Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 41

Verses 1-29

Having thus announced the majesty of Jehovah, the prophet proceeds to utter his general manifesto. This occupies chapters forty-one and forty-two. In chapter forty-one Jehovah challenges the island and the people to come near to judgment, that is, to consider what He has to say. He declares that He, and He alone has raised up the one from the East whose progress is victorious. The confederacy of the people against Cyrus is described, and then the prophet declares Jehovah's purpose of peace for Israel. Israel is the chosen and kept servant of God, upheld against foes, and the prophet predicts the ultimate restoration of the chosen people. Again he challenges the enemies to prove their power by prophetic utterance.

Finally Jehovah declares that it is He who alone can raise up the deliverer, or declare beforehand the fact of His coming. The whole movement of this chapter is a challenge preparatory to the presentation of the Servant of God. It is intended to show that apart from Jehovah the people cannot know the course of events, neither can they produce one strong enough to work deliverance. It opens with the command to keep silence in the presence of God, and closes with a declaration of the weakness and vanity of all that are opposed.