Isaiah 43

Israel’s Only Savior

1 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”

God’s Mercy and Israel’s Unfaithfulness

14 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians,[b]in the ships in which they took pride.
15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.”
16 This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,
17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
22 “Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for[c] me, Israel.
23 You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense.
24 You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses.
25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.
26 Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.
27 Your first father sinned; those I sent to teach you rebelled against me.
28 So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction[d] and Israel to scorn.

Images for Isaiah 43

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 93

  • 1. S Isaiah 27:11
  • 2. S ver 7; S Genesis 2:7
  • 3. Genesis 32:28; Isaiah 44:21
  • 4. S Exodus 6:6; S Job 19:25; Isaiah 44:2,6
  • 5. S Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 45:3-4; Isaiah 49:1
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 7:6; Malachi 3:17
  • 7. S Isaiah 8:7
  • 8. S Genesis 26:3; S Exodus 14:22; Deuteronomy 31:6,8
  • 9. Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 30:27
  • 10. Psalms 66:12; Daniel 3:25-27
  • 11. S Exodus 20:2
  • 12. S Isaiah 41:20
  • 13. S Exodus 14:30; S Judges 2:18; S Psalms 3:8; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 14. S Psalms 68:31; Isaiah 19:1; Ezekiel 29:20
  • 15. S Isaiah 20:3
  • 16. S Genesis 10:7
  • 17. S Proverbs 21:18
  • 18. Exodus 19:5; Isaiah 49:5
  • 19. Isaiah 63:9; Revelation 3:9
  • 20. S Genesis 15:1; Isaiah 44:2
  • 21. S Genesis 21:22; S Exodus 14:22; Jeremiah 30:10-11
  • 22. Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 54:3; Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 66:22
  • 23. S Isaiah 11:12; S Isaiah 49:18
  • 24. S Isaiah 24:14; Zechariah 8:7; S Matthew 8:11
  • 25. Psalms 107:3
  • 26. Isaiah 60:4; Ezekiel 16:61; 2 Corinthians 6:18
  • 27. S Deuteronomy 30:4; S Isaiah 11:12; Jeremiah 23:8; Ezekiel 36:24
  • 28. Isaiah 48:1; Isaiah 56:5; Isaiah 62:2; Isaiah 63:19; Isaiah 65:1; Jeremiah 15:16; James 2:7
  • 29. S Isaiah 27:11
  • 30. S Psalms 86:9
  • 31. ver 1,21; Psalms 100:3; S Isaiah 19:25; Ephesians 2:10
  • 32. S Isaiah 6:9-10
  • 33. S Isaiah 42:20; Ezekiel 12:2
  • 34. S Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 45:20; Isaiah 48:14
  • 35. S Isaiah 41:26
  • 36. ver 12; S Joshua 24:22
  • 37. S Isaiah 20:3; Isaiah 41:8-9
  • 38. S Exodus 6:7
  • 39. ver 11; S Psalms 86:10; Isaiah 19:21; Isaiah 44:6,8; Isaiah 45:5-6,14
  • 40. S Deuteronomy 4:35; S Deuteronomy 32:39; Jeremiah 14:22
  • 41. S Exodus 6:2; S Isaiah 42:8
  • 42. S ver 10; S Psalms 3:8; S Psalms 18:31; S Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 45:21
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 32:12; Psalms 81:9
  • 44. S ver 10; Isaiah 44:8
  • 45. Psalms 90:2
  • 46. S Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 46:4; Isaiah 48:12
  • 47. S Numbers 23:8; S Job 9:12; Isaiah 14:27
  • 48. S Exodus 15:13; S Job 19:25
  • 49. S Isaiah 1:4; S Isaiah 41:20
  • 50. Isaiah 13:14-15
  • 51. S Isaiah 23:13
  • 52. S Isaiah 42:8
  • 53. S Isaiah 27:11; Isaiah 45:11
  • 54. S Isaiah 41:21
  • 55. S Exodus 14:29; S Exodus 15:8; Psalms 77:19; S Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 51:10
  • 56. Psalms 118:12; Isaiah 1:31
  • 57. S Exodus 14:22
  • 58. S Exodus 14:9
  • 59. Psalms 76:5-6
  • 60. S Job 13:25; Jeremiah 51:21; Ezekiel 38:4
  • 61. S Isaiah 41:22
  • 62. S Isaiah 41:22; Jeremiah 16:14-15; Jeremiah 23:7-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5
  • 63. S Isaiah 40:3; Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11
  • 64. S Psalms 126:4; S Isaiah 33:21; S Isaiah 35:7
  • 65. S Psalms 148:10
  • 66. S Isaiah 13:22
  • 67. S Numbers 20:8; Isaiah 48:21
  • 68. S ver 7; S Genesis 2:7
  • 69. Malachi 3:17
  • 70. S Psalms 66:2; Psalms 102:18; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 71. S Joshua 22:5; S Isaiah 1:14
  • 72. Isaiah 30:11
  • 73. S Exodus 29:41
  • 74. Zechariah 7:5-6; Malachi 1:6-8
  • 75. Amos 5:25
  • 76. Micah 6:3; Malachi 1:12-13
  • 77. Jeremiah 7:22
  • 78. Exodus 30:35; S Leviticus 2:1
  • 79. S Exodus 30:23
  • 80. Leviticus 3:9
  • 81. S Isaiah 1:14; S Isaiah 7:13; S Jeremiah 8:21
  • 82. Jeremiah 44:22; Malachi 2:17
  • 83. S 2 Samuel 12:13; S 2 Chronicles 6:21; Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21; Acts 3:19
  • 84. S Isaiah 37:35; S Ezekiel 20:44; Ezekiel 36:22
  • 85. Isaiah 64:9; Micah 7:18
  • 86. S Job 7:21; S Isaiah 38:17; Jeremiah 31:34
  • 87. S Isaiah 1:18
  • 88. S Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 49:25; Isaiah 50:8
  • 89. S Genesis 12:18
  • 90. Isaiah 9:15; Isaiah 28:7; Jeremiah 5:31
  • 91. S Isaiah 24:20; S Isaiah 48:8
  • 92. S Numbers 5:27; S Deuteronomy 13:15; S Isaiah 42:24; S Zechariah 5:3
  • 93. S Psalms 39:8; Jeremiah 24:9; Ezekiel 5:15

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. That is, the upper Nile region
  • [b]. Or "Chaldeans"
  • [c]. Or "Jacob;" / "surely you have grown weary of"
  • [d]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

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

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.