Isaiah 41:4 MEANING

Isaiah 41:4
(4) I the Lord . . .--The words are the utterance of the great thought of eternity which is the essence of the creed of Israel (comp. Exodus 3:14; Psalm 90:2; Psalm 102:26), and appear in the Alpha and Omega of Revelation 1:11; Revelation 4:8. The identical formula, "I am He" meets us in Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 43:13; Isaiah 46:4; Isaiah 48:12. It is probably used as an assertion of an eternal being in the "I AM" of John 8:58.

Verse 4. - Who hath wrought and done it? i.e. "by whom has this mighty conqueror been raised up?" Can any of the idol-gods claim him as their protege? Assuredly not. He is my work; I, Jehovah, that have called (into being) the generations (of man) from the beginning (of the world) - I, Jehovah, the First, and with the last, am he that he has done this thing. By "the First, and with the last" - a favourite phrase in these later chapters (see Isaiah 45:6 and Isaiah 48:12) - seems to be meant simply "the Eternal" (comp. Revelation 1:8, 11, 17; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:13).

41:1-9 Can any heathen god raise up one in righteousness, make what use of him he pleases, and make him victorious over the nations? The Lord did so with Abraham, or rather, he would do so with Cyrus. Sinners encourage one another in the ways of sin; shall not the servants of the living God stir up one another in his service? God's people are the seed of Abraham his friend. This is certainly the highest title ever given to a mortal. It means that Abraham, by Divine grace, was made like to God, and that he was admitted to communion with Him. Happy are the servants of the Lord, whom he has called to be his friends, and to walk with him in faith and holy obedience. Let not such as have thus been favoured yield to fear; for the contest may be sharp, but the victory shall be sure.Who hath wrought and done it,.... Contrived and effected it, formed the scheme, and brought it to pass; namely, raising up the righteous man from the east, and succeeding him in the manner described:

calling the generations from the beginning? or rather here begins the answer to the above question, which may be rendered,

he that calleth the generations from the beginning (k); he has wrought and done this; and to this agree the Syriac and Arabic versions; even he that knew them from all eternity, before they were, and all the men that would be in them, and could call them by their names; and who calls things that are not, as though they were; and who calls them into being at the appointed time, and continues a succession of them, one after another; who calls by his grace all that are called in successive generations, and rules over them by his power, providence, and grace:

I the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am he; the immutable Jehovah, the everlasting I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last; all which is said of Christ, and is the person here speaking, Revelation 1:8, phrases expressive of his eternity and deity; he is the first and the last in God's thoughts, purposes, and decrees; in the covenant of grace; in the creation of all things; in the salvation, justification, sanctification, adoption, and glorification of his people; and in the church, above and below:

and with the last, may be understood either of the last generations God is with, and calls as well as the first, as De Dieu; or of all believers, with whom he shall be and they with him to all eternity, so Gussetius (l). Now the conversion of the Apostle Paul, his commission to preach the Gospel, the extraordinary qualifications he was endowed with, the wonderful things done by him, in the conversion of sinners, and planting of churches in the Gentile world, and towards the abolition of Paganism in it, are incontestable proofs of the deity of Christ; no mere creature could ever have raised up, such a man, and accomplished him in such a manner, or wrought such things by him.

(k) "ille qui vocat vel vocavit generationes ab inito", Munster, Tigurine version. So some in Vatablus. (l) Comment. Ebr. p. 29.

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