Isaiah 42:23
Who among you will give ear to this? who will listen and hear for the time to come?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
42:18-25 Observe the call given to this people, and the character given of them. Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but carelessness. The Lord is well-pleased in the making known his own righteousness. For their sins they were spoiled of all their possessions. This fully came to pass in the destruction of the Jewish nation. There is no resisting, nor escaping God's anger. See the mischief sin makes; it provokes God to anger. And those not humbled by lesser judgments, must expect greater. Alas! how many professed Christians are blind as the benighted heathen! While the Lord is well-pleased in saving sinners through the righteousness of Christ he will also glorify his justice, by punishing all proud despisers. Seeing God has poured out his wrath on his once-favoured people, because of their sins, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should be found to come short of it.Who among you will give ear to this? - Who is there in the nation that will be so warned by the judgments of God, that he will attend to the lessons which he designs to teach, and reform his life, and return to him? It is implied by these questions that such ought to be the effect; it is implied also that they were so sunken and abandoned that they would not do it. These judgments were a loud call on the nation to turn to God, and, in time to come, to avoid the sins which had made it necessary for him to interpose in this manner, and give them to spoil. 23. A call that they should be warned by the past judgments of God to obey Him for the time to come. Oh that you would learn from your former and dear bought experiences to be wiser for the future, and not to provoke God to your own total and final ruin! Who among you will give ear to this?.... To this prophecy of your destruction, and to what follows concerning it:

who will hearken and hear for the time to come? and receive instruction from hence, and repent and reform? none at all; so blind, and deaf, and stupid, were they both before, and at their destruction, and even ever since; they take no notice of the hand of God upon them, nor hearken to the rod, any more than to the word of God; which seems to be what is meant by "the time to come", or "hereafter"; and this will be their case till the veil is taken away, and then they shall see and hear, and turn to the Lord.

Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for {b} the time to come?

(b) Meaning, God's wrath.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. The question expresses the prophet’s wish that now at last some of the people should begin to realise the significance of their relation to Jehovah, and prepare themselves for the great deliverance.

will give ear to this] i.e. to the substance of the present exhortation,—the contrast between the ideal calling of Israel and its present position, its failure to realise its mission, and (especially) the reason of that failure (Isaiah 42:24 f.).

for the time to come] in contrast to past disobedience. It is evident that the prophet expects the mission of Israel to be realised by a conversion of the nation. The process of that conversion is powerfully described in ch. 53.Verse 23. - Who among you will give ear? Surely there are some among you, less hardened than the rest, who will take advantage of my warning, and repent at this, the eleventh hour. God's arm was straitened; the people could not be delivered out of captivity unless they ceased in large numbers to be "blind" and "deaf" - unless they listened to the prophet's words, and profited by them. In connection with this, the following v. declares what effect this double manifestation will produce among the heathen. "They fall back, are put deeply to shame, that trust in molten images, that say to the molten image, Thou art our God." Bōsheth takes the place of an inf. intens.; cf., Habakkuk 3:9. Jehovah's glorious acts of judgment and salvation unmask the false gods, to the utter confusion of their worshippers. And whilst in this way the false religions fall, the redemption of Israel becomes at the same time the redemption of the heathen. The first half of this third prophecy is here brought to a close.
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