|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
43:14-21 The deliverance from Babylon is foretold, but there is reference to greater events. The redemption of sinners by Christ, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the recall of the Jews, are described. All that is to be done to rescue sinners, and to bring the believer to glory, is little, compared with that wondrous work of love, the redemption of man.
Verse 18. - Remember ye not the former things. The old deliverance will be as nothing compared with the new. Israel must cast its eye forwards, not backwards. Mr. Cheyne well compares Jeremiah 23:7, 8, and also well notes that "the chief glories of the second manifestation are spiritual." Israel in the wilderness was a stiff:necked and rebellious people, given to murmuring, licentiousness, and idolatry. Israel, returned from Babylon, will no more hanker after idols, but will have God's Law "put in their inward parts" (Jeremiah 32:33), and will "show forth God's praise" (ver. 21).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Remember ye not the former things,.... Just now referred to, the bringing of Israel out of Egypt, and through the Red sea, and the drowning of Pharaoh and his army in it; for though these things were worthy to be remembered with thankfulness and praise, and to the glory of God, and for the encouragement of faith, yet not in comparison of what was hereafter to be done; meaning, not the redemption from Babylon, unless as a type of spiritual and eternal redemption by Christ; for otherwise there were greater and more wonderful things done, when Israel were brought out of Egypt, than when they were brought out of Babylon; but the great salvation by the Messiah, which exceeds both the deliverances out of Egypt and Babylon, is meant:
neither consider the things of old; unless as figures of the new, but not to be put upon a foot with them, much less to the undervaluing of them, and indeed to be forgotten in comparison of them; see Jeremiah 23:7. The Talmudists (q), by the "former" things, understand subjection to kingdoms; and, by the "things of old", the going out of Egypt; as they do by the "new thing", in the following verse, the war of Gog and Magog.
(q) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 13. 1. T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 4. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. So wonderful shall be God's future interpositions in your behalf, that all past ones shall be forgotten in comparison. Plainly the future restoration of Israel is the event ultimately meant. Thus the "former things" are such events as the destruction of Sennacherib and the return from Babylon. "Things of old" are events still more ancient, the deliverance from Egypt and at the Red Sea, and entry into Canaan [Vitringa].
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