Isaiah 49

Background

This is the first chapter of the 2nd part of Isaiah 40-66. The focus of this part is about the suffering Servant of God who will redeem the nations. 49:1-13 is the 2nd of 4 Servant Songs (42:1-9;50:4-11;52:13-53:12).

Division

  1. v1-13 The Servant Song by the suffering Servant
  2. v14-26 God will save Israel at end times

Exposition

  • v1: [Before I was born the LORD called me]. Someone is speaking, and He is not Jehovah God. It was Jesus Christ speaking through Isaiah. The audiences are the nations. The Messiah will be born. It is a prophesy of Jesus would be born by a woman.
  • v2: [He made my mouth like a sharpened sword]. Jesus is the Word of God. He is shaper than any double-edged sword, it peneratrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.] (Hew 12:12) . [and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.] (Rev 1:16).
  • v2: [in the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed Me in His quiver.] Jesus Christ was the mystery of God throughput the history, [But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.](Gal 4:4)
  • v3: [You are My Servant, Israel, in whom I will display My Splendor. ] Israel was originally not a country, it was the name of a man, Jacob. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and Israel slowly became the name of the nation formed by the descendants of Jacob. God chose the nation of Israel to be His witness to the idol worshipers of the nations. Israel was given the responsibility to live a priestly nation, separated from the rest of the world. However Israel failed God. But God’s eternal purpose will never fail. God sent Jesus Christ to be His apostles, His witness to the nations. What Israel the country failed to do, Jesus Christ accomplished. Jesus Christ is the second Israel. Just like Jesus Christ is the Last Adam, the Second Man (1 Cor 15:45-47).
  • v4: :It is hard to interpret this verse. This is my take: I have labored to no purpose was not referring to work of the Lord in the cross. It was referring to the miracles Jesus did. Even Jesus did a lot of miracle, the Jews didn’t seem to believe in Him. But the next hope give us a light, Jesus will eventually received His crown from God after resurrection.
  • v6: [I will also make You a Light for the gentiles]. What is clear verse on the will of God to offer redemption to not just the Jews but to the nations through Jesus Christ.
  • v7: [Kings will see You and rise up, prices will see and bow down,]. Many have chosen to despised Jesus Christ, but on Jesus Christ second coming, all Kings and princes will bow down to Him.
  • v8: [The day of salvation]: Jesus’s crucifixion. Jesus Christ is our covenant. His blood was used to establish the new covenant with His believers.
  • v8: [In the time of my favor I heard you and in the day of salvation I helped you]. Paul quoted this verse in 2 Co 6:1. The context is as people redeemed by Christ, we should not receive God’s grace in vain. Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
  • v9: It is on the cross that Jesus Christ released the captives in the darkness.
  • v12: [Sinim]. It means Chinese. One day the Jews from north (Russia), West (USA?) and east (China) will return back to Israel.
  • v14: It is not hard to imagine that the Jews that were exiled into Babylon would say these words.
  • v15: God is usually know as God the father. However here God used a mother to illustrate His love to His people.
  • v22: The Jews will be helped by the gentile to return back to Israel. Partially fulfilled when the Jews return from Babylon between 516-450 BC, and in 1948 AD, and finally fully fulfilled on the 2nd advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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