Isaiah 25:1 Commentaries: O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.
Isaiah 25:1
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you, I will praise your name; for you have done wonderful things; your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXV.

(1) O Lord, thou art my God.—The burst of praise follows, like St. Paul’s in Romans 11:33-36, upon the contemplation of the glory of the heavenly city.

Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.—It is better to omit the words in italics, and to treat the words as standing in the objective case, in apposition with “wonderful things.” The “counsels of old” are the eternal purposes of God made known to His prophets. The absence of a conjunction in the Hebrew, emphasises the enumeration.

Isaiah 25:1. O Lord — O Jehovah, thou art my God — In covenant with me: my friend, my father, my portion. The prophet speaks in the name of the whole church, and of every true member of it. I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name — Expressions these flowing from a deep and grateful sense of the divine goodness. Those that have Jehovah for their God are in duty bound to praise him. For thou hast done wonderful things — In different ages and nations from the beginning hitherto, especially for thy own people, and against their enemies. Thy counsels of old — Hebrew, מרחק, properly, from afar, signifying not only counsels long before taken, but which had been long before declared and published by the prophets; are faithfulness and truth — That is, thy counsels, from which all thy works proceed, and which thou hast from time to time revealed to thy prophets and people, which were of old, being conceived from all eternity, are true and firm, and shall certainly be accomplished.25:1-5 However this might show the deliverance of the Jews out of captivity, it looked further, to the praises that should be offered up to God for Christ's victories over our spiritual enemies, and the comforts he has provided for all believers. True faith simply credits the Lord's testimony, and relies on his truth to perform his promises. As God weakens the strong who are proud and secure, so he strengthens the weak that are humble, and stay themselves upon him. God protects his people in all weathers. The Lord shelters those who trust in him from the insolence of oppressors. Their insolence is but the noise of strangers; it is like the heat of the sun scorching in the middle of the day; but where is it when the sun is set? The Lord ever was, and ever will be, the Refuge of distressed believers. Having provided them a shelter, he teaches them to flee unto it.O Lord, thou art my God - The prophet speaks, not in his own name, but in the name of the people that would be delivered from bondage. The sense is, that Yahweh had manifested himself as their covenant-keeping God; and that in view of his faithfulness in keeping his promises, they now had demonstration that he was their God.

I will exalt thee - A form of expression often used to denote praise Psalm 118:28; Psalm 145:1, meaning that the worshipper would exalt God in the view of his own mind, or would regard him as above all other beings and objects.

For thou hast done wonderful things - On the meaning of the Hebrew, פלא pel' - 'wonderful,' see the note at Isaiah 9:6.

Thy counsels of old - Which were formed and revealed long since. The counsels referred to are those respecting the delivery of his people from bondage, which had been expressed even long before their captivity commenced, and which would be now completely and triumphantly fulfilled.

Are faithfulness - Have been brought to pass; do not fail.

And truth - Hebrew, אמן 'omen - whence our word Amen. Septuagint, Γένοιτο Genoito - 'Let it be.' The word denotes that the purposes of God were firm, and would certainly be fulfilled.

CHAPTER 25

Isa 25:1-12. Continuation of the Twenty-fourth Chapter. Thanksgiving for the Overthrow of the Apostate Faction, and the Setting Up of Jehovah's Throne on Zion.

The restoration from Babylon and re-establishment of the theocracy was a type and pledge of this.

1. wonderful—(Isa 9:6).

counsels of old—(Isa 42:9; 46:10). Purposes planned long ago; here, as to the deliverance of His people.

truth—Hebrew, Amen; covenant-keeping, faithful to promises; the peculiar characteristic of Jesus (Re 3:14).God glorious in his judgments on Babel, Isaiah 25:1-5, and his people’s salvation, Isaiah 25:6-12.

The prophet reflecting upon those great and glorious prophecies which he had delivered concerning the destruction of his enemies, and the protection and deliverance of his people, and the sending of the Messiah, and the establishment of his own kingdom in spite of all opposition, interrupteth the course of his prophecies, and breaketh forth into a solemn celebration of all these wonderful works.

Thy counsels of old are faithfuless and truth; thy counsels, from which all thy works proceed, and which thou hast from time to time revealed to thy prophets and people, which were

of old, being conceived from all eternity, and long since made known by thy threatenings and promises, are true and firm, and therefore shall certainly be accomplished,

O Lord, thou art my God,.... Not by creation and providence only, but by covenant and grace. This is the first and foundation blessing of grace, and secures all the rest; in this true happiness consists, and is preferable to every other enjoyment; the knowledge of it is come at in effectual calling, and by the witnessing of the Spirit; it is the highest attainment of grace to be assured of it; and though it is not always seen and known, it will always remain, and will be the glory of the New Jerusalem state, Revelation 21:3. These are the words, Aben Ezra says, either of the prophet, or of the ancients, before whom the Lord will reign, Isaiah 24:23. Kimchi says of the latter, which seems very probable, these are the elders and representatives of the church; see Revelation 11:16.

I will exalt thee; the Lord God, Father, Son, and Spirit; the Father, by attributing the whole of salvation to his love and free favour; the Son, by ascribing deity to him, by making use of him in all his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, and by giving him the glory of salvation wrought out by him; the Spirit, in his person, and the operations of his grace. Christ, in particular, will be exalted in this state as King of saints, and because of his having taken to himself his reigning power, Revelation 11:15.

I will praise thy name; celebrate his perfections, confess him before men, praise him for all his benefits; this is one way of exalting him, and is the great work of New Testament saints, and especially in the latter day; see Revelation 19:1.

for thou hast done wonderful things; this respects not so much the wonderful things in nature and grace, either in creation and providence, or in redemption and effectual calling; but what will be done in the latter day; as the conversion of the Jews and Gentiles, the destruction of antichrist, and the glorious appearing of the kingdom of Christ:

thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth; the decrees and purposes of God, which are from eternity, are all truly and faithfully performed; this is an amplification of the wonderful things which are done according to the counsel of the divine will; not only the choice of men to salvation, the redemption of them by Christ, and their effectual calling; but the calling of the Jews and Gentiles, in particular, in the latter day, and all things relating to the church to the end of time; which, as they were fixed in the eternal purpose of God, they are punctually and exactly brought about in time; these are the true and faithful sayings of God, Revelation 19:9.

O LORD, thou {a} art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

(a) Thus the prophet gives thanks to God because he will bring under subjection these nations by his corrections, and make them of his Church, who before were his enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. The first half of the verse recalls in every phrase the language of the Psalter. Cf. Psalm 63:1; Psalm 145:1; Psalm 138:2; Psalm 54:6; Psalm 118:28.

thou hast done wonderful things] as Exodus 15:11; Psalm 77:14; Psalm 78:12. These “wonders” are the execution (in the recent experience of the nation) of counsels of old; i.e. purposes long since conceived and revealed. The last clause is perhaps to be translated: (even) counsels from afar in faithfulness and fidelity.

1–5. The writer of the psalm, speaking in the name of the believing community, praises God for His wonderful providence (Isaiah 25:1) manifested in the overthrow of Israel’s enemies (2, 3) and in the mercy vouchsafed to the nation in a time of trouble (4, 5).Verses 1-12. - ISAIAH'S SONG OF PRAISE ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GOD'S KINGDOM. AS in Isaiah 12, after describing the first setting up of Christ's kingdom and the call of the Gentiles, the prophet broke out into song, through joy at the tidings he was commissioned to announce, so now, having proclaimed the final establishment of the same kingdom in the heavenly Zion, he is again carried away by the sense of exultant gladness into a fresh Lobgesang, which he utters in his own person - not, as the former one, in the person of the Church. His song divides itself into three sections:

(1) vers. 1-5, a thanksgiving for deliverance;

(2) vers. 6-8, a commemoration of blessings granted; and

(3) vers. 9-12, exultation in the security obtained. Verse 1. - Thou art my God; I will exalt thee (comp. Exodus 15:2 and Psalm 118:28). To Isaiah the "Song of Moses" seems to have been a pattern thanksgiving, from which he delighted to draw his phrases when he was bent on formally singing praise to God. Compare the following: Exodus 15:2 with Isaiah 12:2, "He is become my salvation;" the same with Isaiah 25:1, "He is my God; I will exalt him;" Exodus 15:6 with Isaiah 13:16, "Hath dashed in pieces;" Exodus 15:7 with Isaiah 47:14, "Consumed them as stubble;" Exodus 15:11 with Isaiah 46:5, "Who is like," etc.? the same with Isaiah 25:1, "Doing wonders;" Exodus 15:16 with Isaiah 8:13, "Fear and dread;" Exodus 15:18 with Isaiah 24:23, "The Lord shall reign." Wonderful things; thy counsels of old are, etc.; rather, thou hast wrought wonders, counsels of old, faithfulness and truth. The wonders for which God is praised were decreed in his counsels from all eternity; their accomplishment shows forth God's "faithfulness" and "truth." This appeal is not made in vain. Isaiah 24:16. "From the border of the earth we hear songs: Praise to the Righteous One!" It no doubt seems natural enough to understand the term tzaddı̄k (righteous) as referring to Jehovah; but, as Hitzig observes, Jehovah is never called "the Righteous One" in so absolute a manner as this (compare, however, Psalm 112:4, where it occurs in connection with other attributes, and Exodus 9:27, where it stands in an antithetical relation); and in addition to this, Jehovah gives צבי (Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 28:5), whilst כבוד, and not צבי, is ascribed to Him. Hence we must take the word in the same sense as in Isaiah 3:10 (cf., Habakkuk 2:4). The reference is to the church of righteous men, whose faith has endured the fire of the judgment of wrath. In response to its summons to the praise of Jehovah, they answer it in songs from the border of the earth. The earth is here thought of as a garment spread out; cenaph is the point or edge of the garment, the extreme eastern and western ends (compare Isaiah 11:12). Thence the church of the future catches the sound of this grateful song as it is echoed from one to the other.

The prophet feels himself, "in spirit," to be a member of this church; but all at once he becomes aware of the sufferings which will have first of all to be overcome, and which he cannot look upon without sharing the suffering himself. "Then I said, Ruin to me! ruin to me! Woe to me! Robbers rob, and robbing, they rob as robbers. Horror, and pit, and snare, are over thee, O inhabitant of the earth! And it cometh to pass, whoever fleeth from the tidings of horror falleth into the pit; and whoever escapeth out of the pit is caught in the snare: for the trap-doors on high are opened, and the firm foundations of the earth shake. The earth rending, is rent asunder; the earth bursting, is burst in pieces; the earth shaking, tottereth. The earth reeling, reeleth like a drunken man, and swingeth like a hammock; and its burden of sin presseth upon it; and it falleth, and riseth not again." The expression "Then I said" (cf., Isaiah 6:5) stands here in the same apocalyptic connection as in Revelation 7:14, for example. He said it at that time in a state of ecstasy; so that when he committed to writing what he had seen, the saying was a thing of the past. The final salvation follows a final judgment; and looking back upon the latter, he bursts out into the exclamation of pain: râzı̄-lı̄, consumption, passing away, to me (see Isaiah 10:16; Isaiah 17:4), i.e., I must perish (râzi is a word of the same form as kâli, shâni, ‛âni; literally, it is a neuter adjective signifying emaciatum equals macies; Ewald, 749, g). He sees a dreadful, bloodthirsty people preying among both men and stores (compare Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 33:1, for the play upon the word with בגד, root גד, cf., κεύθειν τινά τι, tecte agere, i.e., from behind, treacherously, like assassins). The exclamation, "Horror, and pit," etc. (which Jeremiah applies in Jeremiah 48:43-44, to the destruction of Moab by the Chaldeans), is not an invocation, but simply a deeply agitated utterance of what is inevitable. In the pit and snare there is a comparison implied of men to game, and of the enemy to sportsmen (cf., Jeremiah 15:16; Lamentations 4:19; yillâcēr, as in Isaiah 8:15; Isaiah 28:13). The על in עליך is exactly the same as in Judges 16:9 (cf., Isaiah 16:9). They who should flee as soon as the horrible news arrived (min, as in Isaiah 33:3) would not escape destruction, but would become victims to one form if not to another (the same thought which we find expressed twice in Amos 5:19, and still more fully in Isaiah 9:1-4, as well as in a more dreadfully exalted tone). Observe, however, in how mysterious a background those human instruments of punishment remain, who are suggested by the word bōgdim (robbers). The idea that the judgment is a direct act of Jehovah, stands in the foreground and governs the whole. For this reason it is described as a repetition of the flood (for the opened windows or trap-doors of the firmament, which let the great bodies of water above them come down from on high upon the earth, point back to Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:2, cf., Psalm 78:23); and this indirectly implies its universality. It is also described as an earthquake. "The foundations of the earth" are the internal supports upon which the visible crust of the earth rests. The way in which the earth in its quaking first breaks, then bursts, and then falls, is painted for the ear by the three reflective forms in Isaiah 24:19, together with their gerundives, which keep each stage in the process of the catastrophe vividly before the mind. רעה is apparently an error of the pen for רע, if it is not indeed a n. actionis instead of the inf. absol. as in Habakkuk 3:9. The accentuation, however, regards the ah as a toneless addition, and the form therefore as a gerundive (like kob in Numbers 23:25). The reflective form התרעע is not the hithpalel of רוּע, vociferari, but the hithpoel of רעע (רצץ), frangere. The threefold play upon the words would be tame, if the words themselves formed an anti-climax; but it is really a climax ascendens. The earth first of all receives rents; then gaping wide, it bursts asunder; and finally sways to and fro once more, and falls. It is no longer possible for it to keep upright. Its wickedness presses it down like a burden (Isaiah 1:4; Psalm 38:5), so that it now reels for the last time like a drunken man (Isaiah 28:7; Isaiah 29:9), or a hammock (Isaiah 1:8), until it falls never to rise again.

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