Isaiah 51:10
Are you not it which has dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
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51:9-16 The people whom Christ has redeemed with his blood, as well as by his power, will obtain joyful deliverance from every enemy. He that designs such joy for us at last, will he not work such deliverance in the mean time, as our cases require? In this world of changes, it is a short step from joy to sorrow, but in that world, sorrow shall never come in view. They prayed for the display of God's power; he answers them with consolations of his grace. Did we dread to sin against God, we should not fear the frowns of men. Happy is the man that fears God always. And Christ's church shall enjoy security by the power and providence of the Almighty.Art thou not it - Art thou not still the same? The ground of the appeal is, that the same arm that dried up the sea, and made a path for the Jewish people, was still able to interpose and rescue them.

Which hath dried the sea - The Red Sea when the children of Israel passed over Exodus 14:21. This is the common illustration to which the Hebrew prophets and poets appeal, when they wish to refer to the interposition of God in favor of their nation (compare Psalm 105; see the notes at Isaiah 43:16).

For the ransomed to pass over - Those who had been ransomed from Egypt. The word rendered 'ransomed' is that which is commonly rendered 'redeemed.' The argument in this verse is, that he who had overcome all the obstacles in the way of their deliverance from Egypt, was able also to overcome all the obstacles in the way of their deliverance from Babylon; and that he who had thus interposed might be expected again to manifest his mercy, and save them again from oppression. The principle involved in the argument is as applicable now as it was then. All God's past interpositious - and especially the great and wonderful interposition when be gave his Son for his church - constitute an argument that be will still continue to regard the interests of his people, and will interpose in their behalf and save them.

10. it—the arm.

Art not Thou the same Almighty power that … ? dried the sea—the Red Sea (Isa 43:16; Ex 14:21).

Art thou not it which hath dried the sea? art not thou the same God, and as potent now as then thou wast?

For the ransomed; for thy people, whom thou didst redeem and bring out of Egypt. Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep,.... That is, the Red sea, and the deep waters of it; as it did, by causing a strong east wind to blow, which drove the sea back, and made it a dry land, in the midst of which the children of Israel walked as on dry land, Exodus 14:21 and the same arm and mighty power can and will dry up the waters of the river Euphrates, to prepare the way of the kings of the east, Revelation 16:12,

that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? divided the waters of the sea, made a path through them for the Israelites that were redeemed out of Egyptian bondage and slavery, to pass over, and so to go to Canaan's land.

Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
10. the great deep] (Genesis 7:11; Amos 7:4; Psalm 36:6) is the primeval ocean of Genesis 1:2, out of which the dry land appeared. The Hebrew (těhôm) is connected etymologically with Tiâmat, the name of the Chaos-monster in the Babylonian creation tablets.

a way for the ransomed to pass over] The reference to the Exodus is here unmistakeable. The transition is explained by the fact that every exhibition of Jehovah’s power over the sea was regarded as a repetition on a smaller scale of the original miracle of creation. Both alike are illustrations of what the “arm of the Lord” can do, and of the great miracle of redemption to which the prophet looks forward.Verse 10. - Art thou not it which hath dried the sea? rather, was it not thou that didst dry up the sea? (comp. Exodus 14:21, 22). The waters of the Red Sea are called those of "the great deep," because they are a portion of the circumambient ocean, not a tideless land-locked basin, like the Mediterranean. That hath made; rather, that madest. The allusion is to the single occasion of the passage of the Red Sea by the Israelites. Ver. 11. - The redeemed of the Lord (see the comment on Isaiah 35:10. where the same passage occurs with scarcely any variation). Isaiah is not averse to repetitions (see Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 9:12, 17, 21; Isaiah 10:4; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 48:22; 57:21, etc.). But the great work of the future extends far beyond the restoration of Israel, which becomes the source of salvation to all the world. "Hearken unto me, my people, and give ear unto me, O my congregation! for instruction will go forth from me, and I make a place for my right, to be a light of the nations. My righteousness is near, my salvation is drawn out, and my arms will judge nations: the hoping of the islands looks to me, and for mine arm is their waiting." It is Israel which is here summoned to hearken to the promise introduced with kı̄. לאוּמּי is only used here of Israel, like גּוי in Zephaniah 2:9; and the lxx (καὶ οἱ βασιλεῖς) have quite misunderstood it. An address to the heathen would be quite out of harmony with the character of the whole prophecy, which is carried out quite consistently throughout. עמי and לאומי, therefore, are not plurals, as the Syriac supposes, although it cannot be disputed that it is a rare thing to meet with the plural form apocopated thus, after the form of the talmudic Aramaean; and see also at Psalm 45:9). What Isaiah 42:1. describes as the calling of the servant of Jehovah, viz., to carry out justice among the nations, and to plant it on the earth, appears here as the act of Jehovah; but, as a comparison of מאתּי with מצּיּון (Isaiah 2:3) clearly shows, as the act of the God who is present in Israel, and works from Israel outwards. Out of Israel sprang the Saviour; out of Israel the apostleship; and when God shall have mercy upon Israel again, it will become to the whole world of nations "life from the dead." The thorâh referred to here is that of Sion, as distinguished from that of Sinai, the gospel of redemption, and mishpât the new order of life in which Israel and the nations are united. Jehovah makes for this a place of rest, a firm standing-place, from which its light to lighten the nations streams forth in all directions. הרגּיע as in Jeremiah 31:2; Jeremiah 50:34, from רגע, in the sense of the Arabic rj‛, to return, to procure return, entrance, and rest; a different word from רגע in Isaiah 51:15, which signifies the very opposite, viz., to disturb, literally to throw into trembling. צדק and ישע, which occur in Isaiah 51:5, are synonyms throughout these prophecies. The meaning of the former is determined by the character of the thorah, which gives "the knowledge of salvation" (Luke 1:77), and with that "the righteousness of God" (Romans 1:17; cf., Isaiah 53:11). This righteousness is now upon the point of being revealed; this salvation has started on the way towards the fullest realization. The great mass of the nations fall under the judgment which the arms of Jehovah inflict, as they cast down to the ground on the right hand and on the left. When it is stated of the islands, therefore, that they hope for Jehovah, and wait for His arm, the reference is evidently to the remnant of the heathen nations, which outlives the judgment, and not only desires salvation, and is susceptible of it, but which actually receives salvation (compare the view given in John 11:52, which agrees with that of Isaiah, and which, in fact, is the biblical view generally, e.g., Joel 3:5). To these the saving arm (the singular only was suitable here; cf., Psalm 16:11) now brings that salvation, towards which their longing was more or less consciously directed, and which satisfied their inmost need. Observe in Isaiah 51:5 the majestic and self-conscious movement of the rhythm, with the effective tone of yeyachēlûn.
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