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Teks -- Isaiah 40:1-31 (NET)

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Konteks
The Lord Returns to Jerusalem
40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God. 40:2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem, and tell her that her time of warfare is over, that her punishment is completed. For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.” 40:3 A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; construct in the desert a road for our God. 40:4 Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. 40:5 The splendor of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the Lord has decreed it.” 40:6 A voice says, “Cry out!” Another asks, “What should I cry out?” The first voice responds: “All people are like grass, and all their promises are like the flowers in the field. 40:7 The grass dries up, the flowers wither, when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them. Surely humanity is like grass. 40:8 The grass dries up, the flowers wither, but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” 40:9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion! Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! Shout, don’t be afraid! Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” 40:10 Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; his military power establishes his rule. Look, his reward is with him; his prize goes before him. 40:11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock; he gathers up the lambs with his arm; he carries them close to his heart; he leads the ewes along.
The Lord is Incomparable
40:12 Who has measured out the waters in the hollow of his hand, or carefully measured the sky, or carefully weighed the soil of the earth, or weighed the mountains in a balance, or the hills on scales? 40:13 Who comprehends the mind of the Lord, or gives him instruction as his counselor? 40:14 From whom does he receive directions? Who teaches him the correct way to do things, or imparts knowledge to him, or instructs him in skillful design? 40:15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales. He lifts the coastlands as if they were dust. 40:16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice; its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings. 40:17 All the nations are insignificant before him; they are regarded as absolutely nothing. 40:18 To whom can you compare God? To what image can you liken him? 40:19 A craftsman casts an idol; a metalsmith overlays it with gold and forges silver chains for it. 40:20 To make a contribution one selects wood that will not rot; he then seeks a skilled craftsman to make an idol that will not fall over. 40:21 Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told to you since the very beginning? Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made? 40:22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, and spreads it out like a pitched tent. 40:23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing; he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant. 40:24 Indeed, they are barely planted; yes, they are barely sown; yes, they barely take root in the earth, and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up, and the wind carries them away like straw. 40:25 “To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?” says the Holy One. 40:26 Look up at the sky! Who created all these heavenly lights? He is the one who leads out their ranks; he calls them all by name. Because of his absolute power and awesome strength, not one of them is missing. 40:27 Why do you say, Jacob, Why do you say, Israel, “The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, My God is not concerned with my vindication”? 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is an eternal God, the creator of the whole earth. He does not get tired or weary; there is no limit to his wisdom. 40:29 He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. 40:30 Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · Israel a citizen of Israel.,a member of the nation of Israel
 · Jacob the second so of a pair of twins born to Isaac and Rebeccaa; ancestor of the 12 tribes of Israel,the nation of Israel,a person, male,son of Isaac; Israel the man and nation
 · Jerusalem the capital city of Israel,a town; the capital of Israel near the southern border of Benjamin
 · Judah the son of Jacob and Leah; founder of the tribe of Judah,a tribe, the land/country,a son of Joseph; the father of Simeon; an ancestor of Jesus,son of Jacob/Israel and Leah; founder of the tribe of Judah,the tribe of Judah,citizens of the southern kingdom of Judah,citizens of the Persian Province of Judah; the Jews who had returned from Babylonian exile,"house of Judah", a phrase which highlights the political leadership of the tribe of Judah,"king of Judah", a phrase which relates to the southern kingdom of Judah,"kings of Judah", a phrase relating to the southern kingdom of Judah,"princes of Judah", a phrase relating to the kingdom of Judah,the territory allocated to the tribe of Judah, and also the extended territory of the southern kingdom of Judah,the Province of Judah under Persian rule,"hill country of Judah", the relatively cool and green central highlands of the territory of Judah,"the cities of Judah",the language of the Jews; Hebrew,head of a family of Levites who returned from Exile,a Levite who put away his heathen wife,a man who was second in command of Jerusalem; son of Hassenuah of Benjamin,a Levite in charge of the songs of thanksgiving in Nehemiah's time,a leader who helped dedicate Nehemiah's wall,a Levite musician who helped Zechariah of Asaph dedicate Nehemiah's wall
 · Lebanon a mountain range and the adjoining regions (IBD)
 · Zion one of the hills on which Jerusalem was built; the temple area; the city of Jerusalem; God's people,a town and citidel; an ancient part of Jerusalem


Topik/Tema Kamus: ISRAEL, RELIGION OF, 2 | JEREMIAH (2) | ISAIAH, 8-9 | ISAIAH, 1-7 | BIBLE, THE, IV CANONICITY | CHOOSE; CHOSEN | JOB, BOOK OF | JOHN, GOSPEL OF | ZEPHANIAH, BOOK OF | Readings, Select | PROPHECY; PROPHETS, 3 | PROPHECY; PROPHETS, 2 | LEVITICUS, 2 | PHILOSOPHY | ATONEMENT | MESSIAH | Isaiah, The Book of | God | Idolatry | Jesus, The Christ | selebihnya
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Catatan Kata/Frasa
Wesley , JFB , Clarke , Calvin , Defender , TSK

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Poole , PBC , Haydock , Gill

Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki
NET Notes , Geneva Bible

Catatan Rentang Ayat
Maclaren , MHCC , Matthew Henry , Keil-Delitzsch , Constable , Guzik

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Wesley: Isa 40:1 - Ye Ye prophets and ministers.

Ye prophets and ministers.

Wesley: Isa 40:2 - Warfare The time of her captivity, and misery.

The time of her captivity, and misery.

Wesley: Isa 40:2 - Double Not twice as much as her sins deserved, but abundantly enough to answer God's design in this chastisement, which was to humble and reform them, and to...

Not twice as much as her sins deserved, but abundantly enough to answer God's design in this chastisement, which was to humble and reform them, and to warn others by their example.

Wesley: Isa 40:3 - The voice An abrupt speech. Methinks I hear a voice.

An abrupt speech. Methinks I hear a voice.

Wesley: Isa 40:3 - Wilderness This immediately relates to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and smoothing their passage from thence to Judea, which lay through a great wi...

This immediately relates to the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and smoothing their passage from thence to Judea, which lay through a great wilderness; but principally to their redemption by the Messiah, whose coming was ushered in by the cry of John the baptist, in the wilderness.

Wesley: Isa 40:3 - Prepare ye the way You to whom this work belongs. He alludes to the custom of princes who send pioneers before them to prepare the way through which they are to pass. Th...

You to whom this work belongs. He alludes to the custom of princes who send pioneers before them to prepare the way through which they are to pass. The meaning is, God shall by his spirit so dispose mens hearts, and by his providence so order the affairs of the world, as to make way for the accomplishment of his promise. This was eminently fulfilled, when Christ, who was, and is God, blessed for ever, came into the world in a visible manner.

Wesley: Isa 40:6 - Cry God speaks unto his ministers.

God speaks unto his ministers.

Wesley: Isa 40:6 - He The prophet.

The prophet.

Wesley: Isa 40:6 - All flesh The prophet having foretold glorious things, confirms the certainty of them, by representing the vast difference between the nature, and word, and wor...

The prophet having foretold glorious things, confirms the certainty of them, by representing the vast difference between the nature, and word, and work of men and of God. All that men are or have, yea, their highest accomplishments, are but like the grass of the field, weak and vanishing, soon nipt and brought to nothing; but God's word is like himself, immutable and irresistible: and therefore as the mouth of the Lord, and not of man, hath spoken these things, so doubt not but they shall be fulfilled.

Wesley: Isa 40:9 - Zion Zion or Jerusalem is the publisher, and the cities of Judah the hearers.

Zion or Jerusalem is the publisher, and the cities of Judah the hearers.

Wesley: Isa 40:9 - Get up That thy voice may be better heard.

That thy voice may be better heard.

Wesley: Isa 40:9 - Afraid Lest thou shouldest be found a false prophet.

Lest thou shouldest be found a false prophet.

Wesley: Isa 40:9 - Say To all my people in the several places of their abode.

To all my people in the several places of their abode.

Wesley: Isa 40:9 - Behold Take notice of this wonderful work, and glorious appearance of your God.

Take notice of this wonderful work, and glorious appearance of your God.

Wesley: Isa 40:10 - His arm He shall need no succours, for his own power shall be sufficient to govern his people, and to destroy his adversaries.

He shall need no succours, for his own power shall be sufficient to govern his people, and to destroy his adversaries.

Wesley: Isa 40:10 - His reward He comes furnished with recompences as well of blessings for his friends, as of vengeance for his enemies.

He comes furnished with recompences as well of blessings for his friends, as of vengeance for his enemies.

Wesley: Isa 40:10 - His work He carries on his work effectually: for that is said in scripture to be before a man which is in his power.

He carries on his work effectually: for that is said in scripture to be before a man which is in his power.

Wesley: Isa 40:12 - Who hath Who can do this but God? And this discourse of God's infinite power and wisdom, is added to give them the greater assurance, that God was able to do t...

Who can do this but God? And this discourse of God's infinite power and wisdom, is added to give them the greater assurance, that God was able to do the wonderful things, he had promised.

Wesley: Isa 40:13 - Who Who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world.

Who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world.

Wesley: Isa 40:15 - Are counted By him, and in comparison of him.

By him, and in comparison of him.

Wesley: Isa 40:15 - The dust Which accidentally cleaves to the balance, but makes no alteration in the weight.

Which accidentally cleaves to the balance, but makes no alteration in the weight.

Wesley: Isa 40:15 - The isles Those numerous and vast countries, to which they went from Judea by sea, which are commonly called isles.

Those numerous and vast countries, to which they went from Judea by sea, which are commonly called isles.

Wesley: Isa 40:16 - Lebanon If men were to offer a sacrifice agreeable to his infinite excellency, the whole forest of Lebanon could not afford either a sufficient number of beas...

If men were to offer a sacrifice agreeable to his infinite excellency, the whole forest of Lebanon could not afford either a sufficient number of beasts to be sacrificed: or, a sufficient quantity of wood to consume the sacrifice.

Wesley: Isa 40:18 - To whom This is a proper inference from the foregoing discourse of God's infinite greatness; from whence he takes occasion to shew both the folly of those tha...

This is a proper inference from the foregoing discourse of God's infinite greatness; from whence he takes occasion to shew both the folly of those that make mean and visible representations of God, and the utter inability of men or idols to give any opposition to God.

Wesley: Isa 40:19 - Melteth He melts metal into a mould, which afterwards is graven or carved to make it more exact.

He melts metal into a mould, which afterwards is graven or carved to make it more exact.

Wesley: Isa 40:20 - He That can hardly procure money to buy a sacrifice.

That can hardly procure money to buy a sacrifice.

Wesley: Isa 40:20 - Chuseth He is so mad upon his idols, that he will find money to procure the choicest materials, and the best artist to make his idol.

He is so mad upon his idols, that he will find money to procure the choicest materials, and the best artist to make his idol.

Wesley: Isa 40:20 - An image Which after all this cost, cannot stir one step out of its place to give you any help.

Which after all this cost, cannot stir one step out of its place to give you any help.

Wesley: Isa 40:21 - Known God to be the only true God, the maker and governor of the world.

God to be the only true God, the maker and governor of the world.

Wesley: Isa 40:22 - Sitteth Far above this round earth, even in the highest heavens; from whence he looketh down upon the earth, where men appear to him like grasshoppers. As her...

Far above this round earth, even in the highest heavens; from whence he looketh down upon the earth, where men appear to him like grasshoppers. As here we have the circle of the earth, so elsewhere we read of the circle of heaven, Job 22:14, and of the circle of the deep, or sea, Pro 8:27, because the form of the heaven, and earth and sea is circular.

Wesley: Isa 40:22 - Spreadeth For the benefit of the earth and of mankind, that all parts might partake of its comfortable influences.

For the benefit of the earth and of mankind, that all parts might partake of its comfortable influences.

Wesley: Isa 40:24 - Sown They shall take no root, for planting and sowing are in order to taking root. They shall not continue and flourish, as they have vainly imagined, but ...

They shall take no root, for planting and sowing are in order to taking root. They shall not continue and flourish, as they have vainly imagined, but shall be rooted up and perish.

Wesley: Isa 40:26 - Bringeth That at first brought them out of nothing, and from day to day brings them forth, making them to rise and set in their appointed times.

That at first brought them out of nothing, and from day to day brings them forth, making them to rise and set in their appointed times.

Wesley: Isa 40:26 - Faileth Either to appear when he calls them; or to do the work to which he sends them.

Either to appear when he calls them; or to do the work to which he sends them.

Wesley: Isa 40:27 - What Why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power and wisdom, and goodness, there are such evident demonstrations.

Why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power and wisdom, and goodness, there are such evident demonstrations.

Wesley: Isa 40:27 - Is hid He takes no notice of my prayers and tears, and sufferings, but suffers mine enemies to abuse me at their pleasure. This complaint is uttered in the n...

He takes no notice of my prayers and tears, and sufferings, but suffers mine enemies to abuse me at their pleasure. This complaint is uttered in the name of the people, being prophetically supposed to be in captivity.

Wesley: Isa 40:27 - Judgment My cause. God has neglected to plead my cause, and to give judgment for me against mine enemies.

My cause. God has neglected to plead my cause, and to give judgment for me against mine enemies.

Wesley: Isa 40:30 - The youths The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves.

The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves.

Wesley: Isa 40:31 - Wait That rely upon him.

That rely upon him.

Wesley: Isa 40:31 - Renew Shall grow stronger and stronger.

Shall grow stronger and stronger.

JFB: Isa 40:1 - Comfort ye, comfort ye Twice repeated to give double assurance. Having announced the coming captivity of the Jews in Babylon, God now desires His servants, the prophets (Isa...

Twice repeated to give double assurance. Having announced the coming captivity of the Jews in Babylon, God now desires His servants, the prophets (Isa 52:7), to comfort them. The scene is laid in Babylon; the time, near the close of the captivity; the ground of comfort is the speedy ending of the captivity, the Lord Himself being their leader.

JFB: Isa 40:1 - my people . . . your God Correlatives (Jer 31:33; Hos 1:9-10). It is God's covenant relation with His people, and His "word" of promise (Isa 40:8) to their forefathers, which ...

Correlatives (Jer 31:33; Hos 1:9-10). It is God's covenant relation with His people, and His "word" of promise (Isa 40:8) to their forefathers, which is the ground of His interposition in their behalf, after having for a time chastised them (Isa 54:8).

JFB: Isa 40:2 - comfortably Literally, "to the heart"; not merely to the intellect.

Literally, "to the heart"; not merely to the intellect.

JFB: Isa 40:2 - Jerusalem Jerusalem though then in ruins, regarded by God as about to be rebuilt; her people are chiefly meant, but the city is personified.

Jerusalem though then in ruins, regarded by God as about to be rebuilt; her people are chiefly meant, but the city is personified.

JFB: Isa 40:2 - cry Publicly and emphatically as a herald cries aloud (Isa 40:3).

Publicly and emphatically as a herald cries aloud (Isa 40:3).

JFB: Isa 40:2 - warfare Or, the appointed time of her misery (Job 7:1, Margin; Job 14:14; Dan 10:1). The ulterior and Messianic reference probably is the definite time when t...

Or, the appointed time of her misery (Job 7:1, Margin; Job 14:14; Dan 10:1). The ulterior and Messianic reference probably is the definite time when the legal economy of burdensome rites is at an end (Gal 4:3-4).

JFB: Isa 40:2 - pardoned The Hebrew expresses that her iniquity is so expiated that God now delights in restoring her.

The Hebrew expresses that her iniquity is so expiated that God now delights in restoring her.

JFB: Isa 40:2 - double for all her sins This can only, in a very restricted sense, hold good of Judah's restoration after the first captivity. For how can it be said her "warfare was accompl...

This can only, in a very restricted sense, hold good of Judah's restoration after the first captivity. For how can it be said her "warfare was accomplished," when as yet the galling yoke of Antiochus and also of Rome was before them? The "double for her sins" must refer to the twofold captivity, the Assyrian and the Roman; at the coming close of this latter dispersion, and then only, can her "iniquity" be said to be "pardoned," or fully expiated [HOUBIGANT]. It does not mean double as much as she deserved, but ample punishment in her twofold captivity. Messiah is the antitypical Israel (compare Mat 2:15, with Hos 11:1). He indeed has "received" of sufferings amply more than enough to expiate "for our sins" (Rom 5:15, Rom 5:17). Otherwise (cry unto her) "that she shall receive (blessings) of the Lord's hand double to the punishment of all her sins" (so "sin" is used, Zec 14:19, Margin) [LOWTH]. The English Version is simpler.

JFB: Isa 40:3 - crieth in the wilderness So the Septuagint and Mat 3:3 connect the words. The Hebrew accents, however, connect them thus: "In the wilderness prepare ye," &c., and the parallel...

So the Septuagint and Mat 3:3 connect the words. The Hebrew accents, however, connect them thus: "In the wilderness prepare ye," &c., and the parallelism also requires this, "Prepare ye in the wilderness," answering to "make straight in the desert." Matthew was entitled, as under inspiration, to vary the connection, so as to bring out another sense, included in the Holy Spirit's intention; in Mat 3:1, "John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness," answers thus to "The voice of one crying in the wilderness." MAURER takes the participle as put for the finite verb (so in Isa 40:6), "A voice crieth." The clause, "in the wilderness," alludes to Israel's passage through it from Egypt to Canaan (Psa 68:7), Jehovah being their leader; so it shall be at the coming restoration of Israel, of which the restoration from Babylon was but a type (not the full realization; for their way from it was not through the "wilderness"). Where John preached (namely, in the wilderness; the type of this earth, a moral wilderness), there were the hearers who are ordered to prepare the way of the Lord, and there was to be the coming of the Lord [BENGEL]. John, though he was immediately followed by the suffering Messiah, is rather the herald of the coming reigning Messiah, as Mal 4:5-6 ("before the great and dreadful day of the Lord"), proves. Mat 17:11 (compare Act 3:21) implies that John is not exclusively meant; and that though in one sense Elias has come, in another he is yet to come. John was the figurative Elias, coming "in the spirit and power of Elias" (Luk 1:17); Joh 1:21, where John the Baptist denies that he was the actual Elias, accords with this view. Mal 4:5-6 cannot have received its exhaustive fulfilment in John; the Jews always understood it of the literal Elijah. As there is another consummating advent of Messiah Himself, so perhaps there is to be of his forerunner Elias, who also was present at the transfiguration.

JFB: Isa 40:3 - the Lord Hebrew, Jehovah; as this is applied to Jesus, He must be Jehovah (Mat 3:3).

Hebrew, Jehovah; as this is applied to Jesus, He must be Jehovah (Mat 3:3).

JFB: Isa 40:4 - -- Eastern monarchs send heralds before them in a journey to clear away obstacles, make causeways over valleys, and level hills. So John's duty was to br...

Eastern monarchs send heralds before them in a journey to clear away obstacles, make causeways over valleys, and level hills. So John's duty was to bring back the people to obedience to the law and to remove all self-confidence, pride in national privileges, hypocrisy, and irreligion, so that they should be ready for His coming (Mal 4:6; Luk 1:17).

JFB: Isa 40:4 - crooked Declivities.  

Declivities.  

JFB: Isa 40:5 - see it The Septuagint for "it," has "the salvation of God." So Luk 3:6 (compare Luk 2:30, that is, Messiah); but the Evangelist probably took these words fro...

The Septuagint for "it," has "the salvation of God." So Luk 3:6 (compare Luk 2:30, that is, Messiah); but the Evangelist probably took these words from Isa 52:10.

JFB: Isa 40:5 - for Rather, "All flesh shall see that the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it" [BENGEL].

Rather, "All flesh shall see that the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken it" [BENGEL].

JFB: Isa 40:6 - The voice The same divine herald as in Isa 40:3.

The same divine herald as in Isa 40:3.

JFB: Isa 40:6 - he One of those ministers or prophets (see on Isa 40:1) whose duty it was, by direction of "the voice," to "comfort the Lord's afflicted people with the ...

One of those ministers or prophets (see on Isa 40:1) whose duty it was, by direction of "the voice," to "comfort the Lord's afflicted people with the promises of brighter days."

JFB: Isa 40:6 - All flesh is grass The connection is, "All human things, however goodly, are transitory: God's promises alone steadfast" (Isa 40:8, Isa 40:15, Isa 40:17, Isa 40:23-24); ...

The connection is, "All human things, however goodly, are transitory: God's promises alone steadfast" (Isa 40:8, Isa 40:15, Isa 40:17, Isa 40:23-24); this contrast was already suggested in Isa 40:5, "All flesh . . . the mouth of the Lord." 1Pe 1:24-25 applies this passage distinctly to the gospel word of Messiah (compare Joh 12:24; Jam 1:10).

JFB: Isa 40:7 - spirit of the Lord Rather, "wind of Jehovah" (Psa 103:16). The withering east wind of those countries sent by Jehovah (Jon 4:8).

Rather, "wind of Jehovah" (Psa 103:16). The withering east wind of those countries sent by Jehovah (Jon 4:8).

JFB: Isa 40:7 - the people Rather, "this people" [LOWTH], which may refer to the Babylonians [ROSENMULLER]; but better, mankind in general, as in Isa 42:5, so Isa 40:6, "all fle...

Rather, "this people" [LOWTH], which may refer to the Babylonians [ROSENMULLER]; but better, mankind in general, as in Isa 42:5, so Isa 40:6, "all flesh"; this whole race, that is, man.

JFB: Isa 40:9 - -- Rather, "Oh, thou that bringest good things to Zion; thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem." "Thou" is thus the collective personification of t...

Rather, "Oh, thou that bringest good things to Zion; thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem." "Thou" is thus the collective personification of the messengers who announce God's gracious purpose to Zion (see on Isa 40:1); Isa 52:7 confirms this [Vulgate and GESENIUS]. If English Version be retained, the sense will be the glad message was first to be proclaimed to Jerusalem, and then from it as the center to all "Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth" (Luk 24:47, Luk 24:49; Act 1:8) [VITRINGA and HENGSTENBERG].

JFB: Isa 40:9 - mountain It was customary for those who were about to promulgate any great thing, to ascend a hill from which they could be seen and heard by all (Jdg 9:7; Mat...

It was customary for those who were about to promulgate any great thing, to ascend a hill from which they could be seen and heard by all (Jdg 9:7; Mat 5:1).

JFB: Isa 40:9 - be not afraid To announce to the exiles that their coming return home is attended with danger in the midst of the Babylonians. The gospel minister must "open his mo...

To announce to the exiles that their coming return home is attended with danger in the midst of the Babylonians. The gospel minister must "open his mouth boldly" (Pro 29:25; Eph 6:19).

JFB: Isa 40:9 - Behold Especially at His second coming (Zec 12:10; Zec 14:5).

Especially at His second coming (Zec 12:10; Zec 14:5).

JFB: Isa 40:10 - with strong hand Or, "against the strong"; rather, "as a strong one" [MAURER]. Or, against the strong one, namely, Satan (Mat 12:29; Rev 20:2-3, Rev 20:10) [VITRINGA].

Or, "against the strong"; rather, "as a strong one" [MAURER]. Or, against the strong one, namely, Satan (Mat 12:29; Rev 20:2-3, Rev 20:10) [VITRINGA].

JFB: Isa 40:10 - arm Power (Psa 89:13; Psa 98:1).

Power (Psa 89:13; Psa 98:1).

JFB: Isa 40:10 - for him That is, He needs not to seek help for Himself from any external source, but by His own inherent power He gains rule for Himself (so Isa 40:14).

That is, He needs not to seek help for Himself from any external source, but by His own inherent power He gains rule for Himself (so Isa 40:14).

JFB: Isa 40:10 - work Or, "recompense for his work"; rather, "recompense which He gives for work" (Isa 62:11; Rev 22:12).

Or, "recompense for his work"; rather, "recompense which He gives for work" (Isa 62:11; Rev 22:12).

JFB: Isa 40:11 - feed Including all a shepherd's care--"tend" (Eze 34:23; Psa 23:1; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25).

Including all a shepherd's care--"tend" (Eze 34:23; Psa 23:1; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25).

JFB: Isa 40:11 - carry Applicable to Messiah's restoration of Israel, as sheep scattered in all lands, and unable to move of themselves to their own land (Psa 80:1; Jer 23:3...

Applicable to Messiah's restoration of Israel, as sheep scattered in all lands, and unable to move of themselves to their own land (Psa 80:1; Jer 23:3). As Israel was "carried from the womb" (that is, in its earliest days) (Isa 63:9, Isa 63:11-12; Psa 77:20), so it shall be in "old age" (that is, its latter days) (Isa 46:3-4).

JFB: Isa 40:11 - gently lead As a thoughtful shepherd does the ewes "giving suck" (Margin) (Gen 33:13-14).

As a thoughtful shepherd does the ewes "giving suck" (Margin) (Gen 33:13-14).

JFB: Isa 40:12 - -- Lest the Jews should suppose that He who was just before described as a "shepherd" is a mere man, He is now described as GOD.

Lest the Jews should suppose that He who was just before described as a "shepherd" is a mere man, He is now described as GOD.

JFB: Isa 40:12 - Who Who else but GOD could do so? Therefore, though the redemption and restoration of His people, foretold here, was a work beyond man's power, they shoul...

Who else but GOD could do so? Therefore, though the redemption and restoration of His people, foretold here, was a work beyond man's power, they should not doubt its fulfilment since all things are possible to Him who can accurately regulate the proportion of the waters as if He had measured them with His hand (compare Isa 40:15). But MAURER translates: "Who can measure," &c., that is, How immeasurable are the works of God? The former is a better explanation (Job 28:25; Pro 30:4).

JFB: Isa 40:12 - span The space from the end of the thumb to the end of the middle finger extended; God measures the vast heavens as one would measure a small object with h...

The space from the end of the thumb to the end of the middle finger extended; God measures the vast heavens as one would measure a small object with his span.

JFB: Isa 40:12 - dust of the earth All the earth is to Him but as a few grains of dust contained in a small measure (literally, "the third part of a larger measure").

All the earth is to Him but as a few grains of dust contained in a small measure (literally, "the third part of a larger measure").

JFB: Isa 40:12 - hills in a balance Adjusted in their right proportions and places, as exactly as if He had weighed them out.

Adjusted in their right proportions and places, as exactly as if He had weighed them out.

JFB: Isa 40:13 - -- Quoted in Rom 11:34; 1Co 2:16. The Hebrew here for "directed" is the same as in Isa 40:12 for "meted out"; thus the sense is, "Jehovah measures out he...

Quoted in Rom 11:34; 1Co 2:16. The Hebrew here for "directed" is the same as in Isa 40:12 for "meted out"; thus the sense is, "Jehovah measures out heaven with His span"; but who can measure Him? that is, Who can search out His Spirit (mind) wherewith He searches out and accurately adjusts all things? MAURER rightly takes the Hebrew in the same sense as in Isa 40:12 (so Pro 16:2; Pro 21:2), "weigh," "ponder." "Direct," as in English Version, answers, however, better to "taught" in the parallel clause.

JFB: Isa 40:14 - path of judgment His wisdom, whereby He so beautifully adjusts the places and proportions of all created things.

His wisdom, whereby He so beautifully adjusts the places and proportions of all created things.

JFB: Isa 40:15 - of Rather, (hanging) from a bucket [MAURER].

Rather, (hanging) from a bucket [MAURER].

JFB: Isa 40:15 - he taketh up . . . as a very little thing Rather, "are as a mere grain of dust which is taken up," namely, by the wind; literally, "one taketh up," impersonally (Exo 16:14) [MAURER].

Rather, "are as a mere grain of dust which is taken up," namely, by the wind; literally, "one taketh up," impersonally (Exo 16:14) [MAURER].

JFB: Isa 40:15 - isles Rather, "lands" in general, answering to "the nations" in the parallel clause; perhaps lands, like Mesopotamia, enclosed by rivers [JEROME] (so Isa 42...

Rather, "lands" in general, answering to "the nations" in the parallel clause; perhaps lands, like Mesopotamia, enclosed by rivers [JEROME] (so Isa 42:15). However, English Version, "isles" answers well to "mountains" (Isa 40:12), both alike being lifted up by the power of God; in fact, "isles" are mountains upheaved from the bed of the sea by volcanic agency; only that he seems here to have passed from unintelligent creatures (Isa 40:12) to intelligent, as nations and lands, that is, their inhabitants.

JFB: Isa 40:16 - -- All Lebanon's forest would not supply fuel enough to burn sacrifices worthy of the glory of God (Isa 66:1; 1Ki 8:27; Psa 50:8-13).

All Lebanon's forest would not supply fuel enough to burn sacrifices worthy of the glory of God (Isa 66:1; 1Ki 8:27; Psa 50:8-13).

JFB: Isa 40:16 - beasts Which abounded in Lebanon.

Which abounded in Lebanon.

JFB: Isa 40:17 - -- (Psa 62:9; Dan 4:35).

JFB: Isa 40:17 - less than nothing MAURER translates, as in Isa 41:24, "of nothing" (partitively; or expressive of the nature of a thing), a mere nothing.

MAURER translates, as in Isa 41:24, "of nothing" (partitively; or expressive of the nature of a thing), a mere nothing.

JFB: Isa 40:17 - vanity Emptiness.

Emptiness.

JFB: Isa 40:18 - -- Which of the heathen idols, then, is to be compared to this Almighty God? This passage, if not written (as BARNES thinks) so late as the idolatrous ti...

Which of the heathen idols, then, is to be compared to this Almighty God? This passage, if not written (as BARNES thinks) so late as the idolatrous times of Manasseh, has at least a prospective warning reference to them and subsequent reigns; the result of the chastisement of Jewish idolatry in the Babylonish captivity was that thenceforth after the restoration the Jews never fell into it. Perhaps these prophecies here may have tended to that result (see 2Ki 23:26-27).

JFB: Isa 40:19 - graven Rather, an image in general; for it is incongruous to say "melteth" (that is, casts out of metal) a graven image (that is, one of carved wood); so Jer...

Rather, an image in general; for it is incongruous to say "melteth" (that is, casts out of metal) a graven image (that is, one of carved wood); so Jer 10:14, "molten image."

JFB: Isa 40:19 - spreadeth it over (See on Isa 30:22).

(See on Isa 30:22).

JFB: Isa 40:19 - chains An ornament lavishly worn by rich Orientals (Isa 3:18-19), and so transferred to their idols. Egyptian relics show that idols were suspended in houses...

An ornament lavishly worn by rich Orientals (Isa 3:18-19), and so transferred to their idols. Egyptian relics show that idols were suspended in houses by chains.

JFB: Isa 40:20 - impoverished Literally, "sunk" in circumstances.

Literally, "sunk" in circumstances.

JFB: Isa 40:20 - no oblation He who cannot afford to overlay his idol with gold and silver (Isa 40:19).

He who cannot afford to overlay his idol with gold and silver (Isa 40:19).

JFB: Isa 40:20 - tree . . . not rot The cedar, cypress, oak, or ash (Isa 44:14).

The cedar, cypress, oak, or ash (Isa 44:14).

JFB: Isa 40:20 - graven Of wood; not a molten one of metal.

Of wood; not a molten one of metal.

JFB: Isa 40:20 - not be moved That shall be durable.

That shall be durable.

JFB: Isa 40:21 - ye Who worship idols. The question emphatically implies, they had known.

Who worship idols. The question emphatically implies, they had known.

JFB: Isa 40:21 - from the beginning (Isa 41:4, Isa 41:26; Isa 48:16). God is the beginning (Rev 1:8). The tradition handed down from the very first, of the creation of all things by God...

(Isa 41:4, Isa 41:26; Isa 48:16). God is the beginning (Rev 1:8). The tradition handed down from the very first, of the creation of all things by God at the beginning, ought to convince you of His omnipotence and of the folly of idolatry.

JFB: Isa 40:22 - It is he Rather, connected with last verse, "Have ye not known?"--have ye not understood Him that sitteth . . .? (Isa 40:26) [MAURER].

Rather, connected with last verse, "Have ye not known?"--have ye not understood Him that sitteth . . .? (Isa 40:26) [MAURER].

JFB: Isa 40:22 - circle Applicable to the globular form of the earth, above which, and the vault of sky around it, He sits. For "upon" translate "above."

Applicable to the globular form of the earth, above which, and the vault of sky around it, He sits. For "upon" translate "above."

JFB: Isa 40:22 - as grasshoppers Or locusts in His sight (Num 13:33), as He looks down from on high (Psa 33:13-14; Psa 113:4-6).

Or locusts in His sight (Num 13:33), as He looks down from on high (Psa 33:13-14; Psa 113:4-6).

JFB: Isa 40:22 - curtain Referring to the awning which the Orientals draw over the open court in the center of their houses as a shelter in rain or hot weather.

Referring to the awning which the Orientals draw over the open court in the center of their houses as a shelter in rain or hot weather.

JFB: Isa 40:23 - -- (Psa 107:4; Dan 2:21).

JFB: Isa 40:23 - judges That is, rulers; for these exercised judicial authority (Psa 2:10). The Hebrew, shophtee, answers to the Carthaginian chief magistrates, suffetes.

That is, rulers; for these exercised judicial authority (Psa 2:10). The Hebrew, shophtee, answers to the Carthaginian chief magistrates, suffetes.

JFB: Isa 40:24 - they The "princes and judges" (Isa 40:23) who oppose God's purposes and God's people. Often compared to tall trees (Psa 37:35; Dan 4:10).

The "princes and judges" (Isa 40:23) who oppose God's purposes and God's people. Often compared to tall trees (Psa 37:35; Dan 4:10).

JFB: Isa 40:24 - not . . . sown The seed, that is, race shall become extinct (Nah 1:14).

The seed, that is, race shall become extinct (Nah 1:14).

JFB: Isa 40:24 - stock Not even shall any shoots spring up from the stump when the tree has been cut down: no descendants whatever (Job 14:7; see on Isa 11:1).

Not even shall any shoots spring up from the stump when the tree has been cut down: no descendants whatever (Job 14:7; see on Isa 11:1).

JFB: Isa 40:24 - and . . . also So the Septuagint. But MAURER translates, "They are hardly (literally, 'not yet', as in 2Ki 20:4) planted (&c.) when He (God) blows upon them."

So the Septuagint. But MAURER translates, "They are hardly (literally, 'not yet', as in 2Ki 20:4) planted (&c.) when He (God) blows upon them."

JFB: Isa 40:24 - blow The image is from the hot east wind (simoon) that "withers" vegetation.

The image is from the hot east wind (simoon) that "withers" vegetation.

JFB: Isa 40:24 - whirlwind . . . stubble (Psa 83:13), where, "like a wheel," refers to the rotatory action of the whirlwind on the stubble.

(Psa 83:13), where, "like a wheel," refers to the rotatory action of the whirlwind on the stubble.

JFB: Isa 40:25 - -- (Compare Isa 40:18).

(Compare Isa 40:18).

JFB: Isa 40:26 - bringeth out . . . host Image from a general reviewing his army: He is Lord of Sabaoth, the heavenly hosts (Job 38:32).

Image from a general reviewing his army: He is Lord of Sabaoth, the heavenly hosts (Job 38:32).

JFB: Isa 40:26 - calleth . . . by names Numerous as the stars are. God knows each in all its distinguishing characteristics--a sense which "name" often bears in Scripture; so in Gen 2:19-20,...

Numerous as the stars are. God knows each in all its distinguishing characteristics--a sense which "name" often bears in Scripture; so in Gen 2:19-20, Adam, as God's vicegerent, called the beasts by name, that is, characterized them by their several qualities, which, indeed, He has imparted.

JFB: Isa 40:26 - by the greatness . . . faileth Rather, "by reason of abundance of (their inner essential) force and firmness of strength, not one of them is driven astray"; referring to the suffici...

Rather, "by reason of abundance of (their inner essential) force and firmness of strength, not one of them is driven astray"; referring to the sufficiency of the physical forces with which He has endowed the heavenly bodies, to prevent all disorder in their motions [HORSLEY]. In English Version the sense is, "He has endowed them with their peculiar attributes ('names') by the greatness of His might," and the power of His strength (the better rendering, instead of, "for that He is strong").

JFB: Isa 40:27 - -- Since these things are so, thou hast no reason to think that thine interest ("way," that is, condition, Psa 37:5; Jer 12:1) is disregarded by God.

Since these things are so, thou hast no reason to think that thine interest ("way," that is, condition, Psa 37:5; Jer 12:1) is disregarded by God.

JFB: Isa 40:27 - judgment is passed over from Rather, "My cause is neglected by my God; He passes by my case in my bondage and distress without noticing it."

Rather, "My cause is neglected by my God; He passes by my case in my bondage and distress without noticing it."

JFB: Isa 40:27 - my God Who especially might be expected to care for me.

Who especially might be expected to care for me.

JFB: Isa 40:28 - known By thine own observation and reading of Scripture.

By thine own observation and reading of Scripture.

JFB: Isa 40:28 - heard From tradition of the fathers.

From tradition of the fathers.

JFB: Isa 40:28 - everlasting, &c. These attributes of Jehovah ought to inspire His afflicted people with confidence.

These attributes of Jehovah ought to inspire His afflicted people with confidence.

JFB: Isa 40:28 - no searching of his understanding Therefore thy cause cannot, as thou sayest, escape His notice; though much in His ways is unsearchable, He cannot err (Job 11:7-9). He is never "faint...

Therefore thy cause cannot, as thou sayest, escape His notice; though much in His ways is unsearchable, He cannot err (Job 11:7-9). He is never "faint" or "weary" with having the countless wants of His people ever before Him to attend to.

JFB: Isa 40:29 - -- Not only does He "not faint" (Isa 40:28) but He gives power to them who do faint.

Not only does He "not faint" (Isa 40:28) but He gives power to them who do faint.

JFB: Isa 40:29 - no might . . . increaseth strength A seeming paradox. They "have no might" in themselves; but in Him they have strength, and He "increases" that strength (2Co 12:9).

A seeming paradox. They "have no might" in themselves; but in Him they have strength, and He "increases" that strength (2Co 12:9).

JFB: Isa 40:30 - young men Literally, "those selected"; men picked out on account of their youthful vigor for an enterprise.

Literally, "those selected"; men picked out on account of their youthful vigor for an enterprise.

JFB: Isa 40:31 - mount up (2Sa 1:23). Rather, "They shall put forth fresh feathers as eagles" are said to renovate themselves; the parallel clause, "renew their strength," con...

(2Sa 1:23). Rather, "They shall put forth fresh feathers as eagles" are said to renovate themselves; the parallel clause, "renew their strength," confirms this. The eagle was thought to moult and renew his feathers, and with them his strength, in old age (so the Septuagint, Vulgate, Psa 103:5). However, English Version is favored by the descending climax, mount up--run--walk; in every attitude the praying, waiting child of God is "strong in the Lord" (Psa 84:7; Mic 4:5; Heb 12:1).

Clarke: Isa 40:1 - Comfort ye, comfort ye Comfort ye, comfort ye - "The whole of this prophecy,"says Kimchi, "belongs to the days of the Messiah."

Comfort ye, comfort ye - "The whole of this prophecy,"says Kimchi, "belongs to the days of the Messiah."

Clarke: Isa 40:2 - -- Double for all her sins "Blessings double to the punishment"- It does not seem reconcilable to our notions of the Divine justice, which always punis...

Double for all her sins "Blessings double to the punishment"- It does not seem reconcilable to our notions of the Divine justice, which always punishes less than our iniquities deserve, to suppose that God had punished the sins of the Jews in double proportion; and it is more agreeable to the tenor of this consolatory message to understand it as a promise of ample recompense for the effects of past displeasure, on the reconciliation of God to his returning people. To express this sense of the passage, which the words of the original will very well bear, it was necessary to add a word or two in the version to supply the elliptical expression of the Hebrew. Compare Isa 61:7; Job 42:10; Zec 9:12. חטאה chattaah signifies punishment for sin, Lam 3:39; Zec 14:19. But Kimchi says, "Double here means the two captivities and emigrations suffered by the Israelites. The first, the Babylonish captivity; the second, that which they now endure."This is not a bad conjecture.

Clarke: Isa 40:3 - -- The voice of him that crieth to the wilderness "A voice crieth, In the wilderness"- The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, wh...

The voice of him that crieth to the wilderness "A voice crieth, In the wilderness"- The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered upon an expedition or took a journey, especially through desert and unpractised countries, sent harbingers before them to prepare all things for their passage, and pioneers to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. The officers appointed to superintend such preparations the Latins call stratores . Ipse (Johannes Baptista ) se stratorem vocat Messiae, cujus esset alta et elata voce homines in desertis locis habitantes ad itinera et vias Regi mox venturo sternendas et reficiendas hortari . - Mosheim, Instituta, Majora, p. 96. "He (John the Baptist) calls himself the pioneer of the Messiah, whose business it was with a loud voice to call upon the people dwelling in the deserts to level and prepare the roads by which the King was about to march.

Diodorus’ s account of the marches of Semiramis into Media and Persia will give us a clear notion of the preparation of the way for a royal expedition: "In her march to Ecbatana she came to the Zarcean mountain, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without taking a great compass about. Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as of shortening the way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and at a great expense she made a shorter and more expeditious road, which to this day is called from her the road of Semiramis. Afterward she went into Persia, and all the other countries of Asia subject to her dominion; and wherever she went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to be levelled, raised causeways in the plain country, and at a great expense made the ways passable."- Diod. Sic. lib. ii

The writer of the apocryphal book called Baruch expresses the same subject by the same images, either taking them from this place of Isaiah, or from the common notions of his countrymen: "For God hath appointed that every high hill, and banks of long continuance, should be cast down, and valleys filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go safely in the glory of God."Baruch 5:7

The Jewish Church, to which John was sent to announce the coming of Messiah, was at that time in a barren and desert condition, unfit, without reformation, for the reception of her King. It was in this desert country, destitute at that time of all religious cultivation, in true piety and good works unfruitful, that John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord by preaching repentance. I have distinguished the parts of the sentence according to the punctuation of the Masoretes, which agrees best both with the literal and the spiritual sense; which the construction and parallelism of the distich in the Hebrew plainly favors, and of which the Greek of the Septuagint and of the evangelists is equally susceptible. John was born in the desert of Judea, and passed his whole life in it, till the time of his being manifested to Israel. He preached in the same desert: it was a mountainous country; however not entirely and properly a desert; for though less cultivated than other parts of Judea, yet it was not uninhabited. Joshua (Jos 15:61, Jos 15:62) reckons six cities in it. We are so prepossessed with the idea of John’ s living and preaching in the desert, that we are apt to consider this particular scene of his preaching as a very important and essential part of history: whereas I apprehend this circumstance to be no otherwise important, than as giving us a strong idea of the rough character of the man, which was answerable to the place of his education; and as affording a proper emblem of the rude state of the Jewish Church at that time, which was the true wilderness meant by the prophet, in which John was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.

Clarke: Isa 40:4 - Crooked Crooked - The word עקב akob is very generally rendered crooked: but this sense of the word seems not to be supported by any good authority. Lu...

Crooked - The word עקב akob is very generally rendered crooked: but this sense of the word seems not to be supported by any good authority. Ludolphus, Comment. ad Hist. Aethiop. p. 206, says "that in the Ethiopia language it signifies clivus, locus editus :"and so the Syriac Version renders it in this place, ערמא arama : Hebrew, ערמה aramah , tumulus, acervus . Thus the parallelism would be more perfect:"the hilly country shall be made level, and the precipices a smooth plain."

Clarke: Isa 40:5 - -- "The salvation of our God"- These words are added here by the Septuagint: το σωτηριον του Θεου, את ישועת אלהינו eth ...

"The salvation of our God"- These words are added here by the Septuagint: το σωτηριον του Θεου, את ישועת אלהינו eth yesuath Eloheynu , as it is in the parallel place, Isa 52:10. The sentence is abrupt without it, the verb wanting its object; and I think it is genuine. Our English translation has supplied the word it, which is equivalent to this addition, from the Septuagint

This omission in the Hebrew text is ancient, being prior to the Chaldee, Syriac, and Vulgate Versions: but the words stand in all the copies of the Septuagint, and they are acknowledged by Luke, Luk 3:6. The whole of this verse is wanting in one of my oldest MSS.

Clarke: Isa 40:6 - -- The voice saint Cry "A voice saith Proclaim"- To understand rightly this passage is a matter of importance; for it seems designed to give us the tru...

The voice saint Cry "A voice saith Proclaim"- To understand rightly this passage is a matter of importance; for it seems designed to give us the true key to the remaining part of Isaiah’ s prophecies, the general subject of which is the restoration of the people and Church of God. The prophet opens the subject with great clearness and elegance: he declares at once God’ s command to his messengers, (his prophets, as the Chaldee rightly explains it), to comfort his people in captivity, to impart to them the joyful tidings, that their punishment has now satisfied the Divine justice, and the time of reconciliation and favor is at hand. He then introduces a harbinger giving orders to prepare the way for God, leading his people from Babylon, as he did formerly from Egypt, through the wilderness, to remove all obstacles, and to clear the way for their passage

Thus far nothing more appears to be intended than a return from the Babylonish captivity; but the next words seem to intimate something much greater: -

"And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed

And all flesh shall see together the salvation of our God.

He then introduces a voice commanding him to make a solemn proclamation. And what is the import of it? that the people - the flesh, is of a vain temporary nature; that all its glory fadeth, and is soon gone; but that the word of God endureth for ever. What is this, but a plain opposition of the flesh to the spirit; of the carnal Israel to the spiritual; of the temporary Mosaic economy to the eternal Christian dispensation? You may be ready to conclude, (the prophet may be disposed to say), by this introduction to my discourse, that my commission is only to comfort you with a promise of the restoration of your religion and polity, of Jerusalem, of the temple, and its services and worship in all its ancient splendor. These are earthly, temporary, shadowy, fading things, which shall soon pass away, and be destroyed for ever; these are not worthy to engage your attention in comparison of the greater blessings, the spiritual redemption, the eternal inheritance, covered under the veil of the former, which I have it in charge to unfold unto you. The law has only a shadow of good things; the substance is the Gospel. I promise you a restoration of the former, which, however, is only for a time, and shall be done away, according to God’ s original appointment: but under that image I give you a view of the latter, which shall never be done away, but shall endure for ever. This I take to be agreeable to St. Peter’ s interpretation of this passage of the prophet, quoted by him, 1Pe 1:24, 1Pe 1:25 : "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you."This is the same word of the Lord of which Isaiah speaks, which hath now been preached unto you by the Gospel. The law and the Gospel are frequently opposed to one another by St. Paul, under the images of flesh and spirit: "Having begun in the spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?"Gal 3:3. - L

All the Godliness thereof - "All its glory"- For חסדו chasdo read חדו chadu ; the Septuagint and Vulgate, and 1Pe 1:24.

Clarke: Isa 40:7 - The grass withereth The grass withereth - The whole of this verse is wanting in three of Kennicott’ s and five of De Rossi’ s MSS., and in a very correct and ...

The grass withereth - The whole of this verse is wanting in three of Kennicott’ s and five of De Rossi’ s MSS., and in a very correct and ancient MS. of my own, and also in the Septuagint and Arabic

Surely the people "Verily this people"- So the Syriac; who perhaps read העם הזה haam hazzeh

Because the spirit of the Lord "When the wind of Jehovah"- רוח יהוה ruach Jehovah , a wind of Jehovah, is a Hebraism, meaning no more than a strong wind. It is well known that a hot wind in the east destroys every green thing. Compare Psa 103:16. Two MSS. omit the word יהוה Yehovah , Jehovah.

Clarke: Isa 40:9 - -- O Zion, that bringest good tidings "O daughter, that bringest glad tidings to Zion"- That the true construction of the sentence is this, which makes...

O Zion, that bringest good tidings "O daughter, that bringest glad tidings to Zion"- That the true construction of the sentence is this, which makes Zion the receiver, not the publisher, of the glad tidings, which latter has been the most prevailing interpretation, will, I think, very clearly appear, if we rightly consider the image itself, and the custom and common practice from which it is taken. I have added the word daughter to express the feminine gender of the Hebrew participle, which I know not how to do otherwise in our language; and this is absolutely necessary in order to ascertain the image. For the office of announcing and celebrating such glad tidings as are here spoken of, belongs peculiarly to the women. On occasion of any great public success, a signal victory, or any other joyful event, it was usual for the women to gather together, and with music, dances, and songs, to publish and celebrate the happy news. Thus after the passage of the Red Sea, Miriam, and all the women, with timbrels in their hands, formed a chorus, and joined the men in their triumphant song, dancing, and throwing in alternately the refrain or burden of the song: -

"Sing ye to Jehovah, for he is greatly exalted

The horse and his rider hath he cast into the sea.

Exo 15:20, Exo 15:21

So Jephthah’ s daughter collected a chorus or virgins, and with dances and songs came out to meet her father, and to celebrate his victory, Jdg 11:34. After David’ s conquest of Goliath, "all the women came out of the cities of Israel singing and dancing to meet Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music;"and, forming themselves into two choruses, they sang alternately: -

"Saul has slain his thousands

And David his ten thousands.

1Sa 18:6, 1Sa 18:7

And this gives us the true sense of a passage in the sixty-eighth Psalm, which has frequently been misunderstood: -

"Jehovah gave the word, (that is, the joyful news)

The women, who published the glad tidings, were a great company

The kings of mighty armies did flee, did flee

And even the matron, who stayed at home, shared the spoil.

The word signifying the publishers of glad tidings is the same, and expressed in the same form by the feminine participle, as in this place, and the last distich is the song which they sang. So in this place, Jehovah having given the word by his prophet, the joyful tidings of the restoration of Zion, and of God’ s returning to Jerusalem, (see Isa 52:8), the women are exhorted by the prophet to publish the joyful news with a loud voice from eminences, whence they might best be heard all over the country; and the matter and burden of their song was to be, "Behold your God!"See on Psa 68:11 (note).

Clarke: Isa 40:10 - -- His reward is with him, and his work before him. "His reward is with him, and the recompense of his work before him"- That is, the reward and the re...

His reward is with him, and his work before him. "His reward is with him, and the recompense of his work before him"- That is, the reward and the recompense which he bestows, and which he will pay to his faithful servants; this he has ready at hand with him, and holds it out before him, to encourage those who trust in him and wait for him.

Clarke: Isa 40:11 - -- Shall gently lead those that are with young "The nursing ewes shall he gently lead"- A beautiful image, expressing, with the utmost propriety as wel...

Shall gently lead those that are with young "The nursing ewes shall he gently lead"- A beautiful image, expressing, with the utmost propriety as well as elegance, the tender attention of the shepherd to his flock. That the greatest care in driving the cattle in regard to the dams and their young was necessary, appears clearly from Jacob’ s apology to his brother Esau, Gen 33:13 : "The flocks and the herds giving suck to their young are with me; and if they should be overdriven, all the flock will die."Which is set in a still stronger light by the following remark of Sir John Chardin: "Their flocks,"says he, speaking of those who now live in the east after the patriarchal manner, "feed down the places of their encampments so quick, by the great numbers that they have, that they are obliged to remove them too often, which is very destructive to their flocks, on account of the young ones, who have not strength enough to follow."Harmer’ s Observ. i., p. 126.

Clarke: Isa 40:16 - And Lebanon is not sufficient And Lebanon is not sufficient - The image is beautiful and uncommon. It has been imitated by an apocryphal writer, who however comes far short of th...

And Lebanon is not sufficient - The image is beautiful and uncommon. It has been imitated by an apocryphal writer, who however comes far short of the original: -

"For all sacrifice is too little for a sweet savor unto thee

And all the fat is not sufficient for thy burnt-offering.

Judith 16:16

Does not the prophet mean here that all the burnt-offerings and sacrifices that could be offered were insufficient to atone for sin? That the nations were as nothing before him, not merely because of his immensity, but because of their insufficiency to make any atonement by their oblations for the iniquities which they had committed? Therefore the Redeemer was to come to Zion, etc.

Clarke: Isa 40:19 - -- And casteth silver chains "And forgeth for it chains of silver"- For צורף tsoreph , the participle, twenty-seven MSS., five ancient, and three ...

And casteth silver chains "And forgeth for it chains of silver"- For צורף tsoreph , the participle, twenty-seven MSS., five ancient, and three editions, read צרף tsaraph , pret. third person.

Clarke: Isa 40:20 - Chooseth a tree that will not rot Chooseth a tree that will not rot - For what? To make a god out of it! The rich we find made theirs of gold and silver; the poor man was obliged to ...

Chooseth a tree that will not rot - For what? To make a god out of it! The rich we find made theirs of gold and silver; the poor man was obliged to put up with a wooden god! From the words "he that hath no oblation chooseth a tree,"we may learn that the gold and silver necessary to make the graven image was first dedicated, and then formed into a god! How stupid is idolatry! Strange that these people did not perceive that there could be no help in these molten and wooden idols!

Clarke: Isa 40:21 - Have ye not known Have ye not known - On this verse Kimchi has a very interesting comment, an extract of which I subjoin. "The whole world may be considered as a hous...

Have ye not known - On this verse Kimchi has a very interesting comment, an extract of which I subjoin. "The whole world may be considered as a house built up; heaven its roof; the stars its lamps; and the fruits of the earth its table spread. The Master of the house is God, blessed for ever; and man is the steward into whose hand all the business of the house is given. If he always consider in his heart that the Master of the house is continually over him, and that he keeps his eye upon his work, and if in consequence he acts wisely, he shall find favor in the eyes of the Master of the house. But if he find wickedness in the house, then will he remove him מן פקידתו min pekidutho , ‘ from his stewardship.’ The foolish steward does not think of this; for as his eyes do not see the Master of the house, he saith in his heart, ‘ I will eat and drink what I find in this house, and will take my pleasure in it; nor shall I be careful whether there be a master over this house or not.’ When the Lord of the house marks this, he comes and expels him from the house speedily, and with great anger; therefore it is said, Isa 40:23, He bringeth the princes to nothing."It seems that this parable had been long in use among the Jews, as our blessed Lord alludes to it in his parable of the unjust steward. Or did the rabbin, finding it to his purpose, steal the parable from the Gospel? In both places it has great and peculiar beauties

Have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth "Have ye not understood it from the foundations of the earth?"- The true reading seems to be ממוסדות mimmosedoth , to answer to מראש merosh in the foregoing line. It follows a word ending with מ mem , and out of three mems concurring, it was an easy mistake to drop the middle one.

Clarke: Isa 40:22 - As a curtain "As a thin veil" As a curtain "As a thin veil" - "It is usual in the summer season, and upon all occasions when a large company is to be received, to have the court ...

As a curtain "As a thin veil" - "It is usual in the summer season, and upon all occasions when a large company is to be received, to have the court sheltered from heat or inclemency of the weather by a velum, umbrella, or veil, as I shall call it; which being expanded on ropes from one side of the parapet wall to the other, may be folded or unfolded at pleasure. The psalmist seems to allude to some covering of this kind in that beautiful expression of spreading out the heavens like a curtain."- Shaw’ s Travels, p. 274.

Clarke: Isa 40:24 - -- And he shall also blow upon them "And if he but blow upon them"- The Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, and MS. Bodl., with another, have גם gam , only...

And he shall also blow upon them "And if he but blow upon them"- The Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, and MS. Bodl., with another, have גם gam , only, without the conjunction ו vau , and.

Clarke: Isa 40:26 - Left up your eyes on high Left up your eyes on high - The rabbins say, He who is capable of meditating on the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, and does not meditate on the...

Left up your eyes on high - The rabbins say, He who is capable of meditating on the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, and does not meditate on them, is not worthy to have his name mentioned among men.

Clarke: Isa 40:28 - -- There is no searching of his understanding "And that his understanding is unsearchable"- Twenty-four MSS., two editions, the Septuagint and Vulgate,...

There is no searching of his understanding "And that his understanding is unsearchable"- Twenty-four MSS., two editions, the Septuagint and Vulgate, read ואין veein , with the conjunction ו vau .

Clarke: Isa 40:31 - -- They shall mount zap with wings as eagles "They shall put forth fresh feathers like the moulting eagle"- It has been a common and popular opinion th...

They shall mount zap with wings as eagles "They shall put forth fresh feathers like the moulting eagle"- It has been a common and popular opinion that the eagle lives and retains his vigor to a great age; and that, beyond the common lot of other birds, he moults in his old age, and renews his feathers, and with them his youth. "Thou shalt renew thy youth like the eagle, "says the psalmist, Psa 103:5; on which place St. Ambrose notes, Aquila longam aetatem ducit, dum, vetustis plumis fatiscentibus, nova pennarum successione juvenescit : "The eagle lives to a very advanced age; and in moulting his youth is renewed with his new feathers."Phile, De Animalibus, treating of the eagle, and addressing himself to the emperor Michael Palaeologus junior, raises his compliment upon the same notion: -

Τουτου συ, βασιλευ, τον πολυν ζωοις βιον

Αει νεουργων, και κρατυνων την φυσιν.

"Long may’ st thou live, O king; still like the eagl

Renew thy youth, and still retain thy vigor.

To this many fabulous and absurd circumstances are added by several ancient writers and commentators on Scripture; see Bochart, Hieroz. 2 ii. 1. Rabbi Saadias says, Every tenth year the eagle flies near the sun; and when not able any longer to bear the burning heat, she falls down into the sea, and soon loses her feathers, and thus renews her vigor. This she does every tenth year till the hundredth, when, after she has ascended near the sun, and fallen into the sea, she rises no more. How much proof do such stories require! Whether the notion of the eagle’ s renewing his youth is in any degree well founded or not, I need not inquire; it is enough for a poet, whether profane or sacred, to have the authority of popular opinion to support an image introduced for illustration or ornament. - L

Calvin: Isa 40:1 - Comfort ye // Will say // Your God 1.Comfort ye The Prophet introduces a new subject; for, leaving the people on whom no favorable impression was made either by threatenings or by admo...

1.Comfort ye The Prophet introduces a new subject; for, leaving the people on whom no favorable impression was made either by threatenings or by admonitions, on account of their desperate wickedness, he turns to posterity, in order to declare that the people who shall be humbled under the cross will experience no want of consolation even amidst the severest distresses. And it is probable that he wrote this prophecy when the time of the captivity was at hand, that he might not at his departure from life leave the Church of God overwhehned by very grievous calamities, without the hope of restoration. Though he formerly mingled his predictions with threatenings and terrors for this purpose, yet he appears to have contemplated chiefly the benefit of those who lived at that time. What will afterwards follow will relate to the future Church, the revival of which was effected long after his death; for he will next lay down a perpetual doctrine, which must not be limited to a single period, and especially when he treats of the commencement and progress of the reign of Christ. And this prophecy must be of so much the greater importance to us, because it addresses us in direct terms; for, although it may be a spiritual application of what goes before, so as to be doctrine that is common both to the Jews and to us, yet, as he leaves the Jews of that age, and addresses posterity down to the end of the world, it appears to belong more especially to us.

By this exhortation, therefore, the Lord intended to stir up the hearts of the godly, that they might not faint, amidst heavy calamities. First, he addresses the Jews, who were soon after to be carried into that hard captivity in which they should have neither sacrifices nor prophets, and would have been destitute of all consolation, had not the Lord relieved their miseries by these predictions. Next, he addresses all the godly that should live afterwards, or that shall yet live, to encourage their heart, even when they shall appear to be reduced very low and to be utterly ruined.

That this discourse might have greater weight, and might mere powerfully affect their minds, he represents God as raising up new prophets, whom he enjoins to soothe the sorrows of the people by friendly consolation. The general meaning is, that, when he shall have appeared to have forsaken for a time the wretched captives, the testimony of his grace will again burst forth from the darkness, and that, when gladdening prophecies shall have ceased, their proper time will come round. In order to exhibit more strongly the ground of joy, he makes use of the plural number, Comfort ye; by which he intimates that he will send not one or another, but a vast multitude of prophets; and this he actually accomplished, by which we see more clearly his infinite goodness and mercy.

Will say First, it ought to be observed that the verb is in the future tense; and those commentators who render it in the present or past tense both change the words and spoil the meaning. Indircetly he points out an intermediate period, during which the people would be heavily afflicted, as if God had been silent. 104 Though even at that time God did not cease to hold out the hope of salvation by some prophets, yet, having for a long period cast them off, when they were wretchedly distressed and almost ruined, the consolation was less abundant, till it was pointed out, as it were with the finger, that they were at liberty to return. On this account the word comfort must be viewed as relating to a present favor; and the repetition of the word not only confirms the certainty of the prediction, but applauds its power and success, as if he had said, that in this message there will be abundant, full, and unceasing cause of joy.

Above all, we must hold by the future tense of this verb, because there is an implied contrast between that melancholy silence of which I have spoken, and the doctrine of consolation which afterwards followed. And with this prediction agrees the complaint of the Church,

“We do not see our signs; there is no longer among us a prophet or any one that knows how long.” (Psa 74:9.)

We see how she laments that she has been deprived of the best kind of comfort, because no promise is brought forward for soothing her distresses. It is as if the Prophet bad said, “The Lord will not suffer you to be deprived of prophets, to comfort you amidst your severest distresses. At that time he will raise up men by whom he will send to you the message that had been long desired, and at that time also he will show that he takes care of you.”

I consider the future tense, will say, as relating not only to the captivity in Babylon, but to the whole period of deliverance, which includes the reign of Christ. 105 To the verb will say, we must supply “to the prophets,” whom he will appoint for that purpose; for in vain would they have spoken, if the Lord had not told them, and even put into their mouth what they should make known to others. Thus there is a mutual relation between God and the prophets,” whom he will appoint for that purpose; for in vain would they have spoken, if the Lord had not told them and even put into their mouth what they should make known to others. Thus there is a mutual relation between God and the prophets. In a word, the Lord promises that the hope of salvation will be left, although the ingratitude of men deserves that this voice shall be perpetually silenced and altogether extinguished.

These words, I have said, ought not to be limited to the captivity in Babylon; for they have a very extensive meaning, and include the doctrine of the gospel, in which chiefly lies the power of “comforting.” To the gospel it belongs to comfort those who are distressed and cast down, to quicken those who are slain and actually dead, to cheer the mourners, and, in short, to bring all joy and gladness; and this is also the reason why it is called “the Gospel,” that is, good news, 106 Nor did it begin at the time when Christ appeared in the world, but long before, since the time when God’s favor was clearly revealed, and Daniel might be said to have first raised his banner, that believers might hold themselves in readiness for returning. (Dan 9:2.) Afterwards, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Nehemiah, Ezra, and others, down to the coming of Christ, exhorted believers to cherish better and better hopes. Malachi, the last of them that wrote, knowing that there would be few prophets, sends the people to the law of Moses, to learn from it the will of God and its threatenings and promises. (Mal 4:4.)

Your God From this passage we learn what we ought chiefly to seek in the prophets, namely, to encourage the hopes of godly persons by exhibiting the sweetness of divine grace, that they may not faint under the weight of afflictions, but may boldly persevere in calling on God. But since it was difficult to be believed, he reminds them of the covenant; as if he had said that it was impossible for God ever to forget what he formerly promised to Abraham. (Gen 17:7.) Although, therefore, the Jews by their sins had fallen from grace, yet he affirms that he is their God, and that they are his peculiar people, both of which depended on election; but, as even in that nation there were many reprobates, the statement implies that to believers only is this discourse strictly directed; because he silently permits unbelievers, through constant languishment, to be utterly wasted and destroyed. But to believers there is held out an invaluable comfort, that, although for a time they are oppressed by grief and mourning, yet because they hope in God, who is the Father of consolation, they shall know by experience that the promises of grace, like a hidden treasure, are laid up for them, to cheer their hearts at the proper time. This is also a very high commendation of the prophetic office, that it supports believers in adversity, that they may not faint or be discouraged; and, on the other hand, this passage shews that it is a very terrible display of God’s vengeance when there are no faithful teachers, from whose mouth may be heard in the Church of God the consolation that is fitted to raise up those who are cast down, and to strengthen the feeble.

Calvin: Isa 40:2 - Speak ye according to the heart of Jerusalem // And cry to her // That her warfare is accomplished // That her iniquity is pardoned // Double for all her sins 2.Speak ye according to the heart of Jerusalem Here God commands his servants the prophets, and lays down the message which he wishes them to deliver...

2.Speak ye according to the heart of Jerusalem Here God commands his servants the prophets, and lays down the message which he wishes them to deliver publicly, when believers shall be called to change their strain from mourning to joy. And yet he does not exhort and encourage them to the cheerful and courageous discharge of their office, so much as he conveys to the minds of believers an assured hope that they may patiently endure the irksomeness of delay, till the prophets appear with this glad and delightful message. To speak to the heart 107 is nothing else than “to speak according to the wish or sentiment of the mind;” for our heart abhors or recoils if any sad intelligence is communicated, but eagerly receives, or rather runs to meet, whatever is agreeable. Now, in consequence of the people having been apparently rejected, nothing could be more agreeable than a reconciliation 108 which should blot out all offenses. By a figure of speech in which a part is taken for the whole, Jerusalem, as is well known, denotes the Church.

And cry to her The word cry means that the promise of this grace will be open and manifest, so as to resound in the ears of all and be understood; for if prophets only muttered or spoke indistinctly, the belief of this consolation would be doubtful or weak, but now that they publish it boldly and with open mouth, all doubts are removed.

That her warfare is accomplished This is the desirable message, that the Lord determines to put an end to the warfare of his people. I consider כי (ki) to be used for introducing an explanation. Some think that צבאה , (tzebaahh,) which we have translated “her warfare,” simply denotes “time,” as if it had been said, “her time is accomplished.” 109 Others think that it expresses the time of visitation, but this is incorrect; for among the Hebrews it literally denotes a time previously appointed and set apart for lawful work or labor. (Num 4:23.) But here unquestionably the metaphor is taken from the discharge of soldiers; for it means that the end and issue of their vexations is at hand, and that God does not wish to harass his people continually, but to set a limit to their afflictions. He therefore compares the time of the captivity in Babylon to a righteous warfare, at the end of which the soldiers, having obtained an honorable discharge, will return home to enjoy peace and quietness.

That her iniquity is pardoned This means that God is so gracious to them that he is unwilling to treat them with the utmost severity. These words, therefore, assign a reason; for, as physicians, in curing diseases, first remove the causes from which diseases arise, so does the Lord deal with us. The scourges by which he chastises us proceed from our sins; and therefore, that he may cease to strike, he must first pardon us; and consequently, he says that there will be an end of punishments, because he no longer imputes sin. Others think that עונה (gnavonahh) means “her misery,” and that it denotes that her misery is ended. This meaning also is highly appropriate, and thus the Prophet will make the same announcement in two ways; for to finish her warfare, and to put an end to her miseries, mean the same thing. Yet we must hold this principle, that God ceases from inflicting punishment when he is appeased, so that pardon and the forgiveness of sins always come first in order, as the cause. But the word נרצה (nirtzah) demands, in my opinion, the former meaning; as if he had said, that God has been appeased in such a manner that, having pardoned and forgiven their sins, he is ready to enter again into a state of favor with his people.

Double for all her sins This passage is explained in two ways. Some say that the people, having deserved a double punishment, have obtained a double favor; and others, that they have received enough of punishment, because God is unwilling to exact more. The former interpretation, though it contains an excellent and profitable doctrine, does not agree with the text, and must therefore be set aside; and it is evident that the Prophet means nothing else than that God is abundantly satisfied with the miseries which have befallen his Church. I could have wished, therefore, that they who have attacked Jerome and other supporters of this interpretation, had been more moderate; for the natural meaning belongs to this interpretation, and not to the more ingenious one, that the Lord repays double favor for their sins. The general meaning is, that God is unwilling to inflict more severe or more lengthened punishment on his people, because, through his fatherly kindness, he is in some sense displeased with the severity.

Here the word double denotes “large and abundant.” It must not be imagined that the punishments were greater than the offenses, or equal to them; for we ought to abhor the blasphemy of those who accuse God of cruelty, as if he inflicted on men excessively severe punishment; for what punishment could be inflicted that was sufficiently severe even for the smallest offense? This must therefore relate to the mercy of God, who, by setting a limit to the chastisements, testifies that he is unwilling to punish them any more or longer, as if he were abundantly satisfied with what had gone before, though that nation deserved far severer chastisements. God sustains the character of a Father who, while he compassionates his children, is led, not without reluctance, to exercise severity, and thus willingly bends his mind to grant forgiveness.

Calvin: Isa 40:3 - A voice crying in the wilderness // The wilderness // Prepare the way of Jehovah // A highway for our God 3.A voice crying in the wilderness He follows out the subject which he had begun, and declares more explicitly that he will send to the people, thoug...

3.A voice crying in the wilderness He follows out the subject which he had begun, and declares more explicitly that he will send to the people, though apparently ruined, ministers of consolation. At the same time he anticipates an objection which might have been brought forward. “You do indeed promise consolation, but where are the prophets? For we shall be ‘in a wilderness,’ and whence shall this consolation come to us?” He therefore testifies that “the wilderness” shall not hinder them from enjoying that consolation.

The wilderness is employed to denote metaphorically that desolation which then existed; though I do not deny that the Prophet alludes to the intermediate journey; 110 for the roughness of the wilderness seemed to forbid their return. He promises, therefore, that although every road were shut up, and not a chink were open, the Lord will easily cleave a path through the most impassable tracts for himself and his people.

Prepare the way of Jehovah Some connect the words “in the wilderness” with this clause, and explain it thus, “Prepare the way of Jehovah in the wilderness.” But the Prophet appears rather to represent a voice which shall gather together those who had wandered and had, as it were, been banished from the habitable globe. “Though you behold nothing but a frightful desert, yet this voice of consolation shall be heard from the mouth of the prophets.” These words relate to the hard bondage which they should undergo in Babylon.

But to whom is that voice addressed? Is it to believers? No, but to Cyrus, to the Persians, and to the Medes, who held that people in captivity. Having been alienated from obedience to God, they are constrained to deliver the people; and therefore they are enjoined to “prepare and pave the way,” that the people of God may be brought back to Judea; as if he had said:, “Make passable what was impassable.” The power and efficacy of this prediction is thus held up for our applause; for when God invests his servants with authority to command men who were cruel and addicted to plunder, and who at that time were the conquerors of Babylon, to “prepare the way” for the return of his people, he means that nothing shall hinder the fulfillment of his promise, because he will employ them all as hired servants. Hence we obtain an excellent consolation, when we see that God makes use of irreligious men for our salvation, and employs all the creatures, when the case demands it, for that end.

A highway for our God When it, is said that the way shall be prepared not for the Jews, but for God himself, we have here a remarkable proof of his love towards us; for he applies to himself what related to the salvation of his chosen people. The Lord had nothing to do with walking, and had no need of a road; but he shews that we are so closely united to him that what is done on our account he reckons to be done to himself. This mode of expression is frequently employed elsewhere, as when it is said that God “went forth into battle with his anointed,” (Hab 3:13,) and that “he rode through the midst of Egypt,” (Exo 11:4,) and that he lifted up his standard and led his people through the wilderness. (Isa 63:13.)

This passage is quoted by the Evangelists, (Mat 3:3; Mar 1:3; Luk 3:4,) and applied to John the Baptist, as if these things had been foretold concerning him, and not unjustly; for he held the highest rank among the messengers and heralds of our redemption, of which the deliverance from Babylon was only a type. And, indeed, at the time when the Church arose out of her wretched and miserable condition, her mean appearance bore a stronger resemblance than the Babylonish captivity to a “wilderness;” but God wished that they should see plainly, in the wilderness in which John taught, the image and likeness of that miserably ruinous condition by which the whole beauty of the Church was injured and almost destroyed. What is here described metaphorically by the Prophet was at that time actually fulfilled; for at an exceedingly disordered and ruinous crisis John lifted up the banner of joy. True, indeed, the same voice had been previously uttered by Daniel, Zechariah, and others; but the nearer the redemption approached, the more impressively could it be proclaimed by John, who also pointed out Christ with the finger. (Joh 1:29.) But because, in the midst of a nation which was ignorant and almost sunk in stupidity, there were few that sincerely grieved for their ruinous condition, John sought a wilderness, that the very sight of the place might arouse careless persons to hope and desire the promised deliverance. As to his denying that he was a Prophet, (Joh 1:21,) this depends on the end of his calling and the substance of his doctrine; for he was not sent to discharge apart any continued office, but, as a herald, to gain an audience for Christ his Master and Lord. What is here said about removing obstructions, he applies skilfully to individuals, on this ground, that the depravity of our nature, the windings of a crooked mind, and obstinacy of heart, shut up the way of the Lord, and hinder them from preparing, by true self-denial, to yield obedience.

Calvin: Isa 40:4 - Every valley shall be exalted // And every mountain and hill shall be laid low 4.Every valley shall be exalted He confirms and asserts the preceding statement; for he shews that no difficulties can prevent the Lord from deliveri...

4.Every valley shall be exalted He confirms and asserts the preceding statement; for he shews that no difficulties can prevent the Lord from delivering and restoring his Church whenever he shall think fit. These words might with propriety be rendered in the imperative mood, “Let every valley be exalted,” 111 so as to be placed in immediate connection with the command which God gives by his prophets to prepare and level the way for himself; but it makes hardly any difference in the meaning. Let us be satisfied with understanding the Prophet’s design, “that, although many and formidable difficulties are started to hinder the salvation of the Church, still the hand of God will be victorious and will prevail.”

And every mountain and hill shall be laid low It ought to be observed that many obstructions always arise whenever God makes provision for our deliverance, or wishes to aid the afflicted; and although his glory is more fully displayed by these obstructions, yet we suffer no loss; for we behold more clearly his wonderful power when no strength, or efforts, or contrivances of men can prevent him from gaining his object. He conducts his people through “mountains” and steep places in such a manner as if the road were perfectly level; and by the words mountains and hills, the Prophet undoubtedly intends to denote metaphorically obstructions of every kind; for Satan attempts in every way to hinder our salvation. When we come, therefore, to spiritual redemption, these words undoubtedly include both internal and external obstacles, — lusts and wicked desires, ambition, foolish confidence, and impatience, which retard us wonderfully, but the Lord will break them all down; for when he stretches out his hand, nothing can restrain or drive him back.

Calvin: Isa 40:5 - And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed // And all flesh shall see // That the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken 5.And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed He means that this work of redemption will be splendid, so that the Lord will shew that he is the Author...

5.And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed He means that this work of redemption will be splendid, so that the Lord will shew that he is the Author of it, and will illustriously display his majesty and power. This, indeed, is very openly manifested in all places and in all events, but he promises that he will do this especially in protecting and delivering his Church, and not without good reason; for the deliverance of the Church, from its commencement down to the coming of Christ, might be called a renewal of the world. 112 And because the power of God, which he had formerly been accustomed to display, was almost extinguished, so that scarcely the slightest traces were discernible, as it is said in the Psalm, “We do not see our signs,” (Psa 74:9;) this was a very seasonable warning, that a new and striking demonstration is promised, by which they may perceive that God has in his power various methods of giving relief, even when he conceals them for a time.

And all flesh shall see He now heightens the miracle by an additional circumstance, that it will be known not only in Judea, but in foreign and distant countries; for by these words “All flesh shall see,” he means that there will be no nations that do not see clearly that the return of the people is a heavenly work, and that God did not speak in vain by the Prophet. Thus he censures the unbelief of men, who never rely on the promises of God, and who treat as fables whatever is said by the prophets, till by beholding the actual fact they are constrained to yield.

That the mouth of Jehovah hath spoken Here we are taught what is the true method of correcting our unbelief; that is, to be employed in meditating on the promises of God, and to have our faith strengthened by all the proofs of them which he exhibits. Thus it is proper to join doctrine with experience; for since the sight of God’s works would produce little impression on us, he first enlightens us by the torch of his word, and next seals the truth of it by the actual accomplishment.

Calvin: Isa 40:6 - The voice said, Cry // And I said, What shall I cry? // All flesh is grass // All the grace of it // As the flower of the field 6.The voice said, Cry He now describes a different “voice” from that of which he formerly spoke; for hitherto he had spoken about the “voice”...

6.The voice said, Cry He now describes a different “voice” from that of which he formerly spoke; for hitherto he had spoken about the “voice” of the prophets, but now he means the “voice” of God himself commanding the prophets to cry. Although the voice of the prophets is also the voice of God, whose instruments they are, (for they do not speak of themselves,) (2Pe 1:20,) yet this distinction is necessary, that we may know when the Lord commands, and when the prophets and ministers execute his commandments. There is also a beautiful comparison between the two “voices,” that we may receive with as much reverence what the prophets utter as if God himself thundered from heaven; for they speak only by his mouth, and repeat as ambassadors what he has commissioned them to declare. Besides, this preface gives notice that the Prophet is about to speak of something highly important; for, although he everywhere testifies that he faithfully delivers from hand to hand what he has received from God, yet, in order to obtain closer attention, he states that the voice of God has expressly enjoined the mode of speaking which he shall employ. Such is also the import of the word Cry, as if he had said that he must proclaim this commandment in a clear and loud voice, that it may make the deeper impression.

And I said, What shall I cry? The addition of this question has great weight; for the Prophet means that he does not break forth at random, and boast of what he appeared to have heard in a confused manner; but that he received clear and undoubted instruction, after having waited for it with composure. Besides, from the fact itself we may learn that there is nothing here that is superfluous, because two chief points of heavenly doctrine were to be briefly handled; that, although man is smoke and vanity, and all his excellence is deceitful and fading, yet believers have the best reason for glorying, because they seek salvation not from themselves; and that, although they are strangers on the earth, (Heb 11:13,) yet they possess heavenly happiness, because God unites himself to them by his word; for by renouncing ourselves we are led to desire the grace of God. The Prophet knew, indeed, what he ought to say; but by this question he intended to make a stronger impression on their minds, in order to shew that he and all the other servants of God are constrained by necessity to utter this sentiment, and that they cannot begin to teach in any other manner, though they should put a hundred questions and inquiries; as indeed they will gain nothing by choosing to adopt any other method.

As to the word Cry, I have no objection to view it as denoting both boldness and clearness; because prophets ought not to mutter in an obscure manner, but to pronounce their message with a distinct voice, and to utter boldly and with open mouth whatever they have been commanded to declare. Let every one, therefore, who is called to this office constantly remember and believe, that he ought to meet difficulties of every sort with unshaken boldness, such as was always manifested both by prophets and by apostles.

“Wo to me,” says Paul, “if I do not preach the gospel; for necessity is laid on me.”
(1Co 9:16.)

All flesh is grass First, it ought to be observed, that he does not speak merely of the frailty of human life, but extends the discourse farther, so as to reduce to nothing all the excellence which men think that they possess. David indeed compares this life to grass, (Psa 103:15,) because it is fading and transitory; but the context shews that the Prophet does not speak only of the outward man, but includes the gifts of the mind, of which men are exceedingly proud, such as prudence, courage, acuteness, judgment, skill in the transactions of business, in which they think that they excel other animals; and this is more fully expressed by that which immediately follows —

All the grace of it Some translate חסדו (chasdo) “his glory;” others, “his kindness;” but I have preferred the word “grace,” by which I mean everything that procures honor and esteem to men. Yet a passive signification may also be admitted; as if the Prophet had said, that all that is excellent and worthy of applause among men is the absolute kindness of God. Thus David calls God “the God of his kindness,” (Psa 59:10,) because he acknowledges him to be the author of all blessings, and ascribes it to his grace that he has obtained them so largely and abundantly. It is indeed certain that חסד (chesed) here denotes all that is naturally most highly valued among men, and that the Prophet condemns it for vanity, because there is an implied contrast between the ordinary nature of mankind and the grace of regeneration.

Some commentators refer this to the Assyrians, as if the Prophet, by extenuating their power and wealth, and industry and exertions, or rather by treating these as they had no existence, freed the minds of the Jews from terror. They bring out the meaning in this manner, “If you are terrified at the strength of men, remember that they are flesh, which quickly gives way through its own weakness. But their error is soon afterwards refuted by the context, in which the Prophet expressly applies it to the Jews themselves. We ought carefully to observe that man, with his faculties, on account of which he is accustomed to value himself so highly, is wholly compared to a flower. All men are fully convinced of the frailty of human life, and on this subject heathen writers have argued at great length; but it is far more difficult to root out the confidence which men entertain through a false opinion of their wisdom; for, if they imagine that they have either knowledge or industry beyond others, they think that they have a right to glory in them. But he shews that in man there is nothing so excellent as not to fade quickly and perish.

As the flower of the field The Prophet seems, as if in mockery, to add a sort of correction; for a flower is something more than grass. It is, therefore, an acknowledgment, that, although men have some shining qualities, like flowers in the fields, yet the beauty and lustre quickly vanish and pass away, so that it is useless for them to flatter or applaud themselves on account of this idle and deceitful splendor.

Calvin: Isa 40:7 - The grass is withered // Because the Spirit of Jehovah hath blown upon it // Surely the people is grass 7.The grass is withered This might be understood to relate to the beauty of the fields, which is spoiled by a single gust of wind, as it is said, (Ps...

7.The grass is withered This might be understood to relate to the beauty of the fields, which is spoiled by a single gust of wind, as it is said, (Psa 103:16,) “As soon as the wind passeth over it, it is gone;” for we know that the wind is called “the Spirit of God” in other passages. But I am more inclined to think that the metaphor is adapted to the present subject; for otherwise the application of it would be somewhat obscure. The Prophet therefore explains what object he has in view, by saying that men, with all their glory, are nothing else than grass; theft is, because the Spirit of God will quickly carry them away by a single breath.

Because the Spirit of Jehovah hath blown upon it The meaning may be thus explained, “However illustrious are the gifts with which men are endowed, yet as soon as the Spirit of God shall blow upon them, they shall fed that they are nothing.” For the false confidence with which they intoxicate themselves springs from this source, that they do not appear before God, but, in order to indulge freely in flattering themselves, creep into places of concealment. That they may no longer deceive themselves by a foolish delight in falsehood, the Prophet drags them into the presence of God, and admits that apparently they flourish, when they have been withdrawn from God; but as soon as the Lord has breathed upon them, all their strength and beauty perish and decay.

But it may be thought that he assigns to “the Spirit of God” an office which is greatly at variance with his nature; for it belongs to him “to renew by his power the face of the earth.” (Psa 104:30.) On the other hand, if the Lord withdraw his Spirit, all is reduced to nothing. Here Isaiah asserts what is exceedingly different, and appears to contradict David. But there is no absurdity in saying that all things are renewed by the power of the Spirit, and again, that what formerly appeared to be something is reduced to nothing; for we are nothing but in God, and, in order that we may begin to be something in him, we must first be convinced, and made thoroughly to know, that we are vanity. Therefore does the Lord breathe upon us, that we may know that of ourselves we are nothing.

Surely the people is grass The Prophet added this, that all might know that he was not speaking of foreigners, but of that people which gloried in the name of God; for the Jews might have thought that they were more excellent, and held a higher rank than other men, and that on this account they ought to be exempted from the common lot. He therefore addresses theta expressly and by name, that they may not claim anything for themselves above others; as if he had said, that they would act wisely if, through a conviction of their poverty, they should cast away all confidence in themselves. In a word, the Prophet, after having mentioned consolation, shews in what way men must be prepared to receive it; for they are not capable of it till they have formerly been reduced to nothing. Our hardness must therefore be softened, our haughtiness must be east down and laid low, our boasting must be put to shame, and our hearts must be subdued and humbled, if we wish to receive with any advantage the consolations which the prophets bring to us by the command of God.

Calvin: Isa 40:8 - The grass withereth // But the word of our God shall stand for ever 8.The grass withereth This repetition is again added for the purpose of bringing to nought the glory of the flesh, but at the same time contains with...

8.The grass withereth This repetition is again added for the purpose of bringing to nought the glory of the flesh, but at the same time contains within itself a highly valuable consolation, that God, when he has cast down his people, immediately raises up and restores them. The context therefore runs thus: “The grass indeed withereth and perisheth, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” After having learned how empty and destitute we are of all blessings, how transitory and fading is the glory of the flesh, the only consolation left for us, that we may be raised up by the word of the Lord, as by an outstretched hand, is, that we are frail and fading, but that the word of the Lord is durable and eternal, and, in a word, that the life which we need is offered to us from another quarter.

But the word of our God shall stand for ever This passage comprehends the whole Gospel in few words; for it consists of an acknowledgment of our misery, poverty, and emptiness, that, being sincerely humbled, we may fly to God, by whom alone we shall be perfectly restored. Let not men therefore faint or be discouraged by the knowledge of their nakedness and emptiness; for the eternal word is exhibited to them by which they may be abundantly supported and upheld. We are likewise taught that we ought not to seek consolation from any other source than from eternity, which ought not to be sought anywhere else than in God; since nothing that is firm or durable will be found on the earth. Nothing is more foolish than to rest satisfied with the present state, which we see to be fleeting; and every man is mistaken who hopes to be able to obtain perfect happiness till he has ascended to God, whom the Scripture calls eternal, in order that we may know that life flows to us from him; and indeed he adopts us to be his children on this condition, to make us partakers of his immortality.

But this would be of no avail, if the manner of seeking him were not pointed out; and therefore he exhibits the word, from which we must not in any respect turn aside; for if we make the smallest departure from it, we shall be involved in strange labyrinths, and shall find no way of extricating ourselves. Now, the word is called eternal, not merely in itself, but in us; and this ought to be particularly observed, because otherwise we could obtain no consolation. And thus Peter, a faithful expounder of this passage, applies it to us, when he says that “we are regenerated by this incorruptible seed, that is,” says he, “by the word which is preached.” (1Pe 1:23.) Hence we infer, what I mentioned a little before, that life is prepared for the dead who shall come thirsting to the fountain that is exhibited to them; for the power which is hid in God is revealed to us by the word.

Calvin: Isa 40:9 - Ascend on the high mountain // Lift up thy voice aloud, O Jerusalem // That bringest tidings // Behold 9.Ascend on the high mountain He proceeds with the same subject; for the Lord, having formerly promised that he would give prophets who should soothe...

9.Ascend on the high mountain He proceeds with the same subject; for the Lord, having formerly promised that he would give prophets who should soothe the grief and fear of the people by promises, now commands that this consolation shall be more widely spread; because it is his pleasure to diffuse his grace throughout the whole of Judea.

Lift up thy voice aloud, O Jerusalem Formerly he had given to Jerusalem, and Zion the hope of this joyful message; now he commands that the same voice shall be spread and shall be heard through other cities, and, for this reason, gives orders that the loud voice shall be lifted up, and proclaimed from a lofty place. Although by the words “Zion” and “Jerusalem” he means the same thing, yet the repetition is emphatic; for he shews that one city excels all other cities, for no other reason than because God hath chosen it to be his sanctuary.

That bringest tidings He gives to the city this appellation, because there the priests and Levites were instructed according to the injunctions of the Law, that they might be the teachers of the whole people, and by their labors might spread the doctrine of salvation. (Mal 2:7.) Yet we ought carefully to observe this commendation which God bestows on his Church, that it may not be without a clear mark of distinction; for an assembly in which the preaching of heavenly doctrine is not heard does not deserve to be reckoned a Church. In this sense also, Paul calls it (1Ti 3:15) “the pillar and foundation of the truth;” for although God might have governed us by himself, and without the agency of men, yet he has assigned this office to his Church, and has committed to it the invaluable treasure of his Word. For the same reason it will be called in another passage, “the mother of all believers.” (Isa 54:1; Gal 4:26.) Hence it follows that nothing is more absurd and wicked than for dumb idols to boast of the name of the Church, as is done in Popery.

We are likewise taught, that the Church has not been instructed by God, in order that she may keep her knowledge hidden within herself, but that she may publish what she has learned. Besides, he commands that grace shall be freely and boldly proclaimed, that prophets and teachers may not speak with timidity, as if it were a doubtful matter, but may shew that they are fully convinced of the certainty of those things which they promise, because they know well that “God, who cannot lie,” ( Titus 1:2,) is the Author of them. He enjoins the witnesses of his grace to proceed from Zion, that they may fill with joy the whole of Judea.

Behold your God! This expression includes the sum of our happiness, which consists solely in the presence of God. It brings along with it an abundance of all blessings; and if we are destitute of it, we must be utterly miserable and wretched; and although blessings of every kind are richly enjoyed by us, yet if we are estranged from God, everything must tend to our destruction. From this circumstance it ought also to be remarked, that nothing is more opposite to faith than to estimate by the present appearances of things what God declares by his prophets, who at that time must have been struck dumb, had they not raised their views above the world, and thus, through the power of unshaken boldness and perseverance, dared to draw others along with them, that they might cherish good hopes when matters were at the worst. And indeed when wicked men and wickedness prevail, the greater the terror that is spread all around, and the greater the seeming wretchedness of the Church, the more ought we to extol the grace of God, and to point out his presence to believers. 113

Calvin: Isa 40:10 - Behold, the Lord Jehovah // And his // Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before his face 10.Behold, the Lord Jehovah He adorns this short sentence by many words, because some explanation was needed; and he again uses the word Behold for...

10.Behold, the Lord Jehovah He adorns this short sentence by many words, because some explanation was needed; and he again uses the word Behold for the sake of certainty, in order to impart greater confidence to the hearts of good men. Thus he shews more clearly how great advantage they derive from the presence of God. And first, he says, that he will come with strength, and that strength not unemployed, but accompanied by such an effect as we shall perceive.

And his arm shall be powerful to him 114 לו (lo), which we have translated to him, is translated by others of himself; or, perhaps, it will be thought preferable to translate it, “He is powerful, or reigns for himself.” The meaning is, that God is sufficient for himself, and does not need the assistance of any one.

Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before his face By the repetition of the words “reward” and “work,” he states more clearly what has been already expressed; for it is very customary with Hebrew writers to express the same thing in two different ways. “Reward” does not here denote what is due to merits, but the justice of God, by which he testifies that he is a rewarder to all who truly and sincerely call upon him. (Heb 11:6.) That this is the signification of the word שכר (sachar) is known to all who are moderately acquainted with the Hebrew language. The meaning may be thus summed up: “God will not come to be beheld by us as unemployed, but to display his power, and to make us feel it;” and thus, instead of the word “work,” the word “effect” would not be inapplicable. Many persons attempt an ingenious exposition of these words, and enter into childish discussion about the words “work” and “reward,” as if the “work” were a merit on which a “reward” is bestowed. But nothing was farther from the view of the Prophet; for he repeats the same thing, as we have already said, and declares the result of the coming of the Lord, from which believers will derive the highest advantage.

Calvin: Isa 40:11 - As a shepherd // He will feed his flock // He will carry them in his bosom 11.As a shepherd In this verse he declares what is the nature of that work of the Lord; for since he works in various and, indeed, in innumerable way...

11.As a shepherd In this verse he declares what is the nature of that work of the Lord; for since he works in various and, indeed, in innumerable ways, the hearer might have been kept in suspense as to the work which God intended to accomplish; and thus the general doctrine would have been less efficacious in exciting hope. Though he does not describe every part, yet he states in a few words that God has determined to protect and guard his Church. On this account he compares him to “a shepherd;” and under this designation he expresses his infinite love towards us, when he does not refuse to stoop so low as to perform towards us the office of “a shepherd.” In other passages, and even a little before, (Isa 34:2, etc.,) he described himself as armed with terrible power for the defense of his people, and a little after this he repeats the same statement; but here he ascribes to him a more amiable character, that believers may sweetly repose under his protection.

He will feed his flock Now, although by the word “flock” he describes an elect people, whom he had undertaken to govern, yet we are reminded that God will be a shepherd to none but to those who, in modesty and gentleness, shall imitate the sheep and lambs. For this reason we ought to observe the character of the flock; for he does not choose to feed savage beasts, but lambs. We must therefore lay aside our fierceness, and permit ourselves to be tamed, if we wish to be gathered into the fold of which God promises that he will be the guardian.

He will carry them in his bosom These words describe God’s wonderful condescension; for not only is he actuated by a general feeling of regard to his whole flock, but, in proportion to the weakness of any one sheep, he shews his carefulness in watching, his gentleness in handling, and his patience in leading it. Here he leaves out nothing that belongs to the office of a good shepherd; for the shepherd ought to observe every sheep, so as to treat it according to its capacity; and especially they ought to be supported, if they are exceedingly weak. In a word, God will be mild, kind, gentle, and compassionate, so that he will not drive the weak harder than they are able to bear.

Calvin: Isa 40:12 - Who hath measured? 12.Who hath measured? After having spoken of God’s friendly care in defending his people, he now proclaims his power, and bestows upon it all possi...

12.Who hath measured? After having spoken of God’s friendly care in defending his people, he now proclaims his power, and bestows upon it all possible commendations, which, however, would produce less impression upon us, if we did not attend to the Prophet’s design. At first sight, ignorant readers would think that the Prophet crowds together unfinished sentences, which would be absurd. But if we look at his object, he adorns the power of God by a seasonable and elegant discourse, which is a true support of our faith, that we may not hesitate to believe that he will do what he has promised. Not without reason does Paul say that Abraham did not hesitate, because he believed that God who had promised was able to perform what he had said. (Rom 4:20.) In the same sense also he testifies of himself in another passage,

“I know whom I have believed; God is able to keep what I have committed to him.”
(2Ti 1:12.)

Such is also the import of those words of Christ,

“My Father who gave you to me is greater than all.”
(Joh 10:29.)

Since, therefore, we ought continually to strive against distrust, and since Satan attacks us by various contrivances, it is of great importance that the promises of God should be believed by us, to give to his power the praise which it deserves. Now, because the restoration of the people was beyond belief, it was necessary that godly minds should he raised above the world, that they might not view the grace of God as limited to human means.

We see that the Prophet does not merely teach that God is the Creator of heaven and earth, but applies to the present subject all that he relates concerning God’s infinite power; and in like manner it is fitted for our guidance. When any adversity befalls us, our salvation is hidden, and, as if a cloud had come between, the power of God is concealed; we are held in astonishment, as if the Lord had forsaken and overlooked us. Let us not, therefore, think that the Prophet speaks of some ordinary matter; for if this conviction of the power of God were deeply seated in our hearts, we would not be so much alarmed, and would not be disturbed by any calamity whatever. On this power, as we have said, Abraham leaned, that he might cordially embrace what was otherwise incredible; and, accordingly, Paul affirms (Rom 4:18) that “he hoped against hope;” for he believed that God was able to do what he had said, and did not waver or stagger in his mind. We are thus taught to raise our eyes above this world, that we may not judge by outward appearances, but may believe that what God hath spoken will come to pass; because all things are at his disposal.

While this conviction is necessary for all, I have said that the Jews had very great need of it; for they were pressed hard by very powerful enemies, they had no means of escape and no hope of freedom, and nothing was to be seen on every hand but a large and frightful wilderness. In vain, therefore, would consolation have been offered to them, had they not, at the suggestion of the Prophet, raised their minds to heaven, and, disregarding the appearances of things, fixed their whole heart on the power of God.

When he names “measures,” which are used by men in very small matters, he accommodates himself to our ignorance; for thus does the Lord often prattle with us, and borrow comparisons from matters that are familiar to us, when he speaks of his majesty; that our ignorant and limited minds may better understand his greatness and excellence. Away, then, with all gross conceptions of God; for his greatness far exceeds all creatures, so that heaven, and earth, and sea, and all that they contain, however vast may be their extent, yet in comparison of him are nothing.

Calvin: Isa 40:13 - Who instructed the Spirit of Jehovah? 13.Who instructed the Spirit of Jehovah? What the Prophet had formerly taught concerning the Lord’s goodness and power he now adds concerning his w...

13.Who instructed the Spirit of Jehovah? What the Prophet had formerly taught concerning the Lord’s goodness and power he now adds concerning his wisdom. And we ought to observe the connection; for, us carnal sense wickedly limits the power of God to human means, so it improperly subjects his inscrutable counsel to human reasonings. Till God be exalted above all creatures, many difficulties present themselves to interrupt the course of his works; and, therefore, if we form a judgment according to our own opinion, various scruples will immediately arise. Thus, whenever we do not see how God will do this or that, we doubt if it will take place; because what surpasses our reason appears to be impossible. Consequently, as we ought to contrast, the power of God with our weakness, so our insolence ought to be repressed by his incomparable, wisdom.

By inquiring, who guided or directed the Spirit of God, he means that God had no need of a teacher, to go before and inform him about things unknown. Spirit here denotes reason, judgment, or understanding; for he borrows a comparison from the nature of men, that he may more fully accommodate himself to them; and I do not think that this ought to be understood as denoting the essential Spirit of God.

Calvin: Isa 40:14 - From whom took he counsel? 14.From whom took he counsel? The Prophet expresses the same thing in many ways; that we may know that nothing is more foolish than man, 115 when he ...

14.From whom took he counsel? The Prophet expresses the same thing in many ways; that we may know that nothing is more foolish than man, 115 when he ventures to lift himself up into heaven, to examine or judge by his own ability the works of God. In these words, therefore, Isaiah intended to repress more and more the insolence and rashness of men. Paul quotes this proof for the same purpose, to deter us from judging of the unsearchable counsel of God; for God does not wish us to inquire concerning his wisdom but in a sober and becoming manner. (Rom 11:34.) There is one difference, that Paul affirms that the spiritual mystery of the gospel cannot be fathomed by the human understanding, while the Prophet pronounces a commendation, in general terms, on the providence of God. But on both points we ought to learn humility, and to bring all our senses captive to obedience. All the reason or understanding that we have is mere darkness, till we have been enlightened by Christ.

Calvin: Isa 40:15 - Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket 15.Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket If we wish to understand the Prophet’s meaning, and to read these words with advantage, we must (a...

15.Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket If we wish to understand the Prophet’s meaning, and to read these words with advantage, we must (as I remarked a little before) understand his design. He does not celebrate the greatness of God in a detached manner, but extols it with the utmost. possible adaptation to the present subject, that Israelites may know that this shield alone is sufficient to protect them, and that they will have no reason to dread the efforts, or rage, or violence of the world, if God be reconciled to them, and that they may thus learn to betake themselves to God’s protection; for if they were not fully convinced of this, there would arise at every moment various causes of despair. Isaiah thus continues the subject, when he says that all nations and peoples are nothing when compared with God; for, by simply breathing on them, he will scatter like small dust all the inhabitants of the earth. In consequence of our being excessively prone and foolishly ingenious in devising reasons of distrust, we imagine that everything that Satan does for the purpose of hindering our salvation blocks up the path of God. For the purpose of correcting this error, the Prophet declares that all the creatures are nothing before God, and that all the nations resemble small and inconsiderable drops of water. Hence we infer that nothing can be more contrary to reason than to exalt creatures for the sake of diminishing the power of God, which is high above all, and ought to be so acknowledged.

Calvin: Isa 40:16 - And Lebanon would not be sufficient 16.And Lebanon would not be sufficient That is, “If we must sacrifice to God according to what he deserves, neither the whole of Lebanon, nor the b...

16.And Lebanon would not be sufficient That is, “If we must sacrifice to God according to what he deserves, neither the whole of Lebanon, nor the beasts that graze upon it, would be sufficient for a sacrifice.” By various forms of expression he dwells largely on this power of God, that men, being’ convinced of it, may care nothing about creatures and all their might. Yet the Prophet appears to speak expressly of the worship of God, in order to lead readers to cherish deeper reverence for him; as if he had said, “Will you dare to measure by your own judgment the power of God, whom you will not be prepared, for worshipping aright, even though you should amass all the beasts and all the wood that are on Lebanon?” Hence some infer that no man can entitle himself to the favor of God by sacrifices. This, indeed, is true; but we ought, as has been already said, to consider the design of the Prophet, who, for the purpose of encouraging the Jews to cherish stronger confidence, shews that in comparison of God all things are nothing.

Calvin: Isa 40:17 - All nations 17.All nations He repeats what he had said, that it is in the power and at the disposal of God to destroy “all nations,” whenever he shall think ...

17.All nations He repeats what he had said, that it is in the power and at the disposal of God to destroy “all nations,” whenever he shall think proper; and that, even while they remain in their present condition, they are reckoned as nothing before him. But it may be thought absurd for him to say, that “the nations are nothing,” since God created them, that they might be something. I reply, this is said by comparison; for the depravity of the human mind is such that it obscures the divine majesty, and places above it those things which ought to have been subject to God; and, therefore, when we come to that contest, we may boldly declare that everything that is compared with God is worthless. Nor does Isaiah speak merely about the nature of men, such as it was created by God; but his aim is to abase and restrain their pride, when they venture to exalt themselves against God. We know that we cannot subsist but in God, in whom alone, as Paul declares, “we live, and move, and are.” (Act 17:28.) Nothing is more vain than man; and, as David says,

“If he be laid in the balance with vanity, he will be found to be even lighter than vanity.” (Psa 62:9.)

In the same manner does Isaiah affirm that “the nations” are not only “nothing,” but “less than nothing.” in order to exhibit more fully their feebleness and vanity. 116

Calvin: Isa 40:18 - To whom then have ye likened God? // Or, what resemblance will you appoint to him? 18.To whom then have ye likened God? The Jews were in great danger from another temptation; for there was reason to believe that the Assyrians and Ba...

18.To whom then have ye likened God? The Jews were in great danger from another temptation; for there was reason to believe that the Assyrians and Babylonians would not have obtained so many victories without their assistance; and hence they might naturally conclude, “Of what avail is it to us to have a peculiar manner of worshipping God which differs from other nations; for our enemies fight under the favor and protection of heaven, while we are not cheered by any assistance from the God whom we worship?” Neither can there be any doubt, that the captives were taunted by unbelievers, as is evident from other passages. (Psa 137:3; Lam 2:15.) That true religion may not be ruined among the Jews on account of the calamity which they had sustained, God rises up, and proclaims that a grievous injury is done to him, if believers, discouraged by adversity, turn aside to the idols and superstitions of the Gentiles. Thus he confirms them in the faith of the promises, that they may not sink under the weight of the punishments which they endure.

The Prophet, as we formerly suggested, does not address merely the men of his own age, but posterity, who would have a still severer contest with the mockeries of the nations whose captives they were, and likewise with bad examples and customs; for when, in consequence of being mingled with heathen nations, they daily beheld many corruptions of piety, it was more difficult for them steadily to persevere. That they might not entertain any foolish notion that high prosperity attended the worshippers of false gods, the Prophet meets this error, and reminds them that God, whom they and their fathers worshipped, ought not to be compared with the gods of the Gentiles; for these were made by men, and were composed of gold or silver, wood or stone; but God created all things; and therefore that the highest injury is done to God, not only by comparing his majesty with things of no value, but even by not, placing him far above all the angels and everything that is reckoned divine.

When Paul employs this passage (Act 17:29) as a proof against idolaters, or at least quotes the words of the Prophet, he does not wrest them from their true meaning. He infers, indeed, from them that to frame any image of God is exceedingly wicked, while the Prophet, in guarding the Jews against distrust, at the same time condemns the superstitions of the Gentiles, and declares that it is inconsistent with the nature of God to be represented by painting or by any kind of likeness. This shews clearly that Paul’s doctrine fully agrees with it; for the Prophet, after having shewn that the power of God is infinite, since he holds all things in his fist, at length concludes, “To whom then will ye liken me? for no image that is formed will have any likeness or resemblance to me.”

Or, what resemblance will you appoint to him? This is a useful doctrine, and worthy of observation; for were there nothing more than this single passage, it would be perfectly sufficient for refuting the inventions by which Papists deceive themselves, when they think that they have a right to represent God by outward figures. The Prophet declares that it is impossible to frame out of dead matter an image which shall have any resemblance to the glory of God. He openly rejects idols, and does not even speak of the worship of them, but affirms that to manufacture and set them up before God is wicked and abominable. The Scripture is full of such proofs. Moses warned a people prone to this vice,

“Thou sawest no image or shape in the mountain, thou only heardest a voice. See then and beware that thou be not led astray so as to frame for thyself any image.”
(Deu 4:12.)

In order to know God, therefore, we must not frame a likeness of him according to our own fancy, but we must betake ourselves to the Word, in which his lively image is exhibited to us. Satisfied with that communication, let us not attempt anything else of our own. Other ways and methods, such as idols and images, teach us vanity and falsehood, and not truth, as Jeremiah beautifully says, “The wood is the instruction of vanities,” (Jer 10:8,) and Habakkuk, “His graven image is falsehood.” (Hab 2:18.) When the Lord sometimes compares himself to a lion, a bear, a man, or other objects, this has nothing to do with images, as the Papists imagine, but by those metaphors either the kindness and mercy of God, or his wroth and displeasure, and other things of the same nature, are expressed; for God cannot reveal himself to us in any other way than by a comparison with things which we know. In short, if it were lawful to frame or set up an image of God, that would be a point of resemblance to the gods of the Gentiles, and this declaration of the Prophet could not be maintained.

Calvin: Isa 40:19 - The carver prepares a graven image 19.The carver prepares a graven image As public opinion has great force, and everything that pleases the multitude passes for a law, the Prophet fort...

19.The carver prepares a graven image As public opinion has great force, and everything that pleases the multitude passes for a law, the Prophet fortifies believers against this error. These words therefore convey an anticipation, that the Jews may not be terrified when they see the Gentiles laboring with all their might to make idols, for in this way they deceive and ensnare each other. But he attacks the madness of the whole world, 117 on this ground, that all are impelled by such outrageous zeal to the practice of superstition, and every man is his own instructor in the formation of idols.

Calvin: Isa 40:20 - The poor chooseth for his offering wood that will not rot 20.The poor chooseth for his offering wood that will not rot He concludes that no class of men is free from that crime, that the rich and poor alike ...

20.The poor chooseth for his offering wood that will not rot He concludes that no class of men is free from that crime, that the rich and poor alike are guilty and condemned; for the rich make their gods of gold or silver, and the poor of wood which they had selected. Hence he shews that all men are carried away by strange madness, and that even though they have not the means, still they desire to have something excellent for the worship of their gods. Men wish to enjoy the presence of God, and this is the beginning and source of idolatry; for God is not present with us by an idol, but by his word and by the power of his Spirit; and although he holds out to us in the sacraments an image both of his grace and of spiritual blessings, yet this is done with no other intention than to lead us upwards to himself. Yet the Prophet censures the folly of men, who are so blind as to labor with excessive industry and ingenuity in highly adorning their idols.

Calvin: Isa 40:21 - Do ye not know? // Hath it not been told you from the beginning? // From the foundations of the earth 21.Do ye not know? After having ridiculed the stupidity and madness of the Gentiles, the Prophet turns to the Jews; for we are all prone to superstit...

21.Do ye not know? After having ridiculed the stupidity and madness of the Gentiles, the Prophet turns to the Jews; for we are all prone to superstition, and thus we easily fall into it when any example is placed before our eyes. In consequence of mixing with the Babylonians during their captivity, the Jews were constrained to behold daily the basest examples of idolatry, and might be led away to wicked imitation. Isaiah therefore anticipates this at an early period, and warns them not to be carried away by the sight of such things.

He asks, “Have they not been taught, and have they not learned who is God?” The greater part of commentators think that all the questions here put are a repetition of the same truth, namely, that the creation of the world shews clearly that nothing can be more inconsistent than to seek God in wood and stone, silver and gold. But we may infer from the context that there are two clauses. Had he proceeded in his expostulation with the Gentiles, he would have brought forward no other witnesses than heaven and earth. But because he addresses the Jews who had been plainly taught by the Law, he brings forward direct arguments to refute them, drawn both from the order of nature and from the voice of God. And, first, he puts the question in general terms, “Do ye not know?” Next, he adds two methods by which they ought to have distinguished between the true God and the false gods. The former is drawn from the hearing of the Word, and therefore he expressly says, “Hath it not been told you? Have ye not heard?”

The latter method is borrowed from that magnificent theatre 118 in which the glory of God shines above and below. If the discourse had been addressed to foreigners and heathens, he would have been satisfied with this second demonstration, as we see that Paul also was; for, having to do with the inhabitants of Lystra, to whom no knowledge of heavenly doctrine had been conveyed, he employs none but natural arguments, that “God, by giving rain and sunshine, did not leave himself (ἀμάρτυρον) without witness.” (Act 14:17.) But when the Prophet spoke to the Jews about true godliness, it would have been improper for him to pass by the Law, which rendered them doubly inexcusable if, by neglecting it, they profaned themselves with unbelievers; for they had been convinced not only by the sight of their eyes, but also by the hearing of their cars, which God beat incessantly by the preaching of his Law. Since, therefore, from their mother’s womb they had sucked along with the milk the true knowledge of God, and had been taught by their fathers through a long succession of generations, the Prophet justly argues that they will be exceedingly ungrateful and wicked, if such assistance produce no good effect upon them.

Hath it not been told you from the beginning? The phrase, from the beginning, or “long ago,” conveys the idea that not only had they been educated from childhood in the pure worship of God, but during a succession of ages there had been largely enjoyed by that nation a doctrine which would not suffer them to go astray, provided that they were attentive; as if he had said, “Ye have not any new God, but the same God who revealed himself from the beginning to Abraham, Moses, and the rest of the fathers.” And indeed it yields no small confirmation, that the doctrine which had been continued among believers during so many ages must have been ancient. Not that antiquity alone is sufficient for establishing the certainty of faith, (for, on the contrary, the Gentiles might easily have objected, that their superstitions were not less ancient,) but since “from the beginning” the authority of the Law had been abundantly ratified, and God had testified that it came from him, long experience added no small confirmation, when they knew that their ancestors had delivered to posterity a form of religion which they could not throw away without receiving the stamp of base apostasy. Such a commencement, therefore, and such progress quickly remove all doubt. It is one and the same faith that has been held by us and by our fathers, for they and we have acknowledged the same God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The same word, the same promises, and the same end, have been exhibited to all believers.

From the foundations of the earth This is figurative language, in which a part is taken for the whole; for a part of the world is put; for the whole world. God has exhibited this world as a mirror to men, that by beholding it they may acknowledge his majesty, so that it is a lively image of invisible things, as Paul explains at great length in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. Their ignorance is therefore “without excuse;” for they cannot allege that they do not know God who has revealed himself in so many ways. (Rom 1:20.) And indeed men sin more through insolence and pride than through ignorance; for they despise God who manifests himself openly and speaks plainly, and their attention is occupied with creatures, and with the most trifling matters. Has such contempt any title to be excused? Do they not deserve to be blinded, and to adore their own inventions instead of God, which we see has happened to almost all? Such punishment is unquestionably just and due to so great pride. And if to that knowledge which we obtain through the creatures there be likewise added the doctrine of the word, we are much less excusable. Isaiah has therefore joined both kinds of knowledge, in order to shew that the Jews ought to be doubly condemned, if they did not place confidence in God, after having received instruction concerning his power and goodness.

Calvin: Isa 40:22 - It is he that sitteth // The inhabitants of which are as locusts // Spreadeth it out as a tent 22.It is he that sitteth He pursues the same subject, though in a different manner, and extols the glory and power of God. Why he does so we have alr...

22.It is he that sitteth He pursues the same subject, though in a different manner, and extols the glory and power of God. Why he does so we have already in some measure explained. It is because we are so prone to distrust, that the very smallest occasion makes us waver; and therefore the Prophet is constrained to repeat the same thing in many ways, that he may keep our weak and inconstant hearts in the exercise of confidence in God. Formerly he spoke of the creation of the world, but now he comes to the continual government of it; for God did not only for a single moment exert his power for creating the world, but he manifests his power not less efficaciously in preserving it. And this is worthy of observation; for our minds would be little impressed by knowing that God is the creator of the world, if his hand were not continually stretched out for upholding it in existence. By the word sitteth the Prophet means, that the earth does not remain firmly and permanently in its place any further than as it is upheld by the power of God; for “sitting” is a metaphorical term which denotes “government.”

The inhabitants of which are as locusts By comparing the inhabitants of the earth to locusts, he reminds us that God cannot be confined within such narrow boundaries, because “even the heavens (1Kg 8:27) do not contain him;” that we may learn, whenever we mention God, to conceive nothing earthly or human as belonging to his incomprehensible glory. Besides, this metaphor shews how ridiculous is the blindness of men when they claim anything for themselves; for they gain by their boastings just as much as if some small creatures, such as locusts, would elevate themselves by leaping; but they must immediately fall back on the earth.

Spreadeth it out as a tent David also employs the same form of expression, (Psa 104:2,) and both speak of the aspect and spreading out of the heavens with respect to us; for they do not mean that God spreads out the heavens, that he may dwell in them, but rather that there may be given to us a place of habitation under them; for while the earth sustains, the heavens cover us, so that we have a dwelling close and covered on all sides.

But it may be thought that these metaphors detract greatly from the dignity of the subject of which the Prophet discourses, while his object is to commend and exalt it to the utmost of his power. What is a curtain? What is a tent? I reply, these metaphors tend nevertheless to exalt the subject; for it is as if he had said, “that it is as easy for God to spread out heaven, as for a man to spread out a curtain.” And he leaves to every person to consider how great is the difference between heaven and a curtain, and what is their size, which any person may easily understand. Lastly, there is an implied contrast between tabernacles or houses 119 which men are long, and laboriously, and at great expense employed in building, and yet which hardly rise to a hundred feet, and the immeasurable height of the heavens spread out by an instantaneous act of the will of God, which makes abundantly manifest how great and how excellent a workman he is.

Calvin: Isa 40:23 - He bringeth the mighty to nothing // The governors of the earth as if they were not 23.He bringeth the mighty to nothing He proceeds in extolling the providence of God, by which he governs the whole world, but more especially mankind...

23.He bringeth the mighty to nothing He proceeds in extolling the providence of God, by which he governs the whole world, but more especially mankind. Already and but a little ago he had begun to remark that God did not create the world, so as afterwards to allow it to be governed by chance, but that he undertakes the preservation of it, and keeps it under his power and authority; but as he deigns to look more closely at mankind, so the Prophet selects this department, that by means of it he may extol God’s providence. The sum of what he says is, that God’s government extends far and wide, so that he directs and governs everything according to his pleasure; but he shews, (what was also highly advantageous to be known,) that even in the life of men striking proofs of the immediate exercise of the power of God are visible, and, not even satisfied with the general doctrine, he brings forward one class which ought still more to arouse our attention.

The governors of the earth as if they were not 120 Anything that happens to the undistinguished mass of common people is despised and passed by as unworthy of being observed; but when kingdoms and monarchies, or men of high rank, fall from their elevation, it seems as if the earth had been shaken; and the Prophet skilfully avails himself of such proofs to arouse us. It might, indeed, be supposed that princes and magistrates are exempted from the common lot, and are not subject to the ordinary miseries of men; for by their splendor they dazzle the eyes and understandings of all men. But their lustre is entirely dimmed; and therefore the Prophet especially mentions them, and declares that the Lord “bringeth them to nothing.” And if the hand of God is so powerful against nobles and princes, what must we think of the common people? Will he not also treat the ordinary crowd according to his pleasure, and drive them wherever he thinks fit? Will he not either give or take away from them, whenever he pleases, both strength and courage?

Calvin: Isa 40:24 - It is as if they had not been planted // Even while he bloweth on them 24.It is as if they had not been planted Though the particle אף ( aph) signifies also, yet in this passage it may be more appropriately rendere...

24.It is as if they had not been planted Though the particle אף ( aph) signifies also, yet in this passage it may be more appropriately rendered “so that;” and thus the plain meaning will be, “So that you may say that they were not planted or sown.” It is an amplification of what he had formerly said, for he shews that the princes are totally destroyed and rooted out, so that no trace of them is left, any more than if they had never existed. So long as they remain in prosperity, they appear to be so strong as to be beyond the possibility of being thrown down by any adverse event. 121 but such changes happen as blot out their name and remembrance, so that you would say that they had never existed; and we see that this has happened not only to men but even to very flourishing kingdoms.

Since, therefore, great downfalls are so many tokens of God’s dreadful power, let us learn not to lean on earthly and deceitful supports, but, whatever may be the amount of our riches or strength, let us depend on him. God does not, as heathen men babble, turn about this world like a ball, as if he took pleasure in this game; but whenever any person is highly elevated, he never ceases from insolent boasting till he is thrown down headlong, so that the judgments of God are always manifest. We are also reminded by it, that it is wrong to ascribe to fortune or to any other cause the various events that happen; for God was not an instantaneous Creator, that would immediately abandon the charge of his work, but incessantly applies his hand, so that nothing is done but by his will and pleasure. Seeing that various changes thus happen in the world, seeing that those things which were thought to be firm and stable are transitory and fading, let us turn our minds to that supreme providence of God.

Even while he bloweth on them Hence he shows how light and trivial before God are those things which commonly dazzle our eyes and fill us with amazement; for we cannot think of any great king without being perfectly alarmed and stupified. But he shows that kings and princes are like stubble before God, by whose breath they are driven, as by a whirlwind, at any instant that he pleases. We are therefore taught that we ought never to be overwhelmed by the sight of any creature, so as not to render to God the honor and glory that are due to him. This ought to have been carefully considered by the Jews, who would have thought that that monarchy of the Babylonians, whose captives they were, would never be destroyed, and that they could not be rescued out of their hands, if they had not called to remembrance this doctrine, that nothing in this world is so durable that it may not be dissolved by the breath of God. That they may not despair of their salvation, the Prophet reminds them that God, as soon as he shall be pleased to thunder from heaven, will crush all that strength in their enemies that terrifies them, so that it shall vanish away.

Calvin: Isa 40:25 - And to whom will ye liken me? // Saith the Holy One 25.And to whom will ye liken me? He repeats the former statement, (Isa 40:18,) by which he said that the Lord would not suffer himself to be likened ...

25.And to whom will ye liken me? He repeats the former statement, (Isa 40:18,) by which he said that the Lord would not suffer himself to be likened to idols; that the Jews might not in any degree detract, from his power, on account of their having been so long held captive in the hand of unbelievers, or think that idols are anything on account of the prosperity of their worshippers, whom they were compelled to serve; for, by reasoning in this manner about the power of the true God and of idols, they would have compared him with idols. On this account he repeats, as it were in indignation, “To whom will ye liken me?” as if he had said, “Will you rob me of my majesty by your comparisons?” For although men have various thoughts of God, and transform him according to their fancy, yet he continues to be like himself, for he does not change his nature on account of the inventions of men.

Saith the Holy One He appropriately applies to God the term Holy, by which title he indirectly blames or accuses the Jews of base ingratitude, if, as they have been set apart by him, they do not sanctify him in return. No holiness will be found in the gods of the Gentiles; they are the mere inventions of men. A grievous injury therefore is done to God, and he is basely degraded from his rank, when idols are brought into collision with him, and when it becomes a subject of debate if they can do more than God himself.

Calvin: Isa 40:26 - Lift up your eyes on high // And see who hath created them // Bringing out by number their army // He will call to all of them by name // By the greatness of his strength // Not one shall be wanting 26.Lift up your eyes on high The Prophet appears to linger too long on this subject, more especially because it presents no obscurity; for he repeats...

26.Lift up your eyes on high The Prophet appears to linger too long on this subject, more especially because it presents no obscurity; for he repeats by many statements what is acknowledged by all, that God’s wonderful power and wisdom may be known from the beautiful order of the world. But we ought to observe what I have already said, that we are so wicked and ungrateful judges of the divine power, that we often imagine God to be inferior to some feeble man. We are more terrified frequently by the empty mask of a single man 122 than we are strengthened by all the promises of God. Not in vain, therefore, does the Prophet repeat that God is defrauded of his honor, if his power do not lead us to warm admiration of him; nor does he spend his labor in what is superfluous, for we are so dull and sluggish that we need to be continually aroused and excited.

Men see every day the heavens and the stars; but who is there that thinks about their Author? By nature men are formed in such a manner as to make it evident that they were born to contemplate the heavens, and thus to learn their Author; for while God formed other animals to look downwards for pasture, he made man alone erect, and bade him look at what may be regarded as his own habitation.

This is also described beautifully by a poet: 123 “While other animals look downwards towards the earth, he gave to man a lofty face, and bade him look at heaven, and lift up his countenance erect towards the stars.” 124 The Prophet therefore points out the wickedness of men who do not acknowledge what is openly placed before their eyes concerning God, but, like cattle, fix their snout in the earth; for, whenever we raise our eyes upwards, with any degree of attention, it is impossible for our senses not to be struck with the majesty of God.

And see who hath created them By mentioning the stars, he states more clearly that the wonderful order which shines brightly in the face of the heavens preaches loudly that there is one God and Creator of the world; and all who shall observe, that amidst the vast number and variety of the stars, so regular an order and course is so well maintained, will be constrained to make this acknowledgment. For it is not by chance that each of the stars has had its place assigned to it, nor is it at random that they advance uniformly with so great rapidity, and amidst numerous windings move straight forwards, so that they do not deviate a hairbreadth from the path which God has marked out for them. Thus does their wonderful arrangement shew that God is the Author and worker, so that men cannot open their eyes without being constrained to behold the majesty of God in his works.

Bringing out by number their army Under the word army he, includes two things; their almost infinite number, and their admirable arrangement; for a small number of persons do not constitute an army, and not even a considerable number, if there be not also numerous companies. Besides, it is not called an “army,” when men are collected together at random, and without any selection, and in a confused manner, or when they wander about in a disorderly state, but where there are various classes of officers, who have the charge of ten, or a hundred, or a thousand men, 125 and where the ranks are drawn up and arranged on a fixed plan. Thus the wonderful arrangement of the stars, and their certain courses, may justly be called an “army.”

By the word number he means that God always has this “army” at his command. In an army the soldiers may wander, and may not be immediately collected or brought back to their ranks by the general, though the trumpet sound. But it is otherwise with God. He always has his soldiers in readiness, and that “by number;” that is, he keeps a reckoning of them, so that not one of them is absent.

He will call to all of them by name The same expression occurs, (Psa 147:4,) and in the same sense. Some explain it to mean that God knows the number of the stars, which is unknown to us. But David and Isaiah meant a different thing, that is, that God makes use of the stars according to his pleasure; as if one should command a servant, calling him to him by name; and the same thing will afterwards be said of Cyrus, whose labors and service the Lord employed in delivering his people. (Isa 45:1.) In a word, it denotes the utmost submission and obedience, when he who is called instantly answers to his name.

By the greatness of his strength Those who explain the preceding clause to mean that the Lord knows the number of the stars, are also mistaken in supposing that by giving them their names is meant their power and office. Others explain it, that there is not a star that has not its own power and energy, because the Lord gave to them those qualities they would always possess. But others connect these words with יקרא , (yikra,) “he shall call;” as if he had said, “The Lord is so powerful that all the stars listen to his commands.” But a meaning which appears to me to be more appropriate is, that God is so powerful, that, as soon as he has issued an order, all the armies of the stars are ready to yield obedience. In this we have an extraordinary proof of his power, when those highly excellent, creatures unhesitatingly submit to him, and by executing his orders testify that they acknowledge him to be their Author.

Not one shall be wanting The word איש (ish) is applied by Hebrew writers not only to men and women, but also to other animals, and even to inanimate objects, as in a former passage, (Isa 34:16,) when, speaking of the birds that should occupy those splendid abodes, he said that “ not one should be wanting,” he used the word איש (ish). 126 These words commend to us the power of God, that we may know that there is nothing in heaven or in earth that does not depend on his will and pleasure. Nothing, therefore, can be more shameful or unreasonable than to compare him to idols, which are as worthless as anything can possibly be. 127

Calvin: Isa 40:27 - Why wilt thou say? // O Jacob and Israel! // My way is hidden from Jehovah // And my judgment passeth away from my God 27.Why wilt thou say? The Prophet now expostulates either with the Jews, because they were almost overcome by despair, and did not look to the promis...

27.Why wilt thou say? The Prophet now expostulates either with the Jews, because they were almost overcome by despair, and did not look to the promises of God, by which they ought, to have supported their minds; or he makes provision for posterity, that they may not sink under any distresses however long continued. The verbs are in the future sense, which might also be explained by the subjunctive mood, Why wouldst thou say? For Isaiah justly infers front the preceding statement, that the chosen people, whatever may happen, ought to wait patiently for God, till he give assistance in due time. He argues from the less to the greater: “Since God keeps every part of the world under his authority, it is impossible that he shall forsake his Church.” Yet it is probable that at that time there were heard among the people complaints, by which they murmured against God, as if he did not care about their salvation, or were slow in rendering assistance, or even shut his eyes and did not see their distresses. The fault which is now corrected is, that they thought that God did not care about them; as usually happens in afflictions, in which we think that God has forsaken us, and exposed us for a prey, and that he takes no concern about the affairs of this world. 128

O Jacob and Israel! By these names he calls to their remembrance the Lord’s covenant, which had been ratified by promises so numerous and so diversified; as if he had said, “Dost thou not think that thou art that people which God hath chosen peculiarly for himself? Why dost thou imagine that he who cannot deceive does not attend to thy cause?”

My way is hidden from Jehovah He employs the word way for “condition” and ‘cause,” and hidden, for “disregarded” or “unknown;” for if God delay his assistance for a short time, we think that his care does not extend to us. Some explain it differently, that is, that the people are here reproved for thinking that they would not be punished for sinning, and they think that this sentiment resembles such as, “The wicked man hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psa 14:1.) But the Prophets meaning unquestionably was, “Thinkest thou, O Israel, that the Lord taketh no concern about thine affairs?” For he exclaims against the distrust of the people, and chides them sharply, that he may afterwards comfort them, and may show that the Lord will continually assist his people whom he hath undertaken to defend.

And my judgment passeth away from my God The word judgment confirms our interpretation of the preceding clause; for “judgment” is implored in affliction, when we are unjustly oppressed, or when any one does us wrong; and God is said to favor and undertake “judgment,” or “our right,” when, after having known our cause, he defends and guards us; and he is said to pass by it, when he overlooks us, and permits us to be devoured by our enemies. It is as if he had said, that the Jews act unjustly in complaining that God has disregarded their cause and forsaken them; and by that reproof he prepares them for receiving consolation, for they could not receive it while their minds were occupied with wicked or foolish thoughts. It was therefore necessary first to remove obstructions, and to open up the way for consolation.

Calvin: Isa 40:28 - Hast thou not known? // That Jehovah is the God of eternity // And is not wearied by weariness, and there is no searching of his understanding 28.Hast thou not known? He repeats the same statement which he had formerly made, that the people who had been carefully taught in the school of God ...

28.Hast thou not known? He repeats the same statement which he had formerly made, that the people who had been carefully taught in the school of God were inexcusable for their slothfulness, and chides them sharply for not having profited more by the doctrine of the Law, and by the other means which God had bestowed in addition to that knowledge which they possessed in common with the Gentiles. The word know, which is more general, is put first; because by many miracles and other proofs God had manifested his glory. Next, he asks, Hast thou not heard? As if he had said, “If thou hast profited nothing by being taught by actions and by word that God is never unemployed, it is evident that thou are excessively unteachable.”

That Jehovah is the God of eternity The Prophet calls him “eternal,” and thus distinguishes him from all idols, which endure but for a time, and were made by men; and truly, if this were deeply seated in our hearts, there would no longer be any room for distrust; for if God is eternal, he never changes or decays, eternity being uniformly attended by this quality, that it is never liable to change, but always remains the same. Since the Jews did not sufficiently believe these things, though they had often “heard” them, the Prophet intended to arouse them by this reproof, in order to shew that they will be doubly guilty before God, if, after having been taught both by his numerous benefits, and by the word, they do not render the honor and glory which are due to him.

And is not wearied by weariness, and there is no searching of his understanding Here the Prophet makes two statements; first, that God is not wearied in doing good; and, secondly, that no man can explore his wisdom. In the former clause he shews that, nothing will hinder God from continuing to exercise his kindness; for he is not like men whose resources are exhausted by giving frequently, or who are wearied by continually bestowing new favors, or who repent of their generosity. His kindness is never exhausted; if he was kind to the fathers, he will be not less kind and bountiful to posterity. As to the allegation, that God very often acts differently from what we think to be best for us, the Prophet meets it by saying that his purpose is incomprehensible, and warns us that we ought not to murmur, though he does not all at once comply with our wishes; because nothing is better adapted to cherish our hope than this sobriety, which leads us to consider how marvellously God works in preserving us, and thus to submit to his secret counsel.

Calvin: Isa 40:29 - He giveth power to the faint 29.He giveth power to the faint The Prophet now applies to the present subject the general statements which he made; for we have said that his intent...

29.He giveth power to the faint The Prophet now applies to the present subject the general statements which he made; for we have said that his intention was to give warmer encouragement to the people, and to lead them to cherish better hope. Because the Jews were at that time weakened and destitute of all strength, he shews that on this account it belongs to God to give assistance to those who were thus exhausted and weakened. He therefore magnifies the power of God on this ground, that they may conclude and believe that they ought not to doubt of their salvation so long as they enjoy his favor. It was indeed to the people who were held captive in Babylon that the Prophet looked; but we ought also to apply this doctrine to ourselves, that whenever our strength shall fail, and we shall be almost laid low, we may call to remembrance that the Lord stretches out his hand ‘to the faint,” who are sinking through the want of all help. But first, we must feel our faintness and poverty, that the saying of Paul, “The power of God is made perfect in our weakness,” (2Co 12:9,) may be fulfilled; for if our hearts are not deeply moved by a conviction of our weakness, we cannot receive seasonable assistance from God.

Calvin: Isa 40:30 - The youths are wearied and faint // And the young men by falling fall 30.The youths are wearied and faint By this comparison the Prophet illustrates more powerfully what he had formerly said, that the strength which God...

30.The youths are wearied and faint By this comparison the Prophet illustrates more powerfully what he had formerly said, that the strength which God imparts to his elect is invincible and unwearied; for men’s strength easily fails, but God’s strength never fails. It is indeed certain that all the vigor which naturally dwells in us proceeds from God; but since men claim as their own what God has bestowed generally on all, the Prophet thus distinguishes between the strength of men which appears to be born with them, and that strength by which God peculiarly supports his elect; for God’s kindness, which is diffused throughout all nature, is not sufficiently perceived. And thus by “men’s strength” he means that which is generally possessed by mankind, and by “God’s assistance,” he means that by which he peculiarly assists us after our strength has failed; for the Prophet speaks of the grace of God which is cormmonly called supernatural, and says that it is perpetual, while men can have nothing in themselves but what is fading and transitory; that by this mark he may distinguish between the Church of God and the rest of the world, and between spiritual grace and earthly prosperity.

And the young men by falling fall In the former clause he made use of the word נערים , (negnarim,) youths, but now he adds בחרים , (bachurim,) which means not only that they were “young men,” but also that they had been selected. 129 The repetition of the same statement may be supposed to refer particularly to age, though he means that they were persons of the choicest vigor and in the prime of life. With this design he recommends that excellent privilege which God bestows on his children in preference to other men; that they may be satisfied with their lot, and may bear no envy to earthly men, 130 for that strength of which they boast. In a word, he shews that men are greatly deceived if they are puffed up by confidence in their own strength, for they immediately sink and faint.

He appears to allude to what happens every day, that the stronger any person is, the more boldly does he attempt what is exceedingly difficult, and the consequence is, that they who are naturally more robust seldom live to be old men. They think nothing too hard or difficult, they attempt everything, and rashly encounter all dangers; but they give way in the middle of their course, and suffer the punishment of their rashness. The same thing befalls those who are proud of any gift which God has bestowed on them, and are full of confidence in themselves; for all that they have received from God is reduced to nothing, or rather turns to their ruin and destruction; and thus they are justly punished for their insolence.

Calvin: Isa 40:31 - But they that wait for Jehovah // They shall raise their wings as eagles // They shall run and shall not be weary 31.But they that wait for Jehovah Hebrew writers employ the phrase, “exchanging strength,” 131 to denote “gathering new strength,” and thus ...

31.But they that wait for Jehovah Hebrew writers employ the phrase, “exchanging strength,” 131 to denote “gathering new strength,” and thus “being restored.” The Prophet therefore shews, that godly persons, who shall hope in God, will not be deficient in strength; and he confirms what he formerly said,

“In rest and silence shall be your strength.” (Isa 30:15.)

We must not become agitated, or throw ourselves forward rashly, but “wait” patiently. In this passage, therefore, waiting means nothing else than patience. Violent men dash themselves to pieces by their own eagerness, but the vigor of godly men, though it has less display, and often appears to lie buried while they calmly “wait for” God’s assistance, is refreshed and renewed. We must therefore return to the saying of Paul, that

“the power of God is made perfect in our weakness.”
(2Co 12:9.)

We must, therefore be fully convinced of our weakness, that we may yield to the power of God. The Jews, who were oppressed by that cruel captivity, had great need of this doctrine; but for us also, during this wretchedly ruinous condition of the Church, it is exceedingly needful.

They shall raise their wings as eagles It is generally believed that the Prophet uses this phrase in the same sense that the Psalmist says,

“Thy youth shall be renewed like that of the eagle.”
(Psa 103:5.)

It is certain that the “eagle” is very long-lived as compared with other birds.

Aristotle and Pliny affirm that it never dies of old age, but of hunger; that is, that when the upper part of the beak becomes too large, it cannot take food into its mouth, and for a long time subsists entirely on what it drinks. One Zaadias, as all Jews are audacious in constructing fables, pretends that the eagle flies upward into the region that is near the sun, and approaches the sun so closely, that its old wings are burned, and other new ones grow in their place; but this is utterly absurd and fabulous. The Prophet means that they who trust in the Lord will be vigorous, like eagles, till the most advanced old age. But seeing that eagles fly higher than other birds, by which they shew remarkable swiftness, which has also given rise to the proverb, “An eagle among the clouds,” this passage may be understood to denote not only long life, but also strength and agility; so that Isaiah, after having shewn that their strength is recruited, adds that they are more vigorous, and ascend to a great height. Such is also the import of what follows, —

They shall run and shall not be weary It is as if he had said, that the Lord will assist them, so that they shall pursue their course without any molestation. It is a figurative expression, by which he intimates that believers 132 will always be ready to perform their duty with cheerfulness. But it will be said, “There are so many troubles which we must endure in this life; how then does he say that we shall be exempt from weariness?” I reply, believers are indeed distressed and wearied, but they are at length delivered from their distresses, and feel that they have been restored by the power of God; for it happens to them according to the saying of Paul,

“While we are troubled on every side, we are not overwhelmed; we are perplexed, but are not in despair; we suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but are not destroyed.”
(2Co 4:8.)

Let us therefore learn to flee to the Lord, who, after we have encountered many storms, will at length conduct us to the harbor; for he who hath opened up a path, and hath commanded us to advance in that course in which he hath placed us, does not intend to assist us only for a single day, and to forsake us in the middle of our course, (Phi 1:6,) but will conduct us to the goal.

Defender: Isa 40:1 - Comfort ye This verse begins the second part of Isaiah's prophecy. By a remarkable providential arrangement, it is noteworthy that the two divisions of Isaiah (c...

This verse begins the second part of Isaiah's prophecy. By a remarkable providential arrangement, it is noteworthy that the two divisions of Isaiah (chapters 1-39 and 40-66) contain thirty-nine and twenty-seven chapters, respectively, corresponding to the thirty-nine canonical books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. Appropriately, Part 1 emphasizes law and judgment, while Part 2 stresses grace and salvation, as centered in the promised Messiah. The "New Testament" portion of Isaiah begins with the ministry of John the Baptist (Isa 40:1-5) and ends with the "new heavens and a new earth" (Isaiah 65:17-66:24), along with the unquenchable fire that awaits the ungodly (Isa 66:24). It is also noteworthy that Isa 53:1-12, the greatest gospel chapter in the Bible, is the central chapter of the New Testament section of the book. And since this Isa 53:1 should really have been selected to begin with Isa 52:13, the central verse of this central chapter is Isa 53:5 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.""

Defender: Isa 40:3 - voice of him This prophecy was fulfilled 700 years later when John the Baptist came to "prepare the way" for Christ (Mat 3:1-3)."

This prophecy was fulfilled 700 years later when John the Baptist came to "prepare the way" for Christ (Mat 3:1-3)."

Defender: Isa 40:4 - rough place plain A remarkable change in the very shape of the earth's surface will take place during the tribulation, preparing the earth for the glorious kingdom age....

A remarkable change in the very shape of the earth's surface will take place during the tribulation, preparing the earth for the glorious kingdom age. The terrible earthquakes (among other geophysical catastrophes) will destroy the great mountain masses of the world (Rev 16:20) and fill up the ocean depths, smoothing out the topography so that the earth's lands will all be pleasantly inhabitable, as in the beginning."

Defender: Isa 40:5 - shall be revealed When the earth's surface is prepared, and the sinners consumed out of it, then the Lord Jesus will be revealed in all His "power and great glory" (Mat...

When the earth's surface is prepared, and the sinners consumed out of it, then the Lord Jesus will be revealed in all His "power and great glory" (Mat 24:30)."

Defender: Isa 40:8 - stand for ever The universal curse (Gen 3:17-19), pronounced by God because of sin (called scientifically the law of increasing entropy), affects everything in the p...

The universal curse (Gen 3:17-19), pronounced by God because of sin (called scientifically the law of increasing entropy), affects everything in the physical world except the incorruptible Word of God (compare Mat 24:35). Isa 40:6-8 is cited in 1Pe 1:23-25."

Defender: Isa 40:12 - measured the waters This series of rhetorical questions - to which the only answer can be the omniscient God - stresses the precise accuracy with which the various compon...

This series of rhetorical questions - to which the only answer can be the omniscient God - stresses the precise accuracy with which the various components of the creation have been designed. The amount and distribution of the earth's waters (unique to the earth in all the universe), as studied in such sciences as hydrology, meteorology, oceanography is probably the most important question.

Defender: Isa 40:12 - with the span The almost infinite number and variety of stars have all been carefully planned and even named by God (Isa 40:26). This is the domain of astronomy.

The almost infinite number and variety of stars have all been carefully planned and even named by God (Isa 40:26). This is the domain of astronomy.

Defender: Isa 40:12 - dust of the earth The "dust of the earth," out of which all things are constructed (Gen 2:7), must refer to the basic elements of matter. The precise divine measurement...

The "dust of the earth," out of which all things are constructed (Gen 2:7), must refer to the basic elements of matter. The precise divine measurements of these chemical elements suggests the valence structure of their molecules, where the structure and properties of all the various materials and compounds in nature are controlled.

Defender: Isa 40:12 - weighed the mountains Geophysics is structured around the principle of isostasy (equal weights), the growth and motions of the earth's physiographical features all interrel...

Geophysics is structured around the principle of isostasy (equal weights), the growth and motions of the earth's physiographical features all interrelated with their sizes, densities, etc."

Defender: Isa 40:13 - hath directed the Spirit This section (Isa 40:13, Isa 40:14) is applied in Rom 11:34, climaxing Paul's profound discourse on God's divine sovereignty."

This section (Isa 40:13, Isa 40:14) is applied in Rom 11:34, climaxing Paul's profound discourse on God's divine sovereignty."

Defender: Isa 40:15 - the nations The old cliche, "like a drop in a bucket," originated in this verse, with its striking evaluation of the world's great nations in comparison to the gr...

The old cliche, "like a drop in a bucket," originated in this verse, with its striking evaluation of the world's great nations in comparison to the greatness of God."

Defender: Isa 40:22 - circle of the earth Hebrew khug is translated "compassed" in Job 26:10 and "compass" in Pro 8:27. All three, in context, clearly refer to the sphericity of the earth.

Hebrew khug is translated "compassed" in Job 26:10 and "compass" in Pro 8:27. All three, in context, clearly refer to the sphericity of the earth.

Defender: Isa 40:22 - stretcheth out the heavens This phrase is possibly a reference to the expanding universe, as envisioned by modern astronomers. There are numerous references in Scripture to the ...

This phrase is possibly a reference to the expanding universe, as envisioned by modern astronomers. There are numerous references in Scripture to the "stretching-out," or "spreading-out" of the heavens (space), when God created the universe (Job 9:8; Psa 104:2; Isa 42:5; Isa 44:24; Isa 51:13; Jer 10:12). Alternatively the "heavens" referred to here may refer simply to the atmospheric heavens, spread out like a curtain, or "tent to dwell in," around the circle of the earth. This atmospheric "tent," refracting and spreading light over the hemisphere, is sharply distinct from the darkness outside."

Defender: Isa 40:26 - hath created these things One of the strongest evidences that all "these things" were created and did not evolve by themselves is the law of entropy, also known as the second l...

One of the strongest evidences that all "these things" were created and did not evolve by themselves is the law of entropy, also known as the second law of thermodynamics. This best-proved law of science describes the universal tendency of all physical systems to decay. Ordered systems tend to become disordered; highly programmed systems tend to become garbled; dynamic moving systems tend to run down. Since everything is now winding down, it all first must have been wound up, and this requires a Creator.

Defender: Isa 40:26 - number The infinite Creator has placed an endless number of highly ordered and energized heavenly bodies throughout His creation.

The infinite Creator has placed an endless number of highly ordered and energized heavenly bodies throughout His creation.

Defender: Isa 40:26 - by names Each created system is given a distinctive name corresponding to its own complex structure and function by the omniscient Creator.

Each created system is given a distinctive name corresponding to its own complex structure and function by the omniscient Creator.

Defender: Isa 40:26 - strong in power Every system in the cosmos has been empowered to carry out its purpose by the omnipotent Creator."

Every system in the cosmos has been empowered to carry out its purpose by the omnipotent Creator."

Defender: Isa 40:28 - fainteth not The available energy of the creation may decrease, in accordance with the law of entropy, but the power of the Almighty Creator, who imposed that law ...

The available energy of the creation may decrease, in accordance with the law of entropy, but the power of the Almighty Creator, who imposed that law on His creation because of sin, does not run down.

Defender: Isa 40:28 - his understanding The high organization of God's complex creation may disintegrate and become garbled, but His omniscient understanding is not diminished."

The high organization of God's complex creation may disintegrate and become garbled, but His omniscient understanding is not diminished."

Defender: Isa 40:31 - renew their strength Literally, "renew" means "exchange." Those who look to the infinite, omniscient, omnipotent Creator for their supply of order, intelligence and power ...

Literally, "renew" means "exchange." Those who look to the infinite, omniscient, omnipotent Creator for their supply of order, intelligence and power shall exchange their weakness and foolishness for His strength and wisdom. This is a marvelous energy conversion process."

TSK: Isa 40:1 - comfort comfort : Isa 3:10, Isa 35:3, Isa 35:4, Isa 41:10-14, Isa 41:27, Isa 49:13-16, Isa 50:10, Isa 51:3, Isa 51:12, Isa 57:15-19; Isa. 60:1-22, Isa 61:1-3,...

TSK: Isa 40:2 - comfortably // warfare // that her iniquity // double comfortably : Heb. to the heart, Gen 34:3; 2Ch 30:22; Hos 2:14 *marg. warfare : or, appointed time, Psa. 102:13-28; Son 2:11-13; Jer 29:11; Dan 9:2, D...

TSK: Isa 40:3 - The voice // Prepare // make The voice : Mat 3:1-3; Mar 1:2-5; Luk 3:2-6; Joh 1:23 Prepare : Isa 35:8, Isa 57:14, Isa 62:10,Isa 62:11; Mal 3:1, Mal 4:5, Mal 4:6; Luk 1:16, Luk 1:1...

TSK: Isa 40:4 - valley // every mountain // and the // straight // plain valley : Isa 42:11, Isa 42:15, Isa 42:16; 1Sa 2:8; Psa 113:7, Psa 113:8; Eze 17:24, Eze 21:26; Luk 1:52, Luk 1:53; Luk 3:5, Luk 18:14 every mountain :...

valley : Isa 42:11, Isa 42:15, Isa 42:16; 1Sa 2:8; Psa 113:7, Psa 113:8; Eze 17:24, Eze 21:26; Luk 1:52, Luk 1:53; Luk 3:5, Luk 18:14

every mountain : Isa 2:12-15; Job 40:11-13

and the : Isa 42:16, Isa 45:2; Pro 2:15

straight : or, a straight place

plain : or, a plain place

TSK: Isa 40:5 - the glory // all flesh // for the mouth the glory : Isa 6:3, Isa 11:9, Isa 35:2, Isa 60:1; Psa 72:19, Psa 96:6, Psa 102:16; Hab 2:14; Luk 2:10-14; Joh 1:14, Joh 12:41; 2Co 3:18, 2Co 4:6; Heb...

TSK: Isa 40:6 - Cry // All flesh Cry : Isa 40:3, Isa 12:6, Isa 58:1, Isa 61:1, Isa 61:2; Jer 2:2, Jer 31:6; Hos 5:8 All flesh : Isa 37:27; Job 14:2; Psa 90:5, Psa 90:6, Psa 92:7, Psa ...

TSK: Isa 40:8 - the word the word : Isa 46:10,Isa 46:11, Isa 55:10,Isa 55:11; Psa 119:89-91; Zec 1:6; Mat 5:18, Mat 24:35; Mar 13:31; Joh 10:35, Joh 12:34; Rom 3:1-3; 1Pe 1:25

TSK: Isa 40:9 - O Zion, that bringest good tidings // get // O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings // lift up // be not // Behold O Zion, that bringest good tidings : or, O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Isa 41:27, Isa 52:7; Ezr 1:1, Ezr 1:2; Luk 24:47; Rom 10:18 get : J...

O Zion, that bringest good tidings : or, O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, Isa 41:27, Isa 52:7; Ezr 1:1, Ezr 1:2; Luk 24:47; Rom 10:18

get : Jdg 9:7; 1Sa 26:13, 1Sa 26:14; 2Ch 13:4

O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings : or, O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem

lift up : Isa 52:8, Isa 58:4; Jer 22:20; Act 2:14

be not : Isa 35:3, Isa 35:4, Isa 51:7, Isa 51:12; Act 4:13, Act 4:29, Act 5:41, Act 5:42; Eph 6:19; Phi 1:28, Phi 1:29; 1Pe 3:14

Behold : Isa 12:2, Isa 25:9; 1Ti 3:16; 1Jo 5:20,1Jo 5:21

TSK: Isa 40:10 - the Lord God // with strong hand // his arm // his reward // his work the Lord God : Isa 9:6, Isa 9:7, Isa 59:15-21, 60:1-22; Zec 2:8-11; Mal 3:1; Joh 12:13, Joh 12:15 with strong hand : or, against the strong, Isa 49:24...

the Lord God : Isa 9:6, Isa 9:7, Isa 59:15-21, 60:1-22; Zec 2:8-11; Mal 3:1; Joh 12:13, Joh 12:15

with strong hand : or, against the strong, Isa 49:24, Isa 49:25, Isa 53:12; Heb 2:14; 1Jo 3:8

his arm : Isa 59:16; Psa 2:8, Psa 2:9, Psa 66:3, Psa 110:1, Psa 110:2, Psa 110:6; Mat 28:18; Eph 1:20-22; Phi 2:10,Phi 2:11; Rev 2:26, Rev 2:27, Rev 17:14, Rev 19:11-16, Rev 20:11

his reward : Isa 62:11; Rev 22:12

his work : or, recompence for his work, Isa 49:4

TSK: Isa 40:11 - feed // he shall gather // shall gently lead // are with young feed : Isa 49:9, Isa 49:10, Isa 63:11; Gen 49:24; Psa 23:1-6, Psa 78:71, Psa 78:72, Psa 80:1; Eze 34:12-14; Eze 34:23, Eze 34:31, Eze 37:24; Mic 5:4; ...

feed : Isa 49:9, Isa 49:10, Isa 63:11; Gen 49:24; Psa 23:1-6, Psa 78:71, Psa 78:72, Psa 80:1; Eze 34:12-14; Eze 34:23, Eze 34:31, Eze 37:24; Mic 5:4; Joh 10:11-16; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 1Pe 5:4; Rev 7:17

he shall gather : Isa 42:3; Gen 33:13; Eze 34:16; Joh 21:15-17; 1Co 3:1, 1Co 3:2

shall gently lead : A beautiful image, as Bp. Lowth remarks, expressive of the tender attention of the shepherd to his flock. That the greatest care in driving the cattle, in regard to the dams and their young, was necessary, appears clearly from Jacob’ s apology to his brother Esau, Gen 33:13; which is set in a still stronger light by the following remarks of Sir J. Chardin: ""Their flocks feed down the places of their encampments so quick, by the great numbers that they have, that they are obliged to remove them often, which is very destructive to their flocks, on account of the young ones, who have not strength enough to follow."

are with young : or, give suck

TSK: Isa 40:12 - measured // measure // weighed measured : Isa 48:13; Job 11:7-9, Job 38:4-11; Psa 102:25, Psa 102:26, Psa 104:2, Psa 104:3; Pro 8:26-28, Pro 30:4; Heb 1:10-12; Rev 20:11 measure : H...

TSK: Isa 40:13 - hath directed // his counsellor hath directed : Job 21:22, Job 36:22, Job 36:23; Luk 10:22; Joh 1:13; Rom 11:34; 1Co 2:16; Eph 1:11 his counsellor : Heb. man of his counsel

hath directed : Job 21:22, Job 36:22, Job 36:23; Luk 10:22; Joh 1:13; Rom 11:34; 1Co 2:16; Eph 1:11

his counsellor : Heb. man of his counsel

TSK: Isa 40:14 - instructed him // understanding instructed him : Heb. made him understand understanding : Heb. understandings. 1Co 12:4-6; Col 2:3; Jam 1:17

instructed him : Heb. made him understand

understanding : Heb. understandings. 1Co 12:4-6; Col 2:3; Jam 1:17

TSK: Isa 40:15 - the nations // the isles the nations : Isa 40:22; Job 34:14, Job 34:15; Jer 10:10 the isles : Isa 11:11, Isa 41:5, Isa 59:18, Isa 66:19; Gen 10:5; Dan 11:18; Zep 2:11

TSK: Isa 40:16 - nor nor : Psa 40:6, Psa 50:10-12; Mic 6:6, Mic 6:7; Heb 10:5-10

TSK: Isa 40:17 - as nothing as nothing : Job 25:6; Psa 62:9; Dan 4:34, Dan 4:35; 2Co 12:11

TSK: Isa 40:18 - -- Isa 40:25, Isa 46:5, Isa 46:9; Exo 8:10, Exo 9:14, Exo 15:11, Exo 20:4; Deu 33:26; 1Sa 2:2; Job 40:9; Psa 86:8-10, Psa 89:6, Psa 89:8, Psa 113:5; Jer ...

TSK: Isa 40:19 - -- Isa 37:18, Isa 37:19, Isa 41:6, Isa 41:7, Isa 44:10-12, Isa 46:6, Isa 46:7; Exo 32:2-4; Jdg 17:4; Psa 115:4-8; Psa 135:15, Psa 135:18; Jer 10:3-5, Jer...

TSK: Isa 40:20 - is so impoverished that he hath no oblation // chooseth // shall not is so impoverished that he hath no oblation : Heb. is poor of oblation chooseth : Isa 2:8, Isa 2:9, Isa 44:13-19; Jer 10:3, Jer 10:4; Dan 5:23 shall n...

is so impoverished that he hath no oblation : Heb. is poor of oblation

chooseth : Isa 2:8, Isa 2:9, Isa 44:13-19; Jer 10:3, Jer 10:4; Dan 5:23

shall not : Isa 41:7, Isa 46:7; 1Sa 5:3, 1Sa 5:4

TSK: Isa 40:21 - -- Isa 27:11, Isa 44:20, Isa 46:8; Psa 19:1-5, Psa 115:8; Jer 10:8-12; Act 14:17; Rom 1:19-21, Rom 1:28, Rom 3:1, Rom 3:2

TSK: Isa 40:22 - It is he that sitteth // the inhabitants // stretcheth // as a curtain It is he that sitteth : or, Him that sitteth, etc. Isa 19:1, Isa 66:1; Psa 2:4, Psa 29:10, Psa 68:33 the inhabitants : Isa 40:15, Isa 40:17; Num 13:33...

It is he that sitteth : or, Him that sitteth, etc. Isa 19:1, Isa 66:1; Psa 2:4, Psa 29:10, Psa 68:33

the inhabitants : Isa 40:15, Isa 40:17; Num 13:33

stretcheth : Isa 42:5, Isa 44:24, Isa 51:13; Job 9:8, Job 37:18, Job 38:4-9; Psa 102:25, Psa 102:26, Psa 104:2; Jer 10:12; Zec 12:1; Heb 1:10-12

as a curtain : Or, ""as a thin veil,""as Bp. Lowth renders; which he illustrates by the following passage from Dr. Shaw. ""It is usual in the summer season, and upon all occasions when a large company is to be received, to have the court sheltered from heat, or inclemency of the weather by a velum umbrella, or veil, as I shall call it; which, being expanded on ropes from one end of the parapet to the other, may be folded or unfolded at pleasure. The Psalmist seems to allude to some covering of this kind, in that beautiful expression of spreading out the heavens as a curtain.""

TSK: Isa 40:23 - -- Isa 19:13, Isa 19:14, Isa 23:9, Isa 24:21, Isa 24:22; Job 12:21, Job 34:19, Job 34:20; Psa 76:12, Psa 107:40; Jer 25:18-27; Luk 1:51, Luk 1:52; Rev 19...

TSK: Isa 40:24 - they shall not be planted // he shall also // and the they shall not be planted : Isa 14:21, Isa 14:22, Isa 17:11; 1Ki 21:21, 1Ki 21:22; 2Ki 10:11; Job 15:30-33, Job 18:16-19; Jer 22:30; Nah 1:14 he shall...

TSK: Isa 40:25 - -- Isa 40:18; Deu 4:15-18, Deu 4:33, Deu 5:8

TSK: Isa 40:26 - Lift // who hath // bringeth // by the greatness Lift : Isa 51:6; Deu 4:19; Job 31:26-28; Psa 8:3, Psa 8:4, Psa 19:1 who hath : Isa 44:24, Isa 45:7, Isa 48:13; Gen 2:1, Gen 2:2; Psa 102:25, Psa 148:3...

TSK: Isa 40:27 - sayest // my judgment sayest : Isa 49:14, Isa 49:15, Isa 54:6-8, Isa 60:15; 1Sa 12:22; Job 3:23; Psa 31:22, Psa 77:7-10; Jer 33:24; Eze 37:11; Rom 11:1, Rom 11:2 my judgmen...

TSK: Isa 40:28 - thou not known // the everlasting // the ends // fainteth // no searching thou not known : Jer 4:22; Mar 8:17, Mar 8:18, Mar 9:19, Mar 16:14; Luk 24:25; Joh 14:9; 1Co 6:3-5, 1Co 6:9; 1Co 6:16, 1Co 6:19 the everlasting : Isa ...

TSK: Isa 40:29 - -- Isa 41:10; Gen 49:24; Deu 33:25; Psa 29:11; Zec 10:12; 2Co 12:9, 2Co 12:10; Phi 4:13; Col 1:11; Heb 11:34

TSK: Isa 40:30 - -- Isa 9:17, Isa 13:18; Psa 33:16, Psa 34:10, Psa 39:5; Ecc 9:11; Amo 2:14

TSK: Isa 40:31 - they that // renew // mount // not faint they that : Isa 8:17, Isa 25:9, Isa 30:18; Psa 25:3, Psa 25:5, Psa 25:21, Psa 27:14, Psa 37:34, Psa 40:1, Psa 84:7, Psa 92:1, Psa 92:13; Psa 123:2; La...

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Poole: Isa 40:2 - Cry unto her // Her warfare // Her iniquity is pardoned // Double for all her sins Cry unto her proclaim it in my name. Her warfare the time of her servitude, and captivity, and misery. Her iniquity is pardoned I am reconciled t...

Cry unto her proclaim it in my name.

Her warfare the time of her servitude, and captivity, and misery.

Her iniquity is pardoned I am reconciled to her; I will not impute sin to her, to punish her any longer for it.

Double for all her sins not twice as much as her sins deserved, for she herself confessed the contrary, Ezr 9:13 Lam 3:22 ; but abundantly enough to answer God’ s design in this chastisement, which was to humble and reform them, and to warn others by their example. Double is oft put for abundantly, as Isa 61:7 Jer 16:18 17:18 . God here speaks of himself after the manner of men, and compareth himself to a tender-hearted father, who when he hath corrected his child for his misdemeanour, relenteth and repenteth of his severity, and casteth his rod away.

Poole: Isa 40:3 - The voice // Of him that crieth in the wilderness // Prepare ye the way // Of the Lord The voice an abrupt and imperfect speech, such as there are many in the Hebrew language. Methinks I hear a voice; or, a voice shall be heard. Of him...

The voice an abrupt and imperfect speech, such as there are many in the Hebrew language. Methinks I hear a voice; or, a voice shall be heard.

Of him that crieth in the wilderness which words declare the place either,

1. Where the cry was made; or,

2. Where the way was to be prepared, as it is expressed in the following clause, which is added to explain this. And such places being commonly pathless, and many ways incommodious to passengers, it was the more necessary to prepare a way there. But both come to one thing, for the cry was to be in that place which was to be prepared. This place seems to be understood immediately of the deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon, and of smoothing their passage from thence to Judea, which lay through a great wilderness; but ultimately and principally concerning their redemption by the Messiah, whose coming is ushered in by the cry of John the Baptist, who did both cry and prepare the way in the wilderness, as we read, Mat 3:1 , &c.; where this text is directly expounded of him. But withal the terms of wilderness and desert seem to be here chiefly used in a metaphorical sense, to express the desolate and forlorn condition of the Jewish nation, and especially of the Gentile world, when Christ came to redeem them; for so these words are frequently used in prophetical writings, as hath been noted in divers places.

Prepare ye the way you to whom this work belongs. He alludes to the custom of princes, who send pioneers before them to prepare the way through which they intend to pass. The meaning is only this, that God shall by his Spirit so dispose men’ s hearts, and by his providence so order the empires and affairs of the world, as to make way for the accomplishment of this promise.

Of the Lord for the Lord , as it is expounded in the next clause, that the Lord may walk in it; which though it may be understood of their coming out of Babylon, when God might in some sort be said to march in the head of them, conducting and preserving them, yet it was much more evidently and eminently fulfilled when Christ, who was and is God blessed for ever, came into the world in a visible manner. Straight; either direct, in opposition to crooked, or even and level, in opposition to the mountains and valleys mentioned in the next verse.

Poole: Isa 40:4 - -- This is only a more particular explication of that which was generally expressed Isa 40:3 . The sense is, All obstructions shall be removed, and the...

This is only a more particular explication of that which was generally expressed Isa 40:3 . The sense is, All obstructions shall be removed, and the way made in all respects convenient and easy for the passenger.

Poole: Isa 40:5 - The glory of the Lord shall be revealed // All flesh // For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it The glory of the Lord shall be revealed: so it was in some sort, when God brought them out of Babylon, which was a glorious work of God; but far more...

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed: so it was in some sort, when God brought them out of Babylon, which was a glorious work of God; but far more properly and eminently when Christ, who was the glorious God, was manifested in the flesh, and gave much clearer and fuller discoveries of God’ s glorious wisdom, and holiness, and goodness, and other Divine perfections, than ever yet had been imparted to mankind and to the church.

All flesh all nations, both Jews and Gentiles.

For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it though this may seem incredible, yet God is able to accomplish it.

Poole: Isa 40:6 - The voice said // He said, What shall I cry // All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field The voice said: God speaks unto his prophets or ministers. He said, What shall I cry: the prophet desires to know God’ s mind, and his message...

The voice said: God speaks unto his prophets or ministers.

He said, What shall I cry: the prophet desires to know God’ s mind, and his message.

All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the prophet having foretold glorious and wonderful things which God had declared and determined to do, and suspecting that men would hardly believe them, he confirmeth their faith and the certainty of the thing in this and the two next verses, by representing to their minds the vast difference between the nature, and word, and work of men and of God. All that men are or have, yea, their highest accomplishments, are but like the grass or flower of the field weak and vanishing, soon nipped and brought to nothing; but God’ s word is like himself, immutable and irresistible; and therefore as the mouth of the Lord , and not of man, hath spoken these things as was said, Isa 40:5 , so doubt not but they shall be fulfilled.

Poole: Isa 40:7 - The Spirit of the Lord // The people The Spirit of the Lord or, the breath , &c, as this word is rendered, Psa 147:18 ; the wind, as it frequently signifies, which hath this effect upon...

The Spirit of the Lord or, the breath , &c, as this word is rendered, Psa 147:18 ; the wind, as it frequently signifies, which hath this effect upon grass and flowers, Psa 103:16 Jam 1:11 .

The people the same which he called flesh, and said they were grass, Isa 40:6 ; which, that he might prove, in this verse he first declares the frail nature of grass and flowers, and then he applies this to the people. Or, this people ; the Jews no less than the Gentiles; for here is an article in the Hebrew text, which is frequently emphatical and restrictive.

Poole: Isa 40:8 - -- Whatsoever God hath said shall infallibly come to pass.

Whatsoever God hath said shall infallibly come to pass.

Poole: Isa 40:9 - O Zion, that bringest good tidings // that bringest good tidings to Zion // the cities of Judah // Get thee up into the high mountain // Be not afraid // Say unto the cities of Judah // Behold your God! O Zion, that bringest good tidings O Zion, to whom the glad tidings of the coming of Christ into the world, and of the salvation of mankind by him, w...

O Zion, that bringest good tidings O Zion, to whom the glad tidings of the coming of Christ into the world, and of the salvation of mankind by him, were first published by Christ and his apostles, and by whom they were published to all nations. But the words are otherwise rendered in the margin, and by others, O thou (whosoever thou art, prophet or apostle)

that bringest good tidings to Zion So Zion is not the deliverer, but the receiver, of these good tidings, as she is in the parallel place, Isa 52:7 . But our translation seems to agree better with the Hebrew text, in which the particle unto is not here expressed, as it is in the latter part of the verse; by comparing which part with the former, it seems most probable that Zion or Jerusalem is the speaker or publisher, and

the cities of Judah the hearers.

Get thee up into the high mountain that thy voice may be better heard, as appears from the next branch of the verse: see Jud 9:7 1Sa 26:13,14 .

Be not afraid lest thou shouldst be found a false prophet; for it shall certainly be fulfilled.

Say unto the cities of Judah to all my people in the several places of their abode, whether cities or countries. Only he names cities , to intimate that they also, though they should be destroyed, yet should afterwards be rebuilt, and inhabited again.

Behold your God! take notice of this wonderful work and glorious appearance of your God, who will be visibly present with you, so that men may point at him, and say, Behold, here he is.

Poole: Isa 40:10 - With strong hand // His arm shall rule for him // His reward is with him // His work before him With strong hand with invincible strength, conquering all his enemies. The word hand or arm may very well be understood out of the following clau...

With strong hand with invincible strength, conquering all his enemies. The word hand or arm may very well be understood out of the following clause.

His arm shall rule for him he shall need no succours, for his own power shall be sufficient to govern his people, and to destroy his adversaries.

His reward is with him he comes furnished with recompences, as well of mercy and blessings for his friends and followers, as of justice and vengeance for his enemies.

His work before him he carrieth on his work or design effectually, so as none can hinder him; for that is said in Scripture to be before a man which is in his power, as Gen 20:15 24:51 , &c. Or work is here put for the reward of the work , as it is Isa 49:4 65:7 , and elsewhere. And so the same thing is repeated in other words, as is very usual.

Poole: Isa 40:11 - -- He shall perform all the offices of a tender and faithful shepherd towards his people, carrying himself with great wisdom, and condescension, and co...

He shall perform all the offices of a tender and faithful shepherd towards his people, carrying himself with great wisdom, and condescension, and compassion to every one of them, according to their several capacities and infirmities.

Poole: Isa 40:12 - Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? i.e. who can measure them? for indicative verbs in the Hebrew language are oft taken potentia...

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? i.e. who can measure them? for indicative verbs in the Hebrew language are oft taken potentially. Who can do this and the following things but God! And this discourse of God’ s infinite power and wisdom is here conveniently added, to give them the greater assurance that God was able, as he had declared himself willing, to do these great and wonderful things which he had promised; and that neither men nor false gods were able to hinder him in it. God is here compared to a mighty giant, supposed to be so big that he can take up and hold all the waters of the sea and rivers of the whole world in one hand, and span the heavens, and then take up and weigh the whole earth with the other hand.

Poole: Isa 40:13 - -- Who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world? were they not all the effects ...

Who did God either need or take to advise him in any of his works, either of creation or the government of the world? were they not all the effects of his own sole wisdom? Therefore though all the nations of the world contrive and conspire against him, and against this work of his, as indeed they will do, yet his own counsel shall confound all their devices, and carry on his work in spite of them.

Poole: Isa 40:14 - Taught him in the path of judgment Taught him in the path of judgment how to walk and manage all his affairs with good judgment and discretion.

Taught him in the path of judgment how to walk and manage all his affairs with good judgment and discretion.

Poole: Isa 40:15 - The nations // are as a drop of a bucket // And are counted // The isles The nations all the nations of the world, are as a drop of a bucket compared with all the water in the bucket, wherein are innumerable drops: such ...

The nations all the nations of the world,

are as a drop of a bucket compared with all the water in the bucket, wherein are innumerable drops: such are they if compared with God.

And are counted by him, and in comparison of him, as the small dust of the balance; which accidentally cleaves to the balance, but makes no alteration in the weight.

The isles those numerous and vast countries to which they went from Judea by sea, which are commonly called isles, as hath been oft observed.

Poole: Isa 40:16 - -- And although he is pleased to accept of poor and small sacrifices from his people, yet if men were to offer a sacrifice agreeable to his infinite ex...

And although he is pleased to accept of poor and small sacrifices from his people, yet if men were to offer a sacrifice agreeable to his infinite excellency, the whole forest of Lebanon could not afford either a sufficient number of beasts to be sacrificed, or a sufficient quantity of wood to consume the sacrifice.

Poole: Isa 40:17 - Before him // Counted to him // Less than nothing Before him either in his eyes, or being set against him, as this Hebrew word properly and most usually signifies. Counted to him either in his judg...

Before him either in his eyes, or being set against him, as this Hebrew word properly and most usually signifies.

Counted to him either in his judgment, or in comparison of him.

Less than nothing less than a thing of nought, or of no account or worth; or, as others render it, for nothing .

Poole: Isa 40:18 - -- This is a proper inference from the foregoing discourse of God’ s immense and infinite greatness; from whence he taketh occasion to show both t...

This is a proper inference from the foregoing discourse of God’ s immense and infinite greatness; from whence he taketh occasion to show both the folly of those that make mean and visible representations of God, as not the Gentiles only, but even some of the Jews did; and the utter inability of men or idols to give any opposition to God in the doing of these great works. And this discourse of the madness of idolaters, prosecuted both here and in the following chapter, was designed by God, as a necessary antidote whereby the Jews might be preserved from the contagion of idolatry, to which God saw they now had strong inclinations, and would have many and great temptations when they were in captivity.

Poole: Isa 40:19 - The workman melteth a graven image // Spreadeth it over with gold // Casteth silver chains The workman melteth a graven image he melteth some base metal into a mould, which giveth it the form of an image, which afterwards is graven or carve...

The workman melteth a graven image he melteth some base metal into a mould, which giveth it the form of an image, which afterwards is graven or carved to make it more exact and amiable. Thus the image oweth all its excellency to the earth for the matter of it, and to the art of man for the form or fashion of it.

Spreadeth it over with gold beaten out into leaves or plates.

Casteth silver chains either for ornaments; or rather for use, to fasten it to a wall or pillar, lest it should fall down, and be broken in pieces; which is spoken in way of scorn and derision of such ridiculous deities as needed such supports.

Poole: Isa 40:20 - That he hath no oblation // He seeketh unto him a cunning workman // That shall not be moved That he hath no oblation that he can hardly procure money sufficient to buy the meanest sacrifice for his God. He seeketh unto him a cunning workman...

That he hath no oblation that he can hardly procure money sufficient to buy the meanest sacrifice for his God.

He seeketh unto him a cunning workman he is so mad upon his idols, that he will one way or other find money to procure the choicest materials, and the help of the best artist, to make his idol.

That shall not be moved which after all this cost and art cannot stir one step out of its place to give you any help.

Poole: Isa 40:21 - Have ye not known // From the beginning Have ye not known to wit, God to be the only true God, the Maker and Governor of the world, and all its inhabitants? how can you be ignorant of so ev...

Have ye not known to wit, God to be the only true God, the Maker and Governor of the world, and all its inhabitants? how can you be ignorant of so evident a truth? He addresseth his speech to the idolatrous Gentiles.

From the beginning to wit, of the world, as the next clause explains it. Were not these infinite perfections of God manifestly discovered to all mankind by the creation of the world?

Poole: Isa 40:22 - That sitteth // upon the circle of the earth // As grasshoppers // Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in That sitteth as a judge or governor upon his throne, upon the circle of the earth or, above the circle &c.; far above this round earth, even in t...

That sitteth as a judge or governor upon his throne,

upon the circle of the earth or, above the circle &c.; far above this round earth, even in the highest heavens; from whence he looketh down upon the earth, where men appear to him like grasshoppers. He alludes to one that looks down upon the earth below him from some high place. As here we have the circle of the earth , so elsewhere we read of the circle of heaven , Job 22:14 , and of the circle of the deep , or sea, Pro 8:27 , because the form of the heaven, and earth, and sea is circular and round, as is evident both from sense, and from the principles of philosophy.

As grasshoppers small and contemptible in his sight. Compare Num 13:33 .

Stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in for the benefit of the earth and of mankind, that all parts might partake of its comfortable influences. See Poole "Job 9:8" ; See Poole "Psa 104:2" .

Poole: Isa 40:23 - -- That bringeth the princes to nothing; that can at his pleasure destroy all the great potentates of the world.

That bringeth the princes to nothing; that can at his pleasure destroy all the great potentates of the world.

Poole: Isa 40:24 - They // Blow upon them They the princes and judges last mentioned, shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: they shall take no root, as it follows; for planting...

They the princes and judges last mentioned,

shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: they shall take no root, as it follows; for planting and sowing are in order to taking root, and are necessary to it. They shall not continue and flourish, as they have vainly imagined; but shall be rooted up and perish, as is declared in the rest of the verse.

Blow upon them blast them, as a vehement east wind doth plants.

Poole: Isa 40:25 - -- He repeateth what he said Isa 40:18 , that he might oblige them to the more serious and frequent consideration of the absurdity of the idolatry.

He repeateth what he said Isa 40:18 , that he might oblige them to the more serious and frequent consideration of the absurdity of the idolatry.

Poole: Isa 40:26 - Lift up your eyes on high // These things // That bringeth out // Their host by number // He calleth them all by names // For that he is strong in power // Not one faileth Lift up your eyes on high to the high and starry heaven as appears from the following words. These things which you see on high, the host of heaven...

Lift up your eyes on high to the high and starry heaven as appears from the following words.

These things which you see on high, the host of heaven, as it follows.

That bringeth out that at first brought them out of nothing, and from day to day brings them forth, making them to rise and set in their appointed and fixed times.

Their host by number as a general brings forth his army into the field, and there musters them.

He calleth them all by names as a master calleth all the members of his family.

For that he is strong in power which work is a certain and evident proof of God’ s infinite power.

Not one faileth either to appear when he calleth them, or to do the work to which he sends them.

Poole: Isa 40:27 - Why sayest thou // My way // My judgment // Is passed over from my God Why sayest thou in thy heart? why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness there a...

Why sayest thou in thy heart? why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness there are such evident demonstrations given to all mankind, and to thee in a singular manner?

My way the course and condition of my life. He takes no notice of my prayers and tears, and sufferings for his name, but suffers my enemies to abuse me at their pleasure, and doth not attempt to rescue me out of their hands. This complaint is uttered in the name of the people, being prophetically supposed to be in captivity.

My judgment either,

1. My punishment; or rather,

2. My cause, as this word is most commonly used. God hath neglected to plead my cause, and to give judgment for me against mine enemies, as he hath formerly done.

Is passed over from my God God hath dismissed it, and left it and me in the hands of mine enemies, and now our case is so desperate that God cannot help us; for which reason they compared themselves to dry bones lying in the grave, Eze 37 .

Poole: Isa 40:28 - Of the ends of the earth // Fainteth not, neither is weary // There is no searching of his understanding Of the ends of the earth of all the earth, and the inhabitants thereof, from one end to another. He seems to mention the ends or utmost bounds, bec...

Of the ends of the earth of all the earth, and the inhabitants thereof, from one end to another. He seems to mention the ends or utmost bounds, because they might seem to be more out of the reach and care of God’ s providence, as being most remote from Jerusalem, the only place of God’ s solemn and public worship in the world, and being then thought to be uninhabited. The argument is clear and strong: God, who made all, even the most desolate and barbarous parts of the earth, and consequently takes care of them, will not neglect his own land and people.

Fainteth not, neither is weary he is not by age or hard labour become weak and unable to help his people, as men are apt to be.

There is no searching of his understanding his counsels, by which he governeth all the world, and in a most particular manner thine affairs, are far above the reach of thy understanding; and therefore thou dost ignorantly and foolishly in passing so rash a censure upon the ways and works of the infinitely wise God.

Poole: Isa 40:29 - -- He hath strength enough not only for himself, but for all, even the weakest of his creatures, whom he can easily strengthen to bear all their burden...

He hath strength enough not only for himself, but for all, even the weakest of his creatures, whom he can easily strengthen to bear all their burdens, and to vanquish all their oppressors.

Poole: Isa 40:30 - -- The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves, or without God’ s help, or which do not wait upon God; which is easily understood from the ...

The youngest and strongest men, left to themselves, or without God’ s help, or which do not wait upon God; which is easily understood from the opposition in the following verse.

Poole: Isa 40:31 - That wait upon the Lord // Shall renew their strength // They shall mount up with wings as eagles // They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint That wait upon the Lord that rely upon him for strength to bear their burdens, and for deliverance from them in due time. Shall renew their strength...

That wait upon the Lord that rely upon him for strength to bear their burdens, and for deliverance from them in due time.

Shall renew their strength shall grow stronger and stronger in faith, and patience, and fortitude, whereby they shall be more than conquerors over all their enemies and adversities.

They shall mount up with wings as eagles which fly most strongly, and swiftly, and high, out of the reach of all danger.

They shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint they shall be enabled to run or walk in their way as they please, without any weariness.

PBC: Isa 40:4 - -- See Philpot: EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED Isa 40:4.

See Philpot: EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED Isa 40:4.

PBC: Isa 40:29 - -- See Philpot: TO THEM THAT HAVE NO MIGHT HE INCREASETH STRENGTH Isa 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaset...

See Philpot: TO THEM THAT HAVE NO MIGHT HE INCREASETH STRENGTH

Isa 40:29-31 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

See Philpot: POWER GIVEN TO THE FAINT

Haydock: Isa 40:1 - Be Be. Septuagint, "comfort my people." Let them not be dejected. (Haydock) --- The end of the captivity, and still more the coming of the Messias, ...

Be. Septuagint, "comfort my people." Let them not be dejected. (Haydock) ---

The end of the captivity, and still more the coming of the Messias, afford consolation, (Calmet) and to this the prophet chiefly alludes. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:2 - Evil // Double Evil. Hebrew and some Latin copies have, "warfare." --- Double. A rigorous chastisement, Apocalypse xviii. 6. (Calmet)

Evil. Hebrew and some Latin copies have, "warfare." ---

Double. A rigorous chastisement, Apocalypse xviii. 6. (Calmet)

Haydock: Isa 40:3 - God God, that he may conduct his people from Babylon. (Sanchez) --- Yet the prophet speaks chiefly of John the Baptist, (Matthew iii. 3.; Calmet) who i...

God, that he may conduct his people from Babylon. (Sanchez) ---

Yet the prophet speaks chiefly of John the Baptist, (Matthew iii. 3.; Calmet) who is evidently foretold. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:4 - Plain Plain. For the captives, or the conversion of the world, Baruch v. 6.

Plain. For the captives, or the conversion of the world, Baruch v. 6.

Haydock: Isa 40:5 - Glory Glory. God will rescue his people. Christ will redeem mankind.

Glory. God will rescue his people. Christ will redeem mankind.

Haydock: Isa 40:6 - Field Field. On the downfall of the empire of Babylon, the Jews were liberated.

Field. On the downfall of the empire of Babylon, the Jews were liberated.

Haydock: Isa 40:9 - Thou Thou, female. How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good tidings! (Romans x. 15.) (Haydock) --- Thus a feminine noun is applied to Sol...

Thou, female. How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good tidings! (Romans x. 15.) (Haydock) ---

Thus a feminine noun is applied to Solomon, Ecclesiastes i. Prophets make known to all the coming of the Saviour. (Calmet) ---

Christ preaches from the mountain, and his apostles over the world. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:10 - Him Him. Christ will reward and punish, Jeremias xxxi. 16., and Luke ii. 34.

Him. Christ will reward and punish, Jeremias xxxi. 16., and Luke ii. 34.

Haydock: Isa 40:11 - Young Young, or have lately had young lambs, fœtas. Jesus is the good shepherd, John x. 14.

Young, or have lately had young lambs, fœtas. Jesus is the good shepherd, John x. 14.

Haydock: Isa 40:12 - Who // Fingers Who. He now proceeds to shew the difference between God and idols. --- Fingers, is not expressed in Hebrew, which may denote the epha, Psalm lxxix...

Who. He now proceeds to shew the difference between God and idols. ---

Fingers, is not expressed in Hebrew, which may denote the epha, Psalm lxxix. 6. (Calmet) ---

God's power and goodness in the works of the creation, shew what he will do for man. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:15 - Dust Dust. Hebrew caddak, (Haydock) "as dok fallen." (Symmachus) --- It may signify an atom. (St. Jerome) --- If all nations be only like a drop, ...

Dust. Hebrew caddak, (Haydock) "as dok fallen." (Symmachus) ---

It may signify an atom. (St. Jerome) ---

If all nations be only like a drop, what portion of it do I occupy? (Calmet; ver. 17.)

Haydock: Isa 40:18 - Image Image. Catholics never pretend to represent the Deity, when they depict the Father as a venerable old man, &c. The do not adore pictures, as our ad...

Image. Catholics never pretend to represent the Deity, when they depict the Father as a venerable old man, &c. The do not adore pictures, as our adversaries would insinuate. If we were disposed to cavil, we might bring the same charge against them. For a few weeks ago, "a beautiful altar-piece, painted and presented by the lady of major general Cheney, was put in Horn-sea church, representing Christ blessing the bread and wine." But Protestants can confine such things to their proper use, and Catholic must adore them. (Haydock) ---

"Such things the Jew, Apella, may believe: not I." (Horace)

Haydock: Isa 40:19 - Silver Silver. Is God like these idols? (Haydock) --- Who knows not that the workman is better than they are? (Wisdom xiii. 11.) (Calmet)

Silver. Is God like these idols? (Haydock) ---

Who knows not that the workman is better than they are? (Wisdom xiii. 11.) (Calmet)

Haydock: Isa 40:20 - Wood Wood. Hebrew hamsuccan, (Haydock) which Septuagint, Chaldean, and St. Jerome explain of a sort of wood used for idols. Moderns take it to be "a r...

Wood. Hebrew hamsuccan, (Haydock) which Septuagint, Chaldean, and St. Jerome explain of a sort of wood used for idols. Moderns take it to be "a rich," or rather "a poor man. He who is mean in his offering, chooses wood that," &c. (Calmet) (Protestants)

Haydock: Isa 40:21 - Beginning Beginning, by the light of nature, and (Worthington) has not Moses declared that God alone created the world? (Haydock) --- His power and goodness ...

Beginning, by the light of nature, and (Worthington) has not Moses declared that God alone created the world? (Haydock) ---

His power and goodness herein convince us that he will not deny grace. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:22 - Locusts // Nothing Locusts, compared with the greatest animals. --- Nothing. Hebrew, "a curtain." Septuagint, Syriac, "vault, (Calmet) or chamber," Greek: kamaran.

Locusts, compared with the greatest animals. ---

Nothing. Hebrew, "a curtain." Septuagint, Syriac, "vault, (Calmet) or chamber," Greek: kamaran.

Haydock: Isa 40:23 - Searchers Searchers. Hebrew, "princes to nothing." (Protestants) --- Philosophers know nothing independently of God, nor can they subsist without him. (Wor...

Searchers. Hebrew, "princes to nothing." (Protestants) ---

Philosophers know nothing independently of God, nor can they subsist without him. (Worthington)

Haydock: Isa 40:26 - Host Host of heaven, the stars, &c., Genesis ii. 1., and Psalm cxlvi. 4.

Host of heaven, the stars, &c., Genesis ii. 1., and Psalm cxlvi. 4.

Haydock: Isa 40:27 - Judgment Judgment, or conduct, (Genesis xl. 13.; Calmet) as if God minded not our affairs.

Judgment, or conduct, (Genesis xl. 13.; Calmet) as if God minded not our affairs.

Haydock: Isa 40:31 - Eagles Eagles, who grow young, when they get new feathers, Psalm cii. 5. (St. Jerome) --- In this and the following 26 chapters the prophet chiefly comfor...

Eagles, who grow young, when they get new feathers, Psalm cii. 5. (St. Jerome) ---

In this and the following 26 chapters the prophet chiefly comforts his people, as he had rebuked them for their crimes in the first part. (Worthington)

Gill: Isa 40:1 - Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. The Babylonish captivity being predicted in the preceding chapter, for the comfort of God's people a...

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. The Babylonish captivity being predicted in the preceding chapter, for the comfort of God's people a deliverance is promised, expressed in such terms, as in the clearest and strongest manner to set forth the redemption and salvation by Jesus Christ, of which it was typical. Here begins the more evangelical and spiritual part of this prophecy, which reaches to and includes the whole Gospel dispensation, from the coming of John the Baptist to the second coming of Christ. It begins with comforts, and holds on and ends with them; which consolations, Kimchi observes, are what should be in the times of the Messiah; and the word "comfort" is repeated, he says, to confirm the thing. It is God that here speaks, who is the God of all comfort; the persons whom he would have comforted are his "people", whom he has chosen, with whom be has made a covenant in Christ, whom he has given to him, and he has redeemed by his blood, and whom he effectually calls by his grace; these are sometimes disconsolate, by reason of the corruptions of their nature, the temptations of Satan, the hidings of God's face, and the various afflictions they meet with; and it is the will of God they should be comforted, as appears by sending his Son to be the comforter of them, by giving his Spirit as another comforter, by appointing ordinances as breasts of consolation to them, by the promises he has made to them, and the confirmation of them by an oath, for their strong consolation; and particularly by the word of the Gospel, and the ministers of it, who are Barnabases, sons of consolation, who are sent with a comfortable message, and are encouraged in their work from the consideration of God being their God, who will be with them, assist them, and make their ministrations successful; and to these are these words addressed; which are repeated, not to suggest any backwardness in Gospel ministers, who are ready to go on such an errand, however reluctant they may be to carry bad tidings; but rather to signify the people's refusal to be comforted, and therefore must be spoken to again and again; and also to show the vehement and hearty desire of the Lord to have them comforted. The Targum is,

"O ye prophets, prophesy comforts concerning my people.''

And the Septuagint and Arabic versions insert, "O ye priests", as if the words were directed to them. The preachers of the Gospel are meant, and are called unto; what the Lord would have said for the comfort of his people by them is expressed in the following verse.

Gill: Isa 40:2 - Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her // that her warfare is accomplished // that her iniquity is pardoned // for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her,.... Or, "speak to or according to the heart of Jerusalem h"; to her very heart, what will be a co...

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her,.... Or, "speak to or according to the heart of Jerusalem h"; to her very heart, what will be a cordial to her, very acceptable, grateful, and comfortable; and let it be proclaimed aloud, that she may hear and understand it. By "Jerusalem" is meant the Gospel church, and the true members of it. Aben Ezra interprets it of the congregation of Israel; see Heb 12:22,

that her warfare is accomplished; this life is a warfare; saints have many enemies to engage with, sin, Satan, and the world; many battles to fight, a great fight of afflictions, and the good fight of faith: this is "accomplished", or "filled up i"; not that it is at an end before this life is, while that lasts there will be a continual conflict; yet all enemies are now conquered by Christ, and in a short time will be under the feet of his people; the Captain of their salvation, who has got the victory, is gone before them; the crown is laid up for them, and is sure unto them. Some interpret it, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, "her set or appointed time k"; and compare it with Job 7:1, and may be understood either of the time of deliverance from captivity: so the Targum,

"that her captivity by the people is filled up:''

or of the time of the Messiah's coming, the fulness of time, when he should appear, afterwards prophesied of; or of the servitude and bondage of the law being at an end, and of all the fatigue, labour, and trouble of that dispensation; and of the Gospel dispensation taking place: it follows,

that her iniquity is pardoned; which is God's act, flows from his free grace, is obtained by the blood of Christ, is full and complete, and yields great relief and comfort to guilty minds: or "is accepted" l; that is, the punishment of it as bore by her surety; see Lev 26:43. The allusion is to the sacrifices being accepted for the atonement of sin, Lev 1:4, and may have respect here to the acceptation of Christ's sacrifice, for the expiation of the sins of his people. Jarchi interprets the word "appeased"; and so it may be applied to the reconciliation for sin made by the blood of Christ. The Targum understands it of forgiveness, as we do:

for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins; which may be understood either of a sufficiency of chastisements for sin; though they are not more, but less, than are deserved, yet are as much as their heavenly Father, in his great tenderness and compassion, thinks are enough; and though they are in measure, and do not exceed, yet are in large measure often, at least in their own apprehension: or else of the large and copious blessings of grace and goodness received, instead of punishment for sins, that might be expected: or rather at the complete satisfaction made by Christ for her sins, and of her receiving at the Lord's hands, in her surety, full punishment for them; not that more was required than was due, but that ample satisfaction was made, and, being infinite, fully answers the demerit of sin; and this being in the room and stead of God's people, clears them, and yields comfort to them.

Gill: Isa 40:3 - The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness // prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,.... Not the voice of the Holy Ghost, as Jarchi; but of John the Baptist, as is attested by all the eva...

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,.... Not the voice of the Holy Ghost, as Jarchi; but of John the Baptist, as is attested by all the evangelists, Mat 3:3 and by John himself, Joh 1:23, who was a "voice" not like the man's nightingale, "vox et praeterea nihil" a voice and nothing else; he had not only a sonorous, but an instructive teaching voice; he had the voice of a prophet, for he was a prophet: we read of the voices of the prophets, their doctrines and prophecies, Act 13:27, his voice was the voice of one that crieth, that published and proclaimed aloud, openly and publicly, with great eagerness and fervency, with much freedom and liberty, what he had to say; and this was done "in the wilderness", in the wilderness of Judea, literally taken, Mat 3:1, and when Judea was become a Roman province, and the Jews were brought into the wilderness of the people, Eze 20:35 and when they were, as to their religious affairs, in a very forlorn and wilderness condition m: what John was to say, when he came as a harbinger of Christ, and did, follows:

prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God: by whom is meant the Messiah to whose proper deity a noble testimony is here bore, being called "Jehovah" and "our God": whose way John prepared himself, by preaching the doctrine of repentance, administering the ordinance of baptism, pointing at the Messiah, and exhorting the people to believe in him; and he called upon them likewise to prepare the way, and make a plain path to meet him in, by repenting of their sins, amending their ways, and cordially embracing him when come, laying aside all those sentiments which were contrary to him, his Gospel, and kingdom. The sense of this text is sadly perverted by the Targum, and seems to be, done on purpose, thus,

"prepare the way before the people of the Lord, cast up ways before the congregation of our God;''

whereas it is before the Lord himself. The allusion is to pioneers, sent before some great personage to remove all obstructions out of his way, to cut down trees, level the way, and clear all before him, as in the following verse.

Gill: Isa 40:4 - Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low // and the crooked shall be straight and the rough places plain Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low,.... Which is not to be understood literally, but, as Kimchi says, parabo...

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low,.... Which is not to be understood literally, but, as Kimchi says, parabolically and mystically: the meaning is, that in consequence of John's ministry, and our Lord's coming, such who were depressed and bowed down with the guilt of sin, and were low and humble in their own eyes, should be raised up and comforted; and that such who were elated with themselves, and their own righteousness, should be humbled; their pride and haughtiness should be brought down, and they treated with neglect and contempt, while great notice was taken of lowly minded ones; see Luk 14:11 and Luk 18:14,

and the crooked shall be straight and the rough places plain; what before was dark and intricate in prophecy should now become clear; and such doctrines as were not so well understood should now become plain and easy.

Gill: Isa 40:5 - And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed // and all flesh shall see it together // for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed..... Christ himself, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, and his own glory, as the glory of the o...

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed..... Christ himself, who is the brightness of his Father's glory, and his own glory, as the glory of the of the only begotten of the Father; the glorious perfections of his nature, seen in the miracles wrought, and in the doctrines taught by him; the glory of the divine Father, in the face or person of Christ; and the glory of his attributes, in the work of salvation by him; all which is most clearly discerned in the glass of the Gospel, or in the ministry of the word, by John, Christ himself, and his apostles:

and all flesh shall see it together; not the Jews only, but Gentiles also; not with their bodily eyes, but with the eyes of their understanding; even the salvation of the Lord, and his glory, as displayed in it, being set forth in the everlasting Gospel to the view of all; see Luk 3:7,

for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it: that his glory should be revealed, and be visible to all, and therefore sure and certain; for what he has said he does, and what he has spoken he makes good. The Targum is,

"for by the word of the Lord it is so decreed;''

and therefore shall be fulfilled.

Gill: Isa 40:6 - The voice said, cry // and he said, what shall I cry // all flesh is grass // and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field The voice said, cry,.... Not the same voice as in Isa 40:3, nor the voice of an angel, as Aben Ezra; but a voice from the Lord, as Jarchi; the voice o...

The voice said, cry,.... Not the same voice as in Isa 40:3, nor the voice of an angel, as Aben Ezra; but a voice from the Lord, as Jarchi; the voice of prophecy, says Kimchi; it is the Lord's voice to the prophet, or rather to any and every Gospel minister, giving them an order to prophesy and preach, without which they cannot preach regularly and lawfully; it is the same as, "go, teach all nations", &c. preach the Gospel to every creature, &c. Mat 28:19,

and he said, what shall I cry? publish, proclaim, or preach? for a minister of the Gospel is to preach not out of his own heart, or of his own head, or what is of his own devising and framing, but what is agreeable to the mind of Christ, as revealed in his word; he is to speak according to the oracles of God, the proportion and analogy of faith; he is to inquire there, and of Christ, what he shall say. The Targum is,

"the voice of him that saith, prophesy; and he answered and said, what shall I prophesy?''

The reply is,

all flesh is grass; declare the frailty and mortality of men; which some think is mentioned, to increase the wonder of Christ's incarnation, after prophesied of, as the forerunner of it is before; that Christ should condescend to take upon him such frail mortal flesh; that he should become flesh, and be manifested in it: or rather this is to be said, to put men in mind and to prepare them to think of another world, and how they shall appear before the judgment seat; seeing, if they have not a better righteousness than their own, and except they are born again, they shall neither see nor enter into the kingdom of heaven; which is one of the first things to be published in the Gospel ministry; as also how weak, impotent, and insufficient, men are, to that which is good, which may be meant by this phrase; being as weak as a spire of grass, not able to do any good actions, much less to fulfil the law, or to regenerate themselves, renew their hearts, or cleanse their natures: and this must be said, to abate the pride of men; to show the necessity of divine power in regeneration; to instruct men to seek for the grace of God, as to convert them, so to help and assist them in all they do; and to direct them to ascribe all they have, and are, to the grace of God; to this purpose the Apostle Peter quotes this passage, 1Pe 1:23. It may be applied to the ordinances of the legal dispensation, and all the privileges of it, which are said to be carnal; and trusting in them was trusting in the flesh, Phi 3:4, Heb 9:10, these were weak and insufficient to justify, sanctify, and save, and were not to continue:

and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; all the goodliness and glory of man; all that is excellent and valuable in him, or belonging to him, Or that is thought to be so, his riches, honours, strength, beauty, wisdom, and knowledge; yea, all his seeming holiness and righteousness; which are all fading and perishing, like a gay flower, which appears lovely for a while, and on a sudden falls off, or is cropped, or trampled upon; to which a flower of the field is more liable than that of the garden. This may be applied to the splendour of the legal dispensation, which is done away by a more excellent glory taking place, 2Co 3:10.

Gill: Isa 40:7 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth // because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,.... And so does man, and all his glory and goodliness: because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: allu...

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,.... And so does man, and all his glory and goodliness:

because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: alluding to some impetuous and blasting wind blowing upon herbs and flowers, to the withering and fading of them; see Psa 103:15, legal ordinances ceased upon the pouring forth of the Spirit. The external excellencies of men, or their outward advantages, perish at the breath of God, at the blast of his nostrils, when taken away by death; and at conversion the Spirit of the Lord blows a blast upon all the goodliness of man; the operations of the Spirit are compared to wind, Joh 3:8, which, like that, are free, and, as he pleases, are invisible and imperceptible, land powerful and efficacious, and these cause a withering in men's goodness; the Spirit of God shows that their holiness is not true holiness; that their righteousness has only the appearance of one before men; and their religion and godliness a mere form; and their good works, "splendida peccata", shining sins; that those are insufficient to justify and save, and bring to heaven; upon which they fade away and die in their esteem, who now reckon them but loss and dung, Phi 3:6, "surely the people is grass"; the people of the Jews, with all their external advantages; yea, all people, with all the excellencies of human nature, or considered in their best estate, possessed of all that is reckoned good and great, being but mere natural men. The Targum restrains this to the ungodly, as it does the former verse, rendering it,

"as grass the wicked among the people are esteemed;''

as it does the former, thus,

"the wicked are as grass, and their strength as the stubble of the field.''

So Kimchi interprets them of the nations that come with Gog and Magog; and Jarchi of the princes of the kingdoms; but very wrongly, since it is true of all flesh, or of all mankind.

Gill: Isa 40:8 - The grass withereth, the flower fadeth // but the word of our God shall stand for ever // and this is the word, which by the Gospel is preached unto you The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,.... Which is repeated, to raise attention to it, as being a matter of importance, and for the confirmation of ...

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth,.... Which is repeated, to raise attention to it, as being a matter of importance, and for the confirmation of it:

but the word of our God shall stand for ever; the Apostle Peter adds, by way of explanation,

and this is the word, which by the Gospel is preached unto you; who seems to distinguish the word from the Gospel, by which it is preached, and to intend Christ the essential Word; who stands or abides for ever as a divine Person; in his office as Mediator, being Prophet, Priest, and King for ever; in the efficacy of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; and in the fulness of his grace: it is true of the written word or Gospel, which remains, is everlasting, and will stand and continue, notwithstanding the persecutions of tyrants, the craft of false teachers, the reproach of ungodly men, and the death of the best of men, even of ministers; though all flesh is grass, fading and withering, the word of God is fresh and lively, firm and durable; and so it is as transcribed into the hearts of men, where it becomes the ingrafted word, and issues in everlasting life. It may be applied to God's word of promise, which is for ever settled in heaven, and is always fulfilled.

Gill: Isa 40:9 - O Zion, that bringest good tidings // say unto the cities of Judah // get thee up into the high mountain // O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings // lift it up, and be not afraid // behold your God // my Lord and my God O Zion, that bringest good tidings,.... Or, "O thou that bringest good tidings to Zion n"; which rendering of the words is more agreeable to the latte...

O Zion, that bringest good tidings,.... Or, "O thou that bringest good tidings to Zion n"; which rendering of the words is more agreeable to the latter part of the verse,

say unto the cities of Judah, &c. and to some parallel places, Isa 41:27 and to the type, the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon; the tidings of which came from Babylon to Zion, or Jerusalem; and to the Targum which paraphrases the words thus,

"O ye prophets, that bring good tidings to Zion;''

and so may be applied to Gospel ministers, who bring the good tidings of the good will, grace, and favour of God, to men, through Christ; of the grace of Christ, in his suretyship engagements and performances; in his incarnation, sufferings, and death, and in his advocacy and intercession; and of the good things that come by him, as peace, pardon, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life:

get thee up into the high mountain; to declare these good tidings, in the most open and public manner, that all might hear and receive them, and rejoice at them; it may also point at the place, the church of God, comparable to a high mountain for its visibility and immovableness, where the Gospel is to be published:

O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings: the church of God so called, to whom the faith of the Gospel is delivered, which is the pillar and ground of truth; which receives, retains, and maintains it, and sends forth ministers to proclaim it; particularly the first church at Jerusalem, where it was first preached, and from whence it went forth into other parts of Judea, and into all the world; here the apostles of Christ were, and from hence they set out, and published the Gospel all the world over, and who seem to be chiefly meant; for the words may be rendered, as the other clause, "O thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem o"; so the Targum: "lift up thy voice with strength"; or preach the Gospel with a strong voice, speak it out; do not mutter it over, or whisper it in a corner; proclaim it on the housetops, cry aloud that all may hear; lift up thy voice like a trumpet; blow the trumpet of the Gospel with all the strength thou hast; cause the joyful sound to be heard far and near:

lift it up, and be not afraid; of the reproaches and revilings of men on account of it, or of their persecutions for it; or lest it should not be welcome, or be received as truth:

say unto the cities of Judah; the inhabitants of them literally understood, and to the several churches and congregations of the saints everywhere:

behold your God! that divine Person is come, that was promised, prophesied of, and expected; even Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh, God your Saviour, and who being God, truly God, is able to save to the uttermost; look to him with an eye of faith, and be saved; behold the Son of God, the Lamb of God, that has bore your sins, and took them away; behold him now, as your King and your God, on the throne, made and declared, Lord and Christ, crowned with glory and honour, on the same throne with his divine Father, having all power in heaven and earth; and let the echo of your faith be,

my Lord and my God. The Targum is,

"the kingdom of your God is revealed; see Mat 3:2.''

Gill: Isa 40:10 - Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand // and his arm shall rule for him // behold, his reward is with him // and his work before him Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand,.... Some understand this of the second coming of Christ, which coming is certain, such assurances b...

Behold, the Lord God will come with a strong hand,.... Some understand this of the second coming of Christ, which coming is certain, such assurances being given of it by promise and prophecy; and will be attended with power, which will be requisite to raise the dead, summon all nations before him, and pass and execute the proper sentence on them; when his arm shall openly bear rule, he will take to himself his great power, and reign; when his reward will be with him, to give to every man according to their works; and his own work will be before him, to judge the world in righteousness: see Rev 22:12, but it is more agreeable to the context, which foretells the coming of John the Baptist, points out the ministers of the Gospel, and describes Christ in his office, as a shepherd feeding his flock, to understand it of his first coming; for not God the Father, but the Son of God, is meant by the Lord God, who is truly God, and so able to save, and which was the end of his coming. He is said to come "with a strong hand", or with great power, which his work required; which was to fulfil the law, satisfy divine justice, atone for sin, grapple and conflict with innumerable enemies, undergo the death of the cross, bear the curse of the law, and the wrath of God, and all in order to obtain eternal redemption for his people; for this he came from heaven to earth, not by change of place, but by assumption of nature. Some render it, "against a strong one" p; the strong man armed, the devil, whose head he came to break, whose works he came to destroy, with whom he fought, and whom he conquered and destroyed. Jarchi's note is,

"against the wicked, to take vengeance on them;''

but Aben Ezra and Kimchi supply the word hand, as we do:

and his arm shall rule for him; or he shall have sufficient power of himself to do the work he comes about; his own arm or power wrought salvation for him and for his people; see Isa 63:5. Some render it, "over him q"; that is, over the strong and mighty one, against whom he came, whom he conquered, subdued, and ruled over:

behold, his reward is with him; to give to those that trust in him, as Kimchi; or to those that do his word, as the Targum; that believe in him, embrace his Gospel, and act according to it: or this may respect his own reward, which should follow his work; which he was as sure of as if it was in his hands; namely, his exaltation in his human nature, his glory with his Father, and the enjoyment of his spiritual seed to all eternity:

and his work before him; the work of redemption and salvation, which he was called unto, sent to do, and which, being given him, he agreed to do, was very toilsome and laborious, yet he took great delight in it, and has finished it; this is said to be "before him", being proposed in council, and cut out in covenant for him, was well known unto him, and in his power to effect, and what he could easily do, and did. The Targum understands this of the works of men being before him, for whom he has a reward.

Gill: Isa 40:11 - He shall feed his flock like a shepherd // he shall gather the lambs with his arm // and carry them in his bosom // and shall gently lead those that are with young He shall feed his flock like a shepherd,.... Christ has a flock, a flock of men, a distinct and peculiar people, and it is but one, and that a little ...

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd,.... Christ has a flock, a flock of men, a distinct and peculiar people, and it is but one, and that a little one, and yet a beautiful one, though often a flock of slaughter; which is his by his Father's gift, and his own purchase, and appears manifest in the effectual calling, when he calls them by name; to these he stands in the relation of a shepherd, being so by his Father's designation and appointment, and his own consent; and a good shepherd he is, as is manifest by his laying down his life for the sheep; and a great one, being Jehovah's fellow, and the chief shepherd, under whom all others are; yea, he is the one, and only one; and a very careful, compassionate, and faithful one he is; who performs his whole office as a shepherd, not only by providing food for his flock, by leading them into green and good pastures, his church and ordinances; by appointing under shepherds to feed them with the doctrines of the Gospel, the wholesome words of the Lord Jesus; and by feeding them himself, with himself, the bread of life, and hidden manna, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed; but also by protecting them from all their enemies, the roaring and devouring lion, Satan, and wolves in sheep's clothing, false teachers; and by taking such notice and account of them, as that none of them shall be lost; and by doing all that is expressed Eze 34:16, seeking that which was lost; bringing back that which was driven away; binding up that which was broken; and strengthening and healing the sick, as well as watching over them night and day, lest any hurt them:

he shall gather the lambs with his arm; the weaklings of the flock; the same with babes and sucklings, newly born souls, weak believers, mean and low in their own eyes, the smoking flax, and bruised reed, the day of small things, the poor of the flock; these he gathers with his arm of power, and by the ministry of the Gospel, both to himself, his person, righteousness, grace and fulness, and to his church, to partake of the word and ordinances of it, and to nearer communion with him in them; he gathers them up into his arms in a way of protection, when liable to fall into the hands of powerful enemies, and to be hurt by them, and in order to carry them, they not being able to go of themselves, as it follows:

and carry them in his bosom; which is expressive of very great affection to them, such being greatly loved as are put into the bosom, as Obed by Naomi, the poor man's ewe lamb, and a wife of youth; as also of great nearness to him, being in his bosom must lie near his heart, and are indeed upon it; likewise it denotes the most intimate communion with him, and a being privy to his secrets, as Christ in the bosom of his Father is to his; as well as it implies an enjoyment of rest in him, and safety by him; for what can disturb or hurt such as are in the bosom of Christ?

and shall gently lead those that are with young; who have the seed of grace in them, have spiritual principles wrought in their souls, Christ formed in their hearts, are full of desires for him and spiritual things, and carry a burden, that of their sins, under which they groan; these he leads out, and off of themselves to himself, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, into green pastures, into his Father's presence, and at last to glory; and he leads them on "gently", gradually, step by step, to see their own vileness and sinfulness, to look, go to, lay hold on him, and retain him; he leads them into the truths of the Gospel, and the deep waters of the sanctuary, and proportionably to their strength as they are able to bear, either the doctrines of the Gospel, or the duties of religion, or afflictions and sufferings; see Gen 33:14.

Gill: Isa 40:12 - Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand // and meted out heaven with the span // and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure // and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?.... The following account of the power, wisdom, and all sufficiency of God, and which is to be...

Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand?.... The following account of the power, wisdom, and all sufficiency of God, and which is to be understood of Christ, is to show that he is equal to the work of redemption and salvation he has engaged in, and was about to come and perform, and that he is able to do it, as well as to execute his office as a shepherd; and also to observe, that though his rich grace and goodness he had condescended to take upon him the work of a saviour, and the office of a shepherd, yet this was not to be interpreted as if he had lost his dignity and glory as a divine Person, or as if that was in the least diminished; for he was no other than that infinite Being, "who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand"; the waters of the seas, for which he has provided a receptacle, where he has collected and put them together; the dimensions of which are exactly known to him, and the vast confluence of water is no more in his hands than so much water as a man can hold in the hollow of his hand, in his fist, or hand contracted:

and meted out heaven with the span; which he has stretched out as a curtain, Isa 40:22, and the measure of which is but one hand's breadth with him; and is no more to him than stretching out a carpet or canopy; and as easily measured by him as a piece of cloth is by a man with the span of his hand, or any measuring rule or yard:

and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; the word r used signifies the third part of some larger measure, as of a sextarius, as some; or of an ephah, or bath as others; or of some other measure not known; See Gill on Psa 80:5. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "with three fingers"; and the sense may be, that the dust of the earth, or the earth itself, which is but dust, is no more with the Lord than so much earth or dust as a man can hold between his thumb and two fingers; and in like manner is the whole earth comprehended by the Lord:

and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance; as easily as a man can throw in his goods into a pair of scales, and take the true weight of them, with equal ease did the Lord raise the mountains and the hills in a proper proportion, and has so exactly poised them, as if he had weighed them in a pair of scales; this seems to hint at the use of mountains and hills to be a sort of ballast to the earth, and shows the original formation of them from the beginning. The answer to the above question is, that it was the same divine Person of whom it is said, "behold your God, and who should come with a strong hand, and feed his flock."

Gill: Isa 40:13 - Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord // or being his counsellor, hath taught him Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord,.... In the creation of all things, in garnishing the heavens, and moving upon the face of the waters? not an...

Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord,.... In the creation of all things, in garnishing the heavens, and moving upon the face of the waters? not anyone, angel or man; there were none with him, nor did he need any to guide and direct him what to do s:

or being his counsellor, hath taught him? or, "the man of his counsel t"; there was no other than the Wonderful Counsellor, the Angel of the great council, the essential Word of God, whose spirit is here spoken of.

Gill: Isa 40:14 - With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him // and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him,.... This is the same as before, only repeated in other words, the more strongly to deny that any me...

With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him,.... This is the same as before, only repeated in other words, the more strongly to deny that any mere creature counselled, taught, and instructed the Spirit of Christ, in the ordering and managing the works of creation:

and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? or gave him that judgment, knowledge, and understanding in framing the world, and all things in it, in that beautiful and regular manner that it is; which shows it to be a work of wisdom, more than human or angelical, and to be purely divine; no one, angel or man, could have struck out such a path of judgment, such a way of understanding, or showed such exquisite skill and knowledge, as appear in the works of creation; see Psa 104:24.

Gill: Isa 40:15 - Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket // and are accounted as the small dust of the balance // behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket,.... Not only the Chaldeans and Babylonians, and other nations most known, and most troublesome to the J...

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket,.... Not only the Chaldeans and Babylonians, and other nations most known, and most troublesome to the Jews, but all the nations of the world; these, in comparison of God, of his infinite and immense Being, are but as a drop of water that hangs upon the bucket, or falls from it, when water is drawn by it, or is left in it, when poured out of it; which is nothing in comparison of the well out of which the water is drawn, or even of the water in the bucket drawn out of it:

and are accounted as the small dust of the balance; that is, they are accounted nothing of with God, comparatively speaking, any more than the small dust which hangs upon the balance, and gives it no weight, nor turn one way or another, and so is of no consideration. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render it, "as the turn of the scale"; and so the Targum; but the other version more strongly expresses the sense:

behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing; by which are meant not merely islands, properly so called, which are encompassed by the sea, but all such countries which the Jews used to go to by sea, for all such they called isles; these the Lord can take up, or cast away u, as some render the word; toss them about, overturn and destroy, as a man may take up the most minute thing and cast it from him. The Targum renders it,

"as chaff which flies away;''

or, as others translate it,

"as the ashes of a coal which fly away.''

The word may signify any light thing, as chaff, straw, stubble, feathers, down of thistles, which are easily carried away with the least force; and so Vitringa renders the words, "behold, the isles are as some little thing which flies away".

Gill: Isa 40:16 - And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn // nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,.... The trees of it, as the Targum; these are not sufficient to burn a sacrifice with, suitable to the dignity ...

And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,.... The trees of it, as the Targum; these are not sufficient to burn a sacrifice with, suitable to the dignity and majesty of God, and as his justice can require for offences committed:

nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering, though it was a mountain and forest which abounded with trees, and especially cedars, and there was a great quantity of cattle in it, yet neither were sufficient to furnish out a proper burnt offering to the Lord; he only himself could provide a Lamb sufficient for a burnt offering, and he has done it, the only begotten Son of God; he has offered himself an offering and a sacrifice to God, of a sweet smelling savour, by which he has put away sin, and made full atonement for it, Jarchi thinks this is said to aggravate the sins of men, of the wicked, which were so great, that Lebanon with all its wood and cattle could not furnish out a sacrifice sufficient to expiate them.

Gill: Isa 40:17 - All nations before him are as nothing // and they are counted to him as less than nothing, and vanity All nations before him are as nothing,.... As if they were nonentities, and were not real beings in comparison of him, who is the Being of beings, the...

All nations before him are as nothing,.... As if they were nonentities, and were not real beings in comparison of him, who is the Being of beings, the author of all beings which exist in all nations; who are all in his sight, and are not only as grasshoppers, as is after mentioned, but even as nothing:

and they are counted to him as less than nothing, and vanity; if there is or could be such a thing less than nothing, that they are; and so they are accounted of by him; they are like the chaos out of which the earth was formed, when it was "tohu" and "bohu", the first of which words is used here; this serves to humble the pride of men, and to lessen the glory of the nations, and the inhabitants of them.

Gill: Isa 40:18 - To whom then will ye liken God To whom then will ye liken God?.... There is nothing in the whole creation that can bear any resemblance to him, or he to them; since all nations are ...

To whom then will ye liken God?.... There is nothing in the whole creation that can bear any resemblance to him, or he to them; since all nations are as a drop of the bucket, as the small dust of the balance, as nothing, yea, less than nothing, and vanity: "or what likeness will ye compare unto him", w order, ordain, and appoint for him? in what rank can he be placed? to what class of beings can he be likened? what similitude can be given of him? what is there that is fit to be named with him, or compared to him? this, with what follows, is mentioned as an antidote to prevent the Jews falling into idolatry in Babylon, where they would be exposed unto it; or rather to prevent Christians in Gospel times from going into the idolatry of the Papists; see Act 17:28.

Gill: Isa 40:19 - The workman melteth a graven image // and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold // and casteth silver chains to put about the graven image The workman melteth a graven image,.... Or, "the founder"; he melts some sort of metal, as iron, brass, copper, or lead, which he casts into a mould f...

The workman melteth a graven image,.... Or, "the founder"; he melts some sort of metal, as iron, brass, copper, or lead, which he casts into a mould for an image, and afterwards graves, or gets it graved:

and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold; or, "the finer"; he stretches out plates of gold, and covers it with them, so that it looks as if it was made of solid gold, and deceives the eyes of men; such stupidity and vanity are there in mortals to believe that there can be deity in such a piece of workmanship!

and casteth silver chains to put about the graven image, either for ornament, or rather to fasten it to some wall or pillar, that it may stand upright, and may not be taken down and stole away, or blown down with the wind, or fall of itself and be broken; thus ridiculing the weakness of these idols, and the folly of the makers and worshippers of them. The Targum is,

"the silversmith joins silver chains to it.''

Gill: Isa 40:20 - He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation // he chooseth a tree that will not rot // he seeketh unto him a cunning workman, to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation,.... Who is so poor that he cannot bring an offering to his God, yet he will have one; and though ...

He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation,.... Who is so poor that he cannot bring an offering to his God, yet he will have one; and though he cannot purchase a golden or silver one, or one that is gilt, and adorned with either; yet he will have a wooden one, as follows. Some render it, "he that is set over the oblation", which Aben Ezra mentions; that was over the treasury, where the oblations were; the Heathen priest, whose business it was from thence to procure idols to worship. Jerom takes the word מסכן to be the name of a tree that will not rot; and so the Targum renders it,

"he cuts down an ash:''

but the word is descriptive of an idol worshipper; and, according to Gussetius x, signifies one that by custom and repeated acts has got skill in such things; and so Jarchi: hence

he chooseth a tree that will not rot: he goes to the forest, and chooses the best tree for his purpose he can find, even one that will not rot, as the cypress; and though he cannot get an idol made of metal, but is forced to have one of wood, yet he will get the best he can, that will last longest, an incorruptible deity, as he fancies:

he seeketh unto him a cunning workman, to prepare a graven image that shall not be moved: having decided upon his tree, and what sort of wood to make his god of, he looks out for an ingenious carpenter and carver, a good workman, to make it in the form of an image, and grave, or rather carve it, in the best manner he can, and then fasten it in a proper place, that it may not fall; a poor helpless deity, that cannot secure itself, and much less be of any service to its worshippers.

Gill: Isa 40:21 - Have ye not known? // have ye not heard // hath it not been told you from the beginning // have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth // have ye not understood the foundations of the earth Have ye not known? This is the speech of the prophet, directed to the idolaters, appealing to their own natural knowledge, who, from the light of natu...

Have ye not known? This is the speech of the prophet, directed to the idolaters, appealing to their own natural knowledge, who, from the light of nature, might know that idols were nothing, had no divinity in them: that it is God that made the earth and governs the world, and who only ought to be worshipped:

have ye not heard? by tradition from the ancients, from your forefathers, who received it from theirs, and have delivered it to you:

hath it not been told you from the beginning? from the beginning of your states and kingdoms, and even from the beginning of the world, by the wisest and best of men that have been in it, that those things are true before related, and what follow:

have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? the being of God, the invisible things of him, his eternal power and Godhead, from the things that are made, even from his founding of the earth; as well as such knowledge and understanding has been as early as that, and might be continued from it: or,

have ye not understood the foundations of the earth y? what the earth is founded upon, and who laid the foundations of it; no other than that divine Being described in the next words.

Gill: Isa 40:22 - It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth // and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers // that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain // and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in it It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,.... Or, "the globe z" of it; for the earth is spherical or globular: not a flat plain, but round, ...

It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,.... Or, "the globe z" of it; for the earth is spherical or globular: not a flat plain, but round, hung as a ball in the air; here Jehovah sits as the Lord and Sovereign; being the Maker of it, he is above it, orders and directs its motion, and governs all things in it: Kimchi rightly observes, that the heavens are the circle of the earth, which is the centre of them, and around which they are; and so it signifies, that the Lord sits or dwells in the heavens, from whence he beholds the children of men:

and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; or "locusts a"; as one upon a very great eminence looking down beholds creatures as exceeding small and little; and if the Israelites were to the "anakim" or giants as grasshoppers, Num 13:33, much more must puny mortals be such in the sight of God, and in comparison of him; and this may denote, not only the minuteness of men, but what weak, impotent, useless, worthless, and short lived creatures men are:

that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain; alluding to the firmament or expanse made at the creation, and still continued; which is as a curtain to himself, which he draws around himself, he dwelling in the highest heavens, and in light inaccessible to mortals; and which he stretches out as a canopy around this earth, for the use of the inhabitants of it: or, "as a little thing"; or, as a little skin b; and which he stretches out as easily as a man can stretch out that:

and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in it; for himself to dwell in, and so stretches out the heavens like curtains about him; tents being made of such, and often of skins.

Gill: Isa 40:23 - That bringeth princes to nothing // he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity That bringeth princes to nothing,.... The great men of the earth, kings, rulers, and nobles, these he brings to the dust; and all their counsels, sche...

That bringeth princes to nothing,.... The great men of the earth, kings, rulers, and nobles, these he brings to the dust; and all their counsels, schemes, and purposes, come to nothing; and their monarchies and kingdoms too in time. Where are now the Babylonish, Persian, and Grecian monarchies, and those great princes that formerly reigned in them?

he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity; their decrees and decisions to stand for nothing, as "tohu" and "bohu", the first of which words is used here; so that they are no more regarded and attended to.

Gill: Isa 40:24 - Yea, they shall not be planted // they shall not be sown // yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth // he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither // and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble Yea, they shall not be planted,.... As trees are, like the cedars in Lebanon, though they may seem to be such; but be like the grass of the field, and...

Yea, they shall not be planted,.... As trees are, like the cedars in Lebanon, though they may seem to be such; but be like the grass of the field, and herbs of the earth: or, "even they shall be", as if they were "not planted c", they shall not grow and flourish; or they shall be plucked up, and be no more; this is said of the princes and judges of the earth; nay,

they shall not be sown; as seed is, which springing up, brings forth fruit, but so it shall not be with them; or they shall be as if they had not been sown, no fruit being brought forth by them:

yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth; so as to continue and abide, but they shall soon vanish and disappear, as the most powerful princes and wisest judges do. The Targum is,

"although they multiply, although they increase, although their children become great in the earth:''

"and" or "yea",

he shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither; as grass withers, when a severe wind blows upon it:

and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble; which is not able to stand before the force of it; and as unable are the greatest potentates on earth to stand before the tempest of divine wrath and vengeance; if God blows but upon them in anger, all their glory and grandeur, pomp and power, wither away like the flower of the field; and especially if he comes forth in all the fury of his wrath in a tempestuous way against them, they are no more able to stand before him that stubble before a violent storm: see Rev 6:15. The Targum is,

"yet, even he will send his fury upon them; and his word shall take them away, as a whirlwind stubble.''

Gill: Isa 40:25 - To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal, saith the Holy One? To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal, saith the Holy One? Or be upon a level with? since the greatest of men on earth are brought to not...

To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal, saith the Holy One? Or be upon a level with? since the greatest of men on earth are brought to nothing by him, and are no more: this is repeated from Isa 40:18 and supported with fresh strength of argument, to show that there is nothing whatever, that is a fit likeness and similitude, by which to represent the Lord.

Gill: Isa 40:26 - Lift up your eyes on high // and behold who hath created these things // that bringeth out their host by number // he calleth them all by names // by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power not one faileth Lift up your eyes on high,.... From the earth, and the inhabitants of it, even those of the greatest power and influence in it, to the heavens above, ...

Lift up your eyes on high,.... From the earth, and the inhabitants of it, even those of the greatest power and influence in it, to the heavens above, those that are visible to the eye:

and behold who hath created these things; that are seen in the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars; consider the Creator of them, what a glorious Being he must be; what power he must be possessed of; what dazzling light he must dwell in; what glory and majesty he must be clothed with; and how infinitely transcending all mortal creatures he must be:

that bringeth out their host by number; not only into being, at the first creation of them, but at every proper season; causing the sun to rise every morning, the stars to appear at night, and the moon in its revolution; as a general brings forth his army, marshals it in order, musters it, and takes the number of his soldiers:

he calleth them all by names; suitable to their position and influence; he knows the proper names of them all, which no astrologer can pretend unto; and this is such knowledge as no general of an army has; for though the stars are innumerable to men, the names of most unknown, they are all known to him that made them, Psa 147:4,

by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power not one faileth; through the omnipotence of God, not only the sun and moon, the great luminaries, are continued in being, and constantly observe their order; but even every star keeps its place, or performs its course, and retains its influence, and in every instance obeys the commands of its Creator; never fails of appearing at his order, and of doing what he appoints it should. Kimchi gives the sense thus, that according to the virtue and efficacy that there is in every star, so is its name; and because of the strength and power that is in everyone of them, they remain unchangeably and unalterably the same as when they were first created; which not only holds true of the sun and moon, but of the stars lesser and greater. The Targum is,

"because of the multitude of strength, and the power of might, not one is hindered from its order;''

wherefore, as there is no likeness on earth, so none in heaven, with which the Lord is to be likened, or to which he can be equalled. This may respect not the might and power of the Lord, in supporting and maintaining these creatures in their being and usefulness; but the strength and power of the mightiest creatures, to hinder their influence and service: for the words may be rendered, "through the multitude of strength", or anyone being "strong in power, not one indeed fails d"; or is wanting, that is, through the strength or power of the mightiest creatures, angels or men, the hosts of heaven cannot be stopped in their course, or hindered in their work appointed to do, or be deprived of their being.

Gill: Isa 40:27 - Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel // my way is hid from the Lord // and my judgment is passed over from my God Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel,.... The Jews, supposed to be in captivity, are here meant, according to Jarchi and Kimchi; whom the ...

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel,.... The Jews, supposed to be in captivity, are here meant, according to Jarchi and Kimchi; whom the prophet reproves, for murmuring at the calamities and afflictions there endured by them; but it may be the church and people of God, in Gospel times, are here intended, being under suffering circumstances, either under Rome Pagan, or Rome Papal; not only inwardly repining, but openly complaining and uttering, as follows:

my way is hid from the Lord; meaning not their course of life, or their religious actions, their profession of the Gospel, their attendance on public worship, their prayers and other duties of religion; but their sufferings for his name's sake, the tribulations they endured, the afflicted way they walked in, which they imagined God took no notice of, since no way was opened in Providence for their deliverance out of them:

and my judgment is passed over from my God; my cause and case are neglected by him; he does not undertake my cause, nor plead it against my enemies, or right my wrongs, and avenge the injuries done me, or deliver me out of the hands of those that contend with me. The answer to which complaint follows, and which clearly shows there was no just foundation for it.

Gill: Isa 40:28 - Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard // that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary // there is no searching of his understanding Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard?.... From the history of the church in all ages; from the experience of all good men; from their own knowledg...

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard?.... From the history of the church in all ages; from the experience of all good men; from their own knowledge and observation; from the Scriptures, and the prophets, the interpreters of them; both that what is before suggested is wrong, and that what follows is true,

that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? or, "the God of the world"; that has made it, and upholds it, and governs it, and judges righteously in it; who is from everlasting to everlasting, unchangeably the same; whose name alone is Jehovah, the self-existent and all comprehending Being, the Maker and Former of all things; who has not only created the earth, and the foundations of it, as the Targum, or the continent, and the habitable part of the world, that is most known and dwelt in, but even the extremities of the earth; and therefore knows and will take care of his own people, let them be where they will: and though the work of creation, and of upholding creatures in their beings, and of governing the world, and providing for all in it, and of taking care of his church and people in particular, requires so much power, as well as wisdom, yet he never sinks under it, nor is weary of it; wherefore they have no reason to give way to such unbelief and despondency, as above expressed:

there is no searching of his understanding; it is infinite, it reaches to all persons and things, and therefore he cannot be at a loss to provide for his people, or plead their cause; nor can their case be unknown to him, or he want either power or skill to help them.

Gill: Isa 40:29 - He giveth power to the faint // and to them that have no might he increaseth strength He giveth power to the faint,.... Who are ready to faint under afflictions, because they have not immediate deliverance, or their prayers are not answ...

He giveth power to the faint,.... Who are ready to faint under afflictions, because they have not immediate deliverance, or their prayers are not answered at once, or promises not fulfilled as they expected; to such he gives fresh supplies of spiritual strength; he strengthens their faith, and enlarges their views, to behold the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, and confirms his blessings and promises of grace unto them, Psa 27:13. The Targum is,

"who giveth wisdom to the righteous that breathe after the words of the law:''

and to them that have no might he increaseth strength; not that they have no might at all, strictly speaking; for then it could not be properly said their strength was increased by him; but that their might and power were very small, and that in their own apprehensions they had none, and then it is that fresh strength is given them; as the apostle says, "when I am weak, then am I strong"; 2Co 12:10, though this may be understood, not of the strength of their graces, but of their sins and corruptions: a word from the same root as this here used signifies "iniquity"; and the sense may be, that the Lord increases the spiritual strength of such on whom the lust's, corruptions, and virtuosity of nature have not the power and dominion e.

Gill: Isa 40:30 - Even the youths shall faint and be weary // and the young men shall utterly fail Even the youths shall faint and be weary,.... Such as are in the prime of their strength, and glory in it, yet through the hand of God upon them, by o...

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,.... Such as are in the prime of their strength, and glory in it, yet through the hand of God upon them, by one disease or another, their strength is weakened in the way; or they meet with that which they are not equal to, and sink under, and are discouraged, and obliged to desist. Some think the Babylonians and Chaldeans are here meant, the enemies of Israel, and by whom they were carried captive. The Targum interprets this clause, as well as the following, of wicked and ungodly men; and so do Jarchi and Kimchi: it may be applied to the Heathen emperors, who persecuted the church of God, and were smitten by him, and found it too hard a work to extirpate Christianity out of the world, which they thought to have done; and also to all the antichristian states, who have given their power and strength to the beast:

and the young men shall utterly fail; or, "falling shall fall" f; stumble and fall, die and perish; or, however, not be able to perform their enterprise.

Gill: Isa 40:31 - But they that wait upon the Lord // they shall mount up with wings as eagles // they shall run, and not be weary // and they shall, walk, and not faint But they that wait upon the Lord,.... As children on their parents, to do them honour, to obey their commands, and receive food and blessings from the...

But they that wait upon the Lord,.... As children on their parents, to do them honour, to obey their commands, and receive food and blessings from them; as servants on their masters, to know their pleasure, do their work, and have their wages; as clients on their patrons, to have advice of them, put their cause into their hands, and know how it goes; and as beggars at the door, who knock and wait, tell their case and wait, meet with repulses, yet keep their place, and continue waiting: such an act supposes a knowledge and reverence of God, confidence in him, attendance on him, not with the body only, in public and private, but with the soul also, and with some degree of constancy, and with patience and quietness: the Lord is to be waited upon for the manifestations of himself, who sometimes hides himself, but is to be waited for, since he has his set time to show himself again, and his presence is worth waiting for; also for the performance of his promises, which may be expected from his perfections, the nature of the promises, and their being in Christ; likewise for answers of prayer, and for the fresh discoveries of pardoning grace and mercy; and as Old Testament saints waited for the first coming of Christ, so New Testament saints for his second coming, and for eternal glory and happiness: and such "shall renew their strength"; which is to be understood of spiritual! strength in the heart, and of the graces of the Spirit there: it supposes strength received already, which natural men have not, but converted men have; and yet they want more, and more they shall have; to assist them in the performance of duty, to enable them to resist Satan and his temptations, and the corruptions of nature, and to cause them to endure afflictions and persecutions patiently, and to persevere unto the end:

they shall mount up with wings as eagles; swiftly and strongly; it is expressive of the motion of the affections heavenwards towards God and Christ, and things above; of the entrance of faith and hope within the veil, and of the exercise of these graces on Christ, who is now at the right hand of God; of the expectation of glory and happiness in heaven hereafter, and of present support under afflictions, the Lord bearing them as on eagles' wings; see Psa 103:5 g:

they shall run, and not be weary; in the way of God's commandments; which shows great affection for them, haste to obey them, delight and pleasure, cheerfulness and alacrity, therein, so as to be without weariness:

and they shall, walk, and not faint: in the ways of God, in the name of the Lord, or in Christ, as they have received him; leaning on him, trusting in him, continuing to do so, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls; and so shall not sink under their burdens, nor give out till they enjoy it; different persons, though all of them believers, may be here intended; particularly Christians under the Gospel dispensation, tried and exercised by many enemies; some shall soar aloft, and dwell on high; others, though they cannot rise and "fly" so swiftly and strongly, yet shall "run" without weariness; and others, though they can neither fly nor run, yet shall "walk" without fainting.

buka semua
Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Ayat / Catatan Kaki

NET Notes: Isa 40:1 The pronominal suffix is second masculine plural. The identity of the addressee is uncertain: (1) God’s people may be addressed, or (2) the unid...

NET Notes: Isa 40:2 Heb “for she has received from the hand of the Lord double.” The principle of the double portion in punishment is also seen in Jer 16:18; ...

NET Notes: Isa 40:5 Heb “the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

NET Notes: Isa 40:6 Heb “and all his loyalty.” The antecedent of the third masculine suffix is בָּשָׂר (basar, ̶...

NET Notes: Isa 40:7 Heb “the people” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

NET Notes: Isa 40:8 Heb “but the word of our God stands forever.” In this context the divine “word” specifically refers to his decreed promise ass...

NET Notes: Isa 40:9 The second feminine singular imperatives are addressed to personified Zion/Jerusalem, who is here told to ascend a high hill and proclaim the good new...

NET Notes: Isa 40:10 As the Lord returns to Jerusalem as a victorious warrior, he brings with him the spoils of victory, called here his “reward” and “pr...

NET Notes: Isa 40:11 Heb “in his bosom” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NRSV), an expression which reflects closeness and protective care.

NET Notes: Isa 40:12 The implied answer to the rhetorical questions of v. 12 is “no one but the Lord. The Lord, and no other, created the world. Like a merchant weig...

NET Notes: Isa 40:13 Heb “or [as] the man of his counsel causes him to know?”

NET Notes: Isa 40:14 The implied answer to the rhetorical questions in vv. 13-14 is, “No one.” In contrast to Marduk, the creator-god of Mesopotamian myths who...

NET Notes: Isa 40:15 Or “islands” (NASB, NIV, NLT).

NET Notes: Isa 40:16 The point is that not even the Lebanon forest could supply enough wood and animals for an adequate sacrifice to the Lord.

NET Notes: Isa 40:17 Heb “[as derived] from nothing and unformed.”

NET Notes: Isa 40:19 Heb “pours out”; KJV “melteth.”

NET Notes: Isa 40:20 Or “set up” (ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); KJV, NASB “to prepare.”

NET Notes: Isa 40:22 Heb “like a tent [in which] to live”; NAB, NASB “like a tent to dwell (live NIV, NRSV) in.”

NET Notes: Isa 40:25 See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

NET Notes: Isa 40:26 Heb “the one who brings out by number their host.” The stars are here likened to a huge army that the Lord leads out. Perhaps the next lin...

NET Notes: Isa 40:27 Heb “and from my God my justice passes away”; NRSV “my right is disregarded by my God.”

NET Notes: Isa 40:28 Exiled Israel’s complaint (v. 27) implies that God might be limited in some way. Perhaps he, like so many of the pagan gods, has died. Or perhap...

NET Notes: Isa 40:30 Heb “stumbling they stumble.” The verbal idea is emphasized by the infinitive absolute.

NET Notes: Isa 40:31 Heb “they rise up [on] wings like eagles” (TEV similar).

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:1 Comfort ( a ) ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. ( a ) This is a consolation for the Church, assuring them that they will never be destitute o...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:2 Speak ye kindly to Jerusalem, and cry to her, that her ( b ) warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received from the LO...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:3 The ( d ) voice of him that crieth in the ( e ) wilderness, ( f ) Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. ...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every ( g ) mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all ( h ) flesh together shall see [it]: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]. ( h ) This mira...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:6 The ( i ) voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh [is] grass, and all its ( k ) beauty [is] as the flower of the field: ( i ) The v...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the ( l ) breath of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people [is] grass. ( l ) The spirit of God w...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the ( m ) word of our God shall stand for ever. ( m ) Though considering the frailty of man's nature many...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, go up upon the high ( n ) mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and ( p ) his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him. (...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:12 Who hath comprehended the waters in the hollow of his ( r ) hand, and measured heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measu...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or [being] ( s ) his counsellor hath taught him? ( s ) He shows God's infinite wisdom for the same.

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:17 All nations before him [are] as ( t ) nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. ( t ) He speaks all this to the intent that...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:18 To whom then ( u ) will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare to him? ( u ) By this he arms them against the idolatry with which they would ...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:20 He that [is] so ( x ) impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree [that] will not rot; he seeketh for himself a skilful workman to prepare a...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not ( y ) heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the ( z ) foundations of the ear...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he shall also ( a ) blow upon them...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these [things], that bringeth ( b ) out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by t...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, ( c ) My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over by my God? ( c ) He rebukes the J...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ( d ) ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is w...

Geneva Bible: Isa 40:30 ( f ) Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: ( f ) They who trust in their own virtue, and do not acknowledg...

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Tafsiran/Catatan -- Catatan Rentang Ayat

Maclaren: Isa 40:1-10 - A Libation To Jehovah Great Voices From Heaven Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare i...

Maclaren: Isa 40:9 - A Libation To Jehovah O Thou That Bringest Good Tidings O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up Into the high mountain: O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, li...

Maclaren: Isa 40:21-28 - A Libation To Jehovah Have Ye Not? Hast Thou Not?' Have ye not known, have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foun...

Maclaren: Isa 40:26 - A Libation To Jehovah Unfailing Stars And Fainting Men For that He is strong in power; not one falleth… He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might H...

Maclaren: Isa 40:30 - A Libation To Jehovah The Secret Of Immortal Youth Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall But they that wait upon the Lord shall re...

MHCC: Isa 40:1-11 - --All human life is a warfare; the Christian life is the most so; but the struggle will not last always. Troubles are removed in love, when sin is pardo...

MHCC: Isa 40:12-17 - --All created beings shrink to nothing in comparison with the Creator. When the Lord, by his Spirit, made the world, none directed his Spirit, or gave a...

MHCC: Isa 40:18-26 - --Whatever we esteem or love, fear or hope in, more than God, that creature we make equal with God, though we do not make images or worship them. He tha...

MHCC: Isa 40:27-31 - --The people of God are reproved for their unbelief and distrust of God. Let them remember they took the names Jacob and Israel, from one who found God ...

Matthew Henry: Isa 40:1-2 - -- We have here the commission and instructions given, not to this prophet only, but, with him, to all the Lord's prophets, nay, and to all Christ's mi...

Matthew Henry: Isa 40:3-8 - -- The time to favour Zion, yea, the set time, having come, the people of God must be prepared, by repentance and faith, for the favours designed them;...

Matthew Henry: Isa 40:9-11 - -- It was promised (Isa 40:5) that the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; that is it with the hopes of which God's people must be comforted. Now he...