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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 44



Verses 1-28

The Impotence of Idols

1-23. The reproach of God's people shall be entirely removed. Jehovah the Eternal, who rules the events of history, contrasted with the futile gods of the heathen.

24-28. This great Jehovah pledges the restoration of His people through Cyrus.

2. Jesurun] i.e. 'upright,' a symbolic name of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:15), indicating its ideal character. Fear not] i.e. on account of past failure and apparent inability to realise the future which God sets before you.

3. Cp. Isaiah 43:20.

5. The meaning is that the nations of the world will count it an honour to associate themselves with Israel and be reckoned as the Lord's people. Subscribe, etc.] i.e. sign himself as the Lord's. Surname himself] as with a title of honour.

6. Cp. Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 43:18. His redeemer] i.e. the deliverer of Israel.

7. A challenge to others to foretell the future, as Jehovah does by His prophet (Isaiah 41:22). RM 'And who, as I, can proclaim? let him declare it,' etc.

8. From that time] RV 'of old.' My witnesses] see Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 43:12. No God] RV 'no Rock.' Rock, as a title of God (cp. Isaiah 17:10; Deuteronomy 32:4, Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 32:18), expresses the permanent strength and protection He affords.

8-20. The folly of idolaters exposed.

9. They are their own, etc.] RV 'their own witnesses see not,' i.e. the witnesses on behalf of the idols (the heathen), as opposed to Jehovah's witnesses (the Jews), Isaiah 44:8.

11. All his fellows] RM 'all that join themselves thereto.' They are of men] i.e. of human origin, and, therefore, cannot make God. Bead, 'The smith sharpeneth a tool and worketh,' etc. (RM).

12. Description of the making of a metal idol. The maker is frail man.

13, etc. Description of the making of a wooden idol. A line] RV 'a pencil. Fitteth] RV 'shapeth.'

14. The v. describes the choosing of the wood, and the planting of the tree, for making an idol. Cypress.. ash] RV 'holm tree.. fir.' Strengthened] i.e. carefully tends its growth, or chooses, selects.

15-17. The uses to which the tree is put. Part is used for human purposes, part to make a god.

18-20. Idolaters are so infatuated that they do not see the contradiction involved in such conduct.

21-23. A contrast. Jehovah will show His power and graciousness in the deliverance of His people.

22. A cloud] which soon disperses.

24. He is supreme over all things.

By myself] RV 'who is with me? 'implying that Jehovah alone does these things.

25. He frustrates false prophets, but pledges Himself to fulfil the predictions of His own prophets as to the restoration of Jerusalem (Isaiah 44:26-28).

26. Servant] here a synonym for 'prophet': cp. Isaiah 20:3. Messengers] the prophets generally.

27. The allusion is to the drying up, (a) of the waters which would impede the returning exiles, or (b) of the waters which protected Babylon (Jeremiah 50:38; Jeremiah 51:36). Cyrus, in fact, entered Babylon by diverting the Euphrates from its usual channel and marching by the river bed.

28. As the Assyrian was Jehovah's appointed instrument for the chastisement of His people (Isaiah 10:5), so Cyrus is singled out as His instrument for their restoration. Even saying, etc.] literally fulfilled in the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:1; 2 Chronicles 36:22-23).


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 44:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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