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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)
The connection between chapters 43 and 44 is much the same as the connection between chapters 42 and 43. Chapter 42 ended with words that accused the people of Israel. Then chapter 43 began ‘But now…’, and it went on to describe the new situation. The people would soon be able to return to their own country. In the same way, chapter 43 ended with words that again accused the people of Israel. Then chapter 44 begins ‘Yet now hear…’. This phrase begins a Passage that will encourage God’s people. Dear one, the LORD does give hope to His people.
In this chapter the LORD comforts His people with the Promise of the outpouring of His Spirit, and the blessings of His grace upon them; the result of which would be their being fruitful, and the conversion of others, who would profess themselves the LORD'S people (vs.1). He proves His deity in opposition to all false gods; because of His eternity (Jn.1:1), His omniscience (Job 31:4; 34:21), and foretelling future events (vs.6), He exposes the stupidity of idol makers and the worshippers of them (vs.9), makes great Promises to remember His people: the remission of their sins and their redemption by Christ (vs.21), of which redemption from Babylon was a type; and of that, assurance is given, from the LORD'S creating all things by His power (Jn.1:3; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Heb.1-12; 3:3-4; Rev.4:11), from His frustrating and infuriating diviners and wise men; from His fulfilling His predictions delivered by His prophets; and from His mentioning by name the instrument of their redemption, Cyrus (vs.24), which makes way for a precise prophecy concerning him in the next chapter.
This chapter may be divided into the following parts:
#1. The assurance that although they had sinned (Isa.43:23-28), God would have mercy on them, and would restore them to His favor, and to their land (Isa.44:1-5). They had nothing to fear (vs.1-2); for the LORD would bless their offspring, and they would grow and flourish like willows by the waters (vs.3-5), and there would be among them a general turning to the LORD, and they would be devoted to His service (vs.5).
#2. An argument to show that the LORD was the TRUE God; and a severe and most sarcastic reproof of idolatry, intended to rebuke idolaters, and to lead the people to put their confidence in the LORD (vs.6-20), NOT ridiculous idols. This argument consists of the following parts:
(a). A solemn statement by the LORD Himself, that there was NO other God (vs.6).
(b). A plea to the fact that only He had foretold future events, and that only He could do it (vs.7-8).
(c). A mocking statement of the manner in which idols were made, and the foolishness of men worshipping them (vs.9-20).
This chapter gives assurance that the LORD would deliver His people from all their calamities and oppressions.
Isaiah 44 parallels (goes along with) Acts. The prophecy of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled in the second chapter of Acts, and will have a complete fulfillment in the last days with Israel.
The present condition of Israel is, they have no peace today because they have departed from the living and TRUE God. This is not, however, their final state. Chapter 44 continues the theme of chapter 43. However, chapter 43 closed with the dark mention of coming judgment, while this chapter moves into the light of the coming Kingdom and the Promise of the Holy Spirit.
There is in this chapter a vivid and bitterly shocking mockery against idolatry. This is the repeated theme of this particular section. The human heart seems to look for ways to turn away from the LORD God to some stupid idol. In today’s world, we do not go after graven images, like in Isaiah’s time, but anything to which a person gives himself to and worships instead of the One and only TRUE God is an idol. It can be alcohol, drugs, business, a career, a person, money, possessions, pleasure, sports, sex, self-adoration, lusting for fortune and fame, etc. The high point of Isaiah’s bold passion against idolatry will come in chapter 46. There we shall have the chance to consider this sin further and see the real difference between the Almighty LORD and an idol.
The LORD Encourages and Assures His People, Great
Blessings are in Store at Their Return out of Captivity (44:1-8)
Two great truths are made abundantly clear in these verses.
This should be read in direct connection with the following previous chapter. Isaiah 43:28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches. Notwithstanding you have sinned, yet now hear the gracious promise which is made in regard to your deliverance. (KJV)
Isaiah 44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: (KJV)
Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen . . . Yet, although they had sinned, yet hear God's gracious Promise as to their deliverance. Although the LORD had chastised them for their sins, and had just cause to utterly destroy them; yet in judgment, He would remember mercy, and would still own them for His servant and His chosen people. Chosen (Isa.41:8).
Isaiah 44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord that made thee . . . (See Isaiah 43:1).
And formed thee from the womb . . . this is equal to the declaration that He was their Maker, their Creator. It means, that from the very beginning of their history as a people, He had formed and molded them, and directed all things in regard to them. From the womb, meaning, that He was the Originator of all their customs, privileges and laws, from the beginning of their history.
Which will help thee . . . meaning that from the beginning of their existence as a nation, the LORD had been their Helper.
Fear not, O Jacob, my servant . . . fear not (Isa.41:10). Although they had sinned as a people (Isa.43:23-24, 27), and even though all these heavy judgments had come upon them (Isa.43:28), yet they have no reason to fear that God will finally abandon and destroy them.
And thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen . . . Jeshurun (Deut.32:15; 33:5, 26), is a poetical name for the people of Israel, which seems to express affection and tenderness.
Isaiah 44:3 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: (KJV)
I will pour water . . . His Spirit and blessing, which is often compared to water (Jn.7:37-38).
Upon him that is thirsty . . . either, #1. on him that desires it. Or #2. on him that has none; for what is here thirsty, in the next clause it is called dry ground.
And floods upon the dry ground . . . floods to flow, and is used for streams and rivers (Ex.15:8; Ps.72:6; 78:16; Pro.5:16). Floods, rivers, streams and waters, are often used in the Scriptures, and especially in Isaiah, to mean abundant divine blessings, especially the lavish influences of the Holy Spirit (Isa.35:6-7).
I will pour my spirit upon thy seed . . . My Spirit is His gifts and graces which seems to express the lifting up the minds and hearts of the Jews from carnal and worldly things, to which they were far too addicted, to spiritual and heavenly blessings, thus preparing them for a much better thing . . . the Gospel.
And my blessing upon thine offspring . . . all the blessings of the covenant, both spiritual and temporal (Isa.59:21). This agrees with the Promises made in the Bible to the people of God (Gen.12:7; 13:15; 17:7-8; Ex.20:6; Deut.7:9; Ps.89:4; Isa.43:5). It may be regarded, first, as a Promise of the richest blessings to them as parents, since there is to a parent’s heart no prospect so comforting as that which relates to his offspring; and too, as an assurance of the eternity of their religion; of their return from captivity, and their restoration to their own land.
This, I believe, is a reference to the pouring out of the Spirit, which corresponds to Joel 2:28-32. If you read Joel's prophecy very carefully, you will find that it was not fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost . . . . . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/joel_commentary_lesson8.htm
When Peter quoted from it, he did not say it was a fulfillment (Acts 2:16). The crowd was ridiculing the disciples because they were speaking in different languages (Acts 2:11). The people were accusing them of being "full of new wine" (Acts 2:13), instead of the Holy Spirit. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_acts_ch2.htm
*****Joel 2:28-32 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (KJV) . . . I believe Isaiah 44:3 refers to the pouring out of the Spirit which corresponds to Joel 2:28-32. If you read Joel's prophecy very carefully, you will see that it was NOT fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. When Peter quoted from Joel, he said this is that . . . he did NOT say it was a fulfillment (Acts 2:16). The crowd in Jerusalem that day was mocking the disciples because they were speaking in different languages (Acts 2:7-11) about the wonderful works of God. The people were condemning them of being full of new wine (Acts 2:13), instead of full the Holy Spirit (Mic.3:8; Lk.4:1; Acts 6:8). To summarize what Peter says, this should not shock you, because this is similar to what will happen in the last days.
How do we know it was NOT fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost? Consider the following:
#1. Joel said: And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come (2:30-31 above). This did NOT happen on the Day of Pentecost.
#2. Joel said: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh (2:28 above). The record in Acts tells us that the Spirit was NOT poured out on all people. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_acts_ch2.htm
In Acts there were at first 120 disciples (Acts 1:15), then 3,000 believers (Acts 2:41), not anywhere near ALL (Joel 2:28), and after 1900 years . . . it still is NOT all. Some estimate that there were possibly half a million people in Jerusalem at that time, but by no means can anyone say that Joel's prophecy was fulfilled at that time. BUT the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy SHALL come in the future . . . in the last days! The greatest days for Israel and the world are still to come.
Revelation 6:12-13 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (KJV)
Revelation 18:8-9 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, (KJV)
Revelation 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! (KJV) . . . These things are yet to come!
Isaiah 44:4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. (KJV)
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. There shall be a great increase in the church. It shall be spread to distant places, and be preserved to the last days.
As willows by the water courses . . . They shall spring up and grow as fast as willows by the rivers, and in everything that is good and praiseworthy they shall excel. It is a great happiness to the church, and a great pleasure to good men, to see the rising generation hopeful and promising. And it will be so when the LORD pours His Spirit upon them, for this is truly the blessing of blessings!
***** A similar figure to represent the prosperity and happiness of the righteous occurs in:
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (KJV)
Isaiah 4:4 and Psalm 1:3 teach us:
#1. That the LORD will pour His gracious blessings on the children of His people, which is a Promise to all ages and abundantly fulfilled . . . IF and when parents are faithful and teach their children to be faithful (Gen.18:19; Deut.6:6-7; Ps.78:1-8; 2 Tim.3:15).
#2. That one of the greatest and richest blessings which can be imparted to a people is, that God‘s Spirit should descend on their children.
#3. That the Spirit of LORD God alone is the source of true happiness and prosperity to our children. All else . . . property, possessions, beauty, fortune, fame, learning, accomplishment, education, will be vain. It is by His blessing only . . . and by the influence of faithfulness, that
they will spring forth as among the grass, and like willows by the streams of water.
#4. Parents should pray earnestly for a revival of religion. People today are moving away from the LORD. Instead they need to run TO Him, for He is their only Hope!
Isaiah 44:5 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. (KJV)
One shall say, I am the LORD’S . . . I belong to the LORD; I devote myself to Him. I think this expresses the true nature of a ‘profession’ to be a Christian . . . it is a feeling that we are not really our own, but that we belong to the LORD. It is not that we feel forced to worship Him, but that we have a deep DESIRE to worship Him, and that we actually belong to Him, and are grateful for this fact.
Our body, spirit and soul (1 Thes.5:23), and all that we have and are, are to be sanctified (set apart) for His service (Ps.40:8; 100:2; 126:5-6; 1 Cor.6:15-20). We feel we are completely, entirely and forever for the LORD, to obey Him; to do His will; to suffer patiently all that He appoints and allows to come our way.
And another shall call himself by the name of Jacob . . . the idea seems to be, that he should call himself a friend of Jacob, an Israelite. He should regard himself as belonging to the same family and the same religion, as Jacob; as worshipping the same God; and as having the same belief. To call oneself by the same name as another, indicates friendship and affection; and expresses a desire to be united to him, and to identify their interest with his. To know that Israel represents God's way of life for His people will be common in the last days.
And another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord . . . some think that the reference here is to the marks which were made permanent by puncture with ink on the hand or on other parts of the body (Ex.21:5-6; Deut.15:16-17). Tattoos are a no-no in the Bible (Lev.19:28). It seems that there were punctural inscriptions made by the pagan soldiers on their hands. The soldiers having permanent inscriptions on their skin, and inserted in the muster-rolls, are accustomed to make an oath. And it seems that some Christians seem to have imitated this practice, marking their wrists or arms, with the sign of the cross, or with the Name of Christ. Christians shall be marked in their forehead in the Great Tribulation Period (Rev. 7:3; 22:4) . . . as opposed to those who accept the mark of the beast on their right hand, or in their foreheads (Rev.13:16-17). BEWARE!!! Do NOT willingly accept any marks by the government or anyone else on your body! (Rev.14:9-11).
And surname himself by the name of Israel . . . shall call himself an Israelite, and shall be a worshipper of the same God as Israel. Surname himself means to address in a friendly and soothing manner; to speak kindly to anyone. The word sometimes means a giving of a flattering title to someone, by way of compliment (Job 32:21-22).
*****The blessing of God upon the Jews shall be so remarkable, so incredible, that the Gentiles shall join themselves to them, and accept the LORD for their God, and own themselves as His people. It is not only the special people of God (Israel) who benefit from God’s activities. Other nations also will in the last days, finally realize that the LORD is the Provider of all good things.
Next, the LORD renews His argument and contest with idols; which He insists upon so often and so greatly, because His own people were so prone to idolatry.
Isaiah 44:6 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 beside me there is no God. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord . . . this begins the argument to prove that the LORD is the only TRUE God, and that all the idols were/are vanity. The purpose is, to show the Jews, that He who had made them such Promises of protection and deliverance was well able to perform what He had promised Himself to do.
The King of Israel (Jacob) . . . (Isa.41:21).
And his Redeemer . . . (Isa.43:1)..
The Lord of hosts . . . (Isa.1:9).
I am the first . . . (Isa.41:4).
And I am the last . . . (Isa.41:4), this is expressed in: Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (KJV) . . . The sense is, that God existed before all things, and will exist forever.
And besides me there is no God . . . this is repeatedly declared in the Word of God (Ex.8:10; 9:14; 15:11; Deut.4:35, 39; 33:26; 1 Sam.2:2; 2 Sam.7:22; 1 Ki,.8:23; Ps.86:8; 89:6-8; Isa.40:18, 25; 43:10-12; 45:5, 18, 21-22; 46:5, 9; Jer.10:6-7). This great Truth the LORD kept steadily before the minds of the Jews; and in the last days will be dispersed abroad among all the nations. He IS the Almighty LORD and He shall be Judge in the last days on Judgment Day (1 Thes.4:13-18; Mat.25:31-46; Rev.20:11-20), just as He judged in the past, and was right and just in doing so (Gen.6:5, 12, 17; 7:21-23; 18:20-33; 19:16). BEWARE!!!
http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_judgment_coming.1.htm (many articles)
Isaiah 44:7 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 shew unto them. (KJV)
And who, as I . . . this verse contains an argument to prove that the LORD is God. In proof of this, He states the fact that He alone can predict future events, and with precision, declare the order and the time in which they will come to pass (Isa.41:21-23; 44:9-10).
Who shall call . . . meaning to call forth the event, or command it to happen when He wills, which is one of the highest possible exhibitions of power (Isa.13:4-5, 17-18; 44:28; 46:11; 48:14-15; Jer.50:21-29; 51:20-24) . . . of which NONE of the Heathen gods can do!
And shall declare it . . . declare or announce with certainty the future event, or shall publish and declare; which express the same thing.
And set it in order for me . . . arrange it; and means to place in a row; set in order. It is in reference to placing the wood on the altar in a proper manner (Gen.22:9), or to placing the showbread in proper order on the table (Lev.24:8), and also setting an army in order, or putting it in battle array (Gen.14:8; Judg.20:20, 22; 1 Sam.17:2). I think that here it means that God would arrange the events in a proper order, as an army is arrayed for battle. There would be absolutely no improper sequences of events; no chance of hap-hazard nor confusion. The events which take place under the LORD’S government, occur in proper order and exact time, so as best to serve His plans. For me in order to promote His glory. What happens on Earth, happen at the LORD’S command and for His honor and glory.
Since I appointed the ancient people . . . since the time that I appointed or called the Israelites to be My people, whom He calls the ancient people, because they were His people long before this time; and were the everlasting people, because He determined that He would never totally and finally cast them off and destroy them (Jer.31:35-37), as He would do other nations. The Israelites were therefore qualified to be His witnesses. Let them (their idols, their gods) give Me an account of any of their predictions of future events from the beginning of the world to this day. They could NOT do it!
And the things that are coming, and shall come . . . (Isa.41:22-23),such things as are near at hand, and such as those that are to come in the last days. They could NOT do that either!
*****None besides the LORD could foretell any things to come, then or now, which God now by His prophet gave notice of to the world, about 200 years before they came to pass . . . who shall declare it, how it shall be, and has perfect foreknowledge of it, but sets it in order, as being the sole Manager and Director of it. Can any other pretend to know and do this? The LORD has always set things in order according to the counsel of His own will (Eph.1:11), ever since He appointed the ancient people, the people of Israel, who alone could give a truer and fuller account of the antiquities of their own nation than any other kingdom in the world could give of theirs. Ever since the LORD appointed Israel to be His peculiar people (Deut.14:2; 26:18; Tit.2:14; 1 Pet.2:9), His providence was especially aware about them, and He told them BEFORE the events that would happen regarding them, their bondage in Egypt, their deliverance from it , and their settlement in Canaan . All was set in order in the LORD’S divine predictions as well as in the His divine reasons. NO other could have done so! NO other would have been so concerned about them! He challenges the idols and their worshippers to show the things that would come . . . Let them, if they can, tell us the name of the man that shall destroy Babylon and deliver Israel.
No, they could not tell the things that would come in the last days, let alone the things that were soon to come, that were close at hand and at the door. If they cannot tell what would come to pass tomorrow, and they could NOT . . . there was no reason to fear them. They could do them no harm. Those who have God's Promise to depend on need not be afraid of any supposed opposing powers or policies of idols.
Isaiah 44:8 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 beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (KJV)
Fear ye not, neither be afraid . . . (Isa.41:10). There can be no doubt to the meaning. Neither be deceived.
Have not I told thee . . . O Israel, whom He bids not to fear. The sense is, He calls Israel to be His witness, that there is no other God (Isa.43:13).
From that time . . . from the time when I appointed the ancient people (vs.7). These were instances of God's prediction of things to come, not only from the beginning of the Jewish state.
And have declared it . . . have published it to the world in my sacred records.
Ye are even my witnesses . . . (Isa.43:12), witnesses both of the LORD’S predictions, and of the exact harmony and fulfillment of the events.
Is there a God besides me? . . . judge whether I be the only true God.
Yea, there is no God; I know not any . . . if any be wiser than I am, I am willing to be informed. It is a mocking speech. And besides me there is no God . . . this is repeatedly declared in the Word of God (Ex.8:10; 9:14; 15:11; Deut.4:35, 39; 33:26; 1 Sam.2:2; 2 Sam.7:22; 1 Ki,.8:23; Ps.86:8; 89:6-8; Isa.40:18, 25; 43:10-12; 45:5, 18, 21-22; 46:5, 9; Jer.10:6-7).
Exposing the Greedy, Unrestrained Foolishness
Of Idol-Makers and Idol-Worshippers (44:9-20)
Isaiah 44:9 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. (KJV)
They that make a graven image . . . a graven image is one that is cut, or sculptured out of wood or stone, and is different from one that is molten, which is made by being cast. Here it is used to mean an image, or an idol-god. God had declared in the previous verses His divinity, and He now proceeds to reveal the vanity of idols and of idol worship. This same topic was introduced in Isaiah 40:18-20, but it is here pushed on to greater length, and in a manner far more sarcastic and severe. Possibly Isaiah had two things in mind: #1. To reprove the idolatrous spirit in his own time, his day, which was rampant in the early part of the reign of Manasseh; and #2. To show to the exile Jews in Babylon that the gods of the Babylonians could not protect their city, and that the LORD could rescue His own people. Isaiah begins by saying, that all the makers of the idols were vanity. Clearly, the idols themselves could have no more power than their makers, so they also were vanity.
Are all of them vanity . . . they themselves were vain, empty or foolish men (1 Sam.12:21).
And their delectable things shall not profit . . . their idols were their delectable things; their idols, in the sight and worship of which they take so much pleasure. Shall not profit . . . shall not be able to aid or protect them; shall be of no advantage to them (Hab.2:18).
And they are their own witnesses . . . they that make them are witnesses against themselves, and against their idols, because they very well know that they are not gods, but the work of their own hands, in which there is nothing but shameful matter and man's art.
They see not, nor know . . . or they have neither sense nor understanding. They have no power nor can discern anything. How can they then foresee future events?
That they may be ashamed . . . therefore they have just cause to be ashamed of their folly and stupidity, in worshipping such senseless things. The same sentiment is repeated in verse 11, and in: Isaiah 45:16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. (KJV) . . . The sense is, that shame and confusion await all who put their trust in a vain idol god.
Isaiah 44:10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? (KJV)
Who hath formed a god . . . they who make a god shall be ashamed, and all who carve unprofitable things. Isaiah asks, Why do you spend all of your time making a god? You should to be ashamed. You are all mixed up. You cannot make a god; God made you!
*****What man in his right mind can honor a god which his own hands formed, or melt a graven image which is profitable for nothing? He speaks of melting a graven image, because the image was first melted and cast in a mold, and then polished and graven with a tool. Why does man form a god or melt a graven image to worship it? That stupid god is profitable for nothing! This verse is a kind of summons to idolaters to come to their senses!
Isaiah 44:11 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. (KJV)
Behold, all his fellows . . . either, #1. The workmen who in this work are companions or partners with him, by whose cost and command the work is done. Or, #2. Those who in any way assist and encourage him in this work, and join with him in worshipping the image which he makes. Ephraim is joined to idols (Hos.4:17).
Shall be, ashamed . . . shall be confused when they find that their idols cannot help them.
And the workmen, they are of men . . . they are mortal people; they must themselves soon die. It is therefore ridiculous, for them to try to make a god that can defend or save, or that should be adored.
Let them all be gathered together . . . for purposes of trial, or to urge their claims to the power of making an object that should be adored (Isa.41:1).
Let them stand up . . . as in a court of justice, to defend their cause (Isa.41:21).
Yet they shall fear . . . they shall be terrified when danger comes. They shall find that their idols cannot defend them.
And they shall be ashamed together . . . although all combine together, and stand up with all their might to maintain the cause of their false gods, they all shall be humiliated.
Isaiah 44:12 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. (KJV)
The smith with the tongs . . . the prophet proceeds here to show the madness and absurdity of idolatry; and in order to this, Isaiah goes into an extended statement in verses 12-19, of the way in which idols were usually made. The sacred writers are usually long and eloquent on the subject of idolatry; treating it with pronounced severity, and setting forth just how absurd it was in the strongest way. But I think that this Passage of Isaiah far exceeds anything that was ever written on the subject, in power of argument, liveliness of expression and elegance of composition. A few early Christian writers have tried to imitate Isaiah, but with very little success.
Both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers . . . first the smith makes the metal soft and pliable, by putting it in hot coals, then takes it out, and beats it into what form he desires. Some of images were made of brass and iron, others were of gold and silver (Dan.5:4).
And worketh it with the strength of his arms . . . he works it with his strong arms, referring to the fact that the arm of the smith, by constant usage, becomes very strong.
Yea, he is hungry . . . he is exhausted by his hard work. He is so anxious to get it done, so involved, so hardworking, that he does not even stop to eat.
And his strength faileth . . . he works until he is completely exhausted.
He drinketh no water, and is faint . . . he does not stop long enough to take a drink of water, so hurried is he. While the iron is hot, he works hard and fast, lest it should cool, and his work be stunted . . . a very graphic description of what is seen in a blacksmith’s shop.
*****Possibly there was a superstition among the workman not to eat or drink while he was making an idol, in order to give honor and glory to the god.
Isaiah 44:13 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. (KJV)
The carpenter . . . the axe is made (vs.12), and the carpenter now proceeds to the construction of the god.
Stretcheth out his rule . . . for the purpose of laying out his work, or measuring it.
He marketh it out with a line . . . he measures and marks the portion of wood by his rule and line of which the idol is to be made. He marks out the shape; the length, width and thickness of the body, in the raw, rough, unhewn piece of wood. He has an idea in his mind of what shape the god will be, and he strives to make one of that form.
He fitteth it with planes . . . or with chisels or carving-tools, with which wooden images were carved. Planes were later used to make a smooth surface; carving is performed with chisels. And He marketh it out with the compass . . . a compass accurately designates the parts, and marks out the proportion of the form.
And maketh it after the figure of a man . . . the form in which it is made is that of a man, a poor, weak, dying creature; but it is the noblest form and figure that he is acquainted with, and, being his own, he has a special fondness for it and is willing to put all the character he can upon it.
According to the beauty of a man . . . he makes it according to the beauty of a man, in right proportion, with those limbs and lineaments that are the beauty of a man, but are completely unfit to represent the beauty of the LORD. God put a great honor upon man when, in respect of the powers and faculties of his souls, He made him after the image of God (Gen.1:27), but man does a great dishonor to God when he makes him a god. Maybe there may be a little mockery here in the thought that a god should be made in the shape of a man. It was true, however, that the statues of the gods among the ancients were made after the perfect conceptions of the human form.
That it may remain in the house . . . to dwell in a temple. Such statues were usually made to decorate a temple; or rather perhaps temples were built to be dwelling places for these gods. It may be implied here, that the idol was of no use but to remain in a house. It could not hear, or save. It was like a useless piece of furniture, and had none of the attributes of God. In the house may also mean in the house of him that made it; that he and his family could more often worship to it, that they might receive help and protection from it, as idolaters foolishly thought.
Isaiah 44:14 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. (KJV)
He heweth him down cedars . . . Isaiah had described the formation of an axe with which the work was to be done (vs.12), and the laying out, and carving of the idol (vs.13). In this verse Isaiah describe the material of which the idol was made, and the different purposes to which the trees were used (vs.15-17). The reason is to show the utter stupidity of those who should worship a god made of the same material from which they made a fire to warm themselves, or to cook their food.
And taketh the cypress and the oak . . .which are the best and most durable timber; cypress is a kind of wood that is hard or firm. Some translates it as a species of oak. It was an evergreen that was abundant in Palestine. The oak was commonly used for idols because of its hardness and durability.
Which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest . . . to strengthen means make strong, to repair, to replace, to harden (Ps.80:15, 17). He was careful and diligent to select the best kinds of wood for his god. He was so intent on his work, that he did not leave the work place, but refreshed himself with food in the forest without returning home, so that he might complete his job. Some interpret this to mean that he girded himself with strength, and made use of his power in felling the trees of the forest.
He planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it . . . this may mean that he gave himself with great diligence to the work; or maybe it means that he planted such trees, and took great pains in watering and cultivating them for this purpose. Rain doth nourish it, although man planted the tree, he certainly could NOT make it grow. In preparing to make an idol, he has to depend on
God alone for rain from heaven to make the tree grow (Jer.5:24; 10:13; 14:22; 51:16; Job 5:10; 38:26-28; Ps.147:8; Isa.30:23; Joel 2:23; Amos 4:7).
Isaiah 44:15 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 worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. (KJV)
Then shall it be for a man to burn . . . I think Isaiah’s intention of this verse and the following one, is to mock and ridicule the ridiculous idea of a man’s using a part of the tree to make a god . . . and of the very same tree to make a fire to cook his food and to warm himself! Nothing could be more utterly stupid than the conduct here referred to, and yet it was and is common all over the pagan world. It shows the in-depth debasement of the human race, that they use the same tree make a fire, cook their food, and create their gods.
*****The tree’s chips and scraps left from the construction of a god are used to kindle a fire for the man to warm himself and to bake his bread. The scraps are very useful, but that idol is no good at all to them. That god cannot warm you, cannot cook your food, cannot help or protect you in any way . . . and it certainly CANNOT save you! God, through Isaiah, is calling Israel's attention to how absolutely absurd idolatry really is.
So many people give themselves to those things that take them away from the LORD! There is NO worldly thing or person or symbol that can comfort us, help us, lift us up, bring us joy, protect us nor give us eternal life in Heaven (Jn.3:15-18, 36; 14:6).
Isaiah 44:16 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: (KJV)
He burneth part thereof in the fire . . . this simply repeats verse 15. Parts of the tree is used for different things.
With part thereof he eateth flesh . . . he prepares his food.
He roasteth roast, and is satisfied . . . he fills his belly with the roast.
Yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire . . . he is kept warm by the fire from part of the tree. Seeing is oft put for other senses, as feeling, hearing, as has often been observed.
Isaiah 44:17-18 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth 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. (KJV)
They have not known nor understood . . . they are stupid, ignorant and blind. Nothing could more outstandingly show their ignorance and stupidity than their idol worship.
He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand . . . the LORD had closed their eyes and their hearts (Ex.7:3; Deut.29:34; Josh.11:20; Job 12:24; Isa.6:9-10; 19:14; 29:10; 44:18; Jer.13:16; Mk.4:12; Jn.12:40; Rom.11:8, 25). 2 Thes. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (KJV) . . . God will allow the world believe a lie. WHY does He do that? It is like when God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Pharaoh did not want to let Israel go, and what God did was to force him to make a stand and come to a decision. God forced him into a situation that simply revealed what was already in Pharaoh’s heart. Many people today just will not take a stand for God. They will not listen to the Gospel, they close their hearts to it. God graciously and ever so kindly gives them His Word, the only thing that can save them, but they want no part of it. After they have heard the Word of God but refuse to accept it, God will send them strong delusion. WHY? Because when they refuse to receive the Truth, they open themselves to believe a lie. There are many who have stopped going to the church where they heard the Gospel, and rejected it. They open themselves wide to the demonic cults of our day. That is why so many of those cultists go around on Sunday morning, knocking at doors. They know that the feeble-faith people will not be in church on Sunday morning. They are not interested enough in the Word of God to be in church. The cults know that they can get those people, because if they will not receive the Truth, they are wide open for anything else that comes along. My friend, when people reject the Truth, they will believe a lie. God is separating the sheep from the goats (Mat.25:32). God uses this way to do it. BEWARE!!! Believe the LORD and stay close to HIM! http://www.godcannotlie.org/2_thes_ch2.htm
Verses 17-18 show that people want common freedom of choice, and do not have a right understanding of the LORD within them. The LORD God is easily understood, when thoughts of self are cast off. The LORD did NOT make men wicked, but He does allow them to be so, and orders and overrules their wickedness to His own glorious ends. Such passages as these are added to give an account of the exceptional madness of sinners; because they willfully shut their eyes and harden their hearts, so God judicially blinds and hardens them, and sends strong delusions upon them, and gives them up to believe lies, so it is no wonder if they fall into such troubles. 2 Thes. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (KJV)
*****The LORD gives all of us a free will, to make our own decisions. The Bible tells us that God does allow people to do this. When we turn away from the LORD, we automatically turn to the devil, and there are many of the devil’s apostles patiently waiting to gather you into the devil’s fold (Rev.14:9-11; 19:20; 20:15). You do NOT want to go there! (Mat.25:41).
2 Cor. 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (KJV) . . . BEWARE!!! Satan can be transformed into an angel of light! Stay away from him and his apostles! You do NOT want the LORD to inflict spiritual blindness or spiritual deafness upon you: (Ex.7:3; Deut.29:4; Josh.11:20; Isa.6:9-10; 19:14; 29:10; 44:18; Jer.6:10; 13:16; Eze.12:2; Zec.7:11; Mat.13:15; Mk.4:12; Jn.12:40; Acts 28:26; Rom.11:8, 25). http://www.godcannotlie.org/2_cor_ch.11.html
2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV) . . . Turn away their ears either in contempt or scorn of it. People then and now, do NOT want to hear the Truth (Isa.30:9-10)! They turn their backs on the only Truth that can save them, and instead delight in hearing myths, idle stories or falsehoods (1 Tim.1:4) that will put them in the lake of fire (Rev.20:15). http://www.godcannotlie.org/2_tim_ch4.htm
Please do NOT turn your back on the LORD! If you do not know Him as the only One who can save you (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), you can very easily know Him! http://www.godcannotlie.org/truth_about_salvation.htm
Isaiah 44:19 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? (KJV)
And none considereth in his heart . . . sinners carelessly neglect to think what may be the end result of their absurd, serious and brutish practices. Considereth is literally to lay it to heart (Ecc.7;2; Isa.42:25; 57:1; Jer.12:11; Mal.2:2).
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 . . . they never understand or ask themselves: Why should I bow down to a piece of wood, when I burn the rest of it?
And shall I make the residue thereof an abomination?. . . should I worship part of the tree, and make the rest of it an abomination? I think that the meaning is, that an idol was abominable and detestable in the sight of a Holy God. Idolatry is something that the LORD could not endure. The Scriptures make it clear that idolatry is an abomination to a Holy God (Deut.7:25; 27:15; 32:16). The Scriptural term for an idol, is not merely abominable, but the idea of what is, in the eyes of a jealous God (1 Ki.11:5-10).
Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?. . . shall I worship a stump of a tree on bended knees? Isaiah keeps on with his sarcasm and mockery. See some information on idols and false gods in the Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Isaiah 44:20 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? (KJV)
He feedeth on ashes . . . idol worshippers feed on disagreeable, unprofitable and malicious food, and no less unsatisfying, uncomfortable and mischievous is the worship of idols.
A deceived heart hath turned him aside . . . this is the real reason of the difficulty; a deceived heart is the fountain of all idolatry and sin. The heart is first wrong, and is followed by the lack of understanding, which then turns aside their whole conduct from the path of Truth and duty (Rom.1:28-32). A deceived heart is a mind corrupted and deceived by long custom, deep prejudice, gross error, and especially by his own lusts.
That he cannot deliver his soul, nor say . . . idols cannot help, protect nor deliver his soul on Judgment day. Idols cannot deliver any soul from snares and dangers of idolatry.
Is there not a lie in my right hand?. . . a lie is a name often given to an idol as being false and delusive. Is not man’s handiwork (the idol) a self-deceit? The right hand is the instrument of action. The sense is, that the idols they had been making, and on which they were depending, were deceiving, unreliable and vain. The work of their right hand . . . the result of their skill and hard work was deceptive, and could not save them. They had turned aside from the only way of truth, turned away from worship of the TRUE God, unto worthless idolatry.
He Approves and Confirms the Great Promises
He Had Given to His (44:21-28)
Isaiah 44:21 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 of me. (KJV)
Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee . . . remember these things which are now said about the utter stupidity of idolatry, and the arrogance and vanity of worshipping idols. The object of Isaiah’s argument is, to turn their attention to the LORD God, and to plead with them to place their trust in Him.
Thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me . . . Thou art my servant (Isa.42:19; 43:1). Thou shalt not be forgotten of me; I will not forget you, nor leave nor forsake you (Heb.13:5), so therefore you have NO need of idols.
Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (KJV)
I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins . . . just as the sun can dissolve or the wind scatters the thickest and blackest cloud, so that there is no remnant nor appearance of it left (Isa.43:25).
Return unto me; for I have redeemed thee . . . stop the idolatry! Since your sins are pardoned, and such mercy has been shown to you, return and serve me. The mercy of God in forgiving them, and the fact that God has forgiven us imposes the strongest obligations to dedicate ourselves to His service. The fact that we are redeemed and pardoned is the highest argument why we should dedicate all our power and ability to Him who has purchased and forgiven us. I have redeemed thee . . . therefore thou art Mine, and are indebted to return and stand by Me.
*****Return unto me, should be a great concern to those who have backslidden from God . . . to hasten their return to Him. He calls to them when they are in affliction, and when He is returning to them in a way of His gracious mercy.
Isaiah 44:23 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. (KJV)
Sing, O ye heavens . . . (Isa.42:10). It is common in the sacred writings to call on the heavens, the Earth, and all created things, to join in the praise of God on any great and glorious event (Ps.96:1, 11-13; 148:1-14). The occasion of the joy here was the fact that God had redeemed His people, of which the heavens and earth were called to join in.
The Lord hath done it . . . has delivered His people from their captivity in Babylon. There is, however, no impropriety in supposing that the eye of the prophet also rested on the glorious deliverance of his people by the Messiah; and that he regarded one event as symbolic of, and introductory to the other. The language used here will certainly correctly express the feelings which should be manifested in view of the plan of redemption under the Messiah.
Shout, ye lower parts of the earth . . . the foundations of the Earth; the parts remote from the high heavens. Let the highest and the lowest objects shout; the highest heavens, and the depths of the Earth.
Break forth into singing, ye mountains . . . (Ps.148:7-13). Mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars . . . let them all praise the Name of the Lord.
O forest, and every tree therein . . . referring either to Lebanon, as being the most magnificent forest known to the prophet; or to any forest as a great and beautiful thing.
For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel . . . by such invitations to the senseless creatures to praise God with and for His people, the LORD indicates the unmatched greatness of this mercy and deliverance, sufficient to make even the stones, if it were possible, to break forth into praises to God.
Isaiah 44:24 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; (KJV)
Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer . . . (Isa.43:1).
And he that formed thee from thee womb . . . (vs.2). He formed them into a people, formed them from the beginning. From the first beginning of their increase into a nation they were under His special care and government, more than any other people; their national structure was of His doing, and His covenant with them was the agreement by which they were unified. They are His, and He shall save them.
I am the LORD that maketh all things . . . (Jn.1:3). http://www.godcannotlie.org/john_commentary_ch1.html
That stretcheth forth the heavens alone . . .(Isa.40:22). http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_isaiah_ch.40.htm
That spreadeth abroad the earth by myself . . . spreadeth abroad the earth, the Earth is often represented in the Scriptures as a plain. The LORD here states the fact that He alone had made the heavens and the Earth, as proof that since He made it, He is certainly well able to do with it what is needed for the deliverance of His people. This same God that made the heavens and the Earth is the Redeemer and Protector of the nation of Israel and the church, so they are safe.
Isaiah 44:25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; (KJV)
That frustrateth the tokens of the liars . . . frustrates, breaking, destroying, rendering vain. The idea is, that that which necromancers and diviners relied on as certain demonstration that what they predicted would be fulfilled, God makes vain and ineffective. The event which they predicted did not follow, and all their alleged proofs that they were endowed with divine or miraculous power he rendered vain. Tokens . . . is usually applied to miracles, or to signs of the divine Presence of the LORD. Here it seems to mean the things which diviners and soothsayers relied upon; the tricks of cunning and sleight-of-hand which they offered as miracles, or as demonstrations that they were under a divine influence. The liars . . . deceivers, boasters, meaning magicians, or false prophets. Liars: (Isa.16:6; Jer.48:30; 50:36; 2 Thes.2:9-11; 1 Tim.4:2; Rev.19:20; 21:8; 22:15). Occult, witchcraft: (Lev.19:31; 20:6, 26-27; Deut.18:10; 2 Ki.17:17, 21:6; 2 Chron.33:6; Isa.8:19; 47:9, 12; Jer.27:9; Mic.5:12; Nah.3:4; Mal.3:5; Acts 8:11; 13:6; 19:19; 2 Thes.2:9; Rev.9;21; 13:13; 16:14; 18:23; 19:20; 20:15; 21:8). Soothsayers are false pagan prophets who pretend to forecast future events: (Josh.13:22; Isa.2:6; Dan.2:6, 27; 4:7; 5:7; Mic.5:12; Acts 16:16).
And maketh diviners mad . . . the LORD makes them foolish, deprives them of wisdom. They pretend to foretell future events, but the event does not agree with their prediction (Deut.18:21-22). God orders it otherwise, and thus they are shown to be foolish or unwise. When the LORD brings a prophecy, it shall come to pass exactly as He foretells it. 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) Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasuree: (KJV)
That turneth wise men backward . . . the LORD reverses the devices of the advisors. He puts them to shame. The idea seems to be the result from the fact that when one is ashamed, or disappointed, or fails of performing what he promised, he turns away his face. (1 Ki.2:16). They were not able to predict future events, and when their prediction failed, they would be filled with shame.
And maketh their knowledge foolish . . . He makes them look like fools. Soothsayers and diviners abounded in the East; and it is not unlikely that the prophet here means that when Babylon was attacked by Cyrus, the diviners and soothsayers would predict his defeat, and the overthrow of his army, but that the result would show that they were utterly incapable of predicting a future event. The whole Passage seems to refer to the taking of Babylon by Cyrus, and should be interpreted accordingly.
Isaiah 44:26 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: (KJV)
That confirmeth the word of his servant . . . servant here is to be taken in a combined sense, as referring to the prophets in general who had foretold the return of the Jews to their own land, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Or maybe, the prophet refers more particularly to himself as having made a full prediction of this event. The idea is, that it was a characteristic of the LORD to launch the words of His servants the prophets, and that their predictions in regard to the return from the captivity in a special manner would be fulfilled.
And performeth the counsel of his messengers . . . the counsel of His messengers, the prophets whom the LORD had sent to announce future events, and to give counsel and consolation to the nation.
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 . . . Jerusalem is here supposed to be lying in ruins, and the people to be in captivity in Babylon. In this situation, the LORD is represented as speaking to desolate Jerusalem, and saying, that it would again be inhabited, and that the cities of Judah would be rebuilt. The decayed places . . . wastelands, wilderness, for no land was probably ever more completely desolated than the land of Judea when its inhabitants were carried to Babylon.
Isaiah 44:27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: (KJV)
That saith to the deep, Be dry . . . some say that this refers to the fact that Cyrus took Babylon by diverting from their course the waters of the river Euphrates, and thus leaving the bed of the river dry, so that he could march his army under the walls of the city. The clearest interpretation is that it refers to the drying up of the Euphrates and the streams about Babylon, when Cyrus took the city (Dan.5). I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry (Jer.51:36).
Cyrus took the city of Babylon, after having besieged it a long time in vain, by turning the waters of the river into a vast lake, forty miles square, which had been constructed in order to carry off the surplus waters in a time of inundation. By doing this, he laid the channel of the river almost dry, and was thus enabled them to enter the city above and below, under the walls, and to take it by surprise.
And I will dry up thy rivers . . . no doubt referring to the numerous canals or artificial streams by which Babylon and the adjacent country were watered. These were supplied from the Euphrates, and when that was diverted from its usual bed, of course they became dry.
*****That with a word, the LORD can and will dry up the sea and rivers, which in Scripture is often called the deep (Ps.107:24; Isa.63:13; Jonah 2:3), and remove all obstructions, and make the way plain, that His people may return. Some think these words relate to that trick of Cyrus, whereby he diverted, and in a great measure dried up, the river Euphrates, and made it passable for his army. Others seem to think rather this refers to allude to that great action of God's drying up the Red Sea (Ex.14:21-29) and Jordan (Josh.4:23), to give passage to the Israelites on dry land (Ex.14:21, 29; 15:19; Josh.4:18, 22; Neh.9:11; Ps.66:6). Still others think this may refer to the last days when the LORD shall recall and stand up for the Jewish people, and the Gospel church (Deut.30:1-4; Isa.43:5-6; Jer.30:3-7; Eze.20:33-34; 34:11-13).
Prophecy Concerning Cyrus (44:28)
Isaiah 44:28 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. (KJV)
That saith of Cyrus . . . this is the first time where Cyrus is expressly named by Isaiah, although he is often referred to. He is mentioned by Isaiah only in one other place expressly by name (Isa.45:1). He is mentioned several times elsewhere in the Old Testament (2 Chron.26:22-23; Ezra 1:1-2, 7; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13, 17; Dan.1:21; 6:28; 10:1). He began his reign about 550 BC, and this prophecy was therefore delivered about 150 years before he ascended the throne. NONE but God Himself, or he whom God inspired, could have foretold something like this so long before, and name him who would deliver the Jewish people from bondage; and if this was delivered by Isaiah, it proves that he was under divine inspiration. Greek writers say the name of Cyrus means the sun. Cyrus was the celebrated king of the Medes and Persians, and was the son of Cambyses the Persian, and of Mandane, daughter of Astyages, king of the Medes (Isa.411:2).
He is my shepherd . . . a shepherd is one who leads and guides a flock, my shepherd, Cyrus is a type of Messiah (Isa.40:11; Ps.23:1; 77:20; Eze.34:23), and shepherd means by a likely and easy symbol, a ruler or leader of a people. The name servant can be applied to Moses (Ps.77:20; 78:52; Isa.43:2), and Joshua (Josh. 3:16-17). The name shepherd here is given to Cyrus because the LORD would employ him to conduct His people again to their own land. My shepherd indicates that Cyrus was completely under the direction of God, and was absolutely employed in His service.
And shall perform all my pleasure . . . in destroying the city and kingdom of Babylon; in delivering the Jewish captives; and in rebuilding Jerusalem, and the Temple.
Even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built . . . that is, the LORD says to Jerusalem. Some render this as meaning the LORD God, not Cyrus, and no doubt this is the true meaning. It was one of the things which the LORD would do . . . to say to Jerusalem that it would be rebuilt.
And to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid . . . although the Temple now lay desolate and in ruins, yet it shall be reconstructed, and its foundation shall be firmly laid. It was without a doubt under the direction of Cyrus that the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt, and that the Temple reconstructed (2 Chron.36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-3; 5:13-15; 7:27) . . . but taking everything into account, it all can be traced to God, who raised up Cyrus for this very purpose. That this Passage refers to Cyrus is the testimony of Josephus, and is certain from the nature of the case, since, otherwise, it is unbelievable that he would have aided the Jews in returning to their own land, and in rebuilding their city and Temple. http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/ant-11.htm
Cyrus, whom God here intended, by using his precise name about 150 years before he was born, that this might be undeniable evidence of the accuracy, certainty and exactness of God's foreknowledge. This should be a convincing argument to conclude the dispute between the One and Only, True, Almighty LORD God and idols.
*****The LORD names the foreign king whose army will bring about the LORD’S perfect purpose and will. The LORD clearly reveals that He knows exactly what lies ahead in the near and far away future. King Cyrus was not born until long after Isaiah died. Cyrus made the order to rebuild the Jewish Temple about 200 years after Isaiah wrote these words (Ezra 1:1-2).
The first mention of Cyrus in Scripture, chronologically speaking . . . he was named by God over 150 years before he was born, or about 200 years before he made the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple (2 Chron.36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-8; 3:7; 4:3-5; 5:13-17; 6:3, 14; Isa.45:1; Dan.1:21; 6:28; 10:1).
Cyrus is the LORD’S shepherd, and shall perform all His pleasure. Five things King Cyrus, the Gentile was to do for God:
#1. To be a shepherd of God's people, Israel (Isa.44:28).
#2. To perform God's pleasure in liberating the Jews (Isa.44:28; 45:13).
#3. To decree the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Isa.44:28; 45:13; 2 Chron.36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-3; 5:13-15; 6:3).
#4. To decree the rebuilding of the Temple of God at Jerusalem (Isa.44:28; 2 Chron.36:22-23; Ezra 5:13-15).
#5. To subdue nations (Isa.44:28; 45:1; 41:2, 25).
This is one of the many times in the Bible, where the LORD claims authority and control even over pagan princes and monarchs, and in which He says that their plans are under his direction, and made submissive to His will. It is one of the proofs that God presides over all, and that He makes the intended purposes of people obedient to Him, with their intentions being a part of the way of executing His glorious plans in regard to His people. Without a doubt, ALL the proud monarchs and conquerors of the Earth have been in some way instruments in His Holy Hand, to accomplish His pleasure.
There are many who think that Isaiah 44:28 belongs in the next chapter, so I will include it there as well. This is an amazing prophecy concerning Cyrus. He is named here about 200 years before he is born! He is chosen as "My shepherd." This is the only place in all the Scriptures where a pagan king is given such a title. What an honor for Cyrus!
The Cyrus Prophecy http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_daniel_ch5.htm
Daniel 5 is the prophet Daniel’s account of the night that Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. These events also set the pattern for a future event, the fall of Mystery Babylon, as described in Revelation 17 and 18. Since we are now living in the time of this latter day event, it will help us if we understand the original pattern that was set in the days of the prophet Daniel. Such knowledge will also help to remove our fear of present day circumstances, especially when Mystery Babylon (Rev.17), seems to be falling down on us. Most people, including many Christians, are totally unaware and completely unprepared for the events that shall soon take place, because they do not know what the Bible says.
The Cyrus prophecy begins in Isaiah 44:24, which is where Isaiah’s chapter 45 really starts. The first thing we must consider is that Isaiah was prophesying to Israel, not Judah (Isa.44:21). When the prophecy was fulfilled 200 years later under King Cyrus himself, he overthrew Babylon and set Judah free. But in the last days fulfillment, it applies mostly to the house of Israel.Isaiah’s prophecy is addressed to the ten tribes of Israel, who were deported to Assyria, an event Isaiah personally witnessed in his lifetime.
Babylon today is no longer the useless city-state in Iraq, for that old city is abandoned, except as an archeological site (Jer.25:12; 50:13, 23, 39). Modern Babylon today is a world-wide banking empire, controlled by the wealthy who own the large international banks and most big banks of the world. Babylon today is a secret, or hidden government that uses presidents and prime ministers, parliaments and congresses as their agents while the owners remain hidden in the background. This method of control gives the delusion of freedom and democracy, which is helped along by the editors of the controlled news media.
This world is a mess, and I think it will get worse very soon. Mystery Babylon looms before us.
Mystery Babylon is the Revived Roman Empire, and Mystical Babylon is Rome, which shall fall (Rev.17 & 18).
Names of Pagan/False gods.
Name of false god Worshipped by Bible Reference
Adrammelech, sun-god Sepharvites 2 Kings 17:31
Amon, Amun, wind-god Thebes in Egypt Jer. 46:25
Anammelech, moon-goddess Sepharvites 2 Kings 17:31
Asherah (Asherim) fertility-goddess Canaan Judges 6:25, 26, 28, 30
Ashima Hammath In Syria 2 Kings 17:30
Ashtoreth (Ashtaroth) love Syria/Phoenicia/Canaan 1 Kings 11:5,33
Baal, main god Syria/Phoenicia/Canaan 2 Kings 10:18-23, 25-28
Baal-Peor Moabites Num. 25:3,5
Baalzebub Ekron In Philistine 2 Kings 1:2,3, 6, 16
Bel (possibly same as Baal) Moabites/Babylonians Isa. 46:1 Jer. 50:2, Jer. 51:44
Castor/Pollux (Twin Brothers) Greeks Acts 28:11
Chemosh Moabites 1 Kings 11:7,33
Dagon, grain-god Philistines 1 Sam 5:2-5,7
Diana/Artemis, moon-goddess Ephesus In Greece Acts 19:24, 27-28, 34-35
Golden Calf Israel Ex. 32
Jupiter/Zeus Greek Acts 14:12-13
Mercury Greek Acts 14:12
Merodach Babylonians Jer. 50:2
Milcom Ammonites 1 Kings 11:5, 33
Molech (Moloch) Ammonites Lev. 20:2-5
Nebo, arts-god Babylon Isa. 46:1
Nehushtan Israel 2 Kings 18:4
Nergal Cuth 2 Kings 17:30
Nibhaz Avites 2 Kings 17:31
Nisroch Assyrians 2 Kings 19:37; Isa. 37:38
Queen Of Heaven (Ishtar) Assyria/Babylon Jer. 7:18; 44:17; 18,19, 25
Rimmon, weather-god Syria 2 Kings 5:18
Sikkuth Babylonians Amos 5:26
Succothbenoth Babylonians 2 Kings 17:30
Tammuz Babylonians/Samarians Eze. 8:14
Tartak Avvites 2 Kings 17:31
FALSE GODS of idolaters:
Host of heaven
Image of Jealousy
Malcam (Malkam, Malcham, Milkowm, Milcom)
Milcom (Malcam, Malkam, Malcham, Milkowm)
Moloch (Molech, Milcom, Malcham)
Idols (false gods) to which children were sacrificed:
Adrammelech and Anammelech 2 Kings 17:31
Baal Jer.19:4-5; 32:35
Molech Lev.18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jer.32:35
Middle East Wars to Come
The Bible describes how the increasing political partiality of western nations, and the increasing violence of Arab-Muslim nations shall finally lead to a major war against Israel. Since prophecy here is not at all detailed or exact, some think there shall be several major wars just before the close of this age and the Second Coming of Christ. http://www.godcannotlie.org/zec_ch14.htm
Zechariah 14:2-9 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (KJV)
Revelation 19:11-21 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (KJV)
Summary of the main points in Bible prophecy:
The Bible tells us clearly that any major future hostility against Israel, including violent invasions, shall be defeated by the LORD God of Israel, and the nation of Israel will survive into the Millennial Age.
Key prophecies to this are: (Ps.83: Isa. 17 & 43; Jer.49; Eze.38 & 39; Zec.12 & 14; Joel 3; Mal.4; Mat.24; Mk.13; Rev.16 & 19 & 20).
Psalm 83 speaks of an alliance of invading nations (mainly an Arab-Islamic alliance), and Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 speak of the destruction of one precise city, Damascus.
Zechariah 12 & 14, Joel 3, Revelation 16 & 19, seem to describe the final ‘all-nation’ invasion (the Battle of Armageddon) which shall be defeated at Christ's Second Coming. This time is referred to as the Great Tribulation (Mat.24:21), the Day of the Lord (Isa.2:12; 13:6, 9), Jacob’s Trouble (Jer.30:7), and Daniel’s 70th Week (Dan.9:26-27).
The prophecies of Ezekiel 38 & 39 are rather hard to interpret and have led to much argument. Some say it is a single invasion, others say it is two separate invasions. If it is separate invasions, Ezekiel 39 may refer to the final, ‘all-nation’ invasion (Armageddon) or to an Arab-Islamic invasion prior to Armageddon. And Ezekiel 38 may refer to the post-Millennial Gog-Magog invasion of Israel in Revelation 20.
If Ezekiel 38 & 39 refer to the same invasion, they may refer to an Arab-Islamic invasion prior to the final invasion (Armageddon). If this is the case, that peace treaty to be signed with Israel (Dan.9:27) could be signed in the very near future, and Jesus could come in the clouds to take the church home (1 Thes.4:13-18).
The weapons referred to in the above prophecies were familiar to ancient Israel. I think they will be actual end-time weapons, symbolic of well-equipped armies using weapons of today. Zechariah 14 seem to describe how the invaders in the final conflicts will perish, and may refer to nuclear war and the use of neutron bombs.
What about Syria? If Israel is to be invaded from the north, then, if only from a geographic viewpoint, Syria must be involved. This largely Arabic country is 88% Islamic and is already Israel's enemy. Damascus, the capital, is claimed to be the world's oldest, continuously inhabited city. While it has suffered attack (2 Ki.16:9), it has never been totally destroyed . . . yet. Prophecy states that one day soon it will be totally destroyed: Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. (KJV) Jer. 49:27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Benhadad. (KJV)
Eze. 38:11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, (KJV) . . . This may refer to the peace treaty signed prior to the invasion. This may be the 7 year peace treaty signed between Antichrist, the world dictator, and Israel at the start of Daniel's 70th week. After the defeat of the invasion, Israel will set about burying the dead for seven months (Eze.39:12).
Possibly the most important result of this invasion is that the supernatural intervention by the God of Israel forces the nations (including Israel) to recognize Him (Eze.38:16; 39:21-29).
What about America? All nations seems to mean exactly that, not just Middle East nations close to Israel, if it is to be in agreement with (Zec.14:9). The LORD cannot be King over just a part of the Earth! IF all world leaders attack Israel, this indicates a change of policy in America, or even the total absence of America on the world scene! Bear in mind that the nations will be under the One World Government, which will be violently anti-Christian and anti-Jewish. The leader of this invasion is the little horn (Antichrist) of Daniel 7.20, the abominator (Dan.9:27; Mat.24:15), the king (Dan.11:36), the king of the north (Dan.11:40), the man of sin (2 Thes.2:3), the lawless one (2 Thes.2:8), the beast (Rev.13:1-8), the conqueror (Rev.6:2), and the beast (Rev.19:19). He is the end time World Dictator who many believe will arise from a Revived Roman Empire in Europe.
The Battle of Armageddon is the last gathering of forces that is especially important. When the 6th bowl is poured out, demonic spirits entice the leaders of the nations to gather for battle (Rev. 16.12-16). The armies gather at a place called Armageddon (Rev.16:16). Megiddo is located in northern Israel in the valley or plain of Jezreel, near Mount Carmel. It is an ideal location for amassing large armies (Judg.5:19; 2 Ki.23:29-30; Zec.12:11). It most likely will be the location of the last war between human armies. We do know that it is the gathering place for the world's armies as they prepare for the final war against Jerusalem and in particular for war against Christ and His armies (Zec.12:2-9; Rev.19:19).
The Battle of Armageddon is described in detail in Revelation 19.11-21 and Zechariah 14. Consider the following:
#1. Half of the city of Jerusalem is captured (Zec.14:2)
#2. The LORD Himself fights against the world's armies (Zec.14:3), and He shall be King over all the Earth (Zec.14:9)
#3. When Jesus’ feet touch the Mount of Olives, it shall break in two, with a valley between (Zec.14:4)
#4. There shall be a plague to all the people who have come up against Jerusalem, that shall consume their flesh as they stand (Zec.14:12)
#5. The tribe of Judah also fight the attacking armies (Zec.14:14)
#6. Out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations, Christ shall be KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev.19:15-16).
#7. An angel summons the birds of the heavens to the coming feast on the flesh of mighty men (Rev.19:17-18).
#8. Antichrist and the kings of the Earth make war against the One on the white horse (Rev.19:19).
#9. The beast and false prophet both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev.19:20).
#10. All the rest of the armies were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev.19:21). .
WHAT are the Implications for YOU and ME?
So many end time prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes; the rise of a One World Government looms, all the trouble with Israel (Zec.12:2-3), the appearance of electronic ID’s in pets and livestock are here! It will NOT be long before you will not be able to do anything unless you have some sort of ID on your hand or forehead. It seems to me it could very likely be the tiny chip used in pets. BEWARE!!! Do NOT accept it! (Rev.13:15-17; 14:9-11; 16:2; 19:20).
People are being suckered into a godless and potentially brutal World Government or New World Order. It will not be long before this system will demand you to receive an ultimate electronic ID, in order to buy or sell anything anywhere! BEWARE!!! Do NOT accept it! And because of its hatred towards the God of the Bible, Christians and Jews, this world system will work together against Israel. The turmoil in the Middle East and the anger against Israel are signs that an invasion will take place in the very near future. Within just 100 years Israel has gone from insignificance to the tumult of the world.
The important thing is that when the invasion starts, the LORD Jesus will return to Earth. I believe that there is strong Biblical support that TRUE Christians (believers in Christ) will be taken from the Earth prior to the appearance of the Antichrist and the coming world wars.
Rev.3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (KJV)
2 Pet. 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (KJV)
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
Isaiah Ch.1 . . Isaiah Ch.2 . . Isaiah Ch.3 . . Isaiah Ch.4 . . Isaiah Ch.5 . . Isaiah Ch.6 . . Isaiah Ch.7 . . Isaiah Ch.8 . . Isaiah Ch.9 . . Isa.Ch.10 . . Isa.Ch.11 . . Isa.Ch12 . . Home Page
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