Isaiah 49:5

5 The LORD formed me in my mother's body to be his servant. He wanted me to bring the family of Jacob back to him. He wanted me to gather the people of Israel to himself. The LORD will honor me. My God will give me strength.

Isaiah 49:5 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 49:5

And now, saith the Lord
Jehovah the Father, in confirmation of the call, office, and work of Christ, which he hath declared, ( Isaiah 49:1 Isaiah 49:3 ) : that formed me from the womb to be his servant;
who preordained him to this service before the world began, and prepared him for it from the womb of his mother Mary, by filling him with grace and wisdom and with the Spirit without measure; anointing him with the oil of gladness above his fellows, and so fitting him as man and Mediator for the preaching of the Gospel, and every other service he called him: to bring Jacob again, to him;
the lost sheep of the house of Israel, God's elect among the Jews, which were as straying sheep; or all his chosen people, whether Jews or Gentiles, which were scattered abroad, and were afar off from God, whom Christ was to bring back again, and bring nigh unto God, and did: though Israel be not gathered:
in general, only a remnant, according to the election of grace, the greater part refusing to be gathered ministerially by him; and the rulers not suffering the common people to attend on his ministry. ( Matthew 23:37 ) . It may be observed that there is a marginal reading of the Hebrew, different from the written text; instead of (al) , "not" it is (wl) , "to him"; and may be rendered thus, "and Israel shall be gathered unto him"; and then the sense entirely agrees with the preceding clause, with which the words are connected, and not with the following, as the accent "athnach" shows, thus; the Lord appointed and formed me to be his servant to bring back Jacob, and that Israel might be gathered to him; as all the Israel of God, all the elect of God were by the sufferings and death of Christ; see ( Ephesians 1:10 ) . The marginal reading, and the writing, may be both retained, as in some other places, thus, "and shall not Israel be gathered to him?" since he has formed me to bring back Jacob to him? verily he shall. The marginal reading is followed by the Targum, and the passage paraphrased thus,

``to return the house of Jacob to his service, and Israel shall be brought nigh, to his fear.''
And so it is by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, and by the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, and by Aquila: "yet shall I be glorious" in the eyes of the Lord; or "I shall be glorious"; as he was at his baptism and transfiguration on the mount; by the wonderful things done in heaven and on earth at the time of his death, at his resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, and exaltation at the right hand of God, far above all principalities and powers, angels, authorities, and powers, being subject to him; and by the ministration of the Gospel in the Gentile world, and particularly when he shall reign gloriously in the latter day, and in the New Jerusalem church state: and my God shall be my strength;
to keep up his spirits under all discouragements; to protect him from his enemies; to support him in his work as man; to carry him through it, and enable him completely to perform it, as he promised he would, and as he did, ( Isaiah 49:8 ) ( Psalms 89:21 ) ( Psalms 80:17 ) .

Isaiah 49:5 In-Context

3 He said to me, "You are my true servant Israel. I will show my glory through you."
4 But I said, "In spite of my hard work, I feel as if I haven't accomplished anything. I've used up all of my strength. It seems as if everything I've done is worthless. But the LORD will give me what I should receive. My God will reward me."
5 The LORD formed me in my mother's body to be his servant. He wanted me to bring the family of Jacob back to him. He wanted me to gather the people of Israel to himself. The LORD will honor me. My God will give me strength.
6 The LORD says to me, "It is not enough for you as my servant to bring the tribes of Jacob back to their land. It is not enough for you to bring back the people of Israel I have kept alive. I will also make you a light for other nations. Then you will make it possible for the whole world to be saved."
7 The LORD sets his people free. He is the Holy One of Israel. He speaks to his servant, who is looked down on and hated by the nations. He speaks to the servant of rulers. He says to him, "Kings will see you and rise up to honor you. Princes will see you and bow down to show you their respect. I am the Lord. I am faithful. I am the Holy One of Israel. I have chosen you."
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