|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:21-29 There needs no more to show the folly of sin, than to bring to notice the reasons given in defence of it. There is nothing in idols worthy of regard. They are less than nothing, and worse than nothing. Let the advocates of other doctrines than that of salvation through Christ, bring their arguments. Can they tell of a cure for human depravity? Jehovah has power which cannot be withstood; this he will make appear. But the certain knowledge of the future must be only with Jehovah, who fulfils his own plans. All prophecies, except those of the Bible, have been uncertain. In the work of redemption the Lord showed himself much more than in the release of the Jews from Babylon. The good tidings the Lord will send in the gospel, is a mystery hid from ages and generations. A Deliverer is raised up for us, of nobler name and greater power than the deliverer of the captive Jews. May we be numbered among his obedient servants and faithful friends.
Verses 21-29. - JEHOVAH'S CONTROVERSY WITH THE NATIONS AND THEIR IDOL-GODS. The argument is now taken up from vers. 1-4. Jehovah and his worshippers are on the one side; the idol-gods and their votaries on the other. The direct challenge, however, is given by Jehovah himself to the idols:
1. What predictions of their own can they bring forward as proofs of supernatural knowledge?
2. What indications can they give of power either to do good or to do evil (vers. 22, 23)? If they can do neither, they are vanity (ver. 24). Jehovah has both reared up Cyrus he and he only - and has announced the good tidings to his people (vers. 25-27). No such announcement has been made by the idol-gods; they are therefore mere "wind and confusion" (vers. 28, 29). Verse 21. - Produce your cause. The nations had been told to "draw near" - to "keep silence" while God spoke - and "then to speak" (ver. 1). Now the time for them to speak is come, and they are challenged to "produce" and plead "their cause." Your strong reasons; literally, your bulwarks, or defences. Saith the King of Jacob. The king and tutelary god of the nation, Israel, really holding the position that the idol-gods were regarded as holding towards the peoples that worshipped them. The "kingly" character of the idol-gods was indicated in such names as Moloch (equivalent to "king"), Melkarth (equivalent to "king of the city"), Adrammelech (equivalent to "glorious king"), Baal (equivalent to "lord"), Adonis (equivalent to "my lord"), etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Produce your cause, saith the Lord,.... The Lord having comforted his people under their afflictions and persecutions from their enemies in the first times of Christianity, returns to the controversy between him and the idolatrous Heathens, and challenges them to bring their cause into open court, and let it be publicly tried, that it may be seen on what side truth lies:
bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob; or King of saints, the true Israel of God, who acknowledge the Lord as their King and their God, and whom he rules over, protects and defends; and this title is assumed for the comfort of them, that though he is King over all the nations of the world, yet in an eminent and peculiar sense their King; and he does not style himself the God of Jacob, though he was, because this was the thing in controversy, and the cause to be decided, whether he was the true God, or the gods of the Gentiles; and therefore their votaries are challenged to bring forth the strongest reasons and arguments they could muster together, in proof of the divinity of their idols; their "bony" arguments, as the word (x) signifies; for what bones are to the body, that strong arguments are to a cause, the support and stability of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
21. A new challenge to the idolaters (see Isa 41:1, 7) to say, can their idols predict future events as Jehovah can (Isa 41:22-25, &c.)?
your strong reasons—the reasons for idol-worship which you think especially strong.
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