Isaiah 49

 We are shown the Lord's glorious mission.

This chapter begins a new section of the book. The Messiah is seen as the servant of the Lord (His Father).
.1 ¶ Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
.2  And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft [arrow]; in his quiver hath he hid me;
.3  And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.
  1 - Listen, O isles Instead of "isles" read, "coastland." Zion's or Israel's heathen neighbors are to take notice.
  1 - Called me from the womb ... my name Does this describe Christ? mt0120f.
  2 - Mouth ... sword The powerful word of Christ ho0605, ep0617, re1915, he0412.
  2 - Hid me Christ existed before His coming in human flesh jn0114.
  3 - Servant jn0638, is4108. And on is4310.
  3 - In whom I will be glorified jn1704.
.4  Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God.
 5  And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.
.6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
  4 - I have labored in vain Israel or perhaps Isaiah speaking for his nation.
  5 - Israel be not gathered One Hebrew word in the Dead Sea scrolls and other manuscripts is spelled slightly differently making the clause read "Israel shall be gathered." Christ came to restore Israel. The nation refused, but spiritual Israel you and I will be gathered. See on ro1126.
  6 - Light to the Gentiles Christ through His people was to have shared truth with the world. This the people largely neglected to do as a nation. The apostles then carried the torch ac1347.
  6 - Salvation The role of the Messiah, not Israel.
.7 ¶ Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
.8  Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
  7 - Kings shall see In the end, the rejected Messiah will receive honor ps07210, is4523. Compare re1911.
  8 - Acceptable time See on is6102.
  8 - Desolate heritages The promises of prosperity and blessings will be Christ's and we will be joint heirs ro0817, ga0329, ep0306, he0114. When the time came ga0404, God sent His Servant Son through whom the covenant blessings would flow lu0172, da0927a. The Sabbath is a special "heritage." is5813.
.9  That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
.10  They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
   9 - Mayest say ... go forth Jesus Christ the Messiah was recognized as the channel of freedom and blessing when given for a covenant v8. Thus he can set free those in the darkness of sin. As animals released from the corral, they could feed in green pastures of heavenly glory. mal0302, ps02302.
  10 - Not hunger ... thirst As God protected the children of Israel, He will protect us through Christ re0717. And more than protection, we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever! ps02306.
 11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
.12  Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
  11 - Make ... mountains a way In the new earth or now, figuratively, as removing obstacles. Compare mr1123.
  12 - From the land of Sinim This is believed to be China. In contrast to the west oppoliste direction from Jerusalem. See the note below.
 13 ¶ Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
.14  But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
.15  Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
  15 - Can a woman forget?  See Isa 44:21; Ps 103:13; Mt 7:11.
.16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
 17  Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.
  16 - Walls Although the context here points to the walls around Jerusalem, it is interesting that China has a wall which is very ancient.
.18 ¶ Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.
 19  For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.
 20  The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.
 21  Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?
  18 - All these gather The returning exiles, with those converted to God's way would rebuild the walls of Zion is6004, is6010.
  18 - Clothe thee with them The people would be as clothing covering the city as a bride. They would be glory for the Lord, an ornament of grace and beauty is6203, mal0317.
  19 - Too narrow The land would not be large enough is5402, zc1010.
  20 - Children The first part of the verse is better translated "The children born during your bereavement." NIV.
  21 - Who hath begotten me these? Zion (the city/people) had been divorced by her husband is5401 but he would take her back. In the end this didn't happen mt2337.
.22  Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
.23  And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
  23 - Nursing fathers Or "foster fathers." Or "guardians" NASB.
 24 ¶ Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
.25  But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
  24 - Pray be taken from the mighty We might imagine a lion with a small animal as the evil one with a soul which yielded to his temptations. It was a "lawful" sellout. But with repentance, divine grace comes into action. The prey is delivered.
  25 - I will contend ... and I will save thy children A precious text for those whose children have wandered from the Lord. This, however, is a secondary application. "Children" here are the children or inhabitants of Zion v14-22. See second note below.
 26  And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.   Drunken with their own blood Compare re1706.
  All flesh shall know In the final conflict, the righteous minority will seem overwhelmed by the power of the massive end-time religious system re1303a. They will be condemned as great sinners. In our present verse, we see that they (we) will be vindicated.
  Mighty one of Jacob Do you remember to the angel (Christ) told Jacob? Look at ge3227f. The same "mighty one" will redeem us!
Land of Sinim (v12)
   "You may wonder what the word 'Sinim' means. Where is this land of Sinim mentioned by Isaiah before his service was terminated in 680 BC?. . ." In The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Houghton Mifflin 1973, p.1209. "'Sino' indicates Chinese; for example, Sinophile. [French, from Late Latin Sinae, the Chinese, from Greek Sinai, from Arabic Sin; China from Chinese (Mandarin) Ch'in [Qin], Dynastic name of the country.'" We can see how "Sinim" would be China. ". . . All Chinese roots meet in the Quin dynasty. . . . the Hebrew alphabet does not have the equivalent of 'ch' in English and 'Q' in Chinese. Thus Qin has been phonetically translated as 'Sinim.'
   "In Isaiah's day, the state of Quin was only one of hundreds of states under Zhou (770-256 BC). It was located in the present Gansu ... Province through which trade with the West was conducted. How is it that Isaiah chose Qin to indicate the Middle Kingdom [the literal meaning of China]? What was so special about Qin?
   "Rang Kung was appointed as the first Duke of Qin (770 BC), then a small, aristocratic house. Under his administration, the state of Qin emerged as one of the 14 major states under the Zhou dynasty. It was 500 years after Isaiah that Qin Shi Hangdi defeated all the other competitive states and established the Qin dynasty. From then on, Qin represented the Middle Kingdom (China).
   "Simply put, the God of Isaiah, with divine foreknowledge, saw all the stages in the development of Qin from a small, dependent, aristocratic house to becoming the famous Qin empire. God knew that the Duke of Qin would become ever stronger. . . . He foresaw that the Dukedom of Qin would still exist, defeat all the other states, and unite them . . . even choosing "Qin" as the name for the new empire!"
   Scholars tend to believe that Sinim was Syene, modern Aswan. The context (verse 6) shows that the ministry of the coming Messiah would be for all the Gentiles. China could represent the whole eastern region but the city of Aswan does not picture all of the South. North and Sinim are mentioned in the verse (12).

   Except as noted, quotations are from China in Bible Prophecy by Samuel Wang and Ethel R. Nelson, © 1989 by Samuel Wang, Read Books, HCR 65 Box 580, Dunlap, TN 37327. Used by permission.
To a mother whose daughter had turned from the Lord (v25)
   Many verses would fit your description. Take a look at Matt. 11:28-30. You may also remember Isaiah 49:25, "... For I will contend with the one who contends with you, and I will save your sons/children." (NASB). The Lord here addresses Zion. The children are the unfaithful people who should belong to the people of God, but you can tell the Lord that your daughter is like them and that you want Him to fight the enemy for her as He did for Zion. He will hear you.
    For adult children, the best resource is prayer. In the end, adult children are responsible to make their decisions. Some turn away from God even when they have had the best home influence. Remember, too, that Jesus lost Judas. I can send you a little book that is very good in how to relate to Christ. I suggest that when you talk to her, that you not mention your burden. I'm assuming that she already knows. Someone has said that "the best argument in favor of Christianity is a loving and lovable Christen." May our Lord send the Holy Spirit to plead with your daughter as you pray. Then, knowing that it's in the Lord's hands, you can rejoicing in the blessings He has given..
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