|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 27. - That saith to the deep, Be dry (comp. Isaiah 42:15). "The flood" here is probably the main stream of the Euphrates, while "the rivers" are the various side streams which branched off from it and again united themselves with it. Some commentators regard the drying of Euphrates as a mere metaphor for the exhaustion and ruin of Babylon (Kay); but (with Delitzsch) I should be inclined to understand a reference to the action of Cyrus in drawing off the water of the river (see the comment on Isaiah 42:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That saith to the deep, be dry,.... The Targum is,
"that saith to Babylon, be desolate;''
and most interpreters, Jewish and Christian, understand it of Babylon, which was situated in a watery place, by rivers of water, particularly the river Euphrates, and in a low valley:
and I will dry up thy rivers; some think the allusion is to the stratagem of Cyrus, made use of, under a divine direction, to drain the river Euphrates, and make it passable for his army; by which means he surprised the city of Babylon, and took it: though others think it refers to the drying up of the Red sea and the river Jordan, which are proofs of what God can do, and a periphrasis of his power.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. Referring to the Euphrates, which was turned into a different channel, close to Babylon, by Cyrus, who thereby took the city. "The deep" is applied to Euphrates as "sea" (Jer 51:32, 36). "Rivers" refers to the artificial canals from the Euphrates made to irrigate the country; when it was turned off into a different bed (namely, a lake, forty miles square, which was originally formed to receive the superfluous water in an inundation), the canals became dry.
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