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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes
Isaiah 48

 

 

Verse 1

Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness.

Called — Who are Israelites in name, but not in truth.

Are come — From the lineage of your progenitor, Judah, as waters flow from a fountain.

Swear — Who profess the true religion; (one act of religion being put for all) and call themselves by his name.


Verse 2

For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name.

Though — They glory that they are citizens of Jerusalem, a city sanctified by God, to be the place of his true worship, and gracious presence.

And stay — Not by a true faith, but a vain confidence.


Verse 4

Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

I knew — Therefore I gave thee clearer demonstrations of my nature and providence, because I knew thou wast an unbelieving nation.

Thy neck — Will not bow down to receive my yoke.

Thy brow — Thou wast impudent.


Verse 6

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

See — As thou hast heard all these things, from time to time, seriously consider them.

Declare — I call you to witness: must you not be forced to acknowledge the truth of what I say? Shewed - And I have now given thee new predictions of secret things, such as 'till this time were wholly unknown to thee, concerning thy deliverance out of Babylon by Cyrus.


Verse 7

They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.

Created — Revealed to thee by me; brought to light, as things are by creation.

Not — Heb. not from thence, not from these ancient times when other things were revealed to thee.

Or — Heb. and (or, or, as this particle is frequently used) before this day. This day answers to now in the first clause: and seems to be added as an exposition of it. Before this time in which God hath revealed them to thee by my ministry.

I knew — Either by thine own sagacity: or by the help of thine idols.


Verse 8

Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb.

Yea — The same thing is repeated, because this was so illustrious a proof of the infinite power and providence of God.

Thine ear — Thou didst not hear, I did not reveal these things unto thee: for so this phrase of opening the ear is understood, 1 Samuel 9:15.

I knew — I knew all these cautions were necessary to cure thine infidelity.

Called — Justly, thou wast indeed such.


Verse 9

For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

For my sake — I will spare thee, and deliver thee out of captivity, not for thy sake, but merely for my own sake, and for the vindication of my name, that I may be praised for my power, faithfulness, and goodness.


Verse 10

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Behold — Although I will not cut thee off, yet I will put thee into the furnace.

Silver — Which is kept in the furnace so long 'till all the dross be purged away, I will not deal so rigorously with thee; for then I should wholly consume thee.

I will chuse — God had in a manner rejected Israel, and therefore it was necessary he should chuse and try this people a second time.


Verse 11

For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

It — This great work of delivering my people out of Babylon.

Name — If I should not deliver my people, my name would be profaned and blasphemed.

Glory — I will not give any colour to idolaters, to ascribe the divine nature and properties, to idols, as they would do if I did not rescue my people out of their hands in spite of their idols.


Verse 12

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

O Israel — Whom I have called out of the world to be my peculiar people.


Verse 13

Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

Stand up — They are still continually in readiness to execute my commands.


Verse 14

All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.

Which — Which of the gods whom any of you serve.

Him — Cyrus.


Verse 16

Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

In secret — l have openly revealed my mind to you.

The beginning — Either from the first time that I began to prophecy until this time: or from the beginning of my taking you to be my people, and of revealing my mind unto you.

From the time — From the time that I first spoke of it, I am or was there, to effect what I had foretold.

The Lord — God by his Spirit.

Me — The prophet Isaiah; who was a type of Christ, and so this may have a respect to him also.


Verse 17

Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Teacheth — Who from time to time have made known to thee, all necessary doctrines; which, if observed by thee, would have been infinitely profitable to thee, both for this life and that to come. So that it is not my fault, but thine own, if thou dost not profit.

Leadeth — Who acquainteth thee with thy duty in all the concerns of thy life; so that thou canst not pretend ignorance.


Verse 18

O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

As the waves — Infinite and continual.


Verse 20

Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The LORD hath redeemed his servant Jacob.

Singing — With joy and songs of praise.

Declare — Publish God's wonderful works.


Verse 21

And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts: he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them: he clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out.

They thirsted not — They shall not thirst. He speaks of things to come, as if they were already past.


Verse 22

There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.

No peace — God having foretold that peace which he would give to his servant Jacob, adds an explication; and declares, that wicked men should not enjoy the benefit of this mercy.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 48:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-48.html. 1765.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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