|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.
Verse 24. - A pause may be supposed between vers. 23 and 24, during which the idol-gods are given the opportunity of "bringing, forth their strong reasons," and, in one way or other, proving their Divinity. But they are stricken dumb; they say nothing. Accordingly, "judgment goes against them by default" (Cheyne), and Jehovah breaks out upon them with words of contempt and contumely, Behold, ye are of nothing, etc. "Ye are utterly vain and futile."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, ye are of nothing,.... Not as to the matter of them, for they were made of gold, silver, brass, &c. but as to the divinity of them: there was none in them, they were of no worth and value; they could do nothing, either good or evil, either help their friends, or hurt their enemies; yea, they were less than nothing; for the words may be rendered by way of comparison, "behold, ye are less than nothing"; (a). See Gill on Isaiah 40:17;
and your work of nought; the workmanship bestowed on them, in casting or carving them, was all to no purpose, and answered no end; or the work they did, or pretended to do, their feigned oracles, and false predictions: or, "worse than nothing": some render it, "worse than a viper" (b); a word like this is used for one, Isaiah 49:5 and so denotes the poisonous and pernicious effects of idolatry:
an abomination is he that chooseth you; as the object of his worship; he is not only abominable, but an abomination itself to God, and to all men of sense and religion; for the choice he makes of an idol to be his god shows him to be a man void of common sense and reason, and destitute of all true religion and godliness, and must be a stupid sottish creature. The Targum is,
"an abomination is that which ye have chosen for yourselves, or in which ye delight;''
meaning their idols. This is the final issue of the controversy, and the judgment passed both upon the idols and their worshippers.
(a) "vos minus quam nihil estis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (b) "pejus opere viperae", Junius & Tremellius; "pejus est opere basilisci", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. of nothing—(See on Isa 40:17). The Hebrew text is here corrupt; so English Version treats it.
abomination—abstract for concrete: not merely abominable, but the essence of whatever is so (De 18:12).
chooseth you—as an object of worship.
Isaiah 41:24 Parallel Commentaries
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