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Isaiah 65:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I am inquired of by them that asked not [for me]; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask [for Me]; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— I am sought by [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found by [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, to a nation [that] was not called by my name.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I am sought out of them that inquired not [for me], I am found of them that sought me not; I have said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— I have let myself be consulted, by them who had not asked, I have suffered myself to be found, by them who had not sought me,—I have said, Here I am! Here I am! Unto a nation that had not been called by my name.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— I have been inquired of by those who asked not, I have been found by those who sought Me not, I have said, 'Behold Me, behold Me,' Unto a nation not calling in My name.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— They have sought me that before asked not for me, they have found me that sought me not. I said: Behold me, behold me, to a nation that did not call upon my name.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— I am sought [of them that] asked not [for me]: I am found [of them] that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, vnto a nation [that] was not called by my name.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I became manifest to them that asked not for me; I was found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold, I am [here], to a nation, who called not on my name.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— I am sought of [them that] asked not [for me]; I am found of [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation [that] was not called by my name.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
I am sought 1875
{1875} Prime
A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
of [them that] asked 7592
{7592} Prime
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
not 3808
{3808} Prime
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
[for me]; I am found 4672
{4672} Prime
A primitive root; properly to come forth to, that is, appear or exist; transitively to attain, that is, find or acquire; figuratively to occur, meet or be present.
<8738> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 1429
of [them that] sought 1245
{1245} Prime
A primitive root; to search out (by any method; specifically in worship or prayer); by implication to strive after.
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
me not: 3808
{3808} Prime
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
I said, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Behold x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
me, behold x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
me, unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
a nation 1471
{1471} Prime
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.
[that] was not x3808
(3808) Complement
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
called 7121
{7121} Prime
A primitive root (rather identical with H7122 through the idea of accosting a person met); to call out to (that is, properly address by name, but used in a wide variety of applications).
<8795> Grammar
Stem - Pual (See H8849)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 199
by my name. 8034
{8034} Prime
A primitive word (perhaps rather from H7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 65:1

_ _ Isaiah 65:1-25. God’s reply in justication of His dealings with Israel.

_ _ In Isaiah 64:9, their plea was, “we are all Thy people.” In answer, God declares that others (Gentiles) would be taken into covenant with Him, while His ancient people would be rejected. The Jews were slow to believe this; hence Paul says (Romans 10:20) that Isaiah was “very bold” in advancing so unpopular a sentiment; he implies what Paul states (Romans 2:28; Romans 9:6, Romans 9:7; Romans 11:1-31), that “they are not all (in opposition to the Jews’ plea, Isaiah 64:9) Israel which are of Israel.” God’s reason for so severely dealing with Israel is not changeableness in Him, but sin in them (Isaiah 65:2-7). Yet the whole nation shall not be destroyed, but only the wicked; a remnant shall be saved (Isaiah 65:8-10, Isaiah 65:11-16). There shall be, finally, universal blessedness to Israel, such as they had prayed for (Isaiah 65:17-25).

_ _ I am soughtHebrew, “I have granted access unto Me to them,” etc. (so Ezekiel 14:3, “Should I be inquired of”; Ephesians 2:18).

_ _ foundRomans 10:20 renders this, “I was made manifest.” As an instance of the sentiment in the clause, “I am sought,” etc., see John 12:21; of the sentiment in this clause, Acts 9:5. Compare as to the Gentile converts, Ephesians 2:12, Ephesians 2:13.

_ _ Behold me — (Isaiah 45:22).

_ _ nation ... not called by my name — that is, the Gentiles. God retorts in their own words (Isaiah 63:19) that their plea as being exclusively “called by His name” will not avail, for God’s gospel invitation is not so exclusive (Romans 9:25; Romans 1:16).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 65:1-7

_ _ The apostle Paul (an expositor we may depend upon) has given us the true sense of these verses, and told us what was the event they pointed at and were fulfilled in, namely, the calling in of the Gentiles and the rejection of the Jews, by the preaching of the gospel, Romans 10:20, Romans 10:21. And he observes that herein Esaias is very bold, not only in foretelling a thing so improbable ever to be brought about, but in foretelling it to the Jews, who would take it as a gross affront to their nation, and therein Moses's words would be made good (Deuteronomy 32:21), I will provoke you to jealousy by those that are no people.

_ _ I. It is here foretold that the Gentiles, who had been afar off, should be made nigh, Isaiah 65:1. Paul reads it thus: I was found of those that sought me not; I was made manifest to those that asked not for me. Observe what a wonderful and blessed change was made with them and how they were surprised into it. 1. Those who had long been without God in the world shall now be set a seeking him; those who had not said, Where is God my maker? shall now begin to enquire after him. Neither they nor their fathers had called upon his name, but either lived without prayer or prayed to stocks and stones, the work of men's hands. But now they shall be baptized and call on the name of the Lord, Acts 2:21. With what pleasure does the great God here speak of his being sought unto, and how does he glory in it, especially by those who in time past had not asked for him! For there is joy in heaven over great sinners who repent. 2. God shall anticipate their prayers with his blessings: I am found of those that sought me not. This happy acquaintance and correspondence between God and the Gentile world began on his side; they came to know God because they were known of him (Galatians 4:9), to seek God and find him because they were first sought and found of him. Though in after-communion God is found of those that seek him (Proverbs 8:17), yet in the first conversion he is found of those that seek him not; for therefore we love him because he first loved us. The design of the bounty of common providence to them was that they might seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him and find him, Acts 17:27. But they sought him not; still he was to them an unknown God, and yet God was found of them. 3. God gave the advantages of a divine revelation to those who had never made a profession of religion: I said, Behold me, behold me (gave them a sight of me and invited them to take the comfort and benefit of it) to those who were not called by my name, as the Jews for many ages had been. When the apostles went about from place to place, preaching the gospel, this was the substance of what they preached: “Behold God, behold him, turn towards him, fix the eyes of your minds upon him, acquaint yourselves with him, admire him, adore him; look off from your idols that you have made, and look upon the living God who made you.” Christ in them said, Behold me, behold me with an eye of faith; look unto me, and be you saved. And this was said to those that had long been lo-ammi, and lo-ruhamah (Hosea 1:8, Hosea 1:9), not a people, and that had not obtained mercy, Romans 9:25, Romans 9:26.

_ _ II. It is here foretold that the Jews, who had long been a people near to God, should be cast off and set at a distance Isaiah 65:2. The apostle applies this to the Jews in his time, as a seed of evil-doers. Romans 10:21, But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. Here observe,

_ _ 1. How the Jews were courted to the divine grace. God himself, by his prophets, by his Son, by his apostles, stretched forth his hands to them, as Wisdom did, Proverbs 1:24. God spread out his hands to them, as one reasoning and expostulating with them, not only beckoned to them with the finger, but spread out his hands, as being ready to embrace and entertain them, reaching forth the tokens of his favour to them, and importuning them to accept them. When Christ was crucified his hands were spread out and stretched forth, as if he were preparing to receive returning sinners into his bosom; and this all the day, all the gospel-day. He waited to be gracious, and was not weary of waiting; even those that came in at the eleventh hour of the day were not rejected.

_ _ 2. How they contemned the invitation; it was given to a rebellious and gainsaying people; they were invited to the wedding-supper, and would not come, but rejected the counsel of God against themselves. Now here we have,

_ _ (1.) The bad character of this people. The world shall see that it was not for nothing that they were rejected of God; no, it was for their whoredoms that they were put away.

_ _ [1.] Their character in general was such as one would not expect of those who had been so much the favourites of Heaven. First, They were very wilful. Right or wrong they would do as they had a mind. “They generally walk on in a way that is not good, not the right way, not a safe way, for they walk after their own thought, their own devices and desires.” If our guide be our own thoughts, our way is not likely to be good; for every imagination of the thought of our hearts is only evil. God had told them his thoughts, what his mind and will were, but they would walk after their own thoughts, would do what they thought best. Secondly, They were very provoking. This was God's complaint of them all along — they grieved him, they vexed his Holy Spirit, as if they would contrive how to make him their enemy: They provoke me to anger continually to my face. They cared not what affront they gave to God, though it were in his sight and presence, in a downright contempt of his authority and defiance of his justice; and this continually; it had been their way and manner ever since they were a people, witness the day of temptation in the wilderness.

_ _ [2.] The prophet speaks more particularly of their iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers, as the ground of God's casting them off, Isaiah 65:7. Now he gives instances of both.

_ _ First, The most provoking iniquity of their fathers was idolatry; this, the prophet tells them, was provoking God to his face; and it is an iniquity which, as appears by the second commandment, God often visits upon the children. This was the sin that brought them into captivity, and, though the captivity pretty well cured them of it, yet, when the final ruin of that nation came, that was again brought into the account against them; for in the day when God visits he will visit that, Exodus 32:34. Perhaps there were many, long after the captivity, who, though they did not worship other gods, were yet guilty of the disorders here mentioned; for they married strange wives. 1. They forsook God's temple, and sacrificed in gardens or groves, that they might have the satisfaction of doing it in their own way, for they liked not God's institutions. 2. They forsook God's altar, and burnt incense upon bricks, altars of their own contriving (they burnt incense according to their own inventions, which were of no more value, in comparison with God's institution, than an altar of bricks in comparison with the golden altar which God appointed them to burn incense on), or upon tiles (so some read it), such as they covered their flat-roofed houses with, and on them sometimes they burnt incense to their idols, as appears, 2 Kings 23:12, where we read of altars on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, and Jeremiah 19:13, of their burning incense to the host of heaven upon the roofs of their houses. 3. “They used necromancy, or consulting with the dead, and, in order to that, they remained among the graves, and lodged in the monuments,” to seek for the living to the dead (Jeremiah 8:19), as the witch of Endor. Or they used to consult the evil spirits that haunted the sepulchres. 4. They violated the laws of God about their meat, and broke through the distinction between clean and unclean before it was taken away by the gospel. They ate swine's flesh. Some indeed chose rather to die than to eat swine's flesh, as Eleazar and the seven brethren in the story of the Maccabees; but it is probable that many ate of it, especially when it came to be a condition of life. In our Saviour's time we read of a vast herd of swine among them, which gives us cause to suspect that there were many then who made so little conscience of the law as to eat swine's flesh, for which they were justly punished in the destruction of the swine. And the broth, or pieces, of other forbidden meats, called here abominable things, was in their vessels, and was made use of for food. The forbidden meat is called an abomination, and those that meddle with it are said to make themselves abominable, Leviticus 11:42, Leviticus 11:43. Those that durst not eat the meat yet made bold with the broth, because they would come as near as might be to that which was forbidden, to show how they coveted the forbidden fruit. Perhaps this is here put figuratively for all forbidden pleasures and profits which are obtained by sin, that abominable thing which the Lord hates; they loved to be dallying with it, to be tasting of its broth. But those who thus take a pride in venturing upon the borders of sin, and the brink of it, are in danger of falling into the depths of it. But,

_ _ Secondly, The most provoking iniquity of the Jews in our Saviour's time was their pride and hypocrisy, that sin of the scribes and Pharisees against which Christ denounced so many woes, Isaiah 65:5. They say, “Stand by thyself, keep off” (get thee to thine, so the original is); “keep to thy own companions, but come not near to me, lest thou pollute me; touch me not; I will not allow thee any familiarity with me, for I am holier than thou, and therefore thou art not good enough to converse with me; I am not as other men are, nor even as this publican.” This they were ready to say to every one they met with, so that, in saying, I am holier than thou, they thought themselves holier than any, not only very good, as good as they should be, as good as they needed to be, but better than any of their neighbours. These are a smoke in my nose (says God), such a smoke as comes not from a quick fire, which soon becomes glowing and pleasant, but from a fire of wet wood, which burns all the day, and is nothing but smoke. Note, Nothing in men is more odious and offensive to God than a proud conceit of themselves and contempt of others; for commonly those are most unholy of all that think themselves holier than any.

_ _ (2.) The controversy God had with them for this. The proof against them is plain: Behold, it is written before me, Isaiah 65:6. It is written, to be remembered against them in time to come; for they may not perhaps be immediately reckoned with. The sins of sinners, and particularly the vainglorious boasts and scorns of hypocrites, are laid up in store with God, Deuteronomy 32:34. And what is written shall be read and proceeded upon: “I will not keep silence always, though I may keep silence long.” They shall not think him altogether such a one as themselves, as sometimes they have done; but he will recompense, even recompense into their bosom. Those basely abuse religion, that honourable and sacred thing, who make their profession of it the matter of their pride, and the jealous God will reckon with them for it; the profession they boast of shall but serve to aggravate their condemnation. [1.] The iniquity of their fathers shall come against them; not but that their own sin deserved whatever judgments God brought upon them, and much heavier; and this they owned, Ezra 9:13. But God would not have wrought so great a desolation upon them if he had not therein had an eye to the sins of their fathers. Therefore in the last destruction of Jerusalem God is said to bring upon them the blood of the Old Testament martyrs, even that of Abel, Matthew 23:35. God will reckon with them, not only for their fathers' idols, but for their high places, their burning incense upon the mountains and the hills, though perhaps it was to the true God only. This was blaspheming or reproaching God; it was a reflection upon the choice he had made of the place where he would record his name, and the promise he had made that there he would meet them and bless them. [2.] Their own with that shall bring ruin upon them: Your iniquities and the iniquities of your fathers together, the one aggravating the other, constitute the former work, which, though it may seem to be overlooked and forgotten, shall be measured into their bosom. God will render into the bosom, not only of his open enemies (Psalms 79:12), but of his false and treacherous friends, the reproach wherewith they have reproached him.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 65:1

I am, &c. — This in the primary sense of this text, is a prophecy of the conversion of the Gentiles, upon the rejection of the Jews; for their contempt and crucifying of Christ, cannot be doubted by any, who will not arrogate to themselves a greater ability to interpret the prophesies of the Old Testament, than St. Paul had, who, Romans 10:20, expressly so interprets it, and applies it, which shews the vanity of the Jews in their other interpretations of it. Sought — The word signifies properly a diligent enquiry in things relating to God. Asked not — That in times past made no enquiry after me; l am now found by them that formerly sought me not. I said — I invited whole nations by the preaching of my gospel to behold me, and that with importunity, doubling my words upon them, and this I did unto a nation not called by my name, with whom I was not in covenant.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 65:1

I am sought by [them that] (a) asked not [for me]; I am found by [them that] sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, to a nation [that] was not called by my name.

(a) Meaning, the Gentiles who know not God, would seek him, when he had moved their heart with his Holy Spirit, (Romans 10:20).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I am sought:

Isaiah 2:2-3 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. ... And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Isaiah 55:5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation [that] thou knowest not, and nations [that] knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
Psalms 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Romans 9:24-26 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? ... And it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Romans 9:30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Romans 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Ephesians 2:12-13 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: ... But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.


Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift [it] up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Isaiah 41:27 The first [shall say] to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.
Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


Isaiah 43:1 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.
Isaiah 63:19 We are [thine]: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.
Hosea 1:10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.
Zechariah 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
Zechariah 8:22-23 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. ... Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days [it shall come to pass], that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard [that] God [is] with you.
1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
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Ps 22:27. Is 2:2; 11:10; 40:9; 41:27; 43:1; 45:22; 55:5; 63:19. Ho 1:10. Zc 2:11; 8:22. Jn 1:29. Ro 9:24, 30; 10:20. Ep 2:12. 1P 2:10.

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