Isaiah 44:24
Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Thus saith the Lord.—A new section begins, which is carried on to the end of Isaiah 45. The contrast between the foreknowledge of Jehovah and the no-knowledge of the worshippers of idols culminates in the proclamation, in Isaiah 44:28, of the name of the deliverer and his restoration of the Temple.

That spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.—The Hebrew written text gives the more emphatic reading: that spreadeth forth the earth; who was with me? (Comp. Isaiah 40:13; Isaiah 63:3; and Job 9:8.)

Isaiah 44:24-27. I am the Lord that maketh all things — And therefore I can save thee without the help of any other gods, or any creature; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars — Of the magicians and astrologers, who were numerous and greatly esteemed in Babylon, and who had foretold the long continuance and prosperity of the Chaldean empire. And maketh the diviners mad — With grief for the disappointment of their predictions, and their disgrace which followed it. That turneth wise men backward — Stopping their way, and blasting their designs. That confirmeth the word of his servants — The prophets, as appears from the next clause, namely, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others, whom God sent to foretel the destruction of Babylon, and the redemption of his people. The connection of this with Isaiah 44:25, is, As God discovers the folly and madness of such false prophets, so he punctually fulfils the predictions of his own prophets. That saith to the deep, Be dry — That with a word can dry up the sea and rivers, and remove all impediments. “Cyrus took Babylon by laying the bed of the Euphrates dry, and leading his army into the city by night, through the empty channel of the river. This remarkable circumstance, in which the event so exactly corresponded with the prophecy, was also noted by Jeremiah. A drought shall be upon her waters, and they shall be dried up: I will lay her sea dry; and I will scorch up her springs, Jeremiah 50:38; Jeremiah 51:36. It is proper here to give some account of the method by which the stratagem of Cyrus was effected. The Euphrates, in the middle of summer, from the melting of the snows on the mountains of Armenia, like the Nile, overflows the country. In order to diminish the inundation, and carry off the waters, two canals were made by Nebuchadnezzar a hundred miles above the city; the first on the eastern side, called Naharmalca, or the Royal river, by which the Euphrates was let into the Tigris; the other on the western side, called Pallacopas, or Naharaga, (Hebrew, נהר אגם, the river of the pool,) by which the redundant waters were carried into a vast lake, forty miles square, contrived, not only to lessen the inundation, but for a reservoir, with sluices to water the barren country on the Arabian side. Cyrus, by turning the whole river into the latter lake, laid the channel, where it ran through the city, almost dry; so that his army entered it both above and below by the bed of the river, the water not reaching above the middle of the thigh. By the great quantity of water let into the lake, the sluices and dams were destroyed; and being never repaired afterward, the waters spread over the whole country below, and reduced it into a morass, in which the river is lost.” — Bishop Lowth.44:21-28 Return unto me. It is the great concern of those who have backslidden from God, like the Jews of old, to hasten their return to him. The work of redemption wrought for us by Christ, encourages to hope for all blessings from him. Our transgressions and our sins are as a thick cloud between heaven and earth: sins separate between us and God; they threaten a storm of wrath. When God pardons sin, he blots out, he dispels this cloud, this thick cloud, so that the way to heaven is open again. The cloud is scattered by the Sun of righteousness; it is quite gone. The comforts that flow into the soul when sin is pardoned, are like clear shining after clouds and rain. Let not Israel be discouraged; nothing is too hard for God: having made all, he can make what use he pleases of any. Those that learn to know Christ, see all knowledge to be foolishness, in comparison with the knowledge of him. And his enemies will find their counsels turned into foolishness, and themselves taken in their craftiness. The exact fulfilling the prophecies of Scripture confirms the truth of the whole, and proves its Divine origin. The particular favours God designed for his people in captivity, were foretold here, long before they went into captivity. Very great difficulties would be in the way of their deliverance; but it is promised that by Divine power they should all be removed. God knew who should be the Deliverer of his people; and let his church know it, that when they heard such a name talked of, they might know their redemption drew nigh. It is the greatest honour of the greatest men, to be employed as instruments of the Divine favour to his people. In things wherein men serve themselves, and look no further, God makes them do all his pleasure. And a nobler Shepherd than Cyrus does his Father's will, till his work is fully completed.Thy Redeemer - (See the note at Isaiah 43:1).

And he that formed thee from thee womb - (See the note at Isaiah 44:2).

That stretcheth forth the heavens - (See the note at Isaiah 40:22).

That spreadeth abroad the earth - Representing the earth, as is often done in the Scriptures, as a plain. God here appeals to the fact that he alone had made the heavens and the earth, as the demonstration that he is able to accomplish what is here said of the deliverance of his people. The same God that made the heavens is the Redeemer and Protector of the church, and therefore the church is safe.

24-28. Confirmation of His promises to the Church and Israel, by various instances of His omnipotence; among these the restoration of the Jews by Cyrus.

alone—literally, "Who was with Me?" namely, when I did it; answering to "by Myself," in the parallel clause (compare similar phrases, Ho 8:4; Joh 5:30) [Maurer].

That formed thee from the womb; of which phrase See Poole "Isaiah 44:2".

That maketh all things, & c.; and therefore I can save thee without the help of any other gods or men. Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer,.... These are the words of the Son of God, of Christ, the Redeemer of his people; and the following show him to be the mighty God, and so able to redeem them, and therefore was appointed to this work, and undertook it:

and he that formed thee from the womb; that formed thee in it, and brought thee out of it, separated thee from it, and called thee by his grace:

I am the Lord that maketh all things; that made all things out of nothing at first; for without Christ was not anything made that was made; all things in heaven, and earth, and sea, were made by him; and he continues all creatures in their being, and provides for them, and governs all by his power; he works hitherto, and continues working with his divine Father, John 1:1,

that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; not to the exclusion of the Father and the Holy Spirit, but of all creatures, angels and men; of himself, and by his own strength and power, and, without the help of these, he stretched out the vast space of the heavens as a curtain, and spread out the earth in its length and breadth, and the large surface of it, to that great circumference which it has; a full proof of his proper deity! A man cannot stretch out a curtain, or piece of tapestry, of any size, without the help of another; and much less can a creature stretch out the heavens and the earth.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24–28. Jehovah, the God of creation and of prophecy, has chosen Cyrus to execute his purpose with regard to Israel.

thy redeemer] See on ch. Isaiah 41:14. formed thee from the womb] as in Isaiah 44:2.

that stretcheth … alone] Cf. ch. Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 42:5; Job 9:8.

by myself] The A.V. here follows the reading presupposed by the vowel-points (Qěrê). The R.V. rightly goes back to the consonantal text (Kĕthîb) which is preserved in the LXX. and Vulg. and some Hebrew MSS. Render accordingly: who was with me? i.e. there was none to help me.Verse 24. - Thus saith the Lord. This is not a new prophecy entirely unconnected with the preceding, as Delitzsch supposes, lint a declaration to which the prophet has been working up, and which he intends as the crown and climax of all that he has been announcing with respect to Israel's deliverance. Not only is the deliverance absolutely determined on in God's counsels, but the Deliverer himself is already chosen and designated. He that formed thee from the womb (comp. ver. 2). I am the Lord that maketh all things - rather, I the Lord am he that doeth all things; i.e. I am he that executeth whatever he designs - that stretcheth forth the heavens alone (comp. Job 9:8), that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself. God did not delegate the creation of the heaven and the earth to an inferior spirit, a δημιουργός, as the Greeks generally taught. He did not even call in the co operation of a helper. Singly and solely by his own power he created all things. So irrational is idolatry; but yet, through self-hardening, they have fallen under the judgment of hardness of heart (Isaiah 6:9-10; Isaiah 19:3; Isaiah 29:10), and have been given up to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). "They perceive not, and do not understand: for their eyes are smeared over, so that they do not see; their hearts, so that they do not understand. And men take it not to heart, no perception and no understanding, that men should say, The half of it I have burned in the fire, and also baked bread upon the coals thereof; roasted flesh, and eaten: and ought I to make the rest of it an abomination, to fall down before the produce of a tree?" Instead of טח, Leviticus 14:42, the third person is written טח (from tâchach, Ges. 72, Anm. 8) in a circumstantial sense: their eyes are, as it were, smeared over with plaster. The expression אל־לב השׁיב or על־לב (Isaiah 46:8), literally to carry back into the heart, which we find as well as על־לב שׂים, to take to heart (Isaiah 42:25), answers exactly to the idea of reflection, here with reference to the immense contrast between a piece of wood and the Divine Being. The second and third לא in Isaiah 44:19 introduce substantive clauses, just as verbal clauses are introduced by ואין. לאמר is used in the same manner as in Isaiah 9:8 : "perception and insight showing themselves in their saying." On būl, see Job 40:20; the meaning "block" cannot be established: the talmudic būl, a lump or piece, which Ewald adduces, is the Greek βῶλος.
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