Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Highway to Heaven

Isaiah 35:8-10
A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray.  No lion shall be there, Nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there,  And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Today when we read "highway" we imagine a wide straight pavement with cars traveling at high speeds. But back then they didn't even have cars.  And furthermore that analogy would be closer to the road that leads to destruction as Jesus wrote, "broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matt 7:13 So what was understood by "highway"?  It literally meant a "high" way. What was envisioned was a road which was high, a road of holiness, being near to God. The road of redemption, the highway to heaven,  is a restricted road, being only for the redeemed, who have been ransomed through the blood of Christ. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all." 1Tim 2:5,6

What is the way to God?
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:5,6

There is some controversy as to how to translate the phrase found at the end of verse 8. In fact translations end up being somewhat contradictory. For is it referring to not going astray while travelling on it, or not travelling on it at all?

KJV "but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."
NKJV "Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray."
LXXE "but the dispersed shall walk on it, and they shall not go astray."

NIV "wicked fools will not go about on it."
NASB "And fools will not wander on it."

I go with the Septuagint (LXX), which is the version quoted throughout the New Testament, and which on this verse is also confirmed by the King James versions. As such the idea is that those who are on this road will not go astray despite their own foolishness. In other words this is teaching Eternal Security. Once saved, always saved. Because once saved, despite one's folly, such a person will inevitably repent and not stray from the path altogether. Such is the natural behavior of God's sheep. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27,28

With great relief we will enter the presence of God holy and blameless and as such we will be filled with joy. For the times of sorrow, sighing and suffering will have passed away.


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