Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 65:2

"I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders;   Church;   Condescension of God;   God Continued...;   Quotations and Allusions;   Thompson Chain Reference - Rebellion;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Rebellion against God;   Titles and Names of the Wicked;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Inspiration;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Disciple, Discipleship;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Expiation, Propitiation;   Imagination;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Micah, Book of;   Righteousness;   Servant of the Lord;   Way;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Hand;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Gesture;   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - High Place;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have spread out my hands - To spread out the hands is an action denoting invitation or entreaty Proverbs 1:24. The sense is, that God had invited the Jews constantly to partake of his favors, but they had been rebellious, and had rejected his offers.

All the day - I have not ceased to do it. The Chaldee renders this, ‹I sent my prophets all the day to a rebellious people.‘

Unto a rebellious people - (See the notes at Isaiah 1:2). Paul renders this, Πρὸς λαον ἀπειθοῦντα καὶ ἀντιλέγοντα Pros laon apeithounta kai antilegonta - ‹Unto a disobedient and gainsaying people;‘ but the sense is substantially preserved.

Which walketh - In what way they did this, the prophet specifies in the following verse. This is the general reason why he had rejected them, and why he had resolved to make the offer of salvation to the Gentiles. This, at first, was a reason for the calamities which God had brought upon the nation in the suffering of the exile, but it also contains a general principle of which that was only one specimen. They had been rebellious, and God had brought this calamity upon them. It would be also true in future times, that he would reject them and offer salvation to the pagan world, and would be found by those who had never sought for him or called on his name.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-65.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have spread out mine hands all the day unto a rebellious people,.... Meaning Israel, as the apostle explains it, Romans 10:21, whom he calls a "disobedient and gainsaying people"; who believed not in Christ, obeyed not his Gospel, but contradicted and blasphemed it; and were rebellious against him, would not have him to reign over them, nor submit to his ordinances; though he most affectionately invited them, earnestly pressed and urged them, and that daily and frequently, to attend his ministry; and used all human methods to gain audience of them, and acceptance with them, but all to no purpose; see Matthew 23:37, they remained obstinate and inflexible, and so they did under the ministry of his apostles; for, notwithstanding their ill usage of him, he ordered the Gospel to be first preached to them, as it was, till they treated it with such indignity and contempt, that the apostles turned away from them to the Gentiles, as they were bid; see Acts 13:46. The Targum is,

"I sent my prophets every day, &c.'

which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; in their own way, of their own devising, choosing, and approving, and which was a wicked one; and after their own imaginations and inventions; after the traditions of the elders the doctrines and commandments of men; and after a righteousness of their own, which they sought by the works of the law, and so submitted not to, but rejected the righteousness of Christ.

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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 65:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-65.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I have b spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that is] not good, after their own c thoughts;

(b) He shows the reason for the rejection of the Jews, because they would not obey him or any admonition of his prophets, by whom he called them continually and stretch out his hand to draw them.

(c) He shows that to delight in our own fantasies is the declining from God and the beginning of all superstitions and idolatry.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-65.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

hands — inviting them earnestly (Proverbs 1:24).

all  …  day — continually, late and early (Jeremiah 7:13).

rebellious people — Israel, whose rebellion was the occasion of God‘s turning to the Gentiles (Romans 11:11, Romans 11:12, Romans 11:15).

way  …  not good — that is, the very reverse of good, very bad (Ezekiel 36:31).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-65.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

I have spread — Applied to the Jews, Romans 10:21. I have stretched out my hands, I have used all means to reduce them, I have stretched out the hands of a passionate orator to persuade them, of a liberal benefactor to load them with my benefits; this I have done continually in the whole course of my providence with them.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-65.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way [that was] not good, after their own thoughts;

Ver. 2. I have spread out my hands.] As preachers use to do, [Proverbs 1:24 Acts 26:1] or as those that invite and beckon others to themselves with the hand. See Matthew 11:28.

Unto a rebellious people.] Whose destruction therefore is of themselves, since they will not be ruled, reclaimed.

After their own thoughts.] Which were evil, only evil, continually so. A toad may as easily spit a cordial, as a natural man think a good thought.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-65.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I have spread out my hands; applied to the Jews, Romans 10:21, I have stretched out my hands; that is, I have used all probable means to reduce them, I have stretched out the hands of a passionate orator to persuade them, of a tender mother to protect and defend them, of a liberal benefactor to lead them with my benefits; this I have done continually in the whole course of my providence with them, yet they are a rebellious people. Paul expounded it by, apeiyounta kai antigegonta, a people not persuaded, not believing, but contradicting the will of God.

Which walketh in a way that was not good; that term, is not good, often signifies what is very bad: see 1 Samuel 2:21 Proverbs 24:23 28:21 Psalms 36:4. Though all sins be not equal, yet what is not good is bad.

After their own thoughts: what is here called after their own thoughts, is elsewhere called a walking after the imaginations of their hearts; an ordinary phrase, by which sins (especially sins in the matter of the worship of God) are expressed. Eight times, in the prophet Jeremiah sinning is thus expressed, Jeremiah 3:17 7:24 9:14 11:8 13:10 16:12 18:12 23:17; so also Deuteronomy 29:19. Errors in matter of worship are ordinarily thus expressed, certainly to let us know that all worship must be according to God’s revealed will, and of such errors this text seemeth, by what followeth, to speak; though indeed the reason of all sin is men’s fondness of their own imaginations in opposition to God’s revealed will, whence it is that self-denial is made the law of a discipleship to Christ.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-65.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord had not hidden His face from the Israelites, but on the contrary, had offered Himself to His people. It was not He who needed to change in His orientation toward them, but they needed to change. They were rebellious and pursued their own agenda (cf. Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 10:21). He was not unresponsive. They wanted to have Him on their own terms (cf. Isaiah 55:6-11).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "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 65:2. I have spread out my hands — This is applied to the Jews, Romans 10:21. I have stretched out my hands, I have used all means to reduce them; I have stretched out the hands of a passionate orator, to persuade them; of a liberal benefactor, to load them with my benefits: this I have done continually, in the whole course of my providence with them. To a rebellious people — Yet they are a rebellious people. St. Paul expounds it by λαον απειθουντα και αντιλεγοντα, A people not persuaded, not believing, or, not obeying; but gainsaying, or, contradicting the word and will of God. Which walketh in a way that is not good — Less is expressed than is intended: the meaning is, in a way that is very bad. After their own thoughts — Or, as it is elsewhere expressed, after the imaginations of their hearts; a usual phrase to describe sin, especially in the matter of God’s worship. The Prophet Jeremiah expresses sin in this manner many times.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-65.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

good = right. Compare Psalms 36:4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "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 have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

Spread out my hands - inviting them earnestly (Proverbs 1:24).

All the day - continually, late and early (Jeremiah 7:13).

Unto a rebellious people - Israel, whose rebellion was the occasion of God's turning to the Gentiles, as Paul states in quoting these words (Romans 10:21; Romans 11:11-12; Romans 11:15).

Which walketh in a way (that was) not good - i:e., the very reverse of good, very bad (Ezekiel 36:31).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "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

(2) I have spread out my hands . . .—Here, of course, the words were meant for Israel, as St. Paul applies them. It may not be without interest to note the fact that the words stand over the portal of the Church of Santa Maria, which stands at the entrance of the Ghetto at Rome. Of how many churches at Rome and elsewhere might it not be said, “Thou art the man,” “The beam is in thine own eye”?

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-65.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
spread
Proverbs 1:24; Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34; 19:41,42; Romans 10:21
a rebellious
1:2; 63:10; Deuteronomy 9:7; 31:27; Jeremiah 5:23; Ezekiel 2:3-7; Acts 7:51,52; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16
which
59:7,8; Psalms 36:4; Proverbs 16:29
after
55:7; Genesis 6:5; Numbers 15:39; Deuteronomy 29:19; Psalms 81:12; Jeremiah 3:17; 4:14; 7:24; Matthew 12:33,34; 15:19; Romans 2:5; James 1:14,15
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 32:20 - a very;  2 Chronicles 15:4 - found of them;  Psalm 10:4 - thoughts;  Isaiah 25:11 - he shall spread;  Isaiah 30:1 - the rebellious;  Isaiah 49:4 - I have laboured;  Ezekiel 12:2 - thou;  Malachi 3:7 - Wherein;  John 1:36 - Behold;  John 3:11 - ye;  Romans 9:30 - the Gentiles;  Romans 10:20 - I was found

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-65.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.I have stretched out my hands. He accuses the Jews, and complains of their ingratitude and rebellion; and in this manner he proves that there is no reason why they should say that the Lord does them wrong if he bestow his grace on others. The Jews conducted themselves proudly and insolently toward God, as if they had been elected through their own merit. On account of their ingratitude and insolence the Lord rejects them as unworthy, and complains that to no purpose did he “stretch out his hands” to draw and bring them back to him.

By “the stretching out of the hands” he means the daily invitation. There are various ways in which the Lord “stretches out his hands to us;” for he draws us to him, either effectually or by the word. In this passage it must relate chiefly to the word. The Lord never speaks to us without at the same time “stretching out his hand” to join us to himself, or without causing us to feel, on the other hand, that he is near to us. He even embraces us, and shews the anxiety of a father, so that, if we do not comply with his invitation, it must be owing entirely to our own fault. The heinousness of the guilt is greatly aggravated by long continuance, that, during a long succession of ages, God did not cease to send one Prophet after another, and even, as he says elsewhere, to rise early in the morning and continue the same care till the evening. (Jeremiah 7:13.)

To a rebellious people. First, he calls them “rebellious” or disobedient, but immediately afterwards he declares what is the nature of that rebellion, namely, that the people walk after their own thoughts. Nothing is more displeasing to God than for men to be αὐθάδεις “self-willed,” (2 Peter 2:10;) that is, devoted to their own inclinations; for he commands us to surrender our own judgment, that we may be capable of receiving the true doctrine. The Lord therefore testifies that it was not owing to him that he did not retain and continue to exercise towards them his wonted favor, but that they alienated themselves through their own madness, because they chose to abide by their own natural inclinations rather than to follow God as their leader.

Having pointed out the cause of this rejection, we must come to the calling of the Gentiles, who succeeded in the room of the Jews; for that is undoubtedly the subject treated in the first verse. The Lord had long ago foretold it by Moses, so that they ought not to have thought that there was anything new in this prediction.

“They have provoked me by that which is not God; they have moved me to anger by their vanities; and I also will provoke them by that which is not a people, by a foolish nation I will enrage them.” (Deuteronomy 32:21.)

Finally, the Prophet now threatens the same thing which was afterwards foretold by Christ when that blinding was at hand.

“The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation which shall bring forth fruit.” (Matthew 21:43.)

1.To them that asked not. (199) When he says that God manifested himself “to them that asked not,” he shews that the Gentiles were anticipated by the grace of God, and that they brought no merit or excellence as an inducement to God to give it to them. This obviously agrees with that passage which we quoted, in which Moses calls them “a foolish nation.” (Deuteronomy 32:21.) Thus, under a universal type, he describes what is the nature of men before the Lord anticipates them by his mercy; for they neither call on the Lord, nor seek him, nor think about him. And this passage ought to be carefully observed, in order to establish the certainty of our calling, which may be said to be the key that opens to us the kingdom of heaven; for by means of it peace and repose are given to our consciences, which would always be in doubt and uncertainty if they did not rest on such testimonies. We see, therefore, that it did not happen accidentally or suddenly that we were called by God and reckoned to be his people; for it had been predicted long before in many passages. From this passage Paul earnestly contends for the calling of the Gentiles, and says that Isaiah boldly exclaims and affirms that the Gentiles have been called by God, because he spoke more clearly and loudly than the circumstances of Ms own time required. Here we see, therefore, that we were called by an eternal purpose of God long before the event happened.

Behold I, behold I. By repeating these words twice, he confirms still more the declaration that God hath manifested himself in so friendly a manner to foreign and heathen nations, that they do not doubt that he dwells in the midst of them. And, indeed, that sudden change needed to be confirmed, because it was difficult to be believed; although by that very novelty the Prophet intended to magnify the unexpected grace of God. The meaning may be thus summed up: “When the Lord shall have offered himself to the Gentiles, and they shall have been joined to the holy family of Abraham, there will be some Church in the world, after the Jews have been driven out.” Now we see that all that is here predicted by the Prophet was fulfilled by the Gospel, by which the Lord actually offered and manifested himself to foreign nations. Whenever, therefore, this voice of the Gospel is sounded in our ears, or when we record the word of the Lord, let us know that the Lord is present, and offers himself, that we may know him familiarly, and may call on him boldly and with assured confidence.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 65:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-65.html. 1840-57.