Isaiah 49:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

New Living Translation
See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem's walls in ruins.

English Standard Version
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.

King James Bible
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.

International Standard Version
Look! I've inscribed you on the palms of my hands, and your walls are forever before me.

NET Bible
Look, I have inscribed your name on my palms; your walls are constantly before me.

New Heart English Bible
Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Your walls are always in my presence.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; Thy walls are continually before Me.

New American Standard 1977
“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
            Your walls are continually before Me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

American King James Version
Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

American Standard Version
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold, I have graven thee in my hands: thy walls are always before my eyes.

Darby Bible Translation
Lo, I have graven thee upon the palms of [my] hands; thy walls are continually before me.

English Revised Version
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

World English Bible
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, on the palms of the hand I have graven thee, Thy walls are before Me continually.
Study Bible
The Restoration of Israel
15"Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. 16"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. 17"Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you.…
Cross References
Psalm 48:12
Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers;

Psalm 48:13
Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation.

Song of Solomon 8:6
"Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD.

Isaiah 62:6
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;

Isaiah 62:7
And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Jeremiah 17:1
The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart And on the horns of their altars,

Jeremiah 22:24
"As I live," declares the LORD, "even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;

Haggai 2:23
On that day,' declares the LORD of hosts, 'I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,' declares the LORD, 'and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,'" declares the LORD of hosts.
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

I have

Exodus 13:9 And it shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial …

Songs 8:6 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm: for love is …

Jeremiah 22:24 As I live, said the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king …

Haggai 2:23 In that day, said the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, …

thy walls

Isaiah 26:1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have …

Isaiah 54:12 And I will make your windows of agates, and your gates of carbuncles, …

Isaiah 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, wasting nor destruction …

Revelation 21:10-21 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, …

(16) Behold, I have graven thee . . .--The words point to the almost universal practice of tattooing. A man thus "engraved" the name of his god, or the outlines of his home, or the face of her he loved, upon his hands or arms. So, by a boldly anthropomorphic figure, Jehovah had "graven" Jerusalem on His hands. He could not open them, i.e., could not act, without being reminded of her. The "walls" may be either those of the earthly city lying in ruins, or those of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Verse 16. - Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands. The prophet has passed here from the living Zion, Isabel, to their material home, Jerusalem. The metaphor which he uses is no doubt drawn from the practice, common both in ancient and in modern days, of burning or puncturing figures and other mementos upon the hand, the arm, or some other part of the body, and then rendering the figures indelible by rubbing in henna, indigo, gunpowder, or some other coloured substance. Pilgrims in the East have almost always such marks put upon them when they have accomplished their pilgrimage. English sailors are fond of them, and few are without some such mark on their breast or limbs. The meaning here is that God has the thought of Zion as constantly present with him as if her image were indelibly marked on the palms of his hands. (On the anthropomorphic representation of God as having "arms" and "hands," see the comment on Isaiah 40:10.) Thy walls. It is the city, Zion, the emblem of the people, that can alone be "graven" or "portrayed." This city has, of course, walls. God bears them in mind perpetually, since he is about to cause them to be built up (Nehemiah 3, 4.). Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands,.... Not upon his thick clouds, the clouds of heaven under him, always in view, as R. Saadiah Gaon, mentioned by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi: much better the Targum,

"lo, as upon the hands thou art engraven before me;''

signifying that his people were always in his sight, his eyes were ever upon them, and never withdrawn from them; as anything held in the hand, or tied to or wore upon it, as a signet or ring that has the name of a person on it, to which the allusion may be; which shows how near and dear they are to him, what affection he has for them, and care of them; see Sol 8:6. Some think respect is had to the wounds in the hands of Christ, which, being on their account, are looked upon and remembered by him; or, however, to their being in his hands, out of which none can pluck them, John 10:28,

thy walls are continually before me; not the walls of Jerusalem to rebuild, though there may be an allusion to them; but either the walls of their houses where they dwell; his delights being in the habitable parts of his earth, where his saints are; or rather the walls of the church of God, for the erecting and establishing of which he is concerned. The metaphor seems to be taken from an architect that has the plan of a building, a house, or a city and its walls, in his hand, or lying before him. The phrase denotes the constant care and concern of Jehovah for the protection and safety of his church and people; who places angels about them, salvation for walls and bulwarks to them, yea, he himself is a wall of fire about them, Isaiah 26:1. 16. Alluding to the Jews' custom (perhaps drawn from Ex 13:9) of puncturing on their hands a representation of their city and temple, in token of zeal for them [Lowth], (So 8:6).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.
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