The glorious God will be served in humble sincerity, 1-4. He comforts the humble by showing the confusion of their enemies, 5, 6, with the marvelous growth, 7-9, and the gracious benefits of the church, 10-14. God's severe judgments against the wicked, 15-17. The Gentiles shall have a holy church, 18-23, and see the condemnation of the wicked, 24.
1 Thus says the LORD: "The heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house that you build for me? And where is the place of my rest?
2 For all these things my hand has made, and all these things have been," says the LORD. "But to this man I will look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit and trembles at my word.
3 He who kills an ox is as if he slew a man. He who sacrifices a lamb is as if he cut off a dog's neck. He who offers an oblation is as if he offered swine's blood. He who burns incense is as if he blessed an idol. Indeed, they have chosen their own ways and their soul delights in their abominations.
4 I will also choose their delusions and will bring their fears upon them. Because when I called, no one answered. When I spoke, they did not hear. And they did evil before my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight."
5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hated you, who cast you out for my name's sake, said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, but he shall appear to your joy,' and they shall be ashamed.
6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, [it is] the voice of the LORD who renders recompense to his enemies.
7 Before she travailed, she brought forth. Before her pain came, she had delivered a male child.
8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?" says the LORD. "Shall I cause to bring forth and shut the womb?" says your God.
10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad with her, all you who love her. Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her,
11 So that you may nurse and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations, so that you may draw milk and be delighted with the abundance of her glory."
12 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall nurse, you shall be borne upon her sides and be dandled upon her knees.
13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem."
14 And when you see this, your heart shall rejoice and your bones shall flourish like an herb. And the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
15 For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with his chariots like a whirlwind to render his anger with fury and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by his sword the LORD will plead with all flesh. And the slain of the LORD shall be many.
17 "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together," says the LORD.
18 "For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory. 19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those who escape of them to the nations—to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the coastlands afar off—who have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. 20 And they shall bring all your brothers for an offering to the LORD out of all nations upon horses, in chariots, in litters, upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem," says the LORD, "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take some of them for priests and for Levites," says the LORD.
22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me," says the LORD, "so your seed and your name shall remain.
23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another and from one sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before me," says the LORD.
24 "And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men who have transgressed against me. For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 66[➚]
[v.1-2] - Quoted in Acts 7:49-50.
[v.6] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. From John Gill's Exposition: "For the Lord's voice was in all this, and his hand in the destruction of those people."
[v.24] - Quoted in Mark 9:44, 46, 48.