Isaiah 49:7 MEANING

Isaiah 49:7
(7) To him whom man despiseth.--Literally, to one despised of soul, where "soul" may either stand for "men" as in the Authorised version, or imply that the contempt enters into the soul of the sufferer. (Comp. Psalm 105:18.) The point of the words lies in the fact that the doer of the great work is to be despised by the world's judgment or by his own people, by proud rulers (comp. 1 Corinthians 1:27); and yet he, and no other, will accomplish it.

Verse 7. - His Holy One; i.e. "the Holy One of Israel." To him whom man despiseth; literally, who is despised of souls. This is the first place in the prophecies of Isaiah where this note of the Messiah is brought forward. It is found earlier in the Psalms, as especially in Psalm 22:6, et seq., "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people;" and later on it is expanded into a chapter (ch. 53.). Whom the nation abhorreth; rather, whom mankind abhorreth. The term used is goi, which points to the Gentiles rather than to the Jews. Mankind at large dislikes a "Holy One," since he is a perpetual reproach to it (see Isaiah 30:11; and comp. Plut., 'Republ.,' 7:2, ad fin.). It is not the Jews only who exclaim in such a case, "Away with him! away with him!" (John 19:15). There is such an antagonism between sin and holiness, that the ungodly everywhere and in all ages detest the godly and virtuous. A servant of rulers; or, a slave of despots; treated as a slave, i.e. by such irresponsible rulers as Herod (Luke 23:11) and Pontius Pilate (John 19:1, 16). The "King of kings" bowed himself to a slave's death. Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship (comp. Psalm 72:10, 11; Isaiah 52:15; Isaiah 50:3, 10, 11, etc.). According to a tradition - which, however, cannot be traced back to any very ancient source - the Magi who came to worship our Lord at Bethlehem were "kings." The prophecy is, however, to be regarded as having its main fulfilment in the coming to Christ of so many kings and princes, since his ascension into heaven (comp ver. 23). And the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee; rather, the Holy One of Israel, that hath chosen thee. Kings will rise from their thrones, and prostrate themselves before Messiah, convinced that Jehovah is faithful in the performance of his promises, and has chosen the Son of Mary to be the Redeemer so long announced as about to appear on earth.

49:7-12 The Father is the Lord, the Redeemer, and Holy One of Israel, as sending the Son to be the Redeemer. Man, whom he came to save, put contempt upon him. To this he submitted for our salvation. He is a pledge for all the blessings of the covenant; in him God was reconciling the world to himself. Pardoning mercy is a release from the curse of the law; renewing grace is a release from the dominion of sin: both are from Christ. He saith to those in darkness, Show yourselves. Not only see, but be seen, to the glory of God, and your own comforts. Though there are difficulties in the way to heaven, yet the grace of God will carry us over them, and make even the mountains a way. This denotes the free invitations and the encouraging promises of the gospel, and the outpouring of the Spirit.Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One,.... These are all the titles of the Father of Christ, who is the Jehovah, the self-existent Being, and from whom all have their Being; "the redeemer of Israel", being concerned with his Son in the redemption, of his people, in the contriving and settling the method of it, and bringing it about; "and his Holy One", or the Holy One of Israel, the sanctifier of them, together with the blessed Spirit; who speaks the following words, not to the Prophet Isaiah, as Aben Ezra, nor to the people of the Jews, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, but to Christ:

to him whom man despiseth; whom the Jews despised, because of the meanness of his descent, parentage, and education; because of his doctrines, disciples, and followers; and because his kingdom was not of this world, and came not with observation: or "whom a soul despiseth", or "despised in soul" (w); heartily despised, as Christ was; or "who despiseth his soul" (x), or life, as Christ did his, for the sake of his people, for whom he freely laid his life down, and made his soul an offering for sin:

to him whom the nation abhorreth; the nation of the Jews abhorred Christ, his person, doctrine, and miracles; they hated him, and would not have him to rule over them: they persecuted him, and sought to slay him, and at last delivered him up to the Romans to be crucified:

to a servant of rulers; of Jewish rulers in subjection to them, being made under the law; and of Gentile rulers, paying tribute to Caesar, and when scourged by Pilate, and crucified by his order, which was the usual death of servants or slaves. But though he was so ill used, despised, and abhorred, he is encouraged by his divine Father, and great glory and honour are promised him:

kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship; they shall see the glory and majesty of Christ, and rise up in reverence of him, and fall down before him and worship him; which has had its accomplishment in part in Constantine, Theodosius, Valentinian, and other Christian princes, and will have a further fulfilment in the latter day; see Isaiah 49:23. This passage is interpreted by the Jews of the Messiah (y):

because of the Lord that is faithful; to his promises to him in raising him from the dead, and giving him glory; in exalting him at his own right hand; in giving him gifts for men, which he bestowed on them; in spreading and succeeding his Gospel in the Gentile world; and in the enlargement of his kingdom and interest in it; all which obliged, and will oblige, the kings and princes of the earth to own him, and pay homage to him:

and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee; or make it appear that he has chosen thee to be the Saviour and Redeemer of his people, the Head of the church, and the Judge of the whole world.

(w) "ad eum quem contemnens est anima cujusque", Glassius; "ad contemptum anima", Montanus; "contemptui animae", Cocceius. (x) , Sept. "ad contemporem animea suae", Grotius; so the Arabic version. (y) Zohar in Gen. fol. 127. 2.

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