Isaiah 49:5

5 1And now the LORD says, he 2who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him-- for 3I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength--

Isaiah 49:5 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 49:5

And now, saith the Lord
Jehovah the Father, in confirmation of the call, office, and work of Christ, which he hath declared, ( Isaiah 49:1 Isaiah 49:3 ) : that formed me from the womb to be his servant;
who preordained him to this service before the world began, and prepared him for it from the womb of his mother Mary, by filling him with grace and wisdom and with the Spirit without measure; anointing him with the oil of gladness above his fellows, and so fitting him as man and Mediator for the preaching of the Gospel, and every other service he called him: to bring Jacob again, to him;
the lost sheep of the house of Israel, God's elect among the Jews, which were as straying sheep; or all his chosen people, whether Jews or Gentiles, which were scattered abroad, and were afar off from God, whom Christ was to bring back again, and bring nigh unto God, and did: though Israel be not gathered:
in general, only a remnant, according to the election of grace, the greater part refusing to be gathered ministerially by him; and the rulers not suffering the common people to attend on his ministry. ( Matthew 23:37 ) . It may be observed that there is a marginal reading of the Hebrew, different from the written text; instead of (al) , "not" it is (wl) , "to him"; and may be rendered thus, "and Israel shall be gathered unto him"; and then the sense entirely agrees with the preceding clause, with which the words are connected, and not with the following, as the accent "athnach" shows, thus; the Lord appointed and formed me to be his servant to bring back Jacob, and that Israel might be gathered to him; as all the Israel of God, all the elect of God were by the sufferings and death of Christ; see ( Ephesians 1:10 ) . The marginal reading, and the writing, may be both retained, as in some other places, thus, "and shall not Israel be gathered to him?" since he has formed me to bring back Jacob to him? verily he shall. The marginal reading is followed by the Targum, and the passage paraphrased thus,

``to return the house of Jacob to his service, and Israel shall be brought nigh, to his fear.''
And so it is by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, and by the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and by Aquila: "yet shall I be glorious" in the eyes of the Lord; or "I shall be glorious"; as he was at his baptism and transfiguration on the mount; by the wonderful things done in heaven and on earth at the time of his death, at his resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, and exaltation at the right hand of God, far above all principalities and powers, angels, authorities, and powers, being subject to him; and by the ministration of the Gospel in the Gentile world, and particularly when he shall reign gloriously in the latter day, and in the New Jerusalem church state: and my God shall be my strength;
to keep up his spirits under all discouragements; to protect him from his enemies; to support him in his work as man; to carry him through it, and enable him completely to perform it, as he promised he would, and as he did, ( Isaiah 49:8 ) ( Psalms 89:21 ) ( Psalms 80:17 ) .

Isaiah 49:5 In-Context

3 And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
4 But I said, "I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God."
5 And now the LORD says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him-- for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength--
6 he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."

Cross References 3

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.