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In Isaiah 46:8-10 it is written (NIV),

8 Remember this, fix it in mind,

take it to heart you rebels.

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago,

I am God, and there is no other,

I am God, and there is none like me.

10a I make known the end from the beginning,

from ancient times, what is still to come. ...

What is the meaning of "I make known the end from the beginning" in verse 10. ?

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    Great answers already, just thought I'd share some reading in Isaiah 48, couple chapters later, verses 3,5 fit with this very well: "3 The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass." "5 I declared them to you from of old, before they came to pass I announced them to you,"
    – Joshua
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 13:51
  • Not sure I have anything to add. I actually ended up upvoting all of the top three answers! They each provide a good insight. Only question is if you were asking what specific event was getting prophesied here? Were you looking for meaning of the phrase or fulfillment of the passage? I suppose that part could still be tackled.
    – Joshua
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 16:16

4 Answers 4

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+50

If God is able to (in ways which we see not, and know so little of... if anything) guide or direct or steer the course of all creation, then perhaps this alone is sufficient for Him to declare the end from the beginning.

2 Kings 19:25a

Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass...

Isaiah 46:11

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Jeremiah 18:6

O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

The point of this being (as viewed from any position or perspective), it is absolutely impossible for there ever to be more than one with the power and ability to do this. And, given the presentation of this simple and logical impossibility, Isaiah (speaking for God) emphasizes the absurdity in Israel's idolatry. He asks them before:

Isaiah 46:6

To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

Furthermore, Israel is called out like this again on their treachery and rebellious idolatry in worshipping other gods, thinking there is any other than God that can do this. Driving the point home even deeper, God makes the statement here that what he declares, can be created now. Thus making it impossible for Isael (or any of its idolatrous gods) to have known about it before.

Isaiah 48:1-7

[1] Hear ye this, O house of Jacob, which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth out of the waters of Judah, which swear by the name of the LORD, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness. [2] For they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name. [3] I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. [4] Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; [5] I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. [6] Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. [7] They are created now, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not; lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them.

Thus, it appears that God's unique ability to guide, direct, steer or create whatever is needed or necessary to achieve "the end" is intended to further convict Israel of their transgression of idolatry, and failure to believe whatever "end" God has already revealed (and/or continues to reveal) to them.

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  • Do you view Isaiah 46:11 as a run -on from Isaiah 46-10.?
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 19:39
  • yes, I think it appears to be a continuation of thought.
    – Hugs
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 19:57
  • Not sure if you can view this link, because of your low rep. Let me know.Thanks. hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/12800/…
    – Bagpipes
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 20:03
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    yes, I see it... but it would take more time than I have at the moment to read through. I will later.
    – Hugs
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 20:10
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    okay, no problem. I didn't initially get that you were specifically asking about the textual structure of the verse, so (not being a linguistics scholar) my view on it was from a logical perspective. Frankly, seems I'm not persuaded it should make all that much of an interpretive difference here, considering how prone Isaiah's prophecies are to dualistic fulfilment.
    – Hugs
    Commented Feb 12, 2022 at 20:54
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The previous verse says it all, “for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”

“I make known the end from the beginning” is a declaration of His Omnipotence since He is not restricted by time as we are instead He lives in eternity and not time, His Omnipresence since He is all places at all times He is literally in the beginning but also at the end and most importantly His Omniscience; The all-knowing God does not seek knowledge He is knowledge personified and there is absolutely nothing that He does not know including the most remote future events. Others would have to see the end in order to know the end but He is able to see the end even from the beginning.

The prophetic nature of God is an attribute that was lacking among the many other Canaanite deities of that era so to assert His superiority over anything else considered to be God this statement was made. The question is asked in verse 5 “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me,” in other words He stands alone as God; matchless and unparalleled and one evidence of this truth is the fact that He can make known the end from the beginning or prophetically declare the culmination of all things.

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    @WillSivart-Yes! His Omniscience and His Omnipresence dwell outside the realm of time, which as He chooses He can reveal it-and yet not take away our free will.
    – Tau
    Commented Feb 10, 2014 at 15:28
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The Hebrew word used here is Magid (מגיד), Strong's H5046, which usually means "declare," making 46:10:

"Declaring the end from the beginning..."

"Declare" is used in the King James and JPS translations, and seems more appropriate here. In this context, God's "declaration of history" is a poetic way of describing God's orchestration of history, and 46:10 highlights God's omniscience and omnipotence which exists outside of time:

"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying: 'My counsel shall stand, and all My pleasure will I do'" (JPS)

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Declaring the END from the BEGINNING is a prophetic hint or a key to understanding what will be the final issue on earth before Jesus’ second coming after the Mark of the Beast is established globally. In other words, God declares what will be the last issue on earth by pointing us to what happened at the “end" of the “beginning" of creation.

Ask yourself this simple question: What was the last (END) thing God did at the beginning of creation?

Answer: Genesis 1: In the BEGINNING God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 2:Thus the heavens and the earth were FINISHED, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

You can see God declared he created in the beginning and then declared the Sabbath at the end of it. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the last issue on earth will be about the 7th day Sabbath.

Lets look into the LAST (end) book of the bible to see if God prophesied (predicted or declared) about the Sabbath at the end of time.

In Revelation14:6 -And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred, and tongue and people, 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His Judgment is come. Worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters.”

What does the law of God say about WORSHIP in regards to creation. Let’s find out because Rev 14 uses the same language as Exodus20.

Exodus 20:11 - 1 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

There you go, all we have to do is watch and see if the 7th Day Sabbath becomes a global issue on earth. You see, the first thing God did at the end of creation was establish the 7th day Sabbath. That means the last thing God expects true Christians to do is to honour the Sabbath because it will be under attack by false worshippers in the end.

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  • Welcome to BHSE! We're a little different here, please read our Site Directives as they will help you in asking or answering questions-Thank you!
    – Tau
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 3:35
  • I don't have a problem with your answer-per se. However, your 'tone' is 'preachy'. It takes a little getting used to, but simply state your conclusions as to what the text means (providing support through quotations of your sources) and allow us, your audience, to form our own conclusions as to whether or not they have merit-Thank you!
    – Tau
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 3:42

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