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Isaiah Forty One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Isaiah 41:1 Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

Isaiah 41:2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

righteous man from the east. This is a remarkable prophecy of the rapid rise to world power by Cyrus, the future king of the great Persian Empire. The very name Cyrus is actually foreseen in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1. See footnote on Isaiah 45:4.

Isaiah 41:3 He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.

Isaiah 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

first, and with the last. Only God, who created time, as well as space and matter, can see every generation from the beginning of time, for He is outside of time. He is the first and also the last, a title assumed by Christ (Revelation 1:8, 11). See also Isaiah 42:9.

Isaiah 41:5 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came.

Isaiah 41:6 They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.

Isaiah 41:7 So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.

Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

Israel, art my servant. In addition to Israel, the prophet names two other special “servants” of God—David (Isaiah 37:35) and especially the coming Messiah (Isaiah 42:1; 52:13; etc.).

Isaiah 41:9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I am with thee. Note the two “I ams” in this verse and also note “I am He” in Isaiah 41:4. The verb of being, “am,” is understood rather than explicitly expressed in the Hebrew. In effect, it reflects the name of God originally revealed to Moses (Exodus 3:14) and appropriated by Christ (John 8:28, 58; etc.). In addition to the two “I ams,” note also the two following “I wills” in the verse.

Isaiah 41:11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

Isaiah 41:12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.

Isaiah 41:13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 41:15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.

Isaiah 41:16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

Isaiah 41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

Isaiah 41:19 I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:

Isaiah 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.

hath created it. The marvelous rejuvenation of the land of Israel in the coming kingdom age as outlined in Isaiah 41:15-19 will no doubt involve divinely controlled providential miracles (see footnotes on Isaiah 35:1, 6, and Isaiah 40:4), but also actual miracles of creation, completely inexplicable by natural causes.

Isaiah 41:21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.

Isaiah 41:22 Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

Isaiah 41:23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

Isaiah 41:24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

Isaiah 41:25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.

one from the north. This “one” also seems to be the emperor Cyrus (see note on Isaiah 41:2). Although both Persia and Babylon were east of Israel, Cyrus had conquered Babylon after first conquering Media north of Babylon.

Isaiah 41:26 Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may know? and beforetime, that we may say, He is righteous? yea, there is none that showeth, yea, there is none that declareth, yea, there is none that heareth your words.

Isaiah 41:27 The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.

Isaiah 41:28 For I beheld, and there was no man; even among them, and there was no counsellor, that, when I asked of them, could answer a word.

Isaiah 41:29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images are wind and confusion.