|Dr. Couch, what is going on in Isaiah 59:21?|
ANSWER: The passage says that He will be making "a covenant" with the Jewish people, and that He will be putting His Spirit upon them. Too, all the children, from the first to an infinity of generations will be speaking God's words from their mouths, "from a specific point ("from now and forever") into the future.
Unger says that the "covenant" has to be the New covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31-34. There are two outstanding promises in the New covenant: (1) permanent forgiveness of sins, and (2) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The giving of the Spirit is mentioned here in Isaiah 59:21 and in Joel 2:28. Isaiah 59:21 reads in part:
"My words will not depart from your mouth nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring's offspring, … from now and forever." This seems to clearly promise that in the kingdom, the Jews will be perpetually saved and will be witnessing of the Lord for the entire one thousand years of that glorious time when the Messiah is ruling!
Unger writes: This is about "the promise of Israel's conversion and restoration to Kingdom blessing … divinely guaranteed and attested. The Lord is referring to the New Covenant in Christ's blood (1 Cor. 11:25), then made available to the nation Israel through faith (Jer. 31:31-34). It will involve putting His Spirit upon her and God's Word in her mouth, perpetually through the millennial age and on into the eternal state (Isa. 32:15; 1 Cor. 15:24). Israel's election to blessing is not only for the Kingdom age, but forever."
The New covenant is not fulfilled now by the church. It will be fulfilled by Israel when the kingdom begins. The church however now benefits from the New covenant but we do not fulfill it. We receive forgiveness of sins, and receive the Holy Spirit. But we do not receive the promised land. That is only for the Jews when the kingdom begins.
When Paul writes that "all Israel will be saved" in Romans 11:26, he could be referring to Isaiah 59:21 where the generations of Jews during the kingdom will have God's word in their mouths perpetually from individual to individual, child to child, forever.
Thanks for asking,
Dr. Mal Couch (12/10)