Isaiah 49:16

16 "Behold, I have 1inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your 2walls are continually before Me.

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Isaiah 49:16 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 49:16

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands
Not upon his thick clouds, the clouds of heaven under him, always in view, as R. Saadiah Gaon, mentioned by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi: much better the Targum,

``lo, as upon the hands thou art engraven before me;''
signifying that his people were always in his sight, his eyes were ever upon them, and never withdrawn from them; as anything held in the hand, or tied to or wore upon it, as a signet or ring that has the name of a person on it, to which the allusion may be; which shows how near and dear they are to him, what affection he has for them, and care of them; see ( Song of Solomon 8:6 ) . Some think respect is had to the wounds in the hands of Christ, which, being on their account, are looked upon and remembered by him; or, however, to their being in his hands, out of which none can pluck them, ( John 10:28 John 10:29 ) : thy walls are continually before me;
not the walls of Jerusalem to rebuild, though there may be an allusion to them; but either the walls of their houses where they dwell; his delights being in the habitable parts of his earth, where his saints are; or rather the walls of the church of God, for the erecting and establishing of which he is concerned. The metaphor seems to be taken from an architect that has the plan of a building, a house, or a city and its walls, in his hand, or lying before him. The phrase denotes the constant care and concern of Jehovah for the protection and safety of his church and people; who places angels about them, salvation for walls and bulwarks to them, yea, he himself is a wall of fire about them, ( Isaiah 26:1 ) ( Zechariah 2:5 ) ( Revelation 21:14 ) .

Isaiah 49:16 In-Context

14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
16 "Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.
17 "Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you.
18 "Lift up your eyes and look around; All of them gather together, they come to you. As I live," declares the LORD , "You will surely put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Song of Songs 8:6; Haggai 2:23
  • 2. Psalms 48:12, 13; Isaiah 62:6, 7
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