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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  TWENTY FOUR
Isaiah 47:8 - 49:3

 

Isaiah 47:8-11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  And now hear this, O pampered one – who dwell in security, who think to yourself, “I am, and there is none but me; I shall not become a widow or know loss of children” –

But now hear these words, thou luxurious one, who art the one that sits at ease, that is secure, that says in her heart, I am, and there is not another; I shall not sit a widow, neither shall I know bereavement.

And now hear this, thou delicate one that dwells in security, that saith in thy heart, I am, and there is none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know bereavement:

(9)  These two things shall come upon you, suddenly, in one day: loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, despite your many enchantments and all your countless spells.

But now these two things shall come upon thee suddenly in one day, the loss of children and widow hood shall come suddenly upon thee, for thy sorcery, for the strength of thine enchantments.

but these two things shall come upon thee in a moment, in one day, bereavement and widow hood: in their full measure shall they come upon thee, amidst the multitude of thy sorceries, and the great power of thy enchantments.

(10) You were secure in your wickedness; you thought, “No one can see me.”  It was your skill and your science that led you astray. And you thought to yourself,  “I am, and there is none but me.”

For thy trusting in wickedness: for thou said, I am, and there is not another: know thou, the understanding of these things and thy harlotry shall be thy shame; for thou said in thy heart, I am, and there is not another.

For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness, thou hast said, There is none that seeth me; thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee: and thou hast said in thy heart, I am, and there is none else beside me.

(11)  Evil is coming upon you which you will not know how to charm away; disaster is falling upon you which you will not be able to appease; coming upon you suddenly is ruin of which you know nothing.

And destruction shall come upon thee, and thou shalt not be aware; there shall be a pit, and thou shalt fall into it: and grief shall come upon thee, and thou shalt not be able to be clear; and destruction shall come suddenly upon thee, and thou shalt not know.

Therefore evil shall come upon thee; thou shalt not know how to pray against it: and distress shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it away: and tumult shall come upon thee suddenly without thy knowing.

From the NKJV
(8)  "Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children';    (9)    but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day:  the loss of children, and widowhood.  They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments.   (10)   "For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, 'No one sees me'; your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; and you have said in your heart,  'I am, and there is no one else besides me.'   (11)   Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises.  And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off.  And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.

Verses 8 & 10: there is  none but me
Babylon and Rome claimed the Divine attributes, as used in these chapters.

A third strophe of this proclamation of punishment is opened here with wª`ataah (OT: 6258) therefore,  on the ground of the conduct censured.

In the surnames given to Babylon here,  a new reason is assigned for the judgment - namely

extravagance,
security,  and
self-exaltation

Nineveh speaks in just the same way in Zeph 2:15.

Zephaniah 2:15
This is the rejoicing city that dwelt securely, that said in her heart, "I am it, and there is none besides me." How has she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down!  Everyone who passes by her shall hiss and shake his fist.     (NKJV)
Babylon also says still further (like the Babylon of the last days in Rev 18:7 - 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.').
She would become a widow,  if she should lose the different nations,  and  "the kings of the earth who committed fornication with her" (Rev 18:9).
She would also be a mother bereaved of her children,  if war and captivity robbed her of her population.
But both of these would happen to her suddenly in one day,  so that she would succumb to the weight of the double sorrow.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Both of these sorrows would come upon her, so that she would come to learn what the loss of men and the loss of children signified in all its extent and in all its depth,  and that in spite of  the multitude of its incantations,  and the very great mass of its witchcrafts.

Belshazzar was slain;  thus the city became metaphorically a widow,  the husband - the governor of it,  being slain  (Daniel 5:30-31).
In the time in which the king was slain,  the Medes and Persians took the city,  and slew many of its inhabitants.  When Darius took the city,  he is said to have crucified three thousand of its principal inhabitants.
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

Babylonia was the birth-place of astrology,  from which sprang the twelve-fold division of the day, the horoscope and sun-dial (Herod. ii. 109).
But it was also the home of magic,  which pretended to bind the course of events,  and even the power of the gods,  and to direct them in whatever way it pleased (Diodorus, ii. 29).  Thus had Babylon trusted in her wickedness,  viz.,  in the tyranny and cunning by which she hoped to ensure perpetual duration,  with the notion that she was exalted above the reach of any earthly calamity.

Ruin would suddenly and certainly come;  and they had nothing which they could offer to God as an expiation by which it could then be prevented.  We need not say how strikingly descriptive this is of the destruction of Babylon.  Her ruin came silently and suddenly upon her,  as the first rays of morning light steal upon the world,  and in such a way that she could not meet it, or turn it away.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  Now hear this, voluptuous one, sitting securely enthroned, who says in her heart: “I am the one, and there will be none besides me; I will not live as a widow, nor will I see the loss of children.”   (9)   Both these things will come upon you suddenly on a single day: childless ness and widow hood. They will come upon you in full, despite the multitude of your incantations and your very powerful spells.  (10)  You trusted in your knowledge.  You said, “No one sees me” – but your wisdom and your knowledge have misled you. You said in your heart,  “I am the one, and there will be none beside me” –   (11)   but evil will come upon you and you will not know how to charm it away; disaster will befall you of which you will not be able to rid yourself, and devastation will come upon you suddenly, and you will have no foreknowledge of it.
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 47:12-15
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  Stand up, with your spells and your many enchantments on which you labored since youth! Perhaps you’ll be able to profit, perhaps you will find strength.

Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the abundance of thy sorcery, which thou hast learned from thy youth; if thou can be profited.

Arise now with thy enchantments and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou did busy thyself from thy youth; peradventure thou shalt be able to profit; peradventure thou shalt be able to prevail.

(13)  You are helpless, despite all your art. Let them stand up and help you now, the scanners of heaven, the star-gazers, who announce, month by month, whatever will come upon you.

Thou art wearied in thy counsels. Let now the astrologers of the heaven stand and deliver thee, let them that see the stars tell thee what is about to come upon thee.

Thou art wearied with the multitude of thy counsels: let those now arise and deliver thee who were observing the planets of the heavens, and gazing at the stars, making known the seasons, and deceiving thee, saying, thus will it happen to you month by month.

(14)  See they are become like straw, fire consumes them; they cannot save themselves from the power of the flame; this is no coal for warming oneself, no fire to sit by!

Behold, they all shall be burnt up as sticks in the fire; neither shall they at all deliver their life from the flame. Because thou hast coals of fire, sit thou upon them;

Behold, they have become weak as stubble; the nations that are as strong as fire have destroyed them: they shall not be a remnant for them, nor one that escapes, neither any place in which they may escape.

(15)  This is what they have profited you – the traders you dealt with since youth – each has wandered off his own way, there is none to save you.

these shall be thy help. Thou hast wearied thyself with traffic from thy youth: every man has wandered to his own home, but thou shalt have no deliverance.

Thus have thy deceitful works wherein thou did busy thyself from thy youth become unto thee: thy strong rulers are carried into exile, everyone straight before him; there shall be none to deliver thee.

From the NKJV
(12)   "Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth — perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail.    (13)    You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you.    (14)   Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!    (15)    Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, your merchants from your youth; they shall wander each one to his quarter.  No one shall save you.

Stand...with...your sorceries
Daniel 2:1-2
In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams by which his spirit was troubled and agitated and his sleep went from him.  Then the king commanded to call the magicians, the enchanters or soothsayers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans [diviners], to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.    (AMP)

Astrologers
The scientists of Babylon were divided into three classes:

1. Writers of charms to be placed on afflicted persons or houses
2. Formulae of incantations
3. Records of observations which mixed up astronomy with astrology,  and resulted,  in the case of any two successive or concurrent events,  in the conclusion that one was the cause of the other;  and,  the further conclusion was reached by reasoning from the  “particular”  to the  “general.”

Monthly prognosticators = they who make known the future by observing new moons. (Ref. See the fifth “creation tablet” [British Museum]).
That is,  at the commencement of the months they give knowledge of what events might be expected to occur during the month;  perhaps from the dip of the moon,  or its riding high or low, etc.

Then follows the concluding strophe,  which,  like the first,  announces to the imperial city in a triumphantly sarcastic tone its inevitable fate;  whereas the intermediate strophes refer rather to the sins by which this fate has been brought upon it.

Your merchants from your youth
Babylon was favorably situated for traffic;  and was distinguished for it.  Foreigners and strangers had resorted there,  and it was filled with those who had come there for purposes of trade.

The same destruction which would come upon the diviners
It would come on all who had been engaged there in traffic and merchandise
It would come in spite of all the efforts of the astrologers
It would come in spite of all the mercantile advantages of the place
The destruction would be as entire as if a fire should pass over stubble,  and leave not a coal or a spark.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)   But stand up now with your spells and with the multitude of your incantations, with which you have toiled from your youth until today   (13)   according to your multiple schemes. Let them stand up now and save you, those who conjure (divide MT) the heavens and gaze at the stars, predicting at the new moons what is about to happen to them.   (14)    See, they are like stubble that the fire burns. They did not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. This is no coal for warming oneself, no hearth fire to sit before.  (15)    So will those be to you, those with whom you have toiled, those with whom you have trafficked from you youth. They each wander on their far-off way; there is none to save you.



ISRAEL  REFINED  FOR  GOD'S  GLORY

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Isaiah 48:1-22
Ninth Prophecy
Deliverance from Babylon

God's Controversy With Israel

48:1, 2 Israel Call to hear
48:3 Jehovah Foreknowledge
48:4 Israel Obstinacy
48:5 Jehovah Foreknowledge
48:6- Israel Unheedful
48:-6, 7 Jehovah Foreknowledge
48:8 Israel Treachery
48:9-11 Jehovah Forbearance
48:12- Israel Call to hear
48:-12, 13 Jehovah The only God
48:14- Israel Call to assemble and hear
48: -14, 15 Jehovah Love
48:16- Israel Call to hear
48:-16, 17 Jehovah The only God
48:18, 19 Israel Apostrophe
48:20, 21 Jehovah Redeemer and Supplier
48:22 Israel Sentence

Isaiah 48:1 & 2
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Listen to this, O House of Jacob, who bear the name Israel and have issued from the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and invoke the God of Israel – though not in truth and sincerity –

Hear these words, ye house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth out of Judah, who swear by name of the Lord God of Israel, making mention of it, but not with truth, nor with righteousness;

Hear ye this, O house of Jacob which are called by the name of Israel, and are come forth from the family of Judah; with whom a covenant was made in the name of the Lord God of Israel; their memorial shall not cease: doth not his Memra stand fast in truth and in righteousness?

(2)  for you are called after the Holy City and you do lean on the God of Israel, whose name is Lord of Hosts:

maintaining also the name of the holy city, and staying themselves on the God of Israel: the Lord of hosts is his name. The former things I have already declared;

For in the holy city is their portion, and their trust is in the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts is his name.

From the NKJV
(1)  "Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah; who swear by the name of the LORD,  and make mention of the God of Israel,  but not in truth or in righteousness;   (2)    For they call themselves after the holy city, and lean on the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is His name:

The summons to hear is based upon the Israelitish nationality of those who are summoned,  to which they still cling,  and upon the relation in which they place themselves to the God of Israel.  This gives to Jehovah the right to turn to them,  and imposes upon them the duty to hearken to Him.  The blame,  inserted by the way,  points at the same time to the reason for the address which follows,  and to the form which it necessarily assumes.

The "house of Jacob" is not all Israel,  as the following words clearly show,  but,  as in Isa 46:3,  the house of Judah,  which shared in the honorable name of Israel,  but have flowed out of the waters,  i.e.,  the source of Judah.  The summons,  therefore,  is addressed to the Judean exiles in Babylon,  and that inasmuch as they swear by the name of Jehovah,  and remember the God of Israel with praise,  though not in truth and not in righteousness, without their state of mind or mode of action corresponding to their confession,  so as to prove that it was sincerely and seriously meant.

The praise bestowed upon the persons summoned, which is somewhat spoiled by this, is explained in v. 2; they call themselves after the holy city.  We may easily supply here,  that the holiness of the city laid an obligation upon its citizens to be holy in their character and conduct.  They also relied upon the God of Israel,  whose name is Jehovah Zebaoth; and therefore He would require of them the fullest confidence and deepest reverence.

Observe what a fair show they made in the flesh and how far they went towards heaven,  and what a good face they put upon a very bad heart.

(1) They were the house of Jacob
They had a place and a name in the visible church. (Jacob have I loved. Malachi 1:2) Jacob is God's chosen;  and they are not only retainers to his family,  but descendants from him.
(2) They were called by the name of Israel
An honorable name;  they were of that people to whom pertained both the giving of the law and the promises.  Israel signifies a prince with God;  and they prided themselves in being of that princely race.
(3) They came forth out of the waters of Judah
And thence were called Jews;  they were of the royal tribe,  the tribe of which Shiloh was to come,  the tribe that adhered to God when the rest revolted.
(4) They swore by the name of the Lord
And thereby owned him to be the true God,  and their God,  and gave glory to him as the righteous Judge of all.  They took an oath of allegiance to him as their King and joined themselves to him in covenant.
(5) They made mention of the God of Israel in their prayers and praises
They often spoke of him, observed his memorials, and pretended to be very mindful of him.
(6) They called themselves of the holy city
When they were captives in Babylon,  purely from a principle of honor,  and jealousy for their native country,  they valued themselves upon their interest in it.
(7) They boasted of Jehovah's promises and His covenant with them
If they were asked concerning their God,  they could say,  "The Lord of hosts is his name, the Lord of all;"  happy are we therefore,  and very great,  who have relation to him!
How low their profession of religion sunk,  notwithstanding all this.  It was all in vain;  for it was all a jest;  it was not in truth and righteousness.  Their hearts were not true nor right in these professions.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  Hear this, house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and have come forth from the loins of Judah, who swear by the name of the Lord and invoke the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness –    (2)    for they call themselves after the holy city, and rely upon the God of Israel; the Lord of hosts is his name:

Isaiah 48:3-5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(3)  Long ago, I foretold things that happened, from My mouth thy issued, and I announced them; suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

And they have proceeded out of my mouth, and it became well known; I wrought suddenly, and the events came to pass.

The former things from of old have I declared, and from my Memra did thy go forth, and I announced them: suddenly I did them and they came to pass.

(4)  Because I know how stubborn you are,

I know that thou art stubborn, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy forehead brazen.

It was revealed before me that you wast disobedient, and thy neck as hard as iron, and thy forehead as strong as brass;

(5)  Therefore I told you long beforehand, announced things to you ere they happened – that you might not say, “My idol caused them, My carved and molten images ordained them.”

And I told thee of old what should be before it came upon thee; I made it known to thee, lest thou should say, My idols have done it for me; and should say, My graven and molten images have commanded me.

therefore have I declared it to thee from of old; before they came to pass I announced them to thee: lest thou should say, My idol hath done them, and my image and my molten image have prepared them.

From the NKJV
(3)  "I have declared the former things from the beginning; they went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it.  Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.   (4)   Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew, and your brow bronze,   (5)    Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, lest you should say,  'My idol has done them, and my carved image and my molded image have commanded them.'

The former things
Things which have happened in time past to Israel, such as the birth of Isaac, the Exodus, the prophecy of Jerusalem's fall to the Chaldeans and deportation to Babylon, &c.

Note: The constant reference to the technical terms and legal phraseology of the Pentateuch by the Prophets proves conclusively that the Pentateuch as a whole must have had a prior existence; and must have been well known by the prophets.

Suddenly I did them
They came to pass at an unexpected time;  when you were not looking for them,  and when perhaps you were doubting whether they would occur,  or were calling in question the divine veracity.  They came to pass so unexpectedly that the prophecy could not have resulted from mere human intervention.
The idea is,  that God in like manner would,  certainly,  and suddenly,  accomplish his predictions about Babylon,  and their release from their captivity

The heathen cravings of Israel,  which reached into the captivity,  are here presupposed.
We cannot draw any conclusion from the character of the community that returned,  with regard to that of the people of the captivity generally.  The great mass even of Judah,  and still more of Israel,  remained behind,  and became absorbed into the heathen,  to whom they became more and more assimilated.

And does not Ezekiel expressly state in Ezek 20:30 ff., that they defiled themselves with the same abominations of idolatry as their fathers,  and that the prevailing disposition was to combine the worship of Jehovah with heathenism,  or else to exchange the former altogether for the latter?  And we know that it was just the same with the exiles in Egypt,  among whom the life and labors of Jeremiah terminated.

Ezekiel 20:30
Therefore say to the house of Israel: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will you defile yourselves the way your fathers did and lust after their vile images?    (NIV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(3)  I announced the former things long ago; it (they MT) went forth out of my mouth, and I disclosed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.   (4)    Because of my knowledge that you are stubborn, that your neck is an iron sinew, and your forehead brass,    (5)    I had declared it to you long ago; before it happened I had announced it to you, lest you should say, “My idol did them; my carved or metal idol commanded them.”
Note: In verse 4 the text from which the scribe copied apparently read “Because I knew that…” But either that original copy or the scribe knew another tradition, recorded in the Masoretic Text, and so placed dots above and below three of the letters to yield “my knowledge” instead of “I knew.”

Isaiah 48:6-8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(6)  You have heard all this; look, must you not acknowledge it? As of now, I announce to you new things, well-guarded secrets you did not know.

Ye have heard all this, but ye have not known: yet I have made known to thee the new things from henceforth, which are coming to pass, and thou said not,

Thou hast heard it; has that which has been revealed to you been revealed to any people? And ye, will ye not declare it? I have announced to thee new things from this time, even hidden things which thou hast not known.

(7)  Only now are they created, and not of old; before today you had not heard them; you cannot say, “I knew them already.”

now they come to pass, and not formerly: and thou heard not of them in former days: say not thou, Yea, I know them.

Now have they been created, and not from of old, and before the day of their coming to pass I have not announced them lest thou should say, Behold, I knew them.

(8)  You had never heard, you had never known, your ears were not opened of old. Though I know that you are treacherous, that you were called a rebel from birth.

Thou hast neither known, nor understood; neither from the beginning have I opened thine ears: for I knew that thou would surely deal treacherously, and would be called a transgressor even from the womb.

Yea, thou did not hearken to the words of the prophets; yea thou did not receive the instruction of the law; yea, thou did not incline thine ear to receive the words of the blessings and the curses, even my covenant which I established with you in Horeb: for it was revealed before me that thou would deal very treacherously, and be called rebellious from the womb.

From the NKJV
 (6)   "You have heard;  see all this.  And will you not declare it?  I have made you hear new things from this time, even hidden things, and you did not know them.    (7)    They are created now and not from the beginning; and before this day you have not heard them,  lest you should say, 'Of course I knew them.'    (8)    Surely you did not hear, surely you did not know; surely from long ago your ear was not opened.  For I knew that you would deal very treacherously, and were called a transgressor from the womb.

The meaning of the question in verse 6 is very obvious:  they must acknowledge and attest,  even though against their will (Isa 43:10; 44:8),  that Jehovah has foretold all that is now confirmed by the evident fulfillment.  Consequently the  "former things"  are the events experienced by the people from the very earliest times (Isa 46:9) down to the present times of Cyrus,  and more especially the first half or epoch of this period itself,  which expired at the time that formed the prophet's standpoint.

New things
And as the object of the prediction was to guard Israel against ascribing to its idols that which had taken place  (which can only be understood of events that had occurred in favor of Israel),  the  "former things"  must include the preparation for the redemption of Israel from the Babylonian captivity through the revolution brought to pass by Cyrus.

Hence the  "new things"  will embrace the redemption of Israel with its attendant circumstances,  and that not merely on its outward side,  but on its spiritual side as well;  also the glorification of the redeemed people in the midst of a world of nations converted to the God of Israel,  and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth;  in short,  the New Testament age.
The announcement and realization of these absolutely new and hitherto secret things (cf., Rom 16:25) take place from this time forward;  Israel has not heard of them "before today", that it may not lay claim to the knowledge conveyed to it by prophecy,  as something drawn from itself.

This thought is carried to a climax in verse 8 in three correlated sentences commencing with "surely" Jehovah had said nothing to them of this before,  because it was to be feared that,  with their faithlessness and tendency to idolatry,  which had run through their entire history,  they would only abuse it.

This verse is designed to show not only that these events could not have been foreseen by them, but that when they were actually made known to them,  they were stupid,  dull,  and incredulous.
It is not only re-affirming what had been said in the previous verses,  but is designed to show that they were characteristically and constantly a perverse, hardened, and insensible people.
The phrase, 'you did not hear,' therefore means that they did not attend to these things when they were uttered,  and were prone to disregard God,  and all his predictions and promises.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Isaiah who thus takes his stand directly in the midst of the captivity,  we can understand both of these:  viz.,  the retrospective glance at previous prophecies,  which issued in the rise of Cyrus that prepared the way for the redemption from Babylon,  since,  so far as the prophet was concerned,  such prophecies as Isa chapter 13-14:23; Isa 21:1-10, and also Isa 11:10-12,  are fused into one with his present predictions;  and also the prospective glance at prophecies which are now first to be uttered,  and events which are now for the first time about to be accomplished;  inasmuch as the revelations contained in these prophecies concerning Israel's pathway through suffering to glory,  more especially so far as they grew out of the idea of the  "servant of Jehovah,"  might really be set down as absolutely new to the prophet himself,  and never heard of before.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(6)  You had heard it. Observe all this; and yourselves, will you not declare it? From now on, I make new things known to you, hidden things which you have not known.   (7)  They are created now, not long ago. Before today you had not heard them, lest you should say, “Look, I knew them.”    (8)   And neither had you heard, nor did you know, nor was your ear uncovered long ago, Indeed, I knew that you would act very deceitfully, and they would call you a rebel from the womb.

Isaiah 48:9-11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(9)  For the sake of my name I control my wrath; to my own glory, I am patient with you, and I will not destroy you.

For mine own sake will I shew thee my wrath, and will bring before thee my glorious acts, that I may not utterly destroy thee.

For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and my praise will I establish for thee, that I destroy thee not.

(10)  See, I refine you, but not as silver; I test you in the furnace of affliction.

Behold, I have sold thee, but not for silver; but I have rescued thee from the furnace of affliction.

Behold, I have refined thee, but not for silver; I have tried thee in the distress of poverty.

(11)  For My sake, my own sake, do I act – lest [My name] be dishonored! I will not give my glory to another.

For mine own sake I will do this for thee, because my name is profaned; and I will not give my glory to another.

For my name’s sake, for my Memra’s sake, will I do it, that it be not profaned; and my glory wherewith I was revealed unto you I will not give to another people.

From the NKJV
(9)  "For My name's sake I will defer My anger, and for My praise I will restrain it from you, so that I do not cut you off.   (10)    Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.   (11)   For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned?  And I will not give My glory to another.

1 Peter 4:12
Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.    (AMP)

The people now expiating its offences in exile has been from time immemorial faithless and inclined to apostasy;  nevertheless Jehovah will save it,  and its salvation is therefore an unmerited work of His compassion.

The futures in verse 9 affirm what Jehovah continually does.

He lengthens out His wrath
He retards its outbreak,  and thus shows Himself long-suffering.
He tames or chains it for the sake of Israel, that He may not exterminate it utterly by letting it loose, and that for the sake of His name and His praise, which require the carrying out of His plan to salvation, on which the existence of Israel depends.
What Israel has hitherto experienced has been a melting,
the object of which was not destruction,
but testing and refinement.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Not as silver
Jehovah melted Israel,  but not like silver  (not as men melt silver);  the meaning of which is,  not that He melted it more severely,  i.e.,  even more thoroughly,  than silver,  as Stier explains it,  but,  as the thought is positively expressed in verse 10 b,  that the afflictions which fell upon Israel served as a smelting furnace.
It was,  however,  a smelting of a superior kind,  a spiritual refining and testing.

He therefore puts an end to it now for His own sake,  i.e.,  not because He is induced to do so by the merits of Israel,  but purely as an act of grace,

to satisfy a demand made upon Him by His own holiness.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(9)  For my name’s sake I delay my anger, and for my beginning I restrain it for you, so that I need not cut you off.   (10)   Look, I have refined you, but not with silver; I have purified you in the furnace of affliction.   (11)   For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it; indeed, how can I be profaned?  And my glory I will not give to another.


GOD'S  ANCIENT  PLAN  TO  REDEEM  ISRAEL

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Isaiah 48:12-16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(12)  Listen to Me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am He – I am the first, and I am the last as well.

Hear me, O Jacob, and Israel whom I call; I am the first, and I endure for ever.

Hearken unto my Memra, ye that are of the house of Jacob, and Israel, mine appointed one: I am he, I am he that is from the beginning; yea, the everlasting ages are mine, and beside me there is no god.

(13)  My own hand founded the earth, My right hand spread out the skies. I call unto them, let them stand up.

My hand also has founded the earth, and my right hand has fixed the sky: I will call them, and they shall stand together.

Yea, by my Memra I founded the earth, by my might I suspended the heavens: I called them; they stood up together.

(14)  Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among you foretold these things: “He whom the Lord loves shall work His will against Babylon, and, with His might, against Chaldea?”

And all shall be gathered, and shall hear: who has told them these things? Out of love to thee I have fulfilled thy desire on Babylon, to abolish the seed of the Chaldeans.

Gather yourselves together all of you and hear; who among them hath declared these things? The Lord, because he loveth Israel, will perform his pleasure on Babylon, and the strength of his mighty arm will he reveal against the Chaldeans.

(15)  I, I predicted, and I called him; I have brought him and he shall succeed in his mission.

I have spoken, I have called, I have brought him, and made his way prosperous.

I, even I, did make by my Memra a covenant with Abraham your father; yea, I appointed him: I brought him into the land of the house of my Shekinah, and made his way prosperous.

(16)  Draw near to Me and hear this: from the beginning, I did not speak in secret; from the time anything existed, I was there. “And now the Lord God has sent me, endowed with His spirit.”

Draw nigh to me, and hear ye these words; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning: when it took place, there was I, and now the Lord, even the Lord, and his Spirit, hath sent me.

Draw near unto my Memra, hear ye this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret: from the time that the nations separated themselves from the fear of me, thence did I bring Abraham to my service. The prophet saith, and now the Lord Elohim hath sent me and his Memra.

From the NKJV
(12)  "Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called: I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.   (13)   Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together.
(14)   "All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear!  Who among them has declared these things?  The LORD loves him;  He shall do His pleasure on Babylon, and His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.   (15)   I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him, I have brought him, and his way will prosper.
(16)   "Come near to Me, hear this:  I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit have sent Me."

Israel is to listen to the call of Jehovah. The obligation to this exists, on the one hand,

in the fact that it is the nation called to be the servant of Jehovah (Isa 41:9),  the people of sacred history;
and on the other hand,
in the fact that Jehovah is huw' (OT:1931) - He -  (ever since Deut 32:39, the fundamental clause of the Old Testament credo),  i.e.,  the absolute and eternally unchangeable One,  the Alpha and Omega of all history,  more especially of that of Israel,  the Creator of the earth and heavens,  at whose almighty call they stand ready to obey, with all the beings they contain.

So far everything has explained the reason for the exhortation to listen to Jehovah.
A further reason is now given,  by His summoning the members of His nation to

assemble together,
to hear His own self-attestation,
and to confirm it
Who among them (the gods of the heathen) has proclaimed this, or anything of the kind?
Jehovah,  He alone,  is He who has proclaimed such things
He also has raised up in Cyrus the predicted conqueror of Babylon. The prosperity of his career is Jehovah's work.
He whom Jehovah loves will accomplish his will upon Babylon,  and his arm (accomplish it) upon the Chaldeans in v. 9.

He summons to Himself the members of His nation,  that they may hear still further His own testimony concerning Himself.  From the beginning He has not spoken in secret (Isa 45:19);  but from the time that all which now lies before their eyes - namely,  the victorious career of Cyrus - has unfolded itself,

He has been there,
to regulate what was coming to pass, and
to cause it to result in the redemption of Israel.

The majority of the commentators assume that the prophet comes forward here in his own person,  behind Him whom he has introduced,  and interrupts Him.  But although it is perfectly true,  that in all prophecy,  from Deuteronomy onwards,  words of Jehovah through the prophet and words of the prophet of Jehovah alternate in constant,  and often harsh transitions,  and that our prophet has this mark of divine inspiration in common with all the other prophets,  it must also be borne in mind,  that hitherto he has not spoken once objectively of himself,  except quite indirectly (vid., Isa 40:6; 44:26),  to say nothing of actually coming forward in his own person.

Since the prophet has not spoken in his own person before, nothing is more natural than to suppose that the words,  "And now the Lord has sent me,"  form a prelude to the words of the One unequalled servant of Jehovah  concerning Himself which occur in chapter 49.
The surprisingly mysterious way in which the words of Jehovah suddenly pass into those of His messenger, which is only comparable to Zech 2:12 ff., 4:9 (where the speaker is also not the prophet, but a Divine Messenger exalted above the prophet), can only be explained in this manner.

John 17:5
And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed.     (AMP)

Daniel 10:5-6  -  The Ancient Of  Days
(5)  I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz.
(6)  His body also was [a golden luster] like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and his feet like glowing burnished bronze, and the sound of his words was like the noise of a multitude [of people or the roaring of the sea]. [Rev 1:12-16; 19:6.]     (AMP)

Matthew 17:1-2  -  Jesus The Son Of  God
(1)  And six days after this, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
(2)  And His appearance underwent a change in their presence; and His face shone clear and bright like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light.    (AMP)

Revelations 1:13-15  -  Jesus As The Word Of  God
(13)  And in the midst of the lamp stands [one] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast. [Dan 7:13; 10:5.]
(14)  His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire. [Dan 7:9.]
(15)  His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. [Dan 10:6.]    (AMP)

Revelations 1:17-18  -  Jesus Is The Beginning And The Ending, The First And The Last
(17)  When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last, [Isa 44:6.]
(18)  And the ever-living one [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).    (AMP)

Question: Who died?
Answer: Jesus
Question: Who rose from the dead and is alive forevermore?
Answer: Jesus  [The Memra - or Word of God - the creative force of God.]

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)  Listen to these things (me MT),  Jacob, and Israel whom I have called: I am he; I am the first, I am also The last.   (13)   Moreover, my hands laid (hand laid MT) the foundation of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens. I call to them, and they stand up at once.   (14)   Let all of them assemble and listen.  Who is there among them that could declare these things? The Lord loves me, and he will accomplish my purpose. Him. He will accomplish his purpose against Babylon, its army the Chaldeans.  (15)   I myself have spoken; indeed, I have called and (called him MT) I have brought him, and his path will be successful.  I will make his path successful.   (16)   Dray near to me, and hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; at (from MT) the time it came to be, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent me and his spirit.

Note: There are many minor variants between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic Text in this passage. Many are probably inadvertent changes or misreadings by the scribes in in scrolls, but the meaning is sometimes noticeably affected.

Isaiah 48:17-19
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(17)  Thus said the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I the Lord am your God, instructing you for your own benefit. Guiding you in the way you should go.

Thus saith the Lord that delivered thee, the Holy One of Israel; I am thy God, I have shewn thee how thou should find the way wherein thou shouldest walk.

Thus saith the Lord, thy Savior, the Holy One of Israel, I the Lord thy God teach thee to profit and direct thee in the way wherein thou should go.

(18)  If only you would heed My commands! Then your prosperity would be like a river, your triumph like the waves of the sea.

And if thou hadst hearkened to my commandments, then would thy peace have been like a river, and thy righteousness as a wave of the sea.

If thou had attended to my commandments, then would thy peace have been as the overflowing of the river Perath (Euphrates) and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:

(19)  Your offspring would be as many as the sand, their issue as many as its grains.  Their name would never be cut off or obliterated from before Me.

Thy seed also would have been as the sand, and the offspring of thy belly as the dust of the ground: neither now shalt thou by any means be utterly destroyed, neither shall thy name perish before me.

thy children would have been as numerous as the sand of the sea, and thy children’s children as the grains from before me for ever.

From the NKJV
(17)  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 by the way you should go.   (18)   Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!  Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.   (19)   Your descendants also would have been like the sand, and the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;  his name would not have been cut off  nor destroyed from before Me."

The exhortation is now continued.  Israel is to learn the incomparable nature of Jehovah from the work of redemption thus prepared in word and deed.  The whole future depends upon the attitude which it henceforth assumes to His commandments.

Jehovah is Israel's rightful and right teacher and leader.
lªhow`iyl (OT: 3276) - to profit -  to furnish what is useful, to produce what is beneficial or profitable.
Shâloom (OT: 7965) - your peace -  and tsedâqâh (OT: 7965) - your peace  prosperity or health,  will thereby come upon Israel in such abundance,  that it will,  as it were,  bathe therein.
tsedâqâh
(OT: 6666) - your righteousness -  rectitude acceptable to God,  so abundantly,  that it,  the sinful one,  will be covered by it over and over again.

Both of these,  shâloom and tsedâqâh,  are introduced here as a divine gift,
not merited by Israel,
but only conditional upon faith which gives heed to the word of God, especially to the word which promises redemption, and appropriates it to itself.
Another consequence of the obedience of faith is, that Israel thereby becomes a numerous and eternally enduring nation.

Deuteronomy 5:29
Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!    (NKJV)

Psalm 81:13-16
Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!  I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries. ... He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;  and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.    (NKJV)

Israel remains a nation,  even in its apostasy,

but fallen under the punishment of kareth (of cutting off),  under which individuals perish when they wickedly transgress the commandment of circumcision,  and others of a similar kind.
Israel remains a people,
but rooted out and swept away from the gracious countenance of God,  who no more acknowledges it as His own people.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Note:  As I have been taking the Jerusalem Post News Paper,  I have found two things that are disturbing in its articles,  about life today (2003 AD):

(1) There is a movement in Israel today of doing away with circumcision, as no longer needed.
(2) There is also a movement in Israel today of doing away with the Sabbath Day, and treating it like any other day off.
By this and other actions of the nation of Israel,  they stand a good chance of judgment from God.  I can’t change things but I believe that the nation of Israel needs our prayers.
Paul the Learner 2/8/03

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(17)  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 on the way by which you should go.   (18)   But would that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea.   (19)   Your descendants would be like the sand, and your offspring like the grains of sand. Their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before me.

Isaiah 48:20-22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(20)  Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea! Declare this with loud shouting, announce this, bring out the word to the ends of the earth!

Go forth of Babylon, thou that flee from the Chaldeans: utter aloud a voice of joy, and let this be made known, proclaim it to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath delivered his servant Jacob.

Go ye forth from Babylon, flee ye from the province of the land of the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare ye and announce this; send it forth unto the ends of the earth, say ye, The Lord hath delivered his servants, even those of the house of Jacob.

(21)  Say:  “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!”  They have known no thirst, though He led them through parched places; He made water flow for them from the rock; He cleaved the rock and water gushed forth.

And if thy shall thirst, he shall lead them through the desert; he shall bring forth water to them out of the rock: the rock shall be cloven, and the water shall flow forth, and my people shall drink.

And he suffered them not to thirst when he led them through the waste places: waters from the rock did he bring forth for them, and clave the rock and the waters gushed out.

(22)  There is no safety – said the Lord – for the wicked.

There is no joy, saith the Lord, to the ungodly.

There is no peace, saith the Lord, for the wicked.

From the NKJV
(20)  Go forth from Babylon!  Flee from the Chaldeans!  With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this, utter it to the end of the earth; say,  "The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob!"    (21)   And they did not thirst when He led them through the deserts;  He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them;  He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.   (22)    "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."

So far the address is hortatory.  In the face of the approaching redemption,  it demands fidelity and faith.
But in the certainty that such a faithful and believing people will not be wanting within the outer Israel,  the prophecy of redemption clothes itself in the form of a summons.

They are to go out of Babylon,  and with speed and joy to leave the land of slavery and idolatry far behind.

Bârach (flee) does not mean literally to flee in this instance,  but to depart with all the rapidity of flight.  And what Jehovah has done to them,  is to be published by them over the whole earth;

the redemption experienced by Israel is to become a gospel to all mankind.
Jehovah has redeemed the nation that He chose to be the bearer of His salvation, amidst displays of love, in which the miracles of the Egyptian redemption have been renewed.

This is what Israel has to experience,  and to preach,  so far as it has remained true to its God.
But there is no peace,  says Jehovah,  to the reshâ'iim:  this is the name given to
  loose men (for the primary meaning of the verbal root is laxity and looseness), i.e.,
  those whose inward moral nature is loosened, without firm hold, and therefore in a state of chaotic confusion, because they are without God.
The reference is to the godless in Israel. The words express the same thought negatively which is expressed positively in Gal 6:16, "Peace upon the Israel of God."
"Shâloom" is the significant and comprehensive name given to the coming salvation.

He caused the waters to flow from the rock:

Exodus 17:6
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock , and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.    (NKJV)
Numbers 20:8
Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock , and give drink to the congregation and their animals.    (NKJV)

From this the godless exclude themselves;
  they have no part in the future inheritance;
  the sabbatical rest reserved for the people of God does not belong to them.

From this time forth the name Kooresh (Cyrus),  and also the name Babel,  never occur again;

the relation of the people of Jehovah to heathenism,
and the redemption from Babylon,
so far as it was foretold and accomplished by Jehovah,
not only proving His sole deity,
but leading to the overthrow of the idols and the destruction of their worshippers.
This theme is now exhausted,  and comes into the foreground no more.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(20)   Go forth from Babylon; flee from the Chaldeans!  With a festive shout declare, and announce this to the ends of the earth:  “The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.”   (21)   They did not thirst when he led him through the desolate places. He made water flow from a rock for them;  he split a rock,  and water flowed forth.   (22)   And there is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.


Isaiah 49:1-66:24
Messiah's  Mission And  Triumph

  49:1-12 The Messiah in Person His call, qualifications, and mission
 
49:13-26 Zion Her reconciliation, restoration, and enlargement
50:1-11 Sin the cause of the Separation
51:1-8 The call to Israel “Hearken”
51:9-52:12 The call to Israel “Awake”
  52:13-53:12 The Messiah in Person His propitiatory work
 
54:1-56:8 The call to Israel “Sing” and “Come”
56:9-58:14 The call to Israel’s enemies “Devour”
59:1-21 Sin the cause of the Separation
51:1-8 The call to Israel “Hearken”
51:9-52:12 The call to Israel “Awake”
50:1-11 Sin the cause of the Separation
51:1-8 The call to Israel “Hearken”
51:9-52:12 The call to Israel “Awake”
 
60:1-22 Zion Her reconciliation, restoration, and enlargement
  61:1-66:24 The Messiah in Person His anointing, and final victory

Isaiah 49:1-12
Messiah In Person  -  Call,  Qualifications,  Mission

49:1, 2 Messiah Called
49:3 Object Jehovah’s glory
49:4 Reception  
49:5- Messiah Formed
49:-5, 6 Object Jehovah’s glory
49:7 Reception  
49:8 Messiah Given
49:9-11 Object Israel’s blessing
49:12 Reception  

THE  SERVANT,  THE  LIGHT  TO  THE  GENTILES

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Chapter 49
First Prophecy
Self-Attestation of the Servant of Jehovah
The Despondency of Zion Reproved

Isaiah 49:1-3
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Listen, O coastlands, to me, and give heed, O nations afar: The Lord appointed me before I was born, He named me while I was in my mother’s womb.

Hearken to me, ye islands; and attend, ye Gentiles; after a long time it shall come to pass, saith the Lord: from my mother’s womb he has called my name:

Hearken ye coastlands to my Memra, and give ear ye kingdoms from afar; the Lord hath appointed me before I came into being; from my mother’s womb hath he made mention of my name:

(2) He made my mouth like a sharpened blade, He hid me in the shadow of His hand, and He made me like a polished arrow; He concealed me in His quiver.

and he has made my mouth as a sharp sword, and he has hid me under the shadow of his hand; he has made me a choice shaft, and he has hid me in his quiver;

and he hath set his words in my mouth as a sharp sword, in the shadow of his might hath he protected me, and hath set me as a chosen arrow which is concealed in the quiver.

(3)  And He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel in whom I glory.”

and said to me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, and in thee I will be glorified.

And he said to me, Thou art my servant; Israel in whom I will be glorified.

From the NKJV
(1)  "Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar!  The LORD has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.   (2)    And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver He has hidden Me."    (3)    "And He said to me, 'You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.'

The Lord has called Me
The Messiah prophesied of in Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.    (NKJV)

This was fulfilled in Luke 1:30-33 & Matthew 1:18

Luke 1:30-33
(30)  And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace ( free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God.
(31)  And listen! You will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus.
(32)  He will be great (eminent) and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His forefather David,
(33)  And He will reign over the house of Jacob throughout the ages; and of His reign there will be no end.    (AMP)
Matthew 1:18
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place under these circumstances: When His mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant [through the power] of the Holy Spirit.    (AMP)

This Scripture speaks neither of Isaiah, nor Israel, nor the Church - it is speaking of the Messiah.

Although the speaker is called Israel in verse 3 b,

He must not be regarded as either a collective person representing all Israel
because in verse 5 he is expressly distinguished from the nation itself, which is the immediate object of his special work as restorer and (according to verse 8 and Isaiah 42:6)
covenant-mediator also.
He must not be regarded as the collective personality of the kernel of Israel
because the nation, whose restoration he effects, according to verse 5, was not something distinct from the collective personality of the "servant of Jehovah" in a national sense.

Isaiah 49:5
And now the LORD says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him  (for I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength).       (NKJV)

Moreover, what the speaker in this case says of himself is so unique,  so glorious,  that it reaches far beyond the vocation and performance of any single prophet,  or,  in fact,  of any individual man subject to the limitations of human life and human strength.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

He has made mention of my Name
His name "Jesus" (i.e., Jehovah-Savior) was designated by God before His birth

Matthew 1:20-21
...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,  "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins."     (NKJV)
Luke 1:31
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.     (NKJV)

He has made my mouth like a sharp sword

Revelations 1:13-17
...One like the Son of Man ...  out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword      (NKJV)
Revelations 19:15
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword      (NKJV)
Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.      (NKJV)
John 12:48-49
He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.  For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.       (NKJV)

A polished shaft
The word rendered 'polished' - baaruwr (OT:1305),  may mean either chosen, or polished.
It properly means

that which is separated,
or severed from others;
             then
select,   chosen
The word 'shaft' cheets (OT:2671),  means properly an arrow;  and the sense here is,  that the Messiah pierced the hearts of people like a pointed and polished arrow that is sped from the bow.

He has hidden me

In the shadow of His hand
Here, the image is that of a sword under the divine protection,  and the idea is,  that the shadow of the hand of God constitutes the protection,  the covering of the sword.
He is the defender of the Messiah,  and of his words;  and his hand shall guard him as the scabbard does the sword.
The Messiah,  like the sword,  and the polished arrow,  was suited for the execution of the plans of God,  and was ready at any moment to be engaged in his cause.
In His quiver
Hengstenberg suggests: 'Before his appearing, the Messiah was concealed with God like a sword kept in its sheath,  or like an arrow lying in the quiver.'
Calvin says: 'God, by his own power,  protected Christ and his doctrine,  so that nothing could hinder its course.'
Yet there is,  undoubtedly,  the idea that he was adapted to produce rapid and mighty execution;  that he was fitted,  like an arrow,  to overcome the foes of God;  and that he was kept in the 'quiver' for that purpose.

His words,  his doctrines,  would be like the sharp sword and polished arrow.  They would penetrate the heart of his foes,  and by his doctrines,  and the truths which he would teach,  he would carry his conquests around the world.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The servant
The  "servant of Jehovah,"  in this central sense,  is the heart of Israel.
From this heart of Israel the stream of salvation flows out,  first of all through the veins of the people of God,  and thence through the veins of the nations generally.  Just as Cyrus is the world-power in person,  as made subservient to the people of God,  so the Servant of Jehovah,  who is speaking here,  is Israel in person,  as promoting the glorification of Jehovah in all Israel,  and in all the world of nations:  in other words,  it is He

in whom the true nature of Israel is concentrated like a sun,
in whom the history of Israel is coiled up as into a knot for a further and final development,
in whom Israel's world-wide calling to be the Savior of mankind,  including Israel itself,
is fully carried out;  the very same who took up the word of Jehovah in Isa 48:16 b,  in the full consciousness of His fellowship with Him, declaring Himself to be His messenger who had now appeared.

Just as in chapter 7 Isaiah sees the son of the virgin grow up in the time of the Assyrian oppressions,  and then sees his kingdom rising up on the ruins of the Assyrian;  so does he here behold the servant of Jehovah rising up in the second half of the captivity,  as if born in exile,  in the midst of the punishment borne by his people,  to effect the restoration of Israel.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Just as the name Israel was first of all given to a man,  and then after that to a nation,  so the name which sprang from a personal root has also a personal crown.  The servant of Jehovah is Israel in person,  inasmuch as the purpose of mercy,  upon the basis of which and for the accomplishment of which Jehovah made Jacob the father of the twelve-tribe nation,  is brought by him into full and final realization.

We have already seen that Israel,  as an entire nation,  formed the basis of the idea contained in the term "servant of Jehovah;"  Israel,  regarded as a people faithful to its calling,  the centre;  and the personal servant of Jehovah its apex.  In the present instance,  where he is called distinctly  "Israel,"  the fact is clearly expressed,  that the servant of Jehovah in these prophecies is regarded as the kernel of the kernel of Israel,  as Israel's inmost centre,  as Israel's highest head.  He it is in whom (i.e., on whom and through whom) Jehovah glorifies Himself,  inasmuch as He carried out through him the counsels of His love,  which are the self-glorification of His holy love,  its glory and its triumph.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Matthew 12:18
Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,  My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!  I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.     (NKJV)

Philippians 2:7-8
But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  Listen to me, O coastlands; pay  attention, peoples from afar. The Lord has called me from the womb; while yet inside my mother my name he pronounced.   (2)   He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hands he hid me. He made me like a polished arrow; in his quivers he concealed me.   (3)   He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will glorify myself.”



LESSON  24  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 47:8 - 49:3  -  from the Amplified Version

47:8      THEREFORE  NOW,  hear this, you who love pleasures and are given over to them, you who dwell safely and sit securely, who say in your mind, I am [the mistress] and there is no one else besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children.
(9)    But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: loss of children and widowhood. They shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of the multitude of [your claims to] power given you by the assistance of evil spirits, in spite of the great abundance of your enchantments. [Rev 18:7,8.]
(10)  For you [Babylon] have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart and mind, I am, and there is no one besides me.
(11)  Therefore shall evil come upon you; you shall not know the dawning of it or how to charm it away. And a disaster and evil shall fall upon you that you shall not be able to atone for [with all your offerings to your gods]; and desolation shall come upon you suddenly, about which you shall know nothing or how to avert it.
(12)  Persist, then, with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries [Babylon], in which you have labored from your youth; and see if perhaps you will be able to profit, if you will prevail and strike terror!
(13)  You are wearied with your many counsels and plans. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and make known to you and save you from the things that shall come upon you [Babylon].
(14)  Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them. They cannot even deliver themselves from the power of the flame [much less deliver the nation]. There is no coal for warming or fire before which to sit!
(15)  Such to you shall they [the astrologers and their kind] be, those with whom you have labored and such their fate, those who have done business with you from your youth; they will wander, every one to his own quarter and in his own direction. No one will save you.  

48:1      HEAR THIS, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and who come forth from the seed of Judah, you who swear allegiance by the name of the Lord and make mention of the God of Israel — but not in truth and sincerity, nor in righteousness (rightness and moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) —
(2)    For they call themselves [citizens] of the holy city and depend on the God of Israel — the Lord of hosts is His name.
(3)    I have declared from the beginning the former things [which happened in times past to Israel]; they went forth from My mouth and I made them known; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass [says the Lord].
(4)    Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew and your brow was brass,
(5)    Therefore I have declared things to come to you from of old; before they came to pass I announced them to you, so that you could not say, My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.
(6)    You have heard [these things foretold], now you see this fulfillment. And will you not bear witness to it? I show you specified new things from this time forth, even hidden things [kept in reserve] which you have not known.
(7)    They are created now [called into being by the prophetic word], and not long ago; and before today you have never heard of them, lest you should say, Behold, I knew them!
(8)    Yes, you have never heard, yes, you have never known; yes, from of old your ear has not been opened. For I, the Lord, knew that you, O house of Israel, dealt very treacherously; you were called a transgressor and a rebel [in revolt] from your birth.
(9)    For My name's sake I defer My anger, and for the sake of My praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off.
(10)  Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried and chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
(11)  For My own sake, for My own sake, I do it [I refrain and do not utterly destroy you]; for why should I permit My name to be polluted and profaned [which it would be if the Lord completely destroyed His chosen people]? And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you].
(12)  Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called [ones]: I am He; I am the First, I also am the Last. [Isa 41:4.]
(13)  Yes, My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has spread out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand forth together [to execute My decrees].
(14)  Assemble yourselves, all of you, and hear! Who among them [the gods and Chaldean astrologers] has foretold these things? The Lord has loved him [Cyrus of Persia]; he will do His pleasure and purpose on Babylon, and his arm will be against the Chaldeans.
(15)  I, even I, have foretold it; yes, I have called him [Cyrus]; I have brought him, and [the Lord] shall make his way prosperous.
(16)  Come near to me and listen to this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it happened, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent His Spirit in and with me.
(17)  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 that you should go.
(18)  Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.
(19)  Your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like the offspring of the sea; their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before Me. [Gen 13:16; Jer 33:22; Luke 19:42.]
(20)  Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!
(21)  And they thirsted not when He led them through the deserts; He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
(22)  There is no peace, says the Lord, for the wicked.

49:1      LISTEN TO me, O isles and coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The Lord has called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He has named my name.
(2)    And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me.
(3)    And [the Lord] said to me, You are My servant, Israel [you who strive with God and with men and prevail], in whom I will be glorified. [Gen 32:28; Deut 7:6; 26:18,19; Eph 1:4-6.]

 

(End of  Lesson 24)


 

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