Isaiah – Chapter 49

The chapter begins by an intimate exchange between Messiah and God. He would have more success with Gentiles than with Jews. He would unite Jews and Gentiles to be a great kingdom with numbers beyond belief given the situation.




Theme:  God sent Messiah, Who victoriously saved Gentiles and united them to the Jews after Babylon.



1-3       God Called and Enabled Messiah for God’s Glory

4-6       Messiah’s Greatest Success Was with the Gentiles

7-12     Israel Rejected Messiah But Gentiles Received Him

13-17   Messiah Saved the Elect, Remnant Israel of God

18-23   God Would Use the Gentiles to Favor His People

24-26   God Would Do the Improbable By Releasing Israel


Preparatory Reading:  Isaiah chapters 13-14, 19, 39, 41, 43-46; Jeremiah 25, 27, 50-51; Daniel 2, 5, 7.


Related Links:

  1. Exposition of Isaiah 13 (Babylon beat) …
  2. Exposition of Isaiah 14 (Belshazzar) …
  3. Exposition of Isaiah 19 (Egypt judged) …
  4. Exposition of Isaiah 41 (Cyrus foretold) …
  5. Exposition of Isaiah 43 (Babel beat) …
  6. Exposition of Isaiah 44 (Cyrus called) …
  7. Exposition of Isaiah 45 (Cyrus called) …
  8. Exposition of Isaiah 46 (Idols defeated) …
  9. Exposition of Isaiah 47 (Satan defeated) …
  10. Exposition of Isaiah 48 (Babylon beat) …
  11. Babylon: History-Prophecy
  12. Glory of Fulfilled Prophecy
  13. Boasting of God – Isaiah



  1. This chapter, tenth in Isaiah’s comfort section, promises God uniting Jews and Gentiles in gospel era.
    1. Comfort. To strengthen (morally or spiritually); to encourage, hearten, inspirit, incite. To minister delight or pleasure to; to gladden, cheer, please, entertain.
    2. Isaiah 41 had God mocking idolatrous nations about the rise of Cyrus to save and promote Israel.
    3. Isaiah 43 had God mocking idolatrous nations about His defeat and sacrifice of Babylon for Jews.
    4. Isaiah 44 had God naming Cyrus and exalting fulfilled prophecies over the insanity of idolaters.
    5. Isaiah 45 had God naming Cyrus and guaranteeing his success for God’s universal glory and praise.
    6. Isaiah 46 had God comforting Israel by His superiority to idols in care, nature, prophecy, salvation.
    7. Isaiah 47 had God comforting Israel by His vengeance on Babylon for their sorcery and witchcraft.
    8. Isaiah 48 had God shortening their chastening and sending them out of Babylon for His own glory.
    9. Keep in mind when reading that Isaiah moves all over the timeline e.g. Rome (Is 6:9-13), Assyria (Is 7:2), Messiah (Is 9:1-2,6-7), Assyria (Is 10:1-34), Messiah (Is 11:1-10), Babylon (Is 13-14).
    10. Isaiah told Babel’s ruin (Is 13-14; 21:1-12; 41:1-9; 43:14-18; 44:24-48; 45:1-6; 46:9-11; 47:1-15).
    11. Though the event is about 160 years away, God proves He is God by these incredible prophecies.
    12. The reason for Cyrus is God’s glory above all (Isaiah 47:4,6,10 compared to Isaiah 48:9-11; etc.).
  2. To fully appreciate the value and power of this chapter, a person needs to learn about Cyrus the Great.
    1. He is the main character in these 40’s chapters of Isaiah, for God used him greatly (Is 44:28; 45:1).
    2. His commandment to rebuild Jerusalem is what started Daniel’s crucial timeline (Daniel 9:24-27).
    3. His proclamation for Jews to return to Jerusalem is huge in history (II Chr 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4).
    4. Skeptics and students resent Cyrus, for this supernatural prophecy and/or denying Ussher/Ptolemy.
    5. The overthrow of the mighty city of Babylon in one night and release of the Jews is clearly epic.
    6. God loved this event and spends these 40’s chapters of Isaiah to boast about His prophecy of him.
    7. Though the name Cyrus is in the pages of scripture nineteen times, most Christians know nothing.
    8. When a man denies the supernatural about Cyrus and/or starting Daniel’s prophecy, he is ignorant.
  3. This is the last and tenth of special chapters in their own right and with their own theme here in Isaiah.
    1. We have seen Messiah before in Isaiah chapters 40 and 42, and we see Him here plainly revealed.
    2. This chapter must be compared to Isaiah 42 for complete learning and help to identify the sense.
    3. Babylon is being closed out as point of emphasis to introduce the glory of Messiah and gospel era.
    4. This chapter allows a glimpse into a personal and intimate exchange between God and the Messiah.



  God Called and Enabled Messiah for God’s Glory  –  Verses 1-3 



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.

  1. We appreciate another chapter break that divides this one from Babylon (Is 48:20-22).
  2. The Person that begins here to speak in the first person we hold to be the Messiah Jesus.
    1. The context is tightly connected for the first eight verses to be obviously one Person.
    2. Other known options e.g. Israel, Isaiah, all the prophets have insuperable difficulties.
    3. The description here agrees perfectly with Isaiah’s earlier prophecy (Isaiah 42:1-12).
    4. The description here is confirmed perfectly by what the N.T. teaches of Jesus Christ.
    5. Paul applies two statements here to Christ (Is 49:6; Acts 13:47; Is 49:8; II Cor 6:2).
    6. God inspired His prophets, Isaiah especially, to write much of Christ (I Pet 1:10-12).
    7. This verse itself is quite odd to be applied to Israel or to Isaiah or to all the prophets.
    8. The next verse also has difficulties, for the speech, preparation, protection is unique.
    9. In just a few verses this singular male from the womb is distinct from Israel (Is 49:5).
    10. In just a few verses this servant of God would bring saving light to Gentiles (Is 49:6).
    11. In just a few verses this servant of God would be distinct from Israel, despised and abhorred by the nation, and yet worshipped by Gentile kings and princes (Is 49:7).
    12. In just a few verses this servant of God would be for a covenant to Israel (Is 49:8).
    13. In just a few verses this servant of God would inherit desolate parts (Is 49:8; Ps 2:8).
    14. What is said of this Person here matches what comes (Is 49:1-8; 52:13-15; 53:1-12).
    15. Calvin is wrong to combine Christ and Israel, for the obvious distinction (Is 49:4-7).
  3. We have had plain revelations about the Messiah in Isaiah’s 40s (Is 40:1-11; 42:1-12).
  4. The Messiah calls to Gentiles, who are identified here as the isles and people from far.
    1. We have met this form of language before for Gentiles (Isaiah 42:4,10,12; 66:19).
    2. The following context further indicates Messiah’s Gentile audience (Isaiah 49:6,12).
  5. Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, was chosen for this work.
    1. There was never any doubt from eternity the purpose and role Jesus had in the world.
    2. God’s works are settled from eternity, so revealed from the beginning (Acts 15:18; Gen 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Num 24:17; Deut 18:15-19; Psalm 2:1-12; 110:1-4; etc.).
    3. Angels told Joseph, Zechariah, Mary, shepherds, and wise men about His ministry.
    4. Isaiah himself already foretold His birth and His office (Is 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:10; etc.).
    5. Jehovah had named Cyrus long before his birth, but this prophecy runs much higher.
    6. Jeremiah and Paul were called in the womb, but inferior to Christ (Jer 1:5; Gal 1:15).
    7. John and Jesus both had the Holy Ghost from their mothers’ wombs (Luke 1:39-45).
    8. Jesus had the ministry to Gentiles (Mat 12:18-21; 28:18-20; Luke 2:29-32; Acts 1:8).
  6. We Gentiles should listen, since that is the request of the verse, to what the Christ says.



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; in his quiver hath he hid me;

  1. No man had a mouth sharper than our Lord (Is 11:1-4; 50:4-9; Matt 22:46; Rev 1:16).
    1. We bless God for the right interpretation/application of the word of God (Heb 4:12).
    2. The speech and words of the Lord Jesus were exceptional beyond measure (Jn 7:46).
  2. Jehovah had a purpose and role for Messiah that would not be hindered by any enemy.
    1. Jesus was under God’s protection and granted God’s power for work in due time.
    2. Isaiah had already written the zeal of the LORD would prosper Jesus (Isaiah 9:6-7).
    3. He was hid from Herod and the Jews before and after shewing to Israel (Luke 1:80).
    4. He was hid from Gentiles, though the greatest king, until the gospel (Acts 17:30-31).
    5. Jesus was God’s weapon against Satan and the world (Heb 2:14-15; John 12:27-33).
    6. Children are compared to arrows of a mighty man, but this Son exceeds (Ps 127:4).
    7. These words could apply to Cyrus, but the context runs much higher (Is 45:1-5,13).
    8. Jesus was no ordinary arrow – no ordinary earthen vessel here – but the Son of God!



3  And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

  1. GOD Jehovah said these words to Christ by covenant promise or prophecy of His work.
    1. We have not changed Persons or prophecies – it is still Messiah in the first person.
    2. Messiah as God’s servant has been and will be used by Isaiah (Is 42:1; 52:13; 53:11).
    3. God was glorified by Jesus many ways, as both knew (John 12:28; 13:31-32; 17:1).
    4. The nation also has been addressed this way, though not here (Is 41:8; 43:21; 44:23).
  2. The Person that begins here to speak in the first person we hold to be the Messiah Jesus.
    1. The context is tightly connected for the first eight verses to be obviously one Person.
    2. Other known options e.g. Israel, Isaiah, all the prophets have insuperable difficulties.
    3. The description here agrees perfectly with Isaiah’s earlier prophecy (Isaiah 42:1-12).
    4. The description here is confirmed perfectly by what the N.T. teaches of Jesus Christ.
    5. Paul applies two statements here to Christ (Is 49:6; Acts 13:47; Is 49:8; II Cor 6:2).
    6. God inspired His prophets, Isaiah especially, to write much of Christ (I Pet 1:10-12).
    7. This verse itself is quite odd to be applied to Israel or to Isaiah or to all the prophets.
    8. The next verse also has difficulties, for the speech, preparation, protection is unique.
    9. In just a few verses this singular male from the womb is distinct from Israel (Is 49:5).
    10. In just a few verses this servant of God would bring saving light to Gentiles (Is 49:6).
    11. In just a few verses this servant of God would be distinct from Israel, despised and abhorred by the nation, and yet worshipped by Gentile kings and princes (Is 49:7).
    12. In just a few verses this servant of God would be for a covenant to Israel (Is 49:8).
    13. In just a few verses this servant of God would inherit desolate parts (Is 49:8; Ps 2:8).
    14. What is said of this Person here matches what comes (Is 49:1-8; 52:13-15; 53:1-12).
    15. Calvin is wrong to combine Christ and Israel, for the obvious distinction (Is 49:4-7).
  3. If you are troubled here by Messiah being called O Israel, first compare other examples.
    1. Israel rebelled against Rehoboam, but they spoke of David long dead (I Kgs 12:16).
    2. Jesus in prophecy is called David, not Son of David (Jer 30:9; Ezek 34:23; Hos 3:5).
    3. John the Baptist was called Elijah the prophet by inspired latitude (Malachi 4:5-6).
    4. The church is called Christ by extension by Paul about its members (I Cor 12:12).
    5. The God of Jacob is called Jacob by an ellipsis in David’s psalm of Him (Ps 24:6).
    6. These transpositions or transfers of persons are to be understood from the context.
    7. Slaves to Context (outline) …
  4. The use of Israel for Jesus by Hosea is confirmed by the Spirit (Hosea 11:1; Matt 2:15).
  5. The use of Immanuel for Israel is the opposite transfer (Isaiah 7:14; 8:8,10; Matt 1:23).
  6. It is clearly Messiah here – God’s Christ – Jesus our Lord – but why this use of Israel?
    1. Jesus is called David for (a) covenant promise, (b) great king, (c) God’s favorite, etc.
    2. John the Baptist is called Elijah for having the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).
    3. God is called Jacob (Ps 24:6), for it was Jacob that saw God face to face (Gen 32:30).
    4. The church is called Christ (I Cor 12:12), as extension of Him (Eph 1:23; 4:12-16).
  7. Israel is used here for Messiah for many possibilities, but God did not identify the one.
    1. It means the prince with God that prevailed with Him for the salvation of the church,
    2. Like Jacob, the head, means, and progenitor of God’s family/church, so is Messiah.
    3. Jesus was declared to be Israel’s king forever (Luke 1:31-33; John 1:49; 12:12-16).
    4. Moses told Pharaoh Israel was God’s firstborn son, as was Jesus (Ex 4:22; Col 1:15).
    5. The anointing of David and his Son forever linked Messiah to the nation (Is 10:27).
    6. Messiah’s people of origin was Jacob or Israel (Num 24:17; John 1:11; Gen 49:10).
    7. The true Seed of Abraham included all the true Israel of God (Rom 9:6; Gal 6:16).
  8. Inspired Ambiguity (indirect) …



  Messiah’s Greatest Success Was with the Gentiles  –  Verses 4-6 



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.

  1. Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, continued in the first person about His lack of success.
  2. Our Lord did His best among the Jews, and He knew that God approved of His efforts.
    1. Crowds assembled to hear Him, but most soon turned away (Jn 6:66-69; Acts 1:15).
    2. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not – a terrible outcome (Jn 1:11).
    3. God thundered from heaven with public approval of His Son (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).
    4. God fully approved His work and promoted Him to rule the universe (Ps 2:6; 110:1).
    5. Isaiah described this paradox in great detail in a very popular chapter (Is 53:1-12).
  3. This precious glimpse behind the veil into heaven should move our hearts like John 17.



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.

  1. Jesus by prophecy continued in the first person that He would glorify God His strength.
  2. The LORD Jehovah, the Father of Jesus Christ, had fully declared His approval of Him.
    1. God had formed Jesus from the womb to be His mediatorial Son and prosper in it.
    2. A part of Messiah’s ministry would be to save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21).
    3. When it did not occur – most Jews were not saved – God still saw Jesus as glorious.
    4. God would enable and empower His Son in spite of Israel’s rejection (Matt 28:18).



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.

  1. Here is how the LORD Jehovah, the Father of Jesus, comforted Him with His approval.
    1. Son, do not worry about the rebel Jews, it would be a small thing to convert Israel.
    2. The Jewish part of your ministry, in which you see little gain, is not your main work.
    3. Jesus did save every Jew that He was sent to save, but He had a much greater role.
  2. God comforted Jesus in prophecy that His much greater work would be saving Gentiles.
    1. Keep in mind the important connection of an earlier prophecy of Christ (Is 42:1-12).
    2. The Gentiles were 99% of the earth’s population and lived in total religious darkness.
    3. God would save Gentiles through the legal, vital, and practical work of His Messiah.
    4. When you think practical conversion of the Gentiles, think of His charged apostles.
  3. Jesus as a light to Gentiles was stated already and used by Paul (Is 42:5-7; Acts 13:47).



  Israel Rejected Messiah But Gentiles Received Him  –  Verses 7-12 



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.

  1. This new section, closely connected to those before and after, is God speaking to Christ.
    1. The LORD = Jehovah, Who would Redeem Israel; He was the Holy One of Israel.
    2. There are not two Persons here, Jehovah and His Holy One; both are names of God.
    3. Jehovah was the peculiar God of Israel, and Jehovah was the Holy One of Israel.
  2. The Man that Jehovah addressed here was Jesus Christ as the despised Messiah of Israel.
    1. Christians know this kind of language about Jesus from Isaiah 53, but it is also here.
    2. The men and nation that abhorred Jesus were the Jews that eventually crucified Him.
    3. Jesus was a servant of rulers by their abuse of Him as a servant though He was king.
    4. However, other kings and princes would see the truth about Jesus and worship Him.
    5. The basis for this would be Jehovah’s faithful blessings and choice of Jesus to them.



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;

  1. This prophecy is quoted by brother Paul and applied to Jesus Christ and N.T. salvation.
    1. The acceptable time and day of salvation is the gospel era for which we should shout.
    2. God sent forth His Son in the fulness of time to do exactly these things (Gal 4:4-6).
    3. This has nothing at all to do with an altar call warning men to come forward today.
  2. Almighty God, the LORD Jehovah, identified Jesus and the N.T. for a new world order.
    1. This is turning the earth upside down in many different ways for Jews and Gentiles.
    2. Jesus described this new world order often (John 12:20-32; 16:1-15; Acts 26:12-20).
    3. Enemies of the gospel rioted in Thessalonica for men turning the world upside down.
    4. Enemies of the gospel rioted in Ephesus for the apostle destroying their idol sales.
  3. The Holy Spirit gave us three terms of the gospel era and new world order to fully grasp.
    1. The covenant of the people is salvation’s covenant (Da 9:27; I Cor 11:25; He 12:24).
    2. Wild enmity of Jews and Gentiles and sin was righteousness, peace, joy (Ro 14:17).
    3. Far off desolate places of the earth inhabited by Gentiles became Christ’s (Ps 2:8).



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.

  1. God charged His glorious Son the Messiah to issue a command for prisoners to go free.
    1. Cyrus, an obvious type of Christ in this section of Isaiah, did so but for far less glory.
    2. The Stronger Man Christ Jesus raided the devil’s palace for elect (Luke 11:14-26).
  2. Jesus Christ declared in the gospel by His apostles to men in darkness, Shew yourselves.
    1. Comparable with release from prison, do not separate this or make it very different.
    2. Prisons, especially dungeons, are dark, so the metaphors are similar of salvation.
    3. When you bring light to darkness, you call on those in darkness to come to the light.
    4. You that have been hid in the hordes of Gentile reprobates, come out and be known.
  3. These former prisoners would now be free to come and go and would prosper on earth.



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.

  1. Jesus Christ is the Great Shepherd and the Good Shepherd of His sheep for their good.
  2. With language like Psalm 23, this prophecy is far greater of Christ and His churches.
  3. Here are phases of salvation that result in living life (spiritual is best) to its very fullest.
  4. Here is the abundant life which Jesus brought as opposed to the burdens of the Jews.



11  And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

  1. Travel is hindered by mountains and valleys, but they would be altered for movement.
  2. We have met with this prophecy before of John the Baptist’s ministry (Isaiah 40:1-5).
  3. Mountains would be lowered and valleys raised for high-speed, international highways.



12  Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

  1. Behold! Look at this great migration. There are four directions – far, north, west, Sinim.
  2. Gentiles primarily and dispersed Jews also would use highways to spiritual Jerusalem.
  3. Sinim is south, which could be Sinai or Egypt’s city of Sin (Gen 10:17; Ezekiel 30:15).



Messiah Saved the Elect, Remnant of God  –  Verses 13-17 



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.

  1. Choruses of praise, which we have met before, should describe us (Is 42:10-11; 44:23).
  2. GOD Jehovah comforted His afflicted captives in Babylon and also showed much more.
  3. When you learn of Babylon and Cyrus, realize there is a much greater Prince and rescue.
  4. The prophecy now backs up to consider the lot of the Jews captives in pagan Babylon.



14  But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

  1. Isaiah had foretold great things 700 years away, but Zion in Babylon could only grieve.
  2. The singing just described clearly fits the gospel era, but elect Jews were not there yet.



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.

  1. God comforted Jews captive in Babylon they were dearer to him than a nursing infant.
  2. The Love of God (slides) …



16  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

  1. Continuing His response to His poor captives in Babylon, God used another metaphor.
  2. When we want to never forget something, we may write it on the palms of our hands.
    1. God has our names in the book of life, but this metaphor is our names on His hands.
    2. We also want to be in His book of remembrance for thinking on Him (Malachi 3:16).
  3. The situation, security, protection, or future of the Jews was constantly before Jehovah.
    1. The only walls they had here (in the prophecy) were the walls of pagan Babylon.
    2. But God’s intentions were very clear to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Dan 9:25).



17  Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

  1. The future of the Jews would be good – Cyrus’ decree would soon have them in Judah.
  2. The Babylonians/Chaldeans that had destroyed Jerusalem and Judah would be gone.




God Would Use the Gentiles to Favor His People  –  Verses 18-23 



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.

  1. Consider again, as we have in other places of Isaiah’s 40s, the state of the released Jews.
    1. It was one thing to be released from Babylon by Cyrus’s great decree (Ezra 1:1-4).
    2. It was another for a few poor Jews to go 1000 miles home to rubble and ruined farms.
    3. They knew the neighboring nations would not want them rebuilding the nation again.
  2. Listen to the LORD Jehovah tell them to look at their Gentile enemies all around them.
    1. He prophesied that these foreign nations would come together and support the Jews.
    2. God swore by His own existence that the Jews could use the Gentiles for prosperity.
  3. This prophecy and those like it were fulfilled weakly for 400 years and then strongly.
    1. There are various helps the Gentile nations gave to the rebuilding Jews before Christ.
    2. But the greatest fulfillment of this prophecy was in their union in the N.T. church.



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.

  1. Behold – this prophecy was very weakly fulfilled before Christ but perfectly after Him.
  2. The rubble of Jerusalem and ruined farms of Judah – reality – would explode in growth.
    1. The waste and desolate places and destroyed land was the long-ruined land of Judah.
    2. Though they brought only 45,000 back, the population would soon exceed the land.
  3. Babylon that had imprisoned them by far greater numbers earlier would be long gone.
    1. Nebuchadnezzar had made three expeditions himself into the land of Judah for war.
    2. But now under Persian rule and with Cyrus’s decree, they were very safe and secure.
  4. Beware – do not try to find the fulfillment of this prophecy in Zerubbabel or Nehemiah.
    1. Though the land gained inhabitants under the Maccabees, there was constant trouble.
    2. The real fulfillment is the kingdom of Jesus Christ as many Gentiles pressed into it.
    3. There is a heavenly Jerusalem and Zion to remember (Heb 12:22-24; Gal 4:21-31).
  5. Retain the lesson that God can pour out a blessing without room to receive it (Mal 3:10).



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.

  1. The nation had lost many children and growth in the wars with Assyria and Babylon.
  2. God promised renewed growth in numbers so that the land could not support them all.
    1. Too strait is to be restricted in movement, which was earlier too narrow (Is 49:19).
    2. Parents in this metaphor had complained of excess population, but now the children.



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?

  1. Rejoice in the creative style here of the Jewish church shocked by growth in numbers.
  2. It did not make good sense to believe Israel could grow so fast after such hardships.
    1. The loss of children, like seed corn, is devasting to the future growth of the nation.
    2. Crushed by Babylon, they were desolate captives, often moving, thus a low birthrate.
    3. They could not believe the growth rate, thus the questions as to the origin of children.



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.

  1. The explanation was in God’s plan that Paul clearly wrote to us (Eph 2:11-22; 3:1-13).
  2. God sent Jesus as an ensign for Gentiles and Jews to enter His kingdom (Is 11:10-16).
  3. Gentiles and Jews, helping one another, especially Gentiles helping Jews, would occur.



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.

  1. We use this text often to justify, explain, or rejoice in political help for God’s kingdom.
  2. There are examples both old and more recent of kings and queens helping the church.
    1. Ahasuerus and Esther certainly provided a fulfillment for every aspect of this verse.
    2. Herod Agrippa II was a help to Paul and got him to Rome with much protection.
    3. Whether Protestant Elisabeth or King James I of England, they helped the kingdom.



  God Would Do the Improbable By Releasing Israel  –  Verses 24-26 



24  Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

  1. But before any of the previous glorious things could occur, the Jews had to be released.
  2. In the natural world of human statistical probability, some things cannot happen easily.
    1. Mighty Babylon was the greatest city and kingdom on earth; escape was impossible.
    2. A mighty beast like a lion does not have a lamb or antelope easily taken from him.
    3. A prisoner legally in custody cannot be rescued in court for the law is against such.
    4. God had His law at stake, and the Jews in Babylon were there for violations of it.
  3. Reader! What things are impossible for men are nothing for God, as you may now read.



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.

  1. Let this axiom of a true worldview guide your faith and choices for the rest of your life.
  2. The LORD Jehovah declared to doubting Jews that He could do anything (Gen 18:14).
    1. Mighty Babylon would indeed lose her captive Jews by decree of Cyrus the Great.
    2. The terrible lion of kingdoms and nations – Babylon – would have her prey released.
    3. God Himself would get directly involved in this situation and contend with Babylon.
    4. God promised to save the Jews’ children – their descendants, family tree, and nation.



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.

  1. God promised severe vengeance on the Jews’ enemies – the Chaldeans of Babylon.
    1. He foretold here by metaphor that the Babylonians would devour their own empire.
    2. All the enemies of God are combined here – Assyrians, Chaldeans, Elamites, etc.
    3. They would devour one another by former provinces of Babylon taking the capital.
  2. For the ignorant, sweet wine can make you as drunk as bitter wine, for it is not juice.
    1. Sweet wine comes from sweet grapes or had fermentation halted to preserve sugar.
    2. No restaurant/store in the world will serve grape juice for an order of sweet wine.
    3. White Zinfandel wine is sweeter than Cabernet Sauvignon by nature of the grapes.
    4. Just like sweet wine, new wine of a recent vintage is also intoxicating (Acts 2:13).
  3. As Isaiah wrote throughout these 40s chapters, Cyrus would be an international event.
    1. God Himself applied this very goal to His calling of Cyrus to power (Isaiah 45:1-3).
    2. He wanted the whole world to know that Israel had the true God (Isaiah 41:20; 45:6).
  4. The salvation and redemption here at the end of the chapter is deliverance from Babylon.
    1. This is evident to an honest reading of the whole section of Isaiah’s 40s about Cyrus.
    2. Deliverance out of Babylon was salvation and redemption of Israel like out of Egypt.
  5. When you read Isaiah’s 40s, keep in mind the prophet looking forward from 700 B.C.
    1. Therefore, he saw the major event of captivity in Babylon and salvation by Cyrus.
    2. But he also the restoration of Israel and great prosperity in the kingdom of Christ.
    3. The two are connected by Cyrus rebuilding the temple for the Desire of all Nations.
    4. The temple of Zerubbabel was replaced by the temple of the living God’s churches.
  6. To keep your sense of words honest and not just follow their sound, submit to context.
    1. Redeemer and redeemed occur 12 times in Isaiah’s 40’s – (Isaiah 41:14; 43:1,14; 44:6,22-24; 47:4; 48:17,20; 49:7,26).
    2. Save, saved, salvation, and savior occur 12 times in Isaiah’s 40’s – (Isaiah 43:3,11-12; 45:8,15,17,20-22; 46:7,13; 47:13,15; 49:6,8,25-26).
    3. Righteous and righteousness occur 14 times in Isaiah’s 40’s – (Isaiah 41:2,10,26; 42:6,21; 45:8,13,19,23-24; 46:12-13; 48:1,18).
    4. Justified occurs 3 times in Isaiah’s 40’s – (Isaiah 43:9,26; 45:25).
    5. These words and occurrences related to salvation are often for Cyrus and Babylon.