The Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One "The Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One" - "Perhaps we should read לקדושו likdosho," Secker: that is, to his Holy One. The preceding word ends with a ל lamed, which might occasion that letter's being lost here. The Talmud of Babylon has וקדושו ukedosho, and his Holy One.
To him whom man despiseth "To him whose person is despised" - "Perhaps we should read נבזה nibzeh," Secker; or בזוי bazui, Le Clerc; that is, instead of the active, the passive form, which seems here to be required.
Thus saith the Lord - This verse contains a promise of the future honor that should await the Redeemer, and of the success which should crown his work. The sense is, that Yahweh had promised to him who was despised and rejected, that kings and princes should yet rise up and honor him.
The Redeemer of Israel - (See the note at Isaiah 43:1).
To him whom man despiseth - On the construction of the Hebrew here, see Gesenius, Vitringa, and Hengstenberg. The phrase לבזה־נפשׁ libezoh -nephesh (to the despised of soul), means evidently one who is despised, rejected, contemned by people. The word ‹soul‘ here (נפשׁ nephesh ) means the same as man; that is, every man. It was a characteristic of him that he was despised and rejected by all; and the prophet, in this verse, has given a summary of all that be has said respecting him in Isaiah 53:1-12.
To him whom the nation abhorreth - The word ‹nation‘ here refers doubtless to the Jewish people, as in Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 10:6. The word rendered ‹abhorreth‘ means “for an abomination” (למתעב limetâ‛ēb ), Piel participle, from תעב tâ‛ab ), and the idea is, that he was regarded as an abomination by the people. The same idea is more fully expressed in Isaiah 53:3-4, that the Messiah would be rejected and treated with abhorrence by the nation as such - a statement which the slightest acquaintance with the New Testament will lead anyone to see has been literally fulfilled. No being ever excited more abhorrence; no man was ever regarded with so much abomination by any people as Jesus of Nazareth was, and still is, by the Jewish people. He was condemned by the Sanhedrim; publicly rejected by the nation; and at the instigation and by the desire of the assembled people at Jerusalem, he was executed as a malefactor in the most shameful and ignominious manner then known (see Luke 23:18-23). To this day, his name excites the utmost contempt among Jews, and they turn from him and his claims with the deepest abhorrence. The common name by which he is designated in the Jewish writings is Tolvi - ‹the crucified;‘ and nothing excites more deep abhorrence and contempt than the doctrine that they, and all others, can be saved only by the merits of ‹the crucified.‘ The Chaldee renders all this in the plural, ‹To those who are contemned among the people, to those who have migrated to ether kingdoms, to those who serve other lords.‘
To a servant of rulers - This probably means that the Messiah voluntarily submitted himself to human power, and yielded obedience to human rulers. The idea, if interpreted by the facts as recorded in the New Testament, is, that though he was the ruler of all worlds, yet he voluntarily became subject to human laws, and yielded submission and obedience to human rulers. For this purpose he conformed to the existing institutions of his country at the time when he lived; he paid the customary tax or tribute that was laid for the support of religion Matthew 17:27; he submitted to a trial before the Sanhedrim, and before Pilate, though both were conducted in a manner that violated all the principles of justice; and he submitted to the unjust decree which condemned him to die. He was, therefore, all his life, subject to rulers. He was not only exemplary and strict in obeying the laws of the land; but he became, in a more strict sense, their servant, as he was deprived of his liberty, comfort, and life at their caprice. He refrained himself from exerting his divine power, and voluntarily became subject to the will of others.
Kings shall see and arise - That is, kings shall see this, and shall rise up with demonstrations of respect and reverence. They shall see the fulfillment of the divine promises by which he is destined to be the light of the nations, and they shall render him honor as their teacher and Redeemer. To rise up, or to prostrate themselves, are both marks of respect and veneration.
Princes also shall worship - The word used here, (ישׁתחווּ yı̂shettachăvû ), from שׁחה shâchâh ) means “to bow down, to incline oneself”; it then means “to prostrate oneself” before anyone, in order to do him honor or reverence. This was the customary mode of showing respect or reverence in the East. It consisted generally in falling upon the knees, and then touching the forehead to the ground, and is often alluded to in the Bible (see Genesis 42:6; Genesis 18:2; Genesis 19:1; Nehemiah 8:6). This honor was paid not only to kings and princes as superior 2 Samuel 9:8, but also to equals Genesis 23:7; Genesis 37:7, Genesis 37:9-10. It was the customary form of religious homage, as it is still in the East, and denoted sometimes religious worship Genesis 22:5; 1 Samuel 1:3; but not necessarily, or always (see the note at Matthew 2:11; compare Matthew 8:2; Matthew 14:33; Matthew 15:25; Matthew 18:26; Mark 5:6). Here it does not mean that they would render to him religious homage, but that they would show him honor, or respect.
Because of the Lord that is faithful - It is because Yahweh is faithful in the fulfillment of his promises, and will certainly bring this to pass. The fact that he shall be thus honored shall be traced entirely to the faithfulness era covenant-keeping God.
And he shall choose thee - Select thee to accomplish this, and to be thus a light to the pagan world. It is needless to say that this has been fulfilled. Kings and princes have bowed before the Redeemer; and the time will yet come when in far greater numbers they shall adore him. It is as needless to say, that these expressions can be applied to no other one than the Messiah. It was not true of Isaiah that he was the light of the pagan, or for salvation to the ends of the earth; nor was it true of him that kings arose and honored him, or that princes prostrated themselves before him, and did him reverence. Of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus alone, was all this true; and the assurance is thus given, that though he was rejected by his own nation, yet the time will come when the kings and princes of all the world shall do him homage.
“Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, ... 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.” Isaiah 49:7. COL 163.1
“For every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” COL 163.2Read in context »
This love is the evidence of their discipleship. “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples,” said Jesus, “if ye have love one to another.” When men are bound together, not by force or self-interest, but by love, they show the working of an influence that is above every human influence. Where this oneness exists, it is evidence that the image of God is being restored in humanity, that a new principle of life has been implanted. It shows that there is power in the divine nature to withstand the supernatural agencies of evil, and that the grace of God subdues the selfishness inherent in the natural heart. DA 678.1
This love, manifested in the church, will surely stir the wrath of Satan. Christ did not mark out for His disciples an easy path. “If the world hate you,” He said, “ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” The gospel is to be carried forward by aggressive warfare, in the midst of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering. But those who do this work are only following in their Master's steps. DA 678.2
As the world's Redeemer, Christ was constantly confronted with apparent failure. He, the messenger of mercy to our world, seemed to do little of the work He longed to do in uplifting and saving. Satanic influences were constantly working to oppose His way. But He would not be discouraged. Through the prophecy of Isaiah He declares, “I have labored 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.... Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength.” It is to Christ that the promise is given, “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth; ... thus saith the Lord: ... I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.... 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.” Isaiah 49:4, 5, 7-10. DA 678.3Read in context »
It was to Christ that the prophetic promise was given: “Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to Him whom man despiseth, to Him whom the nation abhorreth, ... thus saith the Lord, ... I will preserve Thee, and give Thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.... 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.” Isaiah 49:7-10. PK 689.1
The steadfast among the Jewish nation, descendants of that holy line through whom a knowledge of God had been preserved, strengthened their faith by dwelling on these and similar passages. With exceeding joy they read how the Lord would anoint One “to preach good tidings unto the meek,” “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,” and to declare “the acceptable year of the Lord.” Isaiah 61:1, 2. Yet their hearts were filled with sadness as they thought of the sufferings He must endure in order to fulfill the divine purpose. With deep humiliation of soul they traced the words in the prophetic roll: PK 689.2
“Who hath believed our report?
And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? PK 690.1
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
Tuesday morning, June 19. I have just looked at my watch; it is two o'clock. I dress, seek the Lord, and try to write a few words to go in the mail to Africa this morning. May the Lord help me in tracing each line.... TDG 179.2Read in context »