|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
44:21-28 Return unto me. It is the great concern of those who have backslidden from God, like the Jews of old, to hasten their return to him. The work of redemption wrought for us by Christ, encourages to hope for all blessings from him. Our transgressions and our sins are as a thick cloud between heaven and earth: sins separate between us and God; they threaten a storm of wrath. When God pardons sin, he blots out, he dispels this cloud, this thick cloud, so that the way to heaven is open again. The cloud is scattered by the Sun of righteousness; it is quite gone. The comforts that flow into the soul when sin is pardoned, are like clear shining after clouds and rain. Let not Israel be discouraged; nothing is too hard for God: having made all, he can make what use he pleases of any. Those that learn to know Christ, see all knowledge to be foolishness, in comparison with the knowledge of him. And his enemies will find their counsels turned into foolishness, and themselves taken in their craftiness. The exact fulfilling the prophecies of Scripture confirms the truth of the whole, and proves its Divine origin. The particular favours God designed for his people in captivity, were foretold here, long before they went into captivity. Very great difficulties would be in the way of their deliverance; but it is promised that by Divine power they should all be removed. God knew who should be the Deliverer of his people; and let his church know it, that when they heard such a name talked of, they might know their redemption drew nigh. It is the greatest honour of the greatest men, to be employed as instruments of the Divine favour to his people. In things wherein men serve themselves, and look no further, God makes them do all his pleasure. And a nobler Shepherd than Cyrus does his Father's will, till his work is fully completed.
Verse 25. - That frustrateth the tokens of the liars; i.e. "who brings to nought the prognostications of the astrologers and soothsayers, that pretend falsely to a knowledge of future events" (see Isaiah 49:13; and comp. Jeremiah 29:8, 9); and maketh diviners mad; i.e. "shows them to be thole or madmen" (see Job 12:17). That turneth wise men backward; i.e. "repulses them - puts them to flight." Pretenders to wisdom, rather than truly wise men, are meant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That frustrateth the tokens of the liars,.... Struck dumb the oracles of the Heathens, disappointed their lying priests, and made void all the signs and tokens they gave the people, that such and such things would come to pass, which did not, and which proved them to be liars:
and maketh diviners mad; soothsayers, astrologers, and such sort of persons, who pretended to foretell future events; but these not answering to their predictions, they became mad, because their credit was ruined, and they lost their reward:
that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolishness; the wise philosophers among the Gentiles, and their schemes of philosophy, which were confounded and destroyed, and proved foolish, through the ministration of the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 1:20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. tokens—prognostics; the pretended miracles which they gave as proofs of their supernatural powers.
liars—(Jer 50:36). Conjurers; or, astrologers; men leading a retired contemplative life in order to study divination by the signs of the stars [Vitringa].
backward—with shame at their predictions not being verified. "To turn away the face" is to frustrate defeat (Isa 36:9; 1Ki 2:15). The "wise men" are the diviners who, when Babylon was attacked by Cyrus, predicted his overthrow.
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