Isaiah 43:26
Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare you, that you may be justified.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Put me in remembrance . . .—The object of the verb has been differently supplied: (1) “Remind me, if thou canst, of thy merits; plead in thine own defence for an acquittal;” and (2) “Remind me of my promise to thee, of that electing grace which called thee to be my servant.” The former seems to fit in best with what follows.

Isaiah 43:26. Put me in remembrance — Of thy good deeds and merits. Let us plead together — I give thee free liberty to urge all thou canst in thy own behalf. Declare thou, that thou mayest be justified — Bring forward all thou canst, in order to thy justification, and declare on what ground thou expectest to be acquitted, and continued in my favour. But perhaps the words are not to be considered as spoken ironically, and intended as a rebuke to such as were proud and self-righteous; but are rather to be understood as a direction to penitent sinners, showing them how they might obtain the pardon offered in the preceding verse. Is God thus ready to pardon sin; and, when he pardons it, will he remember it no more? Let us then put him in remembrance, mention before him those sins which he forgives; for they must be ever before us, to humble us, even though he pardons them, Psalm 51:3. We must put him in remembrance of the promises he has made to the penitent, and of the satisfaction his Son has made for them. We must plead these with him when we implore a pardon, and declare these things, in order that we may be justified freely by his grace. This is the only way, and it is a sure way, to pardon and peace.43:22-28 Those who neglect to call upon God, are weary of him. The Master tired not the servants with his commands, but they tired him with disobedience. What were the riches of God's mercy toward them? I, even I, am he who yet blotteth out thy transgressions. This encourages us to repent, because there is forgiveness with God, and shows the freeness of Divine mercy. When God forgives, he forgets. It is not for any thing in us, but for his mercies' sake, his promise' sake; especially for his Son's sake. He is pleased to reckon it his honour. Would man justify himself before God? The attempt is desperate: our first father broke the covenant, and we all have copied his example. We have no reason to expect pardon, except we seek it by faith in Christ; and that is always attended by true repentance, and followed by newness of life, by hatred of sin, and love to God. Let us then put him in remembrance of the promises he has made to the penitent, and the satisfaction his Son has made for them. Plead these with him in wrestling for pardon; and declare these things, that thou mayest be justified freely by his grace. This is the only way, and it is a sure way to peace.Put me in remembrance - That is, urge all the arguments in your own defense which you can urge. State everything in self-vindication which can be stated. The language here is taken from the practice of courts when a cause is on trial; and God urges them on their side, to urge all in self-vindication which they can urge. On his part, he alleged that the princes and rulers of the nation had sinned Isaiah 43:27; that the whole nation had transgressed Isaiah 43:23-24, and that for this they were justly punished Isaiah 43:28. He here urges them to advance all in self-defense which they could - if they could pretend that He had forgotten anything; that they had merits which he had not considered; or that he had charged them with crime with undue severity.

Let us plead together - Hebrew, 'Let us be judged together' (see the note at Isaiah 41:1).

Declare thou, that thou mayest be justified - That you may show that you are just, or righteous; that you may demonstrate that you are unjustly accused of crime, and punished with undue severity.

26. Put me in remembrance—Remind Me of every plea which thou hast to urge before Me in thy defense. Image from a trial (Isa 1:18; 41:1). Our strongest plea is to remind God of His own promises. So Jacob did at Mahanaim and Peniel (Ge 32:9, 12). God, then, instead of "pleading against us with His great power," "will put His strength" in us (Job 23:6); we thus become "the Lord's remembrancers" (Isa 62:6, Margin). "Declare God's righteousness" vindicated in Jesus Christ "that thou mayest be justified" (Ro 3:26; compare Isa 20:1-6, and Ps 143:2). Put me in remembrance: I remember nothing by which thou hast deserved my favour and the pardon of thy sins; if thou knowest any such thing, bring it to my mind, I allow thee free liberty to plead with me, as it follows; and if thou hast right on thy side, I will justify thee. It is an ironical speech, whereby he insulteth over those who were puffed up with an opinion of their own innocency and merit; which was the case of many Jews, as this and other prophets have oft observed. Put me in remembrance,.... Of this gracious promise of free remission of sins, and of all others of the same kind; not that God ever forgets any of his promises, but he may sometimes seem to do so; wherefore he would have his people put him in mind of them, that he may by his good Spirit make a comfortable application of them to him: "let us plead together"; or come together in judgment, as God and the sinner may upon the foot of remission of sin, through the blood, sacrifice, and satisfaction of Christ; which may be pleaded, and will be allowed, in the court of justice: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified; declare the promise before made; declare the grace that is expressed in it; plead the blood and righteousness of my Son, that thou mayest be justified by it, on which account remission of sin is: or it may be rather, these words are directed to another set of men among the Jews, who rejected the doctrine of forgiveness of sin by the grace of God, through the blood of Christ; such as were the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time, those self-justiciaries, who sought to be justified by the works of the law; setting at nought the grace of God and righteousness of Christ: now these the Lord calls upon in a way of derision, to put him in mind of any of their good actions they had done, and he had forgotten, for the sake of which they expected pardon, and not for his name's sake; and to come into open court and plead their own righteousness, and see whether they could carry their cause upon the foot of their own merits; and declare publicly what these merits and good works were, that they might be justified by them, if they were sufficient for such a purpose; but alas! these would not bear examination at the bar of strict justice, and would be far from justifying them in, the sight of God; and as their own works would be insufficient, it would be a vain thing to have recourse to the works and merits of their forefathers; for it follows, Put me in {c} remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

(c) If I forget anything that may make for your justification, put me in remembrance and speak for yourself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. In order to bring home the charge of guilt (Isaiah 43:24) Jehovah summons the people to debate their cause with Him. As Isaiah 43:23-25 recall ch. Isaiah 1:10 ff., so this verse seems to be suggested by Isaiah 43:18 of that chapter.

Put me in remembrance] i.e. “of any merits thou canst claim, or any plea thou canst urge, and which I have overlooked.”

let us plead together] “let us implead one another,” as in Isaiah 1:18, though the verb is different. declare thou] Rather reckon thou up (Psalm 40:5). mayest be justified] mayest be in the right.Verse 26. - Put me in remembrance. Either, ironically, "Remind me of thy good deeds; plead thy cause with me on that ground; show the merits that justify thee;" or else seriously, "Remind me of my promises; plead them before me; declare them, that by my free grace I may justify thee." The latter is the more probable interpretation. There now follows a second field of the picture of redemption; and the expression "for your sake" is expounded in Isaiah 43:16-21 : "Thus saith Jehovah, who giveth a road through the sea, and a path through tumultuous waters; who bringeth out chariot and horse, army and hero; they lie down together, they never rise: they have flickered away, extinguished like a wick. Remember not things of olden time, nor meditate upon those of earlier times! Behold, I work out a new thing: will ye not live to see it? Yea, I make a road through the desert, and streams through solitudes. The beast of the field will praise me, wild dogs and ostriches: for I give water in the desert, streams in solitude, to give drink to my people, my chosen. The people that I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise." What Jehovah really says commences in Isaiah 43:18. Then in between He is described as Redeemer out of Egypt; for the redemption out of Egypt was a type and pledge of the deliverance to be looked for out of Babylon. The participles must not be rendered qui dedit, eduxit; but from the mighty act of Jehovah in olden time general attributes are deduced: He who makes a road in the sea, as He once showed. The sea with the tumultuous waters is the Red Sea (Nehemiah 9:11); ‛izzūz, which rhymes with vâsūs, is a concrete, as in Psalm 24:8, the army with the heroes at its head. The expression "bringeth out," etc., is not followed by "and suddenly destroys them," but we are transported at once into the very midst of the scenes of destruction. ישׁכּבוּ shows them to us entering upon the sleep of death, in which they lie without hope (Isaiah 26:14). The close (kappishtâh khâbhū) is iambic, as in Judges 5:27. The admonition in Isaiah 43:18 does not commend utter forgetfulness and disregard (see Isaiah 66:9); but that henceforth they are to look forwards rather than backward. The new thing which Jehovah is in the process of working out eclipses the old, and deserves a more undivided and prolonged attention. Of this new thing it is affirmed, "even now it sprouts up;" whereas in Isaiah 42:9, even in the domain of the future, a distinction was drawn between "the former things" and "new things," and it could be affirmed of the latter that they were not yet sprouting up. In the passage before us the entire work of God in the new time is called chădâshâh (new), and is placed in contrast with the ri'shōnōth, or occurrences of the olden time; so that as the first part of this new thing had already taken place (Isaiah 42:9), and there was only the last part still to come, it might very well be affirmed of the latter, that it was even now sprouting up (not already, which עתה may indeed also mean, but as in Isaiah 48:7). In connection with this, תדעוּה הלוא (a verbal form with the suffix, as in Jeremiah 13:17, with kametz in the syllable before the tone, as in Isaiah 6:9; Isaiah 47:11, in pause) does not mean, "Will ye then not regard it," as Ewald, Umbreit, and others render it; but, "shall ye not, i.e., assuredly ye will, experience it." The substance of the chădâshâh (the new thing) is unfolded in Isaiah 43:19. It enfolds a rich fulness of wonders: אף affirming that, among other things, Jehovah will do this one very especially. He transforms the pathless, waterless desert, that His chosen one, the people of God, may be able to go through in safety, and without fainting. And the benefits of this miracle of divine grace reach the animal world as well, so that their joyful cries are an unconscious praise of Jehovah. (On the names of the animals, see Khler on Malachi 1:3.) In this we can recognise the prophet, who, as we have several times observed since chapter 11 (compare especially Isaiah 30:23-24; Isaiah 35:7), has not only a sympathizing heart for the woes of the human race, but also an open ear for the sighs of all creation. He knows that when the sufferings of the people of God shall be brought to an end, the sufferings of creation will also terminate; for humanity is the heart of the universe, and the people of God (understanding by this the people of God according to the Spirit) are the heart of humanity. In v. 21 the promise is brought to a general close: the people that (zū personal and relative, as in Isaiah 42:24)

(Note: The pointing connects עם־זוּ with makkeph, so that the rendering would be, "The people there I have formed for myself;" but according to our view, עם should be accented with yethib, and zū with munach. In just the same way, zū is connected with the previous noun as a demonstrative, by means of makkeph, in Exodus 15:13, Exodus 15:16; Psalm 9:16; Psalm 62:12; Psalm 142:4; Psalm 143:8, and by means of a subsidiary accent in Psalm 10:2; Psalm 12:8. The idea which underlies Isaiah 42:24 appears to be, "This is the retribution that we have met with from him."' But in none of these can we be bound by the punctuation.)

I have formed for myself will have richly to relate how I glorified myself in them.

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