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Book of Isaiah
Chapter 48

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)  

All three of these last sections conclude with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27)  

ISAIAH 48 is in contrast with GALATIANS. Believers (new creatures, Gal.6:15) and unbelievers (the old creature, 2 Cor.5:17) are contrasted in Isaiah 48. Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. . . . This shows that Christ is Abraham's TRUE Seed, the Head of the new creation, and of those that are one with Him. Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. . . . In Galatians we see that the saints tried to perfect themselves by the works of the law, but believers are not under law, but under grace (Rom.6:14); and the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them who walk after the Spirit (Rom.8:1, 4).

The prophecy of this chapter concerns the deliverance and salvation of the Jews, and is addressed unto them; who are described by their natural descent and lineage, and by their hypocrisy in religious things (vs.1). By their stubbornness and impudence, and because they were prone to idolatry, and to give credit to idols which belonged to God; are the reasons why the LORD foretold all former things to them, before they came to pass (vs.3). And for the same reasons he also declared unto them what would be in the future, especially the destruction of Babylon, and their deliverance by Cyrus (vs.6). From this account of them, it would clearly seem, that it was NOT for any merits of theirs, but for His own Name's sake, for His own glory, that He chose them, purified and saved them as gold tried in the fire (vs.9). He notes His own perfections, His eternity and His being unable to change, and His power displayed in Creation, to conquer their faith in the Promise of deliverance (vs.12) and points out the deliverer, Cyrus, a type of Christ, whom He loved, called, sent and made him prosperous and successful, (vs.14). The LORD directs them to walk in His ways, with Promises of peace and prosperity (vs.17). The chapter concludes with an urging to go out of Babylon with joy, speaking out wherever they came their redemption, and who would be supplied with all necessaries in their return to their own land . . . but that it should be known, that there was no peace or happiness for the wicked (vs.22).

Theme: Last call to the house of Jacob; a heart-wrenching call of God to the remnant.

Hypocrisy is Charged, Especially in Their Idolatry (48:1-8)

Isaiah 48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. (KJV)

Hear ye this . . . this is speaking to the Jews in Babylon, and is intended to remind them of their origin, and of their privileges as the descendants of Jacob, and having the name of Israel (Isa.43:1).
And are come forth out of the waters of Judah . . . this symbol is taken from a fountain which sends forth its streams of water, and the idea is, that they owed their origin to Judah, as the streams flowed from a fountain. A similar figure is used by Balaam in describing the vast increase of the Jews (Deut.33:28). The fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land (Ps.68:26).
Which swear by the name . . . who worship the LORD, and acknowledge Him as the only TRUE God (Isa.19:18; 45:23).
And make mention . . . meaning in your prayers and praises, you acknowledge Him and worship Him.
But not in truth . . . in a hypocritical manner; they are not sincere, like millions today. Jer.5:2 And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. (KJV)

*****There are some who say that Judah and Israel are different, God contradicts that thinking here. It is foolish to change the name God has given them. The whole house of Israel is spoken of here, and they belong to the chosen line through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The apostate nation, then and in our day should pay careful attention to this final command to turn back to the LORD. There are so many who speak of the God of Israel as though they know Him. In reality, they neither know Him nor do they serve Him. They have a religion with no power!  That kind of religion will not bring a solution to their problems. Help will come only when they turn to the Almighty God. That was the solution in Isaiah’s time, and our solution only today.  http://hisservants.org/religion_or_christ_h_s.htm

Isaiah 48:2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. (KJV)

For they call themselves of the holy city . . . of Jerusalem (Neh.11:1; Mat.4:5; 27:53). The idea of the prophet here mentioning His holy city is probably to show them the guilt of their conduct. He was JEHOVAH, the source of all existence (Ex.6:3; Ps.83:18; Isa.12:2; 26:4). For or though is added as a great aggravation of their want and neglect of truth and righteousness. They glory in the fact that they are citizens of Jerusalem, a city sanctified by God Himself to be the only place of His true worship and gracious Presence; which as it is a great privilege, but it laid a great duty and burden on them to walk more holy than they did.
And stay themselves upon the God of Israel . . . stay themselves, not by a true and well-grounded faith, but by a vain and probable confidence, flattering themselves, as that people usually did, that they would enjoy peace and safety, even with all their wickedness, because they were the LORD'S people, and had His Temple and His Laws among them; which character the prophets often speak of and sharply rebuke in them.
The LORD of hosts is his name . . . or, whose name is the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts is found 60 times in Isaiah, and 273 times in the Old Testament.

*****These people boast of being citizens of Jerusalem and of being children of God, but they are such only in name; for they are actually strangers to God, as are millions in today’s world.
http://hisservants.org/hard_mat.23.13-30_h_s.htm
http://worldlychaos.org/w_c_religion_or_christ.1.htm

Isaiah 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. (KJV)

I have declared the former things . . . in former times the LORD had predicted future events by the prophets, which had come to pass exactly as they were foretold. Although the fulfillment may have seemed to be long delayed, yet the event came to pass at the very time, showing it to be an exact fulfillment of the prophecy. As a people, they had been prone to not believe His Word. He saw that the same thing would take place in Babylon, and that there also they would refuse to accept His prophecies about raising up Cyrus, and restoring them to their own land. He therefore tries to remind them of their former unbelief, and of the fact that all that He had foretold in former times, things that did come to pass.
From the beginning . . . the former things (Isa.41:22; 43:9), refers to the things which precede others; the series, or order of events.
And they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly . . . they came to pass at an unexpected time (suddenly); when they were not looking for them, and when possibly they were doubting that they would happen, or were calling in question the divine accuracy and Truth of God. The indication is, that God in like manner would, certainly and suddenly, fulfill His predictions about Babylon, and their release from their captivity.
I have declared the former things from the beginning . . . those things which have formerly come to pass, which I in perfect time foretold from time to time before they came to pass; whereby I gave you full proof of My Godhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html
And they came to pass . . . what the LORD foretold, His hand brought into being!

*****The LORD both dignified and favored Israel with remarkable prophecies. He had declared the former things from the beginning. Nothing substantial happened to their nation from its original which was not prophesied of before: their bondage in Egypt, their deliverance from there, the situation of their tribes in Canaan, etc. All these things went forth out of God's mouth and He showed them to be true. In this they were honored above any nation, and even their curiosity was satisfied. Their prophecies could be relied upon, and those that concerned them and their nation, were all proven and verified by the completion of them. The LORD did them suddenly, when they were least expected by them or others, and so could not be foreseen by any except Almighty God Himself! He foretold and they came to pass; for what God does He does effectively and successfully. The actual calamities that they were now groaning under in Babylon, the LORD did from the beginning declare to them by Moses, as the certain penalties of their apostasy from God (Lev.26:31; Deut.28:36; 29:28). He also declared to them their return to God, and to their own land again (Lev.26:44-45; Deut.30:4-5). Thus He showed them exactly how He would deal with them long before it came to pass.

Isaiah 48:4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; (KJV)

Because I knew that thou art obstinate . . . the LORD had made frequent predictions, and fulfilled them in a remarkable manner, because He knew that as a people, they were prone to unbelief. Since they were reluctant and unwilling to believe His Promises, and that in their long captivity they would be inclined to disbelieve what He had said about their deliverance under Cyrus, He had, therefore, given them these many proofs of the certainty of the fulfillment of ALL His prophecies, so that they might believe what He said about their return to their own land. Thou art obstinate . . . they were determined, stubborn and willful. The indication is, that they were, as a people, obstinate, rebellious, and indisposed to submit to the laws of God. This charge was often brought against them by the sacred writers, and which is abundantly verified by all their history as a people: (Ex.32:9; 33:3,5,9; 34:9; Deut.9:6, 13; 10:16; 31:27; 2 Ki.17:14; 2 Chron.30:8; 36:13; Neh.9:16-17, 28; Ps.78:8; 68:6; 106 ;7; Pro.29:1; Isa.48:4; Jer.3:3; 5:3; 7:26; 19:15; Eze.2:3-8; 3:4-9; 20:8; Zec.7:11-12; Acts 7:51; Rom.2:5; 10:21; Heb.3:13, 15).
And thy neck is an iron sinew . . . the symbol is taken from oxen when they make their neck stiff, and refused to submit to the yoke.
And thy brow brass . . . thy forehead is hard and numb as brass. The phrase is applied to the shameless brow of a harlot (Jer.3:3; Eze.3:7), where there is an utter lack of modesty, and total disrespect. A brow of brass is an image of insensibility, or obstinacy (Jer.6:28).
Stubbornness of Israel: Iron necks and brass brows are good images of stubbornness and rebellion. This is a new expression concerning Jews whose traits are often stated in Scripture.
Fifteen Characteristicss of Jews in Scripture:
#1. Iron necks and brass brows (vs.4)
#2. Obstinate (vs.4; Deut.2:30)
#3. Stiffnecked (Ex.32:9; 33:3-5; 34:9; Deut.9:6,13; 10:16; 2 Chron.30:8; Acts 7:51)
#4. Stiffhearted (Eze.2:4)
#5. Stubborn (Deut.9:27; Ps.78:8)
#6. Rebellious (Isa.30:9 65:2; Jer.5:23; Eze.2:3-8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-9, 25; 17:12)
#7. Perverse and crooked (Deut.32:5; Phil.2:15)
#8. Faithless (Mat.17:17; Lk.9:41)
#9. Corrupt (Ps.14:1; 73:8)
#10. Foolish and unwise (Deut.32:6, 21)
#11. Hardhearted (Eze.3:7)
#12. Blind (Mat.15:14; 23:16-19, 24-26)
#13. Self-willed (Gen.49:6; 2 Pet.2:10)
#14. Haughty (Isa.3:16; Eze.16:50)
#15. Adamant (Eze.3:9; Zec.7:12)

*****From the very beginning, when God took Israel out of Egypt, He knew they were stiff-necked people. Dear one, the LORD did not choose the Jews because THEY were superior, nor does He choose us because WE are superior. God chose them and us because of His grace and because He knew that we needed a Saviour and saw our great need.

Isaiah 48:5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. (KJV)

I have even from the beginning declared it to thee, before it came to pass I shewed it thee: . . . He foretold these things, that it might prove that they were the effects of His counsel, His will, His omniscience (knowledge), and NOT of their idols, for He knew they were very inclined to not believe.
Lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them . . . the LORD had foretold future events, so that they had abundant proof that He was the One and Only TRUE God, and so that they would not mistake the source of their deliverances from danger.

Isaiah 48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. (KJV)

Thou hast heard . . . they were witnesses that the prophecy was uttered long before it was fulfilled.
See all this . . . do you not see how it is all fulfilled? You must bear witness that the event is just as it was predicted.
And will ye not declare it? . . . will you not bear witness to the entire fulfillment of the prophecy? God appeals to them as qualified to testify that what He had foretold had come to pass, and calls on them to make this known as a proof that He alone was God (Isa.44:8).
I have showed thee new things from this time . . . from this time I make known a thing which has not before occurred, that you may have a like proof that He is God. The new thing is no doubt the prediction of the deliverance from the captivity at Babylon, a new thing, different thing from those which had been before predicted, and which were already fulfilled (Isa.41:22-23; 42:9; 43:19; 44:7-8; 46:9-10).              
Even hidden things, and thou didst not know them . . .  events which are so concealed that they could not be imagined by any political wisdom, or by any thought of mere natural causes. These hidden things (Ob.1:6; 1 Cor.4:5) seem to be laid up in dark treasure houses (Isa.45:3), and they can be known only by Him to whom the darkness shineth as the day, and to whom the night and the day are both alike (Ps.139:12).

*****He both honored and favored them with remarkable providence. He had shown them new things from this time. Besides the general view given from the beginning of God's proceedings with them, He also showed them new things by the prophets of their own day, and created them. They were hidden things, which otherwise they could not know, as the prophecy concerning Cyrus and the time of their release out of Babylon.

Isaiah 48:7 They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them. (KJV)

They are created now . . . they are revealed to you by Me; brought to light, as things are by Creation. Things are often said to be made or done in Scripture, when they are declared or manifested. I cursed (Job 5:3), I pronounced it cursed (Ps.2:4). That thou mightest be justified, declared and acknowledged to be just (Hos.5:15), until they acknowledge their offence; or until they say they are guilty. There were NO natural causes in operation at the time the predictions were made, regarding the destruction of Babylon, by which it could be guessed that that event would take place; and when the event occurred, it was as if it had been created anew. It was the result of Almighty power and energy, and was to be traced to the LORD God alone.
And not from the beginning . . . the events have not been so formed from the beginning that they could be predicted by the operation of natural causes, and by political sagacity.
Even before the day when thou heardest them not . . . the prophecies were in the Breast of God, kept and reserved in His Mind, and therefore are before called hidden things, before the Israelites  heard anything of them; as were the things respecting Christ, and salvation by Him; which were not only in God, who created all things by Christ, but were revealed before the Israelites had any knowledge of them, even to Adam and Eve, immediately after their fall (Gen.3:15); and were spoken of by all the holy prophets from the beginning of the world.
Lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them . . . lest they should assign their present knowledge of them to their own wisdom and perception; as if they were not grateful to a divine revelation, but of themselves had gotten the secret, and became acquainted with these things.

Isaiah 48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. (KJV)

Yea, thou heardest not . . . these words are intended to show not only that these events could NOT have been foreseen by them, but that when they were actually made known to them, these people were dull, foolish and refusing to believe. It is not only re-affirming what had been said in the previous verses, but is deliberately showing that they were constantly and habitually a perverse, stubborn, hard-hearted and unfeeling people. Thou heardest not therefore means that they did not believe these things when they were uttered by the prophet, and they were most likely to disrespect God, and all His Predictions and Promises.
Yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened . . . the meaning is, from the first, their ear was not open to receive them. They were unwise, insensible and very likely to disregard the messages of God. To open the ear, means a prompt and ready attention to do what God says (Isa.50:5), and to close the ear means an unwillingness to listen to what is spoken by Him.
For I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously . . . the LORD knew that, as a people, they were consistently false and disloyal. This does not refer to their conduct toward other nations, but to their conduct toward God. They were false and unfaithful to Him, and the sense is, that if God had not foretold the destruction of Babylon and their deliverance from it so clearly that there could have been no misunderstanding of it, and no perversion, they would have also perverted this, and ascribed it to something other than to Him. Possibly they might, as their forefathers did, when they came out of Egypt (Ex.32:4), have given the credit to idols (vs.5), and the result might have been a relapse into that very sin.
And wast called a transgressor from the womb . . . wast called, justly and truly; or they were indeed such a person.

The Omnipotence and Omniscience of God
#1. He declared the former things from the beginning (vs.3,5).
#2. They went forth out of His Mouth (vs.3).
#3. He showed them to you. He did them suddenly and they came to pass (vs.4).
#4. He knew they were obstinate (vs.4).
#5. He knew their neck was an iron sinew, and their brow was brass (vs.4).
#6. Before it came to pass He showed you (vs.5).
#7. . He has showed you new and hidden things (vs.6).
#8. These new things He has created now and not from the beginning (vs.7).
#9.  He knew they would deal very treacherously (vs.8).
#10. He knew they were a transgressor from the womb (Ps.58:3).

Ways Israel Rebelled Against God . . . What about us??
#1. They were are obstinate (vs.8).
#2. They were stiffnecked (vs.4).
#3. They were mean and hard as brass (vs.4).
#4. They were worshipers of idols (vs.5).
#5. They trusted in idols (vs.6).
#6. They were blind (vs.6).
#7. They would not hear (vs.8).
#8. They were treacherous (vs.8)..
#9. They were a transgressor from birth (vs.8; Ps.58:3).

Isaiah 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. (KJV)

For my name‘s sake will I defer mine anger . . .  I will spare you, and restore you again to your own land (vs.11). See (Isa.43:25; 66:5). If you do not repent, I will in due time inflict; yet at present I will spare thee, and deliver thee out of captivity, not for your sake, but purely for My own sake, and for the vindication of My Name and glory (vs.11).
And for my praise will I refrain for thee . . . I will refrain My anger in reference to you as a nation. For my praise; that I may be praised and magnified for My power, love, faithfulness, goodness and other perfections. Will I refrain, is easily understood in the above clause.
God would restrain Himself; He would not put forth His wrath to destroy them.

***** The deliverance of God's people out of their captivity in Babylon was something upon which many account so doubtful that there was need of repetition for the encouragement of the faith and hope of God's people concerning it. Two things were discouraging to them; their own unworthiness that God should do it for them and the many difficulties in the thing itself . . . but in verses 9-11, both these discouragements are removed. A major reason why God would do it for them, even though they were unworthy . . . not for their sake, be it known to them, but for His Name's sake, for His own sake.

Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (KJV)

Behold, I have refined thee . . . or, I will refine thee. Although He will not cut them off, or utterly destroy them, yet He will put them into the furnace, not to consume them, but to purify them from that dross which holds fast to them, and needed such afflictions to purge it away.
But not with silver . . . or, not as silver; which is put into and kept in the furnace until ALL the dross is purged away from it. He would not deal so severely with them, for He would not completely consume them; in judgment He would remember mercy.
I have chosen thee . . . or, I will yet choose thee, as it is expressed (Isa.14:1; Zec.1:17). Or, I will choose thee again (Zec.2:12). For it must be considered that God had in a way rejected Israel, when He sent them into captivity, and given her a bill of divorce, as He says (Isa.1:2; Jer.3:8), and therefore it was necessary that God would choose this people a second time, that they might be betrothed to him again, as is expressed and promised (Hos.2:19-20).
In the furnace of affliction . . . referring mainly to their trials in Babylon. Afflictions are often compared to fire, from the fact that fire is used to purify or try metals, and afflictions have the same object in reference to the people of God.

Isaiah 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. (KJV)

For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it . . . will I do it, this great work of delivering His people out of Babylon. My name is here fitly supplied (vs.9, 11), where He says my glory, which is equivalent to My Name. The sense is, If  I do not spare and deliver My people, My Name would be sadly profaned and blasphemed, as if I were either powerless or merciless to them.

For how should my name be polluted? . . . it would be inconsistent with His perfections to see His Name profaned without trying to correct and prevent it; and to do this, He brought these afflictions upon them. They had profaned His Name by their apostasy and hypocrisy, and in order to correct this evil, and to prevent it in future, He had brought these national judgments down on them, and removed them to Babylon. The doctrine here taught is, that when the conduct of God‘s professed people is such as to dishonor God, and to make His Name a subject of reproach with the wicked, He shall visit them with heavy judgments. He cannot and will not indulge them in a course of life which will reflect dishonor on His own Holy Name. BEWARE!
And I will not give my glory unto another . . . (Isa.42:8). The sense here is that the Jews had, as a nation, been prone to give credit to idols that which was due to God alone. To correct this, and to make an effective change, He had removed them to Babylon, and doomed them to a very long and painful captivity there. It may be added that the punishment was successful, and that their long trial in Babylon served entirely to correct all their idolatrous tendencies as a nation.

Longing Call of God to the Remnant (48:12-22)

Isaiah 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. (KJV)

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called . . . this is a solemn call to the Jews in Babylon to pay careful attention to what He was now about to say. It is the beginning of a new part of the argument, containing the assurance that He would deliver them, and utterly destroy the Chaldeans. He begins by declaring that He is the only TRUE God, and that He is well able to accomplish all His purposes. My called are the people whom He has chosen, or called.
I am he; I am the first, I also am the last . . . I am he - I am the same; or I am the true and only God. I am the first: (Deut.4:36, 39; 6:4; 32:39; Isa.37:16, 20; 41:4; 42:8; 43:10-11; 44:8; 45:6, 21-22; 48;12; Rev.1:8,11,17-18; 2:8; 22:13).                
10 Commandments to Judah:
#1. Hear this, O house of Jacob (vs.1).
#2. Hearken unto Me (vs.12).
#3. All you, assemble yourselves and hear (vs.14).
#4. Come near unto Me (vs.16).
#5. Hear this (vs.17).
#6. Go forth of Babylon (vs.20).
#7. Flee from the Chaldeans (vs.20).
#8. Declare with the voice of singing (vs.20).
#9. Tell this, even to the end of the earth (vs.20).
#10. Say, the LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob (vs.20).

*****Some say Judah and Israel prove two separate peoples, but this is not so. Both Judah and Israel refer to the same people . . . because all from Jacob whom God named Israel (Gen.32:28). It would seem that God is no longer addressing the nation as a whole but confines His words to the remnant labeled, my called.

Isaiah 48:13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. (KJV)

Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth . . . I am the Creator of all things, and I have all power, and I am abundantly able to deliver you from all your enemies.
And my right hand hath spanned the heavens . . . hath spanned, or mete out the heavens with a span (Isa.40:12). Or, hath spread them out with its palm, or like a palm, when the hand is stretched out.
When I call unto them, they stand up together . . . either they stood up and arose out of nothing, when I commanded them to do so; or they still continue in readiness to execute my commands. When I call unto them (Isa.40:26), meaning that He who had power to command the hosts of heaven, and to secure their perfect obedience by His Word, also had power to defend His people, and to deliver them from their enemies, and conduct them in safety to their own land.

Isaiah 48:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. (KJV)

All ye, assemble yourselves and hear . . . ye Jews, to whom he addressed his speech (vs.12), and continues his speech in verses 16-17. Assemble, gather together, and listen to the assurance that God is able to protect you, and that He will certainly restore you to your own country.
Which among them hath declared these things? . . . who among the pagan? The things relating to the destruction of Babylon, and the rescue of His people. This is an appeal much like that which God has often made, that He alone can predict future events. None of the astrologers, soothsayers, or diviners of Babylon had been able to foretell the expedition and the conquests of Cyrus, and the capture of the city. If they had been able to foresee the danger, they might have guarded against it, and the city might have been saved. But God had predicted it 150 years before it happened, and this confirmed, that He alone was God.
The Lord hath loved him . . . some render this, He whom JEHOVAH hath loved will execute His will on Babylon. There can be no doubt that it refers to Cyrus, and that the meaning is, that he whom God had loved would accomplish His will on Babylon. It does not always mean that God was pleased with his moral character, or that he was a pious man (Isa.41:2); but that He was so well pleased with him as an instrument to accomplish His purposes, that He chose to employ him for that end.
He will do his pleasure on Babylon . . . Cyrus shall execute what I have appointed him to do for the destruction of Babylon, and for the redemption of My people; which was in itself a good work; and therefore this is added as the reason why God loved him.
And his arm shall be on the Chaldeans . . . the arm is a symbol of strength, and is the instrument by which we perform our purposes. His arm shall be on the Chaldeans; he shall smite and subdue them.

Isaiah 48:15 I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. (KJV)

I, even I, have spoken . . . the word ‘I’ is repeated to give emphasis, and to furnish the utmost security that it would be certainly accomplished. It means, that the LORD, and He alone, had declared this, and that it was entirely by His power that Cyrus had been raised up, and had been made prosperous (successful).
Yea, I have called him . . . (Isa.41:2; 43:13; 46:11).      
I have brought him . . . I have led him on his way in his conquests.
And he shall make his way prosperous . . . there is a change of person in this verse, from the first to the third, which is quite common in the writings of Isaiah.

The prophecy in Isaiah (Isa.48:14-15) has been fulfilled. Six predictions, fulfilled:
#1. Jehovah will love him (Cyrus, (Isa.48:14; 41:3, 25; 44:28; 45:1-4, 13; 46:11).
#2. He will do His pleasure on Babylon (Isa.48:14).
#3. His arm will be on the Chaldeans. 
#4. I will call him (Isa.48:15).
#5. I will bring him.
#6. I will make his way prosperous.

Isaiah 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (KJV)

Come ye near unto me . . . (vs.14). Come ye near unto me, that you may the better hear me.
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning . . . (Isa.45:19). I have not spoken in secret; I have plainly and publicly declared it. I have openly revealed My Mind to you. From the beginning; either, 1. From the first time that I began to prophesy until this time. Or, 2. From the beginning of My taking you to be My people, and of revealing My Mind to you (Isa.41:26).
From the time that it was, there am I . . . from the moment when the purpose was formed, and when it began to be accomplished, I was present. The meaning is, that everything in regard to raising up Cyrus, and to the delivery of His people from Babylon, had been entirely under the LORD’S direction.
And now the Lord GOD and his Spirit hath sent me . . . there is clearly a change in the speaker here. In the former part of the verse, it is God who is the speaker. But here it is he who is sent to bear the message which most think is Isaiah. IF as some suppose, that it is the Messiah who is speaking to the exiled Jews, then it is a declaration that He had been sent by the Lord GOD and His Spirit.

***** Here, as before, Jacob and Israel are summoned to listen to the prophet speaking in God's Name, or rather to listen to God speaking in and by the prophet. Those that would hear and understand what God says must come near to Him. Let those that have listened to the tempter now come near, and hear this, that they may be confirmed in their resolutions to serve God. Those that draw nigh to God may depend upon this, that His secret shall be with them.

The Lord GOD spoke from the beginning and did not speak in secret. The Spirit of God is here spoken of as a Person distinct from the Father and the Son, and having a divine authority to send prophets. Whom God sends, the Spirit sends. Those whom God commissions for any service, the Spirit in some measure qualifies for it; and those may speak boldly, must be respectfully heard, those whom God and His Spirit send. As that which the prophet says to the same importance with this (Isa.61:1), is applied to Christ (Lk.4:21), so may this be; the Lord GOD sent Him, and He had the Spirit without measure (Jn.3:34).

Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. (KJV)

Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel . . . thy Redeemer - (Isa.41:14; 43:1).
I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit . . . teaching you what things will most contribute to your welfare. The reference is mainly to the afflictions which they suffered in Babylon.
Which leadeth thee . . .  I am thy conductor and guide. God taught them, as He does His people, by His Providence, by His revealed Word, and His Spirit, the way in which they should go. It is one of His characteristics that He is the Guide and Director of His people.
Which teacheth thee to profit; which from time to time have made known unto them, not vain and useless things, but all necessary and useful doctrines; which, if believed and observed by them, would have been infinitely profitable to them, both for this life and that to come. So that it is not God’s fault, but their own, if they did not profit.
Which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go . . . which acquainted them with their duty and interest in all the parts and concerns of their life; so that they cannot pretend ignorance.

Isaiah 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: (KJV)

O that thou hadst heardened to my commandments! . . .  the failure had not been on God’s part, but on theirs. He gave them His counsels and commands through His prophets, but they had neglected and disobeyed them, which was to their own great disadvantage. This expresses the earnest desire of God. He would greatly have preferred that they would have kept His Law.
Then had thy peace been as a river . . . peace here properly means wholeness, soundness, and too, health, welfare, prosperity, good of every kind. It also means peace, as opposed to war, and also harmony and friendship. Here it evidently means prosperity in general, as opposed to the calamities which actually came upon them. As a river like a flowing river that fills the banks, and that conveys fertility and blessedness through a land. Rivers are often used by the sacred writers, and especially by Isaiah, as a symbol of plenty and prosperity (Isa.32:2; 33:21; 41:18; 43:19).
And thy righteousness as the waves of the sea . . . The LORD’S righteousness is as the waves of the sea; continual and endless. A beautiful or inspiring symbol of the LORD’S righteousness. What can better represent the abundance of the blessings which He confers on the land? The waves of the sea are a symbol of plenty, seemingly boundless and constantly rolling.

Isaiah 48:19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me. (KJV)

Thy seed also had been as the sand . . . for multitude, according to God’s Promise made to Abraham (Gen.12:2-3). Thy seed also, instead of being reduced to a small number by the calamities happening by war, and being comparatively a small and powerless people sighing in captivity, they would have been a numerous and mighty nation. As the sand, this is often used to mean a great and indefinite number (Gen.22:17; 32:12; 41 ;49; Josh.11:4; Judg.11:4; 7:12; 1 Sam.13:5; 2 Sam.17:11; 1 Ki.4:20-29; Job 29:18; Ps.139:18; Isa.10:22; Hos.1:10; Rev.20:8).
And the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof . . . (Isa.22:24). The offspring of thy bowels; which come out of thy bowels, or belly, or loins; for all these are but different expressions of the same thing.
His name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me . . . His name, which is continued in a man's successors. Should not have been cut off, as now it has been in a great measure; and should have been totally and finally cut off, if God had not spared them for His own Name's sake, as He said before. From before me; or, out of my sight; out of their own land, the place of the LORD’S special Presence.

Isaiah 48:20 Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob. (KJV)

Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans . . . the commanding is here, as it is very often, put for the future, Ye shall go forth, this is not so much a command as a Promise; although this form of speech may be the rather used to indicate that it was their duty to go forth, as well as God's Promise to carry them forth. The prophet now directly addresses those who were in exile in Babylon, and commands them to leave it. The plan is, to furnish the assurance that they would be delivered, and to show them the duty of leaving the place of their long captivity when the opportunity of doing it occurs. It is also designed to show that when it would occur, it would be attended with great rejoicing.
With a voice of singing declare it . . .  with joy and songs of praise to the LORD. Declare ye; publish God's wonderful works on your behalf to all nations.
Tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob . . . they should rejoice that their captivity was ended; they should triumph at the prospect of being restored again to their own land. Utter it even to the end of the earth, it is an event so great and wonderful that all the nations should know about it. The Lord hath redeemed . . . the LORD has rescued from captivity His people (Isa.43:1).

Isaiah 48:21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out. (KJV)

And they thirsted not . . . they shall not thirst. He speaks of things to come, as if they were past and now present, as the prophets commonly do. This is a big part of what they would be called to celebrate in His Name. It was not only that He had redeemed them, but that He had abundantly provided for their needs in the desert, and guided them safe through the desolate wilderness to their own land (Isa.35:6-7; 41:17-18).
He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out . . . the reference here is no doubt to the fact that God caused the waters to flow out of the rock that Moses smote in the wilderness (Ex.17:6; Num.20:11). This is NOT to be regarded as literally true that God would, in the exact way, smite the rocks and cause waters to flow by miracle on their return from Babylon. There is no record that any such event took place. It is not necessary to understand this Passage in that way. All we need to know is that the LORD took proper care of His people when they left Babylon. He met all their necessities; and His gracious providence was experienced all the way, just as though He had smitten the rock, or caused cool and refreshing fountains to break out in the desert.

Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)

There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked . . . (Isa.57:21; Rom.3:16-17). This verse contains an emotional truth that no one can doubt. To the transgressor of the laws of God there can be NO permanent peace, enjoyment or prosperity. The word peace is used in the Scriptures in all these ways (vs.18). There may be the appearance of joy, and there may be temporary prosperity . . . but there is NO abiding, substantial, permanent happiness, such as is enjoyed by those who fear and love God. This sentiment occurs quite often in Isaiah (Isa.26:3; 32:17-17; 48:18; 54:13-14; 55:12; 57:19; 66:12). There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked . . . is repeated in Isaiah 57:21, and in: Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (KJV)

*****The Truth of this declaration: There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked . . . is that there can be NO doubt about it; but it is not perfectly clear why it is introduced here. Whatever the reason of why it was used here; it contains a most important Truth from God’s Holy Word, which demands the attention of all people. The wicked, as a matter of clear-headed truth, have absolutely NO permanent and significant peace and joy.
They have no peace:
#1. In any act of wickedness. Sin may have its temporary gratifications of their evil lusts and passions, but the act of sinning, can bring absolutely NO permanent happiness.
#2. This world can furnish NO permanent joys as are derived from the hope of a life to come. Riches take wings; disappointment comes; and the highest earthly and sensual pleasure leaves a depressing state of want, a deep feeling that there is something that has not been filled.
#3. They have no peace of conscience; no deep and continual feeling that they are right. They often feel troubled; and there is nothing that this world can give that will give peace to a soul that is disturbed with a sense of the guilt of sin.
#4. They have no peace on a deathbed. They may have freedom from much pain or fear, but that is not peace, any more than death is life; or than the frost of winter is the greenery of spring; or than a desert is a fruitful field.
#5. There is often in these circumstances the reverse of peace. There is not only no positive peace, but there is the exact opposite. There is often disappointment, care, anxiety, distress, deep panic and the dreadful fear and worry of God’s eternal wrath. There is no situation in life or death, where the wicked can count on peace. There is every possibility that his mind will often be filled with fear, and that his deathbed will be one of hopelessness.
#6. There is no peace to the wicked beyond the grave. The wicked will have no peace on Judgment Day; and he will have not have a moment of peace in the lake of fire (Rev.20:15).

This is an extremely solemn curse of this section where the LORD, through Isaiah, is stating Truth against all the idols of the heathen. Only Almighty God alone can give peace. If a person insists on remaining away from God and living in continual sin (any sin), there is NO way that he can find peace in the world. Several thousand years of recorded history clearly tell us that anyone who denies, rejects and disobeys the LORD, has no peace, in this world and certainly not in the world to come! http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_to_the_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_who_are_the_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_gpd's_promises_about_hell.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_righteous_vs_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_to_the%20righteous.htm

Special Comments

Stubbornness of Israel
Iron necks and brass brows are good images of stubbornness and rebellion. This is a new expression concerning Jews whose traits are often stated in Scripture.
Fifteen Characteristicss of Jews in Scripture:
#1. Iron necks and brass brows (vs.4)
#2. Obstinate (vs.4; Deut.2:30)
#3. Stiffnecked (Ex.32:9; 33:3-5; 34:9; Deut.9:6,13; 10:16; 2 Chron.30:8; Acts 7:51)
#4. Stiffhearted (Eze.2:4)
#5. Stubborn (Deut.9:27; Ps.78:8)
#6. Rebellious (Isa.30:9 65:2; Jer.5:23; Eze.2:3-8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-9, 25; 17:12)
#7. Perverse and crooked (Deut.32:5; Phil.2:15)
#8. Faithless (Mat.17:17; Lk.9:41)
#9. Corrupt (Ps.14:1; 73:8)
#10. Foolish and unwise (Deut.32:6, 21)
#11. Hardhearted (Eze.3:7)
#12. Blind (Mat.15:14; 23:16-19, 24-26)
#13. Self-willed (Gen.49:6; 2 Pet.2:10)
#14. Haughty (Isa.3:16; Eze.16:50)
#15. Adamant (Eze.3:9; Zec.7:12)

The Omnipotence and Omniscience of God
#1. He declared the former things from the beginning (vs.3,5).
#2. They went forth out of His Mouth (vs.3).
#3. He showed them to you. He did them suddenly and they came to pass (vs.4).
#4. He knew they were obstinate (vs.4).
#5. He knew their neck was an iron sinew, and their brow was brass (vs.4).
#6. Before it came to pass He showed you (vs.5).
#7. . He has showed you new and hidden things (vs.6).
#8. These new things He has created now and not from the beginning (vs.7).
#9.  He knew they would deal very treacherously (vs.8).
#10. He knew they were a transgressor from the womb (Ps.58:3).

Nine Ways Judah Rebelled Against God
#1. They were are obstinate (vs.8).
#2. They were stiffnecked (vs.4).
#3. They were mean and hard as brass (vs.4).
#4. They were worshipers of idols (vs.5).
#5. They trusted in idols (vs.6).
#6. They were blind (vs.6).
#7. They would not hear (vs.8).
#8. They were treacherous (vs.8)..
#9. They were a transgressor from birth (vs.8; Ps.58:3).

Ten Commands to Judah
#1. Hear this, O house of Jacob (vs.1).
#2. Hearken unto Me (vs.12).
#3. All you, assemble yourselves and hear (vs.14).
#4. Come near unto Me (vs.16).
#5. Hear this (vs.17).
#6. Go forth of Babylon (vs.20).
#7. Flee from the Chaldeans (vs.20).
#8. Declare with the voice of singing (vs.20).
#9. Tell this, even to the end of the earth (vs.20).
#10. Say, the LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob (vs.20).

The prophecy in Isaiah (Isa.48:14-15) has been fulfilled. Six predictions, fulfilled:
#1. Jehovah will love him (Cyrus, (Isa.48:14; 41:3, 25; 44:28; 45:1-4, 13; 46:11).
#2. He will do His pleasure on Babylon (Isa.48:14).
#3. His arm will be on the Chaldeans. 
#4. I will call him (Isa.48:15).
#5. I will bring him.
#6. I will make his way prosperous.

*****The Truth of this declaration: There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked . . . is that there can be NO doubt about it; but it is not perfectly clear why it is introduced here. Whatever the reason of why it was used here; it contains a most important Truth from God’s Holy Word, which demands the attention of all people. The wicked, as a matter of clear-headed truth, have absolutely NO permanent and significant peace and joy.
They have no peace:
#1. In any act of wickedness. Sin may have its temporary gratifications of their evil lusts and passions, but the act of sinning, can bring absolutely NO permanent happiness.
#2. This world can furnish NO permanent joys as are derived from the hope of a life to come. Riches take wings; disappointment comes; and the highest earthly and sensual pleasure leaves a depressing state of want, a deep feeling that there is something that has not been filled.
#3. They have no peace of conscience; no deep and continual feeling that they are right. They often feel troubled; and there is nothing that this world can give that will give peace to a soul that is disturbed with a sense of the guilt of sin.
#4. They have no peace on a deathbed. They may have freedom from much pain or fear, but that is not peace, any more than death is life; or than the frost of winter is the greenery of spring; or than a desert is a fruitful field.
#5. There is often in these circumstances the reverse of peace. There is not only no positive peace, but there is the exact opposite. There is often disappointment, care, anxiety, distress, deep panic and the dreadful fear and worry of God’s eternal wrath. There is no situation in life or death, where the wicked can count on peace. There is every possibility that his mind will often be filled with fear, and that his deathbed will be one of hopelessness.
#6. There is no peace to the wicked beyond the grave. The wicked will have no peace on Judgment Day; and he will have not have a moment of peace in the lake of fire (Rev.20:15).

This is an extremely solemn curse of this section where the LORD, through Isaiah, is stating Truth against all the idols of the heathen. Only Almighty God alone can give peace. If a person insists on remaining away from God and living in continual sin (any sin), there is NO way that he can find peace in the world. Several thousand years of recorded history clearly tell us that anyone who denies, rejects and disobeys the LORD, has no peace, in this world and certainly not in the world to come! http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_to_the_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_who_are_the_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_gpd's_promises_about_hell.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_righteous_vs_wicked.htm
http://www.hisservants.org/g_p_god's_promises_to_the%20righteous.htm

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

 

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