The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Isaiah 50

Isa 50:1

BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS YOU WERE SOLD: "Ye have sold yourselves" (AV): it was their doing, not God's. (Cp figure, Rom 7:14,15). Israel has separated herself from God by her iniquities; it is her fault, not His! The 200,000 Jewish captives, "sold" into slavery at the hand of the Assyrians.

WHERE: "Of what kind" (LXX), ie "from where". What is the reason?

YOUR MOTHER'S: Mother = Jerusalem (Isa 1; Eze 16:23).

CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE: May be given when some uncleanness has been found (Deu 24:1). Backsliding Israel had committed adultery (Jer 3:8), as had Hosea's wife (Hos 2:2).

TO WHICH OF MY CREDITORS DID I SELL YOU?: Under LM, children or oneself could be sold into slavery as a judicial sentence or payment of debt (Exo 21:7; Neh 5:5), but they would be freed at Jubilee (Lev 25:39).

BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS... TRANSGRESSIONS: 'I did not divorce you; you divorced yourself!'

Isa 50:2

Vv 2-4: Allusions to 10 plagues upon Egypt.

WHY WAS THERE NO ONE?: That is, to redeem his brother: Psa 49:7-9; 143:2.

WHY WAS THERE NO ONE TO ANSWER?: That is, none to answer His call: Isa 66:4; cp Pro 1:24,28; Joh 5:43.

WAS MY ARM TOO SHORT TO RANSOM YOU?: The role of the near-kinsman/goel/redeemer: to buy Israel out of slavery.

DO I LACK THE STRENGTH TO RESCUE YOU?: God can deliver, through Christ, a "ransom" (Rom 3:24). Cp Joh 3:16; Rom 8:3; 2Co 5:19.

I DRY UP THE SEA: Exodus imagery: drying up Red Sea; waters turned to blood; plague of darkness (v 3).

Isa 50:3

SACKCLOTH: Mourning, by Gentiles, at eclipse of their rulers: cp Rev 6:12.

Isa 50:4

AN INSTRUCTED TONGUE: "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me" (Joh 7:16; cp Joh 6:63; 8:47; 12:49; 14:24; 17:3).

SUSTAINS THE WEARY: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mat 11:28). Cp Heb 12:12; Isa 35:3; Mal 3:16.

MORNING BY MORNING: Morning devotions of Christ: Mar 1:35; Luk 4:42.

WAKENS MY EAR: Ct deaf Israel: Isa 43:8! Cp Rev 2:7,11, etc.

Isa 50:5

OPENED MY EARS: As spoken by Christ in Psa 40:6,7 (cit Heb 10:5-7).

AND I HAVE NOT BEEN REBELLIOUS: "Not as I will" (Mat 26:39; Joh 14:31; Phi 2:7,8; Heb 5:8; 10:5).

"In this trial and preparation of the heart man must be responsive. There is a profound meaning in the words, 'The Lord God hath opened my ears, and I was not rebellious.' [Isa 50:5] Some men are rebellious even to the extent of making void the word of God. God gave to Saul a new heart so that he began his reign well, but he became rebellious and his heart turned to evil. His fall furnishes an excellent illustration of the proverb, 'A sound heart is the life of the flesh, but envy is the rottenness of the bones' [Pro 14:30]" (PrPr).

Isa 50:6

Hezekiah: the prospect of such vicious treatment at the hand of victorious Assyrians.

I OFFERED... MY CHEEKS TO THOSE WHO PULLED OUT MY BEARD: "Turn other cheek" (Mat 5:39; Isa 53:5; Mic 5:1). Cp Mt 26:67; 27:26.

SPITTING: Luk 18:32; Mar 14:65; 15:9.

Isa 50:7

I WILL NOT BE DISGRACED: "Deterred by insults" (Roth).

I SET MY FACE LIKE FLINT: To go to Jerusalem (Luk 9:51; Mar 10:32). Cp the flinty rock that poured forth water to redeemed slaves (Deu 8:15). Flint suggests supreme hardness: cp Eze 3:8,9.

Isa 50:8

The court of law again! -- Isa 41:1,21-29; 43:8-13,26; 44:7; 45:20-25. Cp Rom 8:31-34: "If God be for us... justifies... condemns.. .makes intercession.."

VINDICATES: Or "justifieth" (AV). Sig "acquittal", proven righteous -- as Christ only (as to actual deeds), and/or forgiveness by faith, as all others (Isa 53:11; Rom 4:24,25; Psa 32:1,2).


WHO IS MY ACCUSER?: Or "adversary" (AV), or "the master of my cause" (AV mg). Evidently a legal term, meaning "prosecutor".

Isa 50:9

WHO IS HE THAT WILL CONDEMN ME?: Cp Rom 8:33,34: No one may condemn us but God, and He is on our side. Esp applies to Christ: "Who of you can convict me of sin?" (Joh 8:46). He was "without sin" (1Pe 2:22; Heb 4:15).

WEAR OUT LIKE A GARMENT: Ct Deu 8:4: wilderness wandering: "Your raiment waxed not old." Suggestive of sinful human nature: cp Zec 3:3; Isa 64:6: filthy rags! Those who trust in the LM and the keeping of it will be thoroughly disappointed -- for it will vanish away: Heb 8:13; cp Psa 102:26.

THE MOTHS WILL EAT THEM UP: Sym corruption (Luk 12:33; Mat 6:19,20).

Isa 50:10

WHO HAS NO LIGHT: Mystified and bewildered by present evil circumstances.

Isa 50:11

The campfires of Assyrians encircling the city. It was Passover time (Isa 30:29; 31:5) and nights were cold (Joh 18:18,25). Cp Peter by fire (Luk 22:55).

YOUR FIRE... YOU HAVE KINDLED: The Jewish trust in salvation by their own works was a fire of their own kindling, which would not be adequate.

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