Isaiah 49:14
But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
(14) But Zion said . . .—In the midst of all that Jehovah was doing for his people they were still showing their little faith, and thinking of themselves as forsaken. They shared the misgivings which were felt even by the Servant, but they did not rise out of them as quickly as He did into the full assurance of faith.

Isaiah 49:14. But Zion said, &c. — This is an objection against all these glorious predictions and promises. How can these things be true when the condition of God’s church is now so sad and desperate? Most commentators understand by Zion here, the Jewish Church, and suppose that the complaint which she is here represented as uttering, refers either to her desolate state when in Babylon, or to the time of her long dispersion and desolation in the days of the Messiah. But Vitringa is of opinion that the Christian Church is rather intended, and that the time referred to is that of her cruel persecution under the Romans. Be it which it may, God here declares that he will show her mercy, and destroy her mighty oppressors, Isaiah 49:24-26.

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.But Zion said - On the word 'Zion,' see the note at Isaiah 1:8. The language here is that of complaint, and expresses the deep feeling of the people of God amidst many calamities, afflictions, and trials. It may be applicable to the exile Jews in Babylon during their long captivity, as if God had forsaken them; or to those who were waiting for the coming of the Messiah, and who were sighing for the divine interposition under him to restore the beauty of Zion, and to extend his kingdom; or in general, to the church when wickedness triumphs in a community, and when God seems to have forsaken Zion, and to have forgotten its interests. The language here was suggested, doubtless, by a view of the desolations of Jerusalem and Judea, and of the long and painful captivity in Babylon; but it is general, and is applicable to the people of God, in all times of similar oppression and distress. The object of the prophet is to furnish the assurance that, whatever might be the trials and the sufferings of his people, God had not forgotten them, and he neither could nor would forsake them. For this purpose, he makes use of two most striking and forcible arguments Isaiah 49:15-16, to show in the strongest possible manner that the interests of his people were safe. 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). This is an objection against all these glorious predictions and promises hitherto mentioned. How can these things be true, when the condition of God’s church is now so sad and desperate? as it was when the Jews were captives in Babylon, in which the prophet here supposeth them to be.

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".

But Zion said, The LORD hath {t} forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

(t) He objects what the faithful might say in their long affliction and answers to comfort them with a most proper comparison and full of consolation.

14. But Zion said] Zion is the city of Jerusalem personified (cf. Isaiah 49:16) and, by a common O.T. figure, conceived as the mother of the citizens (see further on Isaiah 49:21). This is no doubt the primary reference of the figure, but since the city derives its religious significance from its being the centre of the national life, Zion really represents the nation of Israel, as in ch. Isaiah 40:2. Hence the complaint of this verse is the same as was previously heard from the lips of Israel (ch. Isaiah 40:27).

my Lord] Better, as R.V. the Lord. The word when pointed, as here (’Adônâi), is always equivalent to Jehovah. The suggestion that it may be used in the sense of “husband” (as Genesis 18:12) would demand a different vocalisation (’Ădônî). But although the idea of Jehovah as the husband of Zion was undoubtedly present to the prophet’s mind (Isaiah 50:1, Isaiah 54:6) it does not emerge in this verse.

Ch. Isaiah 49:14 to Isaiah 50:3. The Consolation of Zion

(i) Isaiah 49:14-21. In an apostrophe to Jerusalem the prophet announces the speedy return of her population and the rebuilding of her waste places. The poetry of the passage is singularly beautiful, and charged with tender emotion. Zion, the idealised city, is the wife of Jehovah, and the mother of her inhabitants. Although she now thinks of herself as rejected and barren (Isaiah 49:14), she is assured of the unchanging love of her God (Isaiah 49:15-16) which will soon be manifested in her restoration to the joy of motherhood (17–20). The ecstasy of amazement and delight with which she recognises and welcomes her children (Isaiah 49:21) is finely opposed to the opening picture of her desolation and despondency. Note also the contrast between the whole conception and the fate of the “virgin daughter of Babylon” (Isaiah 47:8-9).

(ii) Ch. Isaiah 49:22 to Isaiah 50:3. Three oracles, confirming the promise to Zion.

(1) Isaiah 49:22-23. On a signal from Jehovah the nations shall bring home the scattered children of Zion; nay, their kings and queens shall esteem it an honour to foster the newly-formed community.

(2) Isaiah 49:24-26. No earthly power can interpose between Jehovah and the deliverance of His people; Israel is His lawful prey, and none shall pluck them from Him (see the notes below). In thus representing the deliverance as effected by force, the prophet no doubt has in view the one nation that would not obey the signal of Isaiah 49:22.

-3Isaiah 50:1-3. Lastly, there exists no legal impediment to the redemption of Israel; Jehovah has issued no sentence of formal rejection against His people, nor has anyone acquired the rights of a creditor over them (Isaiah 49:1). He therefore expresses surprise that there is so little response to the promise of salvation, so little faith in His almighty power.

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). Isaiah 49:14The prophet, looking back at the period of suffering from the standpoint of the deliverance, exclaims from the midst of this train of thought: Isaiah 49:14 "Zion said, Jehovah hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me." The period of suffering which forces out this lamentation still continues. What follows, therefore, applies to the church of the present, i.e., of the captivity. Isaiah 49:15, Isaiah 49:16 "Does a woman forget her sucking child, so as not to have compassion upon the child of her womb? Even though mothers should forget, I will not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls stand continually before me." In reply to the complaining church, which knows that her home is in Zion-Jerusalem, and which has been kept so long away from her home, Jehovah sets forth His love, which is as inalienable as a mother's love, yea, far greater than even maternal love. On עוּל, the min in mērachēm is equivalent to ὥστε μή, as in Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 24:10; Isaiah 33:15, etc. גּם, so far as the actual sense is concerned, is equivalent to גּם־כּי (Ewald, 362, b): "granted that such (mothers) should forget, i.e., disown, their love." The picture of Zion (not merely the name, as Isaiah 49:16 clearly shows) is drawn in the inside of Jehovah's hands, just as men are accustomed to burn or puncture ornamental figures and mementoes upon the hand, the arm, and the forehead, and to colour the punctures with alhenna or indigo (see Tafel, xii., in vol. ii. pp. 33-35 of Lane's Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians). There is the figure of Zion, unapproachable to every creature, as close to Him as He is to Himself, and facing Him amidst all the emotions of His divine life. There has He the walls of Zion constantly before Him (on neged, see at Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 24:23); and even if for a time they are broken down here below, with Him they have an eternal ideal existence, which must be realized again and again in an increasingly glorious form.
Isaiah 49:14 Interlinear
Isaiah 49:14 Parallel Texts

Isaiah 49:14 NIV
Isaiah 49:14 NLT
Isaiah 49:14 ESV
Isaiah 49:14 NASB
Isaiah 49:14 KJV

Isaiah 49:14 Bible Apps
Isaiah 49:14 Parallel
Isaiah 49:14 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 49:14 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 49:14 French Bible
Isaiah 49:14 German Bible

Bible Hub

Isaiah 49:13
Top of Page
Top of Page