Isaiah 48:6
You have heard, see all this; and will not you declare it? I have showed you new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them.
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(6) Thou hast heard . . .—The appeal is to the conscience of the exiles. They had heard the prediction. They are bidden to consider it all. Should not they declare the impression it had made on them?

I have shewed thee.—Better, I shew thee, as a present incipient act.

New things.—The “new things” are those that lie in a more distant future than the conquests of Cyrus, which are referred to as “former things.”

Isaiah 48:6-8. Thou hast heard, see all this — As thou hast heard all these things, from time to time, seriously consider them. And will not ye declare it — I call you to witness: must you not be forced to acknowledge the truth of what I say? I have showed thee new things from this time — And I have now given thee new predictions of secret things, such as till this time were wholly unknown to thee, concerning thy deliverance out of Babylon by Cyrus. They are created now — Revealed to thee by me; brought to light, as things are by creation. The idea is elegant; for what is revealed exists by the word that proceeds from the mouth of God, which is the character of creation. And not from the beginning — Hebrew, ולא מאז, not from thence, not from these ancient times when other things were revealed to thee. Even before the day — Hebrew, and, or, or before this day. This day answers to now in the first clause, and seems to be added as an exposition of it; when thou heardest them not — Hebrew, And thou didst not hear them, namely, before this time in which God hath revealed them to thee by my ministry. Lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them — Either by thine own sagacity, or by the help of thine idols. Yea, thou knewest not — The same thing is repeated, because this was so illustrious a proof of the infinite power and providence of God, and so clear and full a discovery of the vanity of idols. Yea, from that time — Hebrew, from then, as in the foregoing verse; thine ear was not opened — That is, thou didst not hear; I did not reveal these things unto thee: for so this phrase of opening the ear is understood, 1 Samuel 9:15. For I knew that thou wouldest deal treacherously — I knew all these cautions were necessary to cure thine infidelity. And wast called — Namely, justly and truly; a transgressor from the womb — Thou wast indeed such from thy very origin as a people. The contents of this verse, therefore, are not only to be considered as a confirmation of what was said in the preceding verse, namely, that the Jews had no knowledge of these new things, (as they are called Isaiah 48:6,) before the revelation of them made by Isaiah; but as “containing a conviction of the inconsideration, incredulity, and prejudices of the Jewish people; who, notwithstanding the prophecies so clearly fulfilled among them, had neither duly attended to them, nor become obedient to God, which he observes was nothing strange, since, from the first time of their adoption as a people, from their deliverance out of Egypt, which was, as it were, their birth, they had been full of perfidy and transgression.” See Vitringa.48:1-8 The Jews valued themselves on descent from Jacob, and used the name of Jehovah as their God. They prided themselves respecting Jerusalem and the temple, yet there was no holiness in their lives. If we are not sincere in religion, we do but take the name of the Lord in vain. By prophecy they were shown how God would deal with them, long before it came to pass. God has said and done enough to prevent men's boasting of themselves, which makes the sin and ruin of the proud worse; sooner or later every mouth shall be stopped, and all become silent before Him. We are all born children of disobedience. Where original sin is, actual sin will follow. Does not the conscience of every man witness to the truth of Scripture? May the Lord prove us, and render us doers of the word.Thou hast heard - You are witnesses that the prediction was uttered long before it was fulfilled.

See all this - Behold how it is all fulfilled. Bear witness that the event is as it was predicted.

And will ye not declare it? - Will you not bear witness to the entire fulfillment of the prophecy? God appeals to them as qualified to testify that what he had declared had come to pass, and calls on them to make this known as a demonstration that he alone was God (see the notes at Isaiah 44:8).

I have showed thee new things from this time - From this time I make known a thing which has not before occurred, that you may have a similar demonstration that Yahweh is God. The 'new thing' here referred to, is, doubtless, the prediction of the deliverance from the captivity at Babylon - a new thing, in contradistinction from those which had been before predicted, and which were already fulfilled (see the notes at Isaiah 42:9; Isaiah 43:19).

Even hidden things - Events which are so concealed that they could not be conjectured by any political sagacity, or by any contemplation of mere natural causes. They are, as it were, laid up in dark treasurehouses (compare Isaiah 45:3), and they can be known only by him to whom 'the darkness shineth as the day,' and to whom the night and the day are both alike Psalm 139:12.

6. Thou, &c.—So "ye are my witnesses" (Isa 43:10). Thou canst testify the prediction was uttered long before the fulfilment: "see all this," namely, that the event answers to the prophecy.

declare—make the fact known as a proof that Jehovah alone is God (Isa 44:8).

new things—namely, the deliverance from Babylon by Cyrus, new in contradistinction from former predictions that had been fulfilled (Isa 42:9; 43:19). Antitypically, the prophecy has in view the "new things" of the gospel treasury (So 7:13; Mt 13:52; 2Co 5:17; Re 21:5). From this point forward, the prophecies as to Messiah's first and second advents and the restoration of Israel, have a new circumstantial distinctness, such as did not characterize the previous ones, even of Isaiah. Babylon, in this view, answers to the mystical Babylon of Revelation.

hidden—which could not have been guessed by political sagacity (Da 2:22, 29; 1Co 2:9, 10).

Thou hast heard, see all this; as thou hast heard all these things from my mouth, from time to time, so now I advise thee to see, i.e. seriously to consider them, and to lay them to heart.

Will not ye declare it? I call you to witness; must you not be forced to acknowledge the truth of what I say? Deny it if you can. Or,

have ye not declared it unto all people, as occasion required it? Have you not boasted unto the Gentiles of this as your honour and privilege? I have showed thee new things from this time; and I have now given thee new predictions of secret things, and such as till this time were wholly unknown to thee, as it follows, concerning thy deliverance out of Babylon by Cyrus. Thou hast heard, see all this: and will ye not declare it?.... You have heard of all these things, how they were foretold before they were; how they came to pass exactly as they were predicted; now look over these prophecies, and compare them with the events; see the exact completion of them; and when you have so done, can you be so stouthearted and impudent as to deny them, or not own and confess them?

I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them; meaning the destruction of the Babylonish empire, and the deliverance of the Jews by Cyrus, prophesied just now in the preceding chapters; things not yet come to pass, newly revealed, which were hidden in the breast of God, and unknown to them until prophesied of; and which were typical of redemption by the incarnate Son of God, whose incarnation, and salvation by him, were new, unheard of, and wonderful things; and of the new state of things under the Gospel dispensation, when all things shall become new; the doctrines and ordinances of which are new; the whole Gospel is a hidden mystery, and unknown to men till revealed and made known by the Spirit of God.

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye {g} declare it? I have showed ye new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

(g) Will you not acknowledge my blessing, and declare it to others?

6. see all this] see it all (sc. fulfilled).

and will not ye declare it?] Better (with the change of a consonant) and you, will ye not bear witness? (Duhm). Cf. ch. Isaiah 43:12.

6 b–8. Jehovah has proved His power to foretell by the fulfilment of past predictions (vv.3–6 a); now He announces new things.

I have shewed thee] Rather: I shew thee (in the act of speaking).

new things] viz. those specified in Isaiah 48:14,—the conquest of Babylon and all that results from it, the deliverance of Israel, the overthrow of heathenism and the manifestation of the glory of Jehovah.

hidden things] Lit. “things kept” (in reserve). and thou didst not know them] which thou hast not known (R.V.). With the exception of one letter the clause coincides with one in Jeremiah 33:3 (“difficult things which thou knowest not”).Verse 6. - Thou hast heard, see all this; rather, thou didst hear, (now) see it all, i.e. see all the prophecies now fulfilled, which thou heardest in days gone by. Will ye not declare it? Will ye not for very shame make known generally the accordance between the prophecies and the events, which you cannot fail to see? Will ye not become "my witnesses" (Isaiah 43:10), and turn away from your idols? I have showed thee; rather, I show thee; i.e. "I am about to show thee from this time new things, even hidden things, which thou knowest not" - things belonging to the new cycle of prophecy, not previously announced, but reserved for the present crisis (see the comment on ver. 3). On the whole, the language used seems most consonant with the view of Dr. Kay, that the "new things" are those about to be revealed in the next section of the prophecy (Isaiah 49-53), things belonging to the coming of Christ, and the "new creation" which it will be the great object of his coming to bring about. ἀλμενιχακά in Plut., read Porph., viz., in the letter of Porphyrios to the Egyptian Anebo in Euseb. praep. iii. 4, init.: τάς τε εἰς τοὺς δεκανοὺς τομὰς καὶ τοὺς ὡροσκόποὺς καὶ τοὺς λεγομένους κραταιοὺς ἡγεμόνας, ὧν καὶ ὀνόματα ἐν τοῖς ἀλμενιχιακοῖς φέρεται; compare Jamblichos, de Mysteriis, viii. 4: τά τε ἑν τοῖς σαλμεσχινιακοῖς μέρος τι βραχύτατον περιέχει τῶν ̔Ερμαικῶν διατάξεων. This reading σαλμεσχινιακοῖς has been adopted by Parthey after two codices and the text in Salmasius, de annis clim. 605. But ἀλμενιχιακοῖς is favoured by the form Almanach (Hebr. אלמנק, see Steinschneider, Catal. Codd. Lugduno-Batav. p. 370), in which the word was afterwards adopted as the name of an astrological handbook or year-book. In Arabic the word appears to me to be equivalent to 'l-mnâch, the encampment (of the stars); but to all appearance it was originally an Egyptian word, and possibly the Coptic monk (old Egyptian mench), a form or thing formed, is hidden beneath it.

Isaiah 47:12Then follows the concluding strophe, which, like the first, announces to the imperial city in a triumphantly sarcastic tone its inevitable fate; whereas the intermediate strophes refer rather to the sins by which this fate has been brought upon it. "Come near, then, with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy witchcrafts, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth: perhaps thou canst profit, perhaps thou wilt inspire terror. Thou art wearied through the multitude of thy consultations; let the dissectors of the heavens come near, then, and save thee, the star-gazers, they who with every new moon bring things to light that will come upon thee. Behold, they have become like stubble: fire has consumed them: there is not a red-hot coal to warm themselves, a hearth-fire to sit before. So is it with thy people, for whom thou hast laboured: thy partners in trade from thy youth, they wander away every one in his own direction; no one who brings salvation to thee." Hitzig and others adopt the simple rendering, "Persevere, then, with thine enchantments." It is indeed true, that in Leviticus 13:5 בּ עמד signifies "to remain standing by anything," i.e., to persevere with it, just as in Ezekiel 13:5 it signifies to keep one's standing in anything; in 2 Kings 23:3, to enter upon anything; and in Ecclesiastes 8:3, to engage in anything; but there is no reason for taking it here in any other sense than in Isaiah 47:13. Babylon is to draw near with all the processes of the black art, wherein בּאשׁר, according to our western mode of expression, equivalent to בּהם אשׁר, Ges. 123, 2*) it had been addicted to abundance of routine from its youth upwards (יגעאתּ with an auxiliary pathach for יגעתּ); possibly it may be of some use, possibly it will terrify, i.e., make itself so terrible to the approaching calamity, as to cause it to keep off. The prophet now sees in spirit how Babylon draws near, and how it also harasses itself to no purpose; he therefore follows up the עמדי־נא, addressed in pleno to Babylon, with a second challenge commencing with יעמדוּ־נא. Their astrologers are to draw near, and try that power over the future to which they lay claim, by bringing it to bear at once upon the approaching destruction for the benefit of Babylon. עצתיך is a singular form connected with a feminine plural suffix, such as we find in Psalm 9:15; Ezekiel 35:11; Ezra 9:15, connected with a masculine plural suffix. Assuming the correctness of the vowel-pointing, the singular appears in such cases as these to have a collective meaning, like the Arabic pl. fractus; for there is no ground to suppose that the Aramaean plural form ‛ētsâth is used here in the place of the Hebrew. Instead of שׁמים הברו (which would be equivalent to הברו אשׁרא, the keri reads שׁמים הברי, cutters up of the heavens, i.e., planners or dissectors of them, from hâb, dissecare, resecare (compare the rabbinical habhârâh, a syllable, i.e., segmentum vocabuli, and possibly also the talmudic 'ēbhârı̄m, limbs of a body). The correction proposed by Knobel, viz., chōbherē, from châbhār, to know, or be versed in, is unnecessary. Châzâh b' signifies here, as it generally does, to look with pleasure or with interest at anything; hence Luther has rendered it correctly, die Sternkucker (Eng. ver. star-gazers). They are described still further as those who make known with every new moon (lechŏdâshı̄m, like labbeqârı̄m, every morning, Isaiah 33:2, etc.), things which, etc. מאשׁר is used in a partitive sense: out of the great mass of events they select the most important, and prepare a calendar or almanack (ἀλμενιχιακά in Plutarch) for the state every month. But these very wise men cannot save themselves, to say nothing of others, out of the power of that flame, which is no comforting coal-fire to warm one's self by, no hearth-fire (Isaiah 44:16) to sit in front of, but a devouring, eternal, i.e., peremptory flame (Isaiah 33:14). The rendering adopted by Grotius, Vitringa, Lowth, Gesenius, and others, "non supererit pruna ad calendum," is a false one, if only because it is not in harmony with the figure. "Thus shall they be unto thee," he continues in Isaiah 47:15, i.e., such things shall be endured to thy disgrace by those about whom thou hast wearied thyself (אשׁר equals בּהם אשׁר). The learned orders of the Chaldeans had their own quarter, and enjoyed all the distinction and privileges of a priestly caste. What follows cannot possibly be understood as relating to these masters of astrology and witchcraft, as Ewald supposes; for, according to the expression שׁחרהּ in Isaiah 47:11, they would be called שׁחריך. Moreover, if they became a prey of the flames, and therefore were unable to flee, we should have to assume that they were burned while taking flight (Umbreit). סחריך are those who carried on commercial intercourse with the great "trading city" (Ezekiel 17:4), as Berossos says, "In Babylon there was a great multitude of men of other nations who had settled in Chaldea, and they lived in disorder, like the wild beasts;" compare Aeschylus, Pers. 52-3, Βαβυλὼν δ ̓ ἡ πολύχρυσος πάμμικτον ὄχλον πέμπει. All of these are scattered in the wildest flight, אל־עברו אישׁ, every one on his own side, viz., in the direction of his own home, and do not trouble themselves about Babylon.

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