Isaiah 43:9 MEANING

Isaiah 43:9
(9) Who among them . . .--The challenge of Isaiah 41:22-23 is repeated. Who among their gods has foretold the "former things"? has predicted events that were then in the future, and have now come to pass?

Verse 9. - All the nations; rather, all ye nations. Israel is a witness on the one hand, a multitude of nations on the other, recalling the contention of Elijah with the four hundred priests of Baal (1 Kings 18:22). The people; rather, the peoples. Who among them can declare this? i.e. which of them can show any prediction made by their gods comparable to the one contained in vers. 1-77 And show us former things. "Exhibit the past history of the world in well-attested documents" (Kay); "Make mention of past events which they have correctly foretold" (Cheyne, Delitzsch). According to the former rendering, the contrast is between the solemn, serious history of early times in Genesis, and the grotesque and extravagant myths, in which the nations generally embodied their views of the primitive ages. (For a specimen of the contrast, see 'Aids to Faith,' Essay 6. pp. 275, 276.) Let them bring forth their witnesses. Witnesses that the prophecies were really delivered before the events happened, or that the accounts of past times are such as have really come down to them from their ancestors. Or let them hear and say, It is truth. It is uncertain whether we ought to translate the initial vau here by "and" or by "or." If the former, the sense is, "And then let them (i.e. the witnesses) give ear to the assertions made, and declare them true;" if the latter, we may render, with Dr. Kay, "Or, if they have no witnesses, let them listen to the sacred records, and confess them to be the truth."

43:8-13 Idolaters are called to appear in defence of their idols. Those who make them, and trust in them, are like unto them. They have the shape and faculties of men; but they have not common sense. But God's people know the power of his grace, the sweetness of his comforts, the kind care of his providence, and the truth of his promise. All servants of God can give such an account of what he has wrought in them, and done for them, as may lead others to know and believe his power, truth, and loveLet all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled,.... In one place, if it could be, in an open court of judicature; that their whole strength might be united together, and the most cogent arguments any of them are able to produce might be brought out; and that all might have an opportunity of hearing the cause fairly argued, and the point decided, and judge for themselves on which side truth lies:

who among them can declare this, and show us former things? what god or prophet of theirs can declare any future event, such as this, the redemption of the Jews by Cyrus, foretold from the mouth of the Lord by Isaiah, so long before the accomplishment of it, or anything whatever before it comes to pass? for this does not regard things past, which might be shown and declared; but the things they are challenged with are things future, to declare them first, before they come into being, which would be a proof of deity; for none but God, who is omniscient, can foretell future events with certainty:

let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; let them produce witnesses that their gods spoke of things before they came to pass, and that they came to pass just as they foretold they would; that their cause may appear a just one, and that they, their worshippers, are right in serving them:

let them hear, and say, it is truth; or let them hearken to the evidence against them, and acknowledge that what I say is true, and that I am the true God, and there is no other.

Courtesy of Open Bible