King James Version
The Servant of the Lord
1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The
LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath
he made mention of my name.
2 And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his
hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver
hath he hid me;
3 And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be
4 Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for
nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my
work with my God.
5 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his
servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered,
yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be
6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of
Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou
mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to
him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a
servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall
worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of
Israel, and he shall choose thee.
Restoration of Israel
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and
in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee,
and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth,
to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are
in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their
pastures shall be in all high places.
10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun
smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by
the springs of water shall he guide them.
11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be
12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north
and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into
singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and
will have mercy upon his afflicted.
14 But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath
15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I
not forget thee.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls
are continually before me.
17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made
thee waste shall go forth of thee.
18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather
themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD,
thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament,
and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.
19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy
destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the
inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the
other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for
me: give place to me that I may dwell.
21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these,
seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and
removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was
left alone; these, where had they been?
22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the
Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring
thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon
23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy
nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward
the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know
that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive
25 But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be
taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I
will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy
26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and
they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and
all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy
Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.1
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,
Isaiah 49:1, then follows a complaint of his labouring in vain,
and a correction of it,
Isaiah 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,
Isaiah 49:5. 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
Isaiah 49:7 for the release of prisoners, and feeding, leading,
and guiding them, and removing all difficulties out of the way,
Isaiah 49:9 when the calling of the Gentiles is foretold, which
would occasion great joy in the world,
Isaiah 49:12 yet the church is introduced as complaining that
she was forsaken of God,
Isaiah 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,
Isaiah 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,
Isaiah 49:17 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,
Isaiah 49:22 and yet still it is questioned whether the church
should be delivered from her oppressors,
Isaiah 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,
References and notes
1. King James Authorized Version
Matthew Henry Bible Commentary - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/isaiah/mh/isaiah49.htm
John Gill's Exposition of the Bible - http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/isaiah/gill/isaiah49.htm
Preaching helps - http://www.gbod.org/worship/worship/articles.asp?act=reader&item_id