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Isaiah Forty Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Isaiah 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

Isaiah 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

by thy name. The Persian emperor Cyrus was thus named by God about 150 years before he was born, and about 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, carrying the people of Judah into captivity in Babylonia. The Persian empire still later conquered Babylon, and eventually Cyrus became emperor and fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy (Ezra 1:1-4) about 175 years after Isaiah pronounced it.

Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

Isaiah 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

create darkness. God did not create light, for He is light! It was the primeval darkness that He created, in order to have a division between day and night.

create evil. “Evil,” as used here, refers to evil of a physical nature (e.g., storms), not moral evil.

Isaiah 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Isaiah 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

potsherd. That is, “broken fragment of pottery.”

Isaiah 45:10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Isaiah 45:11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

even my hands. This is a clear statement of direct creation (not indirect, through some evolutionary process)—of the earth, of man, of the heavens, and all their host (both stars and angels).

Isaiah 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 45:14 Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

Isaiah 45:15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

Isaiah 45:16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

Isaiah 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

world without end. This remarkable phrase, “world without end,” essentially means “eternally.” It is one word in the Hebrew, olam, which is also used in Isaiah 64:4, where it is translated “the beginning of the world,” yet still with the basic meaning of “eternally.” Thus these two verses assure us that from “past eternity” to “future eternity” we have the sure promises of God. Therefore, “unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

formed the earth. Note that the Lord “formed” the earth, He “made” it, He “established” it, He “created” it. He did it Himself!

not in vain. Since the word here for “in vain” is the Hebrew tohu, this verse has been made the main proof text (actually pretext!) for the so-called “gap theory,” which attempts to add billions of years of the history of the earth and its inhabitants in a supposed gap between the first two verses of Genesis. Genesis 1:2 says that “the earth was without form”—that is, tohu—so the argument is that since Isaiah says God did not “create” the earth tohu, it must have “become” tohu in a great cataclysm that climaxed and terminated the geological ages. However, this is an impossible theory geologically, since these ages are based entirely on a supposed uniform continuity with present geological processes, and there is no place in the geological ages for a global cataclysm that would leave the earth without form and void. The main purpose of the gap theory is to avoid conflict with geologists over the age of the earth, but it squarely contradicts them on their basic premise of uniformitarianism. Such a worldwide cataclysm as proposed by proponents of the gap theory would so disintegrate and rearrange the crust of the earth as to leave no evidence of any previous ages. The gap theory would thus accommodate the geological ages by destroying all the evidence for them! This is why no geologist, Christian or otherwise, believes the gap theory.

to be inhabited. The thrust of this verse is that God had a definite purpose for the earth. He created, established, made, and formed it as a habitation for man. When initially called into existence by God, it was “unformed and empty,” as stated in Genesis 1:2, but God did not intend to stop there. He took six days to prepare it for man in order to set a pattern for man's work week (Exodus 20:8-11); the earth was not “perfect,” in the sense of being “finished,” until God said so, at the end of the six days (Genesis 2:1-3).

Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

in vain. This is the Hebrew tohu again, as in the preceding verse. This is clearly the best translation of tohu in both verses, just as “without form” is the best translation in Genesis 1:2. As with many Hebrew words, the context determines the meaning. The word tohu is rendered ten different ways in its twenty occurrences.

Isaiah 45:20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

there is none else. This affirmation is repeatedly stressed in Isaiah. There is only one God and Creator. There is no other Savior, and the day will come when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to Him that He is Lord (Isaiah 45:23; see Philippians 2:10).

Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Isaiah 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

Isaiah 45:25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.