Isaiah 41:22

Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

Let them bring them forth,.... Not their reasons, as before, but their gods; let them cause them to come nigh, let them appear in court, and speak for themselves, when their worshippers have said all they can in defence of their deity:

and show us what shall happen: what shall come to pass hereafter; and by that prove their divinity; for none but God can foretell things to come with certainty; for everything else but what comes from God, by his prophets, is all conjecture, ambiguous, uncertain, mere juggle, trick, and deception, as were the oracles of the Heathens; but what is clearly and plainly foretold, and agreeably to the prediction comes to pass, is a proof of deity, and as such is here challenged. The "us" here, and the "we" in the following clauses, either design God, and the Christians, the true worshippers of him; or rather the three divine Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit, the one true God, in opposition to the gods of the Heathens. The Targum renders it,

"what shall happen to us:''

let them show the former things what they be: either what were before the creation of the world, as Jarchi; what were purposed, decreed, and determined so early to be done; or let them write, or inspire their prophets to write, a history of the creation, and of the transactions of former times, as Moses did, under the inspiration of God; or let them show what things before predicted by them have come to pass, agreeably to their predictions; or rather "the first things, which may be, show" {y}; what will first or presently come to pass, that show unto us if you can:

that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or, "and we will set our hearts upon them" {z}; weigh them well in our minds, and diligently and attentively consider them, how and in what manner it is foretold they shall come to pass, and take notice and observe the issue of them, and whether the event answers to the prediction: or "declare us things for to come"; which are at a great distance; tell us not only what shall be done in the present age, but onward to the end of the world.

{y} ydynh hnh hm twnwvarh "priora quid ipsa, nuntiate", Montanus; "piora quaenam sint indicate", Piscator.
{z} wnbl hmyvnw "et ponemus cor nostrum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus.