Isaiah 48 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 48)
48:1 Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, who are a called by the name of Israel, and have come forth out of b the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, [but] not in truth, nor in righteousness.

(a) He detects their hypocrisy who claimed to be Israelites, but were not so.
(b) Meaning, the fountain and stock.

48:2 For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves c upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts [is] his name.

(c) They make a show, as though they would have no other God.

48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth from my mouth, and I showed d them; I did [them] suddenly, and they came to pass.

(d) He shows that they could not accuse him in anything, as he had performed whatever he had promised.

48:4 Because I knew that e thou [art] obstinate, and thy neck [is] an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

(e) I have done for you more than I promised, that your stubbornness and impudency might have been overcome.

48:5 I have even from the beginning declared [it] to thee; before it came to pass I showed f [it] thee: lest thou shouldest say, My idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

(f) How you should be delivered out of Babylon.

48:6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye g declare [it]? I have showed ye new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

(g) Will you not acknowledge my blessing, and declare it to others?

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 h knew them.

(h) Showing that man's arrogancy is the reason God does not declare all things at once, lest they should attribute this knowledge to their own wisdom.

48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time [that] thy ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the i womb.

(i) From the time that I brought you of Egypt: for that deliverance was as the birth of the Church.

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

(k) As it was my free mercy that I chose you: so it is my free mercy that must save you.

48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but l not with silver; I have m chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

(l) For I had respect to your weakness and infirmity: for in silver there is some pureness, but in us there is nothing but dross.
(m) I took you out of the furnace where you would have been consumed.

48:11 For my own sake, [even] for my own sake, will I do [it]: for how should [my name] n be profaned? o and I will not give my glory to another.

(n) God joins the salvation of his with his own honour: so that they cannot perish, but his glory would be diminished, as in (Deuteronomy 32:27).
(o) Read (Isaiah 42:8).

48:12 Hearken to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; p I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last.

(p) Read (Isaiah 41:4).

48:13 My hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spread out the heavens: [when] I call to them, q they stand up together.

(q) To obey me, and to do whatever I command them.

48:14 All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; who among them hath declared these [things]? The LORD hath loved r him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm [shall be on] the Chaldeans.

(r) Meaning, Cyrus, whom he had chosen to destroy Babylon.

48:16 Come ye near to me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the s beginning; from the time that it was, there [am] I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath t sent me.

(s) Since the time that I declared myself to your fathers.
(t) Thus the Prophet speaks for himself, and to assure them of these things.

48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I [am] the LORD thy God who teacheth thee u to profit, who leadeth thee by the way [that] thou shouldest go.

(u) What things will do you good.

48:19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy body like its gravel; his x name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.

(x) That is, the prosperous estate of Israel.

48:20 y Go ye forth from 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.

(y) After he had forewarned them of their captivity and of the reason for it, he shows them the great joy that will come of their deliverance.

48:21 And they z thirsted not [when] he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he broke the rock also, and the waters gushed out.

(z) He shows that it will be as easy to deliver them, as he did their fathers out of Egypt.

48:22 [There is] no a peace, saith the LORD, to the wicked.

(a) Thus he speaks that the wicked hypocrites should not abuse God's promise, in whom was neither faith nor repentance, as in (Isaiah 57:21)