I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore you are my witnesses, said the LORD, that I am God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When there was no strange god among you.—Better, and there was . . . It was no heathen oracle or soothsayer that had foretold the restoration. Israel as a people, through its whole future history, was to be a living witness of the oneness and eternity of its God, and the eternity implies (Isaiah 43:13) omnipotence.Isaiah 41:22-23).
And have saved - I have delivered the nation in former times of danger, and have thus shown that I would protect them.
And have showed - Hebrew, 'Caused to hear.' I have made known future events, and have thus showed that I was God.
When there was no strange god among you - Before the time when there was any idol in the nation, and when, therefore, it could not be pretended that deliverance was to be traced to anyone but to Yahweh. The word 'god' here is not in the original, but is properly supplied. The word זר zâr is evidently used instead of זר אל 'êl zâr, as in Psalm 44:20; Psalm 81:9. It denotes a god that is worshipped by foreigners. The sense is, that their former deliverance could in no sense be traced to any such foreign god.
Therefore, ye are my witnesses - You who have so often been defended; you who have the predictions respecting future events, can be appealed to as evidence that I am the only true God, able to deliver. The doctrine taught in this passage is, that God may appeal to his dealings with his people as a demonstration that he is the true God, and that he is faithful and able to deliver - an appeal which may be made to his church at large in view of its trials, persecutions, and deliverances; and to every one who is his true friend and worshipper.
saved—the nation, in past times of danger.
showed—namely, that I was God.
when … no strange god, &c.—to whom the predictions uttered by Me could be assigned. "Strange" means foreign, introduced from abroad.I have declared, and have saved; I first foretold your deliverance, and then effected it.
I have showed; I foretold it. This branch he repeated, because this is the principal argument used here, and Isaiah 41, to determine this controversy between God and idols.
When there was no strange god among you; and this I did when you did not worship any idols, and therefore it could not be pretended that you had this knowledge from them.
"I have showed to Abraham your father what should come to pass; I redeemed you out of Egypt, as I swore to him between the pieces; and I caused you to hear the doctrine of the law at Sinai.''
But the sense is, that God had declared by his prophets, long before the Messiah came, that he would send him; that he should come and save his people by his obedience, sufferings, and death; accordingly he was come, and was the author of salvation; the Lord had wrought out salvation by him, as he had declared he would; and this he had shown, published, and made known by the everlasting Gospel, preached among all nations:
when there was no strange god among you; that assisted in this salvation; the arm of Christ alone wrought it out: or, "and this is not strange among you" (i); this work of salvation wrought out is not strange among you; it is well known unto you, being published in the Gospel.I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. have declared … saved … shewed] The arrangement of the verbs is peculiar. Some would remove the second, others the third, as dittography. But if there be any error in the text it is more likely the omission of a fourth word, which would be parallel to “saved,” as “shewed” is to “declared” (so Duhm).
when there was no strange god] Rather as R.V. and there was no strange (i.e. foreign) god. There cannot be an allusion to an early period of the history, before idolatry had crept in; because the deliverance is conceived as having just taken place. It is true that many “strange gods” had been acknowledged in Israel; but none of them was really there, as a living active presence in their midst. The meaning is, “It was I who did this, and no god who was a stranger among you.” strange god is strictly “stranger,” as in Deuteronomy 32:16; Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 3:13.
therefore ye are … that I am God] Render: and ye are my witnesses, and I am God.Verse 12. - I have declared, etc. Translate, I announced, and delivered, add proclaimed (the deliverance), when there was no strange god among you; 1.e I did what the idol-gods cannot do - announced deliverance, and effected it, and further proclaimed (or published) it, at the time when you Israelites had no idolatry among you. The allusion is to the deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib, which God announced by the mouth of Isaiah (Isaiah 37:33-35), effected by the hand of his angel (Isaiah 37:36), and then caused to be published by Isaiah, who wrote the two accounts of the deliverance - both that in his own prophecy, and that in the Second Book of Kings (2 Kings 19:20-35). At that time there was no (open) idolatry in Judah, since Hezekiah had destroyed the idols (2 Kings 18:4). Therefore ye are my witnesses... that I am God; literally, and ye are my witnesses, and I am God. Ye can bear witness of the truth of what I have asserted in the previous portion of the verse, and your witness to this effect proves me to be God. Isaiah 11:11-12). Jehovah's command is issued to north and south to give up their unrighteous possession, not to keep it back, and to restore His sons and daughters (compare the similar change in the gender in Isaiah 11:12), which evidently implies the help and escort of the exiles on the part of the heathen (Isaiah 14:2). The four quarters and four winds are of the feminine gender. In Isaiah 43:7 the object is more precisely defined from the standpoint of sacred history. The three synonyms bring out the might, the freeness, and the riches of grace, with which Jehovah called Israel into existence, to glorify Himself in it, and that He might be glorified by it. They form a climax, for בּרא signifies to produce as a new thing; יצר, to shape what has been produced; and עשׂה, to make it perfect or complete, hence creavi, formavi, perfeci.
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