Isaiah 45

1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped to subdue nations before him and strip kings of their robes, to open doors before him— and the gates shall not be closed:
2 I will go before you and level the mountains, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me.
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me,
6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7 I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.
8 Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.
9 Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, "What are you making"? or "Your work has no handles"?
10 Woe to anyone who says to a father, "What are you begetting?" or to a woman, "With what are you in labor?"
11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?
12 I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.
13 I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will make all his paths straight; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts.
14 Thus says the Lord: The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, "God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him."
15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
16 All of them are put to shame and confounded, the makers of idols go in confusion together.
17 But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.
18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "Seek me in chaos." I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.
20 Assemble yourselves and come together, draw near, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge— those who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.
21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me.
22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."
24 Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; all who were incensed against him shall come to him and be ashamed.
25 In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.

Isaiah 45 Commentary

Chapter 45

The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)

Verses 1-4 Cyrus is called God's anointed; he was designed and qualified for his great service by the counsel of God. The gates of Babylon which led to the river, were left open the night that Cyrus marched his army into the empty channel. The Lord went before him, giving entrance to the cities he besieged. He gave him also treasures, which had been hidden in secret places. The true God was to Cyrus an unknown God; yet God foreknew him; he called him by his name. The exact fulfilment of this must have shown Cyrus that Jehovah was the only true God, and that it was for the sake of Israel that he was prospered. In all the changes of states and kingdoms, God works out the good of his church.

Verses 5-10 There is no God beside Jehovah. There is nothing done without him. He makes peace, put here for all good; and creates evil, not the evil of sin, but the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, good, or happy; and evil, error, and misery, came into the world by his permission, through the wilful apostacy of his creatures, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. This doctrine is applied, for the comfort of those that earnestly longed, yet quietly waited, for the redemption of Israel. The redemption of sinners by the Son of God, and the pouring out the Spirit, to give success to the gospel, are chiefly here intended. We must not expect salvation without righteousness; together the Lord hath created them. Let not oppressors oppose God's designs for his people. Let not the poor oppressed murmur, as if God dealt unkindly with them. Men are but earthen pots; they are broken potsherds, and are very much made so by mutual contentions. To contend with Him is as senseless as for clay to find fault with the potter. Let us turn God's promises into prayers, beseeching him that salvation may abound among us, and let us rest assured that the Judge of all the earth will do right.

Verses 11-19 Believers may ask in prayer for what they need; if for their good, it will not be withheld. But how common to hear God called to account for his dealings with man! Cyrus provided for the returning Jews. Those redeemed by Christ shall be provided for. The restoration would convince many, and convert some; and all that truly join the Lord, find his service perfect freedom. Though God be his people's God and Saviour, yet sometimes he lays them under his frowns; but let them wait upon the Lord who hides his face. There is a world without end; and it will be well or ill with us, according as it shall be with us in that world. The Lord we serve and trust, is God alone. All that God has said is plain, satisfactory, and just. As God in his word calls us to seek him, so he never denied believing prayers, nor disappointed believing expectations. He gives grace sufficient, and comfort and satisfaction of soul.

Verses 20-25 The nations are exhorted to draw near to Jehovah. None besides is able to help; he is the Saviour, who can save without the assistance of any, but without whom none can save. If the heart is brought into the obedience of Christ, the knee will cheerfully obey his commands. To Christ men shall come from every nation for blessings; all that hate his cause shall be put to shame, and all believers shall rejoice in him as their Friend and Portion. All must come to him: may we now come to him as the Lord our Righteousness, walking according to his commandments.

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Q Ms Gk: MT [the swellings]
  • [b]. Q Ms: MT [that they may bring forth salvation]
  • [c]. Cn: Heb [with the potsherds], or [with the potters]
  • [d]. Cn: Heb [Ask me of things to come]
  • [e]. Heb [him]
  • [f]. Or [Nubia]; Heb [Cush]

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 45

This chapter contains prophecies concerning Cyrus, the deliverer of the Jews from captivity; and concerning the grace, righteousness, and salvation of Christ; and the conversion of the Gentiles. An account is given of Cyrus, and of the great things God would do for him, and by him, Isa 45:1-3 and the ends for which he would do these things, for the sake of his people Israel; and that he might be known to be the only true God, who is the Maker of all things, Isa 45:4-7 an intimation is given of the Messiah, as the author of righteousness and salvation; and of the contention and murmuring of the Jews about him, Isa 45:8-10, encouragement is given to pray for and expect good things by him for the children of God, in consideration of the greatness of God as the Creator, who would raise him up in righteousness, the antitype of Cyrus, Isa 45:11-13, the conversion of the Gentiles, the confusion of idolaters, and the salvation of the Israel of God, are prophesied of, Isa 45:14-17, which are confirmed by his works and his word, what he had done and said, Isa 45:18,19, the vanity of idols is exposed, and Christ the only Saviour asserted, to whom persons in all nations are directed to look for salvation, Isa 45:20-22 when it is affirmed with an oath that all shall be subject to him; that his people shall come to him for righteousness and strength; that his enemies shall be ashamed, and the spiritual Israel of God shall be justified, and glory in him, Isa 45:23-25.

Isaiah 45 Commentaries