I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Yea, I have called him - (See the note at Isaiah 41:2).
I have brought him - I have led him on his way in his conquests.
he—change from the first to the third person [Barnes]. Jehovah shall make his (Cyrus') way prosperous.I, even I; both the foreknowledge and the execution of this great achievement cannot be ascribed to idols, but to me only.
He shall make his way prosperous; God will give him good success in this undertaking. Here is a sudden change of the person from I to he, which is very usual. Or, as others render it, he shall prosper in his way; the preposition in being most frequently understood. Numbers 23:19,
yea, I have called him; not Abraham, as the Targum; but Cyrus, whom he called by name, as well as called him to his work and office as a deliverer of his people, Isaiah 45:4 and so he called Christ also to his work and office, which he did not take to himself, but was called of God, Hebrews 5:4, I have brought him; from a far country, from Persia to Babylon; and who has also brought forth his servant, the branch, the Messiah, Zechariah 3:8,
and he shall make his way prosperous; or "his way shall be prosperous" (m); being made so by the Lord, who directed his way, and removed all difficulties and obstructions in it, Isaiah 45:1 and so the pleasure of the Lord has prospered in the hands of Christ, who has succeeded in the work of redemption and salvation he was called to, Isaiah 53:11, these are the words of God the Father, confirming what the Messiah said in the preceding, and who is introduced speaking in the next verse.I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 15. - I have called him (comp. Isaiah 46:11, "Calling a ravenous bird from the east"). Cyrus is represented as raised up by God, "called" by him, and commissioned by him "to do all his pleasure." God has brought him on his way, and made that way prosperous. According to the account of Herodotus, Cyrus received no check of any kind until the last expedition, in which he lost his life. His "prosperity" was beyond that of almost any other commander. Isaiah 48:9 affirm what Jehovah continually does. He lengthens out His wrath, i.e., He retards its outbreak, and thus shows Himself long-suffering. He tames or chains it (חטם, like Arab. chṭm, root טם, compare domare, root Sanscr. dam, possibly also to dam or damp) for the sake of Israel, that He may not exterminate it utterly by letting it loose, and that for the sake of His name and His praise, which require the carrying out of His plan to salvation, on which the existence of Israel depends. What Israel has hitherto experienced has been a melting, the object of which was not destruction, but testing and refinement. The Beth of בכסף ולא is not Beth pretii in the sense of "not to gain silver," or "not so that I should have gained silver as operae pretium," as Umbreit and Ewald maintain (and even Knobel, who explains it however as meaning "in the accompaniment of silver," though in the same sense). Such a thought would be out of place and purposeless here. Nor is Rosenmller's explanation admissible, viz., "not with silver, i.e., with that force of fire which is necessary for the smelting out of silver." This is altogether unsuitable, because the sufferings inflicted upon Israel did resemble the smelting out of the precious metal (see Isaiah 1:25). The Beth is rather the Beth essentiae, which may be rendered by tanquam, and introduces the accusative predicate in this instance, just as it introduces the nominative predicate in the substantive clause of Job 23:13, and the verbal clause of Psalm 39:7. Jehovah melted Israel, but not like silver (not as men melt silver); the meaning of which is, not that He melted it more severely, i.e., even more thoroughly, than silver, as Stier explains it, but, as the thought is positively expressed in Isaiah 48:10, that the afflictions which fell upon Israel served as a smelting furnace (kūr as in Deuteronomy 4:20). It was, however, a smelting of a superior kind, a spiritual refining and testing (bâchar is Aramaic in form, and equivalent to bâchan). The manifestation of wrath, therefore, as these expressions affirm, had a salutary object; and in this very object the intention was involved from the very first, that it should only last for a time. He therefore puts an end to it now for His own sake, i.e., not because He is induced to do so by the merits of Israel, but purely as an act of grace, to satisfy a demand made upon Him by His own holiness, inasmuch as, if it continued any longer, it would encourage the heathen to blaspheme His name, and would make it appear as though He cared nothing for His own honour, which was inseparably bound up with the existence of Israel. The expression here is curt and harsh throughout. In Isaiah 48:9, למען and אפּי are to be supplied in thought from Isaiah 48:9; and in the parenthetical exclamation, יחל איך (niphal of חלל, as in Ezekiel 22:26), the distant word שׁים (my name), also from Isaiah 48:9. "I will do it" refers to the carrying out of their redemption (cf., Isaiah 44:23). In Ezekiel 36:19-23 we have, as it were, a commentary upon Isaiah 48:11.
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