Isaiah 49:8

8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish[a] the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Isaiah 49:8 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 49:8

Thus saith the Lord
These are the words of God the Father to his Son continued; the Jews themselves interpret them of the Messiah {z}: in an acceptable time have I heard thee:
this was the time when Christ was here on earth, when he became incarnate, and suffered and died for his people: this was an acceptable time to God the Father; his very sufferings were acceptable; his sacrifice was of a sweet smelling savour; his righteousness was well pleasing to him; for by all this his perfections were glorified, his purposes were answered, his covenant and promises fulfilled, and his people saved: it was acceptable to men, the things that were now done and procured; as pardon of sin, peace and reconciliation, a justifying righteousness, and complete salvation; which is worthy the acceptation of all that are lost and undone, and see themselves so, and that nothing they can do will save them: or "in a time of good will" F1; such was the time of Christ's first coming; it was good will to men, ( Luke 2:14 ) . God showed his good will to men by the Person whom he sent to save them, his own, only, and beloved Son; and by sending him to save sinners, the chief of sinners, even enemies; and this time was fixed and settled by the good will and pleasure of God; and during this time the Lord heard Christ; he always heard him interceding for himself, and for his people; he heard him in the garden, and on the cross, and at all other times; see ( Hebrews 5:7 ) and in a day of salvation have I helped thee;
at the time when he wrought out the salvation of his people, then he helped him in it, and through it, as he promised him, and as Christ believed he would, ( Isaiah 42:1 ) ( Isaiah 50:7 Isaiah 50:9 ) . This is to be understood of him as man and Mediator, and to show the greatness of the work of salvation, and the concern of God in it; otherwise, as Christ is the mighty God, he needed no help, and his own arm brought salvation to him: and I will preserve thee;
as he did from his enemies in life, in his infancy, and when grown up, that his life might not be taken away before his time; from being overcome by his enemies in the garden, and on the cross; from the power of death and the grave, by raising him up from thence; he preserved him to his kingdom and glory, and now retains him in heaven until the time of the restitution of all things; and will preserve his seed, and his throne, his cause, and interest, to the end of time: and give thee for a covenant of the people;
Jews and Gentiles, all that are given to him, and whom he redeems by his blood, whom the Spirit sanctifies, and applies the blessings and promises of the covenant to; which is to be understood of the covenant of grace: Christ is said to be given for it unto them, he being a covenantee in it; the representative of these people in it; the surety of it for them; the Mediator and messenger of it to them; and the ratifier and confirmer of it; and as he is the great blessing of it, the sum and substance of it; and as all the blessings and promises of it are in him; and this may respect the constitution of the covenant from everlasting, and the manifestation of it in time; and this is a gift of God honourable to Christ, of free grace to his people, very comprehensive and unspeakable. Kimchi says this refers to the times of the Messiah: and the end of all this is to establish the earth;
not the land of Judea, but the whole earth; which, were it not for Christ, and his covenant and suretyship engagements for his people, and for the sake of them, and their salvation, would long ago have been dissolved and broke to pieces; but he bears up the pillars of it; and, when he has gathered in all his people, will destroy it: or the end in his being given for a covenant was to "raise up" the fallen inhabitants of the earth, for so the word


F2 may be rendered; or to raise up the elect of God unto life, who were obnoxious to death; or to establish, settle, and confirm the church of God on earth; see ( Psalms 89:36 Psalms 89:37 ) . The Targum is, "to raise up the righteous that lie in the dust", referring it to the resurrection of the dead: to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
the desolate cities of Judah, or the Gentile world, which was like a desolate wilderness: it seems to denote the desolate condition of the church, which should become comfortable and flourishing through the numerous conversions of Jews and Gentiles, as the fruit and effect of the covenant of grace made with Christ; in which the Heathen were given for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, ( Psalms 2:8 Psalms 2:9 ) ( Isaiah 49:19 ) ( 54:3 ) .
F26 In Pesikta Rabbati in Yalkut in loc.
F1 (Nwur teb) "in tempore gratuitae voluntatis", Munster; "in tempore placito", V. L. Pagninus; "beneplaciti", Piscator.
F2 (Ura Myqhl) "ad suscitandam terram", Pagninus, Montanus; "ut erigas terram", Piscator; "ad erigendam terram", Vitringa.

Isaiah 49:8 In-Context

6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 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.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. establish: or, raise up
The King James Version is in the public domain.