Isaiah 43:1-4

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.

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Isaiah 43:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 43

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 43:1-4 In-Context

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 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.

Cross References 19

  • 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

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, the upper Nile region
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