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God the Creator and Redeemer


Hear this, O house of Jacob,

who are called by the name of Israel,

and who came forth from the loins of Judah;

who swear by the name of the L ord,

and invoke the God of Israel,

but not in truth or right.


For they call themselves after the holy city,

and lean on the God of Israel;

the L ord of hosts is his name.



The former things I declared long ago,

they went out from my mouth and I made them known;

then suddenly I did them and they came to pass.


Because I know that you are obstinate,

and your neck is an iron sinew

and your forehead brass,


I declared them to you from long ago,

before they came to pass I announced them to you,

so that you would not say, “My idol did them,

my carved image and my cast image commanded them.”



You have heard; now see all this;

and will you not declare it?

From this time forward I make you hear new things,

hidden things that you have not known.


They are created now, not long ago;

before today you have never heard of them,

so that you could not say, “I already knew them.”


You have never heard, you have never known,

from of old your ear has not been opened.

For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,

and that from birth you were called a rebel.



For my name’s sake I defer my anger,

for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,

so that I may not cut you off.


See, I have refined you, but not like silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.


For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,

for why should my name be profaned?

My glory I will not give to another.



Listen to me, O Jacob,

and Israel, whom I called:

I am He; I am the first,

and I am the last.


My hand laid the foundation of the earth,

and my right hand spread out the heavens;

when I summon them,

they stand at attention.



Assemble, all of you, and hear!

Who among them has declared these things?

The L ord loves him;

he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,

and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.


I, even I, have spoken and called him,

I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.


Draw near to me, hear this!

From the beginning I have not spoken in secret,

from the time it came to be I have been there.

And now the Lord G od has sent me and his spirit.



Thus says the L ord,

your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I am the L ord your God,

who teaches you for your own good,

who leads you in the way you should go.


O that you had paid attention to my commandments!

Then your prosperity would have been like a river,

and your success like the waves of the sea;


your offspring would have been like the sand,

and your descendants like its grains;

their name would never be cut off

or destroyed from before me.



Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,

declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,

send it forth to the end of the earth;

say, “The L ord has redeemed his servant Jacob!”


They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;

he made water flow for them from the rock;

he split open the rock and the water gushed out.



“There is no peace,” says the L ord, “for the wicked.”


10. Lo, I have tried thee. The Lord shews that he exercises such moderation in chastising his people, that he makes provision for their salvation. Formerly he had said that he had spared or would spare them, because he had regard to his glory. He now declares that he does indeed lay stripes upon them, but of such a nature as to be serviceable to them; for it is for the purpose of “proving and trying” that he chastises them, and we “prove” that which we do not wish to be lost. Since therefore he has this end in view, it follows that he makes provision for our salvation. Besides, it is by way of anticipation that he mentions the “trial,” lest any one should object that God’s forbearance did not, at all appear amidst such severe afflictions. The Prophet therefore comes forward early to meet this objection, and points out that, although God does not permit his people altogether to go free, yet he deals gently with them.

And not like silver. He adds that he does not “try us like silver,” because we should be altogether consumed; for “silver” contains something that is pure, but in us nothing will be found but chaff; and even if God did not make us “silver,” we should be reduced, like chaff or stubble, to ashes and to nothing. Chastisement itself would undoubtedly bring out nothing that is pure. Accordingly, in the very “trial” the Lord considers what we can endure, so as not to proceed beyond measure; and, at the same time, by the secret influence of his Spirit, he makes those punishments to be profitable to us which would otherwise have been destruction.

I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. To “choose” means here to “distinguish.” We “choose” that which we desire to preserve and defend, as he formerly said in the same sense,

“to choose the good and refuse the bad.” (Isaiah 7:15.)

By this word, therefore, he shews how wide is the difference between the punishment which is inflicted on good men and that which wicked men endure, and which ends in their destruction. We, on the other hand, though the Lord bums and pierces us, are accepted by him; and he retains his kindness toward us in the midst of afflictions, and even causes us to come out of them more fully tried, and to be to him a sacrifice of good savor. In a word, he means that God, even when he appears to abandon his people to destruction, is still gracious to them.

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