View Isaiah 49 in the note window.
Christ, being sent to the Jews complains of them, ver. 1 - 4.
He is sent to the Gentiles with gracious promises, ver. 5 - 12.
God's love to his church perpetual, ver. 13 - 17.
The ample restoration of the church, and its enlargement, ver. 18 - 23.
Its powerful deliverance out of captivity, ver. 24 - 26.
1: Listen - God turns his speech to the Gentiles, and invites
them to hearken to those counsels and doctrines which the Jews
would reject. Me - Unto Christ: Isaiah speaks these words in the name
2: A sword - As he made me the great teacher of his church, so he
made my word, quick and powerful, and sharper than any two - edged sword.
Hath he hid - He will protect me from all mine enemies. Made me - Like
an arrow, whose point is bright and polished; which therefore pierceth
3: O Israel - As the name of David is sometimes given to his
successors, so here the name of Israel may not unfitly be given to
Christ, not only because he descended from his loins; but also because
he was the true and the great Israel, who, in a more eminent manner,
prevailed with God, as that name signifies, of whom Jacob, who was
first called Israel, was but a type.
4: Then said I - Lord, thou sayest thou wilt be glorified by my
ministry; but I find it otherwise. In vain - Without any considerable
fruit of my word and works among the Israelites. My judgment - My
right, the reward which by his promise, and my purchase, is my right.
5: To bring - To convert the apostate Israelites to God.
Not gathered - Not brought home to God by my ministry. Yet - God will
not despise me for the unsuccessfulness of my labours, but will honour
and glorify me. My strength - To support and strengthen me under this
and all other discouragements.
6: He - The Lord. It is - This is but a small favour.
The tribes - That remnant of them which shall survive all their
calamities. My salvation - The great instrument and author of
that eternal salvation which I will give to the Gentiles.
7: His Holy One - The Holy One of Israel. To him - To Christ,
to whom, in the days of his flesh, this description fully agrees: for
men, both Jews and Gentiles among whom he lived, did despise
him from their hearts; and the nation, of which he was a member,
abhorred both his person and his doctrine; and he was so far from being
a temporal monarch, that he came in the form of a servant, and was
a servant of rulers, professing subjection and paying tribute unto
Caesar. Kings - Though for a time thou shalt be despised, yet after a
while thou shalt be advanced to such glory, that kings shall look
upon thee with reverence. Arise - From their seats to worship thee.
Faithful - Because God shall make good his promises to thee.
Chuse thee - And although thou shalt be rejected by thine own people, yet
God will manifest to the world, that thou, and thou only, art the person
whom he hath chosen to be the Redeemer of mankind.
8: The Lord - God the Father unto Christ. Heard thee - Though not
so as to deliver thee from death; yet so as to crown thee with glory
and honour. For a covenant - To be the Mediator and surety of that
covenant, which is made between me and them. To establish - To
establish truth and righteousness upon earth, and subdue those lusts
and passions, which are the great disturbers of human society.
Desolate heritages - That desolate places may be repaired and repossessed.
That Christ may possess the Heathen, who were in a spiritual sense in a
most desolate condition.
9: Prisoners - To the Gentiles who are fast bound by the cords of
their sins, and taken captive by the devil at his will. Go forth - Come
forth to the light, receive divine illumination. In high places - They
shall have abundant provision in all places, yea even in those which
commonly are unfruitful, such are both common roads and high grounds.
11: A way - I will remove all hindrances, and prepare the way for
them, by levelling high grounds, and raising low grounds.
12: These - My people shall be gathered from the most remote parts of
the earth. He speaks here, and in many other places, of the conversion of
the Gentiles, with allusion to that work of gathering, and bringing back
the Jews from all parts where they were dispersed, into their own land.
Sinim - Either of the Sinites as they are called, (Ge 10:17), who
dwelt about the wilderness. Or of Sin, a famous city of Egypt,
which may be put for all Egypt, and that for all southern parts.
14: But - This is an objection. How can these things be true, when
the condition of God's church is now so desperate?
16: Graven - He alludes to the common practice of men who put signs
upon their hands or fingers of such things as they would remember.
18: These - Gentiles. Thy church shall not only be restored, but
vastly enlarged and adorned by the accession of the Gentiles.
19: Thy waste places - Thy own land, whereof divers parts lie waste
for want of people to possess them. Land of destruction - Which before
was desolate and destroyed.
20: The children - Those Gentiles which shall be begotten by thee,
when thou shalt be deprived of thine own natural children, when the
generality of the Jews cut themselves off from God.
21: Who - Whence have I this numberless issue? Seeing - Seeing I
was in a manner left childless. Desolate - Without an husband, being
forsaken by God, who formerly owned himself for my husband.
22: Behold - I will call them to me. Set my standard - As generals
do to gather their forces together. Thy sons - Those who shall be thine
by adoption, that shall own God for their father, and Jerusalem for
their mother. Carried - With great care and tenderness, as nurses carry
young infants. Carried - As sick or infirm persons used to be carried.
23: Lick the dust - They shall highly reverence and honour thee.
These expressions are borrowed from the practice of the eastern people,
who bowed so low as to touch the ground. Ashamed - Their expectations
shall not be disappointed.
24: Shall the prey - Here is a double impediment to their deliverance,
the power of the enemy who kept them in bondage, and the justice of God
which pleads against their deliverance.
25: For I - I the almighty God will undertake this work.