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45. The Lord, Not Idols
1Thus saith Jehovah 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 the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut: 2I will go before thee, and make the rough places smooth; I will break in pieces the doors of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; 3and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that it is I, Jehovah, who call thee by thy name, even the God of Israel. 4For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. 5I am Jehovah, and there is none else; besides me there is no God. I will gird thee, though thou hast not known me; 6that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else. 7I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things. 8Distil, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up together; I, Jehovah, have created it. 9Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! a potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? 10Woe unto him that saith unto a father, What begettest thou? or to a woman, With what travailest thou? 11Thus saith Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: Ask me of the things that are to come; concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands, command ye me. 12I 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. 13I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward, saith Jehovah of hosts. 14Thus saith Jehovah, The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall go 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. 15Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. 16They shall be put to shame, yea, confounded, all of them; they shall go into confusion together that are makers of idols. 17But Israel shall be saved by Jehovah with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be put to shame nor confounded world without end. 18For thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited: I am Jehovah; and there is none else. 19I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness; I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I, Jehovah, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that carry the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21Declare ye, and bring it forth; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath showed this from ancient time? who hath declared it of old? have not I, Jehovah? and there is no God else besides me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. 23By myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24Only in Jehovah, it is said of me, is righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all they that were incensed against him shall be put to shame. 25In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
5. I am Jehovah. He confirms the preceding statement, and the repetition is not superfluous; for it was proper that it should be often repeated to Cyrus, that there is one God, by whose hands all rulers and nations are governed, that he might be drawn aside from all delusions and be converted to the God of Israel. Besides, it is clearly stated that we ought not to try to find divinity in any other; as if he had said, “Beware of ascribing this victory to idols, or forming any confused idea of a god such as men imagine; know that the God of Israel is the only author of this victory.” Although Cyrus did not profit by this admonition to such an extent as to leave his idols and devote himself to the true God, yet it made so deep an impression on his heart that he acknowledged Jehovah to be God and to possess the highest authority. At the same time, it was proper that they who were members of the Church should embrace this doctrine, that they might boldly despise all pretended gods.
I have girded thee. That girding corresponds to the nakedness which he formerly mentioned, (verse 1,) when he said that he “opened” or “ungirded the loins of kings;” for he is said to “gird” those whom he supplies with strength and courage and renders victorious. Hence it ought to be inferred, that men have no courage but when the Lord imparts to them his power and strength, that neither weapons nor any military force can do anything unless he assist, and, in a word, that he presides over all wars, and gives victory to whomsoever he pleases, that none may think that it happens by chance. He again repeats, Though thou hast not known me, in order to make it still more certain that these things are granted to Cyrus for the sake of the Church, in order that he may give evidence that he remembers it with gratitude, and may shew kindness to the people of God in return for such a distinguished favor.