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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 45:8

 

 

"Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Drop down, ye heavens - The eighty-fifth psalm is a very elegant ode on the same subject with this part of Isaiah's prophecies, the restoration of Judah from captivity; and is, in the most beautiful part of it, a manifest imitation of this passage of the prophet: -

"Verily his salvation is nigh unto them that fear him,

That glory may dwell in our land.

Mercy and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring from the earth,

And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Even Jehovah: will give that which is good,

And our land shall yield her produce.

Righteousness shall go before him,

And shall direct his footsteps in the way."

Psalm 85:10-14.

See the notes on these verses.

These images of the dew and the rain descending from heaven and making the earth fruitful, employed by the prophet, and some of those nearly of the same kind which are used by the psalmist, may perhaps be primarily understood as designed to set forth in a splendid manner the happy state of God's people restored to their country, and flourishing in peace and plenty, in piety and virtue; but justice and salvation, mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, and glory dwelling in the land, cannot with any sort of propriety, in the one or the other, be interpreted as the consequences of that event; they must mean the blessings of the great redemption by Messiah.

Let the earth open, etc. - Jonathan, in his Targum, refers this to the resurrection of the dead; the earth shall be opened, מיתיא ויחון veyechon meiteiya, and the dead shall revive. A plain proof that the ancient Jews believed in a future state, and acknowledged the resurrection of the dead.

Let them bring forth salvation "Let salvation produce her fruit" - For ויפרו vaiyiphru, the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac read ויפרה vaiyiphrah ; and one MS. has a rasure close after the latter ו vau, which probably was ה he at first.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-45.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Drop down, ye heavens, from above - That is, as a result of the benefits that shall follow from the rescue of the people from their captivity and exile. The mind of the prophet is carried forward to future times, and he sees effects from that interposition, as striking as if the heavens should distil righteousness; and sees the prevalence of piety and happiness as if they should string out of the earth. It may be designed primarily to denote the happy results of their return to their own land, and the peace and prosperity which would ensue. But there is a beauty and elevation in the language which is better applicable to the remote and distant consequences of their return - the coming and reign of the Messiah. The figure is that of the rain and dew descending from heaven, and watering, the earth, and producing fertility and beauty; and the idea is, that piety and peace would prevail in a manner resembling the verdure of the fields under such rains and dews. A figure remarkably similar to this is employed by the Psalmist Psalm 85:11-12:

Truth shall spring out of the earth;

And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good -

And our land shall yield her increase.

The phrase, ‹drop down, ye heavens, from above,‘ means, pour forth, or distil, as the clouds distil, or drop down the rain or dew Psalm 45:12-13. It is appropriately applied to rain or dew, and here means that righteousness would be as abundant as if poured down like dews or showers from heaven. The Septuagint however, render it, ‹Let the heavens above be glad,‘ but evidently erroneously.

And let the skies - The word used here (שׁחקים shechaqiym ) is derived from the verb שׁצק shâchaq “to rub,” pound fine, or beat in pieces; and is then applied to dust (see Isaiah 40:15); to a thin cloud; a cloud of dust; and then to clouds in general Job 36:28; Job 37:18; Job 38:37. The sense here is, that righteousness should be poured down like rain from the clouds of heaven; that is, it should be abundant, and should prevail on the earth.

Pour down righteousness - The result of the deliverance from the captivity shall be, that righteousness shall be abundant. During the captivity they had been far away from their native land; the temple was destroyed; the fire had ceased to burn on the altars; the praises of God had ceased to be celebrated in his courts; and all the means by which piety had been nourished had been withdrawn. This state of things was strikingly similar to the earth when the rain is witcheld, and all verdure droops and dies. But after the return from the exile, righteousness would abound under the re-establishment of the temple service and the means of grace. Nor can there be any doubt, I think, that the mind of the prophet was also fixed on the prevalence of religion which would yet take place under the Messiah, whose coming, though remotely, would be one of the results of the return from the exile, and of whose advent, that return would be so strikingly emblematic.

Let the earth open - As it does when the showers descend and render it mellow, and when it brings forth grass and plants and fruits.

And let them bring forth salvation - The Chaldee renders this, ‹Let the earth open, and the dead revive, and righteousness be revealed at the same time.‘ The idea is, let the earth and the heavens produce righteousness, or become fruitful in producing salvation. Salvation shall abound as if it descended like showers and dews, and as if the fertile earth everywhere produced it. Vitringa supposes that it means that the hearts of people would be opened and prepared for repentance and the reception of the truth by the Holy Spirit, as the earth is made mellow and adapted to the reception of seed by the rain and dew.

And let righteousness spring up together - Let it at the same time germinate as a plant does. It shall spring forth like green grass, and like flowers and plants in the well-watered earth. The language in the verse is figurative, and very beautiful. The idea is, that peace, prosperity, and righteousness start up like the fruits of the earth when it is well watered with the dews anti rains of heaven; that the land and world would be clothed in moral loveliness; and that the fruits of salvation would be abundant everywhere. That there was a partial fulfillment of this on the return to the land of Canaan, there can be no doubt. The Jews were, for a time at least, much more distinguished for piety than they had been before. Idolatry ceased; the temple was rebuilt; the worship of God was re-established; and the nation enjoyed unaccustomed prosperity. But there is a richness and fullness in the language which is not met by anything that occurred in the return from the exile; and it doubtless receives its entire fulfillment only under that more important deliverance of which the return from Babylon was but the emblem. As referred to the Messiah, and to his reign, may we not regard it as descriptive of the following things?

1. The prevalence and diffusion of the knowledge of salvation under his own preaching and that of the apostles. Religion was revived throughout Judea, and spread with vast rapidity throughout almost the whole of the known world. It seemed as if the very heavens shed down righteousness on all lands, and the earth, so long barren and sterile, brought forth the fruits of salvation. Every country partook of the benefits of the descending showers of grace, and the moral world put on a new aspect - like the earth after descending dews and rains.

2. It is beautifully descriptive of a revival of religion like that on the day of Pentecost. In such scenes, it seems as if the very heavens ‹poured down‘ righteousness. A church smiles under its influence like parched and barren fields under rains and dews, and society puts on an aspect of loveliness like the earth after copious showers. Salvation seems to start forth with the beauty of the green grass, or of the unfolding buds, producing leaves and flowers and abundant fruits. There cannot be found anywhere a more beautiful description of a genuine revival of pure religion than in this verse.

3. It is descriptive, doubtless, of what is yet to take place in the better days which are to succeed the present, when the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth. All the earth shall be blessed, as if descending showers should produce universal fertility, and every land, now desolate, barren, sterile, and horrid by sin, shall become ‹like a well-watered garden‘ in reference to salvation.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-45.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 45:8

Drop down, ye heavens

Salvation comes of man’s response to God

To the eye of the seer the earth lies open to heaven as a wide corn-land over which the clouds of heaven hang, the air breathes, and the sun sheds sheets of light.
Those clouds are big with righteousness, the special term used throughout this book of the faithfulness of Jehovah. At the call of prayer the skies pour down their precious treasure, and the earth opens every pore to receive the plentiful rain; presently every acre brings forth salvation, and righteousness springs up in the hearts of men, as their answer to the descent of the righteousness of God. It is the bridal of heaven and earth, a fulfilment of the prediction of the psalm: “Truth springeth out of the earth; and righteousness hath looked down from heaven.” The conception is one of surpassing beauty. The brooding of heaven; the response of earth. Deep calling unto deep. The nature of God originating and inspiring; the nature of man responding. And when the descending grace of God is thus received by the believing yearning heart of man, the result is salvation. As the margin of R.V. reads: “Let the skies be fruitful in salvation, and let the earth cause righteousness to spring up together.” The whole paragraph to the close of the chapter rings with salvation as its keynote. Does God hide Himself? He is the God of Israel, the Saviour. Are the makers of idols ashamed and confounded? Yet Israel is saved with an everlasting salvation. Are graven images held up to contempt? It is because they are gods that cannot save. Does God assert His unrivalled Deity? It is because He is a just God, and a Saviour. Are men bidden to look to Him, though they be far removed as the ends of the earth? It is that they may be saved. Primarily, no doubt, this salvation concerns the emancipation of the chosen people from the thraldom of Babylon, and their restoration to Jerusalem. “He shall build My city; he shall let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.” This deliverance, which is a type of the greater deliverance from the guilt and power of sin, was, in the fixed purpose of God, sure as the creation of the earth and man; guaranteed by the hands that stretched out the heavens, and by the word that commanded all their host
. (F. B. Meyer, B. A.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 45:8". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-45.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Distill, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up together; I, Jehovah, have created it."

All creation, heaven and earth alike, are summoned to rejoice together in the righteousness and glory that shall fall upon all men as a consequence of God's rescue and deliverance of His people. What a tragedy it was, however, that the rescued nation proved to be an altogether inadequate and ineffective instrument in the achievement of such glorious things as God intended. "Consequently, the commands of this verse were not fully carried out until the coming of the Ideal Servant."[14]

"That there was a partial fulfillment of this on the return of Israel to Canaan, there can be no doubt ... but there is a richness and fullness in Isaiah 45:8, that is not met by anything that occurred in the return of the exiles."[15] Only the preaching of the Gospel of Christ brought results which justify the language of this verse.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-45.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness,.... Or, "the righteous One", as the Vulgate Latin version; the Lord our righteousness, Christ the author of righteousness, who was to bring in an everlasting one; and whose coming was to be, and was, as the rain, as the former and latter rain to the earth, Hosea 6:3, and who came from heaven to earth to fulfil all righteousness; and with him came an abundance of blessings of rich grace, even all spiritual blessings, peace, pardon, righteousness, salvation, and eternal life, which were poured down from above upon the sons of men; thus the Holy Ghost, the spirit of prophecy, proceeds at once from Cyrus to Christ, from the type to the antitype, from the temporal redemption of the Jews to the spiritual redemption of the Lord's people; and these words are to be considered, not as a petition of the prophet, or of the church, for the coming of Christ, and salvation by him; but a promise and prophecy of it. Aben Ezra and Kimchi take them to be an address to the angels of heaven to assist in the affair of the salvation of Israel; these did drop down or descend, even a great multitude of them, at the incarnation of Christ, and published the good tidings of good things that came by him:

let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation; or the "Saviour", as the Vulgate Latin version; Christ the author of salvation, who was appointed to be the salvation or Saviour of his people, who came to effect it, and has obtained it; heaven and earth were both concerned in bringing forth this "fruit" of righteousness and salvation, as the wordF15יפרו ישע "fructificent", Vatablus; "edant fractum salutis"; Junius & Tremellius. rendered "bring forth" signifies; see Isaiah 4:2. Christ was the Lord from heaven, and yet made of a woman in the lowest parts of the earth: Christ, who is the "truth", sprung "out of the earth"; and he, who is the author of "righteousness", looked down from heaven, Psalm 85:11 and it follows: "let righteousness spring up together"; or "bud forth"F16תצמיח "germinare faciet", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, "progerminet germen", Vitringa. as a branch; one of the names of the Messiah, frequent in prophecy:

I the Lord have created it; or that, both righteousness and salvation; or Christ as man, the author of both, whom God appointed, and raised up, and sent to be the Redeemer and Saviour of his people. The Targum interprets this of the resurrection of the dead, paraphrasing the whole thus;

"let the heavens from above minister, and the clouds flow with good; let the earth open, and the dead revive; and let righteousness be revealed together; I the Lord have created them.'


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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-45.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down i righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have k created it.

(i) He comforts the Jews as if he would say, "Though when you look to the heavens and earth for comfort you see nothing now but signs of God's wrath, yet will cause them to bring forth certain tokens of your deliverance, and of the performance of my promise": which is meant by righteousness.

(k) I have appointed Cyrus to this use and purpose.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-45.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Drop — namely, the fertilizing rain (Psalm 65:12).

skies — clouds; lower than the “heavens.”

righteousness — that is, the dews of the Holy Spirit, whereby “righteousness” shall “spring up.” (See latter end of the verse).

earth — figuratively for the hearts of men on it, opened for receiving the truth by the Holy Ghost (Acts 16:14).

them — the earth and the heavens. Horsley prefers: “Let the earth open, and let salvation and justice grow forth; let it bring them forth together; I the Lord have created him” (Isaiah 45:13). Maurer translates, “Let all kinds of salvation (prosperity) be fruitful” (Psalm 72:3, Psalm 72:6, Psalm 72:7). The revival of religion after the return from Babylon suggests to the prophet the diffusion of Messiah‘s Gospel, especially in days still future; hence the elevation of the language to a pitch above what is applicable to the state of religion after the return.


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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 45:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-45.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

In the prospect of this ultimate and saving purpose of the mission of Cyrus, viz., the redemption of Israel and the conversion of the heathen, heaven and earth are now summoned to bring forth and pour down spiritual blessings in heavenly gifts, according to the will and in the power of Jehovah, who has in view a new spiritual creation. “Cause to trickle down, ye heavens above, and let the blue sky rain down righteousness; let the earth open, and let salvation blossom, and righteousness; let them sprout together: I Jehovah have created it.” What the heavens are to cause to trickle down, follows as the object to יזּלוּ . And what is to flower when the earth opens ( pâthach as in Psalms 106:17; compare aprilis and the Neo-Greek anoixis , spring), is salvation and righteousness. But tzedek (righteousness) is immediately afterwards the object of a new verb; so that וּצדקה ישׁע , which are thought of as combined, as the word יחד (together) shows, are uncoupled in the actual expression. Knobel expresses a different opinion, and assumes that ישׁע is regarded as a collective noun, and therefore construed with a plural, like אמרּה in Psalms 119:103, and חמדה in Haggai 2:7. But the use of yachad (together) favours the other interpretation. The suffix of בּראתיו points to this fulness of righteousness and salvation. It is a creation of Jehovah Himself. Heaven and earth, when co-operating to effect this, are endowed with their capacity through Him from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, and obey now, as at the first, His creative fiat. This “rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant justum ,” as the Vulgate renders it, is justly regarded as an old advent cry.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-45.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Drop — The righteous and gracious acts of God for his people, shall be so many, as if God rained showers of righteousness out of heaven.

Open — Open itself to bring forth those fruits which may be expected from such showers.

Them — The heavens and the earth conspiring together.

Together — Together with salvation.

It — This great work of salvation and righteousness; whereof, tho' Cyrus is the instrument, I am the author.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "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

8Drop down dew from above. Some think that a form of prayer is here added, which it was the duty of believers to use while they were waiting for the redemption which is here described; and they connect this verse with the preceding in the following manner, “The Lord will not so speedily deliver you, but still it is your duty to be diligently employed in prayer.” But I interpret it differently in this manner. The Prophet always speaks in the name of God, who, in the exercise of his authority, calls on heaven and earth to lend their services to the restoration of the Church.

This verse is fitted very powerfully to confirm the godly in the hope of future redemption; for the people, wherever they looked, saw nothing but despair. If they tumed their eyes towards heaven, there they beheld the wrath of God; if towards the earth, there also were beheld afflictions and chastisements; and therefore nothing fitted to lead them to entertain favorable hope was visible. On this account the Prophet confirms them, and enjoins heaven and earth, which held out nothing but threatentings and terrors, to bring forth salvation and “righteousness.” This is more emphatic than if he promised that it shall be, when all the elements, which are ready to yield obedience to God, receive orders as to what he wishes them to do. And thus the stream of the discourse will flow on continuously, which otherwise will be abruptly broken off, if we understand this passage to be a prayer. (197)

And let the clouds drop righteousness. This form of expression is frequently employed in Scripture; such as,

“And the mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills righteousness.”
(
Psalms 72:3.)

And again, “Piety and truth met together, righteousness and peace kissed each other; truth shall spring from the earth, and righteousness looked down from heaven;” where David describes the kingdom of Christ and its prosperity, and shews that in it “righteousness, peace, mercy, and truth, shall be joined together.” (Psalms 85:10.) This passage treats of the same subject. There is an allusion to the ordinary food of men, who subsist on bread and other productions of the soil; for their life needs such aids. Now, in order that the earth may bring forth fruits, it must obtain its vigor from heaven and draw water from the clouds, that it may be rendered fertile, and then bring forth herbs and fruits both for men and for animals.

By the word righteousness he means nothing else than the fidelity with which the Lord defends and preserves his people. The Lord thus “drops down from heaven righteousness,” that is, well established order, of which salvation is the fruit; for he speaks of the deliverance of the people from Babylon, in which the Lord shews that he will be their protector. Yet while we understand the natural meaning of the Prophet, we must come down to the kingdom of Christ, to which these words undoubtedly bear a spiritual import; for God does not limit these promises to a few years, but continues his favors down to the coming of Christ, in whom all these things were abundantly fulfilled. There can be no doubt, therefore, that he likewise celebrates that eternal righteousness and salvation which is brought to us by Christ; but we ought first to observe that simple interpretation about the return from the captivity in Babylon.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-45.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Ver. 8. Drop down, ye heavens, from above.] A prayer of the poor captives in Babylon, say some, for a speedy performance of their promised deliverance; and this the rather because else Christ could not come of them, teach in their country, work miracles, and fulfil the office of a mediator, as the prophets had foretold. Whereunto God immediately answereth: I, the Lord, have created him, or will create him, that is, send him in due time, doubt ye not. Others make it a description of Cyrus’s just and happy reign; see the like of Solomon. [Psalms 72:6-7] And indeed Cyrus is famous in heathen histories for his wisdom, justice, temperance, magnanimity, and liberality. It is not the custom of Cyrus to hoard up money, saith Xenophon, (a) for he taketh more delight in giving than in getting or possessing. But it seemeth rather to be a command from God of plenty and prosperity, opposite to that countermand. [Isaiah 5:6] The Papists apply it to Christ and his mother, and hence their roaring out of Rorate in their solemn service, a month before the feast of the nativity, and then they call for their carousing cups.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-45.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

Is not this the Lord's command? And ought not the faithful to form their earnest prayers upon it? Reader, I would say, for myself and for you, doth a gracious God in Christ command grace to drop as the dew upon the souls of his redeemed, and is Jesus himself come down us rain upon the mown grass? Oh! then for grace to say, "Lord, be it unto us according to thy word! Come, Lord, with all thy blessed influences upon our souls, and be thou to us all we need; wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, that all our glorying may be in the Lord!" Psalms 72:6; Micah 5:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:17


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-45.html. 1828.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 45:8. Drop down, ye heavens, from above Drop down, &c. and let the clouds pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and all kinds of salvation flourish; and let righteousness shoot forth together, &c. Vitringa is of opinion, that this strongly-figurative passage refers primarily to the blessings consequent upon the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity; but secondarily, and in its more complete sense, to that righteousness and salvation liberally imparted to man by the grace of the Messiah. The sense of the metaphor may be resolved into these positions. That God is willing, first, with the deliverance of the people to be effected by Cyrus, or after that deliverance and the time of Cyrus, that there should be a nearer alliance between heaven and earth than there had been before: secondly, that righteousness, as a celestial gift, should be sent down from heaven to earth, liberally and gently, and should widely diffuse itself among men. Thirdly, that the minds of men should be disposed to receive that righteousness; and that, fourthly, the faithful, together with righteousness, should be made partakers of the full salvation which God had prepared for the world; and fifthly, that all causes, celestial and terrestrial, should concur to produce this effect of the divine providence and grace. The prophet's ideas are taken from the spring, when, the rains descending, the earth opens to receive them, and is thereby rendered fruitful.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-45.html. 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 939

THE EFFICACY OF THE GOSPEL

Isaiah 45:8. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

IT is generally thought, that doctrines relating to God’s sovereignty, and to the divine decrees, are chiefly, if not exclusively, dwelt upon by the Apostle Paul. But, if any one read the Old Testament, he will find these doctrines advanced in almost every page. The chapter before us will furnish us with an instance quite in point. God had determined to deliver his people from their Babylonish captivity above two hundred years before they were carried captive, or Babylon itself, as an empire, had any prominent existence in the world: he also named the person by whom it should be effected, almost three hundred years before he was born, and yet there had never been a king of that name; and even specified the means by which he should effect the conquest of Babylon, which was so fortified as to be, humanly speaking, impregnable [Note: ver. 1–4.]: he declared, also, that that person, contrary to all reasonable expectation, should liberate them without fee or reward, and give orders for the rebuilding of their city and temple [Note: ver. 13.]. Who does not see, in all this, Jehovah acting as a Sovereign, according to his own will and pleasure, and directing every thing for his own glory? The Persians, over whom this Cyrus was to reign, had an idea that there were two separate and independent powers, represented under the emblems of light and darkness, who were the authors, the one of all good, and the other of all evil. To these they would be ready to ascribe their failure or success. But God told them, beforehand; “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I, the Lord, do all these things:” and, consequently, they must give all the glory of their success to him. Then he issues his command to the heavens and the earth to concur with him in this great event, and to produce amongst his people those blissful scenes which he had destined them to enjoy.

In this view, the words before us are, not a prayer, but a prophetic annunciation of an event which should assuredly, in due season, be accomplished. And, in our further explanation of them, I will mark,

I. The import of this prophecy—

Its primary reference is to the restoration of the Jews to their own land—

[This is the subject treated of: and to this the words undoubtedly, in the first instance, refer. Certainly, by the decree of Cyrus, the Jewish people would be delivered from most cruel bondage: and, by their re-establishment in their own land, they would, together with an abundance of temporal blessings, again enjoy the blessedness of waiting upon God in the instituted ordinances of his worship. And, inasmuch as this would tend to the advancement of their souls in righteousness and true holiness, it might justify the language by which it was expressed. To the same effect the Prophet Ezekiel speaks: “I will make them, and the places round about my hill, a blessing: and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase; and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them [Note: Ezekiel 34:26-27.].”

But it is evident that the prophecy includes in it a more important event; and that]

Its ulterior reference is to the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom—

[Under similar emblems is the Messiah’s kingdom frequently described. It is chiefly characterized by the outpouring of the Spirit upon God’s Church and people, and the consequent production of the fruits of righteousness among them in rich abundance. Remarkable is that declaration of the Prophet Joel: “It shall come to pass, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit [Note: Joel 2:28-29.].” Of the true meaning of those words we can have no doubt; because they were cited by St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, as fulfilled, when he and the rest of the Apostles were enabled by the Spirit to address their audience in the different languages of all the nations to which they belonged [Note: Acts 2:16-18.]. With a sanctifying efficacy also was this effusion of the Spirit accompanied, as Isaiah also had foretold: for “when the Spirit was to be poured out from on high, then was the wilderness to become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field to be counted for a forest [Note: Isaiah 32:15.].” This, I say, was to characterize the Christian ζra, as David also had foretold: “He shall come down like rain upon the grass, as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth [Note: Psalms 72:6-7.].”]

But my more particular object in this discourse is, to point out, not merely the sense of the prophecy, but also,

II. The peculiar beauty of the image under which it is conveyed—

We are no strangers to the benefits arising from the showers which water the earth: and the correspondence between those and the benefits accruing from an outpouring of the Spirit of God is obvious and intelligible to all. You will remember, that our text is a command to the heavens and the earth to perform their respective offices for the renovation of the world. And I wish you particularly to notice,

1. Their mutual dependence, as here intimated—

[Every one knows, that in a season of drought the earth cannot send forth its fruits: it must be watered by the clouds, in order that free scope may be given for the exercise of its vegetative and fructifying powers. In like manner, the clouds, however liberally they may pour forth their stores upon the earth, can produce no fruits, unless they fall upon a fertile soil. On a sandy desert their gifts are wasted, altogether without effect.

I say not that the Spirit of God is equally dependent on the powers of man; for man has no power which he has not first received from God: but in the ordinary course of God’s dealings with mankind there must be a similar exercise of powers on the part of man, to render effectual the gifts of God. However good the seed of the word may be, or however richly it may be watered by the Spirit of God, we see, by experience, that it springs not up when sown by the way-side; and that it then only produces fruit unto perfection, when it is sown in an honest and good heart [Note: Luke 8:15.]. I need not say how barren the heart of man is, it not watered by divine grace. He knows little of himself, who does not feel that “without” constant communications from the Lord Jesus “Christ he can do nothing [Note: John 15:5.].” Yet, at the same time, we must take care to improve the blessings conferred upon us. We must plough up the fallow ground, and harrow in the seed that is cast upon it; and endeavour to take out, from time to time, the weeds which spring up within us, and which, if disregarded, would soon obstruct the growth of the better principles within us. In a word, we must “work out our salvation with fear and trembling, notwithstanding all fruitfulness proceeds from God; yea, and because it is God who giveth us both to will and do of his good pleasure [Note: Philippians 2:12-13.].”]

2. Their united operation, as here described—

[“Behold the heavens dropping down fatness upon the earth, and the skies pouring down righteousness:” Behold, at the same time, “the earth opening” to receive the benefits, and “righteousness and salvation springing up together.” Behold this, I say, in the field of nature; what a change is wrought, almost instantaneously on the face of the earth! Behold it, also, in the field of grace. Behold a place thus visited: how blessed the change that takes place in the ordinances of religion, in the habits of the people, and in the different institutions which immediately spring up for the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom in the world! Behold a soul thus highly favoured: formerly it had not a disposition or desire but towards the things of time and sense: God, and all the wonders of redeeming love were out of sight; and eternity had but a slender influence on its decisions. But now the thoughts go forth with devout affection towards heavenly objects: prayer and praise, which formerly were no more than a mere outward form, are the sweet, I had almost said the natural, exercises of the mind. To fulfil the will of God, and to promote his glory i to enjoy his presence and to taste his love; to grow up into his image, and be made meet for his inheritance; these are now the great ends for which the soul desires to live, and the constant object of its pursuit; and all its tempers, dispositions, and habits, are brought into accordance with these new desires. Let any one, looking back upon his former life, compare with it his state since he has received the grace of God; and he will find, that his soul is become, comparatively, “like a well-watered garden;” and that the fruits of righteousness, of which it once was destitute, are springing up continually, to the praise and glory of his God. The union of the two is inseparable: wherever fruitfulness is, there has previously been the grace of God: and wherever the grace of God descends into the soul, there will immediately spring up the fruits of righteousness, as indications and evidences of its power. “Truth will assuredly spring out of the earth, when righteousness looks down from heaven [Note: Psalms 85:11.].”]

3. The true source and origin of all their efficacy—

[In my text it is said, “I the Lord have created it.” In the material world, all is of God, and of God alone. The whole universe combined could not make one shower, or give fertility to a sandy desert: nor can any power but God’s effect the renovation of fallen man. Hence it is said of the regenerate soul, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them [Note: Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:24.].” Whatever be the means used by God, the work is his alone. “Paul may plant, and Apollos water; but it is God that gives the increase [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.].” To him must every thing be traced, as much as the creation itself; even to his will, which ordains it; and to his power, which executes it: so that to him must all the glory be ascribed by every soul, both in this world and the world to come.]

see now, from hence,

1. What a blessing the Gospel is—

[No one needs be told what a blessing showers are to the thirsty earth. Precisely such is the Gospel to the souls of men: “As the rain and the snow come down from above and water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give bread to the eater and seed to the sower; so is the word which proceedeth from God,” when accompanied by the Spirit from on high [Note: Isaiah 55:10-11.]. I would that this were duly understood. Persons form strange notions about the Gospel, as though it were of no use but to produce dissensions in families, and enthusiasm in the soul: but its real and true use, as we may see from what took place at the first publication of it on the day of Pentecost, is to “make glad the wilderness, and to transform a desert into the garden of the Lord [Note: Isaiah 35:1-2.]. Let the soul, that has experienced its effects, say, whether any other principles can equal it in power, or any other fruits bear a comparison with those produced by it? Verily, “it bringeth forth fruit in all the world,” and “is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe.”]

2. What is to be done, on our part, to render it effectual—

[The earth is said to “open its mouth,” to receive the early and the latter rain: and it puts forth all its powers to make a suitable return. Thus should we do: we should be looking up to God for the gift of his Holy Spirit; and open our very souls to receive his gracious communications; and then exert every faculty for a suitable improvement of the grace given. We are to “be workers together with God.” We are not to be merely passive, in the receipt of his favours; but active, in employing them to the ends for which they are bestowed. What might we not hope for, if all our hearers came hither with such thirsting spirits, and went hence with such a determination to render unto God the fruits which he requires! Be ye in earnest, Brethren; and we shall see more and more, that, “as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to bring forth, so will the Lord God cause righteousness and peace to spring forth amongst us” in richer abundance than we have ever yet been privileged to behold them [Note: Isaiah 61:11.].]

3. To whom we are indebted, if ever it has become effectual for our good—

[I need not say to whom we are indebted, either for the fertilizing showers, or for the fruits produced by them [Note: If this be a Thanksgiving Sermon for Rain, or for a good Harvest, this idea may be a little enlarged.]. Nor need I say how cordially every well-instructed soul will acknowledge his obligations to the Lord, saying, “By the grace of God I am what I am [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:10.].” In ourselves we have no reason to glory over our more unprofitable neighbour; seeing that “it is God alone who has made us to differ from him [Note: 1 Corinthians 4:7.].” But, whilst we give all possible glory to God, from whose free and sovereign grace our blessings have proceeded [Note: James 1:17.], we must so walk as to shew us that “God is with us of a truth; and that all who behold us may acknowledge us to be “a field which the Lord has blessed.”]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/isaiah-45.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Let the skies pour down righteousness; the righteous and gracious acts of God for his people shall be so many and illustrious, as if God rained down showers of righteousness out of heaven.

Let the earth open; open itself, either to receive those showers of righteousness to be poured down from heaven, or to bring forth those fruits which might be expected from such showers.

Let them, the heavens and the earth conspiring together,

bring forth salvation; the redemption of God’s people.

Let righteousness spring up together; together with salvation. Whereas persons or people are sometimes delivered from their troubles by unjust courses, this shall be effected with righteousness, both on God’s part, who will hereby assert his own justice and faithfulness to his people; and on Cyrus’s part, who will do a most righteous and worthy action in rescuing a righteous and oppressed nation from cruel tyrants and oppressors.

I the Lord have created it; this great work of salvation, and righteousness; whereof, though Cyrus is the instrument, I am the chief author.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". 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

8. Pour down righteousness — The first sign of transition from Cyrus to Messiah’s days. God has been elaborately revealed as the true God; there is no allowing the idea, moreover, that he is a rival with the conception of a Magian deity born of the light, and a contender, half-and-half, in a system of dualism. Full conviction ought at this stage to have been furnished that he is the one pure, sole Sovereign of the universe, or there is none. And now the prophet goes off in rapture that Jehovah is, still further, the God of all righteousness, which distils like dew and pours like rain upon the face of the earth. The world, too, through divine ordering, is ready to receive righteousness whether in drops or showers. This transition is to Messianic times; and this figure shows provision for salvation to all, whether gradual or more rapid, and copious to all who are ready to take it as freely offered.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-45.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Since God is who He Isaiah , the earth can anticipate salvation. God"s transcendence and uniqueness are not just abstract truths to be believed. They have practical and positive ramifications. Since God created the earth, He can pour out blessings on it: fertility and salvation. Even though God is ultimately responsible for everything that happens, His creation can rejoice because He will only and always do what is right.

". . . the saving of his people is the clearest expression of God"s essential character, to do right [righteousness]." [Note: Oswalt, The Book . . . 40-66 , p206.]

In view of the Exodus , this announcement of a second exodus from Babylon would have been good news to Isaiah"s audience. But that God would reveal Himself to a pagan and use him to lead them out, rather than another Moses, must have come as an almost unbelievable shock. Truly God would do a new thing (cf. Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 48:6). Some of the Israelites would not believe that God would do such a thing. Thus the following section sought to convince them to believe God"s promises concerning Cyrus.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "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 45:8. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, &c. — It appears from the last clause of this verse, that these are the words of Jehovah himself, commanding blessings to descend upon his people, and exhorting his people willingly and gratefully to receive them, and to walk worthy of them. The passage is strongly figurative, and Vitringa is of opinion, that it “refers primarily to the blessings consequent upon the deliverance from the Babylonish captivity; but secondarily, and in its more complete sense, to that righteousness and salvation liberally imparted to man by the grace of the Messiah.” The words may be thus paraphrased: Let the heavens drop down, or, they shall drop down, as it were, from above, &c. God’s righteous and gracious acts, done for his people, and his blessings conferred upon them, shall be as many and illustrious as if he rained them down from heaven. But let the earth open itself, both to receive those refreshing and fertilizing showers, and to bring forth those fruits which they might be reasonably expected to produce. And let them — The heavens and the earth conspiring together; bring forth salvation — The redemption and deliverance of God’s people from Babylon, by Cyrus, and from ignorance and error, sin and death, by the Messiah. And let righteousness spring up together — Together with salvation. Let the holiness of my people bear some proportion to their privileges and advantages, and the great things I have done for them. I the Lord have created it — I am the author, both of the salvation and of the righteousness which springs up together with it.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-45.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Saviour. Thus the ancient saints thirsted for the coming of Christ. His figure is styled the just, chap. xli. 2, 25. --- Him. Christ, born of the virgin, in time, and of God from all eternity. I have appointed Cyrus to be his precursor, to set the captives free. (Calmet) --- He has been spoken of before. But now the prophet turns to Christ alone, who built his Church on a rock. (Worthington) --- Cyrus had not a right faith in God, and Zorobabel was himself set free, and was not king. (St. Jerome)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-45.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

let the earth open, &c. When the earth opened before it brought forth destruction (Numbers 16:32; Numbers 26:10 and Psalms 106:17).


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "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

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.

Drop down ye heavens - namely, the fertilizing rain (Psalms 65:12).

Let the skies - clouds. Lower than the "heavens."

Pour down righteousness - i:e., the dews of the Holy Spirit, whereby "righteousness" shall spring up.

Let the earth open - figuratively for the hearts of men on it, opened so as to receive the truth by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:14).

Let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

"Them," the earth and the heavens. Horsley prefers, with Queen Elizabeth's Bible, 'let the earth open, and let salvation and justice grow forth (literally, fructify: yipruw (Hebrew #6509)) let it bring them forth together; I the Lord have created him' (Isaiah 45:13) (Psalms 72:3; Psalms 72:6-7). The revival of religion after the return from Babylon suggests to the prophet the diffusion of Messiah's Gospel, especially in days still future; hence, the elevation of the language to a pitch above what is applicable to the state of religion after the return.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "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

(8) Let the skies pour down righteousness . . .—The vision is that of a new heaven and a new earth, in which righteousness is at once as the rain that falls from the one, and as the product of the other.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-45.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
Drop down
32:15; 44:3; Psalms 72:3,6; 85:9-12; Ezekiel 34:26; Hosea 10:12; 14:5-8; Joel 2:28,29; 3:18; Acts 2:33; Titus 3:3-6
let the earth
4:2; 11:1; 53:2; 61:3,11; 1 Corinthians 3:6-9
I the Lord
65:17,18; 66:22; Jeremiah 31:22; Ephesians 2:10; 4:24

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-45.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

THE HEAVENS DROPPING RIGHTEOUSNESS

Isa . Drop down, ye heavens, &c.

There is a fulness in the language more than commensurate with the revival of the piety and temporal well-being of the Jews after their return to Canaan. It points to Gospel times; righteousness, and all the blessings of the Messiah's reign, were to descend as copious showers and refreshing dews upon the earth … so that the desolate wilderness should suddenly become fertile (see vol. i. pp. 364, 399). The evangelic prophet invokes this. Such are the Divine promises. We may observe from the words under consideration—

I. That the Divine influence is requisite to the prosperity of religion in the heart of the believer, and in any Christian community. The moment the Church of Christ loses sight of this truth, that moment she becomes shorn of her strength. She goes a warfare at her own charges. With frail human power she attempts what Omnipotence alone can effect. In a work so great our mightiest efforts are powerless when unaided by Divine strength. This truth should be a settled principle in our hearts: "All evil is of myself. I inherit it from my birth," &c. Sin robbed man to some extent of physical beauty, and does so now. The change in his mental and moral nature was equally great. Sin weakens and debases the powers of the soul. The understanding is blinded and the heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, or it would require Satanic wickedness for men to sin against God as they now do. Our sins are unspeakably greater than we can conceive of. All evil is from ourselves, and all good is from God. This is true of saint and sinner. Divine influence is requisite in the conviction of sin, and in the conversion of the sinner (H. E. I. 1477, 1400-1405). Their progress in the Divine life, conquest over every foe, &c., are derived from "the supply of the Spirit of Christ;" in whom they possess all spiritual blessings, and are now the "partakers of the grace of life," and inheritors of the kingdom of glory.

II. That the resources of Divine grace, which God has promised to bestow in order to effect this prosperity, are abundant and inexhaustible. Such prosperity is eminently enjoyed where there are numerous conversions, and where the life of God in the hearts of His people is exemplified in every action by intense affection for one another, and their united continuous effort for man's highest weal and the Redeemer's glory. Everything revealed to us of the Divine character and purpose encourages such effort. The promises are pregnant with blessing. They reveal the purposes of Divine love, and warrant the most enlarged expectations and fervent appeals to God that He will "do as He has said." His gracious and immutable purposes are the universal spread of the Gospel. God shall pour down righteousness, the earth shall receive the abundant blessing and bring forth salvation (Rev ).

III. That human instrumentality is invariably employed, in co-operation with Divine agency, in achieving this prosperity. It is impossible to ascertain the precise point where human instrumentality and Divine agency meet, and how both are united to attain the same purpose. Our duty is to labour in dependence upon God. Would it be possible to find a Christian whose conversion was effected apart from human agency in some form or other? Every outpouring of the Spirit upon the world has been preceded by united supplication. Say not that human instrumentality is unimportant; nothing is so which God deems good to employ (1Co ). When gracious influences come down like showers and refreshing dew, the sinner should open his heart to welcome the blessing.

IV. That such a consummation is to be devoutly desired and sought by the fervent and united prayers of His believing people. The salvation of sinners, and the happiness of believers, should prompt the prayer, "Drop down," &c. Such a consummation would cause earth to bear a closer resemblance to heaven. "The whole earth shall be filled with His glory."—T. Jowett, The Christian World, July 31, 1863.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 45:8". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-45.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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