Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Isaiah 41:22-23; Isaiah 43:12; Isaiah 44:26).
My counsel shall stand - My purpose, my design, my will. The phrase 'shall stand' means that it shall be stable, settled, fixed, established. This proves:
1. That God has a purpose or plan in regard to human affairs. If he had not, he could not predict future events, since a contingent event cannot be foreknown and predicted; that is, it cannot be foretold that an event shall certainly occur in one way, when by the very supposition of its being contingent it may happen either that way, or some other way, or not at all.
2. That God's plan will not be frustrated. He has power enough to secure the execution of his designs, and he will exert that power in order that all his plans may be accomplished. We may observe, also, that it is a matter of unspeakable joy that God has a plan, and that it will be executed. For
(1) If there were no plan in relation to human things, the mind could find no rest. If there was no evidence that One Mind presided over human affairs; that an infinitely wise plan had been formed, and that all things had been adjusted so as best to secure the ultimate accomplishment of that plan, everything would have the appearance of chaos, and the mind must be filled with doubts and distractions. But our anxieties vanish in regard to the apparent irregularities and disorders of the universe, when we feel that all things are under the direction of an Infinite Mind, and will be made to accomplish his plans, and further his great designs.
(2) If his plans were not accomplished, there would be occasion of equal doubt and dismay. If there was any power that could defeat the purposes of God; if there was any stubbornness of matter, or any inflexible perverseness in the nature of mind; if there were any unexpected and unforeseen extraneous causes that could interpose to thwart his plans, then the mind must be full of agitation and distress. But the moment it can fasten on the conviction that God has formed a plan that embraces all things, and that all things which occur will be in some way made tributary to that plan, that moment the mind can be calm in resignation to his holy will.
And I will do all my pleasure - I will accomplish all my wish, or effect all my desire. The word rendered here 'pleasure' (חפץ chepēts) means properly delight or pleasure 1 Samuel 15:22; Psalm 1:2; Psalm 16:3; Ecclesiastes 5:4; Ecclesiastes 12:10; then desire, wish, will Job 31:16; and then business, cause, affairs Isaiah 53:10. Here it means that God would accomplish everything which was to him an object of desire; everything which he wished, or willed. And why should he not? Who has power to hinder or prevent him Romans 9:19? And why should not we rejoice that he will do all that is pleasing to him? What better evidence have we that it is desirable that anything should be done, than that it is agreeable, or pleasing to God? What better security can we have that it is right, than that he wills it? What more substantial and permanent ground of rejoicing is there in regard to anything, than that it is such as God prefers, loves, and wills?
yet—not in the Hebrew. Translate, "What had not been done" [Horsley].
do all my pleasure—(Isa 53:10; Ro 9:19).Declaring the end from the beginning; foretelling from the beginning of the world, or from the beginning of your nation, those future events which should happen in succeeding ages, even to the end of the world, or to the end of your commonwealth; for such predictions we find delivered by Moses, the first founder of their commonwealth.
My counsel shall stand; as I will not, so no other power can, disappoint my purposes and predictions. Deuteronomy 32:29. The end of the world, and all things in it, as early as the times of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, Jde 1:14. The end and issue of every event, at least of many very remarkable and momentous ones, before they came to pass; and particularly things relating to Christ, the beginning and end; the fulfilling end of the moral law for righteousness; the scope and design of the ceremonial law, to which that tended, and in which it issued; as well as the end of the whole Scripture, of the prophecies and promises of it: and this end was declared very early, and spoken of by all the prophets that were from the beginning of the world; and which is a full proof of the omniscience of God, and so of his true deity, Luke 1:70.
And from the ancient times the things that are not yet done; that were not at this time done, though they are since: such as the captivity of the Jews, and their return from it; also the incarnation of Christ, his obedience and sufferings, and the glory that should follow; his resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God; the work of redemption by him; the effusion of the Spirit; the spread of the Gospel among the Gentiles, and their conversion; and others which are now not yet done; as the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and the bringing in the fulness of the Gentiles; the glory of the church in those times as to knowledge, peace, purity, power, and authority; the destruction of antichrist; and the second coming of the Messiah; all which have been declared from ancient times; and as the former have been accomplished, there is reason to believe the latter will:
saying, my counsel shall stand; the purposes and decrees of God, which are within himself, wisely formed by him, eternal and not frustrable; and which shall stand, or be accomplished, being the counsels of him who is all wise, all knowing, all powerful, unchangeable, true, and faithful; whether they respect the providence of God in relation to the world in general, and the government of it, or to particular persons, and their affairs, from the time of their birth to their death; or whether they respect his grace and goodness in the salvation of men; such as his purpose according to election, the covenant of his grace, redemption by Christ, the effectual calling, and eternal glorification; all which, as they are according to the will and counsel of God; stand firm and sure, and shall have their full accomplishment; see Psalm 33:11.
And I will do all my pleasure; as he has done in creation, and does in providence, so he has done, can do, and does in grace, in predestination and redemption, and in the effectual calling. And particularly this may refer to the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus, a type of Christ, and deliverance by him, as follows:Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. the end from the beginning] i.e. the issue (of a particular series of events or period of history) from its origin.
the things that are not yet done] with closer reference to the events mentioned in Isaiah 46:11. Cf. ch Isaiah 48:5 (“before it has come to pass”).
My counsel shall stand] Cf. ch. Isaiah 14:24.
my pleasure] my purpose (see on ch. Isaiah 44:28).Verse 10. - Declaring the end from the beginning; i.e. "possessed of the very highest prophetic power, able to declare from the very beginnings of history its ultimate issues" (see Genesis 3:15; Genesis 16:12; Genesis 21:18, etc.). My counsel; rather, my purpose, or my plan (comp. Psalm 33:11; Job 23:13; and supra, Isaiah 14:24). Obadiah 1:18 (see Caspari on the passage), Nahum 2:3, and the house of Israel the same as the house of Joseph in Obadiah; whereas in Amos 3:13; Amos 6:8; Amos 7:2, Jacob stands for Israel, in distinction from Judah. The Assyrian exile was earlier than the Babylonian, and had already naturalized the greater part of the exiles in a heathen land, and robbed them of their natural character, so that there was only a remnant left by whom there was any hope that the prophet's message would be received. What the exiles of both houses were to hear was the question in Isaiah 46:5, which called upon them to consider the incomparable nature of their God, as deduced from what Jehovah could say of Himself in relation to all Israel, and what He does say from העמסים onwards. Babylon carried its idols, but all in vain: they were carried forth, without being able to save themselves; but Jehovah carried His people, and saved them. The expressions, "from the womb, and from the mother's lap," point back to the time when the nation which had been in process of formation from the time of Abraham onwards came out of Egypt, and was born, as it were, into the light of the world. From this time forward it had lain upon Jehovah like a willingly adopted burden, and He had carried it as a nurse carries a suckling (Numbers 11:12), and an eagle its young (Deuteronomy 32:11). In Isaiah 46:4 the attributes of the people are carried on in direct (not relative) self-assertions on the part of Jehovah. The senectus and canities are obviously those of the people - not, however, as though it was already in a state of dotage (as Hitzig maintains, appealing erroneously to Isaiah 47:6), but as denoting the future and latest periods of its history. Even till then Jehovah is He, i.e., the Absolute, and always the same (see Isaiah 41:4). As He has acted in the past, so will He act at all times - supporting and saving His people. Hence He could properly ask, Whom could you place by the side of me, so that we should be equal? (Vav consec. as in Isaiah 40:25).
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