Isaiah 41:3
He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.
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(3) He pursued . . .—Tenses in the present, as before.

By the way that he had not gone—i.e., by a new untrodden path. So Tiglath-Pileser and other Assyrian kings continually boast that they had led their armies by paths that none had traversed before them. (Records of the Past, i. 15, v. 16.)

41:1-9 Can any heathen god raise up one in righteousness, make what use of him he pleases, and make him victorious over the nations? The Lord did so with Abraham, or rather, he would do so with Cyrus. Sinners encourage one another in the ways of sin; shall not the servants of the living God stir up one another in his service? God's people are the seed of Abraham his friend. This is certainly the highest title ever given to a mortal. It means that Abraham, by Divine grace, was made like to God, and that he was admitted to communion with Him. Happy are the servants of the Lord, whom he has called to be his friends, and to walk with him in faith and holy obedience. Let not such as have thus been favoured yield to fear; for the contest may be sharp, but the victory shall be sure.He pursued them - When they were driven away. He followed on, and devoted them to discomfiture and ruin.

And passed safely - Margin, as Hebrew, 'In peace.' That is, he followed them uninjured; they had no power to rally, he was not led into ambush, and he was safe as far as he chose to pursue them.

Even by the way that he had not gone with his feet - By a way that he had not been accustomed to march; in an unusual journey; in a land of strangers. Cyrus had passed his early years on the east of the Euphrates. In his conquests he crossed that river, and extended his march beyond even the river Halys to the western extremity of Asia, and even to Egypt and the Red Sea. The idea here is, that he had not traveled in these regions until he did it for purposes of conquest - an idea which is strictly in accordance with the truth of history.

3. Cyrus had not visited the regions of the Euphrates and westward until he visited them for conquest. So the gospel conquests penetrated regions where the name of God was unknown before. He pursued them, and passed safely; went on in the pursuit with great ease, and safety, and success.

Even by the way that he had not gone with his feet; which is added as further evidence of God’s wonderful providence, in encouraging and enabling him to march by unknown paths; which hath oft proved dangerous and destructive to great armies. This also was verified both in Abraham and in Cyrus, as is well known.

He pursued them, and passed safely..... Went on in his work, pursued his great design in subduing the souls of men, and bringing them to the obedience of Christ; and though he had so many enemies, he "passed on safely"; God did not suffer them to set upon him, to do him any harm, even though he was exposed to perils by sea and land, by thieves and robbers, by his own countrymen and Heathens, in city and country, and even by false brethren; see Acts 18:10, it is in the future tense, "he shall pursue them, he shall pass safely" (i); or in peace:

even by the way that he had not gone with his feet; travelling in foreign parts, in distant countries, in tracks of land unknown unto him; where he had never been before, even from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum, fully preaching the Gospel of Christ, Romans 15:19.

(i) "persequetur", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "transibit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.

He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet.
3. by the way … feet] The easiest and most acceptable rendering is: the path with his feet he does not tread,—a picture of the celerity of his movements. Other interpretations, such as: “by a path which he had not gone (before) with his feet,” or, “disdaining made roads,” or “not returning on his tracks,” are forced, if not impossible.

Verse 3. - He pursued them, and passed safely; rather, he shall pursue them, and shall pass on in safety. Even by the way that he had not gone with his feet; rather, a path with his feet he shall not tread. The meaning seems to be that he will dispense with customary paths, making his advance everywhere over all obstacles, by untrodden ways. Compare the frequent boasts of the Assyrian kings: "To the recesses of the deep forests and the peaks of the difficult mountains, which had never been trodden by the foot of man, I ascended' ('Records of the Past,' vol. 5. p. 13). "Difficult mountain chains, and inaccessible hills, which none of our kings had ever previously reached - tedious paths and unopened roads - I traversed" (ibid., p. 16). "The lands of Sihak, of Arda, of Ulayan, of Alluria, inaccessible mountains, impossible for the horses, and inaccessible for myself, I went through" (ibid., vol. 7. p. 36). Isaiah 41:3The conqueror is now still further described in futures, which might be defined by העיר, and so express a simultaneous past (synchronistic imperfects), but which it is safer to take as standing traits in the picture drawn of the conqueror referred to. "He pursueth them and marcheth in peace by a course which he never trod with his feet." He marches victoriously further and further, shâlōm," i.e., "in safety" (or, as an adjective, safely; Job 21:9), without any one being able to do him harm, by a course (accus. Ges. 138, 1) which he has not been accustomed to tread with his feet (ingredi).
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