New American Standard Bible
Saying to those who are bound, 'Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights.
King James Bible
That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
Darby Bible Translation
saying to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pasture shall be on all bare hills.
World English Bible
saying to those who are bound, 'Come out!'; to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves!' "They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture.
Young's Literal Translation
To say to the bound, Go out, To those in darkness, Be uncovered. On the ways they feed, And in all high places is their pasture.
Isaiah 49:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth - This language occurs also in Isaiah 42:7. For an explanation of it, see the notes on that place.
To them that are in darkness - Synonymous with being prisoners, as prisoners are usually confined in dark cells.
Show yourselves - Hebrew, 'Reveal,' or manifest yourselves; that is, as those who come out of a dark cell come into light, so do you, who have been confined in the darkness of sin, come forth into the light of the Sun of righteousness, and be manifest as the redeemed.
They shall feed in the ways - In the remainder of this verse, and in the following verses, the Messiah is represented under the image of a shepherd, who leads forth his flock to green fields, and who takes care that they shall be guarded from the heat of the sun, and shall not hunger nor thirst. The phrase 'they shall feed in the ways,' means, probably, that in the way in which they were going they should find abundant food. They should not be compelled to turn aside for pasturage, or to go and seek for it in distant places. It is equivalent to the language which so often occurs, that God would provide for the needs of his people, even when passing through a desert, and that he would open before them unexpected sources of supply.
And their pastures shall be in all high places - This means, that on the hills and mountains, that are naturally barren and unproductive, they should find an abundance of food. To see the force of this, we are to remember that in many parts of the East the hills and mountains are utterly destitute of vegetation. This is the case with the mountainous regions of Horeb and Sinai, and even with the mountains about Jerusalem, and with the hills and mountains in Arabia Deserta. The idea here is, that in the ways, or paths that were commonly traveled, and where all verdure would be consumed or trodden down by the caravans, and on the hills that were usually barren and desolate, they would find abundance. God would supply them as if he should make the green grass spring up in the hard-trodden way, and on the barren and rocky hills vegetation should start up suddenly in abundance, and all their needs should be supplied.
This is an image which we have frequently had in Isaiah, and perhaps the meaning may be, that to his people the Redeemer would open unexpected sources of comfort and joy; that in places and times in which they would scarcely look for a supply of their spiritual needs, he would suddenly meet and satisfy them as if green grass for flocks and herds should suddenly start up in the down-trodden way, or luxuriant vegetation burst forth on the sides and the tops of barren, rocky, and desolate hills. Harmer, however, supposes that this whole description refers rather to the custom which prevailed in the East, of making feasts or entertainments by the sides of fountains or rivers. 'To fountains or rivers,' Dr. Chandler tells us in his Travels, 'the Turks and the Greeks frequently repair for refreshment; especially the latter, in their festivals, when whole families are seen sitting on the grass, and enjoying their early or evening repast, beneath the trees, by the side of a rill' - (Travels in Asia Minor, p. 21.) Compare 1 Kings 1:9. Thus Harmer supposes that the purpose of the prophet is, to contrast the state of the Jews when they were shut up in prison in Babylon, secluded from fresh air, and even the light itself, or in unwholesome dungeons, with their state when walking at liberty, enjoying the verdure, and the enlivening air of the country; passing from the tears, the groans, and the apprehensions of such a dismal confinement, to the music, the songs, and the exquisite repasts of Eastern parties of pleasure (see Harmer's Obs., vol. ii. pp. 18-25; Ed. Lond. 1808). The interpretation, however, above suggested, seems to me most natural and beautiful.
LibraryThe 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
How to Make Use of Christ as the Truth, when Error Prevaileth, and the Spirit of Error Carrieth Many Away.
The First Thing Suggested at the Very Outset Is...
A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel."
"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
"I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water.
To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.
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