Yeshayahu 65:17 (66:22):

"כִּי־הִנְנִי בוֹרֵא שָׁמַיִם חֲדָשִׁים וָאָרֶץ חֲדָשָׁה וְלֹא תִזָּכַרְנָה הָרִאשֹׁנוֹת וְלֹא תַעֲלֶינָה עַל־לֵב׃ "

writes about a new heaven and earth. Although I’m not sure what this means, I find these words somewhat strange, because there are some verses which indicate the possibility that these won’t pass away. For example David says in a psalm (37:29): “The righteous will inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.” Again Asaph says: “..like the earth which He has founded forever (psalm 78:69).” Kohelet 1:4 says: “the earth endures forever.”

Besides this I always thought heaven and earth were called upon as witnesses, as these would endure forever.

So shouldn’t we understand ‘new’ to mean ‘renewed’? Or does it has any other meaning?

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    Consider Yeshayahu 54:10 that the mountains will give out, and 51:6 that the heavens will dissolve like smoke, and the ground will wear out like a garment. – DonielF Sep 28 '18 at 14:11

I think Even Ezra in place clearly supports your thinking:

"... והנכון כי השמים הם הרקיע, והשם יחדש אויר טוב שיהיו בני האדם בריאי' בגופם, ויחיו שנים רבות, וגם יוסיף בכח הארץ, והנה היא חדשה, ...: "

Interestingly, the Posuk says "בורא", which does mean something new and non-existing so I think everything's possible (Remember Rambam the end of Melachim - "we won't know until it will happen").


There is what I think is a cogent explanation at this link.

Disclaimer: It is a Christian site.

Though the temple (which is the meeting place of the heavens (God's throne) and the land (his footstool) was built with enormous stones to endure as the eternal heaven and earth it did pass away. Isaiah was using the common prophetic technique of using language about out-sized natural events to describe events of cosmic importance.

Ancient architecture arose in ancient Sumer. Temples around the world seem to have two important features in common:

  • a stepped base representing the path to the gods
  • a domed tent or pavilion where the deity meets with the priest
  • a sea outside of the heaven, on the earth

There are variations of course. Most notable is that while other cultures were making larger and larger temple complexes with more and more steps and height, the LORD commanded that there be no steps in his temple. That is why the temples just feature a court with a sea and the pavilion, with no steps.

Notice the steps, domes/pavilions and the seas!

So Isaiah was predicting the end of the earthly temple and with it the end of the sacrificial system, the dissolution of the Sinai covenant and the arrival of the horrible judgment on the People themselves with over a million casualties just among the non-combatants (IE: 70ad). And the destruction of Rome. Though Rome was all but defeated, Rome "rose from the dead", essentially and went on to a Pyrrhic victory in the war. This was the day of the LORD subsuming all other judgments into one.

From a Christian/Messianic perspective, that was one door closing and another Door opening: the arrival of the Messiah, the resurrection of Israel (per Ezekiel 37), the arrival of the kingdom of heaven aka "the new Jerusalem", the new covenant, the house for God built without hands, the kingdom of priests/priest-kings, etc.

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