|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:18-21 Did not the Jews know that the Gentiles were to be called in? They might have known it from Moses and Isaiah. Isaiah speaks plainly of the grace and favour of God, as going before in the receiving of the Gentiles. Was not this our own case? Did not God begin in love, and make himself known to us when we did not ask after him? The patience of God towards provoking sinners is wonderful. The time of God's patience is called a day, light as day, and fit for work and business; but limited as a day, and there is a night at the end of it. God's patience makes man's disobedience worse, and renders that the more sinful. We may wonder at the mercy of God, that his goodness is not overcome by man's badness; we may wonder at the wickedness of man, that his badness is not overcome by God's goodness. And it is a matter of joy to think that God has sent the message of grace to so many millions, by the wide spread of his gospel.
Verse 20. - But Esaias is very hold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. (Isaiah 65:1). The peculiar boldness of Isaiah's utterance consists in this - that, at a time when Israel was recognized as God's one chosen people, he is said to make himself known even to those who sought him not at all.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But Esaias is very bold, and saith,.... The apostle here produces another testimony in proof of this, that the Israelites must needs have some knowledge of this truth, the calling of the Gentiles; since a famous prophet of theirs, Isaiah, also spake out with great freedom; he did not mince the matter, or cover it with dark sayings, but with all plainness and perspicuity, and with great courage and intrepidity declared it; though he knew he run the risk, not only of his fame and credit among the Jews, but of his life also, for so doing: the citation is made from Isaiah 65:1.
I was found of them that sought me not, I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me; here also the Gentiles are meant by "them that sought me not, and asked not after me"; the Messiah; and so R. Moses the priest says (n), that these words are to be understood, , "concerning the nations of the world". The common people among them sought after the things of the world; their philosophers sought after the wisdom of it; and the more devout and religious among them sought the observance of superstitious rites and ceremonies, and, at best and most, a little morality and external righteousness; but none sought after Christ, for they knew nothing of him, and therefore did not so much as ask after him; they did not ask counsel of him, nor ask concerning him, nor ask for him; not for his coming into the world, as the Jews did, nor for the preaching of the Gospel among them, for it came among them unasked for, unexpected, and undesired, as well as undeserved by them, nor for any blessing of his; and yet such was his grace and goodness, that he was "found" of these persons, in the preaching of the Gospel; which by his kind providence was brought among them, and they were brought under the hearing of it; and by the Spirit of God directed to him in it, in whom they found life, peace, pardon, righteousness, food, and rest, and every valuable blessing; a pearl of great price they found, a finding which can never be lost: he is also said to be "made manifest" unto them, not in the flesh, but in the ministry of the word; in which his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, are evidently set forth, and clearly manifested; and besides the outward manifestation of Christ to them by the Gospel, they had no internal revelation of him in their hearts by his Spirit, setting forth to them his grace and fulness, and showing them their interest therein: from this prophecy, also, the Jews could not but have some knowledge of this mystery of grace.
(n) In Aben Ezra in Isaiah 65.1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. But Esaias is very bold, and saith—that is, is still plainer, and goes even the length of saying.
I was found of them that sought me not—until I sought them.
I was made—"became"
manifest unto them that asked not after me—until the invitation from Me came to them. That the calling of the Gentiles was meant by these words of the prophet (Isa 65:1) is manifest from what immediately follows, "I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name."
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