Isaiah 49:8
Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) In an acceptable time.—Literally, in the season of good pleasure. The message is borne in on the soul of the servant as the secret of confidence and strength. It will be his work to be the link in a new covenant with the people, an idea afterwards developed by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31), and reaching its fulfilment in Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20.

To cause to inherit the desolate heritages.—The prophet may have thought of a literal fulfilment such as was probably in part accomplished by Zerubbabel. We, seeing the prediction in the light of its fulfilment, look to the spiritual inheritance.

Isaiah 49:8. Thus saith the Lord — God the Father unto Christ; In an acceptable time — Hebrew, רצון בעת, in the season of acceptance, as Bishop Lowth renders it, or, in a time of good-will, according to others: in that time when God shall, in a special manner, manifest his good-will to the sons of men; in the day of his grace and man’s salvation, that is, in the time of the gospel, which was, and is, the time of God’s peculiar good-will toward men, Luke 2:14. In the days of thy flesh, when thou shalt offer up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, Hebrews 5:7; have I heard — Or, will I hear, thee — Though not so as to deliver thee from death, yet so as to support thee under thy sufferings, to give a blessed success to thy labours, and to crown thee with glory and honour. And in a day of salvation — In the time which I have appointed for the effecting man’s redemption; have I helped — Or, will I help, thee — Namely, upon earth, till thy work be finished; and preserve thee — Unto that eternal kingdom and glory which is prepared for thee. And give thee for a covenant of the people — To be the Mediator and Surety of that covenant which is made between me and all my people, that is, all penitent and believing persons, whether Jews or Gentiles. To establish the earth — To settle the church upon firm foundations, and compose the great differences in the world between God and man, Jews and Gentiles, Ephesians 2:13-16; as also to establish truth and righteousness upon earth, and subdue those lusts and passions which are the great disturbers of human society: to do which things was the great design of God in sending his Son into the world. To cause to inherit desolate heritages — That desolate places may be repaired and possessed: or to bring the heathen, who are in a desolate and forlorn condition, to be Christ’s inheritance, according to Psalm 2:8.49:7-12 The Father is the Lord, the Redeemer, and Holy One of Israel, as sending the Son to be the Redeemer. Man, whom he came to save, put contempt upon him. To this he submitted for our salvation. He is a pledge for all the blessings of the covenant; in him God was reconciling the world to himself. Pardoning mercy is a release from the curse of the law; renewing grace is a release from the dominion of sin: both are from Christ. He saith to those in darkness, Show yourselves. Not only see, but be seen, to the glory of God, and your own comforts. Though there are difficulties in the way to heaven, yet the grace of God will carry us over them, and make even the mountains a way. This denotes the free invitations and the encouraging promises of the gospel, and the outpouring of the Spirit.Thus saith the Lord - Still an address to the Messiah, and designed to give the assurance that he should extend the true religion, and repair the evils of sin on the earth. The Messiah is represented as having asked for the divine favor to attend his efforts, and this is the answer, and the assurance that his petition had not been offered in vain.

In an acceptable time - Hebrew, 'In a time of delight or will,' that is, a time when Yahweh was willing, or pleased to hear him. The word רצין râtsôn means properly delight, satisfaction, acceptance Proverbs 14:35; Isaiah 56:7; will, or pleasure Esther 8:1; Psalm 40:9; Daniel 8:4-11; then also goodwill, favor, grace Proverbs 16:15; Proverbs 19:12. The Septuagint renders this, Καιρῷ δεκτῷ Kairō dektō - 'In an acceptable time.' So Jerome, Gesenius, and Hengstenberg render it, 'In a time of grace or mercy.' The main idea is plain, that Yahweh was well pleased to hear him when he called upon him, and would answer his prayers. In a time of favor; in a time that shall be adjudged to be the best fitted to the purposes of salvation, Yahweh will be pleased to exalt the Messiah to glory, and to make him the means of salvation to all mankind.

Have I heard thee - Have I heard thy petitions, and the desires of thy heart. The giving of the world to the Messiah is represented as in answer to his prayer in Psalm 2:8 :

Ask of me, and I shall give time the pagan for thine inheritance,

And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

And in a day of salvation - In a time when I am disposed to grant salvation; when the period for imparting salvation shall have arrived.

Have I helped thee - Have I imparted the assistance which is needful to accomplish the great purpose of salvation to the world. This passage is quoted by Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:2, and is by him applied to the times of the Messiah. It means that the time would come, fixed by the purpose of God, which would be a period in which he would be disposed, that is, well pleased, to extend salvation to the world through the Messiah: and that in that time he would afford all the requisite aid and help by his grace, for the extension of the true religion among the nations.

I will preserve thee - That is, the cause of the Redeemer would be dear to the heart of God, and he would preserve that cause from being destroyed on the earth.

And give thee for a covenant of the people - The 'people' (עם 'âm) refers doubtless primarily to the Jews - the better portion of the Israelite people - the true Israel Romans 2:28-29. To them he was first sent, and his own personal work was with them (see the notes at Isaiah 49:6). On the meaning of the phrase 'for a covenant,' see the notes at Isaiah 42:6.

To establish the earth - Margin, as Hebrew, 'To raise up.' The language is derived from restoring the ruins of a land that has been overrun by an enemy, when the cities have been demolished, and the country laid waste. It is to be taken here in a spiritual sense, as meaning that the work of the Messiah would be like that which would be accomplished if a land lying waste should be restored to its former prosperity. In regard to the spiritual interests of the people, he would accomplish what would be accomplished if there should be such a restoration; that is, he would recover the true Israel from the ravages of sin, and would establish the church on a firm foundation.

To cause to inherit the desolate heritages - The image here is taken from the condition of the land of Israel during the Babylonian captivity. It was in ruins. The cities were all desolate. Such, spiritually, would be the condition of the nation when the Messiah should come; and his work would be like restoring the exiles to their own land, and causing them to re-enter on their former possessions. The one would be an appropriate emblem of the other; and the work of the Messiah would be like rebuilding dilapidated towns; restoring fertility to desolate fields; replanting vineyards and olive gardens; and diffusing smiling peace and plenty over a land that had been subjected to the ravages of fire and sword, and that had long been a scene of mournful desolation.

8. Messiah is represented as having asked for the grace of God in behalf of sinners; this verse contains God the Father's favorable answer.

an acceptable time—"In a time of grace" [Hengstenberg]. A limited time (Isa 61:2; 2Co 6:2). The time judged by God to be the best fitted for effecting the purposes of His grace by Messiah.

heard thee—(Ps 2:8; Heb 5:7).

day of salvation—when "the fulness of time" (Ga 4:4) shall have come. The day of salvation is "to-day" (Heb 4:7).

helped—given Thee the help needed to enable Thee, as man, to accomplish man's salvation.

preserve—from the assaults and efforts of Satan, to divert Thee from Thy voluntary death to save man.

covenant of the people—(See on [833]Isa 42:6). "The people," in the singular, is always applied exclusively to Israel.

establish the earth—rather, "to restore the land," namely, Canaan to Israel. Spiritually, the restoration of the Church (the spiritual Israel) to the heavenly land forfeited by man's sin is also included.

cause to inherit … desolate heritages—image from the desolate state of Judea during the Babylonish captivity. Spiritually, the Gentile world, a moral waste, shall become a garden of the Lord. Literally, Judea lying desolate for ages shall be possessed again by Israel (compare Isa 61:7, "in their land"). Jesus, the antitype of, and bearing the same name as Joshua (Heb 4:8), shall, like him, divide the land among its true heirs (Isa 54:3; 61:4).

Thus saith the Lord, God the Father, unto Christ, In an acceptable time, Heb. In a time of good-will; in that time when I shall have, and in a special manner manifest, my good-will unto the sons of men; in the day of my grace, and of man s salvation, as this phrase is explained in the next clause; in the time of the gospel, which is the time of God’s good-will towards men, as the host of heaven declared at the birth of Christ, Luke 2:14; In the days of thy flesh, when thou didst offer up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save thee from death, as we read, Hebrews 5:7, which text is a good comment upon this place. Heard thee; though not so as to deliver thee from death and from the sense of my wrath, yet so as to keep thee from sinking under these burdens, and so as thou shouldst not be holden under the pains or power of death, Acts 2:24, and so as to crown thee with glory and honour, and a blessed success of all thy labours and sufferings.

In a day of salvation; in the time of grace and of the gospel, which I have appointed for the working out of man’s salvation by thee.

I will preserve thee upon earth till thy work be finished, and unto that eternal kingdom and glory which is prepared for thee.

Give thee for a covenant; to be the Mediator and Surety of that covenant, which is made between me and them; as Christ is called, Hebrews 7:22 8:6; to renew and confirm the covenant, which the Messiah is said to do, Daniel 9:27, by his own blood, by which God and men are reconciled and united one to the other. And therefore he may well be called the covenant by a known metonymy, which is very usual in such eases, as upon the same account circumcision, the sign of the covenant, is called God’s covenant, Genesis 17:10, and the paschal lamb is called the passover, Exodus 12:11, and the sacramental cup is called the new testament, Luke 22:20, and the communion of the blood of Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:16. Of the people; indefinitely of all my people, not only Jews, but also the Gentiles, as may be gathered from the context, and by comparing this place with Isaiah 42:6, where the same phrase is used; from both which places it is most manifest that the Messiah is designed, and not Isaiah, to whom this and divers other phrases here used cannot be ascribed without great force.

To establish the earth; to compose and settle the earth, and the inhabitants thereof, by making peace between God and men, and between Jews and Gentiles, and by establishing truth, and righteousness, and holiness upon earth, and by subduing those lusts and passions which are the great disturbers of human society; which was the design of God in sending, and of Christ in coming into the world.

To cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that desolate places may be repaired and repossessed. That Christ may possess the heathen, according to Psalm 2:8, who were in a spiritual sense in a most desolate and forlorn condition. Thus saith the Lord,.... These are the words of God the Father to his Son continued; the Jews themselves interpret them of the Messiah (z):

in an acceptable time have I heard thee: this was the time when Christ was here on earth, when he became incarnate, and suffered and died for his people: this was an acceptable time to God the Father; his very sufferings were acceptable; his sacrifice was of a sweet smelling savour; his righteousness was well pleasing to him; for by all this his perfections were glorified, his purposes were answered, his covenant and promises fulfilled, and his people saved: it was acceptable to men, the things that were now done and procured; as pardon of sin, peace and reconciliation, a justifying righteousness, and complete salvation; which is worthy the acceptation of all that are lost and undone, and see themselves so, and that nothing they can do will save them: or "in a time of good will" (a); such was the time of Christ's first coming; it was good will to men, Luke 2:14. God showed his good will to men by the Person whom he sent to save them, his own, only, and beloved Son; and by sending him to save sinners, the chief of sinners, even enemies; and this time was fixed and settled by the good will and pleasure of God; and during this time the Lord heard Christ; he always heard him interceding for himself, and for his people; he heard him in the garden, and on the cross, and at all other times; see Hebrews 5:7.

and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; at the time when he wrought out the salvation of his people, then he helped him in it, and through it, as he promised him, and as Christ believed he would, Isaiah 42:1. This is to be understood of him as man and Mediator, and to show the greatness of the work of salvation, and the concern of God in it; otherwise, as Christ is the mighty God, he needed no help, and his own arm brought salvation to him:

and I will preserve thee; as he did from his enemies in life, in his infancy, and when grown up, that his life might not be taken away before his time; from being overcome by his enemies in the garden, and on the cross; from the power of death and the grave, by raising him up from thence; he preserved him to his kingdom and glory, and now retains him in heaven until the time of the restitution of all things; and will preserve his seed, and his throne, his cause, and interest, to the end of time:

and give thee for a covenant of the people; Jews and Gentiles, all that are given to him, and whom he redeems by his blood, whom the Spirit sanctifies, and applies the blessings and promises of the covenant to; which is to be understood of the covenant of grace: Christ is said to be given for it unto them, he being a covenantee in it; the representative of these people in it; the surety of it for them; the Mediator and messenger of it to them; and the ratifier and confirmer of it; and as he is the great blessing of it, the sum and substance of it; and as all the blessings and promises of it are in him; and this may respect the constitution of the covenant from everlasting, and the manifestation of it in time; and this is a gift of God honourable to Christ, of free grace to his people, very comprehensive and unspeakable. Kimchi says this refers to the times of the Messiah: and the end of all this is

to establish the earth; not the land of Judea, but the whole earth; which, were it not for Christ, and his covenant and suretyship engagements for his people, and for the sake of them, and their salvation, would long ago have been dissolved and broke to pieces; but he bears up the pillars of it; and, when he has gathered in all his people, will destroy it: or the end in his being given for a covenant was to "raise up" the fallen inhabitants of the earth, for so the word (b) may be rendered; or to raise up the elect of God unto life, who were obnoxious to death; or to establish, settle, and confirm the church of God on earth; see Psalm 89:36. The Targum is, "to raise up the righteous that lie in the dust", referring it to the resurrection of the dead:

to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; the desolate cities of Judah, or the Gentile world, which was like a desolate wilderness: it seems to denote the desolate condition of the church, which should become comfortable and flourishing through the numerous conversions of Jews and Gentiles, as the fruit and effect of the covenant of grace made with Christ; in which the Heathen were given for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, Psalm 2:8.

(z) In Pesikta Rabbati in Yalkut in loc. (a) "in tempore gratuitae voluntatis", Munster; "in tempore placito", V. L. Pagninus; "beneplaciti", Piscator. (b) "ad suscitandam terram", Pagninus, Montanus; "ut erigas terram", Piscator; "ad erigendam terram", Vitringa.

Thus saith the LORD, {l} 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 {m} thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the {n} earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

(l) Thus he speaks of his Church when he would show his mercy toward it, 2Co 6:2.

(m) Meaning, Christ alone.

(n) Signifying that before Christ renewed the earth by his word, there is nothing but confusion and disorder.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. In an acceptable time] Better: in a season of favour. Cf. ch. Isaiah 41:2, and the citation in 2 Corinthians 6:2.

for a covenant of the people] See on ch. Isaiah 42:6.

to establish the earth &c.] Render: to restore (see Isaiah 49:6) the land (of Israel), to allot (Deuteronomy 21:16) the desolate heritages. It may be difficult to decide whether Jehovah Himself or His Servant is the implicit subject of these verbs, the Heb. construction being ambiguous. The latter sense is certainly the more natural; although it is only in a figure that the repeopling &c. of the land can be attributed to the agency of the ideal Israel: “what is done for the sake of the Servant, is done by him” (Dillmann).

8–12. A picture of the emancipation and return of the exiles.Verse 8. - In an acceptable time; literally, in a time of good pleasure; i.e. the time fixed by my good pleasure from the creation of the world. Heard thee... helped thee. The Father "heard" and "helped" the only begotten Son through the whole period of his earthly ministry (Luke 2:40, 52; John 3:2; John 8:28; John 12:28; John 14:10, etc.). I will give thee for a Covenant of the people (comp. Isaiah 42:6, and the comment, ad loc.). To establish the earth; rather, as in ver. 6, to raise up the earth, to lift it out of its existing condition of meanness and degradation. To cause to inherit the desolate heritages; i.e. to cause the desolate heritages of the earth - the places devoid of trite religion - to be possessed, and as it were "inherited," by those who would introduce into them the true knowledge of God. As Israel inherited Canaan (Deuteronomy 3:28; Joshua 1:6), so would Christian nations inherit many "desolate heritages," where ignorance and sin prevailed, with the result that light would penetrate into the dark regions, and, ultimately, all flesh see the salvation of God. The very same person who was introduced by Jehovah in Isaiah 42:1. here speaks for himself, commencing thus in Isaiah 49:1-3 : "Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye nations afar off: Jehovah hath called me from the womb; from my mother's lap hath He remembered my name. And He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid me, and made me into a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He concealed me. And He said to me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, thou in whom I glorify myself." Although the speaker is called Israel in Isaiah 49:3, he must not be regarded as either a collective person representing all Israel, or as the collective personality of the kernel of Israel, which answered to its true idea. It is not the former, because in Isaiah 49:5 he is expressly distinguished from the nation itself, which is the immediate object of his special work as restorer and (according to Isaiah 49:8 and Isaiah 42:6) covenant-mediator also; not the latter, because the nation, whose restoration he effects, according to Isaiah 49:5, was not something distinct from the collective personality of the "servant of Jehovah" in a national sense, but rather the entire body of the "servants of Jehovah" or remnant of Israel (see, for example, Isaiah 65:8-16). Moreover, it cannot be either of these, because what he affirms of himself is expressed in such terms of individuality, that they cannot be understood as employed in a collective sense at all, more especially where he speaks of his mother's womb. In every other case in which Israel is spoken of in this way, we find only "from the womb" (mibbeten, Isaiah 44:2, Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 56:3, along with minnı̄-racham; also Isaiah 48:8), without the addition of אם (mother), which is quite unsuitable to the collective body of the nation (except in such allegorical connections as Isaiah 51:1-2, and Ezekiel 16:3). Is it then possibly the prophet, who is here speaking of himself and refers in Isaiah 49:1 to his own mother (compare אמּי in Jeremiah 15:10; Jeremiah 20:14, Jeremiah 20:17)? This is very improbable, if only because the prophet, who is the medium of the word of God in these prophecies, has never placed himself in the foreground before. In Isaiah 40:6 he merely speaks of himself indirectly; in Isaiah 44:26, even if he refer to himself at all (which we greatly doubt), it is only objectively; and in Isaiah 48:16, the other person, into whose words the words of Jehovah pass, cannot be the prophet, for the simple reason that the transition of the words of Jehovah into those of His messenger is essentially different in this instance from the otherwise frequent interchange of the words of Jehovah and those of His prophet, and also because the messenger of Jehovah speaks of himself there, after the "former things" have come to pass, as the mediator (either in word or deed) of the "new things" which were never heard of before, but are to be expected now; whereas the author of these addresses was also the prophet of the "former things," and therefore the messenger referred to rises up within the course of sacred history predicted by the author of these prophecies. Moreover, what the speaker in this case (Isaiah 49:1-2) says of himself is so unique, so glorious, that it reaches far beyond the vocation and performance of any single prophet, or, in fact, of any individual man subject to the limitations of human life and human strength.

There is nothing else left, therefore, than to suppose that the idea implied in the expression "servant of Jehovah" is condensed in this instance, as in Isaiah 42:1., into that of a single person. When it is expanded to its widest circumference, the "servant of Jehovah" is all Israel; when it only covers its smaller and inner circle, it is the true people of Jehovah contained within the entire nation, like the kernel in the shell (see the definition of this at Isaiah 51:7; Isaiah 65:10; Psalm 24:6; Psalm 73:15); but here it goes back to its very centre. The "servant of Jehovah," in this central sense, is the heart of Israel. From this heart of Israel the stream of salvation flows out, first of all through the veins of the people of God, and thence through the veins of the nations generally. Just as Cyrus is the world-power in person, as made subservient to the people of God, so the servant of Jehovah, who is speaking here, is Israel in person, as promoting the glorification of Jehovah in all Israel, and in all the world of nations: in other words, it is He in whom the true nature of Israel is concentrated like a sun, in whom the history of Israel is coiled up as into a knot for a further and final development, in whom Israel's world-wide calling to be the Saviour of mankind, including Israel itself, is fully carried out; the very same who took up the word of Jehovah in Isaiah 48:16, in the full consciousness of His fellowship with Him, declaring Himself to be His messenger who had now appeared. It must not be forgotten, moreover, that throughout these prophecies the breaking forth of salvation, not for Israel only, but for all mankind, is regarded as bound up with the termination of the captivity; and from this its basis, the restoration of the people who were then in exile, it is never separated. This fact is of great importance in relation to the question of authorship, and favours the conclusion that they emanated from a prophet who lived before the captivity, and not in the midst of it. Just as in chapter 7 Isaiah sees the son of the virgin grow up in the time of the Assyrian oppressions, and then sees his kingdom rising up on the ruins of the Assyrian; so does he here behold the servant of Jehovah rising up in the second half of the captivity, as if born in exile, in the midst of the punishment borne by his people, to effect the restoration of Israel. At the present time, when he begins to speak, coming forward without any further introduction, and speaking in his own name (a unique instance of dramatic style, which goes beyond even Psalm 2:1-12), he has already left behind him the commencement of his work, which was directed towards the salvation of mankind. His appeal is addressed to the "isles," which had been frequently mentioned already when the evangelization of the heathen was spoken of (Isaiah 42:4, Isaiah 42:10, Isaiah 42:12; cf., Isaiah 24:15), and to the "nations from afar," i.e., the distant nations (as in Isaiah 5:26; compare, on the other hand, Jeremiah 23:23). They are to hear what he says, not merely what he says in the words that follow, but what he says generally. What follows is rather a vindication of his right to demand a hearing and obedience, then the discourse itself, which is to be received with the obedience of faith; at the same time, the two are most intimately connected. Jehovah has called him ab utero, has thought of his name from the bowels of his mother (מעי as in Psalm 71:6), i.e., even before he was born; ever since his conception has Jehovah assigned to him his calling, viz., his saving calling. We call to mind here Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41; Galatians 1:15, but above all the name Immanuel, which is given by anticipation to the Coming One in Isaiah 7:14, and the name Jesus, which God appointed through the mouth of angels, when the human life of Him who was to bear that name was still ripening in the womb of the Virgin (Matthew 1:20-23). It is worthy of notice, however, that the great Coming One, though he is described in the Old Testament as one who is to be looked for "from the seed of David," is also spoken of as "born of a woman," whenever his entrance into the world is directly referred to. In the Protevangelium he is called, though not in an individual sense, "the seed of the woman;" Isaiah, in the time of Ahaz, mentions "the virgin" as his mother; Micah (Micah 5:2) speaks of his יולדה; even the typical psalms, as in Psalm 22:10-11, give prominence to the mother. And is not this a sign that prophecy is a work of the Spirit, who searches out the deep things of the counsel of God?

In Isaiah 49:2 the speaker says still further, that Jehovah has made his mouth kecherebh chaddâh (like a sharp sword), namely, that he may overcome everything that resists him as if with a sharp sword, and sever asunder things that are bound up together in a pernicious bond (Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 1:16; Hebrews 4:12); also that He has made him into chēts bârūr (not βέλος εκλεκτόν, lxx, but, as in Jeremiah 51:11, cleaned,

(Note: The comparison to purus is one that naturally suggests itself; but this, like putus, is derived from a root pū.)

polished, sharpened, pointed), namely, to pierce the hearts (Psalm 45:6), and inflict upon them the most wholesome wounds; and again, that Jehovah has hidden him under the shadow of His almighty hand, and kept him concealed in the quiver of His loving counsel, just girt as men keep their swords and arrows in sheaths and quivers ready for the time when they want to use them, in order that in the fulness of time He might draw out this His sword, and put this His arrow to the bow. The question whether the allusion here is to the time preceding the foreknown period of his coming, or whether it is to eternity that the words refer, does not present any great dilemma; at the same time, the prophecy in this instance only traces back the being of the person, who now appears, to the remotest point of his historical coming. Isaiah 49:3 describes, without any figure, what Jehovah has made him. He has said to him (cf., Psalm 2:7): Thou art my servant; thou art Israel, in whom (in quo, as in Isaiah 44:23) I glorify myself. Schenkel's exposition is grammatically impossible: "(It is) in Israel that I will glorify myself through thee." The servant himself is called Israel. We call to mind here the expression in Matthew 16:18, "Thou art Peter;" and the use of the name "Israel," as the individuation of a generic name, reminds us of the fact that the kings of a nation are sometimes called by the name of the nation itself (e.g., Asshur, Isaiah 10:5.). But Israel was from the very first the God-given name of an individual. Just as the name Israel was first of all given to a man, and then after that to a nation, so the name which sprang from a personal root has also a personal crown. The servant of Jehovah is Israel in person, inasmuch as the purpose of mercy, upon the basis of which and for the accomplishment of which Jehovah made Jacob the father of the twelve-tribed nation, is brought by him into full and final realization. We have already seen that Israel, as an entire nation, formed the basis of the idea contained in the term "servant of Jehovah;" Israel, regarded as a people faithful to its calling, the centre; and the personal servant of Jehovah its apex. In the present instance, where he is called distinctly "Israel," the fact is clearly expressed, that the servant of Jehovah in these prophecies is regarded as the kernel of the kernel of Israel, as Israel's inmost centre, as Israel's highest head. He it is in whom (i.e., on whom and through whom) Jehovah glorifies Himself, inasmuch as He carried out through him the counsels of His love, which are the self-glorification of His holy love, its glory and its triumph.

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