God comforts the church with his promises, 1-6. The vanity of idols, 7, 8, and folly of idol makers, 9-20. He exhorts to praise God for his redemption and omnipotence, 21-28.
1 "Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: 'Do not fear, O Jacob, my servant, and you, Jesurun, whom I have chosen,
3 For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit upon your seed and my blessing upon your offspring.
4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses.'
5 One shall say, 'I am the LORD'S,' and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall write with his hand, 'To the LORD,' and surname himself by the name of Israel.
6 Thus says the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.
7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show to them.
8 Do not fear, neither be afraid. Have I not told you from that time and declared it? You are even my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Truly there is no God. I do not know any.'"
9 Those who make an engraved image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit, and they are their own witnesses. They do not see, nor know, so that they may be ashamed. 10 Who has formed a god, or cast an engraved image that is profitable for nothing? 11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed, and the workmen, they are of men. Let them all be assembled. Let them stand up. Yet they shall fear and they shall be ashamed together.
12 The smith with the tongs works in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with the strength of his arms. Indeed, he is hungry and his strength fails. He drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches out his rule. He marks it out with a line. He fits it with planes and marks it out with the compass. He makes it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, so that it may remain in the house. 14 He hews down cedars for himself and takes the cypress and the oak, which he strengthens for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants an ash, and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it shall be for a man to burn, for he will take some of it and warm himself. Indeed he kindles it and bakes bread. He even makes a god and worships it. He makes it an engraved image and falls down to it. 16 He burns part of it in the fire. With part of it he eats flesh. He roasts meat and is satisfied. Indeed, he warms himself and says, "Aha, I am warm. I have seen the fire." 17 And its residue he makes a god, even his engraved image. He falls down to it, worships it, and prays to it, and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god."
18 They have not known nor understood, for he has shut their eyes so that they cannot see, and their hearts so that they cannot understand. 19 And no one considers in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned part of it in the fire. I have also baked bread upon its coals. I have roasted flesh and eaten it. And shall I make its residue an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?" 20 He feeds on ashes. A deceived heart has turned him aside so that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"
21 "Remember these, O Jacob and Israel, for you are my servant. I have formed you. You are my servant. O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by me.
22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and as a cloud, your sins. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it. Shout, you lower parts of the earth. Break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree therein, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob and glorified himself in Israel.
24 Thus says the LORD your Redeemer and he who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD who makes all things, who stretches forth the heavens alone, who spreads abroad the earth by myself,
25 Who frustrates the tokens of the liars and makes diviners mad, who turns wise men backward and makes their knowledge foolish,
26 Who confirms the word of his servant and performs the counsel of his messengers, who says to Jerusalem, 'You shall be inhabited,' and to the cities of Judah, 'You shall be built,' and I will raise up her decayed places,
27 Who says to the deep, 'Be dry,' and I will dry up your rivers,
28 Who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall perform all my pleasure,' even saying to Jerusalem, 'You shall be built,' and to the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"
Matthew Henry Commentary - Isaiah, Chapter 44[➚]