|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
44:9-20 Image-making is described, to expose the folly of idolaters. Though a man had used part of a log for fuel, he fell down before an image made of the remainder, praying it to deliver him. Man greatly dishonours God, when he represents him after the image of man. Satan blinds the eyes of unbelievers, causing absurd reasonings in matters of religion. Whether men seek happiness in worldly things, or run into unbelief, superstition, or any false system, they feed on ashes. A heart deceived by pride, love of sin, and departure from God, turns men aside from his holy truth and worship. While the affections are depraved, a man holds fast the lie as his best treasure. Are our hearts set upon the wealth of the world and its pleasures? They will certainly prove a lie. If we trust to outward professions and doings, as if those would save us, we deceive ourselves. Self-suspicion is the first step towards self-deliverance. He that would deliver his soul, must question his conscience, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
Verses 9-20. - The uniqueness of God having been set forth, the prophet now turns to the images and the image-makers, overwhelming them with his scorn and ridicule. The passage may be compared with Jeremiah 10:3-10 and Baruch 6:8-72. Verse 9. - They that make a graven image are... vanity; rather, are confusion. The word used is tohu, which, together with bohu, describes the primitive chaos in Genesis 1:2 (comp. Isaiah 24:10; Isaiah 34:11; Isaiah 40:17, 23; Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 59:4). Their delectable things shall not profit. "Their delectable things" are their idols, which are "pets, favourites, treasures." These cannot possibly be of any advantage to them. They are their own witnesses. Their powerlessness stands confessed in their very appearance, since they are manifestly sightless and senseless. That they may be ashamed. The subject of this clause cannot be sought in the earlier part of the verse. It is the idol-makers that will be put to shame.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They that make a graven image are all of them vanity,.... They show themselves to be vain men, by making such vain things as graven images are; both images, makers, and worshippers of them are all vain, yea vanity itself:
and their delectable things shall not profit; their idols made of gold and silver, or covered with them, and adorned with precious stones, and so delightful and desirable, are of no manner of profit and advantage, unless the matter they are made of, and the ornaments about them, were converted to other uses; yet not as gods, and worshipped as such, who can be of no service to their worshippers to help them in distress, or save them from ruin:
and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know that they may be ashamed; they that made them must be witnesses against themselves, and the idols they have made; they must be convicted in their own consciences that they cannot be gods; they must be sensible that they have no sight nor knowledge of persons and things; that they cannot see, nor know their worshippers, nor their wants, and cannot give them relief; and this they ought to acknowledge to their own shame that made them, and that their worshippers of them might be ashamed also.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Isa 40:18, 20; 41:29).
delectable things—the idols in which they take such pride and delight.
not profit—(Hab 2:18).
they are their own witnesses—contrasted with, "Ye are My witnesses" (Isa 44:8). "They," that is, both the makers and the idols, are witnesses against themselves, for the idols palpably see and know nothing (Ps 115:4-8).
that they may be ashamed—the consequence deducible from the whole previous argument, not merely from the words immediately preceding, as in Isa 28:13; 36:12. I say all this to show that they are doomed to perish with shame, which is their only fitting end.
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