ESV - 4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
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This verse contains another reason why God would defend and deliver His chosen people. That reason was, that he had loved them as his people; and he was willing, therefore, that other people should be overcome in order that they might be saved.This does not refer so much to their personal character, as to the fact that they had been honored by him with being the depository of the precious truths of his religion. It means that he had made them honorable by the favors bestowed on them; not that they were honorable in reference to their own personal character and worth. As in the case of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba Isaiah 43:3. He would cause other nations to be destroyed, if it were necessary, in order to effect their deliverance, and to restore them to their own land. We learn here: 1. That nations and armies are in the hand of God, and at his disposal. 2. That his people are dear to his heart, and that it is his purpose to defend them. 3. That the revolutions among nations, the rise of one empire, and the fall of another, are often in order to promote the welfare of his church, to defend it in danger, and deliver it in time of calamity. 4. That his people should put the utmost confidence in God as being able to defend them, and as having formed a purpose to preserve and save them. God is faithful to His chosen or called out people.
Isaiah 43:3-4 (KJV) 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. 1. [gave Egypt for thy ransom] Redemption often means to ransom with a price, but here it refers to deliverance from bondage without a ransom price. Deliverance from Egyptian bondage is called redemption (Ex. 6:5; 15:13). Where a specific price is paid, the idea of redemption also includes deliverance from danger, oppression, and captivity. When God gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for Israel, His people were delivered from destruction and these other countries were destroyed instead. The idea is that either Israel or these countries would perish; so God chose to save Israel and destroy the others -- they took Israel's place for a ransom. This applies more particularly to the future when Israel will be preserved from the Antichrist and these countries will be subdued by him (Isa. 43:3-4; Ezek. 38:5-7; Dan. 11:40-45; Mt. 24:15-22; Rev. 12:6,14).
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