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CHAPTER 49 Jun. 24 
Israel, a Light to the Nations
Listen, islands, to me; and listen, you peoples, from far: Yahweh has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has He made mention of my name: 2and He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hidden me: and He has made me a polished shaft; in His quiver has He kept me close: 3and He said to me, You are My servant; Israel, in whom I will be glorified. 4But I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh, and my reward with my God. 5Now says Yahweh who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob again to Him, and that Israel be gathered to Him (for I am honourable in the eyes of Yahweh, and my God has become my strength); 6yes, 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 preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be My salvation to the end of the earth. 7Thus says Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of Yahweh who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.
Judah’s Final Return
8Thus says Yahweh, In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage: 9saying to those who are bound, ‘Come out!’; to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves!’ They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture. 10They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun strike them: for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water He will guide them. 11I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted. 12Behold, these shall come from far; and behold, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. 13Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth into singing, mountains: for Yahweh has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His afflicted. 14But Zion said, Yahweh has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me. 15Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you! 16Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me. 17Your children make haste; your destroyers and those who made you waste shall go forth from you. 18Lift up your eyes all around, and see: all these gather themselves together, and come to you. As I live, says Yahweh, you shall surely clothe yourself with them all as with an ornament, and dress yourself with them, like a bride. 19For, as for your waste and your desolate places, and your land that has been destroyed, surely now you shall be too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up shall be far away. 20The children of your bereavement shall yet say in your ears, ‘The place is too small for me; give more space to me that I may dwell!’ 21Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has conceived these for me, since I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?’. 22Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and set up My banner to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. 23Kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; and those who wait for Me shall not be disappointed. 24Can prey be taken from a warrior? Or can prisoners of a tyrant be rescued? 25But thus says Yahweh, 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 who contends with you, and I will save your children. 26I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Saviour, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.


49:2 The Lord Jesus is described as having a sharp sword going out of His mouth (Rev. 1:16; 2:16; 19:15); this is a prophecy of Him personally.
49:8 2 Cor. 6:2 interprets this time of salvation and acceptance as “now”. The window of opportunity which there was for Judah to return from exile and inherit the restored Kingdom of God is “now”  in that we should likewise be appealing to men and women to quit this world of “Babylon” and journey towards God’s Kingdom. The spiritual opportunities which there are “now” are amazing; but there is an urgency to our appeal in that the time of acceptance is “now” and the amazing opportunity must be grasped “now”.
49:10 Quoted about how we shall be led by Jesus in the future Kingdom of God on earth (Rev. 7:16,17).
49:16 Judah in captivity must’ve thought that God had forgotten them and His land as it lay there desolated. We too at times feel the apparent silence of God means that He is somehow there but too far away. But He assures them and us that His silence is only apparent. They were engraven upon His palms, perhaps alluding to the fact that it seems that to this day the Lord Jesus has on His hands the marks from the nails with which He was crucified (Zech. 13:6; Jn. 20:25-27; Rev. 1:7).
49:24 Despite having enabled their exit from Babylon, they complained: “Vindication remains far removed from us and deliverance does not reach us” (59:9). This was an awful spurning of the great salvation enabled for them. They remonstrated against God’s message of deliverance from captivity: “Can prey be taken from a warrior? Or can prisoners of a tyrant be rescued?” (:24). They thought their salvation was too hard even for God. They made the same mistake as all who reason that their situation or personality is too far gone for God to redeem. For the ‘salvation’ of the exiles in Babylon is alluded to in the New Testament as a prototype of our salvation in Christ. The good news of potentialdeliverance from Babylon is quoted as the good news of salvation from sin (Is. 52:7-10 = Mk. 1:15; Mt. 10:7,8; Rom. 10:15; Eph. 6:15; Is. 61:1,2 = Lk. 4:16-21).