Notes on Isaiah. Chapter 41

Isaiah 41  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Then the "King of Jacob" challenges the nations, and, by the hand of Cyrus (as an example) destroys the power of idolatry. He giveth "good tidings to Jerusalem."
This chapter is judgment on the islands (Gentile nations) by the instrument which God had appointed, as contrasted with Israel.
2. "Righteousness," see margin. We have here, and in several other passages, a use of "righteousness " which illustrates and clears up its use in the New Testament, so that Gesenius translates it here and elsewhere "liberatio, salus." It is the interference of God's power here, in consistency with His own character, and in grace towards His people, which therefore necessarily delivers them. "Who raised up righteousness from the east?" God acts to vindicate His own character, and power against evil. It is God's righteousness. Taking Cyrus as a primary fulfillment, God is obliged to vindicate His title against the pride of the heathen, and idols, and false gods. It is His righteousness, but thereby His people are delivered in grace. So, "My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth" (chap. 51: 5), and "shall be forever" (v. 8). In chapter 45: 8, it is God publicly vindicating Himself as He is, so to speak, bound to do in the end, and so righteousness comes forth. So, I believe, "who have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of our God and Savior." This connects itself with promises, where they are, because the fulfillment of them is a part of God's righteousness. Hence God fully establishing and vindicating all He is, in the Cross of Jesus, and the blessed Jesus offering Himself up that He might. We come in who, through grace, are quickened together with Him, to be the righteousness of God in Him. He is made unto us righteousness, but it is properly and essentially the righteousness of God, not intrinsically in Him, but brought out into manifestation in that which is done, for so it is, and, here, so as to be the glory of God (which implies display) and salvation to those, however miserable, who come in on the principles on which it acts—which are, indeed, for us by faith, and hence the reasoning of the Apostle in Romans, Galatians and elsewhere.