Isaiah 50:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.

New Living Translation
Why was no one there when I came? Why didn't anyone answer when I called? Is it because I have no power to rescue? No, that is not the reason! For I can speak to the sea and make it dry up! I can turn rivers into deserts covered with dying fish.

English Standard Version
Why, when I came, was there no man; why, when I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.

New American Standard Bible
"Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink for lack of water And die of thirst.

King James Bible
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why was no one there when I came? Why was there no one to answer when I called? Is My hand too short to redeem? Or do I have no power to deliver? Look, I dry up the sea by My rebuke; I turn the rivers into a wilderness; their fish rot because of lack of water and die of thirst.

International Standard Version
Why is it that when I came, no one was there? Why was there no answer when I called? Was my arm too short to redeem you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? Look! By my mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert. Their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.

NET Bible
Why does no one challenge me when I come? Why does no one respond when I call? Is my hand too weak to deliver you? Do I lack the power to rescue you? Look, with a mere shout I can dry up the sea; I can turn streams into a desert, so the fish rot away and die from lack of water.

New Heart English Bible
Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it can't redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Look, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Why was no one here when I came? Why was no one here to answer when I called? Am I too weak to reclaim you? Don't I have the power to rescue you? I dry up the sea with my command, and I turn rivers into deserts. Their fish stink because there is no water, and people die of thirst.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish become foul, because there is no water, And die for thirst.

New American Standard 1977
“Why was there no man when I came?
            When I called, why was there none to answer?
            Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom?
            Or have I no power to deliver?
            Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke,
            I make the rivers a wilderness;
            Their fish stink for lack of water,
            And die of thirst.

Jubilee Bible 2000
for I came, and no one showed himself; I called, and no one answered. Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink because there is no water and die for thirst.

King James 2000 Bible
Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die of thirst.

American King James Version
Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinks, because there is no water, and dies for thirst.

American Standard Version
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because I came, and there was not a man: I called, and there was none that would hear. Is my hand shortened and become little, that I cannot redeem? or is there no strength in me to deliver? Behold at my rebuke I will make the sea a desert, I will turn the rivers into dry land: the fishes shall rot for want of water, and shall die for thirst.

Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore did I come, and there was no man? I called, and there was none to answer? Is my hand at all shortened that I cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die for thirst.

English Revised Version
Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.

Webster's Bible Translation
Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish becometh putrid, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.

World English Bible
Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it can't redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.

Young's Literal Translation
Wherefore have I come, and there is no one? I called, and there is none answering, Hath My hand been at all short of redemption? And is there not in me power to deliver? Lo, by My rebuke I dry up a sea, I make rivers a wilderness, Their fish stinketh, for there is no water, And dieth with thirst.
Study Bible
Israel's Sin
1Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you? Behold, you were sold for your iniquities, And for your transgressions your mother was sent away. 2"Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer? Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke, I make the rivers a wilderness; Their fish stink for lack of water And die of thirst. 3"I clothe the heavens with blackness And make sackcloth their covering."…
Cross References
Genesis 18:14
"Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son."

Exodus 14:21
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided.

Joshua 3:16
the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.

Isaiah 11:15
And the LORD will utterly destroy The tongue of the Sea of Egypt; And He will wave His hand over the River With His scorching wind; And He will strike it into seven streams And make men walk over dry-shod.

Isaiah 19:5
The waters from the sea will dry up, And the river will be parched and dry.

Isaiah 23:11
He has stretched His hand out over the sea, He has made the kingdoms tremble; The LORD has given a command concerning Canaan to demolish its strongholds.

Isaiah 41:28
"But when I look, there is no one, And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask, can give an answer.

Isaiah 42:15
"I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds.

Isaiah 43:16
Thus says the LORD, Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters,

Isaiah 44:27
"It is I who says to the depth of the sea, 'Be dried up!' And I will make your rivers dry.
Treasury of Scripture

Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinks, because there is no water, and dies for thirst.

when I came

Isaiah 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no …

Isaiah 65:12 Therefore will I number you to the sword, and you shall all bow down …

Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears on …

Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, …

Jeremiah 5:1 Run you to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, …

Jeremiah 7:13 And now, because you have done all these works, said the LORD, and …

Jeremiah 8:6 I listened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented …

Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also to you all my servants the prophets, rising up early …

Hosea 11:2,7 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed to Baalim, …

John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own received him not.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

is my

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither …

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will …

Numbers 11:23 And the LORD said to Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? you shall …

have I

Isaiah 36:20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered …

2 Chronicles 32:15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this …

Daniel 3:16,29 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O …

Daniel 6:20,27 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice to …

at my

Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them …

Nahum 1:4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers: …

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be …

I dry

Isaiah 42:15 I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; …

Isaiah 43:16 Thus said the LORD, which makes a way in the sea, and a path in the …

Isaiah 51:10 Are you not it which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep…

Isaiah 63:13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that …

Exodus 14:21,29 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused …

Joshua 3:16 That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up on an …

Psalm 107:33 He turns rivers into a wilderness, and the springs into dry ground;

Psalm 114:3-7 The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back…

their fish

Exodus 7:18,21 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink…

(2) Wherefore, when I came . . .?--The "coming" of Jehovah must be taken in all its width of meaning. He came in the deliverance from Babylon, in a promise of still greater blessings, in the fullest sense, in and through His Servant, and yet none came to help in the work, or even to receive the message. (Comp. Isaiah 63:3.) Not that He needed human helpers. In words that remind us, in their sequence, of the phenomena of the plagues of Egypt, the prophet piles up the mighty works of which He is capable. The words are echoed in Revelation 6:12; Revelation 8:9; Revelation 8:12.

Verse 2. - Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? Such being the condition of things; Judah having rejected me, not I them - why, "when I came" and announced deliverance from Babylon, was there no response? Why did no champion appear? Is it that my power was doubted? that it was feared my hand was shortened, so that it could not redeem or deliver? But I am he who has power with his rebuke to dry up the sea (Exodus 14:21), to make rivers a wilderness (Exodus 7:20; Joshua 3:16, 17); in fact, to change the course of nature as seemeth him good, and accomplish his will against all obstacles. Is my hand shortened? i.e. "is my power less than it was?" Can any one suppose this? Surely what I have once done I can do again. If I delivered from Egypt, I can redeem from Babylon. Their fish stinketh (comp. Exodus 7:21). But the object is rather to assert an absolute control over nature than to take the thoughts of the hearers back to any special occasions when control was exercised. Wherefore, when I came, was there no man?.... The Targum is,

"why have I sent my prophets, and they are not converted?''

And so Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it of the prophets that prophesied unto them, to bring them to repentance: the Lord might be said to come by his prophets, his messengers; but they did not receive them, nor their messages, but despised and rejected them, and therefore were carried captive, 2 Chronicles 36:15, but it is best to understand it of the coming of Christ in the flesh; when there were none that would receive, nor even come to him, but hid their faces from him, nor suffer others to be gathered unto him, or attend his ministry; they would neither go in themselves into the kingdom of the Messiah, nor let others go in that were entering, John 1:11,

when I called, was there none to answer? he called them to the marriage feast, to his word and ordinances, but they made light of it, and went about their worldly business; many were called externally in his ministry, but few were chosen, and effectually wrought upon; he called, but there was no answer given; for there was no internal principle in them, no grace to answer to the call; he stretched out his hands to a rebellious and gainsaying people, Matthew 22:2,

is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? they did not know him to be the mighty God; they took him to be a mere man; and being descended from such mean parents, and making such a mean appearance, they could not think he was able to be their Redeemer and Saviour; but that he had sufficient ability appears by what follows:

behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea; he was able to do it, and did do it for the children of Israel, and made a passage through the Red sea for them, as on dry land; which was done by a strong east wind he caused to blow, here called his "rebuke", Exodus 14:20, of Christ's rebuking the sea, see Matthew 8:26.

I make the rivers a wilderness; as dry as the wilderness, and parched ground; in which persons may pass as on dry ground, and as travellers pass through a wilderness; so Jordan was made for the Israelites, Joshua 3:17, and may be here particularly meant; called "rivers" because of the excellency of it, and the abundance of water in it, which sometimes overflowed its banks; and because other rivers fall into it, as Kimchi observes:

their flesh stinketh because there is no water, and dieth for thirst; as they did when the rivers of Egypt were turned into blood, Exodus 7:21. 2. I—Messiah.

no man—willing to believe in and obey Me (Isa 52:1, 3). The same Divine Person had "come" by His prophets in the Old Testament (appealing to them, but in vain, Jer 7:25, 26), who was about to come under the New Testament.

hand shortened—the Oriental emblem of weakness, as the long stretched-out hand is of power (Isa 59:1). Notwithstanding your sins, I can still "redeem" you from your bondage and dispersion.

dry up … sea—(Ex 14:21). The second exodus shall exceed, while it resembles in wonders, the first (Isa 11:11, 15; 51:15).

make … rivers … wilderness—turn the prosperity of Israel's foes into adversity.

fish stinketh—the very judgment inflicted on their Egyptian enemies at the first exodus (Ex 7:18, 21).50:1-3 Those who have professed to be people of God, and seem to be dealt severely with, are apt to complain, as if God had been hard with them. Here is an answer for such murmurings; God never deprived any of their advantages, except for their sins. The Jews were sent into Babylon for their idolatry, a sin which broke the covenant; and they were at last rejected for crucifying the Lord of glory. God called on them to leave their sins, and prevent their own ruin. Last of all, the Son came to his own, but his own received him not. When God calls men to happiness, and they will not answer, they are justly left to be miserable. To silence doubts concerning his power, proofs of it are given. The wonders which attended his sufferings and death, proclaimed that he was the Son of God, Mt 27:54.
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