Isaiah 44:17-27

17 But the rest of the wood they make into gods, carved statues. They bow to them and worship them. They pray to them, saying, "Rescue us, because you are our gods."
18 They don't know or understand anything. Their eyes are plastered shut, so they can't see. And their minds are closed, so they can't understand.
19 No one stops to think. No one has enough knowledge or understanding to say, "I burned half of the wood in the fire. I also baked bread over its coals. I roasted meat and ate it. Now I am making the rest of the wood into a disgusting thing and bowing to a block of wood."
20 They eat ashes because they are deceived. Their own misguided minds lead them astray. They can't rescue themselves or ask themselves, "Isn't what I hold in my right hand a false god?"
21 Remember these things, Jacob: You are my servant, Israel. I formed you; you are my servant. Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I made your rebellious acts disappear like a thick cloud and your sins like the morning mist. Come back to me, because I have reclaimed you.
23 Sing with joy, you heavens, because the LORD has done this. Rejoice, you deep places of the earth. Break into shouts of joy, you mountains, you forests and every tree in them. The LORD has reclaimed Jacob. He will display his glory in Israel.
24 The LORD reclaimed you. He formed you in the womb. This is what the LORD says: I, the LORD, made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself. I spread out the earth all alone.
25 I cause the signs of false prophets to fail and make fools of fortunetellers. I make wise men retreat and turn their knowledge into foolishness.
26 He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, "It will be inhabited." He says about the cities of Judah, "They will be rebuilt." He says about their ruins, "I will restore them."
27 He says to the deep water, "Dry up." So I will dry up your rivers.

Isaiah 44:17-27 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 44

In this chapter the Lord comforts his people with the promise of the effusion of his Spirit, and the blessings of his grace upon them; the consequence of which would be fruitfulness in them, and the conversion of others, who should profess themselves the Lord's people, Isa 44:1-5, he proves his deity in opposition to all false gods from his eternity, omniscience, and foretelling future events, Isa 44:6-8, exposes the stupidity of idol makers and the worshippers of them, Isa 44:9-20, makes gracious promises of the remembrance of his people, the remission of their sins, and their redemption by Christ, Isa 44:21-23, of which redemption from Babylon was a type; and of that assurance is given, from the Lord's creating all things by his power; from his frustrating and infatuating diviners and wise men; from his fulfilling his predictions delivered by his prophets; and from his mentioning by name the instrument of their redemption, Cyrus, Isa 44:24-28, which makes way for a particular prophecy concerning him in the next chapter.

Isaiah 44:17-27 In-Context

15 These trees become [fuel] for people to burn. So they take some of them and warm themselves with them. They start fires and bake bread. They also make gods from these trees and worship them. They make them into carved statues and bow in front of them.
16 Half of the wood they burn in the fire. Over this half they roast meat that they can eat until they are full. They also warm themselves and say, "Ah! We are warm. We can see the fire!"
17 But the rest of the wood they make into gods, carved statues. They bow to them and worship them. They pray to them, saying, "Rescue us, because you are our gods."
18 They don't know or understand anything. Their eyes are plastered shut, so they can't see. And their minds are closed, so they can't understand.
19 No one stops to think. No one has enough knowledge or understanding to say, "I burned half of the wood in the fire. I also baked bread over its coals. I roasted meat and ate it. Now I am making the rest of the wood into a disgusting thing and bowing to a block of wood."
20 They eat ashes because they are deceived. Their own misguided minds lead them astray. They can't rescue themselves or ask themselves, "Isn't what I hold in my right hand a false god?"
21 Remember these things, Jacob: You are my servant, Israel. I formed you; you are my servant. Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I made your rebellious acts disappear like a thick cloud and your sins like the morning mist. Come back to me, because I have reclaimed you.
23 Sing with joy, you heavens, because the LORD has done this. Rejoice, you deep places of the earth. Break into shouts of joy, you mountains, you forests and every tree in them. The LORD has reclaimed Jacob. He will display his glory in Israel.
24 The LORD reclaimed you. He formed you in the womb. This is what the LORD says: I, the LORD, made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself. I spread out the earth all alone.
25 I cause the signs of false prophets to fail and make fools of fortunetellers. I make wise men retreat and turn their knowledge into foolishness.
26 He confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the plan of his messengers. He says about Jerusalem, "It will be inhabited." He says about the cities of Judah, "They will be rebuilt." He says about their ruins, "I will restore them."
27 He says to the deep water, "Dry up." So I will dry up your rivers.
28 He says about Cyrus, "He is my shepherd. He will do everything I want him to do." He says about Jerusalem, "It will be rebuilt." He says about the temple, "Your foundation will be laid."
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