Isaiah 50:4-11

4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the Lord and relies upon his God?
11 But all of you are kindlers of fire, lighters of firebrands. Walk in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled! This is what you shall have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Isaiah 50:4-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH 50

This chapter is a prophecy of the rejection of the Jews, for their neglect and contempt of the Messiah; and of his discharge of his office as Mediator, and fitness for it. The rejection of the Jews is signified by the divorce of a woman from her husband, and by persons selling their children to their creditors; which is not to be charged upon the Lord, but was owing to their own iniquities, Isa 50:1, particularly their disregard of the Messiah, and inattention to him, as if he was an insufficient Saviour; whereas his power to redeem is evident, from his drying up the sea and rivers below, and clothing the heavens above with black clouds, and eclipsing the luminaries thereof, Isa 50:2,3, his fitness for his prophetic office is expressed in Isa 50:4. His obedience to his Father, and his patience in sufferings, while performing his priestly office, Isa 50:5,6, and his faith and confidence in the Lord, as man and Mediator, that he should be helped, carried through his work, and acquitted; and not be confounded, overcome, and condemned, Isa 50:7-9, and the chapter is closed with an exhortation to the saints to trust in the Lord in the darkest times; and a threatening to such who trust in themselves, and in their own doings, Isa 50:10,11.

Isaiah 50:4-11 In-Context

1 Thus says the Lord: Where is your mother's bill of divorce with which I put her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? No, because of your sins you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
2 Why was no one there when I came? Why did no one answer when I called? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? By my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.
4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.
6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.
7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
10 Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the Lord and relies upon his God?
11 But all of you are kindlers of fire, lighters of firebrands. Walk in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled! This is what you shall have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Cn: Heb [of those who are taught]
  • [b]. Syr: Heb [you gird yourselves with firebrands]