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Book of Isaiah
Chapters 40-66 form the crown to the first section of Isaiah (Chapters 1-39) by properly preparing the reader. The three subsections of chapters 40-66 are obvious. The Chapters are evenly split into three sections. These sections are outstanding because of the way they end . . . NOT the way they begin.
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 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. (KJV)
This chapter begins with a prophecy that concerns the Messiah, under the character of the Servant of the Lord, and His elect whom He supported, and was well pleased with. His work is pointed at, and for which He was well qualified with the Spirit without measure (vs.1), and is described by His humility and meekness (vs.2), by His gracious tenderness to weak and uninformed persons (vs.3), and by His unparalleled courage and perseverance (vs.4). Then follows His call to His work, with several parts of it, introduced by setting forth the greatness of God, His father who had called Him: as the Creator of the heavens and of the Earth, and of men upon it (vs.5), who is the LORD, and whose glory is beyond description to a creature, and whose knowledge reaches to far reaching future things, which are predicted by Him (vs.8). The Gentiles are called upon to praise the LORD, and give glory to Him, partly for the above Promises concerning the Messiah (vs.10), and partly for the destruction of His enemies (vs.13), but also for His gracious regard to those who had been so spiritually blind (vs.16). The confusion of idolaters is predicted, and a warning is given to them to make use of the means of light and knowledge (vs.17), and the blindness, ignorance and stupidity of the Jews is exposed, although there was a remnant among them with whom the Lord was well pleased, for the sake of the righteousness of His Son (vs.19) . . . but as for the majority of the people, they would be given up to the spoilers and robbers because of their sins and disobedience, and would be the brunt of the LORD’S divine wrath and vengeance (vs.22). A lesson here for us all!
The prophet Isaiah, having opened his subject with the preparation for the return from captivity at Babylon, suggests that a much greater deliverance was covered under the veil of that event, proceeds to justify the power of God, as Creator and Disposer of all things; and His infinite knowledge, from His perfect predictions of future events, and especially of that deliverance. He goes still farther, pointing out the instrument by which He would bring about the redemption of His people the Jews from slavery . . . meaning, a great conqueror, whom He would call forth from the north and the east to carry out His orders. In this chapter Isaiah proceeds to a much greater deliverance; and quickly brings it into full view, without throwing even the slightest veil over the subject, the Messiah. Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. (KJV) . . . Matthew applies it directly to Christ Jesus; nor can it with any justice or correctness be applied to any other person or character whatever!
Theme: The Servant of the LORD . . . Christ Jesus; the scourge of idolatry. . . graven images; the servant of the LORD . . . the nation.
In each chapter Isaiah gradually works up to his utter condemnation of idolatry. We find in this chapter that the nation Israel is called the servant of the LORD. Also, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Servant of the LORD and is so called in the Gospel of Mark. He made it very clear: Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV)
Matthew 12:17-21 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (KJV) . . . There is an application of this prophecy to the Lord Jesus.
The Servant of the LORD . . . Christ Jesus (42:1-7)
A Prophecy of the Messiah's Coming with Meekness,
Yet with great Power, to Do His Redeeming Work
Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (KJV)
Behold my servant, whom I uphold . . . one version is, behold my servant the Messiah; another says: this is the King Messiah. The prophet speaks not of himself, as one thinks; nor of Cyrus, as others say; nor of the people of Israel . . . but of Christ Jesus, as it is applied in Matthew 12:17-21, above. He is spoken of under the character of a Servant, as He truly was and is! He is not spoken of here as a divine Person, but as Man in His office as Mediator; a Servant of the LORD, His divine Father who chose Him, called and sent Him, and assigned Him His Work; which was above all, the redemption of His people, and which He willingly, diligently, dutifully, faithfully and completely performed. This prophecy is escorted in with behold; meaning that attention to what is said concerning Christ is of the utmost importance. We should direct the eye of our faith to Him for righteousness and salvation! And we should express our admiration and respect of Him, that He who . . . WAS and IS the Son of God, should humble Himself to become a lowly Servant, to take on saving the souls of you and me!
Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth . . . Mine elect; Christ was chosen, separated for a special purpose; predetermined to be the Lamb of God (Jn.1:29, 36; Rev.5:6; 7:17; 14:10; 15:3; 21:22-23; 22:1, 3), Who was slain for the redemption of man, and appointed to glory; and likewise the choice to be the Advocate (1 Jn.2:1) between God and man; to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the LORD'S people; to be the Head of the church (Eph.1:22; 5:23; Col.1:18), and to be the foundation and the corner stone of that spiritual building (Job 38:6; Ps.118:22; Isa.28:16; Jer.51:26; Mat.21:42; Mk.12:10; Lk.20:17; Acts 4;11; 1 Cro.3:9-11; 1 Pet.2:6-7); and to be the Judge of quick and dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim.4:1; 1 Pet.4:5), and with this ‘elect One’ Him, the LORD was well pleased, or delighted. He was chosen by the LORD to this great work of Mediator (Jn.14:6; Eph.2:18; 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.8:6; 9:15, 24; 1 Jn,2:1) and Redeemer (Job 19:25; Ps.19:14; 78:35; Pro.23:11; Isa.41:14; 44:24; 48:17; 49:26; 54:8), and foreordained (1 Pet.1:20), and chosen of God (1 Pet.2:4). Delighteth meanswell-pleased, both for Himself and for all His people, being completely satisfied with the Sacrifice which Christ shall offer up to Him.
I have put my Spirit upon him . . . I have furnished Him with an abundance and superiority of gifts and graces which are necessary for Him to carry out His extraordinary and difficult job set before Him. As the Son of God, He did not need the Holy Spirit . . . but as a Man, He did need Him, and He was filled without measure at His incarnation (Jn.3:34-35), and which rested upon Him at His baptism (Mat.3:16; Mk.1:10; Lk.3:22; Jn.1:32), and qualified Him for His work and offices, as Prophet, Priest and King.
He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles . . . the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is the product of divine wisdom; the Gospel whose judgment is according to Truth; by which Christ judges and rules in the hearts of His people; this He brought forth out of His Father's Bosom (Jn.1:18), out of His own heart, and published it in Person to the Jews, and by His apostles to the converted by it, became subject to His rule. Gentiles, who were converted by it, became subject to Hs rule. Gospel of Christ; Gospel of Jesus Christ: (Mk.1:1; Rom.1:16; 15:19, 29; 1 Cor.9:12, 18; 2 Cor.2:12; 4:4; 9:13; 10:14; Gal.1:7; Phil.1:27; 1 Thes.3:2; 2 Thes.1:8)
Shall bring forth . . . shall publish or show (Mat.12:18); shall reveal and bring to light what before was hidden in His Breast, and/or in His Father's Bosom. Judgment . . . this word is very unclear, for in other places, it is put for punishment (Ex.12:12; Mat.5:21-22; 10:15; 25:30, 46), which cannot be meant here, because the whole context here speaks of His love, mercy and pleasantness, and not of His severity and wrath. Here judgment is clearly put for God's law, as this very word is explained below, and in (Isa.42:4), and as it is so often used in the Holy Scriptures (Ps.119:1-176), and elsewhere (Eze.11:20; Hos.14:9; Lk.1:6; 1 Thes.4:1-2; Mat.22:36-40), which also best agrees with the bringing forth or publishing of it here mentioned, for speaking out is constantly needed and required where laws are concerned. And this interpretation is confirmed by the following words, to the Gentiles. For the great things which Christ published unto all the world, to both Jews and Gentiles, was nothing else but the Law, His will and the counsel of God concerning man's salvation, and the way and means of obtaining it. http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
*****WHAT ARE JESUS’ LAWS TO US? Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV) . . . These TWO Laws cover all the law and the prophets, meaning the entire Old Testament!
The Lord Jesus says that there is a second, but NOT a third law in importance of the
Commandments. This is suggested in opposition to the multitude of commandments in the Law, according to the Jews, who think there are in all 613, of which 365 are negative ones. Isaiah 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; (KJV) . . . Isaiah reduces the Jews' 613 laws to 6 here, while Habakkuk reduces the 613 to ONE! Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV) . . . We are here interested in what Jesus says! Christ reduces all their laws to just two, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
Isaiah 42:2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. (KJV)
He shall not cry, nor lift up . . . either, #1. In a way of argument, as anger is often accompanied with a loud outcry or clamor (Eph.4:31); or, #2. In a way of brazenness and/or defiance. Possibly it may mean both ways. Compare this with: Matthew 12:16-20 And charged them that they should not make him known: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. 19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. (KJV) . . . Christ Jesus will NOT erect nor manage His Kingdom with violence nor with outward pomp and ceremony, as worldly rulers do, but instead with meekness, humility and righteousness. As a judge in court is obliged (legally or morally bound) to extend or strengthen his voice that he may be heard . . . Matthew renders it, He shall not strive or contend in an aggressive way. This does not regard the lowness of His voice in His ministry, for in that sense Jesus often cried out (Mat.27:46, 50; when He died; Jn.7:28, 37; 11:43; 12:44; in His teaching); as Wisdom is said to do (Pro.1:20).
Nor cause his voice to be heard in the street . . . His voice was heard in the street only in a ministerial way, for He did sometimes preach in the street, as in many other public places (Lk.13:26), but NEVER in a clamorous or contentious way; NEVER in an scornful and threatening manner; NEVER in a way of brazenness, boasting of Himself, His doctrines, and His miracles, but He acted and behaved with great humility and meekness. His Kingdom was without ceremony, pomp and noise, which worldly princes are attended with. See Matthew 12:19 above.
The Servant in Isaiah
The nation Israel is called the servant: (41:8; 42:19; 43:10; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4; 48:20)
The Messiah is called the Servant: (42:1-17; 49:5-7; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11)
The nation was given a mission to serve God, to be defender and guardian of His Word, and to be a light to the Gentile nations. Because of doubt, sin and rebellion, they failed utterly. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as Messiah to fulfill that mission on Earth (Jn.3:15-18, 36; 1 Jn.5:10-13), but the majority of Jews today still doubt.
***** Isaiah uses pictures in words to show the Servant’s quiet kindness and care for all weak and helpless people. Isaiah shows us the gracious kind-hearted tenderness of Christ to weak and uninformed persons.
Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. (KJV)
A bruised reed shall not break . . . bruised, it pleased the LORD to bruise Him (Isa.53:5, 10; Gen.3:15) . . . WHY? So He can have feelings for the bruised (us). As verse 2 describes His calm spirit towards His violent enemies (Mat.12:14-16), and His utter freedom from love of pomp and ceremony, so too, verse 3 reveals His tenderness in treasuring the first spark of grace in the penitent (Isa.40:11). A reed is a tall, fragile, grass-like plant of wetlands that is easily shaken with the wind (Mat.11:7). A reed is those who are at best feeble, and who also are oppressed by calamity or by the sense of sin; and since Jesus was bruised, He well knows how we feel when we are bruised, and He is always there for us with His grace, His loving kindness and He tenderness.
And the smoking flax shall he not quench . . . or the wick of a candle, which just going out, has some heat, a little light, smokes, and is offensive . . . so the persons intended by it are fired or lighted by the divine Word; have some heat of affection in them to spiritual things, but have very little light; into the corruption of nature into the glories of Christ's Person; into the doctrines of the Gospel; into the everlasting love of God, and the covenant of grace. They have very little light of joy and comfort, and this is almost gone, and seemingly ready to go out; and yet Christ Jesus will not extinguish the little that is there, nor does He discourage even the smallest beginnings of grace, but instead He blows on the smoldering flax or wick, and it rises up the little light they have, into a flame. He increases their spiritual light and knowledge; supplies them with the oil of grace; trims and causes their lamps to burn brighter.
He shall bring forth judgment unto truth . . . there are some who think that this is Christ's severity to wicked men, in total opposition to His tenderness for His own people (Isa.11:4); while others say it is the Gospel, as preached by Him in Truth, as in verse 1. But to me, it seems it could mean the power of His Spirit and grace accompanying the Word, to the carrying on of His own work in the hearts of His people; which, although they are attended with many difficulties and discouragements, they shall be encouraged to go on, and His grace will break through all obstructions, and be sufficient (2 Cor.12:9), and prove victorious (Mat.12:20).
***** This verse characterizes the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus when He was here. A bruised reed shall he not break. The Lord Jesus did NOT move in with a club against sin. He simply let sin bring its own judgment. The smoking flax shall he not quench . . . the man who keeps on keeping on in sin will on Judgment Day, receive the verdict, and it shall be the lake of Fire. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV) . . . Is your name in that book? If not, it can be! http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm . . . The wages of sin is death, there is NO way you can change God’s rules. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
Isaiah 42:4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. (KJV)
He shall not fail . . . for want of strength to go through the work of redemption: or, grow dim and dark, as a lamp in need of oil, or as the wick of a candle ready to go out. He shall shine in the glory of His Person, as the Son of God. In the fullness of His grace, as Mediator, in which He shall never fail; and in the hearts of His people by His Spirit; and in His Gospel published to the world.
Nor be discouraged . . . at the number, power, dangers and threats of His enemies. He had to contend and struggle with sin, Satan, the world and death. Nor be broken . . . with the weight of all the sins of His people upon Him; with a sense of divine wrath; and with the entire punishment due unto them, inflicted upon Him, enough to have broken the backs and spirits of men and angels; but He stood up under the mighty load, not sinking beneath it, but endured all with unshakable courage and determination.
Till he have set judgment in the earth . . . He fully satisfied the justice of God for the sins of His people, performing the work of their redemption in righteousness (1 Cor.1:30); and then He sent and settled His Gospel in the world, proclaiming the same; and fixed a set of Gospel ordinances to continue the remembrance of it, until His Second Coming (Zec.14:1-5; Rev.19:11-21).
And the isles shall wait for his law . . . His doctrine or Gospel, the law or doctrine of faith, especially that of justification by His righteousness (Rom.1:17; 3:22, 26-28, 30; 4:5, 24-25; 5:1-2; 9:30; 10:10; Gal.2:16; 3:11-14; 5:4-6; Phil.3:9; Jam.2:23-26). The inhabitants of the islands or distant countries (the Gentiles), would desire to hear, readily embrace and receive, and trust in Christ, when it was made known to them.
Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: (KJV)
Thus saith God the LORD . . . this, with what follows, is an introduction to the call of Christ, to the great work of redemption; and sets forth the greatness of God as the Creator, that calls Him to it, and encouraging Him as Man and Mediator in it, as well as the faith of His people to regard Him as their Saviour and Redeemer, and believe that this work He was called unto should be performed by Him; for what is it that God the LORD, the Creator of all things, cannot do?
He that created the heavens, and stretched them out . . . He first made them out of nothing, and stretched out the firmament of them as a curtain and canopy over the Earth, and them as a tent for Himself to dwell in (Isa.40:22).
He that spread forth the earth . . . into the length and breadth it has, for man and beast to dwell on it. For He stretched out the earth above the waters (Ps.136:6; 104:2-3; Gen.1:9; Job 26:7; Isa.44:24; Jer.10:12; Zec.12:1; 2 Pet.3:5-7).
And that which cometh out of it . . . grass, herbs and trees, which He has spread all over it.
He that giveth breath unto the people upon it . . . just as He did to the first man; He breathed into him the breath of life (Gen.2:7), and as He gives to all ever since.
And spirit to them that walk therein . . . not only breath in common with the beasts of the field, and other creatures, but a rational spirit, or a reasonable soul, a capacity of understanding things, that animals do not have. Some interpret this of the Holy Spirit, which God gives to them that walk before Him. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit: (Jn.14:17, 23; Rom.5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor.2:12; 3:16; 6:19; 12:7; 14:25; 2 Cor.6:16; Gal.4:6; Eph.2:22; 4:6; Phil.2:13; 2 Tim.1:14; 1 Pet.1:11; 1 Jn.2:27; 4:12).
*****Previously God had spoken of Messiah; now, in verses 5-7, He speaks to Him. To show to all that He is well able to sustain the Messiah in His appointed work, and that all might accept Messiah as commissioned by such a mighty God, He commences by announcing Himself as the Almighty Creator and Preserver of all things. This enormous description of God's infinite power is here added, to give them assurance of the certain accomplishment of these great and wonderful Promises, which otherwise would seem incredible.
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (KJV)
I the LORD have called thee in righteousness . . . for a righteous purpose (see verse 21). God set forth His Son to be a propitiation, so as to declare His (God's) righteousness, that God might be just, and the Justifier of him which believes in Jesus (Rom.3:25-26), Compare with: (Isa.41:2; 45:13; 50:8-9). This is not the Prophet Isaiah, nor the people of Israel, but the Messiah, whom the LORD called to the office of Mediator (Gal.3:19-20; 1 Tim.2:5; Heb.9:15; 12:24); in a righteous way and manner, consistent with His own perfections; and not against the will of Christ, but with His full consent. Christ Jesus came a Righteous Person, holy in His nature, harmless in His life, and truly deserved the character and name of Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (KJV)
And will hold thine hand . . . meaning His Presence with Him, His nearness to Him; His favor and affection for Him; His counsel and direction of Him; the support and assistance He gave Him; and the strength He received from Him as Man (Jn.1:14), to go through His work.
And will keep thee . . . as the apple of His eye (Deut.32:10; Zec.2:8), to the nations which spoiled you: for He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye (Zec.2:8), being dear unto Him; from being hurt by His enemies until the time came to be delivered into their hands.
And give thee for a covenant of the people . . . Christ is a Covenantee, (Person to whom a Promise is made by covenant), He was/is a Party concerned about the covenant of grace; He is the Representative of His people in the covenant; the Surety, the Mediator, the Advocate, the Messenger and Ratifier of it; the Great Blessing in it; the Sum and Substance of it; for all the Blessings and Promises of the Covenant are in Him alone. It is by God's free grace that He was appointed and entrusted with all this in eternity past, and shall continue on into eternity to come! He was sent in time to confirm and secure it for the people, given to Him by His Father (Jn.10:29), redeemed by Him and to Whom the Spirit applies the blessings and Promises of the covenant; all the elect of God, (Rom.8:33; C ol.3:12; Tit.1:1; 1 Pet.1:2), among both Jews and Gentiles, especially the Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), as follows:
For a light of the Gentiles . . . the Gentiles were in the dark as to the true knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, and the way of righteousness and salvation by Him alone (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), and of all divine and spiritual things. Christ, through the ministry of the Word by His Spirit (Acts 6:4), was a light to them; by which they were enlightened into their own state and condition by nature, and into the knowledge of Himself, and the mysteries of grace (Rom.3:24; Eph.2:8-9).
*****The Covenant was originally made between God and Abraham (Gen.12:1-3; Isa.49:8). The Messiah was/is the Mediator of a better covenant (Heb.8:6). The word justice has much more than just a legal meaning. It also means of right order. To establish right order is the work of the LORD God who creates all things (Gen.1:1-2). The Messiah, the Servant’s work is world-wide. It is not only for the benefit of the people of Israel; it is for the Gentiles too.
Isaiah 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. (KJV)
To open the blind eyes . . . of the idolatrous Gentiles, who were spiritually blind, and had no idea of the wretchedness of their unholy lives; the dreadfulness of their sin; their need of a Saviour, and Who He was . . . as they did, when their eyes were opened by means of the Gospel sent among them, through the energy of the Holy Spirit; for conversion is a work of almighty power and efficacious grace. Spiritually blind: (Isa. 6:9; 29:9-14; 42:16, 18-19; 35:5; 56:10; Jer.4:22; 5:21; Mat.13:14-15; 15:14-16; 23:16-24; Mk.8:17-18; Jn.9:39, 41; 12:40; Rom.11:7-10, 25; 2 Cor.3:14-15; 4:4).
To bring out the prisoners from the prison . . . who were concluded in sin, shut up in unbelief, and under the law, the captives of Satan, and held fast prisoners by him and their own lusts, under the dominion of which they were.
And them that sit in darkness out of the prison house . . . prison of sin, Satan and the law; being under which, they were in a state of darkness and lack of knowledge as to things holy and spiritual. The reference is to prisons, which are commonly dark places. Some think by the prisoners, they understand to mean the Jews shut up under the law; and by those in darkness the Gentiles, destitute of all holy knowledge. Prison (Ps.55:6; 142:1-7; Isa. 61:1-2; Lk.4:18). Spiritual Darkness: opposed to light; spiritual blindness: (Isa.9:2; 42:16; 50:10; Mat.4:16; 6:22-23; 8:12; Lk.1:79; Jn.1:5; 3:19-21; 8:12; 11:9-10; Acts 26:18; Rom.1:21; 13:12-13; 1 Cor.4:5-6; 2 Cor.4:5; 6:14; Eph.5:8, 11; 1 Thes.5:4-5; 1 Pet.2:9; 1 Jn.1:5-7; 2:8-11).
*****I believe that the the words in verses 1-7 are about Jesus. Matthew 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (KJV)
The Scourge of Idolatry . . . Images (42:8-17)
Now Isaiah brings God's bold and unflinching words against idolatry.
Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (KJV)
I am the Lord, that is my name . . . Jehovah (Ex.6:3; Ps.83:18;Isa.12:2; 26:4), is a Name that
expresses His self-existence, eternity and immutability. Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (KJV) The LORD JEHOVAH is a Name by which He made Himself known to Israel of old, and which is special in the respect that it does NOT belong to any other person or god, and so separates Him from all false gods. Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (KJV)
And my glory will I not give to another . . . meaning, to another god, a strange god, an idol. No idol has a holy nature, and should not have the name of a divine being, nor should holy worship ever be given to it. The LORD will not allow this, but will punish all those, be they Heathens, or those who call themselves Christians, that give the glory to idols that is due only to His Name. This is not to be understood to exclude or disregard the Son and Spirit, who are with the Father the one triune God, and share in the same glory . . . Jesus the Son is the brightness of His Father's glory (Heb.1:3), and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of glory (1 Pet.4:14). Not everyone who calls themselves ‘Christians’ are TRUE Christians. BEWARE!!! http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
Neither my praise to graven images . . . which helps to explain the former clause, what is meant by His glory, and who by another, to whom He will not give it. Cults should observe this, for it respects not only the graven images of the Heathens, but mainly those among the population that bear the ‘Christian’ name; for this speaks to New Testament times. The LORD will NOT tolerate anyone giving glory and praise to worshippers of images.
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. (KJV)
Behold, the former things are come to pass . . . which the LORD had foretold in former times, as to Abraham, concerning the affliction of his posterity in Egypt, the bringing them out from there, and settling them in the land of Canaan; and other things by Moses and Joshua, and other prophets; and by Isaiah; and particularly the captivity of the ten tribes, which was now come to pass in the times of Hezekiah.
And new things do I declare . . . as the captivity of Judah and Benjamin, and their restoration by Cyrus; and more especially the mission and incarnation of Christ, His sufferings and death, and redemption and salvation by Him; which were not only things to come, but new things, famous and outstanding things.
Before they spring up I tell you of them . . . while the seeds of them were still under ground, sown in the purposes and decrees of God, He spoke of them in prophecy; and now former prophecies were being fulfilled, and new ones delivered out, concerning things of which there was no appearance, and yet there was the greatest reason to believe their accomplishment, from the fulfilment of the former; this must be a strong proof and confirmation of the LORD being the true God, and the only God!
*****The LORD alone controls all events. Therefore, only He alone can announce what will happen. The success of the Promises the LORD had formerly made concerning His church, which prove the Truth of His Word and the kindness He bears to His people (vs.9). Behold, the former things have come to pass; There has not failed one word (1 Ki.8:56). And now new things do I declare. Now I will make new Promises, which shall as certainly be fulfilled in their time, just as the old ones were. Now He would bestow new favors, such as have not been conferred before.
Old-Testament blessings they had were abundant; now the LORD would declare New Testament blessings, not a fruitful country and power over their neighbors, but spiritual blessings in heavenly things. Before they spring forth in the preaching of the Gospel, the LORD speaks of them. The receiving of former mercies may encourage them to hope for further mercies; for the LORD God is constant in His loving care for His people, and His compassions fail not (Lam.3:22).
Isaiah 42:10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. (KJV)
Sing unto the Lord a new song . . . because of the new things before prophesied, and now done; because of redemption and salvation by Christ, and the conversion of the Gentiles through the light of the Gospel brought to them (the song of redeeming love), and for the Gospel and regenerating grace . . . not for the Jews only, but also the Gentiles (Gal.3:26-29), are called upon to sing this song, as having a special share in the blessings.
And his praise from the end of the earth . . . for it is there that the Gospel being sent, and there made successful in the conversion of many . . . these are encouraged to sing and bring forth praises of Him who had called them out of their Heathen blindness and darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel and grace of God (2 Cor.4:4; 2 Tim1:10).
Ye that go down into the sea . . . in ships, that trade by sea; such as the Phoenicians, Tyrians, and Sidonians, to whom the Gospel came, and where it was preached with success, converting many of them, and therefore they had reason to join in this new song (Acts 11:19-20), or those that went by sea to distant parts, to publish the Gospel, such as Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Timothy; and who, succeeding in their work, had reason to rejoice (Acts 13:45).
And all that is therein . . . or the fullness of it, not meaning the fishes in the sea, but the islands of it.
The isles, and the inhabitants thereof . . . as Cyprus, Crete and other islands, which heard the joyful sound of the Gospel, and embraced it (Acts 13:4), and, since the sea often symbolizes the western part of the world from Judea, this may mean the European parts of it, and the islands in it, mainly Great Britain and Ireland, where the Gospel came very early.
*****Look at all the Lord will do for us and through us (vs.42:6-9)! Majestic works prompt majestic responses. Do you really appreciate the good things that God does for you and through you? If so, let your praise to Him reflect how you really feel.
Isaiah 42:11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. (KJV)
Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice . . . the eastern part of the world, the Arabian Desert, and the people of the cities which were in it.
The villages that Kedar doth inhabit . . . or the tents, the Kedarenes inhabited, who were Arabians, and lived in tents, which they pitched here and there, for the convenience of their flocks. The Arabians that inhabit the wilderness shall praise Him.
Let the inhabitants of the rock sing . . . or of Petra (Sela), which some say was a city of Palestine. It was the metropolis of Arabia, which the whole country may be meant here, and the inhabitants of it, who had reason to sing for joy, when the Gospel was preached unto them; as it was by the Apostle Paul in Arabia (Gal.1:17). See more about Petra in Special Comments at the end of this Chapter.
Let them shout from the top of the mountains . . . the wild, savage and barbaric people that dwell there, had now become civilized, as well as evangelized by the Gospel, brought by the ministers of the Word, whose feet on those mountains were beautiful, bringing the good tidings of peace and salvation by Christ. This is in reality the resurrection of the spiritually dead (Rom.6:4; Eph.2:1, 5-6; Col.2:12; 3:1; 1 Jn.3:14).
Isaiah 42:12 Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. (KJV)
Let them give glory unto the LORD . . . for all the great and wonderful things He has done for them, in sending His Gospel to them, calling them by His grace, illuminating their minds, and revealing His only begotten Son (Jn.1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; Heb.11:17; 1 Jn.4:9), to them, and making them partakers of the blessings of His grace, and giving them the right to eternal glory and happiness (Mat.25:34; Jn.14:2; Eph.1:11, 14, 18; Col.1:12; 1 Pet.1:3-4; 5:4; Heb.4:9; 9:15; 11:16; Rev.14:13). http://www.godcannotlie.org/1_peter_ch.1.htm
And declare his praise in the islands . . . as on the western continent, and the isles of it; so on the eastern continent, and the islands of it, the islands of Greece, the islands in the Aegean sea.
***** It is here promised that the praises of God's grace shall be sung with joy and thankfulness:
#1. By those that live in the end of the Earth, in countries that lie most remote from Jerusalem. From the uttermost parts of the Earth their songs were heard (Isa.24:16). This was fulfilled when Christianity spread in the land.
#2. By mariners and merchants, and those that go down to the sea, that do business in the great waters, and so make themselves masters of the fullness thereof and all that is therein, with which they shall praise God, and rightly so, for it is all His (Ps.24:1; 89:11; 95:5; 98:7; Nah.1:5; 1 Cor.10:26). http://www.godcannotlie.org/nahum_ch1.htm The Jews traded little at sea; so if God's praises were to be sung by those that go down by the sea, it had to be by Gentiles. Sea-faring men are called upon to praise God (Ps.107:23-24).
#3. By the islands and the inhabitants thereof (vs. 10 and vs.12). Let them declare His praise in the islands, the isles of the Gentiles, some think refer to the islands of Greece.
#4. By the wilderness and the cities thereof, and the villages of Kedar. These lay east from Jerusalem, as the islands lay west, so that the Gospel songs should be sung from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same. The whole Gentile world had been like an island, cut off from communication of God's Word, and was like a desert wilderness, uncultivated and bringing no fruit to God; but now the islands and the wilderness shall praise God.
#5. By the inhabitants of the rock, and those that dwell on the tops of the mountains, not only the Gentiles, but the poorest, meanest and most disgraceful, those that dwell in huts, as well as those that inhabit cities and villages. The rude and most barbaric, as mountain men usually are, shall be civilized by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Or possibly, by the inhabitants of the rock may be meant the inhabitants of that part of Arabia which city is called Petra or Sela.
I think this well-known prophecy will be fulfilled in the latter days, at which time, many other prophecies of the joy of the nations are said in the New-Testament to be fulfilled . . . the conversion of the Gentiles to the faith of Christ. When they are brought into the fellowship of the church, of which Christ is the Head (Eph.1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col.1:18), they give glory to the LORD. They are grateful to Him, giving glory, honor and praise to His Name, and because of this, He is glorified in them and by them.
Isaiah 42:13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. (KJV)
The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man . . . in the ministry of the Word, conquering and to conquer; tightening His sword on His thigh; causing His arrows to be sharp in the hearts of H
is enemies; bringing the Word with power.
He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war . . . Christ is represented as a warrior (Rev.19:11), His church is in a warfare state; His subjects are soldiers; His ministers are His generals under Him, and with them He goes forth, stirring up His jealousy, His wrath and His fury against His enemies, taking vengeance on them for His own glory. The LORD will come like a warrior, full of fury, ready and eager for battle. He will shout a battle cry and crush all His enemies.
He shall cry, yea, roar . . . not only shout, as soldiers do, when they make an onset, but make a hideous noise, as the old Romans did, to frighten and dishearten their enemies. Christ, in the ministry of the Word, not only cries, calls and invites souls to come unto Him, and partake of His grace; but He roars like the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and threatens unrepentant and unbelieving sinners with His wrath and vengeance.
He shall prevail against his enemies . . . He shall conquer and subdue them by His Spirit and grace, and make them His willing people in the day of His power; and such who will not have Him to reign over them, He will rule them with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces as a potter's vessel (Ps.2:9).
*****The Almighty LORD God is like a brave officer who charges into battle with his soldiers.
Isaiah 42:14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. (KJV)
I have long time holden my peace . . . for many hundreds of years the Lord allowed the Gentile world to walk in their own evil ways, and to worship their idols. He winked at and overlooked their times of ignorance (Acts 17:30), He did not bring down His vengeance on them, nor did He stir up all His wrath; nor did He send any among them to rebuke and convince them of their errors, nor threaten them with ruin, if they continued in their sin.
Have been still, and refrained myself . . . He had been silent, and said nothing against them, but He curbed and kept in His wrath and displeasure at their idolatry, as a woman in travail holds in her breath as long as she can; to which seems to be the reference, as appears by what follows.
Now will I cry like a travailing woman . . . when sharp pains are upon her, just before she gives birth; with cries so loud as to be heard all over the house. The ministers of the Gospel travail in birth, and Christ in them, until He is formed in the hearts of men by regenerating and converting grace. Gal. 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, (KJV)
I will destroy and devour at once . . . all enemies that should oppose Him in the spread of the Gospel, in the destruction of Paganism, and establishment of Christianity in the Roman Empire in the latter days.
*****God’s people suffered many years as prisoners in a foreign country. God seemed to be doing nothing to help them. But the LORD is the only One to choose the right time to act.
Isaiah 42:15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. (KJV)
I will make waste mountains and hills . . . kingdoms, great (mountains) and not so great (hills); kings, princes and governors, some understand it of the kings of the Revived Roman Empire, that set themselves against Christ and His Gospel, but were overcome by Him. These mountains and hills became a leveled plain before Him: Rev. 6:14-17 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV) Rev. 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (KJV)
And dry up all their herbs . . . the common people and common soldiers that were with them, and on their side; compared for smallness, weakness and number, to the grass of the mountains and hills.
And I will make the rivers islands, and dry up the pools . . . destroy, eradicate all the remains of idolatry, rivers and fountains being sacred with the Heathens, as mountains and hills were places where sacrifices were offered to idols. Unless by it rather should be meant, that the LORD would remove all obstructions out of the way of His people, or which were obstacles of their conversion; just as He dried up the waters of the Red sea and Jordan (Ex.14:21-22, 29; Josh.3:15-17), to make way for the people of Israel; to which the reference may be.
*****When the LORD does act, it will be very clear that it is His work. Nothing will be able to stand in His way. The bushes and trees in the forest will not delay his arrival. Even the broadest river could not delay His progress.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (KJV)
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not . . . I think it is better to understand this of the Gentiles, who, before the light of the Gospel came among them, were totally blind as to the true knowledge of God, and especially as in Christ; and of Christ, and the way of peace, life, and salvation by Him. Spiritual blindness: (Isa.29:9-10; 32:3; 42:7, 16-19; 43:8: 59:10; Mat.15:14; 23:16-26; Jn.9:39-41; 12:40; Rom.2:19; 2 Cor.4:4; 2 Pet. 1:9; 1 Jn.2:11; Rev.3:17). The LORD, by His Spirit, opens the eyes of their understandings (Eph.1:18), and shows them those things in which they were blind and ignorant of, and brings them by a way they knew not before; which way is Christ Jesus, the only Way to the Father: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV) That Way is the way of peace, righteousness and life; the way to Heaven, and eternal happiness. This they did not know before, but now they do.
I will lead them in paths that they have not known . . . in the paths of faith, righteousness and holiness, in the paths of duty and Truth; and in the ordinances of the Gospel; which they were aliens and strangers to before.
I will make darkness light before them . . . by going before them Himself, as He did before the children of Israel in a pillar of fire by night (Ex.13:21-22); and by giving His Word to enlighten them; by granting His Holy Spirit to illuminate them; and by lifting up the Light of His Countenance (Pro.16:15) on them.
And crooked things straight . . . removing all obstructions, bearing them up under all their discouragements, and carry them through all their difficulties.
These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them . . . which may be depended on, being promised by Him that is well able to perform it. He is true, faithful and changes not (Tit.1:2); and He will never leave them, nor forsake them (Heb.13:5), until He has brought them safely to glory.
Isaiah 42:17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods. (KJV)
They shall be turned back . . . either from their idolatry, and be converted and turn to the One and only Living God; or it may mean Gentiles that were not converted when others were, who should run to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the wrath of God (Rev.6:14-17). This phrase is used to the overthrow of enemies, those who turn their backs on the LORD and flee.
They shall be greatly ashamed that trust in graven images . . . as renewed persons (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), when they are convinced of the stupidity of their idolatrous practices. Those who are not converted, shall be confused when they find their idols cannot help and assist them, nor deliver them out of their trouble.
That say to the molten images, ye are our gods . . . just as the Israelites did to the molten calf made by Aaron (Ex. Ch.32); for the absurdity of the calf and the graven images are much alike; the graven images of the Gentiles and that of the golden calf of the Israelites.
Isaiah 42:18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. (KJV)
Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see . . . some think these words are spoken to Israel, who were deaf and blind in heart; while others say that this is an urging, or warning to the Gentiles that remained impenitent and unbelieving, who were deaf to the voice of the Gospel, and blind as to the knowledge of it, for faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God (Rom.10:17) . . . we must hear the Gospel preached, then read the Word of God, to attain light and knowledge in spiritual things.
*****Some people never benefit from the Promises in verse 16. They are the people that choose to trust in their hand-made idols, turning their backs on the LORD, the only One who can help them. If they continue in their sin, they shall one day desperately try to run and hide from the LORD! Rev. 6:15-17 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV)
The Servant of the LORD . . . The Nation (42:19-25)
Isaiah 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? (KJV)
Who is blind, but my servant? . . . my servant is definitely Israel here. If we consider Israel's great and high privileges, the Heathen's blindness was really nothing compared with the blindness of Israelite idolaters. http://www.hisservants.org/israel_h_s.htm
Or deaf, as my messenger that I sent?. . . My messenger refers to Israel as well, for she was intended by the LORD to be the messenger of His truth to other nations. In reality, she failed. This may regard the body of the people who were deaf to John the Baptist, the messenger sent before the Lord Jesus’ appearance; to Christ Himself and His ministry, and to His apostles, who were first sent to the Jews (Rom.1:16).
Who is blind, as he that is perfect? . . . who pretended to be perfect? The young man who thought he had kept all the commandments (Mat.19:20), and as Saul before conversion (Acts 9:1-7), and all the Pharisees (Mat.15:1-3; Mk.7:1-15) . . . it is all those self-righteous persons who think they need no repentance. Perfect . . . suited to their perfect well-being, the perfect one, applied to Israel (Isa.44:1-4), as the type of Messiah, or the friend of God (Jam.2:23), which Israel was by virtue of descent from Abraham, who was so called (Isa.41:8). The language, my servant (vs.10), messenger (Mal.3:1), perfect (Rom.10:4; Heb.2:10; 1 Pet. 2:22), can in the full symbolic sense, apply only to Christ. So verse 21 clearly refers to Christ Jesus! Blind and deaf in referring to Jesus, can refer only to His enduring suffering and reproach, as though He neither saw nor heard (Ps.38:13-14). So there is a big difference from the moral and spiritual blindness of Israel (vs.18) to the patient blindness and deafness of Messiah.
Isaiah 42:20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. (KJV)
Seeing many things, but thou observest not . . . the Scribes and Pharisees saw Christ, only in the flesh (Jn.1:14); they saw the miracles that He did; they saw the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead raised because of the power of Jesus; yet they did NOT give Him credit for these things . . . they did not keep those things in their minds, nor regard them as clear proofs of His being the Messiah. Instead, they said He had power over devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils (Mat.12:24; Mk.3:22; Lk.11:15).
Opening the ears, but he heareth not . . . they heard John Baptist preach (Mat.3:1-3; Mk.1:4; Lk.3:2-3; Jn.1:6-8), the forerunner of Christ (Mal.3:1; Mat.11:10; Mk.1:2-8; Lk.1:15-17, 76-79; 3:4-6; Jn.1:7-8, 15, 22-28, 31-34), and they heard the testimony John bore of Him. They had also heard Christ Himself, and His apostles speak. They seemed at times to open their ears, and seem to listen with attention, and be surprised at what they heard . . . some would own that never man spake like Jesus (Jn.7:46); and yet they did not understand His speech (Mat.13:34), and hardened their hearts against Him. They saw many things with their physical eyes, but perceived them not with the eyes of their understandings (Eph.1:18); they heard with their ears, but understood not in their hearts; for their eyes were shut and their ears heavy (Isa.6:9-10).
Isaiah 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. (KJV)
The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness sake . . . . this may be understood either of what the LORD had done for these people in time past, and which is mentioned as intensifying their stupidity, disobedience and ingratitude . . . for He had delighted in them, and chosen them above all people upon the Earth (Deut.7:6), and set them apart with His favors (Ex.19:5-6; 33:16; 34:10), which He did for the sake of his own righteousness or faithfulness to His Promises made to their fathers (Gen.12:2; 26:4; 28:13-22). His righteousness . . . not His people's, but His own, for verse 24 shows that they had no righteousness (Isa.59:16). God is very well pleased with His Son, in whom My soul delighteth (vs. 1), Who fulfils all righteousness (Mat.3:15) for them, and with them for His sake (vs.6) and (Ps.71:16, 19; Mat.5:17; Rom.10:3-4; Phil.3:9). Possibly in God's righteousness here is also included His faithfulness to His Promises given to Israel's forefathers; and because of this He is well pleased with Israel, even though He is displeased with their sin, which He here rebukes . . . but that Promise could only be based on the righteousness of Messiah, the Promised Seed (Gen.3:15), which is God's Righteousness.
He will magnify the law, and make it honourable . . . He gave them a law which made them great and honorable in regard of others (Deut.10:15), or this may be interpreted of what the LORD would do in the latter days, either in a way of grace and favor; that although they were now so unknowing and disobedient, yet in the times of salvation, in the days of the Messiah, these blind ones would see, and deaf would hear, not for their sakes, but for His righteousness sake; when He will magnify His law and make it honorable, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of him (Eph.1:17; 2 Pet.1:3; 3:18). The LORD is well pleased with His Son, and well pleased with Him as His Servant, as Mediator, and for His righteousness sake (vs.1).
Isaiah 42:22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. (KJV)
But this is a people robbed and spoiled . . . the Jewish people, who shut their eyes against the clear light of the Gospel, and turned a deaf ear to Christ, to His ministers, totally rejected Him, and persecuted Him . . . this people was robbed and plundered by the Roman soldiers of all their riches and treasures, when the city of Jerusalem was taken.
They are all of them snared in holes . . . such of them as escaped and hid themselves in holes, and caverns, and dens of the earth (Rev.6:15-17), were laid in wait for and taken, and dragged out, as beasts are taken in a pit, and with a snare. Josephus says, some the Romans killed, some they carried captive, some they found lurking in holes underground, took them and slew them.
And they are hid in prison houses . . . being taken by their enemies out of their holes, they were put in prisons, some of them there lay confined, out of which they could not deliver themselves.
And they are for a prey, and none delivereth . . . when they were taken by the Chaldeans, and became a prey to them, in a few years they had a deliverer, Cyrus, but now they have none.
For a spoil, and none saith, restore . . . there is none to be an advocate (1 Jn.2:1) for them; no one that asks for their restoration, for almost 1700 years. The Jews in 1948 once again became a nation. They have been in this condition, and yet none of the kings and princes of the Earth have issued a proclamation for their return to their own land, as Cyrus did; and no one moves on it, either from among themselves or others.
*****The nation Israel are a people robbed and spoiled. Why? Because they turned away from God, and they had turned to idols. Great calamities God will bring upon the Jewish nation for their willful blindness and deafness. They are robbed and spoiled. Those that were unrepentant and unreformed in Babylon were sentenced to perpetual captivity. It was for their sins that they were spoiled of all their possessions, not only in their own land, but in the land of their enemies. Some of them were snared in holes, and others hidden in prison-houses. They could not help themselves, nor could their friends help them, for they are hidden; and their enemies have forgotten them in their prisons. They, and all they have, are for a prey and for a spoil; and there is none that delivers either by force or ransom, nor any that dares say to the proud oppressors, Restore them. There they lie, and there they are likely to lie. This prophecy had a part fulfillment in the final destruction of the Jewish nation by the Romans, which God brought upon them for rejecting the Gospel of Christ. The final and complete accomplishment of this prophecy will take place in the latter days when the Revived Roman Empire under the leadership of the Antichrist will play havoc with Israel.
Isaiah 42:23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? (KJV)
Who among you will give ear to this? . . . to this prophecy of your destruction, and to what follows concerning it?
Who will hearken and hear for the time to come?. . . who will receive instruction, repent and reform? NONE! For all are blind, deaf and unwise, just as they were before, and at their destruction, and have been ever since. They take no notice of the Hand of God upon them, they do not hearken to the rod (Ps.89:32; Pro.10:13) any more than they pay attention to the Word of God (Pro.30:5). This seems to refer to the time to come, hereafter or latter days. This shall be their case until the veil is taken away (2 Cor.3:16), only then they shall see and hear, and turn to the LORD.
*****The majority of them are deaf, and will not hearken to the voice of God. He advises and counsels but they pay no attention to Him. Consider:
#1. All of us, IF we listen, will hear the Voice of God, for we are called and invited to hear it.
#2. We are wise IF we listen when God speaks to us in His Holy Word.
#3. Many hear the Voice of God, but very few have ears to hear it or heed it.
#4. We must hear for the hereafter (eternity), for we do NOT know what may happen between the hearing and the grave. We must hear the Word with another world (Heaven), in our mind’s eye (Mat.6:22).
We are wise IF we learn from our former mistakes and costly experiences, to be wiser for the future, and NOT provoke God to our own total and final ruin!
Isaiah 42:24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law. (KJV)
Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? . . . Who gave Jacob to the Roman soldiers, to be spoiled and robbed by them? It was the LORD! This was not owing to chance and fortune, or to the superior skill and power of the Roman army . . . for only the LORD could have arranged such a thing!
Did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? . . . He did, but not without cause; He was justly provoked to it by the sins of the Jews, which were the appalling and dreadful causes of it; yet the Roman army could NOT have taken their city and plundered it had it not been the will of God, who for their sins, delivered it up to them. A lesson here for us all. The LORD knows and sees everything we do! BEWARE!!! http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_is_jesus_god_what_the_bible_says.htm
For they would not walk in his ways . . . Jacob (Israel) would NOT walk in His ways . . . in Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn.14:6); nor in the ways of His commandments (Mat.22:36-40); or in the ordinances of His Gospel; all of which they rejected.
Neither were they obedient unto his law . . . His law is the doctrine of the Gospel, mainly the doctrine of justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ (Rom.3:22-24; 5:1); they went about to establish their own righteousness, and refused to submit to His; and also every other doctrine respecting the Person, office, and grace of Christ, whom they refused to believe and receive.
Isaiah 42:25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. (KJV)
Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger . . . the Lord was angry with these people for their rejection of the Messiah, and contempt of His Gospel; and therefore His wrath came upon them to the uttermost (1 Thes.2:16), not in tiny amounts, but in great abundance, to the utter ruin of their nation, city and Temple. The Romans came to subdue Palestine, and their coming was the pouring out the fury of the Lord (Eze.9:8), because of Israel’s sins.
And the strength of battle . . . all the miseries and calamities that are the effects of war.
And it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart . . . the Roman army set fire first to the lower part of the city of Jerusalem, and then the higher part, and completely consumed it; and yet this has not to this day, brought Israel to lay it to heart, to consider and observe the true reason of it, their rejection of the Messiah.
***** The counsel is, to acknowledge the Hand of God in their afflictions and to acknowledge that they had provoked God and as a result, He abandoned them, which had brought all these calamities upon themselves.
There is no resisting nor escaping the power of God's anger! The hatred and trouble that sin brings, provokes God to anger against an unrepentant people, kindling a universal inferno.
God’s wrath burned them, and even though they could not help but know and feel it, yet they did not lay it to their heart, they was not awakened by the fiery rebukes they were under, nor at all affected with them. They kept on heeping on in their sin. All those who are not humbled by lesser judgments, must know and expect that greater judgments are one the way . . . for when God judges He will overcome!
Judgments under the rod of God continued upon them for they were a senseless and hardened incorrigible people. The fire of God's wrath was kindled upon them, and they were not even aware of it, for they took no notice of the judgments at the Hand of God to them.
Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. (KJV) Judgment Coming: (Eze.18:20-28; Dan.7:9-10; Mat.25:31-46; Jn.5:22; 12:48; Rev.6:15-17; 20:11-15).
*****What are Jesus’ Laws to us? Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV) . . . These TWO Laws cover all the law and the prophets, meaning the entire Old Testament!
The Lord Jesus says that there is a second, but NOT a third, in importance of commandments. This is suggested in opposition to the multitude of commandments in the Law, according to the Jews, who think there are in all 613, of which 365 are negative ones. Isaiah 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; (KJV) . . . Isaiah reduces the Jews' 613 laws to 6 here, while Habakkuk reduces the 613 to ONE! Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV) . . . We are here interested in what Jesus says! Christ reduces all their laws to just two, love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
The Servant in Isaiah
The nation Israel is called the servant: (41:8; 42:19; 43:10; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4; 48:20)
The Messiah is called the Servant: (42:1-17; 49:5-7; 50:10; 52:13; 53:11)
The nation was given a mission to serve God, to be defender and guardian of His Word, and to be a light to the Gentile nations. Because of doubt, sin and rebellion, they failed utterly. God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as Messiah to fulfill that mission on Earth (Jn.3:15-18, 36; 1 Jn.5:10-13), but the majority of Jews today still doubt.
City of Petra/Sela
The city of Petra is not mentioned in the Bible by that name; rather, it is called by its Hebrew name, Sela (Isa.16:1; 2 Ki.14:7). Both Petra and Sela mean rock, a very good name, since much of the city is carved into sandstone cliffs. Petra is located about fifty miles south of the Dead Sea and 170 miles southwest of modern Amman, Jordan. I believe that Petra and Sela are the same city.
Petra’s main access is through a narrow crevice called the Siq, which winds for about a mile through mountainous landscape. The Siq provided an excellent natural defense for Petra’s inhabitants.
Petra was in the land of the Edomites, who were descendants of Esau. Israel and Edom were continually at variance, starting with Edom’s refusal to allow Moses and the Israelites passage through their land on their way to Canaan (Num.20:18-21). During the ‘kingdom years’, King Saul and King David both fought the Edomites (1 Sam.14:47; 2 Sam.8:13-14). During the reign of King Jehoshaphat, Edom invaded Judah and was kept away ( 2 Chron.20). King Amaziah fought against Edom, and he took control of Petra, renaming it Joktheel (2 Ki.14:7).
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 586 BC, the Edomites gave aid and comfort to the enemy (Ps.137:7), for which they were strongly condemned by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Obadiah (Isa.34:5-8; Jer.49:16-18; Oba.1:1-9).
For centuries, Petra seemed secure in its unassailable fortress of rock, but today its ruins lie uninhabited, in fulfillment of the prophetic word: Jer. 49:18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it. (KJV)
Petra is the Greek word for rock. In the heart of Mount Seir, halfway between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, there is a valley surrounded on all sides by very steep rocky cliffs, with a few narrow gorges leading inside. In this secluded valley, the city of Petra was built. Its Biblical name was Sela. The earliest inhabitants of this city were the Horites (Gen.14:6; 36:21, 29). Later, Esau, the brother of Jacob, settled in the territory south of the Dead Sea, and his descendants, the Edomites, gradually replaced the Horites. The Edomites lived there when Israel came from Egypt during the Exodus, about 1445 BC.
Jeremiah predicted that the city would lose its power and become uninhabited (Jer.49:16-18; Oba.3-4). Why did God predict the end of the inhabitants of Petra? For the answer, one must look into the rituals and practices of these people. The main place of worship, the Jabel-Aibb' Atuf, is the best-preserved high place in all the Bible lands. The object of worship here was not God, but the sun (God’s creation). And as part of their worship they offered human sacrifices. Close by, two columns may be seen which were most likely sun pillars of fertility. It was because of these and other abominable, repulsive practices that God instructed Israel on their entry into Canaan after the Exodus, to destroy the high places of the heathen (Num.33:52; Deut.12:2). Because of the pagan vices and immoral rituals practiced there, prophecy predicted the downfall and entire destruction of cities like Petra (Joel 3:19; Eze.35:3-9).
Many believe that Petra is the same city/location as Sela, and I agree. Sela is the central place to be reserved for the Israelites when they flee from Judea after Antichrist breaks his covenant with them by taking over Palestine during the last three and a half years of this age, the Great Tribulation, which is the worst part.
The persecution, flight and protection of the woman in the wilderness prove her to be Israel (Rev.12:6, 13-16). . . . . .. . http://www.godcannotlie.org/rev_ch12.htm . . . Consider the following:
#1. Isaiah (Isa.16:1-5) predicts the flight of Israel into Moab and Edom, and mentions Sela, the ancient capital of Edom. I do not think that the church is subject to this.
#2. Isaiah (Isa.26:20-21) predicts the protection of Israel until the indignation be overpast.
#3. Isaiah (Isa.63:1-5) pictures Christ in His Second Coming as descending from the east, the direction of Edom where the Israelites are to be protected (Mat.24:27).
#4. Isaiah (Isa.42:11-13) speaks of the LORD coming to Earth to be victorious over His enemies, predicts that the Jews in the wilderness and the rock (Sela) will sing of Him.
#5. Psalms (Ps.60:6-12; 108:8-13) predict that God will reserve Edom from the Antichrist and speaks to the leading of Israel into the strong city (Sela).
#6. Ezekiel (Eze.20:23-44) speaks of Israel being gathered back from the nations in the last days and of her going into the wilderness where God will plead with her as He did when she came out of Egypt.
#7. Moses and Aaron (Ex.4:28-30; 5:1, 20), just as Moses and Aaron were witnesses of God’s Word to the Israelites in the Old Testament, so too shall there be two witnesses of God’s Word in the last days, the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period (Rev.11:3-13).
(8) Daniel (Dan.11:36) reveals the conquest of many countries, including Palestine, but predicts that Edom, Moab and Ammon will escape the Antichrist. Sela, I believe is the place reserved by God for Israel to be protected in the wilderness during the last 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation (Rev.12:6, 14).
#9. Hosea (Hos.2:14-23) speaks of the wilderness where Israel will flee from the Antichrist.
#10. Matthew (Mat.24:15-22) predicts the Antichrist will breaking his 7-year covenant with Israel (Dan.9:27), and set up the abomination of desolation in the Temple at Jerusalem, and the flight of Israel from Judea into the mountains or wilderness during the great tribulation.
#11. Revelation (Rev.12:6, 13-16) makes the final prediction of Israel going into the wilderness to be protected 3 ½ years from the Antichrist. http://www.godcannotlie.org/rev_ch12.htm
The struggles of Israel have been numerous in her past history, being clearly revealed in her slaveries, oppressions and deliverances . . . which began with Israel in Egypt and in the period of the judges and kings. They have continued, to some extent to the present day, and will finally culminate in the worst period of travail she has ever known:
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (KJV)
Matthew 24:15-26 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. (KJV)
There will be a future continued travail of Israel in the Tribulation Week with a two-fold result:
#1. The deliverance of the man child in the middle of the Week (Rev.12:2-5; Jer.30:6-9; Dan.12:1; Isa.66:7-8). This will be the result of the horrifying anguish and sorrow of Israel in the middle of the Week, because the Antichrist, with whom she has made a seven year covenant (Dan.9:27) to guarantee her protection from the great whore and the ten kings of Revised Roman Empire (Rev.17), will have broken this contract and was determined to utterly destroy her.
Antichrist will be defeated in his purpose of destroying Israel at this time by the tidings out of the north and east (Dan.11:44-45), the northern and eastern European and Asiatic nations will unite together against Antichrist to put a stop to his superhuman successes in his conquests. This will keep him busy during the last 3 1/2 years of the Week (Dan.9:27), after he has gained the whole ten kingdoms, and thus cause him to let Israel alone for the time being or until he conquers his new enemies. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch9.htm
Then, all nations which he has conquered in both parts of the Week, as well as other co-operative nations in the rest of the world (Rev.16:13-16), will be gathered against Israel to destroy them as he intended to do in the middle of the Week . . . BUT then Christ suddenly comes to save Israel (Zec.14).
The result of the travail of Israel at this time will be that God will undertake by catching up the man child. After that He will supernaturally protect the woman in the wilderness and the remnant in Palestine by occupying the attention of the Antichrist through the threats of the northern and eastern nations as stated above.
#2. The deliverance of the woman herself at the end of the Week when the Antichrist with many nations tries to destroy Israel (Isa.66:7-8; Mic.5:3; Zec.12:10 thru 14:21; Joel 3:1-21). The amazing result of Israel’s travail will be her conversion, and the defeat of the Antichrist by the return of Christ to the Earth with the saints and angels (Rev.19:11-21), and to exalt Israel and set up His everlasting kingdom (Ps.145:13; Dan.4:3, 34; 7:14, 27; 2 Pet.1:11).
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
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JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page