Isaiah 49:12

12 Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.

Isaiah 49:12 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 49:12

Behold, these shall come from far
This is a prophecy of the conversion of the Jews, or of the Gentiles, or of both, in the latter day, in the several parts of the world; who shall come to Christ, and to his churches, and join in fellowship with them: the allusion is to the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, and from all other parts at that time; some are said to come "from far", from the east, as it is generally interpreted, from the several eastern nations, as Persia, Judea lying west from them, on the western or Mediterranean sea: and, lo, these from the north;
from Media, as some; or rather from Babylon, which lay north of Judea: and from the west;
or "from the sea"; the Mediterranean sea, and the countries beyond it, which lie west of Judea: and these from the land of Sinim.
The Targum and Vulgate Latin version render it, from the land of the south, with which Jarchi and Kimchi agree, where dwelt the Sinites, which were of the children of Canaan, ( Genesis 10:17 ) , as the latter observes; and where were the wilderness of Sin, and mountain of Sinai, according to the observation of Jerom. Aben Ezra thinks Egypt is meant, which lay south of Judea, and conjectures that Sinai, a place in it, is designed; perhaps Sin, as others are of opinion, called "the strength of Egypt", ( Ezekiel 30:15 ) , the same city the Greeks called Pelusium; and R. Saadiah, in Kimchi, supposes it is here intended, which is most likely; the Pelusiotae are meant. Manasseh ben Israel F7 will have it that the Chinese are intended: China is indeed called, by Ptolemy F8, the country of the Sinites; and if this is designed, which is not probable, it cannot be so called from the family of Cina, as Martinius F9 thinks, since that family was not in being till two or three hundred years after this prophecy; and, if it concerns them, it will have its accomplishment, when the kingdoms of this world shall become Christ's, ( Revelation 11:15 ) compare with this ( Matthew 8:12 ) yea, they are said to have received the Gospel, in the first times of it, by the means of the apostles, Thomas, or Bartholomew F11. The Septuagint version renders it, "from the land of the Persians"; and the Arabic version, "from the land of Persia"; and the Syriac version, "from the sea of Senjam".


F7 Spes Israelis, p. 48.
F8 Geograph. l. 7. c. 3.
F9 Hist. Sinic. p. 195.
F11 Vid Fabricii Lux Evangelii, p. 652, 653.

Isaiah 49:12 In-Context

10 they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.
13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
14 But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me."

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.