Isaiah 40:27
Why say you, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Why sayest thou, O Jacob.—The eternity and infinity of God is presented not only as rebuking the folly of the idolater, but as the ground of comfort to His people. His is no transient favour, no capricious will. (Comp. Romans 11:29-36.)

Isaiah 40:27-28. Why sayest thou, O Jacob — The consolatory part of the prophet’s discourse begins at this verse, wherein the foregoing doctrine and prophecy are applied to the comfort of the church, complaining, amid her various afflictions, that she had been neglected of the Lord; which complaint makes the basis of the consolation contained in this period. Why dost thou give way to such jealousies concerning thy God, of whose infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness, there are such evident demonstrations? My way 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 name of the people, being prophetically supposed to be in captivity. My judgment is passed over from my God — My cause. God has neglected to plead my cause, and to give judgment for me against mine enemies. Hast thou not known? — Art thou ignorant, wilt thou not consider; that the everlasting God — Who had no beginning of days, and will have no end of life; who was from eternity, and will be to eternity, and with whom therefore there is no deficiency, no decay; the Lord — Hebrew, JEHOVAH, the self-existent Being; the Creator of the ends of the earth — That is, of the whole earth, to its utmost bounds, and of all that is in it; fainteth not, neither is weary — With the care of his church, or of the world? He is not by age or labour become weak and unable to help his people, as men are wont to be; nor is the care of them any burden to him. There is no searching of his understanding — His providence comprehends all things, and nothing is exempted from it: and the counsels by which he governs all the world, and, in an especial manner, the affairs of his people, are far above the reach of any human understanding; and therefore we act ignorantly and foolishly if we pass a rash judgment upon the ways of the infinitely wise God.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 faithful to him in all his straits. And they bore these names as a people in covenant with Him. Many foolish frets, and foolish fears, would vanish before inquiry into the causes. It is bad to have evil thoughts rise in our minds, but worse to turn them into evil words. What they had known, and had heard, was sufficient to silence all these fears and distrusts. Where God had begun the work of grace, he will perfect it. He will help those who, in humble dependence on him, help themselves. As the day, so shall the strength be. In the strength of Divine grace their souls shall ascend above the world. They shall run the way of God's commandments cheerfully. Let us watch against unbelief, pride, and self-confidence. If we go forth in our own strength, we shall faint, and utterly fall; but having our hearts and our hopes in heaven, we shall be carried above all difficulties, and be enabled to lay hold of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.Why sayest thou? - This verse is designed to reprove the people for their want of confidence in God. The idea is, 'If God is so great; if be arranges the hosts of heaven with such unerring skill, causing all the stars to observe their proper place and their exact times, the interests of his people are safe in his hands.' Piety may always find security in the assurance that He who preserves the unbroken order of the heavens will not fail to keep and save his people. The language in this verse is to be understood as addressed to the Jews sighing for deliverance in their long and painful captivity in Babylon. Their city and temple had laid waste for many years; their captivity had been long and wearisome, and doubtless many would be ready to say, that it would never end. To furnish an argument to meet this state of despondency, the prophet sets before them this sublime description of the faithfulness and the power of God.

O Jacob - A name often given to the Jews as the descendants of Jacob.

O Israel - Denoting the same. The name Israel was given to Jacob because he had power to prevail as a prince with God Genesis 32:28; and it became the common name by which his descendants were known.

My way is hid from the Lord - That is, is not seen, or noticed. The word 'way' here denotes evidently the state or condition; the manner of life, or the calamities which they experienced. The term is often thus employed to denote the lot, condition, or manner in which one lives or acts Psa 37:5; Isaiah 10:24; Jeremiah 12:1. The phrase, 'is hid,' means that God is ignorant of it, or that he does not attend to it; and the complaint here is, that God had not regarded them in their calamities, and would not interpose to save them.

And my judgment - My cause. The word here refers to their condition among the people where they were captive, and by whom they were oppressed. They are represented as being deprived of their liberty; and they here complain that God disregarded their cause, and that he did not come forth to deliver them from their oppressions and their trials.

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

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."

my God—who especially might be expected to care for me.

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, Ezekiel 37. 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.

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 Jews because they did not rest on the providence of God, but thought that he had forsaken them in their troubles.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. My way] i.e. my circumstances, my lot (Psalm 37:5). Israel feels that its hard lot is overlooked or ignored by Jehovah; far harder is the complaint of Job (Isaiah 3:23) that God Himself has hidden his way, setting a hedge across it.

my judgment … God] my right passes from my God,—escapes His notice. In all its consciousness of guilt before God, the nation retained the consciousness of having “right” on its side against its oppressors. (See Appendix, Note II.).

27–31. The prophet now turns to his own people, drawing the lesson of hope and encouragement which lies in the true doctrine of God. Jehovah, whom Israel still calls “my God” (Isaiah 40:27), is eternal and unchangeable, of infinite power and discernment (28), and the source of strength to those who have none in themselves (29) if only they will wait on Him in faith (31).Verse 27. - O Jacob ... O Israel (For this pleonastic combination, so characteristic of Isaiah, see Isaiah 9:8; Isaiah 10:21, 22; Isaiah 14:1; Isaiah 27:6; Isaiah 29:23, in the earlier chapters; and Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 42:24; Isaiah 43:1, 22, 28; Isaiah 44:1, 5, 23; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 46:3; Isaiah 49:5, 6, etc., in the later ones.) Why sayest thou ... My way is hid? The prophet has gone back to the time when Israel is suffering all the calamities of the Captivity, instead of being on the point of emerging from it, as in vers. 9-11, and he now hears the complaints of the exiles, who think that God has forsaken them - that he does not see their "way" of life, or regard their sufferings. My judgment. Delitzsch and Mr. Cheyne translate "my right," and understand the "right" of Israel to be independent of its oppressors. Having thus depicted in a few strokes the infatuation of idolatry, the prophet addresses the following question to such of the Israelites as are looking at it with longing eye, even if they have not already been deluded by it. "Do ye not know? Do ye not hear? Is it not proclaimed to you from the beginning? Have ye not obtained an insight into the foundations of the earth?" We have here four questions chiastically arranged. The absolute being of God, which is above all created things, is something which may be either inferred per ratiocinationem, or learned per traditionem. When Israel failed to acknowledge the absolute distinctness and unequalled supremacy of Jehovah its God, it hardened itself against the knowledge which it might acquire even in a natural way (cf., Psalm 19:1-14 and Romans 1:20), and shut its ears against the teaching of revelation and tradition, which had come down from the very beginning of its history. The first two questions are construed with futures, the other two with perfects; the former refer to what is possible, the latter to what is an actual fact. Have you - this is the meaning of the four questions - have you obtained no knowledge of the foundations of the earth, namely, as to the way in which they were laid?
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