Isaiah 41:1

Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.

Keep silence before me, O islands,.... The great controversy in the world after the coming of Christ, which is expressly spoken of in the preceding chapter, was, as Cocceius observes, whether he was a divine Person; this was first objected to by the Jews, and afterwards by many that bore the Christian name; some, in the times of the apostles, especially the Apostle John; and others in later ages; some affirmed that he was a mere man, as Ebion and Cerinthus; others that he was a created God, as Arius; and others a God by office, as Socinus and his followers; now these are called upon, wherever they were, whether on the continent, or in the isles of the sea; and especially all such places which were separated from Judea by the sea, or which they went to by sea, were called islands, perhaps the European nations and isles are more particularly intended; and now, as when the judge is on the bench, and the court is set, and a cause just going to be tried, silence is proclaimed; so here, Jehovah himself being on the throne, and a cause depending between him and men being about to be tried, they are commanded silence; see Zechariah 2:13:

and let the people renew their strength; muster up all their force, collect the most powerful arguments they had, and produce their strong reasons in favour of their sentiments:

let them come near, then let them speak; let them come into open court, and at the bar plead their cause, and speak out freely and fully all they have to say; and let them not pretend that they were deterred from speaking, and not suffered to make their defence, or were condemned without hearing:

let us come near together in judgment: and fairly try the cause; the issue of which is put upon this single point that follows.