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Isaiah chapter 25

English Standard Version

1O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 2For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 4For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, 5like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down. 6On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. 9It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” 10For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain, and Moab shall be trampled down in his place, as straw is trampled down in a dunghill. 11And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands. 12And the high fortifications of his walls he will bring down, lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness. 2For You have turned a city into a heap, A fortified city into a ruin; A palace of strangers is no longer a city, It will never be rebuilt. 3Therefore a strong people will glorify You; Cities of ruthless nations will revere You. 4For You have been a stronghold for the helpless, A stronghold for the poor in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall. 5Like heat in a dry land, You subdue the uproar of foreigners; Like heat by the shadow of a cloud, the song of the ruthless is silenced. 6Now the Lord of armies will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. 7And on this mountain He will destroy the covering which is over all peoples, The veil which is stretched over all nations. 8He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the disgrace of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. 9And it will be said on that day, 'Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let’s rejoice and be glad in His salvation.' 10For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain, And Moab will be trampled down in his place As straw is trampled down in the water of a manure pile. 11And he will spread out his hands in the middle of it As a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, But the Lord will lay low his pride together with the trickery of his hands. 12The unassailable fortifications of your walls He will bring down, Lay low, and throw to the ground, to the dust.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

What does Isaiah chapter 25 mean?

Chapter 25 follows the description of God's judgment of the earth (Isaiah 24:21–23). In this passage the Lord's people celebrate Him for His righteousness. They also cheer His defeat of all His enemies, and His grace in removing the covering of death from all who belong to Him.

The prophet Isaiah begins by demonstrating that his relationship with the Lord is deeply personal. The same is true for every person who truly belongs to God. Isaiah declares that he will exalt his God. The prophet will continuously praise the name of the Lord for all the wonderful, miraculous, powerful things God has done. This praise includes the use of His limitless power to judge the earth for human sin (Isaiah 25:1).

Isaiah praises God for faithfully carrying out His plans and purposes for the earth. In this praise he especially notes the Lord's plan to destroy the palace of the "foreigners' palace." This refers the political powers of all those on the earth who stood against God and His people. In broad terms, Israel viewed themselves as God's people, and those outside of Israel as being opposed to God. Isaiah will later refer to God taking away sin and shame from the entire world (Isaiah 25:8). Before then, these ruthless nations will know to fear the Lord and the strong people will honor Him (Isaiah 25:2–3).

It's not just that the Lord puts the merciless nations in their place. He also protects the poor and needy from these harsh rulers. That's who the Lord God is: a stronghold for those in need (Psalm 9:9; 62:6). He is a shelter in the turmoil and a shade in the heat. He silences the battle cries of the ruthless foreign invaders by stepping between them and His own people (Isaiah 25:4–5).

Isaiah pictures a banquet held at the inauguration of the Lord as King over Israel and the whole world. The celebration is held on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. This time of feasting includes the choicest wine and richest meats. More importantly, the Lord will take away the curse which has existed over all peoples since the first sin in the garden (Genesis 3:17–19). The Messiah will swallow up death forever. He will wipe away the tears of each of His people (Revelation 21:4), taking away the reproach of their sin permanently (Isaiah 25:6–8).

The people will respond with gladness and rejoicing, declaring that this is their God. They have waited on Him to save them, and now He has. Their trust in Him and their waiting has been proven right (Isaiah 25:9).

Those who refused to trust in the Lord will be judged. Isaiah shows the Lord with one hand on Mount Zion and His foot outstretched to crush Moab down into the ground. The nation of Moab was a frequent enemy of the Israelites (Joshua 24:9). Much as "foreigners" was a term used in contrast to God's people of Israel, Moab represents all who would not trust the Lord or wait on Him. Moab is depicted like someone who has fallen into a dung-pit: flailing for survival but unable to escape sinking into the filth (Isaiah 25:10–11).

The Lord judges Moab and all who refuse to trust in Him for their pompous pride. Their belief that they didn't need to wait for the Lord God of Israel is their downfall. He will knock down the fortification of their human walls and defeat them in His judgment (Isaiah 25:12).
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