Isaiah 44:18 MEANING

Isaiah 44:18
(18) He hath shut their eyes.--Better, their eyes are smeared over. The state described is the judicial blindness of Romans 1:20-25. It will be remembered that blindness thus inflicted was one of the tortures of Eastern cruelty.

Verse 18. - They have not known nor understood. The cause of all this folly is a Minding of the understanding, divinely caused in the way of punishment, on account of their having wilfully closed their eyes to the truth. Because they "did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate (or, undistinguishing) mind" (Romans 1:28; comp. Isaiah 29:10). He hath shut; or, One hath shut. But the reference is in either case to God. The word translated "shut" means literally "plastered" or "smeared."

44:9-20 Image-making is described, to expose the folly of idolaters. Though a man had used part of a log for fuel, he fell down before an image made of the remainder, praying it to deliver him. Man greatly dishonours God, when he represents him after the image of man. Satan blinds the eyes of unbelievers, causing absurd reasonings in matters of religion. Whether men seek happiness in worldly things, or run into unbelief, superstition, or any false system, they feed on ashes. A heart deceived by pride, love of sin, and departure from God, turns men aside from his holy truth and worship. While the affections are depraved, a man holds fast the lie as his best treasure. Are our hearts set upon the wealth of the world and its pleasures? They will certainly prove a lie. If we trust to outward professions and doings, as if those would save us, we deceive ourselves. Self-suspicion is the first step towards self-deliverance. He that would deliver his soul, must question his conscience, Is there not a lie in my right hand?They have not known nor understood,.... Who the true God is, nor the worship that is due to him alone; they do not know nor understand divine and spiritual things; nay, they have not the knowledge and understanding of men; they want common sense that can do and say such things as before mentioned, both idol makers and idol worshippers:

for he hath shut their eyes that they cannot see, and their heart that they cannot understand; either the devil, as some think, the god of this world, that blinds their eyes from seeing the folly of such gross idolatry, which he, deceiving them, leads them into; or rather God himself, who, because they like not to retain him in their knowledge, gives them up to a reprobate and injudicious mind, to believe a lie, and worship a false god; this he permits, orders, and overrules to some good ends and purposes: this is to be understood of the eyes of the understanding, which, as the word (i) signifies, are "daubed" and plastered over, that there is no opening of them, and seeing with them; which is the judicial blindness and hardness of heart, which God sometimes in righteous judgment gives up men unto; see Romans 1:28.

(i) "oblevit oculos eorum", Montanus; "obleverit", Cocceius; "quod sculptile oblinat", Piscator.

Courtesy of Open Bible