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Isaiah 49:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And to restore the preserved of Irsrae "And to restore the branches of Israel" - נצירי netsirey, or נצורי netsurey, as the Masoretes correct it in the marginal reading. This word has been matter of great doubt with interpreters: the Syriac renders it the branch, taking it for the same with נצר netser, Isaiah 11:1. See Michaelis Epim. in Praelect. xix.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And he said - That is, Yahweh said in his promise to the Messiah.

It is a light thing - Margin, ‹Art thou lighter than that thou,‘ etc. Lowth renders it, ‹It is a small thing.‘ Hengstenberg, ‹It is too little that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob.‘ The sense is, that God designed to glorify him in an eminent degree, and that it would not be as much honor as be designed to confer on him, to appoint him merely to produce a reformation among the Jews, and to recover them to the spiritual worship of God. He designed him for a far more important work - for the recovery of the Gentile world, and for the spread of the true religion among all nations. The Septuagint renders this, It is a great thing for thee to be called my servant.‘ The Chaldee proposes it as a question, ‹Is it a small thing for you that you are called my servant?‘

My servant - (See Isaiah 49:3).

To raise up the tribes of Jacob - Hebrew, (להקים lehâqiym ) - ‹To establish,‘ or confirm the tribes of Jacob; that is, to establish them in the worship of God, and in prosperity. This is to be understood in a spiritual sense, since it is to be synonymous with the blessings which he would bestow on the pagan. His work in regard to both, was to be substantially the same. In regard to the Jews, it was to confirm them in the worship of the true God; and in regard to the pagan, it was to bring them to the knowledge of the same God.

And to restore - To bring back (להשׁיב lehâshiyb ) that is, to recover them from their sin and hypocrisy, and bring them back to the worship of the true and only God. The Chaldee, however, renders this, ‹To bring back the captivity of Israel.‘ But it means, doubtless, to recover the alienated Jewish people to the pure and spiritual worship of God.

The preserved of Israel - Lowth renders this, ‹To restore the branches of Israel;‘ as if it were נצרי netsârēy in the text, instead of נצוּרי netsûrēy The word נצר nêtser means “branch” (see the notes at Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 14:9), and Lowth supposes that it means the branches of Israel; that is, the descendants of Israel or Jacob, by a similitude drawn from the branches of a tree which are all derived from the same stem, or root. The Syriac here renders it, ‹The branch of Israel.‘ But the word properly means those who are kept, or preserved (from נצר nâtsar “to keep, preserve”), and may be applied either literally to those who were kept alive, or who survived any battle, captivity, or calamity - as a remnant; or spiritually, to those who are preserved for purposes of mercy and grace out of the common mass that is corrupt and unbelieving. It refers here, I suppose, to the latter, and means those whom it was the purpose of God to preserve out of the common mass of the Jews that were sunk in hypocrisy and sin. These, it was the design of God to restore to himself, and to do this, was the primary object in the appointment of the Messiah.

I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles - I will appoint thee to the higher office of extending the knowledge of the true religion to the darkened pagan world. The same expression and the same promise occur in Isaiah 42:6 (see the notes at that verse).

That thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth - (See the note at Isaiah 42:10). The true religion shall be extended to the pagan nations, and all parts of the world shall see the salvation of God. This great work was to be entrusted to the Redeemer, and it was regarded as a high honor that he should thus be made the means of diffusing light and truth among all nations. We may learn hence, first, that God will raise up the tribes of Jacob; that is, that large numbers of the Jews shall yet be ‹preserved,‘ or recovered to himself; secondly, that the gospel shall certainly be extended to the ends of the earth; thirdly, that it is an honor to be made instrumental in extending the true religion. So great is this honor, that it is mentioned as the highest which could be conferred even on the Redeemer in this world. And if he deemed it an honor, shall we not also regard it as a privilege to engage in the work of Christian missions, and to endeavor to save the world from ruin? There is no higher glory for man than to tread in the footsteps of the Son of God; and he who, by self-denial and charity, and personal toil and prayer, does most for the conversion of this whole world to God, is most like the Redeemer, and will have the most elevated seat in the glories of the heavenly world.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The great Author of redemption shows the authority for his work. The sword of his word slays the lusts of his people, and all at enmity with them. His sharp arrows wound the conscience; but all these wounds will be healed, when the sinner prays to him for mercy. But even the Redeemer, who spake as never man spake in his personal ministry, often seemed to labour in vain. And if Jacob will not be brought back to God, and Israel will not be gathered, still Christ will be glorious. This promise is in part fulfilled in the calling of the Gentiles. Men perish in darkness. But Christ enlightens men, and so makes them holy and happy.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 465

In the words, “I am the light of the world,” Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as “a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.” Luke 2:32. In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared, “It is too light a 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.” Isaiah 49:6, R. V. This prophecy was generally understood as spoken of the Messiah, and when Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” the people could not fail to recognize His claim to be the Promised One. DA 465.1

To the Pharisees and rulers this claim seemed an arrogant assumption. That a man like themselves should make such pretensions they could not tolerate. Seeming to ignore His words, they demanded, “Who art Thou?” They were bent upon forcing Him to declare Himself the Christ. His appearance and His work were so at variance with the expectations of the people, that, as His wily enemies believed, a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause Him to be rejected as an impostor. DA 465.2

But to their question, “Who art Thou?” Jesus replied, “Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning.” John 8:25, R.V. That which had been revealed in His words was revealed also in His character. He was the embodiment of the truths He taught. “I do nothing of Myself,” He continued; “but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. And He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” He did not attempt to prove His Messianic claim, but showed His unity with God. If their minds had been open to God's love, they would have received Jesus. DA 465.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 179.1

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. Isaiah 49:6. TDG 179.1

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 50.4

He attracted attention to purity of life, to humility of spirit, and to devotion to God and His cause without hope of worldly honor or reward. He must divest religion of the narrow, conceited formalism which made it a burden and a reproach. He must present a complete, harmonious salvation to all. The narrow bounds of national exclusiveness must be overthrown, for His salvation was to reach the ends of the earth. He rejoiced in spirit as He beheld the poor of this world eagerly accepting the precious message which He brought. He looked up to heaven and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25).... TMK 50.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 57

God declares: “I will sow her unto Me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not My people, Thou art My people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” Hosea 2:23. “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.” Isaiah 49:6. 8T 57.1

God has poured out richly of His Holy Spirit upon the believers in Battle Creek. What use have you made of these blessings? Have you done as did the men upon whom the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost? Then “they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” Acts 8:4. Has this fruit been seen in Battle Creek? Have the church been taught of God to know their duty, and to reflect the light which they have received? 8T 57.2

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