Isaiah 12 is composed of a beautiful song of thanksgiving.
The closing verses of the previous chapter had made what is probably a symbolical mention of the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage by their passage over the Red Sea by the hand of God.
Of course there was a song of thanksgiving, the Song of Moses and of Miriam (Exodus 15:1-27).
This song seems to have been prompted by that previous deliverance; for in some ways this song resembles the first.
The opening phrase, in that day, identifies what follows with the redemption of the remnant.
This is the blessing of the redeemed; sin has been forgiven, and Jehovah is recognized and praised as the source of salvation.
Under the Old Covenant, sins were remembered over and over again year by year
Not until the Cross of Jesus Christ, were sins absolutely forgiven, and forgotten.
This hymn by its whole tenor, and by many expressions in it, seems to be much better calculated for the use of the Christian church, than for the Jewish in any circumstances, either then or at any time that can be assigned.
The Jews themselves seem to have applied it to the times of Messiah.
Isaiah seeks to reassure the inhabitants of Zion and instill into his fellow citizens his own confident faith in the Holy One of Israel.
With this phrase, so characteristic of Isaiah, the section is brought to an end.
The last three verses here carry repeated instructions to God’s people of all ages:
- (1) Give thanks to Jehovah.
- (2) Call upon his name.
- (3) Declare his doings among the people.
- (4) Make mention that his name is exalted.
- (5) Sing unto Jehovah.
- (6) God hath done excellent things; let this be known in all the Earth.
- (7) Cry aloud and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel.
All of this adds up to an elaboration of the Biblical injunction, “Let the redeemed of Jehovah say so” (Psalms 107:2).
On the great day (the last day) of the feast of tabernacles, there was a ceremony connected with drawing water from the Pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher and pouring it upon the sacrifices that day with great rejoicing.
Obviously the text in the hymn does not apply to anything ordained in the Law of Moses.
And what is said here can hardly be understood of any benefits provided by the Mosaic dispensation.
This brings us to the conclusion of the first great division of Isaiah’s prophecy; and in these brief chapters 1-12, there has emerged the great majority of the themes that Isaiah will discuss throughout the book, “line upon line, here a little and there a little.”
Some Themes of Isaiah
- The apostasy of Israel, their rejection as the chosen people
- The ruin and captivity of Israel
- The return of a remnant
- God’s judgments upon wicked nations
- The salvation of an obedient remnant
- The accomplishment of that redemption by the hand of Immanuel (the Messiah)
- The coming of the Messiah through the Davidic line
- The virgin birth of Messiah
- The Messiah’s character, his endowment, his ability, the nature of God’s kingdom
- The calling of the Gentiles and their reception into God’s fellowship and kingdom along with a remnant of the Jews, etc. etc.
The “Holy One of Israel”
Among the different names of God in Isaiah the “Holy One of Israel” has a special place.
This name appears 28 times (Is. 1:4; 5:19.24; 10:17: His Holy One; 10:20; 12:6; 17:7; 29:19.23: the Holy One of Jacob; 30:11.12.15; 31:1; 37:23; 41:14.16.20; 43:3.14.15; 45:11; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7; 54:5; 55:5; 60:9.14).
This name is elsewhere only to be found in 2 Kings 19:22; Psalms 71:22; Psalms 78:41; Psalms 89:18; Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:5 and Ezekiel 39:7 (Holy One of Israel).
It is remarkable that this name of God confirms the unity of the book of Isaiah: it appears in both main parts (chap. 1 – 39 and 40 – 66) 14 times each.
A special emphasis is found in Isaiah using this name in his word to king Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:22!
This is also what the seraphim express who exclaim in front of His throne: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts” (compare Revelation 4:8).