Yeshayah 44

1 4 Yet now hear, O Ya’akov Avdi; and Yisroel, whom I have chosen;
2 Thus saith Hashem that made thee, and formed thee from the beten (womb), Who will help thee; Fear not, O Ya’akov, Avdi; and thou, Yeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour mayim upon him that is thirsty, and flowing streams upon the yabashah [Gn 1:9]; I will pour out My Ruach [Hakodesh] upon thy zera, and My brocha upon thine offspring;
4 V’tzamechu (and they shall spring up; Tzemach) as among khatzir, as willows by the streams of mayim.
5 One shall say, I belong to Hashem; and another shall call himself by the shem of Ya’akov; and another shall write [in witness] with his yad, Hashem’s, and surname himself by the shem Yisroel.
6 Thus saith Hashem Melech Yisroel, and His Go’el, Hashem Tzva’os; I am the Rishon, and I am the Acharon; and apart from Me there is no Elohim.
7 And who is like Me, who can preach as I do? Let him make it known and set it out in order before Me, since I appointed the Am Olam and the otiyyot (things to come, future things) and what is approaching, let them expound and make known in support of themselves.
8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid; have not I proclaimed to thee long ago, and have made it known? Ye are even My edim. Is there Eloah apart from Me? And there is no Tzur. I know of none.
9 They that make a pesel are all of them tohu; and their chamudim (favorite [idols]) are worthless; and they [the idols] are their own edim; they [the idols] see not, nor know; so that they [the idol people] are put to shame.
10 Who hath formed el (g-d), or molded a pesel to no profit?
11 Behold, all its chaverim shall be ashamed; and the charashim (craftsmen), they are only adam; let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.
12 The charash barzel (ironsmith) with his ma’atzad (chizel) both worketh in the red-hot coals, and formeth it with hammers, and forgeth it with his zero’a ko’ach and also, he is hungry, and his ko’ach faileth; he drinketh no mayim, and grows faint.
13 The charash etzim (carpenter) stretcheth out his [measuring line]; he marketh it out with sered (red chalk); he worketh it with planes, and he marketh it out with a compass, and maketh it after the tavnit ish (pattern of a man), according to the tiferet adam; that it may stay inside the bais (idolatrous cult shrine).
14 He heweth down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he secureth for himself among the atzei ya’ar (trees of the forest); he planteth a pine, and geshem doth nourish it.
15 Then shall it be for an adam to burn; for he will take thereof, and warm himself; and also, he kindleth it, and baketh lechem; and also he maketh el (g-d), and boweth down in worship to it; he maketh it a pesel, and falleth down unto it.
16 He burneth half thereof in the eish; with the other half thereof he eateth basar; he roasteth roast meat, and is satisfied; and also, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I perceive ur (flame)!
17 And the shererit thereof he maketh el, even his pesel; he falleth down unto it, and boweth down in worship to it, and davens unto it, and saith, Save me; for thou art Eli!
18 They have no da’as nor binah; for their eyes [the eyes of the idol people] are smeared over, that they cannot see; and their levavot, that they cannot understand.
19 And none considereth in his lev, neither is there da’as nor tevunah (understanding, intelligence) to say, I have burned half of it in the eish; and, also I have baked lechem upon the hot coals thereof; I have roasted basar, and eaten it; and shall I make the rest thereof to’evah? Shall I bow down to the bul etz (product of a tree, i.e., a block of wood)?
20 He feedeth on efer (ash); a lev hutal (a heart deceived, a deluded mind) hath led him astray, that he cannot save his nefesh, nor say, Is there not sheker (a lie, a fraud) in my yamin (right hand)?
21 Remember these things, O Ya’akov and Yisroel; for thou art avdi; I have formed thee; thou art an eved to Me; O Yisroel, do not forget Me!
22 I have swept away thy peysha’im like a cloud, and like an anan, thy chattot; Shuva elai ki gealticha (return, turn back to Me, for I have redeemed thee).
23 Sing for joy, O ye Shomayim; for Hashem hath done it; shout, ye depths of the earth; break forth into singing, ye harim, O ya’ar (forest), and kol etz therein; for Hashem hath redeemed Ya’akov, and He will glorify Himself in Yisroel.
24 Thus saith Hashem, thy Go’el, and He that formed thee from the beten (womb), I am Hashem Oseh kol (the Maker of All); that stretcheth out Shomayim alone; that spreadeth out ha’aretz (the earth) by Myself;
25 That annuls the otot of the baddim (liars, false prophets), and maketh kosemim (diviners, soothsayers) into madmen; that turneth back chachamim, and maketh their da’as (knowledge, science) foolishness;
26 That confirmeth the davar of His eved, and fulfilleth the etza (prediction) of His malachim; that saith to Yerushalayim, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the towns of Yehudah, Ye shall be rebuilt, and I will raise up the ruins thereof:
27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy naharot;
28 That saith of Koresh (Cyrus), He is Ro’i (My Shepherd), and shall accomplish all My pleasure; even saying to Yerushalayim, Thou shalt be rebuilt; and to the Heikhal, Thy foundation shall be laid.

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Yeshayah 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.

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.

Yeshayah 44 Commentaries

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