A hard fact of Isaiah’s endtime scenario is that it isn’t those who appear to be God’s people whom God saves in the end but those who are rejected by the majority. These “outcasts” suffer “reproach” and “ridicule,” are “excluded” from God’s people, and, like God’s servant who gathers them, are “despised” and “abhorred” until God reverses their circumstances (Isaiah 49:7–8; 51:7; 60:15–16; 61:7, 9; 66:5–8). In the end, those who are excluded and betrayed by their own people are gathered with God’s righteous remnant: “Thus says my Lord Jehovah, who gathers up the outcasts of Israel: ‘I will gather others to those already gathered’” (Isaiah 56:3, 8).
God answers the loyalty of his people’s outcasts by uniting them with other outcasts who return from exile in an exodus to Zion or Jerusalem: “In that day a loud trumpet shall sound, and they who were lost in the land of Assyria and they who were outcasts in the land of Egypt shall come and bow down to Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:13). Those who gather are surprised to learn of others besides them: “From a sector of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glorious are the righteous!’ Whereas I thought, ‘I am wasting away; I am weakening: woe is me; the traitors have been treacherous, the turncoats have deceitfully betrayed!’” (Isaiah 24:16).