Isaiah 49:9

9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill.

Read Isaiah 49:9 Using Other Translations

That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
saying to the prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.

What does Isaiah 49:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 49:9

That thou mayest say to the prisoners, go forth
God's covenant people, while unconverted, are prisoners; they are in the prison of sin, under the power and dominion of it, and under the guilt of it, and obligation to punishment for it; and they are in the prison of the law, they are transgressors of it, and are accused and convicted by it, and are condemned, and put in prison, and held there; and they are also Satan's prisoners, and are held and led captive by him at his will; and by virtue of the covenant, and the blood of it, these prisoners are set free; and Christ in the. Gospel speaks unto them, and proclaims liberty to them; and by the knowledge of the truth they are made free, and are brought into the liberty of the children of God; and are bid to go forth, and they are brought forth from their prison houses; and bid to go to the house of God, and walk at liberty, enjoying all the privileges and ordinances of the Gospel: to them that are in darkness;
in a state of nature and unregeneracy, which is a state of infidelity and ignorance; when men are in the dark, and know not themselves, nor their lost state and condition; nor the exceeding sinfulness of sin; nor Christ, and the way of salvation by him; nor the Spirit, and the operations of his grace; nor the Scriptures, and the doctrines of them: show yourselves;
among the people of God, in his house and ordinances, when called, converted, and enlightened by Christ; or "be revealed" F3 or manifested, when they are known to be, what they were not knows before, the people and children of God. The Targum is,

``be revealed to the light;''
such are called to partake of the light of grace, and to enjoy the light of comfort and communion: they shall feed in the ways;
not in the broad road and highways of sin, but in the ways of God, in the word and ordinances: this denotes the publicness and pleasantness of them, and the plenty of provisions in them; and yet where it might not be expected, and where exposed to enemies: the allusion is to cattle, that are drove from place to place, and as they pass along feed in the ways upon such pasture as they there find; and suggests, that the saints are travellers, and as such have food provided them by the way: and their pastures shall be in all high places;
on hills and mountains, which are often barren and unfruitful. The Targum is,
``in or by rivers of water shall be the place of their habitation.''

FOOTNOTES:

F3 (wlgh) "revelamini", V. L. Munster, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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