Isaiah Chapter 43
1But now thus said the Lord—
Who created you, O Jacob,
Who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I will redeem you;
I have singled you out by name,
You are Mine.
Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: The Lord of Hosts created all men including Jacob and He formed Israel by giving the descendants of Israel’s thirteen sons (the “tribes”) the Torah that was accepted by all Jews at Mount Sinai during the exodus from slavery in Egypt. The twelve tribes are not all fully blood related to Israel. His firstborn Reuben lost his birthright and Israel’s adopted son Ephraim was declared the first born who, with his twin brother Manasseh, each took their shares of inheritance in the name (place) of their father Joseph. They are the “half-bloods” of Israel born of an Egyptian mother in Egypt. 1The sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel. (He was the first-born; but when he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel, so he is not reckoned as first-born in the genealogy; 2though Judah became more powerful than his brothers and a leader came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph.) 1 Chronicles 5/1-2 Tanakh JPS 1985 3And Jacob said to Joseph, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and He blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘I will make you fertile and numerous, making of you a community of peoples; and I will assign this land to your offspring to come for an everlasting possession.’ 5Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine no less than Reuben and Simeon. 6But progeny born to you after them shall be yours; they shall be recorded instead of their brothers in their inheritance. Genesis 48/3-6 Tanakh JPS 1985 20So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you shall Israel invoke blessings, saying: God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. Genesis 48/20 Tanakh JPS 1985 The children of Israel became fourteen: Ephraim, Manasseh, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph and Benjamin. The Tribes are counted to be twelve by inheritance in the allotment of the lands by Joshua; Joseph being deceased and the Levites, the tribe of priests, not being given a specific lot.
2When you pass through water,
I will be with you;
They shall not overwhelm you.
When you walk through fire,
You shall not be scorched;
It shall not burn you.
When you walk through fire, You shall not be scorched; Through flame, it shall not burn you: G-d is always with Israel through fire and water. By covenant G-d declared Abraham to be Hebrew which means eternal; a remnant always survives. Am yesarel chai, the people of Israel are alive.
3For I the Lord am your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as a ransom for you,
Ethiopia and Saba in exchange for you.
For I the Lord am your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior: This speaks to the special relationship of the creator of all things and the Jewish people. He formed Israel, paid a ransom for Israel and He is the Savior of Israel.
4Because you are precious to Me,
And honored, and I love you,
I give men in exchange for you
And peoples in your stead.
and I love you: The special relationship between G-d and the Jewish people who are precious to Him.
5Fear not, for I am with you:
I will bring your folk from the East,
Will gather you out of the West;
6I will say to the North, “Give back!”
And to the South, “Do not withhold!
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the end of the earth—
Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth: The return of the exiles to the land of Israel given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by covenant and partitioned among the twelve tribes of Israel by Moses and Joshua.
7All who are linked to My name,
Whom I have created,
Formed, and made for My glory—
All who are linked to My name: HaShem is the G-d of Israel the Jewish people. He is the G-d of the land of Israel. He is the creator of all of the lands and all of the people of the earth and He chose one land and formed one people: Israel.
8Setting free that people,
Blind though it has eyes
And deaf though it has ears.”
Setting free that people: The children of Israel.
9All the nations assemble as one,
The peoples gather.
Who among them declared this,
Foretold to us the things that have happened?
Let them produce their witnesses and be vindicated,
That men, hearing them, may say, “It is true!”
Let them produce their witnesses and be vindicated, That men, hearing them, may say, “It is true!”: The nations of the world are asked if they have a bible and a G-d who foretells the events of their history and land. Today this would be directed at Christianity and Islam. To the Christians, where are the witnesses who can say it is true our G-d Jesus returned quickly and gave us freedom from our enemies just as he said he would. History says it did not happen. In this verse that means Jesus is not G-d.
10My witnesses are
—declares the Lord—
My servant, whom I have chosen.
To the end that you may take thought,
And believe in Me,
And understand that I am He:
Before Me no god was formed,
And after Me none shall exist—
My witnesses are—declares the Lord—My servant, whom I have chosen. To the end that you may take thought, And believe in Me: My servant is the Jewish people. This today is a reference to the redemption promised in general and specifically set up in the report of the witnesses to the righteous servant of G-d described in Isaiah 52 and 53 as foretold by G-d in the Jewish bible. A report of the anointed king messiah who is Elijah the messenger of the forgiveness of the sins of the Jewish people which begins the redemption and his reconciling the Jewish people to HaShem.
11None but me, the Lord;
Beside Me, none can grant triumph.
12I alone foretold the triumph
And I brought it to pass;
I announced it,
And no strange god was among you.
So you are My witnesses
—declares the Lord—
And I am God.
So you are My witnesses: As a result of protecting Israel in the exodus from Egypt and giving Israel the Torah and now gathering the exiles in Assyria to return to the land of Israel.
13Ever since day was, I am He;
None can deliver from My hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?
Ever since day was, I am He; None can deliver from My hand: HaShem is saying only He is the creator of all things and no other can act in His place.
14Thus said the Lord,
Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I send to Babylon;
I will bring down all [her] bars,
And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation.
And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation: The redemption from the Babylon exile causes lamentation to the oppressor of the Jewish people and this was written long before the Babylon exile of Judah and the return to build the second Temple.
15I am your Holy One, the Lord,
Your King, the Creator of Israel.
16Thus said the Lord,
Who made a road through the sea
And a path through mighty waters,
Who made a road through the sea: G-d, not Moses, parted the Red Sea in the exodus from slavery in Egypt.
17Who destroyed chariots and horses,
And all the mighty host—
They lay down to rise no more,
They were extinguished, quenched like a wick:
They were extinguished: G-d drowned the Egyptian army in the exodus from Egypt.
18Do not recall what happened of old,
Or ponder what happened of yore!
Do not recall what happened of old: The exodus events will not apply to the release of the Babylon exiles and authorization by Cyrus the Great to rebuild the second Temple.
19I am about to do something new (“a new thing” Tanakh JPS 1917);
Even now it shall come to pass,
Suddenly you shall perceive it:
I will make a road through the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
I am about to do something new (“a new thing” Tanakh JPS 1917): The first time G-d forgives the sins of His people Israel and remembers them no more. It goes into effect after the exile of Judah to Babylon. This was written by Isaiah long before the exile of Judah just as the new covenant of Jeremiah 31/34 of sin forgiveness was written for a time to come when Israel shall not be uprooted again (after the second exile).
20The wild beasts shall honor Me,
Jackals and ostriches,
For I provide water in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people,
For I provide water in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people: The exiles of Babylon will have water as they return to Judah but also that G-d knows how much Israel has suffered and he will give life sustenance to His chosen.
21The people I formed for Myself
That they might declare my praise.
The people I formed for Myself That they might declare my praise : The Jewish people formed by G-d by declaration, covenant, Torah and Tanakh so that they would declare their praise for HaShem to the nations of the earth.
22But you have not worshiped Me, O Jacob,
That you should be weary of Me, O Israel.
That you should be weary of Me, O Israel: HaShem is telling Israel they have not pleased Him but He is not finished with them no matter how much He has punished them and how tired of it they are. He is relentless.
23You have not brought Me your sheep for burnt offerings,
Nor honored Me with your sacrifices.
I have not burdened you with meal offerings,
Nor wearied you about frankincense.
I have not burdened you with meal offerings, Nor wearied you about frankincense: HaShem is telling Israel He has been easy on them during the exile in Babylon.
24You have not bought Me fragrant reed with money,
Nor sated Me with the fat of your sacrifices.
Instead, you have burdened Me with your sins,
You have wearied Me with your iniquities.
You have wearied Me with your iniquities: The exiles have been unable to practice atonement and repentance as G-d taught them to do in accordance with the ways of mankind in ancient times and they are still violating His laws.
25It is I, I who—for My own sake—
Wipe your transgressions away
And remember your sins no more.
It is I, I who—for My own sake—Wipe your transgressions away: G-d is saying that He knows Israel has continued to sin in captivity without the means to repent and atone without a Temple and that since they are His chosen people He has no choice but to forgive their sins, for His name’s sake.
26Help me remember!
Let us join in argument,
Tell your version,
That you may be vindicated.
Let us join in argument, Tell your version: G-d is asking Israel to put up a defense to His assertions that they have continued to sin. They do not respond. G-d saying help me remember is meant to be funny.
27Your earliest ancestor sinned,
And your spokesmen transgressed against Me.
And your spokesmen transgressed against Me: The priests also sinned.
28So I profaned the holy princes;
I abandoned Jacob to proscription
And Israel to mockery.
And I profaned the holy princes: This is a reference to the curse of Jeconia long before it occurred. “Thus said the Lord: Record this man as without succession, One who shall never be found acceptable; For no man of his offspring shall be accepted To sit on the throne of David And to rule again in Judah.” Jeremiah 22/30 Tanakh. This is the line of the kings of Judah who were banished before the complete defeat of Judah and destruction of the first Temple. The line of Jesus in the Book of Matthew of the New Testament.
I abandoned Jacob to proscription And Israel to mockery: This is the complete exile of all the people Israel to Assyria with the final deportation of Judah to Babylon. This is written in the past tense though all of it is a foretelling by Isaiah. From above verse 19 says “I am about to do something new (“a new thing” Tanakh JPS 1917); Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” The road is cleared by the declaration of Cyrus of Persia for all of Israel to return and build the second Temple. And that was the sign that they had been forgiven of all their sins. The new covenant of sin forgiveness declared by G-d in Jeremiah is delivered by messenger with the angel of the covenant according to the book of Malachi. And the messenger is Elijah.