Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 49:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thy children shall make haste "They that destroyed thee shall soon become thy builders" - Auctor Vulgatae pro בניך banayich, videtur legisse בוניך bonayich, unde vertit, structores tui; cui et Septuaginta fere consentiunt, qui verteruntῳκοδομηθης, π aedificata es, prout in Plantiniana editione habetur; in Vaticana sive Romana legitur, οικοδομηθησῃ, π aedificaberis. Hisce etiam Targum Jonathanis aliquatenus consentit, ubi, et aedificabunt. Confer infra Esai. Isaiah 54:13, ad quem locum rabbini quoque notarunt en tractatu Talmudico Berachot, c. ix., quod non legendum sit בניך banayich, id est. filii tui; sed בניך bonayich, aedificatores tui. Confer not. ad librum Prec. Jud. part ii., p. 226, ut et D Wagenseil Sot. p. 253, n. 9. "The author of the Vulgate appears to have read בוניך bonayich for בניך banayich, as he translates it by structures tui, 'thy builders.' The Septuagint is almost the same with the Vulgate, having ῳκοδομηθης, art built, as in the Plantin edition: but the Vatican or Roman copy reads οικοδομηθησῃ, those shalt be built. To these readings the Targum of Jonathan has some sort of correspondence, translating et aedificabunt, 'and they shall build.' See Isaiah 54:13; on which place the rabbins also remark, in the Talmudic tract Berachoth, c. 9, that we should not read בניך banayich, thy sons, but בניך bonayich, thy builders. See the note in Prae. Jud. part ii., p. 226, and also D. Wagenseil, Sot. p. 253, n. 9. "See also Breithaupt. not. ad Jarchi in loc.; and the note on this place in De Sac. Poes. Hebr. Praelect. 31. Instead of בוניך or בניך bonayich, thy builders, several MSS. read בניך baneycha, thy sons. So also the Syriac: see the above note.

Shall go forth of thee "Shall become thine offspring" - יצאו ממך mimmech yetseu, shall proceed, spring, issue, from thee, as thy children. The phrase is frequently used in this sense: see Isaiah 11:1; Micah 5:2; Nahum 1:11. The accession of the Gentiles to the Church of God is considered as an addition made to the number of the family and children of Sion: see Isaiah 49:21, Isaiah 49:22, and Isaiah 60:4. The common rendering, "shall go forth of thee, or depart from thee," is very flat, after their zeal had been expressed by "shall become thy builders:" and as the opposition is kept up in one part of the sentence, one has reason to expect it in the other, which should be parallel to it.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thy children - The children of Zion - the true people of God. But there is here considerable variety in the interpretation. The Hebrew of the present text is בניך bânâyı̂k (“thy sons”). But Jerome reads it, Structores tui - ‹Thy builders;‘ as if it were בונין . The Septuagint renders it, ‹Thou shalt be speedily built ( ταχὺ οἰκοδομηθήσῃ tachu oikodomēthēsē ) by those by whom thou hast been destroyed.‘ The Chaldee renders it, ‹Those that rebuild thy waste places shall hasten.‘ The Syriac reads it, ‹Thy sons;‘ and the Arabic, ‹Thou shalt be rebuilt by those by whom thou hast been destroyed.‘ But there is no good authority for changing the present Hebrew text. nor is it necessary. The sense probably is, the descendants of those who dwelt in Zion, who are now in exile, shall hasten to rebuild the wastes of the desolate capital, and restore its ruins. And may it not mean, that in the great work under the Messiah, of restoring the nation to the worship of God, and of spreading the true religion, God would make use of those who dwelt in Zion; that is, of the Jews, as his ambassadors?

They that made thee waste - Language drawn from the destruction of Jerusalen. The sense is, that they would seek no longer to retain possession, but would permit its former inhabitants to return, and engage in repairing its ruins.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Let there be universal joy, for God will have mercy upon the afflicted, because of his compassion; upon his afflicted, because of his covenant. We have no more reason to question his promise and grace, than we have to question his providence and justice. Be assured that God has a tender affection for his church and people; he would not have them to be discouraged. Some mothers do neglect their children; but God's compassions to his people, infinitely exceed those of the tenderest parents toward their children. His setting them as a mark on his hand, or a seal upon his arm, denotes his being ever mindful of them. As far as we have scriptural evidence that we belong to his ransomed flock, we may be sure that he will never forsake us. Let us then give diligence to make our calling and election sure, and rejoice in the hope and glory of God.