44:2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed a thee from the womb, [who] will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, b whom I have chosen.
(a) He treated and chose you from the beginning
of his own mercy, and before you could merit anything.
(b) Whom God accepts as righteous: or who had
opportunity to it because of the law, and your holy calling.
44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is c
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed,
and my blessing upon thy offspring:
(c) Because man of himself is as the dry and
barren land, he promises to moisten him with the waters of his Holy Spirit, (Joel
44:4 And they d
shall spring up [as] among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
(d) That is, your children and posterity will
increase wonderfully after their deliverance from Babylon.
44:5 One shall say, I [am] the LORD'S; and
another e shall call [himself] by the
name of Jacob; and another shall write [with] his hand to the LORD, and surname
[himself] by the name of Israel.
(e) By this diversity of speech he means one
thing, that is, that the people will be holy, and receive the true religion
from God, as in (Psalms
44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and
his redeemer the LORD of hosts; f I [am]
the first, and I [am] the last; and besides me [there is] no God.
(f) I am always like myself, that is, merciful
toward my Church, and most able to maintain it, as in (Isaiah
44:7 And who, as I, shall g
call, and shall declare it, and set h it
in order for me, since I appointed the i
ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let k
them show to them.
(g) And appoint them that will deliver the
(h) That is, tell me how I should proceed in
(i) God calls the Israelites ancient, because he
preferred them to all others in his eternal election.
(k) Meaning, their idols.
44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I
told thee from that time, and have declared [it]? l
ye [are] even my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? verily, [there is] no
God; I know not [any].
(l) Read (Isaiah
44:9 They that make a graven image [are] all of
them vanity; and m their delectable
things shall not profit; and they [are] their own witnesses; n
they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
(m) Whatever they bestow on their idols, to make
them seem glorious.
(n) That is, the idolaters seeing that their
idols are blind, are witnesses of their own blindness, and feeling that they
are not able to help them, must confess that they have no power.
44:10 Who hath formed a o
god, or cast a graven image [that] is p
profitable for nothing?
(o) Meaning that whatever is made by the hand of
man, if it is valued as a god, is most detestable.
(p) By which appears their blasphemy, who call
images the books of the laity, seeing that they are not only here called
unprofitable, but in (Isaiah
41:24) abominable. Jeremiah calls them the work of errors, (Jeremiah
10:15), Habakkuk, a lying teacher (Habakkuk
44:11 Behold, all his q
fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they [are] of men: let them all be
gathered together, let them r stand up;
[yet] they shall fear, [and] they shall be ashamed together.
(q) That is, who in any way consent either to the
making or worshipping.
(r) Signifying, that the multitude will not then
save the idolaters, when God will take vengeance, although they excuse
themselves by it among men.
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 s hungry, and his
strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
(s) He describes the raging affection of the
idolaters, who forget their own necessities to set forth their devotion toward
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 t
(t) To place it in some Temple.
44:15 Then shall it be for
a man to burn: for he will take of it, and u
warm himself; indeed, he kindleth [it], and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god,
and worshippeth [it]; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down to it.
(u) He sets forth the obstinacy and malice of the
idolaters who though they see by daily experience that their idols are no
better than the rest of the matter of which they are made, yet they refuse the
one part, and make a god of the other, as the papists make their cake god, and
the rest of their idols.
44:16 He burneth part of it in the fire; with part
of it he x eateth flesh; he roasteth
meat, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth [himself], and saith, Aha, I am warm, I
have seen the fire:
(x) That is, he either makes a table or
44:18 They have not known
nor understood: y for he hath shut their
eyes, that they cannot see; [and] their hearts, that they cannot understand.
(y) The prophet gives here an answer to all them
who wonder how it is possible that any would be so blind as to commit such
abomination, saying that God has blinded their eyes, and hardened their
44:20 He feedeth z
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?
(z) He is abused as one that would eat ashes,
thinking to satisfy his hunger.
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 by me.
(a) Showing that man's heart is most inclined
to idolatry, and therefore he warns his people by these examples, that they
should not cleave to any but to the living God, when they should be among the
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 in it:
for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.
(b) He shows that the work of the Lord toward his
people will be so great, that the insensible creatures will be moved with it.
44:25 That frustrateth the c
tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise [men] backward,
and maketh their knowledge foolish;
(c) He arms them against the soothsayers of
Babylon, who would have said that they knew by the stars that God would not
deliver Israel, and that Babylon would stand.
44:26 That confirmeth the word of his d
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 her decayed places:
(d) Of Isaiah and the rest of his prophets, who
assured the Church of God's favour and deliverance.
44:27 That saith to the e
deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:
(e) He shows that God's work would be no less
notable in this their deliverance, than when he brought them out of Egypt,
through the sea.
44:28 That saith of f
Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and he shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to
Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
(f) To assure them of their deliverance he names
the person by whom it would be, more than a hundred years before he was born.