52/2 – Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem (Isaiah 52:2)

By lan Warner


When people think of 52/2 in the Bible, they are often referring to the book of Isaiah, chapter 52, verse 2. The message is one of hope for God’s people.

Isaiah 52:2

2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem!
Lose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!

New International Version
Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive.

New Living Translation
Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in a place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

English Standard Version
Shake yourself from the dust and arise; be seated, O Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

 


The Old Testament Leading Up to 52/2

The verse is referring to telling Jeresuelum that it’s time to rise out of their suffering. As people, they are soon to be restored to glory and splendor. The verse fits a common theme of the Old Testament. God is trying to bring salvation and the people of the world, but he decides to start it with the Jews. Not because they themselves are special but simply because he chose them. Each person who contributed to the Old Testament was a sinner like you and me. People like Noah or David were not these special people who never made any mistakes. All have sinned, except for Jesus; all others have missed the mark. Romans chapter 3: 11-18 says: 

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

No one outside of Jesus has done what they are supposed to do, but by the grace of God, we have found a way to be saved. The Old Testament is constantly foreshadowing a savior to come. God’s people continue to fall short and not do what they should. God punishes them and then shows them grace. When people deserve death, he continues to provide away, and you see this theme repeat over and over again in the Old Testament.

You see it when humans are allowed to live after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. You see it again when God uses Joseph to rise in Egypt and save people. Soon again sin takes over, and the Egyptians have made God’s people slaves. God sends them Moses, and he helps bring them out from under the rule of Pharoah. As soon as they are free, God’s people begin to complain about their circumstances.

52/2 Breakdown

Arise and sitting can almost feel contradictory here in this verse, but it’s not. The arise is for God’s people to shake off the dust and dirt they have felt like they have been living. They no longer have to because God will restore them soon and allow them to sit in an elevated place.

Revelation 3:21 says:

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

The call is that those who believe in Jesus Christ not only get salvation, but we get to share the glory Jesus receives, and there is nothing anyone can do to deserve this. In Isaiah 52/2, God’s people can look forward to this day that Revelations is speaking on. No more bondage because of sin, only glory and being able to be seated on high.

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