New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says Yahweh who created you, Jacob, and He who formed you, Israel: Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you- The exiles feared they were not good enough to be redeemed. But Yahweh desperately wanted them; He had in prospect redeemed them, but it was now for them to respond. And this is how it is with His appeal to people today. He not only created us but "formed" us for the moment at which we accept His redemption. Our entire biography and genetic prehistory, even including our own sins, was all part of that formation of a person to come to an optimal point at which they can say "Yes" to Him. By saying "Yes" we realize that nothing was random, meaning was attached to every event, leading to that moment of Divine-human encounter.

I have called you by your name. You are Mine- God's Name is over His people (Dt. 28:10). So to bear God's Name is to recognize His complete ownership and even conquest of us. And yet there's a significant twist to all this in Is. 43:1: "I have called you by your name, because you are mine". It seems like a slip- we expect God to say that He has called us by His Name, because we are His. But no- He wishes us to bear both His Name and our own name, He doesn't wish to subsume us beneath His ownership and manifestation to the point that we are not significant as persons. We expect the creator, owner and redeemer of someone or something to name it with His name. But God dashes that expectation- He says instead that we are called by our name. In this we see the extent to which God has created us so that we might have real, personal existence and salvation, not merely to as it were extend Himself. In this we see a profound insight into the utter depth of God's outgiving grace.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you-
Yahweh had promised that He would lead His people on that wilderness journey from Babylon to Zion just as He had earlier led His people from Egypt to the same promised land. Jer. 31:2 had encouraged them that Israel “found grace in the wilderness” before, and they would do again, “When I go to cause [Israel] to go to their place of rest” (RV). God had promised in Jer. 31:9 that He would bring Israel on their journey from Babylon to Judah along the fertile crescent- He would “cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble”.  This is why Isaiah’s prophecies of the restoration from Babylon are shot through with allusion to the exodus and wilderness journey (e.g. Is. 43:2; 51:10; 63:11). Daniel's friends were not burnt by the flames, and they were intended to be understood as representative of all the exiles.

Isaiah 43:3 For I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel your Saviour. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Sheba in your place-
Sheba is LXX Syene, confining the geographical areas to what we know as Egypt. Isaiah 40-66 is full of encouragement to Judah in Babylon to “fear not” and make the move back to the land. They are encouraged that “I have redeemed thee…thou art mine…for I am the Lord thy God… thy saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee” (Is. 43:1,3 AV). As a reward for allowing the Jews to return, the kings of Persia were given Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba. The Jews were doubtful as to whether God would really accept them now, after all their sin; and they were trapped in the good life, and the difficulty of uprooting from the world they were in. They were just like us! They had to be reminded that their Saviour had paid the ransom to redeem them, and therefore they must do their part and leave. And the blood of Jesus should work a like inspiration for us, all too loaded down with our burden of sin, unworthiness, spiritual dysfunction…

Isaiah 43:4 Since you have been precious and honoured in My sight and I have loved you; therefore I will give people in your place, and nations instead of your life-
As a reward for allowing the Jews to return, the kings of Persia were given Egypt, Ethiopia and Seba (:3). All this was by grace, for the exiles were not responsive. God's grace is prevenient in the sense that He takes the initiative, as all true lovers do. Their preciousness was "in My sight", in the eyes of the lover, imputing righteousness to them which of themselves they didn't have. To be 'precious in the sight' of someone means to save them by grace (s.w. 1 Sam. 26:21; 2 Kings 1:13; Ps. 72:14).    

Isaiah 43:5 Don’t be afraid; for I am with you-
This is said so often, in allusion to Joshua and Israel being encouraged to re-enter the land and possess it. It was primarily relevant to the exiles in Babylon / Persia who feared to return and doubted Yahweh's abiding presence with them. But it now is encouragement to all who wish to enter the Kingdom.

I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west- The 'bringing' and 'gathering' of the exiles (Is. 43:5) would have been primarily fulfilled at the restoration (same words in Neh. 1:9). But most of the exiles remained in the lands of their captivity, just as people resist the Gospel's call today. They had to themselves bring and gather themselves (Is. 45:20; 49:18; 60:4), so that God would confirm this by bringing and gathering them (Is. 43:5; Jer. 31:8; Ez. 34:13; 36:24; 37:21; Zech. 10:10). And so today with all who wish to be in God's Kingdom; our desire to be there and first moves towards it will be confirmed many times over by God's work through His Spirit. 

Isaiah 43:6 I will tell the north, ‘Give them up!’ and tell the south, ‘Don’t hold them back! Bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth-
The points of the compass may just give the impression of a general regathering from all around. But we note the promise to regather the Jews from "the south", Egypt, to where they fled in faithless fear. And in Jeremiah's time, against the specific commandment of God not to go there. We have here, therefore, an example of God saving people from holes which they themselves have dug.

Isaiah 43:7 each one who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, yes, whom I have made'-
Yahweh speaks of the returnees as if they were a new creation, created by Him along with the heavens and earth of the temple which He had stretched out in Zion (Isaiah 43:7; 44:2). He did not form this new land / heavens of the kingdom and temple of Israel in vain- He created it to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). But the Jews acted like the old creation. And the promise of new creation was deferred until the time of Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17). Judah for the most part declined to inhabit / dwell in the new heavens and earth [the same word in Isaiah 45:18 is frequently used re. how the returnees dwelt in the cities of Judah]. Every one of the exiles was formed personally to return to the land; Gods formative hand likewise has been at work in the biography and genetic prehistory of everyone who encounters the Gospel.

Paul saw more potential in the Jewish mind for Christ than other races; thus he speaks in Rom. 11 of how the natural branch which has been cut off [Israel] will be more effectively grafted back into the olive tree than the wild Gentile branches. This of course has similarities with the Lord’s teaching about Himself as the vine, whose unfruitful branches had been cut off (Jn. 15:2). Israel “much more” than the Gentiles can be grafted back in, whereas Gentile converts do this “against nature” (Rom. 11:24). In the context of Israel’s final repentance, God speaks of how every one of the Jewish people has been potentially created for His glory, because they carry His Name (Is. 43:7). Although Israel have been “quenched as a wick” for their sins (Is. 43:17 RVmg.), we are to realize that the wick is still smouldering, and are to follow the Lord’s example of never totally quenching it but instead seek to fan the wick of Israel back into life (Is. 42:3).

Isaiah 43:8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears-
See on Is. 42:19. The servant-Messiah is described as being blind and deaf (Is. 42:19)- just as those who returned from Babylon were called blind, yet having eyes; deaf, yet having ears (Is. 43:8). They had the potential to see and hear; and the servant-Messiah likewise was at that time deaf and blind, but had the potential to see and hear with the vision and words of Messiah. It is hard to understand these words otherwise. They refused to allow the spiritual potential available to be unleashed upon them; see on Is. 42:18. "Bring out" is the same word in Is. 42:7, and putting the passages together we get the idea that the exiles were as blind people, who were to be both freed from prison and also given their sight.

Isaiah 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, That is true-
Isaiah especially is full of restoration prophecies; but Isaiah especially carries repeated statements that God can predict the future, and that His prophetic word will surely come to pass. These repeated statements are surely to encourage Judah to believe the restoration prophecies, and to see that what was prophesied really would and could come to pass- but it required their response! And yet as discussed on Is. 41:22, the emphasis and flavour of the words used is not simply upon prediction but rather explanation, of attaching meaning to event. God alone can provide such explanation of both past and future events according to the far reaching narrative found in the prophets. The idol religions explained just a few isolated incidents. This is what is unique about the one true God- that He alone attaches meaning to event, both in personal and collective life, and indeed to all human history. Whether we correctly perceive it is another question, but He alone does this and holds the masterplan.

The wonder of Israel’s God was not so much that He declared future things in a way that could be understood before they happened, but rather that He ‘declared’ the meaning of past events. There is a certain enigma to Israel’s history, both as history, and also sociologically, psychologically, indeed in every way. It is that enigma which is declared in God’s word, enabling Israel to make sense of what happens to them by their reflection, after the event, upon God’s word. Likewise it seems that only once the events have happened can we look back with true understanding into God’s word and understand. This was in fact the case with a number of the predictions of the Lord Jesus (Jn. 2:19; 3:14; 11:50; 21:18). They would have remained enigmas, until after the event. And then, all would have been so clear.

Isaiah 43:10 You are My witnesses, says Yahweh, With My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither will there be after Me-
This language alludes to the Babylonian god Marduk; the point being that Yahweh and not the god of Babylon is supreme. See on Is. 40:25. The Jews only totally quit idolatry some time later; they liked to think, as we also tend to, that we can serve the gods of our world in the name of Yahweh worship. But Yahweh is presented as supreme, and Marduk as nothing. God's people are here asked to believe very basic things about Yahweh; but those things would preclude belief in any other god. Their conversion was to be used to bring others to incorporation in God's new, multiethnic people. Hence LXX "Be ye my witnesses, and I too am a witness, saith the Lord God". The invitation is to be witnesses.

Isaiah 43:11 I Myself am Yahweh; and besides Me there is no saviour-
This continues the appeal noted on :10 to quit belief in any other god. Yahweh's Name is declared as His character- merciful, truthful, judging sin, patient etc. (Ex. 34:5-7); but above all, in being a personal saviour. This is why "Jesus", 'Yah saves', is the quintessence of what God is all about. He who will be who He will be, manifesting His characteristics as He does so, must have His way in us too. Babylon and Nineveh were condemned for having the attitude that “I am, and there is none beside me” (Is. 47:8; Zeph. 2:15). Their self-perception was a parody on the Name and being of Yahweh: He alone can say “I am, and there is none else” (Is. 43:11; 44:6; 45:6,21) and seek to be who He is. He alone can seek to articulate the characteristics that make up His Name onto the lives of others, and onto the things that comprise His Kingdom. We are not to be who we are; to ‘just be yourself’; to ‘just do it’, as foolish slogans and adverts encourage us. We are here to show forth His mercy, truth, judgment of sin, patient saving of the weak etc., not our own personality. We are, in the very end, Yahweh manifested to this world, through our imitation of the Lord Jesus.

Isaiah 43:12 I have declared, I have saved, and I have shown; and there was no strange god among you. Therefore you are My witnesses, says Yahweh, That I am God-
See on Is. 44:26. The allusion is to Israel's earlier salvation from Egypt. Although there were 'strange gods' carried by them, clearly it was Yahweh alone who saved and who declared / showed the meaning of their entire history; see on :9.

Isaiah 43:13 Yes, since the day was I am He-
The idea may be that "from this time forth I am he", i.e. they were to repent and never again have idols, but accept "Yahweh", 'I am who I am', 'I am that I am', for who He was and is; and not just in Name only. 

And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. I will work, and who can hinder it?- Even the rumours the exiles must have heard of Samaritan opposition were to be discounted. Every conceivable encouragement was given to the people, to go up and be part of the Kingdom work; nothing could stand in their way, if only they would go forward in joyful faith. They had been redeemed, they simply had to believe this and act as if they had been saved from Babylon and translated into the Kingdom which was to be established. The similarities with us are exact.  The dramatic story of Job thrice uses the same phrase as in Is. 43:13, concluding that "who can hinder...?" God's way (Job 9:12; 11:10; 23:13). The exiles were to understand that no human opposition or discouragement can turn back or hinder God's purpose to save His people, even if they are as Job in suffering. His saving and restorative purpose will not be hindered, if we wish to identify with it.

Isaiah 43:14 Thus says Yahweh your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships of their rejoicing-
The fall of Babylon was envisioned as happening so that the Jewish exiles might return to Judah. All in world geopolitics was to be for their sakes. But many of them remained there and prospered in the Persian administration which took over after Babylon's fall. LXX "and I will stir up all that flee, and the Chaldeans shall be bound in ships". Babylon fell so that Persia would take over the administration of the 127 provinces where the Jews were scattered, and would allow them to return to Judah (Isaiah 43:14). The cup of judgment which Judah drunk for 70 years was passed to Babylon (Isaiah 51:22). This accounts for Isaiah’s repeated and detailed emphasis on the coming fall of Babylon for Judah / Israel’s sake (e.g. Isaiah 47). Although they had sinned, Yahweh showed His gracious love for His people by bringing down Babylon (Isaiah 48:14). “For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee [Cyrus] by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me “ (Isaiah 45:4). Likewise the iron curtain came down to allow preachers of God’s Truth to take it to those once in darkness. And English has become the lingua-franca of the world, enabling Christian preaching to now penetrate societies literally world-wide. See on Ezra 2:1.

Isaiah 43:15 I am Yahweh your Holy One, the Creator of Israel- your King-
Because Yahweh God was Israel’s creator, therefore He ought to have been their King. They should not have remained in the lands of their exile under a human king. If we really believe His creative authority over us, then He will rule in every aspect of our lives. Realizing that God is a "faithful creator" should inspire us to commit the keeping of our lives to Him in time of suffering (1 Pet. 4:19).

Isaiah 43:16 Thus says Yahweh, who makes a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters-
Again, the salvation of Israel from Egypt was to be believed in as a real prototype of their deliverance from exile; and when Israel refused that, of our deliverance from this world and into God's Kingdom. What seems uncharted waters and an impossible, confusing journey will in fact become pain; a path and way appears, which we are to enthusiastically follow. The impression that the path to the Kingdom is hopelessly complex and hard to discern is only because of human lack of faith.

Isaiah 43:17 who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty man (they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched like a wick)-
This recalls the glorying of the Song of Moses over the Egyptians. And so it could have been for God's people in exile. No political nor military power could stand between them and restoration in God's Kingdom. And likewise in our path towards that same Kingdom which they refused.

Isaiah 43:18 Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old-
The returned exiles are encouraged to forget their former sins as God also has done. This was the basis for their lack of faith and need for constant assurance not to be afraid but to believe in God's desire to restore them.

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs forth now; don’t you perceive it?-
Is. 40:1,2 speaks a message of comfort to the exiles: “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God”. But [in full allusion to this prophecy], the exiles were like Rachael who refused to be comforted over her loss (Jer. 31:15); they claimed they found “none to comfort” (Lam. 1:2,16,17,21). But they were willfully refusing the comfort of God’s repeated word of hope and restoration. They didn’t grasp the plain teaching of the prophetic word because they didn’t want to- it demanded too much of them, and a giving up of the comfortable Babylon life. Hence Is. 43:19 laments: “I am doing a new thing: now it springs forth [in the decree to return to Zion?], do you not perceive it?”. And do we "not perceive it?" time and again in our own lives, as to the potentials God is opening up, and His desire to save us?


I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert- See on Is. 40:3. The exiles’ fears about the way back were allayed: “I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (43:19). They were constantly encouraged that as God had redeemed His people from Egypt through the water, fire and desert, so He would and could redeem them from their Egypt.  Water could have followed Judah through the desert journey from Babylon to Zion. But they hankered after a human army to protect them, and most of them wouldn’t even begin the journey.

Isaiah 43:20 The animals of the field shall honour Me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen-
The water that came from that one rock tasted as if God had opened up fresh springs and torrents in the desert (Ps. 74:15 NAS). It always tasted as if it was just gushing out of the spring; and this wonder is commented upon by both David and Isaiah (Ps. 78:15,16,20; 105:41; Is. 48:21). It was as if the rock had just been struck, and the water was flowing out fresh for the first time. In this miracle, God clave the rock and there came out rivers (Hab. 3:9; Ps. 78:16,20; Is. 43:20). Each part of Israel's encampment had the water as it were brought to their door. And so it is in our experience of Christ, and the blessing enabled by His sacrifice. The blessings that come to us are deeply personal, and directed to us individually. He died once, long ago, and yet the effect of His sacrifice is ever new.

This amazing redemption of Israel from exile was intended to elicit repentance from the areas of the Gentiles within the eretz promised to Abraham, whose cities were now inhabited by jackals. The intention was that they would return with God's people. This didn't happen, but will at the last day.

Isaiah 43:21 The people which I formed for Myself, that they might show forth My praise-
Both as individuals and collectively, the whole biography and even genetic prehistory of God's people has been prepared by God in their formation, so that they might encounter God's salvation at an optimal point for them to give the maximum glory to Him (Is. 43:21). "Formed" is the word for the potter working on clay, used of how God fashions human hearts or psychologies, working on the deeply internal fabric of the human being (Ps. 33:15). The 'forming' in view is not only "in the womb" (Is. 44:2,24) but throughout their whole psychological and genetic formation. It is possible to strive with our former or "maker" (Is. 45:9), to be unresponsive to His touch of us the clay. The Messiah figure, ultimately the Lord Jesus, was the ultimate case of being "formed" by Yahweh's hand (Is. 49:5 s.w.), implying He too was clay, of human and not Divine nature.

Isaiah 43:22 Yet you have not called on Me, Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, Israel-
Despite all the formative handling of the Divine potter, all the stimuli and potential granted by grace (:21), Jacob had refused to respond. They were weary of God, and God was wearied with their sins and insincere worship (s.w. :23,24). We have here the language of God and Israel falling out of love, despite such love on His side, and such wonderful potentials.


Isaiah 43:23 You have not brought Me of your sheep for burnt offerings; neither have you honoured Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with frankincense-
God had not given His people wearisome laws and regulations; but they were "weary of Me" (:22 s.w.). They perhaps made the complaint many do today- that God is boring, ritualistic, imposing of unreasonable demands and ceremonies. But actually that is but an excuse for personal unbelief and lack of commitment; for He insists here that His laws and principles are not like that. And if He says they are not, then it is not for us to claim otherwise. The exiles would have justified not sacrificing by saying there was no temple. But although God did not specifically command them ['burden them'] to keep the feasts in exile, He would have accepted their offerings. And there is evidence that there was a "little sanctuary" in Babylon where they could have offered sacrifice (see on Ez. 11:16). But they didn't offer them.


Isaiah 43:24 You have bought Me no sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices-
God didn't demand incense nor offerings (:23), and yet He notes that they didn't bring them to Him. "Sweet cane" is what was burnt to create incense. It's as if God still hoped they would thus express their love for Him, even in exile and away from the temple system. But they didn't, and instead burdened Him with their sins.

But you have burdened Me with your sins- God speaks of being burdened by Israel's sins- and yet this is a prelude to the passages which speak of the Lord Jesus bearing our sins on the cross (Is. 53:4,11,12). We even read of God being wearied by Israel's sins (Is. 7:13; Jer. 15:6; Ez. 24:12; Mal. 2:17). Even though God does not "grow weary" (Is. 40:28) by nature, it seems to me that in His full entering into His people's situation, He does allow Himself to grow weary with the sins of those with whom He is in covenant relationship. It was this kind of capacity which God has which was supremely revealed in His 'sharing in' the crucifixion of His Son.

You have wearied Me with your iniquities- When Israel were weary of God, He wearied them (Is. 43:22,24). Because they turned their back on Him (Jer. 2:27), He turned His back on them (Jer. 18:17). At the very time Israel put God to the test at Marah (Dt. 6:16), God responded by testing them (Ex. 15:25).

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions-
Yahweh here prophesied of what He would achieve through the crucified Christ: “I am, I am: He that blots out thy transgressions” (Is. 43:25 LXX). "I am" alludes to the Yahweh Name. He declares His Name as being supremely demonstrated in His forgiveness of our sins through and in the Lord’s cross. We read in Mic. 6:9 that when the Lord’s voice calls to the city demanding repentance, “the man of wisdom shall see [perceive] thy name”- i.e. repent. We come to know God's Name in practice through the cycles of sin-repentance-forgiveness by God which we all pass through. It is through this process that we come to know the very essence of God's Name. Thus Is. 43:25 LXX: "I am '"I AM", who erases your iniquities". We come to know His Name, that it really is ("I am") all about forgiveness and salvation of sinners. Forgetting the Name of Yahweh was associated in David’s inspired thinking with a wrong attitude in “the secrets of the heart” (Ps. 44:20,21). By contrast, remembering / being aware of the Name affects our innermost being, the secrets of our heart, the hidden self which others don’t see.

For My own sake- The idea may be that He would forgive them by grace alone, and not because they had repented or somehow compensated for their sins. He was so zealous to almost force through His saving purpose with them that He would forgive them anyway. This kind of one sided forgiveness and outpouring of love is commonly seen in relationships where one party is far more deeply committed and loving than the other one.


And I will not remember your sins- God imputed His righteousness to them, because He had unconditionally forgiven them. Instead of calling upon them to mourn, as in first Isaiah, second Isaiah calls upon them to rejoice and accept His grace. They are to repent because God had forgiven them- not repent so that He might forgive them: “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake [i.e. not for the sake of your repentance or righteousness]… I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud [therefore] return [repent] to me, for I have [already] redeemed you” (Is. 43:25; 44:22). This is God’s grace in its essence. As they sat by the rivers of Babylon, even as they later became caught up in the politics and business of Babylon, God’s heart broke for His people. And He announced this utter grace- that He had forgiven them, even though they’d not really repented, and counted them as righteous. And therefore He begged them to “return”, not only to return to Him in repentance in their hearts, but to show this by ‘returning’ to the land. And, so tragically, they preferred to stay in Babylon, for the most part. His grace was poured out to them… and Israel would not. All we can resolve in our hearts is to feel for God in this tragedy, and to realize that these very same prophecies of grace have been applied to us. And it’s for us to respond to them.

We read of God ‘remembering’ His covenant (Ex. 2:24; Lev. 26:42; Jer. 14:10,21); and of God ‘not remembering’ or forgetting the sins of His covenant people (Is. 43:25; Jer. 31:34). If words mean anything, this surely implies that sins which God once remembered, He then stops remembering and ‘forgets’. Such language seems on one hand inappropriate to the God who by nature doesn’t have to forget and can recall all things. But He has willingly entered into the meaning of time which is experienced by those with whom He is in covenant relationship. He allows Himself to genuinely feel it like it is. The 'gap' between God stating His plan and its actual fulfillment is the opportunity for men and women to plead with Him, as Moses did, as Abraham did regarding Sodom (Gen. 18:17-22), as so many have done... and He is most definitely open to human persuasion.

Isaiah 43:26 Put Me in remembrance, let us plead together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified-
LXX continues the connection with God not remembering their sins in :25: "But do thou remember, and let us plead together: do thou first confess thy transgressions, that thou mayest be justified". The stress would be on the idea that although God had forgotten their sins, they were not to forget them but to remain ever aware of His gracious forgiveness. God wants them to accept His forgiveness and justification of them; but for them to do so, they needed to first of all be convicted of their own lack of justification. And so He invites them to put forth a legal case that they are not sinners and don't need justification by grace.

Is. 62:6,7 speaks of watchmen [= the prophets, Ezekiel 3:17; Jer. 6:17; Hab. 2:1] set upon Jerusalem’s walls as watchmen 'putting God in remembrance', keeping no silence [in their prophesying] until Jerusalem was established. For the link between the prophets and standing on a watchtower, see Hab. 2:1. Is this not a reference to Malachi, Haggai and Zechariah prophesying as the basis upon which the newly built walls of Jerusalem would be preserved, and the city develop into the Messianic Kingdom hoped for? Note that the rebuilt Jerusalem of Ezra’s time and the latter day Jerusalem are the same thing in Isaiah; the Kingdom could’ve come then. Watchmen upon the walls were looking for something- for the approach of the Messianic messenger with good tidings of Judah’s full return from captivity, of which Isaiah had spoken in Is. 52:7,8. But most of Judah preferred to stay in Babylon, took up a collection for the few who did return… and no Messiah could appear with that news. God had promised this- but He here asked to be put in remembrance of His promises (Is. 43:26), i.e. He asked for those watchmen to be His ‘rememberancers’, even though He cannot in that sense forget them (Ps. 119:49; Jer. 14:21). In all this we see an exquisite picture of how God works with men, how His promised faithfulness and omnipotence all the same has built into it a requirement for human prayerfulness and response. The reality was that the watchmen / prophets of Israel were blind, ignorant and sleepy (Is. 56:10).

Isaiah 43:27 Your first father sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against Me-
This is in the context of God desperately appealing to Israel to accept His forgiveness and justification. He forgives them for His own sake (see on :25),  He would forgive them by grace alone, and not because they had repented or somehow compensated for their sins. He was so zealous to almost force through His saving purpose with them that He would forgive them anyway. This kind of one sided forgiveness and outpouring of love is commonly seen in relationships where one party is far more deeply committed and loving than the other one. And so in line with this, God tries to help them as it were feel less bad about their sins, blaming the situation partly upon Adam their first father, and upon their bad teachers, and then in :28 upon their princes. This is desperate argument, but God comes over as that desperate for them to accept His love.

Isaiah 43:28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and I will make Jacob a curse, and Israel an insult
- "I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary"- put forth "as polluted from the priesthood" (Ezra 2:62). This is tacit proof enough that the restoration from Babylon failed to be the potential restoration prophesied. Indeed, the behaviour of the Jews at that time attracted further curses and judgment. LXX "And the princes have defiled my sanctuaries: so I gave Jacob to enemies to destroy, and Israel to reproach". As explained on :27, this blame of the princes is an almost desperate attempt to help Israel feel not quite so shamed for their sins and to get them by all means to accept God's forgiveness.