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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.”


17. Thus saith Jehovah. I connect this verse with the four following verses, because they relate to the same subject, and because in them the Lord promises deliverance to his people, but in such a manner as first to shew that it was through their own fault that they were reduced to slavery; that is, that the people might not murmur and object that it would have been better to be kept in their native country, if the Lord wished to assist them, than to be carried away and brought back; for physicians who cure a disease which they might have prevented, are held to be less entitled to thanks. The Prophet therefore meets this, and says that this befell the people through their own fault, and that they might have escaped this destruction, if they had attended to the commandments of the Lord. He shews, therefore, that this was a just reward of the wickedness of the people; for it was not the Lord who had formerly prevented the people from enjoying prosperity, but they had rejected his grace. And yet he declares that the Lord will go beyond this wickedness by his goodness, because he will not suffer his people to perish, though he afflict them for a time.

Teaching thee profitably. He means that God’s “teaching” is such that it might keep the people safe and sound, if they would only rest upon it. Now, the Lord “teaches,” not for his own sake, but in order to promote our salvation; for what profit could we yield to him? It is therefore by “teaching” that he makes provision for the advantage of each of us, that, having been instructed by it, we may enjoy prosperity. But since, through our ingratitude, we reject the benefit that is freely offered to us, what remains but that we shall miserably perish? Justly, therefore, does Isaiah reproach the Jews that, if they had not defrauded themselves of the benefit of teaching, nothing that was profitable for their salvation would have been hidden from them. And if these things were said of the Law, that the Lord, by means of it, “taught his people profitably,” what shall we say of the Gospel, in which everything that is profitable for us is very fully explained? 238238     “When God the Redeemer says here that he ‘teacheth his people, להועיל (lehognil) to profit,’ and that he provides for their true interests, there can be no doubt that he makes this declaration concerning himself, κατ᾿ ἀντίθεσιν by way of contrast with Idols, false gods, the worship of which not only did no good, but even did harm, and brought great hurt and damage to their worshippers. (Compare Isaiah 44:10, and 45:19.) Hence also God says by, Jeremiah 2:11, ‘Is there any nation that changeth its gods, though they are not gods? But my people have changed their glory בלא יועיל (belo yognil) for that from which they derive no advantage;’ or rather, from which they suffer the greatest loss and damage.” — Vitringa.

Hence, also, it is manifest, how shocking is the blasphemy of the Papists who say that the reading of the Holy Scripture is dangerous and hurtful, in order to terrify unlearned persons 239239     “Afin de destourner les idiots (qu’ils appellent) de lira dedans.” “In order to dissuade idiots (as they call them) from reading it.” from reading it. Shall they then accuse God of falsehood, who declares, by the mouth of the Prophet, that it is “profitable?” Do they wish us to believe them rather than God? Though they impudently vomit out their blasphemies, we certainly ought not to be dissuaded from the study of it; for we shall learn by actual experience with what truthfulness Isaiah spoke, if we treat the Holy Scriptures with piety and reverence.

Leading thee. These words shew more clearly the profitableness which was mentioned a little before. He means that the way of salvation is pointed out to us, if we hearken to God when he speaks; for he is ready to become our guide during the whole course of our life, if we will only obey him. In this manner Moses testifies that he “set before the people life and death.” (Deuteronomy 30:19.) Again, it is said, (Isaiah 30:21,) “This is the way, walk ye in it;” for the rule of a holy life is contained in the Law, which cannot deceive. “I command thee,” says Moses, “that thou love the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways, and keep his commandments and statutes and judgments, that thou mayest live and be multiplied, and that the Lord may bless thee in the land which thou goest to possess.” (Deuteronomy 30:16.) In a word, they who submissively yield obedience are not destitute either of counsel or of the light of understanding.

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