In my last post, we explored Yerushalayim to Be Inhabited ~ Part 1 in Yesha’yahu 44:24-28. In this post, we explore Yerushalayim to Be Inhabited ~ Part 2 in Yesha’yahu 45:1-13.
We continue to explore Adonai’s sovereignty over His creation and the future He asserts. Verses 1-8 were written at least 140 years before it was fulfilled. Recall from our last study that Koresh is Cyrus King of Persia, who was one of the greatest conquerors in world history. We will be learning quite a bit about him in this post. Adonai speaks to Koresh and announces how He intends to use Him as His agent. The passage divinely commissions Koresh. There is no reason to believe that Koresh was conscious of His role as Adonai’s agent of redemption any more than Ashur or Bavel were aware that they were used as the tool of Adonai’s anger.
1 Thus says Adonai to Koresh, His anointed, whose right hand He has grasped so that He subdues nations before Him and strips kings of their robes, so that doors open in front of him, and no gates are barred:
Adonai called Koresh His anointed. Here the use is metaphorical of Adonai’s invisible commissioning of this earthly king to function as a royal deliverer of His people. In the ancient Near East, when a god grasped the right hand of someone, it indicated special favor, commissioning, guidance, and divine endowment with skill.
2 “I will go ahead of you, leveling the hills, shattering the bronze gates, smashing the iron bars.
Adonai will cause the strong defenses of enemy cities to fall before Koresh. He will level the uneven places to speed his attack.
3 I will give you treasures hoarded in the dark, secret riches hidden away so that you will know that I, Adonai, calling you by your name, am the God of Isra’el.
As Koresh defeated nations, their wealth would come into his possession. These treasures were hidden away from the world and thus are associated with darkness and considered secret.
4 It is for the sake of Ya‘akov, My servant, yes, for Isra’el My elect, that I call you by your name and give you a title, although you don’t know me.
Adonai’s actions toward Koresh have nothing to do with Adonai’s love for Koresh or the Persians. He will use them on behalf of His people whom He calls His servant. The fact that Adonai named Koresh and called him shows that the Persian king was under His control. The fact that Adonai could forename Koresh through Yesha’yahu also shows Adonai’s ability to read the future.
5 I am Adonai; there is no other; besides Me, there is no God. I am arming you, although you don’t know Me, 6 so that those from the east and those from the west will know that there is none besides Me – I am Adonai; there is no other. 7 I form light, I create  darkness; I make well-being, I create woe; I, Adonai, do all these things.
No one should ascribe these great acts of redemption to any other god than Adonai. His lordship is not just over Isra’el but the entire world (from the east to the west). He is in control not only of the good things but also of the difficult things that occur in history.
8 “Heavens above, rain down justice; let the clouds pour it down. Let the earth open, so that salvation springs up, and justice sprouts with it. I, Adonai, have created it.”
The woe prophecy in verses 9-13 responds to those who would argue with Adonai for using a pagan king like Koresh to accomplish His purposes.
9 Woe to anyone who argues with his maker, like potsherds lying on the ground! Does the clay ask the potter, “What are you doing?” or, “What’s this you’re making, that has no hands?”
Human beings are the potsherds, and Adonai is the potter. This image reminds humans of their proper place in relationship to Adonai. There may be an allusion here to Genesis 2:7 where Adonai took the dust of the ground and formed Adam. Ancient Near Eastern myths describe human beings as the product of clay. Where the biblical and ancient Near Eastern accounts differ profoundly is in the second element that forms humans. In Scripture, Adonai used His breath, indicating a high view of humanity. In Mesopotamian accounts, the second element was the blood of a demon god, expressing a lower view of human life.
10 Woe to him who asks a father, “Of what are you the father?” or who asks a woman, “To what are you giving birth?”
The second metaphor of Adonai as a parent (father or mother) and His human creation as the child also expresses an unbalanced power relationship. A baby does not question his birth any more than a pot questions its creation. So why should Isra’el or we question God’s plan?
11 Thus says Adonai, the Holy One of Isra’el, his Maker: “You ask for signs concerning My children? You give orders concerning the work of my hands? 12 I am the one who made the earth! I created human beings on it! I – my hands – stretched out the heavens, and directed all their number. 13 I am stirring up Koresh to righteousness; I am smoothing out all his paths. He will rebuild my city; and he will free my exiles, taking neither ransom nor bribe,” says Adonai-Tzva’ot. ~ Isaiah 45:1-13 (CJB)
What is Adonai commissioning you to accomplish in your life?
In my next post, we learn of Yerushalayim to Be Inhabited ~ Part 3 in Yesha’yahu 45:14-23.
Click here for the PDF version.
 In this verse create in Hebrew is bara. That attribute is only possessed by Adonai Himself. It means to create something out of nothing.
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Hey Don… You wrote, “The fact that Adonai could forename Koresh through Yesha’yahu also shows Adonai’s ability to read the future.”
I’m going to slightly disagree with your wording here, not for argument sake, but because I know the intent of what you are saying. God doesn’t READ the future. He knows the future, the end from the beginning… Isaiah 46:9-10. Again, I know the intent of what you meant and to that I totally agree.
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As do I with yours. I’m not the best wordsmith.