41:1 Keep a silence before me, O isles; and let the people b renew [their] strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.
(a) God as though he pleaded his cause with all
nations requires silence, that he may be heard in his right.
(b) That is, gather all their power and supports.
41:2 Who raised up the c
righteous [man] from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before
him, and made [him] rule over kings? he gave [them] as the dust to his sword,
[and] as driven stubble to his bow.
(c) Who called Abraham (who was the pattern of
God's justice in delivering his Church) from the idolatry of the Chaldeans
to go to and fro at his commandment and placed him in the land of Canaan.
41:4 Who hath wrought and
done [it], calling the d generations
from the beginning? I the LORD, the e
first, and with the last; I [am] he.
(d) Who has created man and maintained his
(e) Though the world set up many gods, yet they
diminish nothing of my glory: for I am all one, unchangeable, which have ever
been and will be for ever.
41:5 The isles saw [it], and f
feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and g
(f) Considering my excellent works among my
(g) They assembled themselves and conspired
against me to maintain their idolatry.
41:6 They helped every one his neighbour; and
[every one] said to his brother, h Be of
(h) He notes the obstinacy of the idolaters to
maintain their superstitions.
41:8 But thou, Israel, [art]
my i servant, Jacob whom I have chosen,
the seed of Abraham my friend.
(i) And therefore ought not to pollute yourself
with the superstition of the Gentiles.
41:10 Fear thou not; for I
[am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee;
yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the k
right hand of my righteousness.
(k) That is, by the force of promise, in the
performance of which I will show myself faithful and just.
41:12 Thou shalt seek them,
and shalt not l find them, [even] them
that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as
a thing of naught.
(l) Because they will be destroyed.
41:14 Fear not, thou m
worm Jacob, [and] ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy
redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
(m) Thus he calls them because they were
contemned of all the world, and that they considering their own poor estate
should seek him for help.
41:15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp
threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the n
mountains, and beat [them] small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.
(n) I will make you able to destroy all your
enemies no matter how mighty, and this chiefly is referred to the kingdom of
41:17 [When] o
the poor and needy seek water, and [there is] none, [and] their tongue faileth
for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake
(o) That is, they who will be afflicted in the
captivity of Babylon.
41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and
fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of
water, and the dry p land springs of
(p) God would rather change the order of nature
than that they should want anything, who cry to him by true faith in their
miseries: declaring to them by this that they will lack nothing by the way,
when they return from Babylon.
41:20 That they may see,
and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath
done this, and the Holy One of Israel q
hath created it.
(q) That is, has appointed and determined that it
will come to pass.
Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong [reasons], saith the
King of Jacob.
(r) He bids the idolaters to prove their religion
and to bring forth their idols, that they may be tried whether they know all
things, and can do all things, which if they cannot do, he concludes that they
are not gods, but vile idols.
Behold, ye [are] of nothing, and your work of naught: an abomination [is he
that] s chooseth you.
(s) So that a man cannot make an idol, without
doing that which God detests and abhors for he chooses his own devises and
forsakes the Lords.
41:25 I have raised up [one] from the north, t
and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he u
call upon my name: and he shall come upon x
princes as [upon] morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.
(t) Meaning, the Chaldeans.
(u) That is, Cyrus, who will do all things in my
name and by my direction: by which he means that both their captivity and
deliverance will be ordered by God's providence and appointment.
(x) Both of the Chaldeans and others.
41:26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that
we may know? and in times past, that we may say, [He is] righteous? verily,
[there is] none that sheweth, verily, [there is] none that declareth, verily,
[there is] none that heareth y your
(y) Meaning, that none of the Gentile gods can
work any of these things.
41:27 The first [shall say] to Zion, Behold,
behold z them: and I will give to
Jerusalem a one that bringeth good
(z) That is, the Israelites who return from the
(a) That is, a continual succession of prophets
41:28 For b
I beheld, and [there was] no man; even among them, and [there was] no counsellor,
that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.
(b) When I looked whether the idols could do
these things, I found that they had neither wisdom nor power to do anything:
therefore he concludes that all are wicked that trust in such vanities.