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Isaiah: Prophet of Salvation Book 4

Isaiah is the prophet of Salvation. He is also known as the truly "Universalist" prophet, by which is meant that He makes it clear that salvation is extended equally to all nations and not just to Israel. He lived to see the fall of Israel and the deportation of the Israelites to Assyria, and he prophesied of their "return" to God (through repentance). He is truly a "major prophet" whose prophecies greatly influenced the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.

Category - Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 25, 26: Songs of Praise

Chapter 11: Removing the Veil

Isaiah 25:6 says,

6 The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet [mishteh, “feast, banquet”] for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.

The word mishteh, translated “banquet” (NASB) or “feast” (KJV), is from the root word shatha, “to drink.” It is “a banquet of aged wine” for those “on this mountain,” i.e., Jerusalem. This suggests the feast of Tabernacles, which is associated with the grape harvest at the end of the growing season; but it is not new wine, because this prophesies of a long-awaited event in the future.

Isaiah 25:7 gives us the main purpose of this Tabernacles feast:

7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering [paniym lote, “face covering”] which is over all the peoples, even the veil [massakah] which is stretched over all nations.

There is a parallel between drinking the aged wine and swallowing up the face covering, as if to say that the feast of Tabernacles will remove the veil that is spread over all nations. When the nations drink the wine (or doctrines) of Babylon, as in Rev. 18:3, they cannot think clearly and become vulnerable to acts of immorality. But the “aged wine” here represents the ancient promises which bring joy to the world. Instead of blinding men as with a veil, the wine of the feast of Tabernacles opens the eyes so that the people have hope for the future.

Note also that the veil “is stretched over all nations,” and not merely over the eyes of Israel. Judaism is not the only Old Covenant religion that wears a veil. All religions depend upon the will of the flesh and the will of man to attain salvation. Only true New Covenant Christianity differs and distinguishes itself—and this includes only a remnant of the church as well.

The Old Covenant Veil

The Hebrew word paniym means “face, presence.” The word lote is a covering or veil. Recall that Abraham’s nephew Lot (or Lote) was a covering of protection for Sodom. God had to remove him from the city before destroying the city.

The most important story involving a veil is seen when Moses came off the mount after his eighth trip up the mountain. His face was glowing, and the people were afraid to approach him. So we read in Exodus 34:33, “he put a veil over his face.”

The veil suggests that the people were too fearful to behold the glory of God at that time. Their hearts were not ready, because they were ruled by fear, rather than by faith. The glory of God comes through the New Covenant, by which we too are to be transfigured into the image of God. Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 3:12-18,

12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away [i.e., the glory which, in time, was to fade]. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart, 16 but when a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away… 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

We see from this that the veil on Moses’ face represented the Old Covenant. As long as men depend upon the Old Covenant for their salvation, they read the law with a veiled face and cannot truly understand its revelation, nor can they apply it correctly. Salvation, to them, comes by the will of man, rather than by the will of God (John 1:13). Salvation is achieved by man’s vow, rather than God’s vow.

This is the veil that prevents men from seeing and appropriating the glory of God and from being “transformed into the same image from glory to glory.”

Hence, we see that Isaiah was prophesying that Tabernacles, the feast of “aged wine,” is where the veil is swallowed up (or eliminated) so that we may see the glory of God in the face of Christ and in each other. The prophet speaks of “this mountain” with no explanation, but it is both a reference to the earthly Jerusalem and to Mount Sinai. Paul, too, connects the two mountains in Gal. 4:25, 26 saying,

25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

Old Covenant believers, their capital being the earthly Jerusalem, are veiled and in slavery as they attempt to attain salvation by fulfilling their own vows of obedience. We, however, who adhere to the New Covenant and to the promises of God, are “free” because our mother is the “the Jerusalem above.” (See my book, The Two Covenants.)

We understand the sovereignty of God, rather than the sovereignty of man. If the destiny of the world were to depend upon the will of man, the entire world would be lost, for no man can be saved through the Old Covenant, no matter how well-intentioned his vows and decisions may be. It is only because of the promises (vows/oaths) of God that any man can be saved, because He alone is responsible to fulfill His own vows to make us His people and to be our God (Deut. 29:12, 13).

It is significant, then, that Isaiah makes the connection between the mountain of Jerusalem and Mount Sinai in Arabia. Perhaps this is the passage that inspired Paul’s teaching in Galatians 4. Those Jews who remained under the Old Covenant, which was given at Mount Sinai in Arabia, inadvertently put Jerusalem under the jurisdiction of Hagar and Ishmael, because Arabia was the inheritance of Ishmael. Thus, Jerusalem is Hagar, and those who reject the Mediator of the New Covenant are children of the flesh, spiritual Ishmaelites.

But as New Covenant believers, we rally around Mount Sion, or Hermon (Deut. 4:48; Heb. 12:22, KJV), the place where Jesus was transfigured, for it represents Sarah, the heavenly Jerusalem. As the “Isaac” company, we are the “children of promise” (Gal. 4:28).


Isaiah 25:8 gives us another major feature of this “banquet of aged wine.”

8 He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken.

This is a prophecy of the resurrection of life, the reward of New Covenant believers. Paul quoted this in 1 Cor. 15:54,

54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Thus Paul interprets Isaiah 25:8, giving us the second major purpose of Tabernacles. Swallowing up the veil comes by accepting a New Covenant revelation, understanding, or viewpoint. Swallowing up death brings immortality. Both are appropriated through the feast of Tabernacles and its associated feasts—particularly the feast of Trumpets, where the dead overcomers are raised first.

Isaiah 25:9 says,

9 And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save [yasha] us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation [yeshua].”

When the Old Covenant veil is removed from men’s faces, they will recognize the sovereignty of God. They will then believe and proclaim that He is the one who saves us. They will then “be glad in His Yeshua,” which is a prophecy of Christ. Even the fact that men had “waited” for Him suggests that they were anticipating the coming of the Messiah.

In that there are two comings of the Messiah, prophesied in the two birds (Lev. 14:4) and in the two goats (Lev. 16:8), Isaiah’s prophecy has a dual fulfillment, each with a distinct purpose. The first is a death work, the second is a living work. But Isaiah was speaking primarily of the “banquet of aged wine,” which connects it to the second coming of Yeshua-Jesus.

Likewise, when the prophet sees the people rejoicing, he is suggesting the feast of Tabernacles, which was supposed to be observed with rejoicing. So Lev. 23:39, 40 says,

39 On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the Lord for seven days with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40 Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days.

None of the other feasts are particularly a time of rejoicing. Passover was a feast to remember Israel’s bondage in Egypt; Pentecost too was a time when the glory of God frightened the people. But Tabernacles was a time of rejoicing, a harvest festival. The cause of such rejoicing is in the fact that the veiled eyes of the people have been opened and that death has been swallowed up by immortality.