Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)am God.—The first predicate is El, the mighty and strong one, the second Elohim, the one true object of worship. The verse that follows asserts what in modern language would be called the omniscience and the omnipotence of God.Isaiah 46:9-11. Remember the former things — What I have done for you and in the world, my evident predictions of future things, justified by the event; and those other miraculous works, whereby I have abundantly proved my divinity. 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 state. My counsel shall stand — As I will not, so no other power can, disappoint my purposes and predictions. This is another argument urged for the divinity of the God of Israel, namely, his foreknowledge and prediction of future events, of which the prophet subjoins a particular instance in the next words. Calling a ravenous bird, or eagle, from the east — From Persia, as Isaiah 41:2. “There can be no doubt that Cyrus is here meant. Kings and princes are often compared in Scripture to eagles, Jeremiah 49:22; Ezekiel 17:3. But it has been thought that there is a peculiar propriety in this application to Cyrus, as the eagle well denotes the magnanimity, the quickness of judgment, the celerity in all his expeditions and motions, for which Cyrus was so remarkable. We are also told by Plutarch, that Cyrus had an aquiline nose; and Xenophon expressly relates, that his standard was a golden eagle; which yet continues, says he, to be the standard of the Persian kings.” — Vitringa.
For I am God - (See the notes at Isaiah 44:6).Remember the former things of old; what I have done for you, and in the world, my evident predictions of future things justified by the event, and those other miraculous works whereby I have abundantly proved my Divinity.
for I am God, and there is none else; as he must needs be what did the above things:Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. former things of old] See on Isaiah 41:22. The emphasis here lies less on the predictions than on the events themselves, which are of such a nature as to demonstrate that Jehovah alone is truly God.Verses 9-11. - A FURTHER ADMONITION GROUNDED ON OTHER MOTIVES. Israel is exhorted to continue firm in the faith
(1) by the recollection of God's mercies in the past (ver. 9);
(2) by the consideration of his prophetic power (ver. 10); and
(3) by a renewed promise of coming deliverance through Cyrus (ver. 11). Verse 9. - Remember the former things of old; i.e. God's wonderful dealings with Israel in times past - the miracles in Egypt, the passage of the Red Sea, the deliverances from Midian, and Ammon, and the Philistines, and Zerah, and Sennacherib - which proved him God in a sense in which the word could be applied to no other. I am God... I am God. In the original, "I am El... I am Elohim." El is "the Mighty One," "the Omnipotent;" Elohim, "the Godhead" in all its fulness. 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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