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The Breach Repaired and the Paths Restored 
By Al Stoner
"And Thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in" (Isa 58:12).
The Work was Consummated in the Resurrection and Enthronement of the Lord Jesus Christ
The Divine Anticipation of the Breach

The Lord Jesus Christ is called in Scripture “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).  Or ever the Lord God spoke one creative word He made a blessed provision for bringing many sons unto glory, in spite of the entrance of sin into the world and the curse which necessarily followed.  In making this provision He would display before men and angels "the exceeding riches of His kindness to usward", as well as His manifold wisdom.

The Nature of the Breach

A breach ─ The act of breaking; or state of being broken; a rupture; a break; a gap; the space between the severed parts of a solid body parted by violence; as a breach in a garment, or in a wall. Such a breaking, and rupture, and severance has been caused between God and man because of the entrance of sin into the world.  Men have been alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance of Him caused by sin. Sin and unbelief are the only things that separate men from the living God.
A breach ─ The violation of a law; the violation or non-fulfillment of an obligation; the non-performance of a moral duty; non-performance of duty being a breach of obligation, as well as a positive transgression or violation.
The specific breach of reference ─ More specifically expressed the breach is SIN.  Sin is the violation of the revealed will of God.  It is "the transgression of the Law".  Sin is engaging in things that are not right.  "All unrighteousness is sin."  Sin the neglecting of what is known to be true and right.  "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."  Sin is living out of fellowship with God. "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin."  
Sin is the voluntary departure of men, who are created in the image of God, from a known requirement prescribed by the LORD God; it is any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command or the divine will.  

  1. Men, who are created in the image and likeness of God, have been given the capacity to comprehend things which must be done, and must be shunned; at the lower end of the spectrum there is duty, and at the higher end, holiness, righteousness, and judgment to be walked in.

  2. A wicked act; iniquity. The very words wicked, and wickedness, by way of contrast, reveal to us something about the Person and Character of God, as wickedness amounts to willful rebellion against Him.  Wickedness and ungodliness are not exactly the same, although they are both regarded by God as being very grievous.  Wickedness expresses itself in willful rebellion "against the LORD, and against His Christ" (Ps. 2:2).  There is no hope for such rebellious individuals unless they repent, and recover themselves from the snare of the Devil.  The salvation of God in Christ is for all those who turn unto God from their wicked ways, but only for such repentant ones.

  3. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I Jn. 3:4).

  4. Sin is either a willful act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a specific divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command.  

  5. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God's revealed will.

  6. The Scripture, however, declares that "when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6).  The “ungodly”, spoken of by Paul, are sinners who have ceased from their rebellion against the Most High; they have repented of their wicked ways, and submitted themselves unto the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. They have renounced their ungodliness, and are now seeking first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.

  7. "Christ died for our sins" (I Cor. 15:3).  "Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).  "By Him all that believe are justified from all things from which they could not be justified by the Law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).  "Christ hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, but put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (I Pet. 3:18).  We have been reconciled to God by the death of His Son, and by how much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His (resurrection) life (see Rom. 5:10).

The sufferings of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the enthronement of Christ had to be of such a nature that, when accomplished, all of these matters would be completely resolved to the satisfaction of the Divine justice.  More than this, the effect of these blessed works of the Savior must have the end result of God being pleased, of God thoroughly satisfied, God blessed forever.  The good pleasure and blessedness would not only be for His Son, but also for all those for whom His Son gave His life.

The Breach Made and the Promise Given

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Gen. 3:1-24).

The Paths of reference

These were God’s paths (the ones that redeemed men are able to walk in).  These are the paths that "drop fatness", where the Lamb ever serves a bounteous fare, and leads to living fountains of water.  These are paths of fellowship with the Father and with His Son.  They are paths of righteousness, in which saints are led to walk in "for His Name's sake".  These are paths for wayfaring men, who are considered by the world to be fools; they are paths that lead to Zion, the City of the Living God.  Along these very paths, Christ, the Captain of our salvation, is bringing many sons unto glory.

       Christ, the Blessed Repairer and Restorer of the Breach

He is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, Emmanuel, the Savior, God’s Salvation, God’s Servant, the Redeemer, Mediator between God and men, the Advocate, the Great High Priest, the Surety (foreshadowed by such ones as Judah and Tamar, the signet, bracelets, and staff), our Peace, Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption.

The Work of Repairing and Restoring

The Lord God hath anointed Me to preach the glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and set at liberty them that are bruised.
The Precise and Meticulous Development of this Work.  The accomplishment of this work of salvation would require nothing less than the employment of the heights and depths God's wisdom and power. How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
Such can be seen in the meticulous details of the sacrifices in Leviticus, the thoughts which, with much labor, were communicated to us by the Apostles and Prophets.

            The Engagement in this Work

When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of son.
My meet is to do the will of My Father, and to finish His work.Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of Me, to do Thy will, O God.
But we see Jesus, who made a little lower than the angels for the suffering death, crown with glory and honor, that He might taste death for every man. 

              Repairing in Order to Restoring

Justification was essential unto sanctification.  It is characteristic of the Divine working to build upon a foundation.  And the justification in and by Christ is the blessed foundation for sanctification.  Sanctification is the necessary expression of one's acceptance with God; it is not in order to gain acceptance with Him.  
Sin had to be put away before men could be reconciled to God.  In our text here (Isa. 58:12) we have a communication between the Father and the Son, which the Father addressed to the Son, particularly with regard to the days of His flesh (Heb. 5:7).  Because of the nature and contents of this communication, it could not have been addressed to the then wayward nation of Israel, nor to any other man.

  • Those who shall be of Thee
  • Building up the ancient ruins
  • Building up the waste places.
  • Raising up foundations
  • Thou shalt raise them up
  • Turning paths into rest
  • Restoring paths to dwell in
Such things as these could only have been said to and about the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is none other who is large enough and great enough, with whom to make such associations.  The resurrection and enthronement of the Lord Jesus Christ was the consummating work in the accomplishment of the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.  From that lofty station accorded Him by the Father, the Savior is now building up the ancient ruins and waste places, ruined and wasted by the entrance of sin into the world.  He raising up the foundations for the dwelling place of the Most High.  He is now turning paths into rest, and restoring paths to walk in.  Praise His Name!

Other Renderings of this Text in Isaiah

(ACV)  And those who shall be of thee shall build the old waste places. Thou shall raise up the foundations of many generations, and thou shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
(AMP)  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of [buildings that have laid waste for] many generations; and you shall be called Repairer of the Breach, Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
(ASV)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
(CEV)  You will rebuild those houses left in ruins for years; you will be known as a builder and repairer of city walls and streets.
(CJB)  You will rebuild the ancient ruins, raise foundations from ages past, and be called "Repairer of broken walls, Restorer of streets to live in."
(Darby)  And they that come of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations that have remained from generation to generation; and thou shalt be called, Repairer of the breaches, restorer of frequented paths.
(DRB)  And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundation of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest.
(EB)  And they who come of thee shall build the wastes of age-past times, And as for the foundations of generation after generation, thou shall rear them up, - So shalt thou be called - A Repairer of broken walls, A Restorer of paths leading home.  
(ESV)  And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
(JPS)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places, thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.
(KJB:PCE)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
 (LITV)  And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall rear the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to live in.
(MKJV)  And those who come of you shall build the old ruins; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
(NASB)  "Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
 (RV)  And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
(YLT)  And they have built out of thee the wastes of old, The foundations of many generations thou raisest up, And one calleth thee, `Repairer of the breach, Restorer of paths to rest in.'