Isaiah 45:1-5 “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:”
Some claim that in Isaiah 45:1-5, God is refering to Jacob the man as “mine Elect”. However those who claim this often forget that verse 4 is near the end of a list that God is talking to Cyrus about.
Verse 1 makes it very clear that the LORD is speaking to his anointed by the name of Cyrus. In this passage He tells him several things:
1) I have held thy right hand so that you can subdue nations before you. (vs 1)
2) I have loosened the loins of Kings so that they will open the gates before you. (vs 1)
3) I will go before you to make the ways straight. (vs 2)
4) I will break down all defenses (vs 2)
5) I will give to you the treasures so that you will know I am who I say I am. (vs 3)
6) I have called thee by thy name for the sake of Jacob (my servant) and Israel (mine elect). (vs 4)
7) I named you before you ever knew you. (vs 4)
8) I girded you even though you did not know me. (vs 5)
As you can see from this passage, every use of the word “Thee” is a reference back to who the LORD is talking to in verse 1, which is Cyrus. Mine elect is not a reference to Jacob but to Israel.
The term “elect” simply means chosen. Are there other passages that support the fact that Israel is God’s chosen people?
Deuteronomy 14:2 “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”
Is there a New Testament reference to the election of Israel?
Romans 11:26-31 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.”
Is every reference to “the elect” Israel in Scripture? Absolutely not. Does that change the fact that Israel IS called God’s elect? Absolutely not. Let me prove it by way of example.
In 1 Corinthians 12:27, Paul tells the Church at Corinth that “YE are the body of Christ”. Does that mean that ONLY the Church at Corinth is the “body of Christ”? Absolutely not.
One more example. The Bible clearly states that unless we repent we shall all likewise perish. The Bible also states that God repented. Does the word “repent” in both passages mean the same thing? I don’t believe so.
Not only is it important to let the BIBLE define Bible, but it is important to let the Bible, taken in proper CONTEXT, define the Bible.
So this leads me to one final statement? When God refers to Israel as his elect, does that mean unbelieving Israel is his elect? Let’s let the Bible answer that.
Exodus 19:5 “Now therefore, IF ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
This is NOT a complete word study on the issue of “the elect”. However it is intended to prove that there ARE times in scripture where Believing Israel IS referred to as “the elect” in BOTH the Old and New Testament.