Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Fear thou not . . .—The thought of the election of God gives a sense of security to His chosen.

I will strengthen thee.—The verb unites with this meaning (as in Isaiah 35:3; Psalm 89:21) the idea of attaching to one’s self, or choosing, as in Isaiah 44:14.

41:10-20 God speaks with tenderness; Fear thou not, for I am with thee: not only within call, but present with thee. Art thou weak? I will strengthen thee. Art thou in want of friends? I will help thee in the time of need. Art thou ready to fall? I will uphold thee with that right hand which is full of righteousness, dealing forth rewards and punishments. There are those that strive with God's people, that seek their ruin. Let not God's people render evil for evil, but wait God's time. It is the worm Jacob; so little, so weak, so despised and trampled on by every body. God's people are as worms, in humble thoughts of themselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them; worms, but not vipers, not of the serpent's seed. Every part of God's word is calculated to humble man's pride, and to make him appear little in his own eyes. The Lord will help them, for he is their Redeemer. The Lord will make Jacob to become a threshing instrument. God will make him fit for use, new, and having sharp spikes. This has fulfilment in the triumphs of the gospel of Christ, and of all faithful followers of Christ, over the power of darkness. God has provided comforts to supply all their wants, and to answer all their prayers. Our way to heaven lies through the wilderness of this world. The soul of man is in want, and seeks for satisfaction; but becomes weary of seeking that in the world, which is not to be had in it. Yet they shall have a constant supply, where one would least expect it. I will open rivers of grace, rivers of living water, which Christ spake of the Spirit, Joh 7:38,39. When God sets up his church in the Gentile wilderness, there shall be a great change, as if thorns and briers were turned into cedars, and fir-trees, and myrtles. These blessings are kept for the poor in spirit, who long for Divine enlightening, pardon, and holiness. And God will render their barren souls fruitful in the grace of his Spirit, that all who behold may consider it.Fear thou not - This verse is plain in its meaning, and is full of consolation. It is to be regarded as addressed primarily to the exiled Jews during their long and painful captivity in Babylon; and the idea is, that they who had been selected by God to be his special people had nothing to fear. But the promise is one that may be regarded as addressed to all his people in similar circumstances, and it is as true now as it was then, that those whom God has chosen have nothing to fear.

For I am with thee - This is a reason why they should not be afraid. God was their protector, and of whom should they be afraid. 'If God be for us, who can be against us?' What higher consolation can man desire than the assurance that he is with him to protect him?

Be not dismayed - The word rendered here 'dismayed' (תשׁתע tı̂shetta‛) is derived from שׁעה shâ‛âh, "to see, to look"; and then to look about as one does in a state of alarm, or danger. The sense here is, that they should be calm, and under no apprehension from their foes.

For I am thy God - I am able to preserve and strengthen thee. The God of heaven was their God; and as he had all power, and that power was pledged for their protection, they had nothing to fear.

I will uphold thee - I will enable you to bear all your trials.

With the right hand of my righteousness - With my faithful right hand. The phrase is a Hebrew mode of expression, meaning that God's hand was faithful, that it might be relied on, and would secure them.

10. be not dismayed—literally, anxiously to look at one another in dismay.

right hand of my righteousness—that is, My right hand prepared in accordance with My righteousness (faithfulness to My promises) to uphold thee.

Which I do and will manage with righteousness, whereby I will deliver thee, and destroy thine and mine enemies, as it follows.

Fear thou not, for I am with thee,.... Not merely by his essence or power, who is every where; or by his providence supporting, preserving, observing, ordering, and overruling all things; but in a way of special grace, to guard and protect his people, support and supply them, comfort and strengthen their hearts; wherefore they need not fear any of their enemies, nor whatsoever they may be called to suffer for his name's sake, even though they pass through fire and water, and the valley of the shadow of death:

be not dismayed, I am thy God; through Christ, in a covenant way, as appeared by the effectual calling of them; and therefore might depend on his love, be sure of his power, expect all needful supplies, and to be comfortably carried through every service and trial they were called unto; and need fear no enemies, or be dismayed at anything that should befall them; or become weak as water, and their hearts melt like wax within them, as the Jewish commentators generally interpret the word (n). The Targum is,

"be not broken;''

in spirit. The word signifies to look about, as persons in distress, and amazed:

I will strengthen thee; with strength in their souls, to perform duties, exercise grace, withstand corruptions, resist temptations, bear afflictions, suffer persecutions, and do their generation work, according to the will of God; and if God is the strength of his people, they need not be afraid of any persons or things, Psalm 27:1,

yea, I will help thee; help them out of all their afflictions and temptations, and out of the hands of all their enemies; help them in the discharge of duty, in the exercise of grace, in bearing the cross, in fighting the Lord's battles, and in their journey to another world; help them to every mercy, temporal and spiritual, to all needful supplies of grace, and at last to glory; whose help is suitable and seasonable, and may be expected, since he is able to help, either with or without means; has promised to help his people, as here, and he is faithful that has promised; he has laid help on one that is mighty, and set up a throne of grace to come to for help in time of need; and seeing he is their helper, they need not fear what men or devils can do unto them, Hebrews 13:5.

I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness; either by his almighty power, or by his Son, the man of his right hand, made strong for himself, and the author of righteousness to his people: this is expressive of his sustentation of them, not merely in a providential way, but in a way of special grace; and of his powerful protection and preservation of them, so as that they shall stand in the grace of God, go on in his ways, and not fall finally and totally, but persevere to the end, though their trials and temptations may be great and many.

(n) "neque dissolvaris", Munster; "vel ne liquefias", Vatablus. "Verbum formatum a nomine" "quod ceram significat, quae calor exposita facile dissolvitur", Munster.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the {k} right hand of my righteousness.

(k) That is, by the force of promise, in the performance of which I will show myself faithful and just.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. be not dismayed] lit. “look not round” in terror.

I will strengthen] The perf. tense used in the original expresses the unalterable determination of the speaker’s will; Driver, Tenses, § 13.

the right hand of my righteousness] Either “my righteous right hand,” or, “my right hand of righteousness.” See Appendix, Note II.

Verse 10. - Fear thou not. This verse is most closely connected with the two preceding. The clauses in vers. 8, 9 are one and all vocative; here the verb follows. The whole passage is one of great tenderness. I am with thee (comp. Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; and see above (vol. 1, p. 132), on the force of the word" Immanuel"). I will strengthen thee; rather, I have strengthened thee, or I have chosen thee (Delitzsch, Cheyne). The two other verbs are also in the past tense. While primarily they declare past favours, they may also be regarded as prophetic of future ones, since "with God is no variableness.' Isaiah 41:10The proof adduced by Jehovah of His own deity closes here. But instead of our hearing whether the nations, with which He has entered upon the contest, have any reply to make, the address turns to Israel, upon which deliverance dawns from that very quarter, from which the others are threatened with destruction. "And thou, Israel my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, seed of Abraham my friend, thou whom I have laid hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from the corners thereof, and said to thee, Thou art my servant, I have chosen and not despised thee; fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not afraid, for I am thy God: I have chosen thee, I also help thee, I also hold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." The ו before ואתּה connects together antitheses, which show themselves at once to be antitheses. Whereas the nations, which put their trust in idols that they themselves had made, were thrown into alarm, and yielded before the world-wide commotions that had originated with the eastern conqueror, Israel, the nation of Jehovah, might take comfort to itself. Every word here breathes the deepest affection. The address moves on in soft undulating lines. The repetition of the suffix ך, with which אשׁר forms a relative of the second person, for which we have no equivalent in our language (Ges. 123, Anm. 1), gives to the address a pressing, clinging, and, as it were, loving key-note. The reason, which precedes the comforting assurance in Isaiah 41:10, recals the intimate relation in which Jehovah had placed Himself towards Israel, and Israel towards Himself. The leading thought, "servant of Jehovah," which is characteristic of chapters 40-46, and lies at the root of the whole spirit of these addresses, more especially of their Christology, we first meet with here, and that in a popular sense. It has both an objective and a subjective side. On the one hand, Israel is the servant of Jehovah by virtue of a divine act; and this act, viz., its election and call, was an act of pure grace, and was not to be traced, as the expression "I have chosen and not despised thee' indicates, to any superior excellence or merit on the part of Israel. On the contrary, Israel was so obscure that Jehovah might have despised it; nevertheless He had anticipated it in free unmerited love with this stamp of the character indelibilis of a servant of Jehovah. On the other hand, Israel was the servant of Jehovah, inasmuch as it acted out what Jehovah had made it, partly in reverential worship of this God, and partly in active obedience. את־ה עבד, i.e., "serving Jehovah," includes both liturgical service (also עבד absolutely, Isaiah 19:23) and the service of works. The divine act of choosing and calling is dated from Abraham. From a Palestinian point of view, Ur of Chaldaea, within the old kingdom of Nimrod, and Haran in northern Mesopotamia, seemed like the ends and corners of the earth ('ătsı̄lı̄m, remote places, from 'âtsal, to put aside or apart). Israel and the land of Israel were so inseparably connected, that whenever the origin of Israel was spoken of, the point of view could only be taken in Palestine. To the far distant land of the Tigris and Euphrates had Jehovah gone to fetch Abraham, "the friend of God" (James 2:23), who is called in the East even to the present day, chalil ollah, the friend of God. This calling of Abraham was the furthest terminus a quo of the existence of Israel as the covenant nation; for the leading of Abraham was providentially appointed with reference to the rise of Israel as a nation. The latter was pre-existent in him by virtue of the counsel of God. And when Jehovah adopted Abraham as His servant, and called him "my servant" (Genesis 26:24), Israel, the nation that was coming into existence in Abraham, received both the essence and name of a "servant of Jehovah." Inasmuch then as, on looking back to its past history, it would not fail to perceive that it was so thoroughly a creation of divine power and grace, it ought not to be fearful, and look about with timidity and anxiety; for He who had presented Himself at the very beginning as its God, was still always near. The question arises, in connection with the word אמּצתּי, whether it means to strengthen (Isaiah 35:3; Psalm 89:22), or to lay firm hold of, to attach firmly to one's self, to choose. We decide in favour of the latter meaning, which is established by Isaiah 44:14, cf., Psalm 80:16, Psalm 80:18. The other perfects affirm what Jehovah has ever done, and still continues to do. In the expression "by the right hand of my righteousness," the justice or righteousness is regarded pre-eminently on its brighter side, the side turned towards Israel; but it is also regarded on its fiery side, or the side turned towards the enemies of Israel. It is the righteousness which aids the oppressed congregation against its oppressors. The repeated אף heaps one synonym upon another, expressive of the divine love; for ו simply connects, גּם appends, אף heaps up (cumulat). Language is too contracted to hold all the fulness of the divine love; and for this reason the latter could not find words enough to express all that it desired.
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