Isaiah 48:11 Commentaries: "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.
Isaiah 48:11
For my own sake, even for my own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory to another.
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(11) Will I do it . . .—The neuter pronoun includes the whole work of redemption.

For how should my name be polluted?—The italics show that “my name” is not in the Hebrew, but the context requires its insertion as from Isaiah 48:9. or that of “my glory” from the clause that follows. The “pollution” or desecration of the name of Jehovah would follow, it is implied, on the non-completion of His redeeming work.

48:9-15 We have nothing ourselves to plead with God, why he should have mercy upon us. It is for his praise, to the honour of his mercy, to spare. His bringing men into trouble was to do them good. It was to refine them, but not as silver; not so thoroughly as men refine silver. If God should take that course, they are all dross, and, as such, might justly be put away. He takes them as refined in part only. Many have been brought home to God as chosen vessels, and a good work of grace begun in them, in the furnace of affliction. It is comfort to God's people, that God will secure his own honour, therefore work deliverance for them. And if God delivers his people, he cannot be at a loss for instruments to be employed. God has formed a plan, in which, for his own sake, and the glory of his grace, he saves all that come to Him.For mine own sake - (See Isaiah 48:9). The expression here is repeated to denote emphasis. He had thrown them into the furnace of affliction on his own account, that is, in order that his own name should not be profaned by their irreligion and idolatry, and that the glory which was due to him should not be given to idols.

For how should my name be polluted? - The sense is, that it would be inconsistent with his perfections to see his name profaned without endeavoring to correct and prevent it; and in order to this, that he brought these afflictions upon them. They had profaned his name by their irreligion and hypocrisy. In order to correct this evil, and to prevent it in future, he had brought these national judgments on them, and removed them to Babylon. The doctrine here taught is, that when the conduct of God's professed people is such as to dishonor God, and to make his name a subject of reproach with the wicked, he will visit them with heavy judgments. He cannot indulge them in a course of life which will reflect dishonor on his own name.

And I will not give my glory unto another - (See the notes at Isaiah 42:8). The sense here is this. The Jews had, as a nation, been prone to ascribe to idols that which was due to God alone. To correct this, and to make an effectual reform, he had removed them to Babylon, and doomed them to a long and painful captivity there. It may be added that the punishment was effectual, and that their long trial in Babylon served entirely to correct all their idolatrous propensities as a nation.

11. how should my name—Maurer, instead of "My name" from Isa 48:9, supplies "My glory" from the next clause; and translates, "How (shamefully) My glory has been profaned!" In English Version the sense is, "I will refrain (Isa 48:9, that is, not utterly destroy thee), for why should I permit My name to be polluted, which it would be, if the Lord utterly destroyed His elect people" (Eze 20:9)?

not give my glory unto another—If God forsook His people for ever, the heathen would attribute their triumph over Israel to their idols; so God's glory would be given to another.

Will I do it; this great work of delivering my people out of Babylon. My name is here fitly supplied, both out of Isaiah 48:9, where it is expressed, and out of the following clause of this verse, where he saith,

my glory, which is equivalent to it. The sense is, If I should not spare and deliver my people, my name would be sadly profaned and blasphemed, as if I were either impotent or implacable to them.

I will not give my glory unto another; I will not give any colour or occasion to idolaters to ascribe the Divine nature and properties, which are my peculiar, unto idols, as they would do if I did not rescue my people out of their hands in spite of their idols. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it,.... Defer his anger, not cut off his people and destroy them, but redeem and save them: this, in the literal sense, respects the redemption and deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus from the Babylonish captivity; which the Lord did, not for any deserts of theirs, but for the sake of his own honour and glory; or, as the Targum,

"for my name, and for my word;''

which is repeated here again and again for the confirmation of it, and that it might be more observed. In the mystical sense, it respects redemption and salvation by Christ, of which the former was typical:

for how should my name be polluted? blasphemed and evil spoken of among the nations of the world; who would be ready to say, that either the Lord did not love his people, and was not mercifully disposed towards them; or that he could not save them, and that their hands, or their gods, were mightier than he; see Deuteronomy 32:26.

and I will not give my glory to another; to another people, as the Targum, or to another god; See Gill on Isaiah 42:8.

For my own sake, even for my own sake, will I do it: for how should my name {n} be profaned? {o} and I will not give my glory to another.

(n) God joins the salvation of his with his own honour: so that they cannot perish, but his glory would be diminished, as in De 32:27.

(o) Read Isa 42:8.

11. for how should my name be polluted?] Better: for how is it profaned! a parenthetic ejaculation, and in all probability a marginal gloss.

I will not give my glory unto another] Cf. ch. Isaiah 42:8. The “glory” is that of bringing to pass the marvellous “new things,” the era of eternal salvation.Verse 11. - How should my Name be polluted? i.e. how should I allow of its pollution or desecration (see the comment on ver. 9)? I will not give my glory unto another (comp. Isaiah 42:8). God would have ceded his glory to some god of the nations, had he under existing circumstances forsaken Israel. After this summons, and description of those who are summoned, the address of Jehovah begins. "The first I have long ago proclaimed, and it has gone forth out of my mouth, and I caused it to be heard. I carried it out suddenly, and it came to pass. Because I knew that thou art hard, and thy neck an iron clasp, and thy brow of brass; I proclaimed it to thee long ago; before it came to pass, I caused thee to hear it, that thou mightest not say, My idol has done it, and my graven image and molten image commanded it." The word הראשׁנות in itself signifies simply priora; and then, according to the context, it signifies prius facta (Isaiah 46:9), or prius praedicta (Isaiah 43:9), or prius eventura (Isaiah 41:22; Isaiah 42:9). In the present passage it refers to earlier occurrences, which Jehovah had foretold, and, when the time fixed for their accomplishment arrived, which He had immediately brought to pass. With a retrospective glance at this, we find plural masc. suffixes (cf., Isaiah 41:27) used interchangeably with plural fem. (cf., Isaiah 48:7 and Isaiah 38:16); the prophet more frequently uses the sing. fem. in this neuter sense (Isaiah 41:20; Isaiah 42:23, etc.), and also, though very rarely, the sing. masc. (Isaiah 45:8). On gı̄d, a band, a sinew, but here a clasp (cf., Arab. kaid, a fetter), see Psychology, p. 233. Nechūshâh is a poetical equivalent for nechōsheth, as in Isaiah 45:2. The heathen cravings of Israel, which reached into the captivity, are here presupposed. Hengstenberg is mistaken in his supposition, that the prophet's standpoint is always anterior to the captivity when he speaks in condemnation of idolatry. We cannot draw any conclusion from the character of the community that returned, with regard to that of the people of the captivity generally. The great mass even of Judah, and still more of Israel, remained behind, and became absorbed into the heathen, to whom they became more and more assimilated. And does not Ezekiel expressly state in Ezekiel 20:30., that the golah by the Chaboras defiled themselves with the same abominations of idolatry as their fathers, and that the prevailing disposition was to combine the worship of Jehovah with heathenism, or else to exchange the former altogether for the latter? And we know that it was just the same with the exiles in Egypt, among whom the life and labours of Jeremiah terminated. Wherever the prophet speaks of פשׁעים and רשׁעים, these names invariably include a tendency or falling away to Babylonian idolatry, to which he describes the exiles as having been addicted, both in Isaiah 66:17 and elsewhere.
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