King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 44

Here are promises of the influences of the Holy Spirit. (1-8) An exposure of the folly of idolatry. (9-20) Also the deliverance of God’s people. (21-28)

Isaiah 44 Audio:

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Here are promises of the influences of the Holy Spirit

1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen.

3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

5 One shall say, I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

An exposure of the folly of idolatry

9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.

12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.

13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:

17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Also the deliverance of God’s people

21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 3. Stock. I will give fresh life to my people, as to the figure of Christ’s Church.

Ver. 5. Israel. They shall no longer be ashamed of being called Israelites or Christians.

Ver. 8. Witnesses. The history of the true religion is its best proof. C. xliii. 9. 10. — Known. Ruled, consequently no other can be truly God. C. — Idolaters are foolish, trusting in those who cannot announce future events. W.

Ver. 9. Ashamed of the origin and imbecility of their idols. C. — All this may be turned against heretics, who worship their own fictions; which the Church never does. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 12. File. Heb. mahatsad, (H. Jer. x. 3.) “to make an ax, with,” &c. This is the remote cause of the idol.

Ver. 13. Man. To be styled afterwards a god. C. — Maluit esse deum. Hor. i. ser. 8.

Ver. 18. Covered. Sept. “darkened.” Are Catholics in the same predicament? C. xl. 18. H.

Ver. 20. Lie. Can I assert in conscience that it is a god?

Ver. 22. Return from captivity, (C.) and from their former errors. Mat. xi. 26. H.

Ver. 25. Mad. That people may be no longer deluded.

Ver. 26. Servant. The prophets and Jesus Christ, whose works never fail. Mat. xxiv. 35. C. — In all this prediction of the Church, Isaias alludes to Jerusalem destroyed, and afterwards rebuilt. W.

Ver. 27. Deep. Babylon, situated amid waters. C. xxi. 1. C. — Rivers, as Cyrus did. Herod. i. 191.

Ver. 28. Cyrus. This was spoken 110 years before his birth, which shews the prescience and power of God, so as not to injure free-will. The parents of Cyrus could not give him this name to fulfill the prediction, as they knew nothing of it. Amon was apprised that a person called Josias would overturn idolatry; but he had no reason to suppose that it would be his son. 1 K. xiii. 2. — My shepherd. Chal. “that he shall reign.” This was shewn by the Jews to Cyrus, on which account, (C.) he gave them leave to return, &c. Joseph. xi. 1. — The title of shepherd is given to Agamemnon by Homer, and it denotes a good prince, such as historians represent Cyrus to have been. He observed that kings and shepherds had the like duties to perform; (Xenoph. viii.) and after his death he was bewailed as a “father.” Herod. iii. 89. — At first he did not bear the name of Cyrus, (Herod. i. 113.) which in the Persian language means “the sun.” Ctesias. Plut.