Isaiah 51:12

12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass,

Isaiah 51:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
ESV
12 "I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass,
NLT
12 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear?
MSG
12 "I, I'm the One comforting you. What are you afraid of - or who? Some man or woman who'll soon be dead? Some poor wretch destined for dust?
CSB
12 I-I am the One who comforts you. Who are you that you should fear man who dies, or a son of man who is given up like grass?

Isaiah 51:12 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 51:12

I, even I, am he that comforteth you
This is an answer to the prayer of the prophet, or the church by him, in which the Lord promises not only assistance and help, but comfort; not only to exert his power and show his great strength by making bare his arm; but to open his heart, unbosom himself, and show his great love and strong affection for them; and so administer divine comforts unto them, giving more than was asked for: and he promises to do it himself, not by his prophets and ministers, word and ordinances, though these are the usual means; but he himself would do it by his Spirit and grace, and the immediate discoveries of his love; and which he repeats, to show the certainty of it, as well as to point out to their view the great Comforter himself; which is an instance of amazing condescension, and could not fail of exciting admiration and thankfulness in them; see ( 2 Corinthians 1:3 2 Corinthians 1:4 ) , who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die;
a poor faint hearted creature indeed, to be afraid of a frail mortal dying man; which is the case of every man, even of the greatest of men, of the kings and princes of the earth, who all die like other men; the most proud and haughty tyrants, the fierce and furious persecutors of the people of God. Perhaps the Roman Pagan persecutors may be had in view, whose edicts were very terrible to the first Christians, whose persecutions were very violent and furious, and the tortures and deaths they put them to were very dreadful; and which put them in great fear though they had no reason to fear them that could destroy the body, and do no more; and the rather, since these were mortal men, and did die, and their persecutions came to an end. Or it may be, the man of sin, the son of perdition, antichrist, is here referred to, who in his time has made all to tremble at him, ( Revelation 13:3 Revelation 13:4 ) but must die, and his power too, and will be destroyed with the breath of Christ's mouth, and the brightness of his coming; and therefore his church and people have no reason to be afraid of him: and of the son of man, which shall be made as grass;
as weak as that, which cannot stand before the scythe, is cut down, and tossed about, and trampled upon, and made hay of, and becomes the food of beasts, ( Psalms 90:5 Psalms 90:6 ) ( 103:15 ) ( Isaiah 40:6 ) . Or the words may be rendered, "and of the son of man, to whom grass shall be given"; F18 which if understood of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, of whom the people of the Jews were afraid, and who was a type of antichrist, it was literally true of him, ( Daniel 4:32 Daniel 4:33 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F18 (Nyny ryux) "herba dabitur", Pagninus, Montanus.

Isaiah 51:12 In-Context

10 Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made a road in the depths of the sea so that the redeemed might cross over?
11 Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mere mortals, human beings who are but grass,
13 that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?
14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Isaiah 40:1; S 2 Corinthians 1:4
  • 2. S 2 Kings 1:15
  • 3. Psalms 118:6; S Isaiah 2:22
  • 4. S Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 40:6-7; 1 Peter 1:24