1. And now thus saith Jehovah. It is hard to say whether this is a different discourse or the same with the former; for the Prophets, whose writings have come down to us, did not separate their discourses into distinct chapters, so as to enable us to know what they spoke each day. For my own part, I think it is probable that this doctrine is connected with the preceding; for, having formerly spoken severely against the Jews, and threatened destruction to them, he wished to moderate that severity. The Lord always cares for the godly; and wickedness never abounds to such an extent that he does not at the same time preserve his people, and provide for their safety, that they may not be involved in similar destruction. I think, therefore, that the copulative ו (vau) should be viewed as disjunctive, “And yet the Lord will leave some consolation to the godly who shall remain.”
This passage ought to be carefully observed; for, although it may appear as if all had leagued for our destruction, although the anger of the Lord burn fiercely, and we think that we are very near destruction; yet, if but two or three godly persons are left, we ought not to despair; for Jehovah addresses them in this manner, Fear not. The adverb Now, which is here used, has great weight; for it means a present or immediate calamity, and, in short, a time when it appeared as if all were lost and ruined; because at that very time God does not cease to comfort his people, and gently to soothe their sorrows, that amidst the utmost despair they may preserve their hope firm and unshaken.
Such is the purport of the preface, thy Creator and Maker; for otherwise the door would have been shut against the execution of these predictions. Besides, from other passages we may conclude, that the Lord does not here speak of universal creation, such as we share with the rest of men, and by which we are born mortal, but of regeneration to the hope of a heavenly life, on account of which we are also called new creatures. This is the sense in which Paul calls us “the workmanship of God,” (Eph. 2:10,) as on former occasions we have fully explained. In this sense also he calls himself the Maker; as if he had said, that God did not “make” his Church, in which the brightness of his glory shone conspicuously, in order to undo so excellent a work. Hence we ought to observe, that the Church has nothing that is properly her own, but everything in which she excels ought to be ascribed to the gift of God.
For I have redeemed thee. This is added as the reason of the former statement, and may appropriately be viewed as referring both to the future and to the past; for the first deliverance from Egypt gave hope of another deliverance to come. Although he describes a future deliverance from the Babylonish captivity, yet the past tense is not inapplicable; for God hath redeemed us to himself before the effect of redemption reaches us; and therefore when he wishes to testify what he has decreed, namely, to redeem his Church, which appeared to have perished, he uses with propriety the past tense.
I have called thee by thy name. To “call by one’s name” means here, to admit into close relationship, as when we are adopted by God to be his children. The reason of this mode of expression is, that God rejects the reprobate in such a manner that he appears to have forgotten them. Hence, also, the Scripture says, that “he knoweth them not.” (Matt. 7:23; Luke 13:27.) From a contrast of this sort we learn more fully what is meant by being “called by God.” It is when he passes by others, and deigns to bestow on us a peculiar honour, and, from being strangers, to make us members of his household, and next takes us under his care and guardianship, so as to direct us and all our affairs. For the same reason he adds, Thou art mine, that believers may know that there will always be left a Church among the elect people, because God refuses to be deprived of his rightful possession. In short, he declares that they are his dear inheritance, of which he will never suffer himself to be robbed.
1 Whatever Israel’s blindness and insensitivity may have been in the past, God says thay are to forget that and concentrate on one fact: whose they are. The oracular form thus says the Lord underlines the firmness of this call. It is a call not to be afraid: Do not fear. This expression points out what would be the deepest pain of the exile, the fear that Israel’s sense of identity, the glory of having been a particular people called out by the eternal God, was after all just a fantasy. Much can be endured if we have a sense of destiny borne out of particular identity. Strip that away from us and we think going on in life is hardly worth it. The repeated “do not fear” (41:10, 13, 14; 43:1, 5; 44:1, 8) particularly addresses this issue: the fear that God has forsaken them, or worse, never was theirs in the first place.
In the language of Gen. 1 and 2 Isaiah reminds the people that just as God created and shaped the physical universe, so he brought them into existence as his own people. Although the emphasis here is not on the doctrine of creation, there can be no question that that doctrine is in the background. The argument that Israel is a particular creation of God could have force only if the hearers understood the allusion to creation. “Just as he created the heavens and shaped the earth, so he has created Israel; and do you think he will forget us?” The use of the paired name, Jacob/Israel, underlines both the tenderness of God toward the people and also the sense of their being a creation of God. In Egypt and at Sinai God had taken a disparate people whose only commonality was an ancestor and had made them into a nation. They had not become a nation through the long slow processes of history, but had been forged in an instant (comparatively) through the will and activity of God alone, just as he had singled out their father Jacob, and before that, his father Abraham, and had set them on a completely new path.
Scholarly opinions vary considerably as to the significance of the perfect tenses of redeemed and called. Some believe that both are the so-called prophetic perfect in which future action is seen as already completed (so Muilenburg). But calling by name is most likely a past action, referring to the naming of a child at its birth, as God had named his people Israel. Thus others see both as completed actions in the past (so Delitzsch). This view has fewer difficulties than the previous one, seeing the act of redemption as having occurred at the exodus. Yet in a sense the hope of redemption to come supplies the rationale for not fearing. Because of this point, others (e.g., Schoors) see “reedeemed” as prophetic and “called” as past, with present and future redemption springing from past calling.13 Yet nothing in the sentence itself would signal such divergent usage. Perhaps Pieper has it best when he sees both perfect verbs as representing timeless fact, true in all eras. In any case, as Alexander notes, the reference to redemption calls to mind all the stipulations for redemption in the Mosaic law. Whatever misfortunes life may have brought, no one need be trapped in them forever. Provision is made for a family member, a friend, or even oneself to pay back the debt, to deliver the slave, to commute the sentence. In God’s world fate does not have the last word. In particular,the provisions for redemption by means of substitution in the case of the firstborn (Exod. 34:20; Num. 3:45; 18:16) may explain the references to substitution here in vv. 3 and 4.
1. But now—notwithstanding God’s past just judgments for Israel’s sins.
created—not only in the general sense, but specially created as a peculiar people unto Himself (Is 43:7, 15, 21; Is 43:7, 15, 21, Is 44:2, 21, 24). So believers, “created in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:10), “a peculiar people” (1 Pe 2:9).
redeemed—a second argument why they should trust Him besides creation. The Hebrew means to ransom by a price paid in lieu of the captives (compare Is 43:3). Babylon was to be the ransom in this Case, that is, was to be destroyed, in order that they might be delivered; so Christ became a curse, doomed to death, that we might be redeemed.
called … by … name—not merely “called” in general, as in Is 42:6; 48:12; 51:2, but designated as His own peculiar people (compare Is 45:3, 4; Ex 32:1; 33:12; Jn 10:3).
43:1 Thus says the Lord emphasizes the Author of the prophecy and the certainty that it will be fulfilled (49:8; 50:1; 56:1). The words created and formed allude to the creation of the human race in Gen. 1; 2. The Hebrew verb translated created means “to fashion anew”—a divine activity, and is the same key word used in Gen. 1:1 (40:26; 41:20; 45:12, 18; 57:19; 65:17, 18). The second verb formed means “to shape,” to fashion as a potter, and is used in Gen. 2:7 of God fashioning the body of the man from the dust of the earth. The use of these verbs here suggests that the Lord’s creation of Israel as a people was as decisive an act as His creation of human beings at the beginning. In the same way, the NT describes Christians as new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10). by your name: The Lord’s use of name demonstrates His intimate relationship with the Israelites. He had revealed His name to the people (Ex. 6:2–8) and declared their name to Pharaoh (Ex. 4:22).
43:1 formed. The only explanation for the ongoing existence of the nation of Israel is God’s sovereign grace, which brought her into existence from nothing (cf. Dt 7:6–11) and sustains her. Since she was God’s creation, she could find comfort in knowing that no one or nothing can destroy her, not even her own wickedness (cf. 43:18–25; Ro 11:1, 2, 25–27). Jacob … Israel. This double designation (cf. Ge 32:28) for God’s chosen nation is used by Isaiah 21 times, 16 of them in chaps. 40–49 (9:8; 10:20; 14:1; 27:6; 29:23; 40:27; 41:8, 14; 42:24; 43:1, 22, 28; 44:1, 21, 23; 45:4; 46:3; 48:1, 12; 49:5, 6). This speaks of the Lord’s special attachment to Abraham’s physical seed. Do not fear. The Lord repeated His word, relieving Israel’s fear (35:4; 41:10, 13, 14; cf. 7:4). redeemed. God’s redemption of His people from exile is not to be complete until His Servant returns to reign over the faithful remnant in the land of Israel who have believed on Jesus Christ (cf. Zec 12:10–13:1; Ro 11:25–27; Rev 11:13). The limited return from Babylon only typified the final return. See note on 43:14.
43:1 Fear not. Knowing what they deserve, the people should fear; but hearing of their Redeemer’s choice and promise, they should not fear. redeemed. See note on 41:14. you are mine. What defines them is not their guilty blindness (42:18–25) but the grace of the One who says, “You are mine” (cf. Ex. 6:7).
43:1 he who created you, Jacob Yahweh is responsible for both Israel’s creation as living beings and their formation as a nation. Isaiah uses creation language to emphasize God’s power as Creator and His special attention to His chosen people.
I have redeemed you God already identified Himself as their Redeemer in 41:14. Now, He reminds them of the relationship between Redeemer and redeemed. The exiles have no reason to fear, because salvation is assured.
Compare Exod 6:6–7 where Yahweh similarly promises to redeem Israel and take them as His people.
I have called you by your name Isaiah’s speeches throughout this section emphasize Yahweh’s special choice of Israel (see Isa 41:8–9; 45:3–4).
43:1 God claims Israel as His own on the basis of four factors: (1) creation, (2) formation, (3) redemption, and (4) naming, which according to Oriental custom signified ownership (cf. Rom. 8:29, note).
 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 478). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Is 43:1). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 43:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.