King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 43

God’s unchangeable love for his people. (1-7) Apostates and idolaters addressed. (8-13) The deliverance from Babylon, and the conversion of the Gentiles. (14-21) Admonition to repent of sin. (22-28)

Isaiah 43 Audio:

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God’s unchangeable love for his people

1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Apostates and idolaters addressed

8 Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears.

9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God.

13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

The deliverance from Babylon, and the conversion of the Gentiles

14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

16 Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

Admonition to repent of sin

22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.

28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. And. Notwithstanding the sins of his people, God will deliver them, that they may be his witnesses. v. 10. C. — Name. As an intimate friend, (H.) or slave. C. xlix. 1. C. — God grants grace without any preceding merit. W. — Forerius explains this mostly of the Gentile church, though it regards the converted Jews. Houbig.

Ver. 2. Waters. In every emergency, God will protect thee, (C.) as he did the three children. H. — He will suffer none to perish, without their own fault. Hence the Church still continues pure. W.

Ver. 3. Ethiopia. Heb. “Chus,” the isle of Meroe, (Grot.) or the country bordering on the Red Sea. C. xlv. 14. These were given to indemnify Cyrus. They obtained their liberty to return home, after 40 years. Ezec. xxix. 11.

Ver. 4. Eyes, by a gratuitous choice. — Men. Chaldees, &c.

Ver. 5. East. Babylon. — West. The island beyond the Mediterranean.

Ver. 6. North. Assyria. — South. Egypt. The captives returned from these countries under Cyrus, Alex. &c. so that before the coming of Christ, Judea was as well peopled as ever. C.

Ver. 7. Calleth. Heb. “is called by my name.” Prot. H. — My people’s chastisements and liberation prove my divine perfections.

Ver. 8. Ears. Yet will not hear, (C.) or who are miraculously healed. H. — It seems rather to mean idolatrous nations, (v. 9. C.) or rebellious Jews. Forer. Houbigant.

Ver. 9. Former. The pagans were little acquainted with antiquity. Such researches lead to the knowledge of the true religion. H. — Truth, if they can produce any true prophecy.

Ver. 10. Witnesses. The history of the Israelites was sufficient to shew who was God. C. — Thus the establishment of Christianity manifests its truth. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xxii. 6. — Sept. add, “and I am witness.” H.

Ver. 12. One idol, to announce what would happen.

Ver. 14. Bars. Sept. “fugitives.” Theodot. “strong ones.” — Glorying. Sept. “shall be bound in ships,” to be sent beyond the Caspian Sea. C. — Cyrus was victorious for the sake of God’s people; for he will not neglect his Church. W.

Ver. 16. Waters. of the Jordan and the Red Sea, in the latter of which Pharao perished. v. 17.

Ver. 19. New. I shall work the like miracles as were seen in the wilderness.

Ver. 20. Chosen. We know not that rivers were found in Arabia. But the people were equally favoured. Christ facilitates the road to heaven by his example and graces, while the most savage tempers are changed in baptism.

Ver. 23. Incense. My kindness is gratuitous. In a strange land, thou couldst not offer sacrifice. See C. xlviii. 9. and xlix. 1. C.

Ver. 24. Iniquities. Thou hast shewn the greatest ingratitude. H. — Yet I will save thee.

Ver. 26. Thyself. God condescends to act thus with men. C. xli. 20. Osee iv. 1.

Ver. 27. First father. Adam, (Liran.) or rather Abraham sinned, by diffidence, (Gen. xv. 8. S. Jer.) or was formerly an idolater. Jos. xxiv. 2. Geneb. A. 2049 S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. 12. C. T. — Teachers. Lit. “interpreters,” (H.) Moses and Aaron. Num. xx. 9. C. — All the patriarchs and teachers sinned, till Christ, the immaculate lamb, appeared. Adam engaged all in guilt. W.

Ver. 28. Profaned, or declared such, (H.) Nadab, &c. (Lev. x. 1. C.) or Moses and Aaron. M. — Sept. “and the princes defiled my holy things.“ H. — Slaughter. Heb. “anathema.” Yet I will re-establish all. C.