- Promises to protect and enlarge the church, verse 1-5.
- God appeals to them as witnesses of his power and knowledge, verse 6-13.
- He foretells the destruction of Babylon, and a new deliverance of his people, verse 14-21.
- whose sins, verse 22-24.
- against God's mercies render them inexcusable, verse 25-28.
But - Notwithstanding thy gross insensibleness, I will deal mercifully with thee. Created - That made thee his people, and that in so miraculous a manner as if he had created thee a second time. Redeemed - From the Egyptians. Called thee - By the name of God's people, which was as proper and peculiar to them, as the name of Israel.
I gave Egypt - This was fulfilled when the king of Assyria, Esar-haddon, who designed to revenge his father's disgrace, upon the Jews, was diverted and directed by God to employ his forces against Egypt, and Ethiopia, and Seba. Seba - The Sabaeans were confederate with the Ethiopians.
Since - From the time that I chose thee for my people, I have had an affection for thee. Men - As I gave up the Egyptians, so I am ready to give up others to save thee, as occasion requires.
For my glory - And therefore I will glorify my power and goodness, and faithfulness in delivering them. Formed - I have not only created them out of nothing, but I have also formed and made them my peculiar people.
Bring - O ye idolatrous Gentiles, bring forth your false gods, which have eyes but see not, and ears but hear not.
Assembled - To plead the cause of their idols with me. This - This wonderful work of mine in bringing my people out of captivity. Former things - Such things as shall happen long before the return from the captivity, which yet your blind idols cannot foresee. Witnesses - Who can testify the truth of any such predictions of theirs, that they may be owned for true gods; or if they can produce no evidence of any such thing, let them confess, that what I say is truth, that I only am the true God.
Ye - You my people are able to witness for me, that I have given you plain demonstrations of my certain knowledge of future events. My servant - Cyrus who is an eminent instance and proof of God's foreknowledge: or, the Messiah, who is the most eminent witness in this cause. Understand - That I am the true God. Nor after me - The gods of the Heathens neither had a being before me nor shall continue after me: whereas the Lord is God from everlasting to everlasting; but these pretenders are but of yesterday. And withal he calls them formed gods, in a way of contempt, and to shew the ridiculousness of their pretence.
I - I first foretold your deliverance, and then effected it. When - And this I did when you did not worship any idols.
Yea - Before all time; from all eternity, I am God.
Sent - I have sent Cyrus against Babylon, to this very end, that he might deliver you out of captivity. Chaldeans - The common people of Chaldea, who make fearful outcries, as they flee away from the Persians in ships.
The chariot - Pharaoh and his chariots and horses, and army. Lay down - In the bottom of the sea. They never rose again to molest the Israelites. Quenched - As the wick of a candle when it is put into the water, is extinguished.
Remember not - Tho' your former deliverance out of Egypt was glorious: yet in comparison of that inestimable mercy of sending the Messiah, all your former deliverances are scarce worthy of your remembrance and consideration.
A new thing - Such a work as was never yet done in the world. Now - The scripture often speaks of things at a great distance of time, as if they were now at hand; to make us sensible of the inconsiderableness of time, and all temporal things, in comparison of God, and eternal things; upon which account it is said, that a thousand years are in God's sight but as one day.
The beast - Shall have cause, if they had abilities, to praise me for their share in this mercy. Dragons - Which live in dry and barren deserts.
For - God called to the Gentiles to be his people, because the Jews forsook him. Weary - Thou hast not esteemed my service to be a privilege, but a burden and bondage.
Honoured - Either thou didst neglect sacrificing to me; or didst perform it merely out of custom or didst dishonour me, and pollute thy sacrifices by thy wicked life. Although - Altho' God had not laid such heavy burdens upon them, nor required such costly offerings, as might give them cause to be weary, nor such as idolaters did freely perform in the service of their idols.
Sweet cane - This was used in the making of that precious ointment, Exodus 30:34, and for the incense, Exodus 30:7. Thou hast been niggardly in my service, when thou hast, spared for no cost in the service of thine idols. Nor filled me - Thou hast not multiplied thy thank-offerings and free-will offerings, tho' I have given thee sufficient occasion to do so. But - Thou hast made me to bear the load and burden of thy sins.
I - I whom thou hast thus provoked. Mine own sake - Not for thy merits, but my own mere goodness.
Put me - I remember nothing by which thou hast deserved my favour.
Thy father - This may be put for their forefathers; and so he tells them, that as they were sinners, so also were their progenitors, yea even the best of them. Teachers - Thy priests and prophets; who were their intercessors with God: and if these were transgressors, the people had no reason to fancy themselves innocent.
Therefore - I have exposed them to contempt and destruction. Princes - The highest and best of your priests. Curse - To utter destruction, to which persons or things accursed were devoted.