45:4 by thy name. The Persian emperor Cyrus was thus named by God about 150 years before he was born, and about 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, carrying the people of Judah into captivity in Babylonia. The Persian empire still later conquered Babylon, and eventually Cyrus became emperor and fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy (Ezra 1:1-4) about 175 years after Isaiah pronounced it.
45:7 create darkness. God did not create light, for He is light! It was the primeval darkness that He created, in order to have a division between day and night.
45:7 create evil. “Evil,” as used here, refers to evil of a physical nature (e.g., storms), not moral evil.
45:9 potsherd. That is, “broken fragment of pottery.”
45:12 even my hands. This is a clear statement of direct creation (not indirect, through some evolutionary process)—of the earth, of man, of the heavens, and all their host (both stars and angels).
45:17 world without end. This remarkable phrase, “world without end,” essentially means “eternally.” It is one word in the Hebrew, olam, which is also used in Isaiah 64:4, where it is translated “the beginning of the world,” yet still with the basic meaning of “eternally.” Thus these two verses assure us that from “past eternity” to “future eternity” we have the sure promises of God. Therefore, “unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).
45:18 formed the earth. Note that the Lord “formed” the earth, He “made” it, He “established” it, He “created” it. He did it Himself!
45:18 not in vain. Since the word here for “in vain” is the Hebrew tohu, this verse has been made the main proof text (actually pretext!) for the so-called “gap theory,” which attempts to add billions of years of the history of the earth and its inhabitants in a supposed gap between the first two verses of Genesis. Genesis 1:2 says that “the earth was without form”—that is, tohu—so the argument is that since Isaiah says God did not “create” the earth tohu, it must have “become” tohu in a great cataclysm that climaxed and terminated the geological ages. However, this is an impossible theory geologically, since these ages are based entirely on a supposed uniform continuity with present geological processes, and there is no place in the geological ages for a global cataclysm that would leave the earth without form and void. The main purpose of the gap theory is to avoid conflict with geologists over the age of the earth, but it squarely contradicts them on their basic premise of uniformitarianism. Such a worldwide cataclysm as proposed by proponents of the gap theory would so disintegrate and rearrange the crust of the earth as to leave no evidence of any previous ages. The gap theory would thus accommodate the geological ages by destroying all the evidence for them! This is why no geologist, Christian or otherwise, believes the gap theory.
45:18 to be inhabited. The thrust of this verse is that God had a definite purpose for the earth. He created, established, made, and formed it as a habitation for man. When initially called into existence by God, it was “unformed and empty,” as stated in Genesis 1:2, but God did not intend to stop there. He took six days to prepare it for man in order to set a pattern for man’s work week (Exodus 20:8-11); the earth was not “perfect,” in the sense of being “finished,” until God said so, at the end of the six days (Genesis 2:1-3).
45:19 in vain. This is the Hebrew tohu again, as in the preceding verse. This is clearly the best translation of tohu in both verses, just as “without form” is the best translation in Genesis 1:2. As with many Hebrew words, the context determines the meaning. The word tohu is rendered ten different ways in its twenty occurrences.
45:22 there is none else. This affirmation is repeatedly stressed in Isaiah. There is only one God and Creator. There is no other Savior, and the day will come when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to Him that He is Lord (Isaiah 45:23; see Philippians 2:10).