Isaiah 41:22
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come,

New Living Translation
"Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what's going to happen.

English Standard Version
Let them bring them, and tell us what is to happen. Tell us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, that we may know their outcome; or declare to us the things to come.

New American Standard Bible
Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming;

King James Bible
Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Let them come and tell us what will happen. Tell us the past events, so that we may reflect on them and know the outcome, or tell us the future.

International Standard Version
Let them approach and ask us, 'What will happen? As to the former things, what were they? Tell us, so that we may consider them and know. Or the latter things or the things to come— let us hear.

NET Bible
"Let them produce evidence! Let them tell us what will happen! Tell us about your earlier predictive oracles, so we may examine them and see how they were fulfilled. Or decree for us some future events!

New Heart English Bible
"Let them come near and declare to us what shall happen. Declare the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Bring [your idols] so they can tell us what's going to happen. Explain past events that your idols told you about so that we may consider them and know what their outcome will be. Tell us about future events.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Let them bring them forth, and declare unto us The things that shall happen; The former things, what are they? Declare ye, that we may consider, And know the end of them; Or announce to us things to come.

New American Standard 1977
Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place;
            As for the former events, declare what they were,
            That we may consider them, and know their outcome;
            Or announce to us what is coming.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let them bring forth and declare unto us what shall happen; tell us what has happened from the beginning, and we shall consider it in our hearts; and we shall know what his end shall be, and cause us to understand that which is to come.

King James 2000 Bible
Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come.

American King James Version
Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

American Standard Version
Let them bring forth, and declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let them come, and tell us all things that are to come: tell us the former things what they were: and we will set our heart upon them, and shall know the latter end of them, and tell us the things that are to come.

Darby Bible Translation
Let them bring them forward, and declare to us what shall happen: shew the former things, what they are, that we may give attention to them, and know the end of them; -- or let us hear things to come:

English Revised Version
Let them bring them forth, and declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or shew us things for to come.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they are that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come.

World English Bible
"Let them announce, and declare to us what shall happen. Declare the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come.

Young's Literal Translation
They bring nigh, and declare to us that which doth happen, The first things -- what they are declare ye, And we set our heart, and know their latter end, Or the coming things cause us to hear.
Study Bible
Meaningless Idols
21"Present your case," the LORD says. "Bring forward your strong arguments," The King of Jacob says. 22Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; 23Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together.…
Cross References
Isaiah 41:26
Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, "He is right!"? Surely there was no one who declared, Surely there was no one who proclaimed, Surely there was no one who heard your words.

Isaiah 43:9
All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, "It is true."

Isaiah 44:7
'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.

Isaiah 45:21
"Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me.

Isaiah 46:10
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

Isaiah 48:3
"I declared the former things long ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
Treasury of Scripture

Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

and shew

Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: …

Isaiah 43:9-12 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: …

Isaiah 45:21 Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: …

Isaiah 48:14 All you, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them has declared …

John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you …

John 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

consider them. Heb. set our hearts upon them

(22) The former things.--Not, as the Authorised Version suggests, the things of the remote past, but those that lie at the head, or beginning of things to come--the near future. Can the false gods predict them as the pledge and earnest of predictions that go farther? Can they see a single year before them? We note that the challenge exactly corresponds to Isaiah's own method of giving "signs" that his words are not idly spoken (Isaiah 7:10-14; Isaiah 38:7-8). The other meaning is maintained, however, by some critics as more in harmony with Isaiah 43:18. The things "for to come" lie, as it were, in the middle future, the "hereafter" of Isaiah 41:23, in the more remote. All are alike hidden from the gods of the heathen oracles.

Verse 22. - Let them... show us what will happen. God claims that the power of predicting the future is his own inalienable prerogative. He defies the idol-gods and their votaries to give any clear prediction of future events. No doubt the claim to possess the power was made very generally among the idolatrous nations, who almost universally practised divination, and in many cases possessed oracles. But it was a false claim, based upon fraud and cunning, which deceived men as often as dependence was placed upon it (Herod., 1:53, 91) and landed them in misfortune. The former things... things for to come. Some commentators regard "the former things" as things actually past - "the beginnings of history, for instance, which to the heathen nations were wrapped in darkness" (Kay); but it seems better, on the whole, to understand (with Vitringa, Stier, Hahn, Cheyne, and Delitzsch) by "the former things" those in the immediate future, by "things for to come" those about to happen in remoter times. The former are, of course, much the easier to predict, since they fall to some extent within the domain of human foresight; the latter are more difficult; but the idol-gods are challenged to produce either the one or the other. What they be. A definite and clear statement is required to preclude such vague and ambiguous utterances as the heathen oracles delighted to put forth. That we may consider them (or, lay them to heart), and know the latter end of them; i.e. compare them with the event, when the time comes. Let them bring them forth,.... Not their reasons, as before, but their gods; let them cause them to come nigh, let them appear in court, and speak for themselves, when their worshippers have said all they can in defence of their deity:

and show us what shall happen: what shall come to pass hereafter; and by that prove their divinity; for none but God can foretell things to come with certainty; for everything else but what comes from God, by his prophets, is all conjecture, ambiguous, uncertain, mere juggle, trick, and deception, as were the oracles of the Heathens; but what is clearly and plainly foretold, and agreeably to the prediction comes to pass, is a proof of deity, and as such is here challenged. The "us" here, and the "we" in the following clauses, either design God, and the Christians, the true worshippers of him; or rather the three divine Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit, the one true God, in opposition to the gods of the Heathens. The Targum renders it,

"what shall happen to us:''

let them show the former things what they be: either what were before the creation of the world, as Jarchi; what were purposed, decreed, and determined so early to be done; or let them write, or inspire their prophets to write, a history of the creation, and of the transactions of former times, as Moses did, under the inspiration of God; or let them show what things before predicted by them have come to pass, agreeably to their predictions; or rather "the first things, which may be, show" (y); what will first or presently come to pass, that show unto us if you can:

that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or, "and we will set our hearts upon them" (z); weigh them well in our minds, and diligently and attentively consider them, how and in what manner it is foretold they shall come to pass, and take notice and observe the issue of them, and whether the event answers to the prediction: or "declare us things for to come"; which are at a great distance; tell us not only what shall be done in the present age, but onward to the end of the world.

(y) "priora quid ipsa, nuntiate", Montanus; "piora quaenam sint indicate", Piscator. (z) "et ponemus cor nostrum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus. 22. what shall happen—"Let them bring near and declare future contingencies" [Horsley].

former things … the latter end of them—show what former predictions the idols have given, that we may compare the event ("latter end") with them; or give new prophecies ("declare things to come") (Isa 42:9), [Maurer]. Barnes explains it more reconditely, "Let them foretell the entire series of events, showing, in their order, the things which shall first occur, as well as those which shall finally happen"; the false prophets tried to predict isolated events, having no mutual dependency; not a long series of events mutually and orderly connected, and stretching far into futurity. They did not even try to do this. None but God can do it (Isa 46:10; 44:7, 8). "Or … things to come" will, in this view, mean, Let them, if they cannot predict the series, even predict plainly any detached events.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.
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OT Prophets: Isaiah 41:22 Let them announce and declare to us (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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