Isaiah 49

Salvation Reaches to the End of the Earth

1 Listen to Me, O 1islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar. 2The LORD called Me from the womb; From the body of My mother He named * Me.
2 He has made My 3mouth like a sharp sword, In the 4shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select 5arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver.
3 He said to Me, "6You are My Servant, Israel, 7In Whom I will show My glory."
4 But I said, "I have 8toiled in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and vanity; Yet surely the justice due to Me is with the LORD, And My 9reward with My God."
5 And now says 10the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that 11Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am 12honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My 13strength ),
6 He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the 14preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a 15light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the 16end of the earth."
7 Thus says the LORD, the 17Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the 18despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, "19Kings will see and arise, Princes will also 20bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You."
8 Thus says the LORD, "In a 21favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will 22keep You and 23give You for a covenant of the people, To 24restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;
9 Saying to those who are 25bound, 'Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all 26bare heights.
10 "They will 27not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching 28heat or sun strike them down; For 29He who has compassion on them will 30lead them And will guide them to 31springs of water.
11 "I will make all 32My mountains a road, And My 33highways will be raised up.
12 "Behold, these will come 34from afar; And lo, these will come from the 35north and from the west, And these from the land of Sinim."
13 36Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the 37LORD has comforted His people And will 38have compassion on His afflicted.

Promise to Zion

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 39I will not forget you.
16 "Behold, I have 40inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your 41walls are continually before Me.
17 "Your builders hurry; Your 42destroyers and devastators Will depart from you.
18 "43Lift up your eyes and look around; 44All of them gather together, 45they come to you. 46As I live," declares the LORD, "You will surely 47put on all of them as jewels and bind them on as a bride.
19 "For 48your waste and desolate places and your destroyed land - Surely now you will be 49too cramped for the inhabitants, And those who 50swallowed you will be far away.
20 "The 51children of whom you were bereaved will yet say in your ears, 'The place is too cramped for me; Make room for me that I may live here.'
21 "Then you will 52say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And am 53barren, an 54exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was 55left alone; 56From where did these come?' "
22 Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations And set up My 57standard to the peoples; And they will 58bring your sons in their bosom, And your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.
23 "59Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will 60bow down to you with their faces to the earth And 61lick the dust of your feet; And you will 62know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully 63wait for Me will 64not be put to shame.
24 "65Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?"
25 Surely, thus says the LORD, "Even the 66captives of the mighty man will be taken away, And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will 67save your sons.
26 "I will feed your 68oppressors with their 69own flesh, And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And 70all flesh will know that I, the LORD, am your 71Savior And your 72Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

Images for Isaiah 49

Isaiah 49 Commentary

Chapter 49

The unbelief and rejection of the Jews. (1-6) Gracious promise to the Gentiles. (7-12) God's love to the church. (13-17) Its increase. (18-23) And deliverance. (24-26)

Verses 1-6 The great Author of redemption shows the authority for his work. The sword of his word slays the lusts of his people, and all at enmity with them. His sharp arrows wound the conscience; but all these wounds will be healed, when the sinner prays to him for mercy. But even the Redeemer, who spake as never man spake in his personal ministry, often seemed to labour in vain. And if Jacob will not be brought back to God, and Israel will not be gathered, still Christ will be glorious. This promise is in part fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles. Men perish in darkness. But Christ enlightens men, and so makes them holy and happy.

Verses 7-12 The Father is the Lord, the Redeemer, and Holy One of Israel, as sending the Son to be the Redeemer. Man, whom he came to save, put contempt upon him. To this he submitted for our salvation. He is a pledge for all the blessings of the covenant; in him God was reconciling the world to himself. Pardoning mercy is a release from the curse of the law; renewing grace is a release from the dominion of sin: both are from Christ. He saith to those in darkness, Show yourselves. Not only see, but be seen, to the glory of God, and your own comforts. Though there are difficulties in the way to heaven, yet the grace of God will carry us over them, and make even the mountains a way. This denotes the free invitations and the encouraging promises of the gospel, and the outpouring of the Spirit.

Verses 13-17 Let there be universal joy, for God will have mercy upon the afflicted, because of his compassion; upon his afflicted, because of his covenant. We have no more reason to question his promise and grace, than we have to question his providence and justice. Be assured that God has a tender affection for his church and people; he would not have them to be discouraged. Some mothers do neglect their children; but God's compassions to his people, infinitely exceed those of the tenderest parents toward their children. His setting them as a mark on his hand, or a seal upon his arm, denotes his being ever mindful of them. As far as we have scriptural evidence that we belong to his ransomed flock, we may be sure that he will never forsake us. Let us then give diligence to make our calling and election sure, and rejoice in the hope and glory of God.

Verses 18-23 Zion is addressed as an afflicted widow, bereaved of her children. Numbers flock to her, and she is assured that they come to be a comfort to her. There are times when the church is desolate and few in number; yet its desolations shall not last for ever, and God will repair them. God can raise up friends for returning Israelites, even among Gentiles. They shall bring their children, and make them thy children. Let all deal tenderly and carefully with young converts and beginners in religion. Princes shall protect the church. It shall appear that God is the sovereign Lord of all. And those who in the exercise of faith, hope, and patience, wait on God for the fulfilment of his promises, shall never be confounded.

Verses 24-26 We were lawful captives to the justice of God, yet delivered by a price of unspeakable value. Here is an express promise: Even the prey of the terrible shall be delivered. We may here view Satan deprived of his prey, bound and cast into the pit; and all the powers that have combined to enslave, persecute, or corrupt the church, are destroyed; that all the earth may know that our Saviour and Redeemer is Jehovah, the mighty One of Jacob. And every effort we make to rescue our fellow-sinners from the bondage of Satan, is, in some degree, helping forward that great change.

Cross References 72

  • 1. Isaiah 42:4
  • 2. Isaiah 44:2, 24; Isaiah 46:3; Jeremiah 1:5
  • 3. Isaiah 11:4; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12, 16
  • 4. Isaiah 51:16
  • 5. Habakkuk 3:11
  • 6. Zechariah 3:8
  • 7. Isaiah 44:23
  • 8. Isaiah 65:23
  • 9. Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 59:18
  • 10. Isaiah 44:2
  • 11. Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 27:12
  • 12. Isaiah 43:4
  • 13. Isaiah 12:2
  • 14. Psalms 37:28; Psalms 97:10
  • 15. Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 51:4; Luke 2:32; Acts 13:47; Acts 26:23
  • 16. Isaiah 48:20
  • 17. Isaiah 48:17
  • 18. Psalms 22:6-8; Psalms 69:7-9; Isaiah 53:3
  • 19. Isaiah 52:15
  • 20. Isaiah 19:21, 23; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 66:23
  • 21. Psalms 69:13; 2 Corinthians 6:2
  • 22. Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 27:3; Isaiah 42:6
  • 23. Isaiah 42:6
  • 24. Isaiah 44:26
  • 25. Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18
  • 26. Isaiah 41:18
  • 27. Isaiah 33:16; Isaiah 48:21; Revelation 7:16
  • 28. Psalms 121:6
  • 29. Isaiah 14:1
  • 30. Psalms 23:2; Isaiah 40:11
  • 31. Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 41:17
  • 32. Isaiah 40:4
  • 33. Isaiah 11:16; Isaiah 19:23; Isaiah 35:8; Isaiah 62:10
  • 34. Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 60:4
  • 35. Isaiah 43:5, 6
  • 36. Isaiah 44:23
  • 37. Isaiah 40:1; Isaiah 51:3, 12
  • 38. Is 54:7, 8, 10
  • 39. Isaiah 44:21
  • 40. Song of Songs 8:6; Haggai 2:23
  • 41. Psalms 48:12, 13; Isaiah 62:6, 7
  • 42. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 37:18
  • 43. Isaiah 60:4; John 4:35
  • 44. Isaiah 43:5; Isaiah 54:7; Isaiah 60:4
  • 45. Isaiah 49:12
  • 46. Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 54:9
  • 47. Isaiah 52:1; Isaiah 61:10
  • 48. Isaiah 1:7; Isaiah 3:8; Isaiah 5:6; Isaiah 51:3
  • 49. Isaiah 54:1, 2; Zechariah 10:10
  • 50. Psalms 56:1, 2
  • 51. Isaiah 54:1-3
  • 52. Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 54:6, 7
  • 53. Isaiah 27:10; Lamentations 1:1
  • 54. Isaiah 5:13
  • 55. Isaiah 1:8
  • 56. Isaiah 60:8
  • 57. Isaiah 11:10, 12; Isaiah 18:3; Isaiah 62:10
  • 58. Isaiah 14:2; Isaiah 43:6; Isaiah 60:4
  • 59. Isaiah 14:1, 2; Isaiah 60:3, 10, 11
  • 60. Isaiah 45:14; Isaiah 60:14
  • 61. Psalms 72:9; Micah 7:17
  • 62. Isaiah 41:20; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 60:16
  • 63. Psalms 37:9; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 26:8
  • 64. Psalms 25:3; Isaiah 45:17; Joel 2:27
  • 65. Matthew 12:29; Luke 11:21
  • 66. Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 14:1, 2; Jeremiah 50:33, 34
  • 67. Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 33:22; Isaiah 35:4
  • 68. Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 14:4; Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 51:13; Isaiah 54:14
  • 69. Isaiah 9:20
  • 70. Isaiah 45:6; Ezekiel 39:7
  • 71. Isaiah 43:3
  • 72. Isaiah 49:7

Footnotes 13

Chapter Summary


This is a prophecy concerning Christ, and redemption by him; and of the enlargement of the church in the latter day, by the conversion of Jews and Gentiles; which the isles, and people afar off, are exhorted to listen and hearken to, delivered out by the prophet, in the person of Christ; who gives an account of his call to his office, and the time of it; of what the Lord did for him, and said unto him, Isa 49:1-3, then follows a complaint of his labouring in vain, and a correction of it, Isa 49:4 and a further declaration of his call and appointment to office, and of each of the parts of the work assigned him, with encouragement to it, Isa 49:5,6. Christ is again represented under discouraging circumstances, as despised of men, abhorred by the nation, and a servant of rulers; who is encouraged by divine promises that kings should rise up before him, and worship him; that God would be faithful to his promise to him, and yet choose him, hear and help him, at a proper time; preserve him, and give him for a covenant to the people, to the establishment of the earth, and making it habitable, Isa 49:7,8 for the release of prisoners, and feeding, leading, and guiding them, and removing all difficulties out of the way, Isa 49:9-11 when the calling of the Gentiles is foretold, which would occasion great joy in the world, Isa 49:12,13 yet the church is introduced as complaining that she was forsaken of God, Isa 49:14 which is denied, and the contrary affirmed; being dear to the Lord as a sucking child to its mother, and more so; never forgotten by him, and always under his care, Isa 49:16, and, for her comfort, she is assured that those who had destroyed and made her waste should be removed; and that she should have converts that would be an ornament to her, and these numerous, insomuch that the place of their habitation would be too strait and narrow, and which would be matter of astonishment to her, Isa 49:17-21 and, besides those that would be converted in the land of Judea, there would be great numbers in the Gentile world converted by the power of God accompanying his Gospel, set up as a standard there, kings and queens countenancing and encouraging the interest of Christ, Isa 49:22,23 and yet still it is questioned whether the church should be delivered from her oppressors, Isa 49:24 to which it is answered, that she should be delivered, and her persecutors destroyed; by which it would be known that the Lord is the Redeemer and Saviour of his people, Isa 49:25,26.

Isaiah 49 Commentaries

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