I read through Isaiah 48 yesterday and it had another reference to God laying the foundations of the earth and stretching the heavens. (I should have started counting how many times Isaiah mentions this; they’re adding up.)
I glossed over verse 13 because it seemed similar to what I read before. But it caught my eye this morning and now it’s haunting me so I have to post about it:
“Listen to Me, Jacob,
and Israel, the one called by Me:
I am He; I am the first,
I am also the last.
My own hand founded the earth,
and My right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summoned them,
they stood up together.
“Listen to Me, O Jacob,
And Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First,
I am also the Last.
13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them,
They stand up together.
I get the picture of a person lying flat on the floor and standing up. Or a house that has a foundation and the walls being raised. Both of these things picture adding dimension or possibly mass. But I also don’t want to go too overboard with reading in science where there’s only metaphor - though it fits the cosmology I already have in my head.
So provide me your expert exegesis and commentary.
Here’s what Matthew Henry has to say:
He is the God that made the world, and he that did that can do any thing, Isa. 48:13. Look we down? We see the earth firm under us, and feel it so; it was his hand that laid the foundation of it. Look we up? We see the heavens spread out as a canopy over our heads, and it was his hand that spread them, that spanned them, that stretched them out, and did it by an exact measure, as the workman sometimes metes out his work by spans. This intimates that God has a vast reach and can compass designs of the greatest extent. If the palm of his right hand (so the margin reads it) has gone so far as to stretch out the heavens, what will he do with his outstretched arm? Yet this is not all: he has not only made the heavens and the earth, and therefore he in whom our hope and help is omnipotent (Ps. 124:8), but he has the command of all the hosts of both; when he calls them into his service, to go on his errands, they stand up together, they come at the call, they answer to their names: “Here we are; what wilt thou have us to do?” They stand up, not only in reverence to their Creator, but in a readiness to execute his orders: They stand up together , unanimously concurring, and helping one another in the service of their Maker. If God therefore will deliver his people, he cannot be at a loss for instruments to be employed in effecting their deliverance.