God called Cyrus to free the Israelites and send them back to Israel. God called Cyrus “his anointed” in verse 1.
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1. “Just as prophets, priests, and kings were anointed for service, so Cyrus was anointed by God to perform his special service for Israel’s sake.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002], 52)
“’The two leaved gates’ is evidently, a reference to the numerous gates of Babylon which shut Israel out from returning to Palestine. Cyrus opened those gates and said that the Israelites could walk out. They were free to return to their homeland.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 296)
“Yahweh took Cyrus by the hand (see 42:6) and described the mission he had for him. He was to subdue nations, particularly Babylonia, as Israel’s God led the way.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
2-3. “God promises what he will do. (a) ‘I myself’ will sovereignly go before you. (b) I will level the city walls. (c) I will shatter bronze doors. (d) I will cut off iron bars on the gates. (e) I will give you treasures.” (Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. [Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009], 255)
God wanted Cyrus to “know who is God and know who prophetically identified him by his name and in order that this king might know that ‘Jacob is my servant and Israel is my chosen one.’” (Smith, 256)
I am the Lord
4. “There is hidden within these verses the implied admonitions that people need to recognize that (a) God is the one who directs the affairs of life; and (b) the victories of life do not come because a person deserves; they come because a gracious God gives them.” (Smith 256)
5. “God boldly claims that ‘I am the Lord,’ the one and only real supernatural power who controls history. The exclusivity of this claim is emphasized by the two additional short cryptic explanations: ‘there is no other’ and ‘apart from me there is no God.” (Smith, 256)
6. “God acted for the benefit of his people Israel (44:4) but also to persuade people around the globe.” (Smith, 257)
8. “These two paragraphs about God’s work through Cyrus conclude with a final call for these to be a response to this news that God will bring his salvation to all the earth.” (Smith 258)
9. “Anyone who opposed Cyrus was arguing with God, and that was like the clay commanding the potter or the child ordering his parents (vv. 9-10)”. Wiersbe, 52)
10. It would be lamentable and totally inappropriate for an impertinent child to question his mother and father about the birth of a baby.” (Smith, 262)
“It is totally absurd for God’s children to question their Creator or to try to determine what he does.” (Smith, 263)
11. “At first God addresses the complaining of the audience by reminding them who he is. He is Israel’s ‘Maker’ mentioned in 45:9; thus, he has the same role as the potter. He is Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and the One who formed Israel.” (Smith, 263)
12. “God reminds them that in the distant past ‘I myself’ made the world and created man to live upon it. By implication he can handle the future of his people.” (Smith, 264)
13. “God raised up Cyrus to do His specific will, and nothing would prevent him from succeeding.” (Wiersbe, 52)
14. “God identifies people from three African nations (Egyptians, Cushites, and Sabeans) who will ‘come over, pass over’ to you (Israel) apparently out of their own free will.” (Smith, 269)
15. “The reference to God as a ‘Savior’ suggests that the nation’s observation of the saving power of God will have a major impact on opening their eyes. At that point God’s ways and his will for all humanity will no longer be hidden from their eyes and they will respond (cf. chaps. 60-62).” (Smith 271)
16. “For Israel, salvation was a very concrete term that meant help in time of trouble, particularly deliverance in war from the enemy and deliverance in the courtroom from the accuser.
The exact opposite is to be put to shame, that is, to lose the case or the battle, to let the enemy win.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
17. “He would have done it once and for all with an everlasting salvation. The New Testament shows us this salvation was not won on the battlefield or in the courtroom. Everlasting salvation came through the death of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, on the cross.” [Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
18. “Verse 18 contains a series of Hebrew participles related to creation that attribute to God various actions that classify him as a unique being and explain how he can be known.” (Smith, 275)
19. “God’s commitment to what he created extended to speaking to the people he had created on the earth.” (Smith, 275)
“God is saying that his communication of himself, his will, and his plans were not imperceptible, inaudible, unrecognizable, or impossible to understand. He spoke clearly to the Israelites through Moses and the prophets.” (Smith, 276)
20. “The idols cannot save Babylon (v. 20), but God is the Savior of Israel (vv. 15, 17).” (Wiersbe, 52)
21. This is proof “that God’s just declarations about his salvation were not completely hidden from human knowledge (45:15), though the benefits of his gracious salvation were frequently not experienced by those who turned from God to worship idols of wood.” (Smith, 278)
22. “Verse 22 begins with another imperative verb that encourages the nations from the ends of the earth to ‘turn to me and be saved.’” (Smith, 278)
23. “If there were any Hebrews who doubted God’s intentions or his ability to accomplish this plan of saving many from the nations, 45:23 removes all doubts.” (Smith 279)
24. “When they will come before God, they will be judged and will experience great shame, for at this point they will know the truth about this glorious righteous God they have rejected.” (Smith, 280)
25. “This acclamation of joyous confidence in God was meant to encourage the Israelites to make wise choices in their daily lives because one choice will lead them to disappointment and shame while the other choice will result in times of great praise in the presence of God.” (Smith, 280)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
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New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Max Anders and Trent C. Butler (2012). HOTC Vol. 15: Isaiah. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume III. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Smith, Gary V., The New American Commentary, Volume 15B, Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, B & H Publishing Group, 2009
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Prophets. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2002