Isaiah 51:16

16 I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”

Isaiah 51:16 in Other Translations

16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.
16 And I have put my words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, 'You are my people.'"
16 And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, ‘You are my people!’”
16 I teach you how to talk, word by word, and personally watch over you, Even while I'm unfurling the skies, setting earth on solid foundations, and greeting Zion: 'Welcome, my people!'"
16 I have put My words in your mouth, and covered you in the shadow of My hand, in order to plant the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, "You are My people."

Isaiah 51:16 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 51:16

And I have put my words in thy mouth
His promises and his truths, either in the mouth of his church, and people for them, both to preserve and transmit to future generations, and to publish and declare to the comfort of each other, ( Isaiah 59:21 ) or to the Prophet Isaiah, to make known to the people of Israel; or to Christ himself, the great Prophet in Israel, by whom grace and truth are come, and by whom God has spoken all his mind and will, and in whom all the promises are yea and amen. The doctrines of God, and not men, as appears by their truth, purity, harmony and efficacy; they are the words of faith and sound doctrine, of peace and reconciliation, of pardon and righteousness, of salvation and eternal life; and these were put into the mouth of Christ, to be published and declared by him as the great Prophet of the church; for which he was abundantly qualified as man and Mediator, by being anointed with the Holy Ghost, without measure, and by having the tongue of the learned given him: hence he declares, that the doctrine he preached was not his own as man, but his Father's, and that he spoke nothing of himself, but what he heard of him, and was taught by him, and had a commandment from him to say; and which words or doctrines he delivered to his apostles, and put into their mouths to make known unto men; see ( John 7:16 ) ( John 8:26 John 8:28 ) ( John 12:49 John 12:50 ) ( 17:8 ) . And have covered thee in the shadow of my hand;
protected and defended both the church and its members, Christ and his ministers, his interest and kingdom, his Gospel, and the truths of it, with its ordinances; and continued them from age to age, notwithstanding the virulence and violence of false teachers and persecutors, see ( Isaiah 49:2 ) , that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth;
form and establish Gospel churches in the world, in the Roman empire, and elsewhere, both by the words and doctrines of the Gospel; by the ministry of the apostles, and other preachers of the word; and by the hand of almighty power, the efficacious grace of God attending the same: so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions connect this clause with the former, by which I have settled the heavens,
&c; these are called "heavens", for their purity, brightness, and glory they have from the Lord; for the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, which are from heaven, and not of men; and for the true members of them, which are men born from above, and partakers of the heavenly calling; and for the ministers of the Gospel, those stars of light, which here hold forth the light of the divine word to men; and where the sun of righteousness arises with healing in his wings, and where the clouds drop down the rain of heavenly doctrine: these are said to be "planted", as if they were gardens, as the churches of Christ are, planted with all kind of pleasant plants, with trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified; and these, being watered with the dew of heaven, flourish and bring forth fruit: but planting rather denotes the stability and duration of the churches of Christ, which will continue as long as the days of heaven: or "that thou mayest plant" F20; referring either to the ministers of the word, who are instruments in planting churches, ( 1 Corinthians 3:7 1 Corinthians 3:8 ) , or to Christ, the chief master builder and founder of them; though this may principally respect the making of the new heaven, and the new earth, which will be of Christ's forming and making, ( Revelation 21:1 Revelation 21:5 ) for it is not to be understood of the first making of the heavens and earth in a natural sense, or in a political sense of the settling and establishing of the Jewish nation: and say unto Zion, thou art my people;
the church of God, consisting whether of Jews or Gentiles, especially the latter, who once were not, but now, being called through the ministry of the word, are the people of God: and more particularly this will be declared and made manifest in the New Jerusalem state, when all the elect of God will be gathered in, ( Revelation 21:3 ) .


F20 (ejnl) "ut plantes", V. L.

Isaiah 51:16 In-Context

14 The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; they will not die in their dungeon, nor will they lack bread.
15 For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
17 Awake, awake! Rise up, Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORDthe cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes people stagger.
18 Among all the children she bore there was none to guide her; among all the children she reared there was none to take her by the hand.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Exodus 4:12,15; Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 59:21
  • 2. S Exodus 33:22
  • 3. S Isaiah 48:13
  • 4. Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 11:4; Jeremiah 24:7; Ezekiel 14:11; Zechariah 8:8
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