Ver. 1. Anointed, often implies one chosen for some great work. Cyrus was to ruin the empire of Babylon, and to set the nations at liberty. He was a proof of the Deity by executing his decrees.
--- Cyrus. Some copies of the Sept. seem to have read kuriw, "to the Lord," incorrectly. S. Jer.
--- Though Cyrus was not anointed, he is styled thus, in allusion to the custom of the Jewish kings. W.
Ver. 2. Brass. Babylon had 100 such gates. Herod. i. 179.
Ver. 3. Treasures. See Pliny xxxiii. 3. He overcame the rich king of Lydia, &c.
Ver. 4. Likeness of Christ.
--- Known me. Before the Jews had shewn Cyrus the prophecies, he did not attribute his success to the Lord, and even afterwards he seems not to have left the superstitions of his country, as his sacrifices to idols are described. He resembled Nabuchodonosor and the philosophers, who did not glorify God according to their knowledge. Dan. ii. 47. Rom. i. 21. Cyrus even revoked the decree for building the temple. 1 Esd. iv. 5. C.
--- He believed there was one God; (1 Esd. i.) yet he did not embrace the truth entirely. W.
Ver. 7. Create evil, &c. The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin. Ch.
--- I afflict and comfort my people.
Ver. 8. Saviour. Thus the ancient saints thirsted for the coming of Christ. His figure is styled the just. C. xli. 2. 25.
--- Him. Christ, born of the virgin, in time, and of God from all eternity. I have appointed Cyrus to be his precursor, to set the captives free. C.
--- He has been spoken of before. But now the prophet turns to Christ alone, who built his Church on a rock. W.
--- Cyrus had not a right faith in God, and Zorobabel was himself set free, and was not king. S. Jer.
Ver. 9. Earthen. Lit. "Samian." H.
--- Samos was famous for its pottery. Pliny xxxv. 12. Heb. "Clay, disputest thou against the potters of the earth?" He shews the folly of idols, after having proved his own divinity. C.
--- Prot. "Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth." H.
Ver. 10. Forth. As such language would be improper to parents, so it is wrong to complain that God places us in any situation. M.
Ver. 11. To me. Ask what will come to pass, or direct me how to act.
Ver. 13. Justice. Cyrus shall punish the Chaldees and restore the Jews. C.
--- The prophet returns to him after having mentioned a greater Saviour. v. 8. Houbig.
Ver. 14. Stature: the people of Saba were the tallest and best proportioned in Arabia. Agathar. v. 50.
--- Cyrus possessed all these countries. He sent the Egyptians home in the third year of his reign, at Babylon, A. 3470. Ezec. xxix. 11. They never became subject to the Jews; but embraced the religion of Christ, acknowledging him for God. v. 15. C.
--- Besides thee. Prot. "Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no God." Those whom we have hitherto adored, deserved not the name. Vulg. and Sept. make the people address Christ, the God-man. H.
Ver. 15. Saviour. We confess that thou hast delivered the Jews; or rather, we acknowledge that thou, O Christ, art true God under the veils of thy human nature, and Saviour of all. Cyrus was only a feeble representation of thee.
Ver. 16. Confusion. Idolaters shall be confounded, when they shall behold the glory of the elect.
Ver. 18. In vain. Heb. "to be a chaos." Gen. viii. 2.
Ver. 19. Earth. The pagan oracles were given chiefly in mountains, where the impostures of the priests might escape detection. They were also generally ambiguous, or mere guesses. The declarations of the true prophets were quite the reverse.
--- In vain; without reward. C.
Ver. 20. Gentiles: converts, (H.) or Jews, returning from Babylon.
Ver. 21. Me. He transports his auditors to the times succeeding the captivity, when the completion of the prophecies will be evident.
Ver. 23-24. Myself, having none greater. Heb. vi. 13.
--- Justice: sure.
--- To me. All that are born belong to me. The Jewish women had seldom recourse to midwives, (Ex. i. 19. and 1 K. iv. 19. C.) no more than the Ethiopians. Ludolf. i. 14.
--- Swear, by the true God. H.
--- Oaths on proper occasions, honour him. Deut. vi. 13. Nothing could be spoken more plainly of the Gentiles' conversion.
Ver. 25. Empire. Cyrus shall make this confession, (1 Esd. i. 2.) and all who embrace the religion of Christ, shall attribute all their virtue to him.