Isaiah 43:2

2 1When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; 2when you walk through fire 3you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

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Isaiah 43:2 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 43:2

When thou passest through the waters; I will be with thee
The Targum and Jarchi apply this to the Israelites' passage through the waters of the Red sea, as a thing past; and Kimchi to Sennacherib's army, compared to the waters of a river strong and many, ( Isaiah 8:7 Isaiah 8:8 ) . Jerom says, that the Jewish writers by "waters" would have the Egyptians understood; by the "rivers", the Babylonians; by "fire", the Macedonians; and by the "flame", the Romans; which is not amiss; but rather the afflictions of God's people in general are meant by waters, as by rivers also, in the next clause: and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee;
because of the variety and multitude of them, as persecutions from men, those proud waves that go over them; the temptations of Satan, that enemy who comes in like a flood, and various others; and because of the rapidity and force of them, and their overflowing and overwhelming nature: now there are paths through which the people of God pass: their way lies through them to eternal glory; and though they are of some continuance, yet have an end, as paths have; and having a good guide, and sufficient strength given them, they wade through them safely; for they do not and shall not "overflow" them, so as to cause their faith utterly to fail, or to separate them from the love of God, or so as to destroy them; for though they come nigh them, and upon them, and may greatly affect and distress them, yet shall not hurt them, but turn to their advantage; for their God is with them, to sympathize with them, to comfort and revive them, to teach and instruct them by their afflictions, and to sanctify them to them, as well as to support and bear them up under them, and to deliver out of them: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt: neither
shall the flame kindle upon thee;
afflictions are compared to fire and flames, because very grievous and troublesome to the flesh; and because of the apprehensions of God's wrath in them sometimes; and because of their trying nature; grace is tried by them as gold and silver in the fire; but yet the saints are not consumed by them, they lose nothing but their dross; their principles and profession are tried, and they are supported through all; which has been abundantly verified in the martyrs of Jesus; see ( Psalms 66:12 ) ( Zechariah 13:9 ) .

Isaiah 43:2 In-Context

1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Psalms 66:12
  • 2. Psalms 66:12
  • 3. Isaiah 42:25; [Daniel 3:25, 27]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.