Isaiah 50

Listen to Isaiah 50

Israel's Sin and the Servant's Obedience

1 Thus says the LORD: "Where is 1your mother's certificate of divorce, with which 2I sent her away? Or 3which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? 4Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 5Why, when I came, was there no man; why, when I called, was there no one to answer? 6Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? 7Behold, by my rebuke 8I dry up the sea, 9I make the rivers a desert; 10their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.
3 11I clothe the heavens with blackness and make sackcloth their covering."
4 The Lord GOD has given 12me the tongue of those who are taught, that 13I may know how to sustain with a word 14him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
5 15The Lord GOD has opened my ear, 16and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.
6 17I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
7 But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; 18therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8 19He who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.
9 20Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys 21the voice of his servant? 22Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.
11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who equip yourselves with burning torches! Walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have kindled! 23This you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Isaiah 50 Commentary

Chapter 50

The rejection of the Jews. (1-3) The sufferings and exaltation of the Messiah. (4-9) Consolation to the believer, and warning to the unbeliever. (10,11)

Verses 1-3 Those who have professed to be people of God, and seem to be dealt severely with, are apt to complain, as if God had been hard with them. Here is an answer for such murmurings; God never deprived any of their advantages, except for their sins. The Jews were sent into Babylon for their idolatry, a sin which broke the covenant; and they were at last rejected for crucifying the Lord of glory. God called on them to leave their sins, and prevent their own ruin. Last of all, the Son came to his own, but his own received him not. When God calls men to happiness, and they will not answer, they are justly left to be miserable. To silence doubts concerning his power, proofs of it are given. The wonders which attended his sufferings and death, proclaimed that he was the Son of God, ( Matthew 27:54 ) .

Verses 4-9 As Jesus was God and man in one person, we find him sometimes speaking, or spoken of, as the Lord God; at other times, as man and the servant of Jehovah. He was to declare the truths which comfort the broken, contrite heart, those weary of sin, harassed with afflictions. And as the Holy Spirit was upon him, that he might speak as never man spake; so the same Divine influence daily wakened him to pray, to preach the gospel, and to receive and deliver the whole will of the Father. The Father justified the Son when he accepted the satisfaction he made for the sin of man. Christ speaks in the name of all believers. Who dares to be an enemy to those unto whom he is a Friend? or who will contend with those whom he is an Advocate? Thus St. Paul applies it, ( Romans 8:33 ) .

Verses 10-11 A child of God is afraid of incurring his displeasure. This grace usually appears most in believers when in darkness, when other graces appear not. Those that truly fear God, obey the voice of Christ. A sincere servant of God may for a long time be without views of eternal happiness. What is likely to be an effectual cure in this sad case? Let him trust in the name of the Lord; and let him stay himself upon the promises of the covenant, and build his hopes on them. Let him trust in Christ, trust in that name of his, The Lord our Righteousness; stay himself upon God as his God, in and through a Mediator. Presuming sinners are warned not to trust in themselves. Their own merit and sufficiency are light and heat to them. Creature-comforts are as sparks, short-lived, and soon gone; yet the children of this world, while they last, seek to warm themselves by them, and walk with pride and pleasure in the light of them. Those that make the world their comfort, and their own righteousness their confidence, will certainly meet with bitterness in the end. A godly man's way may be dark, but his end shall be peace and everlasting light. A wicked man's way may be pleasant, but his end and abode for ever will be utter darkness.

Cross References 23

  • 1. Deuteronomy 24:1
  • 2. Jeremiah 3:8; [Hosea 2:2]
  • 3. [2 Kings 4:1; Matthew 18:25]
  • 4. Isaiah 59:2
  • 5. [Isaiah 42:18-23]
  • 6. Isaiah 59:1; Numbers 11:23
  • 7. Psalms 104:7; Psalms 106:9; Nahum 1:4; [Isaiah 19:5, 6]
  • 8. [Exodus 14:21]
  • 9. Joshua 3:16
  • 10. [Exodus 7:18, 21]
  • 11. Jeremiah 14:22; Revelation 6:12
  • 12. [Exodus 4:11]
  • 13. [Isaiah 40:1, 2]
  • 14. [Matthew 11:28]
  • 15. Psalms 40:6
  • 16. [John 14:31; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 10:7]
  • 17. [Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 26:67; Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:19; Luke 22:63]
  • 18. Ezekiel 3:8, 9
  • 19. Romans 8:33, 34
  • 20. Isaiah 41:10
  • 21. ver. 4; Isaiah 49:2, 3
  • 22. Isaiah 42:16; [Micah 7:8]
  • 23. [John 9:39]

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a prophecy of the rejection of the Jews, for their neglect and contempt of the Messiah; and of his discharge of his office as Mediator, and fitness for it. The rejection of the Jews is signified by the divorce of a woman from her husband, and by persons selling their children to their creditors; which is not to be charged upon the Lord, but was owing to their own iniquities, Isa 50:1, particularly their disregard of the Messiah, and inattention to him, as if he was an insufficient Saviour; whereas his power to redeem is evident, from his drying up the sea and rivers below, and clothing the heavens above with black clouds, and eclipsing the luminaries thereof, Isa 50:2,3, his fitness for his prophetic office is expressed in Isa 50:4. His obedience to his Father, and his patience in sufferings, while performing his priestly office, Isa 50:5,6, and his faith and confidence in the Lord, as man and Mediator, that he should be helped, carried through his work, and acquitted; and not be confounded, overcome, and condemned, Isa 50:7-9, and the chapter is closed with an exhortation to the saints to trust in the Lord in the darkest times; and a threatening to such who trust in themselves, and in their own doings, Isa 50:10,11.

Isaiah 50 Commentaries

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