Home > Bible Study, eschatology, Isaiah, premillennialism, S. Lewis Johnson > Isaiah 65: The Millennial Kingdom or the Eternal State?

Isaiah 65: The Millennial Kingdom or the Eternal State?


S. Lewis Johnson’s Isaiah series dealt with a text that I had often wondered about: the description of the New Heavens and New Earth in Isaiah 65.  Is it talking about the Eternal State, or the intermediate state of the Kingdom?

Verse 17 says “create a new heaven and a new earth,” a phrase which sounds similar to the description of the eternal state (Revelation 21-22:5) — as in the words of Revelation 21:1.  Yet the context of the next several verses is clearly describing an intermediary state, in which people still experience death (after longer lives).   Evidently this passage even puzzled Scofield, whose Study Bible says that verse 17 refers to the Eternal State, but verses 18 to 25 to the Kingdom age.

S. Lewis Johnson observes here that the Hebrew word used here, for “create,” does not have to refer to a totally new creation. The word used there could as easily refer to the renewal of the earth.  We do have a New Testament precedent:  2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that we are “a new creation in Christ.”  Of course, we realize that we are not yet completely new creations, as we still are in our mortal, corruptible bodies and still awaiting the resurrection and our totally new, glorified bodies.  Yet we have been renewed and regenerated in our spirits — just as creation itself (Romans 8:21) will be renewed in the next age.  So SLJ’s explanation here, in reference to our new creation in the New Testament, and Isaiah’s “new heavens and new earth,” makes better sense of the overall passage verses 17 – 25.

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