Isaiah 50:4-6

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.

Isaiah 50:4-6 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 50

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 50:4-6 In-Context

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!

Cross References 11

  • 1. ver 5; Isaiah 61:1
  • 2. S Exodus 4:12
  • 3. S Isaiah 40:29; Matthew 11:28
  • 4. Psalms 5:3; Psalms 88:13; Psalms 119:147; Psalms 143:8
  • 5. S Isaiah 28:9
  • 6. S Isaiah 48:16
  • 7. Isaiah 35:5
  • 8. 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
  • 9. Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 27:30; Mark 14:65; Mark 15:19; Luke 22:63; John 19:1
  • 10. S 2 Samuel 10:4
  • 11. S Numbers 12:14; Lamentations 3:30; Matthew 26:67; Mark 10:34
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.