Isaiah 49:25
But thus said the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contends with you, and I will save your children.
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(25) I will contend . . .—The pronoun is specially emphatic. The question of Isaiah 49:24 is answered in the affirmative, because Jehovah is the deliverer.

49:24-26 We were lawful captives to the justice of God, yet delivered by a price of unspeakable value. Here is an express promise: Even the prey of the terrible shall be delivered. We may here view Satan deprived of his prey, bound and cast into the pit; and all the powers that have combined to enslave, persecute, or corrupt the church, are destroyed; that all the earth may know that our Saviour and Redeemer is Jehovah, the mighty One of Jacob. And every effort we make to rescue our fellow-sinners from the bondage of Satan, is, in some degree, helping forward that great change.But thus saith the Lord - The meaning of this verse is, that however difficult or impracticable this might seem to be, yet it should be done. The captives taken by the terrible and the mighty should be rescued, and should be restored to their own land.

Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away - Margin, as Hebrew, 'The captivity of the mighty.' That which could not have been rescued by any ordinary means. The language here refers undoubtedly to Babylon, and to the captivity of the Jews there.

The prey of the terrible - Of a nation formidable, cruel, and not inclined to compassion; in the previous verse described as 'just,' that is, indisposed to mercy.

For I will contend with him - I will punish the nation that has inflicted these wrongs on thee, and will thus rescue thee from bondage.

25. (Isa 53:12; Ps 68:18; Col 2:15).

contend with him, &c.—(Isa 54:17).

The prey of the terrible; or, of the violent; which is opposed to the lawful captive in the foregoing verse; and it is hereby intimated, that although God was just in delivering them into captivity, yet their oppressors were guilty of injustice and violence, both in desiring and endeavouring to keep them in perpetual bondage beyond the seventy years which God had fixed, and in their cruel usage of them.

I will contend; I the Almighty God will undertake thy quarrel and this work, and therefore it must necessarily be accomplished. But thus saith the Lord,.... In answer to the above objection, being mightier than the mighty, and stronger than he by whom his people are detained, being the Almighty:

even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; or, "the prey of the violent ones" (u); which is an answer both as to might and right; as to might, though they are the captives of the mighty, yet they shall be taken away from them by him that is mightier than they, even the mighty God; and as to right, they are the prey of persons that have by force and violence usurped a power over them, and therefore shall be delivered; as the Lord's people are out of the hands of Satan; both in redemption by Christ out of the hands of him that is stronger than they; and in conversion by him who is stronger than the strong man armed; and enters into their hearts, the palace of the devil, spoils his goods, takes his armour from him, overcomes and binds him, and delivers them from his power; so that he shall not have dominion over them, and much less destroy them, though he may sometimes be terrible to them by his temptations, Jeremiah 31:11. This will have a further accomplishment, in the deliverance of the Lord's people from the mighty and terrible beast of Rome:

for I will contend with them that contend with thee; the Babylonians literally; Satan and his principalities figuratively; and also antichrist, and the antichristian kings and states, that quarrel with, fight against, and oppress the Lord's people:

and I will save thy children; regenerate persons, the members of the church, be they where they will; these the Lord will save with a temporal, spiritual, and eternal salvation, Deliverance from the Romish yoke and oppression seems to be here chiefly designed, when Jezebel's children will be killed with death, as follows; see Revelation 2:23.

(u) "captura violenti", Moutanus Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "turba captiva violenti", Vitringa.

But thus saith the LORD, {e} Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

(e) This is the answer to their objection, that no one is stronger than the Lord, neither has a more just title to them.

25. Read For instead of But, and later in the verse but instead of for.Verse 25. - The captives of the mighty shall be taken away. The answer to the questions of ver. 24 is that, if Babylon is mighty, God is mightier. God will "take away" the captives, and "save" his "children." Thus will Zion shine forth once more with the multitude of her children as with a festal adorning. "For thy ruins and thy waste places and thy land full of ruin - yea, now thou wilt be too narrow for the inhabitants, and thy devourers are far away. Thy children, that were formerly taken from thee, shall say in thine ears, The space is too narrow for me; give way for me, that I may have room." The word "for" (kı̄) introduces the explanatory reason for the figures just employed of jewellery and a bridal girdle. Instead of the three subjects, "thy ruins," etc., the comprehensive "thou" is employed permutatively, and the sentence commenced afresh. כּי is repeated emphatically in עתּה כּי (for now, or yea now); this has essentially the same meaning as in the apodosis of hypothetical protasis (e.g., Genesis 31:42; Genesis 43:10), except that the sense is more decidedly affirmative than in the present instance, where one sees it spring out of the confirmative. Zion, that has been hitherto desolate, now becomes too small to hold her inhabitants; and her devourers are far away, i.e., those who took forcible possession of the land and cities, and made them untenable. עוד is to be understood in accordance with Psalm 42:6, and בעזניך in accordance with Psalm 54:2 (see at Isaiah 5:9). It will even come to this, that the children of which Zion was formerly robbed will call to one another, so that she becomes a witness with her ears to that which they have so clearly seen: the space is too narrow, give way (geshâh, from nâgash, to advance, then to move generally, also to move in an opposite direction, i.e., to fall back, as in Genesis 19:9) for me, that I may be able to settle down.
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