Isaiah 50

Israel’s Sin and the Servant’s Obedience

1 This is what the LORD says: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce with which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Because of your sins you were sold; because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2 When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to deliver you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert; their fish rot for lack of water and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with darkness and make sackcloth its covering.”
4 The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
5 The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.
6 I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.
8 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
9 It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment; the moths will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the LORDand obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORDand rely on their God.
11 But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will 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 44

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 24:1; Jeremiah 3:8; Hosea 2:2; Matthew 19:7; Mark 10:4
  • 2. S Nehemiah 5:5; S Matthew 18:25
  • 3. S Isaiah 1:28
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 32:30; S Judges 3:8; Isaiah 52:3
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 8:19; S Isaiah 41:28
  • 6. Numbers 11:23; Isaiah 59:1
  • 7. S Genesis 18:14; S Psalms 68:35; Jeremiah 14:9
  • 8. S Psalms 18:15
  • 9. S Exodus 14:22; Joshua 3:16
  • 10. S Psalms 107:33
  • 11. S Exodus 10:22; S Isaiah 5:30
  • 12. Revelation 6:12
  • 13. ver 5; Isaiah 61:1
  • 14. S Exodus 4:12
  • 15. S Isaiah 40:29; Matthew 11:28
  • 16. Psalms 5:3; Psalms 88:13; Psalms 119:147; Psalms 143:8
  • 17. S Isaiah 28:9
  • 18. S Isaiah 48:16
  • 19. Isaiah 35:5
  • 20. Ezekiel 2:8; Ezekiel 24:3; S Matthew 26:39; John 8:29; John 14:31; John 15:10; Acts 26:19; Hebrews 5:8
  • 21. Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:30; Mark 14:65; Mark 15:19; Luke 22:63; John 19:1
  • 22. S 2 Samuel 10:4
  • 23. S Numbers 12:14; Lamentations 3:30; Matthew 26:67; Mark 10:34
  • 24. S Isaiah 48:16
  • 25. S Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 42:1
  • 26. Jeremiah 1:18; Jeremiah 15:20; Ezekiel 3:8-9
  • 27. S Isaiah 28:16; S Isaiah 29:22
  • 28. S Isaiah 26:2; S Isaiah 49:4
  • 29. S Psalms 34:18
  • 30. S Job 13:19; S Isaiah 43:26; Romans 8:32-34
  • 31. S Isaiah 41:1
  • 32. S Isaiah 48:16
  • 33. S Isaiah 41:10
  • 34. Romans 8:1,34
  • 35. S Job 13:28; S Isaiah 51:8
  • 36. S Proverbs 1:7
  • 37. Isaiah 1:19; Haggai 1:12
  • 38. S Isaiah 49:3
  • 39. S Psalms 107:14; Acts 26:18
  • 40. S Isaiah 10:20; S Isaiah 26:4
  • 41. Proverbs 26:18
  • 42. Isaiah 1:31; James 3:6
  • 43. S Deuteronomy 21:22-23; S Proverbs 26:27
  • 44. S Job 15:20; Isaiah 65:13-15

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

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