Isaiah 66:19 NASB

And I will put a sign among them and send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal, and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard of My fame nor seen My glory. And they will declare My glory among the nations.

There seem to be some similarities with the above passage in the book of Acts where after receiving the Holy Spirit they preached to different nations

Acts 2:1-6 NASB

1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, distributing themselves, and a tongue rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out. 5 Now there were Jews residing in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together and they were bewildered, because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.

Is the Isaiah passage an allusion to the Holy Spirit in the above passage?

  • Apart from the completely dissimilar list of different numbers of nations (seven vs 16) I struggle to make any connection between these two passages.
    – Dottard
    Jul 13, 2022 at 10:59
  • "Is the sign" is a bit too strong for a question, and more suitable in Christianity.SE, but as "Which denominations believe …". On Hermeneutics, something like "Could the sign … be interpreted as" would be better. Jul 13, 2022 at 16:13
  • I certainly read it this way, so yes. But the answer would need to be an entire Chapter, since you have to read the whole chapter to get the markers -- e.g. birth of a nation in one day, God coming to unite tongues, sending of fire, replacement of sacrifices, comfort in Jerusalem ("the comforter"), etc.
    – Robert
    Jul 14, 2022 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


This passage refers to many parallels.

Books of the Prophets

The larger passage in Isaiah reads 66:17-21

Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the Lord. “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is comingc to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the Lord, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the Lord, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the Lord.

we find parallels in the Book of Jeremiah, prophetising that all nations would gather in the New Jerusalem and worship the One God:

Jeremiah 3:17

At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

Jeremiah 33:9

Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’

The Holy Spirit is not mentioned explicitly; the second passage is God speaking in first person. On the background of Jeremiah, the enumeration of the people concerned does not seem to be exhaustive but rather exemplary.


Matthew 24:14

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The mentioned passage Acts 2:1f. is clearly a preparation by means of the Holy Spirit, speaking to the first successors of Jesus to spread this message to the people.


We read in the Quran, 22:67

For every congregation We have appointed acts of devotion, which they observe. So do not let them dispute with you in this matter. And invite to your Lord; you are upon a straight guidance.

and 16:84

On the Day when We raise up a witness from every community — those who disbelieved will not be permitted, nor will they be excused.

It is saying that, although prophecy has come (past tense) to all people, the missionary work is still to be done (future tense) before the Final Judgement and the Last Day.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

The Jewish prophets, Jesus and the Quran all three speak of the End of Time whereas the appearance of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1f is an event in the time (now past). Hence, it is inadequate to see a direct parallel in the two passages you mentioned.

If we assume that any sign or revelation of God is transferred through the Holy Spirit (which would then be a force comprising all angels and signs), this must be the work of the Holy Spirit. But this is only a well-based assumption, not a truth that is clearly confirmed in prophecy.


Some said the book of Isaiah is a mini Bible. Though I don't take this view very seriously, but chapter 66 indeed feeling like the last chapters of revelation, seeing "the new heaven and the new earth".

Let's look at verse 8 (NIV) again

Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.

It exactly point to the new heaven and new earth, descend from heaven, born in a day, as well as a new nation is borne.

Therefore, if you believed Isaiah 66 was about the end of time, let's take a look at 66:19. For clarity, I quote from 66:18 to 66:20 (NIV)

18 “And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.

19 “I will set a sign among them, and I will send some of those who survive to the nations—to Tarshish, to the Libyans[b] and Lydians (famous as archers), to Tubal and Greece, and to the distant islands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory among the nations.

20 And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the Lord—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the Lord. “They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the Lord in ceremonially clean vessels.

In short, it tells the Lord will send the gentiles (who survive to the nations, those names in the Book of Life) to all nations to bring back the Israelites to the new heaven and new earth.

So what is the sign? Paul had given the answer in Romans 11:25-26 (NIV)

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,

26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

  • @ Vincent Romans 11:26 has been changed by Paul - Isaiah 59:20-21: “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD. Dec 15, 2022 at 10:16
  • @another theory - Paul changed Isaiah words according to the attendants. In Isaiah 59, his prophesy was given to those in Jerusalem, so "come to Zion" was used. In Romans, Paul was given his words to the Jews in Church of Rome, so he used "come from Zion". I would think those Jews in Rome knew where Paul was referring to and knew Paul had made a change, but to the Jews in Rome, it sounded appropriate for their Redeemer did not just save their brothers in Jerusalem, He also "come from Zion" to save them. As the Lord had renewed His covenant to bring them back from all nations to Jerusalem. Dec 15, 2022 at 20:47
  • @ Vincent - noted - but not agreed and the second part? Dec 16, 2022 at 9:38
  • @another theory - I admit so far I do not have an acceptable understanding to Romans 11:26, the meaning of "all Israel". But Isaiah 59:20 the meaning is strict forward. Salvation only given to those who repent of their sins. So not all Israel will be saved, unless all Israel miraculous repent when the number of Gentile (another difficulty) had reached. Our discussion here apparently off the topics of OP. I would stop here, but thank for your review. Dec 16, 2022 at 18:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.