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20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

“I have been found by those who did not seek me;

I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”


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20. But Isaiah is bold, and says, etc. As this prophecy is somewhat clearer, that he might excite greater attention he says that it was expressed with great confidence; as though he had said, — “The Prophet did not speak in a figurative language, or with hesitation, but had in plain and clear words declared the calling of the Gentiles.” But the things which Paul has here separated, by interposing a few words, are found connected together in the prophet Isaiah 65:1, where the Lord declares, that the time would come when he should turn his favor to the Gentiles; and he immediately subjoins this reason, — that he was wearied with the perverseness of Israel, which, through very long continuance, had become intolerable to him. He then speaks thus, — “They who inquired not of me before, and neglected my name, have now sought me, (the perfect tense for the future to denote the certainty of the prophecy.) 336336     Isaiah 65:1. The two sentences are reversed; the Septuagint and the Hebrew are the same. The reason for changing the order does not appear; but it may be observed, that it is an instance common in Hebrew, where essentially the same idea is expressed in two successive lines, so that it is immaterial which of them is put first. — Ed.

I know that this whole passage is changed by some Rabbins, as though God promised that he would cause that the Jews should repent of their defection: but nothing is more clear than that he speaks of aliens; for it follows in the same context, — “I have said, Behold I come to a people, on whom my name is not called.” Without doubt, then, the Prophet declares it as what would take place, that those who were before aliens would be received by a new adoption unto the family of God. It is then the calling of the Gentiles; and in which appears a general representation of the calling of all the faithful; for there is no one who anticipates the Lord; but we are all, without exception, delivered by his free mercy from the deepest abyss of death, when there is no knowledge of him, no desire of serving him, in a word, no conviction of his truth.




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