Isaiah 49:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has begotten these for me, Since I have been bereaved of my children And am barren, an exile and a wanderer? And who has reared these? Behold, I was left alone; From where did these come?'"

King James Bible
Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt say in thy heart, Who hath borne me these, seeing I had lost my children and was desolate, an exile, and driven about? and who hath brought up these? behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?

World English Bible
Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?'"

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast said in thy heart: 'Who hath begotten for me -- these? And I bereaved and gloomy, A captive, and turned aside, And these -- who hath nourished? Lo, I -- I was left by myself, these -- whence are they?

Isaiah 49:21 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then shalt thou say in thine heart - Thou shalt wonder at the multitude, and shalt ask with astonishment from where they all come. This verse is designed to describe the great increase of the true people of God under the image of a mother who had been deprived of her children, who should suddenly see herself surrounded with more than had been lost, and should ask in astonishment from where they all came.

Who hath begotten me these - The idea here is, that the increase would be from other nations. They would not be the natural increase of Zion or Jerusalem, but they would come in from abroad - as if a family that had been bereaved should be increased by an accession from other families.

I have lost my children - Jerusalem had been desolated by wars, and had become like a widow that was bereft of all her sons (compare the notes at Isaiah 47:8-9).

A captive, and removing to and fro - A captive in Babylon, and compelled to wander from my own land, and to live in a strange and distant country.

These, where had they been? - The image in this entire verse is one of great beauty. It represents a mother who had been suddenly deprived of all her children, who had been made a widow, and conveyed as a captive from land to land. She had seen ruin spread all around her dwelling, and regarded herself as alone. Suddenly she finds herself restored to her home, and surrounded with a happy family. She sees it increased beyond its former numbers, and herself blessed with more than her former prosperity. She looks with surprise on this accession, and asks with wonder from where all these have come, and where they have been. The language in this verse is beautifully expressive of the agitation of such a state of mind, and of the effect which would be thus produced. The idea is plain. Jerusalem had been desolate. Her inhabitants had been carried captive, or had been put to death. But she should be restored, and the church of God would be increased by a vast accession from the Gentile world, so much that the narrow limits which had been formerly occupied - the territory of Palestine - would now be too small for the vast numbers that would be united to those who professed to love and worship God.

Isaiah 49:21 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Writing on God's Hands
'Behold! I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me.'--ISAIAH xlix. 16. In the preceding context we have the infinitely tender and beautiful words: 'Zion hath said, The Lord hath forsaken me. Can a woman forget her sucking child? ... yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.' There is more than a mother's love in the Father's heart. But wonderful in their revelation of God, and mighty to strengthen, calm, and comfort, as these transcendent words are,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ in the Covenant
First, we shall examine this property; secondly, we shall notice the purpose for which it was conveyed to us; and thirdly, we shall give one precept, which may well be affixed upon so great a blessing as this, and is indeed an inference from it. I. In the first place, then, here is a GREAT POSSESSION--Jesus Christ by the covenant is the property of every believer. By this we must understand Jesus Christ in many different senses; and we will begin, first of all, by declaring that Jesus Christ is ours,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
There is a time when the spirit of error is going abroad, and truth is questioned, and many are led away with delusions. For Satan can change himself into an angel of light, and make many great and fairlike pretensions to holiness, and under that pretext usher in untruths, and gain the consent of many unto them; so that in such a time of temptation many are stolen off their feet, and made to depart from the right ways of God, and to embrace error and delusions instead of truth. Now the question is,
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The First Thing Suggested at the Very Outset Is...
The first thing suggested at the very outset is, as we have already said (sec. 17-19), that all our prayers to God ought only to be presented in the name of Christ, as there is no other name which can recommend them. In calling God our Father, we certainly plead the name of Christ. For with what confidence could any man call God his Father? Who would have the presumption to arrogate to himself the honour of a son of God were we not gratuitously adopted as his sons in Christ? He being the true Son,
John Calvin—Of Prayer--A Perpetual Exercise of Faith

Cross References
Isaiah 1:8
The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard, Like a watchman's hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.

Isaiah 5:13
Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; And their honorable men are famished, And their multitude is parched with thirst.

Isaiah 27:10
For the fortified city is isolated, A homestead forlorn and forsaken like the desert; There the calf will graze, And there it will lie down and feed on its branches.

Isaiah 29:23
But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, They will sanctify My name; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

Isaiah 51:18
There is none to guide her among all the sons she has borne, Nor is there one to take her by the hand among all the sons she has reared.

Isaiah 54:6
"For the LORD has called you, Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, Even like a wife of one's youth when she is rejected," Says your God.

Isaiah 54:7
"For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you.

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