Jesus the Holy One of Israel in the midst of Isaiah 12


I have to confess I keep putting off writing posts based on the big books, Psalms, Isaiah and Jeremiah… mostly because they contain so much Christological content I think I would start an article and never finish. But I’ve made a start on Psalms with Psalm 2, and so thought I could make a start on Isaiah too, with chapter 12, because it’s only six verses… what could go wong!

Isaiah 12 starts: “Then you will say on that day…

shoot of jesseWhat day? well we only need to look back to Isaiah 11 to find out. Isaiah has a lot to say about Jesus, and chapter 11 is the anointing chapter for the section of Isaiah called proto-Isaiah by biblical scholars (chapters 1-39). So Isaiah 11 introduces a surprise side shoot from the line of Jesse, i.e David’s descendents. This shoot will be a fruitful “branch”, the word here for branch is only used in the Old Testament for the Messiah (three times by Isaiah and once by Daniel) , it is “נצר“/”nazer”. A “נצרון“/”nazeron” would be the way you described someone who had the quality of a branch or the name you would make out of “nazer”, (just as Solomon is the name based on Salem and Salmon is the name based on Salma). Which is of course what they called Jesus because he came from Nazareth, in Greek it has come to us as “Jesus the Nazerene”.

But this is really a post about Jesus in chapter 12, but noting from chapter 11 we see the day in view starts when the “Spirit of YHWH” rests on the “nazeron”, but it is not a 24 hour day it is a new age, one in which the gentiles will come to the Messiah, see Isaiah 11:12.

So chapter 12 notes that “on that day”, God’s anger is “turned away” … then in verse 2 it says:

“Look, God [is] my Salvation” – but we should note that the “is” has been infered and that “salvation” contains Jesus’ name, “ישוע”. “Salvation”/”ישוע”/”Jesus” appears again in the same verse and then in verse 3, people…

Joyously draw water from the springs of Jesus(salvation)“, Isaiah 12:3.
Isaiah 12v3

(Note the name is surrounded by two “He”/”ה”, the symbolic meaning of “He” is “see this”)

Jesus twice promises water, once to woman at the well in Samaria:

whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. “, John 4:10

And once at the feast in Jerusalem:

Jesus stood and cried out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!’ “, John 7:37

He further promises that:

He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water. “, John 7:38

It is interesting that later in Isaiah it is clearly God who gives water, Isaiah 41:18, and Jeremiah makes it even clearer that God is the spring of living water!

They have forsaken me, the spring of living waters“, Jeremiah 2:13.

So it is interesting to note the blending of imagery, is it God’s day or the messiah’s day, God is the “spring of living water” which Jesus promises but in the Old Testament God promises it!

oneGodNot surprisingly we find the same mixing up of imagery in the last verse of Isaiah 12, on that day of the Messiah the people are saying:

The Holy one of Israel is great in our midst“, Isaiah 12:6

Is that God or the Messiah they are talking about? in Jesus of course we discover it is both!


Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

© 2000 - 2024 Christen Forster
Christen Forster

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One Reply to “Jesus the Holy One of Israel in the midst of Isaiah 12”

  1. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. -Isaiah 43:3

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