New European Commentary


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Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen upon you- Even before the exile, Israel and Judah had been invited to perceive that light, hence Is. 9:2 LXX "O people walking in darkness, behold a great light". But they didn't. And so the returned exiles, "Zion", are asked at a later stage to arise and shine because their light had come (Is. 60:1). But again they didn't, and so these prophecies of a light coming are reapplied to the Lord Jesus, who was perceived by a new Zion as the light of the world. I explained on Is. 30:26 how the coming of Zion's supernaturally bright light is to come therefore when Babylon falls; and this has therefore been deferred to the latter day fall of Babylon.

"Arise" is the word used often of the 'rising up' of the exiles to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 1:5; 3:2; 9:5; Neh. 2:18; 3:1). This was a fulfilment of the command to "Arise... Jerusalem!" (Is. 51:17; 52:2; 61:4). But this 'arising' was to be associated with the dawning of Zion's light in the form of Yahweh's glory literally dwelling over Zion (Is. 60:1). This didn't happen at the time, because the appearance of 'arising' by the exiles was only external and wasn't matched by a spiritual revival.

Zion’s light would certainly come and give light to the world- even though the fulfilment of the prophecy at the restoration from Babylon was actually conditional on Judah keeping the Sabbath and caring for their poor brethren: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee...  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising”. Nehemiah repaired the breaches, Ezra laid the foundations of the temple...the prophecy of Isaiah 58 was fulfilled on the surface, but not in its Kingdom sense, because they failed to keep the Sabbath etc. Isaiah 58:10 says that if they drew out their soul to the hungry, if they allowed themselves to feel the hunger of others, then would their light rise and their darkness be as the noonday. And thus the prophecy of Isaiah 60:1,2 that Zion's light is going to dawn was conditional upon the Jews caring for their hungry amongst them- even though in that passage, the condition isn't directly stated. The restoration was therefore only a sham of what was possible.

Let’s remember that the exiles were symbols of us. We in this life are passing through “the time of our exile” (1 Pet. 1:17 RSV). The restoration command to the exiles in Babylon to arise and shine, as their light had come (Is. 60:1) went unheeded by them; they preferred to stay in Babylon. And so this is reapplied to us as the new Israel in Eph. 5:14.

The LXX suggests that the coming of this light of Zion depended upon their being willing to accept it: "Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come".

Isaiah 60:2 For behold, darkness shall cover the land, and gross darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will arise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you-
The darkness contrasts with the light which dawns mentally, internally, in minds which have desired to be enlightened (:1 LXX). Darkness covering the earth is the language of Gen. 1; we as the readers / audience are left in expectation of a new creation being spoken about. But we are also given the impression that Israel was being treated as Egypt whom they trusted in, suffering the plague of darkness. But 'covering with darkness' is a phrase only used elsewhere of death (Job 23:17; Ecc. 6:4). It was through death and judgment that the new life and creation could come forth. The land, of Israel, and "the peoples" (Gentiles) are paralleled here; for it was the Divine intention that the judgments upon the surrounding world would also be those upon Israel, and yet out of that was to emerge a repentant remnant of Jews and Gentiles who would merge into a new multiethnic people of God in the day when Yahweh would arise in glory. In a literal sense there was to be the light of God's glory in Zion when He personally dwelt there.

Isaiah 60:3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising-
Isaiah 60:1-3 reasons that Zion's light was soon to come, but Judah were to reflect that light as if it had already come; in the same way as God's light was to rise, so Judah were to arise as if they were that light. The message is that they were to believe that the Messianic light of the world was to arise soon, and were to act as if that time had already come; they were called to live the Kingdom now life, to showcase God's Kingdom to the world. In this sense, Zion's sons are described as coming from all parts of their dispersion and being about to come to Zion; and yet they are described as having already "come" (Is. 60:4). The mixing of the tenses, present and future, is to suggest that they were to believe that this would happen and to act now as if it was already happening. "You shall see and be lightened" (Is. 60:5 RV)- and yet they were to act as if their light had in fact already come (Is. 60:1). Yet Judah sadly didn't believe that the restoration prophecies would come to pass, and so they didn't act as if they would come true. Instead of being a light to the world, they accepted the Gentile darkness instead of God's light. Mazdak, the Persian god of light, effectively became their god, instead of Yahweh.

Isaiah 60:4 Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather themselves together, they come to you-
The 'coming / assembling' and 'drawing near / gathering' of the exiles (s.w. Is. 43:5) would have been primarily fulfilled at the restoration (same words in Neh. 1:9). But most of the exiles remained in the lands of their captivity, just as people resist the Gospel's call today. They had to themselves bring and gather themselves (Is. 45:20; 49:18; 60:4), so that God would confirm this by bringing and gathering them (Is. 43:5; Jer. 31:8; Ez. 34:13; 36:24; 37:21; Zech. 10:10). See on Is. 56:8. And so today with all who wish to be in God's Kingdom; our desire to be there and first moves towards it will be confirmed many times over by God's work through His Spirit. 

Your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms- See on :3.  The LXX suggests it would be as a result of the children born in exile returning along with the repentant Gentiles of the lands of their captivities: "lift up thine eyes round about, and behold thy children gathered: all thy sons have come from far, and thy daughters shall be borne on men's shoulders". This is a commonly expressed prophetic vision. It didn't however come about, and the essence of it has therefore been delayed and reapplied. The later feeding miracle occurred on the other side of Galilee to Magdala (Mt. 15:39), suggesting the miracle occurred in Gentile territory, with people present from "far off" (Mk. 8:3; hence the guests "glorified the God of Israel", Mt. 15:31). Surely there were Gentiles present at that meal, and the LXX uses this phrase to speak of how Gentiles from "far off" would come and sit down at the Messianic banquet of the last days (Is. 60:4; Jer. 26:27; 38:10; 46:27).

Isaiah 60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you-
"You shall see and be lightened" (Is. 60:5 RV). See on :3.  "Turned" is AV "converted", suggesting there would be repentance amongst the nations of their captivity; see on :4. The nations around Israel were to repent and bring their presents to them. This began to happen after the destruction of the Assyrians in Hezekiah's time, but he entered into covenant with the Gentiles rather than bringing them to the God of Israel, the light of Zion. Perhaps Nehemiah was some kind of potential Messiah- for in Neh. 5:17 the surrounding Gentiles ‘came up’ to him and shared in the luxurious temple meals (a common Kingdom prophecy- the same Hebrew words are used for the Gentiles ‘coming up’ to the temple in Is. 60:5,11; Jer. 16:19; Hag. 2:7; Zech. 8:22). Those meals could have been the Messianic banquets. But finally at the last day, all these prophecies shall be fulfilled in the coming of the Lord Jesus, despite all the previous failures in fulfilment. 

Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Yahweh-
The gold and frankincense brought from the east recalls the gifts of the wise men to the infant Jesus. The conversion of the Gentiles [proclaiming the praise of Yahweh] which was possible at the restoration didn't happen, and so it was reapplied and reinterpreted. They would proclaim Yahweh's praise just as the Israelites themselves would (Is. 63:7) because the Gentiles would now identify themselves with the Israelites in forming the new multiethnic people of God which was to be formed on the basis of repentance and acceptance of the new covenant.

Isaiah 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you-
Kedar and Nebaioth were sons of Ishmael. The idea may be that finally the Jew - Arab conflict within the family of Abraham is resolved, and they too come to offer sacrifice to Israel's God.

They shall come up with acceptance on My altar; and I will glorify the house of My glory- Is. 60:7 prophesied that God would “glorify the house of my glory”, LXX "my house of prayer shall be glorified". But this was in fact a conditional prophecy, capable of fulfilment through the freewill efforts of the returning exiles. For they were empowered by Artaxerxes “to beautify [s.w. “glorify”] the house of the Lord” (Ezra 7:27). All their efforts to glorify / beautify the house, therefore, would have had God’s special and powerful blessing behind them. But was the house ultimately glorified? No- for Israel would not. They got sidetracked by beautifying their own homes, building “cieled houses” for themselves (Hag. 1:4). The word for “cieled” occurs in 1 Kings 6:9; 7:3,7 to describe the roofing of the first temple- which they were to be rebuilding, rather than building their own houses. The glory would have entered the house of God’s glory as it did at the inauguration of the first temple (2 Chron. 7:1-3). Ezekiel prophesied that ultimately the glory would fill the temple as it had done then (Ez. 43:4,5). But God’s prophesy of this in Is. 60:7, that He would glorify His house, meant that He was prepared to work through men to glorify it. The fulfilment of Ezekiel’s vision of the cloud of glory entering the temple again could have been fulfilled if the exiles had done what Artaxerxes empowered them to do- to glorify the house of glory. And so the fulfilment was delayed. The glory of the temple the exiles built was tragically less than the glory of the first temple; and so it would only be in the last day of Messiah’s second coming that the house shall truly be filled with glory (Hag. 2:3,7,9). And the lesson ought to be clear for us, in the various projects and callings of our lives: it becomes crucial for us to discern God’s specific purposes for us, and insofar as we follow His leading, we will feel a blessing and power which is clearly Divine.  

Isaiah 60:8 Who are these who fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?-
The reference is to the exiles returning to Judah along with the repentant Gentiles. LXX "Who are these that fly as clouds, and as doves with young ones to me?"; GNB "What are these ships that skim along like clouds, Like doves returning home?". Perhaps in view is the dove returning to Noah's window once the flood of Divine judgment receded.

Isaiah 60:9 Surely the islands shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far-
No specific location may be in view, as "ships of Tarshish" was a phrase used like "an Indiaman" was once used to refer to a long distance trading vessel. Thus GNB "They are ships coming from distant lands, bringing God's people home". The text can also read "the ships of Tarshish as at the first", referring to how they brought gold and silver in the days of Solomon and the earlier kingdom of God which was now to be restored. There is another such allusion to Solomon's times in :13.


Their silver and their gold with them, for the name of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you- The Gentiles will be converted because of how God had saved and glorified His sinful people; for these Gentiles had been host nations for the Jewish exiles and were well aware of their sins. It is God's grace to sinners which is observed by others and causes them to turn to Him- and this is always the most powerful tool in the work of conversion, rather than advertising theological, abstract truths and expecting the general public to fall down in amazement before them.

Isaiah 60:10 Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you-
It could be that their refusal of Gentile help to build the temple, insisting that only Jews work in it (Ezra 4:3 cp. Neh. 2:20), was actually going too far; by being so exclusive, they were disallowing the fulfilment of the prophecies both in Zech. 6 and in Isaiah, that Gentiles would help in the final rebuilding of Zion. As with some of us, their quite correct refusal to allow “the adversaries of Judah” (Ezra 4:1) to fellowship with us in the work can lead us to an exclusive approach to fellowship, that actually disallows the essentially outgoing and inclusive spirit of the God we serve. The Jews returned from Babylonian having swung to the opposite extreme from their earlier worldliness; they returned proud and refusing contact with the Gentile world, considering themselves saved by their own strength. And this is perhaps reflected in the way they refused on principle to allow any Gentiles to help them in the building work. Is. 60:10,11 had foretold: “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee [as in the decree of Cyrus]...Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night”; and them as Ez. 43 had also described, “I will glorify the house of my glory” (Is. 60:7).

The reality was that the walls were built from a motive not of glorifying Zion in fulfilment of prophecy, but for defence against the Gentiles.  But the gates had to be shut to keep the Gentiles out (Neh. 13:19), lest they yet further corrupted the Jews who were eager to trade with them on the Sabbath rather than convert them to the God of Israel. Instead of bringing their goods through the gates to lay before Yahweh, they brought in their goods to sell to His people in trade. But returned Judah didn’t act as a nation of priests, the food the Gentiles brought in to Zion was to be sold for profit to the Jews. They failed to be a missionary nation, and rather were mere trading / economic partners on an equal footing [cp. the church today?]. The prophecy that the gates would be always open will now only come true in the future Kingdom of God on earth (Rev. 21:25,26).

For in My wrath I struck you, but in My grace have I had mercy on you- As explained on :9, the Gentiles will be converted because ["for in My wrath..."] of how God had saved and glorified His sinful, condemned people by grace; for these Gentiles had been host nations for the Jewish exiles and were well aware of their sins. It is God's grace to sinners which is observed by others and causes them to turn to Him- and this is always the most powerful tool in the work of conversion, rather than advertising theological, abstract truths and expecting the general public to fall down in amazement before them.

Isaiah 60:11 Your gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive-
AV "Therefore your gates...". The “therefore” connects with the preceding verse, as if the gates would always be open in order to constantly welcome repentant Gentiles.  When the city and temple was rebuilt, Gentiles would come and feed Israel’s flocks and name them all “the priests of the Lord” and bring them food to eat in tribute (Is. 61:4-6). And yet Nehemiah had to close the gates of Jerusalem to stop Sabbath trading, thereby precluding the fulfilment of this prophecy at the time. The prophecy will therefore come to final fulfilment in the new Jerusalem to be established at the Lord's return (Rev. 21:25). Although clearly the fulfilment may not be strictly literal, but will be a reinterpretation and reapplication of these words which initially could have had a literal fulfilment at the restoration.

Isaiah 60:12 For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted-
Connecting with :11 ["for..."], the nations of the land would either perish, or enter into the open gates of Zion in covenant relationship with Yahweh. Thus a situation would come about whereby the earth was only populated by those in covenant relationship with God.

Isaiah 60:13 The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious-
But Haggai lamented that instead, Judah dwelt in “cieled houses”, they used the exotic trees of the land for their own homes, whilst the house of Yahweh lay desolate. Thereby the prophecy of Ez. 43:7 was precluded from fulfilment: "the place of His throne, the place of the soles of His feet, where He will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever". The intention was that the ark would no longer be His footstool (Jer. 3:16; Ps. 99:5; 132:7; 1 Chron. 28:2), but He Himself would be dwelling in the temple. The idea was that as cedars had been sent from Lebanon for the building of the first temple, so they would again; the impression is of a restored Kingdom of God in Israel as it previously was, but to an even greater extent. See on :9.

Isaiah 60:14 The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all those who despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The city of Yahweh, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel-
This prophecy started to come true after Haman’s demise: “the sons of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet”. But Judah didn’t do their part in fulfilling the rest of the prophecy, which speaks of a rebuilt Zion. The promise that Judah's persecutors would bow before them was only partially fulfilled in Haman's destruction; the main fulfilment now awaits the Kingdom, although in a reinterpreted form (Rev. 3:9). The renaming of the city is like that of Ez. 48:35 "Yahweh is there", because the idea was that He would literally come and dwell in Zion; the kingdom of heaven was to be transferred to earth. This wonderful possibility didn't come about at the restoration because the returned exiles didn't rebuild the temple and operate it according to the commandments of Ez. 40-48.

Isaiah 60:15 Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations-
The hatred was by God as well as man: “I hated them” (Hos. 9:15). This was the wrath of love unrequited and spurned. God is emotional and speaks in anger, and truly had these feelings; but the pole of His love is greater than that of His judgment. We note how God as it were takes the blame for Israel being "forsaken"; they had forsaken Him (s.w. Is. 1:28), but He expresses it in terms of Him having forsaken them.

Isaiah 60:16 You shall also drink the milk of the nations, and shall nurse from royal breasts-
This continues the figure of Is. 49:21: "Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?’". Children born through another were still reckoned as the wife's children (Gen. 16:1; 30:1). The children of Zion were therefore suckled by the Gentiles (Is. 60:16).

And you shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob- As Hosea ‘redeemed’ Gomer in His attempt to force through His fantasy for her (Hos. 3:1), so Yahweh is repeatedly described in Isaiah as Israel’s go’el , redeemer (Is. 41:14; Is. 43:14; Is. 44:6,24; Is. 47:4; Is. 48:17; Is. 49:7,26; Is. 54:5,8). The redeemer could redeem a close relative from slavery or repurchase property lost during hard times (Lev. 25:25,26, 47-55; Ruth 2:20; Ruth 3:9,12). The redeemer was also the avenger of blood (Num. 35:9-28; Josh. 20:3,9). All these ideas were relevant to Yahweh’s relationship to Judah in captivity. But the promised freedom didn’t come- even under Nehemiah, Judah was still a province within the Persian empire. And those who returned complained: “We are slaves this day in the land you gave…” (Neh. 9:36). The wonderful prophecies of freedom and redemption from slavery weren’t realized in practice, because of the selfishness of the more wealthy Jews. And how often is it that the freedom potentially enabled for those redeemed in Christ is in practice denied them by their autocratic and abusive brethren.

Isaiah 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron-
The language of Israel’s return from captivity as found in Isaiah and Ezekiel all has evident reference to the second coming and the final establishment of the Kingdom. It isn’t just that Israel’s return under Ezra and Zerubbabel was a type of that final homecoming. It could have been the Kingdom- had they obeyed the prophecies. It was all about a potential Kingdom of God. But they were too caught up with their own self-interest, with building their own houses rather than God’s; and so it was all deferred. Using the prophetic perfect, God had prophesied that at the time of the restoration, He would come and dwell in rebuilt Zion (Zech. 8:3)- just as Ezekiel’s prophecy had concluded: “The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there” (Ez. 48:35). Clearly, Ezekiel’s prophecies could have been fulfilled at the restoration; God was willing that they should be. But human apathy and self-interest stopped it from happening as it could have done. When the foundation stone of the temple was laid, there should have been excited acclamation: “Grace, grace unto it” (Zech. 4:7). But instead the old men wept when the foundation was laid, knowing that the temple was nothing compared to what it ought to be (Ezra 3:12). The glory of the restored temple was prophesied as being far greater than that of the former (Hag. 2:9); Is. 60:17 alluded to this in prophesying that “For brass [in Solomon’s temple] I will bring gold, and for iron [that was in Solomon’s fixtures] I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron”. But it simply didn’t happen, because God’s people were satisfied with a small, inglorious temple so that they could get on with building their own “cieled houses” (the same word is used in describing how the temple of Solomon was “covered”, or cieled, with cedar). And the old men wept at the fact that the glory of the new house was less than that of the earlier one.

I will also make your officers peace, and righteousness your ruler- "Officers" is the word commonly used for "visitation", in the sense of the enemies of Judah judging and dominating her in the day of her visitation. "Ruler" or AV "exactor" is the word for "taskmaster" and has been used by Isaiah of Judah's dominators and abusers (Is. 9:4; 14:2,4); the reference is to the repentance of Israel's historical abusers and their being given peace with God and imputed righteousness, so that they might also enter covenant with Yahweh along with a repentant Judah. All this was due to the way the Lord Jesus was "oppressed" as Israel's representative (Is. 53:7) and thus became the basis for righteousness to be imputed to all who had been oppressed and had oppressed others.


Isaiah 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, desolation nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise- "Salvation" is literally "Jesus". But Nehemiah records how the walls and gates were given very mundane names, connected to what merchandise was traded there [e.g. fish]. And so they chose not to make 'Jesus' their wall- and so His coming was deferred or re-interpreted. Yet Nehemiah encouraged the singing of praise on the walls of Zion (Neh. 9:5; 12:46), surely in a conscious effort to fulfill the words of Is. 60:18- that Zion’s gates in Messiah’s Kingdom would be praise. The "violence" in view was not only that of foreign invaders, but the violence done by the Jews to each other (s.w. Is. 59:6; Jer. 6:7). We note that the promise of peace is limited to "within your borders". The initial intention was that the Kingdom would be reestablished within the eretz promised to Abraham.   

Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but Yahweh will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory-
It seems that Yahweh Himself would have dwelt in Zion, the "brightness" of the cherubim would have returned there (s.w. Ez. 1:4,13) resulting in a visible light which would have eclipsed the need for light from the sun and moon (Is. 4:5,6, "shining" is s.w. "brightness"). Such great potentials were wasted. But these things will come true in the last days and are alluded to in Rev. 21:4 as having literal truth when the Lord Jesus returns. This would be the fulfilment of the promise to David, that his glorified kingdom would be as the "brightness" after the rain of judgment (2 Sam. 23:4 s.w.). But until then these things are reapplied in a spiritual sense to the way the Lord Jesus, who is the light of God's glory, is to be the light of our world in which we live, move and understand life. He who has no light can find "brightness" in Him (s.w. Is. 50:10). This was hinted at even in Prov. 4:18, where the path of the just is as the "brightness" (s.w.) shining more and more unto the perfect day.   

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended-
See on :19. Sun and moon were not to be destroyed, but to be replaced in function by the light of Yahweh. Hence LXX "nor shall the moon be eclipsed". The sun and moon, as in Joseph's dreams, may refer to the leadership of Israel. They would no longer be eclipsed by captivity and exile, although they would be replaced in function. "Withdraw" is the word for "gather", used of the gathering of Judah into captivity (Is. 16:10; 17:5; 24:22; 33:4). These words are quoted as being true of God's future Kingdom on earth (Rev. 21:4); they were reapplied to a later fulfilment rather than coming true at the restoration. The days of mourning refer to the days of exile, as demonstrated by the mourning of the book of Lamentations and Ps. 137:1. But the exiles preferred to stay in exile; and thus precluded the possibility of these words having any primary fulfilment. "Days of mourning" is a phrase used several times for funeral mourning. There would be final comfort over the loss brought about by death- ultimately, through the resurrection of the dead.

Isaiah 60:21 Your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified-
Their salvation would be on account of their identity with the Messianic "branch", the Lord Jesus; they would be "in Christ" and thereby saved. Inheritance of the land forever is the language of the Abrahamic covenant; this would come true because of righteousness being imputed to them. And the end result of that system of salvation, as Paul brings out in Romans, would be glory to God.

Isaiah 60:22 The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation; I, Yahweh, will hasten it in its time-
Despite LXX "I the Lord will gather them in due time", this connects back to Is. 5:19, where we read that the Jews mocked Isaiah and his God, saying "Let Him make speed, let Him hasten His work, that we may see it". There was clearly opposition to Isaiah's prophecies. The idea of judgment coming would have been mocked in these kinds of words. But we wonder whether this is really a verbatim quotation from these people; or whether God read their thoughts as effectively saying this, and as being the real implication of their positions. For there is no evidence that Judah abandoned Yahweh; rather did they claim obedience and loyalty to Him, although they claimed the same about their idols whom they worshipped in His Name. But God was not deaf to their words, or the implications of their thoughts and actions. He in fact heard their mocking 'prayer', because He here says that He will "hasten His work" (s.w.).