Isaiah 41:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow.

New Living Translation
"Who has stirred up this king from the east, rightly calling him to God's service? Who gives this man victory over many nations and permits him to trample their kings underfoot? With his sword, he reduces armies to dust. With his bow, he scatters them like chaff before the wind.

English Standard Version
Who stirred up one from the east whom victory meets at every step? He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow.

New American Standard Bible
"Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow.

King James Bible
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Who has stirred him up from the east? He calls righteousness to his feet. The LORD hands nations over to him, and he subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, like wind-driven stubble with his bow.

International Standard Version
Who has aroused victory from the east, and has summoned it to his service, and has handed over nations to him? Who brings down kings, and turns them into dust with his sword, into windblown stubble with his bow?

NET Bible
Who stirs up this one from the east? Who officially commissions him for service? He hands nations over to him, and enables him to subdue kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, like windblown straw with his bow.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Who has raised up from the east someone to whom the LORD gives victory with every step he takes? Nations are handed over to him. He defeats kings. With his sword he turns them into dust. With his bow he turns them into straw blown by the wind.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who raised up righteousness from the east, called him that he might follow him, gave the Gentiles before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to his sword and as driven stubble to his bow.

King James 2000 Bible
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his feet, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

American King James Version
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

American Standard Version
Who hath raised up one from the east, whom he calleth in righteousness to his foot? he giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; he giveth them as the dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who hath raised up the just one from the east, hath called him to follow him? he shall give the nations in his sight, and he shall rule over kings: he shall give them as the dust to his sword, as stubble driven by the wind, to his bow.

Darby Bible Translation
Who raised up from the east him whom righteousness calleth to its foot? He gave the nations before him, and caused him to have dominion over kings; he gave them as dust to his sword, as driven stubble to his bow.

English Revised Version
Who hath raised up one from the east, whom he calleth in righteousness to his foot? he giveth nations before him, and maketh him rule over kings; he giveth them as the dust to his sword, as the driven stubble to his bow.

Webster's Bible Translation
Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

World English Bible
Who has raised up one from the east? Who called him to his foot in righteousness? He hands over nations to him, and makes him rule over kings. He gives them like the dust to his sword, like the driven stubble to his bow.

Young's Literal Translation
Who stirred up from the east a righteous one? He calleth him to His foot, He giveth before him nations, And kings He causeth him to rule, He giveth them as dust to his sword, As driven stubble to his bow.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

41:1-9 Can any heathen god raise up one in righteousness, make what use of him he pleases, and make him victorious over the nations? The Lord did so with Abraham, or rather, he would do so with Cyrus. Sinners encourage one another in the ways of sin; shall not the servants of the living God stir up one another in his service? God's people are the seed of Abraham his friend. This is certainly the highest title ever given to a mortal. It means that Abraham, by Divine grace, was made like to God, and that he was admitted to communion with Him. Happy are the servants of the Lord, whom he has called to be his friends, and to walk with him in faith and holy obedience. Let not such as have thus been favoured yield to fear; for the contest may be sharp, but the victory shall be sure.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Who raised up the righteous man, etc.? rather, who raised up from the East one whom righteousness will call to his foot. It is generally agreed among moderns that the reference is to Cyrus, who is further referred to in ver. 25, in Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1-4, 13; and Isaiah 46:11. Cyrus, whether we regard him as King of Persia, or as King of Elam (Susiana), would come from a land lying east of Babylon. "Righteousness called him to his foot" when God, the Righteous One, made him his minister, and gave him a certain task to perform (Isaiah 44:28). Gave the nations before him; rather, gives, or will give. (On the rapid conquests of Cyrus, see Herod., 1:75-191; and comp. 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 4. pp. 354-377.) That he was God's instrument must be admitted by all who allow that the course of history is determined by a superintending Providence. Made him rule over kings. Mr. Cheyne translates, "makes him trample upon kings," which seems to give the true sense. It was certainly not the general policy of Cyrus to establish under him a number of subject kings, but rather to rule the conquered countries by means of Persian or Median governors (see Herod., 1:153, 156; 'Transactions of the Society of Bibl. Archaeol.,' vol. 7. p. 166) He gave them as the dust to his sword, etc.; or, according to some, he maketh their sword as dust, and their bow as driven stubble. The result is the same, whichever we regard as the true construction. The prophecy tells of the ease and completeness with which Cyrus vanquished his enemies.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Who raised up the righteous man from the east,.... The Targum interprets this of Abraham; and so the Talmud (h); and this way go most Jewish and Christian commentators, and to him the characters agree; he was a righteous man, believed in Christ for righteousness, had the righteousness of faith when circumcised, did justice, and wrought righteousness himself, and required his children and servants to do the same, Genesis 15:6, he was raised up out of an idolatrous family, from Ur of the Chaldees, on the other side the river Euphrates, which lay east of Judea; he was called by the Lord to his foot, as it follows, and was obedient to him; he went forth at his command, not knowing whither he went, Hebrews 11:8. God gave him by promise the land of Canaan, possessed by several "nations", and which his seed afterwards inherited; yea, he made him, in a spiritual sense, "the father of many nations", even of all believers, in all nations of the world, Genesis 15:18, he made him a conqueror "over" the "kings" that had vanquished the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and plundered their cities; who were no more able to stand before him, though he had no more than three hundred and eighteen servants of his household, than "dust and stubble" can resist the force of a mighty wind; he "pursued them" in an unknown tract, got an entire victory over them, without being hurt or losing a man; which was so extraordinary an affair, that Melchizedek, priest of the most high God, and a type of Christ, went forth to meet him, and blessed him, Genesis 14:14, and who but the mighty God could or did raise up this man, and make him what he was, and do the things he did? some, as Aben Ezra, and several Christian writers also, think that Cyrus is meant, spoken of as raised up already, though to come, in the manner of prophetic language, called the ravenous bird from the east, Isaiah 46:11, who came from Persia, which lay east of Judea;

whom God called to his foot, and who performed his pleasure, and executed his counsel, and so said to be a "righteous man" in that respect; and is expressly said to be "raised up in righteousness"; before whom the Lord subdued "nations", and loosed the loins of "kings"; see Isaiah 44:28, some understand it of him as a type of Christ, who is the righteous One, or "righteousness" itself, as the word properly signifies, the Lord our righteousness; whose name is "Oriens", or the east, the rising sun in the east, Zechariah 3:8, the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7:2, born in the eastern part of the world; called to be the servant of the Lord, and was; to whom he has given the Heathen for his inheritance, and made him his firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth, and whom he will overcome and slay with his twoedged sword: but since rather Christ is the person speaking, and concerning whom the controversy is, therefore some person distinct from him must be meant; and I am inclined to think, with Coeceius, that the Apostle Paul is intended, that wonderful man; though this sense is rejected by Vitringa: he was a "righteous" one, made so by the righteousness of Christ; he believed in it, and was a preacher of it, and lived a holy and righteous life and conversation; whom the Lord raised up for uncommon service and usefulness, and to whom he appeared personally to make him a minister, and send him out to do his work; he was raised up in the eastern part of the world, in Judea, being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and from thence sent forth into various parts; see Acts 26:16,

called him to his foot; and though he was like a furious lion, raging against his saints, breathing out slaughter and threatenings against them, and in the height of his rage and fury; yet was at once, at the call of Christ, made as tame as a lamb, and said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" he was willing to do anything and everything he pleased, Acts 9:1 and when he signified it as his will that he should preach his Gospel, he was not disobedient, he did not confer with flesh and blood, but at once set about it with the greatest zeal and readiness:

gave the nations before him; made him an apostle of the Gentiles, or of the nations, and made those Gentiles or nations obedient by word and deed; he triumphed in Christ everywhere, and diffused the savour of his knowledge in every place, Romans 11:13,

and made him rule over kings? governors, princes, potentates, and kings of the earth; he had power over their spirits, being an instrument either of converting them, as Sergius Paulus the Roman deputy, from whence some think he had his name; or to make them to tremble at his discourses, as Felix the Roman governor; and of bringing them at least to own there was something in the Christian religion, as Agrippa, a crowned head, who was obliged to confess he had almost persuaded him to be a Christian, Acts 13:7, and of bringing their kingdoms, and the inhabitants of them, into subjection to Christ:

he gave them as dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow; whose weapons were not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty through God; his sword was the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; his bow and arrows were the Gospel, and the truths of it, in whose ministry Christ went forth conquering, and to conquer: and this being attended with the power of God, men could no more stand against them than dust and stubble before the wind.

(h) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 156. 2. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 108. 2. and Taanith, fol. 21. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Who—else but God? The fact that God "raiseth up" Cyrus and qualifies him for becoming the conqueror of the nations and deliverer of God's people, is a strong argument why they should trust in Him. The future is here prophetically represented as present or past.

the righteous man—Cyrus; as Isa 44:28; 45:1-4, 13; 46:11, "from the East," prove. Called "righteous," not so much on account of his own equity [Herodotus, 3.89], as because he fulfilled God's righteous will in restoring the Jews from their unjust captivity. Raised him up in righteousness. The Septuagint takes the Hebrew as a noun "righteousness." Maurer translates, "Who raised up him whom salvation (national and temporal, the gift of God's 'righteousness' to the good, Isa 32:17; compare Isa 45:8; 51:5) meets at his foot" (that is, wherever he goes). Cyrus is said to come from the East, because Persia is east of Babylon; but in Isa 41:25, from the north, in reference to Media. At the same time the full sense of righteousness, or righteous, and of the whole passage, is realized only in Messiah, Cyrus' antitype (Cyrus knew not God, Isa 45:4). He goes forth as the Universal Conqueror of the "nations," in righteousness making war (Ps 2:8, 9; Re 19:11-15; 6:2; 2:26, 27). "The idols He shall utterly abolish" (compare Isa 7:23, with Isa 2:18). Righteousness was always raised up from the East. Paradise was east of Eden. The cherubim were at the east of the garden. Abraham was called from the East. Judea, the birthplace of Messiah, was in the East.

called … to … foot—called him to attend His (God's) steps, that is, follow His guidance. In Ezr 1:2, Cyrus acknowledges Jehovah as the Giver of his victories. He subdued the nations from the Euxine to the Red Sea, and even Egypt (says Xenophon).

dust—(Isa 17:13; 29:5; Ps 18:42). Persia, Cyrus' country, was famed for the use of the "bow" (Isa 22:6). "Before him" means "gave them into his power" (Jos 10:12). Maurer translates, "Gave his (the enemy's) sword to be dust, and his (the enemy's) bow to be as stubble" (Job 41:26, 29).

Isaiah 41:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
God's Help to Israel
1"Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. 2"Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow. 3"He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet.…
Cross References
Revelation 7:2
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:

Revelation 16:12
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

2 Samuel 22:43
I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.

2 Chronicles 36:23
"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.'"

Ezra 1:2
"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.

Isaiah 40:24
No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

Isaiah 41:3
He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before.

Isaiah 41:25
"I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes-- one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay.

Isaiah 42:6
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,

Isaiah 45:1
"This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:

Isaiah 45:13
I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty."

Isaiah 46:11
From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.

Isaiah 48:15
I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.

Lamentations 1:15
"The Lord has rejected all the warriors in my midst; he has summoned an army against me to crush my young men. In his winepress the Lord has trampled Virgin Daughter Judah.
Treasury of Scripture

Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

who raised

Isaiah 41:25 I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the …

Isaiah 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his …

Isaiah 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executes my counsel …

Genesis 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's …

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and …

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to …

Hebrews 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which …

the righteous man. Heb. righteousness. gave

Isaiah 45:1 Thus said the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I …

Genesis 14:14,15 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed …

Ezra 1:2 Thus said Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven has given …

Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, …

as the

Isaiah 41:15,16 Behold, I will make you a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: …

2 Samuel 22:43 Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp …

2 Kings 13:7 Neither did he leave of the people to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, …

as driven

Isaiah 40:24 Yes, they shall not be planted; yes, they shall not be sown: yes, …

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