Isaiah 43

Listen to Isaiah 43

Israel's Only Savior

1 But now thus says the LORD, 1he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 2"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 3I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 4When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; 5when you walk through fire 6you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For 7I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. 8I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and 9Seba 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 10Fear not, for I am with you; 11I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.
6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring 12my sons from afar and 13my daughters from the end of the earth,
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."
8 Bring out 14the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!
9 15All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true.
10 16"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and 17my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. 18Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.
11 19I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
12 I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and 20you are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and I am God.
13 Also 21henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?"
14 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 22"For your sake I send to Babylon and 23bring them all down as fugitives, 24even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.
15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."
16 Thus says the LORD, 25who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,
17 who 26brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, 27they are extinguished, 28quenched like a wick:
18 29"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
19 30Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? 31I will make a way in the wilderness 32and rivers in the desert.
20 The wild beasts will honor me, 33the jackals and the ostriches, 34for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
21 the people whom I formed for myself 35that they might declare my praise.
22 "Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but 36you have been weary of me, O Israel!
23 37You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, 38or wearied you with frankincense.
24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities.
25 "I, I am he 39who blots out 40your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
26 Put me in remembrance; 41let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
27 42Your first father sinned, and 43your mediators transgressed against me.
28 Therefore 44I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and 45deliver Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling.

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Isaiah 43 Commentary

God's unchangeable love for his people. (1-7) Apostates and idolaters addressed. (8-13) The deliverance from Babylon, and the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21) Admonition to repent of sin. (22-28)

Verses 1-7 God's favour and good-will to his people speak abundant comfort to all believers. The new creature, wherever it is, is of God's forming. All who are redeemed with the blood of his Son, he has set apart for himself. Those that have God for them need not fear who or what can be against them. What are Egypt and Ethiopia, all their lives and treasures, compared with the blood of Christ? True believers are precious in God's sight, his delight is in them, above any people. Though they went as through fire and water, yet, while they had God with them, they need fear no evil; they should be born up, and brought out. The faithful are encouraged. They were to be assembled from every quarter. And with this pleasing object in view, the prophet again dissuades from anxious fears.

Verses 8-13 Idolaters are called to appear in defence of their idols. Those who make them, and trust in them, are like unto them. They have the shape and faculties of men; but they have not common sense. But God's people know the power of his grace, the sweetness of his comforts, the kind care of his providence, and the truth of his promise. All servants of God can give such an account of what he has wrought in them, and done for them, as may lead others to know and believe his power, truth, and love

Verses 14-21 The deliverance from Babylon is foretold, but there is reference to greater events. The redemption of sinners by Christ, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the recall of the Jews, are described. All that is to be done to rescue sinners, and to bring the believer to glory, is little, compared with that wondrous work of love, the redemption of man.

Verses 22-28 Those who neglect to call upon God, are weary of him. The Master tired not the servants with his commands, but they tired him with disobedience. What were the riches of God's mercy toward them? I, even I, am he who yet blotteth out thy transgressions. This encourages us to repent, because there is forgiveness with God, and shows the freeness of Divine mercy. When God forgives, he forgets. It is not for any thing in us, but for his mercies' sake, his promise' sake; especially for his Son's sake. He is pleased to reckon it his honour. Would man justify himself before God? The attempt is desperate: our first father broke the covenant, and we all have copied his example. We have no reason to expect pardon, except we seek it by faith in Christ; and that is always attended by true repentance, and followed by newness of life, by hatred of sin, and love to God. Let us then put him in remembrance of the promises he has made to the penitent, and the satisfaction his Son has made for them. Plead these with him in wrestling for pardon; and declare these things, that thou mayest be justified freely by his grace. This is the only way, and it is a sure way to peace.

Cross References 45

  • 1. Isaiah 44:2, 21, 24
  • 2. Isaiah 41:14
  • 3. Isaiah 45:3, 4; [Genesis 32:28]
  • 4. Psalms 66:12
  • 5. Psalms 66:12
  • 6. Isaiah 42:25; [Daniel 3:25, 27]
  • 7. See Exodus 20:2
  • 8. [Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 52:3, 4]
  • 9. Psalms 72:10
  • 10. Isaiah 41:10, 13, 14; Isaiah 44:2; Jeremiah 30:10, 11
  • 11. Isaiah 49:12; [Isaiah 60:8, 9; Psalms 107:3]
  • 12. [2 Corinthians 6:18]
  • 13. [2 Corinthians 6:18]
  • 14. Isaiah 42:19
  • 15. Isaiah 41:1, 21, 22
  • 16. ver. 12; Isaiah 44:8
  • 17. Isaiah 42:1
  • 18. See Isaiah 41:4
  • 19. Isaiah 45:21; Hosea 13:4
  • 20. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 21. Isaiah 41:4; Psalms 90:2; [John 8:58]
  • 22. [ver. 4]
  • 23. [Isaiah 47:1]
  • 24. Isaiah 23:13
  • 25. Isaiah 51:10; Exodus 14:21, 22; Psalms 77:19
  • 26. See Exodus 14:4-9
  • 27. [Psalms 76:5, 6]
  • 28. Isaiah 1:31; [Psalms 118:12]
  • 29. [Jeremiah 16:14; Jeremiah 23:7]
  • 30. [Isaiah 42:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5]
  • 31. Isaiah 35:8
  • 32. Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 48:21
  • 33. See Isaiah 13:22
  • 34. [Isaiah 49:10]
  • 35. Psalms 79:13; [Psalms 22:3; Psalms 105:1; Luke 1:74, 75; 1 Peter 2:9]
  • 36. Micah 6:3
  • 37. [Amos 5:25]
  • 38. [See ver. 22 above]
  • 39. Isaiah 44:22; [Ezekiel 36:25, 26]
  • 40. [Isaiah 46:8]
  • 41. Isaiah 1:18
  • 42. [Ezekiel 16:3]
  • 43. [Jeremiah 5:31]
  • 44. Lamentations 2:2
  • 45. [Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 29:22]

Chapter Summary


Is this chapter the Lord comforts his own people, under their afflictions, with many precious promises; asserts his deity against the idols of the nations; promises deliverance from Babylon, and a greater redemption than that; one branch of which is forgiveness of sin; and closes the chapter with a prediction of the destruction of the Jews by the Romans, for their iniquities. The Lord claims his interest in his people, not only on the foot of creation, but of redemption and calling, and promises them his presence in the midst of afflictions, Isa 43:1,2, puts them in mind of what he had done for them; and assures them of future layouts, as the effect of his unchangeable love to them, Isa 43:3,4 and promises the conversion of their seed and offspring in the several parts of the world, Isa 43:5-7 then challenges the Heathen nations to give such proofs of the deity of their idols as he was capable of giving of his, as his people were witnesses, taken from his eternity and immutability, as the alone Jehovah, and from his omniscience and omnipotence, Isa 43:8-13, after which the destruction of Babylon is prophesied of, and the redemption of his people out of it; which they are encouraged to believe from his being Jehovah, their Sanctifier, Creator, and King; and from what he had done formerly for them, when he brought them out of Egypt, Isa 43:14-17, and which yet was not to be mentioned or remembered, in comparison of what he would do in the world, a new thing, redemption by the Messiah, and the conversion of the Gentiles to the glory of his grace, Isa 43:18-21, the sins of omission and commission the people of God had been guilty of are mentioned, which are freely pardoned for Christ's sake, Isa 43:22-25 when the body and bulk of the Jewish nation were given up to destruction, because of their sins, Isa 43:26-28.

Isaiah 43 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.