Isaiah 41:20
That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
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(20) That they may see.—The outward blessings, yet more the realities of which they are the symbols, are given to lead men to acknowledge Him who alone would be the giver.

41:10-20 God speaks with tenderness; Fear thou not, for I am with thee: not only within call, but present with thee. Art thou weak? I will strengthen thee. Art thou in want of friends? I will help thee in the time of need. Art thou ready to fall? I will uphold thee with that right hand which is full of righteousness, dealing forth rewards and punishments. There are those that strive with God's people, that seek their ruin. Let not God's people render evil for evil, but wait God's time. It is the worm Jacob; so little, so weak, so despised and trampled on by every body. God's people are as worms, in humble thoughts of themselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them; worms, but not vipers, not of the serpent's seed. Every part of God's word is calculated to humble man's pride, and to make him appear little in his own eyes. The Lord will help them, for he is their Redeemer. The Lord will make Jacob to become a threshing instrument. God will make him fit for use, new, and having sharp spikes. This has fulfilment in the triumphs of the gospel of Christ, and of all faithful followers of Christ, over the power of darkness. God has provided comforts to supply all their wants, and to answer all their prayers. Our way to heaven lies through the wilderness of this world. The soul of man is in want, and seeks for satisfaction; but becomes weary of seeking that in the world, which is not to be had in it. Yet they shall have a constant supply, where one would least expect it. I will open rivers of grace, rivers of living water, which Christ spake of the Spirit, Joh 7:38,39. When God sets up his church in the Gentile wilderness, there shall be a great change, as if thorns and briers were turned into cedars, and fir-trees, and myrtles. These blessings are kept for the poor in spirit, who long for Divine enlightening, pardon, and holiness. And God will render their barren souls fruitful in the grace of his Spirit, that all who behold may consider it.That they - The Jews, the people who shall be rescued from their long captivity, and restored again to their own land. So rich and unexpected would be the blessings - as if in a pathless desert the most beautiful and refreshing trees and fountains should suddenly spring up - that they would have the fullest demonstration that they came from God.

Hath created it - That is, all this is to be traced to him. In the apocryphal book of Baruch there is an expression respecting the return from Babylon remarkably similar to that which is used here by Isaiah: 'Even the woods and every sweet-smelling tree shall overshadow Israel by the commandment of God' Isaiah 5:8.

20. consider—literally, "lay it (to heart)"; turn (their attention) to it. "They" refers to all lands (Isa 41:1; Ps 64:9; 40:3). The effect on the Gentiles of God's open interposition hereafter in behalf of Israel shall be, they shall seek Israel's God (Isa 2:3; Zec 8:21-23). That they may see; or, that men may see; for it is an indefinite expression. The sense is, that all that see this wonderful change may consider it, and may know that this is the work of God alone. That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together,.... Not the nations of the world, as Kimchi; but rather, as Aben Ezra, the poor and needy; who in all this, by subduing kingdoms and states, their enemies, supplying their wants when in the greatest distress, and in a marvellous manner, and converting sinners, might easily perceive, and so frankly own and acknowledge, as well as lay it to heart, and lay it up in their minds, and get understanding from it:

that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it; for the things before said to be done carry in them plain marks of the hand of the Lord, and are as clear proofs of his almighty power, as what was done in the creation of all things; such as a worm to be made a threshing instrument, to beat down mountains and hills, kingdoms and states, and make them as chaff; rivers to be opened in high places, and all manner of excellent trees to be planted in a wilderness; and indeed the work of conversion is a creation work; men are by it made new creatures, and are manifestly the workmanship of the hand of God.

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel {q} hath created it.

(q) That is, has appointed and determined that it will come to pass.

20. The ultimate object of this miracle is the demonstration of the creative power of the true God; see ch. Isaiah 40:5, Isaiah 55:13. The verse seems to shew that the previous description is not merely figurative, but that an actual physical transformation of the desert is contemplated.

That they (men in general) may … consider] Lit. “lay (to heart),” a common ellipsis. together binds the four verbs of the sentence.Verse 20. - That they may see, etc. The change would be such that those who experienced it could not fail to recognize "Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel," as its Author. The consolatory words, "Fear not," are now repeated, for the purpose of once more adding the promise that Israel will not succumb to its foes, but will acquire power over its enemies. "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and handful Israel: I will help thee, saith Jehovah; and thy Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I have made thee a threshing roller, a sharp new one, with double edges: thou wilt thresh mountains, and pound them; and hills thou wilt make like chaff. Thou wilt winnow them, and wind carries them away, and tempest scatters them: and thou wilt rejoice in Jehovah, and glory in the Holy One of Israel." Israel, which is now helplessly oppressed, is called "worm of Jacob" (gen. appos.) in compassion, i.e., Jacob that is like a worm, probably with some allusion to Psalm 22:7; for the image of the Messiah enriches itself in these discourses, inasmuch as Israel itself is looked upon in a Messianic light, so that the second David does not stand by the side of Israel, but appears as Israel's heart, or true and inmost essence. The people are then addressed as the "people of Israel," with some allusion to the phrase מספּר מתי (i.e., few men, easily numbered) in Genesis 34:30; Deuteronomy 4:27 (lxx ὀλιγοστὸσ ̓Ισραήλ; Luther, Ir armer hauffe Israel, ye poor crowd of Israel). They no longer formed the compact mass of a nation; the band of the commonwealth was broken: they were melted down into a few individuals, scattered about hither and thither. But it would not continue so. "I help thee" (perfect of certainty) is Jehovah's solemn declaration; and the Redeemer (redemtor, Leviticus 25:48-49) of His now enslaved people is the Holy One of Israel, with His love, which perpetually triumphs over wrath. Not only will He set it free, but He will also endow it with might over its oppressors; samtı̄kh is a perfect of assurance (Ges. 126, 4); mōrag (roller) signifies a threshing-sledge (Arab. naureg, nōreg), which has here the term חרוּץ (Isaiah 28:27) as a secondary name along with חדשׁ, and is described as furnished on the under part of the two arms of the sledge not only with sharp knives, but with two-edged knives (פּיפיּות a reduplication, like מאסּאה in Isaiah 27:8, whereas מימי is a double plural). Just like such a threshing machine would Israel thresh and grind to powder from that time forth both mountains and hills. This is evidently a figurative expression for proud and mighty foes, just as wind and tempest denote the irresistible force of Jehovah's aid. The might of the enemy would be broken down to the very last remnant, whereas Israel would be able to rejoice and glory in its God.
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