Isaiah 40:28
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
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(28) Hast thou not known? . . .—The questions are parallel to those of Isaiah 40:21, but are addressed to the Israel of God, rather than, as those were, to mankind.

The Creator of the ends of the earth.—The word emphasises the thought that the whole earth, from the Euphrates to the “islands” of the sea, is subject to the power of the Eternal.

Fainteth not, neither is weary? . . .—Had Isaiah learnt to feel that even his own phrase as to men “wearying God” (Isaiah 7:13) was too boldly anthropomorphic, and might, therefore, be misleading?

No searching of his understanding.—The words come, like so many others like it, from Job (Isaiah 5:9; Isaiah 9:10), and must have been in St. Paul’s mind as he wrote Romans 11:33.

40:27-31 The people of God are reproved for their unbelief and distrust of God. Let them remember they took the names Jacob and Israel, from one who found God faithful to him in all his straits. And they bore these names as a people in covenant with Him. Many foolish frets, and foolish fears, would vanish before inquiry into the causes. It is bad to have evil thoughts rise in our minds, but worse to turn them into evil words. What they had known, and had heard, was sufficient to silence all these fears and distrusts. Where God had begun the work of grace, he will perfect it. He will help those who, in humble dependence on him, help themselves. As the day, so shall the strength be. In the strength of Divine grace their souls shall ascend above the world. They shall run the way of God's commandments cheerfully. Let us watch against unbelief, pride, and self-confidence. If we go forth in our own strength, we shall faint, and utterly fall; but having our hearts and our hopes in heaven, we shall be carried above all difficulties, and be enabled to lay hold of the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.Hast thou not known? - This is the language of the prophet reproving them for complaining of being forsaken and assuring them that God was faithful to his promises. This argument of the prophet, which continues to the close of the chapter, comprises the main scope of the chapter, which is to induce them to put confidence in God, and to believe that he was able and willing to deliver them. The phrase, 'Hast thou not known? refers to the fact that the Jewish people had had an abundant opportunity of learning, in their history, and from their fathers, the true character of God, and his entire ability to save them. No people had had so much light on this subject, and now that they were in trial, they ought to recall their former knowledge of his character, and remember his dealings of faithfulness with them and their fathers. It is well for the people of God in times of calamity and trial to recall to their recollection his former dealings with his church. That history will furnish abundant sources of consolation, and abundant assurances that their interests are safe in his hands.

Hast thou not heard? - From the traditions of the fathers; the instruction which you have received from ancient times. A large part of the knowledge of the Jews was traditionary; and these attributes of God, as a faithful God, had, no doubt, constituted an important part of the knowledge which had thus been communicated to them.

The everlasting God - The God who has existed from eternity, unlike the idols of the pagan. If he was from eternity, he would be unchangeable, and his purposes could not fail.

The Creator of the ends of the earth - The phrase, 'the ends of the earth,' means the same as the earth itself. The earth is sometimes spoken of as a vast plain having limits or boundaries (see Isaiah 40:22). It is probable that this was the prevailing idea among the ancients (compare Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalm 19:6; Psalm 22:27; Psalm 48:10; Psalm 65:5; Psalm 67:7; Psalm 98:3; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 52:10). The argument here is, that he who has formed the earth could not be exhausted or weary in so small a work as that of protecting his people.

Fainteth not - Is not fatigued or exhausted. That God, who has formed and sustained all things, is not exhausted in his powers, but is able still to defend and guard his people.

There is no searching of his understanding - The God who made all things must be infinitely wise. There is proof of boundless skill in the works of his hands, and it is impossible for finite mind fully and adequately to search out all the proofs of his wisdom and skill. Man can see only a part - a small part, while the vast ocean, the boundless deep of his wisdom, lies still unexplored. This thought is beautifully expressed by Zophar in Job 11:7-9 :

Canst thou by searching find out God?

Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

It is as high as heaven;

What canst thou do?

Deeper than hell;

What canst thou know:

The measure thereof is longer than the earth,

And broader than the sea.


28. known—by thine own observation and reading of Scripture.

heard—from tradition of the fathers.

everlasting, &c.—These attributes of Jehovah ought to inspire His afflicted people with confidence.

no searching of his understanding—therefore thy cause cannot, as thou sayest, escape His notice; though much in His ways is unsearchable, He cannot err (Job 11:7-9). He is never "faint" or "weary" with having the countless wants of His people ever before Him to attend to.

Of the ends of the earth; of all the earth, and the inhabitants thereof, from one end to another. He seems to mention the ends or utmost bounds, because they might seem to be more out of the reach and care of God’s providence, as being most remote from Jerusalem, the only place of God’s solemn and public worship in the world, and being then thought to be uninhabited. The argument is clear and strong: God, who made all, even the most desolate and barbarous parts of the earth, and consequently takes care of them, will not neglect his own land and people.

Fainteth not, neither is weary; he is not by age or hard labour become weak and unable to help his people, as men are apt to be.

There is no searching of his understanding; his counsels, by which he governeth all the world, and in a most particular manner thine affairs, are far above the reach of thy understanding; and therefore thou dost ignorantly and foolishly in passing so rash a censure upon the ways and works of the infinitely wise God.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard?.... From the history of the church in all ages; from the experience of all good men; from their own knowledge and observation; from the Scriptures, and the prophets, the interpreters of them; both that what is before suggested is wrong, and that what follows is true,

that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? or, "the God of the world"; that has made it, and upholds it, and governs it, and judges righteously in it; who is from everlasting to everlasting, unchangeably the same; whose name alone is Jehovah, the self-existent and all comprehending Being, the Maker and Former of all things; who has not only created the earth, and the foundations of it, as the Targum, or the continent, and the habitable part of the world, that is most known and dwelt in, but even the extremities of the earth; and therefore knows and will take care of his own people, let them be where they will: and though the work of creation, and of upholding creatures in their beings, and of governing the world, and providing for all in it, and of taking care of his church and people in particular, requires so much power, as well as wisdom, yet he never sinks under it, nor is weary of it; wherefore they have no reason to give way to such unbelief and despondency, as above expressed:

there is no searching of his understanding; it is infinite, it reaches to all persons and things, and therefore he cannot be at a loss to provide for his people, or plead their cause; nor can their case be unknown to him, or he want either power or skill to help them.

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the {d} ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his {e} understanding.

(d) And therefore all power is in his hand to deliver when his time comes.

(e) Showing that men must patiently abide, and not curiously seek out the cause of God's delay in our affliction.

28. that the everlasting God, the Lord] Better: An everlasting God is Jehovah. He fainteth not] a new sentence.

there is no searching …] Therefore it must be for wise reasons that

Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs, etc.

29 should be joined in one verse with the last two lines of Isaiah 40:28.

Not only is Jehovah never weary, but He gives strength to them who are weary.

Verse 28. - Hast thou not known? Complaining Israel is bidden to stay itself upon God, as

(1) everlasting;

(2) the Creator;

(3) unwearied;

(4) unsearchable;

and is then further consoled by the promise that God will give them strength to endure; support them, refresh them, and, as it were, renew the youth of the nation (vers. 29, 31). Creator of the ends of the earth; i.e. "Creator even of the remotest ends," and therefore of the whole earth. Fainteth not (comp. Psalm 121:3, 4). If God were for a moment to "faint" or "be weary," to "slumber" or "sleep," the whole fabric of nature would fail and disappear, universal chaos would set in, all moral order would cease - probably all existence, except his own, sink into nothingness. God is wholly free from whatsoever is weak or defective in man. No searching (see Job 5:9; Job 9:10; Job 11:7; Psalm 147:5; Ecclesiastes 3:11). God's ways being unsearchable, his servants must trust him to accomplish their deliverance in his own good time. Isaiah 40:28The groundlessness of such despondency is set before them in a double question. "Is it not known to thee, or hast thou not heard, an eternal God is Jehovah, Creator of the ends of the earth: He fainteth not, neither becomes weary; His understanding is unsearchable." Those who are so desponding ought to know, if not from their own experience, at least from information that had been handed down, that Jehovah, who created the earth from one end to the other, so that even Babylonian was not beyond the range of His vision or the domain of His power, was an eternal God, i.e., a God eternally the same and never varying, who still possessed and manifested the power which He had displayed in the creation. Israel had already passed through a long history, and Jehovah had presided over this, and ruled within it; and He had not so lost His power in consequence, as to have now left His people to themselves. He does not grow faint, as a man would do, who neglected to take the repeated nourishment requisite to sustain the energy of his vital power; nor does He become weary, like a man who has exhausted his capacity for work by over-exertion. And if He had not redeemed His people till then, His people were to know that His course was pure tebhūnâh or understanding, which was in the possession of infallible criteria for determining the right point of time at which to interpose with His aid.
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