|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
42:18-25 Observe the call given to this people, and the character given of them. Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but carelessness. The Lord is well-pleased in the making known his own righteousness. For their sins they were spoiled of all their possessions. This fully came to pass in the destruction of the Jewish nation. There is no resisting, nor escaping God's anger. See the mischief sin makes; it provokes God to anger. And those not humbled by lesser judgments, must expect greater. Alas! how many professed Christians are blind as the benighted heathen! While the Lord is well-pleased in saving sinners through the righteousness of Christ he will also glorify his justice, by punishing all proud despisers. Seeing God has poured out his wrath on his once-favoured people, because of their sins, let us fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should be found to come short of it.
Verse 20. - Seeing many things, but, etc. Israel had "seen many things;" i.e. passed through a long experience, but not profited by it - not been "observant," as they should have been. They had had their ears open in a certain sense, and heard the words that the prophets addressed to them, but had not taken in their true import. (The mixture of persons is like that in Isaiah 1:29 and Isaiah 14:30.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Seeing many things, but thou observest not,.... The Scribes and Pharisees, saw Christ in the flesh; they saw the miracles he did; they saw the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead raised; yet they did not give note to these things, and keep them in their minds, and regard them as clear proofs of his being the Messiah:
opening the ears, but he heareth not; they heard John Baptist preach, the forerunner of Christ, and the testimony he bore of him; they heard Christ himself and his apostles; they sometimes opened their ears, and seemed to listen and hear with attention, and wonder at what they heard; and some would own, that never man spake like Jesus; and yet understood not his speech, and hardened their hearts against him; they saw many things with their bodily eyes, but perceived them not with the eyes of their understandings; they heard with their ears, but understood not in their hearts; for their eyes were shut and their ears heavy, Isaiah 6:9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. observest—Thou dost not keep them. The "many things" are the many proofs which all along from the first God had given Israel of His goodness and His power (De 4:32-38; 29:2-4; Ps 78:1-72; 105:1-45).
he—transition from the second to the third person. "Opening … ears," that is, though he (Israel) hath his ears open (see on Isa 6:10). This language, too (see on Isa 42:19), applies to Messiah as Jehovah's servant (Isa 50:5; Ps 40:6).
Isaiah 42:20 Parallel Commentaries
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