Isaiah 49:1-13

The Servant of the Lord

1 Listen to me, 1O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples 2from afar. 3The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.
2 4He made my mouth like a sharp sword; 5in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, 6in whom I will be glorified."[a]
4 7But 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 8And now the LORD says, he 9who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him-- for 10I 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; 11I will make you 12as a light for the nations, that 13my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
7 Thus says the LORD, 14the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, 15to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: 16"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."

The Restoration of Israel

8 Thus says the LORD: 17"In a 18time of favor I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you 19and give you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, 20to apportion the desolate heritages,
9 21saying to the prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' 22They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
10 23they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them 24will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
11 25And I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be raised up.
12 26Behold, these shall come from afar, and behold, 27these from the north and from the west,[b] and these from the land of Syene."[c]
13 28Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the LORD 29has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Images for Isaiah 49:1-13

Isaiah 49:1-13 Meaning and Commentary


This is a prophecy concerning Christ, and redemption by him; and of the enlargement of the church in the latter day, by the conversion of Jews and Gentiles; which the isles, and people afar off, are exhorted to listen and hearken to, delivered out by the prophet, in the person of Christ; who gives an account of his call to his office, and the time of it; of what the Lord did for him, and said unto him, Isa 49:1-3, then follows a complaint of his labouring in vain, and a correction of it, Isa 49:4 and a further declaration of his call and appointment to office, and of each of the parts of the work assigned him, with encouragement to it, Isa 49:5,6. Christ is again represented under discouraging circumstances, as despised of men, abhorred by the nation, and a servant of rulers; who is encouraged by divine promises that kings should rise up before him, and worship him; that God would be faithful to his promise to him, and yet choose him, hear and help him, at a proper time; preserve him, and give him for a covenant to the people, to the establishment of the earth, and making it habitable, Isa 49:7,8 for the release of prisoners, and feeding, leading, and guiding them, and removing all difficulties out of the way, Isa 49:9-11 when the calling of the Gentiles is foretold, which would occasion great joy in the world, Isa 49:12,13 yet the church is introduced as complaining that she was forsaken of God, Isa 49:14 which is denied, and the contrary affirmed; being dear to the Lord as a sucking child to its mother, and more so; never forgotten by him, and always under his care, Isa 49:16, and, for her comfort, she is assured that those who had destroyed and made her waste should be removed; and that she should have converts that would be an ornament to her, and these numerous, insomuch that the place of their habitation would be too strait and narrow, and which would be matter of astonishment to her, Isa 49:17-21 and, besides those that would be converted in the land of Judea, there would be great numbers in the Gentile world converted by the power of God accompanying his Gospel, set up as a standard there, kings and queens countenancing and encouraging the interest of Christ, Isa 49:22,23 and yet still it is questioned whether the church should be delivered from her oppressors, Isa 49:24 to which it is answered, that she should be delivered, and her persecutors destroyed; by which it would be known that the Lord is the Redeemer and Saviour of his people, Isa 49:25,26.

Cross References 29

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or I will display my beauty
  • [b]. Hebrew from the sea
  • [c]. Dead Sea Scroll; Masoretic Text Sinim
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.