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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 41

 

 

Verses 1-7

Isaiah 41:1-5. The Conquering Career of Cyrus Claimed by Yahweh as Evidence of His Power.

Isaiah 41:5 is probably an insertion made to connect Isaiah 41:4 with Isaiah 41:6 f. after Isaiah 41:6 f.—for which see Isaiah 40:19—had been wrongly interpolated here. Yahweh calls the nations to listen while He, as though they might be in a court of justice, puts forward His claim. He it is who has raised up Cyrus, and caused nations to bow before him: He who ordains the whole course of history.

Isaiah 41:1. renew . . . strength: accidental repetition from Isaiah 40:31, replacing some such phrase as "await my argument."

Isaiah 41:2. whom . . . foot: render, "whom victory ("righteousness" often bears this sense) attends wherever he goes."—Read at the end, "His sword makes them like dust, his bow like driven chaff."

Isaiah 41:3. So swift his march that he seems not to touch the road with his feet.


Verses 8-10

Isaiah 41:8-10. But Israel, who in the person of Abraham was summoned from Mesopotamia, is also a chosen instrument of Yahweh, and has nothing to fear amid these commotions.

Isaiah 41:10. right . . . righteousness: render, "My vindicating right hand."


Verses 11-16

Isaiah 41:11-16. All the Enemies of Israel shall Perish.—This section is eschatological, and probably later, perhaps much later, than its context. All Israel's foes shall perish. Yahweh's people shall destroy their enemies as a threshing-sledge so powerful that it tears in pieces the threshing-floor itself, and even the hill upon which—to catch the breezes—the floor is situated.

Isaiah 41:14. ye men of: read, "thou worm," thus restoring the same pair of synonyms as in Isaiah 14:11 and Job 25:6.—redeemer: go'el, Ruth 2:20*.


Verses 17-20

Isaiah 41:17-20. Yahweh will Provide Miraculous Water and Shade in the Desert for the Returning Exiles.—This continues Isaiah 41:10. It perhaps combines metaphor with a more literal meaning, and it must be confessed that the reference to the return through the desert is not obvious. The vindicating hand of Yahweh will so wonderfully meet the needs of His people on their homeward way that the nations—probably the subject in Isaiah 41:20—will recognise in the miracle the power of Israel's God.

Isaiah 41:19. The kinds of tree named are not certainly identified (cf. mg.).


Verses 21-29

Isaiah 41:21-29. Yahweh's Challenge to the Gods of the Nations.—The nations are bidden to produce their case and bring forward their champions—their idols (so emend "strong reasons"). Let the idols show that in days gone by they have foreseen the antecedents of present developments, or explain the events now happening and about to happen. They remain dumb, and Yahweh taunts them with their impotence. He has raised up Cyrus; who among them had foreseen the event? Not one; how patent, then, their nothingness!

Isaiah 41:22. latter end: issue.—things for to come: the immediate development from the present situation.

Isaiah 41:23. be dismayed: rather (cf. mg.), "open our eyes in wonder."

Isaiah 41:25. come upon: read, "trample upon."

Isaiah 41:26. He is righteous: render, "Right!"—is . . . declareth: render, "was . . . declared," so in the two following clauses.

Isaiah 41:27-29. Read, perhaps, "At the beginning I announced it to Zion, and to Jerusalem I gave a herald of good news. But among these gods there was none, among them no counsellor was found. Lo! all of them are nothing, none of them utters a word. Their works," eta

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 41:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/isaiah-41.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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