Isaiah 41:17-18

17 “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.

Isaiah 41:17-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 41

This chapter contains a summons to the enemies of Christ to come and try the cause between God and them before him; words of comfort to true believers, promising them help, protection, and provision; full conviction of idolaters, and their practices; and is closed with a promise of some great person, and what he will do unto them, and for the people of God. The summons is in Isa 41:1, expressed according to the forms used in courts of judicature. The issue of the controversy is put upon this foot, the raising up a certain person from the east, who it was that did it, which appearing to be the work of the Lord, proves the point contended about, Isa 41:2-4, the obstinate persistence of idolaters in their idolatry, notwithstanding this is observed, Isa 41:5-7, the people of God, under the names of Jacob and Israel, the objects of God's choice and affection, Isa 41:8,9 are encouraged against the fear of men, with promises of help and strength from the Lord, Isa 41:10,13,14 of confusion to their enemies, and victory over them, Isa 41:11,12,15,16, and of spiritual provisions, and great prosperity in their wilderness state, in which they should manifestly see the hand of the Lord, Isa 41:17-20 when the idolatrous nations are challenged to produce their strong reasons for their idolatry, and are put upon proving that their idols can foretell things to come, or do good or evil to men, or own they are nothing but an abomination, Isa 41:21-24,26 and then one is spoken of that should come as a mighty warrior, and tread down the Pagan princes, and a set of Gospel ministers should be sent, bringing good tidings to Zion, to the silencing of idolaters, and the cessation of idolatrous worship, Isa 41:25,27,28.

Isaiah 41:17-18 In-Context

15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Cross References 8

  • 1. Isaiah 43:20
  • 2. S Isaiah 35:7
  • 3. S Isaiah 30:19
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 31:6; S Psalms 27:9
  • 5. S Isaiah 30:25
  • 6. Isaiah 43:19
  • 7. S 2 Kings 3:17
  • 8. S Job 38:26; S Isaiah 35:7