Isaiah 49:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But I said, "I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD's hand, and my reward is with my God."

King James Bible
Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.

Darby Bible Translation
-- And I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain; nevertheless my judgment is with Jehovah, and my work with my God.

World English Bible
But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice [due] to me is with Yahweh, and my reward with my God."

Young's Literal Translation
And I said, 'For a vain thing I laboured, For emptiness and vanity my power I consumed, But my judgment is with Jehovah, And my wage with my God.

Isaiah 49:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword "And he hath made my mouth a sharp sword" - The servant of God, who speaks in the former part of this chapter, must be the Messiah. If any part of this character can in any sense belong to the prophet, yet in some parts it must belong exclusively to Christ; and in all parts to him in a much fuller and more proper sense. Isaiah's mission was to the Jews, not to the distant nations, to whom the speaker in this place addresses himself. "He hath made my mouth a sharp sword;" "to reprove the wicked, and to denounce unto them punishment," says Jarchi, understanding it of Isaiah. But how much better does it suit him who is represented as having "a sharp two-edged sword going out of his mouth," Revelation 1:16; who is himself the Word of God; which word is "quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart;" Hebrews 4:12. This mighty Agent and Instrument of God, "long laid up in store with him, and sealed up among his treasures," is at last revealed and produced by his power, and under his protection, to execute his great and holy purposes. He is compared to a polished shaft stored in his quiver for use in his due time. The polished shaft denotes the same efficacious word which is before represented by the sharp sword. The doctrine of the Gospel pierced the hearts of its hearers, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The metaphor of the sword and the arrow, applied to powerful speech, is bold, yet just. It has been employed by the most ingenious heathen writers, if with equal elegance, not with equal force. It is said of Pericles by Aristophanes, (see Cicero, Epist. ad Atticum, 12:6): -

Οὑτως εκηλει, και μονος των ῥητορων

Το κεντρον εγκατελειπε τοις ακροωμενοις.

Apud. Diod. lib. xii.

His powerful speech

Pierced the hearer's soul, and left behind

Deep in his bosom its keen point infixed.

Pindar is particularly fond of this metaphor, and frequently applies it to his own poetry: -

Επεχε νυν σκοπῳ τοξον,

Αγε, θυμε. τινα βαλλομεν

Εκ μαλθακας αυτε φρε-

νος ευκλεας οΐστους

Ἱεντες - ;

Olymp. 2:160.

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I have laboured

Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walks in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;

Ezekiel 3:19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity...

Matthew 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?...

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you...

John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own received him not.

Romans 10:21 But to Israel he said, All day long I have stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed on you labor in vain.

spent

Leviticus 26:20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase...

2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

yet

Isaiah 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed...

Psalm 22:22-31 I will declare your name to my brothers: in the middle of the congregation will I praise you...

Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

John 17:4,5 I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do...

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

Philippians 2:9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Hebrews 12:2 Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame...

work. or, reward

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him...

Isaiah 62:11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world, Say you to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation comes; behold...

Library
September 20. "They Shall not be Ashamed that Wait" (Isa. Xlix. 23).
"They shall not be ashamed that wait" (Isa. xlix. 23). Often He calls us aside from our work for a season and bids us be still and learn ere we go forth again to minister. Especially is this so when there has been some serious break, some sudden failure and some radical defect in our work. There is no time lost in such waiting hours. Fleeing from his enemies the ancient knight found that his horse needed to be reshod. Prudence seemed to urge him without delay, but higher wisdom taught him to halt
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Feeding in the Ways
'They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.' ISAIAH xlix. 9. This is part of the prophet's glowing description of the return of the Captives, under the figure of a flock fed by a strong shepherd. We have often seen, I suppose, a flock of sheep driven along a road, some of them hastily trying to snatch a mouthful from the dusty grass by the wayside. Little can they get there; they have to wait until they reach some green pasture in which they can be folded. This
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Civil Government.
OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. This chapter consists of two principal heads,--I. General discourse on the necessity, dignity, and use of Civil Government, in opposition to the frantic proceedings of the Anabaptists, sec. 1-3. II. A special exposition of the three leading parts of which Civil Government consists, sec. 4-32. The first part treats of the function of Magistrates, whose authority and calling is proved, sec. 4-7. Next, the three Forms of civil government are added, sec. 8. Thirdly, Consideration
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Twentieth Sunday after Trinity the Careful Walk of the Christian.
Text: Ephesians 5, 15-21. 15 Look therefore carefully how ye walk [See then that ye walk circumspectly], not as unwise, but as wise; 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; 19 speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 giving thanks always for all things
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Cross References
Philippians 2:16
as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

Leviticus 26:20
Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.

Proverbs 29:26
Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that one gets justice.

Isaiah 25:1
LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

Isaiah 35:4
say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."

Isaiah 40:27
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?

Isaiah 57:21
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

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