1 Heare yee this, O house of Iacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come foorth out of the waters of Iudah; which sweare by the Name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in trueth nor in righteousnes.
2 For they call themselues of the holy city, and stay themselues vpon the God of Israel, the Lord of hostes is his Name.
3 I haue declared the former things from the beginning: and they went foorth out of my mouth, and I shewed them, I did them suddenly, and they came to passe.
4 Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy necke is an yron sinew, and thy brow brasse:
5 I haue euen from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to passe I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idole hath done them, and my grauen image, and my molten image hath commanded them.
6 Thou hast heard, see all this, and will not yee declare it? I haue shewed thee new things from this time, euen hidden things, and thou didst not know them.
7 They are created now, and not from the beginning, euen before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.
8 Yea thou heardest not, yea thou knewest not, yea from that time that thine eare was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deale very treacherously, and wast called a transgressour from the wombe.
9 ¶ For my names sake will I deferre mine anger, and for my praise will I refraine for thee, that I cut thee not off.
10 Behold, I haue refined thee, but not with siluer; I haue chosen thee in the fornace of affliction.
11 For mine owne sake, euen for mine owne sake will I doe it; for how should my Name bee polluted? And I will not giue my glory vnto another.
12 ¶ Hearken vnto me, O Iacob, and Israel my called; I am hee, I am the first, I also am the last.
13 Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heauens: when I call vnto them, they stand vp together.
14 All yee assemble your selues and heare: which among them hath declared these things? the Lord hath loued him: hee will doe his pleasure on Babylon, and his arme shall be on the Caldeans.
15 I, euen I haue spoken, yea I haue called him: I haue brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
16 ¶ Come ye neere vnto me; heare ye this; I haue not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I; and now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me.
17 Thus saith the Lord thy redeemer, the holy one of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest goe.
18 O that thou haddest hearkened to my commandements! then had thy peace beene as a riuer, and thy righteousnesse as the waues of the sea.
19 Thy seede also had beene as the sand, and the ofspring of thy bowels like the grauell thereof: his name should not haue beene cut off, nor destroyed from before me.
20 ¶ Goe yee forth of Babylon: flee yee from the Caldeans, with a voyce of singing, declare yee, tell this, vtter it euen to the end of the earth: say yee; The Lord hath redeemed his seruant Iacob.
21 And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rocke for them: he claue the rocke also, and the waters gushed out.
22 There is no peace, saith the Lord, vnto the wicked.
The Jews reproved for their idolatry. (1-8) Yet deliverance is promised them. (9-15) Solemn warnings of judgment upon those who persisted in evil. (16-22)1-8 The Jews valued themselves on descent from Jacob, and used the name of Jehovah as their God. They prided themselves respecting Jerusalem and the temple, yet there was no holiness in their lives. If we are not sincere in religion, we do but take the name of the Lord in vain. By prophecy they were shown how God would deal with them, long before it came to pass. God has said and done enough to prevent men's boasting of themselves, which makes the sin and ruin of the proud worse; sooner or later every mouth shall be stopped, and all become silent before Him. We are all born children of disobedience. Where original sin is, actual sin will follow. Does not the conscience of every man witness to the truth of Scripture? May the Lord prove us, and render us doers of the word.
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.
16-22 The Holy Spirit qualifies for service; and those may speak boldly, whom God and his Spirit send. This is to be applied to Christ. He was sent, and he had the Spirit without measure. Whom God redeems, he teaches; he teaches to profit by affliction, and then makes them partakers of his holiness. Also, by his grace he leads them in the way of duty; and by his providence he leads in the way of deliverance. God did not afflict them willingly. If their sins had not turned them away, their peace should have been always flowing and abundant. Spiritual enjoyments are ever joined with holiness of life and regard to God's will. It will make the misery of the disobedient the more painful, to think how happy they might have been. And here is assurance given of salvation out of captivity. Those whom God designs to bring home to himself, he will take care of, that they want not for their journey. This is applicable to the grace laid up for us in Jesus Christ, from whom all good flows to us, as the water to Israel out of the rock, for that Rock was Christ. The spiritual blessings of redemption, and the rescue of the church from antichristian tyranny, are here pointed to. But whatever changes take place, the Lord warned impenitent sinners that no good would come to them; that inward anguish and outward trouble, which spring from guilt and from the Divine wrath, must be their portion for ever.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.