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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Isaiah 43

Verse 1

Isa 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.

Ver. 1. But now, thus saith the Lord. ] Here the prophet comforteth those with the gospel whom he had frighted with the law, saith Oecolampadius.

That created thee, O Jacob. ] By a new creation, especially. Isa 29:23 Eph 2:10 2Co 5:17 Magna sunt opera Dei creatoris, Dei recreatoris longe maxima. a The work of redemption is far beyond that of creation.

And he that formed thee, O Israel. ] As the potter formeth to himself a vessel of honour, and distinguisheth it from other vile and sordid vessels; so have I dealt by thee.

I have redeemed thee. ] A mercy much celebrated in this book, and for very great reason.

I have called thee by thy name. ] Which was no small favour. See Exo 33:17 Psalms 147:4 . Some think he alludeth to his giving Jacob the name of Israel, when he had wrestled with God and prevailed.

Thou art mine. ] I have adopted thee, which is no small honour. 1Jn 3:1 Meus es tu, you are mine, may very well be the new name spoken of, Rev 2:17 Hos 2:23 better than that of sons and of daughters, Isa 56:5 See it displayed 1 Peter 2:9 .

a Augustine.

Verse 2

Isa 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Ver. 2. When thou passest through the waters. ] Fire and water, we say, have no mercy when once they get above us; extreme calamities are hereby denoted. Psa 66:12 But God’s gracious presence kept the bush from burning - burn it did, but was not consumed, through "the good will of him that dwelt in it" saith Moses Deu 33:16 - the Israelites in the Red Sea from drowning. Exo 14:28-29 His presence made the fiery furnace a gallery of pleasure; the lion’s den a house of defence; the Leonine prison a delectable orchard, as that Italian martyr phrased it; the fiery trial a bed of roses, as another, Tua praesentia, Domine, Laurentio ipsam craticulam dulcem feeit. Jerome of Prague and other martyrs sang in the very flames. Blessed Bilney, being condemned to be burned for the testimony of Jesus, when he was comforted by some against the extremity of the fire, put his hand toward the flame of the candle burning before them, and feeling the heat thereof, Oh, said he, I feel by experience, and have learned by philosophy, that fire by God’s ordinance is naturally hot. But yet I am persuaded by God’s Holy Word, and by the experience of some spoken of in the same, that in the flame they felt no heat, and in the fire no consumption. I constantly believe, that howsoever the stubble of this my body shall be wasted by it, yet my soul and spirit shall be purged thereby; a pain for the time, wherein notwithstanding followeth joy unspeakable; and here he much treated on this text, "Fear not, when thou passest through the waters," &c. So that some of his friends there present took such sweet benefit therein that they caused the whole said sentence to be fair written in tables, and some in their books, the comfort whereof in varions of them was never taken from them to their dying day. a

a Acts and Mon., fol. 923.

Verse 3

Isa 43:3 For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Ver. 3. I gave Egypt for thy ransom. ] Quasi victimam piacularem a Sennacheribo mactandam loco Iudcea, in exchange for thee; so the Septuagint render it. This was done when Tirhakah, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, was beaten by Sennacherib, who was then making towards Jerusalem, which he had already devoured in his hopes. Isa 37:9 Thus, "The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead." Pro 11:8 Saul and his people were afflicted by the Philistines, that David might escape. 1Sa 23:27-28 The Canaanites were rooted out, to make room for the Israelites. Charles V, and Francis, the French king, after a mutual agreement to root out Lutheranism, fall together by the ears, and the Church all the while hath her halcyons. So the Turks and Persians are at deadly feud, to the great safeguard of Christendom; and the Popish party are as a bulwark between those Mohammedans and the Protestants.

Verse 5

Isa 43:5 Fear not: for I [am] with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

Ver. 5. I will bring thy seed from the east. ] From all coasts and quarters. This was a type of the Church in the New Testament; see Mat 8:11 2 John 1:10; 2 John 1:102 John 1:10; 2 John 1:10 :16 Galatians 3:28 ; this was also a type of the last resurrection. See Revelation 20:13 .

Verse 6

Isa 43:6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

Ver. 6. I will say to the north, Give up. ] I will do it with a word of my mouth, Ipse dixit, et facta sunt. He himself said and is was done. a

Bring my sons from far, and my daughters. ] That is, say some, my stronger and also weaker children, of what size or sex soever. Souls have no sexes.

a Oecolamp.

Verse 7

Isaiah 43:7 [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Ver. 7. Even every one that is called by my name, ] i.e., My sons and my daughters, Isaiah 43:6 2Co 6:18 such as have Christian for their name, and Catholic for their surname.

I have created him for my glory. ] See on Isaiah 43:1 .

Yea, I have made him, ] i.e., Advanced him, a as 1 Samuel 12:6 .

a Feci, i.e., magnum effeci. - Pisc.

Verse 8

Isa 43:8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

Ver. 8. Bring forth the blind people. ] Such as were blind and ignorant, but now are enlightened.

And the deaf. ] Such as were cross and rebellious, but now are tractable and obsequious. Isaiah 42:7 ; Isa 42:16

Verse 9

Isa 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, [It is] truth.

Ver. 9. Let all the nations. ] See Isaiah 41:1 .

And shew us former things. ] Much less can they show us things future. Varro calleth all the time before the flood αδηλον , obscure, because the heathens had no certain relation of anything then done. And Diod. Siculus acknowledgeth that all that was written among them before the Theban and Trojan wars was little better than fabulous. The gods of the Gentiles had not so much as any solid knowledge of things past, neither could they orderly and perfectly set them forth by their secretaries.

It is truth, ] scil., That there is but one true God. Phocylides did say so, εις μονος εστι Yεος , &c. Socrates suffered for holding this truth at Athens. Plato held the same, but dared not speak out. These are his words: It is neither easy to find out the maker of all things, nor safe to communicate to the common people what we have found out of him. Here, for fear of the people, he detained the truth in unrighteousness. And the like did Seneca, whom Augustine accuseth, quod colebat quod reprehendebat; agebat quod arguebat; quod culpabat, adorabat a that he worshipped those gods whom he disliked and decried.

a De Civit. Dei, lib. vi. cap. 10.

Verse 10

Isa 43:10 Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I [am] he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Ver. 10. Ye are my witnesses. ] He taketh to witness of this great truth in question, not heaven, earth, sea, &c., but his people, among whom he had given in all ages so many clear arguments and experiments of his divinity, his oracles and miracles for instance.

And my servant whom I have chosen, ] i.e., Christ, saith the Chaldee paraphrast; the prophet Isaiah, say others; or, which is more likely, Cyrus, who is called God’s elect servant, Isa 42:1 and his testimony concerning God is to be read in Ezra 1:3 , "The Lord God of Israel he is God." Every true believer doth as much, if not more; for "He that believeth hath set to his seal that God is true," Joh 3:33 hath given him a testimonial, such as is that in Deuteronomy 32:4 , "A God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he." Such a sealer was Abraham, Rom 4:20 and "such honour have all his saints."

That ye may know and believe and understand. ] That ye may have a "full assurance of knowledge," as Luk 1:4 and a "full assurance of faith." Heb 10:22

Verse 11

Isa 43:11 I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no saviour.

Ver. 11. I, even I, am the Lord. ] This redoubled I is emphatic and exclusive.

And beside me there is no Saviour. ] They are gross idolaters, therefore, that set up for saviours the saints departed.

Verse 12

Isa 43:12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when [there was] no strange [god] among you: therefore ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I [am] God.

Ver. 12. I have showed, when there was no strange God among you. ] See Deuteronomy 32:12 . See Trapp on " Exo 34:14 "

Therefore ye are my witnesses. ] See on Isaiah 43:10 .

Verse 13

Isa 43:13 Yea, before the day [was] I [am] he; and [there is] none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Ver. 13. Yea, before the day was I am he. ] The "Ancient of days," yea, the eternal The God of Israel was long before Israel was in being.

And there is none that can deliver out of my hand. ] So Nebuchadnezzar vainly vaunted, but was soon confuted. Daniel 3:15 ; Daniel 3:17 ; Dan 3:29

I will work, and who shall let it? ] Angels may be hindered. God can come between their essence and their executive power, and so keep them from doing what they would. In fire there is the substance and the quality of heat; between these God can separate, as he did in the Babylonish fire. Dan 3:22-25 But who shall hinder the Most High?

Verse 14

Isa 43:14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry [is] in the ships.

Ver. 14. Thus saith the Lord, your Redeemer. ] For their greater comfort and confirmation, the prophet purposely premiseth to the promise of deliverance from Babylon these sweet attributes of God, each of them dropping myrrh and mercy.

For your sakes I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down. ] Or, I will send, and I will bring down.

All their nobles. ] Heb., Bars . Psa 147:13 Bars noblemen should be, to keep out evils, and to secure saints; but these were crossbars, &c.

Whose cry is in the ships. ] Or, Whose outcry is to the ships, whereby they thought to save themselves, but could not, because Cyrus had drained and dried up their river Euphrates. Tremellius rendereth it, The Chaldees with their most famous ships.

Verse 15

Isa 43:15 I [am] the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

Ver. 15. I am their Lord. ] More of God’s holy attributes are here heaped up for like reason, as in Isaiah 43:14 .

Verse 16

Isa 43:16 Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

Ver. 16. Which maketh a way in the sea. ] Or, That made a way in the sea, &c. - sc., When your fathers came out of Egypt. Why, then, should you doubt about deliverance?

Verse 17

Isa 43:17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

Ver. 17. Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse. ] Or, Who brought forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power, viz, Pharaoh’s forces. Exodus 14:4 ; Exodus 14:9 ; Exo 14:23

They are quenched as tow. ] a Heb., As a candlewick make of flax quickly quenched with water poured on it. See how easily God can confound his foes.

a Ut ellychnium extinguentur.

Verse 18

Isa 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

Ver. 18. Remember ye not the former things, ] sc., In comparison of those things I shall now do for you by Cyrus, but especially by Christ, who is that way in the wilderness, and that running rock. 1Co 10:4 Isa 43:14

Verse 19

Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert.

Ver. 19. Shall ye not know it? ] Or, Do ye not perceive it? He speaketh of it as present and under view.

And rivers in a desert. ] As once when I set the flint abroach. Exo 17:6 Numbers 20:8 ; Numbers 20:11 Psa 105:41 By this way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, understand the doctrine of the gospel, and the comforts of the Spirit. Joh 7:38-39

Verse 20

Isa 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

Ver. 20. The beasts of the field shall honour me, ] i.e., In their kind they shall. So shall brutish and savage persons when tamed and turned by the word of God’s grace. The malignities of all creatures are in man; as Plato a also observed, In doloso enim est vulpes, in crudeli leo, in libidinoso amica lute sus, &c. Gregory, b by dragons, here understands profane and carnal people; by owls or ostriches, hypocrites. These being converted shall sing hallelujahs to God; but let them take heed that they turn not, with the dog, to their own vomit again, &c. 2Pe 2:22 For,

a De Rep., lib. iii.

b Mor., lib. xxxi. cap. 5.

Verse 21

Isa 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Ver. 21. This people have I formed for myself. ] Even the Gentiles now as well as the Jews.

They shall show forth my praise. ] They shall "preach forth ( εξαγγειλητε ) the virtues, or praises, of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light." 1Pe 2:9

Verse 22

Isa 43:22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

Ver. 22. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob. ] During the captivity they prayed not to any purpose, as Daniel also acknowledgeth: Isa 9:13 "All this evil is come upon us, yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand thy truth." Nevertheless, of his free grace, God brought them back again.

But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. ] Accounting my service a burden, and not a benefit. See on Malachi 1:13 .

Verse 23

Isa 43:23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

Ver. 23. Thou hast not brought me, &c. ] Not me, but a god of thine own framing, a Such a one as would take up with external heartless services, formal courtings and compliments.

a Non Mihi sed deo fictitio.

Verse 24

Isa 43:24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

Ver. 24. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane. ] Or, Calamus, whereof see Plin., lib. xii. cap. 22.

Neither hast thou filled me with the fat. ] The heathens had a gross conceit that their gods fed on the steam that ascended from their fat sacrifices; and some Jews might haply hold the same thing. See Deu 32:38 Psalms 50:13 .

But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins. ] With thine hypocrisy and oppressions especially. Isa 1:11-15 The Seventy render it, "Thou hast stood before me in thy sins," as outbraving me. Thou hast tried my long patience, in seeing and suffering thy sins, to my great annoyance. So Diodate paraphraseth.

And hast wearied me. ] Exprimit rei indignitatem cum iniquitate coniunctam. God had not wearied them, but they had wearied him sufficiently. Some make these to be the words of Christ to his ungrateful countrymen,

Verse 25

Isa 43:25 I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Ver. 25. I, even I, am he. ] Gratuitam misericordiam diligentissime exprimit. God diligently setteth forth his own free grace, and greatly glorieth in it, showing how it is that he freeth himself from trouble and them from destruction, viz., for his own sake alone.

That blotteth out thy transgressions. ] Heb., Am blotting out, constantly and continually I am doing it. As thou multipliest sins, so do I "multiply pardons." Isa 55:7 So John 1:29 , "He taketh away the sins of the world"; it is a perpetual act, like as the sun shineth, the spring runneth. Zec 13:1 Men gladly blot out that which they cannot look upon without grief. Malum enim semel delere quam perpetuo dolere, so here we are run deep in God’s debt book; but his discharge is free and full. a

For mine own sake. ] Gratis et propter me. Let us thankfully reciprocate, and say, as he once did, Propter te, Domine, propter te, For thy sake, Lord, do I all.

And will not remember thy sins. ] Discharges in justification are not repealed or called in again. b Pardon proceedeth from special love and mercy, which alter not their consigned acts.

a Dulcis Metaph. One may with a pen cross a great sum as well as a little.

b Peccata non redeunt.

Verse 26

Isa 43:26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

Ver. 26. Put me in remembrance, ] sc., Of thy merits, if thou hast any to plead. Justiciaries are here called into judgment, because they slighted the throne of grace.

Verse 27

Isa 43:27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.

Ver. 27. Thy first father. ] Adam, or Abraham, say some.

And thy teachers. ] Heb., Thine interpreters, orators, ambassadors - that is, thy priests and prophets.

Verse 28

Isa 43:28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

Ver. 28. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary. ] Or, Of holiness; that is, those that under a pretence of religion affected a kind of hierarchy, as did the scribes and Pharisees, who, with the whole Jewish state, were taken away by the Romans, both their place and their nation, as they had feared. Joh 11:48

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 43". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.