“Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isa 66:1,2
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“Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne,…. The third heaven, the heaven of heavens, where angels and glorified saints are, and some in bodies, as Enoch and Elijah, and where now Christ is in human nature; this is the seat of the divine Majesty, where he in a most illustrious manner displays his glory; and therefore we are to look upwards to God in heaven, and direct all our devotion to him there, and not imagine that he dwells in temples made with hands; or is confined to any place, and much less to any on earth, as the temple at Jerusalem, the Jews boasted of, and trusted in; and which were the unworthy notions they had of God in the times of Christ and his disciples; to confute which these words are here said, and for this purpose are quoted and applied by Stephen, Act_7:48. See Gill on Act_7:48, Act_7:49, Act_7:50,
and the earth is my footstool: on which he treads, is below him, subject to him, and at his dispose; and therefore is not limited to any part of it, or included in any place in it; though he for a while condescended to make the cherubim his throne, and the ark his footstool, in the most holy place in the temple; which were all figurative of other and better things, and so no more used:
where is the house that ye build unto me? what house can be built for such an immense Being? and how needless as well as fruitless is it to attempt it? where can a place be found to build one in, since the heaven is his throne, and the earth his footstool? and therefore, if any place, it must be some that is without them both, and that can hold both; but what space can be conceived of that can contain such a throne and footstool, and much less him that sits thereon? see 1Ki_8:27,
and where is the place of my rest? for God to take up his rest and residence in, as a man does in his house? no such place can be found for him, nor does he need any; indeed the temple was built for an house of rest for the ark of the Lord, which before was moved from place to place; but then this was merely typical of the church, which God has chosen for his rest, and where he will dwell, as well as of heaven, the resting place of his people with him to all eternity; no place on earth is either his rest or theirs.”_John Gill*
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Read the Commentary of John Gill on Isaiah for a concise treatment of God’s sovereignty on this text as well as John Calvin, and BB Warfield. For other outstanding articles and commentaries see our Categories section.