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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 3

LESSON  TWENTY  FIVE
Isaiah 49:4 - 50:11

Isaiah 49:4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(4)  I thought, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for empty breath.” But my case rested with the Lord, my recompense was in the hands of my God.

Then I said I have labored in vain, I have given my strength for vanity and for nothing: therefore is my judgment with the Lord, and my labor before my God.

But I said, In vain have I labored, for naught and vanity have I expended my strength: nevertheless my judgment is revealed before the Lord, and the reward of my works is before my God.

From the NKJV
(4)  Then I said, "I have labored in vain,  I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain;  yet surely my just reward is with the LORD, and my work with my God."

In this verse the speaker meets the words of divine calling and promise with a complaint, which, however,  immediately silences itself.

In the midst of his activity no fruit was to be seen,  and the thought came upon him,  that it was a failure;
but this disturbance of his rejoicing in his calling was soon quieted in the confident assurance that

his mishpât (i.e., his good right in opposition to all contradiction and resistance)
and his "work" (i.e., the result and fruit of the work, which is apparently in vain)
are with Jehovah,
and laid up with Him until the time when He will vindicate His servant's right,
and crown his labor with success.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Barnes says:
He knew that God would own and accept his work though it was rejected by mankind.  It indicates perfect confidence in God,  and a calm and un wavering assurance of his favor,  though his work was comparatively unsuccessful - a spirit which,  it is needless to say,  was evinced throughout the whole life of the Redeemer.
Never did he doubt that God approved his work
Never did he become disheartened and desponding, as if God would not ultimately give success to his plans and to the labors of his life
He calmly committed himself to God.
He did not attempt to avenge himself for being rejected, or for any of the injuries done him.
But he left his name, his character, his reputation, his plans, his labors, all with Jehovah,  believing that his cause was the cause of  Jehovah,  and that he would yet be abundantly rewarded for all his toils.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(4)  I Said, “For nothing have I labored. I have exhausted my strength on worthlessness and on emptiness. Yet my cause is with the Lord, and my reward is with my God.”
See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 49:5 & 6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(5)  And now the Lord has resolved – He who formed me in the womb to be His servant – to bring back Jacob to Himself, that Israel may be restored to Him. And I have been honored in the sight of the Lord, my God has been my strength.

And now, thus saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his own servant, to gather Jacob to him and Israel. I shall be gathered and glorified before the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.

And now saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be a servant ministering before him, to bring back them that are of the house of Jacob to his service, and that Israel should be brought near to the fear of him: and I was honored before the Lord, and the Memra of my God was my support:

 (6)  For He has said: “It is too little that you should be My servant in that I raise up the tribes of Jacob and restore the survivors of Israel: I will also make you a light of nations, that My salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”

And he said to me, It is a great thing for thee to be called my servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob, and to recover the dispersion of Israel: behold, I have given thee for the covenant of a race, for a light of the Gentiles, that thou should be for salvation to the end of the earth.

yea, he saith, Do ye regard it a small thing that ye are called my servants, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the exiles of Israel? I will also give thee for a light to the nations that my salvation may be unto the ends of the earth.

From the NKJV
(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),   (6)    indeed He says,  'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

In essence, He says: "Though the Jews refuse my message,  yet God will approve my ministry."

This is expressly fulfilled by Jesus the Christ (Messiah).

Not only is the restoration of the remnant of Israel the work of the servant of Jehovah;  but Jehovah has appointed Him for something higher than this.

He has given or set Him for the light of the Gentiles,
to become His salvation to the end of the earth.

Zechariah 12:10
And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.     (NKJV)

Luke 2:25-32
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon,  and this man was righteous and devout ... and when the parents brought in the little child Jesus to do for Him what was customary according to the Law, [Simeon] took Him up in his arms and praised and thanked God and said ...

"... my [own] eyes I have seen Your Salvation, [Isaiah 52:10.] which You have ordained and prepared before (in the presence of) all peoples,
a Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was before unknown]
and [to bring] praise and honor and glory to Your people Israel." [Isaiah 42:6; 49:6.]
               (AMP)

Acts 13:46-47
Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.  For so the Lord has commanded us:

'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,
That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'"      (NKJV)

Isaiah 52:10
The LORD has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations;  and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(5)  And now says the Lord – who formed you (me MT) from the womb as his servant,  to bring Jacob back to him again,  that Israel might be gathered to him;  I have gained honor in the sight of the Lord, and my God has been my help (strength MT) –    (6)    he says,  “It is too small a thing that you should be my servant,  to raise up the tribes of Israel and bring back the preserved of Jacob.   I will also give you as a light to the nations,  to be my salvation to the ends (end MT) of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(7)  Thus said the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One,  to the despised one, to the abhorred nations,  to the salve of rulers: Kings shall see and stand up; Nobles, and they shall prostrate themselves – to the honor of the Lord, who is faithful, to the Holy One of Israel who chose you.

Thus saith the Lord that delivered thee, the God of Israel, Sanctify him that despises his life, him that is abhorred by the nations that are the servants of princes: kings shall behold him, and princes shall arise, and shall worship him, for the Lord’s sake: for the Holy One of Israel is faithful, and I have chosen thee.

Thus saith the Lord, the savior of Israel, his Holy One, to them that are despised among the nations, and to them that are cast forth among the kingdoms, to them that were servants to rulers: Kings shall see them and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of the Lord, who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who hath chosen thee.

From the NKJV
(7)  Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers:  "Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You."
     
Go'eel   (OT:1350) Redeemer
The word Go'eel means properly  "to redeem,"

to ransom by means of a price,  or a valuable consideration,  as of captives taken in war;
or to redeem a farm that was sold,  by paying back the price.
It is sometimes used,  however,  to denote
deliverance from danger or bondage without specifying any price that was paid as a ransom.
Thus the deliverance of the Jews from Egyptian bondage is sometimes spoken of as a redemption
Exodus 6:6 I will redeem you with an outstretched arm
Exodus 15:13 he people whom You have redeemed
It is not improbable,  however,  that wherever redemption is spoken of in the Scriptures,  even in the most general manner,  and as denoting deliverance from danger,  oppression,  or captivity,
there is still retained the idea of a ransom in some form;
a price paid;
a valuable consideration;
or something that was given in the place of that which was redeemed,
and which answered the purpose of a valuable consideration,
or a public reason of the deliverance.
Thus,  in regard to the deliverance from Egypt -
Egypt,  Ethiopia,  and Seba are mentioned as the ransom;
and so in the deliverance from the captivity,
Babylon was given in the place of the ransomed captives, or was destroyed in order that they might be redeemed.
So in all notions of redemption;  as, e.g.,  God destroyed the life of the great Redeemer,
or caused him to be put to death,
in order that his chosen people might be saved.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Nation
The Hebrew word is goi - a heathen nation.
So called here for its unbelief and rejection of the Messiah.

The words of the servant of God,  in which he enforces his claim upon the nations,  are now lost in words of Jehovah to him,  which are no longer reported by him,  but are appended as an independent address.
His present condition is one of the deepest humiliation.

The person addressed here is the Restorer of Israel,  the Light of the Gentiles,  and the Salvation of Jehovah for all mankind.  When kings and princes shall behold Him who was once brought so low,  delivered from His humiliation,  and exalted to the glorious height of the work to which He has been called,  they will rise up with reverence from their thrones,  and prostrate themselves upon the ground in worship for the sake of Jehovah,  as before Him who is faithful,  showing Himself sincere in His promises,  and for the sake of the Holy One of Israel,  in that,  as is now made manifest,  "He has chosen you."
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

To him whom the nation abhors
Literally,  who is an abomination to the nation.
The Jews contemptuously call Him always Tolvi,  'the crucified.'
However, on account of Goi,  the Hebrew term for nation,  being usually applied to the Gentiles,  and that for people to the Jews,  we can take  "nation"  here collectively for the Gentile world,  which also spurned him (Psalms 2:1-3; Acts 4:25-27).
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Psalms 2:1-3
Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?   The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,   "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us."      (NKJV)

Acts 4:25-28
Who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
'Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things?  The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ.'
For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.       (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(7)  Thus says my Lord, the Lord your Redeemer, Israel, (the Redeemer of Israel MT) and his Holy One, to one despised, to ones abhorred (one abhorred MT) as a nation, to a servant of rulers – kings see and rise, and princes (will see, and princes will rise, and they MT) will bow down, because of the Lord who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, the one who chose you .

Isaiah 49:8 & 9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  Thus said the Lord: In an hour of favor I answer you, and on a day of salvation I help you – I created you and appointed you – restoring the land, allotting anew the desolate holdings,

Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I succored thee: and I have formed thee, and given thee for a covenant of the nations, to establish the earth, and to cause to inherit the desert heritages:

Thus saith the Lord, At the time that ye do my pleasure I will raise up salvation, and will help you, and will help you, and I will form thee, and will give thee for a covenant of the people, to raise up the righteous who lie in the dust, to make them inherit the desolate heritages:

(9)  saying to the prisoners, “Go free,” to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They shall pasture along the roads; on every bare height shall be their pasture.

saying to them that are in bonds, Go forth; and bidding them that are in darkness shew themselves. They shall be fed in all the ways, and in all the paths shall be their pasture.

saying to them that are bound among the nations, Go forth; to them that are imprisoned among the kingdoms as it were in darkness, Shew yourselves in the light. By the ways shall they dwell, and on all steppes shall be their resting – places.

From the NKJV
(8)  Thus says the LORD:  "In an acceptable time I have heard You,  and in the day of salvation I have helped You;  I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people,  to restore the earth,  to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;   (9)    That You may say to the prisoners,  'Go forth,'  to those who are in darkness,  'Show yourselves.'  "They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.

These two verses describe what is the glory of the vocation to which Jehovah,  in accordance with His promise,  exalts His chosen One.

Jehovah heard His servant,  and came to his help when he prayed to Him out of the condition of bondage to the world,  which he shared with his people.  He did it at the time for the active display of His good pleasure,  and for the realizing of salvation,  which had been foreseen by Him,  and had now arrived. 
The fact that Jehovah makes His servant  "a covenant to the people,"  i.e.,  the personal bond which unites Israel and its God in a new fellowship (see Isa 42:6),  is the fruit of his being heard and helped.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

An acceptable time
'In a time of grace' (Hengstenberg):
Hebrew, bª`eet (OT:6256raatsown (OT:7522):  in the time of God's goodwill.
A limited time (2 Corinthians 6:2).  The time judged by God to be the best fitted for effecting the purposes of His grace by Messiah.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

2 Corinthians 6:2
For He says:  "In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you."
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.       (NKJV)

Isaiah 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD...       (NKJV)

Luke 4:17-19
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah.  And when He had opened the book,  He found the place (Isa 61:2) where it was written:  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me ... to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."       (NKJV)

Matthew 11:4-5
And Jesus replied to them, Go and report to John what you hear and see:   the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed (by healing) and the deaf hear,  the dead are raised up and the poor have good news (the Gospel) preached to them. [Isa 35:5, 6; 61:1.]    (AMP)

To those who are in darkness
Synonymous with being prisoners, as prisoners are usually confined in dark cells.
The Gentiles having no light as to the one true God.

Isaiah 60:2-3
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.  The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I will answer you, and in a day of salvation I will help you. I have protected you, and given you as a covenant of the people, to reestablish the land, to redistribute the inheritances that have been devastated;   (9)   saying to prisoners, “Come out!” and to those who are in darkness, “Go free!”  They will feed upon all the mountains,  and their pasture will be on all the heights.

Isaiah 49:10-12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10)  They shall not hunger or thirst, hot wind and sun shall not strike them; for He who loves them will lead them, He will guide them to springs of water.

They shall not hunger, neither shall they thirst; neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; but he that has mercy on them shall comfort them, and by fountains of waters shall he lead them.

They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the burning heat nor the sun smite them; for he that is about to have compassion upon them shall lead them, and shall cause them to rest by springs of waters.

(11)  I will make all My Mountains a road, and My highways shall be built up.

And I will make every mountain a way and every path a pasture to them.

And I will make the mountains level before them as a way, and the highways shall be exalted.

(12)  Look!  These are coming from afar, these from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim.

Behold, these shall come from far: and these from the north and the west, and others from the land of the Persians.

Lo, these shall come from afar; and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of the south.

From the NKJV
(10)  They shall neither hunger nor thirst,  neither heat nor sun shall strike them;  for He who has mercy on them will lead them,  even by the springs of water He will guide them.   (11)    I will make each of My mountains a road,  and My highways shall be elevated.   (12)    Surely these shall come from afar;  look!   Those from the north and the west,  and these from the land of Sinim."

The person of the servant of Jehovah now falls into the background again, and the prophecy proceeds with a description of the return of the redeemed.

The people returning home are represented as a flock.

They shall neither hunger nor thirst
Quoted in Revelation 7:16

Revelations 7:14-17
(14)  I replied, Sir, you know. And he said to me, these are they who have come out of the great tribulation (persecution), and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [Gen 49:11; Dan 12:1.]
(15)  For this reason they are [now] before the [very] throne of God and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary (temple); and He Who is sitting upon the throne will protect and spread His tabernacle over and shelter them with His presence.
(16)  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun smite them, nor any scorching heat. [Isa 49:10; Ps 121:6.]
(17)  For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. [Ps 23:2; Isa 25:8; Ezek 34:23.]     (AMP)

By the roads that they take to their homes,  they are able to obtain sufficient pasture,  without being obliged to go a long way round in order to find a sufficient supply;  and even upon bare sandy hills there is pasture found for them.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Nothing is wanting;  even the sun does not hurt them,  for He whose compassion has been excited by their long pining misery (Isa 41:17-20) is leading them, and bringing them along in comfort by bubbling springs of real and refreshing water. Jehovah also makes all the mountains into roads for those who are returning home, and the paths of the desert are lifted up, as it were, into well-made roads.

My mountains ... My highways
They are called my mountains and my highways,  because they are His creation;  and therefore He is also able to change them,  and now really does change them for the good of His people,  who are returning to the land of their forefathers out of every quarter of the globe.

Sinim
Arias Montanus was among the first to suggest that the Sinim are the Sinese (Chinese).

‘The Biblical mention of a people in the Far East named  “Sinim”  together with references in ancient secular histories to people in the Far East called  “Sinae,”  at least suggests the possibility that some of Sin’s descendants migrated eastward,  while others went south into the land of Canaan.  It is significant that the Chinese people have always been identified by the prefix  “Sino-“(e.g., Sino-Japanese War; Sinology, the study of Chinese history).  The name “Sin” is frequently encountered in Chinese names in the form “Siang” or its equivalent.’
(The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris Baker Book House Page 256)

History:
The objection brought against the supposition, that the name of the Chinese was known to the nations of the west at so early a period as this,  viz.,  that this could not have been the case till after the reign of the emperor Shi-hoang-ti,  of the dynasty of Thsin,  who restored the empire that had bee broken up into seven smaller kingdoms (in the year 247 BC),  and through whose celebrated reign the name of his dynasty came to be employed in the western nations as the name of China generally,  is met by Lassen with the simple fact that the name occurs at a much earlier period than this,  and in many different forms,  as the name of smaller states into which the empire was broken up after the reign of Wu-wang (1122 BC - 1115 BC).

"The name Ehi'nai (Strabo),  Si'nai (NT: 4614) (Ptol.),  Ezi'nitza (Kosmas),  says the Sinologist Neumann,  did not obtain currency for the first time from the founder of the great dynasty of  Tsin;  but long before this,  Tsin was the name of a feudal kingdom of some importance in  Shen-si,  one of the western provinces of the Sinese land,  and Fei-tse,  the first feudal king of Tsin,  began to reign as early as 897 BC"
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

However -

The LXX calls it the land of Persia
The Targums call it the land of the south
The Dead Sea Scrolls call it the land of Syene
   
the Columbia Encyclopedia (and several others) have Syene in Egypt.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching desert or sun harm them; for one who has compassion on them will lead them and guide them along springs of water.   (11)    I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways will be elevated.   (12)    see they will come from afar: these from the north and from the west, and others from the land of Syene.

Isaiah 49:13-26
Zion - Reconciliation,  Restoration,  and  Enlargement

49:13 Introduction The Call to Rejoice  
 
49:14 Zion’s despondency
49:15-23- Answer Promise
49:-23 Jehovah the only God
49:24 Zion’s despondency
49:25, 26- Answer Prophecy
49:-26 Jehovah the only God

Isaiah 49:13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(13)  Shout, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Break into shouting, O hills! For the Lord has comforted His people, and has taken back His afflicted ones in love.

Rejoice, ye heavens; and let the earth be glad: let the mountains break forth with joy; for the Lord has had mercy on his people, and has comforted the lowly ones of his people.

Sing praises, O heavens; and exult, O earth; and rejoice with a song, O mountains: for the Lord is about to comfort his people, and will have compassion upon his afflicted.

From the NKJV
(13)  Sing, O heavens!   Be joyful, O earth!   And break out in singing, O mountains!   For the LORD has comforted His people,  and will have mercy on His afflicted.

Sing = Shout in triumph.
The Figures of Speech here are Paeanismos, or, Exultation.

Calling on others to rejoice over something.
And Prosopopoeia, or, Personification.
Things that are represented as persons.  Inanimate things such as heavens, earth, mountains..

In this return of the exiles from every quarter of the globe to their fatherland,  and for this mighty work of God on behalf of His church,  which has been scattered in all directions,  the whole creation is to praise Him.

The future alternates with the perfect:

the act of consolation takes place once for all,  [perfect]
but the compassion lasts for ever. [Future]

Here again the glorious liberty of the children of God appears as the focus from which the whole world is glorified.  The joy of the Israel of God becomes the joy of heaven and earth.
(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

(13)  Sing out, heavens, and rejoice, earth! Break out, mountains into song! The Lord is comforting his people and will have compassion upon his oppressed ones.



GOD  WILL  REMEMBER  ZION

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Isaiah 49:14-16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(14)  Zion says,  “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.”

But Sion said,  The Lord has forsaken me, and, the Lord has forgotten me.

For that Zion hath said, The Lord hath taken away his Shekinah from me, and the Lord hath rejected me.

(15)  Can a woman forget her baby, or disown the child of her womb?  Though she might forget, I never could forget you.

Will a woman forget her child, so as not to have compassion upon the offspring of her womb? But if a woman should even forget these, yet I will not forget thee, saith the Lord.

Can a woman forget her son that she should not have compassion upon the son of her womb? Yea, though these should forget, my Memra will not reject thee.

(16)  See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands, your walls are ever before Me.

Behold, I have painted thy walls on my hands, and thou art continually before me.

Behold, as upon hands art thou depicted before me; thy walls are continually over against me.

From the NKJV
(14)  But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,  and my Lord has forgotten me."    (15)    Can a woman forget her nursing child,  and not have compassion on the son of her womb?  Surely they may forget,  yet I will not forget you.   (16)    See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;  your walls are continually before Me.

The LORD has forsaken me
See how deplorable the case of God's people may be sometimes,  such that they may seem to be forsaken and forgotten of their God;  and at such a time their temptations may be alarmingly violent.
Unbelievers,  in their presumption,  say God has forsaken the earth (Ezekiel 8:12  The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land),  and has forgotten their sins  (Psalms 10:11 God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see).
Weak believers,  in their despondency,  are ready to say,  "God has forsaken his church and forgotten the sorrows of his people."  But we have no more reason to question his promise and grace than we have to question his providence and justice.  He is as sure a rewarder as he is a revenger.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Can a woman forget  her nursing child
In reply to the complaining church,  which knows that her home is in Zion-Jerusalem,  and which has been kept so long away from her home,  Jehovah sets forth His love,  which is as inalienable as a mother's love,  but far greater than even maternal love.

There is the figure of Zion,  unapproachable to every creature,  yet as close to Him as He is to Himself,  and facing Him amidst all the emotions of His divine life.
There has He the walls of Zion constantly before Him;  and even if for a time they are broken down here below,  with Him they have an eternal ideal existence,  which must be realized again and again in an increasingly glorious form.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

On the palms of my hands
Alluding to Israel's custom (perhaps drawn from Exodus 13:9) of puncturing on their hands a representation of their city and temple, in token of zeal for them (Lowth). (S. of Songs 8:6.)
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Exodus 13:8-9
It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD's law may be in your mouth.     (NKJV)
Song of Songs 8:6
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death.     (NKJV)
Jehovah has an even greater love and zeal for us than He asks of us.

C. H. Spurgeon said in 1882 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington, CT:

This assurance is the Lord's answer to Zion's lament, "Jehovah hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me";  so take it from God's own mouth,  and never doubt it.  God's remembrance of His people as a whole,  and of each individual in particular,  has been secured by Him beyond all question.
"That we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us" Hebrews 6:18,  He has said to each of us , "`I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands,'  I have done it,  and I have done that which will render it utterly impossible that I should ever forget one of my people.  I the Lord have committed myself to something which will henceforth render it absolutely certain that I never can forget my own.
A man cannot leave his hands at home.  If he has put something,  by way of memorial,  upon the walls of his house or the gates of his home,  he may go away,  and forget it.  Or if,  as I have said,  he shall write the memorial upon some precious diamond,  or topaz,  or other jewels which he wears,  yet he might lay them on one side.  But God says,  "I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands",  so that the memorial is constantly with Him;  yea,  it is in God Himself that the memorial of His people is fixed.
God remembers His eternal love to His people,  and His remembrance of them is constant because of that love.  He says to each believing soul,  "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" Jeremiah 31:3.
(from Spurgeon's Sermons, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  But Zion had said, “The Lord has abandoned me; my God has forgotten me.”   (15)   Can a woman forget her infant, lack compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget; I, however, I will not forget you.   (16)    Look, I have inscribed you upon the palms of my hands, and your walls are constantly before me.

Note: In the second clause of verse 14 the scribe of 1Q1sa first wrote “my Lord” (in agreement with the Masoretic Text),  then wrote “my God” above it, at least as an alternative reading but probably as the preferred reading.

Isaiah 49:17 & 18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(17) Swiftly your children are coming; those who ravaged and ruined you shall leave you.

And thou shalt soon be built by those by whom thou wert destroyed, and they that made thee desolate shall go forth of thee.

They shall quickly build thy waste places: thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall depart from thee.

(18)  Look up all around you and see: They are all assembled, are come to you! As I live – declares the Lord – you shall don them all like jewels, deck yourself with them like a bride.

Lift up thine eyes round about, and look on them all; behold, they are gathered together, and are come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt clothe thyself with them all as with an ornament, and put them on as a bride her attire.

Lift up thine eyes round about, O Jerusalem, and see all the children of the people of thy exiles, which gather themselves together and come into thy midst. As I live, saith the Lord, all of them shall be to thee as a glorious garment, and their works within thee as the ornament of a bride.

From the NKJV
(17)  Your sons shall make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste shall go away from you.   (18)    Lift up your eyes, look around and see;  all these gather together and come to you.  As I live," says the LORD,  "You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament, and bind them on you as a bride does.

It is this fact of a renewed glorification which presents itself afresh to the prophet's mind.
The thought that Zion's children come and restore her fallen walls,  follows of itself from the very antithesis:  her children come;  and those who destroyed their maternal home,  and made it a desolate ruin,  have to depart from both city and land.

Zion is to lift up her eyes,  that have been cast down till now,  -  to lift them up round about;  for on all sides those whom she thought she had lost are coming in dense crowds to her, i.e.,  henceforth to belong to her again.

As I live, says the Lord
Jehovah pledges His life that a time of glory is coming for Zion and her children.
The customary form of an oath when Yahweh swears it is a solemn assurance that the event shall as certainly occur as he has an existence (45:23).
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Kiy (OT:3588) - surely  -  in the affirmative sense,  springing out of the confirmative after an affirming oath.

As an ornament
The population which Zion recovers once more,  will be to her like the ornaments which a woman puts on,  like the ornamental girdle which a bride fastens round her wedding dress.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Bind them on  you as a bride does
As Zion is often compared to a bride,  so the accession of converts is like bridal ornaments  ("jewels," Isaiah 62:3; Malachi 3:17).

Malachi 3:17
And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure).     (AMP)
Isaiah 62:3
You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.     (NKJV)
Her literal children are,  however,  more immediately meant as the context refers to their restoration, 
and only secondarily to her spiritual children by conversion to Christ.
Israel shall be the means of the final complete conversion of the nations (Romans 11:12,15).
Romans 11:12-15
Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! ... For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?     (NKJV)
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The sentence means,  as a bride binds on her ornaments.
The Septuagint has supplied this,  and renders it,  'As a bride her ornaments'.
The sentiment is,  that the accession of the large number of converts under the Messiah to the true church of God,  would be the real ornament of Zion,  and would greatly increase her beauty and loveliness.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(17)  Your builders (Sons MT) are working faster than your destroyers,  and those who devastated you will depart from you.   (18)    Look up all around and see: they have all gathered to come to you.  As I live, says the Lord, you will be clothed with all of them like ornaments and adorn yourself with them like a bride.

Isaiah 49:19 & 20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(19)  As for your ruins and desolate places and your land laid waste – you will soon be crowded with settlers, while destroyers stay far from you.

For thy desert and marred and marred and ruined places shall now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that devoured thee shall be removed far from thee.

For, as for thy waste and thy desolate places and thy land that hath been destroyed, surely now shalt thou be straitened by reason of the inhabitants, and they that destroyed thee shall be removed.

(20)  The children you thought you had lost shall yet say in your hearing, “The place is too crowded for me; make room for me to settle.”

For thy sons whom thou hast lost shall say in thine ears, The place is too narrow for me: make room for me that I may dwell.

Henceforth the children of the people of thy exiles shall say each one in thy midst, the place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

From the NKJV
(19)   "For your waste and desolate places, and the land of your destruction, will even now be too small for the inhabitants;  and those who swallowed you up will be far away.    (20)    The children you will have, after you have lost the others, will say again in your ears,  'The place is too small for me; give me a place where I may dwell.'

Thus will Zion shine forth once more with the multitude of her children as with a festal adorning.

The word "for" (kii) introduces the explanatory reason for the figures just employed of jewelry and a bridal girdle.

That thus the country which was waste and desolate,  and without inhabitant (Isaiah 5:9; 6:11),  shall be again peopled,  nay,  it shall be over-peopled.   Here is blessing poured out till there be not room enough to receive it.  Not that they shall be crowded by their enemies,  or straitened for room,  as Abraham and Lot were,  because of the Canaanite in the land.  "No,  those that swallow thee up,  and took possession of thy land when thy possession of it was discontinued,  shall be far away.  Thy people shall be numerous,  and there shall be no stranger,  no enemy,  among them.
Thus the kingdom of God among men,  which had been impoverished and almost depopulated,  partly by the corruptions of the Jewish church and partly by the abominations of the Gentile world,  was again peopled and enriched by the setting up of the Christian church,  and by its graces and glories.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Zechariah 10:10
I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria.  I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon,  until no more room is found for them.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(19)  Indeed, your ruins, your desolate places, your destroyed land – indeed now you will be too cramped for inhabitants and those who would swallow you up will be far distant.   (20)   You will yet hear the children of your bereavement say, “This place is too cramped for me. Make space for me where I may settle.”

Isaiah 49:21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(21)  And you will say to yourself,  “Who bore these for me when I was bereaved and barren, exiled and disdained - by whom, then, were these reared?  I was left all alone – and where have these been?”

And thou shalt say in thine heart, who has begotten me these? Whereas I was childless, and a widow; but who has brought up these for me? And I was left alone; but whence came these to me?

And thou shalt say in thy heart, who hath brought up these for me, seeing I am bereaved and solitary, an exile and driven forth? And these, who hath brought them up? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?

From the NKJV
(21)  Then you will say in your heart,  'Who has begotten these for me, since I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive, and wandering to and fro?  And who has brought these up?  There I was, left alone;  but these,  where were they?'"

The words that sound in the ears of Zion are now followed by the thought of astonishment and surprise,   which rises up in her heart.

Who has begotten these for me?

She sees herself suddenly surrounded by a great multitude of children,  and yet she was robbed of children,   and galmuudâh - am desolate - (lit. hard, stony, the hardest stone),  i.e.,  one who seemed utterly incapacitated for bearing children any more.

She therefore asks, who has borne them for me?  She cannot believe that they are the children of her body, and her children's children.

Who has brought these up?

In the second question,  the thought has dawned upon her mind,  that those by whom she finds herself surrounded are her own children;  but as she was left alone,  while they went forth,  as she thought to die in a foreign land,  she cannot comprehend where they have been hitherto concealed,  or where they have grown up into so numerous a people.

The image in this entire verse is one of great beauty.
It represents a mother who had been suddenly deprived of all her children,  who had been made a widow,  and conveyed as a captive from land to land.

She had seen ruin spread all around her dwelling,  and regarded herself as alone.
Suddenly she finds herself restored to her home.
Suddenly she finds herself surrounded with a happy family.
She sees her family increased beyond its former numbers.
She sees herself blessed with more than her former prosperity.
She looks with surprise on this accession.
She asks with wonder from where all these have come?
She asks where they have been?
The language in this verse is beautifully expressive of the agitation of such a state of mind,  and of the effect which would be thus produced.
The idea is plain.
Jerusalem had been desolate.
Many of her inhabitants had been carried captive.
Many of her inhabitants had been put to death.
But she should be restored.
And she should be restored beyond her original state.
The church of God would be increased by a vast accession from the Gentile world,  so much that the narrow limits which had been formerly occupied-the territory of Palestine-would now be too small for the vast numbers that would be united to those who professed to love and worship God.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(21)  Then you will say to yourself, “Who has begotten these for me – though I was bereaved and barren, and an exile and cast away – who has raised these? Behold, I was left in solitude; these, from where did thy come?”

Isaiah 49:22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(22)  Thus said the Lord God: I will raise My hand to nations and lift up My ensign to peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, and carry your daughters on their backs.

Thus saith the Lord, even the Lord, Behold, I lift up mine hand to the nations, and I will lift up my signal to the islands: and they shall bring thy sons in their bosom, and shall bear thy daughters on their shoulders.

Thus saith the Lord Elohim, Behold, I will reveal my might among the nations, and will raise up my ensign over the kingdoms, and they shall bring thy sons in palanquins and thy daughters shall be borne in litters.

From the NKJV
(22)   Thus says the Lord GOD:  "Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, and set up My standard for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders;

The prophecy now takes a step backward in the domain of the future,  and describes the manner in which the children of Zion get back to their home.

I will lift up  my hand
To lift up the hand is a sign of beckoning to,  or inviting - God would call the Gentiles to partake of the blessings of the true religion, and to embrace the Messiah

Set up My standard
A standard, or an ensign was erected in times of war to rally the forces of a nation around it. An ensign or standard was usually lifted up on the mountains or on some elevated place.
God would erect an ensign high in the sight of all the nations, and would call them to himself, as a military leader musters his forces for battle; that is, he would call the nations to embrace the true religion.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The setting up of a standard (Isa 5:26; 11:12; 18:3, cf., 62:10 "Lift up a banner for the peoples!)  is a favorite figure with Isaiah,  as well as swaying (lifting up) the hand.  Jehovah gives a sign to the heathen nations with His hand,  and points out to them the mark that they are to keep in view,  with a signal pole which is set up.  They understand it, and carry out His instructions,  and bring Zion's sons and daughters thither,  and that as a foster-father ('oomeen) carries an infant in the bosom of his dress (chootsen, as in Neh 5:13; Arabic as in Ps 129:7, hidn, from hadana, to embrace, to press tenderly to one's self; vid., Num 11:12),  or upon his arms,  so that it reclines upon his shoulder ('al-kâtheeph; cf., 'al-tsad,  Isa 60:4;  66:12).

In their arms...on their shoulders
The babes are carried and cradled safely in the arms; but children were usually carried astride the shoulder as soon as they can sit.
Daughters shall be carried - Showing the care they shall receive,  for girls were usually left to shift for themselves.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(22)  For thus says the Lord: (my Lord the Lord MT) Watch,  I will lift up my hand to the nations and raise my signal to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.

Isaiah 49:23
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(23)  Kings shall tend your children; their queens shall serve you as nurses. They shall bow to you, face to the ground, and lick the dust of your feet. And you shall know that I am the Lord – those who trust in Me shall not be shamed.

And kings shall be thy nursing fathers and their princesses thy nurses, they shall bow down to thee on the face of the earth, and shall lick the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and they that wait on me shall not be ashamed.

And kings shall be thy tutors, and their queens shall minister unto thee; they shall prostrate themselves with their faces to the ground to pray unto thee, and shall lick the dust of thy feet, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, that the righteous who wait for my salvation shall not be ashamed.

From the NKJV
(23)   Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers; they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet.  Then you will know that I am the LORD, for they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.

Such affectionate treatment does the church receive,  which is assembling once more upon its native soil,  while kings and their consorts hasten to serve the re-assembled community.  As foster-fathers devote all their strength and care to those entrusted to them,  and nurses nourish children from the very marrow of their own life,  so will kings become the shelterers of Zion,  and princesses the sustainers of her growth.

All that is true in the regal headship of the church will be realized,  and all that is false in regal territorialism will condemn itself: (Jerome).  They do homage to the church,  and kiss the ground upon which she stands and walks.  According to Isa 45:14,  this adoration belongs to the God who is present in the church,  and points the church itself away from all thought of her own merits to Jehovah,  the God of salvation.  Observe,  however,  that the state will not be swallowed up by the church - a thing which never will occur,  and is never meant to occur;  but by the state becoming serviceable to the church,  there is realized a prelude of the perfected kingdom of God,  in which the dualism of the state and the church is entirely abolished.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

This promise was in part fulfilled to the Jews,  after their return out of captivity.

Several of the kings of Persia were very tender of their interests, countenanced and encouraged them, as Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes
Esther the queen was a nursing mother to the Jews that remained in their captivity, putting her life in her hand to snatch the child out of the flames.
The Christian church,  after a long captivity,  was happy in some such kings and queens as Constantine and his mother Helena,  and afterwards Theodosius, and others, who nursed the church with all possible care and tenderness.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Lick up the dust
Denoting subjection and submission, as in Psalm 72:9 and Mic. 7:17.

Psalms 72:9
Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, and His enemies will lick the dust.     (NKJV)

Micah 7:16-17
The nations ... shall lick the dust like a serpent.  They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth. They shall be afraid of the LORD our God.     (NKJV)

It is well known that expressions of submission, homage, and reverence have been carried to a great degree of extravagance.

(1) When Joseph's brothers were introduced to him,  "they bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth."   (Genesis 42:6).
(2) The kings of Persia never admitted any one to their presence without exacting this act of adoration.
(3) Alexander, intoxicated with success, affected this piece of oriental pride: "The Macedonians, after the manner of the Persians, saluted their monarch with the ceremony of prostration."- CURTIUS, lib. viii.
(4) Mr. Harmer, Observ. ii. 43, gives the following instance of it from D'Herbelot:  "This prince threw himself one day on the ground,  and kissed the prints that his victorious enemy's horse had made there;  reciting some verses in Persian,  which he had composed,  to this effect:
"The mark that the foot of your horse has left upon the dust, serves me now for a crown.
The ring which I wear as the badge of my slavery, is become my richest ornament.
While I shall have the happiness to kiss the dust of your feet, I shall think that fortune favors me with its tenderest caresses, and its sweetest kisses."
(from Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Biblesoft)

Those who wait for Him, in a dependence upon His promise and a resignation to his will,  shall not be made ashamed of their hope
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Psalms 102:15-22
So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Your glory.  For the LORD shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory.   He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.
This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.  For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the LORD viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.     (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(23)  It will happen that kings will be your foster fathers and their princesses those nursing for you. They will bow to you with their faces to the earth and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Those who wait for me will not be shamed.

Isaiah 49:24-26
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(24)  Can spoil be taken from a warrior, or captives retrieved from a victor?

Will any one take spoils from a giant? And if one should take a man captive unjustly, shall he be delivered?

Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, and shall that which the righteous have captured be delivered?

(25)  Yet thus said the Lord: captives shall be taken from a warrior and spoil shall be retrieved from a tyrant; for I will contend with your adversaries, and I will deliver your children.

For thus saith the Lord, If one should take a giant captive, he shall take spoils, and he who takes them from a mighty man shall be delivered: for I will plead thy cause, and I will deliver thy children.

For thus saith the Lord, Even that which the mighty have captured will I restore, and the prey which the powerful have taken will I deliver: and thy vengeance will I exact, and thy sons will I deliver.

(26)  I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. And all mankind shall know that I the Lord am your Savior, the Mighty One of Jacob, your Redeemer.

And they that afflicted thee shall eat their own flesh; and they shall drink their own blood as new wine, and shall be drunken: and all flesh shall perceive that I am the Lord that delivers thee, and that upholds the strength of Jacob.

And I will give the flesh of them that were oppressing thee as food to all the birds of the heavens; and as men are drunken with new wine, so shall the beasts of the field be drunken with their blood; and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy savior, and thy deliverer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

From the NKJV
(24)  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteous be delivered?
(25)  But thus says the LORD:  "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.   (26)    I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.  All flesh shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

There follows now a skeptical question prompted by weakness of faith;  and the divine reply.

The question -
"Can the booty indeed be wrested from a giant, or will the captive host of the righteous escape?"

The question is logically one, and only divided rhetorically into two (Ges. §153, 2). The giant, or gigantically strong one, is the Chaldean.
The exiles are called shebhii,  not,  however, as captives wrested from the righteous but merely as a host of captives consisting of righteous men (Hitzig).

The divine answer -
"But thus says Jehovah,  Even the captive hosts of a giant are wrested from him,  and the booty of a tyrant escapes:  and I will make war upon him that warrs with you, and I will bring salvation to your children.  And I feed them that pain your with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as if with new wine; and all flesh sees that I Jehovah am thy Savior, and that your Redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.

We might take the kii (But) in v. 25 a as a simple affirmative,  but it is really to be taken as preceded by a tacit intermediate thought. Rosenmüller's explanation is the correct one: "that which is hardly credible shall take place, for thus hath Jehovah said."
He has also given the true interpretation of gam (Even): "although this really seems incredible, yet I will give it effect."

Moreover,  it must not be forgotten that:

The Old Testament church was a nation,
The spirit of revelation in the Old Testament assumed the national form, which it afterwards shattered to pieces.
Knobel points to the revolt of the Hyrcanians and several satraps,  who fought on the side of Cyrus against their former rulers (Cyrop. iv. 2, 6, v. 1-3).  All this will be subservient to that salvation and redemption,  which form the historical aim of Jehovah and the irresistible work of the Mighty One of Jacob.

The name of God which we meet with here, viz., the Mighty One of Jacob,  shows Who is the author of the prophecy which is concluded here.

The first half set forth,  in the servant of Jehovah,  the mediator of Israel's restoration and of the conversion of the heathen,  and closed with an appeal to the heaven and the earth to rejoice with the ransomed church.
The second half rebukes the despondency of Zion,  which fancies itself forgotten of Jehovah,  by pointing to Jehovah's more than maternal love,  and the superabundant blessing to be expected from Him.  (vv. 14-26)
  It also rebukes the doubts of Zion as to the possibility of such redemption,  by pointing to the faithfulness and omnipotence of the God of Israel,  Who will cause the exiles to be wrested from the Chaldean,  and their tormentors to devour one another.  The following chapter commences a fresh train of ideas.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
(24)  Can they seize prey from a warrior, or the captives of a tyrant (righteous one MT) be rescued?    (25)   Thus says the Lord: Even the prey (captives MT) of the warrior will be seized,  and the captives of the tyrant will be rescued.  I myself will oppose those who oppose you,  and I myself will save your children.    (26)   Those who maltreat you I will make eat their own flesh; and they will be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. Then all flesh will know that I am the Lord, your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


THE  SERVANT,  ISRAEL'S  HOPE

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Second Prophecy (Chapter 50)
Israel's Self-Rejection; and the Steadfastness of the Servant of Jehovah

Isaiah 50:1-11
Sin:  The Cause Of The Separation

  A Isaiah 50:1-3 The Breach:  caused by Israel’s sin
  B Isaiah 50:4-11 The Breach:  healed by Messiah

Isaiah 50:1-3   The Breach:  The Cause

Isa 50:1- Jehovah Question Words
Isa 50:-1 Not sold by God
Isa 50:2- No help from man
Isa 50:-2, 3 Jehovah Question Power

Isaiah 50:1
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(1)  Thus said the Lord:  Where is the bill of divorce of your mother whom I dismissed? And which of My creditors was it to whom I sold you off? You were only sold off for your sins, and your mother dismissed for your crimes.

Thus saith the Lord, of what kind is your mother’s bill of divorcement, by which I put her away? Or to which debtor have I sold you? Behold, ye are sold for your sins, and for your iniquities have I put your mother away.

Thus saith the Lord: Where now is the letter of divorcement which I gave to your congregation that she hath been put away? Or who is the creditor before me unto whom I sold you? Behold, for your transgressions were ye sold, and for your acts of rebellion was your congregation put away.

From the NKJV
(1)  Thus says the LORD:  "Where is the certificate of your mother's divorce, whom I have put away? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you?  For your iniquities you have sold yourselves,  and for your transgressions your mother has been put away.

The words are no longer addressed to Zion, but to her children.

Certificate of your mother's divorce
It was not He who had broken off the relation in which He stood to Zion;  for the mother of Israel,  whom Jehovah had betrothed to Himself,  had no bill of divorce to show,  with which Jehovah had put her away and thus renounced for ever the possibility of receiving her again (according to Deut 24:1-4),  provided she should in the meantime have married another.

God here speaks of himself as the husband of his people,  as having married the church to himself,  denoting the tender affection which he had for his people.  This figure is frequently used in the Bible.

Isaiah 62:5 And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,  so shall your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name;
Jeremiah 3:14 "Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am married to you.
Ezekiel 16:8-15 Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD ... "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot"
Thus in Revelations 21:9,  the church is called  'the bride, the Lamb's wife.'

The phrase, 'bill of divorcement'  or  'certificate of divorce'  refers to the writing or instrument which a husband was by law obliged to give a wife when he chose to put her away.  This custom of divorce Moses found probably in existence among the Jews, and also in surrounding nations, and as it was difficult if not impossible at once to remove it, he permitted it on account of the hardness of the hearts of the Jews (Deuteronomy 24:1; compare Matthew 19:8).
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Deuteronomy 24:1
When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house.

Matthew 19:8
He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."

Which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you?
Among the Hebrews,  a father had the right,  by the law of Moses,  if he was oppressed with debt, to sell his children (Exodus 21:7; Nehemiah 5:5).

Exodus 21:1-7 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing...and if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.
Nehemiah 5:4, 5 There were also those who said,  "We have borrowed money for the king's tax on our lands and vineyards.  Yet now...we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves.
In like manner,  if a man had stolen anything,  and had nothing to make restitution,  he might be sold for the theft 
Exodus 22:2, 3 If the thief is found breaking in...he should make full restitution;  if he has nothing,  then he shall be sold for his theft.
If a man also was poor and unable to pay his debts,  he might be sold
Leviticus 25:39, 40 And if one of your brethren who dwells by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave.  As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee.
2 Kings 4:1 Your servant my husband is dead...and the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.
Matthew 18:25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
In this passage,  God says that he had not been governed by any such motives in his dealings with his people. He had not dealt with them as a poor parent sometimes felt himself under a necessity of doing,  when he sold his children,  or as a creditor did when a man was not able to pay him.  He had been governed by different motives,  and he had punished them only on account of their transgressions.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

But God did not sell His children - THEY SOLD THEMSELVES to sin to buy their own lusts and pleasures.
And for this, their mother was  put away.

Their present condition was indeed that of being sold and put away;  but this was not the effect of despotic caprice,  or the result of compulsion on the part of Jehovah.  It was Israel itself that had broken off the relation in which it stood to Jehovah.
(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

(1)  Thus says the Lord: Where is your mother’s divorce decree, by which I sent her away? Or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Look, because of your sins you were sold, and because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.

Isaiah 50:2 & 3
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(2)  Why, when I came, was no one there, why, when I called, would none respond?  Is my arm, then, too short to rescue, have I not the power to save? With a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, and turn rivers into desert. Their fish stink from the lack of water; they lie dead of thirst.

Why did I come, and there was no man? Why did I call, and there was none to hearken? Is not my hand strong to redeem? Or can I not deliver? Behold, by my rebuke I will dry up the sea, and make rivers a wilderness; and their fish shall be dried up because there is no water, and shall die for thirst.

Wherefore, when I sent my prophets, did they not repent? They prophesied, but they hearkened not: is my might at all shortened that it cannot save? Or is there no power before me to deliver? Behold at my rebuke I will dry up the sea, I will make the rivers a wilderness: their fish shall stink because there is no water, and die for thirst.

(3)  I clothe the skies in blackness and make their raiment sackcloth.

I will clothe the sky with darkness, and will make its covering as sackcloth.

I will cover the heavens as with darkness, and as sackcloth will I make their covering.

From the NKJV
(2)  Why, when I came, was there no man?  Why, when I called, was there none to answer?  Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?  Or have I no power to deliver?  Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness;  their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst.   (3)    I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.

The radical sin, however, which has lasted from the time of the captivity down to the present time, is disobedience to the word of God. This sin brought upon Zion and her children the judgment of banishment, and it was this which made it last so long.

Jehovah has come,  and with what?
It follows,  from the fact of His bidding them consider,  that -

His hand is not too short to set Israel loose and at liberty
He is not so powerless as to be unable to draw it out
He is the Almighty, who by His mere threatening word can dry up the sea
Psalm 106:9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up
He is the Almighty, who by His mere threatening word can turn streams into a hard and barren soil, so that the fishes putrefy for want of water
Exodus 7:18-21 And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river. ... And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.  The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river.

It follows from all this, that He has come with a gospel of deliverance from sin and punishment;  but Israel has given no answer,  has not received this message of salvation with faith,  since faith is assent to the word of God.

And in whom did Jehovah come?  Knobel and most of the commentators reply,  "In His prophets."
This answer is not wrong,  but it does not suffice to show the connection between what follows and what goes before.  For there it is one person who speaks;  and who is that,  but the servant of Jehovah,  who is introduced in these prophecies with dramatic directness,  as speaking in his own name?

John 1:11
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

Jehovah has come to His people in His servant. We know who the servant of Jehovah in the historical fulfillment was.  It was He whom even the New Testament Scriptures describe as:

to’n [The one] (NT: 3588) pai'da [Servant] (NT: 3816)
tou' [The one] (NT: 3588) kuri'ou [Lord] (NT: 2962)
Especially in the Acts
Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
Acts 3:26 To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.
Acts 4:27 "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together
Acts 4:30 ...by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.

It was not indeed during the Babylonian captivity that the servant of Jehovah appeared in Israel with the gospel of redemption;  but,  as we shall never be tired of repeating,  this is the human element in these prophecies,  that they regard the appearance of the  "servant of Jehovah,"  the Savior of Israel and the heathen,  as connected with the captivity:  the punishment of Israel terminating,  according to the law of the perspective foreshortening of prophetic vision,  with the termination of the captivity - a connection which we regard as one of the strongest confirmations of the composition of these addresses before the captivity,  as well as of Isaiah's authorship.

But this anthroo'pinon (human) (NT: 442) does not destroy the thei'on (divine) (NT: 2303) in them,  inasmuch as the time at which Jesus appeared was not only similar to that of the Babylonian captivity, but stood in a causal connection with it, since the Roman empire was the continuation of the Babylonian, [See Daniel 2] and the moral state of the people under the iron arm of the Roman rule resembled that of the Babylonian exiles (Ezek 2:6-7).
(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

(2)  Why, when I came, was there no one there? When I called, was there no answer? Was my hand too limited to redeem? Have I no strength to rescue? Look, with my rebuke I dry up the sea, transform the rivers into a wilderness. Their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst.   (3)   I spread darkness over the heavens and make sackcloth their covering.

Isaiah 50:4-11   The Breach:  Healed By Messiah

Isa 50:4, 5 Messiah Qualified
Isa 50:6 His reception  
Isa 50:7-9 Messiah Helped
Isa 50:10, 11 His reception  

Isaiah 50:4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(4)  The Lord God gave me a skilled tongue, to know how to speak timely words to the weary. Morning by morning, He rouses, He rouses my ear to give heed like disciples.

The Lord even God gives me the tongue of instruction, to know when it is fit to speak a word: he has appointed for me early, he has given me an ear to hear:

The Lord Elohim hath given me the tongue of them that teach, to make me know how to teach wisdom to the righteous who long for the words of his law; therefore morning by morning he sends forth his prophets early if perchance the ears of the transgressors may be opened and they may receive instruction.

From the NKJV
(4)  "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned,  that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.  He awakens Me morning by morning,  He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.

He in whom Jehovah came to His nation,  and proclaimed to it,  in the midst of its self-induced misery,  the way and work of salvation,  is He who speaks now.

That I should know how to speak - He spake none other words than those given Him by the Father.
The seven times this was asserted by Messiah

(1) John 7:16 "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me."
(2) John 8:28 "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things."
(3) John 8:46 "Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?"
(4) John 12:49 "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."
(5) John 14:10 "The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works."
(6) John 14:24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."
(7) John 17:8 "For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me."

"He wakened morning by morning, wakened mine ear,"  recalls to mind the parallelism with reservation which is very common in the Psalms,  and more especially the custom of a "triolet-like"  (poem-like) spinning out of the thoughts,  from which the songs of  "degrees"  (or ascending steps, shiir hamma'alooth) have obtained their name.

The servant of Jehovah affords us a deep insight here into His hidden life.
The prophets received special revelations from God,  for the most part in the night,  either in dreams or else in visions,  which were shown them in a waking condition,  but yet in the more susceptible state of nocturnal quiet and rest.
Here,  however,  the servant of Jehovah receives the divine revelations neither in dreams nor visions of the night;  but every morning,  i.e.,  when his sleep is over,  Jehovah comes to him,  awakens his ear,  by making a sign to him to listen,  and then takes him as it were into the school after the manner of a pupil,  and teaches him what and how he is to preach.

Nothing indicates a tongue befitting the disciples of God,  so much as the gift of administering consolation;  and such a gift is possessed by the speaker here.
Jerome has given the correct rendering: "that I may know how to sustain him that is weary with a word."
(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

(4)  My Lord the Lord has given me a learned tongue to know how to sustain the weary with words. And he stirs morning after morning, and he stirs my ear to listen like those being instructed.

Isaiah 50:5 & 6
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(5)  The Lord God opened my ears, and I did not disobey, I did not run away.

And the instruction of the Lord, even the Lord, opens mine ears, and I do not disobey, nor dispute.

The Lord Elohim hath sent me to prophesy, and I rebelled not, neither turned away backwards.

(6)  I offered my back to the floggers, and my cheeks to those who tore out my hair. I did not hide my face from insult and spittle.

I gave my back to scourges, and my cheeks to blows; and I turned not away my face from the shame of spitting:

I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that pluck out the hair: I hid not my face from humiliation and spitting.

From the NKJV
(5)  The Lord GOD has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.    (6)    I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;  I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

Matt 27:30-31
(30)  And they spat on Him, and took the reed (staff) and struck Him on the head.
(31)  And when they finished making sport of Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own garments on Him and led Him away to be crucified.    (AMP)

John 19:1
So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged (flogged, whipped) Him.    (AMP)

His calling is to save,  not to destroy;  and for this calling he has Jehovah as a teacher,  and to Him he has submitted himself in docile susceptibility and immoveable obedience.  He put him into a position inwardly to discern His will,  that he might become the mediator of divine revelation;  and he did not set himself against this calling  (mârâh,  according to its radical meaning stringere,  to make one's self rigid against any one,  antitei'nein),  and did not draw back from obeying the call,  which,  as he well knew,  would not bring him earthly honor and gain,  but rather shame and ill-treatment.

Ever since he had taken the path of his calling,  he had not drawn timidly back from the sufferings with which it was connected,  but had rather cheerfully taken them upon him.

He did not hide his face,  to cover it up from actual insults,  or from being spit upon -

kolafi'zein (NT: 2852) strokes with rods
Matthew 26:67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him
tu'ptein (NT: 5180) to strike, smite
Luke 22:64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
rhapi'zein (NT: 4475) blow with a hand, rod, staff or scourge
Mark 14:65 And the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
The way of his calling leads through a shameful condition of humiliation.
What was typified in Job  
and prefigured typically and prophetically in the Psalms of David
finds in him its perfect antitypical fulfillment.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Psalms 22:7-8
All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,  "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!"      (NKJV)

Matthew 27:43
"He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him."      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(5)  My Lord God (the Lord MT) has opened my ear, and I did not rebel; I have not shrunk back.   (6)    I gave my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard.  My face I did not turn aside from insults and spitting.

Isaiah 50:7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(7)  But the Lord God will help me – therefore I feel no disgrace; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know I shall not be shamed.

But the Lord God became my helper; therefore I was not ashamed, but I set my face as a solid rock; and I know that I shall never be ashamed,

But the Lord Elohim was my helper; therefore I was not humbled: therefore I made my face strong as a rock, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

From the NKJV
(7)  For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.

But no shame makes him faint-hearted; he trusts in Him who hath called him, and looks to the end.
The wa (for) introduces the thought with which his soul was filled amidst all his sufferings.

In nikªlaamªtiy (will be disgraced) (OT:3637) lo' (NOT)  (OT:3808)  he affirms,  that he did not suffer himself to be inwardly overcome and overpowered.  The consciousness of his high calling remained undisturbed;  he was never ashamed of that,  nor did he turn away from it.

I have set My face like a flint
Note the fulfillment.
His death was not an event which happened.
He “accomplished” it Himself (Luke 9:31), and, after saying this,  “He steadfastly set His face,”  as above, “like a flint.”  He laid down His life Himself: but not till His hour (the right hour) had come (John 10:15-18).

Luke 9:30-32
Two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah,  who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.      (NKJV)

John 10:15-18
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep...Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.      (NKJV)

Luke 9:51
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up,  that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.      (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(7)  My Lord the Lord will help me, so I will not be shamed. So I have made my face like flint, and I know that I will not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:8 & 9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(8)  My Vindicator is at hand – who dares contend with me? Let us stand up together!  Who would be my opponent? Let him approach me!

For he that has justified me draws near; who is he that pleads with me? Let him stand up against me at the same time: yea, who is he that pleads with me? Let him draw nigh to me.

My righteousness is near; who will contend with me? Let us stand up together: who is mine adversary? Let him draw near to me.

(9)  Lo, the Lord God will help me – who can get a verdict against me? They shall all wear out like a garment, the moth shall consume them.

Behold, the Lord, the Lord, will help me; who will hurt me? Behold, all ye shall wax old as a garment, and a moth shall devour you.

Behold, the Lord Elohim is my helper; who is he that will condemn me? Behold, they are all of them as a garment that waxes old, which the moth devours.

From the NKJV
(8)  He is near who justifies Me;  who will contend with Me?  Let us stand together.  Who is My adversary?  Let him come near Me.   (9)    Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me?  Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

In the midst of his continued sufferings he was still certain of victory,  feeling himself exalted above every human accusation,  and knowing that Jehovah would acknowledge him;  whereas his opponents were on the way to that destruction,  the germ of which they already carried with them.

hitsªdiyq (justifies me) (OT:6663)  and hirªshiya` (condemn me) (OT:7561) are forensic antitheses:

the former (justifies me) signifies to set one forth,  both practically and judicially,  as righteous
the latter (condemn me) as guilty = prove Me lawless

Ba'al (OT:1167) mishpâtii (OT:4941) (my adversary) means, "he who has a judicial cause of lawsuit against me,"  just as in Roman law the dominus litis is distinguished from the procurator, i.e., from the person who represents him in court.

"They will all" (kullâm): this refers to all who are hostile to him.
They fall to pieces like a worn-out garment,  and fall a prey to the moth which they already carry within them,  (cf., Job 13:28; Hos 5:12),  and one which,  although apparently insignificant,  is yet really a terrible one, inasmuch as it points to a power of destruction working imperceptibly and slowly,  but yet effecting the destruction of the object selected with all the greater certainty.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Job 13:28
Man decays like a rotten thing,  like a garment that is moth-eaten.    (NKJV)

Hosea 5:12
Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, and to the house of Judah like rottenness.    (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  He who justified me is near. Who will dispute with me? Let us stand up together. Who has a case against me? Let him approach me.   (9)   See, my Lord the Lord will help me. Who is it that will condemn me? See, they will all wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them.

Isaiah 50:10 & 11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum

(10)  Who among you reveres the Lord and heeds the voice of His servant? – Though he walk in darkness and have no light, let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.

Who is among you that fears the Lord? Let him hearken to the voice of his servant: ye that walk in darkness, and have no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon God.

Not in the Targum

(11)  But you are all kindlers of fire, girding on firebrands. Walk by the blaze of your fire, by the brands that you have lit! This has come to you from My hand: you shall lie down in pain.

Behold, ye all kindle a fire, and feed a flame: walk in the light of your fire, and in the flame which ye have kindled. This has happened to you for my sake; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

 

From the NKJV
(10)  "Who among you fears the LORD?  Who obeys the voice of His Servant?  Who walks in darkness and has no light?  Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.
(11)  Look, all you who kindle a fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled — this you shall have from My hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Thus far we have the words of the servant.
The prophecy opened with words of Jehovah (vv. 1-3),  and with such words it closes,  as we may see from the expression,  "this you shall have from My hand," in v. 11 b.
The first word of Jehovah is addressed to those who fear Him,  and hearken to the voice of His servant.

The question is asked for the purpose of showing to any one who could reply,  "I am one, or wish to be such a one,"  what his duty and his privileges are.

In the midst of the apparent hopelessness of his situation, and of his consequent despondency of mind,
He is to believe in God and the word of salvation
He is to trust in the name of Jehovah
He is to stay himself upon his God,  who cannot forsake or deceive him.

The second word of Jehovah is addressed to the despisers of His word,  of which His servant is the bearer. The fire is not the fire of divine wrath,  but the fire of wickedness,  more especially that hellish fire with which an evil tongue is set on fire (James 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.);  for the ziiqooth (sparks), i.e., shots, and indeed burning arrows,  are figurative,  and stand for the blasphemies and anathemas which they cast at the servant of Jehovah.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  Who among you revere the Lord, obeying the voice of his servant? Who walk in darkness and have no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon his God.   (11)   But, all those (you MT) who light a fire, who surround yourselves with torches, walk by the light of your fire, and by the torches that you have set ablaze. You will have this from my hand: you will lie down in the place of torment.



LESSON  25  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 49:4 - 50:11  -  from the Amplified Version

49:4      THEN  I  said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in empty futility; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense is with my God.
(5)    And now, says the Lord — Who formed me from the womb to be His servant to bring Jacob back to Him and that Israel might be gathered to Him and not be swept away, for I am honorable in the eyes of the Lord and my God has become my strength —
(6)    He says, It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors [of the judgments] of Israel; I will also give you for a light to the nations, that My salvation may extend to the end of the earth.
(7)    Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, Israel's Holy One, to him whom man rejects and despises, to him whom the nations abhor, to the servant of rulers: Kings shall see you and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the Lord, Who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, Who has chosen you.
(8)    Thus says the Lord, In an acceptable and favorable time I have heard and answered you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you; and I will preserve you and give you for a covenant to the people, to raise up and establish the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and cause them to inherit the desolate [moral wastes of heathenism, their] heritages, [2 Corinthians 6:2.]
(9)    Saying to those who are bound, Come forth, and to those who are in [spiritual] darkness, Show yourselves [come into the light of the Sun of righteousness]. They shall feed in all the ways [in which they go], and their pastures shall be [not in deserts, but] on all the bare [grass-covered] hills.
(10)  They will not hunger or thirst, neither will mirage [mislead] or scorching wind or sun smite them; for He Who has mercy on them will lead them, and by springs of water will He guide them. [Revelation 7:16,17.]
(11)  And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways will be raised up.
(12)  Behold, these shall come from afar — and, behold, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim (China).
(13)  Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted.
(14)  But Zion [Jerusalem, her people as seen in captivity] said, The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.
(15)  [And the Lord answered] Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
(16)   Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.
(17)  Your children and your builders make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste go forth from you.
(18)  Lift up your eyes round about and see [the returning exiles, ready to rebuild Jerusalem]; all these gather together and come to you. As I live, says the Lord, you [Zion] shall surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament and bind them on you as a bride does.
(19)  For your waste and desolate places and your land [once the scene] of destruction surely now [in coming years] will be too narrow to accommodate the population, and those who once swallowed you up will be far away.
(20)  The children of your bereavement [born during your captivity] shall yet say in your ears, The place is too narrow for me; make room for me, that I may live.
(21)  Then [Zion], you will say in your heart, Who has borne me all these children, seeing that I lost my offspring and am alone and barren and unfruitful, an exile put away and wandering hither and thither? And who brought them up? Behold, I was left alone [put away by the Lord, my Husband]; from where then did all these children come?
(22)  Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up My hand to the Gentile nations and set up My standard and raise high My signal banner to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in the bosom of their garments, and your daughters will be carried upon their shoulders.
(23)  And kings shall be your foster fathers and guardians, and their queens your nursing mothers. They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth and lick up the dust of your feet; and you shall know [with an acquaintance and understanding based on and grounded in personal experience] that I am the Lord; for they shall not be put to shame who wait for, look for, hope for, and expect Me.
(24)  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives of the just be delivered?
(25)  For thus says the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the prey of the terrible will be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will give safety to your children and ease them.
(26)  And I will make those who oppress you consume themselves [in mutually destructive wars], thus eating their own flesh; and they will be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine; and all flesh will know [with a knowledge grounded in personal experience] that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

50:1     THUS SAYS the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother's divorce with which I put her away, O Israel? Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away.
(2)    Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Is My hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink because there is no water, and they die of thirst.
(3)    I clothe the heavens with [the] blackness [of murky storm clouds], and I make sackcloth [of mourning] their covering.
(4)    [The Servant of God says] The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].
(5)    The Lord God has opened My ear, and I have not been rebellious or turned backward.
(6)    I gave My back to the smiters and My cheeks to those who plucked off the hair; I hid not My face from shame and spitting. [Matthew 26:67; 27:30; John 19:1.]
(7)    For the Lord God helps Me; therefore have I not been ashamed or confounded. Therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. [Luke 9:51; Isaiah 52:13; 53:10-12.]
(8)    He is near Who declares Me in the right. Who will contend with Me? Let us stand forth together! Who is My adversary? Let him come near to Me. [Romans 8:33-35; 1 Timothy 3:16.]
(9)    Behold, the Lord God will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me? Behold, they all will wax old and be worn out as a garment; the moth will eat them up. [Hebrews 1:11,12.]
(10)  Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.
(11)  Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame! — walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment. [Isaiah 66:24.]

(End of  Lesson 25)


  

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