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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 45:23

 

 

"I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.

Adam Clarke Commentary

I have sworn by myself - במימרי bemeymri, by my Word: and the word - פתגם pithgam, or saying, to distinguish it from the personal substantial Word meymra, mentioned before. See the Targum.

The word is gone out of my mouth "Truth is gone forth from my mouth; the word" - So the Septuagint distinguish the members of the sentence, preserving the elegance of the construction and the clearness of the sense.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-45.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have sworn by myself - This verse contains a fuller statement of the truth intimated in the previous verse, that the benefits of salvation should yet be extended to all the world. It is the expression of God‘s solemn purpose that all nations should yet be brought to acknowledge him, and partake of the benefits of the true religion. The expression, ‹I have sworn by myself,‘ denotes a purpose formed in the most solemn manner, and ratified in the most sacred form. God could swear by no greater Hebrews 6:13, Hebrews 6:16; and this, therefore, is the most solemn assurance that could be possibly given that the purpose which he had formed should be executed. To swear by himself is the same as to swear by his life, or to affirm solemnly that the event shall as certainly occur as that he exists. The same idea is often expressed by the phrase, ‹as I live.‘ See a parallel declaration in Numbers 14:21: ‹But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord‘ (compare Numbers 14:28; Isaiah 49:18; Jeremiah 22:24; Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 14:16, Ezekiel 14:18, Ezekiel 14:20; Zephaniah 2:9; Romans 14:11). This passage is quoted by Paul in Romans 14:11, where the phrase, ‹I have sworn by myself‘ is rendered, ‹as I live, saith the Lord,‘ showing that they are equivalent expressions.

The word is gone out of my mouth - The Septuagint renders this, ‹Righteousness shall proceed from my mouth, my words shall not return.‘ Lowth renders it, ‹Truth is gone forth from my mouth; the word, and it shall not be revoked.‘ Jerome, ‹The word of righteousness has gone forth from my mouth, and shall not return.‘ Rosenmuller accords with the interpretation a of Lowth. Probably the correct translation is ‹righteousness‘ (that is, the righteous sentence, or purpose, where the word צדקה tsedâqâh is used in the sense of truth, see Isaiah 45:19), has gone out of my mouth, the word (that is, the promise), and it shall not return.‘ In this construction the י (y ) before לא lo' has the force of a relative pronoun, and is to be referred to דבר dâbâr ‹the word.‘ The sense is, that God had spoken it, and that all which he has spoken shall certainly be fulfilled. The fact that the declaration has once passed his lips, is full proof that the purpose shall be accomplished. This is not to be understood of any promise which he had made before, but it is a solemn declaration which he now makes by the prophet.

That unto me every knee shall bow - To bow or bend the knee, is indicative of homage or adoration; and the idea is, that all should yet acknowledge him to be God (see the note at Romans 14:11). The ancient mode of offering adoration, or of paying homage, was to place the knee on the ground, and then slowly to incline the body until the head touched the earth. This is practiced now in eastern countries (compare Genesis 41:43; 1 Kings 19:18; 2 Chronicles 6:13; Matthew 27:29; Romans 11:4; Philemon 2:10; Ephesians 3:14). The obvious and proper signification of this is, that the time would come when God would be everywhere acknowledged as the true God. It refers therefore to the future period of glory on the earth, when all people shall have embraced the true religion, and when idolatry shall have come to an end.

Every tongue shall swear - This expression is evidently taken from the practice of taking an oath of allegiance to a sovereign, and here means that all would solemnly acknowledge him to be the true God, and submit themselves to his government and will. See the phrase explained in the the note at Isaiah 19:18. That this refers to the Messiah and his times, is apparent from the fact that it is twice referred to by the apostle Paul, and applied by him to the Lord Jesus and his religion Romans 14:11; Philemon 2:10. It is a glorious promise which remains yet to be fulfilled, and there is no promise in the Bible more certain than that this earth shall yet be filled with the knowledge of the true God.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-45.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have sworn by myself,.... Christ being the true God, he could swear by no greater, Hebrews 6:13, this shows that what follows, and is here sworn unto, is of great importance, and strictly true, and would certainly be accomplished:

the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness; both what goes before, that such that look unto him shall be saved; and also what follows, concerning the subjection of every creature to him; this was what he had resolved in his mind, and declared in his word, by promise and prophecy, should be; and as it was agreeably to truth and justice, it should certainly, and in faithfulness, be performed, and shall not return void and without effect, but be exactly and punctually accomplished:

that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear; that is, everyone, or at least the generality of mankind, shall be subject to Christ, embrace his Gospel, submit to his ordinances, profess his name, and serve and worship him; this will be when the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in, and the Jews are converted: the apostle quotes this passage, and applies it to the judgment day, when all, whether they will or not, shall confess that Christ is God, which he so often asserts in this context; see Romans 14:10.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-45.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] a righteousness, and shall not return, That to me every b knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

(a) That is, that the thing which I have promise will be faithfully performed.

(b) The knowledge of God and the true worshipping will be through all the world, (Romans 14:11) ;  (Philippians 2:10) by which he signifies that we must not only serve God in heart, but declare the same also by outward profession.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-45.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

sworn by myself — equivalent to, “As I live,” as Romans 14:11 quotes it. So Numbers 14:21. God could swear by no greater, therefore He swears by Himself (Hebrews 6:13, Hebrews 6:16).

word … in righteousness — rather, “the truth (see on Isaiah 45:19) is gone forth from My mouth, the word (of promise), and it shall not return (that is, which shall not be revoked)” [Lowth]. But the accents favor English Version.

tongue … swear — namely, an oath of allegiance to God as their true King (see on Isaiah 19:18; see on Isaiah 65:16). Yet to be fulfilled (Zechariah 14:9).


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-45.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

In righteousness — It is what I will faithfully perform.

Return — Without effect. It is a metaphor from ambassadors, who sometimes return to their princes without any success in their business.

Every tongue — Not only the Jews, but all nations.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-45.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.I have sworn by myself. He adds a clearer confirmation of the preceding statement; for, in consequence of this calling being unusual and marvellous, he adds an oath, as is usually done in what is new and hard to be believed. The Jews might have objected, that they alone were called by the name of the elect people; but, when he confirms it by an oath, this removes all debate. The Prophet still, indeed, aims at the same object, namely, that the glory of God shall be so visible in the restoration of the Church as to arouse the whole world to the admiration of it from the rising to the setting of the sun, or, to express it more briefly, that this demonstration of the power of God shall be so splendid and illustrious as to strike all nations with fear. Yet from these words we may justly infer what I have remarked, that the Gentiles shall be admitted to an equality with the Jews, so that God shall be the common Father of all, and shall be worshipped in every country.

Now, God “swears by himself,” because he cannot have another equally competent witness of the truth; for he alone is the truth. “Men,” as the Apostle says, “swear by a greater than themselves; but God, because he had no greater, hath sworn by himself.” (Hebrews 6:16.) We ought to observe the reason why he “swears.” It is because he intended to aid the weakness of his people, that they might not be tossed about in uncertainty. This certainly is wonderful condescension, that, in order to remedy the fault of our distrust, he does not scruple to bring forward his own name as holding the place of a pledge; and the more base and disgraceful must be our unbelief, if even an oath does not satisfy us. Besides, since God claims for himself all confirmation of the truth, we ought to be exceedingly careful, when we appeal to him by an oath, not to mingle any other names either of saints or of any creature, but, by using his name with all becoming reverence, to preserve the honor due to him entire and unabated.

The word hath gone out of my mouth in righteousness. He means that all that he has commanded to be published by his Prophet is firm and lasting, as if he had said that this commandment did not proceed “out of his mouth” rashly or unadvisedly. And in this sense the word righteousness is often used in Scripture, that is, for a word that is not deceitful, which shall clearly appear to be perfectly true; and thus he says that the decree cannot be revoked.

And shall not return. This is another mode of expression conveying the same idea. It means that the word of God shall continue to make progress, till the actual result shall make manifest that it has proceeded from a just and true and almighty God. A person is said to return, when some obstacle hinders him from proceeding farther; but, because nothing can prevent God from executing what he has decreed, the Prophet justly infers that nothing can interrupt or retard the course of this word. The particle כי, (ki,) that, must be viewed as introducing an explanatory clause; as much as to say, “This is the word,”

That to me every knee shall bow. By this mode of expression he means that all the Gentiles shall be suppliants to God, because the astonishing deliverance of the Church shall strike terror upon all. Yet hence also it follows, that his worship shall be spread among all nations; for we cannot truly “bend the knee” before God till he hath been made known to us. To an unknown God, indeed, men may render some kind of worship; but it is false and unprofitable. But here he speaks of a true profession, which proceeds from a knowledge of God deeply seated in our hearts; for, where there is no faith, there can be no worship of God, and faith is not directed to a thing unknown or uncertain. Accordingly, he has made use of the sign to express the thing itself, as is frequently done.

Hence it ought to be observed, that God demands also external worship; for the Prophet does not separate an external profession of religion from the inward feelings of the heart. In vain, therefore, do fanatics boast that in some manner they worship God and do homage to him, while they bow down before idols. In vain, I say, do they pretend that their heart is upright towards God; for the worship of the heart cannot be separated from an external profession. In like manner the soul cannot be dedicated and consecrated to God, while the body is consecrated to the devil; for both ought to be consecrated to God, and thus the worship of the heart ought also to be accompanied by an external profession.

“With the heart we believe to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Romans 10:10)

Hence also the Lord, approving of the piety and uprightness of his people, says, “that they have not bowed a knee before Baal.” (1 Kings 19:18; Romans 11:4.)

Paul applies this passage of Isaiah to the last judgment, when he says (Romans 14:10) that “we must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;” although the subject here treated of is, the redemption of the people, the publication of the gospel, and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. But he takes for granted (what all ought to know) that those statements which relate to the kingdom of Christ must not be limited to any part of it, but extend to the whole of its course, till it arrive at full perfection. The knee is bent to Christ, when his doctrine is obeyed, and when the preaching of the gospel is accepted. But many still oppose and boldly despise him; Satan contrives many schemes and incessantly carries on war with him; and therefore we are at a great distance from the full accomplishment of this prophecy. Then shall every knee be truly bent to Christ, when he shall triumph over vanquished and utterly ruined adversaries, and shall render visible to all men his majesty, which Satan and wicked men now oppose. Thus Paul teaches that, when Christ shall ascend his judgment-seat to judge the world, then shall be fully accomplished that which began to be done at the commencement of the gospel, and which we still see done from day to day.

Every tongue shall swear. By a figure of speech in which a part is taken for the whole, the word swear is put for worship, reverence, or subjection. “Swearing” is one department of the honor which is due to God; for by it we confess and acknowledge that he is the Author and Father and lawful defender of the truth, and that “all things are naked and open to him.” (Hebrews 4:13.) Whenever therefore this honor is bestowed on idols, the majesty of God is dishonored by abominable sacrilege; and consequently they who worship him purely swear exclusively by his name. But on this subject we have spoken (215) in the exposition of another passage. (Isaiah 19:18.)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-45.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Ver. 23. That unto me every knee.] I will be known and obeyed all the world over, sc., by Christians. Of the Jews Jerome noteth, quod mentis superbiam demonstrantes genu non flectunt, that they bow not the knee in God’s service, but only stand up at times.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-45.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 45:23. I have sworn by myself I have sworn by myself; the word of truth is gone out of my mouth, a word which shall not return,—That, &c. These are the words of the Son of God, declaring the purpose of grace, to illuminate all nations without distinction with the light of the Gospel, and to bring them to the true religion who worship the Father by the Son, the Mediator and Saviour, whom he hath appointed the Lord and Judge of the whole world. See Romans 14:11. Philippians 2:10-11 where St. Paul explains the phrase, Every tongue shall swear, by every tongue shall confess to God. To swear by the name of Christ is to confess his name, to profess his faith, and acknowledge his divinity.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-45.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I have sworn by myself, which is the highest and most solemn oath that is possible, Hebrews 6:13, and therefore signifies that the matter here sworn is of an extraordinary importance.

The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness; it is not a vain word rashly uttered, and afterwards never remembered nor observed, but what I sincerely speak, and will most faithfully and infallibly perform.

Shall not return, to wit, unto me void, or without effect, as this phrase is more fully delivered, Isaiah 55:11. It is a metaphor from ambassadors, who sometimes return to their princes without any success in their business.

Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear; not only the Jews, but a people of all nations, shall worship me, and submit to my laws; which is signified by an outward act, the bowing of the knee, Which is a posture of reverence and subjection; and by one eminent part of God’s worship, which is swearing by his name.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-45.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. Unto me — To God as supreme. His claim cannot be set aside.

Every knee shall bow — Thus acknowledging him as the only supreme One.

Every tongue shall swear — Same idea made lucid to all. Every being in the universe shall make confession, having the character of an oath, that Jehovah is all-supreme, righteous, just, yet merciful. Angels, devils, and men, shall confess. The reader will recall St. Paul’s use of this passage (Romans 14:11) to show how all men shall confess accountability to God.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-45.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

God Himself swore (cf. Genesis 22:16) that everyone will eventually bow to His authority (some as condemned sinners and others as pardoned worshippers) and appeal to Him (cf. Romans 14:10-12; Philippians 2:9-11). In view of this, it is only reasonable to call on Him for salvation now. This word from God, confirmed with His oath, is as reliable as His promises to Abraham and His words predicting Cyrus" activities.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-45.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 45:23. I have sworn by myself — Which is the highest and most solemn oath possible, Hebrews 6:13; and therefore signifies that the matter, thus confirmed, is of extraordinary importance. The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness — It is what I will faithfully perform. And shall not return — Namely, unto me void, or without effect, as this phrase is more fully delivered, Isaiah 55:11. It is a metaphor taken from ambassadors, who sometimes return to their princes without any success in their business. That unto me every knee shall bow — Not only the Jews, but all nations shall worship me, and submit to my laws: which is signified by the bowing of the knee, a posture of reverence and subjection, and by one eminent part of God’s worship, swearing by his name. Surely shall one say — Or, shall he say, each or every one of these, who, he now declared, should bow their knees to God, &c. In the Lord — Hebrew, Jehovah. By, or from God alone, or the Messiah, who is the true Jehovah as well as man; have I righteousness — To justify me from all things, from which I could not be justified by the law of Moses. See Acts 13:39. This plainly points us to the Messiah, whose very name is the Lord our righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6; and whose great business it was to bring in everlasting righteousness, Daniel 9:24; and who of God is made unto us righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30. And strength — Support and assistance to bear all my burdens, overcome all my enemies, and perform all my duties. The sense is, The Gentiles shall expect and obtain from Christ both justification, or forgiveness of sins by his blood, and sanctification by his Spirit. Even to him shall men come — The Gentiles shall come to Christ, either, 1st, By constraint, or necessity, to be judged by him at the last day: or, 2d, Willingly by prayer to seek, and by faith to receive, righteousness and strength from him. Coming to Christ is put for believing on him, Matthew 11:28; John 5:50, and John 6:35-37, and elsewhere. And, or, but, all that are incensed against him — All his implacable enemies shall be brought to shame and punishment.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-45.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

-24

Myself, having none greater, Hebrews vi. 13. --- Justice: sure. --- To me. All that are born belong to me. The Jewish women had seldom recourse to midwives, (Exodus i. 19., and 1 Kings iv. 19.; Calmet) no more than the Ethiopians. (Ludolf. i. 14.) --- Swear, by the true God. (Haydock) --- Oaths on proper occasions, honour him, Deuteronomy vi. 13. Nothing could be spoken more plainly of the Gentiles' conversion.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-45.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I have sworn, &c. Quoted in Romans 14:11; and Philippians 1:2, Philippians 1:10. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 22:16). App-92.

unto Me. Ascribed to Christ in the quotation above.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-45.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

I have sworn by myself - equivalent to, "As I live," as Romans 14:11 quotes it. So Numbers 14:21. God could swear by no greater, therefore swears by Himself (Hebrews 6:13; Hebrews 6:16).

The word is gone out of my mouth (in) righteousness - or 'the truth ( ts


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-45.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) I have sworn by myself.—The highest conceivable form of asseveration (Genesis 22:16; Jeremiah 22:5; Hebrews 6:13).

Unto me every knee shall bow.—The faith of Israel becomes the religion of mankind, though, from the prophet’s standpoint, Israel does not lose its distinctive nationality. We note the application of the words to the Christ in Philippians 2:10; Romans 14:11.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-45.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
sworn
Genesis 22:15-18; Jeremiah 22:5; 49:13; Amos 6:8; Hebrews 6:13-18
the word
19; 55:11; Numbers 23:19
That unto
Romans 11:4; 14:10-12; Philippians 2:10
every tongue
19:18-21; 44:3-5; 65:16; Genesis 31:53; Deuteronomy 6:13; 2 Chronicles 15:14,15; Nehemiah 10:29; Psalms 63:11; 132:2

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-45.html.

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