Question 1a – Who is the first and chiefest being?
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’” – Isa 44:6 ESV
Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel The King of the whole world, and Governor among the nations; and in a peculiar manner King of Israel, that nation being a theocracy; and especially King of spiritual Israel, or King of saints, be they of what nation they will:
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; who redeemed Israel out of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and would again redeem them from the Babylonish captivity, and the whole Israel of God from sin, Satan, and the law; which he was able to do, being “the Lord of hosts”, of the armies above and below:
I am the first, and I am the last; the first cause and last end, of all things in nature, and providence, and grace; all things are of him, through him, and from him; all things were made by him in creation, and for his pleasure they are and were created; and all things are disposed of in his providence for his own glory; and he is the first in reconciliation, justification, and salvation, and all are to the glory of his grace: or this is a periphrasis of his eternity, who is from everlasting to everlasting, without beginning or end, the Alpha and Omega; the same is said of Christ, Rev 1:8, and all the other characters before mentioned agree with him:
and besides me there is no God: all others are only gods by name, not by nature, mere nominal fictitious deities, not real ones; and it is to the exclusion of these from the rank of deity, these words are said; but not to the exclusion of the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit, who, with the Father, are the one true God. [Gill]
“Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last.”- Isa 48:12 ESV
Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called, called before out of Egypt, and now out of Babylon, and who had the name of God called upon them, and who called upon the name of the Lord; so such who are called with a holy calling, according to the purpose and grace of God, by the Spirit and grace of Christ, unto fellowship with him, to partake of his grace here, and glory hereafter, are styled “the called of Jesus Christ”, Rom 1:6 and who seems to be the person here speaking, as appears from the following clause: and it may be observed, that Jacob and Israel are described here in a different manner from what they are in the beginning of the chapter, since the Lord had declared his designs of grace towards them, and that he had chosen them, and would save them for his name’s sake: which they had reason to believe he could and would do, from the account which he gives of himself: and they are called upon to hearken to him, as follows,
I am he, I am the first, and I also am the last; the everlasting I AM, the immutable Jehovah, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first cause and last end of all things; phrases expressive of the self-existence, supremacy, eternity, and immutability of Christ, Rev 1:8, and what is it that such a sovereign, eternal and unchangeable Being cannot do? [Gill]
Answer – God is the first and chiefest being.