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Restoration and Protection Promised

43

But now thus says the Lord,

he who created you, O Jacob,

he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name, you are mine.

2

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

and the flame shall not consume you.

3

For I am the Lord your God,

the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom,

Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.

4

Because you are precious in my sight,

and honored, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

nations in exchange for your life.

5

Do not fear, for I am with you;

I will bring your offspring from the east,

and from the west I will gather you;

6

I will say to the north, “Give them up,”

and to the south, “Do not withhold;

bring my sons from far away

and my daughters from the end of the earth—

7

everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”

 


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Isa 43:1-28. A Succession of Arguments Wherein Israel May Be Assured that, Notwithstanding Their Perversity towards God (Isa 42:25), He Will Deliver and Restore Them.

1. But now—notwithstanding God's past just judgments for Israel's sins.

created—not only in the general sense, but specially created as a peculiar people unto Himself (Isa 43:7, 15, 21; Isa 44:2, 21, 24). So believers, "created in Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:10), "a peculiar people" (1Pe 2:9).

redeemed—a second argument why they should trust Him besides creation. The Hebrew means to ransom by a price paid in lieu of the captives (compare Isa 43:3). Babylon was to be the ransom in this case, that is, was to be destroyed, in order that they might be delivered; so Christ became a curse, doomed to death, that we might be redeemed.

called … by … name—not merely "called" in general, as in Isa 42:6; 48:12; 51:2, but designated as His own peculiar people (compare Isa 45:3, 4; Ex 32:1; 33:12; Joh 10:3).

2. rivers … not overflow thee—so in passing Jordan, though at its "overflow," when its "swellings" were especially dangerous (Jos 3:15; Jer 12:5).

waters … fire—a proverbial phrase for the extremest perils (Ps 66:12; also Ps 138:7). Literally fulfilled at the Red Sea (Ex 14:21, 22), and in the case of the three youths cast into the fiery furnace for conscience' sake (Da 3:25, 27).

3. Egypt for thy ransom—Either Egypt or Israel must perish; God chose that Egypt, though so much more mighty, should be destroyed, in order that His people might be delivered; thus Egypt stood, instead of Israel, as a kind of "ransom." The Hebrew, kopher, means properly "that with which anything is overlaid," as the pitch with which the ark was overlaid; hence that which covers over sins, an atonement. Nebuchadnezzar had subdued Egypt, Ethiopia (Hebrew, Cush), and Saba (descended from Cush, Ge 10:7, probably Meroe of Ethiopia, a great island formed by the Astaboras and the Nile, conquered by Cambyses, successor of Cyrus). Cyrus received these from God with the rest of the Babylonian dominions, in consideration of his being about to deliver Israel. However, the reference may be to the three years' war in which Sargon overcame these countries, and so had his attention diverted from Israel (see on Isa 20:1) [Vitringa]. But the reference is probably more general, namely, to all the instances in which Jehovah sacrificed mighty heathen nations, when the safety of Israel required it.

4. Since—All along from the beginning; for there was never a time when Israel was not Jehovah's people. The apodosis should be at, "I will give." "Since ever thou wast precious in My sight, honorable, and that I loved thee, I will give," &c. [Maurer]. Gesenius, as English Version, takes "Since" to mean, "Inasmuch as." If the apodosis be as in English Version, "Since thou wast precious" will refer to the time when God called His people out of Egypt, manifesting then first the love which He had from everlasting towards them (Jer 31:3; Ho 11:1); "honorable" and "loved," refer to outward marks of honor and love from God.

men … peopleother nations for thee (so Isa 43:3).

thy life—thy person.

5. (De 30:3).

seed—descendants scattered in all lands. Vitringa understands it of the spiritual "seed" of the Church produced by mystical regeneration: for the expression is, "bring," not "bring back." This sense is perhaps included, but not to the exclusion of the literal Israel's restoration (Jer 30:10, 11; Am 9:9; Zec 2:6-13).

6. Give up—namely, My people.

sons … daughters—The feminine joined to the masculine expresses the complete totality of anything (Zec 9:17).

7. called by my name—belong to Israel, whose people, as sons of God, bear the name of their Father (Isa 44:5; 48:1).

for my glory—(Isa 43:21; Isa 29:23).




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