice, will be redeemed, and her captives (will be redeemed) with righteousness.”

Zion: Although Jerusalem and Zion are referring to the same location, there is a significant difference between these two identifying names. When the name ‘Zion’ is mentioned in the Bible it is referring to Jerusalem in her redeemed state (as she will be when the Kingdom of God is established, and not as she currently is). By referring to Jerusalem as Zion in this verse it gives us an indication that God is speaking about what He is going to do. A transition is going to take place – a final transformation from this world into the Kingdom of God.

Note: In Hebrew, cities, countries etc are predominately referred to in the feminine, hence referring to Jerusalem as ‘she’, ‘her’, etc)

Justice … righteousness: These are two adjectives that describe the Kingdom of God. Not only should these be predominant features of the Kingdom, but they should also be adjectives that describe us – we who have received redemption through the blood of Messiah. We have been called to live righteously, and to execute justice (Micah 6:8). This is the transformation, the change, that God wants to bring upon His people.

Verse 28: “The destruction of the transgressor and the sinner will be together, those who abandon the Lord will be consumed.”

Destruction: Those who are unrepentant, not receiving the grace, forgiveness or mercy of God, are going to be crushed.

Verse 29: “For shameful is the tree that is used for idolatry, those who covet will be embarrassed. They will be ashamed of their gardens which they have chosen.”

For shameful is the tree that is used for idolatry: Those who practice idolatry will be made ashamed.

Their gardens: Their places of idolatry.

Verse 30: “For you shall be as an oak tree whose leaves wither up, and whose garden has no water.”

An oak tree: The tree that was used for idolatry.

Verse 31: “It shall be that the one who is strong is going to be made like tinder, and the work of it like a spark; both will burn together, and no one shall quench them.”

Tinder: Tinder (stubble or hay) helps a fire to start quickly and easily.

The work: The actions of the strong man are going to be like a spark. His actions/works ignite the fire that is going to consume him.

Both will burn together: Referring to the man and his works.

No one shall quench them: No fireman will be able to put out this fire. The judgment or wrath of God, toward those who reject Him, will go on forever and forever. God is holy, righteous, forgiving, merciful, gracious, faithful, etc. But because He is all of these things He cannot wink at sin. Those who reject Him and His plan for redemption/salvation will be ashamed, embarrassed, and consumed for all of eternity.


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