Isaiah 49:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee.

English Revised Version
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, these may forget, yet will not I forget thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee.

Isaiah 49:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The next two vv. describe (though only with reference to Israel, the immediate circle) what is the glory of the vocation to which Jehovah, in accordance with His promise, exalts His chosen One. "Thus saith Jehovah, In a time of favour have I heard thee, and in the day of salvation have I helped thee: and I form thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to apportion again desolate inheritances, saying to prisoners, Go ye out: to those who are in darkness, Come ye to the light." Jehovah heard His servant, and came to his help when he prayed to Him out of the condition of bondage to the world, which he shared with his people. He did it at the time for the active display of His good pleasure, and for the realizing of salvation, which had been foreseen by Him, and had now arrived. The futures which follow are to be taken as such. The fact that Jehovah makes His servant "a covenant of the people," i.e., the personal bond which unites Israel and its God in a new fellowship (see Isaiah 42:6), is the fruit of his being heard and helped. The infinitives with Lamed affirm in what way the new covenant relation will be made manifest. The land that has fallen into decay rises into prosperity again, and the desolate possessions return to their former owners. This manifestation of the covenant grace, that has been restored to the nation again, is effected through the medium of the servant of Jehovah. The rendering of the lxx is quite correct: τοῦ καταστῆσαι τὴν γῆν καὶ κληρονομῆσαι κληρονομίας ἐρήμους λέγοντα לאמר is a dicendo governed by both infinitives. The prisoners in the darkness of the prison and of affliction are the exiles (Isaiah 42:22). The mighty word of the servant of Jehovah brings to them the light of liberty, in connection with which (as has been already more than once observed) the fact should be noticed, that the redemption is viewed in connection with the termination of the captivity, and, in accordance with the peculiar character of the Old Testament, is regarded as possessing a national character, and therefore is purely external.

The person of the servant of Jehovah now falls into the background again, and the prophecy proceeds with a description of the return of the redeemed. "They shall feed by the ways, and there is pasture for them upon all field-hills. They shall not hunger nor thirst, and the mirage and sun shall not blind them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, and guide them by bubbling water-springs. And I make all my mountains ways, and my roads are exalted. Behold these, they come from afar; and, behold, these from the north and from the sea; and these from the land of the Sinese." The people returning home are represented as a flock. By the roads that they take to their homes, they are able to obtain sufficient pasture, without being obliged to go a long way round in order to find a sufficient supply; and even upon bare sandy hills (Isaiah 41:18) there is pasture found for them. Nothing is wanting; even the shârâb (see Isaiah 35:7) and the sun do not hurt them, the former by deceiving and leading astray, the latter by wearying them with its oppressive heat: for He whose compassion has been excited by their long pining misery (Isaiah 41:17-20) is leading them, and bringing them along in comfort by bubbling springs of real and refreshing water (ינחל, as Petrarch once says of shepherds, Move la schira sua soavemente). Jehovah also makes all the mountains into roads for those who are returning home, and the paths of the desert are lifted up, as it were, into well-made roads (yerumūn, Ges. 47, Anm. 4). They are called my mountains and my highways (differently from Isaiah 14:25), because they are His creation; and therefore He is also able to change them, and now really does change them for the good of His people, who are returning to the land of their forefathers out of every quarter of the globe. Although in Psalm 107:3 yâm (the sea) appears to stand for the south, as referring to the southern part of the Mediterranean, which washes the coast of Egypt, there is no ground at all in the present instance for regarding it as employed in any other than its usual sense, namely the west; mērâchōq (from far) is therefore either the south (cf., Isaiah 43:6) or the east, according to the interpretation that we give to 'erets Sı̄nı̄m, as signifying a land to the east or to the south.

The Phoenician Sinim (Ges. Isaiah 10:17), the inhabitants of a fortified town in the neighbourhood of Area, which has now disappeared, but which was seen not only by Jerome, but also by Mariono Sanuto (de castro Arachas ad dimidiam leucam est oppidum Sin), cannot be thought of, for the simple reason that this Sin was too near, and was situated to the west of Babylon and to the north of Jerusalem; whilst Sin ( equals Pelusium) in Egypt, to which Ewald refers, did not give its name to either a tribe or a land. Arias Montanus was among the first to suggest that the Sinim are the Sinese (Chinese); and since the question has been so thoroughly discussed by Gesenius (in his Commentary and Thesaursu), most of the commentators, and also such Orientalists as Langles (in his Recherches asiatiques), Movers (in his Phoenicians), Lassen (in his Indische Alterthumskunde, i.-856-7), have decided in favour of this opinion. The objection brought against the supposition, that the name of the Chinese was known to the nations of the west at so early a period as this, viz., that this could not have been the case till after the reign of the emperor Shi-hoang-ti, of the dynasty of Thsin, who restored the empire that had been broken up into seven smaller kingdoms (in the year 247 b.c.), and through whose celebrated reign the name of his dynasty came to be employed in the western nations as the name of China generally, is met by Lassen with the simple fact that the name occurs at a much earlier period than this, and in many different forms, as the name of smaller states into which the empire was broken up after the reign of Wu-wang (1122-1115 b.c.). "The name Θῖναι (Strabo), Σῖναι (Ptol.), Τζίνιτζα (Kosmas), says the Sinologist Neumann, did not obtain currency for the first time from the founder of the great dynasty of Tsin; but long before this, Tsin was the name of a feudal kingdom of some importance in Shen-si, one of the western provinces of the Sinese land, and Fei-tse, the first feudal king of Tsin, began to reign as early as 897 b.c." It is quite possible, therefore, that the prophet, whether he were Isaiah or any other, may have heard of the land of the Sinese in the far east, and this is all that we need assume; not that Sinese merchants visited the market of the world on the Euphrates (Movers and Lassen), but only that information concerning the strange people who were so wealthy in rare productions, had reached the remote parts of the East through the medium of commerce, possibly from Ophir, and through the Phoenicians. But Egli replies: "The seer on the streams of Babel certainly could not have described any exiles as returning home from China, if he had not known that some of his countrymen were pining there in misery, and I most positively affirm that this was not the case." What is here assumed - namely, that there must have been a Chinese diaspora in the prophet's own time - is overthrown by what has been already observed in Isaiah 11:11; and we may also see that it is to purely by accident that the land of the Sinese is given as the farthest point to the east, from my communications concerning the Jews of China in the History of the Post-biblical Poetry of the Jews (1836, pp. 58-62, cf., p. 21). I have not yet seen Sionnet's work, which has appeared since, viz., Essai sur les Juifs de la Chine et sur l'influence, qu'ils ont eue sur la litrature de ce vaste empire, avant l're chrtienne; but I have read the Mission of Enquiry to the Jews in China in the Jewish Intelligence, May 1851, where a facsimile of their thorah is given. The immigration took place from Persia (cf., ‛Elâm, Isaiah 11:11), at the latest, under the Han dynasty (205 b.c.-220 a.d.), and certainly before the Christian era.

Isaiah 49:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a woman

1 Kings 3:26,27 Then spoke the woman whose the living child was to the king, for her bowels yearned on her son, and she said, O my lord...

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.

Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, said the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them...

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children...

that she should not have compassion. Heb. from having compassion. they may.

Leviticus 26:29 And you shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall you eat.

Deuteronomy 28:56,57 The tender and delicate woman among you...

2 Kings 6:28,29 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said to me, Give your son, that we may eat him to day...

2 Kings 11:1,2 And when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal...

Lamentations 4:3,10 Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel...

Romans 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

yet

Isaiah 44:21 Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for you are my servant: I have formed you; you are my servant: O Israel...

Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him, I do earnestly remember him still...

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Romans 11:28,29 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes...

Cross References
1 Kings 3:26
Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him."

Job 24:20
The womb forgets them; the worm finds them sweet; they are no longer remembered, so wickedness is broken like a tree.'

Psalm 27:10
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.

Psalm 77:9
Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?" Selah

Proverbs 31:2
What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?

Isaiah 14:1
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

Isaiah 44:21
Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant; I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.

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