King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 45

The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus. (1-4) God calls for obedience to his almighty power. (5-10) The settlement of his people. (11-19) The conversion of the Gentiles. (20-25)

Isaiah 45 Audio:

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The deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus

1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

3 And 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.

4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

God calls for obedience to his almighty power

5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

6 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.

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

The settlement of his people

11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

14 Thus saith the LORD, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

The conversion of the Gentiles

20 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.

21 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 Saviour; there is none beside me.

22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

23 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.

24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Anointed, often implies one chosen for some great work. Cyrus was to ruin the empire of Babylon, and to set the nations at liberty. He was a proof of the Deity by executing his decrees. — Cyrus. Some copies of the Sept. seem to have read kurio, “to the Lord,” incorrectly. S. Jer. — Though Cyrus was not anointed, he is styled thus, in allusion to the custom of the Jewish kings. W.

Ver. 2. Brass. Babylon had 100 such gates. Herod. i. 179.

Ver. 3. Treasures. See Pliny xxxiii. 3. He overcame the rich king of Lydia, &c.

Ver. 4. Likeness of Christ. — Known me. Before the Jews had shewn Cyrus the prophecies, he did not attribute his success to the Lord, and even afterwards he seems not to have left the superstitions of his country, as his sacrifices to idols are described. He resembled Nabuchodonosor and the philosophers, who did not glorify God according to their knowledge. Dan. ii. 47. Rom. i. 21. Cyrus even revoked the decree for building the temple. 1 Esd. iv. 5. C. — He believed there was one God; (1 Esd. i.) yet he did not embrace the truth entirely. W.

Ver. 7. Create evil, &c. The evils of afflictions and punishments, but not the evil of sin. Ch. — I afflict and comfort my people.

Ver. 8. Saviour. Thus the ancient saints thirsted for the coming of Christ. His figure is styled the just. C. xli. 2. 25. — Him. Christ, born of the virgin, in time, and of God from all eternity. I have appointed Cyrus to be his precursor, to set the captives free. C. — He has been spoken of before. But now the prophet turns to Christ alone, who built his Church on a rock. W. — Cyrus had not a right faith in God, and Zorobabel was himself set free, and was not king. S. Jer.

Ver. 9. Earthen. Lit. “Samian.” H. — Samos was famous for its pottery. Pliny xxxv. 12. Heb. “Clay, disputest thou against the potters of the earth?” He shews the folly of idols, after having proved his own divinity. C. — Prot. “Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth.” H.

Ver. 10. Forth. As such language would be improper to parents, so it is wrong to complain that God places us in any situation. M.

Ver. 11. To me. Ask what will come to pass, or direct me how to act.

Ver. 13. Justice. Cyrus shall punish the Chaldees and restore the Jews. C. — The prophet returns to him after having mentioned a greater Saviour. v. 8. Houbig.

Ver. 14. Stature: the people of Saba were the tallest and best proportioned in Arabia. Agathar. v. 50. — Cyrus possessed all these countries. He sent the Egyptians home in the third year of his reign, at Babylon, A. 3470. Ezec. xxix. 11. They never became subject to the Jews; but embraced the religion of Christ, acknowledging him for God. v. 15. C. — Besides thee. Prot. “Surely God is in thee, and there is none else, there is no God.” Those whom we have hitherto adored, deserved not the name. Vulg. and Sept. make the people address Christ, the God-man. H.

Ver. 15. Saviour. We confess that thou hast delivered the Jews; or rather, we acknowledge that thou, O Christ, art true God under the veils of thy human nature, and Saviour of all. Cyrus was only a feeble representation of thee.

Ver. 16. Confusion. Idolaters shall be confounded, when they shall behold the glory of the elect.

Ver. 18. In vain. Heb. “to be a chaos.” Gen. viii. 2.

Ver. 19. Earth. The pagan oracles were given chiefly in mountains, where the impostures of the priests might escape detection. They were also generally ambiguous, or mere guesses. The declarations of the true prophets were quite the reverse. — In vain; without reward. C.

Ver. 20. Gentiles: converts, (H.) or Jews, returning from Babylon.

Ver. 21. Me. He transports his auditors to the times succeeding the captivity, when the completion of the prophecies will be evident.

Ver. 23-24. Myself, having none greater. Heb. vi. 13. — Justice: sure. — To me. All that are born belong to me. The Jewish women had seldom recourse to midwives, (Ex. i. 19. and 1 K. iv. 19. C.) no more than the Ethiopians. Ludolf. i. 14. — Swear, by the true God. H. — Oaths on proper occasions, honour him. Deut. vi. 13. Nothing could be spoken more plainly of the Gentiles’ conversion.

Ver. 25. Empire. Cyrus shall make this confession, (1 Esd. i. 2.) and all who embrace the religion of Christ, shall attribute all their virtue to him.