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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.”


21. Therefore they thirsted not. Because the Jews did not see the way opened up for their return, and because great and dangerous wildernesses intervened, the Prophet asserts the power of God, and brings forward examples of it, that they may not be terrified by any difficulty. He therefore bids them consider whether or not God had sufficient power to rescue their fathers from the slavery of Egypt, and to lead them through desolate wildernesses, in which he supplied them with food and water and everything that was necessary for them. (Exodus 16 and 17; Numbers 20.) Here the Jews, according to their custom, contrive absurd fables, and invent miracles which were never performed; and they do this, not through ignorance, but through presumption, by which anything that is plausible, though there be no ground whatever for it, easily gains their support.

The design of the Prophet was to recall to their remembrance the former departure from Egypt, and the miracles which the Lord performed at that time, which we have already remarked to be customary with the Prophets, when they wish to extol in lofty terms the works of God. Thus David, when he was celebrating the victories which he had obtained, says that

“the mountains trembled and flowed down, that the air was cleft asunder, and that the Lord was seen from heaven,”
(Psalm 18:7,)

though nothing of this kind ever happened to him; but he imitates the description of the deliverance from Egypt, in order to shew that God, who was the author of it, had also been his supporter and leader in conquering his enemies, and that the power of God ought not to be less acknowledged in his victory than in those signs and wonders.

In like manner the Prophet wishes that the people should now contemplate those miracles, in order to correct their unbelief, and that they may not be tempted by any distrust. The holy servants of God were always accustomed to cast their eyes on that deliverance, in order that, by the remembrance of so great a benefit, they might strengthen the hearts of all in hope and confidence; as we have formerly said that it was the duty of believers in every age to expect the fruit of this redemption, that the Lord, by uninterrupted progress, might be the guardian of a redeemed people. Thus Isaiah means that the Lord will easily surmount every obstacle, will open up a way which is shut, and will supply them abundantly with water, so that they shall not die of thirst, in the same manner as he formerly brought water out of rock by an extraordinary miracle, when the people thought that their condition was hopeless; and consequently, that there is no reason why they should despair of their return, if they wish to contemplate, and cordially to believe, that power of God which they have already experienced.

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