Isaiah 43 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 43)
43:1 But now thus saith the LORD a that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, b Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.

(a) After these threatenings he promises deliverance to his Church, because he has regenerated them, adopted them, and called them.
(b) When you see dangers and conspiracies on all sides, remember this benefit and the love of your God, and it will encourage you.

43:2 When thou passest through the c waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

(c) By water and fire he means all kinds of trouble and peril.

43:3 For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave d Egypt [for] thy ransom, Cush and Seba for thee.

(d) I turned Sennacherib's power against these countries, and made them suffer the affliction which you would have done, and so were as the payment of our ransom, (Isaiah 37:9).

43:4 Since thou hast been precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give e men for thee, and people for thy life.

(e) I will not spare any man, rather than you should perish, for God values one of his faithful more than all the wicked in the world.

43:5 Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the f east, and gather thee from the west;

(f) He prophecies of their deliverance from the captivity of Babylon, and so of the calling of the universal Church, alluding to that which is written in (Deuteronomy 30:3).

43:7 [Even] every one that is called by my g name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; verily, I have made him.

(g) Meaning that he could not be unmindful of them, unless he would neglect his own Name and glory.

43:9 Let all the nations be gathered h together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their i witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them k hear, and say, [It is] truth.

(h) Signifying that no power can resist him in doing this miraculous work, nor are all their idols able to do the same, as in (Isaiah 41:22).
(i) To prove that the things which are spoken of them are true.
(k) Showing that the malice of the wicked hinders them in the knowledge of the truth, because they will not hear when God speaks by his word.

43:10 Ye l [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my m servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me.

(l) The prophets and people to whom I have given my law.
(m) Meaning especially Christ, and by him all the faithful.

43:14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have n brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry [is] in o the ships.

(n) By Darius and Cyrus.
(o) They will cry when they would escape by my water, seeing that the course of the Euphrates is turned another way by the enemy.

43:16 Thus saith the LORD, who maketh a way in p the sea, and a path in the mighty q waters;

(p) When he delivered Israel from Pharaoh, (Exodus 14:22).
(q) When the Israelites passed through Jordan, (Joshua 3:17).

43:17 Who bringeth r forth the s chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as a wick.

(r) When he delivered his people out of Egypt.
(s) Pharaoh and his mighty army.

43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the t wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.

(t) Meaning, that their deliverance out of Babylon would be more famous than that from Egypt was, (Jeremiah 23:7; Haggai 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5,7).

43:20 The u beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

(u) They will have such abundance of all things as they return home, even in the dry and barren places, that the very beasts will feel my blessings and will acknowledge them: much more men ought to be thankful for the same.

43:22 But thou hast not x called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been y weary of me, O Israel.

(x) You have not worshipped me as you ought to have done.
(y) Because you have not willingly received that which I commanded you, you grieved me. By which he shows that his mercies were the only reason for their deliverance, as they had deserved the contrary.

43:23 Thou z hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

(z) Meaning, in true faith and obedience.

43:24 Thou hast bought me no sweet a cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast b burdened me with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thy iniquities.

(a) Either for the composition of the sweet ointment (Exodus 30:34), or for the sweet incense (Exodus 30:7).

43:26 Put me in c remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

(c) If I forget anything that may make for your justification, put me in remembrance and speak for yourself.

43:27 Thy d first father hath sinned, and thy e teachers have transgressed against me.

(d) Your ancestors.
(e) Your priests and your prophets.

43:28 Therefore I have f profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

(f) That is, rejected, abhorred, and destroyed them in the wilderness and at other times.