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Isaiah 44

Israel the Chosen

1 “But now listen, Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun,[a] whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and will take the name Israel.

The LORD, Not Idols

6 “This is what the LORD says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come— yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”
9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit nothing?
11 People who do that will be put to shame; such craftsmen are only human beings. Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and shame.
12 The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.
13 The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in human form, human form in all its glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.
14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.”
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”
20 Such a person feeds on ashes; a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
21 “Remember these things, Jacob, for you, Israel, are my servant. I have made you, you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Jerusalem to Be Inhabited

24 “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself,
25 who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense,
26 who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be rebuilt,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’
27 who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’
28 who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.” ’

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Isaiah 44 Commentary

Chapter 44

Here are promises of the influences of the Holy Spirit. (1-8) An exposure of the folly of idolatry. (9-20) Also the deliverance of God's people. (21-28)

Verses 1-8 Israel is here called Jeshurun, which means "the upright one." Such only are Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile. Those that serve God he will own. He will help them over difficulties, and in their services. Water is the emblem of the Holy Spirit; as water refreshes, cleanses, and makes the earth fruitful, so do his influences the soul. This gift of the Holy Ghost is the great blessing, the plentiful pouring out of which God kept for the latter days. Where God gives his Spirit, he will give all other blessings. Hereby shall be a great increase of the church; thus it shall be spread to distant places. Was there any other Rock, or Protector, that could defend them? None besides could foretell these things to come, of which God by his prophets gave notice. All was set in order in the Divine predictions, as well as in the Divine purposes. Could any other have done so? Who can compare with Israel's Redeemer and King?

Verses 9-20 Image-making is described, to expose the folly of idolaters. Though a man had used part of a log for fuel, he fell down before an image made of the remainder, praying it to deliver him. Man greatly dishonours God, when he represents him after the image of man. Satan blinds the eyes of unbelievers, causing absurd reasonings in matters of religion. Whether men seek happiness in worldly things, or run into unbelief, superstition, or any false system, they feed on ashes. A heart deceived by pride, love of sin, and departure from God, turns men aside from his holy truth and worship. While the affections are depraved, a man holds fast the lie as his best treasure. Are our hearts set upon the wealth of the world and its pleasures? They will certainly prove a lie. If we trust to outward professions and doings, as if those would save us, we deceive ourselves. Self-suspicion is the first step towards self-deliverance. He that would deliver his soul, must question his conscience, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Verses 21-28 Return unto me. It is the great concern of those who have backslidden from God, like the Jews of old, to hasten their return to him. The work of redemption wrought for us by Christ, encourages to hope for all blessings from him. Our transgressions and our sins are as a thick cloud between heaven and earth: sins separate between us and God; they threaten a storm of wrath. When God pardons sin, he blots out, he dispels this cloud, this thick cloud, so that the way to heaven is open again. The cloud is scattered by the Sun of righteousness; it is quite gone. The comforts that flow into the soul when sin is pardoned, are like clear shining after clouds and rain. Let not Israel be discouraged; nothing is too hard for God: having made all, he can make what use he pleases of any. Those that learn to know Christ, see all knowledge to be foolishness, in comparison with the knowledge of him. And his enemies will find their counsels turned into foolishness, and themselves taken in their craftiness. The exact fulfilling the prophecies of Scripture confirms the truth of the whole, and proves its Divine origin. The particular favours God designed for his people in captivity, were foretold here, long before they went into captivity. Very great difficulties would be in the way of their deliverance; but it is promised that by Divine power they should all be removed. God knew who should be the Deliverer of his people; and let his church know it, that when they heard such a name talked of, they might know their redemption drew nigh. It is the greatest honour of the greatest men, to be employed as instruments of the Divine favour to his people. In things wherein men serve themselves, and look no further, God makes them do all his pleasure. And a nobler Shepherd than Cyrus does his Father's will, till his work is fully completed.

Cross References 92

  • 1. ver 21; Jeremiah 30:10; Jeremiah 46:27-28
  • 2. S Genesis 16:11; S Isaiah 14:1
  • 3. ver 21; S Psalms 149:2
  • 4. S Genesis 2:7; S Psalms 139:13; S Isaiah 27:11
  • 5. S Isaiah 41:10
  • 6. S Isaiah 43:5
  • 7. Jeremiah 30:10; Jeremiah 46:27
  • 8. S Numbers 23:21; S Deuteronomy 32:15
  • 9. Joel 3:18; John 4:10
  • 10. S Proverbs 9:5; S Isaiah 32:2; S Isaiah 35:7
  • 11. S Isaiah 11:2; Ezekiel 36:27; Joel 2:28; S Mark 1:8; S Acts 2:17
  • 12. Malachi 3:10
  • 13. Isaiah 61:9; Isaiah 65:23
  • 14. S Job 5:25; S Psalms 72:16
  • 15. S Leviticus 23:40
  • 16. S Job 40:22
  • 17. Psalms 116:16; Isaiah 19:21; Jeremiah 50:5
  • 18. Exodus 13:9
  • 19. Isaiah 60:3; Isaiah 66:23; Zechariah 8:20-22; Zechariah 13:9; Zechariah 14:16
  • 20. S Isaiah 41:21
  • 21. S Job 19:25; Isaiah 43:1
  • 22. S Isaiah 41:4; Revelation 1:8,17; Revelation 22:13
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 6:4; S 1 Chronicles 17:20; S Psalms 18:31; S Isaiah 43:10
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 25. S Isaiah 41:22,26
  • 26. S Isaiah 40:21; S Isaiah 42:9
  • 27. S Isaiah 43:10
  • 28. S Genesis 49:24; Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Samuel 2:2
  • 29. S Exodus 20:4; S Leviticus 19:4; Isaiah 40:19
  • 30. S Isaiah 41:24
  • 31. S Isaiah 26:11
  • 32. S Isaiah 1:29; Isaiah 65:13; Isaiah 66:5; Jeremiah 22:22
  • 33. S Isaiah 40:19
  • 34. Isaiah 41:29; Jeremiah 10:5; Acts 19:26
  • 35. S ver 9; S Isaiah 1:29
  • 36. S 2 Kings 19:18; S Isaiah 37:19; Isaiah 42:17
  • 37. S Isaiah 40:19; Isaiah 41:6-7; Isaiah 54:16
  • 38. Jeremiah 10:3-5; Acts 17:29
  • 39. Isaiah 40:28
  • 40. S Isaiah 41:7
  • 41. Psalms 115:4-7
  • 42. S Judges 17:4-5
  • 43. S Isaiah 41:19
  • 44. ver 19
  • 45. S Exodus 20:5; Revelation 9:20
  • 46. S 2 Chronicles 25:14
  • 47. Isaiah 47:14
  • 48. S Exodus 20:5; Isaiah 2:8; Jeremiah 1:16
  • 49. S 1 Kings 18:26
  • 50. S Judges 10:14; Isaiah 45:20; Isaiah 46:7; Isaiah 47:15
  • 51. Isaiah 1:3; S Isaiah 16:12; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 10:8,14,14-15
  • 52. S Isaiah 6:9-10; S Isaiah 29:10
  • 53. ver 18-19; Isaiah 5:13; Isaiah 27:11; Isaiah 45:20
  • 54. ver 15
  • 55. S Deuteronomy 27:15
  • 56. Isaiah 40:20
  • 57. Psalms 102:9
  • 58. S Job 15:31; Ro 1:21-23,28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11; 2 Timothy 3:13
  • 59. S Deuteronomy 4:28; Hosea 10:5; Hosea 13:2
  • 60. Isa 59:3,4,13; Jeremiah 9:3; Jeremiah 10:14; Jeremiah 51:17; Romans 1:25
  • 61. Isaiah 46:8; Zechariah 10:9
  • 62. S Isaiah 43:1
  • 63. S Psalms 136:22; S Isaiah 27:11; ver 1-2
  • 64. Psalms 27:10; Isaiah 49:15; Jeremiah 31:20
  • 65. S 2 Samuel 12:13; S 2 Chronicles 6:21; Isaiah 43:25; Acts 3:19
  • 66. S Job 22:23; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 36:3; Malachi 3:7
  • 67. S Isaiah 33:24; S Matthew 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • 68. S Psalms 98:4; S Isaiah 12:6; Isaiah 42:10
  • 69. S 1 Chronicles 16:31; Psalms 148:7
  • 70. S Psalms 98:8
  • 71. S Psalms 65:13
  • 72. S Exodus 6:6; Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 62:12
  • 73. S Exodus 16:7; S Leviticus 10:3; S Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 46:13; Isaiah 49:3; Isaiah 52:1; Isaiah 55:5; Isaiah 60:9,21; Isaiah 61:3; Jeremiah 30:19
  • 74. S Job 19:25; Isaiah 43:14
  • 75. S Isaiah 27:11
  • 76. S Psalms 139:13
  • 77. S Genesis 2:1; S Isaiah 42:5
  • 78. S Genesis 1:1
  • 79. Psalms 33:10
  • 80. Leviticus 19:26; 1 Samuel 6:2; Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 47:13; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2:2,10; Daniel 4:7; Micah 3:7; Zechariah 10:2
  • 81. S Job 5:13; 1 Corinthians 1:27
  • 82. 2 Samuel 15:31; 1 Corinthians 1:19-20
  • 83. Isaiah 59:21; Zechariah 1:6
  • 84. Isaiah 46:10; Isaiah 55:11; Jeremiah 23:20; Jeremiah 39:16; Lamentations 2:17; Daniel 9:12; S Matthew 5:18
  • 85. S Isaiah 1:1
  • 86. S Psalms 74:3; S Isaiah 51:3
  • 87. S Ezra 9:9; S Psalms 51:18; Isaiah 49:8-21; S Isaiah 61:4
  • 88. S Isaiah 11:15; S Isaiah 19:5; Revelation 16:12
  • 89. S 2 Chronicles 36:22; S Isaiah 41:2
  • 90. S Isaiah 14:32
  • 91. Ezra 1:2-4
  • 92. S Isaiah 28:16; Isaiah 58:12

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. "Jeshurun" means "the upright one" , that is, Israel.

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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