Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 44:2Formed thee - From the time that I first took thee to be my people, I have been forming and fashioning thee. Jesurun - Another name of Jacob or Israel, given to him, Deu 32:15.
isa 44:3Water - Upon him that is destitute of it.
isa 44:5Israel - The blessing of God upon the Jews shall be so remarkable, that the Gentiles shall join them, and accept the Lord for their God.
isa 44:7Who - Which of all the Heathen gods. Declare - Shall by his powerful word cause it to be, and by his fore - knowledge declare that it shall be. Set in order - Orderly relate all future events in the same manner as they shall happen. Since - Since I first made man upon earth. The things - Such things as are near at hand, and such as are to come hereafter.
isa 44:8Ye - Thee, O Israel, whom he bids not to fear. Told thee - Even from the first ages of the world. Declared - Have published it to the world in my sacred records. Witnesses - Both of my predictions, and of the exact agreeableness of events to them.
isa 44:9Delectable things - Their idols, in which they take so much pleasure. They - They that make them, are witnesses against themselves, and against their idols, because they know they are the work of their own hands. See not - Have neither sense nor understanding, therefore they have just cause to be ashamed of their folly, in worshipping such senseless things.
isa 44:11Men - They are of mankind, and therefore cannot possibly make a god. Together - Tho' all combine together, they shall be filled with fear and confusion, when God shall plead his cause against them.
isa 44:12Faint - This is mentioned as an evidence of great zeal and industry in carrying on this work; so that they forget or neglect to eat and drink.
isa 44:13According to - In the same comely shape and proportions which are in a living man. House - In the dwelling - house of him that made it.
isa 44:14Oak - Which afford the best and most durable timber. Strengtheneth - He plants, and with care and diligence improves those trees, that he or his posterity may thence have materials for their images, and those things which belong to them.
isa 44:15Fallen down - Having related the practices of idolaters, he now discovers the folly of them, that he makes his fire and his god of the same materials, distinguished only by the art of man.
isa 44:17He eateth - He dresses flesh for his eating. Seen - I have felt the warmth of it.
isa 44:18Not known - This shews that they have not the understanding of a man. For he - God. Not as if God did make men wicked; he only permits them so to be, and orders, and over - rules their wickedness to his own glorious ends.
isa 44:20Ashes - An unprofitable and pernicious food, and no less unsatisfying and mischievous is the worship of idols. Deceived heart - A mind corrupted and deceived by deep prejudice, gross error, and especially by his own lusts. Turned - From the way of truth. Deliver - From the snares and dangers of idolatry. Is there not - What is this idol which I set at my right - hand, as the true God is said in scripture to be at the right - hand of his people; which I highly honour, for the most honourable place was on the right - hand; to which I look for relief and assistance, which God in scripture is said to afford to his people, by being at and holding their right - hand. What, I say, is this idol? Is it not a lie, which tho' it pretends to be a god, yet, in truth is nothing but vanity and falsehood?
isa 44:21These - These things, the deep ignorance and stupidity of idolaters. Forgotten - I will not forget nor forsake thee; therefore thou shalt have no need of idols.
isa 44:22As a cloud - So that there is no remnant of it left.
isa 44:23Sing - By such invitations to the senseless creatures, he signifies the transcendent greatness of this mercy, sufficient to make even the stones, if it were possible, to break forth into God's praises.
isa 44:25Liars - Of the magicians, and astrologers, who were numerous, and greatly esteemed in Babylon, and who had foretold the long continuance and prosperity of the Chaldean empire. Mad - With grief for the disappointment of their predictions, and their disgrace which followed it. Turneth - Stopping their way, and blasting their designs.
isa 44:27That saith - That with a word can dry up the sea and rivers, and remove all impediments.
isa 44:28Cyrus - Whom God here mentions by his proper name, two hundred years before he was born, that this might be an undeniable evidence of the exactness of God's fore - knowledge, and a convincing argument to conclude this dispute between God and idols. Shepherd - Then will I set up to be the shepherd of my people, to rescue them from wolves or tyrants, to gather them together, to rule them gently, and to provide comfortably for them.