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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 48

Verses 1-11

Isaiah 48:1-1 Kings : . A Recapitulation of the Argument from Prophecy.— To the original text a redactor has added a commentary (bracketed below) from a different standpoint. Whereas the prophet regarded Israel as having more than paid the penalty of her sins, the additions represent her as obstinately and inveterately sinful, and long addicted to the worship of images.

“ Hearken,” says Yahweh to His people [proud of their nationality and attached to His cultus]. “ Long ago I predicted what later I suddenly accomplished. [Knowing thine inveterate obstinacy, Isaiah 48:4 ] I announced beforehand my intentions [lest thou shouldst attribute the events to thine idols, Isaiah 48:5 b ]. Thou hast heard . . . wilt thou not admit it? Now I announce things hitherto unrevealed [lest thou shouldst say, “ I knew them,” Isaiah 48:7 c ] unheard and unknown by thee [because I knew that thou hast ever been a traitor. For My own sake I am not destroying thee. I have refined thee in a furnace, but no silver did I gain, Isaiah 48:8 b Isaiah 48:10 ]. For My name’ s sake I do it [how it is profaned!] and share My glory with none other.”

Isaiah 48:1 f. All after “ Jacob” is from the redactor: note the change from 2nd to 3rd person.— waters: read “ loins.”

Isaiah 48:6 . Render, “ I am showing” ( cf. mg.) .

Isaiah 48:8 . Read, “ thine ear have I not opened” (LXX).

Isaiah 48:9 . Yahweh will not extirpate His people because then His cultus would come to an end.— Read, “ and for my praise do I spare thee.”

Isaiah 48:10 . Render, “ but not with gain of silver.”— Read perhaps, “ I have tried ( mg.) thee in the furnace in vain.”

Isaiah 48:11 a. Read simply, “ For my name’ s sake will I do it.”

Verses 12-16

Isaiah 48:12-Nehemiah : . The “ New Things” which Yahweh Shows.— Yahweh emphasizes His incomparable and eternal majesty as Creator. When He had fashioned the earth and the heavens at His word they took their places. Let Israel assemble and answer His question, “ What heathen god has foretold that which is now taking place? Who has brought Cyrus forth to do His will on Babylon?” It is He who has called him and prospered his way. He is not speaking in secret but from the time when the event comes into being He announces (its end?).

Isaiah 48:15 . he shall make: read, “ I have made” (LXX).

Isaiah 48:16 . The last clause, suddenly introducing the speaker, as Isaiah 48:2 Is. never does, is a gloss.— spirit: prophetic spirit; object to “ sent.”

Verses 17-19

Isaiah 48:17-Psalms : . Had Israel but Obeyed Yahweh!— This is a later passage, looking forward to a grey future far other than the glowing picture painted by Isaiah 48:2 Is. Yahweh saith, “ I am thy God, O Israel, and would fain lead thee in paths of prosperity. Hadst thou but followed My leading thou wouldst have enjoyed perpetual peace, like a perennial stream; a prosperity beyond measure and a posterity beyond counting. Nor would thy name have been cut off.”

Isaiah 48:18 . righteousness: the prosperity which righteousness brings.

Isaiah 48:19 . his: read “ thy” (LXX).

Verses 20-22

Isaiah 48:20-Song of Solomon : . The Joyous Song of the Returning Exiles.— The exiles on their return exhort one another to publish the salvation which Yahweh has brought, how, repeating the wonders of the Exodus, He miraculously provides them with water as they pass through the desert to Jerusalem.

Isaiah 48:20 . from: out of the midst of, not fearing the Chaldeans, but escaping so as not to be involved in their ruin.

Isaiah 48:22 . An insertion from Isaiah 57:21.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 48". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.