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Isaiah 45:23

Adam Clarke
Bible 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.

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.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The nations are exhorted to draw near to Jehovah. None besides is able to help; he is the Saviour, who can save without the assistance of any, but without whom none can save. If the heart is brought into the obedience of Christ, the knee will cheerfully obey his commands. To Christ men shall come from every nation for blessings; all that hate his cause shall be put to shame, and all believers shall rejoice in him as their Friend and Portion. All must come to him: may we now come to him as the Lord our Righteousness, walking according to his commandments.
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 366.5

God will prepare the mind to recognize Him who alone can help the striving, struggling soul. All who stand under His banner He will educate to be faithful stewards of His grace. God has given man immortal principles, to which every human power must one day bow. He has given us truth in trust. The precious beams of this light are not to be hidden under a bushel, but are to give light to all that are in the house. Truth, imperishable truth, is to be made prominent. Show those with whom you come in contact that the truth is of consequence to you. It means much to you to stand by the principles that will live through the eternal ages. LHU 366.5

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 670

The aim of the great rebel has ever been to justify himself and to prove the divine government responsible for the rebellion. To this end he has bent all the power of his giant intellect. He has worked deliberately and systematically, and with marvelous success, leading vast multitudes to accept his version of the great controversy which has been so long in progress. For thousands of years this chief of conspiracy has palmed off falsehood for truth. But the time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated and the history and character of Satan disclosed. In his last great effort to dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the City of God, the archdeceiver has been fully unmasked. Those who have united with him see the total failure of his cause. Christ's followers and the loyal angels behold the full extent of his machinations against the government of God. He is the object of universal abhorrence. GC 670.1

Satan sees that his voluntary rebellion has unfitted him for heaven. He has trained his powers to war against God; the purity, peace, and harmony of heaven would be to him supreme torture. His accusations against the mercy and justice of God are now silenced. The reproach which he has endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly upon himself. And now Satan bows down and confesses the justice of his sentence. GC 670.2

“Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Verse 4. Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy has now been made plain. The results of rebellion, the fruits of setting aside the divine statutes, have been laid open to the view of all created intelligences. The working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of God has been presented to the whole universe. Satan's own works have condemned him. God's wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all His dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of His people and the good of all the worlds that He has created. “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.” Psalm 145:10. The history of sin will stand to all eternity as a witness that with the existence of God's law is bound up the happiness of all the beings He has created. With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: “Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” GC 670.3

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 344.1

I have sworn by myself, ... That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. Isaiah 45:23, 24. Mar 344.1

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 455

“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:2. CT 455.1

The Old Testament Scriptures were the lesson book of Israel.... There are practical lessons in the word of God, lessons that Christ would have teachers and parents present to the children in the school and in the home. That word teaches living, holy principles, which prompt men to do unto others as they would have others do unto them—principles which they are to bring into the daily life here below, and carry with them into the school above. This is the higher education. No learning of human origin can gain these heights; for they reach into eternity, and are immortalized. We know altogether too little of the greatness of the love and compassion of God. CT 455.2

Let students put to the stretch their mental faculties, that they may comprehend the forty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. Such chapters as this should be brought into our schools as a valuable study. They are better than romance and fables. Why have our schools been so dependent upon books which tell so little of the city we claim to be seeking, whose builder and maker is God? Our lesson books should contain the loftiest themes of thought. Heaven is our home. Our citizenship is above, and our lives must not be devoted to a world that is soon to be destroyed.... CT 455.3

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