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Chapter 46

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   1 Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and
   upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to
   the weary beast.

   2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the
   burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

   3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house
   of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from
   the womb:

   4 And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry
   you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver

   5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we
   may be like?

   6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and
   hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they

   7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his
   place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one
   shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his

   8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye

   9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none
   else; I am God, and there is none like me,

   10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the
   things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I
   will do all my pleasure:

   11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my
   counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it
   to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

   12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:

   13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my
   salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for
   Israel my glory.
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Commentary for Isaiah 46

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   The idols could not save themselves, but God saves his people. (1-4)
   The folly of worshipping idols. (5-13)1-4 The heathen insulted the
   Jews, as if their idols Bel and Nebo were too hard for Jehovah. But
   their worshippers cannot help them; both the idols and the idolaters
   are gone into captivity. Let not God's people be afraid of either.
   Those things from which ungodly men expect safety and happiness, will
   be found unable to save them from death and hell. The true God will
   never fail his worshippers. The history of the life of every believer
   is a kind of abstract of the history of Israel. Our spiritual life is
   upheld by his grace, as constantly as our natural life by his
   providence. And God will never leave them. The Author will be the
   Finisher of their well-being, when, by decays, they need help as much
   as in infancy. This promise to Israel, enfeebled and grown old as a
   nation, is applicable to every aged follower of Christ. When compassed
   about with infirmities, and perhaps those around begin to grow weary of
   you, yet I am He that I have promised to be, He that you would have me
   to be. I will bear you up; carry you on in your way, and carry you home
   at last. If we learn to trust in and love him, we need not be anxious
   about our remaining days or years; he will still provide for us and
   watch over us, both as the creatures of his power, and as new-created
   by his Spirit.
   5-13 Here the folly of those who made idols, and then prayed to them,
   is exposed. How does the profuseness of idolaters shame the
   niggardliness of many who call themselves God's servants, but are for a
   religion which costs them nothing! The service of sin always costs a
   great deal. God puts it to them what senseless, helpless things idols
   are. Let, then, the Jews show themselves men, avoiding such
   abominations. Many Scripture prophecies, delivered long ago, are not
   yet fulfilled; but the fulfilling of some is an earnest that the rest
   will come to pass. Nothing can help more to make us easy, than to be
   assured that God will do all his pleasure. Even those who know not and
   mind not God's revealed will, are called and used to fulfil the
   counsels of his secret will. Heaven and earth shall pass away, sooner
   than one tittle of the word of God. Obstinate sinners are addressed.
   Such were far from acceptance, but they were summoned to hearken to the
   word of the Lord. The salvation of a sinner begins with a humble and
   contrite heart, that trembles at God's word, with godly sorrow working
   true repentance, and faith in his mercy, through the obedience unto
   death of our Divine Surety. Christ, as the Divine righteousness and
   salvation to his people, would come in the appointed time. His
   salvation abides in his church for all believers.
   Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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   What two Babylonian gods does Isaiah say will bow down before the Lord?
     * (*) Anshar and Damkina
     * ( ) Ea and Enlil
     * ( ) Apsu and Ea
     * ( ) Bel and Nebo

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