Isaiah 49

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Isaiah 49
Great Isaiah Scroll.jpg
The Great Isaiah Scroll, the best preserved of the biblical scrolls found at Qumran from the second century BC, contains all the verses in this chapter.
Book Book of Isaiah
Bible part Old Testament
Order in the Bible part 23
Category Nevi'im

Isaiah 49 is the forty-ninth chapter of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Isaiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets. Chapters 40-55 are known as "Deutero-Isaiah" and date from the time of the Israelites' exile in Babylon.[1] This chapter includes the second of the songs of the "Suffering Servant".


Textual versions[edit]

Some most ancient manuscripts containing this chapter in Hebrew language:

Ancient translations in Koine Greek:


The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:

Verses 14-26 are further divided into three oracles: verses 14-21, 22-24 and 25-26.

Second servant song[edit]

The servant songs were first identified by Bernhard Duhm in his 1892 Commentary on Isaiah. The songs are four poems within the Book of Isaiah written about a certain "servant of YHWH". God calls the servant to lead the nations, but the servant is horribly repressed. In the end, he is rewarded. Those four poems are:

  1. Isaiah 42:1-9
  2. Isaiah 49:1-12
  3. Isaiah 50:4-9
  4. Isaiah 52-53

The second of the "servant songs" begins at Isaiah 49:1, continuing through 49:12. This poem, written from the Servant's point of view, is an account of his pre-natal calling by God to lead both Israel and the nations. The Servant is now portrayed as the prophet of the Lord equipped and called to restore the nation to God. Yet, anticipating the fourth song, he is without success. Taken with the picture of the Servant in the first song, his success will come not by political or military action, but by becoming a light to the Gentiles. Ultimately his victory is in God's hands.[3]

Verse 1[edit]

“Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar! [4]

The coastlands (or islands) are frequently referred to in Deutero-Isaiah. The first reference is in 40:15. The Pulpit Commentary suggests that the word is to be understood as "lands" generally.[5]

Verse 16[edit]

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.[6]

Biblical translator and commentator Robert Lowth suggests that there was "some practice, common among the Jews at that time, of making marks on their hands or arms by punctures on the skin, with some sort of sign or representation of the city (i.e. Jerusalem) or temple, to shew their affection and zeal for it".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Young, Edward J., The Autorship of Isaiah (sic), accessed 29 July 2018
  2. ^ Timothy A. J. Jull; Douglas J. Donahue; Magen Broshi; Emanuel Tov (1995). "Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert". Radiocarbon. 37 (1): 14. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Isaiah 49:1-6
  4. ^ Isaiah 49:1a
  5. ^ Pulpit Commentary on Isaiah 40, accessed 22 August 2018
  6. ^ Isaiah 49:16
  7. ^ Lowth, R., Isaiah: a new translation: with a preliminary dissertation, and notes, critical, philological and explanatory, Boston, W. Hilliard; Cambridge, J. Munroe and Company, 1834, page 350

External links[edit]