The Book of Isaiah: Is.45:1-4- “Surname”

Here we get a prophecy which is unusual. It is a Messianic prophecy alright but significance of the verse and symbols used bring the two narrative bodies namely the history of Israel and of the Gentiles as one.  Prophet Isaiah refers Cyrus as his Anointed One and it is a clue for us to keep in mind that he is in fact using the historical personage to foreshadow the advent of Jesus Christ.  Jesus the Servant King in turn is a stand in for the Messiah  or Christos. The manner the Spirit uses God’s Time connects the individuals for example Cyrus from the Gentile world with the Anointed One who in the Book the Revelation is shown as the ‘King of Kings, Lord of Lords (Re.19:16).’  Now interestingly enough the expression ‘two leaved gates’ pertains to  temporal success of The King of Persia, and by the same rationale in which the Spirit employs Time it leads us to eternity where ‘the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day (Re. 21:24).’ In the previous post we had discussed the redemption aspect fills both heaven and the earth as one.  Joy of salvation over one with a name as grand as King Cyrus is same as Zacchaeus, or Lazarus. This universality* of being part of the narrative according to the will of the Father and of the Son explains the surname. The heel catching Jacob was given another name Israel. Similarly when Simon Peter became an apostle he was given a new name. “…. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone (Jn.1:42)”. By nature his name derived from Simeon one of the sons of Jacob noted for cruelty and horrible in the manner he avenged the insult to his sister Dinah. But in Jesus Christ he got a new handle as surname and it signified a rock-like quality.  Prophet Isaiah gives the distinction of the two. “I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me(v.4)”.
What does this expression mean,’Though thou hast not known me’? Predestination of every child of God is established by testimony of two.  Name of the father written in the forehead is same as the name found in the book of the Lamb (Re.21:27).

*(Gal.3: 28-29)” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus./ And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

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The Book of Isaiah-Is.44:23 “Redemption”

“Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel(v.23)”.

When we speak of glory of the Lord it is understood that it is divine Nature given expression.  When Moses gave Israel the law he prefaced it with a statement. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: (Deut.6:4-9)*” When He breathed into the nostril of man he became a living soul. So when this servant of God enjoined them,”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (v.5)” this Oneness did not undergo any division neither does man. But his soul his senses are at odds on account of sin. Gal.5:17-26 “The flesh lusteth against the spirit….”

Now let us consider this verse: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Ro.10:17)”. Both heart and mouth speak of one body, is it not? Righteousness comes from believing that it is so. Is it not faith? Faith cometh by hearing .The Word made flesh and its significance is crucial to make God and man connect. It is thus we use according to human understanding Christ in terms of the Anointed One, messenger of God, Servant etc., Each of these facets we associate with Jesus is a clue into the nature of God, the Invisible God whom no one can see. When Jesus manifested in flesh He made God is Love stand out vivid. In his crucifixion and resurrection we gather additional information what it is to love man who is not worthy of notice but He did it anyway because God loved the world. Jesus by obedience revealed a way by which we can have fellowship with God. 

On our part warring members of our body have to be brought into a single uniform pattern and it is by having the mind of Christ. It is for this reason Moses explained what the children of Israel were to do. “Love with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” Here is a purpose all brought to bear upon God. 

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God is One but soul of man ( aspect of the Breath of God) and heart (Mt.15:19) would require through cleansing so treasure of Christian living the joy of salvation like honey in a hive overflows. It is possible after one confesses with the mouth(Ro.10:10) It is part of the body (hearing the Word part) and there is no division. The process of salvation is for three aspects of man in which Will of the Father and the fulfillment by the Son must be as one.  Where one’s heart is  that is where treasure is, so joy of Salvation in our hearts must be maintained by being led by the Spirit. We are children of God.

 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ (Ro.10:17-NIV)”. Our body is one but faith connects with God to give the living soul an overall picture of what it signifies. Salvation is the certainty of glory of God having done its work. Christian Living is therefore growing from glory to glory. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Co.3.18)” “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1 Co.15:26). From these we know death is only as far as our bodies are concerned. In this Holy Week,- and Good Friday is qualified as good, we have in the example of Jesus Christ that we shall rise even as he did. Our spiritual bodies testify the glory of God, – incorruptible bodies testifying unto eternity His mercies.

In the key verse Prophet Isaiah inspired by the Spirit speaks of joy that fills the heaven and the earth, and this joy of salvation is the basis of the new song and no one can sing it by their will or art . It is learned of God when his glory has replaced the darkness that had held a captive heart. “ Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Lk.15:7-10)”.

*God is One but in the manner His breath made man a living soul we are shown three aspects in which He is a reality to us. His breath quickened our soul and reading of the Word created conditions for faith in us and confession with our mouths completed it to redeem us from corruptible bodies on account of the fall of Adam.

Benny

 

 

 

 

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The Book of Isaiah- Is.44:21-28 The Anointed One

In this Holy Week we are celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord Redeemer. In the present passage from the Book of Isaiah let us first consider the verse: “Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things;(v.24a)”We get two ideas from this. Firstly each of us has been formed before the world began. secondly it is the Lord’s doing. Predestination and election are  theological concepts to delineate divine Power and Wisdom. We shall come to this after we have fixed the significance of the entire verse quoted here. Here is the part left out earlier.”……that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;(v.24b.)”

So when the Lord God stretches out the heavens alone, it underlies the wisdom in which his breath garnishes the vast expense with his starry host (Jb.26:13). “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth (Ps,33:6-7)” It is another way of saying power of the eternal word was provided for so the crooked serpent may flee but shall not escape  judgment.. The first part of v.24 is balanced by the second part. God is a Spirit (Jn.4:23). “that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;  Each of us is obligated to fix our place as though every one is called since God did require us for a purpose. God alone is good so when He has sent his Son to the world  He was true to his nature.

When God set the emblem of the Slain Lamb before the world began therefore must be applicable to each of us. God sent his ‘only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life(Jn.3:16).’ God is love and is a Spirit so our world is sensitized by Love or Providence by which creatures great or small find succour from His manifold mercies.

His eternal Word is a rest frame every one of us shall be set in proper order and this is the basis for predestination. “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed (Mal.3:6). He has willed and it has significance; and His Son as the slain Lamb is a symbol and it does not change. Fulfillment of what He purposed also endures as it was so, and it signifies Power and Wisdom of God. Intent Symbol and meaning are as three fold cord  of Word. Predestination sees us as though foreordained to which we are called. How do we make our election sure? Man with free will we are called to believe in the Anointed One his Son Jesus Christ.  As many antitypes are found Cyrus is designated as the Anointed One pointing to the advent of Messiah King.

 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.t22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

24 Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

27 That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

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The Book of Isaiah-Is.44:8-20- “God: deconstructed

Dictionary gives two meanings to the word deconstruct. One meaning is in context of analyzing a text into ideas or concepts. Second meaning arises from breaking down an existing object and reassembling the parts not necessarily for the original purpose. Prophet Isaiah points to Israel the folly of deconstructed pagan gods and their worship of gods which are no gods. These stand no comparison to the real God, the Holy One of Israel.
We are considering Deconstruction in the second sense. What would this mean? In the epistle to the Romans St Paul explains how God is abased because the imagination of man is clouded by sin (which in turn allows a foolish heart) to give free run for impulses that are normally associated with it. In pagan worship fertility rites formed a staple part of service. Self-harm and flagellation and even human sacrifices were demanded in order to please some gods. Our Savior Lord explained to what such cultus owed. Poor foolish human heart of course. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,/Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:/ All these evil things come from within, and defile the man(Matt.7:21-23).
Now for the quote from the Romans. “Changing the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto a man, and to birds…” St. Paul says by deconstruction they changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Ro.1:20,23,25)

9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.

12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.

13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:

And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god(v.17)”.
A cedar or an oak has its own natural beauty and it drinks water from heaven and draws its sustenance from the soil. God as the Maker of of heaven and the earth provided for trees beasts and man their upkeep. That speaks of the glory of God. To hew down an ancient sentinel of time one part goes for firewood and another for the rafters and beams to support the roof of a dwelling-place. Another piece is used by a carpenter to carve an idol. He is worshiping what he has found use to keep warm and cook his pottage. It serves for him his god. What idol he made is no better than other uses he found. Similarly gold panned from some riverbed goes to the mint and part of it to be made into ornaments and fillings for teeth. Yet we have those who worship it with due reverence they give to God. Serving mammon has become a cultus practiced by Modern churches in no whit different from the foolish pagans. This is how modern churches have deconstructed God. What does Prophet Isaiah says to them. Verses from 18 to 20 ought to be read with care. Those who worship prosperity and make a theology of it have developed a deceived heart condition.

18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

19 And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

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The Book of Isaiah: Is.44:1-8 “Calling”

Before the worlds began the voice of the Lord was sent out. In the book of Psalms we read of it having a range as waves and billows, “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me(Ps.42:7)”. In short glory of the Lord God is what His Power and Wisdom in action would mean for us. On this aspect we have the testimony of King David. ‘thou hast beset me behind and before…(Ps.139:2) It is a knowledge which is simply called spiritual discernment. Foreknowledge is a manifestation of life forms in secular context and it has significance. How life forms evolve and find their niches is not haphazard or serendipitous discovery. Where a species when crowded on land take to sea as in the case of the fossil of a four legged whale(Peregocetus pacificus) off the coast of Peru is not an accident. It simply made an intelligent guess some 42.4 million years ago.
In theological terms glory of the Lord is imparted to His creation so faith connects man with God. Separation of light before the creation of the sun, moon and the stars was the means to separate carnal from spiritual aspects. Consequently spirit of man has its uses whereas spirit of faith sets him entirely at His disposal. It is how children of light and children of wrath are formed. Glory of the Lord shined on them as natural as it made Abraham trust that He who has called him was also faithful. Prophet Isaiah faulted Judah and Jerusalem saying the ox knew his master and the ass his master’s crib whereas they did not know the Lord God. If man cannot produce as much sense as these beasts of burden what was preventing them? Problem of sin had muddied the entire body and each one went after their own course. The city of Jerusalem was once full of judgment or spiritual discernment but sin made them murderers (Is.1:21).
Without the glory of God their silver had become dross and they were like a garden that had no water(1:30).

Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:(v.1)
Compare the burden of Isaiah at the beginning:”Hear, O heavens(Is.1:2).”The prophet is calling the heaven and the earth as witnesses. Here he is directly addressing the nation to hearken the promises of God that never turned out to be hollow. Only their spiritual blindness failed them. He was going to remedy their spiritual vacuum. The passages that predicted the coming of the Servant his messenger were meant for their spiritual awakening.

2 Thus saith the Lord that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen(v.2)
God had foreordained Jacob is signified here.Compare the expression ‘Formed thee from the womb’ with the wonderful psalm of David where he affirms that God did possess his reins.” My substance was not hid from thee…when as yet there was none of them (Ps.139:13-16).”

“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:(v.3)”
In the latter days God shall pour out his Spirit is a promise we read in the Book of Joel(Joel.2:28-29). At the Jacob’s well Jesus obviously referred to this(Jn.4:14). ‘Water that I shall give him’ is a gift, blessing that fortifies him to receive eternal life. So the Suffering servant is God’s Promise and it was intended to restore the nation of Israel back to health and blessedness of being His people.

4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.

5 One shall say, I am the Lord’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.

6 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
Benny

 

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The Book of Isaiah-Is.43:8-38- “Witnessing The Lord”

How do we witness the Lord? Prophet Isaiah enumerates what the Lord God has been to His people: Savior,Redeemer Your Holy One,Your King, the Lord, and God. There is no place on the earth or under the earth or in heaven where the glory of God has not had sovereign Authority. Physical laws that keep the earth are proof of His Power and Wisdom. And those have nothing to say on the matter are blind having eyes, deaf having ears. Here in the case of Israel and the Gentiles such a condition has more to do with their spiritual vacuum than anything else. Jacob was called by name and the nation chosen to be His own, How wonderfully He led them out of their bondage to a land flowing with milk and honey. But in their failure to witness of His Name or Holiness they were found with strange gods so to speak. If they cannot deem Him as He is they have made God the maker of heaven and the earth a lie. In short they have been witnessing alternate facts. Oh, we have modern churches,- and mammon is what they follow and the gospel of prosperity is nothing from God but alternate facts. They don’t even distinguish between truth and falsehood so miracles are for them fake news. Their ecumenism dare not show Christ for what he is so when a pastor seriously state that suffering is not Christian-like what is he speaking about? Suffering Servant whose suffering was for our sakes, for our sins. Despite the testimony in the word of God that ‘by his stripes we are healed(Is.53:5)’ which is the very basis to be called into fellowship of God through him. Our witnessing him as any other would be complete falsehood. Without death and suffering, no glory of being risen Christ and if we refuse to conform to it every step of the way we witness another Christ, a lie nevertheless. If we are loath to admit before the world and what his blood has done for us what else can give muscle to Christian experience? Evangelicalism today is in a false position as Israel was in the time of Isaiah and this verse applies to them: “Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.(v.28)” If white nationalism is a curse and the highest in the realm whether prince or President espouses such cause it is tantamount to profaning the sanctuary. ‘In God we trust’ was symptomatic of the role of church as sanctuary.

“Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears(v.8)”.

9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth.

10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.

12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.

13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

14 Thus saith the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.

15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.

16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;

17 Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow.

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.

21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

22 But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.

23 Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense.

24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.

25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

27 Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.

28 Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.

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The Book of Isaiah-Is.43:1-7 “Name of Lord”

In order to understand God’s ways with Israel we only need look at the way the nation tried the patience of God. For instance when Moses sent twelve scouts to reconnoitre the land they brought a false report(Nu.13).”It is a good land…(Deut.1:25)” Notwithstanding they would not go up to possess as God had promised them. It was in no way different from the golden calf they made soon after the Lord God had wonderfully delivered them from Pharaoh and his chariots. He parted the sea and led them through. When God called up Moses from clouds above Mount Sinai and he was absent for 400 days and nights to commune with God what did they say? “We wot not what is become of him(Ex.32:1b)”. If they could not believe their own eyes and doubt, it must be said there was something seriously wrong with their faculties of understanding. They were like infants not to connect the clouds thunder lightening and Moses covered by clouds! Faith is what makes man connect with God. But the children of Israel saw these as two different things. This has been their error and it is still their fault. God is a Spirit and they cannot grasp it. So they wanted Jesus to show sure sign or wonders to prove his credentials. They were like children with short attention span and had to be convinced at all times.
A false report like a heresy is making God out to denote something not true. When we read of white evangelicalism or white supremacists label themselves The Covenant, the Sword the Arm of the Lord and is it not making a mockery of God? The wrath of the Lord shall be reveled on account of such scoffers and evil ungodly men. It would not be land of milk and honey they inherit but drought polar vortex and hurricanes that sweep everything good from the face of the earth. Predicament of Jacob and Israel was similar.
God promises to restore their health and fortunes. Promises of God as sure as His promise to Abraham shall overflow in order to cover all families on the earth. “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him(v.7).

But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

3 For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;

6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;

7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

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