Isaiah 46 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 46)
46:1 Bel boweth down, a Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the b beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages [were] heavily loaded; [they were] a burden to the weary [beast].

(a) These were the chief idols of Babylon.
(b) Because they were of gold and silver, the Medes and Persians carried them away.

46:2 c They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but d themselves have gone into captivity.

(c) The beasts that carried the idols fell down under their burden.
(d) He derides the idols, who had neither soul nor sense.

46:3 Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are e borne [by me] from the birth, which are carried from the womb:

(e) He shows the difference between the idols and the true God; for they must be carried by others, but God himself carries his, as in (Deuteronomy 32:11).

46:4 And [even] to [your] old age I [am] he; and [even] to gray hairs will I carry [you]: f have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver [you].

(f) Seeing I have begotten you, I will nourish and preserve you forever.

46:5 To whom will ye liken me, and make [me] equal, and g compare me, that we may be like?

(g) The people of God setting their own calamity, and the flourishing estate of the Babylonians, would be tempted to think that their God was not so mighty as the idols of their enemies: therefore he describes the original of all the idols to make them to be abhorred by all men: showing that the most that can be spoken in their commendation, is but to prove them vile.

46:8 Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring [it] again to h mind, O ye transgressors.

(h) Become wise, meaning, that all idolaters are without wit or sense, like mad men.

46:11 Calling a ravenous i bird from the east, the man that executeth my k counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken [it], I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed [it], I will also perform it.

(i) That is, Cyrus, who will come as swift as a bird and fight against Babylon.
(k) Him by whom I have appointed to execute that which I have determined.

46:12 Hearken to me, ye stubborn in heart, that [are] far from l righteousness:

(l) Who by your incredulity would prevent the performance of my promise.

46:13 I bring m near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not delay: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

(m) He shows that man's incredulity cannot abolish the promise of God, (Romans 3:3).