Isaiah 65:17-25 - New heavens in new earth, where the wolf and the lamb feed together
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
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 I am about to create new heavens and a new earth;
the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.
 But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating;
for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.
 I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.
 No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.
 They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
 They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
 They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be offspring blessed by Yahweh--and their descendants as well.
 Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.
 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent-- its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says Yahweh. ס
This is the “First Lesson” that will be read aloud on Easter Day (primary service), if the mandatory Acts reading does not take its place. If chosen for reading, it will precede a singing of selected verses from Psalm 118, one of which says, “The right hand of Yahweh has triumphed! the right hand of Yahweh is exalted! the right hand of Yahweh has triumphed!” If chosen, then the Acts selection will take the “New Testament” slot, where it is written: “Peter began to speak to Cornelius and the other Gentiles: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”’ At this point the Gospel reading will either come from John 20, where the prophet wrote: “Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.” If the Gospel selection comes from Luke, then this verse will be read aloud: “The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the [two angels appearing as men] said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”’
This reading from Isaiah is optional to be read on Easter Day, but it will be read every Year C, as part of the Proper 29 (Ordinary after Pentecost) service. To be a possible reading for Easter Day, the theme of resurrection must be realized. The first verse of this reading is the seventeenth of the whole song of Isaiah. The heading given to the first sixteen verses (by BibleHub Interlinear) is “Judgments and Promises.” The NRSV translation lists the first half of this son as being “The Righteousness of God’s Judgment.” Beginning in verse seventeen is a change of heading, such that BibleHub says the rest of the song is about “New Heavens and Earth,” with the NRSV calling this last section “The Glorious New Creation.” It is most important to see the failures of promises, leading to the judgment of Yahweh that led to Judah’s defeat and exile, became the promise of a new way. That new way must be seen as why this section of Isaiah’s song is read aloud on Easter Day.
In verse seventeen, the plural number applied to “heavens” (from “šā·ma·yim”) needs to be seen as the addition of Spirit to a soul. The word “heaven” must be realized to be the eternal essence of the spiritual, from which a soul comes (from Yahweh). A soul is placed into “earth,” which is the metaphor for a body of flesh. Thus “heaven and earth” are joined by a soul being breathed into a baby at birth. This means “new heavens” (“shamayim” is singular or plural, it seems) means the marriage of a soul to Yahweh’s Spirit, so there is a transformation in this new presence within. The “earth” becomes “new” by no longer being led by worldly influences (acts of sin), instead being influenced by the divine spiritual presence, led to be “righteous” in the material plane. Therefore, “the former things not remembered or brought back to mind” are those of sin. This promises a Baptism by Spirit, bringing about new flesh, which is a reflection on rebirth or resurrection.
In verse eighteen, it is vital to realize that “I am creating” says Yahweh is the source of the “New heavens and new earth.” In the same way that Yahweh creates children in the womb, giving them the breath of life in a soul at birth, that creation is mortal and bound to die of flesh, releasing the soul back into the spiritual realm. Because a history of sin forbids that soul from remaining in the spiritual realm, instead being recycled by Yahweh in another creation of flesh (“earth”), the judgment (based on promises broken) will be forgotten when a soul married Yahweh and is then cleansed of past sins. It is this cleansing that brings “rejoicing,” which lasts “forever,” because that divine union brings about a permanent bond this is eternal life.
Certainly, when Isaiah lived in ancient times, when Jerusalem was the last stronghold to fall to the Babylonians, seeing the return of that city as reason for “joy” makes a song of Isaiah difficult to see as appropriate to modern Christians, none of whom ever experience that ancient city. This is where the meaning behind the name must be realized. The word “Jerusalem” means “Teaching Peace.” Therefore, the “joy” that comes is from Yahweh’s Spirit “Teaching Peace” within one’s soul-body; so, the elation is one’s flesh becoming that city, so one’s soul forever lives in a setting that is “Teaching Peace.” Together, all revitalized souls in a new bodies cleansed of sin represent the “people” of Yahweh. His creations are called “Yahweh elohim,” which is like an angel in the flesh, or Jesus reborn on earth.
Verse nineteen continues this element of “Teaching Peace,” while saying, “no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress.” When one has married one’s soul to Yahweh, then all prayers have become answered. The motivation for sincere prayer is having reached the depths of sorrow and despair. When the Spirit is “Teaching Peace” to one’s soul, then all tears will cease, replaced by the watery eyes of joy.
Verse twenty this element of mortality and immortality is shown as “an infant” and “an old person” (“zaqen” means “old,” but implies a man). To see the death of a baby as sad, while seeing someone living to be one hundred years of age as a sign of one having lived a good life is to deny “an infant” is without sin. To die as an “infant” means to gain eternal life. To live a hundred years with sins having never been washed clean by Yahweh’s Spirit means judgment based on sins, not years lived in a sinful body. When one has been given a “new soul” (to go along with one’s birth soul), so one is reborn like “an infant” – pure – then eternal life has been secured. A “hundred years becomes accursed,” simply because that is nothing compared to eternal salvation.
In verse twenty-one, the mention of “Jerusalem” as an earthly place leads one to read about building houses and planting vineyards as a sign of material wealth and prosperity. This should only be seen as metaphor for one’s body of flesh being rebuilt as a temple unto Yahweh. The vineyard is then metaphor for the good fruit one will produce in the name of “Israel” – a word meaning “Who Retains God.” When one realizes that Isaiah knew the resurrection of Jesus in his soul (he just did not call it by that name), then Jesus can be seen as the vine that is planted within one’s new temple, where the spread of that vine reflects upon the ministry one has for Yahweh.
Verse twenty-two then makes it seem that Isaiah was saying the future would not be like the past, when the people of Judah and Jerusalem had built places and planted crops that were taken from them (by the invading Babylonians). That view is missing the point of the new houses and the new vineyards being within the “new spirit union” (married ”heavens”) and the “new flesh” (cleansed “earth”) will never be taken away from one. Where one goes, so goes all that new. No one else will take over your soul or flesh; and, that means the Babylonians are a reflection of demonic spirits that possess all that one had built, casting one into spiritual exile. The metaphor of a tree is it lives and produces fruits that continue the spiritual lineage of righteousness. Rather than a Tree of Israel, which was struck by lightning and split into Israel and Judah, with those two then dying and being reduced to a stump, Isaiah is speaking as Yahweh telling of the Tree of Life. The work of the hands that eat of that fruit and maintain that production live forever, free of sin.
The tree of life that was the intent of the children led by Moses into the wilderness, to the frontier of the Promised Land, was meant to be the Spiritual union with Yahweh’s Spirit forever. Moses did not lead children to possess material things and values, which they would then pass onto their children as the disease of sin. Those whose souls were led to marry Yahweh and be reborn – each as His Son (the name we know now to be Jesus) – meant being a Tree of Life that brought forth young, who would be led to only eat from the Tree of Life (not the tree of sin that brings death and spiritual banishment). Thus, for one’s children to be “blessed by Yahweh,” that says they will be souls raised so they are led to also marry Yahweh and find eternal life. Like a tree that lives forever, the fruit that is forever brought forth is the good fruit of eternal life.
Verse twenty-forth then sings as Jesus taught his disciples about prayer. When one’s soul can call Yahweh “Father,” because one’s soul has become “new heavens” in “new earth,” then Yahweh knows what one wants to ask before one can formulate a prayer or question. Then, as one is in the act of prayer, Yahweh hears everything said. This is the joy of parenthood, which is how one raises one’s children to be led to divine marriage. As one grows in the “Anointment” of Yahweh, one grows to become like the Father, as the Son who is one with the Father. This is the same as the tree of life, where all is one.
Verse twenty-five then sings of the paradoxes that so many see as a prophecy of a future still not realized. Everything written in this verse is a reflection of the old having become the new. One was the wolf, which preyed on the innocents of the world; but when the wolf sacrifices itself to Yahweh, then it lays down its life in the same way as does the lamb. Both then feed on spiritual food. The same is reflected in the lion (a predator) surrendering it pride of self (the ‘king of the jungle’), becoming a beast of burden, serving Yahweh with patience and courage.
This is then why the “serpent” is cast off. In Genesis we are told the “serpent” was the “craftiest of all the animals.” This must be seen as the sins that come from a Big Brain, where self-awareness (eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil) leads to intellectual acumen that blocks a soul (enslaves a soul) to do the bidding of the flesh. Thus, a “serpent” will lead a soul to sin; and, sin always leads to death, which it a guarantee to always eat “dust” – as death means the mortality of ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
To become “new heavens in new earth” one must sacrifice self-ego. When that is put to death, then no brain will interfere with the heart and the soul. When one is “Taught Peace,” then no “hurt or destruction” will be promoted. One becomes “a mountain” of Yahweh, which is the highest holy ground possible on earth, closest to the heavens. Here, it is vital to realize that Yahweh is not “holy,” as Yahweh means “I AM.” When one’s soul can identify with Yahweh, because He Is one with one’s soul, then it is that presence within a soul and body that becomes the definition of “holy.” Just as “righteousness” and “goodness” are impossible without the presence of Yahweh, it is only by the presence of His Spirit that a soul can become “holy.”
As a “First Lesson” that comes from the Prophet Isaiah on Easter Day, one must see how this song sings of the resurrection of Jesus within one’s soul. This is not some future event, one that few really believe will ever happen. Jesus’ soul returned and was resurrected in twelve-plus, less than twenty-four hours after it Ascended on the Mount of Olives. His soul was then transferred to about three thousand other souls that day, simply because seekers of truth opened their hearts and received his Spirit into theirs. The spread of true Christianity is all about the Tree of Life having taken root and brought forth “new heavens in new earth,” where old bodies became like infants, reborn as Jesus, each touched by Yahweh as His Christs. This is why this song is sung on Easter Day. Listen to the words and feed on them in your souls.