|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:13-17 Let there be universal joy, for God will have mercy upon the afflicted, because of his compassion; upon his afflicted, because of his covenant. We have no more reason to question his promise and grace, than we have to question his providence and justice. Be assured that God has a tender affection for his church and people; he would not have them to be discouraged. Some mothers do neglect their children; but God's compassions to his people, infinitely exceed those of the tenderest parents toward their children. His setting them as a mark on his hand, or a seal upon his arm, denotes his being ever mindful of them. As far as we have scriptural evidence that we belong to his ransomed flock, we may be sure that he will never forsake us. Let us then give diligence to make our calling and election sure, and rejoice in the hope and glory of God.
Verse 14. - But Zion said. "Zion" is here the "daughter of Zion," or the people of Israel, as in Isaiah 51:16. The meaning is a rare one. The Lord hath forsaken me (comp. Isaiah 40:27). It is not surprising that Israel - even faithful Israel - sometimes desponded, or perhaps despaired, during the long and weary time of the Captivity. Even the "Servant of the Lord" knew moments of despondency (see above, ver. 4, with the comment).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But Zion said,.... By way of objection, as some think, to the above prophecies of glorious and comfortable times; she being now in a very disconsolate condition, and could not tell how to take it in, how it should thus be, when the case was with her as it was; though I rather think the words should be rendered, "for Zion had said"; and which is mentioned to show the uncomfortable condition she had been in, and to observe the method the Lord took to comfort her, as he before promises. Reference may be had to the Jews in the times of the Babylonish captivity, mentioned under the name of Zion; because, as Kimchi says, that was the chief city of the kingdom of Israel; who, because of the length of their captivity, might think themselves forsaken and forgotten by the Lord: yet, by Zion is meant the church under the Gospel dispensation, the saints that meet at Mount Zion, the hundred and forty and four thousand, with the Lamb there, Hebrews 12:22,
the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me: so the church might be tempted to conclude, during the persecutions under Rome Pagan, and the long reign of antichrist not yet at an end, and because of his oppressions and cruelties; and because of the low and declining state of the interest of Christ, as it now is; few being converted by the ministry of the word; great opposition made to the truths of the Gospel with success; the ordinances of it perverted or neglected; the presence of God in them very little enjoyed; great indifference and lukewarmness among professors of religion, and discord and dissensions in churches. And so it is with particular believers, when they do not enjoy the presence of God as formerly, either in private or in public ordinances; have not had a promise for a long time; nor are favoured with the discoveries of the love of God, or with any visit from him; then they are apt to say they are forsaken by the Lord, though they cannot give up their interest in him, and therefore call him "my Lord".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Zion—the literal Israel's complaint, as if God had forsaken her in the Babylonian captivity; also in their dispersion previous to their future restoration; thereby God's mercy shall be called forth (Isa 63:15-19; Ps 77:9, 10; 102:17).
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