This chapter presents Jesus' messianic mission in all its fullness, including both comings and his millennial mission. In the Millennium, God blesses and transforms Israel so that the whole world might praise him and be blessed through her.
This chapter presents Jesus' messianic mission in all its fullness, including that of his first-coming, that of his second-coming, and his millennial mission. In the Millennium, God blesses and transforms Israel so that the whole world might praise him and be blessed through her.

Jesus quoted verses 1 to 2a as a kind of ministry manifesto at the start of is ministry, and claimed to be its fulfilment, as recorded in Luke 4:18-21. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon kings and prophets when God chose them and commissioned them to his service. The Jews understood these verses to be speaking about their Messiah, where Messiah is a title meaning 'the one anointed by the Holy Spirit'. This anointed one is chosen by God. He is commissioned to encourage the poor, help the brokenhearted, decree the release of captives and to free prisoners (v1). He announces the year of the Lord's favour (v2a). Jesus stopped at that point, in mid-verse, because his first-coming mission was limited, and the rest of the commission in verses 2b and 3 await his second coming. At his first coming, Jesus ministered to the poor and needy, many of whom gladly followed him, whereas the rich and the leaders of the people largely rejected him. He healed the sick, and he freed people from demonic bondage by decreeing their release. By announcing the year of the Lord's favour, Jesus was announcing God's amnesty for sinners. 'Year' represents a relatively long period of time, and nearly 2,000 years later, this 'year' of amnesty still has not finished. Sinners can turn themselves in, to receive God's mercy and forgiveness instead of condemnation and judgment. By dying on the cross, Jesus made this amnesty possible, because he took the punishment for our sins, and paid the price for our forgiveness.

At his second coming, Jesus will announce the day of God's vengeance (v2b), which brings the amnesty to an end. God will no longer ignore those who reject his salvation. This time of vengeance lasts for a 'day' which represents a shorter period of time. If the 'year' of the Lord's favour lasts about 2,000 literal years, you might expect the 'day' of vengeance to last about 2,000 literal days. In Matthew 24:21-22, Jesus described the day of vengeance saying, "For then there will be great suffering unlike anything that has happened from the beginning of the world until now, or ever will happen. And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short". Various end-time prophecies specify a duration of 1,260 days (3 1/2 years), although Daniel 12:12 describes 1,335 days. Daniel's additional 75 days are most likely the time period between the last trumpet and the beginning of the Millennium. During this period, the bowl judgments of Revelation 15-16 are released, and Jesus fights and defeats his enemies.

At his second coming, the purpose of the day of vengeance is for Jesus to clear the earth of all who oppose God's rule in their lives, and to establish his rule over the world from Zion (Jerusalem). Jesus wages war in order to establish his kingdom of everlasting peace. All that stands in the way of that peace must first be removed. As the world then transitions into the millennial age, Jesus' mission will be to console and strengthen all who mourn in Zion (v2-3). Verse 3 graphically describes his transformation of Zion, as it rises again from the ashes of the Great Tribulation, and is clothed and crowned by Jesus with beauty, joy and praise. God says the people of Zion will become oaks of righteousness that reveal his splendour (v3b). Like great oaks, they will be impressive, strong and secure. God's purpose in redeeming Zion is to redeem the whole world through her. Zion's ruins will once again be rebuilt (v4).

The restoration of Zion as described in verses 4 to 11 reminds me somewhat of the 20th century transformation of Arabia after the discoveries of oil. Poor nations of Arab nomads, living a 7th century kind of lifestyle, were dramatically transformed to become abundantly wealthy, and with their wealth they attracted large numbers of foreign workers who came to do most of the hard work for them. When Jesus restores Zion, Israel will experience an even greater transformation, but with righteousness, peace and security, and no corruption. In chapter 60, we are told that foreigners will rebuild Zion's walls. Here in this chapter we are told that foreigners will work their farms and vineyards (v5). The people of Israel will be called the Lord's priests (v6), with no mention that this is restricted to Levites - the whole nation will be priests. As priests, they will help the rest of the world to know God. Israel will enjoy (literally 'feed on') the wealth of nations, and boast about the riches they receive from them. This is a mutually beneficial relationship between Israel and the nations. As a nation of priests, Israel blesses the nations, and in return the nations bless Israel with their wealth. Most likely, Israel is also blessed with an abundance of resources or products that they can sell to the nations. Israel will possess a double portion (v7) - implying they receive an inheritance like an eldest son. But presumably they also earn some of their wealth. Having wealth enables you to create more wealth. Jews have always had a reputation of being business-minded, and that will no doubt continue into the Millennium.

Verse 8 says that God hates robbery and sin, implying that Israel will have been robbed during the Great Tribulation. It may also refer to the losses they endured during nearly 2,000 years of exile. God declares that he loves justice, and will repay Israel because of his faithfulness. God now makes a permanent covenant with the people of Israel, promising that all who see them will recognise that God has blessed them (v9). Zion is overjoyed, and rejoices in all the amazing ways that God transforms her, and vindicates her. She feels like a beautifully dressed bride or bridegroom (v10). It is like everything she plants grows in abundance, giving Zion reason to praise God in the sight of all nations (v11). This final point, stressing that Zion's transformation is visible to all nations is very important. God wants to demonstrate to the whole world what his blessing looks like, so that the whole world will praise him, and this abundant blessing will spread to all nations of the world.
Places: Zion, Israel
Symbols: Year of favour, Day of vengeance, Amnesty for sinners, Oil of Joy, Garments of praise, Robes of righteousness, Double portion, Israel like a bride, Bride, Israel like a bridegroom, Oaks of righteousness
Tags: Manifesto of Jesus, Mission of Jesus, Jesus as Messiah, First and second comings, Jesus delivers Israel, Jesus transforms Zion, Millennium, Millennial prosperity, Nations stream to millennial Jerusalem, Restoration of Israel, God loves Israel, Year of favour, Day of vengeance, Amnesty for sinners, End-time bride
The Lord Will Rejuvenate His People
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has chosen me. He has commissioned me to encourage the poor, to help the brokenhearted, to decree the release of captives, and the freeing of prisoners,
2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor, the day when our God will seek vengeance, to console all who mourn,
3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion, by giving them a turban, instead of ashes, oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning, a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement. They will be called oaks of righteousness, trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins and restore the places that were desolate; they will reestablish the ruined cities, the places that have been desolate since ancient times.
5 “Foreigners will take care of your sheep; foreigners will work in your fields and vineyards.
6 You will be called, ‘the Lord’s priests, servants of our God.’ You will enjoy the wealth of nations and boast about the riches you receive from them.
7 Instead of shame, you will get a double portion; instead of humiliation, they will rejoice over the land they receive. Yes, they will possess a double portion in their land and experience lasting joy.
8 For I, the Lord, love justice and hate robbery and sin. I will repay them because of my faithfulness; I will make a permanent covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations, their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will recognize that the Lord has blessed them.”
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; I will be overjoyed because of my God. For he clothes me in garments of deliverance; he puts on me a robe symbolizing vindication. I look like a bridegroom when he wears a turban as a priest would; I look like a bride when she puts on her jewelry.
11 For just as the ground produces its crops and a garden yields its produce, so the Sovereign Lord will cause deliverance to grow, and give his people reason to praise him in the sight of all the nations.