Summary of Perakim
Perek 1: Yeshaya bemoans that the Jewish people have rebelled against Hashem prior to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. He contrasts animals that are aware of their master with the Jewish people who are not. He questions how it is possible that Israel is punished so severely, yet does not deviate from their sinful ways. He laments that Hashem is not interested in and has been overly satiated with sacrifices, but seeks a just society where people exhibit kindness to one another. Hashem offers to eradicate all previous sin and give the people a clean slate, if they repent sincerely. He promises to return to tranquillity if they cease sinful activity and warns that wicked people who do not repent will receive their harsh punishment.
Perek 2:Yeshaya prophesises about Moshiach when all the nations will recognise Hashem’s existence and will flock to the Beis Hamikdosh to offer gifts. There will be universal peace and all Nations will put down their weapons (this Posuk was taken as the UN caption). All Jews will want to live a Torah life and will cease serving idolatry. He accuses the generation before Mashiach (that is us!) of not guiding the world in morality and accepting contradictory religions and cultures. He criticises the focus on materialism and how we are influenced by secular culture and lack belief in Hashem. When Mashiach comes it will become clear that Hashem alone is the source of all power. People or nations that were previously well respected may be humbled whereas others will be exalted. Atheism and idolatry will cease and man will live for a greater purpose other than maintaining himself.
Perek 3: Yeshaya returns to the morbid prophesy about Yerushalayim’s destruction. Hashem will stop all food and water supplies from the city. In this time the experienced and elders will be disregarded and the youth will lead over them both politically and in Rabbinical positions (when they are unsuitable for the role); the youth will mistreat the elderly. This will befall the people due to their complacency in serving Hashem, subsequent spiritual decline and inability to repent. Male leaders were ‘ruled over’ by women sexually (Rashi and Radak) and there was subsequently weak leadership. He condemns the people who supported their leaders and did not protest when necessary. The people did not help the poor and women behaved flirtatiously to attract men, Hashem will remove the beauty of the women and replace it with ugliness and illness.
Perek 4: Yeshaya continues his prophecy and foretells how during this period the many widows will beg for help and ask that a man marries them even without sustenance. Married women were not vulnerable to being molested by the Babylonian army. Yeshaya insists that this harsh punishment is vital to ensure the Jewish people are cleansed from their sins in order that the Beis Hamikdosh can be rebuilt and the redemption can occur.
Perek 5: A parable is delivered about a man who invested in a lush vineyard and produced sour grapes; the way to rectify it is through destroying it in order to replant it. Hashem is dissatisfied with the behaviour of the Jewish people and must destroy the Beis Hamikdosh to enable Moshiach to be able to come. Yeshaya criticises the Jews who feign being religious and appear like good grapes, but internally are sour and are heartless towards the poor and unjust. He warns them that they will be forced out of their mansions and will be punished accordingly.H e admonishes the people that become intoxicated and do not keep the Torah. This corrupt society will be destroyed and the poor will take the spoils from the annihilated rich. Yeshaya bemoans the cynics who ridicule his prophecies, those who say evil is good and vice versa, those who take bribes and those who influence negatively a righteous person. They will be punished.
Perek 6: Yeshaya describes his first prophecy where he saw Hashem and angels praising Hashem. Yeshaya commented that he must be silent as he has seen Hashem, but is from a nation of “unclean lips” (he was punished for criticising the Jewish people before Hashem, Yevamos 49b). One of the angels placed a scorching coal on his lip and purged him of all sin. Hashem instructed him to speak to the nation to persuade them to repent until “the cities are desolate” and if they do not obey Hashem, they will perish.
Perek 7: Retzin (King of Aram) sided with Yisroel and tried unsucessfully to conquer Yerusholayim from Yehuda. Yeshaya encouraged King Achaz of Yehuda and told him not to fear as Hashem promised they would not succeed. He foresaw that Yisroel would be destroyed within 65 years. Hashem told Achaz to ask for a sign, but Achaz refused as he did not want to test Hashem. Nevertheless Hashem told Achaz that his young woman would give birth to a son who would be named Immanu El (Hashem is with us) and he will be righteous (unlike his father). There will be tranquillity and the King of Ashur (Sancheirev) will lose all power and there will be abundant wealth, nevertheless those that attacked will not gain from the wealth.
Perek 8: Hashem instructed Yeshaya to write on a scroll and appoint two witnesses. After this Yeshaya had relations with his wife and bore a son, Hashem promised that before the son can speak Ashur and Yisroel will be punished appropriately. Yeshaya forecasts that Sancheirev will be unsuccessful whilst his troops were conquering vast areas of surrounding land. Yeshaya reminds the people that they must fear in Hashem and adhere strictly to the Torah and keep away from the bad influences of Ashur. Although the opposition may urge them to turn to idolatry or witchcraft, it is incomparable to the Torah. Those sceptics will be punished and will eventually cry out and curse Hashem instead of realising it was their misdeeds which brought about this suffering.
Perek 9: Despite the siege, Yeshaya is optimistic that a miracle will occur and describes the subsequent joy of the salvation and praises Hashem profusely. Yisrael believed that through their treaty with Retzin they would not only be secure, but also improve their land. However Hashem will cause Retzin to be overcome by their enemies and thus eradicate Yisrael. Everyone is guilty: whether the leaders for misleading the public, the public for believing their leaders, orphans and widows as everyone speaks indecently and wickedness is contagious (anyone who speaks about inappropriate topics can nullify positive decrees Shabbos 33a) Hashem is enraged. No man will have any compassion and people will resort to extreme means to survive including eating their own arm, nevertheless this is insufficient to calm Hashem’s anger.
Perek 10:Yeshaya warns that those who took advantage of the vulnerable members of society will receive retribution. Hashem warns the Jewish people that they will be punished through Ashur although Ashur are unaware of this. Sancheirev brags that he has overcome better fortified cities and one with more idols, therefore Yerusholayim will not be a difficult battle. Neverthless, Hashem guarantees he will hold Ashur to account for the atrocities they commit and that they should not be haughty as they are merely are ‘the axe wielded by Hashem’. Sancheirev’s army, princes and generals will be destroyed and the surviving Jews will rely on Hashem alone. Hashem’s anger is only temporary and when he has finished meeting out the deserved punishment, there will be peace.
Perek 11: Yeshaya describes a vision of Moshiach; it will come from a descendant of Dovid who will have great understanding, fear of Hashem, righteousness and judge justly. Even nature will be peaceful, as predatory activity will cease. Hashem will gather Jews from across the globe and any contention or jealously between Yehuda and Yisroel will stop and the Jewish people will be united. The other nations surrounding Israel will be conquered effortlessly and Hashem will dry rivers to enable easy travel for those in the Diaspora.
Perek 12: In the times of Mashiach, the Jewish people will thank Hashem for the punishment which enabled the salvation to occur. The entire nation will praise and sing to Hashem joyously.
Perek 13: Yeshaya changes the topic of his prophecies and forecasts events involving other nations; this one is regarding Bovel. He encourages Bovel’s enemies to attack, conquer and annihilate Bovel. Although Bovel had a
strong army, Hashem would remove their desire to fight and cause confusion. He contrasts soldiers running to join the Bablyonian army to those deserting. This will occur as Hashem wants to wipe out their lawless, sinful and haughty society. The women and children will be massacred and raped; the land will be uninhabited for many years and the beautiful land will become like Sedom.
Perek 14: Yeshaya speaks about the ingathering of Jews from exile. Then evil will cease to exist and the nations will encourage the Jews to return to their homeland. The world will be tranquil and joyful. Even the merciless, senior leaders of foreign nations will rejoice at Israel’s success and the downfall of Bovel. The evil world leaders who previously seemed invincible will receive their due retribution. Due to Nevuchadnetzar’s barbarity to even his own people, his body was mutilated unlike other Kings who were buried with great respect. Hashem will wipe out all of Nevuchadnetzar’s descendants. Just as Hashem will wipe out Ashur, so too Bovel will be eradicated. The Pilishtim rejoiced at King Achaz of Yehuda’s death as they thought the next King, Chizkiyoh would shun war. Hashem warns that quite the contrary will occur and Chizkiyoh will pursue the Pilishtim vehemently and capture their land.
Perek 15: Moav would be destroyed by Sancheirev’s army in a surprise attack. Despite being the most developed country, Moav would be helpless against powerful Ashur and its’ inhabitants will mourn pitifully. Its rivers will be filled with blood as the Moabites will be massacred, the survivors of Ashur will have to face Nevuchadnetzar’s army.
Perek 16: Yeshaya criticises Moav for ceasing to send sheep to Yehuda after Achaz’s death and siding with Yisrael. Had they continued sending gifts to Yehuda, they would not have been destroyed. Now Moav will have to wander the earth as they did not give shelter to the Jewish People. They were conquered by Ashur. Now, Mashiach will rule permanently and will judge righteously. Moav’s beautiful cities lay desolate and Moabites cry at the destruction of their country with the knowledge that their actions brought it about. Yeshaya is devastated by the destruction of Moav due to the long standing relationship with the Jewish people. Hashem had planned the destruction of Moav from the time Bilaam was hired by Moav to curse the Jewish people. In 3 years, Moav would be wiped out (representative of the 3 years Moav assisted Sancheirev in the siege of the Shomoron, Malachim Beis 17:4).
Perek 17: Yeshaya speaks about the obliteration of the Damesek which became a “heap of ruins” by Sancheirev and his forces. The people of Damesek will receive the same treatment as the 10 lost tribes as they conspired to overthrow Yehuda. Sancheirev will be able to eliminate the Jewish people effortlessly and few will survive. Then Israel will turn to Hashem and forsake their idols. This will occur as the Jewish people did not recognise Hashem and His Torah as the source of their triumph. Yeshaya criticises Yisrael for trying to become a metropolitan hub worldwide and embody the values of the outer world; this brought about the Golus and destruction. Hashem places accountability directly upon Ashur who the entire army was wiped out the night before attacking Yerusholayim and they will be severely punished. Similarly all enemies past, present and future of the Jewish people will be treated similarly.
Perek 18: According to Rashi this Chapter describes the war of Gog Umogog. A nation sends its troops from Kush against the Jewish people once Mashiach has come as they still deplore the fact that Hashem rules over the world. Hashem will allow this nation to nearly accomplish their goal of destroying the Beis Hamidosh, but will prevent them from achieving this and this nation will be eradicated. Consequently all nations will be aware of Hashem’s supremacy and running of the world.
Perek 19: Hashem will present Himself in Egypt (or any other world superpower) and thus drive away their idolatry. This will invoke fear in to the Egyptians as they will realise that their gods and witchcraft cannot assist them. Hence Egyptians will strike each other in desperation and confusion. A harsh ruler will rule over them and the River Nile will dry up which will make fishermen in addition to many other workers redundant. Yeshaya mocks Pharoh’s wisest advisors who are unable to advise him how to ward off this catastrophe and couldn’t predict this. Egypt will be helpless and will be terrified of Yehuda. The Egyptians will build altars to Hashem, offer sacrifices and cry out to Him. Both Egypt and Ashur will recognise Hashem. Although all nations will accept Hashem, the Jewish people will remain “Hashem’s inheritance”.
Perek 20: After Ashur’s invasion of Ashdod, Hashem appeared to Yeshaya and instructed him to remove his sackcloth (from mourning the lost 10 tribes) and walk about unclothed and barefoot (this means tattered clothes and shoes Yoma 77a). Yeshaya did this for 3 years. The message was that in three years Ashur will cause the inhabitants of Egypt and Kush to be taken captive naked. This will occur because Yehuda hoped that Egypt will save them from Ashur instead of beseeching Hashem. Yehuda will witness their ‘saviours’ humiliating downfall.
Perek 21: Yeshaya foresees the decline and ruin of Bovel. Hashem will encourage Bovel’s enemies to do as they wish towards Bovel. Yeshaya mentions that the conquest will be horrific and it will be a sudden change from tranquillity to devastation. A watchman from the battle reports that the destruction will be slow and painful. Yeshaya is asked from Golus Edom (our current exile) “Why is the exile so long?” He responds, “If you want the redemption, ask for it”. Yeshaya prophesises the obliteration of Arabia; they will be unable to host the traders in their inns. Arabia killed 80,000 Kohanim who fled from Nevudchadnetzar seeking refuge. Thus in one year they will be destroyed with their huge population and mighty army.
Perek 22: Yeshaya forecasts the final days of the Babylonian siege against Yerusholayim. Yeshaya is overcome with grief and requests that no one attempts to console him. He describes the confusion when the Beis Hamikdosh is destroyed, people could not comprehend that the Beis Hamikdosh would not exist. He criticises the inhabitants for failing to focus on repenting and beseeching Hashem. The prevalent attitude was of ‘eat meat, drink and wine for tomorrow we will die’ (do we do the same?). Shevna was plotting to overthrow Chizkiyoh. The Babylonians seized him for pretending to be King of Israel and tied him to the tail of a horse which dragged him along the rocky terrain and killed him (Sanhedrin 26b). Yeshaya adds that Shevna will lose his position to Elyokim who will receive the honour Shevna and his family once had.
Perek 23: Yeshaya as a prophecy about Nevudchanetzar conquering and uprooting the commercial centre and Israel’s ally Tzor (and its sister city Tzidon), 4 years after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. King David and Shlomo had enjoyed friendship with Chirom King of Tzor. He describes how business activity halted and this affected many countries particularly Egypt. Hashem wanted to punish the arrogant individuals who rejoiced at Yisrael’s downfall. Tzidon finally received its due suffering. Yeshaya warns that wherever they flee, they will not be absolved from punishment. This city of Tzor consisted of Kasdim was initially nothing when Ashur was powerful Hashem dictated they became world leaders for a short period and overthrow Ashur. Yeshaya forecasts that it will lie barren for 70 years, but will be inhabited and will regain (to a lesser degree) good relations with the Jewish people. However their new commerce will be from swindlers and thieves.
Perek 24: Yeshaya gives a mysterious prophesy; Rashi says it is referring to Gog U’magog (the war preceding Moshiach) or it could be generally the build up to Moshiach. Hashem will empty some formerly habitable locations and life will become increasing more complex. Anyone will be able to become a leader (not just the upper classes like formerly), people will lose respect for leaders and all classes will disintegrate (according to Rashi as there is pandemonium). Furthermore, the land will be unproductive. This is because ‘Derech Eretz’ (human decency) has disappeared, the 7 Noachite laws (which gentiles must observe) have not been kept and mankind has broken the covenant which was made with Hashem after the Mabul (flood). Most people have been wiped out and the bereft survivors mourn the loss of their family and friends. Entertainment (music/ comedy) will stop and wine will not be drunk to celebrate rather to rid themselves of the bitter pain. Despite the devastation and desolation, the righteous will praise Hashem, but are devastated by the few righteous people remaining. The reason for this suffering is that people acted treacherously towards each other and Hashem and the earth cannot tolerate the heavy load of sin. Hashem will remove the Angels who represent each country and thus each nation will lose their power. When the punishment is completed, Hashem will let the survivors free from the ‘dungeon’. Then the moon and sun will not be necessary as the light of Hashem will shine and Talmidei Chachomim will receive adequate respect and honour.
Perek 25: Yeshaya composes a song praising Hashem for the redemption. He thanks Hashem for performing miracles and actualising His plan for the world and fulfilling the Torah and all prophecies. Yerusholayim, including Har Habayis which has been desolate, used inappropriately by other religions will be rebuilt. Israel is called a mighty nation who has overcome all the obstacles over its history and Hashem is praised for directly causing that. Hashem, the All Powerful is thanked for helping us throughout the tough periods of Golus (exile). The enemies of the Jewish people will finally receive their deserved retribution which was due for thousands of years. Hashem will remove death forever and “wipe away the tear from all faces” and remove the shame of Israel. The Jews will rejoice that everything they had faith in happened with every precise detail. Moav will be destroyed and humbled from being one of the most arrogant nations.
Perek 26: A further song will be sung thanking Hashem for the redemption. The Jewish people do not require defence systems to be strong, but can rely on Hashem. Yeshaya comments that the reason they have merited the redemption is because they had an unswerving belief that it would occur, despite being tormented. Hashem degrades those nations that did not believe in Him as He represents justice and righteousness. Even through the darkest periods in Jewish history we have been resolutely faithful that justice would prevail. The world will be an upright one where even the wicked recognise Hashem and have a brief opportunity to repent, but the others will be wiped out. Although the Jewish people have been subservient to hostile rulers, Hashem destroyed and punished them. The last part of exile was difficult like the birth pangs before the birth of the salvation.
Perek 27: Hashem will punish the sea monster, the Livyoson (difficult to understand could be referring to all the nations that have tried to destroy us and opposed Hashem) If anyone instigates trouble against the Jewish people, Hashem will protect Israel constantly and will have no sins of the Jewish people that require retribution. Hashem could not have punished us simultaneously for all our iniquities, as he would have destroyed the vineyard (Israel). Exile was necessary to enable the Jewish people to take root and with Mashiach they can finally flourish and produce a harvest. The Bnei Yisrael were forgiven for their sins as they atoned for their sins through Golus e.g. after the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed, idolatry ceased. The punishment was to remove the kernel from the husk, but nevertheless Israel’s enemies received harsher retribution. Then the true redemption will occur with the blowing of the Shofar and Jews will come from Ashur and Egypt to pray and bow down before Hashem in Yerusholayim.
Perek 28: Yeshaya criticises Yisrael for pursuing materialism and wealth and being arrogant. Consequently they will be destroyed by Ashur who saw Yisrael as an ideal conquest despite their former power. Chizkiyoh witnessed what occurred in Yisrael and initiated (compulsory) Torah learning throughout Yehuda. This caused a just court system and government to prevail. This success was short lived as after Ashur’s army was wiped out, even the most prestigious people became wealthy and haughty; thus Yehuda abandoned Hashem. The Kohanim made mistakes in Halacha and Neviim misinterpreted prophesies due to their incorrect attitude. Yehuda including the leaders (apart from the young children) lost interest in learning Torah, but mistook the Torah as an assortment of rules and laws and deride the words of the Novi that were promoting a life of Torah and meaning over materialism. Subsequently they broke parts of the Torah and eventually lost all connection with Hashem. They believed that either idols or the Beis Hamikdosh would protect them from the siege; Hashem promises them that this belief will be proven false and they will be destroyed. The punishment will be harsh, but will be meticulously and precisely calculated by Hashem.
Perek 29: Yeshaya mourns that in Ariel (lion of Hashem) referring to where the Beis Hamikdosh stood people offer up sacrifices, but are unaware why they do so (to reach closer to Hashem). Thus Yerusholayim a place of celebration will become a place of suffering when they are attacked by Ashur. He then describes the miraculous salvation when the army of Ashur were annihilated and their dream of conquering Yerusholayim unfulfilled. Before Chizkiyoh became King of Yehuda, his wicked father Achoz ruled; Yeshaya speaks about this period. Yehuda generally observed the Torah, but did not protest against their King and his follows when they established idols, spurned Neviim and transgressed the Torah which they treated as a “closed book”. Hashem punished this generation for keeping the Torah out of habit, thus not standing up for the Torah and eventually slacking in their observance. They would lose their Rabbis and Zekeinim who provided the clear moral guidance. Yeshaya criticises those who sin in private and ironically use the intellect Hashem gave them to deflect accountability to sin against Him saying “Who sees us?”. Yeshaya foresees the end of this era and the beginning of Chizkiyoh’s righteous reign where sin will cease and “Yaccov would be proud of his descendants”.
Perek 30: Yeshaya rebukes Yehuda for bribing Egypt to help them against Ashur without authorisation from Hashem. Nevertheless, Yeshaya promises that the Egyptians will not come to the aid of Yehuda, despite the great effort and danger of journeying to Egypt to broker the treaty. He criticises Yehuda for not asking Rabonim and Neviim for advice and rather turning to political and military leaders who often are contrary to the Torah. They trusted other nations and politics, rather than believing that Hashem will sort out their problems like Yeshaya urged; this will bring about Yehuda’s demise through Ashur. They will panic and will flee before the enemy and few will survive. The righteous who did not participate in the incident with Egypt will witness the salvation against Ashur, they will live a plentiful life and their prayers when Ashur attack will be accepted unlike the rest of Yehuda. He foresees Chizkiyoh eradicating idolatry from the land and the destruction of the Ashur army who received heavy retribution from Hashem and felt they “were drowning”. The people who had a little optimism “light of the moon” will transform into “sunlight” and then “sunlight sevenfold”. Yeshaya describes the jubilation of the Hallel sang on Pesach (when Korban Pesach is eaten, Pesachim 95b) after the defeat of Ashur. The thanks that were given to Hashem that a powerful was wiped out and that their suffering became joy overnight.
Perek 31: Yeshaya continues to rebuke Yehuda for turning to Egypt for assistance against Ashur who relied on “horses, chariots and horsemen” over Hashem and by not consulting with Neviim they exhibited ‘suprerior wisdom to the Neviim’. Yeshaya emphasises that Hashem is infinitely powerful much more so than the Egyptian army. The righteous ones who had Seder Night oblivious to the siege surrounding them with strong belief in Hashem are praised. Yeshaya urges Yehuda to repent and remove all idolatry, then Hashem will miraculously abolish of Ashur (this was before Ashur’s army would be destroyed).
Perek 32: Yeshaya describes an ideal King’s reign and effect on the Jewish people (possibly Chizkiyoh). He promotes righteousness and Hashem rejects all invaders. People who disregarded Neviim will respect them and listen to their prophecies. There is clarity between right and wrong; the wicked who exploit the less fortunate are discernible and likewise the righteous; Hashem will treat them accordingly. Nevertheless (after the King’s reign, Chizkiyoh ruled for merely 15 years) they will have to endure the suffering of exile in Bovel with the destruction of Yerusholayim and will long for the days of tranquillity under their King. When the Golus is complete the land will regenerate and justice, peace and tranquillity will ensue. Yeshaya comments that the Golus will be difficult, but there will be periods of tranquillity which will enable a closer connection to Hashem.
Perek 33: Yeshaya relates the might of Sancheirev’s army of Ashur who was never defeated, betrayed their allies, plundered and conquered other lands, now the positions will be switched. He begs Hashem to protect the Jewish people from their enemies and wipe out mighty foes. Our loyalty to Hashem during the challenging times will enable salvations to occur. Angels whose function it is to save the Jewish people from enemies who Hashem restrained during the Golus will be let free. There is desolation and the various achievements of man throughout with Golus will be perceived as insignificant compared to the revelation of Hashem. Therefore sinners will be afraid to dwell in a righteous society which spurns bribery, theft, lashon hora (derogatory speech) and general evil. Those who are righteous- their basic needs will be provided by Hashem and they will be able to become even closer to Hashem. People will recognise that Hashem runs the world and not the forces that were previously thought to run the world such as: science, money and the military. Countries which were respected for power or philosophy will be disregarded when Hashem reveals Himself. The Jewish people will forevermore be united in Yerusholayim during the festivals and people will live in harmony. People will have strong belief in Hashem’s protection from enemies.
Perek 34: Hashem promises to punish the persecutors of the Jewish people accordingly. The massacre will be brutal for all the enemies including Edom (who encapsulates an enemy of the Jewish people and will be the nation involved in Gog U’mgog- the final battle before Mashiach). The land of Edom will be desolate only animals will inhabit it, but its’ former kingdom will be disbanded. Many animals will dwell in Edom during this period and Hashem promises that the every animal mentioned will be there.
Perek 35: In stark contrast to Edom, Israel will flourish from its uninhabitable wasteland formed by Edom to a beautiful land. Hashem urges the “impatient” i.e. us in Golus to be patient and strong for the forthcoming redemption. The Jewish people who were: “lame” oppressed and helpless during exile will jump for joy and “mute” unable to praise Hashem due to the many sorrows of Golus will now do so. There will be a clear path to Hashem for all sincere Jews whether “travellers”- observant Jews or “fools”- people who struggle and are uncertain about their relationship with Hashem. The “lions and beasts” distractions and hindrances including the Satan preventing people from performing Torah and Mitzvos will disappear. The grief of Golus will cease which will enable the Jewish people to truly rejoice and feel inner content.
The following four Perokim appear in Malachim Beis 18-20:
Perek 36: Sancheirev sent Ravshokoh (alone, the other 2 messengers joined later according to Rashi) who criticised Chizkiyoh for relying on Egypt behind the back of Ashur. He scorned Chizkiyoh that he had no support and that Hashem would not support them, as they served idols and they were following Hashem’s will by destroying the Jewish people. Ravshokoh delivered a speech in Hebrew so the average commoner could understand it and emphasised the might of the Ashur army. He argued that Chizkiyoh was misleading the public saying that ‘Hashem will save us’ and we will have a prosperous future. He asked Chizkiyoh to surrender and thus be relocated to an ‘equally plentiful land’, but remain alive and he urges them to halt resistance. The people ignored him like Chizkiyoh commanded them, but Chizkiyoh’s most senior men came to Chizkiyoh with torn garments.
Perek 37: Chizkiyoh ripped his clothes and put on sackcloth and commented that it was a distressing day for the Jewish people and told Yishayoh to beseech Hashem. Yeshaya sent a message to Chizkiyoh that Hashem urged the Jewish people not to be frightened as Ashur will be struck down. The army of Ashur had to retreat from the siege on Yerushalayim to repel the invaders from Tirhokoh. Ashur sent a spiteful message to Chizkiyoh belittling Hashem’s power of protection- “you have heard what we have done to all the lands with their gods… will you be spared?” Chizkiyoh offered a heartfelt prayer to Hashem and begged to overcome this foe and be saved. Yeshaya gave an optimistic prophecy that Hashem listened to Chizkiyoh’s prayer; he forecasted Sancheirev’s downfall and the Jewish people’s victory. Hashem mocks the haughty boasts of Sancheirev’s success in battle and reiterates that He brought them about. Hashem promises to wipe out the army of Ashur and consequently the desolate fields will miraculously sprout crops for two years until the fields return to their former status. Hashem insists that Sancheirev will be unable to “fire an arrow” and He will protect Yerusholayim. Overnight an angel killed 185,000 of Ashur’s soldiers and the entire army retreated. Sancheirev was serving his idols (called Nisroch appears once in Tanach- it was the wooden boards from Noach’s ark; he believed they saved Noach) when he was murdered by his sons and another son, Eisar Chadon ruled in his stead.
Perek 38: Chizkiyoh became deathly ill and Yeshaya told him that he would die; Chizkiyoh offered a prayer affirming that he had always served Hashem; Chizkiyoh also wept to Hashem . Before Yeshayoh left the courtyard of the King’s palace and Hashem told him that Chizkiyoh would live for a further 15 years and would protect Yerushalayim from Ashur. Chizkiyoh asked for proof of this and behold the sundial went back 10 degrees unnaturally. Chizkiyoh wrote a letter once Hashem had cured him of his illness. He describes that in death it is “impossible to see Hashem” (Yud Hei name is mentioned here parallel to Tehillim 26:13 “the dead cannot praise you”). He feels that his life would have been cut short and that he now understands that life is temporary “like a shepherd’s tent”. He describes the various stages of decline of his illness and how even where he could scarcely speak, he prayed to Hashem. Chizkiyoh asks that Hashem enable every day of his remaining 15 years worthwhile and thanks Him for keeping him alive.
Perek 39: King Beroadach Balaadon of Bovel sent letters and a gift to Chizkiyoh when he was recovered from his illness. When Chizkiyoh recovered, he gave Beroadach Balaadon a tour round his treasury. Hashem scolded him for this and Yeshaya prophesised that in the future Bovel will take all of the Jewish people’s children and valuables. Chizkiyoh accepeted this as good news as it would not apply immediately and there was time for repentance (Malbim). Chizkiyoh died and his son, Menashe ruled in his stead.
Perek 40: Hashem comforts the Jewish people that they have received their allocation of punishment and hence Mashiach can come. The reason for being in Golus “wilderness” was to publicise Hashem’s existence to the world. Hashem will flatten the way to Israel to ensure smooth access for all Jews returning home. The entire world will recognise Hashem and realise that man with his “brilliant ideas” is as temporary and fragile as “grass”. The coming of Mashiach must be announced to show all Jews that Hashem is their God as possessing Israel is dependent on following Hashem. Any mighty country throughout history is Hashem exercising His power through them likewise the Jewish people’s survival can only be attributed to Him. Hashem the mighty creator of the universe is infinitely greater than us. No man or even any nation can attempt to advise Him. Yeshaya asks how people could believe in idolatry or that the world came into existence by some freak accident without Hashem as its’ creator. One has to merely look at the world to realise that there is a creator of a perfect world “not a star fails”, yet some Jews deviated from the Torah and felt like ‘they got away with it’. Hashem is constantly actively interacting in the world helping the vulnerable. But those who have resolute faith in Hashem throughout challenging time will be blessed that they will not lose faith.
Perek 41: Yeshaya beckons distant islands. He describes how Avrohom brought monotheism and mortality to the world and overcame the 4 Kings, despite not being a warrior. Through Avrohom It was clear that Hashem existed and thus worldwide nations unified in their fear of Him, yet they used this unity to form and serve idols. Nevertheless the Jewish people have been selected by Hashem and are His people during even the bad times (Golus) where He helps us. Hashem will wipe out those who degrade and afflict the Jewish people. Hashem will look after the Jewish people even when they have been reduced to a “worm”. Hashem emphasises that Golus is temporary and must be undergone in order to achieve the final redemption, but Hashem will never forsake the Jewish people. When Moshiach comes radical changes will occur: deserts will become pools of water and trees will sprout and Hashem’s existence will become clear. Hashem mocks the false prophets and asks them to present their predictions for the future and their ‘fulfilled’ prophecies. Since they are unable to do this, they must be false.
Perek 42: The Mashiach will carry out the will of Hashem (Radak’s interpretation) and will spread morality worldwide; all nations will listen attentively. Hashem will reveal Himself to the entirety of mankind and every human will be righteous and fully accept Hashem. Everyone will sing a ‘new song’ marking the beginning of a new period in history praising Hashem for creating the world and meting retribution the enemies of the Jewish people. Hashem formerly was ‘silent’ amidst idolatry, now He will react and punish those culpable. Throughout the Golus , Yeshaya foresees remarkably that against all the odds and amidst great persecution Jews will develop the Torah in Golus (e.g. : Gemora, Rashi, Rambam were written amidst turbulence; this is not has grown rapidly). Golus was caused by people disobeying Hashem and the Torah; they ignored numerous warnings.
Perek 43: Hashem guarantees the Jewish people whether they are respected as ‘Yisroel’ or denigrated as ‘Yaacov’, He will redeem them and ensure they survive all attempts of destruction like they had previously. Hashem will be more merciful during the time of Moshiach’s reign and the Jewish people will be ambassadors of morality to the rest of the world. Throughout Golus Hashem will accompany the Jewish people and He promises to bring Moshiach to future generations and thus ensure all Jews will return to Israel who will repent and follow Hashem. Hashem insists that no other prophet could foresee that far ahead correctly and thus the Jewish people should comprehend that there is no other power apart from Him. Hashem performed incredible miracles in Egypt and throughout history, now he will create new miracles which will be more magnificent than the original ones. The Jewish nation was created to praise Hashem, yet even the leaders did not do that, they sinned and were lax in offering sacrifices to Him.
Perek 44: Hashem reassures the Jews that they should not fear that Moshiach will not come due to their iniquities, rather it will come due to His altruism. Before Mashiach the Jewish people will grow rapidly and the wicked will repent and join the righteous in believing in Hashem. Hashem inquires whether there is any G-d beside Him when He is aware of every “rock” in the universe. Hashem accuses idolaters of being foolish and foresees that in the time of Moshiach they will realise that their belief was flawed. Yeshaya describes the effort and various stages involved with fashioning an idol and the raw materials used. He mocks how one can use the same wood to heat an oven and to create a god. Hashem promises to eradicate all the sins of the Jewish people, but urges them to spurn their idols, astrology, beliefs of two god’s and witchcraft; they should serve Him wholeheartedly. Yeshaya relays that after Golus Bovel, Yerusholayim will repopulate and Koresh will cause the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdosh (this is 200 years prior to its’ fulfilment, see Ezra 1:2-3).
Perek 45: Yeshaya speaks about King Koresh of Persia and how Hashem will empower him against his enemies, make him popular among the nations and make him wealthy. Hashem urges him when he hears about this prophecy 160 years later that he comprehend that his success originates from Him and no other deity. Through Koresh the world will recognise that Hashem is the driving force in the running of the world and created it. Hashem explains that he created both light, darkness, good and evil; this contrasted with the belief of multiple gods e.g. a god of light. Hashem will ensure that in the period of Moshiach’s justice will ensue and thus the wicked will not prosper like they may have done throughout exile. Yeshaya criticises those that question Hashem’s decisions in the upkeep of the world and compares them to “Clay asking its potter, ‘What are you doing?” Hashem has allotted the precise balance of punishment and reward, hence we cannot interfere with that. When Koresh allowed the Jewish people to return to Israel and built the Beis Hamikdosh no bribery was required as it was pure Divine command. This caused many gentiles even the greatest in stature to convert to Judaism to be part of the Jewish people and they will “bow down and pray to you”. Other religions and beliefs will be ashamed that they served the wrong god, but the Jewish people will never be humiliated as they “heard Hashem speak openly at Mount Sinai”. Yeshaya begs the idolaters to realise that their idols are powerless and cannot make predictions like Hashem can and that eventually everyone will believe this and praise Him.
Perek 46: Yeshaya mocks formerly popular idols which now are being carted away to be disposed. Hashem looked after the Jewish people from their inception how can he be compared to a lifeless god who is fashioned by man? Hashem is the only Being able to relay the future and has been proven correct on previous visions for the future this is epitomised by Koresh who enabled the Beis Hamikdosh to be built like Yeshaya forecast. Despite the fact that the Beis Hamikdosh was rebuilt some Jews remained in their ‘comfortable abode’ in Bovel as the Beis Hamikdosh’s construction was delayed and they believed this meant that the redemption would not occur. Hashem had informed them that he will bring the redemption at the right time, but the redemption will definitely be fulfilled.
Perek 47: Hashem gurantees the downfall of the formerly wealthy and powerful Bovel. Instead of forcing Jews to be their servants, they will become their servants. They will lose all their previous national glory due to their mistreatment of Israel. Their King will be killed and their children taken captive as slaves due to their haughtiness in believing that ‘no one sees me’ and ‘there is nothing besides me’. Yeshaya comments that even their magicians and astrologers will be unable to protect them from the catastrophic destruction they will experience and thus they will be completely hopeless.
Perek 48: Yeshaya criticises Jews who feign a ‘frum exterior’, but lack a genuine relationship with both Hashem and fellow man and behave improperly. Despite going through the Golus which should cause Jews to accept Hashem’s authority in essence they spurn Him and turn to idols instead. Hashem planned the redemption to come to fruition after Koresh’s proclamation, nevertheless since Jews disregarded this, He abandoned these plans (the Jewish nation had an opportunity to be ‘reborn’ and thus are “criminal from the womb” as they spurned this). Although they would be punished for this, Hashem would enable the redemption to come so His prophecy will be fulfilled. Hashem reiterates that Golus is to refine a person from sin. Hashem was fully aware that the Jewish people would sin from their inception at Mount Sinai and thus He created Golus to rid them of sin, but would never replace the Jewish people as His nation. Hashem created the heaven and earth and they carry out His command. Yeshaya explains that any events worldwide are for the Jewish people’s benefit and to teach them a lesson and therefore the people should have returned to Israel upon Koresh’s invitation (Possuk 17 used in Makkos 10b to prove that ‘in the way a person wants to go, Hashem will guide them’). Had the Jewish people returned to Israel, Mashiach would have come and they would have lived in serenity, have many offspring, no Jews be would killed by enemies and witnessed miracles comparable to those in Egypt. Hashem assures those that remained in Bovel to find peace there that this wish would not materialise.
Perek 49: This prophecy in the first person; this is Yeshaya (according to most Meforshim or the nation of Israel according Rav Shimshon Rafoel Hersch) speaking to the rest of the world. Hashem gave the Jewish people the power of Tefillah- prayer and based on this Hashem fights for the Jewish people. Hashem takes tremendous pride in Klal Yisroel, but is disillusioned by the sinful behaviour in Galus. Hashem will look after the Jewish people where they are in a lowly state “Yaacov” or “Yisroel” a more elevated status. Jews can not content with merely serving Hashem, they must be Hashem’s model nation to the outside world and even gentile Kings will hearken to this and respect them. Hashem will bring the redemption when this occurs and this will release all those in the “dark prison” of Golus. Unlike previously they will not become wealthy and forget Hashem and people will be able to attain higher levels of spirituality than ever before. Yeshaya describes the assimilated Jews who will return from across the globe to their roots. The entire nation will rejoice. Hashem never forgets the Jewish people throughout Golus “like a parent never forgets their child”. At the final redemption Jews will eager rush home to Israel (unlike the response to Koresh’s beckon) without those that gave up hope before Mashiach (the false Messiah’s, other religions or branches of Judaism) that ‘caused the Golus’, but the lost members of the Jewish people will return home (they will be an “adornment” i.e. high quality Jews). The former inhabitants of Israel will depart from there and assimilated Jews will want to return and although it will be crowded they will be able to reintegrate. In the build up to Mashiach, nations will assist the Jewish people in returning to Israel and will be in awe of the Jewish people. Hashem promises that He will fight on behalf of the Jewish people; they will not need to do anything and all enemies will be receive retribution.
Perek 50: Hashem insists that Golus was not a permanent rejection of the Jewish people, “Where is the divorce document?” Rather it was a punishment for sins and ignoring Hashem when He sent many messages through Neviim telling the people to repent. Hashem has the power to redeem and has done so in the past, he chose not to due to the Jews sinful activities. Yeshaya thanks Hashem for being able to articulate his prophecies to the public so clearly and allotting him the correct time to deliver it. Remarkably Yeshaya received his prophecies in broad daylight (most occur as a vision in the night). Furthermore it is unbelievable that Yeshaya did not rebel against Hashem’s decision for being a Novi despite “being hit, pulled out hairs of his beard, insulted and spat at”. He was able to maintain his composure as he knew “Hashem was on his side” and “one who trusts in Hashem, despite walking in the darkness… let him trust in Hashem”. He warns those that ignore his rebuke that they are causing their own demise and they will be severely punished after their death.
Perek 51: Yeshaya encourages the righteous minority that Avrohom and Soroh were the only monotheistic people globally. He adds that the redemption will come; the desert will bloom and man will rejoice. The Jewish people will be a light to the nations through the spread of the Torah. Most nations will believe in Hashem, however interestingly there will still be a minority which do not (presumably they will be Gog U’magog). Hashem guarantees the coming of Moshiach and urges the Jewish people not to be afraid of mankind as they are merely finite and Hashem will deal with them. Hashem has a proven track record in Egypt, but this redemption will bring about peace forever. When enemies persecute the Jewish people one must realise that Hashem is reminding them that they must not forget Him, but they should not fear as the Jewish nation will never be eradicated. Hashem “calms the sea when waves roar” this refers to powerful enemies of the Jewish people who are quelled. Hashem gave Klal Yisroel the Torah to endure the suffering of Golus and has protected them throughout. Hashem challenges the Jewish people to repent in order to receive the final Moshiach, yet the people are wondering without good leaders. Yeshaya describes the extent of the unbearable suffering the Jewish people have endured which is incomparable to that of any other nation. Nevertheless the Jewish people will never have to suffer again and “the cup of His anger” will be transferred to the Jewish people’s enemies.
Perek 52: Yeshaya describes the days of Moshiach where Yerusholayim will be a completely religious city. Hashem put the Jewish people into Golus for their sins and thus the only way to get out of Golus is repentance, money will not help them. Hashem cannot tolerate the arrogance of the persecutors of the Jewish people who do not realise that it was He who delivered them into their hands. Hashem awaits the moment where he can end the Golus and proclaim that at the top of a mountain where the watchmen will rejoice. The entire people will rejoice and all the nations will comprehend the salvation of Hashem. Yeshaya maintains that outside Israel will have a degree of impurity and thus all Jews should move from their comfort to Israel. Unlike the redemption in Egypt, the Jews will be in no rush to leave their homes as they will not be forced out, rather they will be under the protection of Hashem. Just as the nations were beleaguered by the suffering Jews endured, they will be shocked by the appreciation of what a Jew really is.
Perek 53: Yeshaya expresses the amazement of the outside world witnessing the people that were ‘suffering and worthless’ become an elevated nation. Contrary to the Middle Age view that Hashem had abandoned the Jewish people and caused them to suffer, the nations will realise that it was they who are accountable for subjugating the Jewish people to hardships. Throughout Golus the Jewish people were blamed and punished despite being innocent (using blood for matzos, causing Black plague, bringing about recessions), and this fallacy will cease. Jews over the generations were blamed by all sides (by the capitalists,and the socialists); they will realise Hashem wanted the Golus to occur, however they were in the wrong. Jews did not fight when their possessions were seized or when tortured and lacked basic justice (as the authorities were also anti-Semitic), but never cried out. They were considered as “criminals and wicked” so that they would use the abuse for self-improvement and did not cry out as they recognised Hashem brought about their punishment. Yet, the ‘lowly and abused’ Jew will be the one who introduces Hashem and encourages repentance and thus get rewarded.
Perek 54: Yeshaya urges the downtrodden and hopeless Jews to rejoice in the final stages of Moshiach, despite the redemption. Yeshaya describes long lost children returning to their parents, but having adequate space in conquered land. The Golus will be forgotten as something from the past and the redemption will be permanent. Like a disloyal husband, Hashem ‘abandoned his wife briefly’ during Golus, He “hid his face” of Divine intervention in worldly affairs but will now return to the Jewish people and reveal Himself clearly. The Jewish people will always be adored by Hashem and the tormented Jews will return to a glorious Yerusholayim. This will occur as all Jews will follow and be knowledgeable in the ways of the Torah. If they are charitable to each other abstain from illegitimate commmercial activities, they will not fear any other nation. All difficulties faced by the Jewish people come from Hashem and any enemy’s power comes from Hashem who promises they will be unable to exterminate them.
Perek 55: Yeshaya advises anyone“thirsty” i.e. the suffering to seek “water” i.e. Torah which can only be learnt by “breaking into small pieces” meaning dissecting information. He criticises people that do not use money properly for spiritual resources or who seek philosophical understanding and ignore the true “delight” of Torah. Mashiach from Dovid’s offspring will be a guide in morality to the world, subsequently many nations will come running to hear what he has to say. Yeshaya begs Yehuda to repent while Hashem is close and they have the opportunity to repent before the Beis Haikdosh is destroyed. No one has sinned too much and cannot repent, unlike humans, Hashem can forgive completely and is always willing to forgive. Every prophecy will be fulfilled and the Jewish people will return to a blossoming Israel rejoicing and in absolute peace. Hashem will eradicate everyone’s character flaws and thus there will be complete recognition of Him.
Perek 56: Hashem promises the redemption will be forthcoming providing Jews treat each other with the due respect and observes the Shabbos scrupulously. The infertile (despite passing on the religion being a priority in Judaism) Hashem swears they will have a “portion in the Beis Hamikdosh better than offspring” providing he is righteous. Similarly the convert (who has no ancestry) will be welcome to “offer sacrifices in the Beis Hamikdosh and they will be pleasingly accepted”. Any person of any religion will be welcome to pray in the Beis Hamikdosh and all Jews will be gathered back to Israel. The more civilised nations of the world who recognised Hashem will destroy those that spurned Him in the battle of Gog U’magog. Yeshaya rebukes the Jewish leaders for not warning the people of the impending danger they faced due to their sins and are never satisfied with their wages. Furthermore they get drunk; Yeshaya comments that the contrast between the leaders behaviour and the redemption is stark and therefore there is progress to be made!
Perek 57: Yeshaya bemoans the fact that the Jewish people ignored the premature deaths of righteous, kind people; this occurred so they would not witness the punishment of the people. The righteous will get their allotted reward, but what will be of the adulterers, idolaters (including child sacrifice of the Molech) and sorcerers? They live a complacent and frivolous lifestyle and thus have to receive retribution for their crimes. Yeshaya compares idolatry to adultery. Despite being in the Beis Hamikdosh these people want to serve their idols. Yeshaya criticises what appears to be the Judean-Christians who diligently tried to mislead people that the Torah was not relevant and Christianity should be observed instead. Yet, the Jews feel no remorse and ignore Yeshaya when he relates what the people should do. One who trusts in Hashem will receive help in their time of need, unlike idols where “wind will lift them all up”. Yeshaya instructs the people to “pave a path towards Hashem” and thus remove all distractions including idolatry. Hashem despite being all-powerful actively helps the “crushed and low spirits” and always enables one to repent. Hashem will stop punishing the “selfishness” of the Jews in the times of Mashiach and Hashem will be with the “mourners” i.e. those that regret their former sins and repent. There will be peace for those formerly “distant and far” whether previously righteous or not, but those who still choose not to repent will not be tranquil.
Perek 58: Yeshaya instructs Neviim or anyone who rebukes someone else to be like a “shofar” and relay the exact sound of Hashem. He criticises the people who learn Torah, pray and fast on Yom Kippur (have the frum exterior). Yet Hashem refuses to listen to their prayers as they are keeping Judaism for self-interests and their own satisfaction, but do not use Yom Kippur to improve their behaviour with their fellow man and particularly the vulnerable. The way to improve one’s relationship with Hashem and repent is by caring for His people foremost. Charity is not merely the donation of money, food and clothing, it is also “to satiate the suffering soul” feel their anguish and distress and comfort them. If one does this Hashem will treat one with similar compassion, He will lead him throughout life and provide all his needs. If the entire Jewish people adopt this behaviour they will be the nation that stopped the immorality prevalent in society. Yeshaya stresses the importance of respecting Shabbos by not speaking about trivial and business matters, rather treating it as a “delight”. Once this occurs the Jewish people will truly be able to draw close to Hashem.
Perek 59: Yeshaya combats the misconception that Hashem was ‘incapable’ of saving the Jewish people from their oppressors, it was their sins that caused this “separation”. People were immoral, unjust and others were afraid to rebuke them. Furthermore some promote heretical ideas ‘to solve the Jewish people’s problems’ yet they do not, they create more issues. Due to this “lack of justice” the redemption has not occurred. Yeshaya criticises those that believe in other solutions to the Jewish people’s problems, rather than the Torah. Throughout Golus the Jewish people have sometimes “roared as bears” demanded our rights, but in other “moaned like pigeons” begged for rights. Many have sinned and many Jews are either atheists or agnostics therefore they will receive their deserved treatment. The true path will dwindle and religious observance will be ridiculed. Hashem was astonished by the lowliness of society and will wipe out all enemies and thus “He will be feared from the West”. The Torah and its traditional understanding must not be deviated from at all.
Perek 60: Yeshaya beckons the Jewish people to fulfil their role as a ‘moral guide and introduce Hashem to the world’. Over history many doubted Hashem’s existence and conducted themselves immorally, during Moshiach this will change and nations will recognise Him. Similarly throngs of children who abandoned Judaism will return to the religion “praising Hashem” with abundant wealth to offer sacrifices to Him in the beautiful Beis Hamikdosh. Jews from across the globe will return home and the Jewish people will be respected worldwide. Enemies who formerly destroyed Jewish cities will construct them and nations will continuously visit the Beis Hamikdosh. However some will still not recognise Hashem and will be eradicated. Even nations who mocked the Jewish people will send expensive gifts to them and beg for forgiveness for the atrocities they committed against them. Robbery will cease as “the sun (Hashem’s presence) will shine not just in the day”. The mourning of the Golus will cease and every Jew will be righteous and multiply rapidly; there will be a world of which Hashem is proud.
Perek 61: Yeshaya informs us of his motives to comfort the dedicated Jews who anticipate the redemption and those who suffered in the Golus. He wished to present the end of Golus and the beginning of a new era of Moshiach and thus transform the low spirits of the Jewish people to glee. The moral “devastation” globally will be rebuilt by the Jewish people. Gentiles will donate money and work the fields of the Jewish people while they are able to devote themselves solely to Torah. Then, justice will be served and the Jewish people will be compensated for the Golus and their resolute belief in the redemption. The Jewish people will be known as “blessed offspring of Hashem” and will be closer to Hashem than ever before.
Perek 62: Hashem continuously sends Neviim to rebuke the people as He wants the redemption to occur and the Jewish people to be recognised as a “righteous nation” eternally. The Jewish people will no longer be regarded as a rejected nation, but as “newly married” with Hashem as a rejoicing husband. Hashem’s appointed watchmen (could be either Malachim or Tzadikim) pray repeatedly for the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdosh. Hashem will never bring another Golus and “Jewish produce will never again be seized by the enemy”, rather produce will be brought to the Beis Hamikdosh as a gift. Yeshaya instructs the Jews to prepare for Moshiach , repent and encourage the religious observance of all Jews. Yerusholayim will never again be considered as an “abandoned and desolate” city, rather it will be “sought after”.
Perek 63: Yeshaya sees Hashem (according to most Meforshim including Ibn Ezra, others say it refers to the Mashiach) coming from Edom an enemy of the Jewish people. Yeshaya is surprised to witness Hashem’s ‘clothes stained with blood’ as He is the pinnacle of righteousness and mercy. Nevertheless, Hashem asserts that at the time of Mashiach, He has to reveal Himself and punish the nations Himself as there were gentile nations that refused to help the Jewish people in their hour of need. Hashem tells the Jewish people that he still loves them as ‘His people’ and has given them so much that they are incapable of thanking Him adequately. Despite Hashem saving them from troubles, the Jewish people abandoned Him and although they previously saw Hashem as their enemy, they now recognise He is the source of their salvation both past and present. Although Hashem has great vengeance and strength, He does not use it against the Jewish people, but rather guides them like “one leads an animal”. Yeshaya begs Hashem to end the long Golus as it causes Jews to become further assimilated and distance themselves from Him. Yeshaya adds that the Jewish people have only lived in Israel in tranquillity for a short period of time before the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh. Throughout Golus Hashem’s presence is concealed; Yeshaya prays that “the heavens should tear open” and Hashem should be displayed to mankind.
Perek 64: Yeshaya continues his prayer that the Jewish people’s enemies should fear them like they did at Mount Sinai when they saw the Divine miracles never seen before. Hashem is willing to perform such miracles to His loyal servants who are just. Nevertheless society is unclean and its’ “righteousness is like a garment made of patches” the Mitzvos they do are only a part of their activities and are interspersed with sins and unjust actions. Few people follow in the ways of the Torah as Hashem is not clearly visible. Yeshaya pleads that Hashem should forgive their sins as He is their father and creator and therefore should be merciful to the Jews’ suffering as Israel is desolate and the Beis Hamikdosh was destroyed.
Perek 65: Hashem responds to the Jewish people’s prayer. Hashem insists that although He did not explicitly reveal Himself, He did show His presence. Through Neviim, Hashem contacted the Jewish people and gave countless opportunities for even the most assimilated people to repent, but they refused and followed their own plans rather than His. The Jews sin with idolatry, witchcraft and sorcery. There is an attitude that one can be a good Jew by merely being an honest and nice person (although this is important) without following Halacha. These things infuriate Hashem and He will punish the guilty ones, but ensure that some Jews will survive. Hashem promises to repopulate Israel with the remaining Jews after Golus and regenerate the desolate land. However the people who are guilty of the sins mentioned above will not be part of Mashiach, will not receive the reward of the loyal Torah Jews and will be obliterated (Interesting to note: there are only two classes- good and evil, would we fit into the good category?). There will only be rejoicing in Yerusholayim, never weeping. In Mashiach people will live longer and a short life will end at 100. This means that if one plants a vineyard or house they will get full use of it, rather than their offspring use it. Hashem will be directly revealed and contactable in the world. There will be world peace.
Perek 66: Yeshaya criticises the Jewish people’s attitude of coming to the Beis Hamikdosh and serving Hashem sincerely, but return home to their misguided lifestyle. Hashem’s “resting place” is the entire world and He demands people not just perform ‘meaningless rituals’ in the Beis Hamikdosh, but care for their fellow man. Hashem will punish them for their evil character traits and will bring “everything they feared” upon them. Yeshaya rebukes the misguided who claim that the ‘orthodox way is outdated’ and one needs a new approach. Yeshaya describes the pain experienced by Israel’s enemies when they are punished through Gog U’magog (final war after Golus). Hashem asserts that the world’s creation was to reach Mashiach; the suffering Jews will experience sheer joy and serenity in Yerusholayim and Hashem will “comfort His people”. The righteous will flourish whereas the wicked will receive their retribution particularly those who enjoy eating abominable things which are forbidden, including drugs. Many nations will form a coalition to destroy the Jewish people, but in Gog U’magog they will be exterminated and internationally Hashem will be saluted. Nations will bring “gifts” to Hashem of all the Jews living amongst them in great style “like a regular gift offering would be presented”. The world will flock to the Beis Hamikdosh every Shabbos to serve Him. The carcasses of the Gog U’magog alliance will be eaten by maggots and it will be a clear lesson to others what happens to those who decide not to believe in Hashem.