Isaiah 45:13 MEANING

Isaiah 45:13
(13) I have raised him up in righteousness . . .--This was the answer to the murmurers. It would be seen by the results, the city rebuilt, the exiles restored to their home, that the conquests of Cyrus had been ordered by the loving righteousness of Jehovah; and he would do this, not through the greed and ambition of other conquerors, but because the spirit of the Lord stirred him (2 Chronicles 36:22).

Verse 13. - I have raised him up. "Him" can only be referred to Cyrus, the one individual mentioned previously in the chapter (vers. 1-5). The expression," raised up," had been already used of him (Isaiah 41:25). In righteousness means "to carry out my righteous purposes." I will direct; rather, as in the margin, make straight. He... shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward. Captives were often "redeemed for a price" (Nehemiah 6:8). In Greece a fixed sum was established by general consent as the ransom of a captive (Aristot., 'Eth. Nic.,' 5:6). Cyrus, however, in letting the Jews go free, would not be actuated by the paltry motive of pecuniary profit. He may, as Mr. Cheyne remarks, have been actuated in part "by a consideration of the usefulness of such a faithful advanced guard at the border of Egypt;" but mainly it is probable that "he obeyed the dictates of religious sympathy with the Jews." The recent contention, that he was not a Zoroastrian (Sayce, Academy, October 16, 1880; 'Ancient Empires,' p. 439; Cheyne, 'Isaiah,' vol. 2. p. 279) rests upon insufficient evidence, his so-called inscription being a document not put forth by himself, but by the priests of Merodach at Babylon; and the first introduction of Zoroastrian monotheism into the state religion of Persia by Darius Hystaspis (Sayce, 'Ancient Empires,' p. 440) being expressly disclaimed by him in the Be-histun inscription, where he declares his reformation to have consisted in the rebuilding of the temples which Gomates the Magian had destroyed, and the reinstitutier for the state of the religious chants and the worship which he had put down (col 1. par. 14).

45:11-19 Believers may ask in prayer for what they need; if for their good, it will not be withheld. But how common to hear God called to account for his dealings with man! Cyrus provided for the returning Jews. Those redeemed by Christ shall be provided for. The restoration would convince many, and convert some; and all that truly join the Lord, find his service perfect freedom. Though God be his people's God and Saviour, yet sometimes he lays them under his frowns; but let them wait upon the Lord who hides his face. There is a world without end; and it will be well or ill with us, according as it shall be with us in that world. The Lord we serve and trust, is God alone. All that God has said is plain, satisfactory, and just. As God in his word calls us to seek him, so he never denied believing prayers, nor disappointed believing expectations. He gives grace sufficient, and comfort and satisfaction of soul.I have raised him up in righteousness,.... Though this may be said with some respect to Cyrus, yet chiefly to Christ, of whom Cyrus was a type; him the Lord appointed and determined to be the Saviour and Redeemer of his people; him he sent forth in time for that purpose, in righteousness or faithfulness to concerning him: or, "unto righteousness" (s), as the Vulgate Latin version; to bring in an everlasting righteousness for the justification of his people: or, "with righteousness", as the Septuagint version is (t):

I have raised him up a King with righteousness; a righteous King, a King that reigns in righteousness, as Christ does, and better agrees with him than Cyrus; see Jeremiah 23:5,

and I will direct all his ways; or "make them plain" (u); remove all difficulties and obstructions out of his way; he shall succeed and prosper, as the "pleasure of the Lord did prosper" in the hands of Christ; God being at his right hand as man and Mediator, to direct, counsel, and assist him, and to make him successful:

he shall build my city; not Cyrus, for he did not build the city of Jerusalem, whatever orders he might give for it, Isaiah 44:28 though his proclamation only mentions the temple, Ezra 1:2, but Christ, the builder of the church, often compared to a city, and called the city of God, of which the saints are fellow citizens; and which is built by Christ, upon himself the Rock, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail, Matthew 16:18,

and he shall let go my captives, not for price, nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts; the Lord's people are captives to sin, Satan, and the law; Christ has not only redeemed these captives, but has proclaimed liberty to them, and delivered them from their bondage by his Spirit and grace; and all this freely, not through any merits of theirs, but of his own rich grace and mercy; and though they are redeemed with a price; yet not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ; and whatever their redemption and freedom cost him, it costs them nothing, it is to them without money and without price, Isaiah 52:3.

(s) "adjustitiam", V. L. (t) , Sept. "cum justitia", Forerius. (u) "aequabo", Piscator; "aequaturus", Junius & Tremellius; "rectificabo", Vatablus; "rectificabam", Cocceius; "aequas faciam", Vitringa.

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