Isaiah 48:13 MEANING

Isaiah 48:13
Verse 13. - Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth (comp. Isaiah 40:12, 22, 26, 28; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 45:12, 18). As the Maker of heaven and earth, God is entitled to the attention and obedience of all the dwellers in heaven and earth. My right hand hath spanned the heavens; i.e. measured them, as with a span (Isaiah 41:12)-fixed their limits and dimensions. When I call unto them, they stand up together (comp. Isaiah 40:26). Heaven and earth, and all things that are in them, except man, are prompt to perform God's will, and rise up at once at his call to show their readiness. The metaphor is drawn from the conduct of intelligent agents.

48:9-15 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.Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth,.... Which is ascribed to the Wisdom, Word, and Son of God, Proverbs 3:19. This Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret of the left hand (k), seeing the work of the heavens is ascribed to the right hand in the following clause; the earth being less honourable than the heavens:

and my right hand hath spanned the heavens; stretched them out as a curtain or canopy over the earth, and measured them out with a span, as easily as a man measures anything with his hand; see Isaiah 40:12,

when I call unto them, they stand up together; or, "I called them, and they stood up together", as the Targum; and so may refer to the first creation of them, when at the word of God, and by his almighty fiat, they rose into being at once, Psalm 33:9. Kimchi observes, that the houses of Hillell and Shaminai were divided about this matter, which were created first, the heavens or the earth; at which R. Simeon ben Jochai wondered, since, according to the text, they were both created together (l); though this may be understood of the consistence and permanency of the heavens and the earth, being upheld by the Lord, and by the word of his power, and of the ready obedience of the heavenly bodies to do his will, who, like servants, rise up at once at the word of his command; see Isaiah 40:26.

(k) Vid. T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 36. 2.((l) Vid. T. Bab. Chagigah, fol. 12. 1.

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