This part contains the rebuke to "ecclestiasticism" - 'the spirit that would build human walls around God' (verses 1-2a; cf. 2 Samuel 7:6-7; Acts 7:48-50, 54 and 'breed unreality' (verse 3) and 'intolerance' (verse 5). It is not a protest against the rebuilding of the temple, because it was the command of God (Haggai 1:2-11).
The last intervention (66:6-17)
The focus of this section is the end time, where the nation.. brought forth in a moment (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52) with a final divine intervention.
For thus saith the LORD,
Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream:
then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
The Jerusalem Bible describes this verse as "a fragment condemning pagan mysteries" linked with verses 3 and 4.
The nations gathered in (66:18-24)
God states his purpose for the world to gather them (verse 18) with his means to carry it out into Jerusalem (verses 19-21), to witness the final glory and perdition. In Christian apocalyptic view, this can be connected to the first and second comings (or only the second coming) of Jesus Christ.
And I will set a sign among them,
and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations,
to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow,
to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off,
that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory;
and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
The names listed here represent the distant outposts of the world known to Israel at the time.
And they shall go forth,
and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me:
for their worm shall not die,
neither shall their fire be quenched;
and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.
This is virtually the only passage to speak of lasting judgment, and comparable to "hell", which is described by Jesus as the place "where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" in Mark 9:48.
"Quench": Illusion of a fire which cannot be 'quenched', from the Hebrew root: k-b-h (, kabah, "to be quenched or extinguished, to go out"), links this verse (the last verse of the ending chapter) to the last verse of the beginning chapter of the whole book (Isaiah 1:31: "none shall quench"). Moreover, it is also used in three other places: (1) of the servant in Isaiah 42:3, that "a dimly burning wick ('smoking flax') he will not quench"; (2) that 'the fire devouring Edom "will not be quenched"' (34:10), and (3) 'those who oppose the LORD'S path are "quenched like a wick"' (43:17).