Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
LONG BEFORE, LEST
1. the waters of Judah--spring from the fountain of Judah
Margin). Judah has the "fountain" attributed to it,
because it survived the ten tribes, and from it Messiah was to spring.
swear by . . . Lord--
(Isa 19:18; 45:23; 65:16).
mention--in prayers and praises.
not in truth--
2. For--Ye deserve these reproofs; "for" ye call yourselves citizens
of "the holy city"
but not in truth
so the inscription on their coins of the time of the Maccabees.
"Jerusalem the Holy."
3. former--things which have happened in time past to Israel
(Isa 42:9; 44:7, 8; 45:21; 46:10).
suddenly--They came to pass so unexpectedly that the prophecy could
not have resulted from mere human sagacity.
4. obstinate--Hebrew, "hard"
brow brass--shameless as a harlot (see
Jer 6:28; 3:3;
5. (See on
6. Thou, &c.--So "ye are my witnesses"
Thou canst testify the prediction was uttered long before the
fulfilment: "see all this," namely, that the event answers to the
declare--make the fact known as a proof that Jehovah alone is God
new things--namely, the deliverance from Babylon by Cyrus, new in contradistinction from former predictions that had been fulfilled
(Isa 42:9; 43:19).
Antitypically, the prophecy has in view the "new things" of the gospel
From this point forward, the prophecies as to Messiah's first and
second advents and the restoration of Israel, have a new
circumstantial distinctness, such as did not characterize the previous
ones, even of Isaiah. Babylon, in this view, answers to the mystical
Babylon of Revelation.
hidden--which could not have been guessed by political sagacity
(Da 2:22, 29;
1Co 2:9, 10).
7. Not like natural results from existing causes, the events when
they took place were like acts of creative power, such as had never
before been "from the beginning."
even before the day when--rather
[MAURER], "And before the day (of
their occurrence) thou hast not heard of them"; that is, by any human
acuteness; they are only heard of by the present inspired announcement.
8. heardest not--repeated, as also "knewest not," from
from that time--Omit "that." "Yea, from the first thine
ear did not open itself," namely, to obey them [ROSENMULLER]. "To open the ear" denotes obedient
or, "was not opened" to receive them; that is, they were not
declared by Me to thee previously, since, if thou hadst been
informed of them, such is thy perversity, thou couldst not have been
kept in check [MAURER]. In the former view, the
sense of the words following is, "For I knew that, if I had not
foretold the destruction of Babylon so plainly that there could be no
perverting of it, thou wouldst have perversely ascribed it to idols, or
something else than to Me"
Thus they would have relapsed into idolatry, to cure them of which the
Babylonian captivity was sent: so they had done
After the return, and ever since, they have utterly forsaken idols.
wast called--as thine appropriate appellation
from the womb--from the beginning of Israel's national existence
9. refrain--literally, "muzzle"; His wrath, after the return, was to
be restrained a while, and then, because of their sins, let loose
for thee--that is, mine anger towards thee.
10. (See on
with silver--rather, "for silver." I sought by affliction to
purify thee, but thou wast not as silver obtained by melting, but as
Thy repentance is not complete: thou art not yet as
refined silver. ROSENMULLER explains, "not as silver," not with
the intense heat needed to melt silver (it being harder to melt than
gold), that is, not with the most extreme severity. The former view is
(Isa 1:25; 42:25;
Eze 22:18-20, 22).
chosen--or else [LOWTH],
tried . . . proved: according to GESENIUS,
literally, "to rub with the touchstone," or to cut in pieces so as to
11. how should my name--MAURER, instead of
"My name" from
supplies "My glory" from the next clause; and translates, "How
(shamefully) My glory has been profaned!" In English Version the
sense is, "I will refrain
that is, not utterly destroy thee), for why should I permit My name to
be polluted, which it would be, if the Lord utterly destroyed His elect
not give my glory unto another--If God forsook His people for ever,
the heathen would attribute their triumph over Israel
to their idols; so God's glory would be given to another.
12-15. The Almighty, who has founded heaven and earth, can, and will,
restore His people.
the first . . . last--
(Isa 41:4; 44:6).
13. spanned--measured out
when I call . . . stand up together--
But it is not their creation so much which is meant, as that, like
ministers of God, the heavens and the earth are prepared at His
command to execute His decrees
14. among them--among the gods and astrologers of the Chaldees
(Isa 41:22; 43:9; 44:7).
Lord . . . loved him; he will, &c.--that is, "He whom the Lord hath
loved will do," &c. [LOWTH];
(Isa 44:28; 45:1, 13; 46:11).
However, Jehovah's language of love is too strong to apply to Cyrus,
except as type of Messiah, to whom alone it fully applies
his pleasure--not Cyrus' own, but Jehovah's.
15. brought--led him on his way.
he--change from the first to the third person
[BARNES]. Jehovah shall make
his (Cyrus') way prosperous.
16. not . . . in secret--
Jehovah foretold Cyrus' advent, not with the studied ambiguity of
heathen oracles, but plainly.
from the time, &c.--From the moment that the purpose began to be
accomplished in the raising up of Cyrus I was present.
sent me--The prophet here speaks, claiming attention to his
announcement as to Cyrus, on the ground of his mission from God and His
Spirit. But he speaks not in his own person so much as in that of
Messiah, to whom alone in the fullest sense the words apply
which is the continuation of the forty-eighth chapter, from
where the change of speaker from God
(Isa 48:1, 12-15)
begins, is the language of Messiah.
Lu 4:1, 14, 18,
shows that the Spirit combined with the Father in sending the Son:
therefore "His Spirit" is nominative to "sent," not
accusative, following it.
17. teacheth . . . to profit--by affliction, such as the Babylonish
captivity, and the present long-continued dispersion of Israel
Compare the desire expressed by the same Messiah
(Isa 33:21; 41:18),
a river flowing from God's throne is the symbol of free, abundant,
and ever flowing blessings from Him
righteousness--religious prosperity; the parent of "peace" or
national prosperity; therefore "peace" corresponds to "righteousness"
in the parallelism
19. sand--retaining the metaphor of "the sea"
like the gravel thereof--rather, as the Hebrew, "like that
(the offspring) of its
(the sea's) bowels"; referring to the countless living
creatures, fishes, &c., of the sea, rather than the gravel
JEROME, Chaldee, and Syriac support English Version.
his name . . . cut off--transition from the second person, "thy," to
the third "his." Israel's name was cut off "as a nation" during the
Babylonish captivity; also it is so now, to which the prophecy
20. Go . . . forth . . . end of the earth--Primarily, a prophecy of
their joyful deliverance from Babylon, and a direction that they should
leave it when God opened the way. But the publication of it "to the ends
of the earth" shows it has a more world-wide scope antitypically;
shows that the mystical Babylon is ultimately meant.
redeemed . . . Jacob--
(Isa 43:1; 44:22, 23).
21. Ezra, in describing the return, makes no mention of God cleaving
the rock for them in the desert [KIMCHI].
The circumstances, therefore,
of the deliverance from Egypt
Ps 78:15; 105:41)
and of that from Babylon, are blended together; the language, while
more immediately referring to the latter deliverance, yet, as being
blended with circumstances of the former not strictly applicable to the
latter, cannot wholly refer to either, but to the mystic
deliverance of man under Messiah, and literally to the final
restoration of Israel.
All the blessings just mentioned
belong only to the godly, not to the wicked. Israel shall first cast
away its wicked unbelief before it shall inherit national
13:1, 9; 14:3, 14, 20, 21).
The sentiment holds good also as to all wicked men
(Job 15:20-25, 31-34).