|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.
Verse 3. - He pursued them, and passed safely; rather, he shall pursue them, and shall pass on in safety. Even by the way that he had not gone with his feet; rather, a path with his feet he shall not tread. The meaning seems to be that he will dispense with customary paths, making his advance everywhere over all obstacles, by untrodden ways. Compare the frequent boasts of the Assyrian kings: "To the recesses of the deep forests and the peaks of the difficult mountains, which had never been trodden by the foot of man, I ascended' ('Records of the Past,' vol. 5. p. 13). "Difficult mountain chains, and inaccessible hills, which none of our kings had ever previously reached - tedious paths and unopened roads - I traversed" (ibid., p. 16). "The lands of Sihak, of Arda, of Ulayan, of Alluria, inaccessible mountains, impossible for the horses, and inaccessible for myself, I went through" (ibid., vol. 7. p. 36).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He pursued them, and passed safely..... Went on in his work, pursued his great design in subduing the souls of men, and bringing them to the obedience of Christ; and though he had so many enemies, he "passed on safely"; God did not suffer them to set upon him, to do him any harm, even though he was exposed to perils by sea and land, by thieves and robbers, by his own countrymen and Heathens, in city and country, and even by false brethren; see Acts 18:10, it is in the future tense, "he shall pursue them, he shall pass safely" (i); or in peace:
even by the way that he had not gone with his feet; travelling in foreign parts, in distant countries, in tracks of land unknown unto him; where he had never been before, even from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum, fully preaching the Gospel of Christ, Romans 15:19.
(i) "persequetur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "transibit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Cyrus had not visited the regions of the Euphrates and westward until he visited them for conquest. So the gospel conquests penetrated regions where the name of God was unknown before.
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