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Isaiah 46

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 46

Cyrus, who is so often marked out in the predictions of Scripture, advanced the glory of both nations to its highest pitch.  Having long commanded the Median troops of Astyages, his mother’s father, and of Darius her brother and his own father-in-law, against the Chaldeans and others, he became heir to the Persian crown by his father, and to the Median by his wife, Dan. 9:1; 5:31.  Under his command the Medo-Persian troops conquered the three powerful kingdoms of Lydia on the north, Babylon in the middle, and Egypt on the south; all to the westward.  The multitudes he slew, and the spoils he seized, were astonishing.  Most of the captives who had been enslaved by the Chaldeans, he allowed to return and re-people their desolated countries.  To the Jews he also restored their sacred vessels; and solemnly encouraged and kindly assisted them to rebuild their temple.  He established his empire according to the most just and prudent regulations; but Cambyses, his madly cruel son and successor, almost ruined it by his expedition into Egypt and Ethiopia.  Artaxerxes Smerdis, the magian imposter, throughout his reign did nothing more than obstruct the building of the temple.  Darius Hystapes, who encouraged the building of it, and who was perhaps the Aharuerus who divorced Vashti, married Esther, advanced and pulled down Haman, and rendered Mordecai his chief minister of state, extended the empire to its utmost greatness.  The conquests and government thereof reached into Iberia, Albania, Colchis, and Scythia on the north; into Lesser Asia and the Islands, Syria, and Canaan, on the west; and into Egypt, Ethiopia, part of Arabia, and India, on the south.  (Quoted from the New Self Interpreting Bible Library Page 86 Vol. 1, 1917)

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 46

1Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast.

They broke the idols into pieces and loaded them on pack animals and on ox carts and carted them to the dump.  Bel, called Belus by the Greek and Roman writers, is the same as Baal; and Nebo is interpreted by Castell and Norberg of Mercury; the two principal idols of Babylon.  When that city was taken by the Persians, these images were carried in triumph.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 21:9  And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.  Read:  Jer 51:52; Jer 50:2; Jer 51:44

 

2They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

They themselves go into captivity and their gods could do nothing to prevent this.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

 

Isa 36:18  Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?   Read:  Jdg 18:17-18

3Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:

Listen Israel, I have been carrying you since birth and will continue to carry you.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

 

Isa 51:1  Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.

Isa 49:1  Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.

4And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

I have carried you on my back since birth and I will continue even when your hair turns grey and I will rescue you.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

 

Psa 92:14  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

Psa 48:14  For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Psa 71:18  Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.

5To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

There is nothing in heaven or earth to compare God to.  How can we compare the incomparable?  Will we compare God to the gods that have been smashed and loaded on carts and headed for the trash dump?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

 

Isa 40:18  To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?

Jer 10:6-7  Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.  Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.

6They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.

These people squander their gold to make an image.  They hire a goldsmith to fashion the image and then fall down on their knees to worship it.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

 

Exo 32:2-4  And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.  And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

7They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.

The pope carries an image with him on his holy parade─the crucifix─it never says anything, it never talks back, of course it never does anything either─another form of idolatry.  A quick look at image worship in the Catholic church.  In 726 A.D. the worship of images was forbidden by the Pope and councils.  In 787 A.D. the worship of images was restored.  In 820 A.D.  the worship of images was forbidden.  In  842 A.D. A definite and final decision for the worship of images was made.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

 

1Sa 5:3  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

Dan 3:1  Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

8Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors.

They needed to remind themselves of the things that God told them was going to happen in the future.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Jer 10:5  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

Isa 45:20  Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Remember the lessons as taught in the law. (Deut. 28) I have no rival─there is no other rock.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CONFIRM THE TEXT:

 

Deu 32:7  Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

Isa 45:21  Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

 

11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God calls Cyrus his anointed, his shepherd, his righteous man, a ravenous bird, an executioner, a battle axe and summons the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, (somewhere in Armenia) and Ashchenaz (Scythians) and the kings of the Medes to destroy the Chaldeans.  The ensign of Cyrus was a golden eagle.  Under Cyrus there was one world government.  He was the ruler of all nations.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

 

Isa 41:2  Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.

Isa 41:25  I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.  Read:  Jer 51:20-29

 

12Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

A stouthearted man is one that is hard headed, obstinate, stiff-necked and spoiled─couldn’t find his own hands.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING

THE TEXT:

Isa 48:4  Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;

Psa 76:5  The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.

Zec 7:11-12  But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

Act 7:51  Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

13I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

When God speaks of his righteousness being near he means that Israel’s deliverance is about to happen.  He is going to bring victory, not in the far off future but now.  He is going to grant victory to Zion and restore Jerusalem and Israel which is his glory.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

 

Isa 51:5  My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.

Psa 14:7  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

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