What Does Isaiah 61:5 Mean?
What is the meaning of Isaiah 61:5?
They shall rebuild the ancient ruins, the former wastes they shall raise up and restore the desolate cities, devastations of generation upon generation.
Strangers shall stand ready to pasture your flocks, foreigners shall be your farmers and vinedressers.
You yourselves shall be called “Priests of the LORD,”
“Ministers of our God” you shall be called. You shall eat the wealth of the nations and in their riches you will boast.
Because their shame was twofold and disgrace was proclaimed their portion. They will possess twofold in their own land; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
The context of this passage is that Israel had been in exile from the Promised Land. Chapter 61 of Isaiah prophesied that the people will return to Israel and they will once again be a great nation. The prophet tells them that the nation of Israel shall be so prosperous and successful that the people of Israel will no longer have to do the menial tasks of tending to flocks, farming, or vineyards. They will be able to hire others to do those tasks for them. And because they are no longer consumed with daily labor they will be able to spiritually study, reflect, and pray in a way that only dedicated priests were previously able to do. The chapter goes on to proclaim a reign or righteousness and justice in Israel upon their return.