Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
isa 48:1Called - Who are Israelites in name, but not in truth. Are come - From the lineage of your progenitor, Judah, as waters flow from a fountain. Swear - Who profess the true religion; (one act of religion being put for all) and call themselves by his name.
isa 48:2Though - They glory that they are citizens of Jerusalem, a city sanctified by God, to be the place of his true worship, and gracious presence. And stay - Not by a true faith, but a vain confidence.
isa 48:4I knew - Therefore I gave thee clearer demonstrations of my nature and providence, because I knew thou wast an unbelieving nation. Thy neck - Will not bow down to receive my yoke. Thy brow - Thou wast impudent.
isa 48:6See - As thou hast heard all these things, from time to time, seriously consider them. Declare - I call you to witness: must you not be forced to acknowledge the truth of what I say? Shewed - And I have now given thee new predictions of secret things, such as 'till this time were wholly unknown to thee, concerning thy deliverance out of Babylon by Cyrus.
isa 48:7Created - Revealed to thee by me; brought to light, as things are by creation. Not - Heb. not from thence, not from these ancient times when other things were revealed to thee. Or - Heb. and (or, or, as this particle is frequently used) before this day. This day answers to now in the first clause: and seems to be added as an exposition of it. Before this time in which God hath revealed them to thee by my ministry. I knew - Either by thine own sagacity: or by the help of thine idols.
isa 48:8Yea - The same thing is repeated, because this was so illustrious a proof of the infinite power and providence of God. Thine ear - Thou didst not hear, I did not reveal these things unto thee: for so this phrase of opening the ear is understood, Sa1 9:15. I knew - I knew all these cautions were necessary to cure thine infidelity. Called - Justly, thou wast indeed such.
isa 48:9For my sake - I will spare thee, and deliver thee out of captivity, not for thy sake, but merely for my own sake, and for the vindication of my name, that I may be praised for my power, faithfulness, and goodness.
isa 48:10Behold - Although I will not cut thee off, yet I will put thee into the furnace. Silver - Which is kept in the furnace so long 'till all the dross be purged away, I will not deal so rigorously with thee; for then I should wholly consume thee. I will chuse - God had in a manner rejected Israel, and therefore it was necessary he should chuse and try this people a second time.
isa 48:11It - This great work of delivering my people out of Babylon. Name - If I should not deliver my people, my name would be profaned and blasphemed. Glory - I will not give any colour to idolaters, to ascribe the divine nature and properties, to idols, as they would do if I did not rescue my people out of their hands in spite of their idols.
isa 48:12O Israel - Whom I have called out of the world to be my peculiar people.
isa 48:13Stand up - They are still continually in readiness to execute my commands.
isa 48:14Which - Which of the gods whom any of you serve. Him - Cyrus.
isa 48:16In secret - l have openly revealed my mind to you. The beginning - Either from the first time that I began to prophecy until this time: or from the beginning of my taking you to be my people, and of revealing my mind unto you. From the time - From the time that I first spoke of it, I am or was there, to effect what I had foretold. The Lord - God by his Spirit. Me - The prophet Isaiah; who was a type of Christ, and so this may have a respect to him also.
isa 48:17Teacheth - Who from time to time have made known to thee, all necessary doctrines; which, if observed by thee, would have been infinitely profitable to thee, both for this life and that to come. So that it is not my fault, but thine own, if thou dost not profit. Leadeth - Who acquainteth thee with thy duty in all the concerns of thy life; so that thou canst not pretend ignorance.
isa 48:18As the waves - Infinite and continual.
isa 48:20Singing - With joy and songs of praise. Declare - Publish God's wonderful works.
isa 48:21They thirsted not - They shall not thirst. He speaks of things to come, as if they were already past.
isa 48:22No peace - God having foretold that peace which he would give to his servant Jacob, adds an explication; and declares, that wicked men should not enjoy the benefit of this mercy.