Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 65:1

"I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,' To a nation which did not call on My name.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Condescension of God;   Gentiles;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Inspiration;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Nathanael;   Philip the Apostle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Expiation, Propitiation;   Isaiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Isaiah, Book of;   Micah, Book of;   Righteousness;   Servant of the Lord;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Quotations;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Behold;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Children of God;   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - High Place;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I am sought of them that asked not for me "I am made known to those that asked not for me" - נדרשתי nidrashti, εμφανης εγενομην, the Septuagint, Alexandrian, and St. Paul, Romans 10:20; who has however inverted the order of the phrases, εμφανης εγενομην, "I was made manifest, "and ευρεδην, "I was found, "from that which they have in the Septuagint. נדרשתי nidrashti means, "I am sought so as to be found." Vitringa. If this be the true meaning of the word, then שאלו shaalu, "that asked," which follows, should seem defective, the verb wanting its object: but two MSS., one of them ancient, have שאלוני shealuni, "asked me;" and another MS. לי שאלו shealu li, "asked for me;" one or other of which seems to be right. But Cocceius in Lex., and Vitringa in his translation, render נדרשתי nidrashti, by "I have answered;" and so the verb is rendered by all the ancient Versions in Ezekiel 20:3, Ezekiel 20:31. If this be right, the translation will be, "I have answered those that asked not." I leave this to the reader's judgment; but have followed in my translation the Septuagint and St. Paul, and the MSS. above mentioned. בקשני bikeshuni is written regularly and fully in above a hundred MSS. and in the oldest edition, בקשוני bikeshuni . - L.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-65.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am sought of them that asked not for me - That is, by the Gentiles. So Paul applies it in Romans 10:20. Lowth translates the word which is rendered, ‹I am sought,‘ by ‹I am made known.‘ Noyes, ‹I have heard.‘ The Septuagint renders it, Ἐμφανὴς ἐγενήθην Emphanēs egenēthēn - ‹I became manifest.‘ Jerome, ‹They sought me who had not before inquired for me.‘ The Chaldee, ‹I am sought in my word by those who had not asked me before my face.‘ The Hebrew word דרשׁ dârash means properly “to frequent a place, to search or seek”; and in the Niphal - the form used here - “to be sought unto, to grant access to anyone; hence, to hear and answer prayer” Ezekiel 14:3; 20:3-31. Here there is not only the idea that he was sought, but that they obtained access to him, for he listened to their supplications. The phrase, ‹That asked not for me,‘ means that they had not been accustomed to worship the true God. The idea is, that those had obtained mercy who had not been accustomed to call upon him.

I am found of them - Paul has rendered this Romans 10:20, Ἐμφανὴς ἐγενόμην Emphanēs egenomēn - ‹I was made manifest.‘ The idea is, that they obtained his favor.

I said, Behold me, behold me - I offered them my favor, and invited them to partake of salvation. Paul has omitted this in his quotation.

Unto a nation - This does not refer to any particular nation, but to people who had never been admitted to favor with God.

That was not called by my name - (See the notes at Isaiah 63:19).

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-65.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 65:1

I am sought of them that asked not for Me

Jehovah’s answer to the prayer of the Church

The supplication is ended; and chap.
65. appears to be intended as the answer--an answer, however, in which a distinction is drawn between worthy and unworthy members of Israel, and a different prospect is held out to each. God has ever, He says, been accessible to His people, He has ever been ready to renew intercourse with them: it was they who would not respond, but provoked Him with their idolatries
. (Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)

A nation that was not called by My name

“A nation that called not on My name.” The reference is to those among the people who, after the Restoration, still practised the idolatries of their pre-exilic forefathers. (A. B.Davidson, D. D.)

The very bold prophecy

We learn on inspired authority that this is a very bold passage (Romans 10:20); it required much courage to utter it at the first, and in Paul’s day it needed still more to quote it and press it home upon the Jews around him. He who protests against a self-righteous people, and angers them by showing that others whom they despised are saved while they themselves are being lost, will have need of a dauntless spirit. This text has the clear ring of free grace about it; and for this reason it may be called bold.

I. THE PERSONALITY OF GOD IN THE WORK OF HIS GRACE. This is remarkably prominent in the work before us.

1. The personality of God comes forth in that He Himself is observant of all that is done. Do any seek him? He saith, “I am sought. De any find him? He saith, “I am found. Is there any preaching of the Gospel? The Lord declares, “Behold Me, behold Me.”

2. He Himself in the great object of desire where grace is in operation. When men are savingly aroused, they seek--what? Religion? By no means. They seek God, if they seek aright. The Lord saith, “I am found.” If men do not find God they have found nothing. God Himself fills the vision of faith; observe the words, “Behold Me, behold Me.” We look to God in Christ, and find all that our soul needs.

3. He Himself is the Speaker of that call by which men are saved. Here are the words: “I said, Behold Me, behold Me.” The Lord Himself speaks the effectual word.

4. He Himself is the director of the message., “I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name. ‘ Not only does God speak the Gospel, but He speaks it home to those whom He appoints to hear it. This surrounds the Gospel with a strange solemnity: if the Gospel blesses us, it is not it, but God that blesses: God Himself has come unto us. This fact has another aspect to it; for if the Gospel be rejected, it is God that is rejected. Read the next verse: “I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people.

II. THE DELIGHT WHICH GOD TAKES IN THE WORK OF GRACE. God is glad to be sought and found by those who once were negligent of Him.

1. It is evident that He rejoices in contrast to the complaint of the next verse.

2. The Lord rejoices in each step of the process. There is a poor soul beginning to cry,, “Oh that I knew where I might find Him!” and lo the Lord says, “I am sought. A man has only just begun to attend the House of Prayer; he has only lately commenced the earnest study of the Bible; the Lord sees it, and He says, “I am sought. As when a fisherman smiles because a fish has begun to nibble at the bait, so the Lord notes the first movings of the heart towards Himself, and He says, “I am sought.” The very next sentence is, “I am found.”

3. The Lord also rejoices in the persons who seek Him. He says, “I am sought of them that asked not for Me. He will be glad for any heart to keep on seeking that has begun to seek; but He is best pleased when non-seekers become seekers.

4. The Lord rejoices in the numbers who seek and find Him. “I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation.” When shall the day come that nations shall be born at once?

III. THE DESCRIPTION WHICH GOD HIMSELF GIVES OF THE WORK OF GRACE.

1. The Lord tells us where He finds the objects of His grace. He says, “They asked not for Me; they sought Me not; they were not called by My name.” What a mercy it is that He comes to us in our sin and misery; for assuredly we should not else come to Him.

2. He next describes that Gospel which comes to them as the power of God. Here are His own words: “I said, Behold Me, behold Me.” The way of salvation is, “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

3. Then the Lord goes on to mention the converts which the Gospel makes. The careless become seekers, the ungodly finders, the prayerless behold their God and live.

4. The Lord also describes the experience of the saved. God comes to us that we may come to Him.

IV. THE USE WHICH GOD MAKES OF ALL THIS. The Lord here took care that when He said, “I am sought of them that asked not for Me,” His words should be written down, and that they should be made known to us. It is not everything that God may say to Himself that He will afterwards repeat to us; but here these private utterances of the Divine heart are spoken out to us by Isaiah, and left on record in this inspired Book. To what end d-o you think it is so?

1. That he may excite in us wonder and admiration.

2. To destroy pride and self-esteem.

3. To encourage you who are seeking Him: for if those who do not seek Him often find Him, why, you that do seek Him are sure to find Him.

4. To encourage workers. Go to work among the worst of the worst; for since God is found of those who seek Him not, there is hope for the vilest.

5. That he may convict those who do not come to Him of the greatness of their sin. Look, saith He, those who never heard of Me before have found salvation, while you who have been instructed, and invited, and impressed, have still held out and resisted My Spirit. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 65:1". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-65.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

This chapter, along with the final chapter, deals with a number of different subjects, regarding some of the most remarkable of the themes Isaiah has discussed throughout the prophecy.

Regarding the divisions of this chapter, we have (1) God's reply to the complaints visible in Israel's prayer for deliverance (Isaiah 65:1-7); (2) regardless of the total destruction awaiting the irreligious majority, a faithful remnant shall be redeemed (Isaiah 65:8-12); (3) a mingling of threats to the unfaithful and promises to the faithful (Isaiah 65:13-16); (4) a glorious depiction of the age of Messiah (Isaiah 65:17-25).

Isaiah 65:1-7

"I am enquired of by them that asked not for me; I am found by them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, that walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens, and burning incense upon bricks; that sit among the graves, and lodge in the secret places; that eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things in their vessels; that say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me, for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all day. Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, yea, I will recompense into their bosom, your own iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith Jehovah, that have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemer me upon the hills: therefore will I first measure their work into their bosom."

Kidner understood the first two verses here as, "An answer to the complaint of Isaiah 63:19."[1] This, of course does not deny the application of the passage to the call of the Gentiles (Romans 10:20). There is also an answer to the complaint of Isaiah 64:9 that God has "hidden his face," making himself hard to find. As McGuiggan noted, "Why, God had even been found by people who did not even ask for him ."[2] No, the problem lay not with God but with the Jews.

Hailey also observed that there is also an answer to the plea of Israel that they are "all" God's people. This is capable of two different meanings, both of which are erroneous: (1) that Israel constituted the totality of God's people, and (2) that all of the fleshly nation were indeed the people of God. Neither proposition was true, except in the rather loose sense that God created all men. Hailey wrote: "Jehovah's reply is that he is rejecting them (Israel),"[3] and that the Gentiles will also be called as God's people.

These seven verses are, "A castigation of the rebellious idolaters among them (which were the majority of the nation) and a warning that God's punishment must one day fall. However the innocent are not to suffer with the guilty (Isaiah 65:8-12)."[4] In no other section of Isaiah does the divided state of Israel appear any more sharply than here. Throughout the prophecy, we have repeatedly stressed the Two Israels to whom Isaiah is addressed, these being, The Reprobate Majority, and the Faithful Remnant. Cheyne called them, "The polytheistic party, and the true believers."[5]

In somewhat stronger terms, Archer referred to these verses: "This is a scathing indictment of the hypocritical Jewish nation of Isaiah's day, professing to be a holy and righteous people (Isaiah 65:5), and yet practicing all of the execrable abominations of the heathen. This description would be altogether inappropriate for the post-exilic Israel, which had abandoned idolatry forever."[6]

"I have spread out my hands all day ..." (Isaiah 65:2). "This means that God had invited them sincerely."[7] Cheyne stated that it was, "A gesture of prayer. What a condescension on God's part!"[8]

"Burning incense upon bricks ..." (Isaiah 65:3). All of the things mentioned here were associated with idolatry, and the pagan shrines in the gardens and groves of the heathen. The command of God was that sacrifices should be offered upon altars of unhewn stone (Exodus 20:24,25) and at the place where God had recorded his name. Sacrificing upon bricks was therefore wrong on two counts; it was in the wrong place, and the altar was not properly constructed.

"Continually ... and to my face ..." (Isaiah 65:3). "There was no attempt at concealment;"[9] and like the antediluvian, there was no intermission in their sinful deeds. They were wicked all the time, continually.

"That sit among the graves ..." (Isaiah 65:4). This was an action associated with witchcraft, necromancy, seeking "familiar spirits" among the dead, and all kinds of shameful activity connected with idolatry. Also, "The verse alludes to the custom of sleeping in sepulchres or vaults of idol temples to learn the future through dreams."[10]

"That eat swine's flesh ..." (Isaiah 65:4). This was specifically forbidden to Jews in Leviticus 11:7; and the mention of this here is proof that the period of Jewish history in view here is positively pre-exilic; because after the exile, the Jews had renounced idolatry and all such things for ever. This is elaborated in the apocryphal book of 2Maccabees (chapters 6,7), where is recorded the names of many Jewish martyrs who refused to bow to the edict of Antiochus Epiphanes who attempted to force Jews to demonstrate their renunciation of their religion by eating swine's flesh.

"That say, Stand by thyself ... for I am holier than thou ..." (Isaiah 65:5) is a reference to some idolatrous practice the renegade Jews had entered into, "A heathen mystery ... Idolatry was bad enough, but that heathen idolaters should assume superiority over God's `holy ones' was worse."[11]

"I will recompense, yea, I will recompense ..." (Isaiah 65:6) The verbs here are repeated, after the Hebrew manner of strong emphasis. Jehovah had just concluded in the previous verses a list of the excessively wicked and abominable deeds of the Israelites, which constitutes a list of particulars, explaining why God would most surely punish them.

"That have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills ..." (Isaiah 65:7). "The hills and mountains here are a Palestinian feature,"[12] It was a specialty of the Canaanite Baalism that many of their shrines were located on high hills and mountains, especially if a grove of trees was available in such locations. That is the reason that such shrines were generally called "high places." The orgiastic, licentious rites associated with those fertility cults were as shameful and debasing as anything ever associated with pagan worship. There can be no doubt whatever, that the attractiveness of such worship for the Jews was fundamentally that of sexual gratification.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-65.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I am sought of them that asked not for me,.... That this is a prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles is not to be doubted, since the Apostle Paul has quoted it, and applied it to that case, Romans 10:20 and is here mentioned as an aggravation of the sin of the Jews, in rejecting Christ, when the Gentiles received him; and was the reason of their being rejected of God, and the Gospel being taken away from them, and given to another people, and of the Lord's removing his presence from the one to the other. The Gentiles are described as those that "asked not for" Christ, or after him, as the apostle supplies it; they had not asked for him, nor after him, nor anything about him; nor of him "before" this time, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; they were without Christ, the promises and prophecies concerning him; and so had no knowledge of him, nor made any inquiry about him, who or what he was; they did not ask after his coming, or for it; did not desire it, or him, and were in no expectation of it; they asked no favour of him, nor saw any need of him, or worth in him; and yet now he was "sought of them"; or, as the apostle has it, "was made manifest unto them"; and so the Septuagint version; that is, he was manifested to them in the Gospel, and by the ministry of it; which is a revelation of him, of salvation by him, of justification by his righteousness, of peace and pardon by his blood, of atonement by his sacrifice, and of eternal life through him; and the words will bear to be rendered, "I was preached unto them": for from this word are derived othersF7So, with the Rabbins, דרש is "to preach"; דרשן is "a preacher"; דרשה is "a sermon"; דרש "the name of a book of sermons"; and מדרש "an exposition"; see Buxtorf. Lex. Rab. col. 583, 584. , which signify an expounder, and an interpretation, or exposition; and this was matter of fact, that Christ was preached to the Gentiles upon the Jews' rejection of him, which is one branch of the mystery of godliness, 1 Timothy 3:16 and upon this he was sought of them: they sought him early and earnestly, and desired to have him and his Gospel preached to them again and again, Acts 13:42 they sought after the knowledge of him, and for an interest in him, and for all grace from him, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life; and for all the supplies of grace, as all sensible sinners do; this they did as soon as he was made manifest to them by the word, and especially as soon as he was revealed in them, or made manifest in their hearts by his Spirit:

I am found of them that sought me not; that had not sought him before the Gospel came to them; they sought the world, and the thing, of it, "for after all these things do the Gentiles seek"; they sought after the wisdom of the world, the vain philosophy of it; "the Greeks seek after wisdom"; and at most and best they only sought after morality and outward righteousness, but not after Christ, till he was set up in the Gospel as an ensign to them, Isaiah 11:10, but being preached in it, they were set a seeking after him, and "found" him in it, of whom it is full; in the doctrines, promises, and ordinances of it; in whom they found righteousness, life, and salvation, food, and plenty of it, rest, spiritual and eternal, and everlasting glory and happiness:

I said, behold me, behold unto a nation that was not called by my name; which still describes the Gentiles, who formerly were not called the people of God, even those who now are, Hosea 2:23, this Christ says to them in the Gospel, whose eyes he opens by his Spirit, to behold the glory of his person, the riches of his grace, his wondrous love and condescension, the abundance of blessings in him, and the complete salvation he has wrought out for sinners; and the words are repeated to show that Christ is only to be beheld, and is always to be looked unto; as well as it declares the heartiness of Christ, and his willingness that sinners should look unto him, and be saved; and all this is a proof of the preventing grace of God in the conversion of men, he is first in it; before they ask anything of him, or about him, or his Son, he manifests himself; he reveals Christ, bestows his grace, and presents them with the blessings of his goodness. R. Moses the priest, as Aben Ezra observes, interprets this of the nations of the world; and that the sense is,

"even to the Gentiles that are not called by my name I am preached;'

which agrees with the apostle's sense of them; See Gill on Romans 10:20.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-65.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I am sought by [them that] a asked not [for me]; I am found by [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, to a nation [that] was not called by my name.

(a) Meaning, the Gentiles who know not God, would seek him, when he had moved their heart with his Holy Spirit, (Romans 10:20).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-65.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 65:1-25. God‘s reply in justication of His dealings with Israel.

In Isaiah 64:9, their plea was, “we are all Thy people.” In answer, God declares that others (Gentiles) would be taken into covenant with Him, while His ancient people would be rejected. The Jews were slow to believe this; hence Paul says (Romans 10:20) that Isaiah was “very bold” in advancing so unpopular a sentiment; he implies what Paul states (Romans 2:28; Romans 9:6, Romans 9:7; Romans 11:1-31), that “they are not all (in opposition to the Jews‘ plea, Isaiah 64:9) Israel which are of Israel.” God‘s reason for so severely dealing with Israel is not changeableness in Him, but sin in them (Isaiah 65:2-7). Yet the whole nation shall not be destroyed, but only the wicked; a remnant shall be saved (Isaiah 65:8-10, Isaiah 65:11-16). There shall be, finally, universal blessedness to Israel, such as they had prayed for (Isaiah 65:17-25).

I am soughtHebrew, “I have granted access unto Me to them,” etc. (so Ezekiel 14:3, “Should I be inquired of”; Ephesians 2:18).

foundRomans 10:20 renders this, “I was made manifest.” As an instance of the sentiment in the clause, “I am sought,” etc., see John 12:21; of the sentiment in this clause, Acts 9:5. Compare as to the Gentile converts, Ephesians 2:12, Ephesians 2:13.

Behold me — (Isaiah 45:22).

nation  …  not called by my name — that is, the Gentiles. God retorts in their own words (Isaiah 63:19) that their plea as being exclusively “called by His name” will not avail, for God‘s gospel invitation is not so exclusive (Romans 9:25; Romans 1:16).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-65.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

I am, … — This in the primary sense of this text, is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, upon the rejection of the Jews; for their contempt and crucifying of Christ, cannot be doubted by any, who will not arrogate to themselves a greater ability to interpret the prophesies of the Old Testament, than St. Paul had, who, Romans 10:20, expressly so interprets it, and applies it, which shews the vanity of the Jews in their other interpretations of it.

Sought — The word signifies properly a diligent enquiry in things relating to God.

Asked not — That in times past made no enquiry after me; l am now found by them that formerly sought me not.

I said — I invited whole nations by the preaching of my gospel to behold me, and that with importunity, doubling my words upon them, and this I did unto a nation not called by my name, with whom I was not in covenant.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-65.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 65:1 I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.

Ver. 1. I am sought of them that asked not for me.] I am sought - that is, I am found, (a) {as Ecclesiastes 3:6} or, I am sought to by those that asked not of me - viz., by the Gentiles, who knew me not, inquired not of me. See Romans 10:20-21, where the apostle, than whom we cannot have a better interpreter, expoundeth this verse of the calling of the Gentiles, and the next verse, of the rejection of the Jews. And herein "Esaias was very bold," saith St Paul; so bold, say Origen and others, that for this cause, among others, he was sawn asunder by his unworthy countrymen. See on Isaiah 1:10.

I am found of them that sought me not.] The first act of our conversion then, the infusion of the sap, is of God; our will prevents it not, but follows it. See 2 Corinthians 3:5, Romans 8:7, John 6:44, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Deuteronomy 29:3-4, Psalms 36:10. Note this against the patrons of nature, freewill men, Papists especially, who not only ascribe the beginning of salvation to themselves, in co-working with God in their first conversion, but also the end and the accomplishment of it, by works of condignity, meritorious of eternal life.

I said, Behold me, behold me.] We are not easily aroused out of that dead lethargy into which sin and Satan hath cast us; hence this "Lo I, lo I." And here we have both God’s answer to the Church’s prayer, [Isaiah 64:12] and the scope of the whole book, as Oecolampadius observeth, set down in the perclose - viz., the coming in of the Gentiles, and the casting off of the Jews for their many and mighty sins. [Amos 5:12]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-65.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

We have here much, yea very much of Christ, and they who would read this Chapter profitably, here need of much of the Spirit of Christ to instruct them in it. Jesus, in the person of his servant the Prophet, in speaking of the call of the Gentiles, and of the sad obstinacy of the Jews. Towards the close of the Chapter we have a cluster of the richest gospel promises.

Isaiah 65:1

We have abundant cause to bless God the Holy Ghost, that he would not leave the Church to her own conjectures, concerning the person to whom this scripture referred, and by whom, under the spirit of prophecy, it was spoken; but by his servant, the Apostle Paul, hath opened to us the glories and graces of the Lord Jesus as folded up in it, and thereby he hath handed to us as it were a key to unlock the blessed contents of the whole Chapter; See Ro 10 throughout. Hence we are authorized to draw this conclusion, that it is Christ, and not Isaiah who was found by poor Gentiles, who in a state of nature could never have known Jesus, nor have asked for him. Oh! the riches of preventing grace! Reader! well may you and I rejoice in the consolation, who were not called by Jesus's name; Ephesians 2:11-22.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-65.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 65:1. I am sought, &c.— I am made known to those that asked not for me, &c. Lowth. You observe here the Divinity introduced, urging an argument of his grace, in calling the Gentiles to his communion, and soon after complaining of the obstinate disobedience of the refractory Jews, who had for so long a time despised the divine power. I have spread out my hands, in the next verse, signifies, "I have taught, intreated, or called;" to each of which actions spreading out of the hands belongs. See Nehemiah 8:9 in the original.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-65.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

ISAIAH CHAPTER 65

The calling of the Gentiles, Isaiah 65:1. The Jews, for their incredulity, idolatry, and hypocrisy, rejected, Isaiah 65:2-7. A remnant shall be saved, Isaiah 65:8-10. Judgments on the wicked, and blessings on the godly, Isaiah 65:11-16. The flourishing and peaceable state of the new Jerusalem, Isaiah 65:17-25.

That in the primary sense of this text it is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, upon the rejection of the Jews, for their contempt and crucifying of Christ, cannot be doubted by any who will not arrogate to themselves a greater ability to interpret the prophecies of the Old Testament than Paul had, who, Romans 10:20, expressly so interpreteth it, and applieth it, which showeth the vanity of the Jews in their other interpretations of it.

I am sought: the word signifies properly a diligent inquiry in things relating to God, 2 Chronicles 14:4 Psalms 34:4 Jeremiah 37:7. I am diligently inquired of by them that asked not for me; that in times before made no inquiry after me (as the Gentiles, who are said to be without God in the world, Ephesians 2:12). As seeking may more strictly relate to prayer, as the word is used, Isaiah 55:6, so this word translated asked may also be so taken, and is so, 1 Samuel 1:20 22:13, but (possibly) it is better interpreted more generally.

I am found of them that sought me not; yea, I was found of them before they sought me; those who formerly did not seek me now seek me; but they were found of me before they

sought me; I prevented them by my grace, sending my Son to preach peace to those that were afar off, Ephesians 2:17, and my apostles to entreat them to be reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:20, and my Spirit to convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, John 16:8.

I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name; I invited whole nations by the preaching of my gospel to behold me; and I invited them with importunity, doubling my words upon them; and this I did unto a

nation not called by my name, with whom I was not in covenant, and which did not profess any relation to me, which none of the Gentiles could pretend unto. The prophet speaks of a thing to come many years after as if it were a thing then done, to signify the certainty of it. God doth the same thing yet in every soul that is converted. But the text is manifestly to be interpreted of the conversion of the Gentiles.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-65.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

God Reply Is That He Will Act Sovereignly To Call A People To Himself And Will Form A New Nation (Isaiah 65:1).

Isaiah 65:1

“I am enquired of by those who did not ask for me,

I am found by those who sought me not,

I said, Behold me, behold me to a nation,

Which was not called by my name.”

This is Yahweh’s reply to the question as to whether He will save the undeserving. He will create a new nation. Those who had no intention of asking things of Him, or of seeking Him, will find Him and enquire of Him, because He, Yahweh, will cause it to be so. He will say, ‘Behold me, behold me’ to a nation which was ‘not called by His name’, that is a new nation which He will form but which up to this point has not borne His name. It will be composed of those who in the past were not seen as His or responsive to Him, and had not claimed membership of the covenant, but to Whom He will sovereignly say, ‘Look to Me’, and they will look.

So by His own powerful call He will bring to His feet some who have constantly had nothing to do with Him. This is probably to be seen as including some of those referred to in chapter 64. 5-8. The Potter will mould the clay (Isaiah 64:8). But it probably also has in mind the future call of the Gentiles. They too will come.

‘A nation’. This may possibly refer to a nation within the nation, a minority from whom He will form a new nation. But it is probably, in the light of His words, intended to include the fact that Gentiles also will come, for they especially were not called by His name. Thus He is declaring that hope has not gone because, although He must judge His people, He will form for Himself a new nation to replace the old, which will include all Whom He brings to Himself, a nation composed of the least expected. He will produce an Israel which is truly of God.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/isaiah-65.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God replied that He had been gracious in allowing a nation to call on Him-and to obtain responses from Him-since that nation did not normally pray to Him. The Apostle Paul applied this verse to the Gentiles, people to whom God had responded before they called (cf. Romans 10:20). This was the "nation" that Isaiah had in view when he originally gave this prophecy.

"To pray in God"s name means to submit to him and to pray in terms of his revealed character and will." [Note: Watts, Isaiah 34-66, p342.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-65.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 65:1. That in the primary sense of this text it is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, upon the rejection of the Jews, for their contempt and crucifying of Christ, cannot be doubted by any, who will not arrogate to themselves a greater ability to interpret the prophecies of the Old Testament than St. Paul had, who, Romans 10:20, expressly so interprets it, and applies it; which shows the vanity of the Jews in their other interpretations of it. I am sought — Hebrew, נדרשׁתי, literally, diligent inquiry is made after me; or, I am diligently inquired of. Vitringa renders it, “Quæsitus sum cum effectu;” I am sought so as to be found. The LXX. read, εμφανης εγενηθην, I am made manifest, or, made known, as Bishop Lowth translates it; to them that asked not for me — That in times past made no inquiry after me; I am now found by them that formerly sought me not. I said, Behold me, behold me — I invited whole nations, by the preaching of my gospel, to behold me, and that with importunity, reiterating my calls and entreaties; and this I did unto a nation not called by my name, with which I was not in covenant, and which did not profess any relation to me. The prophet speaks of what was to take place some hundreds of years afterward, as if it were a thing already done, to signify the certainty of it.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-65.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Me. God answers the preceding prayer, and announces the rejection of the synagogue, alluding to the armies which prevailed in the days of the Machabees. --- Not. St. Paul explains this of the conversion of the Gentiles, Romans x. 20. (Calmet) --- It cannot regard the Jews, who are spoken of in the next verse. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-65.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I am found, &c. Quoted in Romans 10:20, Romans 10:21.

Behold Me. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. See note on Isaiah 24:16.

a nation that was not called by My name. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 32:21), and to the Dispensation of the Acts.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-65.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

In Isaiah 64:9 their plea was, "We are all thy people." In answer, God declares that others (Gentiles) would be taken into covenant with Him, while His ancient people would be rejected. The Jews were slow to believe this; hence, Paul says (Romans 10:20) that Isaiah was "very bold" in advancing so unpopular a sentiment. 'But Isaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not, I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.' Isaiah implies what Paul states (Romans 2:28; Romans 9:6-7; Romans 11:1-31), that "they are not all (in opposition to the Jews' plea, Isaiah 64:9) Israel which are of Israel." God's reason for so severely dealing with Israel is not changeableness in Him (cf. their plea "in those is continuance," Isaiah 64:5), but sin in them (Isaiah 65:2-7). Yet the whole nation shall not be destroyed, but only the wicked; a remnant shall be saved (Isaiah 65:8-16). There shall be finally universal blessedness to Isr ael, such as they had prayed for (Isaiah 65:17-25).

I am sought of (them that) asked not (for me) (Hebrew, nidrashtiy (Hebrew #1875)) - 'I have granted access unto me to them who once asked not for me,' etc. (so Ezekiel 14:3, "Should I be inquired of;" Ephesians 2:18).

I am found of (them that) sought me not - formerly: Romans 10:20 readers this, "I was made manifest." As an instance of the sentiment in the clause, "I am sought," etc., see John 12:21; of the sentiment in this clause, Acts 9:5. Compare the two cases, the finder of treasure in the field, who was not looking for it, and the merchant seeking goodly pearls, who found the one pearl of great price (Matthew 13:44-46). Compare as to the Gentile converts, Ephesians 2:12-13.

Behold me - as your Saviour (Isaiah 45:22).

Nation ... not called by my name - i:e., the Gentiles. God retorts in their own words (Isaiah 63:19): their plea as Nation ... not called by my name - i:e., the Gentiles. God retorts in their own words (Isaiah 63:19): their plea as being exclusively "called by His name" will not avail; for God's Gospel-invitation is not so exclusive (Romans 9:25; Romans 1:16).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-65.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

LXV.

(1) I am sought of them . . .—Is this the answer to the previous prayer? Most commentators say “Yes;” but there is, at least, an apparent absence of continuous sequence. A more probable view is that it was written after an interval more or less considerable, and that the prophet utters what had been revealed to him as explaining why the plaintive appeal of Isaiah 64:12 did not meet at once with the answer that might have been looked for.

A further question meets us, which has received different answers. Do the opening words speak, as St. Paul implies they do, of the calling of the Gentiles, contrasting their faith with the unbelief of Israel (Romans 10:20)? Taking the text as it stands, the most natural interpretation (there being no reference afterwards to the Gentiles) seems to be that Jehovah speaks to the same people in Isaiah 65:1-2, and that both alike speak of indifference and hardness. On this view the words may be translated, I was ready to answer those who did not enquire, was nigh at hand to be discovered by those who did not seek. . . . Such words were a true description of the state of Israel, as they have been of Christian Churches since, and are in close agreement with what follows. On this view St. Paul’s free use of the LXX. rendering must be looked on as analogous to the like application of Hosea 1:10; Hosea 2:1, by him (Romans 9:25-26) and by St. Peter (1 Peter 2:10), though in these instances it is beyond question that the words primarily referred to the Jews, and not to the Gentiles.

A nation that was not called by my name.—Better, with the LXX., as in Isaiah 43:22; Isaiah 64:7, that has not called on my name. The meaning, on either rendering, is that Israel has sunk to the level of the heathen.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-65.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
I am sought
2:2,3; 11:10; 55:5; Psalms 22:27; Romans 9:24-26,30; 10:20; Ephesians 2:12,13
Behold
40:9; 41:27; 45:22; John 1:29
unto
43:1; 63:19; Hosea 1:10; Zechariah 2:11; 8:22,23; 1 Peter 2:10
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 22:12 - Here I am;  2 Samuel 1:7 - Here am I:2 Samuel 22:44 - a people;  2 Chronicles 15:4 - found of them;  Job 38:35 - Here we are;  Isaiah 6:8 - Here am I;  Isaiah 62:12 - Sought out;  Isaiah 66:19 - that have;  Amos 9:12 - which are called by my name;  Luke 13:12 - Woman;  John 1:36 - Behold;  John 1:43 - and findeth;  John 5:6 - Wilt;  Acts 15:17 - the Gentiles;  Romans 3:11 - seeketh;  Romans 9:16 - GeneralRomans 15:21 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-65.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

THE CONVERSION OF THE GENTILES

(Missionary Sermon.)

Isa . I am sought of them that asked not for Me, &c.

It was God's design from the beginning to call the Gentile nation into His Church, and, in due time, to admit them to all the blessings and privileges of the Gospel. The Jews, indeed, were His peculiar people; but this distinction in their favour was made only for a particular purpose, and for a limited season. They were chosen especially for this end, that they might preserve in the world the knowledge of the true God, and then prepare the way for the coming of the promised Redeemer, who, when He should come, was to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles," &c. It is to this great event that our text refers, as we are taught by St. Paul, who cites it as an expressive prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles (Rom ). The passage sets before us—

I. The wretched state of the Gentiles before their conversion to Christianity. Many of the Gentile nations were neither savages, nor sunk in want and ignorance, nor destitute of the necessaries, conveniences, or even elegant comforts of life. In all these respects they came very little, if at all, behind ourselves; they were rich and powerful, and produced many eminent men, whose talents and exploits have commanded the admiration of mankind. Yet they were wretched; they knew not God. "Darkness covered the earth," &c. They made no inquiry after Him, &c. Surrounded by the wonderful works of God, they yet asked not who was the maker of them. They bowed down to idols, &c. (Rom ).

II. The surprising and glorious change which was then wrought in them. They sought and found God. Their idols they cast away. Their vices they abandoned. A moral transformation took place in them, even more wonderful than those physical ones, which the prophet depicts (Isa ; Isa 55:13).

III. The simple but powerful means by which this great work was accomplished. The Lord, by His Word, revealed His grace and glory to them, &c.

CONCLUSION.—

1. We are deeply concerned in these facts, and ought to regard them with feelings of most lively gratitude. Such was once the state of this country, such, at this moment, would have been our state if God had not sent His light and truth among us.

2. The condition of the heathen nations is as lamentable today as it was of old. The character of the most degraded of them admits of as complete and glorious a transformation. We have witnessed these moral miracles in our own day. The means by which this glorious transformation may be effected has been intrusted to us (2Co ; Mat 28:19-20). Shall we be unfaithful to so great a trust? Gratitude to God, and compassion for our fellow-men, should make us diligent in its discharge.—E. Cooper.

God justifies His dispensation towards the Jews because of their manifold apostacies from Him, and then shows that He had conferred His favour upon the Gentiles, who had made no application to Him.

I. Why we must behold Him.

1. Because our whole interests are bound up in His favour. Consider who it is that asks you to behold Him as a God reconciled in Christ. Think of the contrast between the parties. He calls a world of rebels to His footstool, &c.

2. Because He delights to raise up trophies of His grace when and where we might least expect it (see former outline).

3. Because, though He is sometimes found of those who seek Him not, He is always found of those who seek Him.

II. Where shall we behold Him? Everywhere; the kingdom of nature; the volume of His Word; the economy of providence; the terrors of Sinai, but specially in the cross of Calvary.

III. When, &c. Now. Always.—S. Thodey. (See p. 233-240.)

Isa . The rejection of Israel. I. Preceded by special privileges. II. Occasioned by sin. Ingratitude. Idolatry. Hypocrisy. III. Clearly predicted. As a warning. IV. Judicially sealed.—Dr. Lyth.

Isa . The conduct of Israel excites our astonishment, but it finds its parallel among ourselves. Observe—I. God's conduct toward men.

1. Gracious. Rebels against His laws, &c., having every element of iniquity (Isa ).

2. Earnest. Outstretched hands—attitude of entreaty—willing to receive to favour.

3. Forbearing—without intermission. Day of life often protracted. II. Man's conduct toward God.

1. Ungrateful.

2. Insulting.

3. Obstinate.

4. Criminal. Such a rejection of mercy must secure punishment (Pro ; Psa 107:11).—A. Tucker.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-65.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.I have manifested myself. The Prophet now passes on to another doctrine; for he shews that God has good reason for rejecting and casting off the Jews. It is because they have profited nothing by either warnings or threatenings to be brought back from their errors into the right way. But that they might not think that the Lord’s covenant would on that account be made void, he adds that he will have another people which formerly was no people, and that where he was formerly unknown, his name Shall be well known and highly celebrated. The Jews looked on this as monstrous, and reckoned it to be altogether inconsistent with the covenant which the Lord made with Abraham, (Genesis 17:7,) if such a benefit were extended to any others than his posterity. But the Prophet intended to strip them of the foolish confidence of imagining that God was bound to the posterity of Abraham; for the Lord had not restricted himself to them but on an absolute condition, and if this were violated by them, they would be deprived, like covenant-breakers and traitors, of all the advantage derived from the covenant. Nor was this promise made to Abraham alone, and to those who were descended from him, but to all who should be ingrafted by faith into his family. But it will be more convenient to begin with the second verse, in which he explains the cause of the rejection, that we may more fully understand the Prophet’s design. (198)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-65.html. 1840-57.