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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 43

 

 

Verses 1-28


The Mission of Israel

1-21. The dispersed Israelites shall be ransomed and restored. They are witnesses before the world that Jehovah is the true God. A second and more wonderful exodus is in store for Israel.

22-28. This deliverance is not a return for service rendered to God, but a free gift.

1. But now] In contrast to the wrath poured upon Israel (Isaiah 42:24-25) God will manifest His redeeming love.

3. Egypt, etc.] The meaning is that these nations shall take the place of Israel as vassals. Jehovah is willing to give the richest lands as ransom for His people.

4. Thou hast been] RV 'and hast been.'

People] RV 'peoples.'

5, 6. Every nation where Israelites were dispersed must restore them to their home.

8. Blind, etc.] see Isaiah 42:18.

9f. Another judgment scene, similar to Isaiah 41:21.

9. The heathen are challenged to bring witnesses on behalf of their gods, that they can foretell the future.

10-13. The Israelites themselves are Jehovah's witnesses, proving in their experience that He alone is the Eternal, the Almighty, who can save and foretell the future.

14. Babylon] Here for the first time the place of exile is named. Have.. nobles] RV 'will bring down all of them as fugitives, even the Chaldeans.' Whose cry, etc.] RV 'in the ships of their rejoicing.' Babylonia was famous for its shipping; ships belonging to it and other cities on the Persian Gulf are referred to in the earliest Babylonian legends.

16, 17. The imagery for this second exodus is borrowed from the exodus from Egypt.

18, 19. The mighty works of the past shall be forgotten, in view of a still greater deliverance: cp. Jeremiah 23:7, Jeremiah 23:8.

20. Dragons.. owls] RV'jackals.. ostriches.'

22-24. Israel's service has not been such as to deserve Jehovah's interposition.

23. Small cattle] Heb. 'lambs or kids'(mg.). I have not caused, etc.] i.e. I have not laid too heavy burdens on you.

24. Sweet cane] from which anointing oil was prepared (Exodus 30:23). Thou hast made me to serve, etc.] i.e. I have had to endure.

26. An invitation to produce any argument in defence of their conduct.

27, 28. Nothing can be urged; they have sinned from the beginning of their national existence; hence the calamity of the exile, which has made them an object of scorn to the world.

27. First father] Jacob: cp. Isaiah 43:28.

28. Profaned, etc.] i.e. treated the chief priests (cp. 1 Chronicles 24:5) as though they were ordinary unconsecrated men. During the exile their priestly functions were in abeyance.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 43:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/isaiah-43.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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