Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 49:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Bind them on thee, as a bride doeth "Bind them about thee, as a bride her jewels" - The end of the sentence is manifestly imperfect. Does a bride bind her children, or her new subjects, about her? Sion clothes herself with her children, as a bride clothes herself, - with what? some other thing certainly. The Septuagint help us out in this difficulty, and supply the lost word: ὡς κοσμον νυμφη· as a bride her ornaments. כלה ככליה kichleyha callah, or כליה ככלה kecallah keleyha . The great similitude of the two words has occasioned the omission of one of them. See Isaiah 61:10.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lift up thine eyes round about - That is, see the multitudes that shall be converted to thee; see thy ruined city rise again in its former beauty; see the Gentiles come and yield themselves to the worship of the true God; see kings and princes approach and do thee homage.

All these gather themselves - That is, from a far country, from the north, the west, and the south, Isaiah 49:12.

As I live, saith the Lord - The customary form of an oath when Yahweh swears It is a solemn assurance that the event shall as certainly occur as he has an existence (see the note at Isaiah 45:23; compare Jeremiah 22:24; Ezekiel 5:11; Ezekiel 14:16, Ezekiel 14:18, Ezekiel 14:20; Ezekiel 16:48).

Thou shalt surely clothe thee with them - Zion is here represented, as it is often elsewhere, as a female (see the note at Isaiah 1:8); and the accession of converts from abroad is represented under the figure of bridal ornaments. The accession of converts karo the Gentiles should be to her what jewels are to a bride.

And bind them on thee as a bride doth - The sentence here is manifestly incomplete. It means, as a bride binds on her ornaments. The Septuagint has supplied this, and renders it, ‹As a bride her ornaments‘ ( ὡς κόσμον νύμφη hōs kosmon numphē ). The sentiment is, that the accession of the large humber of converts under the Messiah to the true church of God, would be the real ornament of Zion, and would greatly increase her beauty and loveliness.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Zion is addressed as an afflicted widow, bereaved of her children. Numbers flock to her, and she is assured that they come to be a comfort to her. There are times when the church is desolate and few in number; yet its desolations shall not last for ever, and God will repair them. God can raise up friends for returning Israelites, even among Gentiles. They shall bring their children, and make them thy children. Let all deal tenderly and carefully with young converts and beginners in religion. Princes shall protect the church. It shall appear that God is the sovereign Lord of all. And those who in the exercise of faith, hope, and patience, wait on God for the fulfilment of his promises, shall never be confounded.