Isa 41.1-29 tells us that God summons the nations into a tribunal at law to try the case between God and the unbeliever. It will also contain words of comfort to Israel. He will convict the idolaters and their false religions.
v 1…Coastlands (meaning the ends of the earth), listen to me in silence (Yehovah is bringing charges against the nations), and let the peoples gain new strength (collect your most powerful argument); let them come forward, then let them speak (present your case); let us come together for judgment (to fairly try their case).
v 2…Who has aroused the righteous from the east, whom he calls to his foot (to obey, listen, follow)? He (Yehovah) delivers up nations before him, and subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword (a literal sword, but it alludes to the Torah/Scriptures), as the driven chaff with his bow (God is raising up a deliverer in Cyrus to help Israel, but this also alludes to the Messiah).
v 3…He pursues them, passing on in safety, by a way he had not been traversing with his feet (God’s deliverer will move fast, disregarding all obstacles).
v 4…Who has performed and accomplished it (taking the work on and finishing it), calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord (Yehovah). am the first (the Hebrew letter “aleph” means first or “head”-Rev 1.17) and with the last (Hebrew letter “tav” meaning “covenant”, seal). I am he (I am the “head of the covenant”).
v 5…The coastlands (ends of the earth) have seen and are afraid (of being subdued by this deliverer; the ends of the earth tremble; they have drawn near and have come (to oppose, in defense).
v 6…Each one helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, “Be strong (in resisting the truth, to stop the deliverer, to persist in their idolatry).”
v 7…So the craftsman encourages the smelter (to be quick in finishing the idol to avert danger), and he smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It (the idol) is good”; and he fastens it with nails (40.20), that it should not totter (remember what we have said before, Isa 40 through 46 is describing a crucifix, as the Catholic Church has already said in the quote in the Hertz Daily Prayer book, p. 550-551. The face on a crucifix is the same face as the Shroud of Turin, and the Shroud of Turin has the same face as a statue of the pagan god Zeus Kyrios around in 31.A.D. Zeus Kyrios has the same face as Antiochus Epiphanes IV because he put his face on statues of Zeus, and the Scriptures teach us that Antiochus Epiphanes IV is a picture of the False Messiah).
v 8…But you, Israel, my servant (not like the nations; this begins what is called the “Servant Passages” which allude to Israel, Messiah and the believers, depending on the context-Isa 42.1-7, 44.1-5, 44.21, 45.4-6, 48.12, 49.1-9, 50.4-11, 52.13-14, 53.1-12), Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, my friend (2 Chr 20.7; Jam 2.23).
v9…You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts (a parallelism), and said to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you (Israel has a special place with Yehovah because it was God who elected them, not because of anything Israel did. This makes Israel different than any of the idol making nations).
v 10…Do not fear, for I am with you; do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (idols need to be fastened with nails to stand up, but Yehovah holds us up with his power and his Messiah).
v 11…Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored (when we reject their idols they get angry, but God will deal with them-Gen 12.3); those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish.
v 12…You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent (no trace of them).
v 13…For I am the Lord (Yehovah) your God, who upholds your right hand (joins with us; giving us power and strength), who says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.
v 14…Do not fear, you worm (Hebrew “Tola” and is a type of worm that is a metaphor for the lowly, weak and sin, and a picture of the crucifixion-see Psa 22.6-8 notes) Jacob, you men of Israel (the small group who cling to the Lord); I will help you” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer (Hebrew “goel” or kinsman redeemer and blood avenger-Job 19.25; Psa 19.15, 78.13; Jer 50.34; Isa 43.14, 44.6, 24, 49.7, 59.20) is the Holy One of Israel (Messiah).”
v 15…Behold, I have made you a new sharp threshing sledge with double edges (used to cut up straw and separate grain-Israel has teeth now); you will thresh the mountains and pulverize them (mountains are seen as great nations), and will make the hills like chaff (are seen as smaller nations).
v 16…You will winnow them, and the wind (ruach) will carry them away, and the storm (whirlwind) will scatter them; but you will rejoice in the Lord, you will glory in the Holy One of Israel (Messiah).
v 17…The afflicted (poor) and needy are seeking water, but there is none (spiritually thirsty), and their tongue is parched with thirst (in the heat of affliction); I, the Lord (Yehovah), will answer them myself (their prayers, their cries, meet their needs), as the God of Israel I will not forsake them.
v 18…I (the fountain of living waters and life) will open rivers on the bare heights (in the rocks, not natural, a change in naturel), and springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land fountains of water (in the midst of trouble, Yehovah will refresh them).
v 19…I will put the cedar in the wilderness (not where they belong, unnatural), the acacia and the myrtle, and the shemen tree (pine-Neh 8.15); I will place the juniper (fir) in the desert, together with the box tree (a type of evergreen) and the cypress,
v 20…That they may see and recognize, and consider and gain insight as well, that the hand of Yehovah has done this, and the Holy One of Israel (that all of this is not an accident).
v 21…Present your case, Yehovah says (for a court to decide). Bring forward your strong (reasons, arguments), the King of Jacob says (he turns to the controversy between the greatness of God and idols).
v 22…Let them (the false gods) bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place (show us what they have predicted and it came true, like I did in the Scriptures-Lam 3.37; Ecc 1.9), as for the former events, show what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come.
v 23…Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods (have power); indeed, do good or evil that we may anxiously look about us and fear altogether (bless the obedient and punish the disobedient like I do, to fear your deity).
v 24…Behold, you are of no account (the idol), and your work (to make the idol) amounts to nothing; he (the worshiper) who chooses you is an abomination.
v 25…I have aroused one from the north (to come in judgment), and he has come; from the rising of the sun he will call on my name (typified in Cyrus the Persian in Isa 45, who read Isaiah’s prophecy with his name in it 150 years later and recognized Yehovah as the true God, but retained his idolatry-Ezra 1.2); and he will come upon rulers as upon mortar (tread them down), even as the potter treads clay (does with the clay whatever he pleases).
v 26…Who (of the idols) has declared this from the beginning, that we might know, or from former times, that we might say, “He is right!” Surely there was no one who declared, surely there was no one who proclaimed, surely there was no one who heard your words (in answer to their prayers, or even heard the idol predict anything that came to pass).
v 27…Formerly I said to Zion, “Behold, here they are (the things to come).” And to Jerusalem, “I will give a messenger of good news (how the “voice” in 40.6 got started; he will tell us what will happen).
v 28…But when I look, there is no one, and there is no counselor among them (no true prophets) who, if I ask, can give me an answer (all the claims of the idolaters is empty, they can’t predict anything).
v 29…Behold, all of them are false, their works are worthless, their molten images are wind and emptiness (desolate, vanity)