In the “days to come,” the nations will gather at Mount ZionZion originally referred to a mountain near Jerusalem where David conquered a Jebusite stronghold. Later the term came to mean a number of other things like the Temple, Jerusalem, and even the Promised Land. More to learn God’s word. Then war shall be no more.
Interspersed throughout the first section of the book, with its dark threats of judgment, are several passages like this one that announce to Israel God’s promises for a bright and glorious future. Judgment will never be God’s last word.
This passage is an example of Isaiah’s use of the “Zion tradition.” Mount Zion, the place God has chosen as the divine “resting place forever” (PsalmA psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 132:14), will become, in God’s own time, a place of peace and reconciliation. The nations come to learn TorahThe Torah is the law of Moses, also known as the first five books of the Bible. To many the Torah is a combination of history, theology, and a legal or ritual guide. More (“instruction” in v. 3) and to hear the word of the Lord. And they respond fully! They transform their weapons into agricultural implements, for, having learned Torah (v. 3), they have no more need to learn war (v. 4).
This same oracleAn oracle is a divine utterance of guidance, promise, or judgment delivered to humans through an intermediary (who is often also called an oracle). In the Bible oracles are given by Balaam (in the book of Numbers) and by David (in 2 Samuel). A number... More is found in another eighth-century prophet at Micah 4:1-3. Perhaps one “borrowed” from the other or perhaps both made use of an available divine oracle. Much later, Joel takes the promise and turns it around as a satirical call to the nations to prepare for war (Joel 3:10). God’s own judgment is coming, and the nations should get ready. The earlier use by Micah and IsaiahIsaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time. More makes clear that, finally, though times of judgment will be real, God’s goal for all nations is peace.
Although all promises of the end time have sometimes been called “messianic,” this one makes no specific reference to God’s promises to DavidSecond king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More (see “The Messianic Kingdom” in Theological Themes). The prophets’ visions of God’s future were expansive and open rather than narrow and particular. All of God’s promises would find wonderful and surprising fulfillment–promises related to the messianic king, to Zion, to exodus and liberation, to the blessingBlessing is the asking for or the giving of God's favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God. More of the nations, and to everything else God has begun with God’s chosen people.
Eternal peace, of course, comes only as God’s gift. Still, having been given a vision of God’s future, Israel and present hearers alike are called to practice this future in the present. Isaiah does this explicitly, making the nations who seek peace role models for Israel. The nations say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD…that he may teach us his ways” (v. 3); Isaiah says to JacobThe son of Isaac and Rebekah, renamed Israel, became the father of the twelve tribal families More, “Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD! For you have forsaken the ways of your people” (vv. 5-6). Here the nations show Israel the way.