Isaiah 45





Cyrus was mentioned by name, by God, two hundred years before his




CYRUS. This direct address of God to a heathen king is without a parallel

in Scripture. Nebuchadnezzar, Pharaoh, Abimelech, were warned through

dreams. Nebuchadnezzar was even promised Divine aid (Ezekiel 30:24, 25).

But no heathen monarch had previously been personally addressed by

God, much less called “his anointed,” and spoken to by his name (v. 4).

Three motives are mentioned for this special favour to him:


  • that he might acknowledge Jehovah to be the true God;


  • that Israel might be benefited and advantaged by him;


  • that the attention of the whole world might be attracted, and the unity

            of God made manifest far and wide (vs. 3-6).



ch. 44:28 – “That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform

            all my pleasure”


vs. 1-5 – “Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand

            I  have holden….I will go before thee….I will give thee the

            treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that

            thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name,

            am the God of Israel….I  have surnamed thee, though thou

            hast not known me.  I am the Lord, and there is none else, there

            is no God beside me:  I girded thee, though thou hast not known



vs. 6-8 – “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west,

            that there is none beside me.  I am the Lord and there is NONE ELSE”


Here we have the third motive of the Divine action respecting Cyrus. The

attention of all the world from the extreme east to the extreme west, would be

drawn by the wonderful occurrences. Jehovah’s hand in them would be

perceived, and His sole Godhead would obtain acknowledgment.



For emphasis of what the east and west is I recommend an e-mail attachment

which I got recently from Bob McCormick -  







"I the Lord have created it" - when idolatry has been

put away the "let the earth open" up blossoming with

righteousness, the fruit and evidence of salvation!


The restoration of Israel into their own land will

be followed by a great increase in righteousness

and peace!



GOD’S MODES OF ACTION. Apparently, Isaiah anticipates that the

Israelites will be discontented and murmur at their deliverer being a

heathen king, and not one of their own body. He therefore warns them

against presuming to criticize the arrangements of the All-Wise, reminding

them of His unapproachable greatness (v. 12), and once more assuring

them that the appointment of Cyrus is from Him (v. 13).




v. 9 - "woe unto him that striveth with his Maker" -Let the potsherd

strive, etc.; rather, woe unto him that striveth with his Maker, a potsherd

among potsherds of the ground: All men are equally made of “the dust of

the ground” (Genesis 2:7). Israel has no prerogative in this respect. He,

too, is “a potsherd among potsherds” — clay molded by the potter; no

more entitled to lift up his voice against his Maker than the vessel to rebel

against the man who shapes it (comp. Isaiah 29:16; and see the

comment furnished by St. Paul in the Epistle to the Romans 9:20-24).

What would a man think if the clay that he was fashioning objected to

being molded in a particular form, or if a work that he had made

exclaimed, “He is a poor bungler — he hath no hands”? Yet this is what

a man does who finds fault with the arrangements of the Almighty.


v. 10 – “Woe unto him that saith unto his father, what begettest thou?”

 A change is made in the metaphor, the relationship of a father and his child

being substituted for that of a potter and his clay. What would a man think of a

child murmuring against his parent for not having made him stronger,

handsomer, cleverer? Would not such a child be regarded as most

unnatural, and as deserving to have woe denounced upon him?


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There are few of us, who at times, do not imagine that had the

arrangement of the universe been committed to them, that there could

have been improvement  - we know too little of God's entire scheme of

things that we cannot possibly tell whether any part of the scheme to which

we object may not be a necessary condition.


Murmuring is wicked!  It is a form of rebellion against God  -  it is always



vs. 11-12 - First learn of me what in my designs is to be the course of human

events, and then (if necessary) give me directions concerning my sons (Israel),

who are the work of my hands; but do not presume to give me directions while

you are still in utter ignorance of my designs. In any case remember who I am

- the Maker of heaven and earth, the Creator of man, One accustomed to give

directions to the angelic host!








“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how

unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!  For who

hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor? Or who

hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? FOR OF


BE GLORY FOR EVER .  Amen.”   -  Romans 11:33-36


“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world”Acts 15:18


The Plan of Salvation is From Eternity – Even Before God Made the Worlds –

Revelation 13:8




ISRAEL. “With the prospect of the release of the exiles is associated,” says

Delitzsch, “in the prophet’s perspective, the prospect of an expansion of

the restored Church, through the entrance of the fulness of the Gentiles.”

Egypt, Ethiopia, and Saba are especially mentioned here, as in Isaiah

43:3, as among the first to come in (vs. 14, 15). Later on, a more general

influx is spoken of (v. 20); and, finally, a prospect is held out of an

ultimate universal conversion (v. 23). At the same time, judgment is

denounced against the idolaters who persist in their idolatry (vs. 16, 20),

and they are warned that they will have no share in the coming glories of

the Israel of God.


v. 14 - "Surely God is in thee and there is none else"

v. 15 - "O God of Israel, the Savior" - the  unsearchable mysteries of God's

            ways can never be discovered without revelation.  No man can come

            to the Father except the Spirit draw him!


v. 16 - Idolaters have no share in the coming glories of the Lord.


v. 17 – “Israel shall be saved… with an everlasting salvation” -

literally, a salvation of ages -  one which will continue age after age.

For this to be so, the redemption is required to be spiritual as well as temporal.

Otherwise it would ere long have been forfeited.


v. 18 – “Thus saith the Lord - Translate, Thus saith the Lord that

created the heavens — He is God — that formed the earth and made it;

He established it; He created it not a chaos, but formed it to be inhabited:

I am the Lord, and there is none else. As God had not formed the earth to

be a material chaos, but had introduced into it order and arrangement, so

He willed his spiritual creation to be recovered out of the confusion into

which it had fallen, and to be established in righteousness.


v. 19 – “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth

literally, in a place of the land of darkness. Jehovah’s oracles have not

been given, like those of the necromancers, or those of the heathen gods, in

dark places of the earth — caves like that of Trophonius (Pansan., 9:29, §

2), or the inmost recesses (adyta) of temples; but openly on Sinai, or by the

mouth of prophets who proclaimed His words to all Israel (comp. Deut.

30:11-14, “This commandment which I command thee this day, is not

hidden from thee, neither is it far off. But the word is very nigh unto

thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it”). So our Lord

says of His own teaching, “I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the

synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret

have I said nothing(John 18:20).   “I said not ….Seek ye me in vain; rather,

seek ye me as a chaos (comp. Jeremiah 2:31, where God says to His people,

“Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness?”). God has no

more revealed Himself to His people as chaotic, confused, disordered, than

He has presented the world to them in this condition.!   “I the Lord speak

righteousness, I declare things that are right.” - There is an allusion to the

crooked and ambiguous utterances of the heathen oracles, which rarely

gave direct answers or plainly expressed any definite meaning. God in His

utterances never diverges from the straight line of righteousness and truth

(comp.Proverbs 8:6).


vs. 20-24 - “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that

            are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the

            wood of their graven image, and pray unto a God that cannot save.

            Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together:

            who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from

            that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside

            me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.

            Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am

            God, and there is none else.  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone

            out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me

            every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.


v. 20 – “Assemble yourselves and come… ye… escaped of the

nations” -  The prophet reverts to the main idea of the section, which is the

conversion of the Gentiles, and calls on all “the escaped of the nations”

i.e. all who have survived the judgments of the time — to “assemble and

come,” to consider the claims of Jehovah to be the only true God, to “look

to him (v. 22) and be saved.”


The prophets of God are bidden to announce His message of mercy to the

nations, and to bring them near to Him (comp. Isaiah 40:1). “Let them take

counsel together” - let the nations consider one with another, whether God

or the idols be the fitter object of worship.



“A just God and a Savior” - A God in whom "mercy and truth meet

together, righteousness and peace kiss each other"  - Ps. 85:10


v. 22 – “Look unto me; rather, turn unto me (as in Psalm 25:16;

69:16; 86:16);  -  “Be converted — turn unto the Lord your God.It is

implied that all can turn, if they will.And be ye saved” - On conversion,

salvation will follow. It will extend even to all “the ends of the earth” -

(comp. Psalm 98:3, “All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of

our God”).


Charles Haddon Spurgeon was converted under this passage.


I recommend three sermons of his on this verse:


Spurgeon Sermon – Life for a Look


Spurgeon Sermon  - The Life Look


Spurgeon Sermon – Sovereignty and Salvation – these can be found

on this web site.


v. 23 – “I have sworn by myself” -  (comp. Genesis 22:17;

Jeremiah 22:5) - God swears “by himself,” because He can

swear by no greater” (Hebrews 6:13). He condescends, for man’s sake,

to confirm in this way promises that are exceedingly precious – (Isaiah 14:24).

The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness. (comp. ver. 19 –

“I the Lord speak righteousness”) – “and shall not return” - shall not be

withdrawn or retracted. God’s gifts and promises are “without repentance.”

Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. This universal turning to

God belongs to the final Messianic kingdom, prophesied in Isaiah 2:2-4;

11:6-9; 35:1-10; 65:17-25; 66:18-23; and also by Daniel (Daniel 7:9-14) and

St. John the Divine (Revelation 21:1-4). The entire destruction

of God’s enemies is to take place previously (Revelation 19:17-21).


v. 24 – “Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness” -

rather, only in the Lord, shall each man say to me. is their righteousness.

All shall confess that God alone is righteous, and that any goodness which

they have is derived from him. The Hebrew has righteousnesses” in the

plural, to express abundance.All that are incensed” - rather, all that were

incensed (Isaiah 41:11). Such persons shall repent and be ashamed.


v. 25 – “In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified” - Joined to

Jehovah in mystic union. the whole Israel of God” shall be

justified, and glory in their condition.



God's promises are "without repentance"


Each person shall confess that God alone is righteous

and that any goodness which they have is derived

from Him!


"Righteousness" is in the plural to express abundance!


v. 25 - justified in God and glorying in the condition!