Isaiah 48:10
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

King James Bible
Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, I have refined thee, but not as silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

World English Bible
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, I have refined thee, and not with silver, I have chosen thee in a furnace of affliction.

Isaiah 48:10 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Behold, I have refined thee - This refers to the Jews in their afflictions and captivity in Babylon. It states one design which he had in view in these afflictions - to purify them. The word used here, and rendered 'refined' (צרף tsâraph), means properly to melt; to smelt metals; to subject them to the action of fire, in order to remove the scoria or dross from them (see the notes at Isaiah 1:25). Then it means to purify in any manner. Here it means that God had used these afflictions for the same purpose for which fire is used in regard to metals, in order that every impurity in their moral and religious character might be removed.

But not with silver - Margin, 'For.' Hebrew, בכסף bekâseph. Many different interpretations of this have been proposed. Jerome renders it, Non quasi argentum - 'Not as silver.' The Septuagint, Οὐχ ἕνεκεν ἀργυρίου ouch heneken arguriou - 'Not on account of silver.' Grotius explains it, 'I have a long time tried thee by afflictions, but nothing good appears in thee;' that is, I have not found you to be silver, or to be pure, as when a worker in metals applies the usual heat to a mass of ore for the purpose of separating the dross, and obtains no silver. Gesenius explains it to mean, 'I sought to make you better by afflictions, but the end was not reached; you were not as silver which is obtained by melting, but as dross.' Rosenmuller supposes it means, that he had not tried them with that intensity of heat which was necessary to melt and refine silver; and remarks, that those skilled in metals observe that gold is easily liquified, but that silver requires a more intense heat to purify it. Jarchi renders it, 'Not by the fire of Gehenna as silver is melted by the fire.' Kimchi explains it, 'Not as one who is smelting silver, and who removes all the scoria from it, and so consumes it that nothing but pure silver remains. If that had been done, but few of you would have been left.' Vitringa supposes that it means, that God had sent them to Babylon to be purified, yet it was not to be done with silver. It was by the agency of a people who were wicked, sinful, and unbelieving. Amidst this variety of interpretation, it is difficult to determine the sense. Probably it may be, I have melted thee, and found no silver; or the result has not been that you have been shown to be pure by all your trials; and thus it will agree with what is said above, that they were perverse, false, and rebellious as a people.

I have chosen thee - Lowth renders this, 'I have tried thee.' The Vulgate and the Septuagint, however, render it, 'I have chosen thee.' The word used here (from בחר bâchar) means, according to Gesenius:

1. To prove, to try, to examine; and the primary idea, according to him, is that of rubbing with the lapis Lydius, or touchstone, or else of cutting in pieces for the purpose of examining.

2. To approve, choose, or select. This is the most common signification in the Hebrew Bible Genesis 13:11; Exodus 17:9; Joshua 24:15; Job 9:14; Job 15:5; Job 29:25.

3. To delight in Genesis 6:2; Isaiah 1:29. Probably the meaning here is, 'I have proved or tried thee in the furnace of affliction.' It was true, however, that God had chosen or selected their nation to be his people when they were suffering in the furnace of affliction in Egypt; and it is also true that God chooses sinners now, or converts them, as the result of heavy affliction. Possibly this may be the idea, that their affliction had prepared them to embrace his offers and to seek consolation in him; and he may design to teach that one effect of affliction is to prepare the mind to embrace the offers of mercy.

In the furnace of affliction - Referring particularly to their trials in Babylon. Afflictions are often likened to fire - from the fact that fire is used to purify or try metals, and afflictions have the same object in reference to the people of God.

Isaiah 48:10 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Mercy's Master Motive
We shall now use the text as an illustration of divine love in other cases, for from one deed of grace we may learn all. As God dealt with his people Israel after the flesh, in the same manner he dealeth with his people Israel after the spirit; and his mercies towards his saints are to be seen as in a mirror in his wondrous lovingkindness towards the seed of Abraham. I shall take the text to illustrate--first, the conversion of the sinner; and secondly, the reclaiming of the backslider; and I pray,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872

After the Scripture.
"In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God created He him."--Gen. v. 1. In the preceding pages we have shown that the translation, "in Our image," actually means, "after Our image." To make anything in an image is no language; it is unthinkable, logically untrue. We now proceed to show how it should be translated, and give our reason for it. We begin with citing some passages from the Old Testament in which occurs the preposition "B" which, in Gen. i. 27, stands before image, where
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Cross References
Deuteronomy 4:20
"But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.

1 Kings 8:51
(for they are Your people and Your inheritance which You have brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace),

Psalm 66:10
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.

Isaiah 27:9
Therefore through this Jacob's iniquity will be forgiven; And this will be the full price of the pardoning of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones like pulverized chalk stones; When Asherim and incense altars will not stand.

Jeremiah 9:7
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I will refine them and assay them; For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?

Jeremiah 11:4
which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, 'Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,'

Ezekiel 22:18
"Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to Me; all of them are bronze and tin and iron and lead in the furnace; they are the dross of silver.

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