The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)
Verses 1-4 Cyrus is called God's anointed; he was designed and qualified for his great service by the counsel of God. The gates of Babylon which led to the river, were left open the night that Cyrus marched his army into the empty channel. The Lord went before him, giving entrance to the cities he besieged. He gave him also treasures, which had been hidden in secret places. The true God was to Cyrus an unknown God; yet God foreknew him; he called him by his name. The exact fulfilment of this must have shown Cyrus that Jehovah was the only true God, and that it was for the sake of Israel that he was prospered. In all the changes of states and kingdoms, God works out the good of his church.
Verses 5-10 There is no God beside Jehovah. There is nothing done without him. He makes peace, put here for all good; and creates evil, not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, good, or happy; and evil, error, and misery, came into the world by his permission, through the wilful apostacy of his creatures, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. This doctrine is applied, for the comfort of those that earnestly longed, yet quietly waited, for the redemption of Israel. The redemption of sinners by the Son of God, and the pouring out the Spirit, to give success to the gospel, are chiefly here intended. We must not expect salvation without righteousness; together the Lord hath created them. Let not oppressors oppose God's designs for his people. Let not the poor oppressed murmur, as if God dealt unkindly with them. Men are but earthen pots; they are broken potsherds, and are very much made so by mutual contentions. To contend with Him is as senseless as for clay to find fault with the potter. Let us turn God's promises into prayers, beseeching him that salvation may abound among us, and let us rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right.
Verses 11-19 Believers may ask in prayer for what they need; if for their good, it will not be withheld. But how common to hear God called to account for his dealings with man! Cyrus provided for the returning Jews. Those redeemed by Christ shall be provided for. The restoration would convince many, and convert some; and all that truly join the Lord, find his service perfect freedom. Though God be his people's God and Saviour, yet sometimes he lays them under his frowns; but let them wait upon the Lord who hides his face. There is a world without end; and it will be well or ill with us, according as it shall be with us in that world. The Lord we serve and trust, is God alone. All that God has said is plain, satisfactory, and just. As God in his word calls us to seek him, so he never denied believing prayers, nor disappointed believing expectations. He gives grace sufficient, and comfort and satisfaction of soul.
Verses 20-25 The nations are exhorted to draw near to Jehovah. None besides is able to help; he is the Saviour, who can save without the assistance of any, but without whom none can save. If the heart is brought into the obedience of Christ, the knee will cheerfully obey his commands. To Christ men shall come from every nation for blessings; all that hate his cause shall be put to shame, and all believers shall rejoice in him as their Friend and Portion. All must come to him: may we now come to him as the Lord our Righteousness, walking according to his commandments.
This chapter contains prophecies concerning Cyrus, the deliverer of the Jews from captivity; and concerning the grace, righteousness, and salvation of Christ; and the conversion of the Gentiles. An account is given of Cyrus, and of the great things God would do for him, and by him, Isa 45:1-3 and the ends for which he would do these things, for the sake of his people Israel; and that he might be known to be the only true God, who is the Maker of all things, Isa 45:4-7 an intimation is given of the Messiah, as the author of righteousness and salvation; and of the contention and murmuring of the Jews about him, Isa 45:8-10, encouragement is given to pray for and expect good things by him for the children of God, in consideration of the greatness of God as the Creator, who would raise him up in righteousness, the antitype of Cyrus, Isa 45:11-13, the conversion of the Gentiles, the confusion of idolaters, and the salvation of the Israel of God, are prophesied of, Isa 45:14-17, which are confirmed by his works and his word, what he had done and said, Isa 45:18,19, the vanity of idols is exposed, and Christ the only Saviour asserted, to whom persons in all nations are directed to look for salvation, Isa 45:20-22 when it is affirmed with an oath that all shall be subject to him; that his people shall come to him for righteousness and strength; that his enemies shall be ashamed, and the spiritual Israel of God shall be justified, and glory in him, Isa 45:23-25.