What does Isaiah 2 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
Isaiah begins this second chapter of his book by briefly reintroducing himself as the son of Amoz and announcing his plan to reveal what he saw about Judah and Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1). The prophet describes God's revelations about the future to him in visual terms. He has seen what the Lord has shown him.

He begins by describing what he has seen far in Israel's future in the last days (Isaiah 2:2). These same words also appear in Micah 4:1–3, showing that God intended for both prophets to emphasize the glory to come in Israel's distant future. At that time, the mountain of the house of the Lord will become the "highest" of all mountains on earth. Isaiah means this in the sense that the Lord's mountain in Jerusalem will become the most important and significant place of worship in the world, high above all other forms of religion (Isaiah 2:2).

The people of all the nations of the earth will finally understand that the God of Israel is right. He is the one true God, and the Gentiles of the earth will flock to Jerusalem to learn from the Lord. His teaching will reach the world from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3).

During this time, the future reign of Christ on earth as the Messiah, The Lord will finally bring order to the world. All will be right on the earth, with The Lord settling disputes between all nations and removing any need for countries to prepare for war (Isaiah 2:4).

Isaiah urges the Israelites of his day not to wait for that day to start walking in the light of the Lord. Do it now, he tells them, even though he knows they will not listen (Isaiah 2:5).

Because God's people refuse to trust Him, He has abandoned and rejected them. This is not a complete elimination of His care for Israel—but it does mean God is withholding His protection and blessing. Isaiah describes the ways in which the Israelites have been seeking good from sources other than their God. They are full of the superstitions of the people of the east and fascinated with fortune-tellers and divinations as the Philistines are. They make bargains with foreign powers, seeking financial and political security (Isaiah 2:6).

Even worse, the Israelites think their idol worship is working (Psalm 115:4–8; Habakkuk 2:18–19). The land is rich, full of gold, silver, treasures, chariots, and horses. It's also filled with idols worshipped by the people who made them. In exchange for this worship, they believe the idols provide their great wealth and security (Isaiah 2:7).

Isaiah, full of indignation at these sins of his people, turns to the Lord and tells God not to forgive them. He describes the coming time of God's judgment known as the day of the Lord (Ezekiel 30:3; Obadiah 1:15; Acts 2:20; 2 Peter 3:10). This is the predicted era when God will complete His plan to punish all sin and overcome evil forever. Then, finally, men will be brought low. Isaiah describes God's people as hiding in dark caves to try to escape the glory of the Lord's majesty. On that day, the Lord will be exalted and human beings will be brought low (Isaiah 2:9).

Isaiah lists large things men trust to save them, including the trees of Lebanon and Bashan, great mountains and hills, city walls and towers, and great ships of trade and military might. Relying on material goods or wealth is pointless when faced with a holy Creator God (Psalm 20:7; Proverbs 11:28; Luke 12:16–21). All these things will be revealed as unreliable on the day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:13–17).

The countless idols will also be thrown aside. While their makers hide in the ground from the judgement of the Lord (Revelation 6:15–17), these idols will be left behind in caves (Isaiah 2:20–21).

Don't trust men, Isaiah concludes. They're one breath away from death. Trust the Lord, instead (Isaiah 2:22).
Verse Context:
Isaiah 2:1–5 describes an impossible-seeming time in Israel's future: when the Lord will reign over the entire earth from Jerusalem. People from all the Gentile nations will flock to Israel and to Jerusalem to learn from the Lord how to walk in His ways. He will judge the nations, resolving all disputes, and bringing about a time so secure that no nation will even prepare for war anymore. Isaiah urges the Israelites of his day to not wait and to walk in the Lord's light now.
Isaiah 2:6–22 begins with stunning words: the Lord has "rejected" His people Israel. Instead of trusting Him, they worship false idols and practice fortune-telling. They believe these things and their deal-making have brought them wealth and security. The day of the Lord, though, will result in the abandonment of their homemade idols. He will bring low every great thing they trust instead of the Lord. The people will try to escape the Lord's majesty in the darkness of caves as He terrifies the earth. Isaiah finishes this section with telling His people to stop esteeming human beings.
Chapter Summary:
Isaiah describes Israel's far future as a time when all the nations of the earth will recognize Israel's God as the Lord. They will come to Jerusalem to learn from Him how to live. Isaiah tells his people to walk in the light of the Lord now. Instead, they worship false gods, follow fortune tellers, and make deals. Their great wealth, military might, and endless homemade idols will not save them from the God's judgment on day of the Lord. Human arrogance will be brought low as the Lord is exalted. Isaiah summarizes the chapter with a warning not to trust fallible people, instead of God.
Chapter Context:
Isaiah 2 follows the summation of the first chapter by reintroducing the prophet. He describes Israel's distant future. Someday, all the people of earth will come to Jerusalem to learn how to live from Israel's God. For now, though, the Lord has rejected His people. On the day of the Lord, however, those idols will be left behind in the caves in which the people attempt to hide from God's majesty. Later chapters of this book will explain more about how this prophecy will come to be.
Book Summary:
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
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