In the second half of his book, Isaiah’s main thrust is to write words of comfort to the nation of Israel. The first 39 chapters have been chapters of judgment against Israel, with the final threat in Chapter 39 being that although ADONAI would save Judah from the Assyrians, He would send her into the Babylonian captivity. But now her sin had been pardoned, therefore, the content and the tone of the message changes; it is one of comfort rather than judgment. The key phrase here is: Awake, Awake! This doubling is used by Isaiah to emphasize something very urgent and important. This is seen in 51:9 and 17, and 52:1. Three times we see this expression because that is the theme of this section.
We also see an extension of the Cone of Isaiah (see Hl – The Cone of Isaiah), which is divided into three parts. The base of the cone is comprised of the nation of Israel, and out of the nation comes a believing remnant, which is the middle section of the cone in view here. Then in Chapter 53, out of this believing remnant, the point of the cone, or the Messiah, is seen.
Chapters 51 and 52 describe a far eschatological prophecy of comfort (40:1-11) to a generation that had not even been born yet. There are prophecies to the Land (51:3), unbelieving Jews, the believing remnant and to Zion herself (52:1) that preclude a picture of a return from the Babylonian Captivity. Hence, the context demands that they are a message to the last Jewish generation before the Messiah returns at the end of the Great Tribulation, where ADONAI will lay bare His holy arm, Jesus Christ, in the sight of all nations, and all the ends of the earth will see Him (52:10).
The Teaching Ministry of Jay Mack 2006-2013