Isaiah (Ch 43-44)

The Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages; as usual a prophecy of Isaiah will start with the house of Judah and Jerusalem then spread to the house of Israel and soon it includes many prophecies concerning other nations surrounding the region. Our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days.

Isaiah 43

1 But now thus saith the Lord who created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. — the Lord that created thee; the title implies something more than “the Maker of heaven and earth.” The Almighty God, Yehovah has created Israel as specially answering for His own purpose. To “call by name” is a mark of individualising tenderness.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. — through troubles of any kind, that tenderness continues.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. — God gave Egypt for its ransom: this was fulfilled when he smote the Egyptians, both first-born and others in Egypt and drowned Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for the safety and benefit of his people.

Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee and people for thy life. — the sense is, from that time that God had chosen them for his precious and peculiar treasure and people, he has had a great esteem and affection for them.

Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east and gather thee from the west; — fear not; I will bring thy seed, thy children; thy descendants; the sense is God will re-collect his scattered people from all parts of the world. The passage appears to have been taken from Deuteronomy 30:3, where God promises to gather his people together again if they should be scattered among the nations, and should then repent.

I will say to the north,‘ Give up,’ and to the south, ‘Keep not back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth, — God will say to the north, Give up; Give up my people, or restore them to their own land.

— Bring my sons; bring all my people from the distant lands where they have been driven in their dispersion. This is a commanding passage because all lands are under the control of God and he could at once command and they would obey. He issues a command which is heard in all quarters of the globe and the scattered people of God come flocking again to their own land.

even every one that is called by My name: For I have created him for My glory; I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” — everyone that is called by my name; to be called by the name of anyone is being regarded as his son since a son bears the name of his father (see Isaiah 44:5Isaiah 48:1). The expression, therefore means all are to be regarded as the children of God.

Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and the deaf that have ears. — to bring out a blind people: Heb. הוֹצִיא, like לְהוֹצִיא to bring out those currently in exile (verses 5-6 above), those minds are exiled because they became like blind; although they had eyes they did not see.

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.” — all the nations; rather all ye nations. Israel is a witness on the one hand a multitude of nations the other to assemble before him in Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. and there to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles;

— and not Easter, which is another form of worshipping Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of war, fertility and sex. She is featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the “Ishtar Gate” was part of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon;

— nor Mithra or Mitra (the Sun-God whose birthday many drunks honor and celebrate on December 25th which they christianised as Christmas), Zeus and others; called “gods of the earth” in distinction from the God of heaven; and men shall worship these earthly gods, acknowledging their supremacy, everyone from his place today, Protestants or Catholics alike;

— those who rebel and continue to resist will be horsewhipped! Nar, those who resist would suffer judgement by the sword, by famine, by pestilence and spending years in captivity to repent there (for more see Ezekiel 4 – 390/40 Years and A Sword from the South!).

10 “Ye are My witnesses,” saith the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. — you are my witnesses, saith the Lord; the people of Israel, who could testify that the Lord had foretold their affliction in Egypt, their coming from thence and settling in the land of Canaan, many hundreds of years before they came to pass and which were exactly fulfilled.

11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior. — I, even I, am the Lord; the repetition of the pronoun ‘I’ makes it emphatic. The design is to affirm that there was no other being to whom the name ‘Yehovah’ pertained.

12 I have declared and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore ye are My witnesses,” saith the Lord, “that I am God. — God have declared; I have announced or predicted future events; I have warned of danger; I have marked out the path of safety. He had thus shown that he was the true God.

13 Yea, before the day was, I am He, and there is none that can deliver out of My hand; I will work, and who shall turn it back?” — yea, before the day was I am he; before there was a day, before the first day of the creation; that is before time was or from all eternity, I am he that have spoken of it by all the prophets from the beginning of the world and now it is accomplished.

14 Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I have sent to Babylon and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships. — the Targum paraphrases it to make the sense clearer, “because of your sins have I carried you captive unto Babylon”

— as Daniel had prayed for his people: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession and said, “O Lord, the great and fearsome God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him and to them that keep His commandments, we have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgements, Dan 9:4-5.

15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” — I am the Lord, your Holy One; and therefore need not doubt of the performance of those promises: the Creator of Israel, your King; and therefore both able and willing to protect you.

16 Thus saith the Lord, who maketh a way in the sea and a path in the mighty waters,

17 Who bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power (they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow): — they shall lie down together, they shall not rise; they lay down in the Red sea where they sunk to the bottom and perished and never rose more at least to life, nor never will till the general resurrection:

— they are extinct, they are quenched as tow; or flax as the wick of a candle when put into water is quenched at once; so the Egyptian became extinct in the Red Sea. 

18 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. — so great and wonderful shall be God’s future interpositions in your behalf that what he has done great as that was shall be comparatively forgotten.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. — God will do a new thing; something that has not hitherto occurred, some unheard of and wonderful event that shall far surpass all that he had formerly done.

20 The beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. — even the beast of the field shall honor Me, the dragons and the owls, for I give waters and rivers in the wilderness and the desert, how much more would give drink to My people, My chosen.

21 This people have I formed for Myself; they shall show forth My praise. — this people have I formed for myself, that is, the elect who may include the Gentiles, compared to a desert and wilderness, distinguished from Jacob and Israel in the next verse, and the same with the chosen people before mentioned; who being chosen of God.

22 “But thou hast not called upon Me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of Me, O Israel. — thou hast been weary, as a people, you have been weary of me; they had accounted his laws grievous and oppressive; and they had groaned under what they regarded as burdensome rites and ceremonies;

— and so the Targum says, “and ye come not to my worship, O ye of the house of Jacob.”

23 Thou hast not brought Me the lambs or kids of thy burnt offerings, neither hast thou honored Me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. — thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; the kids and the lambs which according to the law should have been brought for burnt offerings daily, morning and evening;

— and much less did they bring the larger cattle of burnt offerings as oxen and bullocks. The Targum renders it “the rams of thy burnt offerings”- the Septuagint version, “the sheep” – and these were not brought to him but to their idols; or however were not brought in a right way and manner or having the right principles or with the right attitudes.

24 Thou hast bought Me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled Me with the fat of thy sacrifices. But thou hast made Me to serve with thy sins; thou hast wearied Me with thine iniquities. — thou hast made me to serve with thy sins; thou hast made me to bear the load and burden of thy sins, which are very grievous and oppressive to me, Amos 2:13.

25 “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. — and will not remember thy sins; God forgives and forgets.

26 Put Me in remembrance; let us plead together; declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. — put me in remembrance, that is, remind Me of every plea which thou hast to urge before Me in thy plea.

27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against Me. — thy first father hath sinned, these words have been interpreted: (1) of Adam; (2) of Abraham; (3) of Jacob; (4) of the ancestors of Israel collectively; (5) of this or that high priest individually.

28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse and Israel to reproaches. — and have given Jacob to the curse; the Septuagint renders it, ‘I have given Jacob to be destroyed.’

Isaiah 44

1 “Yet now hear, O Jacob My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. — yet now hear, O Jacob; although I have chastised thee for thy sins and had just cause utterly to destroy thee, yet in judgement I will remember mercy and will still own thee for my servant and chosen people.

Thus saith the Lord that made thee and formed thee from the womb, who will help thee: Fear not, O Jacob, My servant, and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. — thou, Jesurun; the ideal name of Israel as “the upright one;” so the Book of Jasher is the book of the “upright” of the heroes of Israel.

For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring. — for God will pour water upon him that is thirsty; including upon the thirsty land, as the Targum and the Syriac versions say, “in a thirsty place” as a dry land is a thirsty land; it thirsts for water, large quantities of rain to moisten it, and make it fruitful.

And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses. — they shall spring up as among the grass; they shall increase and flourish like grass and those herbs and plants which grow up in the midst of it.

One shall say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand, ‘Unto the Lord,’ and surname himself by the name of Israel. — one shall say, I am the Lord’s, etc; there shall be an influx of proselytes;

— instead of the heathen nations looking scornfully on and uttering gibes and jeers at Israel’s fall, on seeing Israel’s rise they shall be anxious to have a part in it and shall hasten to enrol themselves among the worshippers of Yehovah;

— “One shall say, I am Yehovah’s” – while “another shall proclaim the name of Jacob,” as that in which he glories; and a third shall write on his hand, “I am Jehovah’s” and take as a surname the name of Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First, and I am the Last, and besides Me there is no God. — here God renews his contest with idols which he insists upon so oft and so much because his own people were exceeding prone to idolatry.

And who, as I, shall call and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming and shall come, let them show unto them. — since … ancient people; have given the house of Jacob predictions of the future ever since I appointed them as My people in ancient times; therefore they were qualified to be His witnesses.

Fear ye not, neither be afraid. Have not I told thee from that time and have declared it? Ye are even My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Yea, there is no God. I know not any.” — is there a God besides me? that is a true God; for there were many fictitious and false deities but none omniscient and omnipotent that could foretell future events and accomplish them as he did; there is no god but the one God: the Father and Son.

They that make a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit. And they are their own witnesses; they see not nor know, that they may be ashamed.

10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed; and the workmen, they are of men. Let them all be gathered together; let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. — the uniqueness of God having been set forth, the prophet now turns to the images and the image-makers, overwhelming them with his scorn and ridicule.

12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms. Yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth; he drinketh no water and is faint.

13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line. He fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house.

14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest. He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. — he hews down cedars and taketh the cypress and the oak; to make gods of trees both pleasant and durable, but all useless.

15 Then shall it be for a man to burn, for he will take thereof and warm himself. Yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshipeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. — when shall it be for a man to burn, it will afford materials for a nice fire.

16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast and is satisfied. Yea, he warmeth himself and saith, “Aha, I am warm; I have seen the fire.” — image-making is described, to expose more folly of idolaters.

17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image. He falleth down unto it and worshipeth it, and prayeth unto it and saith, “Deliver me, for thou art my god.”

18 They have not known nor understood; for He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see, and their hearts, that they cannot understand. — they have not known nor understood; they are stupid, ignorant and blind. Nothing could more strikingly show their ignorance and stupidity than this idol worship.

19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, “I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh and eaten it. And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?” — shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? or “the bud of a tree?” or that which is made out of a tree of my own planting, cutting down and hewing, part of which has been used to the above purposes; and the remaining lifeless log shall I worship it as a god?

20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” — more pouring of scorn on idolaters; they make the gods they worship;

— they take a tree and saw it up: one log serves for a fire to cook their food, and with compass and pencil and plane they carve the figure of a man and then they bow down to it and say, ‘Deliver me, for thou art my god!’

21 “Remember these, O Jacob and Israel, for thou art My servant. I have formed thee; thou art My servant. O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten by Me. — remember these things which are now said about the folly of idolatry and the vanity of worshipping idols; the argument is to turn their attention to God and to lead them to put their trust in him.

22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins; return unto Me, for I have redeemed thee.” — God have blotted out as a thick cloud; as the sun commonly dissolves or the wind scatters the thickest and blackest cloud so as there is no remnant nor appearance of it left. Return from thine idolatry and other wicked practices.

23 Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it! Shout, ye lower parts of the earth! Break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel. — Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; done what he promised, the forgiveness of the sins of his people and the redemption of them. So the Targum says, “because the Lord hath wrought redemption for his people.”

— because the heavens are called upon to sing on this occasion as the angels of heaven did when the Redeemer was born, and who rejoice at the salvation of God’s elect, Luke 2:13, shout, ye lower parts of the earth; the earth, which is low in comparison of the heavens; the inhabitants of it especially the Gentiles, which dwelt in the lower parts of the world in comparison of Judea which lay high.

24 “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb: I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself; — that stretches forth the heavens alone, that spreads abroad the earth by myself; of himself and by his own strength and power;

— and he stretched out the vast space of the heavens as a curtain and spread out the earth in its length and breadth and the large surface of it to that great circumference which it has; a full proof of his proper deity! A man cannot stretch out a curtain or piece of tapestry of any size without the help of another; and much less can a creature stretch out the heavens and the earth.

25 that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad, that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; — and makes their knowledge foolish; he makes them appear to be fools.

26 that confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers, that saith to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be inhabited,’ and to the cities of Judah, ‘Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof’; — all suppose that Jerusalem which in the prophet’s time was full of inhabitants, should be emptied of them, by the sword, famine, pestilence and captivity; yet nevertheless, there should be a return of the Jews from captivity;

— and this city should be peopled and inhabited again; and also that the cities of Judah should be laid waste, and all should be rebuilt and restored to a flourishing state again. The Lord had said it and it should be done.

27 that saith to the deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers’; — that saith to the deep, be dry; the Targum says, “that saith to Babylon, be desolate.”

28 that saith of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd and shall perform all My pleasure,’ even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built,’ and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.’ — that saith of Cyrus; this is the first time in which Cyrus is expressly named by Isaiah, though he is often referred to. Here is mentioned expressly by name and it was fulfilled about two hundred years later.

~ by Joel Huan on March 30, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 43-44)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 43 and 44 HERE ~ —— […]

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