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Israel Assured of God’s Help


Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;

let the peoples renew their strength;

let them approach, then let them speak;

let us together draw near for judgment.



Who has roused a victor from the east,

summoned him to his service?

He delivers up nations to him,

and tramples kings under foot;

he makes them like dust with his sword,

like driven stubble with his bow.


He pursues them and passes on safely,

scarcely touching the path with his feet.


Who has performed and done this,

calling the generations from the beginning?

I, the L ord, am first,

and will be with the last.


The coastlands have seen and are afraid,

the ends of the earth tremble;

they have drawn near and come.


Each one helps the other,

saying to one another, “Take courage!”


The artisan encourages the goldsmith,

and the one who smooths with the hammer encourages the one who strikes the anvil,

saying of the soldering, “It is good”;

and they fasten it with nails so that it cannot be moved.


But you, Israel, my servant,

Jacob, whom I have chosen,

the offspring of Abraham, my friend;


you whom I took from the ends of the earth,

and called from its farthest corners,

saying to you, “You are my servant,

I have chosen you and not cast you off”;


do not fear, for I am with you,

do not be afraid, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.



Yes, all who are incensed against you

shall be ashamed and disgraced;

those who strive against you

shall be as nothing and shall perish.


You shall seek those who contend with you,

but you shall not find them;

those who war against you

shall be as nothing at all.


For I, the L ord your God,

hold your right hand;

it is I who say to you, “Do not fear,

I will help you.”



Do not fear, you worm Jacob,

you insect Israel!

I will help you, says the L ord;

your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.


Now, I will make of you a threshing sledge,

sharp, new, and having teeth;

you shall thresh the mountains and crush them,

and you shall make the hills like chaff.


You shall winnow them and the wind shall carry them away,

and the tempest shall scatter them.

Then you shall rejoice in the L ord;

in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory.



When the poor and needy seek water,

and there is none,

and their tongue is parched with thirst,

I the L ord will answer them,

I the God of Israel will not forsake them.


I will open rivers on the bare heights,

and fountains in the midst of the valleys;

I will make the wilderness a pool of water,

and the dry land springs of water.


I will put in the wilderness the cedar,

the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;

I will set in the desert the cypress,

the plane and the pine together,


so that all may see and know,

all may consider and understand,

that the hand of the L ord has done this,

the Holy One of Israel has created it.


The Futility of Idols


Set forth your case, says the L ord;

bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob.


Let them bring them, and tell us

what is to happen.

Tell us the former things, what they are,

so that we may consider them,

and that we may know their outcome;

or declare to us the things to come.


Tell us what is to come hereafter,

that we may know that you are gods;

do good, or do harm,

that we may be afraid and terrified.


You, indeed, are nothing

and your work is nothing at all;

whoever chooses you is an abomination.



I stirred up one from the north, and he has come,

from the rising of the sun he was summoned by name.

He shall trample on rulers as on mortar,

as the potter treads clay.


Who declared it from the beginning, so that we might know,

and beforehand, so that we might say, “He is right”?

There was no one who declared it, none who proclaimed,

none who heard your words.


I first have declared it to Zion,

and I give to Jerusalem a herald of good tidings.


But when I look there is no one;

among these there is no counselor

who, when I ask, gives an answer.


No, they are all a delusion;

their works are nothing;

their images are empty wind.


27. The first to Zion. 149149     “I, saith Jehovah, am the first that has foretold by my prophets to the Jews those things which none of the false gods, and none of their prophets could foretell, the destruction of Babylon and the return of the banished Jews into their native country.” — Rosenmuller. In this verse God states more clearly that he predicts future events to the Jews, in order to encourage them to believe; because if prophecies had not their end and use, it would not in itself be of very great advantage to know future events. God therefore testifies that prophecies are intended by him to promote the faith and edification of the Church. It was necessary that this should be added to the former statements, that the people might know that those examples were exhibited, not only in order to magnify the power of God, but that all believers might reap advantage from it; for all the instances of the power and foreknowledge of God ought to be viewed by us in such a light as will enable us to know that he takes care of us, (1 Peter 5:7,) and that he does everything for promoting our salvation. Zion is therefore commanded to acknowledge him as the true and only God, not merely because he has punished their crimes, but because they are restored from captivity, and thus learn that God is reconciled to them.

Behold! Behold! Here we must regard Mount Zion as desolate and uninhabited, and Jerusalem as reduced to a wilderness. Hence also Jeremiah represents Jerusalem as speaking in the manner that is usual with afflicted and distressed women. (Lamentations 1:20.) Thus the Lord now exhibits her as a widow and forsaken. Isaiah will afterwards arouse her to rejoice as a woman who had formerly been barren, and to whom the Lord had given new fertility for bearing offspring. (Isaiah 54:1.) At the same time he now declares that he will comfort Jerusalem, at a time when nothing was to be seen but what was melancholy and revolting in her hideous ruins. Now, the present message is, either that she shall give birth to children, though she was long a widow and desolate, or that they who had been scattered in distant captivity will return to her in vast numbers. With that desolation, therefore, we must contrast the restoration which was effected through Cyrus, when it is said, “Behold, they come;” and by the word “first,” is denoted not only the eternal essence of God, but likewise the antiquity of the prediction.

And I will send a messenger to Jerusalem. He now describes the manner in which God informs believers about future events, that is by the agency and ministry of the prophets. מבשר(mebashsher) is translated by Jerome “Evangelist,” or “a bringer of good tidings;” but it literally means a “messenger.” This makes little difference, however, as to the meaning; for it denotes the prophets who should bring the glad and cheering message of this deliverance, as God had formerly promised by Moses, that he would raise up, in uninterrupted succession, faithful ministers who should surpass all the magicians, and soothsayers, and diviners. (Deuteronomy 18:15.) For this reason also he formerly bestowed on the Church a remarkable appellation, calling her “a bearer of tidings,” (Isaiah 40:9,) because in the Church the word of God ought to sound aloud.

This tends greatly to the commendation of preaching; for the Lord does not descend from heaven to instruct us, but employs the ministry of his servants, and declares that he speaks to us by their mouth; and this distinguished blessing of God ought to be embraced with our whole heart. He had promised in the Law, as I mentioned a little before,

“I will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you.” (Deuteronomy 18:15.)

He now confirms that promise, by saying that there shall never be wanting “messengers” to soothe the people amidst their griefs, and to comfort them amidst their severest afflictions. Hence also we ought to conclude, that there is no condition of the Church in which prophecies cease; that is, in which the word of God brings no alleviation of our distresses.

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