SPECIAL TOPIC: THE TWO "CITIES" IN ISAIAH

A. Isaiah 24-27 is a literary unit positioned at the conclusion of a series of judgment oracles against the surrounding nations found in Isaiah 13-23.  Judgment is not the last word!  The God of grace and mercy has an eternal, inclusive, redemptive plan (see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan)!

 

B. This entire section is a play on two cities.

 1. the cities formed by the fallen human children of Cain, who try to meet their needs completely in their own resources (i.e., Genesis 4:10-11).

  2. the city of Zion, where God dwells (i.e., above the wings of the two Cherubim over the ark of the covenant in the holiest inner shrine of the temple in Jerusalem) and where His faithful followers (Jew and Gentile) come to Him and worship Him (cf. Isa. 2:2-4; 19:18-25; Heb. 11:10; 12:22; 13:14; Rev. 21:1-2).

 

C. Cities represent people groups/nations.

Human Cities   God's City
Isa. 1:7,8, burned Judean cities Isa. 1:26, the city of righteousness, a faithful city
Isa. 1:21, the faithful city has become a harlot

Isa. 6:11, Judean cities devastated

Isa. 14:17,21, all cities devastated

Isa. 14:31 cities of Philistia

Isa. 17:1-3,9, cities of Syria ruined

 
Isa. 19:2, cities of Egypt destroy each other  Isa. 19:18-22, Egyptian cities worship God

Isa. 19:23-25, all Egypt and Assyria included in God's people

Isa. 22:2,9, the exultant city, Jerusalem falls

Isa. 23, Tyre destroyed

Isa. 24:1-25:5, universal destruction of cities

 
Isa. 25:10-12, Moab and her palace, fortified   Isa. 25:6-9, banquet on God's mountain (i.e., cities trampled  Jerusalem)
Isa. 26:5, the unassailable city, probably Moab Isa. 26:1, a strong city, Jerusalem, restored
Isa. 27:10, fortified cities fall

Isa. 29:1, "Ariel" (Jerusalem)

Isa. 33:2,19, the jubilant city (Jerusalem)

 
  Isa. 45:13, My city (cf. Isa. 44:23)
Isa. 48:2, the holy city, but in name only  
  Isa. 52:1-6, the holy city

Isa. 60:14, the city of the Lord

Isa. 62:12, a city not forsaken

  Isa. 66:6, a voice of uproar from the city, a voice from the temple

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