Isaiah 6 – Isaiah Commissioned & The Day of Atonement

It’s quite obvious that You loved the Israelites so I guess one would think because You love them so much You would just ignore it, but it’s pretty clear that as a loving father You had to punish them, to correct them of their evil ways.

1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 

King Uzziah reigned from 792-740 B.C.  He was a godly and powerful king and but when he insisted on burning incense in the temple he was struck with leprosy and remained leprous until his death (2 Chr 26:16-21)  He was also called Azariah (2 Kgs 14:21; 2 Chr 26:1).

Seraphim
An angelic being, regarded in traditional Christian angelology as belonging to the highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy, associated with light, ardour, and purity.

Scripture makes mention of heavenly beings called “seraphs” or “seraphim”. The word Seraphim means “burning ones” or nobles. Their name points to purity, power, or judgment. They are also sometimes called the ‘ones of love’ because their name might come from the Hebrew root for ‘love’. Seraphim are described in the Bible in Is 6 vs. 2-6.

The seraphim have six wings- two that covered the face, two over the feet, and they fly with other two. If they are angels, they bear a different appearance from all the other ones in Scripture, including the cherubim. In the context of scripture where they are found, the seraphim were engaged in the purification of the prophet Isaiah (See Is 6:5-7).

In Summary
The seraphim, or burning ones, are only mentioned in the passage in Isaiah. They are somehow connected with the throne of God and do not appear in the form of men as do other angels, but seem to be a higher rank of angel(s) or a different order of angelic creatures.

The people had mocked the “Holy One of Israel” (5:19) and now God has commissioned Isaiah to call them to account. 

2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

See v 6, angelic beings not mentioned elsewhere.  The Hebrew root underlying this word means “burn,” perhaps to indicate their purity as God’s ministers.  (It refers to venomous snakes in 14:29, 30:6, see Num 21:6)  They correspond to the “four beasts” of Rev 4:6-9, each of whom also had six wings.

3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

“Holy, holy, holy” – the repetition underscores God’s infinite holiness.  Note the triple use of “the temple of the Lord” in Jer 7:4 to stress the people’s confidence in the security of Jerusalem because of the presence of that sanctuary.

4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

“Posts…moved…filled with smoke”: – similarly the power of God’s voice terrified the Israelites at Mount Sinai, and the mountain was covered with smoke (Ex 19:18-19, 20:18-19).  This same power of God resided with the corporate church at prayer in Acts 4:25-31.

5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

“Eyes have seen the King” – Isaiah was dismayed because anyone who saw God expected to die immediately (see Gen 16:13; 32:30).

6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

“Live coal” – coals of fire were taken inside the most holy place on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:12), when sacrifice was made to atone for sin.

7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

When God commissioned Jeremiah His hand touched the prophet’s mouth (Jer 1:9).  The fire purifies Isaiah’s “unclean lips” so that he can speak for God.

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

“For us” – the heavenly King speaks in the divine assembly of the angels.  As a true prophet, Isaiah is made privy to that council as were Micaiah (1 Kgs 22:19-20) and Jeremiah (23:18, 22; cf., Gen 1:26, 11:7; Amos 3:7).

9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Holy of Holies
The construction “Holy of Holies” is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom which is intended to express a superlative. Examples of similar constructions are “servant of servants” (Gen 9:25), “Sabbath of sabbaths” (Ex 31:15), “God of gods” (Deut 10:17), “Vanity of vanities” (Eccl 1:2), “Song of songs” (Song of Songs 1:1), “king of kings” (Ezra 7:12), etc.

In the Authorized King James Version, “Holy of Holies” is always translated as “Most Holy Place”. This is in keeping with the intention of the Hebrew idiom to express the utmost degree of holiness. The King James Version of the Bible has been in existence for over four hundred years. For most of that time, it was a primary reference in much of the English speaking world for information about Judaism. Thus, the name “Most Holy Place” was used to refer to the “Holy of Holies” in many English documents.

Depiction of a Jewish High Priest wearing Hoshen and Ephod included as an illustration in a Christian Bible; the Holy of Holies is in the background (1890, Holman Bible)

A related term is the debir (דְּבִיר‬) transliterated in the Septuagint (the Greek translation as dabir (δαβιρ), which either means the back (i.e. western) part of the Sanctuary, or derives from the verb stem D-V-R, “to speak”, justifying the translation in the Latin Vulgate as oraculum, from which the traditional English translation “oracle” (KJV, 1611) derives.

Quoted by Jesus in the parable of the sower (Matt 13:14-15; Mk 4:12; Lk 8:10)Also see Rom 11:7-10, 25.

10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

“Ears heavy…shut their eyes” – Israel’s deafness and blindness are also mentioned in 29:9, 42:18, 43:8.  One day the nation will be able to see and hear (29:18, 3:5).

11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

12 And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof. 

“A tenth” – a remnant – even it will be laid waste.

“Holy seed” – the few who are faithful in Israel.

“Substance” – Lit. “Stump.” The tree of Israel will be reduced to a stump, out of which the nation will grow again.  For a similar use of this imagery see 11:1.

The Day of Atonement

Leviticus 16:1-35, 23:26-32; Numbers 29:7-11

The Feasts of Israel are way-points on the pathway of the saints as they make their pilgrimage through holy history. They mark out god’s agenda for the redemption, sanctification, and ultimate witness and glorification of all his covenant people.

The Day of Atonement concerns the reconciliation to God of all those who will take part in the great day of judgment, after the second resurrection.

The second resurrection is to take place at the end of the millennial reign of Christ (known as the Millennium).

However, in order to comprehend clearly what is unfolding at this time, it is essential to return to God’s plan of salvation and overview that plan.

Seven Feasts of Israel
God introduced the Seven Feasts to the nation of Israel during the time they were encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai. They were called the feasts of the Lord because He Himself instituted them- a fact that made these Feasts hugely important in the Israeli calendar. They were holy convocations that took place at “appointed times”.

Although they are referred to in several places in the Bible, only Leviticus 23 lists all seven feasts in chronological order. Note: The feasts are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but since the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the Gregorian calendar used by most of the western world, the date shifts on the Gregorian calendar.

The historic and prophetic significance of the Feasts is one of the most fascinating of all Biblical studies. Although believers are not required to keep them, every Christian should be very familiar with the Feasts, as they not only celebrate a historical event in Israel’s past but are also a prophecy of future events that concern us all. They were types that, in Christian theology, are actual historical events that were a rough draft or a glimpse, of one or more events yet to occur. These subsequent happenings (the antitype) were certainly much more important than the original type.

However, that the significance of the antitype was not always obvious at the original occurrence is clearly shown by the fact that the Jews did not realize that the feasts were not solely related to past historical events (For example, Passover called to mind the night the angel of death passed over the Jewish houses that had been marked with the blood of a lamb, but did not spare the houses of the Egyptians that were not).

However, at the time they were given, every single one of the feasts pointed to something incomprehensibly bigger that was yet to come. They were were types – symbols of – the first and second coming of the promised Messiah. In fact, and quite fascinatingly, God’s entire plan of salvation for mankind from start to finish, is outlined by these feasts, which were also related to Israel’s agricultural seasons. The Spring and Summer Feasts signified the commencement of redemption, while the Fall Feasts signify its culmination.

“The first three feasts Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits occur in rapid succession in the spring of the year over a period of eight days. They came to be referred to collectively as “Passover.”

The fourth feast, Harvest, occurs fifty days later, at the beginning of the summer. By New Testament times this feast had come to be known by its Greek name, Pentecost, a word meaning fifty.

The last three feasts Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles extend over a period of twenty-one days in the fall of the year. They came to be known collectively as Tabernacles.” [02]
The first four feasts have already been fulfilled. The first two by Jesus Christ on the actual feast days according to the Hebrew calendar… He was sacrificed on Passover, and resurrected on the Feast of First Fruits. The third Feast of Unleavened Bread had great significance in light of His sacrifice, while the Fourth Feast Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks was again fulfilled on the exact day of what we now call Pentecost.

In God’s plan of salvation for mankind we are given a number of constants, the most crucial of these constants in terms of understanding the program for salvation is that it will be done in two stages, which are depicted by the early and latter wheat harvests in the Middle East.

God’s plan of salvation can be understood only from the context of these two seasons. Just as there are two grain harvests so too will there be two separate, but similar, harvests of humanity for ascension to the Kingdom of God.

In this series of articles on God’s Holy Days the first harvest season has been completed – culminating in the ascension of the first fruits in the first resurrection, which is depicted by the Feast of Pentecost. Now there is a new beginning for the second harvest season and the harvest process begins again for the remainder of humanity.

These two stages in God’s plan are further subdivided by the annual Holy Days; and just as the two actual harvest seasons are alike in many ways, while simultaneously containing differences, so too does there have to be a significant amount of clear repetition within the annual Holy Day design. As God commences the second stage of His plan of salvation, it is the Day of Atonement in which we first see this repetition.

Isaiah 6:8-10

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.

Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 

Who is speaking to the prophet Isaiah in chapter 6? None other than “the Lord”, the great I AM, Yahweh Himself. Note carefully what He says here to him: God commands him to give a very specific message of judgment to rebellious Israel, as those “ever hearing, but never understanding .. ever seeing, but never perceiving.”

Over 600 years later, Paul quotes the same verse in his rebuke to the stubborn Jews of Rome who resisted his preaching in the last verses of the book of Acts – and who does Paul say uttered these words?

Acts 28:25-27

And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears. 

It is the Holy Spirit who is said to have spoken the same words Yahweh uttered in Isaiah 6. The Holy Spirit is God Himself (1 Jn 5:7), speaking across time through His chosen prophets. Nothing can be plainer. Without argument or the intrigue of human wiles, God’s self-revelation unfolds before us without apology. 

God shows us that He is the One known among us as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit whom God is (John 4:24). We’ve seen that the Alpha and Omega in the person of Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Savior of mankind (Rev 31:8).

PASSOVER – The Jews of Egypt were saved by the blood of a lamb on their door ways (Ex 12:1-13).

FULFILLED – The last Passover (Matt 26:20-29; Mk 14:17-21; Lk 22:14-29, 24-30)

Christ, God’s Lamb has been sacrificed (Matt 28:33-56; Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:33-43; Jn 19:17-24).

UNLEAVENED BREAD Leaven symbolizes sin and the Jews were to eat pure unleavened bread for one week (Ex 12:14-20; Lev 23:6).

FULFILLED – Christ has paid our sins, so those that walk with Jesus are now clean of sin (1 Cor 5:610, 11:23-29).

FIRSTFRUITS – The firstfruits of the spring harvest were to be sacrificed as the temple (Lev 10-14).

FULFILLED – Christ has risen the firstfruits (Matt 1:15; Mk 16:1-14; Lk 24:1-49; Jn 20:1-23; Acts 2:29-36, 10:38-40, 26:22-23; Rom 6:8-10; 1 Cor 15:5-8; 2 Tim 2:8; Rev 1:17-18).

PENTECOST or FEAST OF HARVEST – The feast marked the summer harvest when many crops were available (Lev 23:15-16).  The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word for the “fiftieth day.” “Pente” is Greek for five.  It is called “Shavout,” the Feast of Weeks (Exod. 34:22; Deut. 16:9-11) and the Feast of Harvest (Exod. 23:16) of the Day of the First Fruits (Num. 28:26).

And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end (Ex. 34:22).

FULFILLED – The Holy Spirit has been released (Joel 2:28-29; Jn 7:37-39; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 2:33, 38, 10:44-46,  19:1-6; Rom 8:26;  Eph 1:13; 1 Pet 3:20-21).

TRUMPETS – During harvesting the trumpet would sound and the workers would go to the temple immediately (Lev 23:23-25).

Coming Soon

DAY OF ATONEMENT – Atonement will be made to cleanse you (Lev 23:26-32).

TABERNACLES – Harvest celebration memorial of tabernacles in wilderness (Lev 23:34-36).

RAPTURE –  The church will meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4:16-17; Heb 12:23).

Celebration for those with Jesus:

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev 21:1-8).

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:12-20).