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THUS saith the Lord to my anointed Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before his face, and to turn the backs of kings, and to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut.

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.

2 I will go before thee, and will humble the great ones of the earth: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and will burst the bars of iron.

Ver. 2.  Brass.  Babylon had 100 such gates.  Herod. i. 179.

3 And I will give thee hidden treasures, and the concealed riches of secret places: that thou mayest know that I am the Lord who call thee by thy name, the God of Israel.

Ver. 3.  Treasures.  See Pliny xxxiii. 3.  He overcame the rich king of Lydia, &c.

4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have made a likeness of thee, and thou hast not known me.

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.

5 I am the Lord, and there is none else: there is no God, besides me: I girded thee, and thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know who are from the rising of the sun, and they who are from the west, that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none else: 7 I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things.

Ver. 7.  Create evil, &c.  The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin.  Ch.


--- I afflict and comfort my people.

8 Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just: let the earth be opened, and bud forth a saviour: and let justice spring up together: I the Lord have created him.

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.


9 Woe to him that gainsayeth his maker, a sherd of the earthen pots: shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it: What art thou making, and thy work is without hands?

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.


10 Woe to him that saith to his father: Why begettest thou? and to the woman: Why dost thou bring forth?

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.

11 Thus saith the Lord the Holy One of Israel, his maker: Ask me of things to come, concerning my children, and concerning the work of my hands give ye charge to me.

Ver. 11.  To me.  Ask what will come to pass, or direct me how to act.

12 I made the earth: and I created man upon it: my hand stretched forth the heavens, and I have commanded all their host.
13 I have raised him up to justice, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and let go my captives, not for ransom, nor for presents, saith the Lord the God of hosts.

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.


14 Thus saith the Lord: The labour of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and of Sabaim, men of stature shall come over to thee, and shall be thins: they shall walk after thee, they shall go bound with manacles: and they shall worship thee, and shall make supplication to thee: only in thee is God, and there is no God besides thee.

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.

15 Verily thou art a hidden God, the God of Israel the saviour.

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.

16 They are all confounded and ashamed: the forgers of errors are gone together into confusion.

Ver. 16.  Confusion.  Idolaters shall be confounded, when they shall behold the glory of the elect.

17 Israel is saved in the Lord with as eternal salvation: you shall not be confounded, and you shall not be ashamed for ever and ever. 18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth, and made it, the very maker thereof: he did not create it in vain: he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Ver. 18.  In vain.  Heb. "to be a chaos."  Gen. viii. 2.

19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I have not said to the seed of Jacob: Seek me in vain. I am the Lord that speak justice, that declare right things.

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.

20 Assemble yourselves, and come, and draw near together, ye that are saved of the Gentiles: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven work, and pray to a god that cannot save.

Ver. 20.  Gentiles: converts, (H.) or Jews, returning from Babylon.

21 Tell ye, and come, and consult together: who hath declared this from the beginning, who hath foretold this from that time? Have not I the Lord, and there is no God else besides me? A just God and a saviour, there is none besides me.

Ver. 21.  Me.  He transports his auditors to the times succeeding the captivity, when the completion of the prophecies will be evident.

22 Be converted to me, and you shall be saved, all ye ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is no other.


23 I have sworn by myself, the word of justice shall go out of my mouth, and shall not return:

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.

24 For every knee shall be bowed to me, and every tongue shall swear.


25 Therefore shall he say: In the Lord are my justices and empire: they shall come to him, and all that resist him shall be confounded.

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.

26 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and praised.
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