Similarities with Isa 42: my servant (Isa 42:1 with Isa 49:3);
isles (Isa 42:4 with Isa 49:1); keep thee (Isa 42:6 with Isa 49:8); covenant of
people (Isa 42:6 with Isa 49:8); light of Gentiles (Isa 42:6 with Isa 49:8);
prisoners (Isa 42:7 with Isa 49:9); sit in darkness (Isa 42:7 with Isa 49:9);
and a song (Isa 42:10 with Isa 49:13).
Cp with Peter in temple: "My servant, in whom I will be
glorified" (Isa 49:1 / Act 3:13); "my God shall be my strength" (Isa 49:5 / Act
3:16); "to raise up tribes of Jacob" (Isa 49:6 / Act 3:6); a covenant of people
(Isa 49:8 / Act 3:25); salvation to ends of earth (Isa 49:6 / Act 3:25);
pastures, springs (Isa 49:9,10,13 / Act 3:19); all gather together, and come to
thee (Isa 49:1 8/ Act 3:11).
DISTANT NATIONS: Gentiles (vv 5,6).
BEFORE I WAS BORN...: Virgin birth (Isa 7:14). Other
Isa prophecies of the virgin birth: Isa 41:9; 43:1; 44:2,24; 45:4;
MY NAME: Immanuel (Isa 7:14; 8:8).
A preaching mission which ends in suffering!
POLISHED ARROW: Or "cleansed", ie of his grievous
AND CONCEALED ME IN HIS QUIVER: The figurative language
emphasizes the servant's importance as the LORD's effective instrument. The
servant's mouth, which stands metonymically for his words, is compared to a
sharp sword because he will be an effective spokesman on God's behalf (see Isa
50:4). The LORD holds his hand on the servant, ready to draw and use him at the
appropriate time. The servant is like a sharpened arrow reserved in a quiver for
just the right moment.
"This v identifies the servant as Israel. This seems to refer
to the exiled nation (cf Isa 41:8,9; 44:1-2,21;45:4; 48:20), but in vv 5,6 this
servant says he has been commissioned to reconcile Israel to God, so he must be
distinct from the exiled nation. This servant is an ideal 'Israel' who, like
Moses of old, mediates a covenant for the nation (v 8), leads them out of
bondage (v 9), and carries out God's original plan for Israel by positively
impacting the pagan nations (v 6). By living according to God's law, Israel was
to be a model of God's standards of justice to the surrounding nations (Deu
4:6-8). The sinful nation failed, but the servant, the ideal 'Israel', will
succeed by establishing justice throughout the earth" (NET notes).
IN WHOM I WILL DISPLAY MY SPLENDOR: Even after death, a
yet greater glorification.
I HAVE LABORED TO NO PURPOSE: The discouragement of
disease and apostasy (2Ch 30:3,6,9,10; 32:6-8). The Egyptian alliance (Isa
WHAT IS DUE ME IS IN THE LORD'S HAND: He committed
righteous judgment to God (Christ's prayer in Gethsemane).
HONORED: "Glorious" (AV). Cp Isa 60:21; 61:3.
A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES: The overthrow of Assyrians
caused many to bring gifts... all nations to glorify God of Israel (2Ch 32:23).
Salvation to Gentiles: appropriated to himself by Paul (Act 13:46-48). Cp Gal
1:15 with v 1 here; Phi 2:16 with v 4 here; and 2Co 6:2 with v 8a
DESPISED AND ABHORRED: Hezekiah, the one despised and
abhorred by the nation of Israel because of his dread affliction (Isa
Isa 49:8-26: Return of captives; Zion's new family.
A TIME OF MY FAVOR: "An acceptable time" (AV); ref some
special or feast day. Perhaps Passover: Isa 30:29; 31:5; 33:20;
A COVENANT FOR THE PEOPLE: Hezekiah's recovery marked
the renewal of God's covenant with Judah. For Christ, a paradox: a
covenant-victim must die, or there is no covenant!
Cp Zec 9:9-11: Peace to Gentiles, inheritance for Israel, the
blood of covenant bringing forth prisoners. Cp Heb 13:20: God of peace, shepherd
of sheep (v 9 here).
ASWAN: "Sinim" = the wilderness of Sin (Exo 16:1; Num
A flashback to the grim days of despair.
THE LORD HAS FORGOTTEN ME: "Hath God cast away His
people?" (Rom 11:1,2).
Figure of mother and children in Isaiah: Isa 8:3,4; 11:8;
26:17,18; 28:9; 45:10,11; 46:3,4; 49:15,20-23; 54:1; 60:16; 66:11-13.
PALMS OF MY HANDS: A slave is tattooed on his hand with
his master's mark (cp Rev 13:16; Exo 13:9; Isa 44:5). Thus, in this figure, God
makes himself the "slave" of Israel. By contrast, the ten commandments were
engraved in stone -- 2Co 3:7 -- which could be smashed -- and it was. But God's
hands can never come to any harm, and on them our names are written...
And then there are the hands of God's SON! "Then he said to
Thomas... 'See my hands' " (John 20:27).
An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their
house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy,
perished in the flames. The boy's cries for help were finally answered by a man
who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to
Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine
who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town's
wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give
the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad's eyes remained focused on the
floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his
pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out
in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been
burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around
the man's neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away,
leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
Many voices are calling for our attention. Among them is the
One whose nail-pierced hands remind us that He has rescued us from sin and its
deadly consequences. To him belongs our love and devotion.
YOUR SONS HASTEN BACK: "Thy children shall make haste"
(AV), fleeing from captivity.
Gentile rulers assist in the Jews' return from captivity --
which resembles a new "birth" (hence nursing parents).
God reclaims the "plunder" taken by the Assyrian army: the
vast numbers of slaves carried out of Israel into Babylon. "How can one enter
into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong
man?" (Mat 12:29).